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Thanks! Except for the joke, this is great work.
Terrific work. Well done!
I'd be a lot happier if you took the time you used to write:
"Much like the awkward in-between state that 20th century American poet Britney Jean Spears spoke of in “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” from her classic Britney collection, the Twins’ best long-term building blocks are not prospects, but not yet established stars."
and instead analyzed the players. Is it possible to pay extra to filter out the jokes and distracting references to songs and movies?
Congratulations on doing amazingly interesting, analytical research. Your article was fun to read, and it certainly makes a lot of sense.
However, I worry that your conclusions aren't yet fully justified by the evidence. For example, while it's true that the legitimacy of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> has been investigated, the investigation was done by the inventor rather than by a neutral researcher. Similarly, in your footnotes you talk about having "confirmed" particular hypotheses, but in reality all you've done is to provide supporting evidence. Finally, while you make a strong case that DRA is an improvement over <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a> in many regards, I agree with Marshaja that such a result doesn't necessarily imply that DRA is superior to ERA for the purposes of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31191">Cy Young</a></span> consideration.
My guess is that DRA will keep evolving and eventually will become a commonly-used metric, but right now I'm not sure that your results justify your conclusions.
I'm very happy that the Cubs won their first World Series in over 100 years, but my main takeaway is that they succeeded despite serious mistakes by manager Joe Maddon in his handling of the pitching staff. It all started in game #6, when Maddon took a huge gamble by having closer <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=53014">Aroldis Chapman</a></span> pitch more than two innings despite having an initial lead of 7-2. Maddon then compounded this mistake in game #7 by taking out <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=69172">Kyle Hendricks</a></span> too early, bringing in <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45548">Jon Lester</a></span> with a man on base, and asking a burnt-out Chapman for a two-inning save. That the Cubs won is a testament to their terrific talent, not the manager's decision-making.
While we're picking on <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a>, take a peek at the Prospectus and compare the 2017 forecast with the 2016 forecast for your favorite young players. For some reason, PECOTA appears incapable of predicting much improvement.
You're right that we agree about using Urias out of the bullpen, but I'd prefer to have him pitch fewer innings than you seem to be happy with.
Well done! I agree with the analysis, but not the conclusion. My guess is that the Dodgers would be better off with De Leon in the rotation, Urias in the bullpen, and all those injured guys watching from the stands.
This isn't a bad idea, but it doesn't solve the biggest problem with <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a>, the "situational" intentional walk.
Except for <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=58880">Dee Gordon</a></span>, I'd trade the two star players for the one star players. There's a lot of potential profit down there.
What a terrific idea, and what a superbly written article. Well done!
I hope your BP colleagues notice that the best article of the year didn't include a single joke or pun.
It's a lot easier to analyze these potential trades if we consistently know the kind of league involved. In a keeper league, for example, I'd grab Seager in trade three.
I had the same reaction to the article. Lindor and Russell may do worse in 2016 than they did in 2015, but in a keeper league, they're extremely valuable.
Nicely done! I'd rather have <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=60645">Ben Paulsen</a></span> than about ten of these guys, but I otherwise agree with you.
I agree completely. Plus he's a ton of fun to watch in person. His mannerisms are amusingly quirky and amazingly athletic.
I agree with you. However, we shouldn't encourage BP when it comes to humor because they might consider putting tons of bad jokes in the Prospectus.
Well done! Some people forget that UCLA's third starter was a second-round pick who already has pitched in the majors: <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=65897">Rob Rasmussen</a></span>.
This is yet another excellent article by the BP staff. Well done! With luck, you'll be allowed to write blurbs of this quality (instead of jokes) in next year's BP annual.
It takes real work to have your <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> lower than your BA. In Seager's case, it's because he has no walks and one sacrifice fly.
You don't say much about the draft choice. It appears to be more valuable than either of the minor leaguers that the Braves got. Is it?
One game I'm looking forward to is Matt Kemp's return to Dodger Stadium as a Padre ... which coincidentally is Opening Day.
Impressions are subjective, so I could be wrong, but it's typically Friedman who makes public statements or whose opinions are analyzed. In yesterday's LATimes article about AJ Ellis, for example, AJ mentioned that he was pleased that Friedman had called him before the Kemp trade was announced to tell him that Grandal was being acquired.
However, my opinions don't matter. The purpose of my question was to ask if RJ or Tucker knew for sure that Farhan had made the decision. That'd be interesting information.
I'm sorry to bother you with a question that you might not be able to answer, but do you know for sure that it was Farhan Zaidi who made this decision? The impression we get here in LA is that it's Andrew Friedman who is making the final call on acquisitions.
I'm sure that jokes are a sensitive topic at BP after the Prospectus disaster, but this is a pretty good pun. I enjoyed it!
Another explanation for this odd outcome might be that the Orioles are very concerned that his neck injury is serious but the Braves aren't.
I agree, and I'd even go beyond that to say that Dickerson should be in the stud category.
I agree that Bumgarner's excellence should outweigh the Pirate home field advantage and push the Giants into the next round. The game is today, not Thursday, but "everyone knows that."
Another alternative is a much earlier trading deadline.
I honestly don't think that should be considered a 3-9. What actually happened is that Myers was moved to first base for the play.
I agree with the majority. This is very discouraging news.
From what I hear, you have eloquently summarized the Dodger take on Tanaka and just about nailed the amount of their offer. It'll be interesting to see who is right.
Nicely done. I think that the Dodgers will sign a utility infielder and won't consider carrying Mike Baxter, but I agree with everything else.
If you ever want to fully appreciate how good Kershaw is, go to one of his games about 40 minutes early and watch his long toss warmup. He starts at about 120 feet, makes 5 throws, and then backs up. This continues until he's on the opposite side of the stadium, perhaps 200-250 feet away from his catcher. Each throw is virtually effortless, and the catcher barely has to move his glove to catch it. It has to be seen to be believed.
Uribe looks bad in the field (and at the plate and on the basepaths, for that matter), but his defensive performance last year was stunningly good. As you imply, a secondary factor in the Dodger decision to bring him back is that he has a brother-like relationship with Yasiel Puig.
And there are no guarantees that Profar and Castellanos will win starting jobs, but all three sure seem likely.
BP would be pretty boring if you analyzed only those events that were guaranteed to happen.
Yup. We Dodger fans have already been saying that the team made a mistake in not resigning him. His fielding ability, positional flexibility, and bat control made him very useful on the field, and he's a "glue guy" in the clubhouse.
Is there any chance of finding a synonym for "hit tool?"
Danny Espinosa hit .216 with 2 homers at AAA this year, so I think Nick Punto is far superior. He'd hit better and field better and in addition be a great mentor for Bogaerts.
Buckgunn says: "If Craig was out by a mile Demuth could've called Craig out despite the obstruction."
But sephrath says: "Once the obstruction is called the runner is awarded the base."
Does anyone know which comment is correct?
Sorry. I withdraw the comment about his improvement. That came went he went back to AA. I still see him as a reliever, however.
Check out Rasmussen's improvement once he went to the bullpen, and you'll see why I think he's going to be a solid (though not spectacular) lefty specialist in the majors.
Your overall point is excellent, but it's not reasonable to say that Shuck has been "significantly better" than Hamilton. I think that they've been pretty even, but if forced to choose, I'd rather have Hamilton's 2013 than Shuck's.
Is it too late to request a synonym for "hit tool?"
Thanks for the great article. I agree that Olt has to be ranked #1, but if he doesn't turn his hitting around soon, he'll be passed by Stites. Stites' control should have him pitching in the 8th or 9th inning for the Diamondbacks within a year or two.
I think that you're coming around to the very logical hypothesis that there are a number of distributions of team win percentage, not just one.
Your description of the specification search implies that you automatically use a third-order variable when you forecast. Is that true, or does it just appear that way?
I must be missing something. How can it be better to trade Fister and Marte for Bruce than it would be to trade Fister and Marte for Bruce and Morales?
To make things worse, I wouldn't do either trade (perhaps because I overvalue Fister and Marte).
Because DeShields walked?
I agree completely. My guess is that Mattingly is thinking of Cruz as a utility player.
This is an excellent format for an article; well done!
Well done! This is a terrific article!
Sorry, I wasn't clear. My point was that Takahashi is on the Angels, not the Dodgers, so it'd be impossible for the Dodgers to bring up Rubby and send down Takahashi.
Well done as usual. The Dodgers say that they plan on using De La Rosa out of the bullpen, and they sent down Guerra, not Takahashi.
He also backed off about half way down the third-base foul line.
Yup! This is a terrific idea for an article. I'm a Dodger fan, so I have high hopes that we'll turn things around, but the team that really impresses me is Washington. I'd predict a Texas-Washington World Series in 2015.
Evo, you might be right, but I don't see a need to be rude to Sam in order to disagree with his point.
To me, the attributes that lead to stealing bases are the ability to read pitchers and acceleration, but none of our metrics get very close to measuring either one. I know what you're trying to say when you claim that "the most important part of stealing bases is an ability to get on base in the first place," but if that were true, then Ted Williams and Babe Ruth would have stolen quite a few more bases.
Very interesting. Could you explain that "rank diff" column in the last chart? I can't figure out how it was calculated.
Welcome to BP. From a Hardball Times point of view, however, I have only one comment: Sheesh!
I do. Let's slide "The Natural" in at #3.
Baseball reports "tickets sold" instead of actual attendance, so the Dodgers are doing much worse than your numbers suggest. Season tickets aren't being used or are being sold for absurdly low prices on secondary sites. I'm a season ticket holder, and I've gone to only one Dodger game since May.
For anyone other than Bauer, this article would make sense, but it seems to me that Bauer's whole training philosophy is to prepare him to handle these workloads. If he can help the D-Backs, and he wants to pitch, I say let him!
Many thanks to Colin for an interesting article and to Dave and Mike for calming things down a bit.
I've said this before, but I continue to be puzzled that component approaches to ERA leave out pitcher SB/CS and baserunner pickoff analysis. Derek Lowe is almost absurdly easy to steal on, while some lefties have virtually no stolen base attempts against them. It seems likely that this difference has a statistically significant impact on actual ERA.
I've been trying to analyze this stuff a bit, but the data I can find aren't completely accurate. For example, a successful pickoff attempt that is negated by a bad throw by the firstbaseman, allowing the runner to get to second, is scored as a stolen base and charged to the pitcher who picked the baserunner off in the first place!
Or is this the kind of complexity that everyone is railing against?
What a great article!
Well done, but why do you use K/BB to measure a "low walk rate" instead of UBB/IP? It seems to me that using K/BB runs the risk of having a high stikeout pitcher with only average control appear to have a low walk rate.
Welcome to BP! I've been reading your work on my brother's website for years, so I have mixed feelings about you "jumping ship." Still, it'll be fun to see what happens when we combine your expertise with BP's metrics. My only request is that now and then you think about issues from the point of view of those of us who play APBA or Stat.
Thanks. I thought that's where it came from. Tango et. al.'s conclusion is that "your three best hitters should bat somewhere in the #1, #2, and #4 slots."
However, their analysis of #3 vs. #5 is trickier than you imply, because they'd put the better HR guy in #3 but put the better pure hitter (singles, doubles, triples, and walks) in #5. Either way (using your approach or their approach) blindly putting a punch and judy guy in the second slot and the best pure hitter in the third spot is suboptimal.
Interesting! I must have missed the article that concludes that to optimize runs the third batter should not be one of the four most talented hitters on the team. Could you explain it again?
I like the idea of this article, but it lacks the depth and analytical content that characterizes most BP work. Why not compare the forecasts in a systematic way?
That was a terrific series of articles. Thank you!
Does JAWS include post-season play? In Mariano's case, his post-season play is a formidable addition to his case, it seems to me.
Well done. It's fun to see someone use microeconomics to analyze trades!
However, wouldn't your comments apply to just about every trade? That is, every team that trades for a player (or drafts a player) is likely to encounter a Winner's Curse because they probably value that player more than any other team and therefore run the risk of having overpaid.
While I love the analysis of popups, I disagree with your view that Weaver has done better than expected.
I certainly don't see the point of your flip comment that "many were surprised that Jeff even had a younger brother."
Those surprised people weren't paying attention. Jered was was one of the best pitchers in Southern California history, and he was drafted in the first round, 12th overall. If anything, my guess is that many feel that he has an even higher ceiling than he has shown to date.
I agree completely. This gives far too much weight to stolen bases.
I think that David Ross is a superb #2 catcher, but PECOTA would force him to mop the bullpen bathroom to earn his keep. Do you know what's driving that horrible forecast?
First of all, this is a terrific article. Thanks for writing it!
Second, I agree with TGisriel and Ira that you're not paying enough attention to the business side of December and January free agent signings. Right now, thousands of season ticket holders are trying to decide whether to renew, and a well-timed free agent signing could send a signal to those fans about the team's intentions. For example, just when I had concluded that the Dodgers were going to spend no money at all for the rest of eternity, they up and sign Jamey Carroll. Now I'm starting to wonder if perhaps the Dodgers have a free-agent budget after all, and I'm more likely to renew my season tickets.
I think that your comment about Torre is unfair and makes me wonder if you've been watching the same Dodger bullpen that I have. Troncoso didn't have just one bad innning against the Cardinals, he's had bad inning after bad inning. I can't calculate WXRL, but his ERA after the All-Star game has been 4.85, while Belisario's has been 1.21. I love your columns, but in this one case I disagree with you.
I guess that I'm in the minority here, but I found Will's column to be well-written, timely, and very useful. Keep up the good work!
A real winner!
What a fun article! Well done!
When you get a chance, it'd interesting to see how rare Eric Gagne's IP string was.
Jay, did your projections take the quality of the opposition into account?
Thanks for a thoughtful and well-done article!