All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > SimLeague Baseball > Most Overrated Players of All Time
6/26/2013 5:47 AM
And now the stake through the heart (Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan am I):

Carl Yastrzemski - LEFT FIELDER BOOGERLIPS. SO PAY ATTENTION - AND A GREAT ONE - lifetime slugging percentage: 

.462, narrowly ahead of Jeter who is a shortstop. 


6/26/2013 12:40 PM
Posted by italyprof on 6/26/2013 5:47:00 AM (view original):
And now the stake through the heart (Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan am I):

Carl Yastrzemski - LEFT FIELDER BOOGERLIPS. SO PAY ATTENTION - AND A GREAT ONE - lifetime slugging percentage: 

.462, narrowly ahead of Jeter who is a shortstop. 


Wow, way to take numbers out of context.

Yaz = career OPS+ 130
Jeter = career OPS+ 117

Oh, and if one counts fielding runs vs. average (Rtot)

Yaz = +139 (aka GREAT left-fielder)
Jeter = -150 (aka TERRIBLE shortstop)
6/26/2013 1:30 PM
The point was not that Jeter was as good a hitter as Yaz. So, way to take my argument out of context TC. What was the context? 

Let's recap:

boogerlips accused Jeter of being a singles hitter (not really that bad a thing for a number 1 or 2 hitter in the lineup which Jeter has been most of his life, but ok). 

I then posted numbers showing Jeter's lifetime slugging percentage, an indicator of how dependent on singles a hitter is, to be superior to other excellent players at his position - Robin Yount, Ernie Banks and Cal Ripken Jr. all shortstops and all known as good and even power hitters especially for a SS. 

 

Jeter had better slugging percentages lifetime than Yount and Ripken. I thought this answered boogerlips' point quite decisively. No one expects Jeter to have higher slugging percentage than Ernie Banks, who was one of the 500 home run club when that was a more elite club. But Jeter's SLG was not dramatically behind. 

I then gave some numbers of Jeter's SLG compared to some other relevant infielders, like Joe Morgan and Scott Rolen (again, no one claims that Jeter is Mike Schmidt).  And I compared Jeter's lifetime postseason record, which amounts to a season at 700 PA, and which show that "season" worth of postseason play to amount to a power hitter, not a singles hitter. 

boogerlips then made a comment that is not clear to me at all: he said Yount and Ripken and Banks were not left-fielders, which I guess meant "Jeter is a shortstop, but him hitting better than some of the best hitting shortstops ever does not prove he is any good, he must also hit like a left-fielder" or some such thing. 

So I compared Jeter to a very good left-fielder. And of course Yaz was a better power hitter (in Fenway, whereas Jeter played the first half of his career in Yankee Stadium which was not exactly a hitter's park - until the remake, especially for RH batters). But it was not a wipeout. 

Now, you point out the same thing I did: Yaz was a better hitter than a shortstop, in other words, Jeter can hold his head up even among good hitting left fielders. 

So that was the context. I think my point holds up fine. 

You now show new numbers, one of which - OPS which is not a number I am fond of, and which Bill James eschews as junk as well by the way - and Jeter is ...not quite the hitter Yaz is. Again, same point I made, but it is not a wipeout, it is a reasonable difference given the differences in their position played, and their ballparks. 

Further, I did not "take .462 compared with .448 out of context." I gave the numbers. The number .462 is still .014 more than .448 under any circumstances, even on the planet Mars. Unless of course you want to take into account that Yaz played in a better hitting park and was a left-fielder and so to even keep a job a player NEEDS to hit with more power than a shortstop. 

Then you throw in a stat I have never heard of and will not accept as meaning a thing unless someone explains it and convincingly. what are "fielding runs vs. average"? What does "Rtot" mean? Is it the abbreviation for "fielding runs vs. average"? If so, why not just use FRVA? 

And how do we determine fielding runs? Yaz was a great left-fielder. Jeter was a good fielding shortstop for the first half of his career, with moments of brilliance. In the second half he has less range, but is hardly a "terrible" shortstop and he is arguably the most intelligent player on the field in all of baseball. So if a cutoff throw goes up the line and a runner is scoring the tying run and the whole team's destiny is at stake - I would want Yaz to make the throw. Then you would not need Jeter to be at short. But guess what? Yaz is not in the outfield most of the time and so you need Jeter. Cause Ozzie Smith, the best fielding SS ever, would not have made that play. 

This post has a rating of , which is below the default threshold.
6/26/2013 1:53 PM
Oh, italy is using the Jeter/Giambi play as an example of great SS play....

Ah, so being out of position is now a sign of great SS play.  Must be fun to see the world through pin-striped lenses.

Jeter is a great-hitting, bad-fielding SS.  Period.  He's a hall-of-famer, but not an all-time great SS.  (neither is Ozzie Smith, but they'd make a helluva offense/defense platoon)
6/26/2013 2:07 PM
italy prof-
jeter's high slg% can be directly attributed to his higher batting average than the comparisons you made.  he is, in fact, largely a singles hitter:
  hits avg singles doubles triples HRs
jeter 3304 .313 2460 524 65 255
      74.46% 15.86% 1.97% 7.72%
banks 2583 .274 1574 407 90 512
      60.94% 15.76% 3.48% 19.82%
yount 3142 .285 2182 583 126 251
      69.45% 18.56% 4.01% 7.99%
ripken 3184 .276 2106 603 44 431
      66.14% 18.94% 1.38% 13.54%
larkin 2340 .295 1625 441 76 198
      69.44% 18.85% 3.25% 8.46%

when 75% of your hits are singles, i think that is a pretty good indicator.  there isnt anything wrong with that, it is still an immensly valuable thing to have.  yount is a close comparison, but yount also moved to the OF at 29 years old and was replaced at SS by Ernest Riles (who was replaced by Dale Svuem and then Billy Spiers...this is not exactly a great list of names) . and i think that its difficult to compare the two because of the number of years yount spent as a non shortstop and younts transition is possibly a reason why many have advocated for a similar move for jeter.  yount's OF defense added to his legacy while Jeter's defense has been one of his biggest detractors. 

interestingly, while Jeter has done it for longer, Barry Larkin (carrer slg .444, career OPS 116) is pretty close comparison offensively. 
This post has a rating of , which is below the default threshold.
6/26/2013 11:05 PM
Posted by italyprof on 6/25/2013 4:56:00 AM (view original):
zubin, the one real disagreement I will have with you is over Mantle, who playing in constant pain nevertheless had numbers that easily rank him with Musial or Aaron and in my view put him solidly ahead of the former. I don't think Speaker belongs in the same company with the others by the way. 

Mays over Mantle? Ok, but it is close. Aaron over Mantle, ok, by the numbers, but if Mickey had two good legs he breaks the records instead. Musial over Mantle ? No, I don't see it. 

Two of Musial's best seasons were 1943 and 1944 when the pitching was largely at an AAA level throughout MLB. His best season, 1948, was truly great, hitting .376 with 39 home runs. But that season the first African Americans were allowed to pitch in Major League Baseball and he never hit that average again. He has one more truly great season in 1951, but his numbers after 1948 are Don Mattingly level (a great player to be sure, but to put things in perspective). 

Mantle played every season of his career after pitcher's mounds had been integrated. In 1956 he hit .353 with 52 home runs. You take hour pick - his '56 or Musial's '48. Close to say the least. In 1957 he then hit .365 with with 34 HRs - here is a season that more closely resembles Musial's greatest and it is NOT Mantle's greatest. And it is AFTER the integration of baseball. He then hit 40 home runs and hit over .300 two of the next three seasons. Then in 1961 he hits 54 home runs and would have done more but had to end the season with injuries. He then has some other seasons that are comparable to Musial's later seasons. 


Plus he could RUN and was the fastest man in baseball while he was physically able to run. He could almost certainly field better than Musial. Over-rated? Maybe he AND Musial are, but I can't see the case for Musial over Mantle. 
Look at BR's Career WAR Leaders.  Musial was worth 20 more wins over his career.   Yes, Mantle had a shorter career, but this was largely because he didn't take care of himself because he believed he was destined to die young like his father and grandfather.

In anycase, I don't speculate much on what might have been if only a player was healthy or got different chances.    But we consider Mantle's injuries and circumstance why not consider Musials?  Musial missed all of 1945 with military service which cost him 8 or 9 WAR.  I'd like to remind you that Musial hurt his arm early in his career and that kept him from playing center more often than he did.  If Musial started his career in the OF instead of a pitcher, I could argue he'd have another 8-10 WAR and he'd be able to play center more often which over his career would be worth another 10-20 WAR.  Of course, this is all meaningless because that isn't how history happened.  

Mantle retired in '68 only 4 years after Musial so in total he played 4 more seasons in an intergrated league.  I agree that Mantle played against tougher competition in the 1950s than Musial did in the 1940s, but this is offset somewhat by Musial playing against a more integrated and tougher league in the 1950s than Mantle did.

Matle was the fastest in baseball when he played.  So what?  We aren't debating talent, we are debating reputation relative to performance.  If anything Mantle's reputation based on talent only makes a better case that he is over rated.
6/26/2013 11:59 PM (edited)
Posted by toddcommish on 6/26/2013 1:53:00 PM (view original):
Oh, italy is using the Jeter/Giambi play as an example of great SS play....

Ah, so being out of position is now a sign of great SS play.  Must be fun to see the world through pin-striped lenses.

Jeter is a great-hitting, bad-fielding SS.  Period.  He's a hall-of-famer, but not an all-time great SS.  (neither is Ozzie Smith, but they'd make a helluva offense/defense platoon)
Baseball Reference would disagree about Ozzie.

Look at SS JAWS  Ozzie is #8

Ozzie is 43 overall for WAR, but among SS he is #6.  (Wagner, Rodriguez, Ripken, Davis, Yount and them Smith)  Considering how much of their value Davis and Yount earned at other positions one could agrue Ozzie should move up to #4 on that list.

I am pretty sure Ozzie Smith is an all time great SS.
6/27/2013 7:23 AM (edited)
The question was: is Jeter (or any of the players here we are discussing) over-rated? 

Everyone pretty much agrees, Jeter is a fine hitter and not a great fielder. 

He has been criticized, even severely for his defense, but has also won 5 Gold Glove awards. He is considered about as good a field general as they get short of catchers. He might be the player in baseball most respected by other players for his professionalism. If he does not have good range as a shortstop, and I grant you he has not for some years now, he is giving up singles. That is what gets through the infield. Not ideal, but since some of you have criticized Jeter for hitting singles (20 HRs in the postseason in 700 PA), then in taking points off, let's recall that he is not giving up home runs as a bad pitcher would, not even bases-clearing doubles down the first or second base line as a poor 3B or 1B would. We talk about how important defense is at shortstop but in fact it is one of places where you can do the least damage on the field. That is part of why the Yankees won those world series with Jeter at SS and Chuck Knoblauch at 2B - good hitting players, who might let someone get to first base. And no, OBP is really NOT the most important offensive stat in baseball or the Oakland Athletics would be the ones with the dynasty. It is more important than we used to give it credit for. But Willie Mays really was one of the greatest players ever, duh. His OBP is not as good as Don Buford's or Yank Robinson's ? Oh my. 

He has hit .351 in the World Series - in 7 World Series. In 2002 he led the major leagues in stolen base percentage. 

The only other player to get 3,000 hits while playing Shortstop full time was Honus Wagner. Only Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Robin Yount got 3,000 hits at a younger age than Jeter. 

In 2009, his 14th full season in baseball, he hit .339 and made 8 errors.  He hit .364 in the ALDS in 2012 his 17th full season in the majors. He turned 39 yesterday, June 26. 

Show me another player not tainted with the use of steroids who has been better playing continually since 1996. One. I don't think there is one. Is Tulo better now than Jeter is? Yes. Let's see how good he is in 15 years. 

Might he have been more useful to the Yankees is he had moved to the outfield AND Alex Rodriguez had a) not taken steroids and b) played SS instead? Probably. 

But players who kept playing a position after that was not the best place for them to play include Mike Piazza as we have noted, and we might add that Ted Williams was slightly better than a wooden post in the outfield. 

Is this seeing the world through pin-striped glasses? Perhaps but two things to say about that: 

1) it IS a great way to go through life and follow baseball, though there are moments when I feel bad for the rest of you "poor blighters" (as Snoopy in his World War I flying ace persona calls them) who root for other teams. Not much though. Get an interesting city and maybe 8 million people will move there too and you will have the media and revenue to field consistently competitive teams. Otherwise live with NY hegemony in all things. The rest of the world does. (China, I am looking at you, and no I am not impressed by Shanghai, thanks).

2) I root for socialists in the United States (and no the  Wall Street bank-funded and advised president is not one, he is on your side), for workers movements, peace movements (I think there were ten of us protesting the war daily  in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2003-4 saying the Iraq War was a bad idea. You're welcome, and thanks for admitting we were right after all), for social justice struggles, etc. etc. So as a 4th generation Yankees fan - (my grandpa watched Babe Ruth, my mom was a fan of the  Joe Dimaggio era Yankees, and thinks Jorge Posada is her fourth son, my brother rooted for Mickey Mantle), I am happy to have one little zone of my life where my side usually wins. It helps me get through the increasingly bleak, austerity driven capitalist era with my principles intact, and most of the time my good cheer and sense of humor. 

So Eugene Debs didn't get elected President in 1912. So instead of staying out of World War I (as he would have done, and got arrested and jailed for calling on us to do) we entered the war, helped defeat Germany which got Hitler elected years later resulting in an even bloodier conflict, the Holocaust and all the rest. We are used to being right about stuff, not having others see things our way, having the usual disaster result, not getting credit for being right in the first place, and having people still vote for the two capitalist parties while complaining that nothing ever gets better. We can deal with it, and you're still welcome for us having warned you about the WW I, Vietnam, Iraq, Reagan de-industrializing America and breaking unions leading to the mess we have now, and all the rest. 

I don't expect any different. And I am used to Yankee haters, who are secretly New York haters who are embarrassed to admit it. Does Jeter get more press than he should and other great players less cause they play in lesser venues? Yes, absolutely. In that sense you could say that all NY players are always over-rated (as some have, see some of the venom directed  at Joe D , Mickey,and the Scooter above). But then again, there is a reason the press doesn't cover other cities and what happens there. They are boring. I have been to them and with the possible exception of San Francisco and Austin, Texas (the largest US city with no major league sports team) the press is quite right not to go. There is no there there. Sorry. 

I don't think Jeter is over-rated. I think markets, the capitalist system and the two-party system are. I could be wrong. But one of them has hit .351 over 7 World Series. 


6/27/2013 10:08 AM (edited)
Thinking a little more about singles, singles hitter, and the fact that shortstops' fielding limitations lead to singles: 

Shortstops, in the deadball era, were expected to be able to hit and their fielding was not a major issue. Third basemen were expected to be great fielders and if they could not hit much that was ok, so they were usually singles hitters, while SSs were more typically sluggers (for that era). This reflects, now that I think about it, a reality in baseball: before the homerun became common, the most damage could be done up the third or first base lines. The least up the middle. 

Just a thought. 

Now, about singles hitting. Here are some records on singles. Ty Cobb had 4,189 lifetime hits, of which 3,053 were singles, or 72.9%. Derek Jeter as of the end of last season has had 3,304 hits, of which 2,460 were singles, or 74.4% - 1.5% higher than the percentage of singles hit by Ty Cobb.  Pete Rose had 4,256 lifetime hits, of which 3,215 were singles, or 75.5%, or 1.1% higher than Jeter's percentage of singles. Tony Gwynn had 3141 lifetime hits, of which 2378 were singles or 75.7%. That is 1.3% higher than Jeter. Wade Boggs had 3010 career hits, of which 2253 were singles, or 74.9%, 0.5% higher than Jeter.

So Jeter is in good company. And none of the other guys hit 20 postseason home runs. Speaking of the postseason, Jeter has had 200 postseason hits (yeah, really over-rated) of which 143 were singles, which comes to 71.5%. 

And this comes in from August 2012 from mlbreports.com: top ten career base stealers still active: 

9.  Derek Jeter 346:  The Yankee Captain is one of the best baserunners in the Major Leagues.  You talk about intangibles and being aware, this is your guy.  It is always a pleasure to see him hustle on every single play of a game,  Jeter has stolen 30 bases 4 separate times.  He is 6th ALL-Time for Post Season Steals with 18.






Singles Records

Baseball Almanac is pleased to present a record book full of baseball milestones for singles — including career singles marks, single season singles plateaus and game related singles records.

"So many good things have happened to me in the game of baseball. When I do allow myself a chance to think about it, it's almost like a storyboo"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - New York Yankees' Outfielder Mickey Mantle in The Mick (1985)k career. You feel so blessed to have been able to compete this long." - Cal Ripken, Jr.
Singles

Career Singles Record

Record Lg Name Team(s) Data

Most
In A Career

AL

Ty Cobb

Detroit

2,840

3,053

Philadelphia

213

NL

Pete Rose

Cincinnati

2,490

3,215

Philadelphia

661

Montreal

64

Singles

Single Season Singles Records

Record Lg Name Team(s) Data

Fewest
In A Season
150 Games Played

AL

Mark McGwire

Oakland

53

1991
NL

Barry Bonds

San Francisco

49

2001

Fewest
In A Season
By The League Leader

AL

Don Buford

Chicago

129

1965
NL

Enos Slaughter

St. Louis

127

1942

Most
In A Season

AL

Ichiro Suzuki

Seattle

225

2004
NL

Willie Keeler

Baltimore

206

1898

Most
In A Season
By A Lefthander

AL

Ichiro Suzuki

Seattle

225

2004
NL

Willie Keeler

Baltimore

206

1898

Most
In A Season
By A Righthander

AL

Al Simmons

Philadelphia

174

1925
NL

Curt Flood

St. Louis

178

1964

Most
In A Season
By A Rookie

AL

Ichiro Suzuki

Seattle

192

2001
NL

Lloyd Waner

Pittsburgh

198

1927

Most
In A Season
By A Switch-Hitter

AL

Willie Wilson

Kansas City

184

1980
NL

Pete Rose

Cincinnati

181

1973
Singles
This post has a rating of , which is below the default threshold.
This post has a rating of , which is below the default threshold.
This post has a rating of , which is below the default threshold.
This post has a rating of , which is below the default threshold.
of 6
All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > SimLeague Baseball > Most Overrated Players of All Time

Terms of Use Customer Support Privacy Statement

Popular on WhatIfSports site: Baseball Simulation | College Basketball Game | College Football Game | Online Baseball Game | Hockey Simulation | NFL Picks | College Football Picks | Sports Games

© 1999-2014 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.