Rickie Weeks Appreciation Day | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

What do Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Evan Longoria, Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Curtis Granderson have in common?

Well, a lot of things, probably. But one of them is that, since the start of the 2010 season, they all have accumulated less Fangraphs wins above replacement than Rickie Weeks. In fact, so has every other position player in baseball besides Jose Bautista and Joey Votto, and the only pitchers to top that number are Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Here’s the leaderboard:

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This came to my attention recently when I brought a copy of the Sporting News to work so I’d have something to read on break. The issue I happened to grab featured a poll of “21 MLB executives” to rank the top 50 players in MLB, and then they compiled the list. Pujols was first, Tulowitzki second, Braun 16th, Fielder 27th, Greinke 45th. What caught my eye, though, was one aside in the article that showed the top 50 since the start of 2010 ranked by WAR, with their ranks in the Sporting News poll in parentheses. When they printed this article, the WAR rankings with the Sporting News Rank in parentheses looked like this:

1. Bautista (23)

2. Halladay (6)

3. Votto (4)

4. Lee (19)

5. Hamilton (10)

6. Holliday (20)

7. Weeks (not ranked)

8. Beltre (47)

9. Longoria (7)

10. Hernandez (3)

11. Pujols (1)

12. Tulowitzki (2)

There’s a pretty obvious outlier there. Besides criminally underrating Bautista and Beltre, Weeks not only wasn’t placed in the top 50, but the two comments from one of their staff writers on the side pointed to Brandon Phillips (40th in WAR) and Clay Buchholz (not in the top 50 in WAR) as players who should have made the Sporting News Top 50. He also wasn’t mentioned in the section of 5 players who were “up and coming” for next season (though that note was written by Anthony Witrado).

Now this is certainly an overanalysis of a poll, and there are still executives out there like Jim Bowden who use OPSBIs to evaluate players. But it seems pretty apparent to me that Rickie Weeks hasn’t gotten a whole lot of credit for being the third-best position player in baseball in the past year and a half, and that poll is a pretty good reflection of how underrated he is. It will be an honor to only have to pay him $10 million in each of the next 4 years.

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Comments

Tell us what do you think.

  1. Alex Poterack says: June 19, 2011

    I’m a huge Weeks fan, and even I’m surprised by this. I think in about a year or so, his contract is going to be looked at as a huge steal.

  2. Rob says: June 20, 2011

    Isn’t the fact it was written by Witrado say enough?

  3. Joey Glocke says: June 21, 2011

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m as much a Weeks fan as anyone, and understand and appreciate his value to the Brewers. However, doesn’t this article speak more to the overall lack of acceptable second basemen in the Majors today? There is just no depth at that position across all of MLB. Weeks has been steady for six of the last seven years for the Brewers (how many teams can say that of their second baseman?). But that doesn’t mean Weeks is the caliber of player as the rest of that list (maybe Beltre). He’s just a better second baseman – which doesn’t mean he’s an elite major league player across all positions.

  4. Rob says: June 22, 2011

    No that doesn’t mean that at all.

  5. Modesto says: July 7, 2011

    Big addict of this website, a number of your articles have really helped me out. Looking towards posts!

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