MMO Fan Shot: Going To WAR For Stephen Drew?

An article by posted on January 13, 2014

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

An MMO Fan Shot by Steven Pacchiano

Call me old fashioned, call me a dinosaur, I’m 39 years old BUT I still have 20/20 vision. I understand the concept of WAR and all the stats that go into it, but I really prefer to look at the classic numbers and watch the player play in order to decide if one player is better than another.

WAR supposedly is a stat that determines the value of a player’s total contributions to their team. It is claimed to show the number of additional wins a player would contribute to a team compared to a replacement level player at that position, usually a minor league player or bench player. It is an attempt by the sabermetric baseball community to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic. An example would be, saying that Player A is worth 3 wins and player B is worth 6 wins.

I think it’s a very interesting idea for a stat and would love to be able to put a “number” on a guy like this. But I think there is something flawed somewhere in the calculations. Maybe there is too much weight for one stat over another or maybe they are missing a value or two, because to me something just doesn’t add up.

So lets relate this to Stephen Drew since he’s still in the headlines. Drew had a WAR of 3.1 in 2013 for the World Champions Red Sox. He had a batting average of .253, 13 HR and a .333 on base percentage. He played in 124 games in 2013. Let’s pretend and say the Mets do sign him, with the current roster where would he on opening day? Sixth or seventh?

Lets take a look at some players with a lower WAR than Drew and consider where they would hit in our lineup for comparison:

Norichika Aoki, who had a lower WAR 3.03 (not by much), who hit .286 with a .356 OBP, 20 SB and 80 Runs scored in 155 games on a Bad MIL team. (Would be a great leadoff hitter if the Mets had him)

Matt Holliday had a WAR of 2.66, Matt hit .300 with 22 HR, & 94 RBI with a .389 OBP, in 141 Games. (Would hit clean up in our lineup)

Justin Upton had a bad year (for him) and had a WAR of 2.64 BUT he still hit, .263 with 27 HR, 70 RBI, 94 Runs and a .354 OBP. (Would hit clean up in our lineup)

Domonic Brown, Had a WAR of 2.51, He hit .272 with 27 HR, and 83 RBI in 139 Games. (Would hit clean up in our lineup)

Allen Craig, Had a 2.25 WAR, Allen hit .315 with 97 RBI and a .373 OBP (Allen would hit 3 or 4 in our lineup)

Now WAR or no WAR, I would much prefer any of these guys on my team than Drew. ,Their numbers BLOW his away. Most of these players are big difference makers. Please look over their numbers again for yourselves. Yes, yes I know WAR also takes into consideration what position a player fields, so lets look at a few shortstops…

Alexei Ramirez, had a 2.58 WAR, but he hit .284, 39 doubles and 30 SB. In 158 Games (He would leadoff if he was on the Mets)

Jose Reyes (A name we all know) Had a WAR of 2.55. Yes, he did only play 93 Games (31 less than Drew), but Jose hit .296 with 10 HR, with a .353 OBP (Jose would take back his leadoff spot in our lineup)

Jed Lowrie Had a WAR of 2.27, And he hit .290 with 15 HR, 45 Doubles, 80 Runs scored, 75 RBI and a .344 OBP. (He would hit second in the Mets lineup)

I do know that Drew is a better defender than these other shortstops, Lowrie and Alexei committed a lot more errors BUT Reyes only had one more error than Drew. But the way I see it, committing an error doesn’t always lose you a game. Sometimes it doesn’t even cost you a run. Maybe there is a bit too much weight on defense?

Hey, if GM’s thought WAR really determined the value of a player’s total contributions to their team in games won, than we should sign Drew and trade him for one of those other guys I mentioned. Maybe they would think they were getting a good deal?

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Steven Pacchiano. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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