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Sweet to see how things worked out for all the staff picks!
(It would be awesome if somebody at BP would create an online form where members could play along and test our mad skills in this game, similar to the hacking mass game. I know resources are limited, so please just consider this an entry into the suggestion box.)
Note to editors. Search/replace "Bradley" = Brantley.
P.S. I love y'all. Keep up the great work!
It's my favorite birthday present each year... I'm in one shallow mixed league, but pretty sure I read every article at least once. Y''all are the best.
So, um, after this intro, can you give us a multiple-choice for the first line of the book?
Or you're going for a reverse-jinx. Y'all are crafty.
I also wanted Simon. And also considering Francouer.
I'm playing this season under protest.
consider Peralta ... Three-star production at the two-star price.
Last year was an early surprise... I recall previous years the week of Valentine's / President's Day... Good times are coming soon!!!
I'm in a Holds league that has an innings cap, and as a backup to the elite 8-inning targets, I've found its a useful strategy to find a <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=LOOGY" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('LOOGY'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">LOOGY</span></a> whose manager is comfortable bringing him in for 1 out. You often get a K, a <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=Hold" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('Hold'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">Hold</span></a>, and just 0.1 knocked out of your <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>.
Thank you for the quick reply. I guess what I'm wondering is how large a sample would you need to reach a reasonable confidence level in the results? I'm not a statistician, scientist, etc., and my recollections from my one experimental design class in grad school are hazy at best.
From your description above, we find that platoon splits exhibited in one season tend not to repeat. How many seasons/batters would you need in your sample to be confident in the result for an individual hurler, or is it truly, "You can never have enough" regardless of arm angle and pitch repertoire. I can accept the latter, just verifying I understand the answer.
Regarding the shift, I am making an unfounded hypothesis that, league-wide, RHP's platoon split has narrowed over the past few years. If teams are shifting their infield defense against lefties, and it is effective at reducing <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BABIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BABIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BABIP</span></a>, then this would improve their effectiveness against the opposite-handed batters, but have no impact on effectiveness vs. same-side batters. This new baseline should be reflected in a larger number of RHPs having a reverse-split (particularly if the variation is so large that you can never have enough at bats to be confident in the results).
For LHPs, the shift would improve performance vs. same-side batters, so we would tend to see a wider platoon split than in years before the shift was frequently exercised.
Of course if possible, one might try to analyze the data with 'team' as a separate variable, to see if these hypothesized results are more evident in teams that shift more frequently.
And of course these sample sizes may be so low that any effect is indiscernible, on a league-wide or team-wide basis. A large sample would be our friend, as a classmate of mine once proclaimed, "The n's justify the means."
Have a great weekend!
How large a sample do you need to stabilize the data, do you think? Is it possible to tell If the magnitude of the split has been reduced, league wide, over recent years (and with the more frequent use of shifting the infielders against lefties)?
Jumping to unfounded hypotheses after reading only as far as the first chart: "The shift?"
Love these, Sam.
However, I think you've got another competitor for bright green-yellow hat guy. Take a 76th look. Enter: Blue Gilligans sailor hat man. The dude two rows ahead of bright yellow/green hat man is quicker in the act of standing. You can see he brings one hand up into view in the act of joyfully raising them skyward in the frame <i>before</i> yellow/green hat man's shoulders had raised an inch.
Then next frame where bright green yellows shoulder have moved their first inch, blue sailor hat's hands are raised another 8" while his left shoulder appears to be a couple inches higher than the previous frame.
I love the analogy to sandlot ball. If a team has just five fielders, where do you play them? Now what if you have six? So using the same logic you used to place fewer fielders, where do you place them if you have nine? Love looking at it that way... Breaking the game.
Unfortunately, I was drinking beer when I got to #8.
Above-average two-sport guy?
Two-sport star? Two-sport standout? Two-sport recruit?
These are fantastic. Loved 'EM last year, and loving them again!
Repeating a request I've put in the forums previously: Any way we could develop a game similar to Hacking Mass, where we subscribers can put together our own teams using these values, and then compete to see whose team earns the most $ over the course of the season?
How much start-up capital do you need to get that off the ground?
My first takeaway here is, "How the heck do you hang a wiffle ball curve?"
I had somehow anticipated, "It's Olivera but the shouting"
I for one welcome our new Pedro-loving overlord. I will unfortunately miss the chat because I'll be toiling in the sugar tunnels, but I look forward to reading the transcript later.
As a person who has traveled to MLB games with groups that have included children, I think we'd rather watch the last two innings... However:
A) we like getting out of the parking garage before the roads are a mess. That can add 45 minutes to the ride home if you wait til the end of the game. 45 minutes with tired children who are amped up on ice cream and cracker jacks.
B) we can listen to the end of the game on the radio in the car.
Now mind you I'm not advocating these positions personally, but I think I understand the mindset.
These are fantastic, and we're a fantastic resource last year. Thanks, BP, for continuing to offer the best fantasy content.
Would love to see BP put together a contest similar to Hacking Mass where subscribers can fill out a 5x5 fantasy roster using these (or some future iteration) values, and then see how many $ that team earns over the course of the season...
KD2, there's a pretty deep body of knowledge at BP on the irrelevance (I.e. no statistical significance) of RBI as it relates to player value. The crazy thing is that I used the "search" feature at the upper right of this web page to direct you to some of the published work from the early years of BP, and nothing jumped off the results page. Maybe I'm not using the correct search phrases... But it's widely understood that you are correct.
I think they even have a stat created about RBIs vs. RBI Opportunities hidden around here somewhere.
I've yet to purchase an e-book of any kind, but this year I'm planning to get the Annual in that format. Can read it on the train during my commute, and look up players at any time/place. Hoping there will be a version I can use easily on my phone...
Sam, I have too many deadlines at the office next week. Would you please delay the PECOTA release til February?
Thanks in advance!
Thanks, that's kinda what I had determined from my initial assessment of the position. Will keep my eyes open and consider alternate strategies. Might bite earlier than usual on Martin or Grandal.
Dear Mr Adjuster,
I'm in a OBP redraft / snake-draft 1-C yahoo! league, and I typically draft a catcher who a) is really playing another position but retains his C eligibility, or b) can be picked up after the 18th round.
Took Gomes last year at pick 218 or so. Had A combination of Napoli and Castro in 2013.
I think Vogt retains his C eligibility in my league next year. Is he my guy? Who else do you think fits my recent draft pattern?
Thank you in advance!
You have to adjust for era and stadium contexts, but I agree that he was definitely an all-around hitter in those prime seasons. And boy did he know how to get plunked.
Complete games path to the HOF would be a possible route / vote-getter for Halladay or Sabathia. Unlikely that it would sway too many voters, but I suppose it's possible.
Just for the record, use of steroids were against the rules. I've heard plenty of people say they were not, but I think that's a false logic. They were not explicitly named in the CBA, true. But they were controlled substances under federal law, and no controlled substances were permitted without doctor's prescription. Players were not getting prescriptions. Players were getting them through illegal channels, and hiding their use.
I don't know enough about the 'greenies' era to comment, but I believe you're correct on that issue. I've heard they were so widely used that teams would spike the coffee in the clubhouse. Don't know if that's true either, but read it somewhere.
I think I'm going to have to finally start listening to the podcasts. Am I the last subscriber to NOT listen to them? I prefer to read (I'm a visual learner). But it seems like there's just too much good content I'm missing.
It's a conundrum.
Steroids were against the rules (... yes, they were controlled substances and were against the rules unless prescribed by a doctor (which in this case they weren't)).
Some players took them (illicitly). The rules weren't enforced. Then, according to the current narrative, more players took them. Until longstanding records were being shattered, and the legacy of our national pastime was being tarnished.
Every industry has its darker unsavory side. Usually that side of the industry is punished when it exposed to the light. Criminals are prosecuted. Recognition and accomplishments are withdrawn. Even in sports (at least sports other than modern baseball), this is true. Think Lance Armstrong, NCAA recruiting violations, etc. Very few baseball players have been subject to that same scrutiny.
But the HOF is an honor bestowed AFTER the fact. To individuals. By a collective group of individual professionals whose livelihood is based on the people being recognized. And who are responsible (to some degree) of creating the narrative that defines the legacy of the sport.
I hold myself to the highest professional and personal standards, and II expect the writers casting ballots to do the same. I expect a vast majority of them are, within the context of their own perspectives on the issue.
I don't think I could vote for Bonds and Clemens, if I had a vote. I don't find (my perception of) their behavior and their presumed choices to be worthy of the enshrinement. Others I'm less sure about. But tomorrow I might change my position, to allow my opinion to be swayed by a persuasive and well-reasoned argument, either for Barry and Roger, or against other suspects. A voters job in this circumstance is to pass judgment on the players. I don't think it's an easy choice, and as a fan, I try not to pass judgment on the writers who cast those ballots.
Fun stuff! Gotta love those Astros.
Test half the balls from a box with multiple successive and identical "hits" through the through the machine. Then test the other half of balls that get rubbed by a pitcher with a rosin bag handy before each of the "hits."
Does a box-fresh ball behave differently than a 'game-used' ball?
Does rubbing a ball with rosin on a pitcher's hands impact the characteristics that affect travel distance?
Fascinating! I'd love to see the same RE24/IP leaderboard on a two-year rolling average, but lower the IP restriction to say, 75 innings... Then 3-year, etc. removes some of the flash-in-the-pan seasons and begins to show stretches of dominance we associate with the new breed of relievers.
Is that possible?
So funny. I, too, was going to challenge the premise of a 10% return. I would expect a more realistic alternative would be to take a blending of returns for stocks, bonds, bills, commodities, real estate, etc., and adjusting for inflation and taxation on gains. This also accounts for a survivor bias, as some investments must be written off as total losses but are not typically accounted in the traditional 'historic returns' calculations ( as investors in certain notorious firms of the past can attest is a real risk).
I believe the return of ~4% on investment is a benchmark for the past century. But back loading is still the right decision for the Marlins. Just not quite as much as implied in the analysis...
For some reason I'm in a sentimental state of mind this morning. Missing baseball, perhaps, and reflecting on much.
So first, I'd like to offer a toast to Greg Spira, who I never had the pleasure to meet, but whose IBA is a lovely legacy for BP to uphold. And congratulations to the 2014 IBA winners and vote-getters, who each had remarkable seasons for (at least some of the) fans of the game.
Here's to baseball! Spring can't come too soon.
What are the chances, right?
In fact, two already had.
OMG, this is spit-take dry-funny. Maybe.
Mrs. Rutledge is firmly in the exclusionary camp. Hot dog as a sandwich? Crazy talk.
Thanks, Rocco. I think the grain component is a necessity (and your examples of s'mores and ice cream sandwiches have a notable grain component. Prosciutto wrapped around asparagus does not). Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert does not influence my definition.
A hesitation that I have in my definition at this point might be the 'baked' aspect of the grain. Tortillas are grain-based, but grilled instead of baked. I'm comfortable excluding wraps and tacos, but I wouldn't argue too strenuously here and I might yield this point.
Thinking through some other baked goods that fit my full definition (not the summary at the bottom, which is incomplete) include:
Petit fours ...? even though it's a mini layer cake finger food, I hesitate to think of this as a sandwich. Perhaps the frosting on the outside is bothering me. But a moon pie with the frosting on the inside is a sandwich. Maybe I need to include something in the definition where the outside of the assembly is the grain component. I had left that out before, but that seems to be important. But that then eliminates an open-faced cheese (or other style) sandwich.
However, I can solve this by adding into the definition that if there are more than two layers in the assembly, then the top and bottom layers must be the baked grain component.
... and a cupcake has only two layers. So either a cupcake is a sandwich, or... I have to eliminate the two-layer assembly from the definition.
And that's where I am, long after the last game has finished, and just as I am ready to retire for the evening and unsatisfied with this result.
The good ol' butter sandwich. Mayo sandwiches are also good.
So it's the last day of the MLB regular season, and I'm on a flight without wifi access. So, I can rationalize / philosophize about this great American conundrum, and hit send once I've landed (probably after checking on all the games I've missed). You all get to read (or ignore) my thought process at your peril.
What are the important distinctions to make up a sandwich?
1). A sandwich is a solid food. Edible, though not necessarily nutritious. I can't even think of anything that one might call a sandwich that is also either liquid or inedible. There are metaphorical sandwiches such as getting smooshed in the middle seat on a cross-country flight between two large strangers, but that's just a metaphor. Or, it's an alternate definition at best.
2) In addition to being a food, a sandwich is a Finger Food. Food to be consumed without utensils, and with your hands. Utensils are a disqualifying tool. And so, the method of consumption is inherent in the definition of a sandwich. The Earl of Sandwich, I do believe, created this genre of food, and it was created for the very purpose of eliminating utensils.
Forks, knives, spoons, chop sticks, skewers, and any other inedible delivery tool that comes between your hands and the food being consumed disqualifies that food from being a sandwich. Sushi, no. Fondue, no. Kebab, no. Corn dog, no.
2a) important note: a toothpick holding together your sandwich before or during consumption is acceptable, as long as you don't typically hold that implement in the act of picking up or eating it.
3). A sandwich has at least two unique food components brought together to create a combined finger food. Cheese sticks are not a sandwich. Beef jerky is not a sandwich.
4). One of the components is a grain-based product. Salami wrapped around the cheese stick is not a sandwich. Peanut butter spread into a celery stick is not a sandwich. A piece of prosciutto wrapped around a piece of melon is not a sandwich.
5). At the time of the assembly/combining of components, the grain-based component of a sandwich is a serve-able food product.
This eliminates from the sandwich family any finger foods where a dough is baked after the food is assembled, such as pizza. Or pigs in a blanket.
5a). However, once assembled to become a sandwich, it can be heated prior to serving. A toasted sandwich is still a sandwich.
6). The grain-based product is baked. Even though a doughnut is a grain-based product, a jelly-stuffed doughnut is not a sandwich.
6a). However, in the heating of an already-assembled sandwich (see 5a), frying is acceptable. Grilled cheese is still a sandwich after it has been fried / grilled.
7). The non-grain based component(s) is/are placed or spread onto or within the grain-based product that has been opened to receive them. Dipping a dinner roll (even one that has been opened) into olive oil does not make it sandwich. Spreading butter into one, however, is a sandwich.
7a). Once assembled, a sandwich can be dipped into a dressing or sauce. E.g. french dip.
I think this is all it takes to be a sandwich:
An assembled finger food with one one or more components spread or placed onto a grain-based baked good that has been opened to receive it.
Good timing, too, because I just landed.
Let me know if you're in Princeton / Trenton. I'm sure we can find a Shiner Bock somewhere around here, Jason. Best, Burr.
Fare thee well, Jason. Glad you got the bat off your shoulders.
Sam, Jason has my vote for the "Players We Missed" series. Well done, Jason.
Also, Sam, go easy on "whoever wrote the Diamondbacks chapter of the book." But in this game, Matt, three strikes and you're out.
Once an editor-in-chief, always an editor-in-chief.
Nice job, Ben. I'll miss reading your work here.
Well done and good luck at your new spot. They are very lucky to have you.
FYI, the link in the first paragraph takes you to the article (fun read), and the link in the bottom paragraph takes you to the previous article on speedsters on base helping / hurting the performance of the player at the plate.
Going back to the written definition of a catch, and how it is being interpreted today, The question should be how long a player needs the ball in the glove to demonstrate control?
Voluntarily and intentionally releasing the ball from the glove after that point should not be ruled a no-catch if the ball is dropped on the transfer. But dropping the transfer before that point would be a no-catch since the fielder had not yet demonstrated control of the ball.
The act of transferring the ball from the glove to the throwing hand is voluntary and intentional. Whether the ball makes it into the throwing hand is irrelevant.
Dropping the ball during a dive, slide, or crash into a wall (or another player), however, is involuntary and unintentional.
Thought experiment: runner on second base. Line drive up the middle. The second baseman makes a diving 'catch' and flips the ball from his glove to the shortstop to complete the double play before the runner can return to the bag. The ball hops once on the ground before the shortstop scoops it up and steps on the bag before the runner has slid back.
Old ruling: double-play.
New ruling: no catch, and runner is safe at first, since the ball hit the ground during the flip. And, the runner is safe at second because the shortstop stepped on the bag instead of tagging him.
Seriously? This is a web gem last year and an E4 this year.
I agree, definitely a reviewable circumstance. I don't believe the video would have been conclusive enough to change anyone's opinion of the original call.
No problem, Daniel.
If you go to the link I posted above, you'll see a different video angle that (to my eyes) shows that Sanchez controlled the ball in his throwing hand outside his glove as Castro's foot slides into the glove. Maybe there was still a tag in there, but truly not clear.
Go to 1:03 of the video here. My eyes tell me that "near" is probably a better descriptor than "in."
Regarding the play at the plate, MLB Network in one of their evening programs showed that Sanchez had controlled the ball in his throwing hand but applied the tag with his glove. I haven't seen the whole replay or that included the discussion immediately following the call, so I don't know what was actually said in the immediate aftermath, but that's the reasoning MLB Network was offering last night about the controversy.
So funny the discussion of catch/no catch. When I first read the rule (like actually read it in the rule book), my first thought was the fumbled transfer on a sac fly. The outfielder is making that transfer so quickly that it has to be considered a no catch, because of point 2, but I felt it was rarely ruled that way.
But if you've taken a couple steps or banged into a wall, that's got to be demonstrating control. A dropped transfer after that point is definitely a voluntary release, just not released into the intended target: the throwing hand.
I am entry #24.
I've missed these!
It's a parallel universe, jf. You have to suspend disbelief.
They were holding a 2-bunch of bananas and reached into the pile to upgrade to a ten-bunch of bananas. But when they get to the checkout in a few years, they can still tear off the bananas they've used and trade the remainder to the Yankees after their Teixeira contract expires.
Thanks, Rob. Puts it in perspective.
Seriously would like to know this... they average 94 losses in the 50,000 scenarios, but do they approach the 1899 Spiders, the 1962 Mets, or the 2003 Tigers?
The Astros make the playoffs in over 1% of the simulations, but I wouldn't put my money on them.
MVP: Adrian Gonzalez
What are your picks? We'll compare notes at the end of the season and see how we did.
I don't think you are being ridiculed. Just that your expectations of their (lack of) success in 2014 are widely shared by others, and your turn of phrase was memorable and quotable.
I can tell that you read BP for the pictures.
Is it possible for the team projections to utilize such a Monte Carlo system in addition to the average? Is that how the preseason playoff odds are compiled?
Alternatively, re-running and publishing the team results based on 40%, weighted mean, and 90% player projections, as an approximation of expected results?
... and please account for the changes in how WARP is calculated since the article was written. That's the only thing holding me back.
I like the ball-strike penalty more than any of the others I've read so far. But I still think it's an unwanted game-change. Is there a penalty that does not explicitly impact game stats? For instance, a blown challenge eliminates mound visits by the catcher, pitching coach, or manager unless the pitcher is replaced?
Or, rather than penalizing a blown challenge, why not reward a manager who keeps the flag in his pocket? Something to entice a manager from making a frivolous challenge "just because."
The human element I'm interested in seeing when I watch a baseball game is not the umpire's.
I know there are people who disagree with that, and I just don't get it. But I love your analogy, Ken. If we wanted more human element, we should reduce the number of umpires. I think the proper balance would be zero umpires. The players call their own balls and strikes, fair/foul, tag plays, etc.
My renewal should be up shortly.
Sign me up for Super Premium, please.
Are Multi-year subscriptions going to be available, like they were long, long ago?
Well, I'm with you, too, then. I don't know Kenny at all, so I can't fill in those gaps for you or for me.
Complete side note that I find interesting - a quote from Castenada's wiki page, from an interview he gave in Time in 1973:
"To ask me to verify my life by giving you my statistics...is like using science to validate sorcery. It robs the world of its magic and makes milestones out of us all."
Have you ever operated in a mental stupor? Initiated by sleep deprivation, alcohol, drugs, or some combination of such? I have. And my state of perception was so off-kilter that I couldn't tell exactly what had happened, but I had vivid recollection of events that almost certainly didn't happen at all. It's a metaphysical state, and reminds me of some of the writings of Carlos Arana Castaneda (and I'm sure there are others, but I'm not all that well-read so I'm sticking with Castaneda).
It's my opinion that Mr. Parks has just transcribed his own such experience. He's done plenty of others. I'd love to see them collected and re-published as a compilation.
I also want to know what exactly he was fake smoking in the second paragraph... and was he really pretending to smoke it.
I get it. Or do I?
I'm mostly worried that other owners in my league will be buying this book and using it to their advantage... This goes on the birthday list.
Any team trading for Trout would improve their offer considerably by also taking on the contracts of Pujols and Hamilton. That *might* sweeten the pot in a way that no prospects could.
...tear off two...
Grab 7-bunch of bananas, year off two, and head to checkout.
Grab the 7-bunch of bananas, tear off two, and head to checkout.
... What? Atlanta doesn't do that to free agents?
I'm particularly fond of the last one. But if I had to comment on the esteemed career of Mr. Pettitte, it's not the Hall Of Pretty Good Yankees and a few Outstanding players from some of the other teams.
Have a good weekend.
Not so much aging the photo as changing the birthdate. That's all he had to do to fool a bouncer or PECOTA.
I believe Yahoo requires 5 starts or 10 appearances, so... Yes. but do a discount doublecheck rather than trust me. Let us know what you find out?
I'd like to also commend the BP coverage of the entire playoffs. I felt like all the series were comprehensively previewed, including the advance scouting reports, and a major improvement from my recollection of post-seasons past.
Some readers may have complaints about any one specific article or writer's opinion, but I don't think anyone can complain that there were gaps in coverage!
I think I'm already going into off-season withdrawal. Why haven't 2014 PECOTA's been released yet?
Four stages of the play:
A) Craig knocks down Middlebrooks as he slides into the base, and the ball gets away
B) Craig gets up and stumbles while looking back over his shoulder to find the ball
C) Craig rebalances himself by putting his left hand on the Middlebrooks' lower back, using it to launch himself forward
D) Craig stumbles again as he tries to leap Middlebrooks' lower legs
Of these four steps, "D" is obstruction by Middlebrooks. The previous three steps are krafty baserunning by Craig.
I'm glad there are others bothered by that dang quietest truck commercial.
If you sit Gonzalez for the ping runner, then you must do everything possible to win now. Send him. Send him again. You can be blamed for trying and failing in the post-game.
In this case he made the choice to win now by pulling Gonzalez & then changed his mind when he didnt try to get him into scoring position for Puig. That's a managerial mistake in a tie game.
Apologies... Unintentionally flagged this post for moderation while fighting with my mobile device in the typo-filled post below...
Also filed under the category of "it's more complicated than that:"
Watching a playoff game earlier this week. Details fuzzy, but I believe it was Boaton, near end game, sac bunting vs. swinging was discussed by the announcers. They were suggesting that sac bunting might not be a good strategy (gasp!). ... But not for the reason you and I might suppose (sigh).
They suggested that trading an out on the sac bunt would leave first base open for an intentional walk, thus bypassing the team's best hitter to get to the not-as-good player behind him (and setting up the potential double-play).
This is not the first time I've heard this. How does run expectancy with runners on 1st & 2nd with 1 out compare to the runner on 1st with no outs? Obviously this is another specific situation where the typical chart doesn't cover the exact game situation... (Or more importantly, how does this affect the probability to plate at least one run, since tbwhite's correct in his post above).
Is this a second-order false derivation of conventional wisdom, where one fallacy is trying to influence another? Or does the logic of the second justify having the first batter swing away?
I agree. The playoff previews and recaps have been tremendous this year, and very much appreciated by this reader.
I am already feeling sad looking ahead to the days when I will no longer have a WYNTK article each day...
Thank you for linking to your Grantland piece.
I have to agree. I love all of Ben's articles (Ben already knows this),, even if they make me sad as this one did. Minor leaguers don't have any easy path, and just when it looks like they might be on the way to a seat in the parade ... rain. Sorry, guys. Ben rained on your parade.
But keep workin' hard, and as, and as newsense alludes to below, maybe there is still some hope for sunshine after all.
Thanks for the opportunity to peak behind the curtain, Colin. I have more questions than opinions at this point.
1) How difficult is it to separate a context-neutral offensive value from a context-dependent offensive value? Would pitching and defense be given the same considerations? Should they?
2) How long would it be expected to take for a player's context neutral performance and his clutch performance to stabilize? Can the metrics be developed to account for that?
I like the solution suggested by the Indians fan.
Nice job, Joe. Congrats to you and all the hardworking BP staff members! You deserve the headline publicity and then some.
t r a n s f o r m a t i v e
Summer of '89 in Cincy. Rose Hulman summer camp for rising high school seniors took a bunch of aspiring math & science types to the upper deck in left. We couldn't see where our paper planes were landing, but the staff came up and lined the balcony to make sure no more we're launched.
I don't have the attention span to watch other people watching a baseball game.
Five blurbs from Ken Funck!!! I like!
I will try to take a late lunch tomorrow so I can drop by and say hello, Joe.
... Not involved in the trade...
We have a veto mechanism in my long-running redraft league that requires a majority of owners not involved in the league. One veto ever, and I was in it:
A new owner was wheeling and dealing in the first three weeks of the season. I didn't like any of his moves (over-reacting to slow starts), but wasn't opposing them. I decided to float an offer at him to pry away a proven-slugger (Braun) who hadn't started to hit yet that season. I offered a rookie Justin Upton (hot start) and a closer, and he went for it but didnt want the closer.
The league commish sent a mass email to all the owners asking them to veto. They did. We put the closer back into the mix and the trade went through.
Will never forget it, because the commish was a king of trades many of which I have thought were unbalanced... But people kept trading with him, so he kept doing it. I never thought there was anything unsavory about the relationships - he just got people to bite at his offers.
No Yankees at all for the All*Star game at Shea Stadi ... er, Citi Field.
On the contrary, you are the best at this. A wonderful addition to the BP pantheon. Carry on, sir, carry on.
Change IP for Holds, and W for QS. Limit the IPs for the season to 1475. NetSaves vs. Saves is optional. You can even go so far as putting 5SP and 6 RP slots on the starting roster. Now you're balanced and a better reflection of modern roster construction and, perhaps, reality.
The league I play in changed to QS several years ago (2007?) and we've never looked back. Yes, there are some tough ways to have your starter get a BQS, or get yanked one out shy of a QS, but there are far more ways to see the W elude a worthy hurler.
It could rain tomorrow.
Brown better not go all Ackley now.
Baseball's acceptable 'defensive alignments' that spring to mind:
At the warning track
Corners in / bunt prevention
Playing to pull
Defenders in their traditional positions are almost always making subtle (and not so subtle) adjustments based on the game situation and the batter/pitcher tendencies. 'The shift' is simply another of the less subtle alignments. And it's very effective in the right situations.
Would it be wrong to call it the lefty play to pull on steroids, or does that bring back bad memories?
Somebody's been waiting a long time for this headline subtitle. Clever. I like.
I had a similar reaction. Starting pitchers are going 2/3 of an out shorter on average. Rosters are carrying an extra reliever. Coincidence? Can that starter innings be correlated to bullpen depth? Are managers more willing to pull the starter for a reliever if they have a deeper bench?
Is there a difference between AL and NL, where the starting pitcher might be getting pulled for a pinch hitter in the fifth or sixth?
A team's "will to win" starts at the top, and infuses the entire organization, including the faces of the organization's media arm / cheerleaders. It takes commitment. Conviction.
So, if your team has been losing, it's because they lack conviction. Including the cheerleaders. That's what's wrong with 29 of the MLB teams, every season.
Playing the other devil's advocate... you're saying because he couldn't get out of the way of a 89MPH pitch, it's justified because it's the first time he's assaulted a pitcher afterward?
The replay I saw showed it as an 89 MPH pitch... not sure if that's backed up with anything other than the instant TV broadcast...
I gotta listen to your podcast on the way home tonight, but jeez, the replay I saw shows it was an 89MPH pitch. Quentin's gotta be able to get out of the way or suffer the consequences...
My entry from my mobile device apparently failed. I lose. Sigh.
At least I was on vacation at a beach.
Bacon, Canadian bacon, ham, Spam, or other?
Can we see all the adjusted pitchfx 'down and away' calls to lefties from both teams, excluding any 0-2 and 3-0 counts?? Might help to establish whether Foster had any consistency for those pitches throughout the game...
Not that I'm making any excuses...
Thanks, Colin & team. I know from Joe's earlier posts that a lot of work was done under the good to validate these, and I appreciate it.
I'm not going to suggest that Hamilton is immune from regression (age 31, etc.), but his home/road split last season was very balanced. Just .009 differential in OBP and .005 in SLG, in exactly equal PA.
Sam, this is good stuff as usual. But #3 doesn't hold water. His team won't score "or fewer" runs. But at the time the announcer utters the phrase, his team still might score "or more."
The announcers really should just say, "4 runs. The [other team] might as well go home, because even Zito doesn't blow many games when he gets that much support before getting yanked."
Surgery. 2 months.
Okay, thank you.
And my namesake Rutledge in Colorado?
Mike, any chance we can get an updated post on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning For those of us drafting this weekend? Any way to separate SPs from RPs is doubly appreciated.
Hot damn, I went back to yesterday's post and see sortable positions. Don't recall seeing them before! Thanks in retrospect!!!
Joe, is there a way to reformat this week's auction values by position? Voila: interim tier rankings sans commentary.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
It's not too late to rebrand OBP to increase its market appeal. We should definitely crowd-source a better solution in the comments.
NGO. Not Getting Out (pronounced 'Engo'). He's a tough out against lefties this season, with a .384 NGO.
GOB. Getting On Base (credit to Ken Funck for this one). Old school charm. His GOB has improved dramatically since his rookie season. Elite pitchers can be hailed as GOB stoppers.
Fun. especially like the 50% selection.
Probability he turns an unassisted triple play?
Luke, I think of these statues, and Ben's writing about them, as a way of recognizing achievements that might otherwise go underappreciated.
Does the statue tell us how to pronounce Hrbek, by the way?
Very interesting! The effect may be larger than estimated, also, relative to mid-season with another variable to consider: With the extra rest-days in April, teams are often able to leave their fifth/weakest starter out of the lineup, too.
Joe, I wouldn't suggest that anybody is 'wrong.' I like the added commentary and insights, so that's a nice feature of the list. Knowing how the list was developed is important, and this approach definitely does that.
Personally, I use BP's expert opinions as my benchmark, and adjust my internal lists from the PFM (thank you for accelerating their release) and ADP info. Going deeper into the lists adds tremendous value, especially in the mid/late rounds of a draft, so I am looking forward to seeing the deeper lists, too. With 360 players drafted in a league, top 15 lists only scratch the surface, especially for league-only owners.
We're 2+ weeks ahead of last year's analyses, so it is all very much appreciated. I'll try to be more patient.
For your reference, I think we may have been spoiled by some of the content that Marc and Derek had published over the past couple years (and once the bar has been set...):
Forty-two first basemen listed and ranked, including projected stats.
Organizes the players into tiers, which I found helpful for for snake-format drafts (yeah, I know), but I understand it may not be useful for everyone. I guess dollar-values provide similar information.
Published March 1st. Definitely a bonus to get the information out earlier than that
Thank you again.
Paul, this a great in-depth look into the top-15. I appreciate it. But... I'm going to join the chorus of comments from the catcher rankings.
I need way (way) more info before draft day, digging deeper into the options in the pool.
I'm willing and able to be patint, but it would be super to get a list of your next 15, even if there are no additional comments added. I'm appreciative of the effort, and would like the opinion as a baseline comparison to the PFM (where I can customize lists from PECOTA).
Played this y once, attending a game at Yankee Stadium (against the Mariners) as part of my bachelor party. I recall drinking involved, but memory of that whole day is very cloudy so I could be wrong.
Everyone playing put a dollar in the cup as ante, every half inning. Whoever was holding the cup at the end of the half inning collected if the ball stayed ON the dirt of the mound. Resting against the edge of the grass counted as ON as long as part of the ball was touching the dirt. Pass the cup (and re-ante) every half inning.
There's no reason we can't get a beta version followed by more accurate subsequent refinements, as we have in the past.
Thanks for taking another look & coming through with a solution. Very much appreciated.
I knew what this was going to be before I clicked thru. Classic.
Agreed. The raw spreadsheet has traditionally been released to premium members in beta-format by the end of January. Would love BP to take another look and see if that can be accomplished again in 2013.
This was great, Evan. Thanks for taking the time to do this topic the lip-service it deserved!
It's almost like the wall in right has been moved up to the old warning track. Almost.
That's right. You're the victim here. It's not about the children at all.
The chart also made me look twice. Didn't take long at all to find these two pitchers (using baseball-reference, and cherry-picking some stats):
Pitcher A: 6'3", 195lbs, righty
Pitcher B: 6'3", 190lbs, righty
Pitcher C: 6'1", 160lbs, righty
Pitcher A: 1977-1994; .577 W%, 5.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 1.30 WHIP / 3.90 ERA
Pitcher B: 1978-1994; .591 W%, 5.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.27 WHIP / 3.44 ERA
Pitcher C: 1976-1998; .559 W%, 4.8 K/9. 2.6 BB/9, 1.27 WHIP / 3.70 ERA
Pitcher A - Season best: Wins, 21; Cy Young 3rd
Pitcher B - Season best: Wins, 27; Cy Young winner
Pitcher C - Season best: WIns, 16; Cy Young 5th
Pitcher A - Career WAR: 39.3 in 549 Games; (JAWS rank 167th)
Pitcher B - Career WAR: 39.9 in 506 Games; (JAWS rank 171st)
Pitcher C - Career WAR: 45.1 in 692 Games; (JAWS rank 134th)
Pitcher A: 4 Postseasons, 7-4 Record, 3.80 ERA in 13 Games
Pitcher B: 8 Postseasons, 3-3 Record, 4.56 ERA in 17 Games
Pitcher C: 3 Postseasons, 2-2 Record, 3.32 ERA in 12 Games
That's just two quick examples I pulled up. I expect there's others. Morris just doesn't stand out, even among his exact contemporaries unless we look back at a couple cherry-picked and rose-colored postseason memories.
Thanks for the quick response! So then backspin increases drag, but not side-spin?
One of the variables that are mentioned could also have significant impacts on total distance. At least as I intuit.
1) side-spin / slice / hook
Apologies if I missed this in the article. At any spray angle and launch angle, I suspect that side spin is significantly negatively correlated to distance. True?
And so, again apologies if i missed it, but what is the 'sweet spot' of all these variables that yields the longest taters / blue triangles?
But a Marlins fan on the intranets would ask for more... A lot more. Myers, Longoria, Price, and another eleventeen Top Rays.
Thanks for sharing your ballot and your thought process. I think you made the right decision regarding PEDs.
It will be interesting to see how the bottleneck of borderline and PED-associated players resolves itself heading into the next two or three years of voting.
Can BP readership influence your Raines fence-squat?
My condolences to Mrs. Freel and her daughters.
Many of us knew Mr. Freel from a game he played. Others knew him from a game we played based on the game he played. No matter how removed we were from him as a person, we appreciated his effort on the field.
Fans could be disappointed if TW jumped straight to Double-A in 2013...
Happy holidays to everyone at BP! Loving all the off-season content. Can't wait for the Annual and spring content.
American Idle. Designers compete to create the best mother's-basement fan-caves for baseball stat geeks who have never actually been to a game.
I understand where you're getting that feeling. I think you're seeing an inverse relationship where his low price tag 3/$30m is one of the factors contributing to the better prospect haul. If his salary demands were 3/$45m, Toronto wouldn't be offering as nice a prospect package.
Baseball and I have an open relationship, but no other sports get my attention when baseball's on stage.
I think he means "did you find a 'tell' that Crisp showed on his attempts that an observant catcher could communicate to his pitcher for a pitchout or a pickoff?"
If he's in spitting distance of 3000 hits by the end of 2014, the Yankees should be pretty happy with their offer.
Leet me get this straight, your asking what the case for his MVP would be if you don't count the individual stats that are actually indicative of performance?
Setting aside the absurdity of that premise... did you hear the narrative about how the rookie was called up and sparked the teams turnaround? And how his team won more games in a tougher division than Cabrera's?
Off the top of my head:
Defense, Baserunning, OBP, OPS+.
I love the pitch sequencing. Not sure wher I read this before, but I believe Maddux would throw the change up down and in to righties when he was looking to get a strike via a pulled foul ball.
Not sure if that's insightful or common knowledge.
... you have entered the Twilight Zone.
Since we're picking on agents, we should add a wrinkle to require them to submit a 'reserve' on their players before the draft. If the reserve isn't met by the bid when named by a team, then the team gets its $ back into its pool, but they cannot bid on that player again...
And the draftee's agent has less to do after draft day...
How 'bout Staten Island?
I'm sure this has been done elsewhere, but just for my own notes, here are the side-by-side comparisons of some various stats from B-Ref, FanGraphs, and BP.
Apologies in advance for the formatting.
Stat . Cabrera . Trout
PA . . . 697. . . 639
Avg . . .330 . . .326
OBP . . .393 . . .399
SLG . . .606 . . .564
OPS+ . . 165. . . 171
TAv . . .352 . . .359
oWAR . . 7.4. . . 8.6
VORP. . 59.4 . . 76.6
SB . . . 004. . . 049
CS . . . 001. . . 005
SB%. . . 80%. . . 91%
GIDP . . 028. . . 007
BRR. . .-5.5. . . 8.7
FRAA . .-2.3. . . 8.6
UZR . .-11.2. . . 11.0
WAR. . . 6.9. . . 10.7
WARP . . 6.1. . . 9.1
I'm fairly sure that Nate was up front about it in his writing this year, but not in each entry.
Do you get more value in the off-season or at the trade deadline?
Bringing him back for the first half of the season buys goodwill (and season ticket packages) and also carries risks. But I suspect that's the path Sandy takes unless he receives a knockyoursocksoff offer this winter.
In your estimation, whom and why? In the AL West, it would take a whole lot of wallet to get into contention. How would one smartly go about it through free agency?
This reminded me that time is almost up for voting in the Internet Baseball Awards. Go vote.
Definitely enjoyed it - as usual.
FYI, my reading skills improved considerably after my coffee kicked in. Aunt, grandmother. The IRS probably wounldn't know the difference, but you do.
Happy birthday to your aunt!
This was a great read.
I am way out of my league in statistical design and analysis, but humor me, please:
Since expansion (or the '94 strike, or some other payroll-significant point in time), there have been several dozen paired-matchups of teams in both 5-game and 7-game postseason series. Would it be possible to run matched-pair analysis of these matchups, with the percent-difference in payroll as the independent variable and number of games to win as the dependent?
It should be relatively straightforward to plot the results and also determine statistical significance.
Although it would be substantially more work, I'd also love to see this analysis re-run using only the active playoff-payroll, to eliminate the effect of money lost due to injuries.
I'd suspect that the number of matchups should be enough to reveal whether the payroll difference is significant.
I would first like to say this is absolutely brilliant. I mean the part where you make your trip to celebrate your grandmother's birthday into a business trip so you can write it off for tax purposes. Brilliant.
The article is entertaining, and my subscription to BP is certainly better than burning my money, so that's good too.
I'm intrigued about your suggestion that Granderson might have been benched instead of Swisher.
Had Girardi used an outfield of Ichiro, Gardner, and Granderson prior to last night?
Had he used an outfield of Ichiro, Swisher, and Gardner this season? If so, which positions did they play?
I have had the "ace reliever" / "fireman" conversation more than once with a longtime friend. It usually revolves around whether it's more valuable to deploy Mariano Rivera in the 7th or 8th innings to preserve leads that were in danger, or keep him in the pen until the 9th to lock down a victory.
I never took the time to research it, but the questions that we tossed about were:
a) how many opportunities have there actually been where the opposing team was down by 3 or fewer runs and rallied in the 7th/8th with men on base, and how successful has the "closer" strategy actually been in these situations?
a1) the starter was kept in and blew the lead.
a2) the starter was kept in and preserved the lead
a3) the closer was brought in and blew the lead.
a4) the closer was brought in and preserved the lead.
a5) a different reliever was brought in and blew the lead.
a6) a different reliever was brought in and preserved the lead.
A followup question to a1, a3, and a5 is how often the Yankees rallied back into the lead or a tie such that the 'closer' was then required to come in and preserve the new lead/tie.
A followup question to a2, a4, and a6 is how often the preserved lead was later blown by a subsequent set-up guy or by the closer?
A followup question to a4 is whether the closer ended up finishing the game anyway.
b) how much better is your closer than the "different reliever"? (most of these are moot with Mariano, but relevant in other contexts)
b1) with men on base
b2) with the particular batter at the plate (handedness splits, matchups, etc.)
c) would deploying the 'ace reliever'/'fireman' in the 7th and 8th innings increase the number number of innings he pitches in a season?
c1) is this a good thing?
c2) is this asking for an injury?
... at any rate, this is a fantastic conversation to have, as long as it's done in the spirit of friendship. If only somebody could answer all the subsequent questions it raises.
This would be brilliant.
People are meaning making machines."
1) Something happens.
2) We observe it.
3) We attached meaning to our observations.
The more we advance technology, the more we we can parse our observations into more discrete granules. But that doesn't change any of the other steps in the process.
This is the story of our lives.
Check the video replays again. I've looked at several different ones, and in many you can't even see second base. The few angles that show the bag, it appears to me that Holliday would have had to crawl back before he could reach it.
Tough play by Scutaro to stay in there and attempt to get some ooomph on his relay, and he paid the price for it.
I listened 'live' on radio and it wasn't until later that I saw the replay. I was listening to SF radio announcers (Jon Miller makes the game so easy to listen to!), and they described it as a hard aggressive slide. I don't recall too much discussion of whether it was illegal, just more concern for Scutaro.
Upon review of the replay, yes, he landed on top of the bag with his slide and then willfully carried himself well past the bag to collide with Scutaro. I don't think Holliday's hand could have reached the bag from where he ended up (after Scutaro's left leg and body brought his momentum to a stop).
This is why second basemen used to jump to make their relay throw (not just moving towards the pitcher's mound and waving their left foot in the vicinity of the bag as we often see these days).
I also don't think Scutaro realized how just how close Holliday was when he chose to stay planted to the ground to make that throw.
I think it could be possible, but still tricky.
I'm pretty sure a player can walk away from the game before the end of his contract expires, and leave the guaranteed money in the Owner's pocket. Didn't a Royals' SP do that a few years ago (Gil Meche)?
Not that I think ARod would do it.
I don't think the players' union would be able to argue against it, unless he waits a couple months and then tries to sign up with a team for less than he was originally owed.
That contract was a dubious value when the Yanks agreed to it, and it's not looking any better now.
I have no problem with the gist of the article, and I especially like the sub-title.
Does firing (the manager) for losing also extend to other manager positions? Bench coaches, hitting coaches, scouting personnel, etc.? Who would ever go to work for ... the Astros? There's got to be some more to the backstory then simply wins & losses. Though fewer losses would have been good for his immediate paycheck.
Love the timestamp
I agree, I had the same thought... The umps call caused him to back off. Very late call.
Hadn't thought about the implications of the runners advancing, but I still think he had a ways to backpedal before he was under that ball.
I heard the play on the radio. Didn't get to see it on television until much later. The radio description made it sound like it was a high fly ball that could have been caught by either fielder.
The call was also not made by the infield umpire, which the radio announcers pointed out Couldn't happen in a regular-season game, Since there are no outfield umpires. When I did get a chance to see the replay it was clear the umpire made that call extremely late. His hand went up about the time the shortstop pulled up short.
That's the part that bothers me - this is a judgement call that is supposed to be called 'immediately' upon the umpire's conclusion that ordinary effort of an infielder will result in an out. If he's waited for the infielder to run backwards for 45 feet before he makes that judgement, it wasn't ordinary effort.
Sam. Thanks, Sam.
Don't know why I thought I was reading Derek's article. I'm going to say that the caffeine hasn't kicked in yet...
This was a fun exercise. Thanks, Derek.
I wonder how many prior seasons exist that would have won the 2012 Triple Crown outright - not just disrupt it, but usurp it.
Zero is a bad idea, short of mathematically eliminated.
I would be remiss if I did not laud this article. Well done indeed.
Do they have seminars on baseball?
This should be in a seminar on baseball.
That's so weird.
Jason, are your readers and subscribers included in "the we" of Baseball Prospectus?
Would you be okay if I invited myself to join you under that umbrella?
I don't think his DUI has any impact on this season's voting, nor should it. I read point 3 to be in the context of both a) this season, and b) team impact.
"General character, disposition, loyalty, and effort."
My take: If a player were involved in an off-field incident (whether it was a crime or simply another distraction), I would think to be relevant to the MVP Award, it would have to have a discernable effect on the team this season. Past mistakes having an impact today would be relevant, but past mistakes with no impact on this season's team / results would not.
More germane to item #3 for Miggy, as mentioned by others above, would be his willingness to switch to a tougher defensive position in the off-season, work at it without complaint (as far as I can know), and be a congenial fellow on the team (I have nothing but anecdotal evidence here).
Wow, time flies. And I guess this makes me a conspiracy-theory minded fan, because this is the first thing that popped in my head a while back when his potential comeback was first announced.
I think it's entirely believable that he intends to mount a comeback because he feels he left too early. Still has something to prove. Has the fire in his belly. Etc.
I also think that there's an obvious secondary bonus that resetting his eligibility by 5 years would make any negative perceptions held by voters even smaller in the rear-view mirror.
I too am closer to 50 than 30, and would love to see him do it, just to know if he can.
Assuming Clemens finds a MLB taker, and he throws a few innings before injuries, sub-grade performance, or lack of interest ensues, would this reset the clock on his appearance on his inaugural HOF ballot?
That alone would be incentive for him to try.
Congratulations to the BP team!
Wrought iron. So, the for-man rotation has wreaked?
Wrought havoc? Will Wreak havoc?
Great news! Good for him. Good for the camily's brand recognition, too.
My long lost cousin and first MLBer with our last name?
And women's wrestling in Yankee Stadium.
Unfiltered posts were designed, in general, to have a broader base of topics.
And yet, I too think this was a bad article. It was missing imbedded video.
Thx, Sam. Reddick is a model of consistency on those two swings.
Front foot plants, hips rotate, arms extend, chin extends, top hand comes off the bat, back foot comes off the ground, body twists, eyes look into the stands behind the dugout.
Consistency is beautiful.
Nice thoughts, Jason. Good article.
But don't be ashamed of being smart. Don't be ashamed of being smarter than somebody else. I'd suggest, while I struggle with this myself on occasion, is that you should try not to judge yourself or others based on these facts.
You write about being detached from the emotions you used to have for the sport or a particular team based upon your understanding of the deeper statistical forces at work. I gained that detachment from the '94 strike, when I concluded that I cared more about my team than either the owners or the players. That conclusion may have been incorrect, but I've never regained that same emotional attachment. I don't judge it, it's just the way it is. I don't think I could go back, either. But I have friends who still have that attachment, and I'm sure you do, too.
Go Red Sox!
I was wondering if there's anything to prevent the club from simply paying him more in the years before arbitration as a sign of appreciation and to foster good will.
Call it a performance bonus. It's not like he's not earning it.
Richard, I'm not saying he is currently producing like either of those players, but that they are possible comps as much as any of the other names tossed out there.
I agree, Trout's 9% walk rate isn't close to Henderson's, but as you point out, he's making up for it in his Avg at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised, however, to see his walk rate improve if pitchers start to pitch around him more.
I read an article on line this morning (USA Today?) saying that others have also comped him to Mickey Mantle. I mean jeez. No pressure.
Is it unfair to comp Rickey Henderson's career, or 1975 Fred Lynn?
Sit and wait another year or 18 months before making any decisions...
I'd like to see Bolt go first to third more than I would see him trying out for ManU.
'x plus $639' sounds a lot better than 'x' to agents.
On second thought, I
changed my mind on Mike Trout.
He bends haiku rules.
Enjoyable as always.
Thank you, Ben Lindbergh.
Trout's noteworthy stats
Are deserving of haiku.
Not eighth syllable.
Verlander's so good,
Predicted FRA ... what?!!!
Alas, a typo.
'fix' the game by
1) removing WS-HFA.
2) carrying two AAA / Future Star SPs in the bullpen as extras in case of a long tie game.
3) managers can manage their rosters however they see fit, and are encouraged to get all the rostered players into the game for maximum fan enjoyment.
4) more in-game marketing opportunities and promotions using social media, with giveaways for the WS and next Year's All*Star game. It's an exhibition game, so let's really make it into a mid-season carnival.
Hometown fans booed David Ortiz because it meant they didn't get to see Billy Butler hit in that inning. I don't think anybody really cares who wins, just as long as they can see some remarkable and popular favorite players up against others.
That's what counts.
Then he's got a future in baseball for sure.
So, hey, that pizza cutter guy was on to something. Hope he's still got gainful employment somewhere if that baseball statistics hobby/career path doesn't pan out.
I have missed these the past several days...
In high school, I got caught in a pickle between third and home on a pick off move by the RHP. Pickle ended after just two throws, when the catcher threw the ball into the back of my helmet and I scampered home.
Most fun I ever had base running. Mind you, my coaches were pissed!
I swore the pitcher balked by stepping towards home and not towards third. My coaches said, "you can't balk to third base."
I am in agreement. I think technology has changed the experience of the game, and fans of the game have different expectations today than in yesteryear.
I think the fifth umpire in a booth at the game could help on the rest of the umpire crew with the calls in the field.
This won't come up more than a couple times a game, but getting the call right could be very important to the score/outcome. Such as bang-bang plays at first base (See: Armondo Gallaraga). Call on the field stands unless there's compelling/conclusive video evidence to overturn it within 30 seconds. It would be solved before the manager can even get to the umpire on the field to argue the call, so it's not like it would slow down the game any.
We would still run into some challenges, such as a fair ball down the line called foul ... can't just award two bases to the batter and runners after the fact, right? But I think fixing the obvious mistakes that can be fixed is far more acceptable than doing nothing.
I overheard any interesting conversation between two baseball fans of a certain age. Went something like this:
Person 1: There's a basic philosophical difference between the young folks today, and those of our generation.
Person 2: Sure is.
Person 1: these young fans are more concerned about getting the call right than they are with the game itself.
Person 2: I agree.
Person 1: the game has a human element, including the players and the umpires. Instant replay would destroy the human element.
Person 2: absolutely.
Person 1: if a player can convince the umpire that something happened, but it didn't, that's still an important part of the game. A time honored part of the game. It's part of the mystique of the game. Something to talk about at the office the next day.
Person 2: Truly is.
Person 1: just because we have the technology to get every call right, doesn't mean we should. These young fans don't care about the mystique of baseball. All they seem to want is for the calls to be right.
Person 2: they could have a point there.
Thank you, Jay. Have a great weekend.
HE"S A FLIP-FLOPPER! FIRST HE WAS FOR YOUKILIS TRADE, AND NOW HE"S AGAINST IT!! HE"S A SOCIALIST COMMIE FASCIST FLIP-FLOPPER!
RUNS NEED TO BE MANUFACTURED IN THE USA!!!
IT'S BUSH'S FAULT!
SEND OBUMMER BACK TO CHICAGO OR ELSE HE WILL SOCILIZE MLB WITH THE LARGEST REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH IN OUR PASTIMES" HISTORY!!!1
10-team semi-traditional 7x7 snake-draft league. 30-man active roster with an additional 3DL slots available if needed. 9 starting position players, 5SP and 6RP, with 1475 IP limit & 30-move limit.
We have 1 (whining) player with 7 guys on the DL at the moment. (Have a good weekend, David!)
Awesome fun league to play in, and I say that without ever having won & currently way back in 7th place with 3 guys on the DL.
Fare thee well, Jamie Moyer. Thanks for doing what you did the way you did it.
Do we have a large enough sample at this point to evaluate the effect of defense behind the Detroit pitchers? Before the season, there was speculation that the K-rate would be the best way to neutralize the butchery. Max might have been reading.
If you don't sign a pick, you don't get to use the money on another pick.
Belt or Adams for remainder of season (warming the bench behind Dunn)?
No worries. Not my clearest post. Gotta stop posting from my iPhone (like I am now).
Have a great weekend.
I believe the aging curve for Dunn would anticipate a lower batting average (yes, really) and increase in HR/9. Anyone out there able to confirm or deny with some BP PECOTA aging curves?
1) I love all the imbedded visuals in the articles this year. But that's unrelated to the subject at hand: the explanation for Ortiz's defiance of the dreaded Age Escarpment. And it's a great exploratory article. My guesses:
2) took a while to recover from the injury.
3) best shape of his career.
4) revamped his mechanics.
5) altered his approach / patience / selectivity.
5) lighter bat? Not sure if there is any evidence that he might have switched his lumber, but I'm speculating simply based on the results.
Hoot, I'll reply because you asked. You catch more flies with honey. So, if you're looking for pluses, make your posts as respectful as if you were commenting / replying to your own mother. Offer compliments before criticisms, and be gentle even so.
That's the best I can suggest. Good luck!
This Clete is made for walkin', and thats just what he'll do. This Clete is made for walkin' if he'd stop swinging at ball two.
What if we were to look at this from the other side? How would a researcher set out to prove that home runs are evenly distributed?
One way would be to investigate the likelihood of multiple-HR games vs. the observed data. But I think we're in agreement that multi-homer games will not going capture the essence of what we all think of as "in bunches."
So, what other ways might one go about it?
I was at Monday's Yanks/O's game with a few friends, & we all stood during Mo's 9th inning appearance. One of us commented that we didn't know how many more times we would get a chance to see him close a game in person. ... I'm going to go find that guy and kick his butt.
Texas had won 17 games, and Hamilton was worth 13WARP? That should be VORP, yes?
Ben, I think we can all agree that home runs are not distributed evenly, yes? Pujols may hit 39HR/162 games, but that doesn't mean he hits 1HR Every 4 games or so. It's not clockwork. It's not even Old' Faithful.
Therefore, if it's not distributed exactly evenly, then they must be unevenly distributed... in bunches. QED.
Is the new regression process applied to catchers, too?
I believe Kendall benefits JAWS-wise from The latest methodology where you no longer toss out the lowest HOFamer in the comparison, and also the fact that almost 30% of the inductees are VC selections.
The difference in Earned and Unearned Runs is, I would think, where the rarity of pitching lines is to be found (probablistically speaking) in otherwise "normal looking" lines.
Yep. The value at a given pick can/should only include the WARP of the remaining players available. Dynamic, as it were.
I've often wondered if there is any incental advantage for pitchers shifting on the rubber to try to mitigate platoon splits. Given the chart above, I'm less inclined to wonder. Agree?
The slightly less lazy doctor app (As mine said when looking at my sore throat this winter): "That looks like it hurts. Would you like a prescription painkiller?"
I like the format and execution of these 'What you need to know' articles.
Deadlines for the folks employing me are likely going to make it impossible to join the round table party, but today is a happy day.
Autism awareness deserves a shout-out here. It is becoming so prevalent in our children, if it doesn't affect you directly you probably know somebody whom it does.
It seems even the experts understand very little, except that it is becoming very common.
Surely that distinction would go to a member who is distinguished by a palindrome which is the multiple of the 7th prime by the 12th prime by three cubed. Or maybe by the multiple of the uniform numbers of Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Earl Averill, Bob Feller, and Casey Stengel.
Or maybe not.
Yes. Yes, we are.
Have a great weekend.
My wife votes for Gloria Estefan. Cantina Band is the runner up.
The 'culprit' is the change in pitcher usage:
"Back at the start of the era of divisional play, strikeout rates for starting pitchers and relievers were essentially even, right around 5.8 K/9. Forty-three years later, starters have picked up almost a strikeout per nine without pitching as far into the ballgame.
However, the real key to the spike in strikeout rates has been the relievers, as they've reached 7.5 K/9 while pitching a larger portion of every ballgame."
Great piece, CK. At the 1st NYC booksigning, there was a brief discussion on a similar topic regarding defense vs. hitting at third base. Cabrera was prominently mentioned. Chipper Jones came to my mind. Admittedly 3B is a bit further to the left on the defensive spectrum than LF & RF.
Looking forward to the rest of the new book.
Best regards & have a great weekend!
I don't feel it would be appropriate to take a picture, but there's a youngster on the train near me wearing a t-shirt with a pi symbol on the front. Wouldn't have had any clue about it if not for your article. It all makes sense now.
Delete, delete, delete... Misread the chart. All better now.
I'm confused. If Bumgarner is projected for 2.1 WARP. Why does the Giants chart not increase that amount between the second & third pitcher slots?
Ahhh... Right there in the middle of the article. I'll go back to reading now...
Didn't Dunn rush back after a spring appendectomy? Or so I recall. Not saying there's any evidence that this is a smoking gun, but it could be a contributing factor at least anecdotally.
It would be a shame if these aren't compiled and published as short fiction later this summer as a work of short fiction. The general reading public should have access to these.
Excellent! Disaster averted. NL can join modern MLB society, and pitchers can still hit if they can convince their manager to DH for the shortstop.
Okay, modify the DH rule to allow one position player or the pitcher to not hit.
Was this the precursor to today's announcement?
I'd like to suggest a farewell toast after the book signing on Monday. Pick a watering hole nearby, and I'll buy the first round.
Darn iPhone flagged this for moderation when I tried to plus it. Can't digger out how to unflagging it now...
I missed the previous installment of this series. Very well presented & looking forward to the rest.
I knew some of my fantasy team must have been involved. I was right. But, I would have to go back and check to be sure, I hope Scherzer was on my bench that evening.
Rocket-surgery is not as difficult as they make it out to be, thankfully.
Aha. I'll take this as a reminder to know all the league rules and use them to your advantage. It's been quite a while since I've played in a league where IP was unrestricted.
That being the case, and with the weekly moves you mention below, filling this spot on a rotating basis with 2-start SPs could be the way to go.
You might be surprised at how many wins & strikeouts you could get with the elite setup man option in addition to the bump in ERA and WHIP. The added benefit being a few extra $ to spend on top-tier hitter(s).
I've found that year after year, money doesn't buy as much as it used to. Prices are actually increasing!
My studies have shown that 87% of the time that there is an increase in population in a given year, prices go up. An increase in population means that there is increased demand for goods. Using basic economics, we know that an increase in demand allows companies to incrementally raise the prices of their goods and services.
Don't let nobody tell you different.
I thought Verducci effect explained how pitch velocity increased when hurlers were squeezed through narrow openings in MLB rosters.
This is interesting research. Not being a PITCHf/x analyst, I studied the two plots carefully. From my limited experience trying to hit or catch knuckles, I remember the 'flutter' typically happening very late in the trajectory. And while the magnitude of the fluttering in the chart above is minimal, I would suggest that the lower plot jigs 5 times in the last 20 feet of that throw while the other pitch jigged once along the same distance. And that is only when viewed in the horizontal plane. I would not be surprised to see a similar result in the vertical plane.
I wonder if there is some other visual effect happening that exaggerates the magnitude of the actual measured flutter.
The visual system is actually optimized for predictability. The signals from the photoreceptors are actually neurologically inter-connected and signals are being interpreted even before any impulse has transited the optic nerve. The signal is being processed at a neurological level to identify (and track) the motion. Our brains actually track the scene and the motion in response to where the neurons expect it to be, rather than the physical reality of where it actually is.
Our visual system does this constantly, and it usually works for us. [You may remember doing 'blindspot' tricks in elementary school, where our brains fill in the 'blindspot' where all the ganglion cells leave our eye through the optic nerve where there are no actual photo receptors to respond to incoming light]. And so, the unpredictable nature of the fluttering actually tricks our visual system into exaggerating the true magnitude of the effect.
So the next question would be, how can a hitter prevent their visual system from working as evolution has trained us to see? Because if I'm right, it isn't helping us to hit a knuckler...
Very interesting. Adding same vs. opposing handedness of pitchers as an independent variable would / could really raise the importance of this study.
I'm looking forward to reading the transcript of the 'liveblog' for the worst game of the year. If there were no useful fantasy implications, then I suspect several of my team's starters must have played in it...
That jumped out at me, too. Only if by "arguably" you mean that it could get you into a scuffle if you said that out loud in the Bronx.
If Pre-Season PECOTA is predicting the Red Sox "arguably" the best team in the AL in any other definition, I think you may need to kick its tires.
Pre-ordered my softcover copy along with the Best of BP series this past weekend. I'm psyched that I will be able to get a copy for my iPhone to read on my train commute!
I could not possibly find a better way to spend the iTunes gift cards from xmas... trust me, I've tried.
Yeah, thankfully I have no money riding on it either.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is their intention. Just saying that you shouldn't outright discount the possibility in 2 years because Detroit was the high bidder today.
The circumstances of the other teams are going to change, and it's impossible to predict exactly how, and all it takes is one team looking to fill a need.
As to being a defense attorney, I don't have the disposition for it.
Today, your analysis is right on target. Everything you say makes absolutely perfect sense.
However, circumstances change. What looks absolute today may not look the same in a couple years. History bears this out.
The number of players/contracts that defy
Largest contract in the history of the game (at the time) was ARod in Texas. At the time of the signing, Texas valued him WAY higher than any other team both in terms of $ and years. Result: traded mid-contract.
I recall a few other cases where the signing seemed way too expensive at the time, and too many years, and yet the circumstances changesd a trade happened mid-contract where a trade was possible: Vernon Wells and Carlos Delgado come to mind. Derek Lowe in Atlanta wasn't quite as long, but similar value/cost issues.
Short story: don't rule out the possibility that another team is going to want Fielder (and his contract) 2 years from now even though they weren't the high-bidder this off-season.
There is precedent for this strategy. Delgado Marlins/Mets, if I remember correctly.
Not to say that is evidence it is a strategy worth emulating (for either party), but it is a valid point of view.
Other reasons to like "POP" include: a positive baseball term, a palindrome, onomatopaeia, and a homonym. It is, in fact, my favorite word for these reasons.
Interesting! First one that came to mind for me was eerily similar: K-to-4 ratio.
Can we anticipate not reading about Moyer in this Year's annual (coming soon to a book-selling franchise near you!)?
This is great stuff, Jason.
I think it reinforces what I've observed in snake drafts, too. Selections in the very top rounds are important, but rounds 4-9 and 20+ can really make the biggest difference over the course of a season.
Depends what your alternatives are. If you have The Yankees lineup, sure. If your idea of a lead off player is a speedy out-maker, then not so much.
1, 2, 3, 5, 6. I withhold voting on 4 & 7 til I see what other options are on the ballot next week. I'm not familiar with 4 as a commonly held belief, and money does buy its way out of mistakes.
1 is dismissive. Imagine the defense attorney after the prosecution has nailed it's case on Law and Order, "Yeah, your honor, but still..."
2 is one of the classic blunders right up there with Sicilians & death.
3. Human element is meant to be the players' performance, not the first base umpire blowing the call on a Perfect Game.
5. He wasn't the most dominant sports writer of his era, so he doesn't get a vote.
6. You can't know how good he was until 20 years have pAst since his prime/memorable moment. The passing of time brings more clarity unfettered by wistful nostalgia, right? No? Yeah, but still.
Evans & Nettles both squeezing above Edgar at 3B eligibility. Not looking good for Edgar.
Bummer not being able to edit comments, right?
From past experience, the books are usually on the way to online distributors and chai-store warehouses by Feb.10~ish).
Depending on where you stand in said distributor's queue, you could receive by Valentine's Day or President's Day weekend. And, it could be on shelves at your local brick-and-mortar around the same time.
In the past, I have tried to go out of my way to buy my book at locations where BP has done book signings. And I've ordered online as well.
I'd like to know if it makes any difference to BP's bottom line where we order. I suspect that clicking through from the website is slightly more profitable for BP than any other method, but would love to get confirmation on that...
Note to readers: one Raines vote up for convincing next December. You know where to send the emails starting after Game 7...
(off-stage whisper: Check the caption on the photo...)
I believe it was actually for the "Golden Rule Farm for Boys" but I could be mistaken. It was a long time ago...
"Raines joins Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, and Lee Smith on this year’s JAWS-approved ballot."
Fundamentally, the JAWS level is set to distinguish those players whose stats are "at or above" the average inducted player at each position. These 5 players hit that threshold and have not yet seen the love of the voters. I would be very pleasantly surprised if they make progress towards induction this year, as the near future years will be packed with many more high quality candidates.
Thanks for the series, as always.
I was surprised (pleasantly) to see the Quentin trade info so quickly. Might have been nice to have set the expectation up front as a 'first take' or 'quick look' including an explanation that for expedience it was not going to include a review of the prospects involved & that such would come later.
I think there's a place for a quick response that may not cover all the angles. Just let us know that's what it is up front.
Thanks for listening.
A conversation summary from a few years ago between me and my boss:
[Miscommunication about deadlines on a project, and we under-deliver to a client]
Boss: Baseball seems to have become a distraction for you.
Burr: I don't believe that baseball had anything to do with what happened.
Boss: When I was just getting started in the professional world, I worked with a guy who did a lot of cocaine. Everybody knew he would take a line on his breaks, and he always delivered brilliant on his work. But when he seriously screwed up a project, everyone around him knew that the coke had become a distraction, even though he swore up and down that it was unrelated.
Burr: I still don't believe that baseball had anything to do with what happened. But if you want me to start doing coke, I'm going to need a raise.
I, for one, welcome our new baseball overlords.
Thanks to you both, and all the folks behind the scenes bringing us the annual updates and publications. Happy New Year!
In Morris' case, the extra innings he pitched compared to Radke we're not necessarily high-quality innings. And the remainder of his career is one of good pitching and even better run support. Not necessarily the characteristics we associate with his career, but there you have it.
One memorable and remarkable high-pressure performance in 1991 has colored the public perception of the rest of his career.
Just spent some time looking for JAWS in the sortable stats and came up empty. Nice to see the career stat sortables, but would love to have JAWS in there, too. Is that something that we might one day have available?
Also just read Greg Spira's research article on pitching to the score thanks to the way-back machine. Run support is a valuable commodity in a pitcher.
Jay, I love these articles and analyses. One of the highlights of the off-season.
I don't know how much trouble it would be, but I find your use of JAWS lists to be particularly illuminating in these discussions to show context of the nominees' achievements. Could you add lists showing the 7 players ranked just above/below each of the nominees being discussed according to JAWS?
For instance, you mention that Morris ranks 167th for SPs on JAWS. Can you list the pitchers who are 160-175? Same for Radke.
Same for Smith and the RPs. Since the role has evolved considerably, I expect this list may not be as revealing as the list for SPs, but I think it might still be educational.
Thanks in advance!
Pavano (to himself): shyeah, baby.
Cashman (to himself): shyeah, baby.
Photographer (out loud): everyone say "show me the money"
Testicular torsion sounds unpleasant, Colin.
Texas may not be done. But who is left in the Fielder Derby? Is it really down to Texas, Toronto & Seattle?
I'm curious how far this winter's meetings have shifted the balance of power in the AL.
PECOTA, PECOTA, let down your hair.
Keepin' up with the Joneses.
An analogy from my own field of expertise would be the "Energy Conservation" language in the Building Codes. A building that would have exhibited exemplary energy conservation in 2004 wouldn't be given a building permit today.
The Department of Energy keeps tightening the limits on allowable energy use. To even be allowed on the playing field (getting a permit), a GM (architect) needs to be about 40% more effective (efficient) than s/he was in 2001. If you don't keep up with the available tools & technology, you will no longer have a job.
If you, as a building owner, want to achieve exemplary energy performance, you're hiring architects who are conversant in cutting edge technologies that may not have even existed in 2004.
I imagine this is true in every industry, not just mine; not just baseball.
Jeez... somebody hit me.
One of the four playoff qualifiers from each league's Regular Season is declared World Champion, by virtue of winning the three-round elimination World Series playoff.
As a side note, I think it would be totally awesome to see other leagues around the world qualify teams to play in the World Series and compete for the title.
I'd be all for calling a game-ending dinger just about anything other than "walk-off." Sayonara works.
Any of the four playoff qualifiers from each league in the Regular Season is declared World Champion.
To qualify for the World Series, a team has to endure a 162-game summertime event called the MLB Regular Season.
Any of the four playoff qualifiers from the Regular Season is declared World Champion.
If you know of teams who want to pony up to join the MLB franchise and compete for title of World Champ, MLB can be contacted here:
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
Address: 245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
City: New York, State: NY Zip Code: 10167
There's a fine line between arrogance and confidence. One of the major differences tends to be that arrogance focuses solely on strengths without acknowledging weaknesses. You have admitted that MLB's superior level of competition is "never in doubt." So, we're all confident about this.
The undisputed fact is that MLB is the highest level of competition. MLB is the World Championship.
This is simply confidence, supported by all the facts. Maybe at some point in the future there would be a case for calling it arrogance, but today is not that day.
If there were a World Championship to play in, then I agree it would be arrogant to claim the title without actually winning the event.
Are you suggesting the World Baseball Classic or the Olympics should measure the "World Champs?" (Let's agree not to be absurd.)
Got it. Ichiro came to the U.S. because he wanted to pit his skills against "American Club Teams." Not because he had nothing left to prove against the level of competition in Japan.
In Hong Kong, 1980, I was my Little League team's MVP. In '81 and '82, I earned the same recognition on my team stateside.
I am clearly baseball's Little League World Champion.
I don't think anybody in the U.S. or elsewhere would argue if Barcelona wished to declare themselves World Champs. If Chunichi played 162 games in MLB and then another dozen in the post-season, they would have some claim to that title.
Can somebody run a Davenport Translation to see if Pittsburgh would be competitive in Japan over the last decade? Not that I'm suggesting they'd win the league.
There's got to be more to Albaladejo's performance at Scranton... north of 4/1 K/BB and why did he leave for Japan? This seems like it could make for a story on its own...
No copy-editorial suggestions for Tommy Bennett's intro.
Once again, good luck! And, g'night.
No copy-editorial suggestions for Parks' intro.
Volume II, Colin's intro to Chapter 5 -
Page 12 of the .pdf: "And since most of us our introduced to the game as children..." most of us were introduced...
On to Jason Parks...
I find it amusing that upon re-reading my own comments, I find mistakes that require editing.
Please don't let my tardiness affect your publishing schedule. I'm doing this for fun - you're doing this for business.
I am particularly fond of the credits... an excellent counterweight to Ben's introduction regarding the benefits and dangers of keeping the band together.
Chapter 4 introduction
Page 279 of the .pdf, first paragraph "McGraw could function not only as the team’s on-field boss but also as a part-time general manager, scout, and instructor, acquiring, developing, and training his own prospects without recourse to the minor leagues." Suggest a colon between "instructor" and "acquiring" rather than a comma.
Page 279, end of the second paragraph: I'm not sure what "mouthier" refers to with regard to Derek Jeter’s and his work ethic . Frisch had Derek Jeter's work ethic, but he was 'mouthy' to whom - to teammates? To McGraw? To opponents? For clarity, it might be useful to compare Alomar's results, Jeter's work ethic, and a third player's mouth... or drop the 'mouthier' aspect entirely, since it doesn't seem to impact the rest of the annecdote.
Page 279, third paragraph: "For Frisch, being captain meant..." I think you mean "For McGraw, Frisch being the captain meant..."
Quoting Frisch on Page 280: "Thevenow hit a grounder to my left as I was moving to second, and I couldn’t have topped the ball if I’d had a net on a long pole." ... couldn't have stopped the ball.
Page 280, first paragraph after the quote: "... it was clear that the relationship was irreparable, and that December, McGraw traded him to the Cardinals for Rogers Hornsby." Given all the commas in this compound sentence, it may read easier if the end is changed to "McGraw traded him to the Cardinals for Rogers Hornsby that December."
Page 281, last paragraph: "... stripping away those
arbitrary distinctions and getting at story, the decisions, accidents, coincidences, and yes, emotions, that motivated the events on the field—and in one case (mine) ourselves." Suggest a colon between "story" and "the decisions" instead of a comma.
I just read CK's intro to Chapter 3, and I have no copy-editorial suggestions. Cheers!
On to Chapter 4. Comments, if any, to follow.
Day 2, Chapter 2. Mike Fast's introduction for Pitching:
Page 103 of the .pdf: middle of the first paragraph: "do certain combinations of pitch types augur for better success as a starter" ... suggest removing "for" from the sentence, and possibly even replace "better" with "greater."
Page 103: Second paragraph: "Another major area of ongoing research is in the quantification of pitcher effectiveness, in at least two general areas." Remove the first "in."
Page 105, last paragraph: "As this sort of video record becomes available and computing power increases, the ability
of the analyst to make a detailed analysis of every play will also only continue to increase." Remove the "also," the "only," or both of these words from the end of the sentence.
I will be unlikely to get the chance to read any more of the intros before you self-publish, but thanks for the chance to preview them! Once again - good luck!
Agree with JRM - cool beans, indeed. And good luck with the sales of this collection!
My quick take in a read of Jay's intro to Volume I after a long week both in the field and in the office:
Page 12 of the .pdf: It might be useful to the new reader if the acronym (PED) is printed in parentheses immediately after it's spelled out the first time it's used.
Page 15: The word 'that' is repeated: "The move has been frequently used against several lefty sluggers of recent vintage such as Adam Dunn, Jason Giambi, David Ortiz, and Jim Thome, but Fox points out that that—theoretically, at least—there exist pull-heavy righthanded hitters against whom such a shift might be successfully employed as well."
Page 15: The paragraph beginning with "Speaking of models..." should probably be three sentences instead of two. Let the first thought stand on its own. Next sentence begins with "He elegantly..."
All the best. Now off to bed with me.
Another quick observation with regard to the "median" line, with the HOF CF list:
With the weighted set, and if Hamilton is above the new line, then there are 8 players above and 10 below.
Previously, there were 6 above and 12 below.
Would be interesting to see how the WS relates to the median line at the other positions...
Thanks, Jay! My first take is that I like this tweak. I am going to mull this over more carefully, and I'll offer any thoughts later.
In the meantime, I did notice that in the list of CF, unless there's a typo in the scores, then Billy Hamilton should be listed above the weighted mean.
Thanks also for actively seeking to improve the (already great) JAWS system. Complacence is for the weak!
Jay, with the "new JAWS," where would Santo appear in a ranking of inductees and non-inductees? What couple players are above / below him on the list?
Are there other 3Bs now who have passed Santo as "most-worthy" non-inductees (who are no longer on the BBWAA ballot)?
I look forward to reading more on the new WARP valuations, and thanks for keeping JAWS current.
My prediction is that Santo, Minoso, and Hodges get the most support from the VC... er, Era Committee.
Whether it's enough support to get inducted, if anybody gets in, Santo will. Ron Santo, Hall of Famer.
Thank you, Sam Miller. Indeed, Gonzalez was a really good player.
You make an interesting read (though I agree with Yarky's point, above). To be honest, I sorta felt guilty enjoying your review/criticism/shredding of the brochure. Maybe you can reach out to Luis Rodriguez Mayoral and offer to help with next year's effort...
I'd definitely like to see Page 7 (at least that's what it's labeled on the brochure, not page 9) from Barry Bonds' brochure.
What, now you expect the BBWA voters to count the spots on the giraffes, too?
Last year, Felix Hernandez had every 'advanced' metric lopsidedly favoring him, including several conventional stats like Ks. The Ws didn't follow, but the voters responded to his case. Halladay and Lee didn't have the same slam-dunk case, and Kershaw is certainly deserving, too.
VORP agrees - and so too did the Internet Baseball Award voters, apparently. There's no controversy here.
... lending more credence to the postulation that the 8th inning set-up guy and/or the closer might be better utilized in the high-leverage situations early in the game...
Larry, great stuff. As always. For future reference, the plural of runner-up is runners-up.
One of those crazy grammar rules that I remember, perhaps because I overuse hyphenated-words to confuse the word-counts in electronic-documents.
Having trouble reconciling these two statements:
"Despite garnering 47 percent of first-place votes, Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury actually appeared on 19 more ballots and finished second in the balloting."
"While Ellsbury finished second overall, he did not finish second in first-place votes; Tigers ace Justin Verlander snagged 22 percent of all first-place votes compared to Ellsbury's 19 percent."
I anticipate that there is a "Bautista" missing as the second word of the first sentence...
Hard for the show's producers to get the dinosaurs (Reynolds, etc.) to come back for another episode if you rip their statements to shreds.
Paging Mr. Ryan - Mr. Nolan Ryan - you have a call on the BP hotline.
Of course, I just magnified the effect by 10 in my caffeine-deprived state. A 2.4 actual WARP x 10 players over 15 years would naturally translate to 1.6 win difference each year. While not as bowl-you-over important as what I wrote above, that's still an important impact.
At the value of $5m per win, that's $8m value each year. That's a big chunk of a team's payroll.
A couple thoughts:
I think you missed a point about the discounting of the WARP in this analysis. A 1.17 Discounted WARP is different than 1.17 WARP. Though I agree with you that this appears to be a small difference over a 15 year career. Not sure what this would mean to actual WARP over that timeframe, but it's more (much more) than 1.17.
For the sake of the analogy below, let's assume that the actual difference in the players WARP might be 2.4 (pulled this out of my hat, but go with me for a moment).
Let's say that knowledge of this inefficiency had impacted a team's draft several years ago, without other teams catching on to their draft strategy. Let's also posit that at any given time today, 10 of the players on their roster today had been drafted by the organization. Which specific ten players are on the roster may change over time as players leave for free agency, suffer injuries, etc.. However, over the next fifteen years, and all else being equal, the aggregate of the 10 drafted players would produce 240 more wins than the competition.
That's an average advantage of 16 wins a year. I think that could be important at an organizational level.
Nice job, Rany. I love learning something new about baseball.
When people say "life's not fair," this is what they're talking about.
I enjoyed this.
I want to recount numerous stories of vehicular mishaps, all of which are vastly entertaining for me to tell, but which I suspect are not actually entertaining. End result: no passengers ever hit or hurt, no other cars ever hit or hurt. But damn, I still think they're good stories to tell.
On a side note, Funck's writing reminds me of Arthur C. Clarke.
Also like the Daily Hit List (which doesn't allow comments yet). In that vein, please note that today's Hit List shows the Red Sox, Rays, Braves, and Cardinals with a combined 0% chance of making the playoffs. I'm pretty sure that's inaccurate.
Is notoriety a stat? My wife knows who Reggie Jackson is. Hell, my *mom* knows who Reggie Jackson is. They know who he is because of the general publicity he received for his exploits on the field. Adam Dunn has no publicity outside the baseball world.
Ergo, Adam Dunn < Reggie Jackson.
I believe Royce Clayton also played the role of himself striking out in The Rookie...
Hey, wait a sec. What are you trying to pull here?! What's Steven Goldman doing writing an article about something other than the Yankees?
Number of enjoyable articles to read: ~20.
My thought in the small size would be that it's something that a minor league fan could bring to the ballpark to keep track of some of the hot prospects on the other team's roster. YMMV.
A few weeks after the Annual is published, a softcover paperback size of either KG's Top 101, or his awesome compilation of each team's Top 11.
I'll add the disclaimer that I'm not as interested in the prospect side of BP as many of KG's ardent followers, so I'm not sure how in-depth an analysis those who would purchase the book would be expecting...
Might benefit from a stat glossary at the bottom, for those unaccustomed to the headings.
Thanks for (considering) bringing it back!
It's fair to say that 11 seasons of 200-hit ball for Ichiro would be unlikely.
Yes, spending money doesn't necessarily solve all your problems - but it creates new ones most GMs would love to have!
Farewell, K-Rod. Farewell, Beltran. Farewell, Omar. Farewell, Cow jumping over the moon.
Didn't see it live. Looks like the wrist angle might shift slightly in the frames when the tag would have been applied, indicating there was some contact. Conclusive, no.
In answer to question #3, if a video replay system is enacted, I believe all direct and indirect evidence should be admissable for review. Whatever it takes to get the right call. But players don't always make the right conclusions, either. In fact they're more likely to make the wrong one than the umpire.
Agree with dcarroll, above. Good goin'. Now how do we get to work on Raines' case? Seriously.
Colin, I took a little time to think this over before posting my comment. No real questions here, just some observations. If this spurs others to have additional questions or comments, I'm all for it.
First, I really like the analysis. This could easily be a week's worth of articles for me to work my way through. Hopefully sleeping on it for one night was enough for it all to sink in.
There are two and a half takeaways that I have from the initial table, neither of which is new information for me:
1) SIERA slightly outperforms xFIP and FIP in the prediction of long-term future ERA when given a small sample size to work from (definitely at 100 IPs, and very slightly at 200 IPs).
1.5) After about two seasons of data for a young starter(300 IPs), the estimators are about as useful a predictor as ERA itself.
2) After 300 IPs, ERA actually becomes a slightly better predictor of future ERA than the estimators.
Why does SIERA outperform the other estimators with the small sample of data? The components may be needlessly complicated once you get to 300IPs, but for small data samples, those extra variables seem to have some added predictive power.
I would LOVE to have seen QERA side-by-side in that first table.
And, as evo34 notes above, if prediction was the real goal of the estimators, then park factors would almost certainly need to be included. Would park factors offer any added value?
For everything else you presented, I'm going to have to re-read and re-sleep-on-it. Could be an interesting and entertaining weekend. Thank you.
I certainly hope we get at least five more articles in this series. A good idea whose time has come.
Summer of 2001, sitting in the left field lower level seats in foul territory at Yankee stadium. I was on a double date with my girlfriend of a couple months, her friend, and the guy her friend had just started dating. I had just bought a round of beers for everybody from a roaming vendor, and we were passing the plastic cups down the line when everyone around us stood up suddenly.
The guy in the seat in front of me had just reached back and barehanded a liner that would have hit one of the two women if he hadn't caught it. At least that's what my conscience tells me for losing my focus on the game. It all ended well, however, because within four years both women had married their dates of that day.
Kick butt. I'm not qualified, but a nice opportunity for somebody who is!
Rules are a substitute for thinking.
Sometimes mindlessly obeying the rules is good. Like traffic laws, for instance. After a few years of repitition of the same learned behavior, we will naturally stay on the right side of the road while we're driving sober and alert, without any conscious thought. You "wake up" a few minutes later and find yourself pulling into your driveway. Nobody got hurt, and you're now home.
Sometimes this is bad. Insert your parallel of choice.
I'll invoke Maslow's hammer. "If the only tool you think you have is a hammer, then you'll view every problem as a nail."
Kevin, it's a big step for BP, and I think a smart move by Sirius as well. I'm a subscriber for a few years myself. It's a timeslot that probably gets a lot more air time on the left coast than it will on the right - but ya gotta start somewhere.
Good job, and good luck!
Fastforward to Jay Jaffe's recap in the next Unfiltered Post:
"On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Price hung a curveball, and Jeter drilled it into the left field bleachers for a home run."
... and it was a pretty good rant as rants go. Even though I disagree with you.
2006 Prospectus Today by Joe Sheehan documenting the struggles of Bobby Crosby (who torpedoed my fantasy team that year).
Enjoyed the story and the video. But where's Dust Girl in this adventure?
It's almost always about the kids. Especially with baseball.
You lost them at syllogism.
Nice, Ben. Keep up the excellent TAs.
A phrase you might consider for the GM's role is Replacement Level Negligent Homicide after he creates the situation and idly watches as his team dies.
I paddled over to the swim-up bar one afternoon at a hotel in Hawaii in early October 2003, where I started watching a nighttime playoff game from the east coast. Required a double-take to conclude that it was a live broadcast.
That's a far different story from the few years of my youth spent in Hong Kong, where the only baseball news I could get was from the US Military newspaper (Stars & Stripes) that my dad would bring home once a week. I'd read every recap and boxscore, and it was my only connection at all.
Do Burt Reynolds movies get a pass?
You don't think the porkchop sideburns make him look leaner, mattymatty?
Other than that, I agree with you.
I can agree with this. If the rules were enforced, there would be fewer collisions.
I have reviewed all of the links above, with various video images and review of the rules. Posey wasn't blocking the plate without the ball.
As I recall from last year, Carlos Santana had his entire left leg positioned on the third base side of the plate in an attempt to block it, long before the ball arrived. Posey did not.
http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=carlos+santana+injury&fr=my-myy&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8 [camera angle looking right up the third baseline]
In the past, I have been an advocate for the runner to collide with catchers blocking the plate. I've changed my mind.
Among all the snippets of wisdom you've revealed in your stint as ProGuestus, I'm most intrigued about your insight about women's shoes.
Get the bat off your shoulder.
Your mileage may vary.
The truck stop 10 minutes from Wilmington was another missed opportunity.
"[insert name], I'm going to be on the road for a few weeks scouting minor league baseball teams in the Carolina league. Can I call you when I get back to Brooklyn and take you to a Cyclones game?"
You only get so many opportunities in life, as in baseball. Make the most of 'em.
2 of the 6 guys on this list are ridin' pine on my team. Yea!
I'm very happy to see the ProGuestus series bringing BP's subscribers the benefit of so many respected points of view under it's one roof. (Best idea since BP-Idol, Ben!) Thanks very much for fielding our questions, Tom. I'm looking forward to your answers.
I appreciate your take on three questions, if you can do so without reavealing anything that your MLB employers would frown upon:
1) What sabermetric advancement do you think is the least-appreciated by a majority of franchises?
2) I like to flatter myself that I'm an 'early adopter' to the sabermetric perspective on the game, even though it's been so many years since its introduction and uptake by those like yourself. Is sabermetrics already 'mainstream' in your mind, or how long do you think it will be til it is?
3) What was / will be the tipping point to #2?
Thanks in advance.
Thanks, Jay and Steven, for this series of articles. Good info for the fantasy baseball readership.
This may have been covered elsewhere, and I missed it, but could somebody take a moment to explain Edwin Jackson?
Have a great weekend!
I dunno, he seemed a bit winded afterwards.
Four-base single. I like that.
The takeaway from this is that Moseley needs to learn to pitch to the score.
Might Fulchino's agent be the wiki author?
After today's repeat performance, I was wondering why he hadn't been more heralded...
Celebrity guests, too!
"he's going to get a lot of curve balls
This is very neat stuff. Like MGL, I think you'd have to look on an individual player-by-player basis. And also pitch type. When the pitchers figure out Rookie X taps curve balls to the shortstop, he's going to get a lot of sliders - but the pitch location may not necessarily change.
But, as you show, on a whole there is not a distinguishing difference in pitch location for rookies vs. established players.
Thanks for publishing this here!
I remember my first typed report for school - on a typewriter - and about the same time I learned to program with punchcards as I was a fortunate kid in a summer class at the local college.
Also, I remember using cassette tapes with my first home computer, before the 5.25" floppies gained popularity (who remembers playing computer games using casette tapes?).
Thanks for the technical overhaul & the update. Keep up the good work!
What's better than watching a ballgame? Watching a ballgame and getting to listen in to what the BP folks are thinking about as the game unfolds. The live chats are always enjoyable - hope this could become a regular feature!
Nice TA, Ben. Lookin' forward to your take on the moves the rest of the season.
Good luck to you in your new role as well as CK in hers.
I would venture to guess that the writer's are generally more pessimistic about the Yankees' starting pitching and Jeter's ability to field better than a traffic cone.
Small sample size alert:
NYY - Bottom of 7th
Coke relieved Verlander
Granderson homered to deep right
Anti-Yankees bias. No Yankee fans whatsoever on staff here at BP. ... haters...
The commission recognized that Joe Q. Viewer needed the extra time allotted to lean outta the Laz-E-Boy, reach into his Electrolix mini-fridge, and pop open his next big-mouth MegaBrew.
Dave, the lists at the bottom of the player pages that links back to BP articles has not been showing up in IE for me since this weekend. Not sure if it's just me.
Rest of the cards look great.
I also read that the Nats are considering Werth batting in the #2 slot, to take advantage of his OBP in front of Zimmerman.
Thankfully, that info is listed under Rumors and Rumblings, and the official position agrees with you - the Depth Charts still have 100% of the catching duties split between Quintero and Towles.
seriously, if you're going to hit your goal, you gotta gotta gotta show a little tenderness!
But who is dismissing the narrative aspect of the game? Saberists like data. Data is not a narrative. Therefore, saberists dislike narratives. It's a false syllogism.
But worse, the appeal to a "narrative" approach is a complete red herring. It's conceived by the story-tellers who refuse to acknowledge that they have fundamentally misunderstood the game they've watched and reported for so many years. They make this appeal to convince readers that saberists cannot tell a story, and therefore the metrics they have created can be ignored (and both can be banished to their parent's basements evermore).
Balderdash. The writing on BP and other sites demonstrates that writers who understand today's advanced metrics can also wax poetic about the game. The game we all love. See also: Baseball ProGuestus series.
Writers have to use the tools that they understand. Those with a facility for storytelling and an understanding of the underlying metrics of the game will tell grand stories with an underlying trust of the facts.
Ken is aboslutely correct, above, that baseball writers who refuse to use the underlying metrics that have stronger correlations to game outcomes will soon find themselves out of readers and out of work. Evolve or risk finding themselves at the short side of the cladogram.
I'm missing the NYC event tonight, but still aspire to attend the P'ton event tomorrow.
For any NYCers who wish to brave NJ Transit, here's your return schedule of trains, updated for the new schedule that went into effect last week.
Princeton Junction to NY Penn Station
leaves 8:45, arrives 10:02.
leaves 9:22, arrives 10:39.
leaves 10:04, arrives 11:25.
leaves 11:16, arrives 12:41.
leaves 12:01, arrives 1:22 (am).
leaves 1:12, arrives 2:49.
How late do these things run, anyway?
(The Princeton Junction train station is all of 5 minutes away from the Marketfair Barnes & Noble in a cab. And, I'll take anybody who can fit in my car to the station, presuming I make it.)
Looking forward to it!
This was a very nice read, Matt. I think flipping the perspective, as you suggest, makes a boatload more sense. Thank you.
So this is the actual and complete list, with credit to Jay and JAWS
1894-1909 John Clarkson (my own estimate... baseball-reference has him at 82 WAR) Not sure who would take over at his death in 1909, because I'm not as much of a baseball historian as I might be, but then I suggest...
1910 - Addie Joss (this is my own speculative selection, not based on published JAWS scores ... a short career, but excellent! 40 WAR in 9 seasons).
1911 - Cy Young, til he is supplanted in...
1927 - Walter Johnson, who passed away in...
1946 - Grover "Pete" Alexander, who passed away in...
1950 - Ed Walsh, who passed away in...
1959 - Lefty Grove, who holds the spot til superceded by...
1966 - Warren Spahn, who holds it til the retirement of...
1986 - Tom Seaver, though this is certainly debatable, as Tom Terrific holds nearly identical scores in Career & Peak as Spahn, with just 1.1 JAWS more, so one could argue that Spanh maintains the title til he passed away in '03 when Seaver would have inherited it and held it til the retirement of...
2007 - Roger Clemens. Greg Maddux retired in 2008 is the only other player above Seaver on the JAWS list, but he doesn't quite reach Clemens' total. But I'm sure that Clemens' claim to this title is similar to Bonds' to the 'best player' list...
"Johnson would still hold the title today." ... um... if he were still alive.
So, give me a coupla minutes and I'll see who would hold the title when Walter passed away in '46...
Yeah, I understood... just bustin' on ya.
As a way of apologizing, I did a little research. The list is potentially very short, because if we look at JAWS, for instance, Walter Johnson has the highest peak and highest career scores, and he retired in '27.
There are only a handful who retired before him and have a claim. Grover "Pete" Alexander retired in '30 and holds the #2 spot, so he's out.
Johnson would still hold the title today.
Going in reverse chronological order, Cy Young is #3 on the list, retiring in 1911. [Roger Clemens is #4, and far short of Walter.] Matthewson is #5, retiring in '16, so he might give Young a run at the title from '16-'27, but I'd stick with Cy.
Nobody who retired before Cy even makes this list. Addie Joss retired in '10, so he might claim the spot for a year. Before that, I dunno... I'll leave it for the next poster to opine.
That would be an interesting analog to this. However, I don't think Ruth would even enter into that conversation, since he was never the best pitcher in a season, much less over his short career...
And watch out if the Good Face player declares he's had the Best Shave of His Life.
That's too bad... would be lovely if there were a way to make that comparison. Would really drive home the point that QS is a better representation of the pitcher's performance than Ws.
Excellent analysis nonetheless. Have a great weekend!
Thanks for the article, Jay! This is awesome, in fact.
To help make the case, it's probably worth comparing Wins with the same rigor:
From 1951 to 2010:
ERA in Quality Starts: 1.90
ERA in all other Starts: 7.65
ERA in Starter Wins: ?
ERA in other Starts: ?
One would expect to find a much narrower difference.
On a year-by-year basis, as in the chart at the end of the article, would one expect to find Wins shows more variance year to year?
Tracking the numbers in the daily boxscores for "Lynn" and "Rice" got me hooked on the Red Sox when I was in pre-school. I thought it was so funny that there were players named after a girl and a food. Freddie Lynn is still my favorite player to this day.
Inflation refers to the value of your auction dollar as the auction progresses. If you track how much is being spent (as the PFM will help you do), you can see how much money is left for the remaining talent. So, if some of the top players each were claimed for a few dollars less than expected, then the dollar value of the remaining players is determined in relation to how much money is left out amongst the bidders. Therefore, there price tag actually goes up compared to what you might have expected.
Great point! Yes, it would be interesting to look at demographics of population vs. demographics of game-attendance (& game-watchers on television). I doubt that latter information is publicly available, however.
Are you implying that the Joba rules didn't work? The rules were to keep him healthy - job well done!
Back in the day, they knew the value of getting on base well enough to put it on the back of a baseball card as part of being the best leadoff hitter...
I believe the proper etiquette when referring to yourself with this phrase is to add your own rejoinder, "And so do ours, apparently."
It enbiggens us all.
While the train ride down to P'ton during rush hour can be pretty quick if you're on an express train (about an hour), the return trip will be a local ride and will take much longer.
Below are the return trains:
- P'ton :::: Arrives
- Jnctn :::: NYC
09.20 pm :: 10:39 pm
10:04 pm :: 11:25 pm
11:16 pm :: 12:41 am
12:01 am :: 01:22 am
01:12 am :: 02:49 am
[And if the event goes later than that... well, there are also hotels next door to Marketfair]
For those NYCers who do wish to brave the train schedule listed above, I will volunteer to shuttle however many of you can fit into my car over to the station (in addition to KBarth).
Can sublime rhythm
be too much of a good thing?
Fair enough. Bad taste aversion is hard to overcome, but theoretically I should be able to overcome it rather than leave these guys as DTM.
In fact, I was sort of expecting an answer like the one you gave above. Left undrafted long enough, every player can become a draft-day bargain - they simply have to drop low enough and the draft has to be deep enough. So, if these guys scared off al the owners due to their crappy 2010 results (even if their peripherals were okay), then may reach that point.
So, what I need to figure out is, at what point do they become undervalued in a straight draft with my league settings? And, I can't expect you or anybody else to answer that for me - I haven't done enough research on average draft positions vs. PFM results and Normandin's rankings yet to come to my own conclusions.
Bill, Beckett and Shields sunk my 2010 season. Nolasco, too. Can you try and sell me on why I should pick them again this season, even if they drop to a mid-teen round (straight-draft format)? For specificity, HR-allowed is also one of my pitching stats.
A very nice read! And now, I understand more than I did ten minutes ago. Thank you, professor!
I am surprised by Stanton leapfrogging Heyward, but I guess in fantasy leagues the HRs really make the difference.
2010 MLB Season
Stanton: 396 PAs, .287 TAv (.326 OBP/.507 SLG)
Heyward: 623 PAs, .304 TAv (.393 OBP/.456 SLG)
... and yet...
Stanton 625 81 34 93 2 .248 $15 $19
Heyward 620 80 16 72 8 .276 $9 $18
So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you're in an OBP league, or a league that uses Total Bases instead of HRs, then Heyward stands above Stanton.
I'm in that small minority, and I appreciate that they are separated.
Part of the beauty of last year's use of a tier system is that you can lump them together with very little effort. For those of us who do play in leagues where they are separate, this is much more useful than trying to separate a combined list.
You can also now use the PFM to sort/combine Marc's lists.
All that said, however, I do think it would be nice if Marc would do a truncated combined list, listed in order of his own ranking. That way you can compare across positions to see if Jay Bruce or Matt Holiday would be the 4th highest outfielder, for instance.
I will head over to purchase my book tonight from the B&N in Marketfair, and I'll let the manager know I appreciate that they invited you for an event. Hopefully I can make it for the event as well - though weeknights are tough.
On the chance that folks want to hang out after the event, there's a nice restaurant/bar a few steps away in the same mall (Big Fish).
MLB: One big government sanctioned unhappy commune.
Excellent article, Craig.
I will put forward the idea that we (and that is not the royal "we," but the all-encompassing humanity) are creatures who live in the future.
For instance, Friday at lunch, you're happy not because you're in the office with another half-day ahead of you. You're happy because you're thinking about what you're going to do over the weekend!
Sunday night. You're bummed as the last football game ends not because your beer is empty, but because you're already thinking about what's waiting on your desk Monday morning.
Human live in/for the future. In baseball, as in life, the anticipation is at least as captivating as the upcoming event. This may also explain why the hotstove is so much better more interesting than the actual season.
Larry, you misspelled November!
I believe this is the same problem people have using Internet Explorer, when they click "reply" to a comment and the site doesn't actually reply to the article. It's called "compatibility view."
If you are having problems, try changing your "compatibility view." This should also make it so you can reply to comments in the comment-threads.
I could be wrong, but it seemed to help for me just now...
If you plot location by organization, do Dave Duncan's hurlers show a 'low and away' pattern, or is that just me eyeballing things badly?
Running a baseball team is not brain surgery, but "Not doing anything stupid" is the first rule of the medical profession, so they have something in common at least...
Go ahead an minus this. Call me an apologist or whathaveyou. Go ahead, I can take it. The fact is, I've been (nicely) asking for the PECOTA and PFM for the past couple of weeks. Nobody "promised" you, me, or any other subscriber that everything would be up and running today. Not ten months ago, and not ten days ago. A week ago, they issued the PECOTA spreadsheet, and Colin told us that "the plan" was to have it out today. No promises, just letting us know "the plan."
So, note to Colin and everybody else at BP: you can't win.
Then again, it's all about me.
That is part of the next issuance of the 2011 PECOTA that is coming out this week.
I am happy to be working in an industry where when something gets f'ed up, I can rest easy knowing the mistake probably didn't kill anybody.
I'd ask for your subscriber number, but it's not palindromic.
It was mentioned in a different article on the site somewhere that the book is shipping from the distributor the week of the 14th (love is in the air... or rail/truck more likely). Feb 22nd is the date for the release, but you may find it sooner.
I admit that I saw NSFW in the teaser and thought it was another baseball acronym that I don't know.
I knew two people who wrote an extensive collection of "fan fic" on Hockey Players back in the mid-eighties. Not for print - just wrote the stuff. Not exactly 'slash' genre, however, since the player's adventures were heterosexual. Think "romance novel" kind of stuff.
Welcome, ProGuestus Prime. A very entertaining read. Fun stuff.
And thank you, BP, for kicking off this column.
Even if I don't pick them up on draft day, I'm always looking to find one or two guys who may start out in AAA who I keep an eye on.
I said it last year, and it may bear repeating... the most valuable piece of fantasy information that I can get in-season is some advance warning that one of these promising guys in AAA is about to get called up. (I got that info on Carlos Santana last year, and it worked out very well for me until the injury.)
So for now, whether the guy starts in AAA or not, I like these articles as an added primer for my in-season 'watch list.'
If Martin regains his hitting stroke, then the move buys another year of seasoning for Montero in the minors. Yankees win.
If Martin continues to struggle, they can always bring in Montero after he's likely to miss the Super-2 deadline. Martin's cost is sunk, but the investment is offset by the savings of deferring Montero's arbitration by a year. So, the Yankees don't exactly win, but they aren't completely losing out either since Martin's 'only' sinks them a few million.
Bem, nice little article! Definitely worth the extra word-count vs. a chat-length response.
I like the idea of seeing how this plays out for some of the youngsters who missed your years/PA threshold. Also, it might be interesting to see who the best non-5s are at each position, and what specifically holds them back from being a 5-tool.
I'd also be interested to see a thorough analysis of 'ace,' with input/opinion from a whole bunch of the BP authors. How do each of you define it, and who makes the cut by that definition.
The Promise was for Monday, or sooner if they are able to get it pulled together quickly enough...
Noooo.... that would have been filmed on the 24th before the game. But then the TV broadcast that leads into the scene in Wrigley is an acutal game on the fifth, with play by play. In that game a foul ball was actually hit into left field.
So, Ferris caught a foul ball from that game on the fifth, even though they were filming the shots on the 24th.
Courtesy of wiki: In the original Doom Patrol series, The Brain was regularly portrayed as a disembodied brain, bobbing inside a sealed dome filled with a nutrient bath, hooked up with numerous machines, including a loudspeaker to convey his voice.
As an aside, if you tell us where you're (likely) having an event in NYC or Princeton, I will make a point of going to *that* store to buy my copy of the Annual. Every year. Regardless of whether I can go to the actual event.
Sweet! I believe this needs a Wiki entry.
If the schedule worked out so I could attend (weekend?), then Princeton would be much more convenient for me than Edison would. If it's on a weeknight, then NYC preferred, generally.
I'll do my best to attend an event this year, whether in NYC or central NJ. Happy to toast in another season with all ya'll.
A .260 TAV and 2 FRAA in centerfield, over 375 PAs ain't going to set the world afire, sure. But 1.1 WARP isn't exactly setting the world afire either. It's basically saying he can hold is own against a 4A center fielder.
You think it's over-estimating his capacity to field the ball?
Good stuff, Tommy. Is the list at the bottom their career BRR/Opps? I'm assuming it's single season based on the text above, but the chart's not clear in that regard. Who would have the best career baserunning rate?
I will be very interested to see where PECOTA pegs him, even though there is no way I'm drafting him ... unless he drops to like the 29th round of my draft, at which point I might take him as a 4th outfielder.
Nick Markakis. Drafted him in 2009: one hot month, one long season of misery. Luckily I had the depth to bench him as the summer dragged on. Nevertheless, I missed winning my league by *that* much, and the blame rests squarely on his shoulders. DTM.
... and unless I've missed an announcement, we're still shy 2011 PECOTAs. Shouldn't those be coming out soon for fantasy players? Beta? The spreadsheet at the very least?
I love BP and thank you all for your efforts!
Thanks, Ken. Lots of fun.
Speaking of 5-Down, ummm... Kevin, Christina, and others, any time now for 2011 would be appreciated. As Jason Collette points out in his Unfiltered post, things are getting serious now for fantasy prep.
With regard to Rivera and Napoli, will they be Type A free agents at the end of the 2011 season (Rivera) or beyond (Napoli)? If so, in addition to the salary benefits, do I understand that the Jays have the possibility of additional draft picks?
So jealous! Sign me up for the next one!
Agreed re: the Bradbury piece. Interesting research, bad conclusions because he over-reached given his experimental design.
What I meant regarding the publication of that piece was that Kevin (I think it was Kevin) had indicated that there would be the first of many "outside" sabermetric pieces to get included at BP, though no others stand out in my mind at this time (though I'm also open to the possibility that they were there and I just don't remember them.)
I'm also reminded of the article BP posted last year with research (by Bradbury, if I remember correctly, where he posited a peak year much later than others have demonstrated, but he had a sample-bias where he was limited his sample to players who would qualify for the Hall of Fame).
At any rate, publishing the article was hailed as a leaf-turning moment, and we were led to believe that more of this kind of work would be featured at BP. Whether or not there was follow through on that aspiration last year, this could be an extention of it now...
I remember the links that Tommy would put up with the one sentence blurbs. To be honest, that was rarely enough of a hook to get me to click through (though I did from time to time).
I'd suggest that BP reach out to a few of the other sites and see if they would be interested in cross-posting to BP for a "best of" series. Each site would agree to submit a couple paragraphs as a hook to an article, with a link to the rest of the article. All topics would be fair game. Perhaps, in exchange, the other sites would do the same for one "best of" BP article. If it's pay-only content, perhaps they publish the whole article, for discussion at their site.
I know I would certainly be interested in that, especially since BP no longer adds new content on the weekends.
Obviously, this only works if other sites are interested, or if they are interested in cross-publishing a link to a BP article.
Please take it under consideration. Thanks!
Very nice article! Thanks for sharing. Makes me wish there was more cross-posting among the leading sites.
Agreed. My league uses OBP instead of AVG, and Total Bases instead of HRs. It's fantastic when fantasy analysis includes these differences from standard 5x5, because that can make the difference in my competitive league (which I've never won, because others use BP, too)...
I agree completely.
I suppose I should have said, "Steinbrenner Siblings" but I prefer the ring of "Cashman & Co" regardless of whether the decision originated in Tampa.
I suspect that fungibility of relievers does still exist, as much as it ever has. Given enough opportunities (ie sample size), if a guy can get batters out in the 7th, he can do it in the 9th.
And, just to expound on the point, the reverse is also true. If a guy in today's game is 'closing' in the ninth, then he damn well can come into the game in the 7th with the game on the line in the playoffs (note to Girardi). Get your best guy in to put out the fire.
Can we create and publicize a new LEV-based award (i.e. "Fireman" or "Rally-killer"), and publicize it? The guy who pitches in the highest LEV situations outside the 9th inning wins the award.
How can we see that LEV leaderboard with the sortable stats?
Colin, another kick-ass article.
I also think that Cashman & Co. have already come to the same conclusion, as they are now paying their closer the same amount as their best set up guy. Good job, Yankees!
What makes you think the Royals are not already "at the point" where they have to worry about overpaying to attract Free Agent talent - at least talent worth having?
They've been studiously sharpening that point for several years, going back at least as far as, I don't know... Jose Guillen in 2008 (3yrs/$36m). Or maybe Meche in '07 (5yrs/$54.6m).
With an equally sharpened point, they've been spending their sheckles on declining veterans who are just hoping to earn some extra spending money for their retirement (or resurrect their careers). Like 36-year old Jason Kendall last year (2yrs/$6m), or 32 year old Mientkewicz in 2006 ($1.8m), or 36 year old Matt Stairs in '04 (3yrs/$3.55m).
Okay... after going back and looking at all of those bad contracts, it occurred to me that you probably meant that they "don't need to worry" because they won't be in contention for a couple years, and thus they will have no need to sign anybody worth having. Was this what you meant?
Evidenced by reaching 600 plate appearances in just 4 seasons.
I loved watching Lynn as a kid - favorite player hands down. And he would have some old-school metrics in his favor, such as being the only player (other than Ichiro) to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season.
And, if I remember correctly, he hit four home runs in All*Star games during his career. I mean, you have got to be kidding!!! Who does that and doesn't get in the Hall?
Also, I've heard him as an announcer on tv broadcasts for more than one west coast game (can't remember who the broadcaster was), and I thought he was very good at it. Would love to see him replace Joe Morgan (...when Joe is ready to retire...).
But all that said, his career totals fall way short of HoF criteria due to his injuries. And, I believe there was a perception in the media that he wouldn't tough it out and play when he was less than 100%. I think that perception hurt his case as much as anything else...
One million pluses!
Legal action by the accused baseball player is a must-lose scenario for him.
1) More people will read about your lawsuit than they will read the writer's false accusations in the book;
2) The public will continue to hear your name linked to PEDs for months/years as the lawsuit goes through its various stages;
3) 99.99% chance that you lose the lawsuit, which means that after months of publicity linking your own name to PEDs, the public will now believe your link to PEDs is confirmed by a court of law.
As much as it must gall these players to sit on their hands, it's really the only good option they've got.
Fascinating read, Eric, thanks. So, did you check to see whether the Jock Tax did have an effect on Lee's three publicized offers? Or, if an accurate accounting is to be found elsewhere, can you provide a link?
This is most probably my mostest favorite annual series of articles at BP. Keep up the excellence!
"Most since Stan Musial's 429 in 1948."
The BP comments are usually top notch, no doubt. Two topics that tend to get heated are the Hall of Fame voting and steroids/PEDs. Put the two together - conflagration.
Thanks for sharing your ballot again, John. And for keeping an open mind and changing your vote on Raines. Good job.
I, too, am curious about what tipped your vote against some of those borderline players, if you choose to share your decision process. Thanks again.
Susprised Texas doesn't enter this conversation...
My fantasy league gets together at Stout for the All*Star game each year. Great bar, kinda loud, but that's what you'd expect, right? May not be so bad on a Sunday afternoon, unless there's a Rangers game...
Good luck, everybody. Sounds like fun, and sorry I missed out on the signups...
Thanks as always, Jay!
No arguing with those updated graphics!
I just searched the site for a JAWS analysis of Pettitte, but couldn't find one. (Doesn't mean it's not there, I just didn't find it...).
I'm curious about Pettitte's case for the HOF, and whether another year on the mound might help get him a few more votes 5, 10, or 15 years from now.
That could factor into his decision as well...
When you compare Bruce's contract to Evan Longoria's, it sure looks like Bruce did very very well...
This is an exceptional point. Good move for Bruce via the "in hand" vs. "2 in the bush" persective. And if he really is worth what the projection says down the road, then he'll be making plenty more when it's time to re-up. A true win-win for both parties.
The only thing that remains a head-scratcher to me is the club-option.
I think this only helps if they then aggressively pursue a ligitimate "plan B."
+/- on the BP forums is a proxy for agree/disagree. I don't know if this is how it was intended to be used, but that's what it has become.
I'm reminded by the notion that the market in baseball is not set by supply and demand, but instead it's set by the stoopidest front office.
This is what I was thinking, too. But you should see a more pronounced effect in the teams that are actively adjusting their roster. Or, do we assume that they are all doing it, but we're hyper-aware of only a few?
Perhaps we should all get together for a drink. After the book is at the publisher...
Upon further review, Cliff Lee bumps Cain out of the top 10.
Cliff Lee. Grumble.
I gotta revert back to my original definition, Andrew. I just can't see limiting it to 10 Aces. I like my 19 guys from the definition I compiled a few years ago better (and I admit it's a confirmation bias):
20 Aces: Halladay, Hernandez, Lee, Wainwright, Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Jered Weaver, Sabathia, Hamels, Johan Santana, Cain, Verlander, Kershaw, Lester, Lincecum, Greinke, Haren, Carpenter, Danks, and Oswalt.
Their is undeniably some variation within this list, but I think of all them would be highly coveted.
If I have to limit it to 10 to fit your limitation, then it's going to be the best pitcher from the most recent season who was also a Top 30 in at least one of the prior two seasons.
By my revised definition above, these are the Aces:
Price and Buchholz would have made it from 2010 alone, except they don't have the "proven track record" of 2 Top 30s in the past 3 seasons. The consolation prize for each is they can still be called "a phenom." Kershaw also came real close and doesn't have the track record...
It's surprising to see that Santana had such a good year, #12 in VORP. Kinda a stealthy good year, I suppose. If he could be signed for a 1-season deal right now, would he still get 'Ace' money?
By limiting the list to 10, noteworthy non-Aces include Lincecum, Verlander, and Lester, but they were simply out-VORPed by Hamels, Santana, and Cain in 2010...
Thank you for the shout out. As I said, I put a lot of thought into this a few years ago.
I can also agree with your subjective assessment of what an Ace should be: "coveted." But how do you define it objectively? I don't think Buerhle or Peavy fits that definition, especially if you're only going to limit it to ten pitchers going into 2011.
Injuries are a tough nut. I put in the 2 of 3 qualification to allow for a slightly down year, or time missed due to injury. I guess there's not much wiggle room for somebody out for two years. I guess you might call him, injured-Ace, or something like that. Former-Ace for a resurgent guy like Hudson.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of other terms besides "Ace" that denote valuable skills, caliber, and potential, such as "#1" (if he is the team's #1 even though not an 'Ace'), "phenom" (for that young kid who everybody knows will be an Ace if he stays healthy, "work-horse," "star," etc. #1 Star workhorse Mark Buerhle. Still doesn't make him an Ace (at least by VORP, which I've heard arguments undervalues him consistently, so maybe it introduces a different argument about which metric to use to objectively define Ace).
... like Hamels... he was Top10 in 2008, so he's an ace too... damn I shoulda done a more thorough double-check/edit.
whoops, Carpenter got listed as an Ace and also as "Top 30 in 2010 only." He's an Ace.
There may be a couple other mistakes in that list, too, unfortunately.
I had this same discussion three years ago, when Seattle acquired 'Ace' Eric Bedard. I put a bit of thought into it at the time. I disagreed with Bedard's Ace distinction at the time, and I argued (quite convincingly if you ask me) that one season of realized promise didn't make him an Ace, even if he was the best pitcher on his team or even one of the top 10 in the league. Earning that title meant achieving and maintaining a level of consistency and durability both...
At the time, I think I put forward that any pitcher ranked in the top 30 in two of the past three seasons would make him an Ace in the upcoming one, regardless of which roster he was on.
With that criterion, by VORP, there are 18 Aces at the beginning of 2011:
2010 Top 10, and also Top 30 in 2008, 2009, or both: Halladay, Hernandez, Wainwright, Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Jered Weaver, Sabathia;
2 of 3 Top 30s: Johan Santana, Cain, Verlander, Kershaw, Lester, Lincecum, Greinke, Haren, Carpenter, Danks, and Oswalt.
Best of the rest / Just missed the cut (1 of 3 Top 30s):
'10 only: Hudson, Price, Buchholz, Hamels, Gio Gonzalez, Cahill, Latos, Myers, Wilson, Dickey, Sanchez, Carpenter, Liriano, Pavano, Duensing, Scherzer; (these pitchers have two more years to repeat in the top 30 to qualify as 'Aces' in the future).
'09 only: Jurrjens, Vazquez, Edwin Jackson, Wolf, Wandy Rodriguez, Happ, Buehrle, Washburn, Millwood, Lilly, Beckett, Garza, Feldman; (could qualify as an Ace in 2012 if they get another top 30 finish in 2011)
'08 only: Dempster, Ervin Santana, Matsuzaka, Sheets, Webb, Peavy, Billingsley, Lowe, Saunders, Nolasco, Duchscherer, Mussina, Baker, Shields, Volquez, Guthrie, Maholm (these pitchers are having their clocks reset... gotta get 2 of the next 3 seasons to qualify as Aces again...)
Given the rare occassion for a touted rookie to be deserving of the title after (or during) the rooked season, I'd be willing to offer an exception for a rookie if he makes the top 3 or top 5 in his debut season... Lincecum yes, Strasburg unfortunately, no.
So, this may not be a perfect definition or analysis for such a nebulous term, but I think it's a defensible starting point for the discussion.
"Luck certainly *is* correlated between members of a lucky team."
Are you simply saying that a) teams have better W-L records when more of their players outperform their projections?
Or are you saying that b) lucky players who are good enough for MVP consideration are more likely to win the MVP because they had more lucky teammates, thereby getting the team into the playoffs?
Ditto on any translations...
Tango, I put more weight on "substantively" in the quote, and less weight to "no better off." End result = "inconclusive."
A lot of work has been done to skin this cat, and I speak for myself and I hope others when I say that I'm grateful to those who've done that work. But, after all the work, the cat's still furry. Substantively speaking.
I think he's simply saying that the voters take into account the success of the MVP/Cy Young candidates. Unclear whether this would actually impact any of your findings.
You could validate by studying the award winner and separately analyze the runner up. Is there more variance in performance for one over the other?
I think you typoed the slash stats... in his age 21 season, he slugged .497 with an OPS of .895. His Age 20 season was even better, leading the league in OPS.
In his Age 19-21 seasons, he averaged over 500PAs and had a slash line of: .295/.384/.497/.881. which altogether garnered an OPS+ of 143.
This is an interesting point. Does Jeter believe he really is worth what Close is asking? Does Close? You're right that it wouldn't be the first time a player and his agent misread the market. But, then again, it's also true that you're not going to get it if you don't ask...
And thank you for the banter... I sometimes think I love BP more during the offseason than inseason.
I'm not saying it's smart, nor likely. Nevertheless, I think there's a case to be made for KC as there would be for, say, the Marlins.
... I'm having serious issues with the reply feature... this was posted in regards to "just deserts." Feh.
I didn't know this one either... something new every day.
You're not buying into their "emerging young core" as competitive in the AL Central in '12 or '13?
To think a few weeks ago I was on the other side of this argument, and that they "had to have Jeter because there were no other choices. What would they do, put Nunez out there?" If they can't get Jeter for 3y/$51 (and not a penny more), then Nunez might have to do...
CK, I still think Kansas City should not be left out of this discussion. Jeter's an easy upgrade on Betancourt. Heck, Betancourt is so unproductive that he doesn't even get on the SS list in the article. And, I mean, it's not like they don't like they don't like themselves some good verteransy goodness. They're paying Kendall $3.75m next year, right?
... and 3y/$45m is the "we don't have a backup plan" price. Above that, and it rapidly becomes a case of "we can do better by going cheap at SS and spending the savings elsewhere."
This is spot on. All else being (roughly) equal, A) candidate 1 was on a playoff team, and candidate 2 was not; and B) candidate 1 was playing at his peak and had never before been awarded, and candidate 2 was not at his peak and has been awarded previously.
Human bias is to reward the candidate 1. And since all else was (roughly) equal, there's really nothing wrong with that. Groupthink voting aside.
I've typed and erased this one sentence half a dozen times, and I just don't know if it's true. But I believe it, so... to some degree, it seems to me that there is a cusp where established level of performance allows one to overcome the history, because you are given the second change. In a different context, Michael Vick comes to mind. But if their mistakes had occurred before they'd already become household names, their path could/would have been much different.
However, for an up and coming prospect, one who is not a household name based on his performance, I think a lot is going to depend on how he responds to the questions he will get. Is he genuinely contrite? Does he answer questions by being humble and forthright? "I made a terrible mistake that night, and I have no excuses. I have learned from my mistake, but that doesn't change what I did or the harm I caused that young lady. If I could change the past, I would. I apologize to her and her family. I am a changed man now, and I hope by my example moving forward, I can prevent other women from being hurt in the future." And he's going to have to say it in each town he visits, as often as somebody asks the question, without ever getting frustrated or angry. This will not be easy.
And, he has to back it up with real actions. Perhaps he can perform public service at local charities that help women who are the victims of domestic violence. Speak at the local high schools about date rape. There are plenty of these charities and opportunities to make a difference moving forward. If he's authentic in his contrition, they would welcome his involvement.
And, I think it will also depend on whether people believe that if he dropped out of baseball, he would still continue to make these statements and volunteer at these charities. Because if there's a perception that he's just saying and doing these things in order to succeed in baseball, then it's not going to make any difference in overcoming his history in the mind of the public.
These are the very reasons why baseball analysts have spent years developing a myriad of stats to isoloate player performance from its context. What can we credit a player for, and to what degree do we credit his teammates, or the ballpark.
More than 80% of the baseball fans who voted online this year felt that Felix was deserving of the AL Cy Young award. Since the voting takes place here at BP, you can assume that many of these voters are familiar with these advanced metrics. And, it is perfectly reasonable for you to disagree, as almost 20% of the voters did.
Historically, yes, the Cy Young has gone to players with some of the best W-L records. So why should that stop us from actually rewarding the most deserving pitcher now?
Are you really going to deny the best pitcher in baseball the Cy Young award because his teammates let him down?
And so, the question for you to consider is not how the Cy Young Award used to be given. The question from this day forward is whether you want to reward the pitcher who actually pitched the best over the course of the season.
Or, should we change the award description: "to be awarded to the pitcher who had a pretty darned good season for a competitive team who supported him more often then not by scoring runs when he was on the mound."
Like the game on September *23*, where he threw 8 innings of 2 hit ball, but got the loss anyway.
"Felix had 12 losses, you need to put some of the blame on him. He was an amazing pitcher, but he lost those games not his bullpen."
I can't tell if this is a troll. You seem to understand that Wins and Losses aren't a good metric for determining whether a pitcher had a good season, but you don't seem truly convinced that they can actually be "misleading" to that degree.
To help you in this regard (or to amuse you, if you are indeed a troll), I went back and checked the box scores for the 12 games where Hernandez was "credited" with the loss for his team.
In 4 of those 12 games where he got the loss, he really didn't pitch well. He gave up 25 earned runs in just 20-1/3 innings. Ouch. Definitely deserves the loss here.
In 1 of the 12 losses, he went 6-1/3 innings and gave up 4 earned (Sept 11). Well, he actually gave up 2 earned runs through 6, and then he allowed two guys on after just one out in the 7th, at which point he was relieved. Tori Hunter then doubled off the relief pitcher and plated those runs. But those are the breaks. Loss goes to Hernandez.
In the other 7 games with an "L" next to his name, he threw 6 or more innings and gave up 3 or fewer runs, for a Quality Start. Six of those were games where he went 7 innings, which I believe is unofficially called a Super-Quality Start. So, he threw a "Super-Quality Start" six times, and his team couldn't produce enough runs to even keep the game tied long enough to get the game to the bullpen.
So, of the 12 Losses in Hernandez' record in 2010, 4 were his and his alone, 1 he can thank his bullpen for, and 6 or 7 he can definitely thank his offense for. Like the game on September 13, where he threw 8 innings of 2 hit ball, but got the loss anyway.
And, since that "Win" stat can also be a bit misleading, I went back and checked the 9 games where Hernandez got a 'no decision.' In those 9 games, he gave up 14 runs. Over 65 total innings (that's a 1.94 ERA). In those 9 games, he threw 9 Quality Starts, and 7 Super-Quality Starts. In those 9 games, he got credited for 0 Wins.
So, I'm just saying, the W-L record doesn't exactly tell the whole story. If his offense gave him some more support in half of those Quality Start losses, and if his bullpen helped him out a bit more in half of those Quality Start no-decisions, he could easily have been 21-9.
And, with just that little bit of support from his teammates, you'd be saying, well hot-dang, why would anyone vote for Clay Buchholz over Felix, when he pitched 75 fewer innings and struck out 112 fewer players!
Oh, I agree he would not recoup that investment on the field. But I also think he'll expect more than that. And, if they let him walk, then what is Plan B?
You allude to it in your article above. They really don't have another good option here.
So, without any competition for the position, Jeter would not seem to be as powerless as you suggest. And do you really see anyone in the organization having the cojones to explain to their loyal fans that 'the captain' was not worth what he demanded, and the Yankees really can't spend that kind of money on the player they have idolized for the last eleventeen years because he's just not as good as they think. They're quite comfortable, really, with Jeter ending his career as a SS/DH with the Royals. Because, for the 2011 Yankees and beyond, Eduardo Nunez is the answer. Now please line up over here and buy one of these beeeuoootiful Jesus Montero jerseys!
Their best hope to salvage the situation is to convince Jeter just how much of a liability he has become, particularly after 2010. Anything they offer over 1-year league-average with incentives is purely largesse on their part. And if Jeter is man enough to accept that, then I will be impressed.
Thanks for another excellent article, Colin. The simple fact is that the team doesn't have a 'Plan B', so 'Plan A' is going to be 'overpay him.'
The yankees will be lucky if he signs for 3 years, $42m, with a 4th year as a player/bench coach who they can trot out there to tip his cap and make nice with the press.
In the meantime, they better get cracking on "Plan B."
Harry Potter: Dumbledore is a leader who is somewhat distant from his charges, and generally leads from afar. Except, when the circumstances demand it, he is willing to let himself be ejected for the good of the team.
Got it, thank you.
Realized as I walked home from the train station that it might have helped if I'd actually finished off the postulation with regard to 'average.' ...
If one is adamant that these numbers should be leveled to 'average' play, then you can zero out the 'average' to get a WAA / WAAP / WAAL if you so choose...
If you do that, then our platooning LFer is contributing 0.0833/-0.127 WAAg/WAA.
And since the WAA and WAR both use WAR as their base, they should always correlate.
Okay, so... what am I missing?
I've never postulated a baseball stat. No time like the present, as I sit here on my train during the evening commute.
I understand how playing time is the achilles heal of any 'average' as a baseline derived like WAR/WARP/WARL. At the end of the day, they are essentially a high-fillutin' counting stat.
I just don't understand why that should stop us from translating WAR/WARP/WARL into a rate stat. Then, at any given time, we can see how well any player, or group of players, is doing "per unit of time." Be it per game, per inning, etc.
For instance, once you have the rate stat, you can then create an 'average' for any position. Just take the mean performance of all players at any position, over that length of time, and you've now got your 'average' baseline. e.g. if the 30 left fielders who played in the first ten games contributed 5 WAR/WARP/WARL., then an average SS contributes 0.0167 WAR/WARP/WARL per game (that is 4WAR/300games from that position).
If you pair the rate stat and the counting stat together as paired slash stats, you can see how well your guy is doing on a per game basis, and also compare to 'average'.
In the above example, the average left fielder is contributing 0.0167/0.167. If I've got a righty left fielder who I've been platooning, and he's contributing 0.02/0.04, then I can see exactly what his contribution has been.
Does this make any sense, or should I have just kept surfing and reading during my train ride tonight?
I don't believe anybody at BP is suggesting he needs to have a long outing. Just long enough to get them out of the immediate trouble in the 8th.
What's that, we're down by two runs in the eighth? Guess there's no reason to play for the win, so we should just call it a night.
I appreciate the content being online by the time I'm getting on my 7:27 train each morning. As a former copy editor, I don't mind the errors, but some really are doozies.
Keep up the good work, strong effort, and awesome coverage.
I was thinking a comparison chart to Monday Night Football average share over the course of the season. MNF has been going on long enough that we should have enough datapoints to make a comparison, with mixed market sizes, etc. And, it's not subject to the SuperBowl National Holiday (SBNH) phenomenon.
1) If my starting pitcher's 91mph fastball is straight, I'm hoping he's my 5th starter.
3) Where's 'none of the above'?
9) I'm more a fan of Dumbledore in Harry Potter.
There was no way that ARod had a chance at scoring if the throw was anywhere close to the plate. It wasn't a difficult throw, since the ball was well struck and Cruz was charging straight at the plate as he approached the ball (as far as I could tell).
This was a classic example of when a third base coach should be jumping up and down with his arms-held-high like he's auditioning for a deoderant commercial.
Agreed!!! How can I give more than +1 to these comments?
I was sitting down the first baseline, right next to the ballboy. I thought the ball was going to be foul as it passed by me, and I decided to watch the players on the field rather than watch the ball. A moment later, I thought I heard a 'clang' over the roaring crowd.
And another very nice writeup, thank you CK.
To use Jay's phrase, there was a lot of "first guessing" Girardi's moves by the people around me in the stands last night. The "second guessing" was vocalized in the bronx cheers the remainder of the night. But make no doubt about it, the fans were very skeptical of most of the managerial shenanigans you mention above as they happened, not just after they failed.
I watched the game tonight surrounded by a vocal group of Yankee fans, most of them pretty savvy to the tenor of sabermetrics and the dangers of small sample sizes. We were also watching without the benefit of announcers or TV replay. Let's just say there was lots of criticism of Girardi's pitching decisions as they were happening, not just after the fact.
Before Bengie Molina's three run blast had even landed, the Stadium had gone silent. A few moments later, a "Let's Go Rangers" chant from one section in the second deck was loud and prolonged, and it didn't get drowned out by the Yankee faithful. Instead, it just kept going until they apparently tired of it. I've never been at a Yankee game where the crowd was so demoralized, and if the group around me was any indication, the root cause was a complete lack of faith in Girardi.
I, too, love to listen to a game on the radio. These days, the only time I ever do it is in the car.
I heard on ESPN this morning that it came up in the postgame interviews. Sort of.
Some reporter asked Ron Washington if he'd considered bringing in Feliz for a 6 out save, to which he answered, "No." Well you didn't get to bring him in at all, Ron, did you?
Reporters need to be educated in the right questions to ask. "Why didn't you bring Feliz, your best reliever, into the game before your team lost the lead in the eighth? Did you think he wouldn't have gotten you out of that jamb?"
I'm glad somebody said it. I love the predictive articles, but a statistical likelihood is just that. That's why the games are decided on the field.
And glad I'm not the only one feeling somewhat 'empty' during this hiatus.
I agree regarding the batting order. Many people seemed to agree at the beginning of the season that the order should have been Figgins/Ichiro. Seeing how they both ranked in the top 5 for the CIGSH Award, and how damning this is to the 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup, it probably wouldn't have made *that* much difference.
Hey, the announcers made the obligatory announcement that Philips was a triple shy of the cycle in tonight's playoff game. Made me think of this article, naturally. He popped out.
Nice article, Colin.
Two comments... 1) just where was that pitch in all likelihood? And 2) how accurate is a batter's judgement after all?
1) A clarification regarding the location of the ball. After accounting for Fast's PITCHf/x corrections, there's a 68% chance that the edge of the ball was over the plate by between half an inch to 1-5/16" when it crossed the front of the plate (0.6" to 1.33").
If my math is right (and you would know better than I would), then there's also a **95.4%** chance that the edge of the ball was somewhere between 2" over the plate to just an 1/8" off it (2.05" over to .12" off).
This seems to be more than a "borderline pitch," statistically speaking.
1a) As awayish notes above, there's <0.0001% chance that the first pitch caught the edge of the plate. That pitch was a ball.
2) As for the batter's ball/strike judgement, it is important to note that his decision is made long before the pitch was actually a ball or a strike.
According to FanGraphs, Berkman himself swung at pitches outside the zone 20.1% of the time this year. Are we to assume that those would have been called strikes if he'd left the bat on his shoulder?
If I were asked to play in a league with colleagues who use standard 5x5 fornat (the emphasis being "play"), why would I choose to be a stick in the mud? Play. Enjoy. And I could only hope to dominate the way Clay did. (Good goin', Clay!).
This is awesome! Thanks for the good work, Colin, John, and Eric. Nice to see this on a game-by-game basis.
Okay, I came back for a second read through the article. Something I rarely do, but here I am. What was bugging me was my recollection that the 2010 Player Card 10-year forecasts that several readers (including me) called into question. For almost all the players, but particularly for young prospects, the 10th percentile just seemed way too low, and if I remember correctly, there had been a programming update that introduced feedback into the algorithm. Players/prospects out of baseball very quickly at their 10th (and even higher) percentile of performance.
In the context of this observation from Colin: "... apparently there’s more uncertainty on the downside than the upside. This is something we can build into our model as well;" I wonder if our initial observations were incorrect.
It might be worth revisiting.
correction... "But, at the end of the day, only 10% of the overall population should fall into *each of* those categories if they are really percentiles at all (and if this sample is representative)."
Again, kudos. Have a great weekend watching the regular season come to a close! Best, Burr
This is amazing. And I'm very happy that BP is publishing it for our consumption and analysis. The results are truly astounding.
If the sampling that Colin chose should be representative (300 PAs), then the percentiles are busted. Absotively busted. Or, at the very least, they're not going by the right name.
In this sample, PECOTA actually does a pretty good job at capturing the center - 23.9% of the sample fell within the 40-60th percentiles. Not too shabby at all. But, as Colin points out, and Tom and others expound upon, the percentiles above and below this midpoint are under-predicted, until you get to the way-way outliers.
It's pretty straightforward to see that the overall spread is too tight, and would need to be widened to re-capture the true 0-10% and 90-100% ranges and distribute them into the troughs.
As several commenters have done, it's easy and kind of fun to rationalize why a player might perform under his 10th percentile, or over his 90th. But, at the end of the day, only 10% of the overall population should fall into those categories if they are really percentiles at all (and if this sample is representative).
As I said, this is amazing - to see this information analyzed and published for "review." I almost say "peer review," but that would imply something I'm not willing to accept.
Kudos to Colin, Kevin, and the rest of the team. I look forward to the offseason developments with excitement.
LOL. PECOTA, the best pre-season now-casting projection system from 2009-2010!
I always get a bemused chuckle from the "deadly accurate" claim, because it is a big joke, and a marketing ploy, and yet I also get the feeling that underneath it all, there's an undeniable element of pride and morale-building, too.
Back in the day when I played competitive sports, we used to give ourselves nicknames for all the same reasons. Well, except for the marketing angle.
Thanks, Dave. I appreciate the integrity it takes to put all of it out there this week. As you all know, PECOTA is one of the legs upon which BP stands. It's nice to see that you're not going to let it atrophy.
I also appreciate the effort from this season to identify the issues that PECOTA was experiencing, and even for putting together your beta-test team from subscriber-volunteers. Seems so long ago already, hard to believe it was just a few months ago.
FWIW, I was suckered into several of the notorious fantasy busts this year. Fielder in the first round, and other later round picks like Beckett, Nolasco, McLouth, Figgins, Lopez, and Iannetta. And yet, I'm still going to finish in the money in my league.
I'm very much looking forward to reading what the BP team has planned for BP!
KG, I really liked the organizational glass-ball preview you did of the Royals earlier this season. If after reviewing the Top11 prospects, if you could include a hypothetical lineup for 2012 or 2013, to see how/if these guys might fit into the future club, and what holes are left to fill, that would be a very cool way to broaden the scope of the series.
Very nice article, and an easy and entertaining read, Ken. Again. Even forgiving the BABIP-GB% ducksnort.
To me, the essence of the article is whether Ownership will see performance through TranformationalPerformance goggles, or will they be wearing SmallSampleSize goggles?
My three 2B-eligible players entering the season were Lopez, Figgins, and Beckham. Nothing to see here, keep moving, people!
I like these articles, Eric.
I'm curious what PECOTA had to say about CarGo in this spring's evaluations. Is his overall performance as big a surprise as Bautista's HR explosion?
... and apparently he kept the bat on his shoulders for four straight balls out of the strike zone, too.
This is what happens when the decision-makers begin to believe the hype of their own PR people.
Great article, Kevin. This is an awesome look into the future of a storied franchise that's really been in a downward spiral. I hope they are able to field a competitive team in the near future as you suggest. Would love to hear Rany's thoughts on this possible future...
As an aside, BP does a fantastic job of breaking down each team in the Annual, looking a few years back and a few years forward as a framework for understanding the upcoming season. However, this article offers a perspective that the majority of teams should be considering. What does each franchise have locked up now, and in the pipeline, to be competitive in the next three years? If you can manage it, I would love to see as KG article like this online for each franchise every October/November or in the annual in the spring. Thanks!
Thanks for these reviews, Marc.
I'm very happy that this article got cross-published at ESPN, where the larger audience might help Raines' case. Good job!
It's like rubbing salt into a fantasy owner's wounded psyche. Scherzer, Shields, and Nolasco all doing their part to keep my fantasy team out of contention this season. Scherzer doing admirably since fixing his mechanics in AAA, and I'm hoping James and Ricky regress to their SIERAs sooner rather than later.
Sweet! This is an awesome 'book end' to the article from Will yesterday. Thank you!
My nephew was more interested in his Playstation than watching the game. Too bad for him. I enjoyed the game immensely, and even more so with Will's primer.
Well, thanks for that!!!
Great article. My nephew pitches in Little League, and he's visiting me this week. I'm printing this article so we can read it and hopefully watch the game together tonight.
Thank you for posting this here (and not ESPN) today, Will.
Free Alex and Kila!
I was explaining this to a neighbor on our ferry ride to work this morning, who thought it must have been a tremendous boost to fantasy teams that had him playing last night. 3 strikeouts. That's evidence that the story last night should be as much about the defensive performance by the other 8 Detroit players on the field as it is by Galarraga.
Aside: if anyone is interested in expressing an opinion to the commissioner, the office is located at 245 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10167. The phone number is (212) 931-7800.
Jay, love these articles, and also lovin' the charts. The charts allow easy comparisons between the players. Thanks!
Iannetta had a TAv of .274 in 2009, in 350 PAs. That was the 9th best of the 29 catchers who had 300 or more PAs.
They simply need to give him a chance to play! Give him 450 PAs or trade him to a team that will!
"And he's almost living up to that OBP.
Figgins. And he's living up to that OBP. But he's getting it all through his walks.
Back at the time of Figgins' acquisition, there was speculation on the BP comments that Ichiro should bat second, since his OBP comes from his AVG, but Figgins from his walks. By batting Ichiro first, they must have cost themselves some runs... on offense they gotta play every small advantage they've got, no matter how small.
Thanks for the update, and enjoy your weekends!
and he matched his minor league HR total... and the game's not over yet.
Hard to do anything else useful when you're a player "clinging to the bottom rung of the defensive spectrum..."
Ken Funck rocks.
KG, what's Iannetta up to these days? Any word from the scouts if something's going on with his swing that's caused his slow start in Colorado?
Dr. Dave, I am in complete agreement. As the end of the game approaches, the delta in WP is less important than the ratio. Perhaps the same is true at any time of the game, as I think about it.
This is why Clay is to the solution with regard to outs remaining.
With two outs in the ninth, a player who gets on base has improved his team's changes of winning infinitely when compared to the alternative (getting out and ending the game).
This is also why there is widespread appeal for the concept of clutch hitting.
Dan, I saw the Span play numeroius times on replay and could not argue with the call on the field. I think the word that is left out of the discussion is "intentional." He intended to exchange the ball from the glove to the throwing hand. Since that didn't happen, he didn't "establish the validity of the catch."
To your point, if it had been the third out, he would have secured the ball better before turning around and heading to the dugout. However, that's not what happened. What he did do is try to reach into his glove to make a throw before he really ever had it. It's not even clear on replay if his throwing hand ever grasped the ball in the glove. Which indicates to me that he did not "voluntarily and intentionally" release the ball. He "intended" to grab the ball with his other hand, but it wasn't where he thought it would be in his glove.
I believe the rule is different for infielders at a bag, but my counter-example would be a first baseman. Imagine a first baseman makes a great snag while getting pulled stumbling off the bag just after making a wild "scoop catch." In his second stumbling step, as he's getting his balance back, he reaches into his glove to hold a speedy runner who's rounding third. The ball pops out. Is the runner safe at first? When in this scenario did the first baseman "hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional."
Thanks, Will. The latest "news" is that he'll be ready on Friday, especially since they expect warmer weather. Are the sports-newsies making this stuff up, or do they get that kind of info from a source on the team?
Surprised not to see anything from Will on this. The rumor initially was he'd be back in time for the weekend series, but would miss Friday. After missing the weekend, it was because they were exhibiting an abundance of caution. Now the rumor mill is silent. I'm thinking Will's our guy for the real story...
eight. I meant eight!
If he was hitting in the nine hole, was his low batting average and high walk rate a consequence of getting pitched around?
I love him, drafted him in 2008 and again this year, and I'm going to let him sit on my large bench while I wait for Olivo to slump or a trade to happen.
Thanks, Jay. Your JAWS analyses never fail to amuse and enlighten. And, I feel like they keep getting better, too.
A note on the site's player search feature. Used to be you could type in a last name, "rodriguez" for instance, and get a long list. All the active players had both a PECOTA card and a DT card. Inactive players just had the DT card. That actually made it easier to scan the list to find the player you were interested in. Is there any way to have active players listed in bold, as is done at baseball-reference, so that they are more easily distinguishable?
Thanks, John! Perfect complement to the full lists!
And I'm not suggesting anything exhaustive. Something as simple as "Twins bullpen re-shuffled" let's us know the latest thinking. We check out the full list for the details.
John, thank you for these regular updates. Very informative and interesting. However, it's hard to keep up with the discrete changes. Is there any way that you can preface these updates with a brief summary of the changes in each update?
In past years, for reference, each update took about 40 seconds to load. I had done a comprehensive 30-round mock the night before, so I pretty much knew who my best picks would be ahead of time.
Looking forward to another successful fantasy season courtesy of BP and the PFM!
Yeah, the slowness was noticed, as I was trying to use the PFM realtime during my online draft this Sunday. It took over a minute to re-load the list each time, sometimes more than my 90 second window. Consequently, I didn't have much time to consider my pick, if at all. More stressful than I'd imagined.
That's definitely today's story... Desmond to be the opening day SS.
"Why are you focusing on BABIP?" ... because predictive models have previously made assumptions that it will regress to the mean, and they have not done a good job of estimating what it really should be. It's one of the reasons why PECOTA has underestimated Ichiro for years.
By enabling a more accurate prediction of BABIP, one has the ability to improve the modeling systems. This second step has not yet been accomplished.
Agree! In fact, I want to know before he's called up.
I'd love to see an ongoing "down on the fantasy farm" list, showing some of the top prospects in the minors, how they're fairing, and when they might be expected to come up, and/or what event might trigger their callup (who is blocking them, etc.).
Last year I had a sucking vortex of doom in center field (thanks, cameron maybin/dexter fowler!). If I hadn't picked up McCutch the day McL was traded, my season would likely have been a long struggle.
Excellent article. Thanks, Matt. I've been looking forward to E-BABIP since Idol last year.
"Actually incorporating this model into a projection system would be a tricky endeavor..." but worth the effort. This could be the "next big step" in baseball analytics and projections. $$$.
er... Utley, Wright, and Votto.
2b should be Utley, Kinsler, Votto
You can go wrong in that situation, but as long as you stay flexible and draft according to what the rest of the league is leaving for you in your next few picks you should be fine.
If you don't take Prince, you can get Adrian or Votto in the 2nd or 3rd round, respectively. Other options like Berkman and Pena are available many rounds later should somebody reach for either Adrian or Votto.
If you don't take Utley, you can get Kinsler or Pedroia in the 2nd or 3rd round, respectively. Or Roberts, Weeks, or Uggla many rounds later.
If you don't take Longoria, you can get Wright or Zimmerman in the 2nd or 3rd round, respectively. Young, Beckham, and Chipper are your later-round options here.
So, which of these options is the best for you:
1a) Prince, Kinsler, and Zimmerman
1b) Prince, Wright, and Pedroia
2a) Utley, Adrian, and Zimmerman
2b) Utley, Wright, and Pedroia
3a) Longoria, Adrian, and Pedroia
3b) Longoria, Kinsler, and Votto
or, another alternative:
4) Prince, Adrian and Pedroia/Zimmerman.
The best part to me is seeing how many of the quotes about "managing" can be applied off the ballfield, too.
Yep, definitely some changes to the categories and rankings. Noticing a lot of players moving a few notches up or down.
Haven't seen any massive changes yet, but looking. With the settings of my league entered, McLouth still rates just above Kemp and Werth in CF, but behind Sizemore.
Mariano jumped ahead of Papelbon in the rankings of the relief pitchers, but Papelbon is still #2 (not that I draft top closers, but I try to keep an eye on what the competition might be looking for).
Clay et. al, thank you for including me in the beta-test program. I will probably learn more from participating in this venture than you will, so much appreciated.
Without reading all the other comments below, I'd like to chime in on a potential anomaly I'm seeing in the 10-year projections of both Heyward and Montero, both age 20. I think we can all agree that these are guys who we would like Pecota to nail. And I am just not confident that is entirely the case.
Looking at their 10-year projection SuperVORP and TAv charts, both of them peak at age 23 - in every one of the projection percentiles. Age 24 and 25 are declines - across the board in Heyward's case, and with some Age 25 stability in the upper projections for Montero. After Age 25, and into their so-called peak years, we see a slight spread in their projections. The upper percentile projections give them some respectability, but the red-50% line and other percentiles resign them to medicority or worse by age 27.
Mike Stanton, another 20 year old, is seeing a similar profile. His upper two projections show .290 TAvs well through his age 27 peak, but his 50%TAv stays under .250 for from age 25 onward.
I suppose it's possible that these three players all share the characteristics of an early peak, with only a slim chance at being star players from age 24 on. But it just seems odd to me that each player has such a decline in their 50% projection from Age 23 to Age 27 seasons:
Heyward: .289 TAv to .265
Montero: .283 TAv to .265
Stanton: .252 TAv to .229
These seem to be 'better' projections than the wide spread projections we had seen in the first round of beta cards. But something still strikes me as being odd, that these guys are all going to peak at age 23 across all their projections, and have their 50th percentile trend down afterwards.
Is this happening because of the "out of baseball" projections holding down his 50% projection? Just doesn't seem right to me. What happens if you toss those out of baseball percentages out? Does the 50% line more closely resemble a career path with peaks in the age 26 through 29 seasons?
Again, thanks for including me as a beta-tester, and I'm sure I am going to learn more from this than you will. But hopefully you get something useful from my inclusion.
Shawn, the social media angle of the story is very interesting. Ten years ago, if you were walking down the street with your friends and you heard a roar from a nearby bar, you might head down that way to find out what caused the commotion.
Now, if you're online (or connected via mobile app) and are anywhere near a television, when you hear the digital roar of your twittering/facebooking friends, you can change the channel on your tv.
As to the graphs in the article, there is no scale on the second graph. Rather than jumping to the conclusion that there was a worldwide interest in the sporting event, it could simply be that a large majority of the group watching (likely to be a very interested and engaged group) was also able to update their Facebook accounts. The simultaneous activity of these millions of interested and engaged viewers could easily create the spikes shown without requiring "worldwide phenomenon" status.
However, the spike in online chatter would almost assuredly have caused increased viewership as the game continued, drawing new viewers from the vast audience of folk who were less inclined to watch from the beginning but heard the online roar.
Thanks, Clay! This is fantastic.
Thanks for the update(s), John!
You note: "Mariners rookie Adam Moore has showed enough this spring that he will likely be the Opening Day catcher if Rob Johnson isn't recovered from three off-season surgeries, including one on his hip."
I was discussing this very scenario with a Mariners fan last night. Moore is still shown as only 30% of the playing time on the Mariners depth chart. Is that because Johnson is expected to win the starting role back after he returns?
I had the same interpretation as roughcarrigan. Perhaps you can edit the article above to be more explicit of Maddux not missing the corners, and add in another "control pitcher" who did miss the corners.
I remember that and am surprised it didn't get mentioned in the article. Perhaps not widely known. He spiked his VORB (Value Over Replacement Bystander) on that evening.
My fantasy 2010 analysis will still be 100% PECOTA-based, with a sprinkling of Marc Normandin insights to inform some of the more difficult drafting scenarios I'm likely to encounter.
So funny. As long as I've been using the PFM I've thought it was some way to tweak the PFM to evaluate the players by a slightly higher percentile of their forecast. Sigh.
At least I've finished in the money every season I've used it...
Thanks for setting me straight!
Seriously? What's the setting do in a straight draft?
Dave, the PFM allows us to set "aggressive," "moderate," and "conservative" rankings. In the past I've selected "aggressive" because I want to draft players with the best chance to outperform.
Is that setting reliable at the moment?
Thanks in advance!
Will - what's the latest timetable on LaPorta? Have I missed your infamous list of the injured players with their expected time-missed (... and did you choose an acronym for that list)?
Does Ryan Madson get a nod in the 1-star/take-a-late-round-gamble-on-him category due to Lidge's potential combustion?
Yer kidding, right? Rank the organization by who its prospects are. What difference does it make if they were signed on the international market, from high schools, or from colleges, or in trades. They all count the same when they're eventually playing in the show.
Thanks, Marc, for continuing to crank out these lists!
In a league that uses Quality Starts instead of Wins, are there any pitchers who might get knocked up one tier? Or to the top of their tier?
Any pitchers in pitchers parks with good defenses behind them who don't expect the offensive support to turn their quality starts into wins might qualify - Cain, Rowland-Smith, others?
I'm not sure that I need to see a combined list of the pitchers below 3rd tier. But a "gun to the head" "loosely ordered" list of the 5 through 3 star pitchers would be invaluable on draft day...
Perhaps somebody (Jeff?) can spin up a quick study on the value of the Braves making/missing the playoffs in 2010 vs. the future cost of a) the super two arbitration salary in 2012 and b) a potential 6-year 'buyout' contract that has become so popular.
I didn't realize the OBP & TB combination was so popular - my league uses them, too. In that regard, for consideration on your notes for CFers, McCutcheon's triples can make a big difference for leagues that score TB instead of HR.
Richard, it's a counterproductive to slot Marc's tier-ranking into rounds of the draft. The whole idea is to find players who are going to outperform their draft slot.
For instance: if Chipper Jones is getting drafted in the 13th round in most leagues, and he's ranked as a low-four-star 3B, that doesn't mean I should draft him in the seventh round when most of the other four star 3Bmen are coming off the boards. I should slot him to draft in the eleventh rnd if I don't have a 3B at that point.
However, if you disagree with Marc on a particular player's tier, you are empowered to drop him down a tier (or more) on your own draft board.
And, thanks for sharing your disagreement and reasoning on the message board for the rest of us to consider.
"I was asked to please rank them in some kind of order of preference, so I did."
And I adore you for it. May I say again, thank you!!!
Quoting from the Unfiltered post above: "To summarize Clay’s work, there do not appear to be problems with the 2010 PECOTAs. The PECOTAs have changed since then, and we want to provide comprehensive analysis, so Colin Wyers will be repeating and expanding the tests that Clay did and we will report his findings."
So, the PECOTA projections in the books were the same excellent PECOTA projections that it has developed in the past. The latest version on the website has been tweaked and finetuned, but apparently the 10-year projections are buggy (to my inexpert eye, it looks like the extremes are overweighted, and the middle-of-the-road projection trends too low).
But we're still being told that the 2010 projections are accurate. I agree that it would be great to get solid confirmation of this from Colin and Clay after they re-run their analyses, and also to get re-confirmation that the PFM is also running at its accustomed 110% "deadly accuracy."
PECOTA doesn't know what happened, or why, just the results on the field. You can take that into consideration if you think the issue is resolved.
That's understandable. My confidence is a bit shaken, too. But I'm also confident that we've got a dynamic and qualified crew at BP working on a fix.
I keep checking back hoping/expecting to see another announcement to the effect of "The n-teenth exponent of the such-and-such algorithm had a typo in this year's expansion of the comparable players. Beta release 2.0 is being compiled now, and BP's confidence is high that the underperformance of younger players will be rectified with the correction."
At least my draft isn't for another 4 weeks.
BP 2010, pg 621.
Heyward was the other prospect I wanted to check this morning but didn't have time.
Year / 2009 EQA Projections / 2010 Beta TAv Projections
2009 / .262 / .298* (*=weighted actual on my napkin calculator)
2010 / .278 / .282
2011 / .280 / .276
2012 / .287 / .277
2013 / .297 / .276
2014 / .300 / .271
2015 / .301 / .266
Above are the EQA/TAv projections from last year's player card compared to his Beta card for this year... keeping in mind the 2009 version shows weighted means and the 2010 is apparently showing the 50% lines. I mean, even the 50% PECOTA should be increasing over the next several years.
A couple silly thoughts... a) Does using the 50% projection cause downward feedback in subsequent years? Or, b) are the additional (and less successful) comps being weighted improperly, which brings down the career projection of the youngest stars-to-be?
Side note and compliment to everyone at BP involved in this endeavor: I think these new cards are going to be rock-solid once these kinks get worked out! They look awesome!
Jesus Montero has a similarly unsettling projection - flat from 2010-2012, then a slow decline.
I was going to offer a suggestion as to what PECOTA might be doing causing such conservative projections for the youngsters, but what do I know?
Marc, this list format is like Josh Hamilton at the Home Run Derby in Yankee Stadium. Out of the park!
I agree completely. The tiers are an excellent system. If you just kept on going with no changes, I would still be happy. "Enhancing" the tiers with some additional information would really be appreciated. No need to elaborate on why one guy ranks ahead of another within a tier - their all tier-mates.
One suggestion is that you might list them in the order of your perceived 'upside' to exceed expectations of the tier.
"they're." Twice. Gah!
I don't think you need to justify why one is higher than the other within a tier, because their all in the same tier. Maybe you put the players with the highest upside at the top... just use the order their listed to provide some added information. If you can do it without too much trouble, great! If not, I'm still very happy with what you've already done.
Marc, the tiers are definitely the way to organize this, and it is appreciated. Providing a loose "order" or "ranking" within the tier is frosting on the cake. However, in my opinion, it is not gilding the lily.
You're the best.
So don't go so far as "replacement player."
Ken Funck pointed out a simple stat improvement for broadcast, and it requies no real new explanations in one of his final BP Idol entries last summer. A graphic for the leadoff hitter showing his OBP vs. the league average leadoff hitter. Bang.
SIERA is a new ERA estimator that is designed to eliminate the defense, ballpark effects, and luck from a pitchers actual ERA. If a pitcher had a lower ERA than SIERA, it was due to one of these three factors. This is useful in analyzing past performance as well as predicting future performance.
Eric's post in Unfiltered, above, shows that SIERA is about as accurate as xFIP as a predictive model.
The lists within tiers are alphabetical. That's something several of the readers have asked Marc to revisit...
Thanks for the Chipper story!
For introducing 'advanced' stats into tv broadcasts, I think you've got to do a couple things:
1) Baby steps.
OBP and SLG are the stepping stones to get people to this side of the pond. Time honored aphorisms can be useful, such as "You can't steal first base," "Leading off the inning with a runner (or walk) leads to more runs in the inning." "Hard to score runs if you don't have runners." Then you follow up with a compelling example of why this is so.
Naturally, this information leads to run-probability and win-probability. For instance, "Why is it bad to make the third out at third base?" or "Pitchers can sacrifice bunt because it's the most likely chance they have to advance a runner and get some small value from the otherwise harmless lumber in their hands, but Jeter should not ever ever ever ever ever sacrifice bunt, even in a playoff game."
I love the idea mentioned above about demonstrating the impact of defensive range with a graphic. Solid dots for balls fielded, and hollow dots for balls misplayed. Basketball has been doing this for a long time with shot location charts, so casual fans should be able to understand it pretty easily.
Lovin' the tiers, Marc. Would also prefer to see a "loosely ordered" list of players within the tiers, rather than just alphabetical. Understanding that the order/ ranking is not hard and fast. For instance:
Dustin Pedroia 703 .310/.378/.480 104 18 68 19
Dan Uggla 669 .261/.366/.489 89 30 85 3
Brandon Phillips 664 .281/.338/.486 86 27 92 23
Ben Zobrist 625 .270/.378/.483 82 25 71 15
Gordon Beckham 625 .278/.351/.469 78 21 75 9
Robinson Cano 652 .297/.338/.493 80 25 87 2
Brian Roberts 720 .296/.380/.454 98 15 61 45
Rickie Weeks 560 .256/.383/.462 87 18 47 18
Aaron Hill 572 .279/.340/.495 78 26 71 6
So if Utley and Kinsler go in the first round, and Uggla and Zobrist are already drafted by the middle of the second, you would do well to go after Pedroia pronto.
The ***** rating is for fantasy purposes, by position.
If you can draft a first baseman with eligibility at, say, catcher, then if you play him at 1B on your team, he may only be equivalent to the other 3-star players at 1B. But if you intend to play him at catcher, he's worth far more to your team's success. So, he should have a higher star-rating at positions where performance is more scarce.
This makes perfect sense to me, and I don't see any reason to change it. For fantasy purposes.
Not suggesting multiple names. "OBP" gets the ol' heave-ho. Everything is rebranded to GOB (or whatever the marketing experts come up with).
We roll out the big marketing budget. I like the line somebody mentioned above, "you can't score runs if you don't have runners." That could be our catch-phrase! "GOB. You can't score runs if you don't have runners!"
In addition to having the announcers discuss GOB on air during nationally-broadcast games, we also imbed ad-placements on American Idol, Lost, and Two and a Half Men.
Goes without saying that we'll create its own webpage.
Will, I've very much enjoyed the staff-chats that BP has done for the All*Star game and other high-profile games. Perhaps something like this can be deployed more frequently to the accompaniment of a nationally broadcast game? ESPN's Wednesday night baseball, perhaps? You've already got a sharing agreement with them... perhaps you can work out the messy details that might allow this kind of synergy.
Will, to reach middle america fans, we need to get a marketing manager for OBP. It is the gateway stat to an advanced understanding of baseball. ... and it is not known or understood by the 99.44% of fans you mention. If you can't get people to understand OBP in 30 seconds, then you can't reach this audience.
Ken Funck made some statements in last years BP Idol competition regarding media use of simpler advanced metrics like OBP. At that time, I traded emails with him about rebranding OBP (his emails had the added benefit of being amusing).
We both seemed to agree that OBP is an awful acronym, and I believe that the name itself is a barrier to adoption by your everyday fan. We need something that is easier to say. OBP doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
I proposed Not Getting Out (NGO pronounced "en-go"). Can it be simpler than the batter's desire to Not Get Out? That's what each batter strives for, at a fundamental level. I also proposed that each year, the player with the highest NGO score gets the MLB BiNGO award (Best in Not Getting Out). Who wouldn't understand BiNGO?
However, Ken poked holes in NGO, and he counter-proposed Getting On Base (GOB). With its connotation of 'old-school' baseball, GOB would appeal to the casual fan. The best pitchers and team defenses, naturally, would strive for the title of GOB-stopper.
If you really want casual fans to understand the idea of OBP (or OPS), I think you really need to re-think how to market these ideas. Language is the heart of communication, and OBP and OPS are too convoluted to say and explain. GOB, however, is easy and intuitive.
And/or the PFM?
I'm pretty sure that is just them looking at their internal computers, which aren't necessarily updated until the book actually arrives.
In the past, I've ordered online and also checked my local B&N. If my brick&mortar store has it before my online order has shipped, I cancel the online order and buy the one from the store.
I know this doesn't help folks who are distant from any brick&mortar stores, but it might help others... if your online order hasn't shipped, call your local store and ask them to check their inventory.
I have been intrigued by the allure of Scoresheet, but it looks like a large, daily, time commitment while the season plays out.
For those who do play, how much time do you spend each day managing/GMing your team?
Is there any way that we can get a Fld% category added to the PFM? Please?
That's an interesting point. The player's salary is going to be an extremely high percentage of his income. However, a player's salary is only a relatively small percentage of a baseball team's payroll/expenses. Where a $1m difference in arbitration could be a ginormous percentage of a player's income, it would represent a comparatively modest impact on a baseball team's operation. As you say, risk/reward.
They changed the PFM late spring of last year so the SGP was binary. I saw the adjustment options and hoped it had gone back to a sliding scale...
I agree with this suggestion, for the most part. Being clear in the release name, as well as release notes, will help to set everyone's expectations. Beta 1.0, Beta 2.0, "Official Pre-Season PECOTA," etc. You could even have a "beta-only" check-button (with a disclaimer) that subscribers are required to click in order to download information.
However, I do love to get the data as early as possible, even with the errors. I think it's admirable that BP includes its readers in the process of cleaning up the projections - gives us the feeling of empowerment and ownership of the results, even if we don't have any substantial critiques...
didn't read the posts below before posting... ignore.
Organizational Wellness & Individual Evaluations
Shouldn't that be "oshen horoshow?"
Fantastic read, and thank you for sharing!
Just as an FYI, the question can also be phrased to the GMs slightly differently... "You're not going to get a chance to sign this robopitcher because his agent won't negotiate with you. But, what do you think the other GMs would offer him for a 3-year deal?"
There was a marketing team for a car company back in the day that asked people what they wanted in a car. They learned that car owners value consistency, craftmanship, and engineering in their cars. So, the car company built and marketed cars for those characteristics. They couldn't sell them.
The marketing people went out and asked folks what their neighbors wanted in a car, and they learned that the neigbors wanted flashy, sexy, sporty cars - the kind of cars that were actually selling off the lots.
Moral: people are too embarassed to answer the marketers' question honestly - they give the answer that they think will make them look good.
Some GM is going to offer Robopitcher 3 years at $7.5m per.
Understood. I don't know what's involved, specifically, but the idea is pretty simple. They put a cipher-code on their books, with each book getting its own code. Cover it in that scratch-off plastic stuff. That code gives a Premium Subscriber the option to pay more (say, an additional $9.95) in order to get the 2010 player write-ups as part of the projections.
BP and the publisher can split the additional revenue in whatever way satisfies both parties.
Obviously, it's too late to set this up this year. But maybe next year?
I like this. And, for some reason, I thought that I had the option of a two-year subscription when I first signed up (2004?), but then it's only been an annual subscription since then.
I'd pay an additional 50% of the publishing price in order to get a code with my BP Annual that allowed me access the full information on-line. Maybe a scratch-off, like a gift card. Far better to have all the information I need in one place (and I don't mean my bookshelf).
It's a very interesting dilemma. "Those who forget the past are doomed..." etc. Marc's taking this exercise as a learning experience, seeing if he has his own biases that he can identify and correct moving forward. I see this series of articles as bringing us along on his journey of fantastical self awareness, and I am enjoying them immmensely.
An excellent little pilot study. Thanks, Will. And good luck with your procedure. I'm very curious to see what the results of your own experience is with regard to reaction time. Acuity, I expect will improve. Not sure I'd expect a change in reaction times, but recognition might. Really depends on the details of the study, and whether you are reacting to or identifying threshold or supra-threshold targets. Again, good luck.
Catcher? Just askin'.
9 guesses below $10m
25 guesses above $20m
I was wondering this as well.
Stdev of $3.5m
Tossing out the $1, $2, and $1b guesses, the average value of those entered (through stevek, above) is $15.81m.
I love my lunch breaks.
Are you still sticking with this after you King Felix comment, below?
It would certainly come up in the comps. Probably doesn't affect their logic/reasoning for whatever their number will be. I'm still guessing it'll be around $18m based on the various contracts out there, including Zito's.
So ... who's going to scatter-plot these guesses and write an article about it?
Lee would be a good comp for the Giants, certainly.
$1 less than Zito.
Great article, Jeff! Thank you!
According to Cot's, the fifth-highest paid pitcher in the league this year is, coincidentally, Barry Zito, earning $18,000,000. It seems like a no-brainer for Rick Thurman to name that salary and still come off as a conservative number to the arbitration panel. Lincecum has arguably/demonstrably performed as "the top" pitcher, at least in his league. And, with more certainty, he's worth as much as his teammate.
From your Cot's Contracts website:
How can you slap a quota on that indispensible contribution? The more the merrier!
Thank you, BP, for making it easy for your readers to find suitable opportunities to help.
I have learned that in order to "post reply" when you are using Internet Explorer 8, you have to turn on "Compatibility View." In the standard setup, there is a button that looks like a torn sheet of paper - click that. It will make IE8 backwards compatible to webpages that are designed for older browsers.
To be consistent with the JAWS methodology, of which I agree completely, the above should read: "The /second/ lowest inductee at each position represents the 0th JAWSentile."
Jay, following up on our emails last week, this information regarding distribution of talent is the information that I think should be added to the analysis. It's not just about how many wins above or below the "average" HoF player a candidate may have, but just how unique that performance is in regards to those already enshrined. Obviously it's a non-linear distribution, and it probably varies by position.
So, there must be some "best fit" curve that representative of this distribution. Call it a JAWSentile. With the "average" HoFame score at each position being the 50th JAWSentile. The lowest inductee at each position represents the 0th JAWSentile.
Once the data goes public, I'll look at it and think about how to represent that information.
jc, thanks for posting your research at BP - I don't get out much, so this is my one source for baseball-related topics. This research is all new to me, so I'm sorry if I'm asking questions that have already been answered... how many players were in your sample? How big would the sample be if you restrict the sample to player ages 24 to 31 (instead of 35) and have a 2000PA cut off? And, finally, what are the results of that analysis? Thanks!
Agreed. His salary isn't suitable for a platoon, but his performance sure is!
I'm curious if there's a BP study based on young international signings and subsequent performance to show the relative value of these subsets of players.
If you want to determine the effects of aging on the health in the general population, you can look at every adult who lived to age 85 to see how they age and what maladies they have suffered. But then you've excluded a very large portion of the sample, because we don't all live to age 85. The ultimate 'aging' effect has already taken its toll before then.
Same in baseball. By reducing the sample to those who are still in the game at age 35, and started by age 24, we've reduced the sample to players who will be eligible for the Hall of Fame. The rest have retired due to injury, or been forced out because they can't perform, etc. So, while it might be useful to understand the aging effects in potential Hall of Fame eligble players for some analyses, it may not be useful in other analyses (including the general profile of a ballplayer).
One way to expand the information in order to determine whether there are 'survivor' biases would be to re-run the analysis on different populations and see how it differs. For instance, what if we look at players who were playing at Age 24 through Age 31, Age 32, Age 33. Do the peaks of the different skills shift significantly?
I think it's reasonable to expect that they will.
Agreed, very nice piece of research and well presented. I like the lead-in and the take-away. Thank you also for leaving the gory details elsewhere!
I love the PFM, and I rely on it. However, you'll notice Marc's list isn't simply a reiteration of the PECOTA forecasts. I think of his interpretation as PFM+. He's looking at why PECOTA may have been fooled high or low on its forecast, and adjusting his rankings accordingly.
As you can see from the reviews, it's an inexact science... but still a worthwhile endeavor, especially since he has the integrity to go back and see where he (and/or PECOTA) was off.
The hell of owning Markakis in 2009 was his hot March/April, inflating his stat lines for the rest of the year. He hit .381/.460/.560 in April, and then just .279/.329/.436 from May onward. But if you weren't paying attention, that hot start overshadowed how badly he was hurting you in his cumulative stat lines.
[can't reply to Colin and Patrick due to IE8 settings, so posting here]
Maybe I'm being daft.
Huff was 16th in VORP, and his value is being compared to the other DHs in the league. But since the positional adjustment is already within the VORP formula/baseline, I don't understand why any added emphasis is required. He's 16th - end of story.
What I inferred from the inclusion of "as a DH!" was that Russell found it necessary to point out that as a DH he didn't get any added bonus for being a good defender whereas the position players did get a boost. So his ranking at #16 is even more outstanding since it didn't include defense.
Anyway, I really liked the article, even if that line confused me a bit.
Russell, I could be wrong, but I believe VORP is truly a hitter's stat. WARP accounts for the defensive contributions. Again, I could be wrong.
I think the Mets would bite on that personal you wrote, however.
I think according to PECOTA's prediction for him going into the season, he would have been right on the cusp of making the list or being in the just missed category.
Will be interesting what PECOTA thinks about him for 2010.
Paging Chuck Knoblauch.
Thanks, Jay! It's good to know that there's hope for some of our aspirants.
I was also posing that questions more speculatively regarding the group on this year's ballot.
E.g., how likely do we the BP readers thinkg that voters will eventually forgive the steroid implications of McGwire? Or more likely that Raines gets momentum from the stat-oriented community as it reaches membership? Etc.
Or a "donate" button on the BP website during the month...
Of these, I drafted only Chipper. Packaged him with some pitching in a trade-deadline deal to get Youkilis and Hoffman.
^^^^ at each of their eligible positions ^^^
Marc, just want to re-state my preference to please include players with multi-position eligibility (or expected eligibility) in the multi-tier system (though you only having the full write-up once...).
Ooh, ooh, I remember that you do a consolidated list!
Maybe you should publish your consolidated list first, and indicate their eligible positions...
Does anybody who received under 50% get elected in the future? Not asking if any deserve to, but does anybody think they will?
I will always remember Cameron for the HR-saving over-the-wall catch in for Seattle after the Griffey trade. I'm not sure if it was the very first game of the season but that's my recollection.
Now let's see him go over the wall in the CF triangle at Fenway... that will be worth seeing.
CF definitely was a challenge during the season... once the best players were snatched up early in my draft, I felt great waiting for Maybin in the 20th round. The feeling didn't last, however.
When Florida sent him down, I scrambled for a while (ill-advised trades, etc.) until McCutcheon was brought up. [My league uses OBP and total bases instead of AVG and HR, so McC's his walk rate and triples were very welcome.]
I hadn't considered it until now, but one added feature you might consider is to include a few notable prospects who we might see come up from AAA, and where they might rank in the tiers once they come up. Could help for those unexpected in-season moves.
I'd read an examination of the writings of Hugo Grotius, whom Maurice imprisoned, and today's international draft.
BP has somewhere on the order of 60,000 unique subscriptions over its history, judging by user #s. ESPN frequently gets more people to comment on a Page2 survey in a single day. It is in BPs best interests to reach that audience - and in its subscribers' interests, too.
If just an itsy bitsy percentage of the new audience reached by cross-publishing on ESPN.com comes here and reads and eventually subscribes to BP, that miniscule amount is a significant number in comparison to the existing BP subscriptions. These new subscriptions help to pay for a lot of the added writers and researchers at BP.
I'm all for it.
Yes. Any improvement to PECOTA is worth the effort. Finding a way to add in new information about line drive rate, for instance, or overcoming the Ichiro effect.
I'd also love to see Brian Cartwright's Oliver analyses side-by-side to PECOTA's and explanations of significant divergences in the projections. I'd love to see that! Would pay more for it, too...
... and, substitute 'conclusions' with 'hypothesis' and you can save yourself a lot of trouble... this was one of my criticisms for the early BP Idol entries, too.
As my thesis advisor would say back in the day, "Always ask yourself 'so what?' If you begin your conclusions and in two sentences can't answer 'so what?' then the research isn't all that important to begin with.
Russell, I'm glad to oblige. Most of this is a summary of the other 'more' comments above. I've been reading only for the past 5+ years, but I don't believe I've ever been dissatisfied with my subscription. I believe I read more content in 2009 than in any previous year.
As to what the readers desire, I hope BP learned a lot about itself from the BP Idol competition, and the feedback that readers provided, in abundance. Those aspiring writers and researchers seeking a position at BP were asked over and over to give us informative and entertaining information about baseball. Several delivered it - and I'm happy with that result.
So, for 2010, I expect more articles that tell me important things about the game that I don't already know. Mostly, this is-the-field information - players and teams, MLB of today and tomorrow - delivered with humor and intelligence.
Regarding the statistical underpinning of BP and its analysis, I repeat what many other have already mentioned regarding the "extra 5%" of information to be derived from incremental improvements of certain metrics. While it's important and informative, it's not necessarily as informative to the whole audience to grasp the "Big Picture" of baseball. Do I want it? Heck yeah. But not at the expense of continuing to learn more about "big picture" aspects of the game.
Consider wringing out a dry towel. With a lot of hard work, you may get a few drops of water. But what we could really use is several analysts and writers to grasp the wet towels in BPs locker room - pitch F/x, play-by-play defensive metrics. These are still soaking wet and will yield water as soon as they're picked up, for example.
For fantasy pusposes, I loved Marc's contributions this year. Sounds like he's on course to deliver some more great content leading into the 2010 season. I always rely on the PECOTA-based Player Forecast Manager. Anything that can be done to improve it is very much appreciated! For instance, adding a defensive stat to the PFM (Fld%!) seems easy and valuable to those of us in leagues that include this metric.
I am disappointed that Joe's leaving, but confident that I will enjoy BP-2010 and beyond.
Kevin, do I understand correctly that the intent of the blogs to be more in keeping with rec.sports.baseball discussions? Will subscribers be able to comment similar to the Unfiltered? Thanks!
Handing the reins to Kevin was news last year this time. He took over from Nate, if I remember my details correctly.
Personally, I am looking forward to another wonderful season of BP Premium subscription. Yes, I'll miss Joe and his contributions - just as I miss Nate. As an aside, I do remember Kevin telling us in this space a year ago that we would continue to read occassional articles from Nate; yet, in retrospect none come to mind.
But BP is an evolving corporation. I've been through my share of personnel and management changes in my own employment, so I shouldn't expect anything different from other businesses.
I wish Joe the very best, and the same to all the other members of the extended BP family.
To correct my "top 5" categorization for Reyes, he generally regarded as a Top 5 fantasy pick in 2009. That was what I meant. Seeing him in the bottom half of the second round raised my curiosity level. You explained the reasoning above. Thanks!
Ah ha, thank you. Would love to learn Scoresheet some time... wish I knew people who played it!
Same question came to mind for me. Top 5 player in the whole league in 2009 dropped this low in a supplemental draft? Must be some serious questions about his recovery...
Okay, I've updated the list... I've added Pete Rose to the eligibility, and also included other contemporaries such as Bonds, Biggio, Palmeiro, Sheffield, Galarraga. Hopefully I've now captured everybody who would be at the top of this list.
Total bases + Walks from Age27 on:
4888 Edgar Martinez
4039 Eddie Collins
4005 Paul Waner
Additions to the "Under 4000" list include Tony Gwynn, Lou Brock, Doc Cramer, Nap Lajoie, Rod Carew.
Edgar is tenth on the list, in between Ted Williams and Rickey Henderson... wow.
I think I'm missing some important names from the list, perhaps because I'm not a b-r PI subscriber... Mays, Aaron, Musial jump out at me as missing... likely others. Will fill those in momentarily... but still, that list shows very good company...
Jay, thank you for the link to the list of players who had the most hits from Age27 onward! In addition to ranking 26th on that list, he also ranks 13th all time in total bases from Age27 onward.
Also according to baseball-reference.com, I've tried to put together a short list of the Hall of Famers and players on the ballot according to their Total Bases + Walks from Age 27 onwards:
5894 Babe Ruth
5362 Carl Yastrzemski
5060 Ted Williams
4888 Edgar Martinez
4869 Dave Winfield
4762 Honus Wagner
4682 Eddie Murray
4569 Sam Rice
4568 Wade Boggs
4540 Tony Perez
4520 Ty Cobb
4499 Reggie Jackson
4432 Tris Speaker
4382 Paul Molitor
4381 Lou Gehrig
4218 George Brett
4175 Billy Williams
4164 Earl Averill
4136 Carlton Fisk
4082 Cal Ripken
4001 Ernie Banks
3902 Dave Parker
3856 Andre Dawson
The dude could hit...
The interesting thing about his candidacy is that he holds up very well if you compare him to first basemen, even with the fact he didn't get to play when he was younger. Check the JAWS analysis.
Since Ryan Howard is considered (by many) to be one of today's permier hitters who got a late start to his career, and he's not exactly a defensive gem, I think he makes a pretty good foil for reviewing Martinez.
In terms of WARP3, Howard would have to equal his 2009 performance another 9.5 seasons to match Martinez's career accumulation.
Martinez: .312/.418/.515 with a .315 EQA.
Howard:.. .279/.376/.586 with a .310 EQA.
According to Jay Jaffe's analysis, Martinez's score, admittedly all from his bat, is still better than the average HoF first baseman's JAWS score (which looks at career and peak WARP3 scores).
Compared to the enshrined third basemen, Martinez falls just short of the average HoFamer, primarily because of his defensive shortcomings. However, he still ranks better than many third basemen in the Hall...
Thanks for reconsidering, John. I think most reasonable people understand that you have earned your ballot for the HoF, and it's your vote to cast.
In that regard, keeping an open mind about future votes for players left off your ballot this year is admirable.
From your list, Raines is truly an oversight that needs to be corrected. As others have demonstrated through his traditional, advanced, and analytic career stats, he definitely deserves his place among the best ever to play the game.
Please also take a closer look at Trammell next year. I think you'll find he also deserves to be enshrined.
As to some of the other borderline candidates who made your ballot this year, that's your call. And you deserve it to make the call as you see fit. Raines and Trammell would be good additions next year.
Best regards, and happy New Year!
Since you asked... I play in an awesome custom Yahoo! roto league, taking the standard roto format and giving it a little bit of 'advanced' metric twist better to simulate 'real' baseball. 7x7 format as follows:
Non-keeper, 10-12 teams
both leagues eligible
C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CR, RF, DH
5 SP slots, 6 RP slots w/1450 IP limit
30 spots on the roster, 30 free agent moves allowed, unlimited trades
Hitter stats: OBP, Total Bases, Runs, RBI, Steals, Caught Stealing, Fld%
Pitcher stats: Quality Starts, K, ERA, WHIP, HR-allowed, Saves, Holds
Would love to try my hand in a keeper league some time, but not with the sharks who read BP!
Just for the record, my fantasy team uses LF, CF, RF slots rather than just 3 OF slots.
I can't remember if Marc has done it in previous years, but summarizing a top-60 OF list after assembling the respective positions would be worthwhile for those (many) people who simply have OF slots to fill...
Thanks, Jay! I look forward to these articles in the off-season, and you never disappoint. Safe travels!
The interesting thing here is that if 96% of the voters feel that he might be worthy, except "not this year," then there won't be a next year.
Let's see if we can get 100 better nicknames for Will:
Will Carroll, BP Health Honcho
I knew you were going to say that! I meant that I haven't read your Guide to Sports Injuries, so I'm not sure if you've already covered this topic. What are the reasons to opt for/out of surgery in the rehab process, when both are potentially viable?
Will - haven't read the book yet, so I don't know if this is covered. However, to fans (and fantasy enthusiasts) I find one of the toughest questions regard those serious injuries that have two possible recovery paths: "let it heal, and then rehab it" and "let's do surgery, and then rehab it."
I know it varies by case and diagnosis, but my question would be, when both are viable solutions, what are the advantages/disadvantages of these options in terms of time away and performance upon return? We know that teams/players usually opt to avoid surgery if there's a chance that they can come back in the same season (because surgery theoretically requires longer to heal/recover. But is there a long term advantage for surgery, assuming the player can rehab over the offseason?
Bud, Instant Replay allows for increased revenue by opening new possibilities for advertising through MLB Advanced Media.
To the esteemed members of the committee, below please find one fan's modest proposals to improve the game:
1) No body armor. The inside half of the plate is neutral territory, and ballplayers shouldn't look like mechanized infantry in order to control it.
2) It's embarassing to let umpires blow calls that affect/determine the outcome of the game. Fix it. Balls-strikes. Fair/foul. Tags & force plays at any base. You name it, they can review it. Two full time umpires upstairs with complete control of f/x and all camera replays. They have 15 seconds to overturn a call on the field.
3) Unless the NL wants to adopt the DH because they feel it is imbalancing competition, MLB should keep the DH in the AL only.
Speed of play:
a) Enforce the time limit between pitches.
b) No more than one catcher-pitcher chat per half-inning.
c) No more than one "time out" by a batter per at-bat.
Thanks for your consideration!
Burr Rutledge, longtime fan
Drabek is being mentioned on ESPN - both during the MNFootball game as well as the SportsCenter that immediately followed.
By age 28, Bedard had only had one season where he hadn't been put on the DL. One. I was one of the ones calling it a silly trade at the time Seattle made it, and I think most agree with that assessment in retrospect.
Lee on the other hand has recovered from one serious injury, but he's demonstrated a remarkable recovery. An injury risk, yes, but not significantly more so than most successful pitchers at his age.
You know you are a dedicated BP follower when half of the 18 eligible players in the above "Top 20" have already been featured on your non-keeper fantasy team.
Gotta assume they're looking at left field. Gutierrez is clearly the best CF defensively, and Ichiro stays in right for that mini-cannon connected to his left shoulder. With Cameron in left, you'd have a good bet that no fly balls hit the outfield turf in Safeco in 2010.
Peter, please accept my sincerest 'thank you' for the years of entertainment and education you've provided on ESPN. I hope to have the chance to thank you in person some day. Good luck at MLB and NESN! Best regards, and happy holidays, Burr
... it doesn't matter what *I* think, but what the Royals think. Do you have a better explanation for what they could possibly be thinking? He's name recognition. That's it.
Again, they must be looking for a name to increase the gate.
"to try and build some enthusiasm around the team without actually building a competitive team."
That's a little harsh. I believe a more nuanced position might be that they are trying "to build some enthusiasm around the team now, while waiting for their prospects to mature and develop into a competitive team in the future."
This may be an improvement in CF over Melky, but I'm skeptical that it helps address their needs at corner OF or DH.
Melky's bat has come a long way as he's matured, but it's is still a full notch below the performance one might expect out of a Yankee Stadium corner outfielder... But then again, they did play Damon in left. And Swish wasn't exactly Bobby Abreu last season, either... and that didn't keep them from succeeding last season. I suppose they could put him in right field and move Swisher to left. But that's not much of an upgrade.
If they choose to do that, fine. But if not, then what do they do with Melky? Do they just platoon Melky and Curtis in CF?
They could sign any (qualified) retired catcher and make him a special assistant to the manager, or a bench coach. This would get him on the bench to talk with Flores and the pitchers between innings, etc. He can advise the manager if he has any ideas during the innings, too. That's a tutor. The Nats could get themselves one of those for a lot less than $6mil + taking up a spot on the 40-man roster.
This really seems to be more about having another name-recognition player on the roster to increase attendance. And to do that, he would need to actually play.
Yes, there may be doubt about which is the best offer, or whether the team "coulda done better." Mets/Twins Santana deal comes to mind.
Yes, the Jays should negotiate to get the most that they can in return. And, yes, the best offer may be one that includes the offerer's downside risk of losing Halladay to a direct competitor. But if it is the best offer when the haggling is done, then it is the best offer.
At the end of the day/week/month/trade-deadline/haggling, the Jays have a choice of accepting their best offer - yes or no. The best offer may still seem unfair, but 'no' means they get his services for the remainder of the season and nothing else.
I believe he's now "theirs" til mid-June.
Halladay and Wells to the Angels for a handshake?
July, 2010: "Roy, there's a contending team that keeps calling to see if they can use your services to help get them into the playoffs during the stretch drive. As you know, it's not looking like we'll get there this year. You want to phone it in the rest of the season with us? Or, are you interested in this chance for post-season glory, which in turn can bring you some well-deserved high-profile attention going into your contract negotiations?"
Yes, you should! Pink scented ones.
Complaints by the writers about the weather during the winter meetings. My goodness. They are *winter* meetings, after all, and Nashville and Indy are in the nation's ice belt. The weather will always have a good chance to be awful.
To alleviate the disruption of bad weather, I believe that next year's winter meeting should be a teleconference. And writers aren't invited to join.
Or, perhaps our cactus and grapefruit league states should alternate hosting the winter meetings each year. Somebody remind me, are there any cities in Arizona and Florida that are capable of handling gatherings?
...er, that would be 2009. My internal calendar is apparently needing to be re-wound...
I was wonderin' how happy the Angels are with Fuentes after the second half of 2008 ... 1.685 WHIP with an ERA of 4.81 and a K/9 of just 4.4.
Was curious if there was anything in the Angels system that the Royals could have an eye on for 2012-2013... and in Anaheim, Fuentes setting up Soria could also work at the turnstiles.
I will speculate on an answer here - there's just a very subtle difference between the 'ideal' lead-off hitter and a 'great' 2nd-slot hitter. Both need high OBP. But a slight difference in how they get on base can be significant if you have two high-OBP/low-power players for these two slots.
The guy who gets on base with some walks is your leadoff guy, and the guy who gets on base with his batting average bats in your 2nd-slot. This will lead to more first-and-third situations than if you reversed their slots in the order.
... but if you only have one high-OBP/low-power guy, he makes for a pretty good leadoff hitter...
The night before the draft, I will put my "top 300" into my own pre-draft rankings. That way I won't get burned too badly if the internet freezes me out of a pick or two. And it does happen more frequently than one might like.
The bottom of that long list is filled with players from Marc's sleeper lists. That way I don't have to waste time searching around for them at the end of the draft when everybody's making picks very quickly. Last year I got both Helton and Morales during the last few rounds.
And if Howard keeps up hitting at a 5+ WARP for another 10 seasons, he will be much like Edgar but in the N.L.
I think you misunderstand the comparison, and I realize that I haven't done a good job of explaining it. You may have missed that elsewhere in the thread I already agreed with you on the point that Edgar is not a Hall of Famer.
The analyses and comparisons I've been posting are to show that he sure did a good job of impersonating a Hall of Famer once he was "given the chance."
The question is, if he was able to do so well so late in his career, what might have happened if he'd been given the chance earlier? Nobody can answer that definitively.
I am simply suggesting that if he'd been able to play at 1B from age 24-26, or DH, perhaps he'd have put up another ten or twelve points of WARP3. Not that he'd be Pujols, who is in an elite class so rarely seen.
Why did the organization keep trying to make him into a third baseman when they knew he wasn't mobile and didn't have the glove for it? Is it because their organizational need was at 3B, and they already had 1B and DH filled with above-average players? Could they have made some trades to open up room, or move Edgar to bring in a better option at 3B? Maybe, but they didn't.
It's all fantasy-land hypotheticals. Nobody knows. And that's perhaps why it fascinates me. What we do know is that once he did stay up for good, he contributed more to his team's Wins, on an age-for-age basis, than 15 of the Hall of Famers in the recent past.
To be perfectly honest, I think it's unfair to judge him against Pujols. I was actually thinking Ryan Howard might be a better comp to Edgar's situation, but in reverse. If Thome had never been injured, Ryan Howard might have been tooling around in AAA for another two seasons waiting for a spot to open up for him, or to get traded away. Instead, Thome did get injured and we now have "Ryan Howard."
No argument from me on his defensive shortcomings at 3B! You also have to keep in mind that the Mariners did have him blocked by two of their best hitters at 1B and DH (Alvin Davis and Ken Phelps), whereas 3B was a real weak spot (Jim Presley). So they kept trying to mold him into a 3B. They never even tried him at 1B in the minors, as far as I can tell. We know how well that worked out for them.
And, I suppose the Mariners are to be commended for finally realizing that they had a position on their roster that didn't require "fielding skillz" as a pre-requisite.
The minor league stats I've been able to find are scarce, but they do show some bits and pieces of his hitting potential. Not nearly the hitting superstar he became later in life, but still enough to make this writer wonder, "what if?"
For instance, in '85, at age 22, he worked his way up from AA to AAA. He didn't mash at AA, but after getting moved up to Calgary he hit .353 AVG and .485 SLG in 20 games. Note that the stats I can find don't show PAs or walks (baseball-reference.com).
He toiled in '86 back in AA, with sub-standard results (.264 avg, .390 slg).
In '87 he was in Calgary (24 years old) in the PCL, for 129 games and 438 AB, hitting for a .329 avg and .473 slg. Again, no mention of OBP or BB, but simple math shows he was getting just 3.4 ABs/game, so he must have been getting a few walks in there. When he got to the majors that year, he didn't do so badly, either: .372/.413/.581 in 13 games.
In '88 he was back at AAA for more practice on his fielding, because he hit for a .363 AVG and .517 SLG in 95 games. In just 38 PAs in the majors that year, he hit .281/.351/.406.
In '89 he was back at AAA for 32 games, with a .345 AVG and .522 SLG. (His time in the majors was a disappointment in comparison, just .240/.314/.304 over 65 games.)
So, up til 1990, he wasn't hitting too badly at all, but his team couldn't find a place for him at either of the two positions where his glove might play: 1B or DH. Just bad luck on his part that he was blocked. And proof that not every good hitter is a third baseman.
But "wow," when they finally did give him a chance to put the lumber to good use. I mean, that list shows his bat is in very very good company, once he was "allowed" to use it.
You might want to learn how to score a game - it's fun and adds to the experience of the game more often than not.
I learned how in 2nd grade little league - our coach scored all of our games, and he kept a tally for us all season long using the same major statistics that MLB used. AVG, HR, RBI, etc. He updated it after each game, and then at the next game we all got a copy of our updated team stats. I think I still have the whole season of stats tucked away in a folder in my parents' attic somewhere.
Failing such a list forthcoming, I created one. Sort of. Below is a list showing only the modern-day position players who have been enshrined in Cooperstown since 1999. We should know these fellas and whether they are 'worthy'. Imagine if Edgar had been given the opportunity to play more than 280 PAs before he was in his age 27 season...
First number is the player's WARP3 from his age 27 season through retirement. The second number is his career WARP3.
WARP3 / WARP3 / PLAYER
27-on / TOTAL / NAME
----- - ----- - ---------------
79.1 / 119.4 - Rickey Henderson
78.6 / 84.6 - Wade Boggs
75.7 / 90.0 - Ozzie Smith
69.1 / 68.9 - Edgar Martinez
58.0 / 104.3 - Cal Ripken, jr
55.9 / 78.5 - Tony Gwynn
52.9 / 65.9 - Carlton Fisk
52.5 / 75.7 - Paul Molitor
50.3 / 78.2 - George Brett
49.3 / 59.0 - Tony Perez
46.6 / 69.1 - Ryne Sandberg
46.2 / 72.7 - Eddie Murray
43.6 / 62.6 - Dave Winfield
35.4 / 43.4 - Kirby Puckett
34.2 / 68.5 - Robin Yount
34.1 / 61.6 - Joe Gordon
18.1 / 48.6 - Bill Mazeroski
17.8 / 34.2 - Jim Rice
16.5 / 51.3 - Orlando Cepeda
... and, if you're still reading this thread, please hit the '+' or '-' sign, below... much appreciated!
Apparently 'clutch' goes in and out of vogue, but 'grit' is always in style.
Well, I like him. Where you read cliches, I read "genuine good kid trying to make it in baseball."
Does a list exist for the highest WARP3 totals for players from their age-27 season til retirement? Is it easy to create one? Would be interesting in context of Edgar's HoF candidacy... I'm not guessing he's at the top, but I bet he's keeping respectable company.
I can't reply to BillJohnson for some reason, but I've got my provisional ballot below.
New guys on the ballot:
Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin
Bert Blyleven, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell
Maybe, worth further consideration:
Edgar Martinez (too short a career, not his fault)
Fred McGriff (young phenom who hung around a long long tie... memorable Berman-nickname, too)
Very intriguing to compare these two. A slow day back at the office this post-Thanksgiving let's me share a little bit o' research...
As most of you probably know, due to managerial/GM discretion, Edgar didn't get his MLB start until he was already at/near his 'peak' age. Through his age-26 season, he had only accumulated 280 total MLB PAs.
Here's a comparison of their 'shared player-age seasons'. I've also thrown in two mystery players to make it seem like this trivial investigation is more important than it really is... or to let you draw some more contextual conclusions. You choose.
Age / Edgar / Manny / Plyr C / Plyr D
<27 / -0.2 / 18.9 / 16.4 / 39.0
>37 / 12.5 / ---- / 00.0 / 07.7
Shared player-age seasons:
@27 / 3.2 / 7.6 / 1.2 / 7.8
@28 / 4.8 / 4.4 / 1.9 / 6.8
@29 / 7.6 / 5.2 / 1.8 / 7.6
@30 / 0.0 / 5.8 / 3.5 / 3.4
@31 / 2.9 / 4.5 / 3.6 / 2.5
@32 / 8.6 / 3.8 / 2.0 / 5.8
@33 / 6.2 / 4.4 / 5.1 / -.1
@34 / 6.6 / 4.1 / -.6 / 2.1
@35 / 6.0 / 2.0 / 0.4 / 4.6
@36 / 4.7 / 8.0 / -.9 / 2.5
@37 / 6.0 / 4.4 / --- / 0.6
11-year TOT**/ 56.6 / 54.2 / 18.0 / 45.2
<27 + >37 TOT/ 12.3 / 18.9 / 16.4 / 46.7
Comparing Edgar and Manny in their player-age seasons of 27 through 37, Edgar would appear to have enjoyed a higher level of play when actually playing. He had six seasons at/above 6.0 WARP3, to Manny's two. Edgar edged Manny in seven of their shared 'player-age' seasons. I think we can all agree that he enjoyed a very nice late-career. I'm disappointed that he wasn't brought up, and kept up, a couple or three seasons sooner.
However, even ignoring his late start, Edgar had two other shortened and ineffective seasons in his already-short career. His candidacy to the HoF definitely suffers from the lack of MLB playing time as a youngster. I'm sure Mr. Jaffe will enlighten us on exactly how far his career stats fall below the "JAWS standards." I love that analysis each year, and this year is no exception.
In comparison to Edgar, Manny's candidacy relies on his early career to demonstrate that he's more Hall-worthy. And his early career is certainly beneficial to that cause. His Age 23-26 seasons have WARP3s of 4.4, 4.6, 4.4, and 4.3. Not too shabby, though they are slightly below his career average. Therefore, they don't help his low peak score compared to Edgar, but make a much stronger case for his career accomplishments.
I know a lot of people who put more weight on the counting stats than the rate stats when it comes to the HoF, so Manny's consistency over the years plays very well to that audience.
Mystery player C is an awful statistical foil for comparison to Hall-worthiness. I admit his stats are sure to make otherwise-borderline candidates look exceptional. Even so, I chose to include him, since, well, the writers thought he was worthy - please welcome, Mr. Jim Rice. I loved watching him, but he is not one who I thought was worthy for enshrinement.
Player D raked has a youngster. What a phenom! Later in his career, however, he was not nearly as dominating as in his youth. His career is a big neon warning sign for long term contracts. Please give a hearty welcome to Mr. Frank Thomas! I included him in the comparison because his late-career decline demonstrates just how impressive Edgar's performance was, and it also shines a spotlight on Manny's health and amazing consistency for his age.
Please draw your own conclusions...
Now that you mention it, the Free Agent market the past few years has shown a passing resemblance to Global Thermonuclear War.
I agree completely with including tier levels, but numeric ranking is still important.
I would suggest that you include more direct reference to players at their secondary positions, particularly if they have equal or more value there.
For instance, last season if you felt that Miguel Cabrera equally valuable for fantasy at 3B as 1B, then I think he should be mentioned in that discussion of the 3B players. If you felt that Miggy would be a five-star player at 3B, then you can just list him at the end of the five-star players to indicate he's eligible at the position. Same for Youkilis. You could leave these secondary position playes out of the numeric rankings for the 'purity' of the position ranks, and leave a complete discussion on them under their primary positions.
That's really interesting. My league is all about non-standard metrics like OBP instead of AVG. We also use Total Bases instead of HR, so seeing the SLG is relevant to me. There are very few sources to find rankings that include OBP and SLG, so that's a plus for BP.
I would recommend including traditional stats for ranking, and then in using the commentary to adjust a player if they are particularly influenced by high or low walk rates, doubles vs. HRs, etc.
I went to the opening night game of the Brooklyn Cyclones June 25, 2001. I seem to recall a lot of infield miscues.
The game was won in the 10th inning on a sacrifice fly by Mike Jacobs.
Games Started, IP, WHIP, K/9, and WARP3 in Haren's favor vs. Carpenter. These are relevant metrics. They made the difference to Will between third place and fourth. Maybe his vote would have been different if he'd been told he had a vote for NL Cy Young a month ahead of time, but he did submit a reasonable ballot.
Wow. Will put together a reasonable ballot, as did Keith. Controversy ensues. I wish I could go back to my IBA voting and see what order I put them in. I *think* I had Lincecum, Wainwright, Carpenter as my top picks, but somehow I remember putting Vasquez on my ballot, too. Pretty sure I left off Haren.
Anyway, thanks Will and Christina for having the courage of your conviction and explaining your official votes to your readers. I'm sure you expected us to dissect your processes. Thanks again.
Check out the writeup on the back of his baseball card from '34.
He hit .260 and yet he is named the best leadoff hitter in the American League.
So the twinkies may finally see some retur