Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 20, 2007
BASEBALL: 2006 EWSL Wrapup By Team

As I did last year, before diving into my preseason Established Win Shares Levels roster analyses, I'm going to take a quick look back at last season's. First up is the team-by-team results. For those of you who need a primer on EWSL and my annual roster roundups, go here. A few basic reminders:

*I look at 23 players (13 non-pitchers, 10 pitchers) per team, so an average team should exceed its EWSL due to the fact that most teams these days use between 30-45 players in a season.

*EWSL is an estimate of the established major league talent on a team (adjusted for age) going into a season. It's not a system for predicting the future, although it can be a helpful part of the toolkit (or at least a sanity check) in making predictions of the future.

*EWSL uses a standard figure for rookies (12 WS for rookie everyday players, 6 for rookie bench players, 4 for rookie pitchers (starting or relief)). It does not distinguish between, say, Ryan Zimmerman and Reggie Abercrombie if both are expected to hold everyday jobs. Thus, a team with a lot of high-quality rookies will exceed its EWSL. I'd like to add a non-subjective adjustment for rookie quality, but until I can get Major League Equivalency Win Shares (I don't believe they exist anywhere), I have to rely on the facts that (1) bad rookies rarely get everyday jobs and (2) good rookies often fall on their faces.

That said, basically, my analysis assumes that there are three components to team success: how much established talent is on the preseason roster, how well they perform, and how much production the team gets from guys who supplement those top 23 players with trades, rookies or scrubs. The following table shows the following columns: (1) each team's 2006 EWSL; (2) the actual Win Shares for those 23 players (includes Win Shares earned for other teams, e.g., Bobby Abreu counts with the Phillies); (3) the ratio of column (2) divided by column (1) to show how the 23 players fared relative to EWSL; (4) the team's total actual 2006 Win Shares (i.e., Wins x 3); (5) the team's Win Shares minus those from the top 23 players (in the example above this will include the negative value of, say, Abreu's Yankees Win Shares from the Phillies' "Rest" column); and (6) the ratio of column (4) divided by column (1) to show how the team as a whole fared relative to EWSL. Teams are ranked by that last column:

TeamEWSL23-Man WS23-Man WS/EWSLTotal WSRestTotal WS/EWSL
Blue Jays224.762411.072261201.161
White Sox238.092521.058270181.134
Devil Rays181.791420.781183411.007
Red Sox269.772460.912258140.956

It should come as no surprise that the Tigers, 2006's big story, rate at the top of teams that exceeded expectations, and that the Cubs land at the bottom of the pile. As you can see, the top teams are something of a mix of teams that had great seasons and teams that had very low expectations - I was a little surprised to see the Reds and Rockies listed, for example. The Mets, on the other hand, did pretty much as expected with their roster but did better than average with guys they added on (although I should note that players overall rated at 0.968 of their EWSL, which will factor in as I re-adjust this year's age and rookie adjustments). The Dodgers rate the highest in that regard, with rookies like Andre Eithier helping out, while the Red Sox, White Sox and Mariners got the least help for their original roster. For the most part, teams that were near the top of this list last year tended to be nearer the bottom and vice versa, but the Cubs were down with the dregs for the second year in a row.

Here are the players among those on the preseason 23-man lineups of each team who were the biggest over and underacvhievers (I'm mixing those who were the biggest ups or downs by percentage or raw total):

TigersJustin Verlander, Curtis Granderson, Carlos GuillenChris Shelton, Dmitri Young
RockiesBrad Hawpe, Garret AtkinsCory Sullivan, Luis A Gonzalez
PadresAdrian Gonzalez, Mike CameronRyan Klesko, Shawn Estes
MarlinsAlfredo Amezaga, Hanley Ramirez, Dan UgglaReggie Abercrombie, Chris Aguila
RedsBrandon Phillips, Aaron Harang, Bronson ArroyoJason LaRue, Chris Hammond
TwinsFrancisco Liriano, Mike Cuddyer, Justin MorneauCarlos Silva, Rondell White, Lew Ford
DodgersTakashi Saito, Derek LoweBill Mueller, James Loney
AstrosTrever Miller, Lance BerkmanEric Munson, Brad Lidge
GiantsKevin Corriea, Barry BondsMike Matheny, Jason Ellison
MetsJorge Julio, Jose Reyes, Carlos BeltranAnderson Hernandez, Victor Diaz, Victor Zambrano
MarinersJJ Putz, Joe Borchard, Raul IbanezMatt Lawton, Jeremy Reed, Joel Pineiro
D-BacksBrandon Lyon, Juan Cruz, Brandon WebbTony Clark, Jose Valverde
Blue JaysBJ Ryan, Alex RiosGustavo Chacin, Josh Towers
PhilliesShane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Chase UtleyAaron Rowand, Alex Gonzalez
RoyalsEmil Brown, Mark TeahenAngel Berroa, Zack Grienke
White SoxMatt Thornton, Jim Thome, Jermaine DyeMark Buehrle, Neal Cotts
BrewersGabe Gross, Chris CapuanoJJ Hardy, Derrick Turnbow
AngelsRobb Quinlan, Ervin Santana, Juan RiveraJeff Mathis, Bartolo Colon, Darrin Erstad
IndiansBob Wickman, Travis HafnerJason Johnson
PiratesIan Snell, Jason Grabow, Freddy SanchezJoe Randa, Oliver Perez
NationalsMike Stanton, Ryan Zimmerman, Nick JohnsonJose Guillen, Cristian Guzman, Brandon Watson
RangersMark DeRosa, Gary MatthewsLaynce Nix, Brad Wilkerson
CardinalsScott Speizio, Chris CarpenterMark Mulder, Jim Edmonds
A'sFrank Thomas, Kiko CaleroHuston Street, Antonio Perez, Rich Harden
YankeesChien-Ming Wang, Derek JeterHideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield, Carl Pavano
Devil RaysShawn Camp, Mark HendricksonJorge Cantu, Jonny Gomes
OriolesChris Ray, Ramon HernandezLuis Matos, Brian Roberts
BravesOscar Villereal, Brian McCannKelly Johnson, Jeff Francouer
Red SoxKevin Youkilis, Jon PapelbonJT Snow, Jason Varitek, Coco Crisp
CubsMatt Murton, Bobby HowryDerrek Lee, Mark Prior, Jerry Hairston

Bear in mind again that these are full-season numbers - Jorge Julio, for example, did his good work in Arizona. Derrek Lee had the worst falloff of any marjor league player, from an EWSL of 27 to 4 Win Shares. It doesn't show here but the Rangers also took big hits from Teixera and Blalock.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:59 AM | Baseball 2007 • | Baseball Studies | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Victors Diaz & Zambrano: I'm not sure any expectation on earth survived the 2006 those fellas threw up.

Which is why we all threw up.

Posted by: Mike at February 20, 2007 1:28 PM

To be fair to Matsui & Sheffield, they were injured most of the year. Pavano? Ech.

Posted by: rbj at February 20, 2007 1:48 PM

Imagining that Darin Erstad was an underperformer takes some work. It sounds like whatever his estimation was, it was almost certainly based on some very old numbers. I didn't expect anything from him besides replacement-level offense.

Posted by: Rob McMillin at February 21, 2007 7:12 PM

With regards to the Giants, how can you put Mike Matheny as the biggest under-achievers. He played barely half the season, spending most of it on the DL with a closed head injury. The real under performer that could have been a stable-mate of Jason "What Am I Doing On Baseball Field" Ellison is Armando "Blown Save" Benitez.

Posted by: Bill at February 22, 2007 3:29 AM

re: phils win shares for 2007

with freddie garcia and jamie moyer in the rotatation, and assuming cole hamels is the real deal, the Phils will easily get to 250 win shares as a team this year. Howard, Utley and Rollins will give them 100 win shares on offense and defense; Burrell Rowand and Victorino 45-50 win shares on offense and defense; so that's 150 win shares on the offense-defense side alone. That's assuming almost no contribution from catcher or 3rd. Garcia, Myers, Hamels should all be good for about 10-15 win shares, as should Moyer--and Eaton or Lieber will be the fifth starter, so another five win shares there, conservatively 50-75 win shares from the starters. Tom Gordon picked up 15 win shares as a closer last year and the rest of the pen should pick up another 15 win shares, so the staff should pick up about 100-105 win shares.

That makes about 255 win shares.

If any single pitcher has a breakout year, or if any player other than those named has a breakout year, or if the Phils pick up another player, then the winshares rise.

The point is that their base win share level looks really high right now before the season starts.

--art kyriazis

Posted by: art kyriazis at February 22, 2007 6:36 AM
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