The average shortstop OBP in Major League Baseball last year was .308. In the NL, .310, in the AL .306. This is as per Fangraphs and includes starters and bench warmers. Of seventeen MLB shortstops with a qualified number of PAs, last year, there were eleven with OBPs above .300. As per ESPN. (Cozart was "qualified" and his OBP was .284.)
So in 2013, a below .300 OBP was below average, even for shortstops.
Last edited by Kc61; 04-20-2014 at 10:04 PM.
That's true, although my comment was about OBP.
In terms of overall attributes, it's an interesting discussion as to when an attribute compensates for a deficit.
My position is that in an NL lineup, if a position player can't OBP .300, his status as a regular player is suspect. One can argue that power or defense or speed can compensate. My feeling is that someone who (percentage wise) makes too many outs on a regular, long-term basis has a difficult time compensating.
"Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.
You are now asking me to reduce my lower limit. I say no. Frankly, I think it's pretty generous to accept a .300 OBP man (and I'd only do so grudgingly).
The average OBP in the major leagues for non-pitchers (including backups) was .322. Of players with a qualified number of at bats, 9 of 204 OBP'd .281 or lower. You are asking me to accept, as a starter, a player among the bottom nine qualifiers in the league in OBP (since you posit .280).
Put another way, a .280 OBP man makes an out 72% of the time. That's simply unacceptable.
And as a starter, a player like Cozart applies this 72% out rate to, say, 600 PAs. So he will make 432 outs at .280. I think that's too many outs.
Now, it's true, all limits are somewhat arbitrary. At .300 the guy makes 420 outs, which is a tad better, but not much. But again that 420 out man is at the lowest limit and I'd try for better. Not for worse.
Last edited by Kc61; 04-20-2014 at 11:16 PM.
I'd like to know the OBP of each starter on each team that was over .500 last season and compare how many 'sub-par' OBP players each team had.
Anyone want to grab that or tell me how?
Then you have to decide who is a "starter."
If you chose 400 PAs or more and picked the DBacks, the lowest OBP would be Miguel Montero at .318.
But other teams have different profiles, I'm sure.
Several other websites would also have that information, they all sort by team. You just have to go through the teams one by one.
Of course, identifying bad OBPs on over .500 teams is one step. But of starters with low OBPs in 2013, were they retained as starters for 2014?
Last edited by Kc61; 04-21-2014 at 12:06 AM.
I'm no huge fan of Cozart, but:
1) He will do better than he has so far (though he might be worse than his previous two seasons, could be on the Drew Stubbs career arc).
2) It's not like Ruben Gotay is coming up to take his job. So he's the SS until the Reds acquire someone from outside the organization.
3) The first reasonable opportunity to upgrade Cozart might be next winter. We'll see what's available in the summer window, but a move for a SS would be, IMO, improbable.
Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong
I'm witchcrafting everybody.
Wish the hitting coaches would successfully work with him on patience at the plate.
His advantages over Stubbs is that he's a middle infielder and less is expected offensively. He doesn't strike out nearly as much as Stubbs.
Just because a player a player has an OBA below .300 does not make him automatically a non-regular, especially at a defence premium position.
For example, Simmons had an OBA of .296 last year, but I know that Atlanta was pretty satisfied with his 4.6-6.7 WAR last year (depending on what website you use).
HIs elite defence at a premium position makes him an excellent SS notwithstanding a below .300 OBA.
Put me in the camp that would love to see Zach OBP higher (as well as every other Red) but will be very happy (albeit at times very frustrated) if he puts up numbers even slightly better than last year. He was trending up at year's end, I could see a slight uptick in 2014 as a reasonable outcome.
I may not be fast, but I sure am slow.
Pedro Alvarez, a lifetime .305 OBP player, fell below .300 last year. He also led the NL in homers. A league home run leader has pretty rare ability and I certainly wouldn't trade him because of one blip in the OBP department. Simmons is the best fielder in the NL, I think he also might qualify as a rare exception, even if he continues to hit slightly below .300 OBP long term.
But the test has to be very strict. Because otherwise your lineup will lack the basic on base ability to have an acceptable offense.
Cozart? It's up to the individual GM to decide, but I would have a problem if he continues hitting .284 OBP again this year. He's a very good defender but I'm not sure he is the rare case. Don't know that you live with that kind of OBP performance year in and year out in order to retain Cozart's other skills.
Last edited by Kc61; 04-21-2014 at 02:33 PM.