All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > Adrian Beltre
7/29/2014 12:24 PM
2B and SS have, yes.  If you want to argue there was more of an emphasis on defense up the middle in the 60s and 70s, fine.  But the rest of the positions have stayed pretty static over the years.  I argued that 3B wasn't exactly an "offensive" position like many people think, and I'm not wrong.  It's much more like CF and 2B, which are considered by many as positions where it's hard to find great offense.  It's almost as hard to find it at 3B.  And then you got all pissy about Belanger and whatnot. 

If anything is obvious after this conversation, it's that I know nothing about baseball.  OK, then.  At least you're good for a laugh today.
7/29/2014 12:39 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/29/2014 9:53:00 AM (view original):
Interesting read(that is all about a decline of 3B), IMO.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16033
I'm curious what you see when you look at this chart:



To me, it shows that the positional corrections used for WAR are right. 3B, CF, and 2B are all about the same. RF and LF are much easier than the previous three and about the same compared to each other. 1B is the easiest (ignoring DH) and catcher is the hardest.

What exactly is your argument, mike?
7/29/2014 12:41 PM
Using the rolling 5 chart makes it even more clear:


7/29/2014 12:41 PM
Just curious (because i'm too lazy to research it)...  Do you think the de-emphasis of 3B as a defensive position coincided with the rapid expansion (diluted pitching), the DH, and the subsequent decline of bunting and "small ball"?  


7/29/2014 1:24 PM
Posted by bad_luck on 7/29/2014 12:39:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/29/2014 9:53:00 AM (view original):
Interesting read(that is all about a decline of 3B), IMO.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16033
I'm curious what you see when you look at this chart:



To me, it shows that the positional corrections used for WAR are right. 3B, CF, and 2B are all about the same. RF and LF are much easier than the previous three and about the same compared to each other. 1B is the easiest (ignoring DH) and catcher is the hardest.

What exactly is your argument, mike?
I don't know.  He says that the position you play really doesn't factor into what you can expect offensively from a player (there are no offensive or defensive positions!) and then shows charts and makes lists breaking it down by position.  
7/29/2014 1:25 PM
Mike, does the fact that Robbie Cano plays 2B make him more valuable as a player? 
7/29/2014 1:27 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 12:24:00 PM (view original):
2B and SS have, yes.  If you want to argue there was more of an emphasis on defense up the middle in the 60s and 70s, fine.  But the rest of the positions have stayed pretty static over the years.  I argued that 3B wasn't exactly an "offensive" position like many people think, and I'm not wrong.  It's much more like CF and 2B, which are considered by many as positions where it's hard to find great offense.  It's almost as hard to find it at 3B.  And then you got all pissy about Belanger and whatnot. 

If anything is obvious after this conversation, it's that I know nothing about baseball.  OK, then.  At least you're good for a laugh today.
When I asked "Is this the defensive spectrum?" was your response "I don't know"?

Do you think that's something a baseball fan wouldn't know?

All positions have moved to the middle since the 70s.   Surely you see that when you view the "picture", right?
7/29/2014 1:35 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 1:24:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 7/29/2014 12:39:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/29/2014 9:53:00 AM (view original):
Interesting read(that is all about a decline of 3B), IMO.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16033
I'm curious what you see when you look at this chart:



To me, it shows that the positional corrections used for WAR are right. 3B, CF, and 2B are all about the same. RF and LF are much easier than the previous three and about the same compared to each other. 1B is the easiest (ignoring DH) and catcher is the hardest.

What exactly is your argument, mike?
I don't know.  He says that the position you play really doesn't factor into what you can expect offensively from a player (there are no offensive or defensive positions!) and then shows charts and makes lists breaking it down by position.  
I'm arguing that the term "defensive position" no longer exists.    It was a term that was used to define a position where great defense was valued much more than offense.     In the 70s, 2B and SS(because we're ignoring C) were at the very bottom of offensive production.   Since then, they've moved more toward the middle.   Was it a de-emphasis of defense, more of an emphasis on offense or a combination of both?   I can't prove it but guys like Jeter, Nomar, Ripken wouldn't have played SS in the 70s.    3B is largely in the middle thru the last 60 years.   So, if "defensive position" existed, it did not include 3B.

3B has always been above SS/2B and below LF/RF/1B with CF bouncing around largely on the heels of the likes of Mantle/Mays(It's been in steep decline since they retired).
7/29/2014 1:48 PM
Let's look at each position.  2B and SS have been raising.  SS now hit 20 points higher.  2B now hit 10 points higher.  Instead of back in the day, when shortstops hit a measly .230, they now hit a whopping .250.  Yea, the emphasis has clearly shifted, they're powerhouse hitters now.  Second basemen hitting .250....DEFENSE FIRST! Now, we don't care so much about defense, anyone can play there, right...they can hit .260 now.  Yea, now we're offense first.

1B - In the early 70s, they hit .290, by the late 70s, they hit .280.  In the 80s they (gasp) dropped into the .270s, and now they're a little over .280.  So, when you say "since the 70s, do you mean ".290 70s" or ".280 70s"?  Let's split the difference and say .285.  So, nothing has changed there.

3B - As stated, little has changed.  But they were "in the middle" anyway.

LF - Same kind of issue we had with 1B earlier.  Which part of the 70s did you mean?  That said, in 2011 it had it's lowest BA.  I'd like to see this spread out a few more years to see if that's continuing.  Let's say it remains constant from 2011 - So we're talking .280 in the "70s" to the low .270s now.  Damn.

CF - Has actually become more of a defensive position than it once was.  So while 2B and SS are allowing for a little more offense, more teams are seeing more value out of good defensive CFers, apparently.  We got a HUGE drop of from .275 to .265 or so.

RF - Has remained relatively constant.

So when we look at the positions, when you say "moved to the middle" you probably mean more condensed, and yes, because SS and 2B positions went up a whole .010-.020 points or so.  Aside from that, not a ton has changed.  If anything, emphasis on defense based on position has probably changed based on what position you play.  Defense in CF has probably become more valuable over time, while at 2B and SS, it's gotten less valuable.

That said, it's clear as day - there are certainly positions where offense takes a hit because the position is harder to play.  3B is relatively harder to play than COF.  Beltre doing as well as he has offensively adds value, because 3B isn't a position like 1B or COF like many people think when it comes to offensive productivity.
7/29/2014 1:51 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 1:25:00 PM (view original):
Mike, does the fact that Robbie Cano plays 2B make him more valuable as a player? 
.
7/29/2014 2:07 PM
Yeah, pictures don't work well for you either.   Look at the 5 year averages.   It's less cluttered and you can see clear delineations(and it's less affected by a couple of greats seasons from a handful of players).




1B has pretty much been on top.   LF/RF has swapped places a few times.   CF has been in a pretty steady decline since Mantle/Mays/Maris eras.   3B offensive production has stayed in the middle THE ENTIRE TIME.   It's not a "defensive position" and I doubt it ever has been considered to be one.  That's what I've been arguing.
7/29/2014 2:10 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 1:51:00 PM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 1:25:00 PM (view original):
Mike, does the fact that Robbie Cano plays 2B make him more valuable as a player? 
.
I generally ignore these because A) it's not relevant B) we know the answer.  So here's what I'll do.

He'd be more valuable as a catcher.   You know, if he was good at playing catcher.
7/29/2014 2:13 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/29/2014 1:35:00 PM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 1:24:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 7/29/2014 12:39:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/29/2014 9:53:00 AM (view original):
Interesting read(that is all about a decline of 3B), IMO.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16033
I'm curious what you see when you look at this chart:



To me, it shows that the positional corrections used for WAR are right. 3B, CF, and 2B are all about the same. RF and LF are much easier than the previous three and about the same compared to each other. 1B is the easiest (ignoring DH) and catcher is the hardest.

What exactly is your argument, mike?
I don't know.  He says that the position you play really doesn't factor into what you can expect offensively from a player (there are no offensive or defensive positions!) and then shows charts and makes lists breaking it down by position.  
I'm arguing that the term "defensive position" no longer exists.    It was a term that was used to define a position where great defense was valued much more than offense.     In the 70s, 2B and SS(because we're ignoring C) were at the very bottom of offensive production.   Since then, they've moved more toward the middle.   Was it a de-emphasis of defense, more of an emphasis on offense or a combination of both?   I can't prove it but guys like Jeter, Nomar, Ripken wouldn't have played SS in the 70s.    3B is largely in the middle thru the last 60 years.   So, if "defensive position" existed, it did not include 3B.

3B has always been above SS/2B and below LF/RF/1B with CF bouncing around largely on the heels of the likes of Mantle/Mays(It's been in steep decline since they retired).
It's a relative term.

Even today, SS is more of a defensive position than 1B. The glove still has to cut it at short or you get moved. Maybe the definition of "cut it" has shifted, but it still exists.
7/29/2014 2:22 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/29/2014 2:08:00 PM (view original):
Yeah, pictures don't work well for you either.   Look at the 5 year averages.   It's less cluttered and you can see clear delineations(and it's less affected by a couple of greats seasons from a handful of players).




1B has pretty much been on top.   LF/RF has swapped places a few times.   CF has been in a pretty steady decline since Mantle/Mays/Maris eras.   3B offensive production has stayed in the middle THE ENTIRE TIME.   It's not a "defensive position" and I doubt it ever has been considered to be one.  That's what I've been arguing.
5 year averages?  What am I looking at?  We're comparing today to the 70s, right?

LF and RF have swapped often, because they're essentially the same defensive position.  I'm glad you agree.

My original argument, AGAIN, was that people look at 3B as an offensive position, like COF or 1B, and it's not true.  This chart supports my argument.  In fact, I don't think I ever called it a "defensive position," just not on the same level offensively as COF or 1B.  Can the position be "offense/defense neutral?" It's a difficult position to play - if Beltre played 1B, he'd have less of an HOF argument.

Re: Cano - I agree.  If Beltre played C, he'd also be more valuable.  But he doesn't...it's a very hard position to play well enough to play it at the ML level.  But he plays 3B, which is quite valuable...more valuable than a lot of people realize.  The fact that people don't think of him as a HOF-quality player, and he'll finish his career shortly as arguably the 5th or 6th best 3B to ever play helps make my point. 
7/29/2014 2:29 PM
5 year rolling averages.   If you're not sure what that means, I'll explain it to you.  Using little numbers.   We're still comparing the 70s to today.  I just don't think you understand the terminology. 

This chart is offensive production.   Doesn't really have anything to do with defensive ability.  Not surprised you didn't know this either.

My original argument, AGAIN, is that "defensive" position doesn't exist anymore.   Maybe if you had said "offense/defense neutral" in the first place, your inability to understand baseball terms and stats wouldn't have been exposed.  3B is in the middle of the defensive spectrum.   That's as close to neutral as you'll get.

People, and I guess it's only me/tec on this board, don't think of him a HOF-quality player because he was rather unremarkable for what will be the first half of his career.   If he has another 3-4 seasons on par with what he's done since his season in Boston, I'd probably be forced to change my mind.
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