Jun 16, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT
Fact: two Major League Baseball teams gave Jim Bowden the keys to the entirety of their baseball operations. Just thought you should remember that when you read one of the ways in which he likes to evaluate players:
I get asked all the time which two or three common statistics I would pick to evaluate a team or players. My quick answer would be the following:
1. For a team: Run differential
2. For a hitter: OPS + RBIs, or OPSBIs
3. For a pitcher: ERA, WHIP, SO
Yeah, it’s number two that stands out. He says “OPS + RBIs gives me a general feel for the level of player.” Setting aside why, from a hardcore statistical point of view, combining those stats makes no sense (it’s beyond apples and oranges; it’s in the realm of apples and nickel-metal hydride batteries), I’m struggling to thing what such a metric would even tell Bowden. Yes, when you add up those numbers you get a list of good players. But there are a lot of numbers that will do that for you while telling yourself something else useful too, which this does not.
And, thinking more broadly, if a man with decades of player development experience needs some complicated number to give him “a general feel for the level of player,” than there are much bigger problems afoot.