There are a couple of very informative recent articles to which I wanted to bring your attention today:
First, Sky Kalkman has completed his series on Total Value Estimates for the 2008 season with a listing of the top 50 players in baseball. The article also includes links to the top 25 players at each position. You can read about the system on Justin Inaz's site. It's not a perfect system but it's a good one, probably the best total player value system publicly available right now. Think of it like VORP except that it also takes into account quality of fielding and not just position. For those of you who are familiar with WARP, it's even more similar to that but the fielding component is a more sophisticated play by play system.
Two Tigers made the major league top 50: Curtis Granderson finished 19th and Placido Polanco 33rd. Granderson was 47 runs above placement offensively and 3 above replacement defensively (using Zone Rating and Revised Zone Rating). He also gets 2 runs added because he's a center fielder. So, he was a total of 52 runs above replacement. Polanco was 27 runs above replacement offensively, +12 defensively and gets 2 points for his position for a total of 41.
What about some of the Tigers who didn't make the top 50? Carlos Guillen was next finishing 34 RARP: 28 for offense and 6 for defense. Cabrera was very good offensively (+49) but his defensive dragged him down. He was -7 for his fielding and loses 10 points for being a first baseman for a total of 32. Magglio Ordonez finished at +24 (offense +40, fielding -10, -6 positional adjustment).
In other news, David Pinto has been cranking out his Probabilistic Model of Range numbers. Today, he has the left fielders. If you scroll down on his site you can also find other positions. Matt Joyce was +9 plays better than expected for an average left fielder and Marcus Thames was at -19. Keep in mind that the sample sizes for these two are small so the numbers might not be total reliable. In the past, Thames had done surprisingly well on this system.
Magglio Ordonez was 4 plays below the average right fielder and Curtis Granderson -13 in center field. Carlos Guillen was -19 at third base. If some of these numbers sound worse than the ones listed in Sky's Total Value Estimates above, remember that Sky was looking at "above replacement" whereas Pinto's numbers are "above average".