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Thread: Paul Konerko for Jeff Shaw

  1. #1

    Paul Konerko for Jeff Shaw

    I know there was a "What if the Dodgers didn't trade" thread somewhere, but I can't find it.

    Anyway, looking at some Jim Thome related stuff reminded me of Paul Konerko which reminded me of one of my least favorite trades.



    (I posted this to my blog, hope there's nothing wrong with linking to that here. Click through to be able to click through to the player pages).


    One trade that always bothered me was the Paul Konerko for Jeff Shaw trade in 1998. Trading a cost-controlled slugging first baseman for a reliever is rarely a good idea.

    How'd the trade work out when viewed through the WAR lens?

    1998: Karros 2.6, Shaw -0.2, Konerko -0.3
    1999: Karros 5.2, Shaw 0.9, Konerko 2.0
    2000: Karros 1.8, Shaw 0.3, Konerko 1.7
    2001: Karros -0.1, Shaw 0.3, Konerko 2.4
    2002: Karros 1.7, Shaw (retired), Konerko 2.2

    From 1998 to 2002 Karros and Shaw produced 12.5 combined WAR for the Dodgers while Konerko produced 8 WAR for the White Sox.

    Dodgers win the trade? right? They ended up with 4 more wins.

    Well, there's also the issue of salary.
    From 1998 to 2002 Karros and Shaw earned a combined $44.9 million.
    From 1998 to 2002 Konerko earned $6.8 million.

    If LA hadn't made the trade they would have had an extra $38 million with which to try and buy 4 more wins. I think they may have been able to achieve that.


    An interesting thing to look at is just how similar Konerko and Karros were during that period (1998-2002):
    Karros: 823 Games, 3289 PA, 128 HR, 481 RBI, .274/.334/.457 for a 108 wRC+
    Konerko: 802 Games, 3164 PA, 129 HR, 475 RBI, .279/.342/.471 for a 108 wRC+

    Hard to get more identical than that.

    However, Konerko was more of a DH than 1B man. Karros accounted for 17 defensive runs saved while Konerko was at -8. That leaves total WAR at that time at 11.2 for Karros and 7.6 for Konerko.

    Still, that's a trade I'd like to have back.

    *Karros, Konerko and Shaw data from FanGraphs.
    *Salary data from Baseball-Reference player pages

  2. #2
    The one odd thing about that trade that I remember is that it occured right at the all-star break (perhaps on he lsat day of ergular season competition before the ASG). Shaw asked if he could appear in the ASG in a Reds uniform, but the commissioner rejected that plea. He had to appear in a Dodgers uniform (a team he had never played for) or be replaced on the NL
    all-stars roster. Reluctantly, Shaw wore a Dodgers uni.

    How Konerko's talent could be so badly misjudged twice in about six months and resulted in trades back in 1998-99 is beyond me. The second trade brought him to the chicago white sox where he has been the team's cornerstone for the last 15 years. He's already a 2,000 games, 2,000 hits, 400 home runs man and by 2015 he should surpass 1,500 RBI also.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
    The one odd thing about that trade that I remember is that it occured right at the all-star break (perhaps on he lsat day of ergular season competition before the ASG). Shaw asked if he could appear in the ASG in a Reds uniform, but the commissioner rejected that plea. He had to appear in a Dodgers uniform (a team he had never played for) or be replaced on the NL
    all-stars roster. Reluctantly, Shaw wore a Dodgers uni.
    I'd totally forgotten about that.

    I had also, mercifully, forgotten that after the season Shaw was allowed to demand a trade, which he parlayed into a $8 million raise.

    How Konerko's talent could be so badly misjudged twice in about six months and resulted in trades back in 1998-99 is beyond me. The second trade brought him to the chicago white sox where he has been the team's cornerstone for the last 15 years. He's already a 2,000 games, 2,000 hits, 400 home runs man and by 2015 he should surpass 1,500 RBI also.
    Konerko is actually, pretty overrated.

    He's a been a decent, consistent player, but he only has 30 WAR in 8700 PA's which is about 2.4 WAR per 700 PA's (ie...a full season). As noted above, his defense is what really brings his value down.

    Still, the trade for Shaw was not a good one.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    I'd totally forgotten about that.

    I had also, mercifully, forgotten that after the season Shaw was allowed to demand a trade, which he parlayed into a $8 million raise.


    Konerko is actually, pretty overrated.

    He's a been a decent, consistent player, but he only has 30 WAR in 8700 PA's which is about 2.4 WAR per 700 PA's (ie...a full season). As noted above, his defense is what really brings his value down.

    Still, the trade for Shaw was not a good one.
    Konerko is underrated and I think war makes him underrated. His defense isn't that bad and war is known to be less than perfect when it comes to defensive war. He's one of the toughest players i've ever seen and a natural leader because of his toughness. Very underrated.
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  5. #5
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    Sometimes, looking back, these bad trades happen because of certain circumstances leading up to them. We've seen high-end prospects moved for players who can make a difference for a contending team making a run. The odd thing about this trade is that when it happened, the Dodgers were in 3rd place in the West - 12.5 games out of first. They were also 8 games out of the WC with seven teams ahead of them, so it's not like they had a clear path to make the postseason.

    Due to Piazza's turning down the extension he was offered, he was moved in a package that brought back Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson and a couple other aged outfielders. Sheffield had a few years left, and was best used in LF. Mondesi - already on the team, wasn't really a CF and was moved to RF, a position better suited for him. Karros, while not great, was just turning 30 and was solid enough for the position.

    I don't think LA really knew what Konerko would be for them. Everybody knows he came up as a catcher, but his faster route to the majors was by playing a different position. What I'm not certain alot of people do know is that the Dodgers tried him for a full year at 3B - hoping to fill a void there. He had a great season at the plate that year, but was a bit too stiff and big for 3B. They also had a slicker-fielding 3B in high-A ball who was three years younger but had a solid bat himself and was considered a true fieldere at the position. That was Adrian Beltre who was up at 19 in 1998 and - in a small sample size - outproduced Konerko at the plate.

    So, on paper, every position Konerko played was covered by somebody with at least 3 years left on their contracts and were either highly regarded kids (Konerko was BBA's #2 prospect that year, but Beltre was #3), or in the primes of their careers.

    In that, I can't fault the Dodgers for moving him. What I don't like is moving any power-hitting prospect with very good value for a relief pitcher - especially if I'm 10+ games out of my division. To me, closers are luxury items for teams that are in contention and that's the only real need they've got left.

    If I were the Dodgers GM then (wasn't Lasorda GM at the time of Konerko's trade?), I'd rather move a lesser prospect for other teams' set-up men or middle relievers - or even try some in house options so I'd know what I've got next year. If anything, I'd rather have held onto Konerko and move him if I could get a CF in return. That was a definite position they needed nor did they have in the minors at the time. They also would have avoided the need to sign a 36-year-old Devon White to a multi-year deal heading into 1999.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
    war is known to be less than perfect when it comes to defensive war.
    In small samples, yes.

    FanGraphs' WAR uses UZR. UZR was made public in 2002. Since 2002 Konerko has played 15000 innings at 1B. He best season per UZR was 2.8 runs above average, his worst season was -13 runs below average. His total UZR since 2002 is -23 runs or -3 runs per 150 games. A bit below average.

    There's also Total Zone, which is computed completely independently. Since 2002 Konerko has a high season of 7 runs above average and a low season of -12 runs below average. In total Total Zone has Konerko at -25 runs since 2002. Almost identical to UZR.

    When two independent systems both rate a player that similarly over 11 seasons, I think it is reasonable to conclude they might be in the ballpark as to his true ability - below average in this case.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    I'd totally forgotten about that.

    I had also, mercifully, forgotten that after the season Shaw was allowed to demand a trade, which he parlayed into a $8 million raise.


    Konerko is actually, pretty overrated.

    He's a been a decent, consistent player, but he only has 30 WAR in 8700 PA's which is about 2.4 WAR per 700 PA's (ie...a full season). As noted above, his defense is what really brings his value down.

    Still, the trade for Shaw was not a good one.
    Myself and all 30 MLB mangers wiould love to have an "overrated" star like Konerko to build their team around.
    His averages over 14 years for the White Sox are 29.6 Home runs, 93.4 runs batted in, and a .283 batting average. he's practically the personification of "Constistantcy".

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
    Myself and all 30 MLB mangers wiould love to have an "overrated" star like Konerko to build their team around.
    That's pretty much the definition of 'overrated'

    His averages over 14 years for the White Sox are 29.6 Home runs, 93.4 runs batted in, and a .283 batting average. he's practically the personification of "Constistantcy".
    Sure.
    None of those numbers tell me anything about how he related to the average first baseman over that time.

    WAR does

    And WAR says he just a bit better than the average 1B

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    That's pretty much the definition of 'overrated'


    Sure.
    None of those numbers tell me anything about how he related to the average first baseman over that time.

    WAR does

    And WAR says he just a bit better than the average 1B
    I think he is a Little overrated but average (A 121 OPS+ is hardly great for a 1B-what is average for 1B? 110?) in another thread you attacked People who said that all those 90 OPS+ TB hitters suck and now you call a 6 time all star a bit above average?

    A guy like konerko that Posts a 120-130 OPS+ every year (in the last 10 years he mostly did) while hitting 30+ bombs is the guy that a lot of times like at 1B.
    Last edited by dominik; 02-05-2013 at 12:39 PM.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dominik View Post
    in another thread you attacked
    Sigh...show me this 'attack' that I levied upon the innocent posters here on BBF



    A guy like konerko that Posts a 120-130 OPS+ every year (in the last 10 years he mostly did) while hitting 30+ bombs is the guy that a lot of times like at 1B.
    Compare Konerko's offensive performance to the average offensive performance of a first baseman.

    I'll get you started.
    Last year Konerko hit .371/.486
    The average 1Bman hit .336/.442

    Konerko's OBP was about 10% above average
    His SLG was about 10% above average

    Last year the league average SS hit .306/.368.
    10% better than .306 is .337
    10% better than .368 is .405

    Andrelton Simmons hit .335/.416. Not considering defense, does Simmons seem like an average, good, or great player for his position?


    *2012 MLB Splits

  11. #11
    At the time, Konerko wasn't going to be chosen over Eric Karros. Now, to list Konerko's numbers is fine, but that was the issue in trading HIM.

    But the trade involved a couple of other things. One, Lasorda was indeed interim GM, and this was after having been on the sidelines between his heart attack and retirement, when the Dodgers made him vice president, and Fox wanting a housecleaning. At the time, the rumbling was that Lasorda had been knifing Fred Claire and Bill Russell at every opportunity because he wanted back in the action. It was in this period that Bobby Valentine became Mets manager and suggested that he might like Lasorda to be his bench coach, and the Dodgers said Tommy would always have a home in the organization but they wouldn't stand in his way, and the talk went away; I've always believed Lasorda and his pal Valentine planted this as part of an effort to get Lasorda more authority with LA.

    So, Lasorda got to be GM (and, apparently, he and Claire haven't spoken since, and I know Russell wouldn't speak to him for a long time; whether he does now, I don't know). He wanted to prove he could make a trade and made this deal. AFTER making the deal, it came out that Shaw had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave if he had been traded, and Lasorda hadn't known it. I was hysterical with laughter at the time. I'd spent 20 years marveling at how many mistakes Lasorda made as a manager, and now he had the chance to do it as a GM!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dominik View Post
    I think he is a Little overrated but average (A 121 OPS+ is hardly great for a 1B-what is average for 1B? 110?) in another thread you attacked People who said that all those 90 OPS+ TB hitters suck and now you call a 6 time all star a bit above average?

    A guy like konerko that Posts a 120-130 OPS+ every year (in the last 10 years he mostly did) while hitting 30+ bombs is the guy that a lot of times like at 1B.
    Of the 46 first basemen with over 2000 PA since Konerko started playing, his 121 OPS+ is 23rd.

    For what it's worth, he's 40th in fielding runs with -49. Looking at the advanced stats, I don't see anything that jumps off the page. But I would bet by reputation he's an "average fielder," while all the evidence shows he is well below average.

    i don't know his reputation as a base runner. I would bet he doesn't have one. He's -65 base running runs above average. That's for three reasons: Over his career he's stolen 9 bases. He's grounded into 263 double plays. His "extra base taken" average is 26%. That's lower than Mo Vaughan's.

    Because he's a sterling fellow, no one goes around looking for his weak spots. But he's leaking value everywhere that's not obvious. That's what an overrated player does.

    He's a good hitter, but only an average hitter for a first baseman. He's not a good fielder, and he's a dreadful baserunner.

    None of this means he's a bad person, or he's going around trying to fool us into thinking he's better than he is. It's just that he has a lot of holes in his game, and the gapers are the ones most easily overlooked.

    Edit: This has nothing at all to do with the trade. Konerko is a pet case of mine, a player who seems to be underrated because he's steady, unpublicized, and a good man in the clubhouse, but is considerably overrated because his flaws are off the radar.
    Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 02-05-2013 at 10:05 PM.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  13. #13
    The Reds tried to talk Shaw out of retirement so they could bring him back. He lived in Washington Court House, Ohio, at the time, about a hour or so North of Cincinnati. Some media folks considered it a given, considering the bullpen need and he was "available".

    That was a disappointing time to be a Reds fan.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    That's pretty much the definition of 'overrated'


    Sure.
    None of those numbers tell me anything about how he related to the average first baseman over that time.

    WAR does

    And WAR says he just a bit better than the average 1B
    I'll start believing you when on a typical game telecast of (enter your hometown team here) instead of posting home runs, RBI, and batting average of the player coming up to bat, teams routinely post WARs and Sabermetric stats. Good hitting stats are just that - good hitting stats, regardless of the position played by the batter.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
    I'll start believing you when on a typical game telecast of (enter your hometown team here) instead of posting home runs, RBI, and batting average of the player coming up to bat, teams routinely post WARs and Sabermetric stats.
    You're free to tie your ignorance to the ignorance of others.
    You're also free to tie your knowledge to the knowledge of others.

    Your choice


    5.png
    *http://www.fangraphs.com/not/index.p...rmetric-bcast/


    Good hitting stats are just that - good hitting stats, regardless of the position played by the batter.
    You don't even believe that.
    Last edited by filihok; 02-06-2013 at 08:15 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
    I'll start believing you when on a typical game telecast of (enter your hometown team here) instead of posting home runs, RBI, and batting average of the player coming up to bat, teams routinely post WARs and Sabermetric stats.
    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    You're free to tie your ignorance to the ignorance of others.
    You're also free to tie your knowledge to the knowledge of others.

    Your choice

    *http://www.fangraphs.com/not/index.p...rmetric-bcast/
    Could you possibly be any more pompous or condescending in your posts? Even your own link says this was a "special sabermetric broadcast". Special is far from typical.

    As much as I believe networks will infuse more and more of advanced stats into their broadcasts and graphics, it's not nearly there yet. Ten years from now? Likely. But right now, the closest our local market uses is OPS & WHIP, which aren't considered all that advanced.
    "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Grimm View Post
    Could you possibly be any more pompous or condescending in your posts?
    Yeah. I certainly could.

    Even your own link says this was a "special sabermetric broadcast". Special is far from typical.

    As much as I believe networks will infuse more and more of advanced stats into their broadcasts and graphics, it's not nearly there yet. Ten years from now? Likely. But right now, the closest our local market uses is OPS & WHIP, which aren't considered all that advanced.
    What's your point?

    If it is likely that networks will use today's 'sabermetric' stats 10 years from now, why should philliesfiend wait so long to adopt them as well?

    Again, it's his (or her) choice to side with ignorance or knowledge.

    MLB Network broadcasts are, certainly, designed to appeal to a wide audience. Sabermetrics does not appeal to a wide audience. That network broadcasts don't show 'saber' stats in no way invalidates them.

    Astronomy shows on NOVA don't show the complex mathematical calculations needed to come to the conclusions they present. That doesn't mean those calculations aren't correct. It just means most people watching the show wouldn't understand them, so there's no need to show them. If philliesfiend wants to take a stand and say "I won't believe in gravitational lensing until they show the formula on NOVA" while many other resources are bulging with information on the topic, that's his (or her) prerogative. But he (or she) is behind the curve (pun intended).


    For your viewing pleasure, an awesome example of gravitational lensing

    tumblr_m60uewK8OD1rs6558o1_400.jpg

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
    I'll start believing you when on a typical game telecast of (enter your hometown team here) instead of posting home runs, RBI, and batting average of the player coming up to bat, teams routinely post WARs and Sabermetric stats.
    That will be a good indication that WAR has been superseded by something better. Used to be, you got BA and homers, RBI if the broadcast was "deep." Now they've worked their way up to OPS and in some cases OPS+. But those still take backseat to "playing the game the right way," "who you'd want up with the game on the line," and so on.

    Good hitting stats are just that - good hitting stats, regardless of the position played by the batter.
    Sure, a home run by A catcher isn't worth any more runs than one by a first baseman. But at some level everyone acknowledges that first basemen have to hit better than catchers in order to reach the majors in the first place and play regularly once they do. If Konerko were a catcher, he'd be on a hall of fame trajectory. As it is, he's an average hitting, below-average fielding, and poor base-running first baseman.

    The way to over rate a first baseman is to ignore his position when looking at his batting stats, ignore his fielding because "he doesn't play a key defensive position," and ignore his base running because "they don't pay him to steal bases."
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    That will be a good indication that WAR has been superseded by something better. Used to be, you got BA and homers, RBI if the broadcast was "deep." Now they've worked their way up to OPS and in some cases OPS+. But those still take backseat to "playing the game the right way," "who you'd want up with the game on the line," and so on.

    Sure, a home run by A catcher isn't worth any more runs than one by a first baseman. But at some level everyone acknowledges that first basemen have to hit better than catchers in order to reach the majors in the first place and play regularly once they do. If Konerko were a catcher, he'd be on a hall of fame trajectory. As it is, he's an average hitting, below-average fielding, and poor base-running first baseman.

    The way to over rate a first baseman is to ignore his position when looking at his batting stats, ignore his fielding because "he doesn't play a key defensive position," and ignore his base running because "they don't pay him to steal bases."
    Fair assessments. But considering he makes $12-$13M per season, along with having a proven track record, he may be highly underpaid considering the recent outputs of guys like Teixeira, Howard and Pujols relative to their contracts. Personally, living in Philly, I'd much much much rather have an old Konerko on my roster instead of Ryan Howard based on cost and output - but maybe that's just me.
    "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Grimm View Post
    Fair assessments. But considering he makes $12-$13M per season, along with having a proven track record, he may be highly underpaid considering the recent outputs of guys like Teixeira, Howard and Pujols relative to their contracts. Personally, living in Philly, I'd much much much rather have an old Konerko on my roster instead of Ryan Howard based on cost and output - but maybe that's just me.
    FanGraphs calculates the dollar value of 1 WAR at about $5 million.


    ZiPS projects:
    Konerko 2.5 WAR - $12.5 million
    Howard 1.1 WAR - $5.5
    Teixeira 2.9 WAR - $14.5
    Pujols 5.3 WAR - $26.5

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    FanGraphs calculates the dollar value of 1 WAR at about $5 million.
    ZiPS projects:
    Konerko 2.5 WAR - $12.5 million
    Howard 1.1 WAR - $5.5
    Teixeira 2.9 WAR - $14.5
    Pujols 5.3 WAR - $26.5
    Ummm. I don't know, but I'd guess, and scuttlebutt has it, that you pay a higher rate per WAR the higher you go. It's those 42nd to 47th WAR that are going to cost.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    The way to over rate a first baseman is to ignore his position when looking at his batting stats, ignore his fielding because "he doesn't play a key defensive position," and ignore his base running because "they don't pay him to steal bases."
    To be fair he doesn't and they don't.

    He could easily end up in the top 8-9 clean first baseman in HR and RBI.
    "I go all out, and I'm going to bring that to the table everyday. In good times and in bad times." - Eric Byrnes
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    Ummm. I don't know, but I'd guess, and scuttlebutt has it, that you pay a higher rate per WAR the higher you go. It's those 42nd to 47th WAR that are going to cost.
    Do you mean team WAR?

    Why would a player demand a higher salary because of the expected WAR of the team's he signing with?

    I can see a player demanding more to sign with the Pirates or Royals, but that's not because they have 42-47 WAR

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    Do you mean team WAR?

    Why would a player demand a higher salary because of the expected WAR of the team's he signing with?

    I can see a player demanding more to sign with the Pirates or Royals, but that's not because they have 42-47 WAR
    Yes, team WAR. But team WAR is a function of individual WAR. it's very hard to get to 95 wins or so without individuals with high WAR, and they get paid at a higher rate per WAR than the average 2.5 war guy.

    Obviously, I hope, I mean generally, as a rule. That's why the Red Sox, back when they were good, aimed at 95 wins/year, not winning the division, because the extra 5 wins would be the most expensive.

    How much would it cost to put a .500 team on the field? That's 30 wins above replacement. Then how much more are the next 15 wins above replacement going to cost?

    Again, I mean when you can predict what you'll get and pay what it's worth--to you.

    So, that wasn't really aimed at your question, because the reason for the difference was other, but . . . .

    PREMIUM players charge more per WAR to play for good teams because good teams can afford to pay more of them and give them contracts, while weak teams don't. In other words, because they can.

    If you fall 5 wins short, you can't make that up by hiring a couple of 2.5 guys, unless you managed to win 90 games with two full time replacement players. In that case, you can, but first you should take your GM out behind the barn and shoot him for throwing away a pennant.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky5 View Post
    To be fair he doesn't and they don't.
    True enough. But the runs he costs them with his defense and baserunning are just as valuable as the ones he drives in. But no one notices them.

    He could easily end up in the top 8-9 clean first baseman in HR and RBI.[/QUOTE]Could be. That's beyond my knowledge. If he's clean and he's compared to dirty players, that hurts him and makes him more admirable. It doesn't make him an average fielder or baserunner, however.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

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