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Carl Yastrzemski's odd career

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  • leecemark
    replied
    --Declining in your 30s is not odd, but abruptly dropping off several levels from your peak and staying at that level for a very long time IS odd. Yaz was quite posssibly the best player in baseball in the back half of the 1960s (or 66-70 to be precise). He was a threat to win the batting title AND hit 40 Hr in those years. After 1970 he was never close to doing either.
    --His batting eye stayed intact, but the results when he actually hit the ball dropped to something close to league average. His BA dropping off is pretty common for even the biggest stars in their 30s, but the accompaning power outage far less so. Young Yaz had a rep for being a superstar from the neck down. He figured things out and put it all together for a tremendous peak. Then he was pretty clearly was not the same guy physically in the 2nd half of his career, but was still able to be a good player because he retained the mental stardom.

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  • Jackaroo Dave
    replied
    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    If you look at it closely, Yaz actually only had three (MAYBE 4) 'great ' seasons. other than that, he was 'good' for many years. In fact, if you take out his three best seasons, he is a very good match for Harold Baines, maybe worse if we consider his huge home/road splits.
    Setting aside the fact that if we gave Harold those four seasons he would waltz into the hall of fame, Yaz has 183 fielding runs above average, Baines -12.

    You know, when I was living in Boston in the 70s, every baseball year would start with "fans" wondering how Yaz was going to let them down this year and would end with them talking about what a mutt he was. But I never heard a word said against his defense, and it was always a pleasure to out to the park and watch him at first or in left.
    Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 01-03-2013, 12:33 AM.

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  • filihok
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Like I said Yaz was productive in the 1970's but hardly the elite player he was from 1964-70.
    Yaz 62-66: 132 wRC+, 5.6 WAR per 600 PA
    Yaz 67-70: 169 wRC+, 8.5 WAR per 600 PA
    Yaz 71-77: 125 wRC+, 4.0 WAR per 600 PA
    Yaz 78-83: 109 wRC+, 2.0 WAR per 600 PA

    I cut out his rookie season, because it sucked compared to his 62-66. Otherwise, his career falls into 4 pretty distinct categories. He had a huge 4 year run from 67-70. But on either side of that run he was a very good, but not great, player. Then he struggled a bit at the end of his career, understandable as he was in his late 30's and 40's.

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by JR Hart View Post
    1973 .296/.407/.463
    1974 .301/.414/.445 led league in runs
    1977 .296/.372/.505 102 RBI

    He was always pretty productive.
    Like I said Yaz was productive in the 1970's but hardly the elite player he was from 1964-70.

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  • willshad
    replied
    If you look at it closely, Yaz actually only had three (MAYBE 4) 'great ' seasons. other than that, he was 'good' for many years. In fact, if you take out his three best seasons, he is a very good match for Harold Baines, maybe worse if we consider his huge home/road splits.

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  • JR Hart
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    After 1970 Yaz was still a good productive ballplayer just a far cry from where he was in the 1960's. It's common for many great ballplayers decline in their early 30 as they struggle to be as consistent. But many did and do still have a few elite seasons in their 30's. Yaz never really did. It seems injures were a major culprit. I started following baseball in 1976 (age 7-8) and Yaz was still viewed as a major star. At least that's how I remember it.
    1973 .296/.407/.463
    1974 .301/.414/.445 led league in runs
    1977 .296/.372/.505 102 RBI

    He was always pretty productive.

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  • filihok
    replied
    If you look at his yearly wOBA
    http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs/1014...8_20121003.png
    it's pretty consistent.

    There's just 3 years (out of 4) where it really spikes. Those are his outlier years. Other than that he was consistently good, for consistently long

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by JR Hart View Post
    He's never really that bad, all the way to age 43. He doesn't really have any clunker seasons. His career has a pretty common path of a great player.
    After 1970 Yaz was still a good productive ballplayer just a far cry from where he was in the 1960's. It's common for many great ballplayers decline in their early 30 as they struggle to be as consistent. But many did and do still have a few elite seasons in their 30's. Yaz never really did. It seems injures were a major culprit. I started following baseball in 1976 (age 7-8) and Yaz was still viewed as a major star. At least that's how I remember it.
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 01-02-2013, 09:30 PM.

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  • Jackaroo Dave
    replied
    Yaz is right about the strikeouts. They start out in the sixties, go up to the 90s, then in 1970, his last great year, they go down to the 60s and he keeps them there.

    Reading his comments in the article gave me a lot more respect for his mental game. It is so hard to know your own strengths when they are fading. A player in his situation with less intelligence and mental toughness might have turned into Dave Kingman.

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  • JR Hart
    replied
    He's never really that bad, all the way to age 43. He doesn't really have any clunker seasons. His career has a pretty common path of a great player.

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  • chicagowhitesox1173
    replied
    His homeruns really dropped after the 1970 season.

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  • dgarza
    replied
    From age 31-40, Yaz's Sac. Flies pretty much doubled and his IBBs went up.

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  • Ben Grimm
    replied
    Certainly looks like an injury or two. Looking at his game logs from '71, he had a steady decline across the board starting early June.

    Code:
                G   XBH   RBI    AVG   OBP   SLG
    
    Thru 5/31   47   19    28   .297  .451  .525
    Aftr 5/31  101   19    42   .234  .346  .331
    Looks alot like somebody playing through an injury. Not sure if he had a surgery during the offseason or whatever it was didn't get to 100% by Spring, but he started out brutally in 1972 while missing a week early on and finally hitting the DL for a month from what looks to be the mentioned leg issue in the article above. I don't see a mention of what the hand issue was, but we've seen players lose power for over a year after a hamate injury. Even with the leg, as I'm sure we can all attest to, recovery time post-30 takes longer as each year passes. But whatever it was, it must have done some damage since he pretty much was forced to 1B right afterwards.

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  • filihok
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Carl Yastrzemski had somewhat of odd career. From 1992-70 Yastrzemski was an elite player. Then from 1971-83 he was just ho-hum.. So what happened after 1970? Any theories?
    Don't see why this is so weird.

    He developed until his late 20's, had a few years of peak performance and fell off in his 30's.

    The decline was pretty sharp, easily explained by the injury, but he had some good years after 1970; 1973 and 1977

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    http://www.baseball-fever.com/archiv.../t-109379.html

    Dgarza has a link to a SI article mentioning Yaz's hand injury here.
    The full article.

    Yaz SI 07-10-1972.JPG

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