... the 80-80-80 Hitter Nowadays
which suspects fit the description right now? Probably none of 'em

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Where do the contemporary hitters line up on this impossibly-difficult Edgar scale?  80 grade batting average and C the Z ... 80 grade walks and RC/27 ... 80 grade power and RBI.

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Joey Votto is even better than I thought he was.  He has hit .315 / .433 / .540 the last eight years.  How much do you care, though, that he lacks Edgar's consistency?  It is impossible to imagine Prime Edgar slugging .409 in any season, as Votto did in 2014.  And except for 2012, he's more of a .300 hitter from the left side, as opposed to Edgar raking for batting championships while crawling out of the right hand batter's box on all fours.

Votto's great, and his walks are even better than Edgar's, maybe.  You decide whether he passes on the Edgar Scale.  :- )

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Mike Trout (!) is a 70-80-80 hitter, but add 70 speed into the bargain.  Caveats and quid pro quo's, LrKrBoi29.  We ain't talking about the best players here, LOL.  This is a quasi-sabermetric tour of the 80-80-80 hitters lately -- the guys who stepped in, bases loaded tie game, and you were Just. Doomed.

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Chipper Jones had a great run as a 70-80-70 infielder.  I love the 70-80-70 profile, don't you?

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David Ortiz does not hit .300; he is a PLUS hitter, 60 grade, with 80+ walks and 80+ power.  He hit .238 one year, .260-.270 other years, this being in Fenway Park which adds maybe 25 points to AVG.  Maybe he's a better overall player than Edgar even over a 7-year period -- you tell me!, I'm just skimming through here -- and his peak has lasted a LONG time.  He has been a .280/.380/.600 (!) hitter since the year 2003, George W. Bush's first term.  Edgar's real peak lasted 7.5 years, not 14 years.  As Randy Johnson gave the game 2 or 3 Sandy Koufaxes strung together, David Ortiz has given the majors 2 Edgar Martinezes strung together.  Well, y'know.

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That's all I can think of for 80-80-80 candidates who take over an ALCS because you can't get them out.  ;- ) By strict criteria there have been what, Edgar and about 4 others since 1977, when the Mariners were born.  For comparison's sake:

Kyle Seager if you assume 2016 is his new level, makes about --- > 60-65-70 on these scales.  Good batting average, Quite Good walks, Excellent power.  Nice in the infield!

Nelson Cruz - leading the league in homers is by definition "80" power.  We all ooooh and aaaah about his rawhide-tough "hard RBI" to right field in a pinch.  The last two years he has batted .295 in Safeco.  Over the last few years I'm going to be generous and call him a 65-70 HIT tool.  Leaving him at 65-55-80.

You see how hard it is to find an 80-80-80 guy...

Robinson Cano, if you take .310/.360/.525 as his established level of performance, that translates to 75-55-75.

Jean Segura last year :- ) went .319/.368/.499 -- 80-55-70.

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The Mariners ballclub last year hit .259 / .326 / .430, for a 106 OPS+.  The OPS+ is 60 grade, perhaps 65 at the edges, comparing one roster to other rosters.  The AVG / OBP / SLG (thumb on the scale for Safeco) would be 50-60-65, second in the league in home runs, pretty good at C the Z, only fair in terms of base hits.

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Next up, SABRMatt's interesting idea that Edgar is a Rosa Parks symbol for Hall of Fame 'injustice.'  And therefore worth gettin' riled up about.

Enjoy,

Dr D

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Comments

1

His career wasn't as long as some of the Inner Circle HOFers, sure, and that hurts him in this type of conversation/debate.  He absolutely *controlled* his at bats; even in his advanced years it was a rarity to see a pitcher put him down on three pitches, or induce an easy first pitch out.

Glad to see him getting his recognition with the HOF voters.

3

I was reading through a statistics book early on in college and they made an argument that, basically, only Ruth and Bonds exceeded/broke the game in terms of outperforming their contemopraries.

Essentially, the argument went something like, "The greatest players of baseball are, essentially, equal to each other from one era to another.  What has changed isn't the TOP of the talent distribution pool, but rather that the BOTTOM has risen so drastically that it becomes difficult to compare mid-tier and even upper-tier players to each other using apples-to-apples methodology."

Naturally, being a baseball junkie at the time, I dove into the argument and probably gave it more credence than I should have.  BUT! one of the main takeaways, for me, was when the author talked about Ruth and Bonds essentially breaking the baseball bell curve and that they were basically the only players who did so.  Everyone else (and Williams was mentioned specifically, along with Mantle and Gehrig), he argued, was within the curve, if only just.

That's why I have the 'Ruth+Bonds' mantra seared into my skull.  The argument, at the time, was overwhelmingly convincing to me after walking through the steps the author took.  In another book they talked about how Ichiro and his .350 BA would have been  over .400 in the same era as Hornsby due to the lower overall quality of pitching and fielding at that time.

Again, I could be way off-base, and there's *no way* I'm going to be able to show my work on this one.  So feel free to disregard the sentiments expressed by yours truly on the subject ;-)

4

Understood and appreciated.

Williams led the league in hitting 6 times, OBP 12 times, Slugging 9 times, OPS 10 times, OPS+ 9 times, HR and RBI 4times each, and he missed what may have been the three most productive years of his career to serve during WW II and another (near) 2 to fly jets during the Korean War.  His 196 OPS gets close to rivaling Ruth's.

Bonds, btw, led the league in hitting 2x, OBP 10x, Slg. 7x, OPS 9x and OPS+ 9x.  He led it in HR's just twice; once clean, once not. Only 1x in RBI.

Everytime I look at his numbers, I think he may have been the next best hitter ever.  He essentially had streaks (ages 38 to 40 and 27 to 29) where he nearly did clean what Bonds did dirty.  From '41-'49 (missing '42-'44) he was a .360-.500-.660 hitter. Unbelieveable.

5

The counting stats argument, though, does seem to be pretty neatly squared-off-against by the counterargument re: higher overall talent 'floor' making it that much more difficult for a given player to stand out as strikingly as guys like Ruth and Williams did.

Isn't this one of the great points of baseball, though?  We've got the discrete stats, with truly massive sample sizes (especially when compared to other pro sports), and we still disagree about just which player was/wasn't the best, or who belongs in which tier and who *just* missed?

Gotta love that facet of the game.

And yeah, again, Williams was a truly terrifying hitter.  I'd submit to your judgment on this one for a variety of reasons, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to erase the 'Ruth+Bonds' plot point from my consciousness ;-)  A look at Williams' career chart does induce some soft, appreciative whistles though...

6

Ted Williams lost almost 5 seasons of his prime years serving in the Navy in WW2, and in the Marine Corps as a combat fighter pilot in Korea. His counting stats would be far more impressive if he had played those years with the rate stats he put up before and after each term of service. He never OPS'd below 1.000 in a season until he was 40 - and then OPS'd 1.096 in his age 41 (and last) season. He WAS the greatest hitter that ever played. The 19 seasons he did play he AVERAGED .344/.482/.634/1.116 !!! Add 5 seasons at those rates and he has the counting stats of Ruth in every area except pitching.

Ted Williams was a great American who deserves recognition by todays' fans not only for what he did on the ballfield, but also what he willingly gave up to serve his country. 

7

OPS+ of 205 from 41-49 with .359/.505/.657 898 BB/258 K in 4009 PA.  3 missed years in the middle, as mentioned.  His .388/.526/.731 at 38 in 1957 has always been one of my favorite seasons.  233 OPS+.  Almost as good as the 235 OPS+ he put up at 22 with .406/.553/.735

Another one of my favorite season lines had always been Cobbs 1911.  79 XBH (24 3b), 83 SB, 147 R, 127 RBI, 44 BB/43 K .420/.467/.621 at the age of 24.  OPS+was only 196,his 4th highest season, but I think it's his finest all around.   '09-19 he hit .386/.454/.539 an OPS+ of 192 in 6455 PA 650 BB/376 K with 652 SB. '09-'25 he was .378/.448/.531.  That during his 19 straight years with an OBP over .400. He doesn't belong in the hall of HR though, only 117 in his career.  The record .366 career BA is insane too.  I've got Cobb above most of the inner circle, personally.  He's my kind of player though.

Williams and Ruth makes more sense to me as a pair, Cobb belongs with them though.  Of course they're all LH.  Bonds was great but wasn't very close to the inner circle, IMO,before PEDs.  First ballot probably though. He got that .300/.500/.800 season out of it after never clearing the .500 or .700 before.

8

BHQ released its take on the Mariners farm system today.

They have an interesting rating system: one number and one letter.  The number relates to upside skills--if everything goes right.  The letter relates to how long the player is seen as away from the majors.

Focusing on the number, 7 is an average MLB contributor...8 is a chance to be above average...and 9--look out--sky's the limit.

One proviso: this is a fantasy website, so defense is not accounted for--other than helping or hindering advancement.  It's just looking at fantasy production.

Mariners have two "9's": Lewis (no surprise), and...wait for it...Bryan Hernandez.  Again, to be clear, no guarantee Hernandez doesn't flame out before the tools ever get close to Safeco.  But this surprised me.  These guys are aged 21 and 19 respectively.

System "8" grades (in order of ranking, with ages): O'Neill (21), Neidert (20), Gohara (20), Peterson (25), Torres (19), Bishop (23).

9

He seems a weird pick for a 9:  Didn't really tear up the Dominican Summer League (with other 18-year olds). .278-.331-.466.  The he moved up to the Arizona Rookie League and was at .285-.324-.400, a year and a half younger than the average player.  There he had 140 PA's with just 7 BB's and 36 K's., a 5% and 26% rate.  Tank, in comparison, also played in the AZL at age 18; he was .310-.405-.450 in 116 PA's, with 12 BB's and 27 K's.  10% and 23%, respectfully.

Hmmmm....will have to pay closer attention.  

23-yr old rookie, Eric Filia, played in Everett, 2 years older than the Avg. player in the league.  But he went .362-.450-.496 with 39 BB's and just 19 K's in 292 PA's.  That's pretty impressive.  He even got a 1 game call up to Tacoma, where, appropriately, he walked in one of his two PA's.   I hope he gets to Jackson quickly this season.  What do we know about him?

10

The 80-80-80 question and subsequent Ortiz comparison got me thinking back to the similarities of 'Bach and Ortiz swings.  Could 'Bach be the next?  Looking between both of their MiL numbers, Ortiz having shown his power in the minors is the big difference.

So then I compared to Edgar.  Vogey just doesn't stack up and Edgar was only .300/.412/.439 in the minors.   I'm not saying that's bad it's just less than we know him as while focusing on all the career numbers in the HoF debate.  

But 'Bach is probably not the next.  Doesn't mean he'll be bad.  You know as well as I there are plenty of hitters not as good as Edgar in the hall. 

The idea that Edgar would have had better counting stats if called up sooner had me checking.  See, HR and hits are pretty much the 2 that people say didn't count high enough for him.  355 HR (adding ALL MiL) isn't what they're looking for either.  Not that 500 HR should be the minimum for a hitter to get in anyway.  It's not me that's refusing to vote though.  2939 Hits would change that conversation, I do think.  But how about 659 Doubles?  That would put him 2 ahead of Nap Lajoie for 6th all-time.  You can't just add those in, of course.   Even though Lajoie never had them taken out in the first place.  Nor many of the inner circle that others just CAN'T stack up to.  These guys now are playing in the minors for a couple years minimum and many of them after a few years of college.  Their counting stats aren't likely to ever match up.

Putting that expectation on the players;

That they can either start later but still catch up to players like that.

~OR~

They will hear the rerun "Hall of Very Good" jokes for 10 years while they don't get in...

It just doesn't make sense to compare only to the inner circle anyway.  Doing that constantly could cause players to pursue the next PED.  I'm not saying that's how events played out because I don't think that's the order things happened.  It's more like guys have just been guilty by association ever since.

"You're associated to an era we will only put perfection in from.  If you were born 10 years sooner you'd be down the Hall from Jim Rice and surely in before him.  So sorry "

Incidentally, his 1729 career (though not MLB career) Walks would put him 9th, right behind Mantle.  Mantle debuted at 19, you do the math on how many minor league games he played.

Ok, fine.   The Switch hitting Mantle would have had at least 26 more career walks if you include minors for both.  Plus 842 AB of unknown BB.  Starting from the age of 17 for Muscles, 20 for Papi.

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