Monthly Archives: July 2014

Which MLB Players Banking $20 Million Are Worth Their Salaries?

By Kiran Dhillon

20 Major League Baseball players will make $20 million this season.

That’s a colossal salary for even the best athletes, so it’s reasonable to expect (their managers certainly must) that the best-paid players hit it out of the park, literally and figuratively, every game.

But they don’t.

Research engine FindTheBest calculated which players are earning their salaries (and which aren’t) by measuring their Wins Above Replacement (WAR), a statistic that measures a player’s worth in terms of the number of wins they contribute to the team’s record.

For a quick view of which players with $20 million salaries are performing best and which are performing worst, see the scatterplot below. Each dot represents an individual player, with the stronger players on the right, and the weaker ones on the left.

For a more detailed breakdown by player, see the list below. Green means the player is an asset to their team (WAR 1 to 4), yellow means they’re an average performer (.0 to .9), and red means they might do less damage sitting on the bench than up at bat (.-1 to -1.5 to).

Note that seven players who make $20 million (Zack Greinke, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez, and CC Sabathia) are pitchers. Since many pitchers aren’t strong hitters, and FindTheBest measured offesnsive WAR-a stat to measure offensive worth-they’ve been excluded from the list.

#1 Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners

WAR: 3.57

Salary: $24 million

Position: Second baseman

#2 Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

WAR: 2.85

Salary: $22 million

Position: First baseman

#3 Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels

WAR: 2.44

Salary: $23 million

Position: First baseman

#4 Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees

WAR: 2.41

Salary: $21 million

Position: Center fielder

#5 David Wright, New York Mets

WAR: 2.24

Salary: $20 million

Position: Third baseman

#6 Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals

WAR: 2.04

Salary: $20 million

Position: Right fielder

#7 Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers

WAR: 1.3

Salary: $21 million

Position: First baseman

#8 Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees

WAR: 1.06

Salary: $22.5 million

Position: First baseman

#9 Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

WAR: .66

Salary: $23 million

Position: First baseman

#10 Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers

WAR: .28

Salary: $20 million

Position: Left fielder

#11 Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers

WAR: -.27

Salary: $24 million

Position: First baseman

#12 Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

WAR: -.47

Salary: $25 million

Position: First baseman

#13 Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

WAR: -1.37

Salary: $21 million

Position: Left fielder

Dwight Howard Surprises Fans, Joins Their Kickball Team

By Kiran Dhillon

Dwight Howard, pro basketball player for the Houston Rockets, dropped by West Beach in Santa Barbara, CA yesterday after employees at research engine FindTheBest asked him to join their 7 PM kickball game.

Here’s how it all went down.

FindTheBest’s Michael Hess got wind that Howard would be in town, and tweeted the star asking where he’d be. But Howard wouldn’t give away too many details, only revealing that he may visit the most popular area in town, State Street:

But another FindTheBest employee, Cody O’Bryen, had a different idea-thinking that if they couldn’t go to Howard, they’d have Howard come to them:

When Howard took the bait and asked O’Bryen what time, O’Bryen responded with a pic of the jersey that was awaiting the NBA star:

The conversation ended on an uncertain note:

But when 7 PM rolled around, Howard showed up to play, even sticking around for photos afterwards:

Howard with O’Bryen left, and Hess right

This Interactive Map Shows Which States Americans Are Flocking To (And Fleeing From)

By Kiran Dhillon

About 17 million Americans-or 6 percent of the U.S. population-move every year. But not every state sees a net increase in residents.

States like California, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Illinois are losing residents, while Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, and Colorado are gaining them.

To create the map of net migration below-the difference between immigration and emigration-research engine FindTheBest analyzed the most recent migration flow data from the U.S. Census (the 2007-2011 five year estimate).

The states with positive net migration-meaning more people moved in than out-are in green and yellow, while the states with negative net migration are in shades of orange and red.

To see which states had the highest total number of immigrants and emigrants, switch views in the bottom right-hand corner.

So Americans are leaving typically high-demand states like California and New York, and moving South, to states like Texas and North Carolina.

But who is leaving these states, and why?

Many assume that rich residents are leaving states where taxes are high, but according toTrulia’s Chief Economist, it’s not the rich who are moving away from their home states, but rather the lower-income households who can’t keep up with rising real estate costs.

Additionally, millennials are moving to cities where they feel their job outlook is bright. This is particularly apparent in Texas, which was home to seven of the15 fastest growing citiesin the U.S. from 2012-2013, has a growing tech industry, and offers ample employment opportunities in the fracking industry.

So while California and New York may still be stereotypical dream states, the South is increasingly where people are putting down their roots.