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32.000 - Fantastic
(Cy Young, MVP Candidate)
20.000 - Great
15.000 - All Star Caliber
10.000 - Good
3.500 - Average
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Career Stats, Player Grades, and Salary Projections for every Player in History.  Want to know what Ty Cobb would have been paid in 1918 in today's salary structure or what your favorite team's Free Agent player is really worth?

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Baseball Evaluation: The Evolution of Baseball Stats From Doubleday to Eternity

A Baseball Statistics Scoreboard for Baseball Historians, Fantasy Baseball Players, and Baseball Fans Everywhere.  Putting Babe, Bonds, and Bagwell in perspective.
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Hall of Fame Veterans Election Voting
Post 1943 Ballot

Ron Santo, 39 Votes (60.9%)
Jim Kaat, 38 (59.4%)
Tony Oliva, 33 (51.6%)
Gil Hodges, 28 (48.3%)
Joe Torre, 19 (29.7%)
Maury Wills, 15 (23.4%)
Luis Tiant, 13 (20.3%)
Vada Pinson, 12 (18.8%)
Al Oliver, 9 (14.1%)
Dick Allen, 7 (10.9%)


75% needed for election.
None Elected

Pre 1943 Ballot
Joe Gordon, 10 Votes (83.3%)
Allie Reynolds, 8 (66.7%)
Wes Ferrell, 6 (50%)
Mickey Vernon, 5 (41.7%)
Deacon White, 5 (41.7%)
Bucky Walters, 4 (33.3%)
Sherry Magee, 3 (25%)

75% Needed for Election
Joe Gordon Elected to Hall of Fame, Induction July 26, 2009
Baseball Evaluation
The Evolution of Baseball Stats From Doubleday to Eternity
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Article Blog 2008  2009
Salary Projections and Injuries

December 22, 2008 -  The two most recent Free Agent signings point out a dilemma for general managers everywhere.  Just how do you account for players with a history of injury when it goes into figuring out a Free Agent contract?  Well, for one, the signings of Rafael Furcal and Juan Rivera show that there is still a lot of confusion in this area and that most general managers are not accounting for this heavily enough.  By the end of the three year contract of Furcal, the Atlanta Braves will be happy they lost out in the derby they'd previously thought they won.  Rafael Furcal has been a very good player in the past, but that is when it's been.  For the last three years, due mostly to injuries, his value has declined, from 14.553 PEVA Player Grade in 2006, to 6.430 in 2007, and 2.561 in 2008.  Yes, when he played in 2008, Furcal did fine.  But, oh, what a short sample.  And oh, do you want to pay him $10,000,000 for that amount of AB's?  In 2009, Furcal will turn 32, still a prime year for baseball prowess, but a dangerous one at the same time when a history of injuries has popped into the picture.   Prior to last season, with one down year, the contract made perfect sense.  But with two successive decline years, this season was a year for Furcal to prove that he could get back to prominence, with a contract more in line with the Stat Geek Baseball 2009 SPRO (Salary Projection) of 3 years and $15 million, not double that.  Now, it would probably have made even more sense to offer a one year contract at $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 to test his ability to play a full season at peak performance, particularly from the club's sense.  But it's hard to fault the player for taking the big $, even if the team might regret it a couple years from now.

Juan Rivera provides a second coda to the point of injuries not being considered more in the salary equation.  Rivera has had one full season, good to very good year, in baseball, back in 2006 when he hit 23 HR with 85 RBI and a 0.310 BA.  But after that, he hasn't played a full year.  Sure, in 2008, there were plus power numbers over 280 plate appearances, with a terrible 0.282 OBP, but when a player reaches his 31 age year, and does not have a season with 500 PA, you've got to wonder.  Now, the 3 year $12,750,000 contract Rivera was given does not break the Angels' bank, so they took a gamble that 2006 was the example of what Rivera will give them.  But why would you only consider one year, three years back, as where his production will go, and not more recent examples.  Now, we think Rivera could rebound toward the 2006 numbers if he can stay on the field, but can he stay on the field, plus gain a bit of plate discipline, too.

 The SPRO model was developed not to deviate from the way baseball contracts were given, but to mirror them.  However, if there is one place where it differs, is in our approach to injuries and past performance, where we are less forgiving.  We believe that durability is important, and will prove out, over the duration of most contracts, to have been a good indicator of what a player will give a team.

 
The Best World Series Pitchers Ever

December 19, 2008 -  We're finally done.  The list is complete.  What pitcher had the best postseason (World Series plus) in baseball history?  Is it somebody from the forunners of the AL vs. NL days, or from the traditional one World Series and that was it round era, or during the multiple round years from 1969 forward?  The list from baseballevaluation.com is full of pitchers from all of those eras, but number one on the list is a man from Boston from only two years ago.  And he had the best postseason in history, in fact, virtually a perfect postseason compared to his peers.  Josh Beckett of the 2007 Boston Red Sox won four games during the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series run.  And over those 30 innings pitched, had a SO/W ratio of 17.50, gave up only 6.30 walks and hits per game, and all with an ERA of 1.20 while pitching games in big-time pitcher's parks.  For all of those attributes, he received a perfect PEVA score (something never achieved in a regular season) of 64.000, which correlates to a Postseason PEVA of 6.400.  This is hard to do, folks.  Basically it means that Beckett was the best of the lot in all categories (GS, IP, SO/W, HR9IP, WHIP9, ERA, W) while pitching in difficult parks.  Congratulations, Josh, it was one heck of a pitching performance.

But before we think it was easier to accomplish this in today's multiple round postseason era, take a gander at #2 on the list.  In World Series #2 of the American vs. Naitonal League World Series run, Christy Mathewson came extremely close to matching Beckett's perfect postseason, albeit with only a World Series to accomplish it in.  Mathewson won 3 games over 27.0 innings, gave up 0 earned runs, with only 5.00 WHIP9.  Why wasn't he rated higher than Beckett, although at 63.468 (6.347 Post PEVA), it sure was close?  Purely, park factor, as the 1905 series was played in slightly hitter friendly yards vs. Fenway, Coors, and other parks where hitter's were more often successful.

  It sure is hard to argue with perfect ERA's, and the next two men on the list fit that perfection well, while falling just short of Beckett and Mathewson overall.  Whitey Ford in 1961 won 2 games for the Yankees while giving up 0 earned runs with a 4.50 WHIP9, all correlating to a 63.199 PEVA (6.320 Post PEVA).  And reaching back into the pre-World Series postseason era, at Messer Street Grounds, Charley Radbourn of the Providence Grays gave up nothing in the run department while pitching 22 innings and winning 3 games against the New York Metropolitans in 1884.  All this added up to a 61.571 PEVA (6.157 Post PEVA) Player Grade for that postseason.  Just a great performance in the first postseason in pro baseball history.

Rounding out the top five pitching postseasons in baseball history is Los Angeles Dodgers' great Sandy Koufax.  In 1965, Koufax weaved a stellar postseason, winning 2 games (with one loss) over 24 innings, giving up only 6.75 WHIP9 and a 0.38 ERA.  Koufax during this time of his career was virtually unstoppable on the mound, and this World Series performance was just one additional indication of his dominance.

Top Five
Player, Team, Year, PEVA (Post PEVA)
Josh Beckett, BOS, 2007 - 64.000 (6.400)
Christy Mathewson, NY1, 1905 - 63.468 (6.347)
Whitey Ford, NYA, 1961 - 63.199 (6.320)
Charley Radbourn, PRO, 1884 - 61.571 (6.157)
Sandy Koufax, LAN, 1965 - 61.427 (6.143)

For a list of the TOP 40 Postseason Pitching Performance, go to
Best Postseason Pitching Years

The Free Agent Contract Week That Was
and Stat Geek Baseball Salary Projections


December 15, 2008 -  Oh, boy, after a slow start at the beginning of the winter meetings, the free agent wars really began to heat up at the end of the week.  But were the contracts that heated up each team a good heat or a heat bound to burn down the line.  Most are based in team sanity, filling in needs at a salary that makes sense, in a $million dollar way.  So let's start at the beginning and get rolling.

Francisco Rodriguez got the ball rolling for the Mets as they quickly filled their closer need.  And the contract made sense, but may be a bit of a stretch, depending on whether the new Citi Field is hitter friendly and whether his use is managed as well as Mike Scoscia did.  The season Rodriguez had in Anaheim was certainly very good, but don't be too overwhelmed by the saves number.  This was a team in a bad division and this closer likes to give up hits and walks.   for the salary projection purposes of Stat Geek Baseball, his SPRO number is a bit lower than the actual contract, although we're fine at three years, even four.  Four years and $40,185,000 by the way, compared to the actual contract of three years and $37 million.

We're not going to quibble on the Santana signing.  This is a very good pitcher who was going to get big time money, and he did.  Where we think the Yankees are diving into Pavano land again is with the contract given to A.J. Burnett.  This is not a great pitcher folks.  He has his moments, and more than a few of them to boot.  However, he gives you sporadic innings, with only 3 of his 8 full seasons over 200 innings.  If you're going to spend over $16 million dollars per year, you should expect him to be able to pitch.  And even if he did pitch those innings, do you really want to give $16 million dollars per year to a pitcher who's best season saw a 4.07 ERA?  The math says no.  If the Yankees weren't satisfied with one Pavano per decade, I'm afraid the $16 million dollar pitcher they just signed in A.J. is act two, and at best, worth $10 million per year.  Only time will tell if we're right or wrong with that.

A couple more seemed a bit out of line.  Kerry Wood had a year last year that makes him worth the money they are paying.  The problem is, why would anyone think, after one such season, that his history of injury problems is past.  It's had been five years since Wood's last good season, with PEVA Player Grade numbers of 5.001, 1.313, and two minimum 0.200 seasons.  He was certainly worth taking a chance on, but the chance should have come at lower contract numbers, unless he could put together two good years in a row.

There seems to be a disconnect these days with waning performance and salaries.  Take Kyle Farnsworth, for example.   Great arm.  Last good season 2005.  Diminishing performance level for three years in a row, with a hold, even slight increase, in 2008.  But that increase, for one season, really isn't a trend, and for KC to commit maximum set-up guy contract numbers to a guy who hasn't been great for over three years, risky.  Falling in love with the fastball.  We'll see how that one works out, too.

Stat Geek Baseball provides Salary Projections for all players in history, including today's free agents, arbitration eligible players, and those under club control.  It also includes player grades (PEVA) for all players in history, too.  Check out a free sample file for Stat Geek Baseball 2009,
or order the full 2,000 page data set.


Francisco Rodriguez, NYN (FA)  SPRO 4 yrs. - $40,185,000, Actual 3 yrs. - $37,000,000
C.C. Sabathia, NYA (FA)  SPRO 8 yrs. - $162,928,000, Actual  7 yrs. - $161,000,000
Casey Blake, LAN, (FA)  SPRO 3 Yrs. - $20,273,000, Actual 3 Yrs. - $17,500,000
Kerry Wood, CLE, (FA)  SPRO 3 YRs. - $15,309,000, Actual 2 Yrs. - $20,500,000
Felipe Lopez, ARI (FA)  SPRO 2 Yrs. - $8,851,000 ($4,349,000/$4,542,000), Actual $3,500,000
Augie Ojeda, ARI (FA)  SPRO $519,000, Actual $712,500
Wilson Betemit, CHA (FA)  SPRO $971,000, Actual $1,300,000
Kyle Farnsworth, KCA (FA)  SPRO $1,134,000, Actual 2 Yrs. - $9,250,000
Nick Punto, MIN (FA)  SPRO 2 Yrs. - $6,176,000, Actual 2 Yrs. - $8,500,000
Raul Ibanez, PHI (FA)  SPRO 3 Yrs. - $38,532,000, Actual 3 Yrs. - $31,500,000

    Note: Code (FA - Free Agent; AE - Arbitration Eligible; PE (Pre-Arbitration Player)  
On the Way Up the Career Rankings

December 6, 2008 -  It's that time of year, when the leaves have fallen and the Hot Stove is roaring, and the discussion of how players rank amongst their peers, amongst the Hall of Fame players, and what current players are moving into consideration.  Baseball Evaluation has just completed compiling our Career Best Players Lists, and there are more than a few of your favorite players making their way up the ladder.

For position players, it's a long way from Ruthville, but he may be the one player who can challenge that spot.  Alex Rodriguez, even with a below par year for him in 2008, has moved one step closer to the top, moving into the #32 spot on the Best Player Career List.  And he certainly has good company where he stands, sandwiched between HOFP Cal Ripken and George Brett.  Of course, he isn't yet even the best player from 2008 in the career rankings, but his potential is so high, we mentioned him first.  Frank Thomas, likely in his last season, held steady at #26.  I think Frank is one player, due to a slide in his playing prowess during his thirties, that gets forgotten in the discussion of best ever.  But look at the stats, 521 HR, 1704 RBI, 2466 H, and a career BA of .301.  Oh, my, that fares pretty well with the company around him; Roger Connor and Rickey Henderson.  And Frank, like Rickey, will join Roger in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot when he's eligible.  Further down the list, but joining the Top 100, #86, after only 8 seasons, is Albert Pujols.  Start realizing what is happening here.  At 28 years of age, Pujols has reached this level, with a per year PEVA ranking #2 All-Time at 28.443 PEVA per.  Of course, as a player ages, that value has a tendency to drop, but as of right now, he stands behind Ruth and ahead of Gehrig on that list.

For pitchers, we're beginning to see the rise of this era's greats.  Not just of those about to end their career (Maddux, Mussina, Glavine, Martinez, Randy Johnson), but of the up and coming squad.  Rising into the Top 100 for the first time are Halladay, Oswalt, and Lowe.  And even though we're not the biggest fans of relievers being considered the greatest pitchers ever, there is no denying Mariano Rivera, now ranked the #51 pitcher of All-Time in Total PEVA, and a surprising #48 in All-Time per Year PEVA.  That's tough to do as a reliever.  And unlike many of the younger players on the Per Year list, Mariano will likely rise or hold steady since he has already pitched in 15 seasons.  And before we move past 2008 and dismiss the man at the top as a controversial number one, Greg Maddux continues to stand #1 in both categories.  I know many think that Maddux is a Top 10 hurler, but not number one.  But ask yourself one question, was there ever a more consistent regular season pitcher in Major League history?  Were there two better pitching seasons back to back than the strike shortened 1994-5 span in which he dominated, but to this day gets less credit for than he deserves?  It may take many years before others understand that Maddux is worthy of being mentioned, not only in the same breath, but perhaps first in the conversation, with Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, and steroid pending Roger.

Moving Up, Position Players Career List
Alex Rodriguez #34 to #32
Ken Griffey, Jr. #43 to #42
Manny Ramirez #60 to #45
Gary Sheffield #52 to #51
Chipper Jones #85 to #63
Jim Thome #84 to #71
Albert Pujols #135 to #86
 

Moving Up, Pitchers Career List
Mike Mussina #25 to #20
Mariano Rivera #73 to #51
Jamie Moyer #72 to #54
Johan Santana #91 to #57
Andy Pettitte #65 to #58
Roy Halladay #120 to #59
Kenny Rogers #90 to #85
Roy Oswalt #111 to #89
Trevor Hoffman #100 to #95
Derek Lowe #139 to #100


Career Best Baseball Pitcher List
Career Best Baseball Player List
Time to Vote for Deacon White, Veterans Hall of Fame Ballot

December 4, 2008 -  On December 8, the Veterans Committee of the Hall of Fame will render their decision on inclusion into the Hall for all those players not yet enshrined by the Baseball Writers or previous Veterans Committees.  There are now two different categories to choose from; players from prior to 1943 and those from after 1943.  Those included in the post ballot are Dick Allen, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Ron Santo, Luis Tiant, Joe Torre, and Maury Wills.  All living Hall of Fame players form the committee and vote for up to four.  Those that receive 75% of the vote are in.  For the pre-1943 ballot, ten players are up for consideration, with a committee of 12 writers, execs, and Hall of Famers able to vote for up to four.  Nine votes are required for election amongst players Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Joe Gordon, Sherry Magee, Carl Mays, Allie Reynolds, Vern Stephens, Mickey Vernon, Bucky Walters, and Deacon White.

It’s been a tough road to hoe since the change in the Veterans Committee elections to the Hall.  And that’s the way it should be.  After 15 years of eligibility on the regular BBWAA ballot without election, only the most worthy of those not yet in should receive the honor; those that for some reason were dismissed, or those from eras prior that were missed as well.  For many, this is the year for Ron Santo, whose credits have been discussed many times before, or for Jim Rice, but if we, at Baseball Evaluation, could only vote for one man among the entire group, it would be Deacon White.  White played in the earliest era, from the first year of pro baseball in 1871 through 1890, and he was one of the special players of the era that initiated the game.  Although his total PEVA player grade of 274.720 is just shy of the automatic inclusion number of 275 (all players eligible for the Hall of Fame who score above that number are already in), it is amazing to us that he has not been enshrined.  And the reason for that, for the most part, is purely the short number of games in the schedule of pro baseball before 1900.  The maximum number of games played during the twenty seasons of his career was 1881, an average of 94.05 per season, compared to the 162 of today.  The PEVA system adjusts for that, but it is doubtful that the voters up to now do the same.  Consider this, if Deacon White had been playing today, he would have amassed 3,558 hits (2,066 actual) and 1,682 runs batted in (977 actual).  Not many players play in those totals.  We’re talking Cobb, Aaron, Musial, and Rose on the hit parade.  And consider his best season, 1877.  If Deacon White had played a 162 game schedule in that year, his stat line would look something like this, ... 135 runs scored, 130 RBI, 274 Hits, 37 Doubles, 29 Triples, 4 HR, with a 0.387 batting average.  He led baseball that year in Run Production, Runs Batted In, and Slugging Percentage, too.  And if you don’t think he was worth inclusion, check out the Salary Projections for that man after the 1877 season.  Deacon White would have received an 8 year, $162,928,000 contract, according to Stat Geek Baseball 2009 and the SPRO projection model, for his play.  Now that’s some real change, and we are talking dollars and cents.  We like Santo in the Veterans Committee, for certain, but if there was one player, and one player only, that we could select for inclusion amongst those players, there’s no doubt it would be Deacon White.


Post 1943 Ballot - Position Players
(Name, Career PEVA Player Grade, Rank)
Ron Santo, 259.712 PEVA, #56 All-Time Batters
Dick Allen, 237.460 PEVA, #74
Joe Torre, 214.765 PEVA, #102
Vada Pinson, 201.635 PEVA, #129
Al Oliver, 195.039 PEVA, #136
Gil Hodges, 169.363 PEVA, #199
Tony Oliva, 155.848, #251
Post 1943 Ballot - Pitchers
Jim Kaat, 184.824 PEVA, #53 All-Time Pitchers
Luis Tiant, 147.094 PEVA, #105 All-Time Pitchers

Pre 1943 Ballot - Position Players
Deacon White, 274.720 PEVA, #46 All-Time Batters
Sherry Magee, 242.236 PEVA, #67
Bill Dahlen, 216.119 PEVA, #96
Mickey Vernon, 168.791 PEVA, #201
Vern Stephens, 158.792 PEVA, #238
Joe Gordon, 127.893 PEVA, #361

Pre 1943 Ballot --
Pitchers
Bucky Walters, 182.990 PEVA, #55 All-Time Pitchers
Carl Mays, 149.606 PEVA, #102 All-Time Pitchers
Wes Ferrell, 128.949 PEVA, #188 All-Time Pitchers
Allie Reynolds, 105.91 PEVA, #218 All-Time Pitchers

Career Best Baseball Pitcher List
Career Best Baseball Player List

Best Franchise Seasons of All-Time

November 24, 2008 - Who jumped into the top of the list?  Did any of your favorite team's players have one of the team's best years in franchise history in 2008.  You might be surprised, but there were more than a few top twenty years for pitchers and players in 2008 in franchise history among the National and American League teams.  Any that rose to the top notch?  Well, yes, in fact.  Although the list is short due to their limited history, the World Series runner up Tampa Bay Rays added the top pitching year in their history with James Shields and his 14-8 record over 215 innings, adding up to a 2008 PEVA value of 18.346.  And his pitching mate Matt Garza also jumped into the #5 spot.  Let's not forget the best pitcher in 2008 though.  Cliff Lee, 22-3, 2.54 ERA, 47.417 PEVA, was not to be outdone in Cleveland Indians history either, beating out Bob Feller's spectacular 1940 campaign, 27-11, 2.61 ERA, and a PEVA of 46.643.  Not to be left out, although it's a bit hard to put a partial year player on the list, is C.C. Sabathia.  But not only did C.C. easily take over the #1 spot for the Brewers, even his adjusted PEVA (split) topped the list.

Of course, it's a whole lot harder to crack the Top Twenty on either the pitching or batting list for a franchise with a one hundred year history, such as the New York Yankees, but you'd be surprised at who did just that.  Mike Mussina, in his last year before retirement, showed that there was plenty left in his arm.  His 2008 season ranked as the #12 best pitching year in Yankee history, between the 1910 season of Russ Ford and the 1962 season of Ralph Terry.  His 20 wins combined with a 3.37 ERA (25.277 PEVA) were enough to cement his place on the list of Bronx hurlers from Spud Chandler, Jack Chesbro, Ron Guidry, and White Ford.  Of course, the Yankees are more known for their bombers than their pitchers, as shown by the PEVA numbers on those lists, but Mussina deserves great credit for his fantastic year in 2008, #12 in the anals of the best franchise in sports history.  
For the full lists, check out Best Seasons by Team/Franchise.

Other teams who had players jump into the Top Twenty seasons in franchise history in 2008.


Position Players
Arizona Diamondbacks - Chris Young #13
Colorado Rockies - Matt Holliday #15
Florida Marlins - Hanley Ramirez #6
Houston Astros - Lance Berkman #13
Minnesota Twins - Joe Mauer #18
New York Mets - David Wright #6, Carlos Beltran #12
San Diego Padres - Adrian Gonzalez #13
St. Louis Cardinals - Albert Pujols #14
Tampa Bay Rays - B.J. Upton #11, Carlos Pena #13
Texas Rangers - Josh Hamilton #16

Pitchers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Ervin Santana #7, Joe Saunders #20
Arizona Diamondbacks - Brandon Webb #9, Danny Haren #11
Cleveland Indians - Cliff Lee #1
Colorado Rockies - Aaron Cook #2, Brian Fuentes #6, Ubaldo Jimenez #8
Florida Marlins - Ricky Nolasco #5
Milwaukee Brewers - C.C. Sabathia #1
New York Yankees - Mike Mussina #12
New York Mets - Johan Santana #9
Philadelphia Phillies - Cole Hamels #20
San Francisco Giants - Tim Lincecum #8
Tampa Bay Rays - James Shields #1, Matt Garza #5
Toronto Blue Jays - Roy Halladay #2

Best Season of All-Time, 2008 Additions

November 20, 2008 - Yes, it was a pitcher's year.  Well, what do we mean by that.  We mean, that the most dominant players of the game were four pitchers who all exceeded the magic 32.000 PEVA Player Grade that puts them into the best seasons of all-time category.  No.  None of the four pitchers made it into the top 10, which would have been amazing.  Nobody exceeded the performances of Greg Maddux in 1994 or Silver King in 1892, but that did not mean that what Cliff Lee accomplished, or that of Roy Halladay, C.C. Sabathia, or Tim Lincecum, should not be feted.  Lee had one of the most outstanding seasons in pitching history, with a 22-3 record that catulputed him to a 47.417 final PEVA player grade, putting him in the #21 pitching season ever slot.  Not too far behind, Roy Halladay jumped into the #31 spot (46.107).  And for the most part, the baseball community and media missed it.  Baseball Evaluation did not.  With a model that accounts for the pitcher era and can provide a valid comparison over the history of the game, the fact that neither Lee or Halladay threw 300 innings, did not count against their accomplishment.  To do what these pitchers did, in an era that might now be rid of steroid ball, but still has small ballparks, is outstanding.  Sabathia also clicked into the Top 100, coming in at #67.  Lincecum made the list at #148.  But, hey, that was worth a Cy Young, now, wasn't it.  Well, it was, since voters could not figure out where to put Sabathia as far as a league goes.

But let's not completely forget the batters.  No, there wasn't one season that wowed the baseball public in the sense of the Bonds years (foregetting the circumstance, of course) or that of the Babe almost any year he played, but the accomplishment of Albert Pujols did place him at #183 in the All-Time Regular Season rankings with a PEVA of 33.388.  Not too shabby, especially considering that this is a year that Albert is having almost all of the time.  Did get him the MVP Award, which was deserved, too.

For a list of the best seasons of All-Time, go to
Best Pitching Seasons Ever
Best Batting Seasons Ever

to Check out the Best Regular Seasons in Baseball History
Stat Geek Baseball 2009 - New Name, Same Game

November 12, 2008 - What's in a name?  Well, for now, it's the new name of Baseball Evaluation's BE Career Track.  Now known as Stat Geek Baseball 2009, for all you stat geeks out there.  It's still got stats, player grades, and salary projections for every player in history from 1871 forward, including all players from the 2008 season, too.  Find out what your favorite player is really worth!  Get Stat Geek Baseball 2009.  Over 2,000 pages of data in an easier to read pdf format.  See what we're talking about with the FREE SAMPLE file, containing all players with an A name, including Hank Aaron, Bobby Abreu, and all others.

Like what you see and want more, then subscribe to the full 2,000 page data set in pdf format for just $39.95.
If you think you know the facts and figures of your favorite player, you ain't seen nothing yet, till you've taken a look at Stat Geek Baseball 2009.

Stat Geek Baseball 2009

Stat Geek Baseball 2009 Now Available!

Career Stats, Player Grades, and Salary Projections for every Player in Baseball History.  Now Download a FREE sample file  Data through 2008 Season, 2000 Pages - $39.95.

Gold Glove Winners vs. BE Silver Mitts
... How do They Compare!


November 8, 2008 - It's the most subjective of awards.  The Gold Glove is given predominantly on what the eyes of the voters have seen with a large dose of reputation thrown in.  Who can forget the year Rafael Palmeiro won the first base Gold Glove, but basically didn't play the position all year?  But that said, this year's list of winners are all well-deserving.  But how does it compare to the Baseball Evaluation model and their best fielders.  Pretty close, actually.

American League
1B - Carlos Pena (GG); Mark Teixeira (SM)
2B - Dustin Pedroia (GG); Placido Polanco (SM)
3B - Adrian Beltre (BOTH)
SS - Michael Young (BOTH)
C - Joe Mauer (GG); Dionar Navarro (SM)
OF - Torii Hunter (BOTH), Grady Sizemore (GG); Nick Markakis (SM)
Ichiro Suzuki (GG);
Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS (SM)

National League
1B - Adrian Gonzalez (GG); Albert Pujols (SM)
2B - Brandon Phillips, CIN (BOTH)

3B - David Wright (GG); Troy Glaus (SM)
SS - Jimmy Rollins (BOTH)
C - Yadier Molina (GG); Benji Molina (SM)
OF -
Carlos Beltran, NYN (BOTH), Nate McLouth, PIT (BOTH)
Shane Victorino (GG); Hunter Pence (SM)

 It was a tough year for voters at First Base, with two of the three best fielders at that position trading teams and leagues in mid-season in Mark Teixeira and Casey Kotchman, and oh, what's not to love about Albert Pujols around the bag and the plate.  Both Gonzalez and Pena are good at their positions, too, just slightly below those three in Field Value.  Field Value takes into account durability, fielding percentage, range, and for catchers and outfielders, caught stealing percentage and assists per 9 innings played, respectively.  See 2008 Fielding Grades for further rankings.  We have no argument at all for the middle infielders where Phillips, Rollins, and Young gets the nod from both the Gold Glove and Silver Mitt Awards, and Pedroia finished just behind Polanco in our ratings at AL second base.  Third Base sees Beltre a consensus pick, but a difference in opinion about David Wright.  If you asked us to give our non stat opinion, we'd agree on Wright (or Zimmerman) as NL winner, but both actually paled to Glaus in range and errors this year.  I know that comes as a surprise (he's thought of as a slugger not a fielder) and it did to us, too.  At catcher, we like Benji over Yadier, both Molina's with great arms, but with Benji more judicious in making less errors and having more range around the plate.  In the outfield, a lot of consistency reigns.  In the National League, Shane Victorino was on the outside looking in this year, predominantly because his arm was so good, nobody bothered to run on him.  This hurt his Field Value, which still ranked him up there as a premier fielder, but below Silver Mitt territory.  In the AL, Ichiro likely got the nod due to reputation.  Still a good to great fielder, we'll concede, but there are other folks in the American League who might have caught up.

Congratulations, Philadelphia Phillies, World Series Champs!

October 29, 2008 - This doesn't happen very often for us folks in the Philadelphia area who root for the Phils, but it happened last night.  For only the second time in their history, reaching all the way back to 1883 only a few decades after Doubleday and Cartwright invented this wonderful game, the Philadelphia Phillies pulled off a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday night to win the World Series of Baseball.  Overcoming the rain, cold, and twenty-eight years since their last victory, the hardy bunch of Keystone players won 4 of the 5 World Series games to give the fans of Philadelphia a reason to raise their voices in cheer, and look forward to a parade down Broad Street.  Congratulaions to everyone who rooted for the team, as well as the team, management, coaches, and all involved.  Ranked #2 in the baseballevaluation.com Team Ranks, behind the Boston Red Sox, they bested the young, up and coming Tampa Bay Rays squad with homegrown talent drafted by former boss Ed Wade and new pieces put together by current General Manager Pat Gillick.  From players from the farm such as Pat Burrell, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson, and new additions Jason Werth, Brad Lidge, and many more, their run through the postseason, 11-3, was a remarkable ride.  Thanks again from the Phladelphia fan folks at Baseball Evaluation.  It was one hell of a ride.  And the parade should be a blast, too.

Special thanks and congratulations should go to Cole Hamels, as National League Championship and World Series Most Valuable Player.  His leadership as the #1 starter going 4-0 in the postseason led the way in each series, first over the Milwaukee Brewers, then the Los Angeles Dodgers, and finally with two well pitched games against the Tampa Bay Rays in the Series.  The young lefthander proved that his stellar season was no fluke with a postseason that even exceeded his #9 ranking for 2008.  Almost nobody mentioned Hamels as a possible Cy Young candidate for the National League, but the Philly hurler ranked pretty high up there, just below the likes of Sabathia and Lincecum.  See
Pitching Grades for 2008 for a  full list of the best pitchers of the regular season for 2008.

Park Factors and Stadium Perception

October 25, 2008 - For most fans of Major League Baseball, there are stadiums in the American and National leagues that are perceived as hitter or pitcher friendly parks.  Over its history, there is Wrigley Field, particularly when the wind is blowing out, but overall, too, a hitter's park.  Of the new fields, Coors in Denver, Citizens Bank in Philadelphia, are in the hitter's column, while Petco Park in San Diego, and Seattle's Safeco Field, in the pitcher's column.  But the perceptions of some of these is changing.  Since the advent of the humidor in Denver, Coors is still in the hitting category, but not nearly as drastic as during its first decade.  From its first season in 1995, when its Batting Park Factor was 129 (29% higher than average), it has now dropped to a three year batting park factor of 107.  And it is no longer the most hitter friendly park, now behind Boston's Fenway (108), and tied with Arizona's Chase.   Who'd have thought you'd have to discount Big Poppy's production more than Todd Helton's?  And there are other parks starting to lose their reputation as a pure hitter's park, too.  Minute Maid Park in Houston and Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia have been less friendly to batters over the last several seasons than in their initial years.  In Philadelphia's case, it may have been weather.  As the 2008 season saw more games with the wind blowing in, than out.  And Citizen's had always been more of a homer dome, than a excessive run pruduction park anyway, even in its most friendly years.

On the other side of the coin, there are few pure pitcher's parks in Baseball any longer.  But the most arduous for the batter and friendly toward the hurler are Petco, with a three year average of 89 and Oakland at 93.  Only one other park, in Pittsburgh, is at least 5% pitcher friendly.  For a full list of current Park Factors, go to the American League, National League, and 2008 Team pages from the great folks at Baseball-Reference.com.
Team Ranks 2008

October 7, 2008 - The playoffs are moving into the League Championship Series for both American and National League champions, the round where most of the nation, outside the fans of the teams in the Division Series, takes notice.  And boy, were there surprises or what?  Well, yes, the Chicago Cubs taking a powder in a weak three game sweep to the Dodgers was a surprise, but just how big was it.  It seemed all year long that the Cubs were the best team in the National League.  They won the most games, after all, and it seemed as if they were playing in a division of good teams, i.e. the Brewers, Astros, and Cardinals.  It was pretty big for sure, as the Cubs were the 2nd best team in baseball per statistical PEVA review (see Team PEVA 2008) with almost equal value for their batting/fielding and pitching prowess.  However, dig a little deeper into the PEVA ProWins number and you notice that, while the Chicago Cubs of the regular season were great, they actually underachieved in winning games, winning 4 less than their PEVA stats showed.  Did this show up in the playoffs as an underachieving club?  We're not sure.  But they sure didn't play good baseball when the time came, did they?

 Nobody should be surprised that the Boston Red Sox cruised through the Angels.  They were the top ranked team in the majors per TEAM PEVA with
194.270 points (pr) while the Los Angeles of Anaheim crew sank to 11th place due to a poor PEVA hitting total.  But they won 100 games?  Yes, with a good pitching staff, poor division rivals, and a fantastic manager, they were able to outperform their stats by 9 games.  But when the lights of the postseason came on, it was hard to hide the fact that their offensive prowess was not great enough, despite the addition of Mark Teixeira to the lineup.  The Angels have what many think are two of the most dynamic players in the game in their lineup; but dig a little deeper into their stats and both Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero are lesser lights than their reputation.  With PEVA values for 2008 of 11+, what many think of as All-Star players, are really just akin to the Pat Burrell's of the world in 2008, still very good players, mind you, but not in the caliber of some of those other superstars of the game.  The Red Sox top two players this year, Kevin Youkalis and Dustin Pedroia, were better, and the players below them, more plentiful, helping Boston to victory.  It will be interesting to see how Tampa Bay fares in the AL Championship.  A great up and coming club that overachieved all year, but will their balance and enthusiasm be enough to overcome the talent of the Sox.  We'll know soon!

Preliminary Grades as of 10-1-08, pending verified stat/Park Factors
Best Player/Most Valuable Player, How It Looks From Here

October 4, 2008 - There's always a debate with this one, starting with the definition and answer to the question, ...does the Most Valuable Player have to come from a playoff team?  Not to us, it doesn't.  We think of the Most Valuable Player as the player who made the biggest difference, won the most games for his team.  Of course, that's hard to define.  And picking out the best player overall may be easier.  So let's jump right in.  I don't think there's much argument that the best player in the National League is Albert Pujols.  With a league high Slugging Percentage in the stratosphere and an On Base Percentage second only to Chipper Jones, there's no denying that the man who makes the St. Louis Cardinals go is right up there with the league and all-time bests.  With his 37 home runs and 117 RBI's, it's hard to claim he is not worthy of the prize.  But the Cardinals weren't in the playoff hunt at the end, and they certainly didn't make the playoffs.  That's true, but for us, his season was so much better than his other rivals, Ryan Howard, for example, that we are going with the man Albert.  Howard, for certain, pushed the Phillies into the postseason with a stellar September, but his first several months were well below grade, at times costing the team wins, that despite his Major League high totals in Homers and Runs Batted In, the first half of the season knocks him out to us.  Those games count, too, you know.  That's why his 2008 Batting PEVA (pr) of 18.671 just isn't up to Pujols par, at 33.408, where a full season of excellence takes the cake.

 In the American League, there's no clear cut winner.  Mark Teixeira ranks the highest in PEVA, but with a season of only two months in the AL, there's not enough track record stating his value to the Angels counted as much as other full-time, full-league players.  But the other candidates who had good years really didn't have great ones after all, and they all play on non-contenders.  This is one of those years you might even think about a pitcher, but alas, the top two pitchers, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, were on non-playoff teams, too.  So what's a baseball geek to do.  We'll choose Joe Mauer.  It's about time the rest of the baseball universe thought of this stellar catcher as MVP worthy.  The numbers he is putting up from the catching position are real fine, an OBP of 0.413 for example.  But it is a close race, with perennial candidates like Alex Rodriguez and Justin Morneau deserving some thought, as well as the Texas slugger Josh Hamilton who burst on the first half scene in great fashion.  Other lesser lights might sneak in here, too, for those that like players from playoff teams.  Kevin Youkalis from Boston, plus Jermaine Dye and Carlos Quentin from the White Sox will get some votes.

2008 MVP Race
Baseball Evaluation Best Batters 2008
National League
Albert Pujols, 33.408 PEVA
David Wright, 25.495
Lance Berkman, 24.482
Manny Ramirez, 23.755
(Total AL/NL)
Carlos Beltran, 22.399

American League
Mark Teixeira, 23.955
(Total NL/AL)
Joe Mauer, 20.822
Nick Markakis, 19.930
Josh Hamilton, 19.258
Alex Rodriguez, 19.184

Preliminary Batting/Fielding Grades as of 10-1-08, pending verified stat and Park Factors
Pitching Grades and the Best Pitchers in Baseball for 2008

October 2, 2008 - Pitching grades for 2008 are in, at least the preliminary kind, and it's time for the baseball stat geeks at Baseball Evaluation to give our take on the 2008 season from the mound.  So here we go!  Although the last three weeks saw Cliff Lee come a bit closer to earth, there was no stopping the now Cleveland ace from garnering his favorite status for the Cy Young award.  Just imagine if the Indians hadn't panicked and sold C.C. Sabathia early in a race that was not really close to over.  With his steller 22-3 record and 2.54 ERA, Lee had his career year, and one of the better in the history of the game.  With a final PEVA (pr) of 47.396, only  twenty pitchers since 1871 had better years.  But this, in the end, was not a landslide victory for best pitcher in the American League.  What about Roy Halladay?  His 20 wins and 2.76 ERA over 246 innings for the Blue Jays also ranks highly on the career season best list.  And his season came as no surprise.  This man can pitch, year after year after year.  And who out there thought that Mike Mussina was done?  His 20 win season at this late date, for a team of Yankees that didn't make the playoffs, might just cement his plaque at Cooperstown.

Now for the National League, it will be a bit of a controversial statement to push for C.C. Sabathia as National League Cy Young winner, but not because he didn't pitch great.  His stellar performance for the Brewers during the last half of the year willed them into the playoffs.  The only thing holding C.C. back will be some writers who have trouble handing the award to a half season National League pitcher.  But that, in the end, seems unfair.  However, in their defense, there are other great candidates.  Tim Lincecum struck out so many batter and won 18 games for a bad Giants team, and Brandon Webb led that Webb Haren one two punch to 22 victories in Arizona.  But no, we do not believe that another name that should be included is the Phillies Brad Lidge.  And we're a Phillies fan by the way.  He had a fantastic season, with 41 saves in 41 chances, but baseballevaluation.com just can't get a handle around the fact of handing this award to a pitcher who didn't get to 70 innings, no matter how good those innings were, and actually think that Cole Hamels is the more valuable pitcher there.  Would anyone trade Sabathia, Lincecum, Webb, or Hamels even up for Lidge?  Not many would.  You just can't give away over 200 innings for 70.


2008 Cy Young Race
Baseball Evaluation - Best Pitchers 2008
National League
C.C. Sabathia, 39.826 PEVA (Total AL/NL)
Tim Lincecum, 33.938
Brandon Webb, 31.471
Dan Haren, 29.086
Johan Santana, 26,086

American League
Cliff Lee, 47.l396
Roy Halladay, 46.734
Mike Mussina, 23.824
Ervin Santana, 22.017
Jon Lester, 19.232

Preliminary Pitching Grades as of 10-1-08, pending verified stat and Park Factors
Most Valuable Player 2008 Track

September 12, 2008 - We are witnessing the continuation of a Hall of Fame career, but he's so good, many people don't realize just how good this man is.  Yes, I'm talking about Albert Pujols, and not Alex Rodriguez.  Going into the 2008 season, Albert Pujols had played in seven seasons, and had averaged 27.737 PEVA points per year.  So what does that mean.  It is the third highest Performance Evaluation Average in history, behind only Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.  And Albert has not stopped there.  I know that some consider the second half of Carlos Delgado with the New York Mets as MVP like, but it was only the second half.  Mr. Pujols hits all the time, with a 34.424 PEVA grade as of mid-September, hitting over .360 with an OBP and SLG percentage way above league average.  He will be challenged for the award, although we believe that it won't be by Delgado.  With the surging Houston Astros making a bid for the playoffs, don't discount the fantastic year of first baseman Lance Berkman.

In the American League, it's not so clear cut.  There is nobody on a team that likely will make the playoffs who is having the type of year you'd automatically say with MVP worthy, plus nobody on a lower level team who is head and shoulders above the crowd.  But there are worthy candidates having very good seasons, not the least of those is perennial candidate Alex Rodriguez and former MVP Justin Morneau.  One player who likely won't get consideration, but is having an excellent season is Mark Teixeira.  But just where would he get the votes, with only a few months of play in the American League and the majority of the season in the National.  A lot will depend on how these players finish the final couple of weeks and whether any of their teams make a last ditch rush toward October baseball.

2008 MVP Race
National League
Albert Pujols, 34.424 PEVA
Lance Berkman, 32.271
David Wright, 22.462

American League
Mark Teixeira, 23.789 (AL/NL)
Justin Morneau, 23.778
Alex Rodriguez, 22.217
Josh Hamilton, 20.664
Joe Mauer, 20.510

(PEVA Grade as of 9/9/08)
On the Gold Glove Track

September 11, 2008 - Ninety percent of the season is over and the fiedlers have been roaming their positions for the vast majority of the season.  So it might be time to look into who could be the Gold Glove winners, or in our case the Silver Mitts, when October arrives.  

Who are the surprise fielders of 2008?  Number one ... Troy Glaus.  Glaus is a big time power hitter not always known for his defense, and while it's still true that his range is not what some of the best at his position have, at 2.81 RF, it's not too bad.  And he has been steady with the glove as well, with only 6 errors in 134 games.  Now this might be somewhat of a comparative deal, as more than a few of the former fielding greats have fallen off the wagon due to injury and age, and some rising stars not yet qualified from an innings standpoint, such as stellar defenseman Ryan Zimmerman.  Scott Rolen no longer fields over 3 balls per game.  He has trouble playing an entire season and is now slowed both on the basepaths and the field compared to his first several years in the majors.

The old reliables.  Jimmy Rollins continues to field his position at a high level, despite the injuries he endured at the beginning of the season.  Even though we consider Troy Tulowitzski as the better fielder over the last two seasons, his injury plagued year of 2008 does not allow us to consider him for the Silver Mitt.  Rollins, as well as compatriots Orlando Cabrera and Michael Young in the American League are at the top of the class this year with less than three weeks to go.

It's not like this man can't hit, but Albert Pujols fields his position with the best of them, too.  There are some who prefer the more flamboyant style of Mark Teixeira, but for quality of play year in and year out, Mr. Pujols neither takes an inning off in the field or an at bat off at the plate.

Changing of the Guard.  In the outfield, it's almost time for the old reliables to move over, although Torii Hunter doesn't seem to have gotten the message.  But whether his email or texting was faulty or not, the young outfielders around the majors are going to be making a dent in the Gold Glove derby soon.  From Hunter Pence in Houston to Cody Ross, Nate McLouth, Shane Victorino, and more, there's going to be a whole lot of hardware to go around.
Catcher
Chris Snyder, 99.5%
Bengie Molina, 98.1%
Geovany Soto, 95.2%
Jason Kendall, 94.8%
Dionar Navarro, 94.3%
1st Base
Albert Pujols, 100%
Lyle Overbay, 95.7%
Mark Teixeira, 95.0%
Casey Kotchman, 90.7%
Carlos Pena, 87.9%
2nd Base
Brandon Phillips, 99.3%
Brian Roberts, 98.0%
Ian Kinsler, 96.7%
Placido Polanco, 96.0%
Mark Ellis, 95.3%
3rd Base
Troy Glaus, 94.7%
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 87.6%
Adrian Beltre, 86.5%
Melvin Mora, 86.5%
David Wright, 97.3%

Shortstop
Orlando Cabrera, 100%
Michael Young, 99.4%
Jimmy Rollins, 97.1%
Jhonny Peralta, 96.6%
Miguel Tejada, 96%
Outfield
Hunter Pence, 96.5%
Cody Ross, 95.3%
Nate McLouth, 94.1%
Torii Hunter, 92.9%
Shane Victorino, 90.6%
Carlos Beltran,90.0%
Outfield
Aaron Rowand, 89.4%
Chris Young, 88.8%
Carlos Gomez, 88.2%
Ryan Braun,
88.2%
Adam Jones, 88.2%
Grady Sizemore, 87.6%

Is Cliff Lee Having One of the Best Pitching Years Ever?

September 8, 2008 - The short answer is yes.  And it’s not just domination for a bad team, something that is hard to do during any season.  It is domination and excellence across the board.  According to preliminary PEVA figures through September 7, Lee’s performance on the mound exceeds all prior pitching years in baseball history, except for Greg Maddux in the strike-shortened season of 1994.  And why do the numbers point this out.  Pick the appropriate category and Lee is there.  A 21-2 record.  That win total is even more impressive than the 27 wins Steve Carlton had for that miserable Phillies team, considering that in today’s game, pitches don’t rack up win totals much at all.  The best ERA in the game.  A strikeout to walk ratio without peer.  He’s not giving up home runs.  He’s not giving up hits or walks.  He has been reliable with taking the ball and pitching innings, too.  Now, there are three weeks to go in the 2008 season, perhaps 4-5 starts more for Cliff Lee and the Cleveland Indians to add or detract from that record.  It is likely that his ranking will diminish over that stretch, either due to law of averages, or even the desire for Cleveland to shut this current and future ace down and limit his innings in what has become a season of meaningless games for the Indians.  But even in those circumstance, we’re looking at a Cy Young season that should rank in the Top 40, no matter what happens over the last three weeks.  And it’s a season that all but the most ardent baseball stat fans even realize is going on.  What if you pitched the perfect season and nobody knew it?  Cliff Lee might be asking himself that question on October 1.

2008 Cy Young Race
American League
Cliff Lee, 56.842
Roy Halladay, 44.088
Ervin Santana, 22.966

(PEVA as of 9/7/08)
National League
C.C. Sabathia, 31.740, Brandon Webb, 25.969
Cole Hamels, 25.954, Tim Lincecum, 25.641
Danny Haren, 25.211, Ben Sheets, 24.756
Johan Santana, 23.769, Ryan Dempster, 21.496
Baseball Evaluation, Baseball History & Performance Grades
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