Oscar Charleston has ruined all the fun.
Ever since he's joined the league the 1st pick in the draft is no longer in doubt – Charleston's been selected 1st in each of the past three years. In other words, after his amazing showing in the 500 resims after the ATB 14 season, Charleston has widely been regarded as the best player in the league.
I am not sure this is still holds true.
In the resims, Charleston batted an out of this world .338 / .442 / .625 and followed this up with an ever more other worldly .352 / .458 / .650. Add in stellar defense (Ex/55 Vg Arm) and selecting him 1st was a simple choice.
Unfortunately, the center fielder has never again approached this level of greatness. You may recall the era we use in ATB was tweaked a few years ago, and a few all time greats saw abnormal drops in results – Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, and Charleston where the most notable. In the subsequent 355 resims, Charleston batted .324 / .407 / .604 and followed it up even further declining campaigns in ATB 16 and 17.
Putting his slash lines in chronological order:
.338 / .442 / .625 – 500 resims
.352 / .458 / .650 – ATB 15
.324 / .407 / .604 – 355 Resims
.318 / .409 / .589 – ATB 16
.289 / .380 / .548 – ATB 17
To be fair, Charleston played in fairly extreme pitchers parks the last two seasons so for our intents I am fine calling the 355 resim a fair approximation of what to expect. A 1.010 OPS is great, but still a long way off from the previous de facto #1 draft pick, Babe Ruth, who scores a 1.128 OPS.
In the 355 resims Ruth batted .278 / .450 / .670 and taken home back to back MVP Awards. Granted, his defense is not only worse than Charleston's, it's also a team liability at Av/168. Or is it?
According to the some of the defensive studies we've discussed that 168 error rate costs the average of just 2 runs per season to a normal team. Surely his bat can make up that difference.
Let's not forget Charleston's defense though, which according the studies saves a whopping 22 runs per season, which leaves Ruth 24 total runs to make up for.
We can convert each players 355 resim wOBA to runs using formula's found here and do a full comparison.
This is getting confusing, here's a chart.
Wow, that is close. And frankly I am not confident enough in the margin of error in the defensive studies to declare Charleston the winner here, especially considering his last two seasons where is wOBA averaged .409. If we were to us that number, Ruth ends up with a 5 run advantage.
What should Brad do? Probably decide based upon the stadium he selects prior to the draft. Now if we only had a great way to compare Pedro Martinez to these two. The best pitcher in the league went 21-6 with a 1.57 ERA and 0.77 WHIP last season, and has his own strong case for #1 pick as well.