32 thoughts on “Fun with stats”

  1. And for a little more perspective:

    Preston Wilson 12.0
    Lew Ford 11.7
    Shannon Stewart 10.3
    Jacque Jones 10.4

  2. The production we’re getting throughout the lineup makes trading Furcal a much lower priority. If Cox would just drop him to eighth in the order, maybe his failures wouldn’t grate as much. We can recast him as a modern day Mark Belanger and just forget about him — then any offensive bursts can be viewed as a bonus.

  3. Would someone explain the “27” after the RC? Is this some constant or a variable? and the next category, ISOP. When I clicked it, there was no data or name.

  4. The production we’re getting throughout the lineup makes trading Furcal a much lower priority. If Cox would just drop him to eighth in the order, maybe his failures wouldn’t grate as much.

    It’s surprising how fast everyone has turned on Furcal. He’s got a pretty long track record as one of the best shortstops in the Senior circuit. Not sure why everyone thinks he turned into a stiff overnight. I’ll go on the record as saying I think Furcal has a hot second half and his dismal first half will be a distant memory as he laughs all the way to the bank as a free agent. Never underestimate a player in a contract year.

  5. Big contract years might have gone away with the new testing policy.

    They’d go away for good if MLB would freeze samples and post-test them when new substances are discovered.

  6. Furcal has always been deceptively decent as an offensive player. Good for a short stop, yes, but never as good as he’s looked. His flashes of power have never amounted to a whole lot, evidenced by his .398 career slugging percentage. And, while he’s stolen a lot of bases, he’s been caught almost 40% of the time over his career (but that has been better the last couple years, and he’s been great stealing bases this year). He’s also only managed to get on base about 34% of the time, which really is not very good for a speedy guy with little power. He’s very good when he can hit close to .300. And if he could hit near .300 the rest of the way along with the great defense and excellent SB rate so far this year, then he’d definitely be valuable. Even without that, his defense and baserunning are valuable, but…

    …he’s gone next year anyway. Betemit looks to be an excellent offensive replacement. His extra base power would probably make up for Furcal’s stolen bases. Whether his offense overall would make up for Furcal’s defense isn’t something I know enough to comment on. But even if it didn’t, the potential savings in salary that could translate into an improved pitching staff via another trade makes me all for dumping Furcal if there is any realistic opportunity to do so.

    No matter what, he will be laughing all the way to the bank as a free agent. And no matter what, the check will not have “Atlanta Braves” printed in the top, left-hand corner.

  7. There’s also the hope that Marte will increase the range at third making the defensive transition from Furcal to Betemit less painful.

  8. On the last thread there was discussion about Smothz in the HOF. Here are the Braves over the last 15 years that I think get in:

    *Maddux-lock
    *Glavine-lock
    *Smoltz-just about a lock
    *Chipper-won’t be first ballot, but should get in
    *Hudson-it is still too early to tell, but if he leads us to the promise land in the next few years, maybe.
    *Andrew-tough, if he keeps hitting like this he may get in.
    *McGriff-he should get in, but may end up like Dale Murphy as a guys who should be in, but is having a hard time.
    *Big Cat-nope, will fall just short. The whole Colorado thing will kill him.
    *Sheff.-he is in, unless he gets busted for roids
    *Reardon-God I hope not.
    *Hampton-if somehow he can manage to win a Cy Young award or two, then he might slip in.
    *Kolb- he will help alot of hitters pad their stats.
    Anyone got anymore?

  9. I’d have to think Hampton has no shot. I just wouldn’t expect him to hold up long enough AND improve significantly along the way. He’s been a fine starter, but only one really great year.

    McGriff probably won’t get in his first time or two, and by the time the voters are ready to seriously consider him there will be some excellent first base candidates in Palmiero and Bagwell pushing him aside. I have to think his rapid late-career fade will end up costing him too. Dale Murphy is probably an apt comparison: some great years, but maybe not enough good ones overall.

    If not for the 2.5 years in left field, I’d have to think Larry was a lock. He’s bound for a move to first, I believe, and that will only cost him more. If he fades, he may not make it. If he keeps it up, I’d have to think he will.

    It’s way too early to be thinking about Hudson.

    Andruw’s still young. He’s got that and his truly awesome potential going for him. But I don’t think there’s anything in his overall career performance so far to justify a lot of hope.

    Javy Lopez may have a shot if he can stay behind the plate for several more years AND keep up his offense in the process. Those are both probably pretty big IFs at this point, though.

    Just to round it out with a couple of obvious ones… Cox is a no-brainer. Leo should be there, but that would be unprecedented.

  10. Speaking of future HOFers, is there any way we could trade Furcal for Roger Clemens? :-)

  11. And no matter what, the check will not have “Atlanta Braves” printed in the top, left-hand corner.

    Totally agree. Betemit will take over next year. As for this year, even if they keep Furcal, Wilson will still play a lot. I mean, he’s backing up Chipper and Marcus. It seems like at least one of them is always hurt.

  12. “Chipper-won’t be first ballot, but should get in”

    What? Chipper’s been one of the best offensive players in baseball for ten years. He’s won an MVP. He’s won a World Series. He’s been the best player on one of the great runs in the history of baseball. What exactly is keeping Chipper out? Defense?

    The only reason I could see Chipper not making the Hall is if he loses most of the decline phase of his career to injuries.

  13. The old standards aren’t quite as reliable as the voters have been tougher in the last few cycles, but…

    Chipper meets 46.2 of HOF standards, meaning he’s a basically average HOFer if he retired today.

    On the HOF monitor, he’s at 124.5, where anything over 100 is a probable HOFer and over 125 is a likely HOFer.

    And he’s going to go up on those lists. He came into this season with 310 homers and 1705 hits. I think he’s probably going to end up with at least 450/2500. The only third basemen with better numbers are the inner-circle guys, Schmidt/Brett/Mathews.

  14. I realize I’m entering dangerous waters here by saying anything good about Andruw (although it is much safer than two weeks ago to do so). But when his career is done, people voting probably won’t look at the wild swings during a typical Andruw Jones season (1-41 followed by 22-50 with 10 homeruns). They’ll see a player who has defined center field as a fielder (seriously, even though he has lost a step in the outfield, who plays center bettter than he does. To be sure, some are close, but they dive when Andruw would coast). They’ll see a player who if he continues at his never quite get to the promised land pace will hit over 400 and probably closer to 500 homeruns (he’s over 250 already and is only 28). They’ll see a player whose pitchers routinely had lower era’s than other pitchers in the league (while having some crappy left and right fielders, like Ryan Klesko and Chipper Jones). They’ll see a player who hits about .260, with 35+ homeruns and 100rbis a season, for lots of seasons. And they’ll a player who was almost always in the playoffs (so far he’s been in the playoffs every year of his career–only Chipper and Smoltz match that currently in the NL, and only Jeter does in the AL, I think). Those are, with all due respect, high credentials. And only those of us close to the Braves who watch every inning (or quite a few innings and blog about all innings) see him as a maddeningly inconsistent player and thus want to blame him for everything.

  15. Andruw’s defense is great. But I don’t think I’m bashing him to note that he has not defined center field as a fielder in the way that, say, Ozzie Smith defined shortstop as a fielder. There are now, and have been before, many truly spectacular center fielders. As I’ve said before, I don’t know enough about fielding or how to value it, but I think that it would probably not be unfair to lump Hunter, Edmonds, Andruw and Cameron (if he were in center) as roughly equivalent. (Someone please correct me on this objectively if I’m wrong). But if it’s true then how can he have truly defined his position if he has three comparable contempories?

    There’s really far too much guessing involved in predicted Andruw’s future HOF credentials. But assuming a reasonable career progression based on prior performance, I wouldn’t be surprised if what voters actually see is an excellent defensive CF who played on a lot of post-season teams, but had only one or two great seasons and ended up with offensive raw totals that would have been a lot more impressive in 1980 than in 2020, or whatever.

    But that incredible potential is the real wild card.

  16. I know what your saying Jeff, but at the same time Andruw is going to have to deal with the perception from the voters that he was never quite as good as he “should have been”. It’s the curse of high expectations.

    Given his durability and the fact that he plays an up the middle position, by the time he’s finished Andruw will have been more valueable in his career than at least the bottom third of the HOF. But I’m still not sure he gets in. The voters are on a real elistist kick right now, and there is still the vague feeling of dissapointment about him.

  17. My feelings are that Andruw is pretty close to a lock barring injury. He will hit 500 home runs if not only because he started so young. 500+ home runs and 10-15 gold gloves can not and will not be left out of the hall of fame.

  18. I really don’t intend this to be snarky – how exactly did Ozzie Smith “define” ss defensively? A fine player, to be sure, doubtless one of the best, but I just don’t know that there is a way to effectively quantify and compare him (or anyone else) accurately enough to proclaim umtimate superiority. With respect to Andruw, Ozzie was so poor offensively, that the comparative value of two isn’t even close. There are few examples of a player at a premium defensive position have the combined level of offense and defense that Andruw does. Even if you think he’s “lost a step”, he still hits as well as say, Carlos Beltran, with a 30-40% chance of maybe maturing into Jim Edmonds at the plate. The counting stats aren’t there yet, but another 6 – 8 seasons at this level will definitely get him in.

  19. Doesn’t seem snarky to me.

    I didn’t compare the two directly, or at least I didn’t do so intentionally. But I don’t think it’s pointless either. Ozzie Smith got into the Hall of Fame basically on his defensive reputation (along with a more than passable bat for a decent part of his career), deserved or not. And a lot of that had to do with the fact that the defensive reputations of his contemporaries did not come close to his. Andruw has at least a similar reputation as a great fielder. But his reputation doesn’t eclipse that of some comtemporary players the way Ozzie’s did (again, deserved or not).

  20. Sorry I didn’t metion Cox or JS, those are just given. Leo should get in, but there aren;t any coaches in the hall.

  21. ozzie hit .262 for his career, with 28 career home runs. So, he hit for average about like Andruw, and Andruw hits more hoime runs in a bad year than Ozzie did in his career. Ozzie was a great SS; Andruw is a great CF. I can’t get to a scenario, giving Andruw a normal career progression from here on out, where ozzie is in and Andruw is not.

  22. Can someone please explain what happens when a pitcher pitches a simulated game?

    Do minor leaguers get 27 ABs against a pitcher? Where do these simulated games take place? Does the pitcher face actual batters?
    Does the pitcher have to pitch with psuedo runners on base?

    Does the pitcher just pitch a certain number of moch innings and situations?

  23. Rip, my understanding is the pitcher throws batting practice to minorleaguers or whom ever they can find to stand in the cage. It is usually three or four diffrent guys. They will hit balls and after the pitcher throws 10-15 pitches he will take a break, then continue to pitch (like between innings.) SOme of the balls guys hit are ruled hits and some are ruled to be outs (depending on where they are hit.) I am pretty sure no one actually runs bases, but I imagine the pitcher does some work from the wind-up and the stretch.

  24. bfan – I really wasn’t trying to make a comparison, just responding to the comment that Andruw defined his position defensively. He’s worlds ahead of Ozzie offensively, no doubt. And I was overly generous in saying that Ozzie’s bat was ever “more than passable”.

    Rip – Here’s an excellent description of a simulated game… although Smitty nailed it pretty good.

  25. Hitters tend not to take these plate appearances too seriously, but in one documented case, an infielder with the Cleveland Indians threw his helmet onto the field in frustration—after getting called out on simulated strikes. The “umpire” who called him out was the team’s head groundskeeper.

    That’s off the link that creynolds gave us. That is absolutely hilarious. I would loved to have seen it

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