On-pace stats are horrible. Justin Upton is on pace for 52 home runs. Justin Upton probably won't hit 52 home runs. What did we learn by extrapolating his current home-run pace? Nothing. Nothing at all.
So let's look at some on-pace stats for the Giants! Because it's fun. On-pace stats are the empty calories of analysis, and I'm not going to pretend I'm too good for it. Here's a table of Giants players with their current wins above replacement according to Baseball Reference (bWAR), FanGraphs (fWAR), and Baseball Prospectus (WARP). Then I've averaged the three out, found what each player is ON PACE for, and added a comparable season throughout Giants history. You know, for perspective. Not that I really have any idea what Mike McCormick was like in 1960
The original idea came from Adam J. Morris of Lone Star Ball. Here goes:
|Player||bWAR||fWAR||WARP||Average||On pace for||Comparable season in Giants history|
|Buster Posey||1.7||1.5||1.8||1.7||7.1||Willie McCovey, 1968|
|Pablo Sandoval||1.3||1.5||0.9||1.2||5.3||Will Clark, 1991|
|Hunter Pence||1.1||1.4||1.3||1.3||5.4||Aubrey Huff, 2010|
|Brandon Crawford||1.5||1.4||1.6||1.5||6.4||Robby Thompson, 1993|
|Marco Scutaro||1.2||1.2||0.8||1.1||4.5||Jeff Kent, 1998|
|Angel Pagan||0.8||0.6||0.6||0.7||2.8||Chili Davis, 1985|
|Gregor Blanco||0.3||0.5||-0.1||0.2||1.0||Marvin Benard, 2001|
|Brandon Belt||0.2||0.5||0.2||0.3||1.3||Fred Lewis, 2009|
|Barry Zito||0.1||0.4||0.4||0.3||1.3||Kirk Rueter, 2001|
|Madison Bumgarner||1.3||1.3||1||1.2||5.1||Mike McCormick, 1960|
|Matt Cain||-0.5||-0.1||-0.4||-0.3||-1.4||William VanLandingham, 1996|
|Tim Lincecum||-0.2||0.5||0.3||0.2||0.9||Shawn Estes, 1999|
|Ryan Vogelsong||-1.4||-0.3||-0.4||-0.7||-3.0||N/A (Closest is Jose Bautista, 1995)|
- Buster Posey is good
- If you want a good explanation of why on-pace stats are more of a curiosity than anything else, check out Marco Scutaro. Two weeks ago, he was Jose Castillo. But after a couple hot weeks, he's on pace to be one of the more valuable second basemen in Giants history
- I can't explain why WARP hates Gregor Blanco so much. Looks like according to Fielding Runs Above Average, Blanco is as bad in the field as Domonic Brown, and far worse than Lucas Duda. Which ... okay. I think their computer is sentient and is making the common mistake of assuming the Giants have Henry Blanco playing left
- The Giants have had only six seasons with four or more position players over four-and-a-half wins, so this lineup is ON PACE to be one of the best in Giants history
- On pace!
- If Ryan Vogelsong kept his current production up over the next 120+ games, he would have the worst season by a pitcher in Giants history.
- That won't happen, both because Vogelsong is better than that, and because the Giants would rather start Chad Gaudin at some point
- The Lincecum/Estes comp makes me very sad, but the Belt/Lewis comp makes me giggle.
Or, if you don't like tables: Turns out the Giants' starting pitching hasn't been good, but the offense has. Wild, I know. But it's weird when you see it in table form. The Giants have the '97 Indians in the field, and Madison Bumgarner and the Wellemeyers on the mound. I still don't know how they're in first, even with the explanation right there in front of us.
Matt Cain will get better, and Lincecum's outing yesterday was mighty encouraging. And all the good things up there won't change at all. WON'T CHANGE AT ALL. Brandon Crawford is really this good, and I'm going to plug my ears and sing loudly if you disagree.