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Evolving MLB Defense, Historic Comps

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  • Evolving MLB Defense, Historic Comps

    Because edit updates on my original EVOLVING DEFENSE thread have seemingly tested post capacity, this is more a continuation of that thread in which updates will not be so slow to load.

    The last entries there were fairly detailed career evaluations of 2B frequently mentioned in discussions/debates. I pick up that evaluation series here, with Joe Gordon. As always, comments, etc. are welcome. Thanks to the 1,760 or so who have viewed the original thread to date.

    JOE GORDON

    Joe Gordon's career spanned 1938 through 1950, with 1944 and 1945 not played due to military service. Gordon's career is virtually in tandem with the last 2B evaluated in the original thread, Bobby Doerr.

    As with the prior entries, my primary focus is running my defense metric ratings for position players from 1901 on, then converting numerical ratings into +/- Defense Runs adjusted by season/career for actual playing time. All comps made in these evaluations are against MLB 2B metric AVG during the players' careers. During Gordon's career, .947 is the base number.

    The last step is to provide a snapshot image of overall value by distilling career RC/PA [at bat] to a 600 PA "season" for each player.

    Season............................Rating.......... ...............Defense Runs>AVG, adj. Playing Time

    1938.............................. .979........................... + 9.2
    1939.............................. .952........................... + 1.7
    1940.............................. .965........................... + 6.2
    1941.............................. .953........................... + 1.8 [130 games]
    1942.............................. .953........................... + 2.0 [147 games]
    1943.............................. .961........................... + 4.8
    1944.............Military Service
    1945.............Military Service
    1946.............................. .971........................... + 5.7
    1947.............................. .948........................... + 0.0
    1948.............................. .949........................... + 1.0 [rounded up]
    1949.............................. .956........................... + 3.9
    1950.............................. .938........................... - 1.0 [98 games]

    Gordon's career Defense Runs against MLB AVG at 2B comes to +35.3 DR.

    Gordon is credited during his batting career with 936RC/6538PA = a .1432 RC/PA rate. During his career, average PC/PA was .1215.
    If we make a snapshot of this over a perceived 600 PA season, factoring in those DR earned at 2B, we get:

    936RC + 35.3DR/6538 = 971.3/6538 = .1486 * 600 = 89.14 runs. With AVG at .1215 + 0 DR, we get .1215 * 600 = 72.9, with Gordon at +16.24, or 1.62 Wins.


    RED SCHOENDIENST

    Red Schoendienst broke in with the Cardinals in 1945 as a left fielder. His play at 2B began in 1946. His career spanned through 1962; but in 1959, 1961 and 1962 his playing time was minimal. Those seasons + 1945 are not considered here.

    Schoendienst is created with 1112 runs created in 9227 plate appearances = .1206 RC/PA, compared to MLB AVG over his career years of .1155.

    Defensively:

    Season.........................................Def ense Rating.....................+/- Defense Runs; adj. for Playing Time

    1946............................................ .938..................................... - 2.8
    1947............................................ .943..................................... - 1.6
    1948............................................ .932..................................... - 3.4
    1949............................................ .962..................................... + 4.4
    1950............................................ .959..................................... + 3.6
    1951............................................ .982..................................... + 9.4
    1952............................................ .965..................................... + 5.3
    1953............................................ .974..................................... + 8.1
    1954............................................ .984..................................... +11.7
    1955............................................ .936..................................... - 3.1
    1956............................................ .931..................................... - 4.6
    1957............................................ .958..................................... + 2.4
    1958............................................ .955..................................... + 1.6
    1960............................................ .932..................................... - 2.2 [60 games]

    Defensively, Schoendienst has +25.6 defense runs above MLB 2B contemporary AVG.

    Batting runs, at 1112 + 25.6 DR = 1137.6 runs/9227 = a production snapshot of .1233 * 600 PA = 73.97 runs. Against AVG at .1155 + 0 DR = .1155 * 600 = 69.3, giving Schoendienst an edge of +4.67 runs, or 0.47 "Wins."

    RECAP: Using the "Wins" as the focal point, the 2B rated here and on the original "Evolving" thread so far:

    Thread 1: Frisch [1.64]; Gehringer [2.66]; Robinson [2.94]; Collins [2.62]; Morgan [3.07]; Lajoie [3.94]; Mazeroski [0.55]; Whitaker [1.97]; Alomar [1.00]; Grich [2.20]; Hornsby [6.0]; Kent [2.41]; Sandberg [2.54]; Doerr [2.05]. EDIT: Doerr.

    ADDED: Joe Gordon [1.62]; Schoendienst [0.47]. [Thread 2].
    Last edited by leewileyfan; 08-23-2012, 09:47 AM.

  • #2
    Wrapping up this exercise, here are two contemporary 2B, reviewed by the same metric and model of comparison.

    Chase Utley

    Season.................................Defense Rating.............................Defense Runs +/- AVG; Playing Time Adj.

    2004....................................... .937........................................ - 1.0
    2005....................................... .936........................................ - 3.8
    2006....................................... .956........................................ + 2.9
    2007....................................... .954........................................ + 2.0
    2008....................................... .961........................................ + 4.6
    2009....................................... .944........................................ - 1.0
    2010....................................... .969....................................... + 5.3
    2011....................................... .933....................................... - 3.0

    Total Defense Runs.............................................. ..................... + 6.0

    Batting, Utley, with 876 RC/5029 PA = .1742 considerably above .1250 average. Adding +6.0 DR, we get 882/5029 = .1754 * 600 = 105.23 runs in a 600 PA season. This is +30.23 runs, or +3.02 Wins.

    Orlando Hudson

    2002..................................... .989............................+ 4.5
    2003..................................... 1.008............................ +16.6
    2004..................................... .995............................ +13.0
    2005..................................... .980............................ +11.8
    2006..................................... .990............................ +13.6
    2007..................................... .963............................ + 4.5
    2008..................................... .945............................ - 1.2
    2009..................................... .928............................ - 5.7
    2010..................................... .966............................ + 4.8
    2011..................................... .952............................ + 1.1

    Total Defense Runs.............................................. ........ + 63.0

    Batting, with 675 RC/5391 PA, Hudson is at .1252, slightly better than prevailing average of .1237. Adding defense runs, same drill:

    675 + 63 = 738/5391 = .1369 * 600 = 82.14 runs, better than AVG of .1237 + 0 * 600 = 74.22 = +7.92 runs, or .792 Wins.

    RECAP of all 2 B covered in these two threads:

    Hornsby: 6.0
    Lajoie: 3.94
    Morgan: 3.07
    Utley: 3.02 [so far]
    Robinson: 2.94
    Gehringer: 2.66
    Collins: 2.62
    Sandberg: 2.54
    Kent: 2.41
    Grich: 2.20
    Doerr: 2.05
    Whitaker: 1.97
    Frisch: 1.64
    Gordon: 1.62
    Alomar: 1.00
    Mazeroski: 0.52
    Schoeindienst 0.47

    The defense evaluations are per my metric. The overall distilled snapshots attempt to encapsulate total career values is Wins, as seen through the equal lens of a 600 PA season.

    Total career value in Wins would then revert to each player's Wins by his Total Plate Appearances/600 * the number provided. Rogers Hornsby, with 9,475 PA = 15.79 such seasons * 6.0 = 95.75 career Wins.
    Last edited by leewileyfan; 09-07-2012, 06:50 PM.

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