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7 minutes ago, happybat4 said:

Let's say the angels acquired the best defensive centerfielder in baseball and move trout to left field. The Red Sox lose their center fielder to injury and Betts was moved to center. Would Betts have a much higher WAR? 

His WAR while in LF would remain the same -- his WAR moving forward would be based on his playing CF.

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Betts is great player, no question, BUT, he is not the player Trout is regardless of position. 

Right now Betts is one of the best in the game, no question, top 5 today, also playing way over his career norms so lets see where he ends up at seasons end.... but he has not overtaken Trout.

Betts has been on a super hot streak, Trout has been slumping, and Trout still has a better WAR and 3 times the dWAR.  End story.  

Forgot to mention, the theory that we acquired the best CF in the game is moot, we already have it. 

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4 hours ago, happybat4 said:

Let's say the angels acquired the best defensive centerfielder in baseball and move trout to left field. The Red Sox lose their center fielder to injury and Betts was moved to center. Would Betts have a much higher WAR? 

Theoretically a player would end the season with the same WAR no matter what position they played. The positional adjustments adjust for the quality of expected defense across the spectrum. Let's say an average CF gets 100 chances for outs in a season and converts 75 of them. An average LF gets 80 chances and converts 60 of them. If you move the CF to LF you would expect the CF to convert a higher percentage of the plays but a lower total number because while his range is higher than average for LF, fewer balls are hit there. If you moved the LF to CF you would expect him to make a higher raw total of plays because he gets more chances but a lower percentage of the total plays than the average centerfielder. They have done the math to make sure the positional calculations are fair across the board.

Where this breaks down is when you have people at either end of the spectrum of defense. Andrelton Simmons makes such a high percentage of plays at SS that he can't really improve his percentages at another easier position and he just loses chances to make plays. So his defensive value won't will drop with a position switch. Conversely, a really terrible defender, like Pujols may be so bad that a move to SS may decrease his defensive value more than the positional value suggests.

I don't think Betts or Trout are extreme examples. Trout would be good enough to be so much better than the average LF defensively to make up for the positional penalty and Betts would give back his positional bonus with a a move to CF. This is over the course of a season.

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I'm still confused about first basemen though. They almost always have negative defensive WAR. Does war not count balls that were picked off the dirt. Jt snow is regarded as one of the best defensive first basemen ever but has nearly - 11 war. How can he be worse that a replacement player? Nobody could play defense like him. 

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2 minutes ago, happybat4 said:

I'm still confused about first basemen though. They almost always have negative defensive WAR. Does war not count balls that were picked off the dirt. Jt snow is regarded as one of the best defensive first basemen ever but has nearly - 11 war. How can he be worse that a replacement player? Nobody could play defense like him. 

Because 1st baseman almost always make picks in the dirt. The argument is that you could put a bad defensive SS there and he'd be just as good defensively at 1B as JT Snow. It's not a comparison of only 1st basemen to 1st basemen, it's compared to all players across the diamond.

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14 minutes ago, eaterfan said:

Because 1st baseman almost always make picks in the dirt. The argument is that you could put a bad defensive SS there and he'd be just as good defensively at 1B as JT Snow. It's not a comparison of only 1st basemen to 1st basemen, it's compared to all players across the diamond.

But you can't put an average short stop at first base. I remember when we had Kendrick at first base. He was horrible. 

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2 hours ago, happybat4 said:

But you can't put an average short stop at first base. I remember when we had Kendrick at first base. He was horrible. 

I missed that period of time where Howie was an average short stop with the Angels, weird! 

Joke aside, I get what you're saying. 

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