Thursday, August 5, 2010

What is Ryan Howard's Value? Paapfly vs.Phanatics

Repost: (

By on Feb 26, 2010

James, Matt, Austin, Vollmer, Brad C – if you don’t like the content, go read the garbage the beat writers and mainstream media write. You scream and rant about how Howard is basically the greatest player ever, but provide no evidence. Utley is a far greater player, but you probably don’t understand that. His (Howards) accomplishments are inflated by ballpark, but most importantly, because he has a guy like Utley constantly on in front of him.
You sound precisely like the Yankees fans on the fangraphs, tigers thread yesterday. If you want to pretend it’s 1941, go ahead. Just don’t try and drag your ignorant beliefs into an intelligent baseball discussion.

By on Feb 26, 2010
Hey Chris, pssst, RBI are meaningless. Don’t faint.

By AirBed Guy on Feb 26, 2010
Trading Howard makes sense if you can move Ibanez to first. He is the biggest defensive liability on the team, so the further you can get him away from the outfield, the better.
Trading Howard also makes sense if you can get a strong SS, C or 3B prospect in return, areas where the Phillies are sorely lacking.

This summer will truly establish his value and whether or not a deal is actually possible. The Padres are almost certain to move Gonzalez and Howard will have more value than Gonzalez. That said, what teams have the money to spend $20 mm a season on a 1B? Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Mets, Dodgers, Giants, and White Sox. Yankees are set a 1b, and my guess is that the Phillies would prefer to trade Howard to an AL team so that eliminates the Dodgers, Mets and Giants, which leaves you the Red Sox, Angels and White Sox. Red Sox have already talked to the Padres about a trade. If that deal goes down, there will be a slim market for Howard.

By on Feb 26, 2010
Howard has LESS value. He is way more expensive, and quite frankly, not nearly as good.

By MG on Feb 26, 2010
You are putting together one of the best Phils’ blogs out there. This was well-thought out with plenty of rationale justifications.

Only question is this – besides the huge public relations hit the Phils would take from trading Howard (likely most popular fan favorite after Utley) – What teams are going to be able to take on a $20M salary for a 1B and what effects will the impending FA of both Fielder and A. Gonzalez the following offseason have on Howard’s trade value?

Howard is a very good player and his power is very hard to replace but I just don’t know how much he brings in return with only a year left on his contract, limited places he could be traded to, and the impending FA of Fielder and A. Gonzalez the following season.

By John on Feb 26, 2010
Just keep them both and put the best team on the field… Stupid idea to trade Howard

By deebo on Feb 26, 2010
1B is infinitely easier to replace than RF. if howard can be traded to the BoSox for a SP and SS candidate the phils could sign dan uggla to play either 2B or 1B with utley manning the other. howard’s .270 BA and 200 k’s are the important stats. if you can surpass his OBP the HRs and RBI become less important because they get picked up by #5 and #6. the strikeouts don’t move any available runers along. get some prospects and let him go and be a freakshow in the AL. werth can slide into the cleanup spot, take hs 7 pitches each at bat and go 290/35/120 every year provided the leadoff guy has an OBP of .350 plus.

By Mike P on Feb 27, 2010
I don’t necessarily agree with your analysis, but I can appreciate the detail and care that you employed to assemble it. As always, well done.
I can understand that Howard benefits from having Utley in front of him, but let’s keep in mind that Werth also benefits from having Howard (and Utley) in front of him. How would he respond to losing this kind of protection? It’s hard to say.

My biggest problem with moving Howard is that the current Phillies lineup is centered around Howard in the 4th position. Moving Howard changes the pitches that Utley sees (with Howard behind him) and that Werth sees (with Howard in front of him). All things considered, I think that Howard is a more important piece of the lineup, and that the Phils could cope with losing Werth, while losing Howard would be crippling to the lineup. But, Bill, I certainly understand your logic.

Of course, I’m talking more about current stats and less about projected stats. That’s what makes this question so difficult. Nobody likes trying to predict the future.

In all, I think it’s an impossibly difficult decision, and I’m glad that I’m not the one who has to make it.

By Phrontiersman on Feb 27, 2010
Can you point me in the direction of research that confirms how protection affects pitches seen and, as a result, batter performance?

By Michael N on Feb 27, 2010
Are we so use to Howard’s production that we think it can be easily be made up. No offense to Werth but keeping him at around 15mil a season while trading away Howard is just not the right move. I think we should be looking at somebody that would be willing to take on Ibanez contract then allocating that money to Howard and Werth to keep them here long term. Then we could move up Dom Brown to take over left or right and would then put up the best outfield defense in baseball. Boy how I wish we had sign Burrell for a year or 2 then we would be able to keep both of these players.

By chris on Feb 27, 2010
rbi’s are meaningless??? you just proved my point about how dumb stat geeks really are.
to your modern point dont make me laugh. you dont watch baseball, i was in the first row of everygme in the 2009 season and saw everypitch everyone faced. ryan howards value > than jayson werths.

why would the red sox do that trade for a sp and a ss and why the hell do you want dan uggla. you guys are idiots go to a game watch it and enjoy the season when yuo have both. but i know none of you will do that, instead of watching the game youll have your calculator out trying to figure out numbers that mean nothing.

“i could hit .400 too if i didnt swing for the fences.” _ruth

yea i know another player that thinks like that, and is the only player in the major to put up similar stats. Ryan howard

By chris on Feb 27, 2010
and why would chase utley go to first base when if he keeps playing he’ll be right there with jeff kent and rogers hornsby as the best 2bs of all time

By Mike P on Feb 27, 2010
It’s true. I don’t have any stats to suggest that “protection” in a lineup or that hitting in a stronger lineup makes a significant difference in a hitter’s stats. In my response, I was trying to counter Paapfly’s point about Howard benefiting from hitting behind Utley by suggesting that Utley could also benefit from hitting in front of Howard or that Werth could benefit from hitting behind Howard. In doing so, I accepted his terms of the debate. I suppose one could have responded by questioning those terms and saying “What proof do you have that Howard’s stats are better because he hits behind Utley?”, but I didn’t feel like that would get us anywhere.

I guess the most scientific way to deal with this would be to examine Howard’s stats when Utley’s out of the lineup, but that would take far more time than I can afford to invest in baseball stats on a Saturday afternoon. Plus, given the relatively small sample size, I’m not sure how much it would tell us.

By derekcarstairs on Feb 27, 2010
Bill – What you are saying essentially is that the Phillies would have just as good a team by getting rid of Howard, shifting a couple of defensive positions and replacing Howard’s bat with an average 3B (maybe a Jhonny Peralta). When looked at this way, your suggestion is ludicrous.

I think the real problem here is misapplication of WAR. I think WAR is good at certain player comparisons, but such player comparisons are inadequate for lineup construction, identification of the synergistic effects of various player combinations, evaluation of complex player transactions or prediction of the results of baseball games (After all, the bottom line is winning baseball games, and the question before us is this: would the Phils win more games with Howard at 1B or Peralta at 3B?).

Just considering offense, I think it would be easy to put together a winning lineup in WAR terms by just selecting nine sluggers who strike out a lot. In real baseball, however, an ideal lineup could be formed with a split of guys with high OBP, low strikeouts and little power and other guys with high OPS. The first team would win a WAR contest on paper. The second team would win more actual games.

Let me drive my point home further with this snippet. We know that three consecutive solo homers is no better than two walks followed by a HR. Yet, in WAR terms, the former suggests a much better result than the latter.

Has anyone ever attempted to go over the performances of players in actual MLB games to compare the actual scores with what WAR would have produced? Or any other existing sabermetric measure? Has anyone ever attempted to incorporate the randomness of hitting events in measuring performance?
I am a believer in sabermetrics, Bill James and his descendants, but the science has many remaining unsolved problems. Sabermetrics is much more sophisticated than fantasy baseball, but much less so than the game itself.

By Bradley on Feb 27, 2010
why in the world would we trade a younger guy who produces 40+ hrs and 120+ rbis evry year over an older guy who produces 30+ hrs and 100+ rbis every year? i certainly don’t want to lose Werth, he’s a fantastic player, but cmon trade howard and we lose that big power lefty in our lineup that we need. plus this whole WAR thing is absolutely pathetic…. move polanco back to 2nd and utley to 1st???? cmon now
By derekcarstairs on Feb 27, 2010

Bill – I re-read your post and realize that your suggestion is not ludicrous since you assume either Werth or Howard will go. Sorry about my characterization. I do not agree, however, that it is inevitable that either will go. My first post here discusses that.

I also do not agree with your use of WAR to shape the Phils’ lineup for the reasons I set forth in my second post.

By on Feb 28, 2010
Chris – I can’t speak for others, but I do watch baseball, as often as I can, in fact. RBI counts aren’t particularly useful for understanding a hitters utility, but that’s fine if you disagree. I’m sure you believe the good old W is the end all for pitchers too, good luck with that. Oh, and we use Excel, not a calculator.

By on Feb 28, 2010
I was speaking mostly to Howards inflated numbers regarding RBI. Utley is on constantly and runs so well. He’s clearly the superior player to Howard. He’s prob the best 2B in the NL 5 straight years defensively. Also, his wOBA generally higher because he gets on more… What’s more, way better runner and mucher better contact percentage. Howards a good, borderline great hitter. Not taking away from him. It’s just people always highlight the RBI which is a mistake. His oppo power and overall power is legendary though. I’d need to see Werth at another home yard and for a year or 2 longer to really be sold on him… He’s a good player. I’m Just not sure he’s very very good overall just yet. Late bloomer for sure though… Like Utley.

No comments:

Post a Comment