MLB Metrics 101: The 10 Most Overrated Stars of Baseball – Bleacher Report
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Since a perfect way to answer that first question doesn’t exist, the good enough way will have to do.
This involves focusing on what’s in the final column on a player’s Baseball-Reference.com page: All-Star Games, Silver Sluggers and Gold Gloves, as well as MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards.
These things aren’t determined by statistical accomplishments. Each comes with a gray area that can be influenced by a player’s reputation. That makes them good fodder for the following “Reputation Points”:
- 4 points for each MVP, Cy Young or RoY
- 2 points for an All-Star start
- 1 point for an All-Star reserve
- 1 point for each Silver Slugger and Gold Glove
To ensure a current list of stars, only players who were All-Stars or major award winners in 2015 or 2016 were considered. Disregard all relief pitchers—who are part-time stars even at the best of times—and throw in a minimum of five Reputation Points, and 47 players make the cut for consideration.
For that second question, the fairest thing to do is weigh a player’s overall body of work and his best work equally. For that, this works well enough:
- Calculate a player’s average WAR per season (not including 2017)
- Calculate a player’s average WAR in his three best seasons
- Add the two figures together and find the average
This will be called “Normal/Prime WAR.”
Logically, the next step is to find some kind of ratio between a player’s Normal/Prime WAR and his Reputation Points. But because a star with many Reputation Points and a high Normal/Prime WAR would have the same ratio as a star with smaller numbers in both departments, that just doesn’t work.
So, things will be kept simple: Which of the 47 qualifying stars have the lowest Normal/Prime WARs?
First up are some honorable mentions. Then it’s on to the top bottom 10.