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Carl Yastrzemski's odd career

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  • brett
    replied
    Originally posted by Second Base Coach View Post
    From 1971 to 1983, he averaged .275 with 16 home runs and 75 RBI per season. I might be the last person on earth to continue to give value to Triple Crown figures... but there you go.

    He spent ten years building up his legendary status, then played 13 more years after that, without raising his numbers. That is a tremendous amount of time to enjoy a legendary status without reinforcing it much. No wonder our impressions of him are a little higher than reality. Who could blame us?

    I do agree there. He was not helped relatively by his park during either stretch but he had about a 143 OPS+ through 1970, and about 118 for his last 13 years while playing LF, 1B and DH. 118 is about average for a first baseman, though he was still probably a very PLUS fielder over that span in LF.

    One way to look at it is that
    from 1961-1970 he had 18.5 war up to the average level and 41.4 waa
    and from 1971 on he had 21.6 war up to the average level and 8.6 waa

    So he was 5 times more above average during the first strecth
    and 70% of his war in the second stretch was just for being average.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackaroo Dave
    replied
    Originally posted by Second Base Coach View Post
    From 1971 to 1983, he averaged .275 with 16 home runs and 75 RBI per season. I might be the last person on earth to continue to give value to Triple Crown figures... but there you go.

    He spent ten years building up his legendary status, then played 13 more years after that, without raising his numbers. That is a tremendous amount of time to enjoy a legendary status without reinforcing it much. No wonder our impressions of him are a little higher than reality. Who could blame us?
    I think I do know how you feel: Yes, he had those great years; yes, his counting totals are staggering; but where's the quality in between? In his great years, his triple crown numbers were terrific. Afterwards, a much larger proportion of his value was in defense and getting on base, which is not where you expect it in a left fielder/first baseman. His dropoff was in BA and power, the most conspicuous, but not the only sources of his greatness. When I was enamored with triple crown stats, I felt exactly as you put it in your second paragraph. Also, at that time I didn't realize how much of even the Hall of Famers' value consists of being just good for a long time.

    If Yaz had retired in, say, 75, after his last post-season hurrah, his career line might look more attractive. .291/.389/.473, 137 ops+, over 300 homers, 1300 runs, 1200 RBI, all in 15 years, including the entire second dead ball era. Plus 145 steals, 12 All Star games, 6 gold gloves. He continued to help his team thereafter, but even the complementary all star selections stopped.

    There are two extreme ways superstars handle aging: Some, like DiMaggio and Mantle, quit when they can't meet their own standards, even though they are still valuable. Others, like Yaz and Ricky Henderson, you have to run them down and cut the uniform off them. I admire both; both show an intense love of the game.

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  • filihok
    replied
    Originally posted by Second Base Coach View Post
    From 1971 to 1983, he averaged .275 with 16 home runs and 75 RBI per season. I might be the last person on earth to continue to give value to Triple Crown figures... but there you go.
    What was the league batting average during that time?

    Leave a comment:


  • Second Base Coach
    replied
    From 1971 to 1983, he averaged .275 with 16 home runs and 75 RBI per season. I might be the last person on earth to continue to give value to Triple Crown figures... but there you go.

    He spent ten years building up his legendary status, then played 13 more years after that, without raising his numbers. That is a tremendous amount of time to enjoy a legendary status without reinforcing it much. No wonder our impressions of him are a little higher than reality. Who could blame us?

    Leave a comment:


  • filihok
    replied
    Originally posted by Second Base Coach View Post
    Jeepers Cats... go look up his numbers.
    Yaz 70-79: .384 OBP .452 SLG .374 wOBA, 128 wRC+, 43.4 WAR

    League average 70-79: .323 OBP, .377 SLG, .318 wOBA


    Yeah...Well above average.

    Leave a comment:


  • brett
    replied
    So basically what I've shown now is that Yaz road relative OPS+ was a little OVER 130 and his home relative OPS+ was a little under 130! That means simply that his OPS+ and WAR are not boosted by his ballpark at all.

    How can his road relative OPS+ be better than his home relative OPS+ when he went .359/.422 on the road and .408/.503 at home? Because the league on the road went .309/.362 on the road but .359/.434 at Fenway with home park adjustments.

    Leave a comment:


  • Second Base Coach
    replied
    Originally posted by Matthew C. View Post
    Exactly - he was a wellll above average player for most of the 70' - All Star level in 2-3 of those seasons.
    Jeepers Cats... go look up his numbers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Second Base Coach
    replied
    Originally posted by filihok View Post
    What do I need your numbers for, man? Who do you think knows more about him, the fans that watched, and loved, him? Or some spreadsheet? [/parody]
    It was those fans who were adding to his overratedness, if that is a word. I consider them to be part of the problem, rather than a source of clarity.

    Leave a comment:


  • brett
    replied
    Originally posted by brett View Post
    Using a different method, I estimate the league league LEAGUE road rates for Yaz' career to be .309 and .362 on base and slugging percentage. His career road rates were .357 and.422.

    That would give him a relative OB% of 1.155 and a relative slugging percentage of 1.166 for a road OPS+ of 132.

    Once more I've decided to calculate Yaz home OPS+ relative to park and home field advantage. Since the league road rates for his career are .309 and .362, and his overall league rates adjusted for ballpark are .334 and .398, then the home rates that should be used for the league to calculate his home OPS+ are .359 and .434.

    his home rates once again were .408 and .503 which would give him a home relativized relative OB% of 1.136 and a home relativized relative slugging of 1.159 for an overall home relative OPS+ of 129.5

    So it turns out Yaz actually was just as good of a relative hitter on the road and outside of Fenway as he was a relative hitter at home and in Fenway.

    Here's the crux of it.

    League road rates: .309/.362
    his road rates: .359/.422
    OPS+ about 132.5

    League home rates adjusted for Fenway: .359/.434
    His home rates: .408/.503
    OPS+ about 129.5

    Compare the league adjusted rates on the road to the league adjusted rates in Fenway with a normal home field advantage:

    LEAGUE
    Road to Home/Boston
    .309 to .359
    .362 to .434

    That's what an average player would be expected to do in each of those settings, but ultimately the point is that his .359/.422 rates on the road versus a league that went .309 and .359 on the road are just as good as his home rates were relative to his home park, if not a little better.

    My earlier estimates tried to estimate league adjusted rates from park factors which ended up being inaccurate and surprising.
    Consider that Boston has a park factor of about 107, meaning that it produced about 114% of the league average offense, all else being equal, however Boston produced about 11% higher on base percentage and 15% higher slugging percentage than the rest of the league. That means that an average hitter in Boston would have a 126 OPS+ if we didn't account for park factors, and yet we only get 14% more offense. If the "ops+ is linear with offense" hypothesis were true we'd expect scoring to be 26% higher in Boston, but park factors say it was only 14% higher.
    I edited this post with some interesting findings.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackaroo Dave
    replied
    Originally posted by brett View Post
    That's actually easy because we have sOPS+ scores for individual seasons (just not career). Park factors do not go into home and road sOPS+ (it is just your home rates and road rates relative to all players in their home parks or on the road).
    So road sOPS+ for a given season is basically half of the OPS+ equation and you can figure out the other half from a players total OPS+ for the year. For example if a guy has a 150 road sOPS+ and a 160 overall sOPS+ then his home sOPS+ would be 170 (given about the same number of plate appearances, and within a maybe half a percent error due to not hitting in your home park when on the road).
    In other words road sOPS+ is actually how well you did on the road taking into account a normal road diminishment.
    So road sOPS+ SHOULD be equal to total sOPS+ if you have "normal" splits (though home sOPS+ will not because a high or low offensive ballpark is actually not factored into sOPS+.)
    So I will assemble home and road sOPS+ in my next post. Also I might do the same for Boggs and Brett who have interesting splits over the years.
    Oh, if that's all there is to it, why didn't you say so?
    Seriously, thanks for all your efforts and time taken to explain their results.

    Leave a comment:


  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    I can tell you one thing that effected slugging home/away Fenway, doubles.
    It was always a great doubles park, wide gap between home and away doubles.
    OK I know about the Green Monster, short distance and high.
    But it has to be more than the wall, look at the LH hitters on the list and the home/away doubles splits.

    Don't neglect the configuration on the right side, RF line to deepest RCF.
    I've heard more than a few players comment on handling balls off that barrier.
    So no denying, the wall is the biggest factor but you would think that the RH hitters double home/away splits would be more extreme than the LH hitters. I could see Boggs making use of that wall, more often than the other LH hitters.

    Those are some very hugh gaps for the LH Bosox hitter.
    How does it play into slugging. It's telling me that balls hit into some areas are doubles at Fenway but not at other parks.
    Slugging is all about bases gained per at bat, picking up that one more base per at bat, with splits like that, boost slugging.

    Any kind of EBH, obviously a plus for slugging.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 01-07-2013, 04:33 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • brett
    replied
    Using a different method, I estimate the league league LEAGUE road rates for Yaz' career to be .309 and .362 on base and slugging percentage. His career road rates were .357 and.422.

    That would give him a relative OB% of 1.155 and a relative slugging percentage of 1.166 for a road OPS+ of 132.

    Once more I've decided to calculate Yaz home OPS+ relative to park and home field advantage. Since the league road rates for his career are .309 and .362, and his overall league rates adjusted for ballpark are .334 and .398, then the home rates that should be used for the league to calculate his home OPS+ are .359 and .434.

    his home rates once again were .408 and .503 which would give him a home relativized relative OB% of 1.136 and a home relativized relative slugging of 1.159 for an overall home relative OPS+ of 129.5

    So it turns out Yaz actually was just as good of a relative hitter on the road and outside of Fenway as he was a relative hitter at home and in Fenway.

    Here's the crux of it.

    League road rates: .309/.362
    his road rates: .359/.422
    OPS+ about 132.5

    League home rates adjusted for Fenway: .359/.434
    His home rates: .408/.503
    OPS+ about 129.5

    Compare the league adjusted rates on the road to the league adjusted rates in Fenway with a normal home field advantage:

    LEAGUE
    Road to Home/Boston
    .309 to .359
    .362 to .434

    That's what an average player would be expected to do in each of those settings, but ultimately the point is that his .359/.422 rates on the road versus a league that went .309 and .359 on the road are just as good as his home rates were relative to his home park, if not a little better.

    My earlier estimates tried to estimate league adjusted rates from park factors which ended up being inaccurate and surprising.
    Consider that Boston has a park factor of about 107, meaning that it produced about 114% of the league average offense, all else being equal, however Boston produced about 11% higher on base percentage and 15% higher slugging percentage than the rest of the league. That means that an average hitter in Boston would have a 126 OPS+ if we didn't account for park factors, and yet we only get 14% more offense. If the "ops+ is linear with offense" hypothesis were true we'd expect scoring to be 26% higher in Boston, but park factors say it was only 14% higher.
    Last edited by brett; 01-07-2013, 06:29 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • westsidegrounds
    replied
    Looking at a "traditional" stat (batting average):

    In his last 10 seasons, Yaz at Fenway outhit Yaz elsewhere by 65 points or more in 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, and 1982.

    He hit 10 to 46 points better at Fenway in 1974, 1975, and 1978.

    He hit better on the road (by 15 to 31 points) in 1980 and 1983
    Last edited by westsidegrounds; 01-07-2013, 04:16 PM. Reason: 10 is tidier than 11

    Leave a comment:


  • brett
    replied
    Home and road relativized OPS+. Normal splits would mean equal scores in this case.

    Yaz
    Year: Home/Road
    1961: 114/68
    1962: 140/100
    1963:118/178
    1964: 109/139
    1965: 177/135
    1966: 137/101
    1967: 187/199
    1968: 144/198
    1969: 134/138
    1970: 181/173
    Mean*: 144/143

    1971: 108/118
    1972: 125/111
    1973: 127/151
    1974: 138/142
    1975: 107/117
    1976: 138/102
    1977: 135/115
    1978: 97/127
    1979: 125/91
    1980: 90/142
    1981: 119/73
    1982: 114/108
    1983: 96/116
    Mean 117/116

    Total 130.5/129.5

    That's a little odd, but it is more accurate that my prior calculations because I guessed at what the ballpark effect would be on slugging and on-base percentage.

    Leave a comment:


  • brett
    replied
    Originally posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    I hope in his study, Brett compares Yaz's home-road splits before the great fall-off and after. After 1970, Yaz wasn't just a lesser hitter; he was a different kind of hitter. I didn't have the privilege of watching Yaz during his superduperstardom, but when I saw him later, he would definitely swing to go the other way.

    Now in the SI article, Yaz insists that he's not doing anything differently, just swinging naturally. But that is at the start of his decline.

    if he did make adjustments so that he could maintain a lower but substantial level of performance, it would be of interest to see if it affected his home-road splits and whether he took a Fenway Leftie swing with him on the road. For me the issues are intertwined, and the abrupt change in performance level provides an experimental design to test them.
    That's actually easy because we have sOPS+ scores for individual seasons (just not career). Park factors do not go into home and road sOPS+ (it is just your home rates and road rates relative to all players in their home parks or on the road).

    So road sOPS+ for a given season is basically half of the OPS+ equation and you can figure out the other half from a players total OPS+ for the year. For example if a guy has a 150 road sOPS+ and a 160 overall sOPS+ then his home sOPS+ would be 170 (given about the same number of plate appearances, and within a maybe half a percent error due to not hitting in your home park when on the road).

    In other words road sOPS+ is actually how well you did on the road taking into account a normal road diminishment.

    So road sOPS+ SHOULD be equal to total sOPS+ if you have "normal" splits (though home sOPS+ will not because a high or low offensive ballpark is actually not factored into sOPS+.)

    So I will assemble home and road sOPS+ in my next post. Also I might do the same for Boggs and Brett who have interesting splits over the years.

    Leave a comment:

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