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Mathis Validation


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Finally.

On a serious note, this is actually a huge thing if you're a statnerd. It seems Fangraphs has finally figured out how to account for catcher framing in WAR. Catching has been one of the big missing links in WAR. I haven't checked the math and, quite frankly, probably don't have the skills to assess whether or not it makes sense, but I generally trust their reasoning.

That said, it has had a pretty massive impact on WAR numbers for catchers. Strangely, Trout's two best seasons (2012, 13) went up by 0.1 each, so now are 10.1 and 10.2. Not sure how that's related, unless they updated something else in the algorithm.

Mathis went from -0.1 career fWAR to 6.0 fWAR. Brian McCann became a borderline Hall of Famer. Buster Posey's best year went from 7.5 to 10.4 (!). Yadier Molina finally gets his due (going from 34.8 to 50.5 career WAR). And Jonathan Lucroy became a true stud in his prime.

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1 minute ago, Lou said:

any stat that makes Brian McCann a borderline Hall of Famer is ridiculous 

It does seem a bit over the top. In 2008 he now has 50.1 Defensive Runs and 8.9 WAR. 

But I'm going to sit on this one for awhile, as Fangraphs is generally pretty reasonable. This is either cutting edge and a major breakthrough in statistical analysis, or it is complete and utter bunk.

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1 minute ago, Lou said:

Angel Hernandez, Joe West, CB Bucknor, Laz Diaz, Jerry Meals, Doug Eddings, etc all say hello 

Well, the suckage of umpires and the framing of catchers aren't mutually exclusive. It is a matter of subterfuge. A good framer is basically someone who can fake out crappy umpires.

Anyhow, the net result of this change is that it jumps forward in terms of quantifying "on the field" stuff that doesn't normally show up in stats, yet in so doing it also becomes more subjective as a statistical measure. Like FIP, this seems to be a mixed bag.

 

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I disagree. I believe the catcher gets credit for doing a good job framing because the umpire is shitty. we've all seen pitches called strike when a catcher does nothing but catch the ball exactly where it reaches his glove. 

if the ump would just do his job it wouldn't matter who is behind the plate. 

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20 minutes ago, Lou said:

I disagree. I believe the catcher gets credit for doing a good job framing because the umpire is shitty. we've all seen pitches called strike when a catcher does nothing but catch the ball exactly where it reaches his glove. 

if the ump would just do his job it wouldn't matter who is behind the plate. 

they are not giving the catchers extra credit.  they are just reallocating who the credit goes to.   Whether they've done so correctly is certainly up for debate.  But the total amount of WAR is finite.  

there is no way that the sum total of umps are exactly the same about of shitty for every team and giving the pitcher no credit for hitting the glove where the catcher puts it is absurd.  

but it is a skill that needs to be accounted for because giving all the credit to the pitcher (which is what the old way used to do)

as for the adjustment to other position players like Trout, it could be related to the league adjustment constants changing 

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37 minutes ago, Fish Oil said:

All of the boosts Lucroy received in these charts were from 2010 through 2013.
The latest year he received mention was 2017 when his WAR from dropped 2.2.

Those are just the biggest boosts. He was still very good in 2016 when he had a 4.5 fWAR and 12.2 Def; it just did not show on the chart because it wasn't the top changes.

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4 hours ago, Dochalo said:

they are not giving the catchers extra credit.  they are just reallocating who the credit goes to.   Whether they've done so correctly is certainly up for debate.  But the total amount of WAR is finite.  

there is no way that the sum total of umps are exactly the same about of shitty for every team and giving the pitcher no credit for hitting the glove where the catcher puts it is absurd.  

but it is a skill that needs to be accounted for because giving all the credit to the pitcher (which is what the old way used to do)

as for the adjustment to other position players like Trout, it could be related to the league adjustment constants changing 

.

.

5 hours ago, Lou said:

any stat that makes Brian McCann a borderline Hall of Famer is ridiculous 

 

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McCann deserves some credit for being better than he'd been given credit for to this point, but he's basically what Realmuto was a few years ago.  A guy that was considered a 4 WAR catcher in his prime and eventually becomes a guy that gets passed around in his mid thirties.  

It doesn't make him a borderline HOFer.  Just a good catcher.  Not a great one.  

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Catchers are one of the hardest positions to assess both by WAR and the Hall of Fame because of both the simple fact that few catchers manage to play their entire careers as catchers, and no position puts such wear and tear on the body, which reduces overall numbers.

Here are the top catchers by fWAR, with Hall of Famers in bold and active players in italics:

1. Johnny Bench 74.8

2. Pudge 69.6

3. Gary Carter 69.4

4. Carlton Fisk 68.3

5. Yogi Berra 63.7

6. Mike Piazza 63.7

7. Joe Torre 62.3

8. Bill Dickey 56.1

9. Brian McCann 55.5

10. Russell Martin 54.6

11. Ted Simmons 54.2

12. Gabby Hartnett 53.7

13. Yadier Molina 53.2

14. Buster Posey 51.1

15. Joe Mauer 51.0

Other Hall of Famers: Mickey Cochrane (16th 50.6), Buck Ewing (18th, 48.1), Ernie Lombardi (23rd, 41.9), Roger Bresnahan (29th, 39.6), Roy Campanella (31st, 38.2), Rick Ferrell (56th, 27.2), Ray Schalk (74th, 22.4); Negro Leagues: Josh Gibson, Biz Mackey, Louis Santop.

Perhaps even more surprising among the top catchers than McCann is Russell Martin, he of the .249/.349/.399 batting line, and 105 wRC+. According to Fangraphs, Martin has 302.7 Def, which is better than everyone except Yadier Molina (365.1) and Pudge (323.6), with McCann just behind at 299.8.

Anyhow, I think the top six are no-brainers for the Hall. Torre played a lot at 3B so probably doesn't make the cut. Dickey is also borderline but given the fact he was a lifelong Yankee, he's got that going for him. Ted Simmons used to be rather controversial: he was sort of a poor man's Mike Piazza: all bat, no glove at an important defensive position.

Yadier and Posey will probably eventually get in, at least if they can play a few more years at a decent level. Mauer will be interesting as he was really good for the first two-thirds of his career, mediocre for the last five years.

Anyhow, the basic point is that traditional numbers don't do catchers justice and it is just damn hard to give them proper credit. Third basemen are in a similar boat, and this is illustrated by their respective under-representation in the Hall:

83 Pitchers

25 SS, RF

24 1B, CF

22 LF

21 2B 

18 Catchers

17 3B

2 DH

I'm not saying that voters should pad catchers and third basemen to bring them up to be at least comparable to 2B, but the idea has some merit. No eligible catcher jumps out, but eventually Posey and Molina will probalby get in, possibly Mauer, and maybe even McCann or Martin, depending upon how this analysis holds up.

Among third basemen, I think Scott Rolen probably deserves entry. The fact that Dick Allen isn't in is just criminal, especially with the atrocious voting in of Harold Baines.

 

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39 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Catchers are one of the hardest positions to assess both by WAR and the Hall of Fame because of both the simple fact that few catchers manage to play their entire careers as catchers, and no position puts such wear and tear on the body, which reduces overall numbers.

Here are the top catchers by fWAR, with Hall of Famers in bold and active players in italics:

1. Johnny Bench 74.8

2. Pudge 69.6

3. Gary Carter 69.4

4. Carlton Fisk 68.3

5. Yogi Berra 63.7

6. Mike Piazza 63.7

7. Joe Torre 62.3

8. Bill Dickey 56.1

9. Brian McCann 55.5

10. Russell Martin 54.6

11. Ted Simmons 54.2

12. Gabby Hartnett 53.7

13. Yadier Molina 53.2

14. Buster Posey 51.1

15. Joe Mauer 51.0

Other Hall of Famers: Mickey Cochrane (16th 50.6), Buck Ewing (18th, 48.1), Ernie Lombardi (23rd, 41.9), Roger Bresnahan (29th, 39.6), Roy Campanella (31st, 38.2), Rick Ferrell (56th, 27.2), Ray Schalk (74th, 22.4); Negro Leagues: Josh Gibson, Biz Mackey, Louis Santop.

Perhaps even more surprising among the top catchers than McCann is Russell Martin, he of the .249/.349/.399 batting line, and 105 wRC+. According to Fangraphs, Martin has 302.7 Def, which is better than everyone except Yadier Molina (365.1) and Pudge (323.6), with McCann just behind at 299.8.

Anyhow, I think the top six are no-brainers for the Hall. Torre played a lot at 3B so probably doesn't make the cut. Dickey is also borderline but given the fact he was a lifelong Yankee, he's got that going for him. Ted Simmons used to be rather controversial: he was sort of a poor man's Mike Piazza: all bat, no glove at an important defensive position.

Yadier and Posey will probably eventually get in, at least if they can play a few more years at a decent level. Mauer will be interesting as he was really good for the first two-thirds of his career, mediocre for the last five years.

Anyhow, the basic point is that traditional numbers don't do catchers justice and it is just damn hard to give them proper credit. Third basemen are in a similar boat, and this is illustrated by their respective under-representation in the Hall:

83 Pitchers

25 SS, RF

24 1B, CF

22 LF

21 2B 

18 Catchers

17 3B

2 DH

I'm not saying that voters should pad catchers and third basemen to bring them up to be at least comparable to 2B, but the idea has some merit. No eligible catcher jumps out, but eventually Posey and Molina will probalby get in, possibly Mauer, and maybe even McCann or Martin, depending upon how this analysis holds up.

Among third basemen, I think Scott Rolen probably deserves entry. The fact that Dick Allen isn't in is just criminal, especially with the atrocious voting in of Harold Baines.

 

the names at 13-15 are really blowing my mind rn. 

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On 3/22/2019 at 6:54 PM, Angelsjunky said:

Finally.

On a serious note, this is actually a huge thing if you're a statnerd. It seems Fangraphs has finally figured out how to account for catcher framing in WAR. Catching has been one of the big missing links in WAR. I haven't checked the math and, quite frankly, probably don't have the skills to assess whether or not it makes sense, but I generally trust their reasoning.

That said, it has had a pretty massive impact on WAR numbers for catchers. Strangely, Trout's two best seasons (2012, 13) went up by 0.1 each, so now are 10.1 and 10.2. Not sure how that's related, unless they updated something else in the algorithm.

Mathis went from -0.1 career fWAR to 6.0 fWAR. Brian McCann became a borderline Hall of Famer. Buster Posey's best year went from 7.5 to 10.4 (!). Yadier Molina finally gets his due (going from 34.8 to 50.5 career WAR). And Jonathan Lucroy became a true stud in his prime.

I don't like it.

There is plenty of reason to believe that pitchers deserve just as much credit for this as catchers. There is also an argument to be made that the war should be given to the umpires for their crappyness much like how a fielder receives an error when allowing a batter to reach base undeservingly.

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