Comments on: Why Mark Reynolds is not the next Mike Schmidt This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Anon Tue, 24 Aug 2010 02:11:38 +0000 @ Jesse #11 - much like the pooh-poohing of Reynolds's power numbers this year, his walk rate is far from "ordinary to mediocre". He currently ranks 7th in the league in walks and 7th in the league in BB/PA. He actually has a very good eye but this post is comparing him to one of the best hitters of all-time.

Reynolds is actually experiencing a mammoth dip in his BABIP this year and that is fueling his lowered OPS. HIs ISO and BB/PA are right in line with his career numbers. He's just hitting a few more balls at people this year.

The Schmidt comparisons (likely started here in AZ by the DBacks' TV analysts) need to stop. He's probably not the next Mike Schmidt (you never know but let's be honest here) but he doesn't have to be to be a very good player. His defensive numbers seem to be improving and I suspect his OPS will bounce back. Having an 850-900 OPS 3B who plays average defense is a very valuable player. . . .

By: kds Mon, 23 Aug 2010 17:16:32 +0000 DavidRF and Andy,

The reason Andy had not heard that about Similarity Scores is that it is not true. James first published the method in his 1986 Abstract. David was probably thinking of James' Hall of Fame Monitor and Hall of Fame Standards, both of which assign points to give an estimate of whether or not the player would get into the HoF based on the historical record of admissions. They were presented in his book, "Politics of Glory", reprinted as, "Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?". Which was first published in 1994.

By: Mike Felber Mon, 23 Aug 2010 07:57:30 +0000 18 seasons seems like a decent length even for an HOF player. What is the average # for them? 20+ are a lot, most do not do that.

By: Johnny Twisto Mon, 23 Aug 2010 04:59:38 +0000 Reynolds playing in the 1970s hitting environment and conditions that Schmidt played in is a .220, 25 HR hitter. Nothing more.

Hard to say. The Reynolds of today put into a time machine and dropped back then may not even make the majors, because he strikes out so much. But a Reynolds-type player who is born in 1949 probably develops differently than the Reynolds we know. Maybe he never comes close to the majors because he doesn't have the requisite skills. Or maybe he develops different skills and finds a way to contribute. His current value might be the same as ~25 HR in the mid-70s, but that seems a less interesting question.

By: John Autin Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:55:48 +0000 To Andy re: your reply to #7 ("I'm referring to...his RBI/HR ratio. Seems like he hits his share of homers, but doesn't get too many other run-scoring hits, a sign that he's really not a very good hitter.")

By that measure, Barry Bonds wasn't really a very good hitter in 2001 when he hit 73 HRs with a .328 BA, including .374 with men on base and .382 with RISP -- because he had "just" 137 RBI; he drove in only 29 runs with "other run-scoring hits." Same for Mark McGwire's 70-HR season, when all but 29 of his 147 RBI came on HRs.

Your analysis on this point seems to ignore the fact that, all other things being equal, RBI/HR has a positive correlation to the hitter's BA, but a negative correlation to HRs. Since Reynolds's BA is below average and his HRs are well above average, it stands to reason that his RBI/HR will be below average.

Also, RBI/HR is highly context-driven. A small increase in the league HR rate will cause a proportionally larger decline in RBI/HR.

If you go looking for players with the highest career rate of RBI/HR, you'll find a lot of guys from the low-HR periods, especially pre-1930. Pie Traynor and Joe Sewell both averaged more than 20 RBI per HR; heck, Stuffy McInnis averaged over 50 RBI per HR! But none of them had an OPS+ above 108.

Bottom line: While RBI/HR may be a fun number to play with for numbers geeks such as we, it really isn't a meaningful measure of a hitter's impact.

P.S. If you check the Play Index for seasons comparable to Reynolds's 162-game average, you'll see that his run production is absolutely normal for a guy with his power and average.

By: MikeD Sun, 22 Aug 2010 22:28:36 +0000 Andy @19, in fairness to you, the title of your blog is "Why Mark Reynolds is not the next Mike Schmidt." Yet the very idea sounds as if someone actually believes Reynolds might be the next Schmidt. I've never seen this comparision. It would be like have a blog that says "Why Jacob Ellsbury is not the next Rickey Henderson."

By: Basmati Sun, 22 Aug 2010 12:12:14 +0000 You talk about high HR, high K, low RBI, low BA guys. I'm guessing you're talking about the likes of Dunn, Pena and the new guy would be Bautista? Maybe these are a better comp for Reynolds.

Have a look at Mike Napoli's numbers. He's only logged 473 games even though he's 28 and in his fifth year (largely due to splitting catching duties with Jeff Mathis due to questionable defense at catcher). Napoli is currently .255/.349/.489 with 86 HR, 235 RBI, 186 BB, 430 K. I know Napoli plays a different position but those stats aren't miles away. I think Napoli could have been a guy who played most days on a weaker team, using him at an easier defensive position just to get his bat in the lineup.

By: Andy Sun, 22 Aug 2010 11:07:43 +0000 Lots of responses:

#4: That's fascinating about James' design for sim scores. I had never heard that before.

#7: It's really Reynolds' RBI that I'm referring to, or really his RBI/HR ratio. Seems like he hits his share of homers, but doesn't get too many other run-scoring hits, a sign that he's really not a very good hitter. Otherwise, with 36 HR, he'd be projected for more like 110-115 RBI, not fewer than 100.

#9: I'm not trying to suggest that Reynolds stinks overall. He looks like he could be a slightly above-average run-producer for now. He's just not on the Schmidt trajectory, it would seem, and by age 30 if he declines a little he might not be a major-leaguer anymore either (as has been the case with numerous other high-HR, high-K, low-RBI, low-BA guys...)

#10: My point was not to compare the two guys, it was to show how sets of raw numbers don't mean all that much without context.

#13: Sarcasm? I suspect so.

#14: You're right, except that it's not supposed to be stealthy. This is a weekend "beginners" post, designed to appeal to the more casual fans who stop by the site on the weekends. For the majority of our hardcore blog readers, this post is all plainly-obvious stuff.

#17: How did I insult Schmidt? I DID evaluate his stats by putting them in context and concluded that Reynolds isn't close to Schmidt. (You may not be aware that Schmidt is among my all-time favorite players...believe me when I say that I'm not insulting him.)

By: Michael Poplawski Sun, 22 Aug 2010 09:21:41 +0000 Through Age 26 (Reynolds gets another six weeks, granted), Schmidt had 28 WAR, Reynolds 6, and had already been a top-six MVP candidate twice. They're only superficially similar--the 2000s have seen significantly more offense, making these two players with similar statistics quite different in value.

If you like HR, Schmidt had led the NL in HR three straight years. Reynolds isn't even top 3 in any season.

It's really not close.

By: MikeD Sun, 22 Aug 2010 07:08:30 +0000 Why insult Mike Schmidt with this post?! Schmidt is the greatest 3B'man to play the game. Reynolds is a pretender. Comparing raw stats without placing them in context is a crime and a game that a site the stature of Baseball Reference shouldn't play. There is not a single skill that Reynolds is better at than Schmidt, at bat, in the field, or on base. Reynolds playing in the 1970s hitting environment and conditions that Schmidt played in is a .220, 25 HR hitter. Nothing more.