Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Match game

If he reaches 550 outs -- his current pace -- Juan Pierre would hold the #2 spot in the single-season list of all-time outmakers, second to Omar Moreno.

Obviously, this would set the Dodger record for outs in a season. Any guesses who currently holds the Dodger record? And what year did he set it?

Hint: I was surprised, but I shouldn't have been.


jimbilly4 said...

It looks like the answer is Maurie Wills with 518 in 1962. Tied for 34th all time, although funnily enough he only ranked 4th in outs in the MLB (3rd in the NL) that year.

Also got 517 in 1965. In '65 he was caught stealing 31 times, so that at least makes some sense. Only caught 13 times in '62 with a .347 OBP (not great, but not bad). I guess 759 PA is a very large amount (6th all time), demonstrating once again how silly a counting stat can be, since clearly 1962 was a much more productive one than 1965.

Cesar Izturis comes in 3rd with 507 in 2004.

I was happy to discover that Garvey, despite his high hits/low OBP does not come close to making this list (worst year 486 outs). I truly expected that terrible Deshields year to pop up here as well, but that was only a 481 out year (1996). He sit out 8 games, not the proper attitude if you want to make a run at an outs record.

Humma Kavula said...

Indeed, it was Maury Wills in 1962, his MVP year. An award that has gone down in history as one of the more unjustified MVP awards...

It's not so much that counting stats are dumb so much as they don't tell the whole story. For the same reason, neither do rate stats: Maury's OPS looks quite average, but add in his SBs and he looks better... and then remember that he required 518 outs to accomplish it and it doesn't look so good again. Each time we add information, we get more of the story.

Juan will pass Maury for the team record sometime in mid-September.

jimbilly4 said...

As to the comparison to Juan Pierre: Obviously they are both speedsters. Their career numbers match fairly well .300/.350/.350 guys (I am camparing them at similar ages and making rough averages).

Some major differences: Wills at his prime was in the early 60s, a notoriously low offense period. His OPS seemed only slightly below (above it some years) the league average, while Pierre is much lower.

Wills seemed a lot more consistent, while Pierre has been up and down, with some better OPS years and some horrific ones.

And perhaps most telling, Juan has never been even close to the quality of base stealer Wills was in his prime, where one year he grabbed 104 and was only caught 13 times (62). In Juan's defense, Wills' career steal percentage is actually not htat impressive ~75%.

Bottom line, Wills is almost certainly overated as many base-stealers are, but he was still a better/more valuable piece than Juan.