Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Baseball Prospectus: Cocky Stat Guys Who Know What They're Talking About
The latest PTP (Prospectus Triple Play) article includes a section on the Astros. Baseball Prospectus says:
1. They're glad that Jason Lane (who had the highest EqA, .293, on the team, going into the Pirates series) is finally getting regular playing time, and even gladder that he'll stay in RF after Lance Berkman returns, with Lance shifting to LF. Left field at the Juice Box is probably the smallest OF area to cover of any ballpark in the majors, so Lance shouldn't collapse due to strain on his knee.
2. They go on a rant about Craig Biggio's 'milestones': he's only the 4th player in baseball to have 500 doubles, 400 stolen bases, 2000 hits, etc., etc. They basically say such milestones are meaningless and Biggio doesn't need them to make people realize he's had a great career.
I was flipping through BP's stats, which include EqA (stands for Equivalent Average, and incorporates BA, OBP, SLG, stolen bases, caught stealing, home park, etc., into a league-wide comparison for offensive performance) and VORP (Value Over Replacement Player - a shortstop with a .290 EqA is more valuable than a RF with a .300 EqA in Colorado, for example). I know it's early in the season, but here are some interesting Astros stats:
First, EqA for hitters:
Jason Lane .286
Craig Biggio .295
Morgan Ensberg .280
Willy Taveras .274
Mike Lamb .289
Jeff Bagwell .270
Adam Everett .234
Brad Ausmus .220
Chris Burke .179
Luke Scott .161
and VORP for pitchers:
Roger Clemens 17.2 (2nd in all of baseball behind the Immortal Jon Garland)
Roy Oswalt 9.4
Andy Pettitte 9.2
Brandon Backe -1.2
Brad Lidge 5.5
Dan Wheeler 4.5
Chad Qualls 2.7
Chad Harville 1.9
So it looks like we'll have a decent "top 6" group of hitters when Berkman gets back (note that Taveras's EqA is helped by his stolen bases), though he obviously can't replace Everett or Ausmus, a strong front 3 in the rotation in Clemens / Oswalt / Pettitte, and a solid front 4 in the bullpen in Lidge / Wheeler / Qualls / Harville. In other words, pretty much what we knew going into the year.

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