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  • Stats on 200 major leaguers

    From February of 1916.

    Composite Records of Two Hundred Stars—Measurements
    for the Various Positions—Three Hundred Hitters—
    Banner Baseball States—The Veterans
    BY JOHN J. WARD
    The Baseball Magazine has published a little book comprising the records of all the leading regulars in the Majors. A comparison of two hundred players selected from this book reveals facts of unusual interest about the prevailing length of service in the
    Major leagues, the frequency of three hundred hitting, the distribution of players' birthplaces geographically, and other hitherto unpublished information.
    The Major Leaguer in Statistics




    Last edited by Ubiquitous; 01-25-2007, 11:31 PM.

  • #2
    The totals given here are flawed in that you took a sample of 200 players out of a roster size of 810 players. This does not even count how many players come and go on a 27 man roster each year. The Red Sox alone have 4 guys that have been in the majors for 13 years.
    Step into a better swing StancePro

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SportsTalker
      The totals given here are flawed in that you took a sample of 200 players out of a roster size of 810 players. This does not even count how many players come and go on a 27 man roster each year. The Red Sox alone have 4 guys that have been in the majors for 13 years.
      I don't think you realize that this is data from the 1915 season.

      Secondly the 200 players are the regulars getting the bulk playing time. In 1915 there was a little over 500 players in the AL and NL. In 1915 the top 200 PA players got 88% of the plate appearances. which means the 320 other players only got 12% of the PA. Granted in this study of the top 200 pitchers are thrown into the mix so the % are going to be a bit lower.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ubiquitous
        I don't think you realize that this is data from the 1915 season.

        Secondly the 200 players are the regulars getting the bulk playing time. In 1915 there was a little over 500 players in the AL and NL. In 1915 the top 200 PA players got 88% of the plate appearances. which means the 320 other players only got 12% of the PA. Granted in this study of the top 200 pitchers are thrown into the mix so the % are going to be a bit lower.
        Do you, or does anyone, have the height and weight stats for current MLB players? I was just thinking the other day about what the common heights and weights were for today's players. I'd love to see it, or compile it. Where can I find the data?

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        • #5
          I'm at work now so I can't compile the data for you but yes it is widely available. I believe Tangotiger might have the data readily available on this site.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jbooth
            Do you, or does anyone, have the height and weight stats for current MLB players? I was just thinking the other day about what the common heights and weights were for today's players. I'd love to see it, or compile it. Where can I find the data?
            Heights and weights are listed in the master database from Lahman (I think...). Weights are going to vary over time, but heights will remain pretty constant.
            Statistically Speaking

            The plural of anecdote is not data.

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            • #7
              The weight listed in the BDB is the player's typical weight in his prime whenever that data exists. It's a good representative average in most cases.

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              • #8
                I was reading Crazy 08 the other day and in it the author Cait Murphy mentioned that during the deadball era pitchers were bigger and taller then position players. This got me to thinking about the era and I wanted to see if it was true. So I ran a query in which I looked at all players from 1904 to 1916 who pitched more then 125 innings or had more then 250 at bats. What I found was that the average pitcher was 6 feet tall while the average hitter was 5ft 10 inches. The average pitcher weighed 181.6 pounds while the average hitter weighed 171.9 pounds.

                Is it possible that this is one of the overlooked reasons for the deadball era? Now I'm not saying that this is the main reason but could it be that because pitchers were in all probability better athletes due to being bigger and taller that they had a natural advantage over their counterparts? Thus making the scores even lower then what the environment alone would dictate. If that is true then does that make the hitters of that era who did excel even greater then previously thought and does that also lower some of the pitchers of that era?

                I took a look at later eras and for instance I found in the 50's era the differences shrunk. Pitchers were 6ft 1 inches while hitters were 6 feet tall. Pitchers weighed 181.7 pounds and hitters weighed 185.3 pounds.
                Last edited by Ubiquitous; 07-17-2007, 11:36 AM.

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                • #9
                  Makes some pretty good sense. As time passes, the hitters work out more and more, defenses get steadily less rangy, and the tall lean guys that can take advantage of the extra leverage go to the mound. I would think that current figures would be something like average pitcher at 6'2 and 200 pounds, while the average hitter is 6'0 and 210. Just a guess.....

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                  • #10
                    From the book The Diamond Appraised by Craig Wright and Tom House, page 337:

                    Average Height and Weight by Period
                    Period...........BatterHeight....PitcherHeight.... BatterWeight....PitcherWeight
                    1901-1919..........5'10''...............6'0''.......... .....171..................180
                    1920-1945..........5'11''...............6'0''.......... .....175..................181
                    1946-1960..........6'0''.................6'1''......... ......182..................189
                    1961-1973..........6'1''.................6'2''......... ......185..................192

                    It didn't show data any later than 1961-1973.

                    There was slightly more of a diference between batter/pitcher weights in the deadball than in other eras. I don't know that I agree if this is why there was the deadball era though. #1 if you see in another pitcher's era, 1961-1973, there was no increase in the difference which would suggest that, at least then, that increasing size didn't have anything to do with increased pitcher dominance. #2 I don't think that in the case of pitchers vs. hitters size has anything to do with their actual athletic ability. Pitching isn't a classic "athletic" activity where those people doing it necessarily have to be able to be freaks in terms of capabilities of speed and strength. The abilities of position players have much more to do with that. Pitching has more to do with singular, unique skills that only relate to pitching itself. I think that being taller is of definite advantage to those unique skills of pitching and not nearly as much to position players. Pitchers who are taller get to throw the ball a little closer to home plate and are often thought of as harder to hit off. A lot of times the ideal pitcher is tall and relatively skinny. I don't see how brute strength or speed is necessarily going to help you as a pitcher. For instance when pitchers lift weights they're definitely not interested in lifting for power and going in and bench pressing a high weight only 5 or so times. They want to do lifting at lighter weight for a higher number of reps. Position players are more interested in pure athletic ability and thus being bigger doesn't really mean as much to them. It is easier to be a very good position player when being a relatively short person than being a great pitcher. I just think the difference in size is because of the unique differences in the dynamic of being a position player and hitter. I don't really think it means that pitchers are better athletes, just that pitching is more suited to bigger people.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
                      Is it possible that this is one of the overlooked reasons for the deadball era? Now I'm not saying that this is the main reason but could it be that because pitchers were in all probability better athletes due to being bigger and taller that they had a natural advantage over their counterparts? Thus making the scores even lower then what the environment alone would dictate. If that is true then does that make the hitters of that era who did excel even greater then previously thought and does that also lower some of the pitchers of that era?
                      I find that very interesting. It does make sense, though. How many 6-10 or 6-11 position players are there? If I said a player was 6-7, what position would you expect him to play? If I said a player was 5-7, what position would you expect him to play? I believe there have been two 6-10 and 1 6-11 players in history and they've all been pitchers. I don't know how many 6-7 players there have been in history, but I'd bet that the majority of them have been pitchers. I doubt there have been many 5-7 pitchers in history, but we know there have been plenty of small middle-infielders.

                      I'm just curious, though. Why would bigger pitchers be docked and smaller position players be given credit? Is this because the position players have gained a lot quality since then, while the pitchers have not? Maybe a better way of saying that would be asking if the pitchers gained little in ability compared to the hitters they were facing when making league quality adjustments? Or are you saying that larger players should receive a "penalty" since it's size, not skill, producing some of the results?
                      Johnson and now Goligoski gone.
                      I hope that's all.

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                      • #12
                        What I am saying is that perhaps in the deadball era a larger % of quality players were pitchers. Therefore their opposition was of inferior quality compared to other eras. Like a bunch of 5th graders playing against 3rd graders. Part of the reason the numbers are so low for these guys is because they got play against inferior foes.

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                        • #13
                          The game has phases - the 1890s and the current era are the two most distinctive offensive eras in history. Pitching/defense dominated at other times. Still other eras show a negligible difference.

                          Are there reasons for the perceive-domination? Sure, a myriad I assume. Does it mean a whole group of ballplayers (pitchers or batter) weren't on the same plane with their conterpart (pitcher v batter or vice-versa)? Unsure.

                          I do see the argument that there might be truth in this in the Negro leagues, minor leagues and in the majors during certain phases of the 19th century. On the other hand, I'm hard-pressed to see this in the majors after it had a full 25 years to incubate and especially after the pressure put on both leagues to sharpen their product as the AL entered the picture.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
                            What I am saying is that perhaps in the deadball era a larger % of quality players were pitchers. Therefore their opposition was of inferior quality compared to other eras. Like a bunch of 5th graders playing against 3rd graders. Part of the reason the numbers are so low for these guys is because they got play against inferior foes.
                            Gotcha. Now the question becomes how does that affect changes in rankings/ratings. The raw stats would obviously be better for the pitchers and worse for the hitters, but would the relative stats? Should we punish the pitchers for the lack of competition (facing) or reward them for their dominance through tough competition at their position? Likewise, should we punish hitters for lack of competitive hitters, or reward them for facing top pitchers? Rewarding the hitters and punishing the pitchers seems like we're rewarding the good hitters for dominating with no competition and punishing the pitchers for a plethora of talent at their position. All of this relative to their leagues, of course.
                            Johnson and now Goligoski gone.
                            I hope that's all.

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                            • #15
                              I was thinking about this the other day and this seems to be the best place for it.

                              One thing I never hear people talking about when discussing the old players vs the new players is the reach of new players vs old players. People like to say new players have all the advantages or how they would like to see how newer players would handle the conditions of the olden days, But one that doesn't get brought up is the difference in height and gloves between then and now.

                              According to Ward the average SS in 1916 was 5 ft 8 inches (and some change). In 2008 the average height of a SS was 6 ft and some change,. So right there we have a height difference of 4 inches for the most important defensive position. Then comes gloves. An infielders glove is about 11 to 11 1/2 inches long and extends about 5 inches past a players fingertips. How far out did one of the old pre-web gloves extend? One inch?

                              So put the two together and you have a modern fielder with about 9 inches of more reach. It would seem to me that 9 inches of more reach would allow a SS to get to a lot more baseballs. Secondly the glove would allow the fielder to actually field many more hits that his longer reach enables him to get to. I can't imagine that too many fingertip grabs were successful in 1916.

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