Monday, January 4, 2010

What About Paginski?

Here's an interesting thought experiment from the Orioles Blog Camden Crazies (via BBTF):
This idea came up when discussing the possibility of the Yankees signing Matt Holliday on Twitter:
Doesn’t make sense for NY to spend that money on him now. The could put me in LF and still maybe make the playoffs.

Which begs the question, just how many wins could I cost a team if I played a full season? Any guesses, before I try to figure it out?
Seems easy enough to figure out. Same procedure would be used as when evaluating any other player. Take a guess, and then let’s work it out.

First off, the stipulation was that I would get 600 plate appearances in left-field, but I think it’s the case that if I had to play in the field all the time I wouldn’t actually make it to 600 PA. So instead, I’ll go easy on myself and just DH for the season.
The author, Daniel Moroz, is very conservative in projecting his offensive contributions, giving himself a .050/.100/.050 line for the season. Much of that comes from the assumption that if you just kept your bat on your shoulder, you'd work the occasional walk.

Click through to find out just how many runs and wins below replacement a .150 OPS is and to see whether or not the Yankees could hypothetically make the playoffs with him at DH.

It also reminds me of the following classic New York State Lottery commercial:

"Paginski" in the commercial was only batting .027 and he was also costing him team lots of runs with his awful defense at third base, meaning the Designated (Anti-)Hitter Moroz probably isn't the worst player in imaginary baseball history.

The moral of the story is that even the worst major leaguers are several orders of magnitude better than the average person watching from the stands or their couch at home. Although Joe Schmo would probably walk more than Bengie Molina, Yuniesky Bentancourt or Jeff Francoeur.


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