December 07, 2006

The 2006 Dave Kingman Award: Awarded annually to "the player doing the least with the most".

posted by mjkredliner to baseball at 09:08 AM - 25 comments

I wonder how many times Rob Deer won this?

posted by mjkredliner at 09:17 AM on December 07

I love the idea, but I can't see Adam Dunn being in the discussion. Dave Kingman leads me to, just like you said, Rob Deer and other guys the Sox managed to sign once they were past prime (if they had one), like Ivan Caulderon. Hackers. Greg Luzinski (sp?) maybe. Not anyone you'd want your team to sign.

posted by yerfatma at 09:59 AM on December 07

The Award has been given out annually since 1950 to the player “doing the least with the most.” As someone who always loved watching Dave Kingman come to the plate, everyone, even his detractors, have to admit one thing. You have to be a special athlete and human being to have ANY award named after you when you're only two years old (born in 1948).

posted by dyams at 10:00 AM on December 07

The award could have been handed out for many years before it was named after Kingman. Vince Lombardi won two Superbowl trophies, but he never won the Vince Lombardi trophy. (Like the old joke: "Lou Gehrig's Disease -- couldn't he see that coming?")

posted by joaquim at 10:17 AM on December 07

the award honors that hitter who puts up the biggest numbers without actually being a particularly valuable player Sounds like Andre Dawson should have gotten this award in his MVP season (the Cubbies finished in last place that year). I've often thought of someone like Steve "Bye Bye" Balboni more in the mold of Kingman, e.g.: I guy that had the ability to his 50+ dingers in a season, but hardly ever hit more than 20, and struck out more often than anything else he did at the plate.

posted by psmealey at 10:38 AM on December 07

As long as we're on the Royals, I firmly believe that Mike Sweeney fits in this category.

posted by hawkguy at 10:43 AM on December 07

Why do I get the feeling Frank Thomas is going to win this next year?

posted by chicobangs at 11:10 AM on December 07

Would John Mayberry qualify in the Kingman category? By the way, what is "OPS"?

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 11:11 AM on December 07

I think Mayberry had pretty decent bat control in his prime. A Kingman is a go who can go yard against practically any pitcher in any park in any situations, but cannot execute anything else. He can't move runners over, he can't reliably hit sacrifice flies, he can't go the opposite way, he can't bunt, and he can't protect the plate. All he can pretty much do is hit home runs and strike out. So, you have to stick him in the 8 or 9 spot to minimize the damage he can do to kill a rally and hope for the best. Reggie Jackson, later in his career, certainly would have qualified for this. And it wasn't because he wasn't a great hitter (he was), it was because he had incredibly poor judgment.

posted by psmealey at 12:00 PM on December 07

The award could have been handed out for many years before it was named after Kingman. I figured as much.

posted by dyams at 12:02 PM on December 07

OPS is "On Base Plus Slugging", which is the OBP (essentially, [hits+walks]/plate appearances) plus the SLG (total bases/plate appearances). It's a measurement of a players ability to get on base and move baserunners. It's a better way to determine a player's value to a team than using AVG (no sense of power or batting eye) or RBI (team-influenced and opportunity-loaded stat). OPS+ is a measurement of that player's OPS score versus the league average, taking into account park factors (some parks are much easier for hitters than others). An OPS+ of 100 is league average, while an OPS+ of 140 or higher is usually star level. Why do I get the feeling Frank Thomas is going to win this next year? Nah. He's put up HUGE OBP numbers every year except his two most injury plagued ones (2001, 2005), and his SLG has been WELL above average every season. So unless his body gets inhabited by the skill of Neifi Perez, he'll never be a candidate for the Kingman. I wonder how many times Rob Deer won this? Do not speak ill of the God of the Three True Outcomes.

posted by grum@work at 12:04 PM on December 07

By the way, what is "OPS"?

On Base Percentage Plus Slugging Percentage

posted by DudeDykstra at 12:04 PM on December 07

Man, Juan Uribe sucks. I can't believe he got that many at bats on such a good club otherwise. They hid him well.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:06 PM on December 07

grum, you got a typo there. SLG% is total bases/at bats. Dunn is probably the active Three True Outcomes leader. Jim Edmonds is up there, too, at least a couple of years ago. I wonder what the metric should be? (HR+BB+K)/PA with a minimum number of PA, maybe.

posted by mbd1 at 02:29 PM on December 07

Man, Juan Uribe sucks. Maybe you didn't see that awesome catch he made in the World Series clincher at Houston when he went into the stands. (Kidding of course, but this is the kind of argument that often gets thrown out in these types of matters.) To the substance of these awards, I'm not sure I see the fixation on HR to RBI ratio. A high number of HR relative to RBI may or may not be an indicator of poor performance or not doing much with what you have, but without looking at the percentage of RBI opportunities cashed in on, it seems to me to be somewhat meaningless. Perhaps some of the hitters with high HR:RBI simply didn't have a lot of folks on in front of them.

posted by holden at 02:51 PM on December 07

I nominate Pat Burrell. This guy's from Philadelphia, how did he miss Pat Burrell?

posted by SummersEve at 03:51 PM on December 07

Perhaps some of the hitters with high HR:RBI simply didn't have a lot of folks on in front of them. *cough*Bill Hall*cough*

posted by rocketman at 03:59 PM on December 07

grum, you got a typo there. SLG% is total bases/at bats. Yup. It should be AB. Perhaps some of the hitters with high HR:RBI simply didn't have a lot of folks on in front of them. Exactly. In general, RBI is a bad tool to use when measuring a player's ability, especially as a counting stat. If you MUST use it, context (opportunities) must be provided. If I had access to play-by-play data, and could track RBI% (RBI/RBI-opportunity) over each season of each player, I wonder if there would be a correlation between consecutive seasons, or over the career of a player? Would high RBI% be a "repeatable" skill? I'm sure someone, somewhere, has done this study...

posted by grum@work at 04:03 PM on December 07

Ye cats! How did he miss Burrell? Quite a drop in his numbers numbers with RISP and when behind in the count. And, I agree with yerfatma, Dunn's sweet swing (and decent baserunning skills) belie his Kingman like numbers. Do not speak ill of the God of The Three True Outcomes. OK, then how about all-time Dave Kingman Award consideration for Inky?

posted by mjkredliner at 04:47 PM on December 07

An interesting idea delivered with all the zip of a sixth grader writing a "What I Did For Summer Vacation" essay. Damn, man ... punch it up a little. Oh, and is the tiebreaker for this award a count of how many rats a player mailed to female sportswriters during the applicable season?

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:24 PM on December 07

Does Norm Cash count?

posted by whodat at 06:43 PM on December 07

grum: baseball prospectus has the stat, at least; no idea about consistency across years but I'm sure someone has done it.

posted by tieguy at 08:43 PM on December 07

I nominate Jacque Jones for the Kingman Award. I just wish the Cubbies will snd him on his way so Matt Murton can be an everyday player. They should pick up Kenny Lofton for a stopgap until Felix Pie is ready.

posted by t money at 08:51 PM on December 07

Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers 157 Games, 28/81 HR/RBI 59/125 BB/K .271/.347/.483 AVG/OBP/SLG .830/111 OPS/OPS+ Bill Hall, Milwaukee Brewers 148 Games, 35/85 HR/RBI 63/162 BB/K .270/.345/.553 AVG/OBP/SLG .898/126 OPS/OPS+ Booo! Prince Fielder is a rookie with OPS/OPS+ of .830/111. Bill Hall a ss/utility with an OPS/OPS+ of .898/126. Am I not understanding the award or are these awful picks?

posted by tron7 at 10:14 AM on December 08

I think you may understand the award better than its creator.

posted by yerfatma at 11:47 AM on December 08

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