Saturday, July 06, 2013

Yasiel Puig: WAR Hero, All-Star

Leave it to SoSG reader and puzzle braniac ubragg to analyze Yasiel Puig's WAR ranking, and see if his outstanding performance merits All-Star Game consideration:

There has been a lot of talk lately about whether or not Yasiel Puig, who won the National League Player of the Week and Month in his first in the league of each respectively, should be a member of the NL All-Star team, given that he's only played a little over a month. Of course, there should be an objective way to determine whether his performance to date should trump the accomplishments of other players that have been contributing to their teams all season long. Well, there is, and it is a stat that has been getting more and more attention in MLB, and that stat is called WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

If you don't know about WAR, the point of the stat is to have one stat that sums up all the contributions a player makes to his team, including defensive and offensive contributions, and the number is meant to be how many wins the player has contributed to the team, compared to how many the team would have gotten without that player in the lineup (if they had to replace them with a bench player or minor leaguer). One great feature of WAR is that unlike many stats that are often used to compare overall contributions of a player (my favorite is OPS), WAR is a counting stat, meaning that it is cumulative and can only increase by playing more. So what better way to determine Puig's purely objective worthiness for the All-Star Team by building the team of 34 players entirely based on WAR....

The analysis is a great read (I won't spoil the ending).'s WAR rankings don't have Puig making the cut, fwiw. But we'll find out if Yasiel will make the team--NL All-Star Team manager Bruce Bochy certainly isn't pulling for Puig--and maybe if fans will have the chance to vote him in!

UPDATE 12:37p: All six of ESPN's baseball pundits would vote Yasiel Puig on to the NL All-Star Game team. (Even better, Jerry Crasnick would have the Giants' Madison Bumgarner as the last man out.)

UPDATE 12:41p: Jayson Stark of suggests changing the All-Star Game admission policies to create a new ASG slot for a Rising Star...which would go to Puig, of course.


Dusty Baker said...

WAR - what is it good for?

ubragg said...

Thanks for the post, Sax! Anxiously awaiting the 3:30pm announcement.

ubragg said...

By the way, I hadn't seen's projected WAR-based rankings, which turns out to be almost identical to mine, with two differences:

1) They included 5 relievers and dropped the 2 lowest starting pitchers (OK, I could have done that...)
2) They gave Jay Bruce the final spot (as I would have had to do if forced to pick the last spot rather than punt it to the final vote.)

What you can't see from their page, though, is that Puig is the top non-pitcher on the list that didn't make it!

Steve Sax said...

I trust ubragg over the wwl

Steve Sax said...

(I also like how the first comment on ubragg's post is a quote from Vader)