FanDuel - WFBC

August 11, 2006

Michael Young, best SS in the majors?: Jeter and Tejada get more ink, but Young has at least as much respect among his peers. Plus, he's a 'good guy'. Opinions?

posted by mjkredliner to baseball at 09:18 AM - 47 comments

Well, he's no Esteban Loaiza, that's for sure. How about those Blue Jays!

posted by tommytrump at 09:31 AM on August 11

At least the trigger was never pulled on the Halladay + Wells + Carpenter for Pedro Astacio deal of the same era. I get sick just thinking about it.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:41 AM on August 11

Young is an awesome ss, we pickup ranger games here in Houston on fsn. He's fun to watch. Having said that, I would still pick Jeter over him. He is, imo, the best in baseball. (and yes, i've been a Yankee fan since I was a kid in Little League)

posted by ptluigi at 10:15 AM on August 11

I enjoy what Jeter brings to the table, as well. If you notice the stat comparism at the bottom of the link, you will see that they are very similar in abilities, and are both the kind of player anyone would like on their team.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:24 AM on August 11

Other than not being able to field, he's a terrific SS. Seems like a nice guy, great hitter at almost any position, but probably better served at 2B.

posted by yerfatma at 10:27 AM on August 11

Omar Vizquel."Nuff said!!!

posted by mdavidsf at 11:04 AM on August 11

2 Words.... JOSE REYES....Omar Vizquel? Maybe in '95-'96 when Reyes was like 13..

posted by Robb Dubbs at 12:08 PM on August 11

Young is a second baseman playing out of position; he's not a poor defensive shortstop - which is why the Rangers spend half the time talking about moving him back to second. Offensively, despite playing in what may now be the best hitters park in baseball, he's never had a 900 OPS and his lifetime OPS is 793. Jeter, Tejada, and ex SSs AROd and Garciaparra have all been better offensive players over their careers. This year, I'd say he's been about the 12th best shortstop in the majors overall.

posted by spira at 12:16 PM on August 11

Vizquel from a fielding standpoint. Jeter from an overall. Young loses points for lack of speed on the basepath.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 12:25 PM on August 11

There are many great hitting shortstops today(don't forget ARod).This is remarkable because traditionally the SS was the one position that could get by with a great glove ( think Luis Aparicio).For my money Omar Vizquel is the best SS in the last 20 years.

posted by sickleguy at 01:12 PM on August 11

Young is a second baseman playing out of position; he's not a poor defensive shortstop - which is why the Rangers spend half the time talking about moving him back to second. Fielding percentage: Young, .984 (9 errors, 82 double plays); Jeter, .979 (9 errors, 58 double plays); Tejada, .958 (13 errors, 81 double plays); Guillen, .958 (20 errors, 65 double plays). I think Young is wrongly maligned for his fielding. Perhaps the most impressive stat is that he has had 411 chances, the most of any shortstop in the AL; 30 more than the next shortstop in chances. I think this shows he gets to balls that others do not. despite playing in what may now be the best hitters park in baseball The Ranger park is primarily considered a hitter's park for all of the homeruns, but that is not Young's game. He hits singles and doubles (40, the most in the league and tied for most in majors). He is also a clutch hitter (.394 with men in scoring position, the best I think of any fulltime players in AL). He may not be the best, but he is certainly not the worst as some study came out before the season started.

posted by graymatters at 01:30 PM on August 11

Young is, right now, easily the third best SS in the AL. Tejada being number one, and Jeter being number two. I don't see how anyone can think differently. Young just doesn't have Tejada's power or Jeter's OBP. But that's a helluva list. You know who's not on that list? Bubby Crosby. Didn't Gammons pick him for AL MVP?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:02 PM on August 11

Crosby? .971 fielding percentage, 12 errors in 286 chances, 56 double plays. But he's not even hitting two bits. Did Gammons make that pick before or after the surgery?

posted by graymatters at 02:12 PM on August 11

What does fielding % or errors matter? You bother to include total chances, so it looks like you know the other two stats are fatally flawed, but even total chances doesn't say much since you haven't accounted for total innings played at the position to normalize the counting stat.

posted by yerfatma at 02:16 PM on August 11

peter gammons is probably sittin up in bed right now and saying, " i know Nothing".

posted by ptluigi at 02:17 PM on August 11

Gammons was not the only pundit who had a hard-on for Bobby Crosby. Some of the folks at Baseball Prospectus and their projections system had him pegged as a superstar. Based on recent trends and his injury history, I would say he now likely projects to be a league average or slightly above average SS over the course of his career. It is interesting in my mind that we went from a golden era of shortstops where there were 4 different (what appeared to be) future hall of famers roughly the same age playing shortstop in the AL to now having one surefire hall of famer at SS (Jeter), one pretty good bet for HoF (Tejada), one first baseman whose injuries will keep him out of the HoF (Nomar) and one surefire future hall of fame 3B (A Rod).

posted by holden at 02:22 PM on August 11

Well, everyone on the A's have had an injury ridden season so it is kinda hard to push Bubba down to average SS. He won't be a Jeter though. Anyway, Young is the best YOUNG SS in the league and if I had to start a new franchise with someone he would be near the top of the list.

posted by kidrayter2005 at 03:10 PM on August 11

I admit, M.Y is one of the most underrated players in the majors. But....theres several better than him.

posted by marinersrule12e at 03:14 PM on August 11

What does fielding % or errors matter? I don't know. I thought it had something to do with their ability to play in the field.

posted by graymatters at 03:24 PM on August 11

The book The Fielding Bible, which analyzed every fielding play made over 3 seasons with video, ranked Young as the worst defensive shortstop in baseball over 2003-2005. One of Young's biggest problems has been positioning; he stands much too close to second base. Young does seem to be fielding better this year. He says that "I'm much more interested in making plays that I haven't made in the past than in making routine plays I've handled before," Young said. "My angles and reads are better and that's made my range more like it should be." He ranks 18th among the 30 shortstops who have played 50+ games in zone rating, which measures the percentage of balls of the balls hit to him that a player fields. On the other hand, though, his offense is significantly down this season; he's creating runs at only the 14th highest rate in the majors among shortstops. So he really isn't any better than the 10th best shortstop in the league overall. Zone Rating for SSs Adam Everett .906 Juan Uribe .875 Jose Reyes .865 Bobby Crosby .864 Alex Gonzalez .863 Vizquel .863 Eckstein .850 Jason Bartlett .855 Barmes .854 Counsell .852 K Greene .849 Carlos Guillen .844 Johnny Peralta .843 Furcal .835 Cedeno .834 Lugo .829 Betancourt .828 Rollins .827 Tejada .827 Young .827 Cabrera .826 J Wilson .818 Clayton .817 Renteria .814 Hall .809 Jeter .804 Berroa .804 Hanley Ramirez .800 J Castro .794 F Lopez .779

posted by spira at 03:39 PM on August 11

I don't know. I thought it had something to do with their ability to play in the field. It doesn't.

posted by yerfatma at 03:52 PM on August 11

Young is good, but certainly not the best. If you wnat to talk about the "nice guy" factor, then Jeter has him beat there too- as he donates time and money to numerous good causes. Untill Young wins a championship, or even plays well in the playoffs, I dont think that he can be coined the "best".

posted by redsoxrgay at 03:52 PM on August 11

Fielding %, on the major league level, has very little to do with how well a player fields. What's important is how often a player fields the ball. All fielding percentage tells you is how he misses some of the plays he misses. It doesn't tell you how often he misses the play, because there are many ways of missing a play. Often a player with more errors is the better fielder because he gets to more balls; fielders can't make errors on balls they don't reach. That's not always true, but you just can't tell. (On the minor league level, where players sometimes make 60+ errors, it can mean something)

posted by spira at 03:53 PM on August 11

I think there is something amiss, spira, that when compared to graymatters stat that shows Young leads the Al in chances, to your stat, (I admit, I am not sure how to interprete 'zone range') showing that (I guess) Young does not "get to" as many balls as many others. I would like to see, as yerfatma pointed out, innings played, as well as a 'chances per 9 inning played', or 'chances per inning', to see if Young is having an inordinate number of balls hit in his 'zone'. I see no other way to explain this discrepancy.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:00 PM on August 11

One of Young's biggest problems has been positioning; he stands much too close to second base. I wonder if in the previous two years it had anything to do with Soriano playing second base for the Rangers. Somebody had to cover the middle.

posted by graymatters at 05:10 PM on August 11

Here are some statistics for those who include those in their decision making process: Player Runs BA HR RBI SB ZONE RATING Reyes 94 .296 11 54 48 .865 Jeter 78 .345 9 68 25 .804 I list Jeter because I would more or less put him a relatively close second except when you factor in other things like age (Jeter 32, Reyes 23). If you are building a team for today and the future Reyes ought to be the first guy you go after at any position. If you get the chance to watch a Mets game just watch how Reyes changes the momentum in the first inning when he gets on base.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 05:18 PM on August 11

Fielding stats are difficult to interpret! Even if I could show TC/9, PO/9, A/9, DP/9, E/9 it could be subject to all matter of dissection, ie, more chances due to more balls hit in his zone, more assists and putouts because of better teammates etc. etc, but one thing I noticed when perusing MLB's sortable stats, is Adam Everret is fielding the ss position very well ! And that Young is near the top in every category. ( I grant you only Betancourt has played more innings at SS this year). I think his fielding is as underrated as the rest of his game, but as redsoxrgay pointed out, until he is post season tested, he will not be put in the 'elite' category.

posted by mjkredliner at 05:39 PM on August 11

I would like to see, as yerfatma pointed out, innings played, as well as a 'chances per 9 inning played', or 'chances per inning', to see if Young is having an inordinate number of balls hit in his 'zone'. Don't really know what it means (maybe somebody can explain it to me), but Young - 983 innings, 411 chances, .418 chances per inning, 3.763 chances per 9 innings Jeter - 901.2 innings, 332 chances, .368 chances per inning, 3.316 chances per 9 Tejada - 919.2 innings, 341 chances, .371 chances per inning, 3.339 chances per 9 Crosby - 795 innings, 286 chances, .360 chances per inning, 3.238 chances per 9 Guillen - 896 innings, 359 chances, .401 chances per inning, 3.606 chances per 9

posted by graymatters at 05:43 PM on August 11

The MLB.com database shows the same # of innings as you show, but with these numbers for TC's, graymatters: Young 511 Jeter 421 Tejada 486 Crosby 408 Guillen 471 what is your source, may I ask? As for what it means, ha ha, I do not pretend to know, it could in some abstract way be shown that Young gets to more balls per game, but, again, there could be many reasons for that!

posted by mjkredliner at 05:54 PM on August 11

si.com But I would trust mlb before I would trust si. Don't know why si's are so low. Or maybe I'm just reading it wrong. For what it's worth, revised stats: Young - 983 innings, 511 chances, .520 chances per inning, 4.679 chances per 9 innings Jeter - 901.2 innings, 421 chances, .467 chances per inning, 4.204 chances per 9 Tejada - 919.2 innings, 486 chances, .529 chances per inning, 4.758 chances per 9 Crosby - 795 innings, 408 chances, .513 chances per inning, 4.619 chances per 9 Guillen - 896 innings, 471 chances, .526 chances per inning, 4.731 chances per 9

posted by graymatters at 06:27 PM on August 11

I am probably reading it wrong, thank you for your trouble.

posted by mjkredliner at 07:00 PM on August 11

So....what does this prove, if anything?

posted by redsoxrgay at 09:46 PM on August 11

Beats me. A couple of people asked for it, like it was important. Thought they could explain. I think it just shows that Young gets as many if not more chances than other shortstops, and handles them. So to say that he is not a good fielder seems ridiculous.

posted by graymatters at 10:51 PM on August 11

So....what does this prove, if anything? It proves nothing, except that, in credence, and using statistics to support my claim, Michael Young more than likely is just as good, if not better, than Jeter or Tejada, and for 8M less per year than Tejada, and for 17M less than Jeter.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:09 PM on August 12

ADAM EVERETT FOR MVP. WAR HOUSTON ASTROS WINNING THE WORLD SERIES.

posted by dmontez1392 at 12:17 PM on August 12

I think it just shows that Young gets as many if not more chances than other shortstops, and handles them. So to say that he is not a good fielder seems ridiculous. Except, of course, you didn't bother to include the fly ball/ ground ball ratios of the staffs those people play for or whether the staffs include a lot of strikeout pitchers. Fielding measurement is still rough stuff and thus easy to argue about. But I do think it's fair to say E and FP are columns one can safely ignore.

posted by yerfatma at 02:40 PM on August 12

Fielding measurement is still rough stuff and thus easy to argue about. I bow to your wisdom...

posted by mjkredliner at 03:23 PM on August 12

you haven't accounted for total innings played at the position then after I did you didn't bother to include the fly ball/ ground ball ratios of the staffs those people play for or whether the staffs include a lot of strikeout pitchers Now I understand. Whether someone is a good fielder is totally subjective. There is no stat that can be used in measurement. Soriano is probably the greatest second baseman that ever played the game. All those errors probably related to the pitching staff, because errors don't matter. It's all in the eye of the beholder. The problem is that so many are freaking blind.

posted by graymatters at 11:02 PM on August 12

because errors don't matter Interesting story from Bill James: when his job was to prepare presentations for players during their arbitration hearings, he was working for George Bell (the Blue Jay outfielder). He knew that the Jays were going to bring up his numerous errors while playing in left field. James countered that argument by detailing every single error that Bell made, and pointing out how it did not affect the outcome of the game at all. Some times, he made an error and the other team didn't score a run. When he made errors and the other team scored because of them, his team still won.

posted by grum@work at 10:01 AM on August 13

So.... now that everyone researched nearly every defensive stat they could find, we still have one issue remaining- is Young the best?? I must say, all these stats are starting to give me a headache. I personally think the top 3 is Jeter, then Tejeda, then Young, only because im a Yankees fan, and Jeter has won a ring. If Young makes it to the playoffs, then I would have him ranked at number 2. But until then, I would say Jeter is the best all around shortstop.

posted by Kendall at 11:01 AM on August 13

Jeter is having a career year, and has earned the title as the best, IMHO, taking his prior accomplishments into consideration. And, as someone else noted, he's a pretty good guy, too.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:37 AM on August 13

Jeter is having a career year, While this is a good year, 1999 still remains his career year. It's such a standout season for him that it almost looks like a "fluke". Even this season doesn't come close to the year he had in 1999. And I'm surprised people don't give Carlos Guillen more credit as among the best in the AL. He had an injury riddled 2005, but this season and his 2004 season put him in the elite class for the American League shortstop position.

posted by grum@work at 02:03 PM on August 13

Both middle infielders for the ChiSox are underappreciated, I think. You are correct in that 1999 was one heckuva season for Jeter, and his consistency is to be admired as well.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:43 PM on August 13

Whether someone is a good fielder is totally subjective. There is no stat that can be used in measurement Yes and no. There just aren't any stats that really say something as meaningful as OBP or ERA do. I was winding you up a bit by only asking for a little more each time, but my point was that almost any fielding stat you cited (other than ZR or RF) is easy enough to undercut with simple logic. Fielding is the one place where I think a trained eye is as useful as any stat we have now. But that eye needs to watch for a season or two.

posted by yerfatma at 05:18 PM on August 13

It's such a standout season for him that it almost looks like a "fluke". Even this season doesn't come close to the year he had in 1999. Not really grum. His numbers this year are very comproable, aside from the power. His fielding- as stated above has been decent, and Jeter is an even better team leader than he was back in 99. His career year will most likely be in 1999, but he is having one hell of a year this season this year as well.

posted by Kendall at 06:25 PM on August 13

You are correct in that 1999 was one heckuva season for Jeter, and his consistency is to be admired as well. Oh, yes! Jeter is having a career year, and has earned the title as the best Oh, YES! Fielding is the one place where I think a trained eye is as useful as any stat we have now. But that eye needs to watch for a season or two. Oh, man, this thread is my total Love Panda in Pleasure Town. I am going to sleep well tonight.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:42 PM on August 13

Not really grum. His numbers this year are very comproable, aside from the power. And his batting eye (walks). That's the point. His power in 1999 is what made his season such a standout. This season is a good one, but it's almost a carbon-copy of his 2000 season. The difference in OPS (.097) is quite large. In fact, it's pretty much the same difference between Jeter (2006) and Young (2006). One more thing about the Young/Jeter comparison. In a recent poll of MLB players themselves, they asked the questions: 1) Who is the most underrated player in baseball? 2) Who is the most overrated player in baseball? The players receiving the most votes were: 1) Michael Young 2) Derek Jeter

posted by grum@work at 07:03 AM on August 14

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