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Around the SaberSphere 12/11: Michael Young's defense, Delmon Young/Wil Myers, the Royals as contenders

Today's edition of sabermetric linkage includes Michael Young's defense, the similarity of Delmon Young and Wil Myers, the Royals playoff chances and more..


Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation goes into great detail on just how bad a defender Michael Young truly is: Michael Young's bat isn't all the Phillies should worry about - Baseball Nation

This is one of those scenarios that you can use to explain WAR to your dad. "Dad?" you say. "Remember how Michael Young can't field?" "Sure, son," he'll reply. "He's kind of the worst." And then you can explain how his lackluster defense has hurt his WAR -- and his overall value -- over the years. Because stats and eyeballs agree. No one thinks Young is a good third baseman. Numbers, scouts, you, me … the fielding isn't good.

Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus compares the Rays trade for Wil Myers to a trade they made by getting rid of Delmon Young, some years ago: Baseball Prospectus | Overthinking It: The Royals, the Rays, and the Problem with Windows

On the surface, the Royals side of this swap looks bold and ambitious. What could be bolder than trading baseball’s top prospect, or more ambitious than trying to send Kansas City to the postseason for the first time since Davis was in diapers? But as much risk as the Royals are incurring, they’re really playing it safe, increasing the odds of immediate gratification (if any gratification long-suffering Royals fans feel can be described as “immediate”) at the potential expense of sustainable success. This trade makes them more likely to reach the playoffs next season and possibly in 2014, too, depending on how quickly Myers comes into his own, but it seemingly lowers their ceiling in 2015 and beyond, even with Davis signed through 2017. The Royals won the prospect lotto, but instead of opting for the annual annuity that could have kept them in contention as regularly as the Rays, they chose to receive the lump sum and splurge. Even when they aimed high, they set their sights low.

Mark Simon of ESPN explains how the Royals can win the AL Central in 2013: How the Royals can win the AL Central - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

What would it take for the Kansas City Royals to unseat the Detroit Tigers, overtake the Chicago White Sox and hold off the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins to win the American Central in 2013? Over the past three seasons, the AL Central champions finished the season with a roster totaling around 38 Wins Above Replacement. The 2012 Royals finished the season 25 Wins Above Replacement, so there is a gap to be closed. We’re going to see if we can come up with the combination of numbers to close it.

Beyond the Box Score's own Lewie Pollis has released a new version of his simple WAR calculator for batters: Introducing the Simple WAR Calculator Versions 1.1.1 and 2.1 - Wahoo's on First - A Cleveland Indians Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More