I’m still messing around and trying to refine my player value graphs. I’ve made a couple of changes in how I’m constructing them.
1. I’ve decided to move the positional adjustment to the bUZR score. I think this is a better way to measure the defensive abilities of a player. It should make the graphs more “fair” because a +10 run 1B is going to be valued differently from a +10 run shortstop, which is how it should be. So, when looking at these graphs don’t freak out if a player is scoring lower on defense than you were expecting, it’s probably the positional adjustment.
2. I’m tossing out the position specific replacement level and going with just the ‘regular’ replacement level.
3. These might graphs might be a little prettier since I’m using a new version of Excel to make them. Be sure to click on them to see the enlarged version.
Let’s check them out:
Winn’s fielding has been very steady since 2002 and it took a nice jump upward last season. His hitting has seen a little more variance with his 2006 representing a low. Though, after his problematic 2006, Winn has bounced back to post two solid years in a row at the dish in ’07 and ’08. Winn is a plus-defender in a corner spot and if you stick him in CF, you’d get an average fielder. Not bad at all. I definitely think his defense in CF is an asset that the organization over-looked when they decided to bring in Dave Roberts and then Aaron Rowand to play CF.
Roberts experienced a peak in 2006 according to our player graph. That season in San Diego he played solid defense in LF — even after the positional adjustment he comes out with a positive score — and his bat was above average as well. The funny thing is that in 2005 Roberts played the entire season in CF and came out around -7.5 runs in bUZR pro-rated (including the positional adjustment) to 700 PA’s. Seeing that Roberts could probably no longer handle a huge CF — he was actually a positive 2002-03 in center — the Padres moved him into LF where he did quite well. But, for some reason the Giants thought that maybe Roberts could still play CF — despite his poor ’05 and being 2-years older — and signed him in the offseason heading into 2007. It’s still a move I don’t understand. Roberts was predictably stretched in CF in ’07, doing even worse than he did in 2005. The sharp decline in his overall value line — OPD — isn’t pretty. Of course, injuries haven’t helped Roberts, but he’s never had a stellar track record of health before in his career. To expect him to play an acceptable CF while maintaining good health is like expecting to win the lottery on your first try. It’s probably not going to happen.
You’ll notice that Bengie’s bUZR line doesn’t change in his player graph. That’s because I’m calling an average defender — 0 runs — and what you’re seeing is his +12.5 run positional adjustment for playing catcher. I suspect that Molina might be a few ticks below average defensively but there’s really no solid defensive data on catchers out there — if there is and I’m missing it, fill me in the comments section — so I’m sticking Molina at average. What you can see is that Molina has made himself into a decent little hitter. He was pretty terrible with the bat in ’02 but since then, he’s done much better. What concerns me the most about Molina is his age — though, he has proved me wrong before — and that once he crosses that line, he’s going to decline quite sharply. In his last two seasons — 32 and 33-years-old — Molina has played more behind the plate than ever. He’s fielded more than 1,000 innings a piece over the last two seasons. Like most catchers at his age — and with a large amount of weight — once Molina starts to decline, it won’t be pretty. Probably a good reason to keep Sandoval ready to go as a catcher.
I was surprised to see Aurilia’s defense rate pretty well from 2002-04. In those years he was still primarily a shortstop and a good one according to bUZR. You’ll notice his defense has trended down the past few years and it’s partly to blame on the positions he’s playing now. Over the past two years Aurilia has mostly played 3B and 1B, which are going to give him a harsher positional adjustment — especially first base — than shortstop. Aurilia should be very thankful for his 2005-06 seasons in Cincinatti because they probably saved his career. Check out his wRAA700 score from 2002-04 and then from 2005-06. It’s like day and night. Aurilia struggled pretty badly in 2007 but bounched back a little last season. I don’t want him on the team moving forward but he wouldn’t be a bad option for a team needing a bench bat / occasional starter.
Comment Starter: Thoughts? Are these graphs helpful to you?