Comments on: More on catchers This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Andy Fri, 12 Dec 2008 15:59:00 +0000 I didn't include pitchers because their numbers were so low compared to the rest--around 10 ranging down to less than zero. Definitely they really balance things out.

Of course, if I plotted only the American League, there should be much closer balance around 100 since the pitchers rarely hit.

By: JohnnyTwisto Fri, 12 Dec 2008 15:55:47 +0000 Good observation on the pitchers. I'm pretty sure pitchers' hitting is removed when B-R calculates OPS+ for individual players, but it appears you are correct that it is left in for the purpose of the positional splits. It would be interesting to see pitchers added to the above charts. I believe their hitting has been on a steady decline since the beginning of professional baseball.

There really aren't (and haven't been) that many regular DHs. It tends to be a spot that players are rotated through, for a rest or because they have a minor injury. I think you're right that most players who are really good hitters are athletic enough to play a position.

I was looking at center fielders a while ago. Throughout baseball history, there had always been at least one Hall of Fame CF active, and usually a few. But there were none active between the retirement of Willie Mays and the debut of Kirby Puckett (10 years), and the only guy since Puckett who seems likely to be elected is Ken Griffey. A preponderance of the very best players in history have been CF. I'm really not sure why that no longer seems to be the case. Maybe some of those players are staying at SS now? But the drop in CF hitting began well before the rise in SS hitting. If major league teams are accepting less offense from CF now, should HOF voters take that into consideration when assessing the merits of someone like Dale Murphy or Bernie Williams?

By: whiz Fri, 12 Dec 2008 01:29:45 +0000 Very interesting plots.

The rise of the good-hitting SS is not surprising. The fall of CF may indicate that fielding is being emphasized more there, or just that there are not as many all-round athletes (Mays, Mantle type) playing the position.
Corner outfielders are high, as expected, and more or less indistinguishable over the long run.

I'm a little surprised that DH is not higher, as they only need to hit. I guess a lot of the good hitters are still good enough in the field and don't need to be "hidden" in the DH spot.

There seem to be more positions above 100 than below. Since OPS+ is measured relative to league average, I guess that pitchers' batting stats are included in the league average OBP and SLG that is used in calculating OPS+, so that if pitchers were included it would average out to 100.

By: Andy Thu, 11 Dec 2008 20:10:47 +0000 It was done manually but took only 15 minutes or so.

By: JohnnyTwisto Thu, 11 Dec 2008 20:06:52 +0000 Very interesting to see this all visually represented.

And unless there's a way to do this that I can't think of, this must have taken a long, long time to collect all the data. Thanks.

There's a lot of interesting stuff to think about here...