Comments on: Hitting as a DH vs hitting as a first baseman This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: vonhayes Wed, 31 Oct 2007 15:52:04 +0000 Yeah, I think you'd have to do a relative OPS for each plyaer, provided that you can find a way to pull all of the seasons where a player had at least 40-50 games at both DH and 1B

By: Andy Sat, 27 Oct 2007 14:36:08 +0000 I agree that OPS+ would be useful, but unfortunately I don't think split OPS+ data is available, unless by years. So in other words, we could manually compared one player's OPS+ numbers in years where he primarily DHed vs the OPS+ numbers in years where he primarily played the field, but the actual split data isn't available. (I think because you can't break OPS+ up by games...for example if a guy played 75 games at 1B and 75 games at DH in a year, how would you know which data to use to normalize his OPS? There IS only yearly data, not day-by-day data. So, as an approximation, a guy's OPS+ could by split by position only insomuch as it conveniently splits by years.)

Let's look at Frank Thomas. He played almost exclusively 1B in 1992, 1993 and 1996. He played almost exclusively DH in 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2007.

His OPS+ in 1992, 1993, and 1996 were 174, 177, and 178. (wow, pretty consistent.) His OPS+ in 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2007 were 125, 118, 140, and 125.

So you could make an argument that he played a lot better in the field. BUT, all of the DH seasons came later in his career when he was both older and had suffered certain (perhaps fully-healed) injuries. It's also true that his huge years in 1992 and 1993 came before the really big offensive explosion--he was ahead of the curve so to speak.

So I'm not sure a lot can really be determined that way.

You're right that looking at BA/OBP/SLG data from individual years where a guy played both might be a good way to go.

By: kingturtle Sat, 27 Oct 2007 14:01:22 +0000 Wow. That was quick. And a very interesting way to go about it.

You know, just that full list of 33 DHs is very interesting all by itself. A variety of strategies using the DH have been tried through the past 30 years or so. Platooning DHs, full-time DHs, old-age DHS, etc. The DH is definitely a power-hitter's position, and not used as much for speed or contact hitting. It is fascinating to see Gene Larkin and Craig Kusick. There's a story in there somewhere!

To deal with league fluctuations and dwindling careers, it might be interesting to expand the study into single-season OPS+, comparing 1B and DH, with at least 45 games at each in a season.