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08-16-2011, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Probably, but this comes to the "myth of the AAAA player" as Bill James calls it. There is no magical difference between the NHL and the minor leagues, there's just more good players in the NHL.
Is this what you're trying to demonstrate?

because I agree with that; it's just that:

- it's really hard to quantify and prove this,
- even if there are some red and blue dots up there, they still played mostly against those other blue and red dots who are primarily C and D players.

In the MLD Fielder would not be the absolutely dominant player he was in the WHL. Otherwise I'd have him on the first line. But the assumption that players who never "made it" in the O6 era should automatically be discounted as they would be today is baseless. The circumstances were very different than they are now.
I totally agree that the landscape was very different. Just like today, there might be "2nd line or bust"-type players toiling in the AHL, I'm sure they had them back then. The difference is, even if you think Fielder was not better than any team's 2nd-line center, that still means he was potentially a top-15 center in the world. Extraoplate to today, and that's a top-40 center (or something) which is a good second-liner, a guy who might be good for 45-55 points a season (just looking at what the 40th-highest scoring center typically gets lately)

I think that's a fair extrapolation based on talent pool sizes and strengths, etc, but of course what could throw it off is if you think (and can demonstrate somehow) that Fielder wasn't "just" a top-15 center when he was in the minors, but that he was perhaps 5th or 6th-most talented out there at some point. But that's tricky, isn't it?

There is so much guesswork here, I'm trying to be as logical as possible but our best educated guesses can only take us so far. And you can see why some guys have questions about these players.

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