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Fair enough. Thanks for the response.
Just scouting the stat line...
I was surprised to see the control/command grades so low for Whitely.
In the observed start he had 4 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BB</span></a> in 4.2 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IP</span></a>.
In all other starts he had 12 BB in 32.1 IP.
You can only scout what you see, but I do wonder how much was an night at least in terms of control/command.
Ah, other outlets don't worry about service time and list him. I didn't realize that BP did exclude players based on it.
It's not right that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=69513">Austin Barnes</a></span> gets a header, but not a report. Give the man some love!
Yup, good luck to Chris.
And for the readers who will remain, it would be nice for someone from BP to write an article about the future shape and direction of prospect coverage here at BP. I thought one might appear today alongside Chris' farewell, but apparently not.
I'll be pretty disappointed if something like that isn't on the site Monday.
Interesting read. I think it's easy to understand how a single game look at a curve ball is for from determinative. It could have been a bad day, he's got a long time to work on improving it, etc.
But how about life on a fastball? Is that more innate and either a guy has it or he doesn't?
Would be great to get an update of McKensie's stuff. Winter reports were much more about projectibility with the present stuff - certainly velocity - a bit pedestrian. Are these early results a sign that some of that projectibility is happening?
Yes, that is the theory.
What is your predicted magnitude of difference between Giles being used "smartly" in the 7th and Gregerson being used traditionally as a 9th inning closer?
Let's say Gregerson ends the year with a LI of 1.50. What will Giles be relative to that? 1.75? 2.0? 2.25?
The practical implementation of the theory will likely lead to an LI a lot closer to Gregerson's 1.50 (and maybe even lower!) than the people seem to think. But I guess we'll see.
It seems like this article started with the premise that the Astros are smart to use Giles earlier in the game when leverage matters most. Then it proceeded to show evidence that leverage is actually higher in the 9th inning. And then it concludes that the Astros are smart after all to use Giles earlier in the game.
Why can't sabre oriented writers just say that thing we've been screaming about for years with respect to using closers earlier just isn't that big of a deal?
Sounds like Reyes could be the 10th best prospect in baseball, maybe ranked between Matz and Glasnow?
Is BP planning to acknowledge the fact that the Top 101 is floating around the internet and maybe move up the official on site release?
My recollection is that I read some positive things on BP about <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104759">Braxton Davidson</a></span> around the time of the mid-season Top 50. I expected that he'd fall out of the top 10 with all the trades, but was hoping for a few words in the "interesting" section. Any thoughts on his potential going forward?
I'd say this answer is too clever for its own good, but then you might go on thinking it was actually clever in the first place.
Lots of talk that Tyler Goedell will be the first pick in the rule 5 draft, did his name come up at all in your research?
Thanks for the response. I guess I'm hoping that his modest K rate for a guy with good power suggests that his hit tool may play above your scouting grade. We'll see.
Questions about <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=100656">Clint Coulter</a></span>. Reading thru the comments it seems like he’s at best considered the 17th best prospect. His draft pedigree is good. His raw power is well regarded (at least by BA which named him top power prospect in the FSL). His 2014 performance was very good. His 2015 performance was bit down from that, but by context neutral measures it wasn’t far below the better regarded prospects in the FSL (Meadows and Dom Smith). Most other lists are going to tuck him into the back of the top 10 I think. You guys seems to be a decent bit lower on him than others (which is fine of course). I’m curious if you could flesh out the reasons for it though. I recall Jeff Moore who saw him a lot in the FSL mentioned an unusual setup, but also that it was one that he seemed to make work.
I thought you did a great job with MLU. Good luck in the future.
Just a tiny, tiny nitpick about a feature I love...
The body of the article is called "Best of the Rest" and when it was introduced I do recall there being language about including "all the best performances" or something like that. I cringed because obviously that is impossible to do.
Sometimes I think that hyperbole gets people riled up when their favorite prospect who does something good is omitted.
I have a question about the glossary definition of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FRAA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FRAA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FRAA</span></a>. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but it's not clear to me. It states:
FRAA - The total runs lost from good or bad defense (created by averaging the total FRAA/PA of the defenders on the field for each play).
Is the FRAA that is being used generated specifically by the on field action during that <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PA</span></a> or is it the general defensive performance for the 9 fielders over the course of the season scaled down to the specific PA?
I was just joking. I thought making two stereotypical and contradictory statements that both started with "obviously" was enough to make that, well, obvious.
No mention of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104745">Michael Chavis</a></span> going 2-4 with a <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> and a game winning 2B?
Obviously you have anti-Sox bias.
Obviously great Sox prospect performances are now silo'ed over at BP Boston and the main site is ruined because of it.
Glad to have MLU back and the idea of incorporating direct texts into the report like the one from Blair is a great one.
Curious about Piscotty's jump from the back of most top 100s all the way up to #32? Don't recall the write up being that glowing. His 2014 season was fairly pedestrian and if anything seemed to confirm the questions regarding his power potential. Seems like a guy who would struggle to maintain his position on most lists, not take a substantial jump forward.
Surprised you didn't go with Alex Colome over Enny Romero. Same team (both Rays and Escogido), but much better performance. He had a terrible first start, then a handful of pretty good ones setting himself up for a better shot at a rotation slot this spring.
Wild guess - those guys weren't part of the original list when Sayre was asked to add his piece. They got moved up with all the trades and he hasn't had a chance to do the little write ups, perhaps due to holiday activities.
(don’t feel too bad for Garcia, he did get to love in Palm Beach for six months)
Hmm, are we evaluating comparative groupie quality of FSL cities?
Yes, unfortunately the Pads were super active trading prospects and it seems like all of them went to NL East teams whose lists have passed.
I'm curious about Jace Peterson, Joe Ross and Dustin Peterson too.
Do you have a more specific time frame for Jose Martinez to return to action? Is it opening day in lo-A in 2015 or sometime during the course of the year?
Whoops, should have hit refresh before asking!
I doubt Mitch Nay merited much consideration, but did you hear anything that suggests a MLB regular future?
FWIW, I've had the same sense. Maybe a 10% inflation in role 6 guys. I've been waiting for a bigger sample of teams to do a closer look though.
FWIW, I think the prospect landscape in general has been overwhelmed with extended lists that seem to mostly exist because the cost of paper on the internet is so low. I actually had a lot of respect for Parks cutting back the length of his lists in an effort to be more definitive and informative about the guys who made his top 10s.
It may be hard to argue against "more", but I would not be so quick to accept that "more" is better just because it's "more".
" He’s only five years older than some of the kids you just watched in the Little League World Series,"
Awesome bit of perspective.
The process of getting guys spots in winter ball perhaps? I guess that's more team than agent although maybe not for guys who are free agents.
Might be some stories of dealing with odd things that come up when your players are in a foreign country.
Jace Peterson seemed like the kind of solid all around performance prospect that PECOTA might shine a light on, but no such luck. He's been quite good in the minors this year (I know that didn't go into this) and is up with the Pads now. Was he in the ballpark of the bottom of the list?
I have a prospect suggestion and not sure of where to put it so, here will suffice.
In previous years (maybe even last year?) when a prospect was called up there might be a little blog post about him. Springer's apparent promotion reminded me of that nice little feature that you guys may or may not be considering doing again.
Just a thought...
"There’s a big difference between “I think this will have an effect of half a win plus or minus three” vs. “I think this will have an effect of half a win plus or minus a tenth of a win.”"
BP has been writing about baseball stats for ~15 years and never once supplied these kinds of error bars.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's an extremely important thing to do, I just hope you have time to scurry back into BPs figurative glass house. ;)
Hmm, I have perhaps a semi-related question. You published the Cards list on Feb 7 and had Piscotty as a high 6. In the free excerpt from the Prospect Guide he is now up to a 70.
That seems extremely aggressive for someone who does not get a lot of tools hype. Is that grade bump based on his spring performance, reconsideration of his tools in the short time from the Feb 7 team list? Something else?
And how many players do have different grades in the book in comparison to the published lists? My impression is that the book was a collection of the web published lists with essentially no change of the content.
But where you more confident in the old ones? Frankly these were never very good as far as I could tell. That's not meant to be harsh - who the hell would actually expect a computer algorithm to do a good job projecting human behavior 10 years out.
As good as year 1 projections might be in a general sense, they are not *that* accurate. And it just gets harder every year further out.
The problem with taking these away is that now that they've come back at a long hiatus people are giving them a more critical look and realizing that there just is not that much value to them, imo.
It will be interesting to see what valuations you come up with for established GMs like Beane and Epstein. But that retrospective study may or may not be informative to the decision to hire a new GM without a track record.
I'm more interested to hear how you would have valued Rick Hahn before he took over in Chicago and Michael Hill in Miami.
Better yet, what would your model say about Epstein in Nov of 2003 or Beane himself in Oct 1997?
A question about Alfaro - you have him in the AA Frisco group, is that based on an expected in season promotion or do you think the Rangers might push him there to start the year?
I vaguely recall you mentioning that you think he ought to be challenged, just wondering if there are signs the Rangers agree.
Just for clarification, $40/year subscribers who do not choose to augment their BP spending by purchasing the Futures Guide will never see reports for players like Ray who slipped thru the cracks?
I know the agent/advisors for the elite draft prospects are all widely known and reported. Is it public knowledge who the advisor(s) were for Wetzler and Monda? A lot of the public scrutiny has fallen on the Phillies since the individuals (Amaro, Wolever) are publicly known and nobody wants to blame the players for getting caught up in a stupid rule. Some of the questions being put to the Phillies (and not answered) should also be going to the advisor(s).
I think it's worth noting that both players are likely in the area of the same scout. I believe most teams have a Pacific Northwest scout that will cover Oregon and Wash. Of course, the buck stops with Wolever and then Amaro, but this doesn't seem a coincidence. Anyone with a 2013 Phils Media Guide or a BA Directory can at least put the area scouts name out there. I do wonder if these allegations came from this scout to cover his ass for TWO of his players not signing in the same draft.
Just an FYI, Sickels does do Top 50/50 only for his book, but last year he did eventually produce a Top 150 that was free on the site. If he does it again, I imagine it'll be pretty late into the spring given how far behind he is.
Yeah, I much prefer that too.
Truth be told, I'm just bitter that you said over the weekend on Twitter (I think) that we were going to get 3 team lists this week. Was expecting the 3rd today.
Just a little busting of chops.
Ah, but then why the need to include this line:
"even though the menu specifically said the raspberries were indeed frisky this evening"
Are we to trust your evaluation of fruit and players or instead should we defer to authority in the form of menus and, I dunno, Baseball America consensus based prospect lists?
Actually that line undermines the analogy and is a real weakness in the piece. Fictional Parks is accepting the raspberries are frisky not because of his own observational scouting, but because someone in a position of power told him so.
Instead of stats vs scouts, it's stats vs sheep.
You've got Murphy as a lefty hitter. My recollection (and baseball-ref!) has him as a RHH.
No respect for John Jaso?
One thing that would be important to note is when BP's WARP switched to it's current higher baseline for replacement level. My recollection is that there was a long period where WARP had a very low (Cleveland Spiders type low) baseline.
To the extent that BP has since joined everybody else with a higher baseline, then we can reasonable say that BP was then "wrong".
Consequently, any time in these older Silver pieces he is using that WARP construct to assess the moves of MLB teams he is going to make assessments different from the ones that we would make now simply due to the change in WARP.
I'm really enjoying this series and think it's a real step in the right direction.
I assume you'll get there in the end, but the thing that jumps out to me is that a 6 run uncertainty level on the supposedly easy hitting side of the player value equation has pretty big ramifications for player valuations.
At ~6M/win a 6 run approximation for hitting contributions would suggest a 3.6M level of uncertainty, right?
Seems like if this approach takes hold we may lose a lot of the knee jerk declarations that team X or Y is dumb for every signing (which would be a good thing).
Zach - I wonder if you can expand on the opinions about Roache. I found it ironic that he was listed in the bad when he's been on a real hot stretch of late. Of course, he was terrible in that particular game, but after a brutal June (521 ops) he's been quite productive in July (935 ops) and especially good of late (1119 ops in his last 10 including the 04 with 4 ks).
Actually, wouldn't that be even more directly related to the manager's job? Any inkling of organizations utilizing any of these tests as part of the managerial hiring process?
How much of Hultzen's drop was injury related and how much that his ceiling just isn't that sexy?
He pitched the other day in the AZL, so should have plenty of time to get some innings in AAA (if not the majors). Assuming he picks up where he left off in April, is that still a #25-50 profile?
Only thing missing is another entry for "A prospect from your fantasy team" as well.
A couple reports - Barnes and Workman - did not have the current team box. Would be nice to add back in before archiving.
I'm looking forward to the series Nick. I have a question about sigability. How have you handled that in the past? I noticed in Castellanos at least one player who fell in the draft and required a substantial overslot bonus.
With the new CBA the draft class budget issues are now front and center more than ever. Will you also be constraining yourself to the Sox bonus pool as well? If so, it'll be interesting to hear your reasoning for whatever approach you take (ie Astros like cutting a deal at the top and spreading the excess around, Tor like and spending everything at the top and going for 1k senior signs after the top few rds, etc).
Since you put Duncan and Cooper in the lead it would have been nice to show how they performed even though they did not show up on a best or worst list.
Begs the questions... why?
Too many premium athletes lost to other sports?
Or too many premium athletes with strong arms sticking as pitchers?
No, I don't believe there is any credible way to think that Porter did anything less than a great job in poor context.
Love the framer, but hate the ump who simply calls strikes correctly? Please let's not go down that path.
The Lee trade is particularly apt because the Phils claimed that having Benny Looper from the Ms was going to allow them to identify kep players from the Mariners farm system.
I suspect using Profrock and Braun's 7 yr old scouting reports of Delmon Young will work out just as well.
We could have done so, but it would have taken too long to carve a pound sign into the cave wall.
The Red Sox did a similar thing when they acquired Bill Hall a few years ago. I don't recall the particulars, but he was a multiyear deal from the Brewers and somehow when the Sox picked him up the Mariners were paying more than the AAV and it ended up as a credit.
Don't quote me on the details, but it was generally very similar to Hobson's description above.
I have an Alfaro question. Yesterday BA had an article about the loaded lo-A squad playing together this spring which included Alfaro. Due to injuries he only had a half season at that level, but I thought there was a good chance he'd move up to Hi-A. Is the expectation in camp that he needs to repeat lo-A?
A. Robin Yount, Ed Kranepool and Wayne Causey
Q. Who are the three comparables for (almost) every HS hitter from the June draft?
Can someone explain how those hitters end up as essentially the default comps for every 19 yr old quality position player prospect? And given their ubiquity in a process that's supposed to find unique and individual career paths, then is PECOTA implicitly stating that it is impossible to come up with good comps for this type of player?
It'd be nice to have a explicit explanation of what PECOTA seems to be implying.
I've also noticed that very young prospects with slightly more experience or better pedigrees seem to default to the Upton Bros and/or Mickey Mantle quite often.
I think this is a huge problem especially considering this emphatic statement:
"But there's no evidence that Verducci Effect pitchers are more likely to sustain serious injuries. In fact, what evidence is there runs in the opposite direction."
By setting that 50 IP threshold you have filtered out players that suffered the most serious injuries. Did the Verducci Effect miss them or just your filter?
I understand you would want the filter in place to make the performance comparisons, but you should not have used it for the injury portion.
We often hear that HS pitchers lose some velocity and stuff in their first pro season and despite their more mature development it makes sense for college pitchers to have the same thing happen. But even with that background was Jungmann's drop in stuff unusually steep for a 1st C P and does that say anything about the likelihood that it bounces back some?
Can you give us a general sense of where Trevor May might have slotted in and a quick hit on his report?
Will you eventually write him up and slot him in the already passed Twins?
I think you make a mistake when you assume that a ballot with more votes means the voter is a Big Hall person.
Let's say person A votes for 6 people and all are over the threshold for a median HoF player. Person B votes for 4 people, but the quality is scattered so that a couple happen to be over (eg Biggio and Piazza) and a couple are below (eg Morris and Smith).
I think in that scenario, which seems to likely have happened a fair amount based on the data that you presented, the A voter with more selections actually has a more stringent requirement for election than the B voter.
The way that I think about the idea of a Big Hall or a Small Hall, I would say voter B was much more of a Big Hall person because despite voting for fewer players he is lowering the overall standard for admission. And while he wants fewer people in the Hall this year, over time the lowering of standards will lead to more and more players of lower quality entering a Bigger Hall. Tony Perez begets Jime Rice begets whomever.
When I see a player like McGwire referred to as a "one trick pony" I get the sense that the author doesn't believe that the "pony" in question desrves credit for getting a ton of walks and having a high OBP because it wasn't an independent skill - like hitting for average! - but rather "just" a by-product of his immense power.
So to look at McGwire's OBP or OPS doesn't really change anything. In a sense it's double counting his power. He's still just a "one trick pony".
Obviously that misses the objective forest for the subjective trees, but that's how I understand it.
Joe Carter was a one trick pony because he couldn't leverage his very good power into BBs and a high OBP.
By tools, McGwire may also be a one trick pony, but his "trick" was so overwhelming in comparison to players like Carter that he could leverage it into a ton of value via BBs and OBP. And that counts too.
I think that's the argument that has to be made to voters like Perroto.
The Top 10s and the Under 25 lists can be different, but the scouting reports should be the same as the summary list at the top.
Needs some major editing - the top 10 at the top isn't the same as the 10 players with scouting reports.
Cecchini and Flores are flipped at 5/6.
Bottom 4 up top are:
7.RHP Rafael Montero
8.OF Brandon Nimmo
9.RHP Domingo Tapia
10.RHP Luis Mateo
But in the reports its:
Anything worth salvaging with Ranaudo? He hasn't been healthy and/oor maintained his stuff so maybe a shot at being a reliever down the line?
I have a general question about the extent to which command plays into the tool grade of a specfic pitch. The "easy 7" grade you gave to Cosart's fastball prompts the question. I happened to see him in the AFL game on Sat and he had a lot of trouble commanding the fastball. And, of course, you bring up the command issues in other places of the report.
So, is it really possible for a pitcher with Cosart's command issues to have an "easy 7" fastball?
I noticed in other places you've noted 7 power, but 6 game power. It seems like this is an analogous situation for pitchers. Maybe there's a 7 fastball in there somewhere, but if it's not very game likely, then I'm not sure I can see it as "easy".
"Everyone thought trading a pitcher for a hitter was what the Rays were going to do last offseason, but they aren't going to give those pitchers away unless they're sure they are getting the right deal," one AL front-office type said.
- If that front-office type was me, I would have added - and oh by the way they didn't make the playoffs because their offense didn't do their fair share.
Hard to quibble with much of what Friedman has done as the Rays GM, but there have been a couple of July deadlines and winters where it seemed like they should have been more aggressive. Obviously, they have to keep in mind long term salary structure - they can't just wildly trade away cost controlled players to "go for it". But I think it's fair to question whether or not they've been too cautious about moving players unless they hit a HR with the trade.
Just a couple of logistics questions...
You're starting with Houston which was the worst team in MLB. The last couple of years KG did his order by reverse winning percentage which I always thought was a good idea. Does this mean you're keeping that or just a coincidence?
Without asking you to commit to timelines or anything, what's the general pace you're looking to achieve - 2 teams per week?
I have a quick question on a couple of unmentioned rehabbers. More of a where are they?
Kyle Gibson pitched a month or so of the minor league season as part of his TJS rehab and is scheduled to pitch some more in the AFL. Is it correct to assume he was in Twins camp continuing to keep his arm stretched out in prep for the AFL?
And the Rays Alex Colome had to be shut down in late August, I believe with a lat injury. Did you happen to catch if he was a rostered player with the Rays rehabbing?
Thanks. I meant "significant" in terms of lossed time, more than the severity of the injury. Wasn't so clear about that.
Jason - Alfaro playes a lot of 1B and DH during the year - even after his significant early season injury. For someone who is supposed to have some good defensive tools that seems odd to me. Is that in deference to nagging injuries? Is it suggestive that he might have to be moved off of catcher longterm?
Barrett is a manufacturer of high caliber machine guns. 50 cal being one such gun. They're very loud.
Balls come off Trahan's bat very loudly, apparently.
I think oe thing that would be nice to know sooner rather than later is the intended structure of the off-season rankings. Kevin would start team Top 20s around Nov 1 and roll them out steadily through the end of Feb, I guess.
I think it's been mentioned that team lists are something that will continue. Are the teams going to be divided amongst these people and they'll be the individual experts on those teams? Are they going to be the product of a consensus approach perhaps without an indivial byline even, like the BP Annual chapeters?
I'm sure you haven't worked out many of these details yet yourselves, which is fine. Every update is loaded with generalities about how great it's going to be, but at some point soon I hope there is a transition to the specific nuts and bolts of what it's actually going to be.
So if one of the issues is the often overlooked amount of noise still inherent in looking for an R squared of 50%, why not play around with targeting higher R squared levels?
Even as a thought expt it might be interesting to see the size of the jump in sample size needed to bump from 50 to say 75%. And if the sample sizes required to get that high somehow break the underlying assumptions or the way we think about baseball in terms of season chunks, well doesn't that help to take some of the air out of mis-use of these "stability" points?
I wish you spent more time giving a sense of how large the problem is. It was obvious from the Lawrie shift issue that the magnitude of the problem was very significant. I don't have that sense one way or another here.
It seems like it might be an issue where we would have to expand the non-existent confidence intervals around these fielding numbers moreso than throw out the results like with Lawrie. If that's true, than the bigger issue is getting people to consistently incorporate those confidence intervals than to know that the interval should be +/- 6 runs instead of 5 or whatever.
No need to belabor a subjective distinction between "first division" and "second division", but I think you may be underrating the value of a broad based performer. It's easy to imagine quietly good in a lot of areas producing more value than loudly good in a single area.
This would be less the case if we're talking about a corner player, but for a MI the bar - at least offensively - is pretty modest. It looks like both 2B and SS are about 255/310/375. Even with the "quiet" scouting reports it's not hard to imagine Segura providing average defense and adding 20 pts to that average slash line.
That would be good for, what, the 8th best player in MLB at his position? Again, whether that's a low level 1st division starter or a good 2d division starter isn't a meaningful distinction to me. But that's a quality starter on a playoff team, even if he's not one of the first players you think of as pushing that team towards the playoffs.
Could you go into specifics a bit more about what's keeping Segura from being a first division regular? The tools package I imagine from most reports - actually even yours here - seems big enough to be a quality first division type as a MI. Is it that he lacks the one standout tool to hang a bigger ceiling on? Concern that he'll lack the consistency to turn the good all around base of tools into that type of performance at the MLB level?
Kevin - could you talk a little bit more about Cowart's complete game? As I recall there some questions about his defense and holes in his swing perhaps hindering his ability to make use of his good raw power. Does the consistency from both sides that you mention suggest that he's closing some of those holes?
Also, the last paragraph is fitting for an old school Moneyball joke. So why am I not surprised that scouts STILL missed on Chad Bradford?
Seems like it wouldn't be much of a stretch to put Oscar Taveras above Miller at this point, but are guys like Wong and Rosenthal also in the conversation for being ahead of Miller?
“Players fail because of bad makeup and they fail because they lack the instincts for the game. You can teach athletes the fundamentals, but you can’t teach an athlete the feel for the game.”
Honestly, that feels like a "it's not us, it's them" style cop out. An organization "smartly" loads up on players with virtually no chance to succeed - perhaps even smugly claiming to be on the leading edge of finding new market inefficiencies - and then when they players predictably fail, they blame the players for being what they've always been. Guys who aren't actually good at playing baseball.
And while you may be thrilled with "intellectual joy" from the process of asking these questions, a sceptic might say (hey, this one will!) that your joy comes not from deep introspection on difficult questions, but from simply refusing to except the negative answers to the questions that you've asked.
Interesting article, but please keep in mind that "not yet" in the face of failure may very well be naivete.
Team context is important. Can your team buy superstars as free agents? Do you expect to be drafting in the 20s most years anyway?
A successful big market team should take a guaranteed Swisher/Klesko. And don't forget they still have their other picks to take long shots at stars.
But a small market perpetually rebuilding team really needs to take their chances to get core star players to build around.
That stuck out to me a bit too, but he didn't say the first to make the majors it was "first to make an impact". It's possible that Bauer gets there first - and perhaps even has a higher ulitmate ceiling - but that Hultzen transitions more easily (and SafeCo will help) and make an impact first.
“This is the one thing baseball always wanted, to have the order of picks line up with the order of talent and now that will not happen."
That second clause has to be one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. I have no idea how the new CBA will effect picks lining up with the order of talent, but it sure as hell won't be worse than it used to be.
I bet you play in a dynasty fantasy league and have always had a great farm system and yet somehow the team never comes together. As someone posted above it's not like Colby Rasmus and Travis Snider types are without risk either. Or are we still lionizing Anthopolous for stealing Rasmus from Mozeliak who has nothing but his WS ring for comfort?
The sum total of an analyst's opinion can't be "younger and cheaper is better than older and expensive". Not only does it get old fast, it's too frequently wrong.
Really? At the end of the year you wouldn't want your team to sign an elite pitcher like Cliff Lee to a 3 yr/75M deal? You don't mention the conditions for the option to vest, but even if it's an easy vest and it's 4yrs/102M that's a perfectly fine market rate deal.
No, it's not a huge bargain and they wouldn't have any excess value to trade, but it's nowhere near an adjustable rate mortgage. That's really simplistic - expensive = bad thinking.
"The defense is around the grass all around when he's up or they don't have a chance.”
I have to say that's one of the coolest things I've ever seen written about a prospect. SPeed first players aren't generaly my thing, but baseball needs as many unique players as it can get.
Huh, chalk one up for the PA suburbs then.
If you just want to read it (which I recommend) and not own it, your local library probably either has it or can get it through inter-library loan. The latter is how I read it a few years ago.
"With the exception of Kansas City, each pregame discussion will be followed by a regular season game in some of our nation's best ballparks."
I realize that's because the event is at the Negro Leagues Musuem, but on my first read I thought it was a shot at Kaufman Stadium. It's not new, but it's not that bad!
People sometimes make the claim that sabermetrics is the scientific study of baseball. I think it rarely reaches that lofty goal, but imo the two public analysts who most often reached that standard were Mike Fast and Josh Kalk. Our loss is the Astros and Rays gain.
I really like the direction that you seem to want to go with the series. However, I think you missed an opportunity to give us an example of what you're after.
After reading the old Myers excerpt I expected some kind of assessment of the report, but you went right into the rest of the article.
Myers certainly had a statistical set back, but was it for the reasons you suggested or something else (injuries?). Those kinds of distinctions are tough for people trying to go down the accountability path.
Very interesting study and something that I've noticed anecodotally over the years, but let me pick out two statements that seem quite contradictory to me.
"Secondly, we can now estimate to what degree teams should be drafting younger players higher than they already are. If Player A is exactly one year younger than Player B, and they were both selected with the same pick in the draft, Player A should be expected to return an additional 1.17 Discounted WARP over his career."
"That is a massive, massive impact."
Ok and also this oen:
"It’s hard to overstate the importance of this."
The latter two statements are based on what seem to be very large and therefore important difference in percentage above and beyond expected draft pick return. That method, imo, has significant disadvantages in that the expected returns are so low that very small differences lead to dramatic changes in return on investment, but on the playing field those differences are actually quite small.
And by quite small, I mean like 1.17 WARP over a career. Now I know someone will say at ~5M/WARP that over 5M dollars and that's not small at all.
And that's fine, but only if we believe that WARP (or WAR or whatever) precisely measures player value down to two decimal points.
If I told you had to pick between two players' careers and over the course of those careers they were separated by 1.17 WARP would you still say that the differences were "massive" and "could not be understated"?
I don't think so. Whether we're at the utility infielder level (4 vs 5.17 WARP) or the star level (60 vs 61.17 WARP), there just isn't that much difference. Those differences are not beyond the noise in the measurements themselves. It would be quite likley that BP, FanGRaphs and B-Ref would be in disagreement as to who had the better career simply based on their individual implementation of their comprehensive win value stat.
Interesting study and I do think there is something real here, but the unfortunate dependence on percentages of very small expected production has led to small on field differences being magnified.
Thanks JD. Who knows what's better for his career, but I would have liked to have seen him keep playing...
Get your head out of making the site better and watch some baseball!
Actually, I kind of agree that while the effort is appreciated the timing is odd to say the least.
The initial rosters I saw had the Mets Reese Havens going to the AFL. Not only did he not make your 2B to watch which seemed like a glaring ommission, but a different Mets 2B is mentioned.
Does that mean that Havens has yet another injury that is keeping him off the field?
Great read. One thing that you should address on the video clips is the game context. Varitek certainly looks awful in that one video compared to all of the other catcher videos. But, for example, if that pitch is late in a 8-1 game that would partially explain his lazily stabbing at the ball.
It won't matter in the bigger sample of pitches presented in the tables, but you're such a careful researcher that I think it's a nit pick worth making. Those anecodotal videos make powerful impressions. I think it's worthwhile making sure that they also represent similar game states.
Although unlike the HIt List reboot that I don't care about, this is definitely a move in the right direction.
Ok, Hechavarria can't sustain a .667 BABIP or the accompanying .500+ BA. But the last couple of weeks in AA and his first week in AAA he's hit like crazy after four months of stinking. What is a current assessment of his bat now and into the future?
Sure his ERA will regress if his peripherals stay lousy, but the hope would be that his peripherals will also "regress" to a more appropriate level for his stuff. That is assuming his stuff in AA is pretty good. Presumably the conservative Rays wouldn't have promoted him if they thought he'd only be able to generate middle peripherals.
Christianity is stupid. Communism is good!
Great reference, Kevin.
If this is going to be a general gripe with the stats, I'd like to add something. I've been disappointed by the disappearance of Clay's minor league translations.
I was shocked to recently learn that he's posting them at his own website and is apparently no longer involved at BP? Who would know as we've never been told.
To the extent that you want to get into that issue is up to you, but I must say I very much miss having something like those reports available. Are there any plans to provide something similar in the future? If not, why not?
Yeah, but we would like to see those reports too...
And I'll be another one...
I'd love to hear your thoughts on Josh Bell, in particular his plate discipline. He went from somone with a 50/70 BB/K ratio in AA in 2009 to going 23/78 and 21/85 the next two years in AAA. How does a player seem to lose his plate discipline like that? I would understand better if he lost it going from A to AA and he was just taking advantage of lousy A ball command.
And also curious about a player with the opposite problem - Matt Carpenter. I know he's 25, but his career minor league line is 296/407/438. Any chance he can be a Bill Mueller type high OBB/low SGL regular 3B for a few years?
Thanks. If that's on his own .com, then does that mean that he's no longer part of BP? How did I miss that?
A little surprised not to see Reese Havens with at least a mention as an "if he could only stay healthy..." type. Any thoughts on the him?
Where are you getting those minor league Davenport stats? The link to minor league EQAs disappeared from the stat section and I haven't been able to find them.
Been a definite change for the worse, btw.
This is an early surprise. Somebody really wanted to writeup that Moore no hitter...
Don't believe in Jesus even a tiny bit?
Will he be grouped with 1B or something?
Thanks for being the first (that I've seen anyway) try to knock some of the air out of this historic draft nonsense.
It's been pretty clear for awhile (imo) that the only thing really historic about this draft class if the amount of coverage and therefore hype.
Given Descalso's struggles filling in for Freese why wouldn't the Cards just live with the fact that Carpenter doesn't drive the ball and see if his great on base skills will translate?
Thanks David. I know the comment numbers were always low (I hope that wasn't a key issue for BP, I would have commented more!), but I always thought this was a nice complement to the site.
Well according to a thread at Sickels site he's pitching today so not hurt. Maybe it is the home opener or whatever.
Love these as well, let me put in a plug for adding in any little injury tidbits you hear about. It doesn't get noticed for the obvious reason, but sometimes prospects who aren't playing are just as big news as the ones who are playing.
On that note, I've been surprised that Kyle Gibson didn't start in either of the the first couple of games for Rochester. That seems odd to me. Is there a little injury there are just some weird rotation shuffling?
The agent affiliations are a nice touch, but a much more important piece of data are service time for all players. That data is at Cots already, but will it too be transitioning to the new player cards?
This is better asked to Jeff, of course, but does the transition of this data to the BP player cards spell the imminent end of Cots? I hope not, unless the additional features there all make it to BP in user friendly form.
I'm surprised to see you refer to Gibson's fastball as having just "a bit of sink". With his impressive GB% (and a couple extreme games that you mentioned), I thought he had much more downward movement on his fastball such that his average velocity played up perhaps similarly to a Derek Lowe or Bradon Webb.
The irredeemably perfect time?
Excellent post. If there's going to be a "How to use PECOTA comps" tutorial for readers, then it's pretty clear that BP writers need it too.
I like forward to reading that as I also noticed the high number of seemingly pointless HoF comps for unremarkable minor leaguers.
It seems to me where we're heading with Colin's increasingly transparent explanations of what PECOTA does and doesn't do, is that a lot of its supposedly differentiating features like the comps sinply don't matter very much at all.
If changing a players comes from Butts, Smith, Merchant to Gonzalez, Fielder, Hrbek doesn't make much of a difference, then it's hard to buy the argument that the entire comps system makes much of a difference. As a result, what was once portrayed as a key feature could be revealed as nothing more than pretty bells and whistles.
We'll see though.
"Revenue sharing, in other words, is a mess, and will continue to be until baseball finds some way to return to the 1980s, when the lion's share of revenues passed through the central league offices."
Very interesting article. I'd love to see some numbers or a graph of this relationship over time if at all possible. I think that could be a very powerful piece of supporting data.
Would Font have been a 3 star prospect if he had stayed healthy? I know there has been talk in the past about a move to the pen, does this missed year make that any more or less likely?
Most opinions about the Sox farm system are that while it's devoid of elite upper level prospects, there is a ton of depth in the lower minors and much of that depth is high ceiling players.
This report is quite different with only twelve 3 star or better prospects and very muted ceilings for players within the top 11, never mind those who couldn't make it.
Just look at the Perfect World Projections below Renaudo
Reddick: He could be a solid everyday corner outfielder with power and a bit of batting average.
Britton: He would be an above-average starter.
Vitek: He could be an average everyday player in the outfield, but he'll be more than that if he can stick at third base.
Workman: He would be a fourth starter.
Navarro: He could be a second-division starter or an excellent utility player.
Doubront: He could be a back-end starter or a middle-inning reliever.
Tejeda: He would be a second baseman with average and a bit of power.
Pimental: He could be a fourth starter.
Middlebrooks: Middlebrooks could be a solid everyday third baseman with plus defense.
That's a lot of "solids", "averages", "second division starters" and "4th starers".
Those are pretty discouraging "perfect world projections" for the 3 star prospects.
Kevin, are you unimpressed with the ceiling of the Sox low level prospects or have I read too much into some of these comments?
Corey Brown and Henry Rodriguez fell thru the cracks because they were traded to a team that was already done. Where might they have ranked and could you give a quick report on them? Thanks.
re: Ackley's defense
Suspect to the point that Sea might soon feel compelled to move him to the OF becuase his bat is ready now and his glove at 2B may never be?
I don't get the Hardy comment at all. How is going from a TAv of 244 in 2009 to 262 in 2010 constitute an even worse season?
He missed another big chunk of the season and the Twins might not think he'll be worth an arb raise, but assuming you beleive the scouting reports and the advanced metrics that like his defense, then he pretty clearly had a nice rebound season in 2010.
Hardy is in the conversation for being the 10th best SS in baseball. He ought to be worth 7M to someone.
I haven't heard many specifics about the severity of Wilmer Font's arm troubles. Any info you have on that would be much appreciated.
To me "the Informed Outsider" as opposed to "an Informed Outsider" suggests a level of smug condescension that you may (or may not) want to achieve with the title to your first book.
It's just possible that there are other informed outsiders too.
"If you don't think the announcement of the Mike Lowell rib fracture wasn't pointed, you haven't been paying much attention to the Red Sox this year."
The implication is presumably that he's tough and playing unlike Ellsbury who is soft and didn't play?
That's all well and good if teams won games by accruing Machismo Points, but they actually win games by putting productive and healthy players on the field.
I'm not exactly sure when Lowell hurt his ribs, but he has a 678 OPS over the last 28 days. As a 1B. Tough guy that he may be, Lowell has been brutal and by continuing to play with broken ribs he is hurting the team.
" It’s become quite clear that being sabermetrically savvy does not guarantee a competitive team."
It's always been clear that one thing - but perhaps especially - being sabermetrically savvy does not guarantee a competitive team.
There are no guarantees in baseball or life. To include that statement in an article attempting to shine a light on the way that statheads "used to" overrated the importance of teams being sabermetrically savvy leaves a bit of a bad taste imo.
Wow, great new "injury report". Must have taken a lot of time googling injured players to come up with that "original" and "BP Premium exclusive" content.
One area I think it would be great if you could cover would be injuries. No, not like Carroll covers the majors, but just quick notes on the reason behind DL trips would be greatly appreciated. We can usually get coverage of injuries to top 50 prospects, but there are tons of prospects below that that people care about either because they're on the favorite team or a keeper fantasy league and it can be hard to find out those guys hit the minor league DL.
Someone already mentioned Alex Colome above, but I've also been wondering about Wilmer Font who hit the 7 day DL about a month ago. In cases like that just a line that it's a serious arm injury or it's a small thing and the team is being cautious or something like that would be great.
"the +/- system should be changed because people use it to mark down comments they disagree with, regardless of how rational they are... "
That's been on of my biggest disappointments with the BP comment system. It's particularly priceless comming in response to Sheehan throwing out the "sycophant-laden fora" comment. There may be no better descriptor of this comment system.
I have always said Sheehan was arguably the best writer at BP...
I was hoping to see something about the Twins Adrian Salcedo who made his 2nd FSL start last night. I'd love to hear the rationale the Twins had for skipping a 19 yr old from the GCL all the way up to the FSL. Thanks.
I enjoyed this and look forward to more from the agent perspective.
If you're looking for topics of interest, I'd love to hear more about how agents recruit clients and shephard them thru the draft.
Espinosa and Desmond are very low 4 stars. Espinosa was #101 overall and Desmond didn't even make the Top 101.
These summary quotes:
"The differences were small enough that we thought it was best to just publish more general ideas."
"but statistically these differences would not have been significant."
Seem to be quite a bit smaller than what was in the original series, no? I seem to recall many mentions of large differences.
Here's just a quick quote from Part 4 that Eric linked to:
"it is apparent not only that SIERA is the best ERA estimator currently available, but specifically that it is exceptionally strong at measuring the skill level of specialized kinds of pitchers."
Obviously, it's not currently the best ERA estimator available anymore, but I'm really confused about the second part. Aren't the "exceptionally strong" from this quote and "not statistically significant" from the previous quite referring to the same - or at least similar - subsets of pitchers?
Maybe it's me, but now I'm definitely confused.
It seems to true that if the YR-Next column in every table was restricted to just on digit to the right of the decimal point there would be no difference at all between most of these metrics. In most cases the RMSE would round to identical 1.2 values.
That you can go out to two and three places past the decimal and get "better" numbers is all well and good. But I'm having a hard time putting the improvements of 0.0xx in RMSE in context. What is the meaningful impact of that small level of improvement?
Or perhaps better yet, are any of these improvements outside the margin of error for these various metrics?
I know you don't get many comments on these, but I've really enjoyed them too.
This was one of the best too. Seid did a really nice job with the answers I thought.
With the book shipping out, your official top 100 will be public pretty soon. I know you have much of the NL left to do, but will you be posting the top 100 and doing a chat relatively soon?
Iirc, last year you did that before you finished up the last few team reports.
Would love to hear a date for that. Thanks.
Will the team reports have more players than the general spreadsheet?
A couple notable ommissions:
Kelly Shoppach - you picked Navarro for the TB catcher slot, but with a 2 yr deal for Shoppach it's probably at least a job share. Being forced to choose juse one player per position is probably a constraint at the catcher position for several teams.
Shaun Marcum - that was a surprise as he's been rumored to be a candidate for the 1st post-Halladay Opening Day slot and his recovery from TJ makes him a key player from a medhead pov.
Well, when the 27th best-run team wins 3 championships and a strike cancels a 4th, there just aren't that many left for the so-called "best-run" teams.
I generally agree, but then I think showing that there's a whole lot more to a GMs job than winning a faux payroll efficiency championship is a good thing to note.
Thanks for figuring out the numbers, but yeah that "solution" seems more like "work" than "fun".
I'd also say that I'm disappointed in the Comparables column. In years past we'd get the three best comps that will appear in the book in easy to read format. This year we get one one name and some numerical jibberish.
For me the most fun things about getting the PECOTA spreadsheet are the Upside scores (missing as Clay mentioned) and those 3 comps.
I hope the next iteration will include the Upside scores and the better, more complete version of the Comps.
This is definitely a less "fun" version for me.
Both the depth chart and spreadsheet are missing Adam Moore of the Mariners. He's a good catching prospect who will go to camp competing for the starting job. He was a callup last year so at the very least I'd expect a repeat of that, but he probably ought to be projected in the 100-200 PA range for the Mariners.
So, uh, what are those numbers in the depth charts?
They kind of look like preliminary PECOTA numbers...
I think that's the right decision. Actually decisions - both about normalising and not changing mid-year.
People (ok sometimes me) complain when BP doesn't take constructive criticism to heart, so a kudos for doing so.
I agree that 3rd order wins creates problems. I believe Shawn is using a financial multiplier that is largely based on making the playoffs. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but as I recall the biggest piece of the financial boost that Silver found in BBTN comes from making the playoffs. Giving that financial boost to teams that don't make the playoffs doesn't seem quite right to me.
I understand that using 3rd order wins has some advantages too. I don't mind continuing to use them, but I'd like to see some other simple variable included based on actually making the playoffs. That's where the revenue really comes from so there has to be some kind of distinction made between good 3rd order win teams that don't make the playoffs (their revenue multiplier is docked some) and teams that make the playoffs regardless of their 3rd order wins (their multiplier is boosted some).
I completely agree. One of the advantages of writing on the web is that you don't have the same kind of space constraints. Take advantage of that!
That doesn't mean just include every data scrap in an endless series of tables. We don't need to see the full 300 single season list for example. But all 30 teams and a deeper list of GMs to include big names like Epstein would seem obvious to include.
And isn't Chad Jenkins a RHP?
I can't tell. Is the catcher pictured above the phrase "Nate Silver's deadly accurate PECOTAs" Matt Wieters?
Because that'd be awesome on a lot of different levels.
You might say even to the new editor of bp.com.
The difference will be less where Colome is ranked relative to other people on the TB Top 10 and more where he is ranked relative to others on a Top 100 list.
As a 5 star prospect BP is putting Colome into the top 50. I don't many other people do, but we'll see.
Not to take away from the much greater detail that Cot's provides, but you can get most of the way there using the USA Today salray databse.
And your 2003 Pirates:
Yes, that's Kevin Young 3rd in salary and Pat Meares 5th. Those were the days!
Could you give us some idea on how the Cot's contract data will be integrated into BP.com and what the timetable for the transition is?
Not being able to crack the top 15 of a thin system is a pretty bad sign for Josh Fields. What are the main concerns - a decline in stuff from college, durability, etc.
"Our feedback has been that the essays in the rear were not very well read"
And your response was to cut them back. Another response would have been to make them better. I wish you had taken the latter route.
I'd say this is quite analogous to the reception for BPs stats over the last few years. The feedback you were getting is that they were no longer cutting edge and good enough. You decided, thankfully imo, to make them better. The same could have been done with the end of the book essays.
I will still occasionally see references to old Woolner back of the book essays and from time to time I've gone back to re-read them. Without those kind of quality essays that can be referenced, I think there's a real danger that the annual quickly becomes dated, very much a book if its year.
It may be fun to go back and look at some old player comments (although they're on the site anyway) or team essays, but I never have. And just off the top of my head I think only a minority of the team essays would really stand out of the time in which they were written.
It's always easy to second a request for an author to do more work!
If the effort to simply do every team by brute force doesn't seem worth it, I'd still suggest doing some selective teams. I'd like to specifically see if a changing relationship between M, A, F wins could tell us something about how a team enters and exits a success cycle. Or better yet, if that provides clues to how a team can keep from exiting the cycle.
A real long term study of the Yankees would be interesting as once upon a time the Jeters, Riveras, Posadas etc were generating cheap wins. A timeline that showed wins moving from the cheaper to more expensive categories would speak both to the importance of that initial homegrown core and then the money to keep it and augment it with more expensive wins due to a somewhat fallow farm.
That can be contrasted with smaller revenue teams like the A's (would love to see thier timeline from the Moneyball 100 win teams to the recent last place ones) or the Twins who have maintained a pretty good, but never great team for a good stretch.
It's always the extremes that are easiest to point to, but I'd also like to see a closer look at the balanced teams. The Braves, Red Sox, Angels and Brewers were the only teams with between 10-20 wins in all three segments. The Sox and Angels have been a longterm consistent winner. Is this balance a key that has helped them do that (along with a lot of big market money)? Are the Braves well positioned to start a sustainable run because of this balance? Are the Brewers an example of a well balanced team that can't get over the hump because of a lack of money?
The other team that jumped out was the Dodgers. Considering all the talk of the good Logan White home grown Dodgers and the bad wasteful Colletti FA Dodgers it was interesting to note that thier M, A, F was so eighted towards the F.
Lots of angles for further investigation.
You know... I was going to edit out that last bit after a half second of reflection (although still do kind of think it's a fun bit of snark).
Forget it if you will. I've liked many of your pieces both in Idol and since. I think you could have done better with this one though.
Well we're just going to have to agree to disagree.
The language you used in your conclusion is too broad for the piece it's in. That seems pretty simple to me.
I really don't like the attitude that says I didn't mean this to be a scientific study, I didn't specifically allude to any such studies, but I still know that I'm right.
I must say Matt that you seem to be fitting in at BP quite well. Unfortunately.
That's really a terrible answer. I guess in the narrow, narrow little world that you're tyring to constrain yourself to it makes some sense, but look again at your conclusion.
"The catching position provides too much wear and tear on the body to trust a catcher who already has six years of service time to last through multiple years of a contract."
Posada in years 7+ has produced WARs of 6.3, 5.2, 3.6, 4.7, 7.1, 0.8, 3.6. That's an average of 4.5/year over seven years. All post-FA.
Varitek in years 7+ has produced WARs of 4.7, 4.6, 1.2, 3.0, 1.3, 1.3. That's an average of 2.7/yr over 6 years all post-FA.
Both of those catchers were valuable players after their FA service time. Posada was extremely valuable.
Your summary conclusion is based on dismissing Posada's first 4 years post-FA because he signed before he was a FA. I get that FA signings are the focus of your article, but your conclusion is written much more broadly. And Posada must definitely is not an irrelveant case.
At least 2 of the 6 catchers that you named were very good and valuable players in service time years 7+.
I'm completely flabbergasted that you think ignoring Posada because it's not convenient, calling Varitek borderline and apparently using the other 4 catchers that you have conveniently in your sample is anything close to reasonable evidence for your conclusion.
And then to accuse me of "dismissing the range" of players that you cited? Just astounding. It's your range of players that is tiny and you're the one dismissing players within that range!
I mean I guess the conclusion you really want to write is:
The catching position provides too much wear and tear on the body to trust a catcher who already has six years of service time to last through multiple years of a contract, however years 7-10 might also be really valuable if you can sign that worn down catcher before he becomes a FA.
Posada certainly is a relevent example for that conclusion...
I really hated this conclusion:
"The catching position provides too much wear and tear on the body to trust a catcher who already has six years of service time to last through multiple years of a contract."
It sounds reasonable and may very well be true, but you apparently based it on 6 catchers and two of them - Varitek and Posada - were extremely durable and productive well past thier first 6 years of service time. Their contracts that you used to support your conclusion were, in fact, their second post-FA contracts. Their intitial ones turned out just fine.
And I must say, that I kept waiting for a summary table to show the data. All of the quick sentences - this guys signed this and did that - tended to blur together. If this was a BP Idol submission I'd definitely be criticising on readabililty and flow. Don't be afraid to give us tables of data when they'd so obviously help readers digest a lot of data.
Interesting article. It's not clear, but it appears that you used one year of platoon wOBA to calculate these metrics. Is that correct?
I wonder if an attempt to determine a true talent wOBA would change things at all. I'm concerned that managers who have more pitchers who pitch to their true talent wOBA in a given year will tend to do better regardless of how well the pitchers are used.
You specifically mention that the Lidge effect will kill a manager, but how confident are we that the managers who score well aren't benefitting from having consistently great closers. The last table could be expanded to include the name of the closer and we'd have:
Is that top 5 the best managers or the managers with the best closers?
I like the thought process. I'm just not sure we've actually gotten that far from the quality of the team's closer despite the attempt.
I'd like to make one small tweak to your overall format. Anybody who was not listed on last year's top 11 you simply code as "Not ranked". I'd like to see a small change where recent draft picks like Turner are listed as "Not eligible" while still keeping players like Avila and Nunez listed as "Not ranked".
I can look at the signing date and figure out who was eligible and missed the list last year, but I think it'd be nice to pick up that distinction a little bit more quickly.
I got that and that's why I assumed that there would be a second part addressing overall offensive production.
"Now that we've looked narrowly at batting average, we'll move onto..."
This was a nice read and well presented, but without that second part it does seem a touch superficial.
ooops. That should say "to *be* a prospective notice".
I don't like the change at all. I prefer the newsletter to my a prospective notice of new articles that have recently been posted. I actually use and read the newsletter in that way.
As a retrospective of what was posted yesterday, it is completely useless to me.
I thought Scott Elbert might get a mention today. Finished his AA stint with at least 9 K in his last 5 starts and then followed that up with 6 one hit innings in AAA last night. Any word on his stuff returning to pre-surgery levels? Has he turned the corner to comfortable project as a #2/3 starter or still more likely to be a power releiver? Thanks.
I generally agree, but seeing you forcefully make that case... is there a little bit of letting "the perfect be the enemy of the good" here.
There is value in the Lyle Overbay, Adam LaRoche wing of 1B. Yes, guys who project to that are not elite prospects and maybe shouldn't be drafted so highly (and is it turns out both of those guys were drafted very low, iirc), but when you get past the real elite prospects and high ceiling guys they can be reasonable draft targets.
And supposedly in these draft there aren't all that many elite prospects making someone like Poythress unsexy, but pretty reasonable at what might look like a too high spot.
re: Norris' defense
In your Wash Top 11 you wrote this:
"Other than his arm, the rest of his catching game is rough around the edges, and he needs to improve his footwork behind the plate."
Iirc, that roughness was similar to what other people who write about prospects said over the winter.
I don't see spring training and 5 weeks as really enough to go from "rough" to "excellent".
I don\'t know. I thought it was a little too bland and generically upbeat. Obviously, there has to be a lot of that, but the Beaven answer in particular which did not even address his loss of velocity really put me off.
Last year the prospect projection that had some buzz was the much younger Jay Bruce at 265/332/503.
Bruce did fly thru the minors and get a decnt number of MLB PAs and hit 254/314/453.
I don\'t think that\'s actually too bad, but it is ~70 ops points below the optimistic PECOTA.
I\'d sooner bet on Weiters missing his PECOTA projection by 70 pts than his actual one.
And while I have the 08 spreadhseet open let me look at Longoria who is more age similar to Weiters.
Missed on him by ~50 pts, but in the opposite direction.
So toungue firmly in cheek, I guarantee that Wieters will hit either within -70 to +50 pts of his projection.
I agree with the first comment.