A graphical look at the value of Pirate position players

Inspired by the folks over at Beyond the Box Score, I thought I would throw up a graph today. Using the numbers at Fangraphs, here are the win values by season for five Pirate starters who have been in the majors for at least a few years now. These numbers include both offense and defense, and account for positional difficulty.

Please note that catcher defense is not included, which would affect Ryan Doumit’s value a bit. Off the top of my head, I think John Dewan valued Doumit at -2 runs (or -0.2 wins) in 2008 in his most recent volume of The Fielding Bible. I have not gone through his methodology yet, but keep that in mind.

I included the 2005-2008 seasons.



After a quick glance at this graph, I had a few thoughts.

  • It is difficult to get a read on Freddy’s trend. IS he quickly declining each year, or was 2008 simply an injury-plagued season that he should bounce back from?
  • LaRoche has been pretty steady the past three years.
  • Jack Wilson is all over the place from year to year. Who knows what to expect from him in 2009.
  • Both McLouth and Doumit have performed very well when receiving regular playing time. Will their value continue to trend upwards, or did they peak in 2008?
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    Lee Young

    As seen in yesterday’s game (or was it Wed?….I’ve been on travel for work), he can suddenly lose control. If not for that latter problem, I’d LOVE to see him in Pgh. Otherwise, he seems highly unreliable because of that.

    Sky Kalkman

    Good stuff, Matt. From what I’ve seen, Doumit is more in the -5 to -10 run range as a defensive catcher.
    Also, I’d like to discourage looking at trends (like McLouth will continue to get better) to predict the future and instead look at a an average of the past few seasons and adjust for age.

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