Originally Posted by dougdirt
Teams without a league average LF can't win?
Garret Anderson had a .705 OPS. His team went 86-76.
Alfonso Soriano had a .726 OPS. His team went 83-78.
Lewis/Velez were both below .740. Their team went 88-74.
Of course there are also guys like Willingham/Dunn, Sheffield/Pagan, Braun, and Lee who 'raked' and all had losing records, with only Braun being on a team that even sniffed .500.
Teams win or lose because the set of players is good or bad. One position or guy isn't making or breaking a team, even if they are Willy Taveras type bad.
The Braves, Mets (Pagan's .837 isn't good enough), Cubs and Giants all suffered from a lack of offense. A productive bat in LF may have seen them in the playoffs.
Your right, of course, that it takes a combination of things to win and big power on the corners isn't enough, but lacking big production at more traditionally defensive spots (like say Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin or Eric Davis), then a team needs big offense from LF and 1B. League average is an ok bar to set for good defenders who play up the middle, middle rotation innings eaters and middle of the bullpen "keep 'em close" types, but the main men on the team need to be a lot better than league average or the team simply won't win. If Stubbs, for example, could be league average in CF, he'd be quite valuable. If Frazier was only league average in LF, he'd be manning the spot that the team is looking to upgrade.