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Article: Ranking the AL Central Hitters

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:16 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...Central-Hitters

#2 sorney

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:51 AM

Pretty spot on, although ranking Hicks that high coming out of the gate seems a touch optimistic. (which is probably a good thing, since this team is gonna suck :) )

#3 Thrylos

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:18 AM

Interesting when the whole is better than the sum of its parts (and this is true about the 2012 Twins...) Here are the 2012 AL Central team rankings based on position player aggregate WAR. I have it broken down by offensive WAR (hitters) and defensive WAR (fielders). Clearly the Twins were the cream of the crop (by far) as far as position players went last season in the division. If you discount fielding, their bats were second best to the Indians and they do rank much higher than you have them here, and since there were not many changes from 2012, I still see them being on the top of the division as far as position players go...

Twins oWAR 19.7 dWAR 2.6 WAR 22.1
White Sox oWAR 16.6 dWAR -0.7 WAR 16.0
Royals oWAR 15.5 dWAR 0.3 WAR 15.1
Indians oWAR 20.4 dWAR -5.2 WAR 15.0
Tigers oWAR 19.2 dWAR -4.8 WAR 14.6

(B-R not fangraphs or BP data)
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#4 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:42 AM

I agree with most of the rankings, but I don't know how you come up with Morneau ahead of Konerko?
Konerko has doubled up on Morneau in WAR over the last 3 years, and Bill James is projecting Konerko to OPS about 55 points higher than Morneau this year.
Konerko is also a model of consistency and durability.

#5 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:49 AM

I agree with most of the rankings, but I don't know how you come up with Morneau ahead of Konerko?
Konerko has doubled up on Morneau in WAR over the last 3 years, and Bill James is projecting Konerko to OPS about 55 points higher than Morneau this year.
Konerko is also a model of consistency and durability.


It's not an unreasonable prediction. Morneau is 32. Konerko is 37. Morneau showed significant improvement in the second half of 2012 after a lengthy injury. Konerko was playing at full strength.

I could make an argument for either player and not think I was wrong.

Really, you could add Swisher in there as well. All three have the chance to post nearly identical numbers in 2013.

#6 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:56 AM

It's not an unreasonable prediction. Morneau is 32. Konerko is 37. Morneau showed significant improvement in the second half of 2012 after a lengthy injury. Konerko was playing at full strength.

I could make an argument for either player and not think I was wrong.


Sure, but I'm just asking how he's coming up with these rankings, as in, what is his formula?
Because if you are ranking Justin ahead of Konerko, it can only be based on gut instinct, or faith, or something like that. You wont find any statistical projection or algorithm that puts Justin ahead of Konerko.
And if that is the case, that is fine too, but then that changes these rankings should be viewed, IMO.

And also, I'm not so sure I'm convinced that Justin showed as much "improvement" in the 2nd half, as people think he did.
He OPS'd 40 points higher in the 2nd half sure, but his SLG actually was the same (actually went down a point), and in fact his isolated power went DOWN an alarming 44 points. Its his AVG that went up, which was buoyed by a 51 point spike in babip. His 2nd half babip was 21 points higher than his career norm.
So, if I had to look at it objectively, I'd say he improved a little in the second half, but not nearly as much as a brief glance at his overall line would suggest.

Edited by Mr. Brooks, 28 March 2013 - 07:02 AM.


#7 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:03 AM

Sure, but I'm just asking how he's coming up with these rankings, as in, what is his formula?
Because if you are ranking Justin ahead of Konerko, it can only be based on gut instinct, or faith, or something like that. You wont find any statistical projection or algorithm that puts Justin ahead of Konerko.
And if that is the case, that is fine too, but then that changes these rankings should be viewed, IMO.


A certain amount of "gut" needs to go into any good ranking system.

Numbers won't tell you that Justin was dealing with a brain injury for the past 2 1/2 seasons. They won't tell you that he had his first healthy offseason since 2009/2010 this winter. They won't tell you that he feels completely healthy for the first time in years. Numbers are great but they don't tell you much about the larger, sweeping issues a player may (or may not) be dealing with that go outside the box scores.

None of those things mean that Morneau is going to be better than Konerko or Swisher in 2013. But once you factor those things into the equation, it certainly makes the argument a reasonable one.

#8 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:05 AM

A certain amount of "gut" needs to go into any good ranking system.

Numbers won't tell you that Justin was dealing with a brain injury for the past 2 1/2 seasons. They won't tell you that he had his first healthy offseason since 2009/2010 this winter. They won't tell you that he feels completely healthy for the first time in years. Numbers are great but they don't tell you much about the larger, sweeping issues a player may (or may not) be dealing with that go outside the box scores.

None of those things mean that Morneau is going to be better than Konerko or Swisher in 2013. But once you factor those things into the equation, it certainly makes the argument a reasonable one.


See my added 2nd paragraph.

#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:11 AM

See my added 2nd paragraph.


His second half was dragged down badly by September. In July and August, he OPSed at .850, followed by a .660 OPS in September. Not terribly surprising for a guy who hasn't played a full baseball season in three years.

#10 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:15 AM

His second half was dragged down badly by September. In July and August, he OPSed at .850, followed by a .660 OPS in September. Not terribly surprising for a guy who hasn't played a full baseball season in three years.


His babip was also 43 points above his career norm in July, and 35 points above his career norm in August.
His line drive% actually went down, and his GB% went up (which is not good for a slugger) so he hit more ground balls, but an unusually high amount of them found their way through.
I'm not saying he wasnt better in July and August, but I think a closer look at the numbers shows they probably werent the monster months that an initial glance may suggest they were.

#11 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:18 AM

His babip was also 43 points above his career norm in July, and 35 points above his career norm in August.
His line drive% actually went down, and his GB% went up (which is not good for a slugger) so he hit more ground balls, but an unusually high amount of them found their way through.
I'm not saying he wasnt better in July and August, but I think a closer look at the numbers shows they probably werent the monster months that an initial glance may suggest they were.


Oh, I'm not saying they were monster months. In fact, I've said many times that people are overblowing his second half numbers.

But they were better, which lends weight to an expected improvement. And maybe even more importantly, he looked better. Not very sabr-ly of me to say but his second half ABs looked a lot better, particularly against lefties.

#12 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:23 AM

Oh, I'm not saying they were monster months. In fact, I've said many times that people are overblowing his second half numbers.

But they were better, which lends weight to an expected improvement. And maybe even more importantly, he looked better. Not very sabr-ly of me to say but his second half ABs looked a lot better, particularly against lefties.


Fair enough.

#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:29 AM

Sure, but I'm just asking how he's coming up with these rankings, as in, what is his formula?


Formula = Didn't look at anything, just picked an order based on any information in my head at the time the prediction was made. It's just a fun list, why would I want to bring math into it. It's just predictions. You can use some math, and I'll take my educated guesses, and at the end of the year, we'll both have some right and both have some wrong. Just a list for discussion.

#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:29 AM

Fair enough.


I think it's unfair for people to expect a .900 OPS season from Justin. It's not out of the realm of possibility but it is extremely unlikely. For me, the make or break number is .800. If he can get to that point, I'll be satisfied... Anything over that would be fantastic.

And given his performance after the wrist injury last season, I think that number is pretty reasonable to expect from him (and is only .030 higher than 2012).

Of course, he could also go completely bonkers and post a .950 season. Or he could hurt his wrist in the middle of April and post a .700 season. Anything is possible with the guy.

#15 Beemo

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:01 AM

The only one that really stands out to me is right field. You must be expecting bad things from Parmelee if you have him being worse than Francoeur.

#16 messed up

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:31 AM

I'd rate Getz over Dozier and Konerko at #2

#17 big dog

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:01 AM

The most likely thing to me, a Twins fan stuck in Chicago, is that Konerko falls apart physically. He's really been a horse and gutted a lot of things out, but I think his decline will be steep and quick. Ignoring age I'd probably put him second on the list as well, but that's an awfully big thing to ignore at 37. I think Torii's window is closing pretty quickly as well, but he may be able to hang in there a while. I hope Parmalee ends up being the class of the bunch, at least offensively, and it seems at least plausible. It will depend in part on which version of Rios shows up this year.

#18 powrwrap

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:05 AM

Konerko should be #2 at 1B. Morneau #3.
Keppinger (.325/.367/.439) is better than Chisenhall (.268/.311/.430).
Willingham (OPS .890, 35 HR) is better than Gordon (OPS .822, 14 HR).
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#19 Badsmerf

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:15 AM

I might rank Plouffe above Moustakas and Parmelee 3rd above both Stubbs and Francoer. Other than those 2 I think you're right on. With those two, that would put the Twins 2nd in offense in the division, which is what I think they will be.
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#20 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:19 AM

So, take the gloves off. Who are the top five, regardless of position? One guess:


1. Mauer
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Fielder
4. Konerko
5. Butler
6. Willinghammer (Remember, no gloves. His Silver Slugger puts him ahead of Alex Gordon on my list of top left fielders with a bat in their hands.)
7. Hunter
8. V. Martinez
9. Swisher
10. Gordon/Morneau tie

#21 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:21 AM

So, take the gloves off. Who are the top ten, regardless of position? One guess:


1. Mauer
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Fielder
4. Konerko
5. Butler
6. Willinghammer (Remember, no gloves. His Silver Slugger puts him ahead of Alex Gordon on my list of top left fielders with a bat in their hands.)
7. Hunter
8. V. Martinez
9. Swisher
10. Gordon/Morneau tie

#22 ThePuck

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:23 AM

So, take the gloves off. Who are the top five, regardless of position? One guess:


1. Mauer
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Fielder
4. Konerko
5. Butler
6. Willinghammer (Remember, no gloves. His Silver Slugger puts him ahead of Alex Gordon on my list of top left fielders with a bat in their hands.)
7. Hunter
8. V. Martinez
9. Swisher
10. Gordon/Morneau tie


I'm a big Mauer fan, but he's not a better hitter than Cabrera. Additionally, VMart is higher on that list as well. On this list, VMart should probably be 4th.

#23 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:26 AM

Yeah, Cabrera has to go above Mauer.

#24 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:36 AM

Konerko should be #2 at 1B. Morneau #3.
Keppinger (.325/.367/.439) is better than Chisenhall (.268/.311/.430).
Willingham (OPS .890, 35 HR) is better than Gordon (OPS .822, 14 HR).


Defense and baserunning matter too.
Gordon has been worth 12.4 WAR the last 2 years, and was worth 5.7 WAR last year.
Willingham has been worth 5.4 WAR the last 2 years, and was worth 3.6 WAR last year.

#25 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:36 AM

Martinez is a wait-and-see, depending upon how he comes off that ACL injury. That's why I have him so low. You're probably right on Cabrera, now that I look at his #'s over the past three years, compared to Mauer. Good points, Puck.

#26 ThePuck

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:37 AM

Martinez is a wait-and-see, depending upon how he comes off that ACL injury. That's why I have him so low. You're probably right on Cabrera, now that I look at his #'s over the past three years, compared to Mauer. Good points, Puck.



Thanks.

#27 ThePuck

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:38 AM

Defense and baserunning matter too.
Gordon has been worth 12.4 WAR the last 2 years, and was worth 5.7 WAR last year.
Willingham has been worth 5.4 WAR the last 2 years, and was worth 3.6 WAR last year.


yeah, but we're talking hitters...not ranking best overall offensive players...certainly not ranking defense.

#28 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:39 AM

So, take the gloves off. Who are the top five, regardless of position? One guess:


1. Mauer
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Fielder
4. Konerko
5. Butler
6. Willinghammer (Remember, no gloves. His Silver Slugger puts him ahead of Alex Gordon on my list of top left fielders with a bat in their hands.)
7. Hunter
8. V. Martinez
9. Swisher
10. Gordon/Morneau tie


If we are only going by pure hitting (no position, no glove), I don't see how you can have Mauer ahead of Miggy.
Miggy has a career OPS nearly 100 points higher than Joe.

#29 fairweather

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:39 AM

Take the gloves off
1)Cabrera 2)Fielder 3)Butler 4)Willingham 5)Martinez 6)Dunn 7)Gordon 8)Morneau 9)Swisher 10)Jackson

#30 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:43 AM

yeah, but we're talking hitters...not ranking best overall offensive players...certainly not ranking defense.


Ah, Gotcha.
I thought Seth was ranking the position players, didnt notice that he is in fact ranking "hitters".