clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Under/Overrated Position Players, Re-visited

New, 7 comments

You all remember yesterday's post, right? Well, I couldn't just leave it like that - when there are problems with an analysis, I try to take it upon myself to fix them. In this case, the two major issues?

(1) VORP doesn't include defensive performance
(2) I couldn't account for players with a negative VORP

The solution? Finding an all-inclusive stat with a lower limit of zero, such that nobody could be in the red. A few people suggested using WARP3, a Baseball Prospectus metric designed to show many overall wins a guy was worth over a replacement-level player, but because I didn't want to scroll through 145 individual player pages, I decided to use Win Shares instead, made readily available in list form at the Hardball Times. Win Shares include both offensive and defensive performance in arriving at a single final rating. And so, without further ado (and using the same methodology):

Five Most Underrated Position Players:

  1. David DeJesus (9.54 PPR)
  2. Alex(is) Rios (9.00)
  3. Julio Lugo (8.93)
  4. Jhonny Peralta (8.68)
  5. Brady Clark (8.65)
Five Most Overrated Position Players:
  1. Derek Jeter (0.78)
  2. Aaron Boone (1.01)
  3. Ichiro (1.07)
  4. Bernie Williams (1.29)
  5. Jason Giambi (1.35)
Note that the sixth-most overrated player is Alex Rodriguez, weight in at 1.40. Four of the six most overrated players in baseball are Yankees. That's not a coincidence.

Instead of arriving at an end, I found myself at a new beginning. Forget all that "underrated/overrated" mumbo-jumbo - which players are finding their way into a bunch of articles despite performing poorly? Which players aren't finding their way into a bunch of articles despite performing well?

Think about it like this: if you have some really awesome player, like, say, Albert Pujols, it stands to reason that people will write about him pretty often. If you have some really crappy player, though, the same shouldn't be true (unless he's, like, historically terrible). So I wanted to find out who's flying under the radar, and who's getting way too much attention despite not really being all that great.

You think I'm done? Not quite. I wanted to break it up further, dividing the mainstream media and alternative media into different groups. To gauge mainstream media attention, I altered my search query to include ESPN (so, for example, where yesterday it would've been "Derek Jeter" baseball, today it's "Derek Jeter" baseball ESPN). To gauge alternative media attention, I did a player name search on the Baseball Prospectus website (limiting results to only those published in 2005). Are casual fans and statheads wasting their breath on the same players? Let's find out.

Top Five Position Players Flying Under the Radar of the Mainstream Media:

  1. Emil Brown
  2. Jhonny Peralta
  3. Craig Monroe
  4. Gregg Zaun
  5. David DeJesus
Top Five Position Players Flying Under the Radar of the Alternative Media:
  1. Craig Monroe
  2. Raul Ibanez
  3. Mark Grudzielanek
  4. Craig Counsell
  5. Geoff Jenkins
And, on the other side of the discussion:

Top Five Finalists for the First Annual 'Scott Podsednik Award' for Position Players Who Get Way More Attention Than They Deserve, Mainstream Media:

  1. Aaron Boone
  2. Nick Swisher
  3. Derek Jeter
  4. Carlos Beltran
  5. Ichiro
Top Five Finalists for the First Annual 'Scott Podsednik Award' for Position Players Who Get Way More Attention Than They Deserve, Alternative Media:
  1. David Bell
  2. Aaron Boone
  3. Justin Morneau
  4. Carlos Beltran
  5. Scott Podsednik
So, there you go.

(I have to say, that's probably the most fun I've had with a spreadsheet in ages.)