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(Sports Illustrated)   Kansas City Royals lose 11 in a row; move up 4 spots in this weeks MLB Power Rankings   (sportsillustrated.cnn.com) divider line 77
    More: Fail, power rankings, Kansas City Royals, American League, Texas, the dozens, Texas Rangers, Major League Baseball, standings  
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1737 clicks; posted to Sports » on 24 Apr 2012 at 12:49 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-24 09:30:15 AM
This year is going to be different! 0.500 baby! Yeah!

/shoots self in head
 
2012-04-24 09:47:40 AM
The Kansas City rotation remains: Bruce Chen, Danny Duffy, Luke Hochevar, Luis Mendoza, Jonathan Sanchez.

Until this situation changes, the fact that their lineup looks decent does not make them the 7th best team in baseball.

"You will probably notice that these Power Rankings don't look like most other Power Rankings you'll see around the web, as our system is based not on the current standings or a gut feeling about team quality, but on how well they've performed at the underlying traits that predict future performance better than wins and losses."

That's a valuable thing to look at... but not if you only consider 2012. They're trying to use a weird definition of "Power Rankings" where we only look at how the team has performed over the first ~10% of the season, and ignore the fact that, I don't know, Nate Schierholtz is just a little unlikely to hit .372/.404/.744 for the season, and Ross Detwiler probably isn't Bob Gibson.
 
2012-04-24 10:04:25 AM

Mentat: This year is going to be different! 0.500 baby! Yeah!

/shoots self in head


Hey, the stadium looks good though. There's solar panels now!!

/shoots self in head
 
2012-04-24 10:15:02 AM
Mike Moustakas is hitting pretty well and is on both of my fantasy teams. So...you know...there's that.
 
2012-04-24 10:17:09 AM
Definitive power rankings based on wins above replacement? That's...actually pretty smart.

I'm OK with this.
 
2012-04-24 10:29:26 AM

FreakinB: Mike Moustakas is hitting pretty well and is on both of my fantasy teams. So...you know...there's that.


I just looked at the stats. Alex Gordon has struck out 20 times already, and they have 3 guys that have already have double digit strike outs and none of them are Jeff Francoeur. This thing may get real ugly.
 
2012-04-24 10:42:16 AM
WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin
 
2012-04-24 10:47:32 AM

Dead for Tax Reasons: WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin


Say it agi'n, y'all
 
2012-04-24 11:05:00 AM
Well, this thread should be fun
 
2012-04-24 11:10:17 AM

mitchcumstein1: I just looked at the stats. Alex Gordon has struck out 20 times already


He's seeing the ball fine-- the power's there, he also has 9 walks, and he's always struck out a fair bit.

He's just been unlucky-- despite a higher-than-normal line-drive rate, balls aren't dropping for hits. It happens, especially over a stretch of three weeks. I wouldn't worry about him yet.

mitchcumstein1: they have 3 guys that have already have double digit strike outs and none of them are Jeff Francoeur. This thing may get real ugly.


The same thing is true of the Rangers. The Yankees have four. The Cardinals have five. Cleveland has five. The Braves have four. The Blue Jays have five. The Red Sox have three. You know what these teams in common? They're the highest-scoring teams in baseball. Strikeout rates aren't a good measure of offensive talent.

Meanwhile the Royals are ... 28th in baseball in striking out. The team that strikes out the least is the Giants, and I wouldn't suggest trying to copy their formula for offense.

If you're worried about the Royals, it should be because they give away too many outs. They don't walk much (22nd in BB). They're stupid on the basepaths (10 SB vs. 8 CS). They're 24th in defense, in terms of turning batted balls into outs, which is going to magnify their pitching woes.

Lots of reasons to worry. Not striking out at a dead-ball rate is not one of them.
 
2012-04-24 11:41:18 AM

chimp_ninja: The team that strikes out the least is the Giants, and I wouldn't suggest trying to copy their formula for offense.


They've got that part right though. I worry a bit about drafting Posey since they have no real incentive to pitch to him. Iannetta has proven a good backup/utility man though.
 
2012-04-24 11:46:14 AM

chimp_ninja: He's seeing the ball fine-- the power's there, he also has 9 walks, and he's always struck out a fair bit.

He's just been unlucky-- despite a higher-than-normal line-drive rate, balls aren't dropping for hits. It happens, especially over a stretch of three weeks. I wouldn't worry about him yet.


I always worry about him, there's a lot more evidence of him being mediocre than good.

chimp_ninja: Strikeout rates aren't a good measure of offensive talent.


No, I think the strike outs, and all the other wonderful stats you have, point to shiatty coaching, frankly. The 10 game losing streaks also point to that too, I think.

Lots of reasons to worry. Not striking out at a dead-ball rate is not one of them.

No, I would say that the fact that I could be their 4th starter is a much larger issue.
 
2012-04-24 11:52:53 AM

mitchcumstein1: No, I would say that the fact that I could be their 4th starter is a much larger issue.


And yet the Twins starters have an ERA 2 runs higher. The Senators rotation is farking scary though. It's like the Phillies last year, yet nobody is talking about their potential.
 
2012-04-24 11:56:30 AM

GAT_00: And yet the Twins starters have an ERA 2 runs higher.


Check back in a couple months.
 
2012-04-24 12:37:22 PM

mitchcumstein1: No, I think the strike outs, and all the other wonderful stats you have, point to shiatty coaching, frankly. The 10 game losing streaks also point to that too, I think.


Do you really believe coaching is that big of a factor in baseball? Joe Torre didn't do squat as a manager with the Cardinals back when the team didn't spend any money, and then he goes to the Yankees and wins 4 world series. Did he all of a sudden become smarter? Or did he have better players?
 
2012-04-24 12:57:22 PM

Dead for Tax Reasons: WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin


Say it again, naw

Those rankings are just awful. I know its more of a mathematical approach, but sometimes you have to remember the players aren't drones in a sim.
 
2012-04-24 01:14:46 PM
WAR! good god y'all! What is it good for?
ABSOLUTELY NUTHIN!
 
2012-04-24 01:16:05 PM
The Tigers at 14? Hogwash.
 
2012-04-24 01:16:50 PM
So, the Jays go in to KC and sweep the hapless Royals in a 4 game series. The Royals are #7 in the ranking and the Jays are #20. Makes perfect sense.
 
2012-04-24 01:16:51 PM
White Sox fan here. 22 last week, 8 this week? What are you smoking. The White Sox will be a .500 team at best.

One fluke perfect game doesn't make a team.
 
2012-04-24 01:16:57 PM

chimp_ninja: The Kansas City rotation remains: Bruce Chen, Danny Duffy, Luke Hochevar, Luis Mendoza, Jonathan Sanchez.


Chen is pretty under-rated. I don't mean he should be an ace; but the guy is a legit pitcher.
 
2012-04-24 01:18:07 PM

R Kelly's Doo Doo Butter: The Tigers at 14? Hogwash.


Exactly. Tied with the White Sox for first. Sox are 8, Tigers are 14? Come on. I've been known to be irrational about my White Sox... but the Tigers are better. The end.
 
2012-04-24 01:20:04 PM
FTFA:


San Diego Padres
WAR Winning Percentage: .386; Current Winning Percentage: .294; WAR Wins: 7; Current Wins: 5


Milwaukee Brewers
WAR Winning Percentage: .382; Current Winning Percentage: .438; WAR Wins: 6; Current Wins: 7


Can someone who understands the advanced stats better than I do, explain why the Padres are ranked above the Brewers based on these numbers?
 
2012-04-24 01:20:55 PM
WAR is an ok stat, but not useful to compare entire freaking teams. The author of this article needs a swirly.
 
2012-04-24 01:21:28 PM
But their offensive line of .254/.316/.408 is pretty close to league average and their pitching hasn't been disastrous


So, their offense will probably pick up over the next month, but I don't see how their pitching overall can do anything beyond "not be totally disastrous" for the entire season.

I thought the Royals would be a sexy pick by taking the over on their 76.5 win total projection, but a .500 team this year I think is their ceiling.
 
2012-04-24 01:22:01 PM

chimp_ninja: The Kansas City rotation remains: Bruce Chen, Danny Duffy, Luke Hochevar, Luis Mendoza, Jonathan Sanchez.

Until this situation changes, the fact that their lineup looks decent does not make them the 7th best team in baseball.

"You will probably notice that these Power Rankings don't look like most other Power Rankings you'll see around the web, as our system is based not on the current standings or a gut feeling about team quality, but on how well they've performed at the underlying traits that predict future performance better than wins and losses."

That's a valuable thing to look at... but not if you only consider 2012. They're trying to use a weird definition of "Power Rankings" where we only look at how the team has performed over the first ~10% of the season, and ignore the fact that, I don't know, Nate Schierholtz is just a little unlikely to hit .372/.404/.744 for the season, and Ross Detwiler probably isn't Bob Gibson.


what happened to Bannister?
 
2012-04-24 01:23:54 PM

GAT_00: Definitive power rankings based on wins above replacement? That's...actually pretty smart.

I'm OK with this.


I'm not. WAR works for individual players, teams not so much. Case in point: the Royals - off to one of the worst starts in their history (and that's saying something) are ranked 7th. Do you think that makes sense?
 
2012-04-24 01:27:01 PM

roc6783: Can someone who understands the advanced stats better than I do, explain why the Padres are ranked above the Brewers based on these numbers?


Because Ryan Braun is a cheating cheater
 
2012-04-24 01:28:02 PM
Pirates have a better record than seven other teams, still ranked last.

/ sounds about right though
 
2012-04-24 01:28:03 PM
Yet they have a slumping Brewers squad in 25th- Fark you statasses.
 
2012-04-24 01:30:05 PM

gunsmack: Pirates have a better record than seven other teams, still ranked last.


Give it a few weeks...
 
2012-04-24 01:31:34 PM

roc6783: FTFA:


San Diego Padres
WAR Winning Percentage: .386; Current Winning Percentage: .294; WAR Wins: 7; Current Wins: 5


Milwaukee Brewers
WAR Winning Percentage: .382; Current Winning Percentage: .438; WAR Wins: 6; Current Wins: 7

Can someone who understands the advanced stats better than I do, explain why the Padres are ranked above the Brewers based on these numbers?


See GATT's post above. I believe that seven is larger than six.
 
2012-04-24 01:31:37 PM
kc is the absolute last place team in the league. not only did they go up four spots, it was to number seven. seven. this is how you can tell that they're just trolling...
 
2012-04-24 01:32:16 PM

roc6783: Can someone who understands the advanced stats better than I do, explain why the Padres are ranked above the Brewers based on these numbers?


Because these aren't standings. The Padres has a higher WAR, suggesting they are the better team. They've been unlucky so far, but if these WAR values stay the way they are, the smart money would be on the Padres to have a better record at the end of the year.

There are a few problems with the above theory (as chimp_ninja points out), but that's the thinking.
 
2012-04-24 01:32:45 PM

scandalrag: See GATT's post above. I believe that seven is larger than six.


Well what kind of math bullsh*t are you trying to bring into this? I haven't done calculus in years.
 
2012-04-24 01:33:43 PM

downstairs: R Kelly's Doo Doo Butter: The Tigers at 14? Hogwash.

Exactly. Tied with the White Sox for first. Sox are 8, Tigers are 14? Come on. I've been known to be irrational about my White Sox... but the Tigers are better. The end.


Not only that, but the Indians and Royals are also ranked ahead off the Tigers. Does anybody really think the Tigers are the 4th-best team in the division?
 
2012-04-24 01:35:32 PM
Orioles are best team in all of Major League Baseball... for teams...in Baltimore...
 
2012-04-24 01:36:34 PM

scandalrag: I believe that seven is larger than six.


If you got out of your mother's basement and actually watched the games, you'd know that 7 is not larger than 6. Or something
 
2012-04-24 01:40:13 PM

NutznGum: GAT_00: Definitive power rankings based on wins above replacement? That's...actually pretty smart.

I'm OK with this.

I'm not. WAR works for individual players, teams not so much. Case in point: the Royals - off to one of the worst starts in their history (and that's saying something) are ranked 7th. Do you think that makes sense?


It works better than anything else I can think of as a definitive tool to measure how good teams are when normal rankings are heavily biased and trended towards short-term trends, not long term.
 
2012-04-24 01:44:29 PM
That list right there is the reason WAR is a stupid stat.

KC, who has 3 WINS, is 7th best in WAR. To all those ESPN douchbags who look at all the new stats versus straight up W-L...fark you.

For years I have seen the hacks at ESPN (Neyer) overvalue guys who pile up numbers and dismiss the word 'clutch' as a fake, unmeasrable stat.

For example, being a Cardinal fan I have watched Matt Holiday put up decent numbers 20 HR, 80 RBI but would never call the guy clutch. He gets alot of those numbers in bunches and in blowouts, yet because his stats look the way they do, his WAR is 5 or higher every year.

WAR is also biased based on a crappy group of players at that posistion. I think it was last year, or the year before, where Victorino had a really high WAR only because the rest of the CF crop in the NL was so shiatty. At one point Colby Rasmus was second in the league in WAR for NL CF and he was hitting 230.
 
2012-04-24 01:46:28 PM

scandalrag: roc6783: FTFA:


San Diego Padres
WAR Winning Percentage: .386; Current Winning Percentage: .294; WAR Wins: 7; Current Wins: 5


Milwaukee Brewers
WAR Winning Percentage: .382; Current Winning Percentage: .438; WAR Wins: 6; Current Wins: 7

Can someone who understands the advanced stats better than I do, explain why the Padres are ranked above the Brewers based on these numbers?

See GATT's post above. I believe that seven is larger than six.


So statistical "wins" count more than real wins, gotcha. Snark at rankings, not you. Thanks, at you.


GAT_00: NutznGum: GAT_00: Definitive power rankings based on wins above replacement? That's...actually pretty smart.

I'm OK with this.

I'm not. WAR works for individual players, teams not so much. Case in point: the Royals - off to one of the worst starts in their history (and that's saying something) are ranked 7th. Do you think that makes sense?

It works better than anything else I can think of as a definitive tool to measure how good teams are when normal rankings are heavily biased and trended towards short-term trends, not long term.


Isn't the whole point of Power Rankings to rank who is doing better in the short run and the season as a whole, rather than a predictor of future success? I get that this Power Ranking is not doing that, but doesn't this Power Ranking totally miss the point then?
 
2012-04-24 01:47:15 PM

GAT_00: NutznGum: GAT_00: Definitive power rankings based on wins above replacement? That's...actually pretty smart.

I'm OK with this.

I'm not. WAR works for individual players, teams not so much. Case in point: the Royals - off to one of the worst starts in their history (and that's saying something) are ranked 7th. Do you think that makes sense?

It works better than anything else I can think of as a definitive tool to measure how good teams are when normal rankings are heavily biased and trended towards short-term trends, not long term.


When the system ranks the worst team in baseball at 7th, its broken.

Meh, its irrelevant anyway. The only rankings that count are the standings, everything else is just fodder for the stats geeks.
 
2012-04-24 01:50:11 PM

bluenote13: dismiss the word 'clutch' as a fake, unmeasrable stat.


You misunderstand: it's not that clutch is unmeasurable; it's that it's unrepeatable. It's not a skill.

roc6783: Isn't the whole point of Power Rankings to rank who is doing better in the short run and the season as a whole, rather than a predictor of future success?


If people could agree on a definition for power rankings, I doubt we'd have so many threads on them.
 
2012-04-24 01:51:04 PM
#3! And we've got math backing it up! lol
 
2012-04-24 02:07:08 PM

roc6783: Isn't the whole point of Power Rankings to rank who is doing better in the short run and the season as a whole, rather than a predictor of future success? I get that this Power Ranking is not doing that, but doesn't this Power Ranking totally miss the point then?


You're right. This is like calling the Sagarin ratings "Power Rankings". Realistically, they should just be eyeball tests. To the eyeball, you look badass. I don't care if you lost 3 in a row because of a few errors and your closer shiat the bed, because you just looked farking good.
 
2012-04-24 02:11:11 PM

machoprogrammer: WAR is an ok stat, but not useful to compare entire freaking teams. The author of this article needs a swirly.


Seriously. They have a team with 12 wins juuuuuust above a team with 3. If the nats ever find a consistent closer, they'd be unstoppable.
 
2012-04-24 02:14:01 PM
i2.cdn.turner.com

We're one spot below WHO?!?!?!?! Who do I have to blow???
 
2012-04-24 02:24:13 PM
If KC is 3-13 with good stats, just getting unlucky, i can't imagine what their record is gonna be when they start really sucking.

Also, Boston's team ERA/ pitching is so bad, I may just switch to being a hometown Nats fan this year. Yes, a Boston fan going all fair weather for this season.
 
2012-04-24 02:25:26 PM

merkey88: machoprogrammer: WAR is an ok stat, but not useful to compare entire freaking teams. The author of this article needs a swirly.

Seriously. They have a team with 12 wins juuuuuust above a team with 3. If the nats ever find a consistent closer, they'd be unstoppable.


Matt Caps is available. What are you offering?
 
2012-04-24 02:26:07 PM
I'm all for the new stats in baseball, taking things like RBI and wins (for pitchers) and making them obsolete is fine with me. That said, these power rankings are an abomination. At no point this year will the Royals be a top ten team.
 
2012-04-24 02:29:42 PM

bhcompy: roc6783: Isn't the whole point of Power Rankings to rank who is doing better in the short run and the season as a whole, rather than a predictor of future success? I get that this Power Ranking is not doing that, but doesn't this Power Ranking totally miss the point then?

You're right. This is like calling the Sagarin ratings "Power Rankings". Realistically, they should just be eyeball tests. To the eyeball, you look badass. I don't care if you lost 3 in a row because of a few errors and your closer shiat the bed, because you just looked farking good.


dondueck.files.wordpress.com

//I honestly cannot tell if you agree with me or you are mocking me.
 
2012-04-24 02:34:09 PM

roc6783: bhcompy: roc6783: Isn't the whole point of Power Rankings to rank who is doing better in the short run and the season as a whole, rather than a predictor of future success? I get that this Power Ranking is not doing that, but doesn't this Power Ranking totally miss the point then?

You're right. This is like calling the Sagarin ratings "Power Rankings". Realistically, they should just be eyeball tests. To the eyeball, you look badass. I don't care if you lost 3 in a row because of a few errors and your closer shiat the bed, because you just looked farking good.

[dondueck.files.wordpress.com image 600x391]

//I honestly cannot tell if you agree with me or you are mocking me.


Well, I'm only as serious as you can be about arbitrary power rankings. I agree they shouldn't be computer formulated, particularly off stats that can be seen as predictors or some such.
 
2012-04-24 02:49:16 PM
a.espncdn.com

Angels will be #1 at the end of the year when it really matters.
 
2012-04-24 02:57:21 PM

Dino Zaffina: [a.espncdn.com image 350x254]

Angels will be #1 at the end of the year when it really matters.


he's gonna start hitting annnnnny day now, huh?

/knows he will
 
2012-04-24 02:59:38 PM
I thought subby was joking. Turns out the joke was on me...

/not sure if a team's WAR works the same as a player's WAR
 
m3h
2012-04-24 03:08:11 PM

Dino Zaffina: [a.espncdn.com image 350x254]

Angels will be #1 at the end of the year when it really matters.


Are you saying they'll be #1 in all of baseball, in the AL, in the division or just in California?

/the way its going, i don't see any of those happening
//good luck, though
///seriously, last is a tough place to be in at the start of the season
////go Rangers!
 
2012-04-24 03:16:20 PM

m3h: Are you saying they'll be #1 in all of baseball, in the AL, in the division or just in California?


In the entire universe!!!! We have El Hombre!!!! He came here to win and because we have the best fans in baseball.
 
2012-04-24 03:31:18 PM

Jim from Saint Paul: merkey88: machoprogrammer: WAR is an ok stat, but not useful to compare entire freaking teams. The author of this article needs a swirly.

Seriously. They have a team with 12 wins juuuuuust above a team with 3. If the nats ever find a consistent closer, they'd be unstoppable.

Matt Caps is available. What are you offering?


Pssst - If he offers more than half a bag of Starburst jelly beans jump on that.
 
2012-04-24 03:53:00 PM
What the Royals would look like trying to fit in the pants of a World Series hopeful:
0.media.sportspickle.cvcdn.com
 
2012-04-24 03:55:59 PM

Dino Zaffina: m3h: Are you saying they'll be #1 in all of baseball, in the AL, in the division or just in California?

In the entire universe!!!! We have El Hombre!!!! He came here to win and because we have the best fans in baseball.


He left the World Series Champions because he wanted to win?
 
2012-04-24 04:39:06 PM

Mentat: This year is going to be different! 0.500 baby! Yeah!

/shoots self in head


Whoever came up with the marketing this year should be shot. I should also be shot for supporting David Glass the cheapass by going to a game.

/shoots self in head
 
2012-04-24 04:44:48 PM

m3h: Dino Zaffina: [a.espncdn.com image 350x254]

Angels will be #1 at the end of the year when it really matters.

Are you saying they'll be #1 in all of baseball, in the AL, in the division or just in California?

/the way its going, i don't see any of those happening
//good luck, though
///seriously, last is a tough place to be in at the start of the season
////go Rangers!


Poor start. Lineup is better than last year, rotation is better than last year, bullpen should be better than last year, and they were an 86 win team last year, not a sub-.500 win team.

They need Trumbo in there more often, they need to trade/cut Abreu because he already started crap in spring training about playing off the bench, and they need Pujols to adjust to hitting at Angel Stadium or drop down in the order. (they could probably benefit by playing Izturis more instead of Aybar or Callaspo given his hotter bat right now and generally consistent presence)

Basically, I would say if the lineup performs halfway decently they should at least be at 90 wins given their pitching. Now now the lineup is producing a shiat-sandwich with their best producer being their catcher.
 
2012-04-24 05:18:53 PM
Kansas City has a very hip, tuned-in, willing-to-spend local sports ownership group.

They just happen to be the owners of the soccer team. Seeing their gear more often than Royals these days.
 
2012-04-24 05:31:49 PM
And the team that just swept the Royals in four games, at Kaufmann, is 13 spots below them? BS.
 
2012-04-24 05:52:58 PM

wxboy: downstairs: R Kelly's Doo Doo Butter: The Tigers at 14? Hogwash.

Exactly. Tied with the White Sox for first. Sox are 8, Tigers are 14? Come on. I've been known to be irrational about my White Sox... but the Tigers are better. The end.

Not only that, but the Indians and Royals are also ranked ahead off the Tigers. Does anybody really think the Tigers are the 4th-best team in the division?


Of course not... They're the 5th best.
 
2012-04-24 06:16:07 PM
imageshack.us
 
2012-04-24 07:23:33 PM

SkittlesAreYum: Jim from Saint Paul: merkey88: machoprogrammer: WAR is an ok stat, but not useful to compare entire freaking teams. The author of this article needs a swirly.

Seriously. They have a team with 12 wins juuuuuust above a team with 3. If the nats ever find a consistent closer, they'd be unstoppable.

Matt Caps is available. What are you offering?

Pssst - If he offers more than half a bag of Starburst jelly beans jump on that.


Dude, you're ruining my trade talks!!!
 
2012-04-24 08:24:46 PM
You will probably notice that these Power Rankings don't look like most other Power Rankings you'll see around the web, as our system is based not on the current standings or a gut feeling about team quality, but on how well they've performed at the underlying traits that predict future performance better than wins and losses.

The problem with this is, it can easily be disproved. Normal power rankings are based on performance over the past week or month or whatever. What this set of rankings seems to be saying is, if they keep playing like this, the Royal will be the 7th best team in baseball (and AL Central Champs) by the end of the year.

Incidentally, the other thing the stat says to me is, the Royals are the biggest group of underperformers in the league, based on disparity between actual winning % and WAR winning %. But I don't think if you polled every single baseball fan in this country, a single (sane) one would reply that the Royals, through 3 weeks, have been the most disappointing team. I expect a pretty sizable number would say the Red Sox or Angels, perhaps the Phils, deserve that distinction.

All that to reiterate what Dead for Tax Reasons said: WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin.
 
2012-04-24 08:41:16 PM

bluenote13: WAR is also biased based on a crappy group of players at that posistion.


WAR doesn't work the way you think. It doesn't compare to the average player. It compares to what any team could find readily available (unsigned free agent, "AAAA", etc. guys), and explicitly doesn't consider the starters who are actually playing in the majors.

I think it was last year, or the year before, where Victorino had a really high WAR only because the rest of the CF crop in the NL was so shiatty. At one point Colby Rasmus was second in the league in WAR for NL CF and he was hitting 230.

Rasmus had a WAR of 1.1 for the entire season last year, so I'm guessing that wasn't it. He was at +3.2 wins in 2010 because he hit .276/.361/.498 while playing CF. That's very solid, even though Rasmus wasn't a good defender.

That's not as good as Carlos Gonzalez was, even accounting for park effects. That's not as good as Andres Torres was, because Torres was a similar bat but a far better defender. But it's in the realm of 2010 Pagan, Young, Bourn, or Byrd, who were all quite good that year. Throw in the seasons from Stubbs, McCutchen, etc., and the NL crop of center fielders was actually pretty strong that year.
 
2012-04-24 08:49:07 PM

chimp_ninja: WAR doesn't work the way you think. It doesn't compare to the average player. It compares to what any team could find readily available (unsigned free agent, "AAAA", etc. guys), and explicitly doesn't consider the starters who are actually playing in the majors.


Well, the defensive components are relative to other defenders at the same position, so there's some swing based on how other guys are playing.

I don't know how you'd avoid that, though.
 
2012-04-24 08:51:35 PM

madden101: The problem with this is, it can easily be disproved. Normal power rankings are based on performance over the past week or month or whatever. What this set of rankings seems to be saying is, if they keep playing like this, the Royal will be the 7th best team in baseball (and AL Central Champs) by the end of the year.


Specifically, it's Fangraphs, so they're looking at:

Hitters: Park-adjusted OBP and SLG, with a baserunning component thrown in. The Royals are slightly above league average here.

Pitchers: FIP, which basically just looks at the rate at which they accumulate strikeouts, walks, and home runs. Batted balls get covered by defense, as pitchers show very little control over their fate. The Royals look pretty average here.

Fielders: UZR. Their defensive system really likes the Royals for some reason. Defense is the least understood of the three, and it shows the widest variance from year to year on individual players, which suggests they haven't nailed true skill well. UZR's outcome is also not consistent with the fact that the Royals, as a team, do not turn batted balls into outs at even a league-average rate. This may be a problem with small sample size-- 16 games doesn't tell you that much.

With all that, I'm still puzzled as to why they rank the Royals so high. It's bad enough they're extrapolating from a small number of games, but the Royals don't look particularly strong over that stretch, even if you ignore the score. I'm guessing it's because they're overrating their defense.
 
2012-04-24 09:10:13 PM

madden101: The problem with this is, it can easily be disproved.


What can easily be disproved? Or, to put it another way, if "it" is so easily disproved, then, please, disprove it.

madden101: But I don't think if you polled every single baseball fan in this country, a single (sane) one would reply that the Royals, through 3 weeks, have been the most disappointing team.


Unless our hypothetical sane fan thinks a .188 Win% and a .000 home Win% are feasible, the Royals better be near the top of their list. But you're still missing something.

The Red Sox have been worse than expectations because a lot of things have gone wrong. Their pitchers are letting up HRs at an astounding rate. The team has allowed hits in general at the highest rate in the league, as well. They're disappointing because of the pre-season expectations, but their record largely matches what they've done on the field.

But it's harder to say why the Royals have been so bad. Well, it's easy if you want to be simplistic: they've allowed a lot more runs than they've scored. But when you start digging into their run scoring & prevention, that's where things get murky.

They've scored the third least runs. Yet their BA & SLG are both above average, and their OBP is just below average, for an overall OPS+ of 99. That's strange. They lead the league in hitting into double plays, but there's no real reason to expect that to continue...and even then, that doesn't really explain that gap.

They've allowed the fourth most amount of runs. Their pitching peripherals aren't great, but they're better than, say, Toronto...yet Toronto has allowed .6 runs a game fewer. If you're smart, you're already pointing to defense, and you're right: Toronto has the best DefEff in the league, while KC is 5th worst. So, maybe that solves the .6 runs per game problem...but I'll spare you the math and say that WAR disagrees.

(And, as a side note, the defensive part of WAR is really, REALLY, REALLY flawed in WAR this early in the season. I'm not saying this WAR based power ranking is the best idea ever.)

All together, unlike the Sox, it's hard to say that the Royals record matches what they do on the field. THAT'S what these rankings are saying.
 
2012-04-24 09:12:07 PM

chimp_ninja: I'm guessing it's because they're overrating their defense.


This is indeed the problem.

Rob Neyer breaks it down.
 
2012-04-24 09:27:57 PM
Braves fan here, but always had a soft spot for KC. Was kind of hoping they would be not as bad this year.
Long season ahead. They can still turn things around.

/but history says no.
 
2012-04-24 10:03:37 PM
I'm wearing my "I Believe" t-shirt right now!

/shoots self in head, body falls in outfield fountain
 
2012-04-25 12:30:39 AM
Make it 12. God damnit.

/shoots self in head
 
2012-04-25 05:55:08 PM
Don't worry the Chief will make it all right.

/shoots self in head
 
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