Saturday, February 1, 2020

Giants position player WAR

The best part about WAR and the new saber-stats is that the math geeks have done all the heavy lifting. We get to use the fruits of their labors. WAR is an abstraction about baseball. It's not perfect and should not be relied on as the only measure of a player's value. More than anything it is a way to cluster similar players. Here's the graphic I posted yesterday:

In recent Giants history, the best season by WAR was Buster's MVP campaign in 2012. FanGraphs gives him 10.1 WAR while Baseball-Reference calculates 7.6 WAR. In the case of FanGraphs, only Mike Trout matched Posey that year. B-R rated Mike Trout (10.5), Robinson Cano (8.4), and Justin Verlander (8.0) above Posey that year but Buster was #1 in the NL. FG gives a lot of weight to the catching position and puts a high value on pitch-framing. The positional adjustment for catcher is not as great in the B-R version of WAR. Two models, two different outcomes, but both in agreement about the very best players.

Last season Cody Bellinger was rated the best among position players by B-R (9.0), but FG put him third (7.8), tied with Christian Yelich (7.8), but behind Mike Trout (8.6), Alex Bregman (8.5).

The Giants position player leaders were Mike Yastrzemski (2.2 fWAR, 2.8 bWAR) and Evan Longoria (2.0 fWAR, 2.4 bWAR). Buster rated (FG/B-R) 1.8/0.9, Pillar rated 1.8/1.4, and Donovan Solano 1.3/1.6. Not a pretty picture!

We'll look at pitchers later.


p.s. here's the technical stuff on how to compute fWAR (FanGraphs) and bWAR (Baseball-Reference)

1 comment:

M.C. O'Connor said...

Hunter Pence's two best seasons with the Giants ('13 and '14) rated 4.5 and 4.0 fWAR (3.8 and 3.8 bWAR).

Brandon Belt's three best seasons ('13, '15, '16) rated 4.2, 3.9, and 3.9 fWAR (4.3, 3.7, and 4.6 bWAR).

Brandon Crawford's three best seasons (14, '15, and '16) rated 2.7, 4.3, and 5.2 fWAR (3.3, 5.5, and 4.9).

Andres Torres in 2010? 6.3 fWAR, 5.3 bWAR
Angel Pagan in 2012? 4.6 fWAR, 4.2 bWAR
Buster Posey in 2014? 7.6 fWAR, 5.4 bWAR