MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds strikes analytical gold again

MLB Network may not employ the most model citizens in the world, but you’d expect that the analysis is sound, and encourages learning by fans that are new to the game, and love the game. That Harold Reynolds is old school is fine, within his right, and he does a good job giving the newer school fans the model for the way of thinking and arguments people will need to ready themselves for should a discussion arise. Sometimes, Reynolds will say things that no one can make sense of. To be fair, he is human, but we seem to find a lot more of these quotables from Reynolds than from other people. Today’s nugget is about Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams:

OPS is On Base Percentage (OBP) plus Slugging Percentage (SLG), and why Reynolds is suggesting Williams didn’t know how to hit with power, for extra bases, or even to just get on base, is staggering and makes fans frustrated that despite having the professional baseball experience he has, he says things like the above quote.

As a reminder, these are the numbers of the Hall of Famer:

Year Age Tm PA H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Pos Awards
1939 20 BOS 675 185 44 11 31 107 64 .327 .436 .609 1.045 160 *O9 MVP-4
1940 ★ 21 BOS 661 193 43 14 23 96 54 .344 .442 .594 1.036 161 *O79/1 AS,MVP-14
1941 ★ 22 BOS 606 185 33 3 37 147 27 .406 .553 .735 1.287 235 *O7/9 AS,MVP-2
1942 ★ 23 BOS 671 186 34 5 36 145 51 .356 .499 .648 1.147 216 *O7/9 AS,MVP-2
1943 Did not play in major leagues (Military Service)
1944 Did not play in major leagues (Military Service)
1945 Did not play in major leagues (Military Service)
1946 ★ 27 BOS 672 176 37 8 38 156 44 .342 .497 .667 1.164 215 *7O AS,MVP-1
1947 ★ 28 BOS 692 181 40 9 32 162 47 .343 .499 .634 1.133 205 *7O AS,MVP-2
1948 ★ 29 BOS 638 188 44 3 25 126 41 .369 .497 .615 1.112 189 *7O AS,MVP-3
1949 ★ 30 BOS 730 194 39 3 43 162 48 .343 .490 .650 1.141 191 *7O AS,MVP-1
1950 ★ 31 BOS 416 106 24 1 28 82 21 .317 .452 .647 1.099 168 7O AS,MVP-21
1951 ★ 32 BOS 675 169 28 4 30 144 45 .318 .464 .556 1.019 164 *7O AS,MVP-13
1952 33 BOS 12 4 0 1 1 2 2 .400 .500 .900 1.400 273 /7O
1953 ★ 34 BOS 110 37 6 0 13 19 10 .407 .509 .901 1.410 268 7O AS,MVP-26
1954 ★ 35 BOS 526 133 23 1 29 136 32 .345 .513 .635 1.148 201 *7 AS,MVP-7
1955 ★ 36 BOS 416 114 21 3 28 91 24 .356 .496 .703 1.200 209 7 AS,MVP-4
1956 ★ 37 BOS 503 138 28 2 24 102 39 .345 .479 .605 1.084 172 *7 AS,MVP-6
1957 ★ 38 BOS 547 163 28 1 38 119 43 .388 .526 .731 1.257 233 *7 AS,MVP-2
1958 ★ 39 BOS 517 135 23 2 26 98 49 .328 .458 .584 1.042 179 *7 AS,MVP-7
1959 ★ 40 BOS 331 69 15 0 10 52 27 .254 .372 .419 .791 114 7 AS,MVP-26
1960 ★ 41 BOS 390 98 15 0 29 75 41 .316 .451 .645 1.096 190 7 AS,MVP-13
19 Yrs 9788 2654 525 71 521 2021 709 .344 .482 .634 1.116 190
162 Game Avg. 692 188 37 5 37 143 50 .344 .482 .634 1.116 190
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/28/2014.

Those are some pretty outstanding numbers, including a .451 OBP in his last season at age 41. I think Ted Williams was doing just fine. He was a fantastically outstanding player, and even if he didn’t have advanced stats to further validate that at the time, I think he knew he was doing OK.

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