Monday, June 11, 2007

There's Not Good...

And then there is this. ESPN has a new player ratings tool that was developed with the consultation of the Elias Sports Bureau and MIT. You still have to be careful what conclusions you draw from it - unless the conclusion is that the Royals are terrible because they have bad players.

According to the inaugural set of rankings (which by their nature will change daily) David DeJesus is the 9th best center fielder in the league. He is the only position player better than at least half of his counterparts.

John Buck is the 17th best catcher and Mark Teahen is the 21st ranked right fielder. After that it gets ugly. Here are the rest of the Royals starting position players and their rank.

1B Shealy 46th
2B Grudzielanek 37th
SS Pena 33rd
3B Gordon 39th
LF Brown 41st

If you didn't already catch the significance, the list above signifies that 2 major league teams have a better backup shortstop than our starter, 6 major league teams have a better backup second basemen than our starter, 8 major league teams have a better backup third basemen than our starter, 10 major league teams have a better backup left fielder than our starter, and an unbelievable 15 teams (half the league) have a better backup third baseman than our starter.

Our DH and team captain did not even merit a score (though to be fair, only 10 DH's did).

Things were a little better in regards to starting pitching. Gil Meche was 25th. Brian Bannister was 51st. Jorge De La Rosa was 91st. If you figure every 30 players as a spot in the rotation then we have a pitcher at least close to fitting into each slot. Granted they are all towards the bottom of their slots, but had this statistic been taken last year I doubt we would have had a single pitcher in the top 60.

Not quite as encouraging in regards to relief pitching. The lone Royal on the list is Joel Peralta. He is 56th of the 75 ranked relievers. We didn't really need proof that the bullpen was suspect though.

One caveat to all of this is that record is taken into account. This means Royals players start out in the statistical hole. On the other hand the Texas Rangers are the only team behind the Royals in the standings and the best possible lineup they can put on the field (including the DH) registers a score of 111.8. The Royals come up just a bit short of that - they score a 49.3.

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