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Homey Bailey & The Top 20 in 365

3

Let's look at the top performers over the last calendar year, it seems to be the hip way to analyze player performance. Which names might surprise you and which won't?

Improving The Postseason

11

The MLB playoffs have deficiencies that deserve change. What needs to go, and what needs to stay? Is there a perfect system or does the model need to shift just enough to show improvement?

Most Balls Scooped at First Base (2009)

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  1. Albert Pujols, STL (55)
  2. Paul Konerko, CHW (51)
  3. James Loney, LAD (47)
  4. Kendry Morales, LAA (47)
  5. Todd Helton, COL (47)

Fangraphs Team Win Values

2

Sandy Kazmir compiled the WAR values for pitchers and position players by team from Fangraphs and did some nice analysis. Not a bad way to do power rankings. Link contains two more full tables, sorting by the last two columns, plus a breakdown of AL East rankings by category. Rk Team Pr Ch FA Val Pitch PosPlayer 1 Rays 2 1 $145.30 $41.60 $103.70 2 Red Sox 5 3 $125.40 $68.40 $57.00 3 Yankees 12 9 $118.70 $33.10 $85.60 4 Dodgers 4 0 $110.40 $44.60 $65.80 5 Angels 15 10 $106.60 $36.50 $70.10 6 Blue Jays 1 -5 $106.60 $50.20 $56.40 7 Tigers 11 4 $96.80 $44.20 $52.60 8 Rangers 6 -2 $95.50 $37.10 $58.40 9 White Sox 25 16 $95.50 $57.20 $38.30 10 Rockies 17 7 $94.00 $58.40 $35.60 11 Twins 14 3 $92.90 $43.10 $49.80 12 Giants 29 17 $92.30 $58.00 $34.30 13 Mariners 16 3 $91.00 $44.00 $47.00 14 Cardinals 8 -6 $88.30 $42.50 $45.80 15 Diamondbacks 20 5 $88.20 $50.20 $38.00 16 Braves 9 -7 $85.40 $56.50 $28.90 17 Phillies 26 9 $84.40 $12.30 $72.10 18 Brewers 7 -11 $80.90 $16.60 $64.30 19 Indians 18 -1 $78.40 $26.60 $51.80 20 Royals 3 -17 $73.10 $53.90 $19.20 21 Marlins 22 1 $72.60 $34.60 $38.00 22 Pirates 27 5 $72.10 $18.80 $53.30 23 Athletics 30 7 $65.60 $45.20 $20.40 24 Cubs 21 -3 $61.20 $36.20 $25.00 25 Orioles 28 3 $61.00 $28.60 $32.40 26 Astros 24 -2 $60.70 $24.00 $36.70 27 Mets 10 -17 $55.50 $25.10 $30.40 28 Reds 13 -15 $55.20 $22.00 $33.20 29 Nationals 23 -6 $52.80 $14.10 $38.70 30 Padres 19 -11 $33.20 $9.90 $23.30 Average $84.65 $37.78 $46. 87

FG Love for Chris Carpenter

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Eric Seidman looks at how dominant Chris Carpenter has been in his four starts this season, comparing him to Zack Greinke. I mostly link to it because this made my jaw drop: In four starts, Carpenter has added more wins to the Cardinals than their entire bullpen. If you’re skeptical, the combo of Motte, Franklin, Thompson, Miller, Reyes, Kinney and Boggs (as a reliever) has combined for 0.5 wins above replacement. This speaks more to the ineptitude of their bullpen but serves to show that a good starter in just four starts can be twice as effective, if not more, than a reliever available all season. Yup.

Rockies Historical Dollar Win Values

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This article is a conclusion of sorts to my Dollars and Sense series on Purple Row. I examine in particular Fangraphs' dollar win values metric through the lens of both Rockies historical data and specifically the 9 year, $142 million contract extension Todd Helton signed in 2003.

FG: Confirmation Biases and Cliff Lee

3

Eric Seidman talks about folks assuming a Cliff Lee will regress to being a sub-par player again, and jumping on a bad first couple starts as being confirmation of bias. I've seen a lot of people sticking to their guns on this. Lee's line at this point: 8 GS, 54 IP, 3.00 ERA, 3.17 FIP, 7.0 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 That's good for a 1.7 WAR. He's still good.

The Worst Starters The Rest of the Year

4

Eric Seidman at Fangraphs uses Dan Szymborski's new in-season ZiPS leader boards to find the worst starters that will likely see a significant number of starts the rest of the year: Adam Eaton, Orioles: 19 GS, 99 IP, 1.53 K/BB, 6.09 ERA Franklin Morales, Rockies: 19 GS, 97 IP, 0.89 K/BB, 6.03 ERA Rick Porcello, Tigers: 20 GS, 95 IP, 1.19 K/BB, 5.97 ERA Dustin Moseley, Angels: 20 GS, 111 IP, 1.71 K/BB, 5.92 ERA Including performances so far, that would make this seasons' worst overall starters look like: Adam Eaton, Orioles: 25 GS, 130.1 IP, 1.55 K/BB, 6.35 ERA Carlos Silva, Mariners: 27 GS, 149.2 IP, 1.94 K/BB, 6.31 ERA Sidney Ponson, Royals: 21 GS, 125.0 IP, 1.28 K/BB, 5.83 ERA Franklin Morales, Rockies: 21 GS, 101.0 IP, 1.01 K/BB, 5.83 ERA Now, what issues might we have here? One, ZiPS isn't really paying much attention to projecting playing time, like most projection systems. Two, as with most (all?) projection systems out there, ZiPS doesn't know about injuries, new pitches, or other scouting-style data. With the prevalence of pitch f/x these days, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a projection system for pitchers that utilizes that data to some extent. Changes in fastball velocity, control, pitch movement, and pitch selection should be able to help tell us a pitcher's story objectively.

FG: Fielding the Real Reason for Texas's Improved Run Prevention

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Sky touched on this a little when discussing Kevin Millwood earlier, and Dave Cameron put together an article about it at FanGraphs. Texas right now is off to a better start than they've had in about half a decade, and their improved run prevention has been well documented. The credit is usually given to the pitching, thanks to a better ERA, but, as Cameron points out, the real strength has been the defense. The pitching, in fact, has a worse FIP thus far in 2009 (5.17) than it did in 2008 (4.83). A few outlets roundly criticized the idea of moving Michael Young and calling up Elvis Andrus, but UZR would suggest it's been great so far, as Andrus has put up an 8.9 UZR/150, significantly better than Young in 2008, while Young has struggled at third but is still beating the assortment of players who spent time their last year. Meanwhile, it moved Chris Davis over to first, where he's put up a 24 UZR/150. For the team, that's a -51.7 UZR last year to 9.5 this year. So the next time another media member talks about the Rangers finally getting great pitching, you can smile and know it's actually that they're finally getting great fielding.

Top 10 Overrated Starters in 2009

53

Many pitchers have low ERAs so far in 2009. Beyond the Box Score looks at which hurlers are for real and which ones are going to crash and burn.

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