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Talking Replacement Level With Sean Forman

Sean Forman is the President of Sports Reference LLC and the creator of the beloved Baseball Reference website. I would like to thank him for taking the time to speak with me regarding replacement level, WAR, and what’s on the road-map for BR.

SaberSphere April 2nd, not as foolish as yesterday

Take a walk around the SaberSphere, today's ranges from hardcore analysis of WAR, strikeouts, and James Shields, to stories from opening days past.

What's the Point of "Replacement Player?"

What's the Point of "Replacement Player?"

Defensive Replacement Level Defined

Chris Dial uses his Defensive Runs Saved statistic (based on Zone Rating) to determine what a replacement level defender is. In general, it's about the same level as offensive replacement is (85% of average). Most of those he found as replacement level defenders are above average hitters (unsurprisingly), so they're still above replacement level in general.

From Replacement Level Yankees Blog Not a whole lot to say, just some hitorical context for what...

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From Replacement Level Yankees Blog Not a whole lot to say, just some hitorical context for what Wang is in the middle of. [Standard statement of the many things besides just a pitcher's ability that go in to ERA.]

Replacement Level Talent In Center Field Appears To Be Only One Win Worse Than Average

"Reggie Abercrombie, Houston, .301 wOBA Corey Patterson, Washington, .304 wOBA Chris Duffy, Milwaukee, .313 wOBA Jason Ellison, Philadelphia, .298 wOBA Ryan Langerhans, Washington, .330 wOBA Scott Podsednik, Colorado, .305 wOBA So Taguchi, Chicago (NL), .291 wOBA This group is -12 offensively, and considering they’re mostly above average defenders, we might have our first deviation from the norm. With a +2.5 position adjustment for CF, these guys would have to be something like -10 defenders in center field to be two wins below average. But there’s no way to make that argument - Patterson, Abercrombie, Duffy, Ellison - these guys are good defenders. So, teams apparently value center fielders if they can hit well. But as soon as a CF, even as a plus defender, shows that he’s not a great hitter, he gets discarded. It’s interesting, however, that we didn’t see this at SS or 2B. There’s not a glut of premium defensive middle infielders available for nothing. So, defense up the middle is valued a lot more for IF than OF? Sounds plausible." I combined quotes from Dave Cameron's article and what he said in the comments.

Offensive Replacement Level By Position

Sean Smith has an interesting article up at The Hardball Times about replacement level. The whole thing is worth reading, but I want to highlight one cool table: REP POSITION -32.5 Catcher -27.5 Shortstop -22.5 2B, 3B, CF -12.5 Corner Outfield -7.5 First base -2.5 DH* The number listed for each position is how many runs below average a player must be offensively to be considered replacement level (assuming average fielding ability). So, at -7.5, first basemen have to hit just worse than major league average just to provide any value. On the other hand, catchers can be more than 30 runs worse than average and still deserve a spot in the majors. That's a 25 run difference between the two positions, which should explain why first basemen are extremely overrated. * Added by Sky, not in Sean's article.

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