FanPost

ESPN grades the Angels at midseason

Had a look over at ESPN tonight and scanned through their INSIDE EDGE "In-Depth Major League Baseball Reports" in which each player is assigned a grade on various categories of performance. To spare you all the agony of having to go over there and look at these incredibly slow-loading pages, and also save you all a puke or two, I've summarised ESPN's grades of our players here:

OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE
(overall grades)

C+ Garret Anderson
C- Erick Aybar
C+ Vladimir Guerrero
C   Torii Hunter
C+ Maicer Izturis
C+ Howie Kendrick
C+ Casey Kotchman
D+ Jeff Mathis
D+ Gary Matthews Jr
C+ Mike Napoli
D+ Robb Quinlan
C- Juan Rivera
C- Reggie Willits

PITCHING PERFORMANCE
(overall grades)

A- Jose Arredondo
NA Chris Bootcheck
NA Kelvim Escobar
C+ Jon Garland
A- John Lackey
B   Darren O'Day
B+ Darren Oliver
B- Francisco Rodriguez
B+ Ervin Santana
B  Joe Saunders
B  Scot Shields
B- Justin Speier
D- Rich Thompson
B  Jered Weaver

The criteria appear to be:

Offensive players are graded on (overall effectiveness, location performance, fastball performance, offspeed performance, plate discipline, clutch tendency, and 2-strike tendency).

Pitchers are graded on (working ahead in the count, command, finishing off hitters, offspeed effectiveness, overall effectiveness, dominance, efficiency, and battle tendency).

OK ... here's my point. Grades, like all stats, are to be chucked out with the rubbish. The only thing that matters on a baseball field is how players perform, individually and as a unit. Managers, to this day, are still the best judges of how their players are performing.

The Angels are tied for the best record in baseball, but based on these player grades you would almost have to assume we are mediocre at best.

Also, there is no mention of a player's value in terms of defense, speed, hustle, leadership, teamwork, ability to operate within an organisational framework, or anything else that all my former baseball coaches counted on extremely highly.

No mention of Chone Figgins either. Apparently because our most dynamic offensive catalyst and leadoff man has been sidelined a few times because of a bad hammy, knee infection and bereavement leave, he does not exist. There is no mention of any of our fill-ins (Moseley, Adenhart, Brown, Wood, S Rod), but it is enlightening to see that the man who has blown away the MLB record for most saves before the All-Star break, Francisco Rodriguez, is just as bad as Justin Speier and our worst graded reliever other than Rich Thompson, who has thrown all of like ... two baseballs for us and is a freaking Aussie.

And apparently, John Lackey and Jose Arredondo are the only two players worthwhile keeping. If you trusted ESPN's weird ranking system, we'd get rid of the lot of the rest of them.

If any of you stat-oriented folks out there want to have a crack at working out this obviously flawed system of player performance rating, feel free and let me know. Until then, I'll leave you with these 3 thoughts:

1) Baseball stats blow, 2) fuck ESPN, 3) and it's going to suck when ESPN's reporters are writing their playoff previews in October and they have to explain away all this horseshit.

Peace! hh

This Fan-Post is authored by an independent fan. Tell us what you think and how you feel.

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