All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > Adrian Beltre
7/29/2014 9:35 AM
Well, yeah, it is.    Couple of points:

1.  You've been yammering "1B and RF are the easiest positions" for several pages.   Which indicates you really don't know the facts of defensive difficulty.
2.  You've been yammering "3B production is closer to 2B production" for several pages.   Which indicates you really don't know the facts of defensive difficulty.
3.  3B seems to be right in the middle as far as defensive difficulty.   So I don't think it's a "defensive position" if such a thing even exists these days.
7/29/2014 9:47 AM
What "defensive spectrum" are you talking about? The one WAR uses? Or are you arbitrarily assigning defensive difficulty?
7/29/2014 9:48 AM
Pretty sure it was Bill James who created it.    Safe to say he knows baseball stats better than us?
7/29/2014 9:51 AM

For my money, the defensive spectrum ranks among the most useful concepts James introduced during his Baseball Abstract days. Cobbling together from various Abstracts, James defined the spectrum—DH-1B-LF-RF-3B-CF-2B-SS—as an "an arrangement of defensive positions according to raw abilities needed to learn to play each," with "speed, agility, reaction time, and throwing" the primary ones. His key observation was that offensive ability increases the further left a position sits on the spectrum, due to the selective pressure applied to the talent pool, while defensive ability increases the further to the right a position sits. It's much easier to find players who can hit well while filling the less defensively demanding positions, an observation that has an intuitive appeal for the casual fan, for it explains the seemingly endless supply of big galoots who can mash but wear iron gloves, as well as flyweight middle infielders who can pick it but can't hit their weight.

7/29/2014 9:53 AM
Interesting read(that is all about a decline of 3B), IMO.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16033
7/29/2014 9:55 AM

Written by BL's fave, Jaffe.

7/29/2014 9:55 AM
So now you're a Bill James and Jaffe fan.  That's cute.  

You're not considering how much more difficult one position may be from another.  LF and RF are much closer to each other than RF and 3B.  3B is much closer to CF in terms of difficulty than RF is.  

Positional adjustments used in WAR:

Catcher: +12.5 runs (all are per 162 defensive games)
First Base: -12.5 runs
Second Base: +2.5 runs
Third Base: +2.5 runs
Shortstop: +7.5 runs
Left Field: -7.5 runs
Center Field: +2.5 runs
Right Field: -7.5 runs
Designated Hitter: -17.5 runs
7/29/2014 9:58 AM
Yep, that's right, but it isn't linear, the gap between LF and 3b is larger than the gap between 2b and 3b. The 4 positions on the left have higher offensive requirements than the 4 positions on the right.

When it comes to third basemen, we've traditionally looked at their stats like we would look at a first baseman's stats, which is misleading. The defensive requirements of a third baseman are closer to second. We should keep that in mind when evaluating their offense.
7/29/2014 10:03 AM
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 9:56:00 AM (view original):
So now you're a Bill James and Jaffe fan.  That's cute.  

You're not considering how much more difficult one position may be from another.  LF and RF are much closer to each other than RF and 3B.  3B is much closer to CF in terms of difficulty than RF is.  

Positional adjustments used in WAR:

Catcher: +12.5 runs (all are per 162 defensive games)
First Base: -12.5 runs
Second Base: +2.5 runs
Third Base: +2.5 runs
Shortstop: +7.5 runs
Left Field: -7.5 runs
Center Field: +2.5 runs
Right Field: -7.5 runs
Designated Hitter: -17.5 runs
I've never spoken a harsh word about James.   Except maybe to call him a fatass statnerd.   He's done good things.   Jaffe wrote the article.  It was a good read.  Although I think he proved a handful of good players at one position can greatly alter the "true average" of that position.

Would you like to explain how the positional adjustments are made for WAR?
7/29/2014 10:08 AM
No, I don't.  But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the degree of difficulty between left field and right field isn't as strong as right field and third base.
7/29/2014 10:09 AM
From your article and your new BFFs, Bill James and Jay Jaffe:

His key observation was that offensive ability increases the further left a position sits on the spectrum, due to the selective pressure applied to the talent pool, while defensive ability increases the further to the right a position sits. It's much easier to find players who can hit well while filling the less defensively demanding positions, an observation that has an intuitive appeal for the casual fan, for it explains the seemingly endless supply of big galoots who can mash but wear iron gloves, as well as flyweight middle infielders who can pick it but can't hit their weight.
7/29/2014 10:13 AM
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 10:09:00 AM (view original):
From your article and your new BFFs, Bill James and Jay Jaffe:

His key observation was that offensive ability increases the further left a position sits on the spectrum, due to the selective pressure applied to the talent pool, while defensive ability increases the further to the right a position sits. It's much easier to find players who can hit well while filling the less defensively demanding positions, an observation that has an intuitive appeal for the casual fan, for it explains the seemingly endless supply of big galoots who can mash but wear iron gloves, as well as flyweight middle infielders who can pick it but can't hit their weight.
Have I ever disputed that?   If so, please quote it.
7/29/2014 10:13 AM
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 10:08:00 AM (view original):
No, I don't.  But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the degree of difficulty between left field and right field isn't as strong as right field and third base.
Explain it to me.
7/29/2014 10:17 AM
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/29/2014 10:13:00 AM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 10:09:00 AM (view original):
From your article and your new BFFs, Bill James and Jay Jaffe:

His key observation was that offensive ability increases the further left a position sits on the spectrum, due to the selective pressure applied to the talent pool, while defensive ability increases the further to the right a position sits. It's much easier to find players who can hit well while filling the less defensively demanding positions, an observation that has an intuitive appeal for the casual fan, for it explains the seemingly endless supply of big galoots who can mash but wear iron gloves, as well as flyweight middle infielders who can pick it but can't hit their weight.
Have I ever disputed that?   If so, please quote it.
If you agree, than you agree with me.  All I've said is that 3B isn't exactly an offensive position like many people seem to think it is, because it's a more difficult defensive position to play, and it's hard to find guys who can hit very well and play the position.  It makes Beltre more valuable than people realize.  He's more like a 2B in terms of defensive difficulty than he is a corner outfielder.
7/29/2014 10:22 AM
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 10:17:00 AM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/29/2014 10:13:00 AM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 10:09:00 AM (view original):
From your article and your new BFFs, Bill James and Jay Jaffe:

His key observation was that offensive ability increases the further left a position sits on the spectrum, due to the selective pressure applied to the talent pool, while defensive ability increases the further to the right a position sits. It's much easier to find players who can hit well while filling the less defensively demanding positions, an observation that has an intuitive appeal for the casual fan, for it explains the seemingly endless supply of big galoots who can mash but wear iron gloves, as well as flyweight middle infielders who can pick it but can't hit their weight.
Have I ever disputed that?   If so, please quote it.
If you agree, than you agree with me.  All I've said is that 3B isn't exactly an offensive position like many people seem to think it is, because it's a more difficult defensive position to play, and it's hard to find guys who can hit very well and play the position.  It makes Beltre more valuable than people realize.  He's more like a 2B in terms of defensive difficulty than he is a corner outfielder.
I don't agree that there are "defensive" positions.    The chart that Jaffe had shows that there's been more of a move to the middle and more of a leveling out at each position.   Look at the friggin' 70s.  
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