In response to moonslav59's comment:
In response to dgalehouse's comment:
Let's look at the obsession with the trendy "metrics ". OPS: Nothing more than the sum of slugging pct. and on base pct. These stats have been around forever. And how in the world are they given equal value in OPS ? WAR: How many fans even know how this is computed ? The traditional stats tell you everything you need to know about a player's ability and worth. UZR: This is the worst. Check putouts , assists and fielding percentage to determine a player's defensive ability. Better yet , watch the games , although you obviously cannot watch them all. UZR is simply trusting someone else's opinion. WHIP: Very overrated stat. Totally ignores home runs and any extra base hits. Gives same value to an infield single as to a gap double. Ignores being able to pitch out of a jam. Ignores game situations. A walk is sometimes as good as a hit, but usually a hit , especially an extra base hit is better. The bottom line is wins and losses. I do not totally discount the use of " Metrics " , but I think they have become very over valued. There are many things that make up a winning ball club , we should know what they are. Don't get carried away with being a stat man.
Yes, the old stats tell me everything.
BA tells me how many Hrs you hit.
HRs tell me everything about BA.
RBIs tells be everything about how many RBI opportunities one player had vs another.
ERA tells me how well a team defense plays behind the pitcher.
Flg% tells me what the scorer wants to tell me.
Put out s and Assists tell me how many a player makes per inning in the field, how many chances he realistically had a chance at making.
All these stats are rock solid with no adjustments needed.
The fact is, no stat or metric tells the whole story.
Some metrics try to tell more of a story than a singular traditional stat does with varying degrees of success. WAR tries to put all areas of the game into a single numbers- not an easy task ofr sure. It is a flawed metric for sure, but when you look at the top 10 MLB players by WAR over the last year, 3 years or 5 years, the list probably is more accurate than any singular traditional stat ordering of the top 10. It is supposed to make it easier to compare players vs looking and saying player A batted .350, but player B had 50 HRs, but player A is a better fielder, but player B is a better runner... who's better?
WHIP is a very useful tool, but does not show how many hits were XBHs, as you pointed out. That doesn't mean you throw it out. One could look at WHIP and opponent Slg% to balance it out a bit.
ERA is flawed as well. Some pitchers have poor or great fielders behind them, a great or poor catcher calling the shots, a poor or great pen coming in with men on base, a scorekeeper that calls more errors than another one, etc...
Many traditional stat fans make adjustments in their head all the time. For example, Beltre hit way more HRs in Fenway than Seattle, so we know that HR numbers are not always what they may appear to be as a gauge of who are the best power hitters. Slg% might capture it a little better. OPS weights Slg% a bit too highly, since OBP is proven top be more valuable in run creation, but the stat OPS is better than any other singular traditional stat out there. OPS+ adjusts for park factors. You may not understand them or how they are formulated. I don't on some either, but that doesn't mean they are useless.
What irks me the most about those who discount any non traditional stat, is that they assume anybody who uses them as partial tools to understanding a player's skillset value discounts direct observations and / or doesn't enjoy watching the games, because all these numbers are swirling around inside our heads like robots.
None of us watch every play of every MLb game all year long. We have no way of knowing who is better than someone else without using a numbers of stats in combination with observations, player and manager statements, and baseball expert and scouting reports. It's never an exact science and that's part of what make baseball fun and unpredictable.
Here are the top 10 everyday player WAR leaders (2010-2013). I challenge you to find a traditional stat that ranks the best 10 in a better order than this does. I'm not saying I agree with this exact order, but it's pretty darn close.
6) C Gon
7) A Gon
HRs? Bautista, Miggy, Pujols, Grandy, Prince, Josh H, Braun, Beltre, Konerko, Reynolds.
OPS is used a lot these days, and it's a pretty good singular stat for judging hitting skills alone, but it is not perfect. Still, this list is pretty close to my top 10 list of hitting skills only:
2012-2013 top OPS
Votto, Miggy, Braun, Prince, Stanton, McCutch, Trout, Posey, Cano, Ruiz
I hope I didn't bore you with lists, but I wish we had one of these guys on our team.
You can get carried away with all the stats that are out there. There are so many variables. As for the top ten lists , any good fan can compile a comparable list off the top of their heads, without ever looking at WAR. WAR does not tell you anything that the traditional stats don't. I don't even know how WAR is computed , but I would guess that it is mostly based on the traditional stats anyway. And , Moonslav you never bore me. You tick me off sometimes , but never bore me.