Padres bloggin' since 2007

Do We Even Care About Ability?

January 25th, 2008 by Melvin

Khalil Greene Named 2007 Padres MVP

…when captain .290 OBP is the team’s most valuable player? Why can’t we move past these homecoming king valuations when determining the most worthwhile contributors to a professional club?

I don’t know if it’s the poor use of poor to begin with counting statistics like RBIs that gets to me the most, or if it’s my sneaking suspicion that blond hair and good looks are what compound the over-rating of Khalil Greene.

I’m not saying he should be actively shopped this winter. That usually gives away the leverage necessary to make a good trade. But if there is / was a similar package to that of Nick Swisher, and I don’t think that’s out of the realm of possibilities, I think you have to take it. No question.

Who would replace him, you ask?

Granted, there isn’t anyone in the farm who is ready for the job, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good options (formerly) out there. When only the best defensive shortstop this side of Ozzie Smith was available for mere pennies on the dollar, that answers that question.

Adam Everett at $2.8 million is the true definition of a moneyball signing, even when one considers the .299 career OBP (coincidently higher than the 2007 numbers posted by a certain Padres shortstop). Everett was undervalued in the market this year, and the Padres should have jumped on him.

This would leave an overhyped Greene available for trade, while gaping holes begging for young talent exist in center, or a corner outfield spot (Giles to left? Anyone? Not saying he needs it at this point, but it’s something worth planning for).

Back to the MVP

VORP, or Value Over Replacement Player is a nice stat for our use here. It incorporates all aspects of run scoring for a hitter, can be used for pitchers to compare with hitters, and adjusts for the importance and difficulty of each position on defense. It does not adjust for defensive ability however, so I would give a slight additional edge to Gonzalez, Greene, and Cameron.

Padre 2007 VORP
Jake Peavy 77
Adrian Gonzalez 38.4
Khalil Greene 23
Josh Bard 22.5
Mike Cameron 20.4
Milton Bradley 19
Kevin Kouzmanoff 18.6

What’s a blogger / former Padres disappointment to do at this point? Do I really need to explain the above? Greene is a good player no doubt, but not what he is made out to be.

Lets just convince our girlfriends / wives that Padres players other than Khalil Greene are also good looking. I have a personal hankering for Kouz, but that’s me.

Melvin Update (1/25): I can’t believe I forgot to mention Khalil’s defense in the original article. The thought was brewing in my head during the writing process, but never got out. Perhaps the endless binges of Moonshine and balut have finally caught up to me.

Here are Greeney’s (Greeny?) OOZ and RZR stats courtesy of the Hardball Times.

2004 0.839 46
2005 0.799 37
2006 0.832 36
2007 0.848 59

Compare these numbers to Adam Everett (linked above), keeping in mind Everett was hurt in 2007. RZR stands for revised zone rating, or the percentage of balls hit into Green’s zone on which he made the play. OOZ stands for out of zone, or the balls hit outside his zone he turned into an out.

They show Greene’s 2004-2006 was good, but not great. Only in 2007 did his play catch up to his reputation.

For reasons why I think this phenomenon exists, check out my article Tighter, I Can’t See His Pores!

Posted in awards, gripes, hot stove, players | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Do We Even Care About Ability?”

  1. MB says:

    I know this discussion kind of broke out over at DS, but I figured I’d come over here and make a comment … you know, I know how it feels to not get many comments ; )

    Anyway, here’s his THT zone data converted to runs by Justin at On Baseball and the Reds (check over there for the methodology if you aren’t familiar with it):

    He’s at +9 runs which is where most of the other systems have him, and FWIW where I feel he is … maybe like +7-8, like I said over thereat DS, after you account for a little aging and regression. But I still think he’s a very good defender and a very good (depending on your definition) overall player.

    Anyway, I always enjoy the blog here even when I disagree.

  2. Didi says:

    That’s the problem with Khalil. He hits lots of XBH but he doesn’t get on base often enough (lord, please don’t let him get hit to get on base for he may break his toes in the process).

    The trouble of getting Everett is that while his glove is barred none the best in the league, his bat is one of the worst with OBP about the same as Khalil’s. And as it is, the Padres are not generating runs enough at home and put way too much pressure on the pitching staff to be very very good.

    So, it’s not so easy to part with Khalil Greene.

  3. […] yes, we at the Sac Bunt already put our money where our mouth is.  Yes we know, 97 RBIS!  Completely […]

  4. […] We’ve written before on the ridiculousness of this award, and I expect this year to be no different. […]

  5. […] Khalil’s MVPadre winning season of 2008, we at The Sac Bunt made the case (cases, really) for why he should be moved. His value was at an all-time high and it wasn’t really […]

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