Today we’ll show the picks produced by this data model for the positions of shortstop, catcher, and the grab bag of outfielders. So let’s start with shortstops. Here are the top ten shortstops in MLB.
Value for SS drops off much faster than for 2B which we showed in Part 1. The current AL leader in fan voting is Correa and NL it’s Zack Cozart. Cozart is ranked #27 with WAR and we have him at #169. Scanning his stats he looks like a Draft Kings team owner pick.
Catcher is the most important defensive position on the field. He’s involved in every pitch. The tables here are a value measure for offense only but that’s all we have. Let’s look at the top ten catchers in MLB.
Edit: This is what happens when software does so much. Craig Kimbrel is a very good pitcher for Boston, not a catcher. Somehow the Cr in his first name Craig triggered the inclusion. Not sure why I didn’t catch this.
NL fan voting has picked Buster Posey so far and AL it’s Salvador Perez, neither are in the above list. The value in the above list drops off quickly. Let’s look at full lines for Perez and Posey.
Posey has an extremely high BA and OBP so his estimated run creation must be high. WAR has him ranked #33. WAR has Perez ranked #147. Catcher is the only defensive position where a sub average WAA is perfectly OK. If a team wants to invest offense in a catcher they should at least know what they’re investing.
And finally, let’s do outfielders. MLB chooses 3 outfielders from a pool so we’ll show the top 20 OF, regardless of their actual position.
The 6 players in bold are OF picks by this data model. The regular colored entries are secondary picks. AL fans picked Judge, Trout, and Springer and NL picked Harper, Blackmon, and Heyward(?????). Zobrist is fourth???? This is the strangest outcome of any position so far. Even Kyle Schwarber is listed at #8. Our #1 pick, Bellinger, isn’t even listed. They have Puig listed higher than him. At least we were 3 for 3 with the AL picks. What is wrong with NL voters?
That is all. We skip DH because we don’t believe in the DH. Pitchers should learn how to hit because it’s part of baseball and part of baseball history. The highest ranking player in the history of baseball, Babe Ruth, was a very good and talented pitcher.