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OOTP 19 - Fictional Simulations Discuss fictional simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 08-10-2018, 01:02 PM   #1
Loompa17
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The NPBL Historical Baseball Abstract

The inspiration for this thread comes from the outstanding book by Bill James: The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. If you are not familiar with the book, I highly recommend checking it out. In the second half of the book, James uses his Win Shares system to rank the top 100 players at each position and provides an excerpt about the player or some other miscellaneous ranking/list/study.

The subject of MY historical baseball abstract is the online league of which I am a longtime member: the National Pastime Baseball League. I've been posting this series on the league messageboard and the owners loved them enough that they encouraged me to post them here. I'd like to get more exposure for this great league and hopefully recruit some great owners to join the league - right now there are openings in the league.

The NPBL is a non-financial league that has been simulating seasons from 2000 to (currently) 2076. In real-time, it's been going since 2002. A couple of the owners have been in place since the league's beginning and another 5-7 have been managing for 60+ sim years (and 10+ real years). Personally, I've been at the helm of the Massachusetts Patriots since 2006 (2003 or 2004 in real time). Suffice to say, there is a great core of owners and a lot of rich history which provides the basis for this series.

A couple of differences from Bill James' book: I have ranked the top 75 players at each position (as opposed to 100). Since I'm covering less years than James did, I think the proportionate talent is equivalent. Also, while James provides an excerpt for every single player, I'm only doing that for the top ten because 1) A lot of the pieces James provides are off-the-field stories and/or based on the players’ personalities or other things that just aren’t available in OOTP. 2) I don’t have the time.
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:11 PM   #2
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Ranking the top 75 catchers for the NPBL from 2000 - 2075

1) Jocko García 2061 - 2075
I was kind of surprised to see current Hounds catcher Jocko Garcia at the top of the list of catchers when I completed the formulaic sort. But looking at it closer, I think it’s the right call. But it’s very close between Garcia and Glenn Steger. Steger was a more up-and-down and although his “up” years were better than Garcia, Garcia’s consistency trumps Steger.
The stat that I primarily utilize in the rankings I have named tvSTAT. It has an element of growing/declining reputation involved. For instance, consider Player A whose career arc goes:
Yr1 – 1
Yr2 – 3
Yr3 – 5
Yr4 – 5
Yr5 – 5
Yr6 – 3
Yr7 – 1
compared to Player B:
Yr1 – 4
Yr2 – 6
Yr3 – 1
Yr4 – 3
Yr5 – 5
Yr6 – 1
Yr7 – 3
Both players have the same total for their career, and both players accomplished a 5 in Yr5. Player A’s Yr5 tvSTAT is likely to be pretty close to 5.0, while Player B will show somewhere around 3.75 for Yr5.

2) Glenn Steger * 2024 - 2046
Which catcher put up the best individual season? The candidates are shown in the table below.
The overall player rankings rely heavily on the tvSTAT, which has adjustments for reputation and injuries. However, when answering the question about the greatest season, the tvSTAT is probably not the best metric to use. To answer that question, I would go back to looking at WAR (which tvSTAT uses at it’s base) or OPS. Glenn Steger’s 2037 campaign was probably the best by a catcher in the history of the NPBL.
Code:
Player - Year Avg HR RBI R BB K SB OBP SLG OPS WAR tvSTAT
Glenn Steger 2037 .383 30 123 121 112 82 2 .492 .563 1.055 11 9.48
Rogelio Pessoa 2038 .329 35 113 113 103 44 0 .449 .515 0.964 10 9.49
Grubby Thompson 2039 .340 39 128 129 92 59 23 .432 .560 0.992 10 8.98
Jocko García 2066 .348 42 107 113 87 52 0 .444 .572 1.016 10.6 10.32
Jocko García 2067 .335 35 102 107 79 58 0 .432 .523 0.955 9.9 10.52
3) Christopher Ferrante * 2003 - 2018
Best catcher by year for the years that Ferrante played:
2003 – Antonio Hernandez
2004 – Antonio Hernandez
2005 – Christopher Ferrante
2006 - Christopher Ferrante
2007 - Christopher Ferrante
2008 - Christopher Ferrante
2009 - Christopher Ferrante
2010 - Christopher Ferrante
2011 – Vernon Castanon
2012 – Vernon Castanon
2013 - Christopher Ferrante
2014 - Christopher Ferrante
2015 - Christopher Ferrante
2016 – Tony Romo
2017 – Tony Romo
2018 – Bill Worm

4) Bill Worm * 2014 - 2029
First overall pick by Florida in 2014. If I get the time, I’d like to see how the players from the various draft slots compare. I’m sure that the #1 overall pick will come out on top, but by how much?

5) Grubby Thompson * 2023 - 2042

Best catcher by age:
18 – Glenn Steger
19 – Christopher Delaney
20 – Christopher Delaney
21 – Sandro Gonzalez
22 – Christopher Ferrante
23 – Rogelio Pessoa
24 – Christopher Ferrante
25 – Christpher Ferrante
26 – Jocko Garcia
27 – Jocko Garcia
28 – Jocko Garcia
29 – Jocko Garcia
30 – Jocko Garcia
31 – Glenn Steger
32 – Glenn Steger
33 – Grubby Thompson
34 – Richard Ruffner
35 – Tracy Jordan
36 – Grubby Thompson
37 – Grubby Thompson
38 – Grubby Thompson
39 – Grubby Thompson
40 – Grubby Thompson
41 – Grubby Thompson

Oldest player to win a Tyson Bacon Award:
38 – Grubby Thompson (2039)
36 – Mark Sims (2050)
35 – Anthony Beckford (2009)
35 – Bob Griffith (2070)
35 – Jocko Garcia (2074)

6) Tony Romo * 2013 - 2026
“The name rings a bell” team:
C – Tony Romo
1B – Howard Lovecraft
2B – Carlos Pena
3B – Harley Race
SS – Jose Canseco
LF – Judge Judy
CF – Dallas Clark
RF – Harry Andrews
SP – James Watson
RP – Kelly Martin

7) Rogelio Pessoa * 2030 - 2043
In 2027, the NPBL expanded by 4 teams, adding Ohio (now Nova Scotia), Kentucky (now Georgia) to the FFL and Michigan and Hawaii to the GEL. Comparing and contrasting the GEL expansion teams is sort of an interesting exercise.
An expansion draft was held to fill the rosters of the expansion teams. Not surprisingly, all the expansion teams were bad. The four expansion teams drafted in the top 6 in 2028. Hawaii was the worst of the bunch, but instead of drafting Buzzy Stevens, they traded the pick to Minnesota. Hawaii would continue to lose 90+ games through 2035.
Michigan had the best record among the expansion teams in 2027 – and although they also lost 90+ games in the beginning, they drafted very well:
2028 - Brian Atencio
2029 – Francisco Gonzales, Keith Knapp
2030 – Rogelio Pessoa, Leon Colome
2031 – Ed Hansen
2032 – Mark Sims
In 2032, the club’s sixth year in existence, they became the first expansion team to post a winning season, roaring to a 96-66 record. The Militia averaged 92 wins over the next 5 years – making the playoffs each year. However, success in the playoffs eluded them, as they lost in first round each year.
The year of 2037 proved to be the coming-of-age year for the expansion teams. All 4 expansion teams made the playoffs. For Ohio and Hawaii, it was their first postseason appearance. Kentucky had made the postseason in 2035 only to have an early exit, and Michigan was making its sixth straight appearance, but had yet to make out of the first round. In addition, 2037 was another first for an expansion team: the first position player on an expansion team to win the Tyson Bacon Award: Rogelio Pessoa. Michigan (101-61) was the #2 seed and managed to finally make it out of the first round in a seven game thriller against Wisconsin. Hawaii (80-82), who managed to just squeak into the playoffs as the #8 seed, somehow found a way to dispatch of the #1 seed Washington, 4 games to 1. In the FFL, both Ohio and Kentucky found themselves going home after the first round.
Michigan defeated California in a sweep to reach the GEL championship series, where their opponent was… Hawaii, who pulled off another upset this time defeating Idaho 4-1.
In the GEL championships, the series went down to the wire. Hawaii continued its magical post season run and sent the Militia home 4 games to 3. Following that, Hawaii was able to down Rhode Island 4-1 to become the first expansion franchise to from home a championship.

8) Andrew Jones 2036 - 2056
Andrew Jones was a left-handed hitting catcher who could hit for average and power. Jones’ career was split nearly in half. The first half he played for the Virginia Grays and the second half for the Minnesota Wolves. It’s interesting that in his time with Grays, Jones hit .313, while with the Wolves his batting average was only .280. The league average from 2037-2044 in the FFL was .259, and in the years Jones played in the GEL (2045-2056) it was .252. So the slip in batting average is probably not attributable to Jones switching leagues.

9) Bill Collins * 2031 - 2047
Bill Collins vs Pedro Torrez. My first reaction is that Collins is out ahead of Torrez by a length or so, but on closer inspection, it’s really pretty close. Torrez rates as having a better peak, but Collins holds the edge for having played at a high level for longer. Torrez is still playing, though he has slowed down considerably. Perhaps if he has a revival, he may be able to pass Collins in these rankings.
In Collins’ best seasons (2036-2038), he was actually only the third best catcher in the league – because he had Steger and Pessoa ahead of him. Later in his career, when Steger and Pessoa had slowed down or retired, Collins had have a couple of seasons where he ranks as the top catcher in the NPBL.

10) Pedro Torrez 2063 - 2075
While Bill Collins was consistently overshadowed by Steger and Pessoa, Torrez was habitually topped by (1) Jocko Garcia, and (2) the various catchers having their career year. A look at the yearly top 5 catchers of the last 10 years:
2066
1 – Jocko Garcia
2 – Jorge Garcia
3 – Pedro Torrez
4 – Maximo Cruz
5 – Gerardo Vildosola
2067
1 – Jocko Garcia
2 – Pedro Torrez
3 – Maximo Cruz
4 – Gerardo Vildosola
5 – Jorge Garcia
2068
1 – Jocko Garcia
2 – Maximo Cruz
3 – Bruce Graham
4 – Jose Ramirez
5 – Pedro Torrez
2069
1 – Jocko Garcia
2 – Joe Roberts
3 – Pedro Torrez
4 – Sandro Gonzalez
5 – Maximo Cruz
2070
1 – Jocko Garcia
2 – Pedro Torrez
3 – Jose Ramirez
4 – Sandro Gonzalez
5 – Joe Roberts
2071
1 – Pedro Torrez
2 – Sandro Gonzalez
3 – Jocko Garcia
4 – Jeff Smith
5 – Chris Stelfox
2072
1 – Pedro Torrez
2 – Jocko Garcia
3 – Sandro Gonzalez
4 – Matt Failes
5 – Gil Pruitt
2073
1 – Gil Pruitt
2 – Pedro Torrez
3 – Jocko Garcia
4 – Matt Failes
5 – Sandro Gonzalez
2074
1 – Jocko Garcia
2 – Jimmy Cardenas
3 – Matt Failes
4 – Pedro Torrez
5 – Sandro Gonzalez
2075
1 – Jimmy Cardenas
2 – Jocko Garcia
3 – Jorge Garcia
4 – Matt Failes
5 – Chris Stelfox
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:12 PM   #3
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11) Andrew Kegler * 2013 - 2033
12) Malachi Sain * 2000 - 2010
13) Antonio Hernandez 2000 - 2008
14) Hongwu Zou 2041 - 2056
15) Máximo Cruz 2059 - 2071
16) Chang-bum Park 2045 - 2060
17) Bruce Graham 2057 - 2075
18) Tracy Jordan 2000 - 2007
19) Sandro González 2067 - 2075
20) Randy Eckington 2040 - 2060
21) José Ramírez 2059 - 2073
22) In-Sun An 2007 - 2022
23) Vernon Castanon 2004 - 2014
24) Jamal Patterson 2034 - 2051
25) Johney Yoon 2000 - 2009
26) José Jiménez 2053 - 2067
27) Joseph Toupin 2029 - 2038
28) Lorenzo Medina 2030 - 2047
29) Jorge García 2064 - 2075
30) Richard Ruffner 2000 - 2006
31) Martin Holtz 2005 - 2018
32) Matt Failes 2069 - 2075
33) Corey Miller 2051 - 2072
34) Raúl Torres 2039 - 2059
35) Aaron Slaughter 2010 - 2024
36) Arthur McIlhenny 2007 - 2020
37) Jean-Francois Bois 2058 - 2069
38) Gabe Smith 2050 - 2067
39) J.J. Hart 2043 - 2062
40) Gregory Welliver 2029 - 2044
41) Joe Roberts 2065 - 2075
42) Marcos Rodríguez 2057 - 2069
43) Gerardo Vildosola 2061 - 2075
44) Chris Stelfox 2066 - 2075
45) Paul Ballard 2032 - 2045
46) Jorge Guizar 2000 - 2009
47) Carlos García 2039 - 2062
48) Gil Pruitt 2070 - 2075
49) Paul Urguidz 2019 - 2032
50) Ron Moore 2044 - 2060
51) Carlos Fimenez 2016 - 2036
52) Luis Álvarez 2041 - 2052
53) Ike Hardstone 2009 - 2021
54) Terry Fetty 2004 - 2015
55) John Ostrander 2027 - 2040
56) Juan Antonio 2034 - 2051
57) Jimmy Cardenas 2070 - 2075
58) Bobby Kelly 2028 - 2041
59) Jeff Smith 2066 - 2075
60) Morgan Bender 2043 - 2058
61) Christopher Delaney 2022 - 2042
62) Josue Alcon 2029 - 2041
63) James Salabie 2014 - 2027
64) Matthew Strom 2004 - 2016
65) Donald Williams 2008 - 2021
66) Bernard Ramos 2000 - 2011
67) Tomás Valadez 2053 - 2060
68) Joaquín Salazar 2054 - 2065
69) Christopher Dorgan 2020 - 2034
70) Vincent Vannatta 2002 - 2014
71) Helmut Tuna 2005 - 2011
72) Osvaldo Ramos 2000 - 2012
73) Gene Tetrault 2000 - 2013
74) Rufus Sandlin 2010 - 2025
75) Fernando Bautista 2059 - 2075
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:14 PM   #4
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I'll have to figure out the most effective way to transfer what I've typed out into tables (like what's under Glenn Steger to show the best on this messageboard. I've got quite a few more tables upcoming in the further rankings.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:52 AM   #5
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FIRST BASEMEN


1) Walt Geldof * 2040 - 2062
Most times winning the Tyson Bacon Award:

Despite winning the Bacon award the most times, Geldorf cannot say that he dominated his position more than any other player. He was the best first baseman in the league in 9 different years. As terrific as that is, there are players who ranked as their positions’ top player as many as 16 times.
In his Historical Abstract book, Bill James insinuates that if the player with the most Win Shares in a given year did not win the MVP award, then the voters got it wrong. (To be fair, there are a number of times where voters simply did have it wrong). By contrast, I figure that, whether the Bacon winner was assigned by the game or voted by the NPBL owners, the selection is likely more correct than my rating system. I compare the two to see if it validates my rating.
Out of the 152 Bacon Award winners, 106 (70%) were ranked as the tops at their position for that year. Another 30 winners (20%) were the 2nd best at their position. Since there are Bacon Award winners in both the FFL and the GEL, both recipients cannot be the top player overall in the league. At best, the two award winners could be 1st and 2nd.

As for Walt Geldorf, in the 8 years that he won the Tyson Bacon Award, my rating system shows him as the best player in the NPBL 4 of those years (2043-2046). In 2048, he was 2nd best. In 2047, he ranks 3rd best. In 2042, he was 5th best and finally in 2053, he shows as my 11th best player.

2) Mark Sims * 2037 - 2055
Sims’ career almost completely intersects Geldorf’s career. One of the rather large factors in my ratings is the player’s YOPDI score. YOPDI is a measurement of how dominant the player is over time. If a player is the best at their position for a given year, he receives 10 YOPDI points. The 2nd best receives 8 points and so on. The top 8 players receive points. (The scale is adjusted and a 9th player earns points during the years there were 28 teams in the league). I was concerned that Sims’ overall ranking might suffer since he played during the same years as Geldorf. However, it turned out not to be the case as Sims easily finished with the 2nd most YOPDI points for a 1st baseman.
Geldorf and Sims end up ranked 1st and 2nd (or 2nd and 1st) in every metric I looked at for ranking the players. They have the top score for single seasons, for best five years, for their careers and top YOPDI scores. They are far-and-away the top two at the position.

3) John Gleaves * 2009 - 2027
Gleaves hit a total of 533 home runs during his career. He is one of 16 players in NPBL’s 500 HR club. (Jocko Garcia needs 20 more dingers to join the club). In the MLB, there are currently 27 players in the 500 HR club. Of course, the MLB has played longer than the NPBL (though we are catching up!). Considering the years 1920 to 1995, there were 14 players in the MLB group. In the NPBL, 6 of the 16 (38%) players are first basemen. In the MLB, 3 of the first 14 (21%) were first baseman with 10 of the total 27 (37%).
In his Historical Abstract, James would at times refer to the fact that x% of a player’s value came from the home run. I don’t know how he calculated that, but I would think that Gleaves’ would have a rather high percentage of his overall value from the home run. He did not hit for average, or steal bases. Nor did he have very many extra base hits that weren’t home runs. The one thing Gleaves would do is walk an average amount. However, Gleaves is certainly NOT the player with the MOST value added by the home run. That distinction surely goes to Jose Hernandez (#47 on this list).

4) Sonny Miller 2064 - 2075
Miller being ranked this high is a surprise to me. I might be accused of some hometown bias, but the ranking are purely objective. What Miller has going for him is extraordinary consistency. His top season is rather average as far as the top first baseman go, but his fifth best season is nearly equal to his best season.
Miller has slowed down a little, but he is still putting up all-star caliber numbers for Massachusetts. The rankings only consider what has been accomplished to this point. Should Miller contribute another 2-3 exceptional seasons, he may be able to overtake John Gleaves for the #3 spot.

5) Mack Outlaw * 2025 - 2042
Mack Outlaw played for the North Carolina Clippers for the first nine years of his career before being traded to the Mississippi Ravens franchise in 2034. By the end of 2038, the Raven franchise dissolved and became the Georgia Hornets. The club only stayed 4 years in Georgia before moving to Kansas to become the second incarnation of the Kansas Storm. Outlaw didn’t make the move as he retired a Georgia Hornet, narrowly missing being the 3rd first baseman in the top 10 to play for the Kansas Storm (Geldorf and Martinez).
As mentioned, this Kansas Storm franchise was the second incarnation. The first version began with the inception of the NPBL and contracted (along with New York, Rhode Island and Texas) in 2042. When it comes to first baseman, the first version of the Storm was the opposite of the second version. In fact, one could argue that the original Storm first baseman was the weakest position for any franchise. The best first baseman in the history for the original Storm was Jose Rojas. Rojas checks in at #42 on this list. However, the reason Rojas makes a #42 ranking is due in large part to his time spent with Minnesota. While in Kansas, the best season Rojas had was only a WAR of 1.5 in 2016. The best WAR by a first baseman in an original Storm uniform was 2.9 by Robert Killian in 2022 – the lowest best score for any position for any franchise. The second lowest was also a first baseman. Jeffery Eisenberg (#74) for the Rhode Island Reds.

A couple notes: all players are assigned a “career position” based on where the player played the most games. It is possible for a team to have an outstanding player who served a season or more at a non-career position. This does not “count” in the above rankings. For example, Donnie “Bloody” Bremer qualifies as a third baseman for Maryland. Although he played a few seasons as the Admiral’s primary second baseman, all of those seasons actually count towards the third baseman ratings.
Secondly, the lowest season WAR is but one way to look at the weakest position argument. I may present a couple of other perspectives on this in other rankings.

6) Ángel Martínez * 2052 - 2070
Which player had the biggest “fluke” season? First off, I would make the hypothesis that OOTP players are far more consistent than real-life players. I believe that some of this has to do with circumstances of reality getting in the way (steroids, depression, changing in batting stance, etc). I also believe that OOTP player arcs cater towards what the public wants. It’s typically a less enjoyable experience for the user when they don’t know what they are going to get year-to-year from their little fictional baseball players. In line with this hypothesis, I found that the largest fluke seasons in the history of the NPBL are really not all that fluky. The biggest difference in WAR from one season to the next was Angel Martinez from 2060 to 2061 (see table below). The explanation of the variance is as much due to 2060 being an injury shortened season as it is due to the outstanding 2061 performance. This does not fit what I was looking for in a fluke season given that Martinez followed it up with Bacon Award winning seasons in 2062 and 2063.
Instead of a variance from one year to the next, the better way to answer the question is to look at the variance between a player’s best season and the player’s second best season. Doing so brings us to the following candidates:
  • Juan Phillips LF Oregon 2007
  • Kyle Winfield RF Idaho 2044
  • Bruce Scott 2B Hawaii 2071
  • Lawrence Farrell CF Georgia 2055
Each players’ fluke season is included in the table below along with the year before, the year after and the players’ second best season.

I think probably Juan Phillips 2007 would be my pick for flukiest season.

7) Vicente Escobar 2055 - 2064
A couple of interesting notes regarding Vicente Escobar. First, he played for mostly bad teams. During his playing career, Escobar’s Minnesota teams averaged a 67-95 record. Escobar was able to make the playoffs a few times early in his career. In fact, the second interesting fact is that Escobar debuted in the playoffs in 2054. He played the entire year (2054) in AA, and then was called up to be the Wolves’ first baseman for the playoffs. Francisco Bell, the team’s regular first baseman throughout the year, had only 6 at-bats during the playoffs while Escobar batted 39 times.
Finally, his career is short (10 years). The only other top 10 player at any of the positions with only a 10 year career is Sully Sullivan (RF) and the only reason Sullivan has such a short career is because he was already 31 years old when the league started in 2000. Below is a complete list of players to make a positional 75 list with 10 years or less in the league (without being capped by 2000 or 2075).


8 ) Aragorn King * 2003 - 2016
Aragorn King was one of the super-players that began the league. At the inception of the NPBL, each owner was allowed to create an 18 year-old super stud. Many of them shared the same name as current owners. Others had very LotR-flavored names: Aragorn King, Gandalf Greyhemme, and Sauron Evil.
Quote:
Having the created guys was a brilliant move by (the original commissioner) Jason Kroner when he set up the league because it kept so many guys involved in the league longer than they would have. That is not to say that it worked for every owner but you could argue that the league could have folded years ago without that idea. Remember there were tons of new leagues popping up all the time during the ootp 4 era (when this league started) and I think every other league I was in has folded so the idea of having a self named superstar was pretty original and I think helped maintain interest even from the teams that were not very good.
I recall trying to figure out the list of the created super-players and not being able to figure out one team’s player. I can’t seem to find that post right now though. (Author note: I found it and it's coming later).

9) Guillermo Malagón 2050 - 2067
In contrast to Sonny Miller, Guillermo Malagon is the first baseman that I am most surprised is not ranked higher. If I had put a subjective element to the rankings, I would probably swap Malagon and Miller. One of the most important metrics for the rankings is the players’ best 5 seasons. Miller’s total score for his top 5 seasons ranks as the 6th best among first baseman, while Malagon’s top 5 ranks 16th:


10) Antonio Herrera 2000 - 2012
In the spring of 2002, Herrera was traded from Illinois to Minnesota in exchange for CF John Charity. Perhaps draft picks were involved too, I don’t know. The move signified a change for the Wolves. After losing records in the 2 years prior to Herrera’s arrival, the Wolfpack went on to 11 straight winning seasons including 2 seasons with 100+ wins and a National Cup in 2005. The consecutive winning season streak lasted exactly as long as Herrera’s career did.
Herrera may be one of the most underrated players. He was basically overshadowed by Aragorn King and some of the other super players of his era, but Herrera quietly went out and did his job and transformed his team into a winner.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:25 PM   #6
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This is truly fascinating to me. I find that I'm often at a place where I can only glance through this but I look forward to sitting down and really digesting this information.
I move very slowly with my own fictional world (playing out each and every game involving my team) but I can only hope that someday I get to a point where I can work up something similar to this. I am feeling inspired by this!

(And I just noticed that you live in Michigan. I'm a native Michigander myself, though as you can see transplanted now to beautiful Colorado.)

Last edited by BirdWatcher; 08-16-2018 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
This is truly fascinating to me. I find that I'm often at a place where I can only glance through this but I look forward to sitting down and really digesting this information.
I move very slowly with my own fictional world (playing out each and every game involving my team) but I can only hope that someday I get to a point where I can work up something similar to this. I am feeling inspired by this!
Thank you. I think there is some really cool things coming up too. I compiled information about all of the NPBL drafts and then cross-referenced the rankings with draft positions. It's interesting stuff, so stay tuned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
(And I just noticed that you live in Michigan. I'm a native Michigander myself, though as you can see transplanted now to beautiful Colorado.)
That's funny. I did the exact opposite. I grew up in Colorado and then moved to Michigan for the last 25 years.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Loompa17 View Post
That's funny. I did the exact opposite. I grew up in Colorado and then moved to Michigan for the last 25 years.
I moved to Denver just about 23 years ago (from south-western Michigan). So I guess you moving away from Colorado opened up a gap for me to fill.
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:42 AM   #9
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SECOND BASEMEN

1) Bob Griffith 2055 - 2075
Bob Griffith vs Lane Commons is a tough call. Commons’ best five seasons (see table below) rank a tiny bit higher than Griffith – due to keeping the strikeouts down. However, Griffith ranks ahead of Commons due to the fact that he has had a longer and better career (which is still going) and the fact that Griffith outshines his contemporaries at second base, while Commons had many other great second basemen in his day. Although winning the Bacon Award is not a consideration in the rankings, the fact that Griffith has won the award three times (compared to none for Commons) makes the ranking more palatable as well.


2) Lane Commons * 2003 - 2017
The table above (under #1 Bob Griffith) shows that 4 out of Lane Commons’ 5 best seasons occurred between 2014 and 2017. In those seasons, Lane Commons was 35 to 38 years old. In 2017, at the age of 38, Commons was the best second baseman in the NPBL. And then he retired. I guess he wanted to go out on top?
Best final season by a positional player:


3) Seamus O'Dule * 2000 - 2021
Seamus O’Dule would be interesting to observe in real life. O’Dule hit .320 in his sleep with a lot power. I wonder where he got the power from with his 5’6” 185 pound frame? Although his nickname was “waterbug”, he wasn’t much for stealing bases. With a name like Seamus O’Dule, you’d be correct if you guessed that he was Irish. I picture him with bright red hair, a bushy beard and mustache and a green cap – but then maybe I’m influenced by the logo of the team he played for (Wisconsin).

4) Brian Marshall * 2000 - 2018
What was the greatest infield in the history of the NPBL (Part 1)?
The 2016 Mississippi Ravens infield has an argument to this claim. The infield has the highest total tvSTAT of any:

However, as mentioned before, tvSTAT is an effective stat to help consider a player’s career, but if one is considering a year in isolation, it may not be the most effective. In this example, Brian Marshall in 2016 was nearing the end of his career. His 2016 campaign was the 16th best of his career (though he was still the 3rd best second baseman that year). If we instead consider the top total WAR infields, then the top three becomes:

There are a couple of other factors that I would also consider when answering the question of the greatest infield: namely, how did each player perform compared to his peers and what kind of star power did the infield boast? I’ll cover these in SS #9.

Brian Marshall holds a distinction that will likely never be beaten or equaled. He is the youngest major award winner when he won the Tyson Bacon Award in 2000 (then called the Babe Ruth Award) at the age of 18. Remember that the league began with the creation of super-players? Each owner was afforded an 18 year-old stud. It seems those stud players were not built ready to play in the majors as most of them did not become full-time players until around 2002. However, Brian Marshall was pressed into duty right away and responded with the MVP in the league’s inaugural year. It turned out to be the only Bacon Award that Marshall would win.

5) Jack Hesse * 2026 - 2044
One of thirty players from the NPBL to have 3000 career hits. The members of the 3000 hit club by position:
C – 3
1B – 3
2B – 6
3B – 5
SS – 6
LF – 2
CF – 1
RF – 4
It’s interesting that there are so many middle infielders on the list. But then again, maybe that’s not unexpected given the super-players given at the inception of the league. I would expect a large percentage of people to pick SS as the position of choice for a created stud. Members of the 3000 hit club that were not super-players:
C – 3
1B – 3
2B – 4
3B - 4
SS – 2
LF – 0
CF – 1
RF - 4

6) Joel Huertas * 2014 - 2032
Huertas was the #1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. It was the second year in a row that a player with the nickname “The Spade” was drafted #1. Second basemen who have been drafted #1 overall:


7) Blinky Crouch * 2018 - 2036
My All-Favorite Name Team:
C – Aaron Slaughter
1B – Thornton Swackhammer
2B – Looney Garmendia
3B – Nightmare Massengill
SS – Tate Hurricane
LF – Oscar Oakley
CF – Simon “Duran” Duran
RF – Specs Galloway
SP – Soggy Hogan
RP – Terminator Huseby
Blinky Crouch didn’t make the list as a 2B, though he is pretty close. Second baseman have a higher proportion of great names compared to the other positions. In addition to Garmendia and Crouch, I also considered Seamus O’Dule, Magpie Foster, and Ludwig “Lobster” Claus.

8 ) Clarence Smith * 2030 - 2042
Question: Which organization has the most strength at second base? Here's the method I used to arrive at that answer. I used the 75 for 75 lists and inverted the ranking (76 - Rank). So Clarence Smith, who is ranked #8, gets 68 "rank points". Smith played 13 seasons for the New York Barons. Therefore, his contribution to the Baron's organization total is 68*13 = 884.
The Barons also possessed Joseph Flores (#34), Dude Gallagher (#69), John Honeycutt (#71), and Bill Hancock (#75). Their grand total of rank points with those 5 second baseman totals 1699, which places them somewhere in the middle of organization rankings. The top 3 organizations in 2B strength:


9) Marvin Collins 2035 - 2050
According to my ratings, Marvin Collins is the highest ranking position player that I can see was denied the HoF. On the reverse side, the lowest ranking position player that was admitted in the HoF is also a second baseman: #66 Zachary Matthews. Now my rankings do not consider defensive wizardry and that is clearly where Matthews made his mark. The fact that the MLB equivalent of the Gold Glove Award for the NPBL is named after Zachary Matthews is also a testament to Matthews’ qualifications.
The exclusion of Marvin Collins is worth another look. Below is a table of the best five years of Collins and the best five years of Adam Anderson (#11) and Frank Gillbard (#20), both of whom are included in the Hall of Fame.

Gillbard’s power numbers (especially in his top 3 years) really appear to pop out, and Adam Anderson has an advantage when it comes to stolen bases. But Marvin Collins has an underrated skill: the ability to avoid strikeouts. Collins ranks ahead of Anderson and Gillbard for a couple of reasons. First, Collins’ best years are huddled together. The theory is that the reputation of Collins would continue to grow as he strung together consecutive outstanding seasons. The second reason is that Collins was compares considerably better than his contemporaries at second base. Collins was the best second baseman in the NPBL for six consecutive years (2042-2047) and the 2nd best twice (2041 & 2048). Adam Anderson, having played in the era where he competed against other super-players like Brian Marshall and Seamus O’Dule, was never better than the third. Frank Gillbard was only the tops in the league during his best two years – while competing with fellow HoFers Blinky Crouch, Mark Stone and Jack Hesse.

10) Jake Young 2063 - 2075
Jake Young will be 35 years old by the time the season starts this year, but unless he is quite a bit better than he has been the past two years, it’s unlikely that he will rise any more on this ranking.
Despite winning two Bacon Awards, Young has never been ranked as the top Second Baseman in any given year. Here are the top 5 Second Baseman from 2067 through 2075:
2067
Bob Griffith
Jake Young
Spencer Richardson
Magpie Foster*
Daniel Cooper
2068
Bob Griffith
Jake Young*
Tim Martin*
Spencer Richardson
Magpie Foster
2069
Bob Griffith*
Jake Young
Tim Martin
Daniel Cooper
Jonathan Robinson
2070
Bob Griffith*
Jake Young
Tim Martin
Jonathan Robinson
Roberto Gonzalez
2071
Bob Griffith
Jake Young*
Roberto Gonzalez
Jonathan Robinson
Tim Martin
2072
Bob Griffith
Roberto Gonzalez
Jake Young
Tim Martin
Pablo Delgado
2073
Tim Martin*
Roberto Gonzalez
Bob Griffith
Jake Young
Pablo Delgado
2074
Roberto Gonzalez
Adrian Amezaga
Bob Griffith
Tim Martin
Pablo Delgado
2075
Adrian Amezaga
Pablo Delgado
Roberto Gonzalez
Bob Griffith
Tim Martin
* denotes Bacon Award winner
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:08 AM   #10
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THIRD BASEMEN

1) Buzzy Stevens * 2028 - 2046
Buzzy Stevens and Tyson Bacon may rank as the best 2 position players of all time. They are certainly two of the top five. Determining the better of the two is difficult. Buzzy Stevens ranks as the best third baseman in the league from 2030 through 2045 – an incredible 16 straight years. Not to be outdone, Tyson Bacon was the top third baseman from 2001 through 2016 – also 16 straight years. The next closest to this record is Bob Griffith with 11 straight years. In the end, what drives Stevens ahead of Bacon is that his power numbers and OPS are impressive even beyond Tyson Bacon’s stolen bases. (See table below).


2) Tyson Bacon * 2000 - 2022
One of the things I find fascinating about Tyson Bacon is his development as far as avoiding the strikeouts. Early in his career, with California, Bacon would strike out about 20% of his plate appearances. Right about the time he was traded to Colorado, his strikeouts per PA suddenly dropped down to about 5%. He went from striking out over 100 times a year to merely 25. I’d say it was a Colorado coaching advantage, but the other Ram batters of the era, Christopher Cortese, Hal Rehm, Antony Kissel, Oscar Oakley, would regularly strikeout 100 to 150 times each year.

3) Jose Chavero * 2022 - 2041
After selecting Chavero with the 7th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Chavero had 8 outstanding years for the Illinois Jethawks – including a Bacon Award in 2028 and two titles for the Jethawks in 2027 and 2028. In 2031, at the age of 29, Chavero suffered a devastating back injury that sidelined him for nine months. The Jethawks, seeking a rebuild, traded to Chavero to Louisiana in a controversial trade. Chavero would bounce back to win another Bacon Award in 2033 (this time in a Blaze uniform) and lead Louisiana to the playoffs for five straight years before being traded off to Idaho to finish his career. The number of wins for Chavero’s teams:
2022 (IL) - 72
2023 (IL) – 84
2024 (IL) – 96
2025 (IL) – 94
2026 (IL) – 94
2027 (IL) – 105
2028 (IL) – 114
2029 (IL) – 103
2030 (IL) – 107
2031 (LA) – 91
2032 (LA) – 112
2033 (LA) – 110
2034 (LA) – 100
2035 (LA) – 93
2036 (ID) – 105
2037 (ID) – 91
2038 (ID) – 72
2039 (ID) – 94
2040 (ID) – 88
Which averages to 96 wins a season. Only 2 losing seasons out of 19. I don’t know if that’s a record, but it’s got to be pretty close.

The Louisiana all-time team (player must play at least parts of 3 seasons for the Blaze to qualify):
C – Andrew Kegler (rank #9)
1B – Hank Carruthers (11)
2B – Blinky Crouch (7)
3B – Jose Chavero (3)
SS – Francisco Magana (27)
LF – Toshinobu Kashiwagi (18)
CF – Juan Cruz (56)
RF – Jeffrey Langston (13)
SP – Ralph Ives (28)
RP – Ben Stewart (16)

4) Sanford Powers * 2014 - 2032
Earlier (1B #6) I looked at the biggest fluke season. Looking over the year-by-year career of Sanford Powers, there is a case to be made for the 2nd overall pick in 2014. Actually, Powers does not enter the conversation for a single fluke season, but for a two year span, 2024 and 2025 are definitive outliers. For whatever reason, Powers suddenly and unexpectedly increased nearly every statistical category in those two years and pocketed the Bacon Award in both years. Then in 2026, Powers settled back into this normal self – which was undoubtedly impressive, but not other-worldly.

5) Cristián Morales 2050 - 2067
Cristian Morales was selected fifth overall in the 2047 draft. The 2047 was one of the deepest of all-time, with 14 players from the draft class making the top 75 list and 3 current Hall of Famers (Stone Nichols 1.02, Specs Galloway 1.17, & Mitsuoki Rin 1.21). Is it the best draft class? Probably not, but as with most things, it depends on how you want to measure it.


6) Christopher Stormes * 2006 - 2023
The Tennessee Hounds All-Time Team:
C – Jocko Garcia (Rank #1)
1B – Jacinto Leon (14)
2B – Ron Seldon (18)
3B – Christopher Stormes (6)
SS – Johnny Kapaun (18)
LF – Jerry Jorge (19)
CF - Wenjie Laverick (44)
RF – Luis Cordova (11)
SP – JJ Cobb (74)
RP – Arron Ledford (25)

7) Alex Orati 2042 - 2060
Orati was the first overall pick in 2042. He is one of only three third baseman to be drafted #1 overall. The others being Buzzy Stevens (ranked #1) in 2028 and Dacio Herrara (#57) in 2025. However, all of the top 10 third baseman were drafted in the first round (except Tyson Bacon who was created). In fact, you have to go down to player #18 Sergio Lopez to find a player that was NOT drafted in the first round. Player #25 Alex Orozco was an undrafted free agent who was scooped up by Hawaii. In all there are thirteen top 75 players that were undrafted free agents.


8 ) Donnie Bremer * 2017 - 2039
Top 75 players who have played 23 years or more and played for a single team


9) Carlos Otero 2063 - 2075
Active All-Team:


10) Taylor Dye 2036 - 2055
In 2042, the NPBL contracted by 4 teams with New York, Texas, Rhode Island and Kansas going extinct. The players of these organizations were placed into a contraction draft. Taylor Dye was 29 years old and had just finished his 7th straight year of hitting over .300 with the New York Barons. The Florida Bluefish made Dye the 17th overall player taken in that draft. In all there were 13 position players taken in the first round of the contraction draft.


With hindsight, I think the best position players, given what they had to contribute after 2042, were
1 Miguel Carrasco
2 Barrett Rowe
3 Gonzalo Molina
4 Taylor Dye
5 Matt Lancaster
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:42 PM   #11
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For some reason I find myself wishing that Blinky Crouch was a catcher.

Also, fascinated by that shift in plate discipline (or propensity to strike out, at least) in Tyson Bacon's career. I love it when the game allows for a development like that. (I'm hoping a few of my players will experience a similar maturation at the plate.)
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:23 PM   #12
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I'm curious how TVStat works. Is it similar to WinShare?
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus007 View Post
I'm curious how TVStat works. Is it similar to WinShare?
It is similar to WinShare in that it's meant to be a single statistic used to measure the value of a players' season/career. It has WAR at its core instead of WinShare though.

By my understanding, WinShare is supposed to represent the number of wins that can be attributed to the player. And WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement. My tvSTAT doesn't have a nice summation like that. It's like WAR with a bit of "reputation" and possible injury modification involved. I closely followed what Bill James described in this article - although Bill James uses WinShare at his core and I used WAR. (Basically I used WAR only because it was more readily available with the data I had).
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