Further Thoughts on Andruw Jones

Let’s think some more. How difficult is it for Andruw Jones to catch up to Lee and Pujols in linear weights (that is, the amount of runs he produces above the average player) on defense? The nice thing about LWTS is that you can measure runs saved as well as runs produced.

Let’s assume that an average fielder could not make 10% of Andruw’s outs . That number is way high, by let’s try and get AJ’s numbers up at the high end. And let’s further assume he’ll end up with 400 put outs plus assists (again, this is high). That gives Andruw 40 extra outs over the average fielder. What are these outs worth. Let’s assume he turns 20 singles, 10 doubles, 5 triples, and 5 home runs into outs (do you get the picture that I’m trying to go beyond generous?). Given the LWTS for these events that means Andruw saves just about 30 runs above average on defense. Assuming Pujols and Lee are average fielders, that is they save no runs on defense over the average player, AJ is now just about equal with Pujols and still many runs back of Lee. The point is, even with wildly exaggerated numbers that favor Andruw, he’s still barely catching up.

8 Responses “Further Thoughts on Andruw Jones”

  1. Aaron says:

    It seems like you’re getting into completely different terrain when you talk about fielding vs the average fielder for a position or anything vs the average for a position. Andruw’s offense over the average offensive center fielder catches him up tremendously to the other guys, as center fielders are generally, barring Edmonds, poor offensive players compared to first basemen and corner outfielders.

    If MVP was really based on how someone performs relative to the average at that position, Mike Piazza, by far the best offensive catcher in history, would have won like eight MVPs. A-Rod would have won a few, too.

  2. JC says:

    Actually, I’m not thinking in terms of actual Fielding Runs as done in TBE by position. I’m thinking theoretically of an all out average fielder. I would say Chipper Jones is an average fielder. He’d suck at SS, 2B, and CF, but is decent to slightly above average at most any other fielding position.

  3. Aaron says:

    Apparently, you aren’t familiar with the process of internet argumentation. The goal is to misinterpret and subsequently misrepresent the initial thesis in such a way as to make it easy to refute. That should then be countered with frustration, anger, and dismissive language.

    This whole “reasoned clarification” thing has no place on the web. Go back to your academic journals.

  4. JC says:


    Good one Arron!

    Unfortunately, I’m all too familiar with that process.

  5. Kyle says:

    Using the suggestions I got yesterday, I ran the numbers for all 1B and CF with at least 100 PA.

    What I got (and this does not have park factors):

    Lee: 133.37 RC, 83.4 RAA, 62.8 VORP

    Pujols: 132.23 RC, 82.3 RAA, 61.1 VORP

    Jones: 96.5 RC, 57.1 RAA, 35.2 VORP (Jim Edmonds actually has a higher VORP at 35.8)

    Oh, and I should probably state that RC = linear weights; RAA = linear weights – average number of runs created by a CF; VORP = linear weights – average player’s runs created per outs * the number of outs that player has made (I also did one for PA, but I would think looking at outs would be more valuable).

    So, thanks to the suggestions yesterday (which were greatly appreciated, by the way), it’s obvious that either Pujols or Lee deserve the MVP — probably Lee but I’m guessing Pujols gets it.

  6. Aaron says:

    There’s a difference between “deserving” and “getting” the MVP. Your work is on who deserves it.

    Looking at history, it’s hard to see how an RBI leader on a pennant winner can lose. It just doesn’t happen. Getting it is really almost a slam dunk for Andruw. Heck, leading the league in homers is just icing.

  7. Kyle says:

    There’s a difference between “deserving” and “getting” the MVP. Your work is on who deserves it.

    Well yeah, that’s obvious. I doubt there’s many, if any, voters who even know what VORP is, let alone give it any credence.

    I don’t think it’s a slam dunk for Andruw, though. I think Pujols will get a lot of votes as well since he has the high average, a lot of homers as well, and a good RBI total. It will be interesting to see, though.

  8. Kirk says:

    My guess is that Pujols is either 1st or 2nd on almost every ballot, but Andruw will have more ballots at 3 or lower. My reasoning is that voters who pick Andruw as MVP will most likely place Pujols over Lee, but that some voters that pick Pujols as MVP will pick Lee over Andruw, and that most voters that pick Lee as MVP will place Pujols over Andruw. Andruw will need a big enough margin in 1st place votes over Pujols to overcome this difference in lower positioning on other ballots. So, I think Pujols still has a very good shot. Lee just won’t make it due to bias against him because of the Cubs finish.