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Is Sadaharu Oh a top 100 player?

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  • scottmitchell74
    replied
    Great stuff!!

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by GoslinFan View Post

    Legit. What stadiums?

    Was just thinking could he have hit homers off any more common first names? Steve, Jim, Jerry, John, Tom...he's only missing a Joe, Bill and Bob.
    I believe these games were mostly in Japan in the fall after the NPB and MLB seasons ended, From Jim Albright's Sadaharu Oh page.


    Exhibitions Against Major Leaguers

    Oh played 110 exhibition games against major leaguers, either in October or November or during spring training. He had 338 at bats and hit for a .260 average with 88 walks for a .413 on-base percentage. He also slugged 14 doubles, no triples and 25 homers among his hits, for a .524 slugging average. (I’ll list the pitchers he took out of the park below). These numbers include a 6 for 54 in 1971 against the Orioles, and an 0 for 12 in 1960. We won’t make any discount for the 1971 performance, as it may or may not represent a slump, but it would be appropriate to eliminate the 1960 results, since we do not project Oh to have been ready for the majors at that time. If you eliminate the 1960 results, his average will rise to .270, his on base percentage to .414, and his slugging percentage to .543. It is likely this performance came at least mostly in parks which were not of major league dimensions. However, it is a dominant performance against pitching which appears be above the average of pitching he would have faced in the majors, for reasons which will be demonstrated when we list the MLB pitchers Oh hit his homers against.

    The pitchers (and the year) Oh hit his homers off of were (lefties are denoted with an asterisk[*], and if a pitcher gave up multiple homers to Oh, the number appears in parentheses): Hank Aguirre*, 1962; Nick Willhite*, 1966 (2); Alan Foster, 1966; Joe Moeller, 1966; Jim Brewer*, 1966; Steve Carlton*, 1968; Dick Hughes, 1968; Nelson Briles, 1968; Ray Washburn, 1968; Larry Jaster*, 1968; Wayne Granger, 1968; Frank Reberger, 1970; Frank Linzy, 1970; Pat Dobson, 1971; Jim Palmer, 1971; Dick Hall, 1971; Jerry Cram, 1974 (2); Jerry Koosman*, 1974; John Matlack*, 1974 (3); Tom Seaver, 1978; and Tom Hume, 1978. Further, the same data tells us Oh was pulling even this group of pitchers: 4 to left, 1 to left center, 3 to center, 5 to right center, and 12 to right.

    If you looked at the teams Oh played against, you’d think he should have faced some pretty good pitching. Oh and the Giants faced three league champions from the majors. Also, if you took the major league won/loss records of the teams Oh and the Giants faced and weighted them by the number of games against Oh and the Giants, then took the resulting won/loss percentage out to a major league schedule of 162 games, the team would have a 92-70 record. The list of pitchers Oh homered off of supports the belief he was facing good major league pitching. For those of you who need more proof, let’s look at the median (the middle of the group) pitchers Oh homered against. Since we don’t have the full record, it only seems fair to be conservative in our estimate. We’ll use the pitcher’s ERA the actual year the homer occurred unless the pitcher had less than 50 IP. In that case, we take the ERA for both the season the homer occurred and the next season as well. If a pitcher remains under 50 IP after adding in a second season, so be it (Dick Hall and Jerry Cram wound up with less than 50 IP under these rules). Oh hit two against guys with ERAs of 5 or more, and there were only 4 more homers off of a pitcher with an ERA over 4. Anyway, the median lefty yielding a homer had a 2.92 ERA, the median righty yielding a homer had a 2.80 ERA, and the overall median pitcher yielding a homer had a 2.85 ERA. The average ERA was 3.55 in the majors during the period 1962-1975, and the lowest it got for any season for the whole majors was 2.98 in 1968. Thus, one can reasonably say in the exhibitions against major leaguers, Oh got his homers off a better than average group of major league pitchers. When all factors are considered, this segment of data outweighs the All-Star data and keeps Oh’s record the way we would expect a HOFer’s record in his circumstances to be.


    http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/an...lbright12.html

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  • GoslinFan
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post

    Yes!

    By the way Jim Albright has tallied Oh's stats vs major league teams. In 110 exhibition games vs major league teams Oh hit .260/.413./524, 25 HR, 88 BB. Oh hit home runs off of Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer, Pat Dobson, Jerry Koosman, John Matlack, Tom Seaver, and Tom Hume to name a few..
    Legit. What stadiums?

    Was just thinking could he have hit homers off any more common first names? Steve, Jim, Jerry, John, Tom...he's only missing a Joe, Bill and Bob.
    Last edited by GoslinFan; 03-14-2022, 10:34 PM.

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by GoslinFan View Post

    Does that make you feel old?
    Yes!

    By the way Jim Albright has tallied Oh's stats vs major league teams. In 110 exhibition games vs major league teams Oh hit .260/.413./524, 25 HR, 88 BB. Oh hit home runs off of Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer, Pat Dobson, Jerry Koosman, John Matlack, Tom Seaver, and Tom Hume to name a few..

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  • GoslinFan
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Wow a 16 year old thread that I started has come back to life!
    Does that make you feel old or proud?
    Last edited by GoslinFan; 03-14-2022, 10:30 PM.

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Wow a 16 year old thread that I started has come back to life!

    Leave a comment:


  • GoslinFan
    replied
    Originally posted by scottmitchell74 View Post

    Good question.

    The best hitter by some margin in a very good professional league he probably would have been and MLB great...but maybe that jump does him in? I love the thought experiment. Fun!
    I think he'd make an adjustment to succeed. Not that he'd put up the same numbers. Not sure about his approach and mindset to be honest.
    Last edited by GoslinFan; 03-14-2022, 10:23 PM.

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  • scottmitchell74
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    I see a lot of people rank Oscar Charleston, Josh Gibson, and Satchel Paige in their top 100. But I never see Sadaharu Oh on anyone's top 100 list, except for Jim Albright of course.

    Do you consider Sadaharu Oh to be one of the top-100 players of all time?
    Good question.

    The best hitter by some margin in a very good professional league he probably would have been and MLB great...but maybe that jump does him in? I love the thought experiment. Fun!

    Leave a comment:


  • jalbright
    replied
    I've worked on my rankings for all of baseball history, and Oh comes out about 35th, the fourth best retired first baseman of all time, behind Gehrig Foxx and Anson. My system is hardly perfect, but I think that verdict on Oh is reasonable.

    Jim Albright

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  • jalbright
    replied
    Originally posted by DoubleX
    Jim, how did you make these year by year projections?
    The method is described in detail at http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/an...lbright08.html the context is home runs, which is where I started, but I carried the method to all other categories with the exception of walks as noted earlier.

    This article has more to say on how the projections were arrived at, though emphasizing the career marks: http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/an...lbright13.html

    A discussion of the season by season projections is here: http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/an...lbright14.html

    And then there is the comparison of the single season projections to actual major leaguers in each season, which link has been previously provided in this thread.

    Jim Albright

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    I just wanted to hear from the eight people who do not think Sadaharu Oh is a top 100 all-time player. I'm just curious.

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  • DoubleX
    replied
    Jim, how did you make these year by year projections?

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  • jalbright
    replied
    I understand why folks are reluctant to accept that in the 1960-1980 period, major league pitchers walked guys more often than Japanese pitchers did, even when those players played in both leagues. It's counterintuitive. In the 1990's the more intuitive situation has come about, where Japanese pitchers walk the same guys more often than their major league counterparts.

    Why did this happen? I can think of three possible main reasons:

    1) the umpiring
    2) the fact Japanese pitchers trained by throwing hard on their off days and
    3) the in-game workloads of Japanese pitchers

    The umpiring may be a small factor, but major leaguers still gripe that they don't get the calls Japanese players do. Perhaps the umpiring has gotten a little less biased in this regard, but I have trouble seeing this as a major factor in why this walk situation occurred.

    Japanese pitchers certainly haven't abandoned this style of training, though the impression I get is that it has diminished. However, one can still ease it off a little in practice versus a game even if the coaches want your best. It's a factor, I think, but primarily because of the last issue.

    Japanese pitchers were worked much harder than their major league brethren in this era. In 1960-68, the Japanese pitcher with the fifth highest IP had more IP than the major leaguer with the fifth highest IP seven times despite the fact Japanese seasons were at least ten and often as many as 32 games shorter than major league seasons. In the entire period 1960-1980, the guy finishing fifth in IP in the majors had more IP per team games than the fifth guy in Japanese IP precisely once. I chose the fifth place pitcher simply to eliminate the effect of one outlandish case of pitcher usage.

    The Japanese didn't start to abandon the idea that ace pitchers should serve as relievers in close games they didn't start until the seventies, which accounts for some of this concentration of workload on to a team's best two or three pitchers. The idea of the importance of the complete game was stronger in Japan than in the majors as well, and Japanese teams were known to start guys multiple games in a row at least early in this period.

    Thus, top Japanese pitchers were expected to play much more often in games and , if they weren't used in a game, to throw hard that day anyway. Under those conditions, pitchers needed to find a way to protect their arms, and one way to do that was the old American deadball era solution: throw strikes, don't nibble. As the expectations of workload eased (and to a lesser extent as theories of how to practice eased as well), then Japanese pitchers slowly changed their approach to include more nibbling at the edges of the plate.

    Jim Albright

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  • jalbright
    replied
    For another look at Oh's seasons, see this article (Oh is the first player covered) which compares Oh's projection to actual major leaguers in the season of the projection: http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/an...lbright32.html

    Jim Albright

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  • jalbright
    replied
    What I've got on distance is that 49 of his homers went 427 feet or more, 29 of those leaving the park he was in. As for the accuracy of the estimates, I have no idea.

    Jim Albright

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