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Mantle had colassal, tape measure power from both sides of the plate. He demonstrated this tool as a young player and throughout both his early career and his peak he was able to convert it into realizable game power.
Although he logged a few 40+ HR seasons early in his career, Bonds would never have been in this conversation until he turned age 35. Prior to that transformation, Bonds would not have graded an "80" on conventional scouting power scale. Something changed for him starting that took him to a completely different level whilst in his late 30's.
Imagine the seasons that Mantle could have logged had he had the benefits of the same training regimen as Bonds and McGuire.
It is a close race, I favor Cabrera.
~ 330/45/140ish slash lines should be in the running for MVP every year, regardless if a Triple Crown occurred or not.
- Judged by people that watched Tigers games Cabrera's defense at 3B has been adequate, in fact he's credited with "saving" a few September games with good plays at 3B.
- Most defensive metrics remain very flawed (evidenced by how they bounce around from year to year and show Miggy with more range than beltre), yet most WAR models do not adjust accordingly. In fact, I would trust a scout's eye over most defensive metrics in judging defensive talent.
- If Miggy wasn't playing 3B for Detroit in 2012, Don Kelly would be. If not Trout in OF, than Wells or Bourjos. Hence, all "replacement players are not equal", yet in WAR they are. Context (division, clubhouse morale) matters for purposes of some of the Trout advocates yet WAR which ignores certain context (actual replacement players, hitting with runners in scoring position) remains a big part of the argument.
- A double with 2 outs and no one on in the 4th inning of a blowout, is not worth same as one with 2 men on in close game. Yet the value of said double is equivalent in WAR which assumes that all at bats are a "random walk" and thus outcomes are context-independent. Said simpler, RBI's do have some value (agree with Jason).
- Angels record with and without Trout, ignores the reality that Albert Pujols who was AWOL without Trout showed up and some other guys started hitting as well. Grienke arrives.
Trout is a legit candidate and an outright winner in some years, but I go with Cabrera in 2012
Understand all of the sabre arguments, been reading Bill James since 1977 and BP for 10 years.
Awesome stuff Jason! I'm tempted to plagerize a line or two an insert into one my countless boring office emails
I thought that perhaps an element of this article would have touched upon the fact that the stock of the "BBB's" has effectively dropped from where they were in March.
Brackman has seemed to given back most of the gains that he had last year and is clearly now only a reliever at the MLB level.
Banuelos has not been as dominate in 2011 as he was in 2010.
Betances has been inconsistent.
I think that the larger reason neither of the last 2 were used was "performance-based" as opposed to being gun shy on rolling with their prospects.
Lawrie as soon as his sore hand heals and he plays another game or two at LV
Great article Steve.
From afar, Cabrera strikes me as a "binge drinker". I have a brother-in-law who is like that. He can be sober for long intervals and even be a "social drinker" when he's in the right setting and "stop" when everyone else does. However, over the years he invariably will go on a "binge" (not a multi-day binge), usually when he's with a certain crowd. DUI's follow or getting picked up by the cops wobbling down the sidewalk. However, there can be year+ gaps between these incidents.
It is some times tough to categorize what I am describing above. Is he an alcohlic, I guess so given the broad classification that pertains to alcohol abuse. However, the hands don't shake, the person feels immediate remorse and without any 12 step inderdiction acts "normal" for a long time until the next binge.
I think that PECOTA is underestimating the bounce that Garza will get in his value by both leaving the AL East and getting to face the #8/#9 hitters in the NL Central.
In non-keeper leagues I certainly like Garza over the other 3. Also, he seems to be a "workhorse" type that can reliably give you 200 IP's per year.
Great to see your stuff on BP, Jason.
Moonlight, welcome to BP. Also know your work from elsewhere.
I'd just be careful that none of these guys have developed Aaron Harang syndrome.
Harang's performance has declined in 2009/2010. However, he has maintained an elite K/BB ratio (along with good velocity) that has caused stat-heads to label him as "unlucky" and due for a bounce back. However, in watching many of Harang's outings during this period I recall seeing a lot of "fat" fastballs hit really hard. Throwing too many strikes or catching too much of the fat part of the plate. In any event, he was getting the results that he deserved when one actually watched his games.
Thanks Will. I have thoroughly enjoyed UTK over the years. It is the main reason that I subscribe to BP, although I do love KG's daily minor league updates.
I will look for your work elsewhere, whereever that may be.
Best of luck
It is a 20-80 logrithmic scale.
So 50 is avg.
60 is 1 std deviation above avg
70 is 2 std deviations above avg (~ 95 percentile)
80 is 3 std's above (99+ percentile).
reciprocal for 40, 30, 20
IMO, what is flawed in these generational comparisons is it gives the modern player the benefit of all of the modern advances (training, nutrition, instruction, scouting, etc). If Willie Mays were a contemporary player the real compare would be how would Mays perform if he had all of the modern day tools at his disposal that Adam Jones has availed himself of.
KG: Love the bat. I know that you are not bashful on putting "high ceiling" youngsters up in the rankings. Does Arcia have a shot at the 2011 pre-season Top 25?
Yes, agree that Differential (K-BB) is more predictive than K/BB. However, K/BB I believe is uses and will continue to be more prevalent as a metric because it is inherently scalable. We all know that pitchers like Halladay and Cliff Lee are studs, thus we really don't need a dozen different metrics that tell us what we already know.
The real "value add" in baseball is the predictivity of prospects/young MLB pitchers in terms of what they might become. K/BB (or better yet K% and BB% as % of Batters Faced) allow for easy compare points across pitchers with different innings totals, or to compare trends easily as a prospect jumps up the minor league levels.
Best stuff in this regard on the net, keep em coming KG!
+1 Keep em coming!!
I read 92-94
He'll be 19 in September, so his "peer group" is really the 2010 prep draft classe (Taillon, Cole, COvey, Whiston, Allie, etc).
Nice start, but if he sits 92-94 I guess he still is very projectible (6'7" and skinny) but his velo and stuff wouldn't stand out against the above peer group
From what I've seen/read I think that Delgado and Teheran are really at parity at this juncture.
Both are easily Top 25 prospects at this stage. It is a big deal for me when young talented, live arms make the move up to AA and dominate.
Intuitively, I have trouble believing that the Players Association will agree to "constrain" bonuses and salaries of draftees via a slotting system.
Baseball's union is the strongest union in sports. The NFL has a much weaker union and will have an open labor agreement one year earlier than baseball, yet the notion of rookie salary scale in football is unlikely to be a priority and get adopted. If they can't jam it through in football, I see little chance of getting put in place in baseball.
I think that unless Wright improves his approach and can make more consistent contact against better pitchers, like he did from 2005-2008 that he will be more likely to see an erosion in his SLG% and he will be walked less frequently as well. So his OPS is likely to fall unless he can make some positive adjustments at the plate.
Even his HR's this year have been on massive upper cut swings. He use to have a much more compact swing and hit a ton EBH's into the gaps, not so much anymore. His swing has gotten too long and thus too slow. Also, since the beaning against Cain last year, he is still gun shy on inside pitches.
Watch ~ 150 Met games a year. 100% agree
There is something very different in David Wright than any learned baseball observor can clearly see with 2009-2010 version compared to the 2005-2008 version.
He is overmatched by league average RH fastballs with an alarming frequency. Coupled with a propensity to bail out and pull his head on breaking pitches that threaten the inner-half of the zone.
Hopefully he gets his stroke back in some sort of consistent manner, but it is an abuse of "statheadism" to throw measures around and "conclude" that nothing has changed with D Wright. It simply ain't so.
I think that this aspect is over-rated.
Jeff George would have been a great baseball player. If possessed comparable greatness it would have shined. This isn't a "diva WR" or Stephon Marbury, this is baseball. Largely an individual performance sport. It is you at the plate and in the field to make plays and execute.
Barry Bonds was the biggest A-hole ever and ignoring roids the greatest player ever.
I would think that a stat-head site above all would recognize the minimal effect that Harper also being an A-hole (and I won't judge on that regard for several years) will have on his baseball prowess.
Typo should be 2011.
I know that you are on a role in the opposite direction. However, here\'s a financial angle that has been missed.
The Yankees have grossly mismanaged their $275M asset, in ARod. It is unexcusable that they let him \"wing it\", spin lies and come across so poorly in his press conference. For Christ sake, there were no follow up question even allowed. The questions for the most part were in the newspapers in advance.
I have been witness in Corporate litigation and have had colleagues testify in front of Congress and a good company will prepare its subjects for these events with real \"dry runs\" and no question will be a surprise. ARod and the Yankees had image consultants and plenty of lawyers to have ARod in a state of readiness to come off 100% better than he did and not have left certain doors \"wide open\" for investigative journalists to prove ARod a liar and thus throw into doubt his entire timeline of usage.
This is both a \"steroids\" story and a \"celebrity\" story because ARod is part \"Juicer\" and part \"Brittany\".
He has 3 50 HR seasons that are now all linked to steroids. Yes, I am including the 2007 season as he had the equivalent of \"Radomski/McNamee\" touring with him for a good part of the season.
Steroids effect people in a different manner. Some get really good results with them. Sammy Sosa, McGwire made their careers with them. Palmiero went from Keith Hernandez-lite to putting up seasons that Willie McCovery would have been proud of, thanks to the Juice.
ARod reaps what he has sown. He could have contained this story but his insecurity forces him lie at every juncture in a lame attempt to make things seem \"less bad\" than the reality.
I normally respect BP\'s work. But there seems to be an approach here that tries correlate the fact that Juan Rincon was mediocore with and without steroids, ERGO, roids have had little to do with the HR tallies put up by Bonds, McGwire, Palimiero, Sosa, Arod, Luis & Juan Gonzalez, Tejada.
Various BP writers made a big stink about amphetimines and the huge impact that the elimination of \"speed\" would have on the game. Wrong, as BP failed to recognize a very self-evident fact that other \"legal products\" and/or simple \"life style changes\" can readily be used in lieu of amphetimines without a diminution in production.
Will, I love your work. It just seems like there is a \"Company Line\" at BP to be contrarian on steroids. Imply that they don\'t make much of a performance difference. Again \"juicing\" is not a one size fits all thing. Some get really big gains and others do not.
A decent article but look in the mirror.
BP would not exist as a business, be it not for the obsession that many baseball fans have with stats and performance. If fans weren\'t obsessed with this stuff and baseball was simply qualitatively viewed like ballet, than 95% of BP would be irrelevant. So you feed at the trough, even more so, than the writers that you deride.
This is all about the records and the integrity of the HR numbers. That\'s why the NFL gets a \"ho hum\" pass on PEDs.
A-Rod does matter, iust as much as Bonds, McGwire, Clemens and other mega icons who have put up mega-stats. Now inflated stats, that should be asterisked.
Thank you Seneca Roberts for \"outing\" another star.