I don’t have an answer to the question. I’m asking for someone to help me answer the question. Here is the reason:
Clint Barmes posted a 3.1 WAR in 2011. Among position players, that put him at 62nd in all of the Majors in 2011. Exactly 201 position players had a WAR of at least one in 2011. Here is where Barmes ranked among those 201 players in offensive categories (these are where he ranked, not his actual numbers):
It is weird me that a player who only started 2/3 of the games (114 starts total in 2011) at a tough defensive position could lift himself up and over 80 to 100 players (going from 163rd in OPS+ to 62nd in WAR) based solely on his defense. I have to be missing something. No offense to Seth Smith or anyone who comes up with these formulas because I’m quite certain they have a better feel for this than me and they have spent far more time on this than I have. But, this doesn’t even pass the straight face test. For example:
Paul Konerko (23 in OPS+) hit .300 had an OPS of over .900 and somehow achieved only 2.8 WAR.
Aramis Ramirez (33 in OPS+) playing a tougher position than Konerko had just 2.5 WAR
Yadier Molina (tied for 62 in OPS+) had just 2.6 WAR and won his fourth straight Gold Glove (so his defense was likely pretty good)
Brian McCann (right behind Molina tied for 66 in OPS+) was at 2.4
What I’m getting at is that one of three of the following would have to be true (maybe I’m missing one):
1. WAR overvalues defense in general or did so badly in the case of Barmes 2011 season
2. Clint Barmes had one of the greatest fielding seasons of all time in 2011
3. The defensive metrics used to build the dWAR component are not particularly good
Am I wrong? Can anyone explain this to me? According to WAR, Barmes defense allowed him to leap over clearly superior offensive players, including a Gold Glove winning catcher. That makes no sense to me at all.