The BPification of the Baseball World

STLtoday – Sports – Columnists

We used to get pissed off at baseball writers who wrote dopey stuff informed by the game’s common wisdom, much of which wasn’t all that wise. Now we continually find, and this example is one of many, writers whose main talent seems to be to be able to convert the various Baseball Prospectus metrics into somewhat-analytical prose. He analyzes Juan Encarnacion’s prospects using Eqa, criticizes his fielding based on his Davenports, and then questions the sabermetric wisdom of the Age 27 peak, since Encarnacion posted his highest Eqa as a 29 year old.

I’ll let you (and the good citizens of St. Louis) judge if this is worthwhile information. My problem isn’t that it is or isn’t, we’re still trying to sort out which objective information is useful and which isn’t, but that these tools in the hands of the lazy or the dunderheaded end up the basis for all sorts of thoughts that are just as wrong as the old ideas.

Like writing a column about Juan Encarnacion four days into the season that judges him based on some hypothetical ideal ballplayer and how his four-day stats compare, rather than describing what he does well and what he does poorly. Encarnacion may not be all the player he could be, if he did things differently, but he does enough things right to be a legit major leaguer. Getting all high and mighty about his style of play is goofy, probably lazy, certainly dunderheaded.