Martin’s Metrics

A fun little tale of three players as originally posted by GM Martin Abresch on 9-26-17 on the GLBL SLACK thread.

Here is something that I’ve meant to do for a while. Three players, same position. Here they are in 2017:

year age AB H D T HR BB BA OBP SLG WAR
A 2017 31 523 134 18 1 33 61 .256 .334 .484 7.7
B 2017 31 479 145 33 4 0 76 .303 .401 .388 6.0
C 2017 27 551 159 38 4 24 44 .289 .343 .503 8.7“`

Two power hitters. Player A slugs homers; player C hits fewer home runs but scatters more doubles. Player C also wins the Lake Superior Player Award. Player B is an on-base machine. All three are clearly All-Star caliber players. (edited)

Same three players, now in 2018:

“` year age AB H D T HR BB BA OBP SLG WAR
A 2018 32 444 108 19 0 24 72 .243 .349 .448 6.8
B 2018 32 504 177 24 6 2 82 .351 .442 .435 9.1
C 2018 28 475 144 31 0 21 43 .303 .364 .501 8.9“`

Player C has another outstanding season. Player B has a career season and wins the Lake Superior Player Award. Player A puts together another strong season, slugging home runs and drawing walks.

And once more, the players in 2019:

“` year age AB H D T HR BB BA OBP SLG WAR
A 2019 33 526 138 22 2 17 65 .262 .344 .409 6.7
B 2019 33 532 155 14 6 3 74 .291 .379 .357 5.5
C 2019 29 417 117 28 0 12 34 .281 .335 .434 5.2“`

Player A holds steady in terms of WAR, homering less but doubling more. Players B and C come down from their 2018 highs, but they both post 5+ WAR seasons, nothing to scoff at. For the fun of it, lets look at their total WAR over these three seasons:

A 21.2
B 20.6
C 22.8

So here is the big question: which player do you want on your team going forward? All three of these players became free agents after the 2019 season. There wouldn’t seem to be a bad choice among them: all three are clearly All-Star quality, even in their worse seasons. Perhaps you prefer Player A’s power or Player B’s on-base skills or the fact that Player C is four years younger than the other two.

Even now, looking back, I would say that it’s a virtual toss-up. And I recall being surprised at the time of how little competition there was for their services in the off-season.

The power-hitting Player A is third-baseman Fu-Chi Li, then of Milwaukee. The on-base machine Player B is third-baseman Kevin Thomas, then of Toronto. The younger Player C is third-baseman John Roberson, then of Owen Sound.

Let’s see what they did in 2020:

“` year age AB H D T HR BB BA OBP SLG WAR
Li 2020 34 491 111 27 0 20 76 .226 .336 .403 6.1
Thomas 2020 34 472 142 18 4 5 87 .301 .410 .388 7.0
Roberson 2020 30 323 69 8 0 9 25 .214 .272 .322 1.8“`

Li only has a .226 average but all those doubles, homers, and walks keep him productive. Thomas has another strong season and posts a .410 OBP. Roberson … umm … ouch. Well, maybe that was a fluke.

Next season:

“` year age AB H D T HR BB BA OBP SLG WAR
Li 2021: 35 478 131 28 0 24 72 .274 .370 .483 6.0
Thomas 2021: 35 521 172 25 6 3 80 .330 .424 .418 5.6
Roberson 2021: 31 353 74 13 1 8 31 .210 .279 .320 0.7

Thomas would have been paid $29 million in 2020, but he executed his player option and began the off-season asking well over $30 million per season. Toronto all of a sudden had a big hole at third base. I couldn’t afford Thomas’s request, so I looked at Li and Roberson. Chicago snapped Li up for 6 years/$111 million or $18.5 million per season. I offered Roberson 5 years/$110 million or an average of $22 million per season and was surprised that nobody else drove the bidding up further. Thomas waited most of the off-season to sign, then was scooped up by Owen Sound for a bargain: 3 years/$39 million.

The Series MVP

Twenty five year old Geoff Boyd was the GLBL’s MVP for the 2021 post-season.  Boyd collectively batted .319 with 15 hits and swiping 7 bases in as many attempts. But of the two series he saved his best for Chicago as the final 7 games he collected hits in each contest 3,1,2,1,2, and 1 for a total 10 hits.  He batted in 5 and scored 6.  An avid fisherman in his spare time he plans to just ‘chill out’ over the coming months.

Riding High

It took just 6 games to win their first Great Lakes Baseball League Championship but then, again, it took 7 years to finally achieve that goal.  Perpetually knocking on the door only to come up just short the Mounties finally negotiated the last hurdle by leaping over the Chicago Architects with their 5-4 win at Lakeside Park.

The Architects and Mounties had identical 82-62 records but Hamilton owned Chicago in the brief regular season by winning all four games by scores of 2-0, 10-4, 6-4, and 3-2.  And, on this first day of October, catcher Joe Kelley made sure the Mounties would take home the grand prize as his solo shot in the 3rd inning was the difference.  So, the life time record of 536-452 (second only to Chicago) now has a championship banner to secure the reputation as one of the top teams in the history of the league.

For the Canadian League it was sweet stuff indeed to see the string of USA titles arrested at five in a row as Hamilton joins Thunder Bay as the only Canadian teams to win a championship.  Geoff Boyd won the Most Valuable Player award as his relentless hitting down the stretch of the playoffs propelled Hamilton to the title.

For Chicago it was another great season that saw them win the USA championship and then compete in their fourth League Championship having won two titles to date.