Visual Baseball:  Seattle Mariners Rank-o-meter

With the additions of Cliff Lee, Chone Figgins and “Meltdown” Bradley, there’s been a surge in Mariners hype. Those who aren’t quite ready to hand them the AL West crown point to their weak offense. Here’s a look at that offense via the Rank-o-meter. Even with the additions of Figgins and Bradley, the Rank-o-meter shows how weak they are at almost every position when compared to the rest of the AL. For each position I rank the top 14 players by 2009 OPS.

Notes / Caveats about Rank-o-meter:

1. A team might not have a player show up at a given position because (a) there’s uncertainty around who will play the position or (b) the player doesn’t rank in the top 14. So for the Mariners 1st base position, there’s enough uncertainty (Carp? Branyan?) to leave it blank for now.

2. I’m using 2009 OPS (unadjusted) which has its flaws. If my use of simpler, more traditional measures bothers people, I may decide to start using more advanced ones. But my goal is to be experimenting with and test-driving visual approaches to communicating performance, so I’m trying to keep the measures part simple (at least for now).

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  1. dan said...

    OPS+ is still a pretty common and understood metric, and i think the graph would be a lot more informative with that, especially in the case of the Mariners.

  2. Matt S said...

    I would really find this much more insightful if you used wOBA or RC. Seattle is a pretty unfriendly place for hitters and that certainly is part of the problem. Jack Z. is obviously creating a pitching and defense first team and they look like they will be very effective in those respects. Using a more complete offensive picture would be helpful in understanding their potential on offense.

  3. Kevin Dame said...


    Thanks for the heads up.  I had the wrong image posted (one which speculated about who the Mariners might add to their lineup).

    Your point about adjusted OPS is a good one.  See notes / caveats below the image.



  4. The Hemogoblin said...

    I know you’re going for the visual impact here, but it seems weird to have included Milton Bradley yet also included Gregg Zaun, as Bradley is going from NL to AL, while Zaun is going AL to NL. I just don’t think it’s particularly relevant to include players that aren’t going to be in the league next year.

    Also, non-adjusted OPS is going to make the Mariners look even worse than they are, by virtue of their cavernous home ballpark.

  5. Gary said...

    Why not just go with WAR?  Clearly the rankings are off a bit.  I would definitely prefer Figgins over Rolen, Lowell, DeRosa, and Beckham. 

    Likewise Nolan Reimold being ranked above Holliday, Crawford, and Quentin is pretty insane.  Byrd over Sizemore and Granderson?

    It’s clear that Ichiro, Gutierrez, and Figgins are elite players, and should be ranked accordingly.

  6. Gary said...

    The caveats you added to the chart are noted however, and you guys consistently do great work, so thank you and please keep it up.

  7. Terry said...

    Why not use some estimate of a player’s true skill level?

    All the rankings are doing is comparing how the Ms would’ve been offensively last season.

  8. Nick Steiner said...

    You need to be using projected OPS, or preferably wOBA.  2009 doesn’t mean much in terms of how good the players on the Mariners actually are.

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