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Arky Vaughn, a GREAT offensive player

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  • Arky Vaughn, a GREAT offensive player

    I say no

    He walked, lowering his ABs to get a high average
    Forbes Field helped his game of gap hitting
    His OPS is nothign to brag about, 1935 was a year for the ages, but the rest of his years were nothing to brag about
    Most of the talent during his era was in the AL

    So what do you guys think?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Imapotato
    I say no

    He walked, lowering his ABs to get a high average
    Forbes Field helped his game of gap hitting
    His OPS is nothign to brag about, 1935 was a year for the ages, but the rest of his years were nothing to brag about
    Most of the talent during his era was in the AL

    So what do you guys think?
    I actually think that Vaughan is overrated, but never really said so much because I thought that kind of comment would be akin to sacrilege around here. . I think Vaughan is one of those players that smart baseball fans like to overrate. Why? Because he is generally so underrated and overlooked in baseball history, so there is a sense to overcompensate in appraising Vaughan.

    I rank him in my top 5 of SS mostly because that seems to be the popular perception of where he belongs among intelligent baseball fans. But I do feel like he should be a little lower. I can't support it at this point, it's just a gut feeling.

    I do disagree with you about his OPS though. A careeer 136 is pretty darn impressive for a SS (like I pointed out early, Tejada, who is now considered one of the best hitters in the game, is only 112). His .318 BA is also pretty impressive. It's not like Pie Traynor's .320 which was accumulated in a .295 league. Vaughn did it in a .276 league, which is still a little high, but makes him a legitimate .300 hitter in my mind (whereas Traynor is a mirage).

    So until further notice, Vaughn is firmly at 4th for me in the SS list.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Imapotato
      I say no

      He walked, lowering his ABs to get a high average
      Forbes Field helped his game of gap hitting
      His OPS is nothign to brag about, 1935 was a year for the ages, but the rest of his years were nothing to brag about
      Most of the talent during his era was in the AL

      So what do you guys think?
      lowering his AB to get a high average? You mean not making an out is a negative?

      He finished in the top ten of OPS 7 times in 12 full seasons.

      Oh and what park doesn't help gap hitters?

      Comment


      • #4
        To me Vaughan is a rock solid #2 on the non-active list of shortstops. And the only threat to that status is currently playing 3B for the Yanks. You might question the era he played in, but all the pretenders for his ranking have enjoyed the last ten years of homer happiness and new stadium band boxes. I might add Vaughan played have his games in the cavern that was Forbes field.
        Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

        Comment


        • #5
          I do agree that the NL in that time frame was an inferior league but lets see who else can come close to ARky in this time period.

          Boston/Washingtons's Joe Cronin
          Chicago's Luke Appling
          Philad/NY: Dick Bartell

          And that is about it. Boudreau and Stephens come along in the early 40's.

          So Arky's competition in the NL is Dick Bartell, whose peak isn't as long or as high as Arky's nor is the rest of his career close to ARky's. So for Arky is the best SS in the inferior NL. So how does he do against the best SS of the AL?

          Well Arky has Joe beat in most offensive categories until Joe moves to Fenway and suddenly he starts knocking homers out instead of doubles. Now then we could knock Arky's numbers a bit because of the inferior league but would it be knocked down enough to make up for the large lead in BA and OBP? And on top of that would we then have to alter Joe's stats because of Fenway?

          We then have Luke Appling. Which is a tough one. Good batting average, good OBP not much power, good with the glove and played forever. In terms of offense it is hard to find decline years for Luke. For instance at the age of 41 and 42 Luke in 1000 PA better his career average in batting average and OBP. So Luke playing in a superior league was gave you roughly the same defense as Arky maybe a little less but gave you just as good offense as Arky. I think one would have to put Luke Appling in front Arky, because of league and time spent on the ballfield.

          Comment


          • #6
            First of all, if you're going to start a thread like this please at least spell the guy's name right. VaughAn. There's an A between the h and the n.

            Originally posted by Imapotato
            I say no

            He walked, lowering his ABs to get a high average
            Potato, this is just INSANE. Somehow you're making walking at the expense of making an out a negative attribute. By walking, Vaughan wasn't making any extra outs. How can that be bad?

            Vaughan was great at all aspects of the offensive game. He could hit for average, power, and he took his pitches. Vaughan in 1935 led his league in BA, OBP, and SLG. He finished top 10 in all three categories 4 times, FROM SHORTSTOP! I don't know if anyone else sans Wagner/A-Rod can claim that.

            Forbes Field helped his game of gap hitting
            His OPS is nothign to brag about, 1935 was a year for the ages, but the rest of his years were nothing to brag about
            Whatever. A 136 OPS+ from shorstop. That's just not impressive? You just can't brag about that? Name me one shortstop not named Honus or A-Rod who has that.

            With Forbes Field, it was good for contact hitters, horrible for home runs. This helped players like Traynor and Clemente in BA, but it really hurt them in HR power. If Vaughan played outside Forbes in a more regular park, I'd venture his BA may be five or so points lower, but he'd hit 15-20 home runs a year instead of his normal 5-12. That would probably increase his value.

            I think the only legit knock on Arky is his short career. I give him credit for the time when he walked away from the game 1943-1947, I feel his reasons were completely justified and I may have done the same. I'm not expecting most others to do that though, and I have him significantly higher than most others because of that.
            Last edited by 538280; 02-13-2006, 03:26 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 538280
              I feel his reasons were completely justified and I may have done the same. I'm not expecting most others to do that though, and I have him significantly higher than most others because of that.

              Why exactly do you think he walked away?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Imapotato
                I say no

                He walked, lowering his ABs to get a high average?
                Well, that won't necessarily give you a high BA, if that's what you mean by "average". Killebrew walked - his BA was .256. Of course walking is going to help your OBP - but I don't see how that's a bad thing, especially in Vaughan's case. Arky frequently hit leadoff, and a good leadoff man needs to have good plate discipline.

                Forbes Field helped his game of gap hitting
                I doubt that. Plus, what were gappers in Forbes may have been homers somewhere else.

                His OPS is nothign to brag about, 1935 was a year for the ages, but the rest of his years were nothing to brag about
                Sorry, but an OPS+ of 135 for a shortstop is definitely something to brag about. He wasn't among the truly elite hitters - but relative to his position, I think he was great.

                Rating Vaughan where I do has nothing to do with overcompensating for his "underratedness". I'm just putting his numbers in what I think is the right context.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It depends on how you define a great hitter.

                  If you define him in terms of his position, then there's no question at all that Arky Vaughn is a great hitting SS. If you define it in terms of overall, then he's a very good hitter, but not an al-time great...that's OK though because he's an above average fielder in his prime at a high value position and what you end up with is a player who is easily in the top 50 or 60 all time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ubiquitous
                    Why exactly do you think he walked away?
                    It is known why he walked away. He just couldn't tolerate his manager, Leo Durocher. A while back I made a long post about why exactly I do give him credit, but I can't seem to find it. Basically, to simplify things, the team was getting in various fights and really their chemisty wasn't working. Durocher was having a huge negative influence on the team. Arky just decided it wasn't worth it anymore and quit. He did have support from many of his teammates.

                    Now, if this were a player who had a reputation as an idiot and a clubhouse lawyer there's no way I'd give them credit. But, Vaughan was known as a quiet leader who led by example. He was always given the utmost respect from his teammates. Durocher, on the other hand, had a reputation for being an idiot. He was a man who very many people had trouble getting along with. It's not like it was just Arky. Reportedly they also had conflicts as players and Arky just walked away and didn't come back until Durocher wasn't manager anymore.
                    Last edited by 538280; 02-13-2006, 06:47 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 538280
                      Now, if this were a player who had a reputation as an idiot and a clubhouse lawyer there's no way I'd give them credit. But, Vaughan was known as a quiet leader who led by example. He was always given the utmost respect from his teammates. Durocher, on the other hand, had a reputation for being an idiot. He was a man who very many people had trouble getting along with. It's not like it was just Arky. Reportedly they also had conflicts as players and Arky just walked away and didn't come back until Durocher wasn't manager anymore.
                      And this is a valid reason for walking away? Are you saying that in the face of adversity that each one of your teammates has to deal with as well, it's ok to up and quit just because the manger is an idiot?

                      Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin had their differences, resulting in actual fisticuffs, but Reggie didn't quit. Arky should have sucked it up like the other 24 players on that team and just played the game and let his play do the talking for him. Abandoning the team out of personal spite is petty and selfish.

                      IMO, he chose to remove himself from the game (and at a time when many of his peers didn't have a choice in their removal). This is not military service, this is not career ending injury, this is completely voluntary, so I'm not going to give him credit for something he obviously didn't want credit for anyway.
                      Last edited by DoubleX; 02-13-2006, 07:30 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ubiquitous
                        I do agree that the NL in that time frame was an inferior league but lets see who else can come close to ARky in this time period.

                        Boston/Washingtons's Joe Cronin
                        Chicago's Luke Appling
                        Philad/NY: Dick Bartell

                        And that is about it. Boudreau and Stephens come along in the early 40's.

                        So Arky's competition in the NL is Dick Bartell, whose peak isn't as long or as high as Arky's nor is the rest of his career close to ARky's. So for Arky is the best SS in the inferior NL. So how does he do against the best SS of the AL?

                        Well Arky has Joe beat in most offensive categories until Joe moves to Fenway and suddenly he starts knocking homers out instead of doubles. Now then we could knock Arky's numbers a bit because of the inferior league but would it be knocked down enough to make up for the large lead in BA and OBP? And on top of that would we then have to alter Joe's stats because of Fenway?

                        We then have Luke Appling. Which is a tough one. Good batting average, good OBP not much power, good with the glove and played forever. In terms of offense it is hard to find decline years for Luke. For instance at the age of 41 and 42 Luke in 1000 PA better his career average in batting average and OBP. So Luke playing in a superior league was gave you roughly the same defense as Arky maybe a little less but gave you just as good offense as Arky. I think one would have to put Luke Appling in front Arky, because of league and time spent on the ballfield.

                        I am talking overall...not just SS

                        Alot of the talent was in the AL, not the NL...thus Arky finished higher in the leaderboards as a result...would he have done so as an AL player?

                        538280,

                        His walked ALOT, and sometimes that is not a good thing...look at Joe Morgan...Most of Arky's OPS came from his OBP...not his SLG

                        That is a lopsided player, and lopsided to me does not equat a "Great" offensive player, a good one yes because he got on base, but not great, because if someone was on base and they needed a run, would you want Arky to have the bat in his hands?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SABR Matt
                          It depends on how you define a great hitter.

                          If you define him in terms of his position, then there's no question at all that Arky Vaughn is a great hitting SS. If you define it in terms of overall, then he's a very good hitter, but not an al-time great...that's OK though because he's an above average fielder in his prime at a high value position and what you end up with is a player who is easily in the top 50 or 60 all time.

                          Ahhh so here is the kicker

                          Would you say he got in the HOF and has more accolades BECAUSE he was a SS with very good to great defensive (aside from his 1st 2 years) SS with some pop

                          Or he got into the HOF because he was an offensive SS juggernaught?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Imapotato
                            I am talking overall...not just SS

                            Alot of the talent was in the AL, not the NL...thus Arky finished higher in the leaderboards as a result...would he have done so as an AL player?

                            538280,

                            His walked ALOT, and sometimes that is not a good thing...look at Joe Morgan...Most of Arky's OPS came from his OBP...not his SLG

                            That is a lopsided player, and lopsided to me does not equat a "Great" offensive player, a good one yes because he got on base, but not great, because if someone was on base and they needed a run, would you want Arky to have the bat in his hands?
                            Considering OBP is much, much more important than SLG, this is a good thing, not a bad thing.
                            Now it is done. The story ends, and there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic can ever be plausible again.

                            -Red Smith, New York Herald Tribune, October 4th, 1951

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Imapotato
                              538280,

                              His walked ALOT, and sometimes that is not a good thing...look at Joe Morgan...Most of Arky's OPS came from his OBP...not his SLG

                              That is a lopsided player, and lopsided to me does not equat a "Great" offensive player, a good one yes because he got on base, but not great, because if someone was on base and they needed a run, would you want Arky to have the bat in his hands?
                              Potato, you're not making any sense. You originally said "He walked, lowering his ABs to get a high average". Don't you realize that makes no sense? He did lower his ABs, BY NOT MAKING AN OUT!. Not making an out is something Vaughan should get credit for, lots of credit, and you're somehow turning it into a negative trait.

                              Why is it bad if you walk a real lot? As far as I'm concerned, the less outs you make the better.

                              Comment

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