Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Is McLouth a fourth outfielder?Posted by Colin Wyers
From a recent BPro chat by Joe Sheehan:
Nate McLouth is still a fourth OF masquerading as a starting CF.
Is this really so? JC Bradbury doesn't think so, and marshalls the evidence that says otherwise. He does a decent job and seems much more invested in the particular outcome than I do so I'll leave that to him.
But in that very same BPro chat, McLouth's name links to his DT card. Do the DTs support what Sheehan is saying?
In short, no. WARP1, by year:
As far as I can discern, a league-average position player gets about 3 WARP in 650 PAs (putting the replacement level baseline for WARP1 a bit lower than for, say, Fangraphs/Baseball Projection WAR, assuming that a league average pitcher with full playing time also gets about 3 WARP - this isn't a full "what's wrong with WARP1" study so I'm not going into detail on this.)
McLouth played a partial season in 2007 and proceeded to put up above-average seasons in '08 and '09 - by BPro's own metric!
If Sheehan thinks that WARP1 is wrong or somehow flawed he should probably speak up about it. But looking at the WAR figures on Fangraphs (where an average player is worth about 2 WAR a season in 650 PA) it seems that WARP1 is basically right about McLouth from where I sit; the only point the two measures seem to disagree upon is where to put the replacement level. (Which, again, really needs its own "what's wrong with WARP1" post to deal with all those issues. It's just that its evaluation of McLouth relative to his peers really isn't one of WARP1's problems.)
Colin Wyers knows exactly how much of a nerd he is. He is very interested in hearing about any other concerns you may have; you can reach him by e-mail, and he will try his best to respond in a timely fashion. He also blogs at Statistically Speaking.