SL 2001 Third Base Preview

Yesterday, Terry Nims made the comment that "offensive winning percentage" is an even better indicator of offensive performance than OPS. I've always assumed that Terry was pretty smart since he knows how to do computer stuff, plus he claims he taught Greg everything there is to know about baseball. Thus, as we look at the third base candidates for SL 2001, I will focus to some extent on the stat "offensive winning percentage"

"Offensive winning percentage" ("OWP") is the theoretical winning percentage of a team composed of nine of the same players. For example, a team of nine Chipper Joneses would have a winning percentage of .743. Which would make it pretty hard to keep up with the Joneses. The top ten third basemen for SL 2001, ranked by OWP, are as follows:

Chipper Jones  (.743)
Troy Glaus     (.729)
Scott Rolen    (.717)
Phil Nevin     (.679)
Travis Fryman  (.676)
Jeff Cirillo   (.652)
Corey Koskie   (.613)
Mike Lowell    (.607)
Adrian Beltre  (.596)
Eric Chavez    (.592)
Since this is the first time I have used OWP in one of my previews, it may be difficult to know what these numbers mean relative to the rest of the league. The top five players in OWP for MLB 2000 were as follows:

Todd Helton     (.877)
Manny Ramirez   (.858)
Jason Giambi    (.858)
Carlos Delgado  (.855)
Barry Bonds     (.852)
These numbers show, I think, that OWP does not take into account the number of games a player actually appeared in in MLB 2000. Manny Ramirez only played in 118 games, and Scott Rolen played in 128 games.

These numbers also show that third base is not necessarily the best place to pick up some instant offense. With his OWP of .743, Chipper Jones ranks 24th in MLB. Eric Chavez is 70th. Players in the same range as Chipper include Glaus, Darrin Erstad and Luis Gonzalez. Players in the same range as Chavez include Rafael Furcal and Jon Olerud.

What about fielding and speed? No third baseman stole more than 14 bases last year, and Ron Coomer and Paul Konerko were among the league leaders in GIDP. As for fielding, the APBA chat suggests that Chipper will be a 3 (SS-6), Cal Ripken a 4, Jeff Cirillo a 4, Adrian Beltre a 3, Scott Rolen a 5, Phil Nevin a 3, and Paul Konerko a 3.

Super subs at third might include Ken Caminiti (OWP of .768 in 59 games) or Olmedo Saenz (.694 in 76 games).