• Josh

    about where we thought he was, right?

  • Mike HC

    Hopefully it doesn’t go down like that, but as you plainly laid out, it might.

    • mike o

      unless he lerns to hit to left,he will just be a better fielding jason giambi

  • Jesus Montero’s Brain

    Ouch. Back to reality, oops there goes gravity.

    • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

      You didn’t just quote “8 Mile.”

      • Justin

        That song is still awesome.

  • 27time champs

    Troubling. The physical breakdowns this season. The ultra slow start. He’s won a championship with the Yankees, so its better than Jason Giambi. But still troubling.

  • jsbrendog

    wow olerud had 3 reeeeeally good yrs

  • woainidepigu

    So…we’re basically just saying Teixeira is a good baseball player who is due for a slight uptick in WAR this upcoming season before declining in performance through the end of his tenure in pinstripes.

    On another note, Olerud had some ridiculously productive peak years…

  • ultimate913

    It’s okay. 2009 was worth it, I guess.

  • Kyle

    You had to deliver this after watching Army get embarrassed again? Thanks.

    • Jimmy

      The goat is old and gnarly…

  • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

    Did anyone expect Mark Teixeira to have a first-ballot shoe-in Hall of Fame career?

    Fred McGriff is actually quite an apt comparison. $20M can’t buy what it used to.

    • Eric Young

      “first-ballot shoe-in Hall of Fame career”

      In his last five full seasons, at age 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35, Gehrig had averaged 8.5 WAR.

      It was a fall-off from his age 23 through 30 seasons when he averaged a 9.5 WAR (amazingly, Gehrig went eleven consecutive seasons with a WAR between 7.0 and 12.0).

  • Mu

    Why those two comps?

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      No particular reason, just that their career WAR graphs line up well (click the link). It took a few iterations.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

        Olerud and Tex have identical OPS+ thru their age 30 seasons too. McGriff blows them both away.

      • Eric Young

        I glanced at Hernandez, McCovey, Helton, Foxx, Bagwell and Murray. Almost to a man, each had peaked – at least by the measure of WAR – by the end of their 31st year. Except for Foxx, who had began mixing big years with sub-par ones, each experienced a marked decline immediately upon reaching 32.

        1B seems to be a more brutal position than I had heretofore thought it to be.

  • mbonzo

    I think theres more of a chance that incarcerated bob getting a rumor right than Teixeira declining like that. He’s just got too much talent power-wise compared to Olerud, he’d be a better comparison to McGriff, who really wasn’t that healthy of a player around Teix’s age.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Does Olreud and McGriff’s defense get accounted in these stats? I know Mark is a “poor” defender (laughable) and his WAR numbers are downgraded because of it.

  • Amol

    Mike, wht made you choose Olerud and McGriff for your comparison? Baseball-Reference has his top two comparables through age thirty as Carlos Delgado, which is just as bad, and Jeff Bagwell, which is less scary. McGriff is third while Olerud doesn’t appear at all.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

      Those comps on b-ref are spotty though, don’t they only look at raw numbers?

      • Amol

        That’s a fair point, but I think they’re the best we have at the moment. Baseball Prospectus lists his top three comparables as Eddie Murray, Boog Powell and Todd Helton, but I don’ think they’ve included 2010 in those stats. Either way, it works out the same, with one really good comp (Bagwell and Murray) and two not so good.

  • Ellis

    This inspired me to compare two all-time great shortstops: Jeter and Ripken


    You might be surprised who was consistently more valuable.

    • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

      Considering that we don’t really have any idea how good Ripken was on defense, WAR numbers for older players don’t really make too much sense.

      If Jeter played in the 70s, he’d be considered one of the best defensive shortstops of all time.

      • Thomas

        Baseball projection’s TZ has Ripken Jr. grading out very well with a 141 TZ over his career.


        • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

          I really, really wish baseball statisticians used error bars. The bars on these stats derived purely from play-by-play data must be enormous.

        • Slugger27

          i have a hard time believing 34 year old cal ripken was a +19 defender. that alone makes that entire chart less meaningful to me

      • MikeD

        Unlikely he’d be considered one of the best defensive shortstops of all time. He would have been considered an okay defensive SS. I’m sure the media might have declared him a great defensive player, but the teams have a pretty good grasp on this.

        Just like today, teams do scout their own players and are quite well aware of their strengths and limitations. They don’t broadcast those opinions freely in the media, and for damn good reasons. That does not mean they don’t know, or that fans are smarter than the people running the teams (well, most of them!). Look no further than Torre’s Yankee Years book where it’s referenced that they knew Jeter did not range well to his left.

        I don’t think most fans of sabermetrics realize that no MLB team bases their decisions on the defensive abilities of players on the freely available defensive stats we all see. I’m not talking about teams with their heads in the sand (like, seemingly, the Royals for the last twenty years!), but even the stats-driven clubs, like the Red Sox and the A’s. They have their own internal defensive ratings, which they couple with scouting to make determinations.

        I guess my point is they have a better idea today on where a specific player might rate, but certainly were capable of rating players. The 1960s/1970s was an offensivly depressed period, with teams putting great emphasis on defense. That’s why the Mark Belanger’s and Ed Brinkman’s of the world held jobs. Jeter would have been turned into a CFer if he came up in the 70s.

    • noseeum

      This one’s tough for me. Basically, Jeter, Arod, and Nomar would never have been allowed to play short if it wasn’t for Ripken. They would have been moved to third.

      I don’t know how to score something like that for Ripken. At the time he played, replacement level SS was so terrible offensively, it made Ripken look just ridiculous compared to all of his peers except Barry Larkin.

      If you compare them by wOBA, Jeter was clearly the better offensive player:

      Defense is tough, and I would concede Ripken was better defensively, but by how much who knows? A lot of the WAR difference has to do with the R for replacement. I just don’t know if you can give Ripken that much credit for being compared to a bunch of all glove no bat types. He should get some, I just don’t know how much.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

    I’d like to see just the oWAR due to the unreliable nature of defensive metrics for 1st baseman. A lot of Olerud’s WAR value was related to defense. Conversely McGriff lost a lot of value for his defense. I think McGriff is the better comp for Tex offensively as well, similar HR power that Olerud never had.

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

      oWAR through age 30:

      Tex: 32.1
      McGriff: 35.8
      Olerud: 33.5

  • bottom line

    Hopefully, Crawford and A-Gon are about to to begin their long declines too.

    • MikeD

      They’re both 29, so they should be at peak for at least a couple seasons.

      I’d rather they have rapid, fast declines, instead of long declines. : -)

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    We get it…Giambi sucked.

    • Thomas

      But what a mustache he had.

  • CP

    So the expectation would be about 3 WAR per season over the next 6 years? That sounds pretty reasonable.

    It’s also interesting that McGriff and Olerud’s charts overlay so well, but actually have very different shapes. McGriff peaked early (age 24-25) and had a gradual decline from there. Olerud was a pretty stable 3-4 win player from age 22 through age 34, with 2 exceptional years in there and then a rapid drop off.

  • Mac

    Nice little comparison here. Hopefully Tex’s later start in the majors prolongs his “prime” years a little bit. I would also give Tex the advantage of the glove which can hopefully help maintain a nice .WAR when he is in the last few seasons of his contract.

  • bonestock94

    Eh, not what I’m hoping for.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

    Doesn’t really concern me, but it is definitely something to keep in mind.

  • Hughesus Christo

    For such “serious business” the sabr community seems more than willing to toss all scientific guidelines aside when anything “interesting” might result.

    • Esteban

      To what are you referring?

      • Hughesus Christo

        Serious? This graph is literally meaningless. These are three players from wildly different times, places, everything.

        • Hughesus Christo

          So over 30 years, we’re looking at three first baseman and attempting to draw conclusions from 2.5 sets of data?

    • bonestock94

      I don’t think any declarations are being made over this graph.

      • Hughesus Christo

        I don’t like how I’m phrasing this, and it’s not a big deal at all, but the graphs would be up if they weren’t meant to mean anything.

        My point actually applies to a lot of the baseball analysis going on everywhere.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          They’re mean to create discussion, that’s all. You don’t have to have a stick up your ass about every little thing.

          • Hughesus Christo

            I had that stick surgically implanted for a reason.

          • ryan


          • ryan



  • Ghost

    I’ve always been intrigued with the debate on whether Mcgriff belongs in the hall of fame, and I always love to see people’s arguements for it and against it. I grew up when he was playing and I think he serves to be in the hall of fame imo. On the flip, alot of people probably overlook the fact that Olerud was also one of the best 1b in baseball during the same time in their primes and if you consider his superior defense, you could probab ly make an arguement that they were equal in value of all round performance.

    Look at their carees: They are essentially the same player in WAR, AVG, OPS. The only difference is Mcgriff’s power which he was far superior than Olerud in.

    • MikeD

      If we believe he was PED-free, he’s probably being hurt by the generation he played.

      It strikes me that over the past 25 years, there have been quite a few, high-quality 1Bmen to play the game. I’ve never seen a study or took a look, but I think we might have just gone through a golden age for 1B. I’ve watched baseball long enough to not assume that will continue. If that’s the case, McGriff’s chances may increase as time goes by.

      Last, imagine if he was never traded away from the Yankees. He’d have made 500+ HRs easy, and he’d be on his way to the Hall.

  • vin

    Olerud was underrated. McGriff is who we though he was. (/denny green’d) Teixeira was born in the right era.

    • Ghost

      No 1B is born in the right era when that era belongs to Albert Pujols ;)

      • vin

        It may belong to Albert, but Tex has certainly gotten paid for his talents.

        • Ghost

          So has the Jayson Werth’s of the world….I’m just saying

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      The Crime Dog was the man

  • MikeD

    I don’t view Olerud and Teixeira as similiar type hitters or body types. Can’t read much in at least that comparison.

  • TJ

    What about Carlos Delgado on that chart as comparison.

    • TJ

      Delgado at 36 had 115 RBIs and 38 HRs that was 2008. The years prior he was consistently at, around or over 30 HE and 100 RBIs. Tex had a poor start to last year but still had a 30/100 year. With his defense I think if you get 30/100 out of him till the mid thirties that’s acceptable. The AROD decline is probably more worrisome given the contract, health and age.

      • Mike Myers

        Gotta agree with you here. Arod may have a big time bounce back in him though. Full season off with the hip healing. However, the hip could get chronic and be the end. Time will tell….

  • Beamish

    The moral of that graph: Make sure you become a Free Agent at Age 29.

  • Leo in Houston

    If the Yanks don’t get Cliff Lee they will trade 7 of their top 10 prospects to compete with the Red Sox.

    • raymagnetic

      No they won’t.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Off topic.

  • Slugger27

    unless it contains the team he’s picked, i don’t wanna read any more lee updates to be honest

  • MattG

    This is a scary graph, much like something you would find in Stark’s ‘musings.’

    Will we have a comparison with two other first baseman that suddenly improved next? Ala Scott Boras?

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    I just put Pujols as the 4th player on that graph.


  • MattG

    Love this tool. Here’s another chart for your consumption. A little bit more rosy, but basically the same:


  • Andrew518

    I’m sick of these graphs…
    I love baseball for its statistics and comparison but the rapidness in which WAR has come to represent the value a player’s “worth” is too much for me. I’ve got nothing against “new” metrics and stats but as with any formula you can manipulate numbers to be anything you want to prove. No doubt a useful tool but does it really mean anything?
    I’m sick of these graphs…

    • MikeD

      Some of the stats are good, some are not.

      There used to be something called TPR, which I thought was pretty weak, yet it’s defenders swore by it. WAR will be replaced too.

  • brian g

    i’d take any of three in a heart beat. oddly enough, the other dudes were yankees at one point or another as well. mcgriff got drafted by the yanks and olerud nearly played out the end of his career obviously…and i gotta say i loved seeing him with the yankees that year. he did some great things that season. hopefully tex ages more like mcgriff though…that’s a lot of homers and RBI to look forward to.

  • Shaun

    I’ll take that, he’s only got 5 yrs on his contract left, if he ages like that McGriff, I’ll take that one crappy year at the end.

  • delv

    WAR for firstbasemen is a joke, because of the defensive stats as they’re incorporated into it. By the way, is this fangraphs WAR or b-ref?

    • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

      I believe it’s fangraphs.

  • Jonathan

    Ya i agree that WAR is very sketchy with 1st basemen. A lot of very great baseball minds (Bill James/Keith Law etc) see him as an ELITE 1st baseman defensively. Secondly, while his terrible start was worse than usual, he was on a great rebound until those injuries took him down at the end of the season. They seemed to be freak injuries as well. Even when slumping, he still has patience and can draw a walk. Using a metric that continually uses UZR which rates Teixeira well below where most people have him doesn’t seem like a good way to compare 1B. I have full confidence in him going forward and would love to see how he stacks up when his defense is properly added into the equation. Even using average defense is an insult and when you think that he’s well below average on that scale, it really weighs his value improperly.