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Thread: Where do you rank Mo Vaughn historically?

  1. #1
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    Where do you rank Mo Vaughn historically?


  2. #2
    Mo Vaughn was one of the Top 70 1B of all time.

    Offensively, Vaughn had 6 heavy-hitting, All Star quality seasons. But with only 12 seasons, an early retirement due to knee problem, and defensive issues, I can't rank him among the greats or the near-greats.

    I always forget that he was generally a .300 batter. He didn't look like one. That average came down towards the tail end of career, but in his 20s he was pretty consistent.

    I'd lump him in with Ted Kluszewski, Jake Daubert, Boog Powell, Hal Trosky, & Henry Larkin.

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    --There have been alot of 1B who had a run of big seasons with the bat, but weren't able to sustain it over their careers (many, including Vaughn, weren't even able to last to a long career). Klusewski, Powell, Trosky, Fournier, Mayberry, Thornton, Cooper, Camilli, Mattingly and no doubt others who aren't coming to mind fit this profile. None are in the Hall of Fame and none should be. I'd put Vaughn somewhere in this group, but I'd be hard pressed to say exactly where.

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    The only positive thing I can say about Mo Vaughn's tenure as a Met was the sandwich named after him:



    In 2002, baseball player Mo Vaughn introduced the "Mo-Licious Sandwich," a heaping pile of pastrami, corned beef, turkey and cheese on rye bread, at New York's Carnegie Deli. Credit: Robert Rosamilio / Associated Press
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue387 View Post
    The only positive thing I can say about Mo Vaughn's tenure as a Met was the sandwich named after him:



    In 2002, baseball player Mo Vaughn introduced the "Mo-Licious Sandwich," a heaping pile of pastrami, corned beef, turkey and cheese on rye bread, at New York's Carnegie Deli. Credit: Robert Rosamilio / Associated Press
    LOL I forgot what an awful GM Steve Phillips was. I actually liked Phillips as an ESPN analyst, then he got fired for adultery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgarza View Post
    Mo Vaughn was one of the Top 70 1B of all time.

    Offensively, Vaughn had 6 heavy-hitting, All Star quality seasons. But with only 12 seasons, an early retirement due to knee problem, and defensive issues, I can't rank him among the greats or the near-greats.

    I always forget that he was generally a .300 batter. He didn't look like one. That average came down towards the tail end of career, but in his 20s he was pretty consistent.

    I'd lump him in with Ted Kluszewski, Jake Daubert, Boog Powell, Hal Trosky, & Henry Larkin.
    This.

    That 5-year run is damned impressive, but it's 5 years. And as much as defensive metrics, for 1B particularly, don't really tell the whole tale (ref. Bill James on Buckner's assists), those are really pretty bad. His career would look better (and he may have lasted longer) had he remained a DH for his whole career.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgarza View Post
    I always forget that he was generally a .300 batter. He didn't look like one.
    He certainly didn't. With his portly physique and his deep crouch, standing in the batter's box, it didn't look like he could bring the bat around quick enough. Then seemingly out of nowhere, his bat came around like a whip and he would just crush the ball. In his prime, the guy had some bat speed!

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    The most impressive stat of his '95 MVP season might be the 11 SB (w/4 CS). How in the world?
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by toomanyhatz View Post
    And as much as defensive metrics, for 1B particularly, don't really tell the whole tale (ref. Bill James on Buckner's assists), those are really pretty bad.
    Mo was a marvelous hitter, but otherwise a huge liability. His fielding stats are really bad. Since James compared Garvey and Buckner, a lot more data has come in: for example, assists to 2d and home, double plays started, and bunts fielded--leaving aside zone ratings and other arcana. Mo led the league in errors 7 times.

    Here are some comparisons with Pujols, not that Mo should be expected to match Pujols--nobody does--but to show how MUCH the difference is between near perfection and someone who is supposedly hidden in a safe position. (Pujols has faced about 6% more batters with a 35% to 31% edge in ground balls in play. Also, Pujols faced pitchers so probably saw more bunts.) Pujols is listed first:

    Balls fielded 3189 2377
    Caught in air 732 639
    Tag outs 330 176
    1B unassisted 1159 966
    Total assists 1242 667
    Assists 1B 824 409
    Assists 2B 247 119
    Assists Home 41 25
    Relay 37 49
    Errors 86 130
    DP's started 143 79 (GB 120 60)
    Bunts fielded 136 01
    Bunt Out % 81, 74

    The baserunning doesn't look any better, despite the 11 for 15 stolen bases. So if anyone is wondering why Mo only gets 24 WAR for 12 years, the record of a league-average player, look upon his works and weep.

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    I definitely rank Vaughn as one of Steve Phillips' top 5 worst signings.

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    Low enough that I don't worry about his historical relevance.
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    11 posts and no mention of PED's in this thread yet? I'm stunned.
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    Interesting that Mark Teixeira is listed as his most similar player, and yet Tex has almost twice as many lifetime WAR in about the same number of games. They seem about equals at this point, with Mo having the better peak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    Interesting that Mark Teixeira is listed as his most similar player, and yet Tex has almost twice as many lifetime WAR in about the same number of games. They seem about equals at this point, with Mo having the better peak.
    With an ever-so-slight difference in fielding ability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    Interesting that Mark Teixeira is listed as his most similar player, and yet Tex has almost twice as many lifetime WAR in about the same number of games. They seem about equals at this point, with Mo having the better peak.
    Similarity scores do not account for defense or base-running at all. As toom said, Mo was significantly worse at fielding every single year, which makes a huge WAR difference.

    Similarity scores also do not factor park.
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    I have Mo barely cracking my top 40 1B. His peak is not long nor unusual for a 1B. The negative on defense drags him down. Its like two burger joints each with juicy large burgers with quality meat and fresh buns but one has delicious fries and the other's fries were cooked in with rancid oil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew C. View Post
    Similarity scores do not account for defense or base-running at all. As toom said, Mo was significantly worse at fielding every single year, which makes a huge WAR difference.

    Similarity scores also do not factor park.
    Similarity scores just compare raw unadjusted hitting stats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Similarity scores just compare raw unadjusted hitting stats.
    I know this..but Mo also has a better adjusted OPS+ in more games, and has significantly less offensive WAR than Teixeira.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    Interesting that Mark Teixeira is listed as his most similar player, and yet Tex has almost twice as many lifetime WAR in about the same number of games. They seem about equals at this point, with Mo having the better peak.
    Compare Stats to Similars :
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/fr...&compage=&age=

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by dgarza View Post
    A meaningful comparison of Mo and Tex requires looking at their advanced fielding statistics side by side.

    They are quite similar in offensive value.
    Tex outscores Mo 45 to 24 in WAR in a slightly shorter career.
    Comparing their fielding stats in detail makes it abundantly clear why this is so.

    I am not talking about zone ratings or abstract inferential statistics, just raw numbers broken down into meaningful segments. There is really no reason anymore not to come to grips with defensive value for contemporary players.

    (Edit: Looking closer, I see I should have addressed it to Wilshad, but looking closer I see it doesn't speak to his point about difference in offensive WAR. But I still say, compare advanced fielding stats whenever you discuss disparities in WAR. It brings a whiff of reality.)
    Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 11-09-2012 at 02:55 PM.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    I know this..but Mo also has a better adjusted OPS+ in more games, and has significantly less offensive WAR than Teixeira.
    I don't know who much this factors into oWAR, but Teixeira had more PAs. And a higher percentage of his PAs came while batting and filling the role at tougher positions. Vaughn only played 1B, and was a DH more often than Teixeira was a DH. Teixeira batted as a RF, LF, & 3B here and there, which I think somehow factors into oWAR.
    Last edited by dgarza; 11-09-2012 at 03:33 PM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by dgarza View Post
    I don't know who much this factors into oWAR, but Teixeira had more PAs. And a higher percentage of his PAs came while batting and filling the role at tougher positions. Vaughn only played 1B, and was a DH more often than Teixeira was a DH. Teixeira batted as a RF, LF, & 3B here and there, which I think somehow factors into oWAR.
    Positional WAR goes into offensive WAR, as it's calculated against the offensive production of an average player at the position. Also, baserunning and DP WAR go into offensive WAR, so Mo takes a couple more big hits there. And, as dgarza says, the more PA, the fewer replacement PA, so the more WAR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew C. View Post
    Low enough that I don't worry about his historical relevance.
    Second this.
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    Positional WAR goes into offensive WAR, as it's calculated against the offensive production of an average player at the position. Also, baserunning and DP WAR go into offensive WAR, so Mo takes a couple more big hits there. And, as dgarza says, the more PA, the fewer replacement PA, so the more WAR.
    I'm also sure playing in the '90s didn't help Vaughn's oWAR.

    But you what else? Vaughn had a few bad years. A few <100 OPS+ years. A few negative oWAR seasons. They pretty much stunk, near the bottom of the league for 1B.
    Teixeira never had such poor showings...

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by dgarza View Post
    I'm also sure playing in the '90s didn't help Vaughn's oWAR.

    But you what else? Vaughn had a few bad years. A few <100 OPS+ years. A few negative oWAR seasons. They pretty much stunk, near the bottom of the league for 1B.
    Teixeira never had such poor showings...
    If you look at Tex's last year, it would fitright in with Vaughan's post-Boston years. But when Tex is putting up OPS+ in the teens, dreadful for 1B, he's still a defensive standout and racks up WAR of 3.+, not -0.x. Not disagreeing with you at all, but I'm struck by how much the differences outweigh the similarities.

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