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July 4, 2011



The comparative Cuban League statistics of Marsans, Almeida, and Hill are extremely interesting. In the same league and park (no park effects) by players that are all roughly the same age (both Cubans are much older than listed) with enough at bats to be statistically significant, Marsans has an OPS of 599, Almeida an OPS of 513, and Hill an OPS of 833. In other words, Hill's OPS is 39.1% better than Marsans and 62.4% better than Almeida. From 1911 to 1913, Almeida played in the NL and posted an OPS+ of 105 in 284 At Bats. Marsans is even more interesting:
1911 138 085
1912 416 109
1913 435 091
1914 164 105
Before his misadventures in the Federal League, injuries, and advancing age killed his Major League career.
From this you can conclude that Marsans was, at least, a League average hitter (100 OPS+). What does this seem to mean? Basically, it seems to support that Pete Hill, in the National League of this time would have been posted an OPS+ of 140 to 160. This would put him in the top 5 of this category every year. And there are two reasons to think this is understating Hill's value. The first is that the Cuban League context kills power hitting and the assumption here is that the OPS+ increase for slugging is arithmetic and not geometric. The second is that Marsans OPS+ in his two first two full Major League seasons [1912 + 1913] may be badly understated by the fact that he, for some reason, would not take a walk for those two years. But it's just those two seasons (37 BB/851 AB), rest of career (119 BB/1258 AB with Federal League stats excluded). This may be an effect of racism (the Cuban Marsans refusing to let the white and presumably biased umpire decide his fate) or something totally different. It's truly a mystery. However, without this oddity (and assuming Almeida's OPS+ is the true barometer), Hill would look even better with an adjusted OPS+ of 160 to 170 making him the best player in the National League and only Cobb and the emerging Tris Speaker over in the AL better than him.
Just fascinating.
I'd love to see this info for other players, especially John Lloyd, Grant Johnson, and the best of the Cubans (Julian Castillo, Regino Garcia, Luis Padron, etc.)....

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