Results! South Side Satisfaction Survey, position players

(If you haven’t already, grade the pitchers!)
Below are the results of the position player portion of the South Side Satisfaction Survey, based on 177 almost entirely credible responses. I didn’t throw any entries out, because I didn’t find any total joke efforts; only a few odd grudges bubbling to the surface.

Paul Konerko: 9.34

My score: 10
This survey passes the first test with flying colors, generating the most agreement by far. I think he ran over Blah’s dog.

Alexei Ramirez: 8.07

My score: 8
I had him pegged second or third. Either way, he might be the best bargain in baseball. At least among players who have hit the open market. (In case you’re wondering, SoxFan1 gave him a 6. Alexei’s winning his heart slowly but surely…)

Alex Rios: 8.02

My score: 7
I was surprised by this one a little, considering that over the last 100 games, Rios batted .272/.319/.398 and grounded into 19 double plays. He did hold down a premium defensive position, at least.

Omar Vizquel: 8.01

My score: 9
I figured Vizquel would be the second highest on this list, but he did deserve some points off for his early season struggles. Minor quibble. Three people gave him a 3; one explained by calling him a “false savior.” I side with the comment accompanying a 10: “Viva Vizquel!”

Ramon Castro: 6.99

My score: 7
I’m surprised by the number of 5s and below, because you’d be hard-pressed to find a better offensive season from a backup catcher.

Juan Pierre: 6.98

My score: 6
He did what he was supposed to do, and a little bit more. People like high-reward baserunning.

Brent Morel: 6.05

My score: 7
His .271 OBP suppressed some excitement, but Morel showed enough of everything to give him the benefit of the doubt. People like third basemen who can field.

Dayan Viciedo: 5.51

My score: 5
It looks to me like most people consider Viciedo a pleasant surprise and see the potential, though he needs some work.

A.J. Pierzynski: 5.27

My score: 4
Pierzynski proves a divisive figure, even among his own fan base.

Gordon Beckham: 5.22

My score: 4
I was a little surprised by this, because he was pretty terrible through the first half. He’s getting some serious slack.

Andruw Jones: 4.58

My score: 6
I think a lot of people didn’t know that he hit .322/.444/.610 over the last two months. Either that, or he was severely punished in the je ne sais quoi field for his no-look catches and oh-so-casual throws.

Brent Lillibridge: 4.49

My score: 3
He benefited from low expectations, a surprising power burst and a good-natured Twitter persona.

Alejandro De Aza: 4.45

My score: 6
This looks like a line graph of people who don’t know what to make of him. Hit an emptyish .300, but it’s something.

Carlos Quentin: 4.27

My score: 3
I’m guessing Quentin gets a little bit of a buffer for his 87 RBI. He did hit better with RISP (.287) than with the bases empty (.225), which was considerate of him.

Tyler Flowers: 3.22

My score: 2
I think this is actually pretty kind to Flowers. He’s got some issues to iron out, but since this was the first year he struggled, he gets some time to do so.

Mark Kotsay: 2.61

My score: 2
Nice of Jamie Kotsay to stop by.

Mark Teahen: 2.46

My score: 1
Baines Talks said, “Teahen would go negative if the scale permitted.” I was almost 100 percent certain a Mark would occupy the bottom spot on this list. I probably would have put a small amount of money on it. But nope, it’s…

Manny Ramirez: 2.26

My score: 4
Take a snapshot of this, because you won’t see a .420 OBP get this kind of response too often.

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This is going to sound stupid, but what is the “My Score”? Is it your score (Jim’s), or is it the score I gave, reading off some cookie on my machine or something?
I imagine it has to be the former, but if it is…well, my memory may be playing tricks on me but I think we voted remarkably similarly.

Doctor Memory

This is great BECAUSE of the small sample. Usually, 177 votes can have some skews – and this poll does – but to see the range and the proportions of the voting illuminates a cross-section of your readership, Jim.
Like you, I thought that Andruw made a “6” contribution – although the casual style of his defense (and a few missed plays) make lower ratings understandable. The jarring part for me is that he’s till a young-ish player who not long ago was a 9/10: in rating him, I had to let go of the idea that “he SHOULD be so much more”.

Doctor Memory

I missed your poke at Jamie Kotsay during my initial reading.
Would the poll be more representative if any vote that skews 2 points or more from the next vote were tossed from your averaging? (“1” for Konerko, “3”s for Alexei and Omar, “4” for Rios, “10”s for Lillibridge and Kotsay.) I like that we get to see that these anomalies were cast, but I have to attribute them to software malfunction, ironic input, absence of understanding, etc..
Are you going to offer a poll for management performance?


Let’s give Manny a hand for reaching his target OBP on the button. I always knew he was more clever than he’s given credit for being.


Nice survey, Jim!! I was surprised at Alexi’s hitting for average and also at some fantastic plays that he made. But————-how many times did he forget to cover 2B on a steal or miss a critical throw???
Too many times!!! A solid 6 in my book.


In 100 at bats as a 21 year old viciedo hits over 300 and ops’s around 850 and people rank that as a 5? COME ON MAN (sorry no more espn references) Morel shows nothing with his bat and gets a 7… I dont get it
Rios’s body of work is atleast worth an 8.
Quentin produced a 26 homer 86 rbi season while making a little over 3 mil, that is not a 3 score no matter how bad his defense was.
The rest I love, especially the 1 for mark teahen, haha what a bum


True, and fair enough. From what I remember, I docked Viciedo on the value and je ne sais quoi points – but in terms of performance, I couldn’t ask for more. He played better ball with each level he went up, even though at the beginning of the season his promotion was deemed undeserved. I also thought his defense at first was certainly passable, and he down on the errors in the minors (even though the bar was set awful low).
I’d actually like to see him start next year in Chicago.


Viciedo can play 1st thats his position, the age difference cant be quantified enough and morels “speed” on the bases is a real reach.


When I think of Viciedo I think of three things.
1. Hitting bombs off bum left handers like Rowland Smith and Kazmir.
2. The 80 at bat wait for his first walk.
3. And the memory that is seared into my brain is the second Twins game after the break, when he booted a routine DP that resulted in 4 or 5 unearned runs in what would be the first of many annoying 2nd half losses to the Twins.


Dana Eveland beat this team twice and he couldnt cut it with the 100 loss pirates, maybe a guy who crushes bad lefties isnt a bad thing.
He doesnt walk but how many 21 year olds hit the ball as hard as he does, and when have walks been a priority, thome got let go for 1.5 mil, freaking alexei ramirez, aj pierzinski, these guys never porduce walks and noone seems to mind.


Not to sound like a huge viciedo fan, but I think in that twins game beckham made the worse and more significant error.


Folks around here are weird about walks. One person might think it “inflates” an ops, another will kill AJ or Alexei for not getting them. Strange. Personally, I’ll take a base hit over a walk but at the end of the day there’s not much of a difference. But even without the number of free passes Quentin gets, Viciedo still ended up with a soundly better OPS. At 21 years old. And people were calling him a bust at the beginning of the year. He’s not.


“Inflate” was a poor choice of words on my part. Walks are great. Glad to have my team walk rather than get out, especially strikeout.
But a walk is not as good as a hit. It might have been you before you wrote something to the effect of, “Big deal if Konerko hits more singles. Dunn’s a better player because his OPS is higher, and that’s in part because of walks.” While that may be true, and cold-blooded statisticians will assert that it is, I’m not convinced Dunn’s better than Konerko.
What’s more, when was the last time a walk moved a guy from first to third? When was the last time it required a throw toward any base, which could be misplayed, overthrown, bobbled, etc.? When did it require a play at any bag? Walks are fine. But singles are more dynamic and open the door for things like errors, extra bases taken, scoring from 2nd, etc.
Vicedo a bust? I think not. I’m not ready to hand him the keys to first base quite yet, but if he comes out of spring training as our DH, Chicago will be in a far better position at the plate than they were going into 2010.
(Would still love to get Adam Dunn or Carlos Pena, however).


No worries, wasn’t meaning to pick on you or anything. I just think it’s strange the range of value people around here attribute to them.
And your point is certainly valid about the value of a base hit over a walk. Another would argue that guys who work the count get starters out of the game earlier. I think both have value, and that it’s just an approach thing. I was just pointing out that it seems like people completely buy into one or the other. I’m not going to get back into the whole Dunn vs. Konkero debate – that horse was beaten, and you’re free to your opinion. I will just say that I’m no “cold-blooded statistician” – I don’t buy a lot of these advanced stats. OPS is pretty basic.
Regarding mentioning Viciedo as a bust, at the beginning of the season there were a lot of people calling him one.


The argument doesn’t concern a walk vs. a hit, it is a walk vs. an out. Example
AJ for his career has a 284 career average with a .324 OBP. The kid in Cleveland that got injured hit .260 this year, but drew a ton of walks like he did in the minors, and his OBP was close to .400. Put over a full season of the average of 618 plate appearances, it would break down this way.
AJ= 200 times on base/418 outs
CS= 247 times on base/371 outs
So the guy with the 24 point advantage in average is a far inferior offensive player. Imagine how many more runs the team scores if they turn an out into a walk 47 times? How many of those times does the next guy up get a double or homer? The key thing is the inning didn’t end. Outs are what make offenses bad, and guys who walk more make less outs. This is why it is so frustrating to watch Ozzie give outs away with all the sac bunting.


The discussion between Shinons and me was in part with regard to walks vs. singles, rather than walks vs. an out.
It too frustrates me to sit helplessly as Ozzie sends a guy up to help a pitcher out with a sac bunt, simply because the “situation calls for it.” Ack.
Remember the days when Chicago would hit 240 HR in a season, and Ozzie would laud the Twins “piranha ball” and complain about the station-to-station sluggers we had in the line up? You know, the guys that helped to bring the White Sox the ’05 World Series? Man, they couldn’t lay down a bunt at all…


Carlos Santana is a switch hitting top ten prospect. Most teams don’t have one of those. I suppose next you’re going to compare Beckham to Cano?


Would it surprise you to know that we had more SH (sac hits per BR) in 2005 (53) than we did in 2010 (50)? 200HR in 2005 vs. 177 in 2010 (both numbers were good for 4th in the league). Had this team, (and more specifically Juan Pierre and Gordon Beckham) NOT sucked as bad as they did in April & May, 95 wins could have easily been the outcome.


It wasn’t a comparison of players, it was a comparison of the way things like ave, obp, singles, and walks are valued.
People are talking about the values of hits vs. walks as if the players at bat is the only outcome (a hit scores a runner on 2nd, a walk doesn’t etc) that decides what happens in that inning. If the next guy walks up and hits a dinger than they were both equally valuable, since they both managed to not make an out and the team scored the runs. Half the time guys are batting with the bases empty anyway.
The point being if you have guys who consistently get on base more, they are going to be more valuable than guys who have higher averages that aren’t as good.
That is the whole debate with Viciedo. Somebody like Alexei derives most of his value from D anyway, and his bat is still above average for a SS since he has decent pop. Him drawing more walks would be a bonus, but he is above average as it is because of the D/power. If Viciedo is playing 1B in the AL, him having a 320 OBP really hurts because the contending teams usually have guys with 360-400 OBPs. He isn’t gonna help with his fielding, so his hitting will be his ticket. We all knew when he was brought up he killed lefthanded pitching and had no plate discipline. He was called up and showed us exactly that (high slugging/25-2 K/BB).
Sorry to have upset you also. I will be more careful in the future.


If you look at my original statement to Dalton: And your point is certainly valid about the value of a base hit over a walk. Another would argue that guys who work the count get starters out of the game earlier. I think both have value, and that it’s just an approach thing.
For instance, who was the better hitter this year, Joe Mauer or Prince Fielder? Mauer hit .327, Fielder hit .261, but they had identical OBPs at .400 because Fielder drew a ton more walks. Fielder had 32 homers, Mauer only had 9, but they had an identical slugging % at .470 because Mauer hit a ton of doubles (43 to 25).
Some people might prefer one over the other, but it’d be tough to “prove” which was the more valuable hitter. This is why the Santana to AJ comparison was ridiculous – it’s comparing a guy with an OPS .200 higher. A more appropriate comparison walks guy versus free swinger comparison would be Quentin and Viciedo.


Good point. He’s going to have to raise his OBP to effectively replace Konerko.
Could he be moved for a proven slugger?
Can of worms there, I’m sure…


Shinons, I agree with some of what you’re saying, but Viciedo doesn’t really (yet) have an approach… not a legitimate one. A player who is walking 1.9% of the time and striking out 24.0% is simply not able to handle big league pitching. Those are pitcher rates. Ubaldo Jimenez had better plate discipline this year than Dayan did.
I still like Dayan’s potential, though.


Agreed, if they hit for the same power and get on 40% of the time who cares?
As far as Quentin/Viciedo I have to take Quentin. Just not sure guys learn plate discipline, and in the minors Viciedo had a .313 OBP. I think Q was around 400 in the minors, and that has translated to around 350 in the pros. And hopefully this debate is regarding DH and both of their gloves are thrown in the dumpster.
Speaking of Quentin, not sure if anyone was just listening to the Score, but Bernstein laid out what his Sox source had told him.
Take it for what it is worth.
-AJ more likely back than Konerko
-Trying to dump Quentin
-Konerko/Quentin money used not to target Dunn, but instead Carl Crawford
There will be a ton of competition, but oh would that be exciting to get a guy like that and not watch Q play D. The fear being that Ozzie would then make Juan Pierre the effing DH.


Am I imagining things, or did you ask us to consider potential too? As in: excitement for what the player could do for the Sox in the future? I can’t even remember how I scored several players. Not sure I was sober when I filled out the survey.