Yesterday, because I had some time, and know how to live it up on Saturdays, I brought the Perceived Value chart up to date. Keeping in mind that I believe there are generally two frames of reference for evaluating players, if one is not so sabermetrically inclined.
1st) There is the “clutch” idea. Runs batted in is still an often used statistic when people are talking about a players’ effectiveness at the plate. People complain (especially in Minnesota) about ducks left on the pond as well, as some sort of failure to execute. In the RBI/LOB ratio, Joe Mauer is 2nd on the team, with the first being Eduardo Escobar who has been very clutch in his short time in the Twin Cities. 2nd among the regulars? Josh Willingham. Mauer is the only person with more RBI’s than runners left on base, however, with an 84/62 ratio. That’s mind blowingly effective in the clutch, or at least my definition of it, using commonly spouted stats.
2nd) Raw effectiveness. Most people, even if they don’t know all the numbers, can pretty much tell if a hitter is any good. It comes down to how often they get on base, and how many bases they get. There is a ready made statistic, a comparative statistic that couples these things, called OPS+. It’s on base plus slugging, weighted against the rest of the league. The best OPS+ on the team belongs to Willingham at 144. A close second is the 142 of Joe Mauer.
If you combine these two methods of player evaluation, which is what the Perceived Value does, Joe Mauer should be perceived as so much better than everyone else on the team, there shouldn’t even be a comparison. So why does everyone still try to assert that he isn’t good, or hasn’t had a good season? I only have one logical explanation…
Hater’s gon’ hate.