Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rate ALL the players... AGAIN!

So I did this at the halfway point and decided to do it again. I went through and assigned ratings to every MLS player.

Of course, it's all very arbitrary, but the easiest way to do it was to grab their fantasy poitns from the MLS fantasy game and calculate based off those. There's plenty of room to argue that poitns are weighted poorly or that playing time is too much a factor in rating a players worth, all very valid and I would agree. This was just the easiest way to dump a set of numbers in and crank out some kind of result. The formula is basically a players points (modified by playing time to assure that guys who score 2 goals in 10 minutes don't jump to the top of the list) minus the average players points divided by the standard deviation of all player points + 5 (the average player would have a rating of 5.00).

Here's the top 25 players in MLS for the 2012 regular season

Full ratings are available here

They kind of break down for players who play little or not at all. I hesitate to call any one at the bottom of the list "poor", but I guess, if you wanted to, you could look at all players with 1,000 minutes or more of playing time (the average MLS player logged 991.3 minutes this season) and pick the worst player there. If we use that criteria the worst player in MLS this year was... Shavar Thomas of Montreal! Yay Shavar!

Given that the average player logged 991.3 minutes and notched 0.047 points per minute played (roughly 46.7 points) the most average player in MLS this year was... Bryan Meredith of Seattle!

No surprise that Wondo get's top honors, his was a season for the ages.

You can argue that keepers are overrated in this system, and I would tend to agree. Given that most of them play most of the full season they tend to accumulate more standing, so there's that.

I'd also like to hand out an Ironman award. I thought Jimmy Nielsen would be the only player to play every minute of every game this year, but Drew Moor actually did the same thing, and did more than just stand between the posts to do it. Gotta say that Drew definitely worked this year. Respect.

So I guess using these ratings as criteria, MLS awards for me would look like this

MLS MVP : Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
 - runner up : Graham Zusi (Kansas City)
MLS Defender of the Year : Matt Besler  (Kansas City)
 - runner up : Aurelien Collin (Kansas City)
MLS Comeback Player of the Year : ummm... I guess Chris Pontius (DC)? I always thought this was a weird award...
 - runner up : oh god... ummm... umm... Eddie Johnson (Seattle)! Or do they have to come back from injury and not just wandering in a European wasteland?
Goalkeeper of the Year : Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus). Weird to give it to a keeper on a non-post season team, but Columbus could have been the new Chivas were it not for him.
 - runner up : Tally Hall
Newcomer of the Year : Patrice Bernier (Montreal). This is another silly award.
 - runner up : Lee Young-Pyo (Vancouver)
Rookie of the Year : Austin Berry (Chicago)
 - runner up : Nick de Leon (DC)
Added a few extra tabs to the google doc and took a few minutes to tabulate average team ratings. I did both all players and players >1000 minutes (to avoid "bench" players dragging the rating down), but what actually correlated best with results was taking the average of the two averages (i.e. (all_players_average + players>1000_minutes_average)/2). Correlated reasonably well with season long performance (R^2 = 0.74)... New York surprisingly low and colorado surprisingly high, otherwise seems reasonable. Kansas City probably too high compared to San Jose...

Utterly meaningless in the end, of course... but who doesn't like a big block of meaningless numbers.

Probably more to come later, but for now, that's that...

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