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Shifting the Balance of Power

I promised a look at the shortstop situation for the Brewers, but I've been held back a bit because I'm not really sure what exactly to say about the situation. I think it's been talked about plenty in the comments, so to go in another direction I threw together this little graph, which I think is a neat little illustration.


What you're seeing here is the difference from average expected production by ZiPS projections (or how far the OPS+ is away from the average). I'm just using the simple measure called OPS+ for hitters. It recasts every player's OPS on a scale that sets 100 as the average. What this gives you is a very quick look at the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Average isn't a bad thing, and teams are going to have spots where they're below-average.

I figured the offensive starters to be Fielder, Braun, Hart, Weeks, McGehee, Dickerson, Lucroy, and Betancourt. Of course this is extremely simplistic, it's not looking at value from these positions (because of defense and playing time). All this is showing you is the relative strength of the team in overall offensive production, with 0 being average. In addition, an average first basemen is a much better hitter than an average shortstop offensively. But overall, you can see that the offense looks to be above-average overall, and the rotation to be way above-average.

I'd be curious to see what graphs like these would like for the other two contenders in the Central. It might not be worth a whole lot analytically but it's a nice little visualization.