Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Why Players Shouldn't be Trusted Reason No. 1

This is a player's poll from the August 4 issue of Sports Illustrated:

Which rookie has impressed you the most?
Based on a survey of 449 MLB players

Geovany Soto, Cubs C......21%
Evan Longoria, Rays 3B......16%
Edinson Volquez, Reds P......16%
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox OF......12%
Jay Bruce, Reds OF......10%

Now, there are a few problems with this. Beyond just the idea of putting Jay Bruce and Jacoby Ellsbury (respective VORPs of 5.2 and 5.0) ahead of Mike Aviles (25.1), Jair Jurrjens (33.4), Jorge Campillo (33.2) or any other of the FIFTY SEVEN rookies with higher VORPs than them (14 position players),* there's a more glaring issue.

See, Edinson Volquez had 80 career innings pitched at the Major League level before this year. A player loses his rookie eligibility at 50.

What does this mean? It means that the players polled by Sports Illustrated determined that Edinson Volquez -- who is not a rookie -- is the second best rookie in all of baseball.

Athletes are awesome because they play sports very, very well. They understand a lot of what they need to do to do their job well, and they're athletically gifted. Too often, though, we decide this means they're a good choice to analyze the sport for us, and clearly this is a great example that they are not necessarily suited to do that. An athlete isn't necessarily paying enough attention to the sport nor do they necessarily have the understanding to analyze it on a major level.

*Yes, I'm aware I just totally ignored defense. Work with me here.

No comments: