ALLEN CRAIG IS AN OVERRATED BEAST

> Allen Craig is a monster.  Put simply, the Cardinals were willing to let the greatest offensive force in team history walk away because they knew Craig would be able to provide comparable production.

No Cardinal fan needs to be told this.  While he remains relatively unknown on the outside, within the walls of Cardinal Nation, he is touted as a guy who could blast his way to an MVP given a full, healthy season.

His power and production as expressed by homeruns and runs batted in are what garner his accolades.  Last year, there was a lengthy period in which Craig was averaging an RBI per game.

So there is no doubt that Cards fans are excited to see what this beast is going to do in 2013 after an offseason spent loading up rather than repairing; as they should be.  But when there is this level of hype, I have to wonder, are we overrating Allen Craig?  I’m not questioning that he’s a great player, but is he as great as we make him out to be?

Since RBI seem to be the primary measurement used to gauge how good Craig was last year, I thought I’d break down Craig’s RBI performance last year a little further.

I know RBI is a controversial stat.  A lot of people love it way too much and a lot of people hate it way too much.  On its own it’s a bad stat since it lacks context, so I figured I’d add some context to Craig’s much-celebrated RBI production in 2012.

I looked at the 133 players in the Major Leagues with more at-bats than Allen Craig last year.  (He had 469.)  I then calculated what percentage of the time those players came up to bat with at least one runner on base.

There were only eleven guys who came to bat with runner(s) on more often than Craig last year.

Now, Craig’s greatness is reflected in the fact that he had a higher success rate of getting the runner(s) in than any of the eleven guys ahead of him on that list (32% once drove-yourself-in homerun RBI are taken out), but it also means that he is getting a ton of RBI chances (47% of his at-bats) which are bound to skew his RBI totals.

And because of that skewed RBI total, I think we overestimate what he’s going to do this year.  Typically conservative and typically accurate statistical projections that are free of bias estimate he will be a 22 homer, 82 RBI guy.  And I think that is about where our expectations for him should lie.  Still great, still All-Star level, but let’s quit thinking of Albert Pujols‘ replacement as Albert Pujols.

> This is why players never spout anything but tired cliches to the media. Unfortuantely, the baseball media is not only okay with this but actually enforces this.

(And ironically, that piece was written by the same guy who said this.)

> Ozzie Smith went through a situation similar to the one Rafael Furcal finds himself in now and thinks he can help with his throwing.

> Not that he’ll be needing it, but Lance Berkman forgot to bring his glove to Rangers camp.

> Sean Burnett, the lefty reliever that the Cardinals were after this offseason, hurt his back picking his kid out of a shopping cart.

> Team photo day!

> The bidding for this bloody Curt Schilling sock is up to $60,000.  Given what sports memorabilia is selling for nowadays, this isn’t that surprising on its own.  But look at the item:

There’s no way that it’s the same sock as the famous one from Game Two of the ’04 ALCS:

The auction item purports to be from Game Two, but that cannot be.  There isn’t nearly enough blood.  At best, the auction item is from Game Six, if Schilling’s ankle was still bleeding by then.

UPDATE: Schilling did indeed throw the real sock away after Game Two.

About these ads

2 thoughts on “ALLEN CRAIG IS AN OVERRATED BEAST

  1. Unsurprisingly, I agree with you about overrating Craig. He’s undoubtedly an excellent hitter, but unless he’s going to start taking steroids, I don’t think he’s going to start putting up Ryan Braun numbers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s