Thanks to the 180 people who took the time to fill in our survey. In it, we asked you to rate all 45 of the players who appeared for the Diamondbacks this year, on a scale from one to ten. The poll closed yesterday morning, and we’ve been filtering and analyzing the results since. We did have to discard three obvious troll answers:
- The person who voted 1’s across the board. 3/10, must try harder...
- The person who (apparently) randomly voted 1 and 10. 5/10, reasonable effort shown.
- The person who voted 10 for Goldschmidt, and 1 for everyone else. I’d like to thank Mrs. Goldschmidt for her participation. 7/10, would troll again.
The chart below shows the average score given to each player, in descending order from best to worst.
Not an enormous set of surprises here, with the players who had the best performance for us topping the charts. It’s not strictly related to their value though: J.D. Martinez had a higher rating, despite a lower WAR tally (resulting largely from his only appearing 62 times for the Diamondbacks). Zack Greinke also rates lower than both Robbie Ray and Archie Bradley, despite putting up significantly more bWAR than either. The criteria seem to take into account “value” as much as actual performance. The bottom represents a perfect storm of suck in both for Yasmany Tomas. It takes special effort to be rated worse than a pitcher who put up a literally infinite ERA for Arizona this year!
Expectations vs. performance
I thought it would also be interesting to compare the pre-season expectations for players, as measured by the rating they received in spring, against the actual performances, now the dust of the 2017 season has settled. This isn’t possible for all players: the likes of Martinez, Adam Rosales and David Hernandez were not on our radar in spring training, so there were no expectations for them. But for the 36 players we did consider, and who appeared for the D-backs this year, the chart shows the difference between spring and current ratings. A +ve number means they exceeded expectations, a negative number that they fell short.
All told, 19 players performed better than we expected in spring, while 17 came in below projections. However, the overall tally of +/- scores was significantly positive, at +7.60; five players performed better than two points above expectations, while only Tomas fell short by the same margin. Put another way, the pleasant surprises were nicer, than the unpleasant ones were nasty. In general, it was the pitchers who did best, occupying the three top spots. I imagine if the first section drives the candidates for the SnakePit’s MVP award, the chart above may well be led by names we see in the ‘Unsung Hero’ category.
We’ll be getting into the individual performance reviews, and breaking down each of the 45 players to appear. starting next week.