So over the last few days there have been a bunch of discussions in various threads about the new "value" stats over at FanGraphs. I thought we could get a more coherent discussion going here and kinda figure this thing out.
First off, for everyone that is unfamiliar, over at Fangraphs they have put together an all-inclusive type stat that combines fielding, batting as well as positional adjustments to show how many wins a player is worth. Those guys can explain it a lot better than I can, so here are some links to their explanations:
So there have been a lot of critiques of the the results in our threads. The biggest problem for people seems to be the money amounts that show how much the player was worth that year. Just to be clear for everyone that didn't read the explanations; these money amounts are what the player would be worth in free agency. More specifically, it is what a GM would pay that player if he somehow knew how the player would perform. Because it is their free agency values, most players are underpaid because most players are not free agents. Many players are also overpaid, usually aging veterans that can no longer cut it.
For their pitching values, they us FIP (fielding independent pitching). FIP numbers for many pitchers are much different than their ERA's because it attempts to only take into account what the pitcher can control. Thus, Dice-K has a high FIP because he puts so many guys on base. I'm not sure this is the best way to do it because it is not a results-based stat.
They put a ton of value on position, so Varitek was actually worth a full win last year. Also Pedroia last year was better than Manny ever was with the Sox (or at least from 2002 on, since the numbers only go back that far.)
I really like the stat as it puts other stats into much more concrete terms. It has some issues, but overall I hope these numbers become a bigger and bigger part of our discussions around here.