I know that no one reads anymore. In fact, I’m positive about that fact. I cannot tell you how many times a day the following occurs at the Baseball Guys’ Twitter Page.
I post a tweet. Example. “Albert Pujols is being paid $250 million over the next three years. Is he worth it? www. Pujols-Making…” So my sentence describes what I’m talking about, and then the link takes readers to the full story. Should be pretty simple, right? Someone then replies to me ‘will Pujols’ new home in California hurt his homer output?’ Why is that question a problem?
Because it clearly points out that the person didn’t bother to click on the link which, for three paragraphs, describes the impact that the Angels park could have on Pujols’ power. You think this is me just being me and bitching about something that rarely occurs? Not at all. This happens to me at least 3-5 times every single day. At least. People just don’t read anymore.
So why do I bring that up the fact that people hate to read? Because I’m going to trust that if you’ve gotten this far that you are one of those rare people that actually understands the value of reading something and not just scanning over it for 10 seconds (plus I just had to vent, sorry about that). I wrote about Wins Shares last year in Win Shares: 2010 Leaders, I’m merely going to quote myself in what follows for the description of what Wins Shares is (I know that’s lazy, but I did such a spectacular job last year, why mess with perfection?). Do I need a citation for my own words? Jeez, it’s been a while since college.
WHAT ARE WIN SHARES?
Win Shares attempts to measure how many wins a hitter or pitcher has personally notched for his team in the standings. Win Shares puts all players on one continuum meaning hitters and pitchers are all lumped together.
Win Shares are handed out based on a players impact at helping his team win games. Unlike other new-school stats, Win Shares look quite explicitly at the standings. The team’s number of Win Shares is equal to its win total times three. Eighty team wins gives 240 win shares to be spread amongst people on that team. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if a player is on a team that wins 95 or 75 games – they should still be rewarded in an equitable manner.
Win Shares is complicated to figure out, and has negatives. Bill James, the creator, realized some limitations in Win Shares and later invented “Loss Shares” because Wins Shares are only positive. Win Shares has also been replaced in most people’s minds by a measure like WAR (Wins Above Replacement level), but Win Shares was the first systematic attempt to put all aspects of baseball performance into one number that really caught on (James wrote about it in Win Shares, a massive 728 page book that was published in 2002).
To put the numbers you are about to review in context, here is a brief key for seasonal performance.
All-Star: 20+ Win Shares
MVP Level: 30+
Historic level: 40+
With that brief lead in, here are the 2011 leaders according to Win Shares.
2011 LEADERS – HITTERS
38 – Miguel Cabrera
37 – Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp
36 – Jose Bautista
34 – Jacoby Ellsbury
33- Prince Fielder, Joey Votto,
30 – Lance Berkman, Robinson Cano
29 – Miguel Montero
28 – Ben Zobrist and Andrew McCutchen
2011 LEADERS – PITCHERS
27 – Justin Verlander
24 – Jered Weaver
23 – Clayton Kershaw
22 – Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee
20 – James Shields, Ricky Romero, C.J. Wilson, Ian Kennedy
19 – CC Sabathia
18 – Dan Haren, Doug Fister
17 – Craig Kimbrel, Cole Hamels
By Ray Flowers