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What if I Think Defensive Measures and Replacement Level Measures are Meaningless?

Posted by admin on October 4, 2012

If you think all defensive measure are bunk and no better than random noise, use oWAR. It is every part of WAR, but assumes everyone is an average defender.

You can find all of this on the Player Value Registers.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2012-value-batting.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2012-value-pitching.shtml

Here are the MLB top 20 position players by oWAR.

Rk Age Tm oWAR ▾
1 Mike Trout 20 LAA 8.6
2 Miguel Cabrera 29 DET 7.5
3 Andrew McCutchen 25 PIT 7.5
4 Buster Posey 25 SFG 7.1
5 Robinson Cano* 29 NYY 6.7
6 Chase Headley# 28 SDP 6.2
7 Ryan Braun 28 MIL 6.0
8 Adrian Beltre 33 TEX 5.4
9 Adam Jones 26 BAL 5.3
10 Ben Zobrist# 31 TBR 5.2
11 Edwin Encarnacion 29 TOR 5.1
12 Prince Fielder* 28 DET 5.0
13 Austin Jackson 25 DET 4.9
14 Joe Mauer* 29 MIN 4.9
15 Yadier Molina 29 STL 4.9
16 David Wright 29 NYM 4.9
17 Aramis Ramirez 34 MIL 4.8
18 Aaron Hill 30 ARI 4.7
19 Melky Cabrera# 27 SFG 4.6
20 Shin-Soo Choo* 29 CLE 4.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/4/2012.

And if you think replacement level is bunk use WAA or wins above average. For single season measures like MVP races it works just as well as WAR. For careers, you'll probably undervalue average players with long careers.

Here are the top 20 position players by WAA

Rk Age Tm WAA ▾
1 Mike Trout 20 LAA 8.8
2 Robinson Cano* 29 NYY 6.0
3 Buster Posey 25 SFG 5.5
4 Andrew McCutchen 25 PIT 5.2
5 Yadier Molina 29 STL 5.2
6 Ryan Braun 28 MIL 5.0
7 David Wright 29 NYM 4.9
8 Miguel Cabrera 29 DET 4.8
9 Adrian Beltre 33 TEX 4.6
10 Joey Votto* 28 CIN 4.3
11 Chase Headley# 28 SDP 4.2
12 Michael Bourn* 29 ATL 4.1
13 Alex Gordon* 28 KCR 4.0
14 Giancarlo Stanton 22 MIA 4.0
15 Jason Heyward* 22 ATL 3.8
16 Torii Hunter 36 LAA 3.7
17 Aramis Ramirez 34 MIL 3.7
18 Ben Zobrist# 31 TBR 3.6
19 Martin Prado 28 ATL 3.5
20 Bryce Harper* 19 WSN 3.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/4/2012.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2012 at 9:21 am and is filed under Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

56 Responses to “What if I Think Defensive Measures and Replacement Level Measures are Meaningless?”

  1. Why not just title it "If Mike Trout doesn't win the MVP, we shouldn't give out awards anymore"?

  2. Unfortuneately there are still those that think positional adjustments are 'bunk' too.

  3. @2

    On can just use Rbat, then. (Trout 54, Cabrera 53 Posey 52, no one else above 50).
    Or Rbat+Rbaser+Rdp (Batting Runs + Baserunning Runs + Double Play Runs)
    Trout 65, McCutchen 52, Cabrera 48, no one else above 50.

    Find it here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2012-value-batting.shtml

  4. The only way to give it to Cabrera is to use pure hitting and nothing else (that includes stolen bases, baserunning, defense, position, and replacement). And even then, it's close.

  5. What if you think power is more important than speed? And that defense cannot be accurately measured nor can base running? Or that baserunning isn't nearly as important as hitting for power and average?

    I love baseball-reference, BTF, Bpro and all the statistical arguments that go with it. I think it's enhanced my enjoyment of the game.

    However, the attitude that "Mike Trout has to be the MVP and Cabrera isn't close" is doing a disservice to Cabrera. Moreover, the attitude I read on this blog and the other blogs of basically "Anyone who thinks Cabrera is an MVP is stupid" does a disservice to sabermetrics. There is ample room for disagreement.

    There are plenty of good arguments for Cabrera as an MVP, starting with leading the league in many offensive categories, and being better than Trout down the stretch in August and September.

    I think you can make great arguments for both of them, and I won't be upset if either of them wins.

  6. The award is called "Most Valuable Player."

    A centerfielder who is a threat at the plate is more valuable than a 1B who is a threat at the plate. That's really what it comes down to. Sure, Cabrera is a better hitter than Trout, but even throwing out Trout's defense and baserunning, there's still a darn good argument to be made for Trout as MVP.

    When you add in Trout's aforementioned advantages, I agree that Trout becomes a favorite for the choice. I'd vote for him, anyway. But, I wouldn't be that upset if Cabrera wins. It wouldn't be a bad choice (Juan Gonzalez - lol).

  7. Ben,

    I'm not sure what you want. We base these run values on the outcome we've seen over time it has on team run scoring. You may think power is more valuable than speed and you'd be right, but you are acting like Trout slugged .450. If you park adjust his numbers he produced as much power as Cabrera.

    Do you really read what I wrote as saying anyone who likes Cabrera for MVP is stupid? I'm sorry, but based on 30 years of sabermetric analysis, statheads are going to be pretty much unanimous that Trout was more valuable in terms of wins added to his team.

  8. #5 - I think the "stats down the stretch" argument is Cabrera's most logical. If we could somehow weight performance by the playoff-probability implications of each individual game, Cabrera and Trout would be a lot closer.

    But the other arguments I frequently see in Cabrera's favor are pretty illogical. Leading the league in arbitrary categories like AVG, HR, and RBI doesn't really mean a lot if his overall offensive contributions are no better than Trout's.

    It's not enough to "think" that power is more important than speed, or hitting more important than baserunning. We have linear weights that give the exact run value of hitting & baserunning events, independent of how good a player's teammates are. It's a pretty scientific way of comparing the apples of Cabrera's hitting to the oranges of Trout's baserunning, putting them all on the same scale of runs. And those runs say that Trout contributed slightly more than Cabrera in terms of total offense.

    That's before you even get to the fact that Cabrera plays a less important defensive position than Trout (is anybody debating that?), and that Trout plays his position much, much better than Cabrera plays his (is anybody debating that, either?).

    WAR basically quantifies all of that for us, but you don't need WAR to settle the debate. Trout was better defensively at his position, and he played a more difficult position. He was a better baserunner. Using linear weights, his offensive activities were as or more valuable than Cabrera's were, triple crown or not.

    The only thing keeping this from being 100% open-and-shut is the difference in production down the stretch in a playoff race. Although it bears noting that Cabrera's playoff-bound Tigers actually had a worse record (against an easier schedule) than Trout's sitting-at-home-watching-the-playoffs-on-tv Angels.

  9. #8 - Actually I think the "stats down the stretch" argument is pretty illogical. Each game means exactly the same amount in the end. Say, for argument's sake, that Cabrera was worth 3 wins in September and 1 win in April. It seems like those September wins are more important, since the playoff race for the Tigers was so close, but it was only close because they didn't win more games early on. If we switch the two months, then suddenly the Tigers are ahead by 2 extra games in September, and Cabrera's decreased performance for the month doesn't matter as much. The end result for the team is the same, regardless of when he contributed. (if you're interested, I wrote more in depth about this here: http://thefundamentalsblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/is-september-really-more-important/)

    Also, just fyi, Cabrera actually receives a higher positional adjustment on FG WAR than Trout because Trout played games in left, I believe.

  10. Cabrera gets a higher positional adjustment (rPos) here too. +1 to -2.

  11. #9 - I disagree. I think the information factor in WPA is important, and would be important in a season-long "playoff probability added" stat as well. For the MVP, we technically should be asking how much a player positively changed his team's probability of winning the World Series over the course of the regular season. And if we accept that definition of MVP, these late-season games that swing playoff probability a lot must have more weight than early-season games.

    For instance, it is an indisputable fact that the Yankees' win last night added more to their chances of winning the World Series than a win in April did. The change in WS probability speaks for itself, and that's why we ought to eventually use a "season leverage index" to weigh value-based metrics for the purposes of MVP debates.

  12. So do you think that once a player's team is eliminated from playoff contention, their stats should mean nothing? I just really don't buy WPA or playoff probabilities as a useful evaluation tool. They are both interesting narrative-builders, but when we are retrospectively looking at a player's season, each game had equal value because each game added either a win or a loss to the final standings.

    But if the Yankees had won an extra game in April, last night's game wouldn't have meant anything. We only think it added more to their chances because of the uncertainty of April. I really think both should be weighed equally.

  13. WAR and WAA? Whoa! Now that's two stats I don't understand. They seem like a good idea, I just don't know how you arrive at them.

  14. For the purposes of the MVP, I think a player's stats do mean practically nothing once his team is eliminated from postseason contention. He is no longer adding to his team's probability of winning the World Series.

    This debate, though, is another way to frame the discussion about the meaning of "clutch". And I do line up with sabermetric orthodoxy when I say there's very little evidence to suggest clutch hitting skill is real, or if it is it's so small that it can essentially be ignored.

    However, just because clutch performance isn't necessarily repeatable doesn't mean we shouldn't credit players who did play their best in clutch situations. That's why there's a difference between "ability" and "value":

    http://gosu02.tripod.com/id11.html

    Should a season-WPA-style stat be used to assess a player's ability? Absolutely not. But should it be used to assess his value? I think so; in fact, it's the only true measure of value. But that's assuming you consider "value" interchangeable with "adding the most to his team's probability of winning the World Series"... I do.

  15. #6 "The award is called "Most Valuable Player. A centerfielder who is a threat at the plate is more valuable than a 1B who is a threat at the plate. "

    But, a 3B who is a threat at the plate is more valuable than a CF who is a threat at the plate to a team that has Austin Jackson at CF and Brandon Inge at 3B. Even more so when it frees up room for Prince Fielder at 1B. Is it Most Valuable Player (to his own team) or MVP (to a generic team)?

    Btw, I'm a Tigers fan and I would vote for Trout. However, its closer than a slam dunk case. And the 2012 MVP shouldn't be treated as the ultimate battle in the SABR v nonSABR war.

    Finally, I find it ironic that Verlander has a comfortable lead in WAR for pitchers and I have not seen any Cy Young hype for him from SABR types or Tigers fans.

  16. Right, I completely agree with you about ability vs. value, and I think that players should be rewarded for being clutch. I just think that WPA in particular isn't the best way to measure clutch value. It's certainly a step in the right direction, but I think it's flawed as a valuation tool because of the points I've made here and in the post I linked. I don't know if there's a better metric out there for measuring "clutch value", but I personally do not think that it is WPA.

  17. How is Trout worth more above average than he is above replacement? The average AL CF is below the replacement level????

  18. I think there has been some negative blowback since WAR because popular, so thank you for this helpful post, Sean.

    I personally do not have faith in the defensive metrics and was looking for easy ways to sort by oWAR. Player Value Registers is awesome.

    Thanks for recognizing that some of us do having issues with defensive WAR.

    And I appreciate mentioning to WAA as an alternative to WAR.

    You are much more civil and less dogmatic than others in the sabermetrics community.

  19. "How is Trout worth more above average than he is above replacement? The average AL CF is below the replacement level?"

    you are comparing WAA which includes defensive metrics to oWAR which does not.

  20. "Do you really read what I wrote as saying anyone who likes Cabrera for MVP is stupid? I'm sorry, but based on 30 years of sabermetric analysis, statheads are going to be pretty much unanimous that Trout was more valuable in terms of wins added to his team."

    It's nothing personal and I shouldn't have lumped all "sabermetrics" people together. And there are certainly those who will say "anyone who votes for trout is stupid." I guess I read too many internet posts and Keith Law articles. No offense meant.

    I can see the arguement for both players. Either one, IMO, would be a worthy MVP. There's something to be said for winning the triple crown in baseball even if you don't feel those three statistics are the most important for determining who is a better player.

    But it's a fun debate to have if it can be had civilly.

  21. What if I don't like the park factors, can you publish the WAR leaderboard using 100 as the park factor for every single player?

  22. #14 - RE24 is the stat I was looking for. It takes context into account, but not the context of the game - just the context of the inning. Dave Cameron just wrote a great piece about it here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/trout-versus-cabrera-offense-only-context-included/

  23. I love sabermetrics. I do think, though, that even if they are valid, the power of them is overstated. I don't think we know, for instance, what the true signficance is of Trout being at 10 WAR and Cabrera at 7? When you factor in all of the calculations, estimations, etc., how sure are we that they really mean 3 actual wins? What is the confidence interval? The Orioles are proof that you can win with 50-50 pythagorean numbers, even acknowledging that pythagorean numbers predict winning percentage very nicely.

    What I am saying is that intelligent analysis of the numbers DOES tell us Trout had a better year, but I don't think we know how much better.

    A 10-WAR season is historic, but so is a batting triple crown.

    I think both had fantastic, historic seasons. If I have to base my decision on pure, numeric value, I pick Trout. But if I really had a vote, I would factor in the fact that the Tigers are in the playoffs, the rarity of the triple crown feat, the fact that Miggie played more games, etc., and I would pick Cabrera.

    Neither choice is bad.

  24. Alan Anthony Says:

    #9 It is illogical to say that the stats down the stretch is illogical. Everything is the world (including baseball games) are influenced by what happened previously. While a win in April is the same as a win in September in terms of a teams total wins at the end of the season, you can't say that if the Tigers had won more games earlier in the season they would not have needed to win more late in the season. If you pluck any game from April or May (or any other game up to the last game of the season) that the Tigers lost and changed it to a win, you're not just add 1 to the Tigers win column and subtracting 1 from the loss column. The nature of what happened in that game and how it played out would dictate what happened in the games that followed (availablity of relief pitchers, resting players because the team has a bigger lead in the standings, etc. etc.) so there is no way to know what would happen. All you can rely on is what DID happen.

  25. And I DO believe stats like WAR are valid....they do depict value on the baseball diamond. But we don't know the fidelity of every number very well....

  26. Some folks have implied that Cabrera deserves extra credit for switching from 1B to 3B this year.

    I'm just wondering if anyone can cite an MVP vote or discussion before this year in which a position change was considered a factor -- particularly a corner-to-corner move involving a player whom no one considers a plus defender at any position.

  27. The comparison would not be Miguel Cabrera at 1B vs. Miguel Cabrera at 3B but instead Brandon Inge at 3B vs. Prince Fielder at 1B (that is not even close).

    The reason, however, that this argument is not valid is because people make it sound like Cabrera made a big concession in moving to third, putting the team first and himself second. The reality of the situation is that Cabrera has been lobbying Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland to go back to third ever since he was moved to first because he prefers to play third. So he did do what his team asked him to but it was also what he wanted to do in the first place (unlike, for example, all the position moves that Michael Young of the Rangers has made in the last 10 years).

  28. @26, The Killer may apply but he moved around a lot. His primary positions by seasons since he was a regular were
    3B
    1B
    1B
    LF
    LF
    LF
    1B
    3B
    1B
    1B
    3B (MVP)
    3B
    1B
    1B
    1B
    DH
    DH

    He never moved from playing 90% at one spot to 90% at another, he really played many positions many years. His biggest switch was from playing 76% of his games at 1B in 1961 to playing 99% of his games in LF in 1962.

  29. @ 26

    A-Rod did, of course, move from SS to 3B, though a season before his MVP year. I don't recall if the position change was a factor in MVP voting, though.

    @27

    Miggy's motives have nothing to do with it. The value (to the Tigers) is derived from the Inge to Fielder upgrade, regardless of whether Miggy wanted to move or not.

  30. Based on the reason why the position move is cited as how it should be considered a factor in the voting, however, means it does something to do with it. Those who are lobbying Cabrera for MVP are using the argument that not only did he have a great season (performance criteria), but on top of that, he is such a great guy player that he agreed to move positions to help the team (character criteria). My point is that since he wanted to move to that position anyway, it can't be used a factor to put him over the top, so to speak, in the MVP race. It has to be disregarded entirely.

  31. Alan, you are really overstating Cabrera's "lobbying" to move to third. As if he was somehow a disgruntled employee when he was at first. That's not the case at all. Cabrera is - by all accounts - a great teammate who never complains.

    I think the first to third move is a bit overstated, but it's not like he was crying when he was playing first or demanding a move.

    #23 and #24: very well said.

  32. To me if you are going to give Cabrera credit for moving to third, how much credit are you going to give Trout for making the league minimum. If he was earning the $30m he was worth, can the Angels sign Wilson and Pujols?

  33. I never meant to imply that Cabrera was a disgruntled employee. He is definetly a great teammate who never complains and he never demanded a move. You are totally correct in all of those statements. He really is a great guy and the kind of person that superstars should aspire to be. All I am saying is that I don't think his move to third should be taken into account in MVP consideration.

  34. When Cabrera moved to 3B it added value to his team (Prince>Inge). His manager asked him to move to 3B, but he already wanted to move to 3B anyway. Should his move be disregarded?

    When Trout stole a base it added value to his team. His manager asked him to steal the base, but he already wanted to steal the base anyway. Should his steal be disregarded?

    Cabrera doesn't deserve MVP credit for being a nice guy. He deserves credit for for adding value to his team. His positional move can be argued to have added value to his team. It's not a "nice guy, giving it up for his team" argument. It's a "it sure was valuable that Miggy was able to move to 3B. This ability allowed the team to upgrade from Inge to Fielder in the lineup" argument. There is a difference.

  35. @32
    That's an interesting thought. I definitely would not dismiss that argument out of hand. Though, it does take the analysis another step removed from the field of play.

  36. Are the Angels in the playoffs?

  37. Great point, Mike. I like the stolen base comparison. I hadn't thought of it that way before. I'm glad I decide to post my thoughts (I usually don't do that) because I got some excellent feedback. I'm going to rethink my initial stance because maybe Cabrera's position change should be given more credit than I originally thought.

    Thanks very much!

  38. was there this much wailing and gnashing of teeth in 2006 when the MVP winners in BOTH leagues were more than 3 WAR behind the leaders?

  39. Here's how it should all work out.

    MVP- Mike Trout

    Henry Aaron award for the AL's best hitter: Miguel Cabrera

    problem solved

  40. that won't happen. everyone here knows Cabrera is getting the MVP. and it's killing them.

    but let's start a new debate...

    Yoenis Céspedes should be rookie of the year because his team made the playoffs. Thoughts?

    (joking)

  41. @38
    There's always been teeth-gnashing. This will fade with time. There's always a sort of Should Win/Will Win nature to these awards. Its just a chance for everyone to get their points in for "Should Win" while its still fresh in their minds.

    Howard/Pujols was an interesting case because they play the same position and the difference was all fielding and baserunning. You don't think of Pujols as being much of a runner and you don't usually consider 1B-defense as being able to produce that large of a spread.

    Morneau was an interesting pick. The narrative was that his abysmal first two months of the season effectively became a bonus as his personal turnaround matched the teams turnaround. I'm a Twins fan, so I'll take it but if you're scratching your head about that one, I understand. :-)

  42. the interesting thing is that Morneau was 3.3 WAR behind his own teamate.

  43. Santana won the triple crown too. But as a pitcher, its tougher for him to get votes. Morneau trailed Mauer significantly as well. And he trailed several other 1B/DH's (Hafner/Ortiz/Thome) as well as a mix of guys at glove positions. It was all about that June/July streak and how it lined up with the Twin's own hot streak. But several years later, nobody remembers monthly splits.

  44. Horace Steenblatter Says:

    I find it strange no one is mentioning the fact that Cabrera got arrested for beating his wife/girlfriend and showed up drunk to a game while they were in an elimination game scenario in 2009. Sure, it was a different season, but character issues are often not forgotten. I..e. I am sure Melky Cabrera's suspension will dog him the rest of his career.

  45. Horace... Why such the hate. I understand supporting your guy, but it seems the trout supporters main defense of WAR is Attack Cabrera. Everyone that doesn't just blindly accept the WAR calculations is a "world is flat" person. Sorry, but I have been looking at WAR and trying to get a good read on it for the last couple years and I am still a skeptic. I understand many of the offensive calculations that reduce Cabrera's contributions (GDP), but I still have huge reservations regarding fielding range and park factors. When Cabrera hits 10 homers over 440' I think those are still going to be homers no matter where he is playing. How did Comerica change from a Pitchers park to a nuetral or hitters park in a few seasons? Maybe sometimes trends have more to do with the players that play in the park than the park conditions.

    Bottom line is Cabrera hasn't been the best role model with a few of his incidents and I am not going to stick up for him on those. He has seemed to turn his personal life around. Can you honestly tell me you wouldn't want him on your team?

  46. Brad - As far as I know, WAR actually doesn't penalize for double plays since it doesn't consider baserunners at all. So, if anything, Cabrera is a little overrated by WAR in that regard.

    As far as park factors, Fangraphs has a stat called wOBA which only takes offense and stolen bases into account, but not park factors. Trout actually leads Cabrera by a small margin in wOBA. Of course, he has fewer plate appearances, but on a rate basis and including stolen bases, Trout has been a better offensive contributor.

  47. Matt... Directly from this website...

    "WAR for Position Players
    WAR for position players has six components:

    •Batting Runs
    •Baserunning Runs
    •Runs added or lost due to Grounding into Double Plays in DP situations
    •Fielding Runs
    •Positional Adjustment Runs
    •Replacement level Runs (based on playing time)"

    So WAR will penalize a player for creating an out that is due to another player being on base, but doesn't give any value for a player that bats 25 pts higher with runners in scoring position?

    Let's repeat that.... It's a players fault for hitting into a DP, but the reason for knocking in 139 runs is only due to a team's contribution. That player isn't more focused on getting a run, it's just random that runners were on base and he got a hit during that plate appearance.

  48. Brad,

    That isn't accurate. If you read the description of what we do with that.

    We only ding them if more of their ground balls in DP situations result in DP's than in single outs, meaning they are really slow.

    These aren't the actual numbers.

    But let's say a player hits an infield ground ball in a DP situ 50 times, and on average they get one out 20 times and 2 outs 30 times.

    If Cabrera has 50 such plays and has a gidp 45 times he gets dinged for the extra 15 times while if Trout has some 15 GIDP's in 50 situations he is credited with 15 dp's avoided.

    If you really want to look at clutch hitting or batting with RISP use RE24. That takes into account batters driven in, other bases advanced etc. It basically looks at the runs expected before and after the baserunning or batting event and credits/debits the player with that difference.

    Unfortunately, Cabrera was only 5th in that measure and Edwin Encarnacion edged Trout.

    Or maybe you want to measure how much the player helped his team win specific games. Then look at Win Probability Added, we measure the team's chance of winning before and after each play and credit/debit the batter for that.

    If you think RISP is super important, we have those stats as well, but they actually make Cabrera's bat look worse rather than better. He did worse with bases loaded and also in medium leverage situations. Really cleaned up in low leverage situations though.

    Cabrera improves to 4th in WPA behind Trout, Josh Willingham, and Prince Fielder.

  49. TRIPLE CROWN.....CLICK ADS

  50. The credibility of WAR is flawed do to the fact it is compared to a fictional player presumably a minor leaguer that was called up to a major league team to replace an injured player.Have you figured the stats out on all the players that were ever called up to the majors to replace a regular position player? If you have, what do the stats look like? You must have some kind of reference point before you can call WAR a legitimate stat. M.L.B. doesn't officially recognize WAR as a statistic.

  51. Jack Webb

    here's the flaw with your argument.

    when you apply a set of numbers (a logarithm) even;y across the board to every player, it kinda doesn't matter what it is. it will ALWAYS leave the same ratio of results across the board . example:

    you have 5 hitters, these are their OPS , .780, .850,.980,.680,.800

    if you had to compare all these numbers to a fictional "replacement level" OPS of .650 to see how their OPS is over said replacement level you would end up with these results (+ is over replacement, - is below, 0 is replacement): +.130,+.200,+.330,+.030,+.150

    if you change replacement to .500 you still get an equally valuable result relative to the new replacement number: +.280,+.350,+.480,+.180,+.300

    Now, granted, this is an oversimplified version of how WAR works, but as long as replacement level is applied across the board at each position to each player at that position, then it works.

  52. or if you require a tougher standard use WAA.

  53. I have a question about how WAR deals with consistency throughout a season. I ask this in regard to Robinson Cano, who I see is ranked 5th in oWAR, ahead of Ryan Braun and Adrian Beltre. I watched the majority of the Yankees’ games this season and while Cano had stretches like the final 10 games of the season when he almost couldn’t make an out, there were also stretches (some of them seeming quite lengthy, like the month of August) where he was a non-factor with a bat, especially with runners on base. Last year Jose Bautista led in oWAR despite dropping off his production after July, especially in September when his numbers were fairly average.

    Does oWAR or WAR take into account consistency? Is a player who puts up consistently good numbers more valuable throughout a season that someone who puts up great streaks but also poor streaks?

  54. WAR does not take consistency into account, and I'm not sure it should, because I don't think it's clear if consistency is actually valuable.

  55. 44: Cabrera was never arrested for beating his wife. In fact, his wife BEAT HIM. He showed up with a black eye and a busted face for a game with the Twins.

    The Tigers had non-alcoholic champagne in the clubhouse when they clinched and Cabrera was not a major part of the celebration.

    But continue to hate if you wish. I'm sure Dimaggio or Ruth or Mantle never deserved an MVP either because they once had personal problems off the field.

    ***

    I don't mean to go all 'sportswriter' on people, but if you think Fielder was more valuable than cabrera this year, you didn't actually watch many Tigers games. Cabrera carried that team down the stretch (unlike Mr. Trout). Fielder was awesome (and wasn't that contract panned by sabers too?), but Cabrera was the better player down the stretch, clearly.

    Baseball is played by humans, not start-o-matic cards.

  56. #8/Neil

    According to fWAR, Trout out-WAR'ed Cabrera in both August and September. In fact, Trout was first in WAR every single month of the year after his call-up except September (Beltre was #1, Trout 2).

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