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Old 04-11-2019, 08:56 AM
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Baseball Hypothetical: Untrue Outcomes Joe


You are the newly appointed general manager and dictator for life of your favorite baseball team. A well known agent, L.B. Applegate, asks for a meeting. He comes in, sits down, and says:
"OK, Jess," [your name is Jess in this hypothetical]. "I just signed this kid, and I think he might interest you. His name is Joe; he's 22 years old and straight out of the cornfields of Missouri." [I assume there are cornfields in Missouri. If not, substitute the type of field that is most accurate].

"Anyway, Jess, this kid can hit. I give you my personal guarantee that he will hit between .330 and .370 every year until he is 35 - never less and never more. He's a switch hitter with no meaningful platoon split. I also give you my personal guarantee that he will never miss more than 10 games in a single season for any of that time."
[I should interject that you have worked with Mr. Applegate for some years, and his 'personal guarantees' always seem to be 100% accurate. It's odd, but you've learned you can count on it].
"The kid plays second base, and he's nothing special there; your stats guys will tell you he's exactly league average. He can run, too; on a typical team he'll steal maybe 40 bases against 50 attempts on a yearly basis.

Now as you know, I'm always in favor of full disclosure. This kid, Joe, he's got some... unusual qualities. He will never strike out. Never. He might swing and miss now and then, or let a strike go by, but he'll never get that K. On the flip side, he will also never draw a single walk, unless he's intentionally walked by the other team. Don't ask me how that's possible, but it is. Also, Joe will never hit a home run. It's not that he has no pop in his bat - he'll hit plenty of solid doubles down the line or into the gap, and given his speed some of those will turn into triples. But for some mysterious reason, nothing he hits ever quite gets into the stands.

So, to sum up: the kid is 22 years old, he will hit between .330-.370 while playing league average defense at 2B. He will also never walk, strikeout, or hit a homerun.. What do you want to do, Jess?"
--------------------------------------------------------

So, here's the question: what do you do with Joe? Do you sign him? How highly do you value him, relative to other players? How do you deploy him? Where does he hit in your hypothetical lineup? Is he a starter for the next decade? A role player? Something else?

(For the purposes of this hypothetical, assume that Mr. Applegate is both entirely truthful and 100% correct about everything he's told you)

Last edited by storyteller0910; 04-11-2019 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:10 AM
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What happens during the roughly two-thirds of at-bats where Joe doesn't get a hit? Lots of fielders' choices or errors? If we put Joe at the top of the lineup, are we guaranteeing the catcher throws the ball into the stands? I feel like I'm missing something.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:12 AM
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What happens during the roughly two-thirds of at-bats where Joe doesn't get a hit? Lots of fielders' choices or errors? If we put Joe at the top of the lineup, are we guaranteeing the catcher throws the ball into the stands? I feel like I'm missing something.
Outs, just like any other player. Groundouts, flyballs, pop outs - and of course, sometimes, fielder's choices and errors, but not at a greater rate than would be expected from any other player. It's not that he can't make an out - he'll make plenty. He just won't ever strike out, hit a home run, or walk.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:21 AM
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What happens during the roughly two-thirds of at-bats where Joe doesn't get a hit? Lots of fielders' choices or errors?
I'm assuming typical "ball put in play" outs (i.e., groundouts, fly outs).

The lack of walks means that his on-base percentage will be his batting average. A batting average of .330-.370 is outstanding, but assuming that that'll average out to about a .350 BA and OBP, that'll put him at about #50 in OBP.

Here's the stats from 2018, sorted by OBP -- it goes down to #40, and the guy at #40 had a OBP of .356. Mike Trout led with a OBP of .460, six players had OBPs of .400 or higher, and nineteen players had OBP higher than this guy's "ceiling" of .370.

Purely from a hitting standpoint, this guy would be among the league leaders every season. That's not the entire picture, of course, and from a total getting-on-base perspective, he's very good, but not outstanding.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-11-2019 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:27 AM
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What if the manager asks him to bunt? Is he able to lay a bunt down every time? I think Joe would be a good everyday player but might lead the league in hitting into double plays by a significant margin no matter where he is slotted in a lineup unless he's able to do this.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:44 AM
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I feel like I'm missing something.
Truer words have never been spoken.

Anyone who hits that well would always have a place on some major league team. Does someone want to look up the stats of all the current second-basemen? Perhaps Im old-school, but Id lineup batters in descending order of on-base percentage.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:46 AM
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I'm going to want some assurances from Mr. Applegate that neither Lola nor Memo is allowed around Joe for his entire career, that Joe has a guaranteed supply of Wonderboy bats, and that Meg or Iris or whatever the hell her name is travels with the team.

As for Joe himself, I put a really fast guy in the leadoff spot, bat Joe second, and hit-and-run my way into 13 straight years of making the playoffs.

Last edited by Kent Clark; 04-11-2019 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:07 AM
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Does someone want to look up the stats of all the current second-basemen?
Here you go -- 2018 second basemen, ranked by OBP. If Joe has his best sort of year (.370 BA / OBP), he would have ranked #3 in OBP among second basemen last year, behind Ramirez and Altuve (both of whom are All-Star / MVP-candidate-level players). An average year for Joe (.350) would have placed him at #8, and a poor year for him (.330) would have placed him at #9. Certainly starter-level OBP at the position.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-11-2019 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:22 AM
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Can you give me some hint what "hit plenty of doubles and a few triples" means exactly? What kind of SLG are we talking about here - .400 or .600?

I'd say a guy with an OBP of .350 at 2B, with league-average defense, who never strikes out (so will get at least some "useful" outs, and I'm going to assume his speed will keep the GIDPs down) is anywhere from a rock-solid starter to a a perennial all-star depending on what that SLG looks like.

Whit Merrifield put up 5.5 WAR last year with a .304/.367/.438 line and it sounds like this guy is likely to be at least as good as that. Whit also had 45 steals to 10 CS, so he's actually not a bad comp for this hypothetical guy.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:29 AM
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Can you give me some hint what "hit plenty of doubles and a few triples" means exactly? What kind of SLG are we talking about here - .400 or .600?
As I read the OP, I was thinking a bit of Ichiro Suzuki, as the guy was a hitting machine, but without much pop (though it's by no means a perfect comparison -- Suzuki regularly won Gold Gloves, added about 40 points to his OBP via walks, and did hit a few home runs).

Baseball Reference shows that, for a typical 162-game season, Suzuki's stats equated to 189 hits, 22 doubles, 7 home runs, an OBP of .355, and a slugging percentage of .402. In the prime of his career, Suzuki's slugging percentage was typically a bit higher (around .430 to .450).

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-11-2019 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:44 AM
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As for Joe himself, I put a really fast guy in the leadoff spot, bat Joe second, and hit-and-run my way into 13 straight years of making the playoffs.
Same. A guy who never strikes out is perfect for that role. He might not be a star, but he's definitely a starter.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:48 AM
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So I get Tony Gwynn as a middle infielder? Um, yes please. Gwynn technically did walk sometimes, but usually less than 50 per season. In 1990 he walked 44 time and 20 of them were intentional. Gwynn also technically hit a few home runs and struck out once in a blue moon. His CAREER avg. strikeouts per 162 games was a whopping 29. Twenty-nine. Chris Davis can do that in 2 weeks.

Joe's WAR would probably stay within a range between 2 - 5, which I can certainly live with. So yeah, I sign him.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:35 AM
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Yeah, a 2B with speed who hits .350/.350/.425 (making a guess on the slugging)? That's a first division starter, but not a star. The dependability would make him even more valuable than that.

So of course you sign him; you get him under team control for the first six years. The real question is what you'd offer to pay him after his arbitration years... or what kind of contract you'd have to offer him up front to lock him up for 13 years.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:13 PM
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Just for context, I was having a conversation yesterday about "three true outcomes" players - guys who strikeout, walk, and homer with very high frequency and rarely put the ball in play. I started thinking about what the exact opposite of such a player would be, and thought he would be quite useful indeed. I'm interested in the responses so far. So most of you would value this guy (and presumably pay him) as a borderline All-Star, but not much more or less than that?
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:42 PM
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If we had an entire team of Joe clones playing all the positions, and assuming average pitching, how good would the team be?
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:47 PM
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I'm not sure he'd be an All Star in any one year, but that consistency could possibly put him in the HOF. Given the comparison to Whit Merrifield with a 5.5 WAR for similar stats, if you assume a WAR of 5 over 13 years, that would be a lifetime 65 which is pretty close to the average WAR for 2B currently in the Hall. His OBP is also close to the average.

The lack of a breakout season would be a negative. I don't know what to do with 0 HRs or walks, because that's just a weird hypothetical that doesn't lend to any real-world HOF comparison.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:34 PM
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Wouldn’t they want someone with such an interesting career in the HoF? I know I’d be more interested in reading about him than someone who is like the 5th best HR hitter ever, or whatever.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:53 AM
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If we had an entire team of Joe clones playing all the positions, and assuming average pitching, how good would the team be?
I would take a the player, but I don't think a team of him would be very good. Not terrible, but probably below 500. The problem is that he is going to be really hard to optimize. You can't gain any advantage from lineup construction. The lack of a platoon split in particular is a problem as you can never have a particularly tough matchup for a pitcher. Given this, there is no reason that you won't always face the oppositions best pitchers, and it isn't like you are going to run up their pitch counts to knock them out of the game.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:29 AM
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I would take a the player, but I don't think a team of him would be very good. Not terrible, but probably below 500. The problem is that he is going to be really hard to optimize. You can't gain any advantage from lineup construction. The lack of a platoon split in particular is a problem as you can never have a particularly tough matchup for a pitcher. Given this, there is no reason that you won't always face the oppositions best pitchers, and it isn't like you are going to run up their pitch counts to knock them out of the game.
But Joe and his clones don't care who's pitching--they have the same on-base percentage regardless. Actually, once other teams catch on to the all-Joe team, they'll always play their worst pitcher against them and let the best rest. Because the Joes don't hit any better when facing a lousy pitcher.

Weird hypotheticals create weird results.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:30 AM
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But Joe and his clones don't care who's pitching--they have the same on-base percentage regardless. Actually, once other teams catch on to the all-Joe team, they'll always play their worst pitcher against them and let the best rest. Because the Joes don't hit any better when facing a lousy pitcher.

Weird hypotheticals create weird results.
The mascot for the Joes should be a spherical cow.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:29 AM
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Don't forget you're gonna be guaranteed this production for the next 14 years. No, he'll probably never have an MVP type season, but about a decade and a half of hitting about .350 with doubles, steals, and league average defense sounds pretty good to me.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:07 PM
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That is an immensely valuable property, much more so I think than he's been given credit for.

An average defensive second baseman with an OBP of .350 and an okay slugging percentage is a really valuable player. That is roughly equivalent to Jose Altuve in 2015, when Altuve slashed .313/.353/.459, an off year for him but he was worth 4.8 WAR. He fits the description in stealing bases and defensive skill.

What really makes the kid valuable is that I am guaranteed he will do this every single year for 13 years and never get hurt. The biggest risk with any athlete is unpredictability. That's what kills sports teams - all teams are trying tio acquire good players, but you can never predict for sure what kids will pan out and which ones will flop, or who will get hurt, or who will be good for a couple of years and then fall apart because of weight problems or cocaine or they get caught taking steroids or the league just catches up to them or who the hell knows what.

A player who helps you win and is absolutely guaranteed to help you win for over a decade with no risk of any downside whatsoever, ever, is worth MUCH more than the 4-5 WAR a year suggests. That player is at least as valuable as Bryce Harper.

Quote:
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I would take a the player, but I don't think a team of him would be very good. Not terrible, but probably below 500. The problem is that he is going to be really hard to optimize.
You'd win 100 games a year. An on base percentage of .350 is toweringly high, unless of course baseball changes. The current MLB OBP is around .323, was .318 last year, and no team last year was even at .340. That is a huge, huge, huge advantage in baserunners, and so many stolen bases it really would make a difference. Even without home runs your slugging percentage is high enough to drive in a crapload of runs. It would probably be the highest scoring offense in baseball.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:24 PM
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I like OPS as a measure. Assuming about +100 points for his non-home run power, he would have a 450 slugging plus 350 on base giving him 800 OPS.

800 OPS is a very nice career. Handful of guys with that career OPS are in the Hall, but most aren't. He would expect to get near 3,000 hits in his career, assuming 200+ hits a year.

If he trends high, we're talking hall of fame potential, if he trends low, it's more of a career starter with an all star nod or two.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:38 PM
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One quibble with your numbers, RickJay - to have a slugging percentage of .459, our no true outcome player would have to have something like 48 2B and 10 3B. If you plug in more reasonable #s, something like 35 and 5, you get a SLG of 0.418 (basing this on 655 AB and 229 H).

The zero homers really limits the SLG upside. He's locked in to an OPS range of roughly .770 to .810. That is of course 3.5 to 5 WAR per year - and with the consistency, that is still very valuable.

I will admit I can't quite wrap my head around what a team with those stats would look like. A .420 team slugging would have been upper third last year; as you said the OBP would be easily the best. So that should be a very good offense, but I wonder if the lack of homers would somehow skew the total runs scored.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:01 PM
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One quibble with your numbers, RickJay - to have a slugging percentage of .459, our no true outcome player would have to have something like 48 2B and 10 3B. If you plug in more reasonable #s, something like 35 and 5, you get a SLG of 0.418 (basing this on 655 AB and 229 H).

The zero homers really limits the SLG upside. He's locked in to an OPS range of roughly .770 to .810. That is of course 3.5 to 5 WAR per year - and with the consistency, that is still very valuable.

I will admit I can't quite wrap my head around what a team with those stats would look like. A .420 team slugging would have been upper third last year; as you said the OBP would be easily the best. So that should be a very good offense, but I wonder if the lack of homers would somehow skew the total runs scored.
The thing is, this guy never walks and never gets hurt. So he might get 650-700 ABs every year. 45 doubles is more than reasonable for a guy with plus speed.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:57 PM
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One quibble with your numbers, RickJay - to have a slugging percentage of .459, our no true outcome player would have to have something like 48 2B and 10 3B. If you plug in more reasonable #s, something like 35 and 5, you get a SLG of 0.418 (basing this on 655 AB and 229 H).
Sure, that's possible. Altuve is just a good approximation.

Quote:
I will admit I can't quite wrap my head around what a team with those stats would look like. A .420 team slugging would have been upper third last year; as you said the OBP would be easily the best. So that should be a very good offense, but I wonder if the lack of homers would somehow skew the total runs scored.
It would be hard to guess without some sort of simnulation. The thing is, .350 with doubles and triples will drive in a lot of runs, homers or no. This is also a team that will have a huge number of guys in scoring position - much higher than any other team - because the OP's conditions make it maybe the greatest basestealing team in the modern history of baseball. Eight guys stealing 40 bases a year (nine guys if a DH is involved) will steal more bases than the 1985 Cardinals, the best baserunning team I've ever seen, and with a better percentage.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:46 PM
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Rereading the OP I see that Mr. Applegate specified 40 stolen bases out of 50 attempts - that's definitely a good enough rate to add some value, but I don't think it's a huge amount. Playing with Runs Created formulas, I think it's about 2.5 - 3 runs created over a player with the same stats that never runs.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:52 PM
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So I get Tony Gwynn as a middle infielder? Um, yes please.
Putting his BA, SB% and SB totals together and projecting them out for 13 years, Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo. is somewhere in the category of Gwynn, George Sisler, and Nap Lajoie.

Heck, Mr. Applegate, I personally will sell my soul to sign this guy to a 10-year contract, with options for the next five years.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:58 PM
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Duplicate post

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Old 04-12-2019, 06:48 PM
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I like OPS as a measure. Assuming about +100 points for his non-home run power, he would have a 450 slugging plus 350 on base giving him 800 OPS.

800 OPS is a very nice career. Handful of guys with that career OPS are in the Hall, but most aren't. He would expect to get near 3,000 hits in his career, assuming 200+ hits a year.

If he trends high, we're talking hall of fame potential, if he trends low, it's more of a career starter with an all star nod or two.
A guy with a career .350/.450 OBP/SLG who plays average 2B is basically Craig Biggio, albeit with a somewhat shorter career. (That said, see other people's posts about whether .450 is a bit on the high side for slugging).

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Old 04-15-2019, 08:38 AM
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I wanted to get a decent estimate of Joe's doubles and triples, so I took a look at Ichiro's stats (MLB only). Mr. Suzuki had 362 doubles and 96 triples out of 3089 hits (plus 117 HR).

If we pessimistically turn all the HR into singles and project Joe to hit doubles and triples at the same rate (rounded off so 1/10 of Joe's hits are doubles and 1/30 are triples) and using an average .350 BA/OBP, then he's got an OPS of .756 or so.
(Which is maybe-not-that-surprisingly close to Ichiro's career .757 OPS) Looks like MLB average OPS is usually around .720 to .750.

Which means, depending on how you want to look at it Joe is an average to slightly better than average MLB hitter, or guaranteed Ichiro without his fielding value.

Well, I think either way any GM takes that in a split-second, but we might not be immediately hiring a sculptor for Joe's Hall of Fame bust, especially without knowing how the league will change over the next 15 years (e.g. will MLB keep juicing the balls, so average OPS hits .800? Or will switch-hitters get more valuable as defensive shifts increase?)
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:52 AM
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That's not really an average hitter though.

1. Joe's OBP is a disproportionate part of his overall offensive value. OBP is much, much more important than slugging percentage. A player with an OBP of .350 and a SLG of .406 is a more valuable player than a player with the same OPS made of a .320 OBP and a .436 SLG, and a vastly more valuable player than one with a .280 OBP and a .486 SLG.

2. A second baseman with ANY OPS is a slightly more valuable player than a player at most positions with the same OPS. A decent defensive second baseman has a lot of value.

Joe, assuming 650 at bats, would create 95 to 105 runs, according to any Runs Created method one cares to use. That's not average, it's very good; if every guy in your lineup was exactly that good you'd have the best offense in baseball. It's the on base percentage (I assumed a midpoint of .350) that drives the runs up.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:01 AM
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That's not really an average hitter though.

1. Joe's OBP is a disproportionate part of his overall offensive value. OBP is much, much more important than slugging percentage. A player with an OBP of .350 and a SLG of .406 is a more valuable player than a player with the same OPS made of a .320 OBP and a .436 SLG, and a vastly more valuable player than one with a .280 OBP and a .486 SLG.

2. A second baseman with ANY OPS is a slightly more valuable player than a player at most positions with the same OPS. A decent defensive second baseman has a lot of value.

Joe, assuming 650 at bats, would create 95 to 105 runs, according to any Runs Created method one cares to use. That's not average, it's very good[..]
I guess I'm not super up on latest research; I had thought that SLG was generally considered a little more valuable, but I'll certainly take your word for it that he's well above average value for hitting. And good point that an average-fielding second baseman is worth more than his offense alone (even if he doesn't have Ichiro's arm).

But with that, where do you value Joe in the big picture? Absolutely no-brainer for the GM to sign a guaranteed above-average-for-a-decade second-baseman, even if he's only marginally above average. If I could accomplish 1/9th of my job (OK, more like 1/20th) for the next 12 years with one signature, I'd sure do it.

But do you see him in the HOF? (As they say, it's not the Hall of Very Good)
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:12 AM
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If he lasted 15 years, sure. 12 years would be a little short maybe.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:15 AM
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But do you see him in the HOF? (As they say, it's not the Hall of Very Good)
I don't think I do. He's a hitting machine, but with zero walks, his OBP will be very good, but not exceptional. He's an average fielder at 2B, which is, of course, better than being below-average, but isn't going to add a huge amount of value in the field (and I could foresee that, when his team has the lead in late innings, his manager might replace him with a better fielder).

Also, as per the OP, he's only going to produce in this fashion until he's 35, and he's currently 22. 13 productive, extremely consistent years is a darned good career, but I'm not sure that he'll produce enough in the "counting" numbers.

Take a look at Ichiro's entry on Baseball Reference. Near the bottom of the page, there's a section on "Similarity Scores" -- take a look at the other players whose careers look most similar to Ichiro's at each year of age. Now, Ichiro was 27 when he joined MLB, so I'll take that into account, but of the batters who look most similar to Ichiro across their late 30s into their early 40s, including Jack Tobin, Wally Moses, Lloyd Waner, Kenny Lofton, and Doc Cramer, only Waner is in the Hall of Fame.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:20 PM
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Kind of surprising kenobi, on your list of similar players, that Kenny Lofton got as short shrift from the Hall voters as he did. .299/.372/.473, with 2400 hits, 622 SB, and over 1500 runs. 68.3 WAR.

I get not voting him in, but dumping him from the ballot in 2013 with 3.2 percent seems low.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:44 PM
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Kind of surprising kenobi, on your list of similar players, that Kenny Lofton got as short shrift from the Hall voters as he did. .299/.372/.473, with 2400 hits, 622 SB, and over 1500 runs. 68.3 WAR.

I get not voting him in, but dumping him from the ballot in 2013 with 3.2 percent seems low.
Lofton's an interesting one, and I agree, he didn't get much enduring recognition . But, if you look at his stats on Baseball Reference, you see that he had 8 very good years at the start of his career...and then stuck around for another 8 years, in which he was still good, but not really anything like what he'd been earlier, and he bounced around from team to team.

Near the bottom of the page, there's a section called "Hall of Fame Statistics," where they show how often he was a league leader in a stat ("black ink,"), among the league leaders ("gray ink"), as well as a couple of other compilation measures -- he falls somewhat short of a "likely HOF player" on all of those measures.

It also shows that his career WAR, 7-year peak WAR, and his JAWS number, which correlates with the peak, are all just a smidge below that of an average HOF center fielder. When you look at his career similarity scores, among the modern players whose career his was most similar to, there are as many guys who aren't in the Hall (Ken Griffey Sr., Brett Butler) as there are who are / will be (Tim Raines, Ichiro Suzuki).

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-15-2019 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:15 PM
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If he lasted 15 years, sure. 12 years would be a little short maybe.
12 years would make him basically Chuck Knoblauch so yeah.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:11 PM
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I would guess that a team of Joes would average somewhere in the .600-.650 range and win a lot of pennants. Except for the position, he reminds me of Richie Ashburn who had a lifetime total of 29 HRs and only a .308 lifetime batting average, hitting lots of doubles and triples. He is in the HOF, although partly on account of his defense. He regularly had 10% more putouts in CF than even Willy Mays, who was second. (Of course, a quarter of his games were behind Robin Roberts a notorious fly ball pitcher.) I think Joe would be a tremendous player and I would bat him leadoff. Ashburn did get a lot of walks to get his OBP up to .396. That made up for a lot of the missing BA.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:47 AM
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Joe doesn't seem HOF to me either. For instance, his OBP and OPS are both worse than career for Dustin Pedroia. And Pedroia has the advantages of being an above-average second-base fielder, on multiple WS-winning teams, and moderately charismatic, but I don't think Pedroia's going in the Hall.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:43 AM
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Kind of surprising kenobi, on your list of similar players, that Kenny Lofton got as short shrift from the Hall voters as he did. .299/.372/.473, with 2400 hits, 622 SB, and over 1500 runs. 68.3 WAR.
I don't think anyone would have thought of Kenny Lofton as being as good as his WAR says he was. It shocked me. He suffers from all the disadvantages you can imagine of a HOF candidate:

1. He didn't hit any really huge milestone, like 3000 hits,
2. He wasn't a homers and RBI man,
3. He played for many different teams,
4. He didn't lead the league in anything noteworthy except steals, and
5. His value is dependent on being just generally good at a lot of things, which is terrible for your HOF chances.

Lofton was drafted out of the U of Arizona, and didn't make it to the bigs to stay until he was 25 at which point he was immediately an excellent player. (He lost the ROY vote to Pat Listach, which does not, in retrospect, appear to be one of the smarter award decisions in baseball history.) Had he gotten up earlier maybe that adds hundreds of hits. Then later in his career he bounced around and I really don't know why, because by all accounts he's a good guy and he played well everywhere he went. Just bad luck, I suppose, but then again he got to play 2103 games in the big leagues and was paid tens of millions of dollars to do it.
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Last edited by RickJay; 04-16-2019 at 08:44 AM.
  #42  
Old 04-16-2019, 09:05 AM
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Pass. Pass so hard. Pass and immediately go to Mass.

Is nobody here a fan of classic Broadway? Doesn't the agent's name ring a bell?



But barring that little tidbit, sure I'd sign him. You can compensate for his quirks by drafting the right other players and tweaking your offense.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:59 AM
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I'm not signing Joe unless he has a bat named "Wonderboy".
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:05 AM
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I'm not signing Joe unless he has a bat named "Wonderboy".
Joe could certainly be the protagonist of The Unnatural.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:36 AM
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Pass. Pass so hard. Pass and immediately go to Mass.

Is nobody here a fan of classic Broadway? Doesn't the agent's name ring a bell?



But barring that little tidbit, sure I'd sign him. You can compensate for his quirks by drafting the right other players and tweaking your offense.
Of course I'm a fan of classic Broadway. And classic baseball movies, as well. Which is why I asked for a couple of additional assurances. And knowing Mr. Applegate's standard method of doing business, I gave him a counteroffer he won't refuse.

Like I said, lead off with a fast guy, hit Joe second, and put you basic lefty-righty power duo behind him, and I'll be in the playoffs for 10 straight years.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:15 PM
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I just want to say that I'm enjoying this discussion immensely.
  #47  
Old 04-16-2019, 08:59 PM
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I think the projections for his SLG and OPS are drastically low. This is someone who puts the ball in play every single time he steps into the box. That's 700 plate appearances per season, with 230 - 260 hits every year. And Ichiro isn't his comp - Ichiro was a slap hitter, who ran out infield singles. The OP says Joe is driving the ball. He's going to lead the league in doubles and likely triples for 12 straight seasons, and push for setting the league record in doubles (67). Delgado hit 57 doubles in 2000, 10% of his at-bats, 29% of his hits. Helton hit 59 in 2000 (over 10% of ABs, 27.3% of hits). Nomar hit 56 in 2002 (8.8%, 28.4%). Joe could be hitting anywhere from 62 (8.8% of ABs) to 73 (28% of hits).

That might be aggressive. But that's a peak year. So let's say he ranges from 7% of ABs to 25% of hits (I have no idea what league average is, and would actually be interested in them, as well as 2B/BIP). Throw in a reasonable 10 triples, that's anywhere from a .429 to a .492 SLG, and .757 to a .863 OPS. For a second basemen, that's a perennial All Star. He's going to create a million runs with men on base - the ball's in play every time!
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:54 PM
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But Joe and his clones don't care who's pitching--they have the same on-base percentage regardless. Actually, once other teams catch on to the all-Joe team, they'll always play their worst pitcher against them and let the best rest. Because the Joes don't hit any better when facing a lousy pitcher.

Weird hypotheticals create weird results.
Joe has a variable range from .330 to .370 - that's significant, and doesn't suggest that he doesn't care who's pitching. I think it's fair to assume he hits closer to .370 against the shitty pitchers, and .330 against the better ones. (Or more likely, probably .400 against the shitty ones, and .280 against the better ones.)
  #49  
Old 04-16-2019, 11:55 PM
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He's going to create a million runs with men on base - the ball's in play every time!
And, since the ball's in play every time, he's also probably going to lead the majors in GIDPs.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:21 AM
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And, since the ball's in play every time, he's also probably going to lead the majors in GIDPs.
Especially if he's keeping the ball on the ground so much that he never hits it out.

Thanks for the explanation on Lofton, guys. So, a speedier, less power version of Adrian Beltre, who was I similarly surprised by with his BB Reference WAR accumulation. ("He was that good?!), and who you all also helped me with understanding why he had the advanced stats he had. Though Beltre's getting into the Hall rather easily, I should think.

A guy like Outcome Joe, shouldn't he have been moved to the outfield to take more advantage of that speed?
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