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I'm curious about Drew Hutchison too ? Was he close to making the Under 25 list ?
As a Phillies fan, I think this is a terrible signing. The only positive I can take out of it is that perhaps Ruin Tomorrow Jr is doing Phillies fans a favor. If he opted to rebuild now, it would be predicated on his ability to identify good young talent. By going for it one more time, he will get fired and perhaps someone competent will get to do the rebuild. Of course, this is the Phillies so the odds of them hiring a competent GM to replace Ruin are slim to none. I mean why start hiring competent people now ?
In a perfect world does Wilmer Font grow into(scratch that, turn into) a latter day Lee Arthur Smith ?
I think there are really two questions here, and they need to be answered separately, this article and every other article I've read about bunting conflates the two questions and doesn't really answer either of them.
The questions are does bunting work, and is it used appropriately by managers. To answer the question of whether bunting works you have to know what it is intended to do, you wouldn't measure the efficacy of the chicken pox vaccine by looking at the incidence of flu among people who did or didn't get the vaccine. Likewise, looking at run expectancy is useless because bunting is not a strategy employed to maximize run production, it is employed to reduce the probability of NOT scoring a run.
I think it is common to think that the only thing that matters is maximizing run production, but this is nonsense. You could have two investment vehicles, one with a 25% avg return and one with a 10% avg return, yet the vehicle with the 25% avg return would leave you penniless for retirement. You can't ignore volatility, and that's exactly what this analysis does(as well as every other similar article I've read). What's more the whole point of bunting is essentially to reduce volatility(at least on the downside of not scoring a run), so analyzing something designed to reduced volatility by ignoring volatility is useless. The answer to the question of whether bunting works is to look at what % of the time a team doesn't score at least one run when bunting vs not bunting. If there is no difference or a very small difference then yes, maybe bunting doesn't work.
This article shows again that there is a trade off being made when you bunt, there is an opportunity cost, but I don't think that is really news is it ? Did anyone really think giving up an out wouldn't negatively impact overall run production ? This article establishes that managers indeed sacrifice something when they bunt, the real question is what do they get in return for that sacrifice ?
Sounds like Geoff Young is going to owe me a beer....
The Phillies are the proof of Pat Gillick's genius. That he was able to win a World Series with that organization is simply remarkable. It is an in-bred organization that interprets criticism of themselves as proof that they are right and know better than anyone else.
To me the move that defines the franchise was the hiring of Gary Mathews as an announcer. If you listened to a Phillies game during his first season it was remarkable, he was simply the worst announcer I have ever heard, completely incompetent. But he was one of their 'guys' so despite the criticism of Mathews, they brought him back and keep on bringing him back. To Mathews credit he has worked hard, and has improved a lot, but he still stinks. Anyway, in a nutshell that's the Phillies: a retirement home for guys they like and no else wants.
Final point, while Gillick was the guy who got the team to the Promised Land, the demise of the Phillies began in November 2008 when Mike Arbuckle left, the farm system has been in a free fall since. When the Bill Giles Era finally ends it will go down as decades of futility, 1993, and a few years of Pat Gillick.
Gose debuted in he majors at age 21, and as he is still just 22 this season, I think it is a bit premature to write him off. Gavin Floyd has been a solid pitcher for the White Sox for several years. Let's not forget Gio Gonzalez. Both he and Floyd were traded to the White Sox for Freddy Garcia, that worked out well.
Rube traded Cliff Lee to the Mariners for nothing, where were the great scouts then ?
You say the study was from 2006-2012, but 2012 was the validation or test period, and wouldn't have been used in actually creating the model. So, the model was trained on 6 seasons of data, how many actual observations were there in the study, and how many instances of injury were there ? It doesn't seem like that sample size is really all that large, which would increase the chance that the statistical significance was by chance. Alternatively, it could be that HR rate is significant, but the fact that it came up as the most important factor was due to chance. Also, I'm curious, just how predictive was the model ? Could you show a CAP curve or something like that, of break the 2012 pitcher in injury risk deciles or quintiles and show the injury rates by decile/quintile ?
The paradox or irony is that the more an individual's performance exceeds the league average(and assuming a reasonable sample size) the more confident we are that his 'true talent' > league average talent AND that he was the beneficiary of some good luck. Those two explanations are not mutually exclusive, you can be lucky and good.
So, if Bryce Harper had an evil identical twin, who had posted identical stats as Bryce until they were both called up to the majors, at which time Bryce posted a .300 TAv while his evil twin posted a .250 TAv, assuming a league average TAv of say .275 PECOTA would roughly do the following. Since Bryce and his evil twin had identical priors, they would have identical 'true talent' entering 2012. The disparity in performance in 2012 would be attributed to some combination of luck and skill(according to the # of MLB PA's, fewer PA's more luck, more PA's less luck), and for 2013 Bryce would be projected to perform worse, and his evil twin would be projected to perform better. But, Bryce's projection would be better than his evil twin's, with the difference between the two corresponding to the # of MLB PA's. In other words, if they had 100 PA's the difference in projections would be smaller than if they had 500 PA's.
I think if Harper had batted .230/.290/.360 last year PECOTA would project him to improve, since the MLB mean is better than that. In other words, if you suck, then regressing to the mean helps you(you probably weren't as bad as your stats say). Harper didn't suck, he was good, so regression works against him as PECOTA assumes he was the beneficiary of some good luck.
Where's the love for Wilmer Font ?
it wouldn't take 2 weeks to play. This year's is scheduled for 17 days, but that's because the 1st round games are staggered, if the all happened at the same time, you could probably get it down to 2 weeks, less if you threw in a doubleheader or two.
Why not have the WBC in July as part of an extended All-Star break ? It's basically a 2 week event, maybe it could be compressed a bit down to 10 days if a few doubleheaders are worked into the 1st round.
Here's what I find funny about the criticism of DM on this, and I don't mean to single you out, I just happened to think of this after reading your comment.
It feels like on the one hand people say it was bad trade because of the tremendous value of Myers and the other prospects that the Royals gave up. They cite the accuracy of projection systems, etc to back up their belief that the Royals gave up too much. On the other hand those same people turn around and say it was also a dumb trade because the Royals aren't ready to win now. They only won 72 games last year, and Frenchy sucks and Guthrie sucks and so the whole thing is hopeless.
But, what about those projections that those same people cite when talking about Myers ? If those projections are worth anything then there has to be a pretty good chance of substantial improvement from Hosmer and Moose this year. Frenchy as craptastic as he is probably won't post -3 WARP again(if he's playing that badly and the Royals are in contention he wouldn't get the chance). The rotation is definitely bolstered by Shields, Davis and Santana. Why is 16 games such an impossible mountain to climb for a team that clearly has improved it's rotation and has a line-up full of young stars and top prospects ?
It seems like people expect some sort of nice orderly progression from bad to good, and since the Royals were bad last year, they must first be mediocre before we can even think about them being good. This seems unrealistic. Teams don't improve linearly, it happens in leaps and bounds. Arizona improved by 29 games in 2011, Milwaukee by 19 in 2011, the Reds and Nationals improved by 18 games last year,Baltimore improved by 24 last year and Oakland by 20. In 2011, Detroit improved by 14 games. It's just not that unusual.
the Baseball Reference numbers were offensive WAR, they ignore defense, and on offense alone he was worth just 1 win per year. Rivera was worth less than .5 WAR per year on offense. So, on offense alone Konerko > Rivera. On defense, Rivera had positive WAR, Konerko negative, and it was enough to essentially even out their value according to B-REF.
This confirms what I felt in the aftermath of the KC-TB trade that people(fans) are too confident in projection systems, causing them to underestimate risk, and overvalue prospects. If you look at the top 10 offensive players by WAR last year, probably only Cano and Zobrist weren't ever considered really top prospects. But just because the top players were almost all top prospects, doesn't mean that all top prospects become top players. But you don't see Ruben Rivera and Karim Garcia failing every day so it's easy to forget about them. Even guys who do ultimately succeed may take longer than expected to get there. If Wil Myers follows the Alex Gordon career path, then he'll have 3 good seasons out his 6 cost controlled seasons. Maybe Dayton Moore is exploiting a new market inefficiency, taking advantage of teams that are placing too much faith their ability to predict how prospects will turn out. If there is a prospect 'bubble' so to speak caused by analytic hubris, then DM is doing exactly the right thing by cashing some of his chips in now.
According to Baseball Reference Konerko had 8.5 offensive WAR in his 1st 4 seasons in Chicago. They were bookended by two -1 offensive WAR seasons. So, by that he was a 1 win offensive player for his 1st 6 years.
The problem I have with most evaluations of this trade is that they seem to focus almost exclusively on the expected return, but ignore the risk portion of the equation. I agree that the expected return for the Rays exceeds that expected return for the Royals in this deal, but the Royals have a higher floor on their return than the Rays, and that's important.
Give me a choice between taking $1 million, or flipping a coin and getting $4 million if it comes up heads. On expected return alone, I should obviously go for the coin flip, but personally there's no way in hell I would do it. The certainty of $1 million is far too valuable to me. Warren Buffet would probably flip the coin. I would flip the coin if I knew I could play the game 15 or 20 times. But if I only get one shot at it, screw expected value. I'm the Royals and the Rays are Warren Buffet. Making the playoffs and being viewed as competitive has immense value to the Royals right now(I'm told the first million is that hardest to make), the Rays are already stacked and competitive, they're already rich and can afford to take chances.
I think the trade makes sense for both teams, and since the Rays are assuming more risk(in terms of potential MLB performance vs actual MLB performance) they are being compensated appropriately with a higher overall expected return.
Factor in that you missed Loney's 1.190 OPS at Tropicana Field and it's obvious that he will be the 2013 AL MVP, not to mention the first batter to hit over .400 since whenever that happened last.
I think Loney is going to be a HUGE bargain for the Rays. He's got an .807 career OPS on the road, vs .707 @ home. Factor in the platoon split, and if TB plays him vs RHP only, a line like .300/.360/.490 seems about right. Now throw in the fact that he is 28/29 which is prime time as far as career years go, he's coming off a sub-par season perhaps fueled by some bad luck(based on his low BABIP), and he is on a one year contract and it's his last hope of breaking through and getting a big contract. Everything is in alignment for him to go off, I think this a great signing.
Futures betting would be a lot more fun if it were more liquid. People who bet on the Blue Jays at 35-1 have to be petty happy right now, except that they have no mechanism(at least that I'm aware of) to take the money and run. There must be some payoff(I'll just make up a number 3-1) that would reduce the sports books potential liability and yet be enticing enough for some people to cash their tickets out now. For example, I bet $100 on the Jays at 35-1, they are now 11-1, that's great but the chances of me collecting are still pretty small, so maybe I would be happy to cash my ticket now for a guaranteed $300 profit. Meanwhile the sports book has reduced their exposure by $3,500. Since they are are now saying the Jays have about a 9% chance of winning the expected value of a 35-1 ticket would be about 3-1. It seems like the sports book could reduce volatility in their overall payout, but more importantly it would probably lead to more wagering which would mean more profits.
My first memory was 1993, blah, blah, blah.... damn kids, aren't there any grown ups at BP !?!
My first memory is Bert Campaneris sliding into first base, I believe during the World Series or playoffs, what year I don't know other than early 70's. He must have been trying to elude a tag, although why the 1B would be trying to tag him instead of touching the base I don't know, bad throw perhaps, anyway for some reason that made quite an impression on me, and the announcers too who made a big deal about the play.
I've lived in San Diego for 10 years now, and have only been able to see Padres games on TV for about half a season. Started out with DirecTV which didn't carry the old cable channel the Pads were broadcast on. Switched to Time Warner early this year, only to have them not carry FSSD, then switched back to DirecTV(for reasons not related to the Padres, just the fact that TWC sucks). I have no idea what channel FSSD is on and don't really care. Petco is a great stadium and I go down there on occasion, but it's just as easy to go up to Anaheim, and over my 10 years in San Diego I've seen more Angels games on TV than Padres. I think the O'Malley group paid way too much, and when was the last time anyone made money off of something they bought from John Moores ?
Of course a SAC fly doesn't actually hurt your batting average.
A ground out that scores a run would hurt your batting average, but it should, shouldn't it ? If there were 2 outs, the run wouldn't count. So, the batter must have been up with a man on 3rd and less than 2 outs. In such a situation it seems doubtful that the batters intention was to hit a ground ball to drive in the run, a fly ball would work just as well, and a base hit would be even better. It seems like the main goal at that point would be simply to make contact.
Regardless the fact that the leader in SF's has 12, tells me all I need to know about the quality of this argument. We're talking about players who hit ~3 to ~4 times more homers than the SF leader had in SF's, and I'm supposed to believe that SF's are somehow important in determining who was the better player ?
What about grounding into DP's ? Cabrera led the AL with 28, Trout had 7. That right there wipes out the SAC fly argument.
Assuming Trout can get the extra .1 WARP in Sept, then Trout's age 20 season >= Eric Hinske's career. Awesome.
Replace the stadium lights with heat lamps and the problem is solved....
This is what I mean, Fox Sports made a billion dollar bet on the Padres. I don't see how it can pay off if 40% of the market doesn't have access to Fox Sports San Diego. Advertisers aren't going to pay top $ for a channel that only reaches 60% of the potential audience. Fox may think they can strong arm TWC into paying but I doubt it. TWC still won't pay for the NFL Network, and the fact that Cox, AT&T and Dish are all holding out as well doesn't bode well.
I wonder how these deals are structured. Let's say the economics of this deal just don't work. People don't care about the Padres and they don't complain to TWC, Cox and the others and they don't switch providers. Fox has to drop their price or accept less ad revenue and let's say they end up losing money on the deal. How strong is the connection between Fox and Fox Sports San Diego ? Is Fox obligated to make good on the Fox Sports San Diego contract ? Or is Fox Sports San Diego an independent entity that can default or go bankrupt to escape a bad contract with the Padres ? What recourse would the Padres have ?
Meanwhile, this North County San Diegan has attended more Angels games than Padres games over the past 2 years. It's not that much further to Anaheim, tickets are often cheaper, the product is better and I can actually follow the Angels on TV.
I find the notion that the Padres are worth substantially more today because of their TV rights than say a year ago laughable.
I've lived in San Diego for 10 years and I have yet to watch a local Padres broadcast in my own home, and I'm a pretty serious baseball fan, so I would have if I could have. When I first moved here I subscribed to DirecTV so I could get the Sunday Ticket, but DirecTV wouldn't carry the local sports net channel the Padres were on. Last year I switched to cable and thought great I'll be able to see the Padres. Not so fast, of course I have TWC in my area, and now they won't carry the Padres channel. Finally, last week I switched back to DirecTV which supposedly carries Fox Sports San Diego, so in theory I can now watch the Padres, I just have to sift through the hundred or so odd sports networks to find it.
My point is that it feels like teams/investors think they just have to create a sports network and they have a license to print money. But it feels like that conclusion is based on historic viewing levels in a much different environment. There are so many channels today that no one is going to stumble across a Padres game on Fox Sports San Diego by accident and decide to watch it. I just don't see how Fox Sports San Diego helps the Padres broaden their fan base thereby increasing the value of the franchise if the only people who will watch it/find it are already fans.
Of course none of this is even close to being significant or meaningful statistically. So, Harper went 0 for 17 thru mid-May when he hit a breaking ball, and 8 for 18 since. That still gives him a .229 AVG when he hits a breaking ball which sucks. This is all much more likely to be random variation than anything else.
Personally, I can't stand Leitner. He seems like a very dim bulb, and I hate his used car salesman voice.
I agree, I have to pay AND deal with ads that take up half of the screen ? No thanks.
So, who's the coolest one of all ?
I'm disappointed, you know we "low numbers" need to stick together. We're more equal than the others, we are the 1%(perhaps literally if JOARGE9481 isn't a newcomer to BP).
I want to know when BP is going to run an article on commenter analytics. Who is the most prolific commenter ? Which commenters have the highest/lowest average rating , etc ? Inquiring minds want to know.
P.S. - please like this comment so that my average rating increases, thanks in advance.
Does Dominic Brown for Travis Snider make too much sense to actually happen ?
I find the 10 year forecasts a little disappointing because they don't really give you any idea about the upside or downside that a player might have. If it would be possible to display the p25 and p75 performance for each year I think that would lend some valuable context. For example, given two players who were projected for .270 TAv for the next several years it would be great to know if one had a p75 forecast of .290 and the other just .280. Not sure if that's possible, but thought I would throw it out there.
By the way, Gerardo Parra is not merely Gold Glove caliber like Young and Upton, he actually IS a Gold Glove outfielder.
If the Baseball Reference guys had a sense of humor they would link Billy Ripken's page to the name that was on his bat.
Tejada walked 8.6% of the time in 255 MLB PA's as a 20 year old, he walked 7.9% of the time in 1,800+ minor league PA's. To suggest his walk rate in 2011 was unprecedented is a bit of a stretch. The guy posted a .732 OPS in a full season as a 19yo in AA. He has consistently been promoted aggressively and has always been young for his level. How in the world is that consistent with the idea that he has little upside ? He seems like the poster boy for stats vs scouts.
How about Chris Sabo ?
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're always a day away.
Will the test results be published on Friday ?
Before I raise some questions, I'd like to say that I enjoyed the article and the extra transparency into the process. I think that there is room for improvement still, but I appreciate and enjoyed the article. I'm also happy to hear about the downplaying of regressing to a ML mean, that always bothered me, essentially by weighting previous seasons more it feels like you replacing regression towards the ML mean with regression towards the specific player's mean.
I'm very curious about the comps. If you sort the batters by age, you'll notice that all 19 years olds have the same 3 comps: Wayne Causey,Ed Kranepool,Robin Yount. Sometimes the order differs, but it's always the same players. This seems to back up what jrmayne says that minor league seasons aren't being used as comps, and suggests that all 19 year olds get compared to those 3 players because those are the only 3 available to use as comps. If that is true, I find it troubling. It wasn't long ago that BP ran Rany's articles about the importance of age in assessing player's potential. So, BP is on record having published that youth is a critical factor, yet if minor league seasons aren't used in comps, then the pool of potential comps shrinks more and more(meaning that the quality of the comps must decline) as the importance of the comps should be increasing to the model. All other things equal, a 19 year old should ultimately improve more than a 20 year old who should improve more than a 21 year old. If my understanding is correct, PECOTA sets it's expectations for improvement or growth based on the comps, so the time period where players should see the most growth is also the time period with the worst quality comps.
From my perspective this troubles me because the projections I care most about are the prospects. I get that whether Pujols hits 40 or 50 homers is probably due to chance. I don't particularly care if you say Votto will hit .300, .310 or .290 because that prediction probably says more about the biases of your projection system than it does about the reality of how good Votto actually is. The fact is that no current projection system is going to offer any real insight into an established player like Votto.
But, where a system I think can offer insight is in the younger players, making sense of what the minor league stats mean, assessing how that player might develop and grow over time based on what similar players have done. This is what I thought PECOTA was doing, but it sounds like that is not the case. If PECOTA's projections for all 19 year olds are based primarily on what Ed Kranepool and Wayne Causey did, I don't see how it can offer any insight into how those players will develop.
Can I assume from his absence on this list that there is no chance Alexi Amarista will break my heart ?
FWIW, the Philly media is reporting that the Phillies will get 2 picks for Madson, a sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds, AND the pick right before the Reds 2nd round pick. So, if you add it up, the Phillies moved down a few spots in the first round, but picked up an extra 2nd round pick by signing Papelbon instead of Madson.
Also, I think there is an argument to made that there is value in certainty, especially at the Phillies stage of the success cycle. Anything less than the World Series is basically a failure at this point, and you have deep pockets, so is it really worth it to play chicken with the free agent closer market ? If Papelbon sucks or gets hurt no one is going to blame Amaro that much because at least he tried, he made an aggressive move. If he waited to try and save money and ended up with say Frank Francisco who then proceeded to suck or get hurt, people would be calling for his head. In other words, I think Amaro was focused on maximizing his chance of being Phillies GM in 2013, not maximizing the Phillies' probability of winning it all in 2012.
But aren't you assuming that teams draft to maximize the value of each pick, and not the overall value of their draft ? And I suspect that teams may well be optimizing the overall value of their draft, and not the value of each pick.
What I mean is that perhaps older players while having less average value also exhibit less variance in their value, they are more predictable. If younger players are more boom or bust, teams might fear completely missing on a Top 100 pick, and prefer high floor, lower ceiling players in the early rounds. Then in the later rounds when the cost of completely missing on a guy isn't as high, they go for the younger, boom or bust types.
You can't really judge the quality of returns without an assessment of the risk incurred. So, yes younger players offer higher returns on average, but perhaps it is simply because they are riskier, in which case there might not really be a market inefficiency. There's only a market inefficiency when you can show that you can generate better returns without taking on extra risk.
"Wouldn't it be hysterical if they made a Moneyball movie one day? Wouldn't it be even more hilarious if they got some fat guy to play DePo?"
Wow. Where do you keep your time machine and how have you kept it secret for all these year ? So, what movie will be tops at the box office in July 2016 ?
I don't think we want an actual prediction just based on 40 innings. If a guy has gotten off to a hot start, there are basically 2 possibilities: he is the same pitcher but has just been lucky, or he has improved himself in some way and is actually a better pitcher.
If you base a prediction just on the 40 innings, you are assuming the latter, which is missing the point because the whole question is what do these 40 IP mean ?
If you base a prediction on past performance plus incorporate the new 40 IP, then your prediction essentially assumes the former that the guy is the same pitcher.
In other words, any prediction is close to useless because it assumes an answer to the question your asking, but it doesn't really answer the question.
I think what people really want to know is what was the probability of this 40 IP sample occurring given the past performance of this pitcher. If you can look at that 40 IP sample and say there was less than a 10% chance of that happening randomly given this guys previous level of performance, then maybe you conclude that the chance of him having improved is large enough to warrant picking him up in your fantasy league.
As the charter member of the Gerardo Parra fan club, I will generously offer to save you seats at his Hall of Fame induction in about 20 years. Seriously though, I've always envisioned a David DeJesus-like future for him. I think his walk rate will continue to increase, he tripled his walk rates when repeating A+ and AA ball. Also, he's been rushed by Arizona. He just turned 24 in May, he hit AA at age 21 with 300+ PA's and since then only got an additional 170 PA's in the minors after age 21. Don't forget he was a top 100 prospect after his age 21 season.
So, PECOTA sees Evan Longoria having the worst year of his career, but the BP staff sees him in the hunt for the AL MVP. Can someone please reconcile these two positions ? What is it that is throwing PECOTA off ? I don't think this is an unreasonable question to ask, is it ?
Were the comps re-run between the release of the weighted-means and now ? I looked at a few of the interesting comps from the weighted means release and there are big differences. For example, Jaff Decker's top 3 comps were Carlos May, Curt Blefary and Willie Mays in the weighted means spreadsheet. Now, May and Blefary are gone from the list of comps. Both were still major leaguers, so they wouldn't have been dropped because of that. Willie Mays is now in a tie for the 6th best comparable with Decker, instead of 3rd as he was in the spreadsheet. Also interesting is that many of Decker's comps appear to be speedy centerfielders like Mantle, Mays, Vada Pinson, and the Brothers Upton. It would be interesting to know how the comps factor in position, especially for older players where the data only shows they played OF, but not where in the OF.
Everett Williams has no comps on his player card, while Mickey Mantle was his top comp on the weighted means spreadsheet.
Here's a fun one, Nick Franklin had top 3 comps of Adrian Beltre, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. His new top 3 comps are Tim Foli, Ed Brinkman and Robin Yount. Consequently, the player compared to Hall of Famers now looks like he is projected to be out of the majors by 2015(since he has no upside beyond 2014, and even an old guy like Bobby Abreu has upside out to 2018).
Is there any comment on the projection for Longoria to have the worst year of his career ?
You've got that right. This is just Bad Management 101, a little bit of transparency would go a long way, although since this seems like a repeat of last year(actually it's even worse than last year) I guess they are probably correct if they think transparency wouldn't elicit much sympathy at this point.
I've been here a long-time though, and my natural inclination is to support BP. Had they actually delivered on some of the things that were mentioned 6 weeks ago when PECOTA first came out I'd be more patient now. But to my knowledge no one ever did post anything about Evan Longoria's bizarre projection after a staffer said they would look into it. There was a note that Colin was going to write something about the bizarre comps that people were noting on the PECOTA spreadsheet, again nothing. Oh well, just 5 more days.....
6 days left for me...if I want broken promises, missed deadlines, and deliverables undelivered I can find that for free lots of places, I don't need to pay for it.
Is there an ETA on the 10 year projections ?
yes, they are much better, I mean who needs comparable players, the 10 year projection, upside, etc when we have player pictures ?
I agree as well. It feels like web site content is delayed because of the book, which I suppose would be because of fear that the web site would cannibalize book sales. Personally, since I always buy the book and subscribe to the web site I would be more than happy to pay up front for a book/web site subscription so that I can see the content ASAP, and then send me the book whenever you get around to it. But the last two years have been ridiculous, PECOTA is perishable guys, it's worth less every day that you don't publish it.
I don't understand the caption on the picture for this article on the front page, according to Chass, Mathewson is in the best shape of his after-life.
It's more likely a result of comparing actual results to PECOTA projections. If an elite season is a top 5 season at a position, those are likely to be composed of career/fluke seasons where the player outperformed his expectations. PECOTA projections regress towards the mean to account for the extra luck that created the "elite" seasons, but it doesn't put that luck back into the system so to speak.
Actually, I suppose that's where the percentile distribution comes in, you can get a feel for best case vs worst case scenarios, but when you distill PECOTA to a single number you remove good luck, and there are simply very few players whose established or "true" level would place them in the top 5 at a position every year.
I think your objective definitions of good and bad should be based not on historical data, but rather the 2011 PECOTA projections. Comparing historical data and PECOTA projections is a bit apples and oranges isn't it ? This historical data are influenced by all of the outliers, the career or fluke seasons, but the PECOTA projections don't/can't account for luck(at least in the mean projection), so you systematically are under-rating everybody for 2011.
"Let’s assume that the [first] four innings of statistics -- the by-inning statistics -- are representative of what a pitcher would throw in innings five through eight. He’s coming in fresh, and if you look at how pitchers perform over their first four innings, you’ll see that it’s much better than how they perform over the successive innings."
That just feels like regression towards the mean. Let's say you have a pitcher who randomly gives up 1 run every other inning(his true ERA is 4.50). He also is always yanked if he gives up 4 runs. If you were to look only at his starts where he pitched 8 innings, then almost by definition they were starts where he outperformed(was lucky) in innings 1 thru 4, that's the only way a guy like that gets to pitch 8 innings. So, while it may look like his performance declines in later innings, it's really just a bias in how the data was selected.
The other thing that strikes me is that any team that tries to implement such an approach will be severely handicapping themselves in terms of talent acquisition. Just because one team decides to use starters this way doesn't mean that all teams will, and doesn't mean that starters will be paid according to this new usage pattern vs the established makrers like ERA, IP, Wins, etc. In other words, which top free agent pitchers would choose to pitch for a team employing this strategy? Which homegrown pitchers would choose to stay with a team employing this strategy instead of demanding a trade or leaving via free agency ? It seems that the costs in terms of talent acquisition would surely be high, but the returns on this strategy are hardly guaranteed, so I can't imagine anyone ever trying it.
Is it any wonder he's failed to live up to expectations if he's been running around hitting witches ? Think of the curses he's had to overcome just to be an average catcher.
I'm surprised PECOTA doesn't factor witch-hitting into it's projections.
I'm curious what would happen if you limited the sample to starters, and only starts where they exceeded some minimum number of pitches or IP to help control for "having it" vs "not having it". Maybe only look at starts with > 75 pitches, something like that. Of course that might wreak havoc with your sample size.
It seems like there could be a selection biases in play. Generally, pitchers only throw 100 pitches if they have been effective. So, is the data really showing that the pitchers are tiring, or is it just that bigger pitch counts are correlated to having good days ? If you're having a good day maybe it's because your secondary pitches are working that day, and that allows you to dial back a bit on your fastball. Likewise if your secondary stuff isn't working then maybe you try to make up for it with a little extra on your fastball. I can also imagine that if higher pitch counts are associated with pitcher effectiveness, then there could be a correlation to the pitcher working with a larger lead, in which case perhaps they dial it back if they are working with a 5 run lead.
For example in 2010, Sanchez's K:BB ratio goes from 1.81 to 2.04 to 2.13 to 3.54 for pitches 76-100. Does that suggest Sanchez really develops pinpoint control as the game goes on ? Of course not, he throws a lot of pitches when he's throwing well and has good control.
Was the data used for this just from 2010, or does it encompass all of Sanchez's career ? Because his first two years he was largely used as a reliever, which could also bias the results for the lower pitch counts.
I see your Melvin Nieves and raise you Roberto Petagine and BP Cover Boy Josh Phelps.
Butler has a career .285 TAv in over 2,000 PA's, he is still young, certainly not in the decline phase of his career, even if you wanted to argue there wasn't much room left for growth, and we're supposed to believe that he's going to post a .272 TAv in 2011 ?
Can someone please address some of the issues/concerns that have been raised about PECOTA ? Someone promised to look into the Longoria projection weeks ago but nothing happened. Colin was going to write something about the comparables, but that hasn't happened either. I don't think it is unfair to say that the projections for Butler and Longoria are unintuitive, and if the answer is regression towards the mean, doesn't it seem a bit overdone if two of the best young hitters of their generation are projected to post the worst seasons of their career(or close to it) merely because of regression towards the mean ?
These numbers don't make any intuitive sense.
Billy Butler posted a 3.2 WARP last year for the Royals, but Kila is projected to be the Royals best player this year with a 2.6 WARP. That means Butler is projected to drop below 2.6 WARP ? Really ?
Adam Jones had a 3.8 WARP last year, but is projected less than a 2.7 WARP this year(since Wieters is projected #1 for the O's at 2.7) ?
Stephen Drew is projected to drop from 4.3 WARP to less than 3 WARP ?
Andrew McCutchen is projected to fall from 3.5 to under 3 ?
Didn't Lenny Dykstra retire because of spinal stenosis, would it be less of a problem for a pitcher ?
So, he's right, the paper is not coming from Singapore.
This is where the comp stuff gets so confusing.
We have a 1B who at age 22, played well if the Calif. League and is projected as a below replacement level guy if he played in the majors at age 23.
At age 22, Hrbek hit .301/.363/.485 IN THE MAJORS in over 500 AB's.
Presumably there is some growth built into Poythress's 2011 projection which means if he is supposed to be below replacement level in 2011, he probably was in 2010 as well. So, how on earth can Poythress, a below replacement level guy have as one of his best comps Hrbek who was an All-Star and 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting at the same age ?
Fielder by the way hit .271/.347/.483 at age 22 in the majors. Gonzalez posted a .821 OPS in AAA at age 22. I don't think either would be classified as below replacement level.
I'm skeptical at the moment about PECOTA based on some of the comps, but I think it's premature to say that it is broken. If you focus on extreme observations(and minor leaguers by virtues of their shorter track record are the extreme observations) it's often fairly easy with a quantitative model to pick out unintuitive results. Most times those unintuitive results can be explained pretty easily. That doesn't make the results "right", but it often deepens your understanding of how the model works, and helps you make better use of it. All of which is a long-winded of saying to Colin that yes it would be wonderful if you could write up a couple of case studies.
Oh, one other thing, my understanding is that the comps only affect the arc of the player's career, given that we only have the weighted means for 2011, it seems unlikely that the comps would be having a HUGE impact on the results. IF there is a problem, my guess is that it would relate to the way the minor league translations are being done. For example, what would happen if the minor league run environment didn't change, but the ML did(which it has in recent years), how would that affect translations of minor league stats ?
Poythress is a great example. Lats year his top 3 comps were:
Randall Butts, Charlie Smith, and Mark Merchant.
This year Adrian Gonzalez, Price Fielder and Kent Hrbek.
In between he did go all .315/.381/.580 on the California League, but is that really that unusual for the Cal League ? And it's not like he was young for the Cal League, he turned 23 in August.
There was very little data on him for 2009, and he was a 2nd round pick, but it feels like PECOTA is a touch excitable about guys in the minors.
I think that study is flawed. Not all guys who hit between .300 and .310 are the same. Some of them are really .300 hitters who are performing as expected, some are .250 hitters having a "career year". Perhaps a very few, are actually superstars having an "off year". Odds are the first group doesn't decline much the next year, and the last group might actually improve a bit, but the middle group is likely to show a huge drop off as they revert to their normal level of performance.
Of course that middle group is going to dominate when you measure the delta in batting average in year n+1. After all, the 1st group will likely have a small delta, and the last group is probably too small to impact the average too much. So, you end up with a watered down measure of players coming back to Earth after career years. To generalize their decline to all batters in that .300 to .310 group seems like a mistake.
What I would like to see is the same analysis, but instead of grouping players by batting average in year n, group them by the difference of their year n batting average vs their career batting average(obviously limit to players with a meaningful sample size). Then look to see the average difference to career average in year n+1 for those groups. I think you would see that the group with the smallest differential in year n would also tend to have a smaller differential in year n+1 and that the distribution of outperformance vs underperformance would be close to random.
I think my comment still stands. The .350 hitters are by and large hall of famers or near hall of famers. You would get a much better prediction of their batting average in year n+1 by using their career batting averages(most of which are probably around .300) than a league average batting average of .275. If in making forecasts you assume regression to the league mean rather than the player mean, you will overstate the likely decline.
I understand that it is regression to the mean, and not instantaneous reversion to the mean, but I do believe the implication is that all MLB players have the same talent level.
If Votto has a 3 year mean TAv of .325, but posted a .350 TAv in 2010, why should he revert towards the MLB mean TAv for 1B of .280(I'm just making up a number) in 2011 instead of his own mean TAv of .325 ? Regressing back towards the MLB mean implies that even his own .325 number over the past 3 seasons doesn't reflect his true level of ability, that the .325 is nothing more than an outlier and isn't repeatable. That is non-sense.
Sometimes an absurd example helps illustrate a point. If someone stuck me at SS for the next 3 years for the Astros I might put up a line like .083/.100/.110. If someone wanted to project what my 4th season would look like they would be a damn fool if they projected me to improve just because I should regress to the ML mean and because average ML SS's hit .240/.290/.350 .
Theoretically, I just don't see the case for regression to the MLB mean(especially for established MLB players). Tango may use it, but it sounds more like it is a short-cut to a result rather than based on a strong theoretical foundation. I base that comment on other comments that Marcel is a very simple system, I'm not familiar with it myself, but if it is in fact a simple projection method(and I don't mean that perjoratively) then regressing to the MLB means seems like a simple means(no pun intended) to an end.
Look at Votto's player card. his average TAv for the past 3 years is .325. His weighted mean forecast for 2011 is .317, and he has the HIGHEST probability of improvement among all batters.
I understand the concept, or at least I think I do, but it seems to me that PECOTA should be focused on regression to the player's mean not the MLB mean. If a player has an established level of say a .280 TAv and suddenly posts a .310 one season, then I get it that he won't likely post another .310, he'll probably revert back to his previous level of performance. But if a guy cranks out .280 TAv seasons like clockwork, there is no reason to believe he is going to tend to revert to a .250 TAv simply because that is the MLB average. It seems to me that regressing to the MLB mean implies that no player is really better than another, and that good seasons are merely caused by luck. That's a premise which is obviously false.
I apologize if I'm putting words in your mouth, or have twisted things somehow, I'm just trying to get a better handle on how PECOTA works. It would be really helpful if someone could write an article that would describe in a little greater detail how PECOTA works. I know it's a fine line between explaining what's in the black box and giving it away, but I think there is a lot of confusion about just what PECOTA does.
Regression to which mean ? The MLB mean or the player's 3 year mean ?
Longoria's 3 year mean slash stats are: .283/.361/.521
PECOTA's weighted mean for Longoria is .263/.348/.474
There are 16 out of 1012 batters with Yount as a comp, 7 with Willie Mays.
Also, I disagree a bit. While the model isn't saying that Decker is going to definitively have a Mays type career, it does use it as a possible outcome. It does affect the results. That's why I worry about current minor leaguers being compared to old hall of famers. The current data for Jaff Decker doesn't exist for Mays when he was 20. We don't know how many games Mays played in CF at age 20. Also is the height and weight data available season by season. How PECOTA deals or doesn't deal with that type if missing data can have a huge impact on the results. If it isn't penalizing Decker for playing LF in High A ball at age 20, when Mays was playing CF(presumably) in the majors at age 20, then the results aren't going to be worth much.
Mays' great career is what puts a target on this particular comp, but a LF with an OPS of .950 in the Calif League is not very comparable to a CF with a 1.017 OPS in a month in AAA followed by an .830 OPS in the majors in ~500 PA and oh yeah the RoY award.
My guess would be that the lack of fielding data is hurting this comp. If you look at BaseballReference.com for Mays it just says he played OF his rookie year, no breakdown by where in the OF.
Also, to be fair the quality of Decker's comps is low(I think it was around 62), but I just find it hard to believe that a defensively challenged 20 yo OF who crushes high A ball doesn't have more closely comparable players than a HoF CF.
One more question, were the comps that are displayed cherry picked ? Because they seem like they are all ML players. I just can't believe that there isn't some obscure minor leaguer we never heard of who flamed out who is a better comp for Everett Williams than Mickey Mantle. And heck, Callison was pretty good too.
Upon further review Decker has a ~.950 OPS thru age 20 in the minors. Mays had a 1.017 OPS in the minors thru age 20. Maybe that's what PECOTA is picking up. It does seem like perhaps batting is over-weighted compared to fielding for minor leaguers. I mean a guy who has to play LF in A ball is very different from the greatest CF of all-time.
This brings up an interesting question, I hope BP can address it, although I understand if they can't because it would reveal too much IP.
Just what do these top 3 comps means ? My understanding is that PECOTA is based off of the last 3 seasons. But when it looks for comps does it consider age ? I assume having 28yo Mike Schmidt as a comp would be better than having a 38yo Mike Schmidt as a comp. It would be helpful to know just what specific year is a being cited as a comp. Also, do the comps always tie back to the age of the player being projected ? Do you only look at 25 year olds when trying to find comps for a player who will be 25 in 2011 ? Just wondering is perhaps Jaff Decker is being compared to a 41yo Willie Mays. It's about the only way that comp would make any sense.
Joey Votto is an interesting case. I would like someone at BP to please explain the following to me:
Votto has the highest "Improve" rate at 61%. Yet his forecast calls for just 29 HR's.
Digging deeper I see from Votto's player card that in 2010 he had 648 PA's , with 37 HRs, .324/.424/.600 for a .350 TAv.
For 2011, he is projected for 615 PA's just 33 less than 2010. But he loses 8 homers, 26 points of AVG, 36 points of OBP, and 71 points of SLG. His TAv is .317 compared to .350 in 2010, and he has the greatest chance of improvement in 2011 of ALL hitters ?
Something doesn't add up.
Pitchers are more unpredictable, so it makes sense that in general they would be more likely to break out or crash and burn. However, the lack of any hitter over 10% does feel low. I suppose the logical next question is what exactly does "breakout" mean, and has the definition changed at all from previous years ?
KC seems like it would be a decent landing spot, I mean he's probably better than Frenchy or Blanco, and he'll be cheap, and Dayton does have $12 mill burning a hole in his pocket.
AZ might make sense too, see if he can beat out Parra or Allen in LF.
I agree, if it wasn't for his reputation it probably wouldn't have even been news. That said, if he really has matured and was intent on showing that, he probably should have avoided the hand gestures.
I don't think Milledge will escape the immature tag any time soon after starting a fight in the Winter Leagues:
I'm having a hard time accepting this argument.
Let's move your 2 double example to the bottom of the 9th of a scoreless game. What if instead the first batter doubled, and the 2nd batter homered ? Clearly the first batter was irrelevant to winning the game, so he doesn't deserve any credit for the home run. In fact, you could argue that the second batter is punished because the delta in win expectancy is reduced by the 1st batter's double, what's fair about that ? What if after the leadoff single the next three batters strike out ? Shouldn't the leadoff batter be punished somehow ? Why can he only be rewarded for the actions of others ? If I should get credit for doubling to lead off, if the 2nd batter also doubles to drive me in, then why shouldn't I lose extra credit when someone homers after I struck out, after all I cost my team a run ?
Also, what's the deal with the win expectancy table, am I reading it wrong ? It looks like if a batter comes up to leadoff the game the win expectancy is 44%. If the batter homers to leadoff, the win expectancy increases to 47%, but if the leadoff batter triples the win expectancy is 64% ?
Don't know if anyone will read this at this point, but has anyone used this data to see if it is predictive. Does consistency in release point correlate to better results ? In other words, if you ran a regression for each pitcher for each season on his release points, I think it would be interesting to see if consistency(defined as the residual error) correlated to actual results. It seems to me that pitchers who are better at repeating their release point from start to start, would probably be the ones exhibiting the best control, as well as the most consistency in results.
FYI, Gerardo Parra is going to go all David DeJesus on the league in 2011. But is that a good thing ?
I think part of the problem is that two distinct measures keep getting conflated: a players talent level or ability and playing time.
The number one thing I want from a projection system is some sort of assessment of the player's potential or ability. How good is this guy now, and how good can he be in the future ?
Once you have that information, then you can do things like run thousands of simulations of the next season and present a range of outcomes that we may see from that player.
In essence, the first part is rate stats, and the second part is to apply those rate stats to produce actual projections of things the typical fantasy player cares about: counting stats like homers, steals, strikeouts, etc.
My feeling is that PECOTA tries to sort of do both of these things at once which I think is a mistake. Perhaps it's not actually doing both things at once in terms of modeling, but at a minimum the presentation feels that way, and I think it muddies the water and is very confusing.
I would much prefer a very clear and distinct assessment of player ability or potential(without regard to projected playing time). That is information that I can't easily provide or create myself(at least in the comprehensive way that PECOTA can). What I can do on my own is get a handle on playing time from various internet sources. The competitive advantage that we as PECOTA users could enjoy I believe comes from applying our personal knowledge/hunches about personnel situations combined with PECOTA's knowledge of what a player might do if given a chance. But if you only present the data through the prism of how BP projects playing time, it makes it harder for me to get the information I really want from PECOTA.
I think the tie-breaker should be the most traveled of these candidates, I mean who has played for the most teams. It just seems like a true replacement player would drift around the majors for a while. A guy like Hocking was with the Twins for a decade that implies that they at least thought he had some value. The iconic replacement player seems like he should always have his bags packed.
What about breaking it down by the quality of the knuckleballer's start ? Perhaps facing a knuckleballer who really has it working messes up batters, while facing a struggling knuckleballer is nothing but batting practice.
I think your over-valuing those guys a bit. Bailey is hurt and has had almost no success in the majors. Alonso is a 23yo 1B is AAA with a .700 OPS, and Micah Owings is a good hitting pitcher. It's not that great a package. Two or three years ago maybe, but not today.
The notion that the man who traded Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen away in their primes for Omar Daal, Travis Lee, Vincente Padilla and Placido Polanco would be capable of getting the returns proposed here for Oswalt is ridiculous. Given Wade's track record another GM would be crazy to even offer him anything remotely close to fair value for Oswalt.
How about Oswalt to the Reds for Homer Bailey, Yonder Alonso and Micah Owings ? That sounds about right for Wade, a headcase, a guy more suspect than prospect, and a never-was.
Apparently I am the charter member of the Gerardo Parra Fan Club.
I guess the two things that jump out to me are the dramatic improvement he's shown in taking walks when repeating a level and his youth. Those seem like two big positives and that's on top of a base of a solid .300 hitter according to his minor league record.
Has there ever been any research done about players' ability to learn and improve, a baseball IQ if you will ? I guess that's what struck me about Parra, that given his youth, if he is able to improve dramatically like he did in the minors when exposed to a level for a 2nd time, he could really turn into something. I'm just curious if anyone has tried to quantify an ability to learn and improve. It seems logical to me that it could exist. If you are dumb as a stump I would think that would impair your ability to learn to identify pitches, etc. whereas someone with more attention to detail and who was perhaps more intelligent might be able to maximize his athletic potential better with more experience vs his dumb, unobservant counterpart.
Presumably he will gain some power as he loses speed, and it's hard to believe a guy with 10 triples in his first 600 AB's doesn't have some speed to spare or is capable of converting it into becoming a good defensive player. He hasn't hit lefties in 100 AB's at age 22 in the majors, perhaps it's a bit soon to completely dismiss his chances of improving in that regard.
Why no love for Gerardo Parra ? No one gives him any respect. Only two batters with regular playing time were younger than him last year Andrus and his teammate Justin Upton. He hit .290, and is a career .314 hitter in the minors. I know the walks weren't there last year, but if you look at his minor league record, his walk rate skyrockets in his 2nd time around at a level. I know he's gets knocked as a tweener without enough power, but is 34 XBH's in 490 AB's that bad for a 22 year old in the majors ? It seems reasonable to believe that some additional power will develop, I just don't see why everyone knocks this guy as filler or a 4th outfielder. Maybe he won't learn to hit lefties, but a guy who posts an .800 OPS vs RHP as the 3rd youngest regular in the majors is more than just filler isn't he ?
You never specified any level of pain in your previous definition, nor did you specify that it could only happen in a state/civilian relationship. I still think it's a pretty poor definition but it's getting better.
Definitions matter by the way, I'm sure you are upset at Arizona for their new law regarding immigrants. Now there's something worth fighting against.
Anyway, back to the taser. So, if the Phillies had their own security force and armed them with tasers, and a Phillies employee tasered the guy, that would not have been torture ? Correct ? Perhaps assault, but not torture ? Actually I'm very curious about that issue, was the officer actually there as a Philly Cop, or had the Phillies contracted with the city to provide security ? I know the Yankees hire cops for security, I'm curious as to how that works. Are they essentially sub-contractors of the baseball team, and not Govt. employees or officers of the state when they work at the game ? It seems like that could be very relevant here. I would expect that acting officially as a police officer a person would have more restraints on their behavior than if they were a private security guard working on private property.
I understand getting pissed at a cop for writing a ticket, and maybe he's wrong, but exercising your 1st Amendment right in that situation is just stupid. Take it to court. Use your 1st Amendment right there, the cop is just trying to do his job, he might be completely wrong but the odds of you convincing him are pretty slim, so what do you hope to accomplish by arguing with him ?
Yes you are a martyr for your cause. Before you get too excited though, recognize that as people vote once you hit -4 you get flagged like that. It's not indicative that people want to shut you up, just that more people disagree with you than agree. We have no control over the cutoff used for when blocking of posts begins, or even that it happens at all. Take that up with BP, not the people indicating their disagreement with your posts.
You just refuted your own argument. If he had a knife the taser was justified. Did we know for sure he did not have a knife ? No. Was there a chance he was intending to harm someone ? Yes. And he had already shown a disregard for law by running on to the field and was actively evading police. The officer used what according to his training was appropriate non-lethal force to subdue the guy.
I'm not going to deny that people have died from tasering, or that it causes pain. But to describe it as extreme pain and suffering is hyperbole. Probably everyone has seen a local reporter get tased on TV when the local police force buys tasers for the first time. Likewise, as I believe someone pointed out somewhere else, I believe it is common practice that any officer issued a taser has in fact been tased themselves. Given it's common use, and that people don't seem to be reluctant to volunteer to have it done to them, I think calling it EXTREME pain and suffering is perhaps a wee bit exaggerated.
Here's a clip on Philly Police taser training, sounds terrible:
What does all too often fatal mean ? You seem anxious to put other people at risk, to prevent these taser deaths it's incumbent on you to give us some facts, how many people really die from it, what are the hard numbers ?
People aren't guaranteed a night in jail for petty non-violent offenses, since there is such a guarantee for running onto the field I would argue it is obviously not deemed as "petty".
Can't you answer a simple question ? How does spanking not qualify as torture under your definition ? Simply asserting that it doesn't isn't good enough. Unless you're ok with that Arizona immigration law, since they say they won't engage in racial profiling who cares how sloppily the law was written ?
You're easily scared then.
Wow, talk about strawmen. I never said a cop can do anything to an alleged criminal without limits. You are demanding that the cop in this case should have "known" that the person on the field was not dangerous and did not have bad intentions. In other words, given that most similar incidents have not resulted in assaults on players/umpires the guy should be given the benefit of the doubt and therefore treated very carefully. All I'm suggesting is that given that athletes have been stabbed, and umpires assaulted at professional sports events, I don't believe it is appropriate to assume ANYTHING about the intentions of someone who decides to run on the field. That person has already displayed a reckless disregard for law, and was actively evading arrest. That is quite different from a pregnant woman arguing a traffic ticket. She was guilty of at most a traffic violation carrying with it a small fine, and was not actively evading the officer. The person who ran onto the field had already committed a more serious offense and was destined to spend the night in jail.
Yes, that would be side effect. If it was just meant to inflict pain that could probably be done with a smaller shock, the point is to temporarily paralyze the person.
'A Taser is an electroshock weapon that uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles. Its manufacturer, Taser International, calls the effects "neuromuscular incapacitation"
Tasers primarily function by creating neuromuscular incapacitation, which means that it interrupts the ability of the brain to control the muscles in the body. This creates an immediate and unavoidable incapacitation that is not based on pain and cannot be overcome. Many subjects of police intervention experience little to no pain due to intoxication, extreme motivation, or otherwise, which therefore makes other techniques nearly useless. Once the electricity stops flowing the subject immediately regains control of their body. Most subjects after being Tasered once will comply so as to avoid being Tasered a second time.' - this is from Wikipedia so caveats may apply.
I'm just using your definition. Are children human beings ? Check. Does spanking inflict pain ? Check. Is it intended to stop a particular behavior ? Check. It is torture according to your definition. If you would like to amend your definition feel free, but that's my point. By so loosely defining something as repugnant as torture, you actually minimize it in the minds of people and make it even easier for them to ignore it when it actually happens. For someone who professes to care about this issue you ought to be more careful.
Some of those guys would have been lucky to have been tased before they got the crap beat out of them.
So, the lesson here is that the guy the other night should have been streaking, so that there could have been no doubt about his intentions.
That's fine, I don't doubt that the unintended consequences of arming cops with tasers might outweigh the intended good. But, I think you do your argument a disservice by making such a big deal out of this case. The pregnant woman with the speeding ticket yes, the guy trying to evade security while running on the baseball field no. And while I can imagine that a taser could be used as an instrument of torture, that doesn't make every use of it torture. When the video came out of the pregnant woman being tasered, no one claimed the cop tortured her. Obviously he was egregiously wrong in that case, but no one seriously suggested he had tortured the woman. Making claims like that just turns people off who might otherwise agree with you.
In my worldview a person who has already broken one law(by running on the field) has forfeited the benefit of the doubt as to their intentions. Making assumptions about that person's next actions rather than taking them down as quickly as possible transfers the risk of injury from the one person who has already broken a law, to the officers and innocent bystanders in the area. That's unacceptable.
A taser's function is not to halt activity through the infliction of pain, it halts it by temporarily paralysis, the pain is a side effect.
In your worldview, parents who spank their children are guilty of torture ? Children are human beings, spanking involves pain, and it's generally administered to stop an unwanted behavior.
A police officer has to do their job in the moment, with imperfect information. Second guessing after the fact with perfect information must be done carefully. If there is someone to blame in this case I would argue it's whoever made the decision to arm the cops with tasers, not the cop who was just trying to do his job as best as possible.
That's a fair point. I don't know how you do that math. Does a reduction in beatings make up for more people getting taser'd ?
Morgana was her name, she should have been tased as she was housing instruments of mass distraction.
Yes. I am seriously, publicly stating that. Only a fool would assert otherwise.
This is really the essential difference. Those of you who believe that it was obviously and patently a prank think that the taser was excessive. Those of us who disagree or aren't sure, aren't comfortable with security assuming anything about the intentions of the person running on the field, as that transfers the risk of injury from the perpetrator to the innocent bystanders.
I love how you say "apparent" lawbreaker, as if there is some doubt about whether the jackass broke any laws.
The cop who shot the guy with the taser really only knew a few things for sure, the person on the field was younger and faster than him, and was willing to recklessly disregard laws and rules. He didn't know if he was 15, 17, 19, 23 or 25. He didn't know if he had a concealed weapon on him. He didn't know if he was mentally unstable, drunk or just stupid. Given that, why on earth should the clown running in the field get the benefit of the doubt ? Let's assume for a minute that something awful had to happen last night and someone on the field had to die. Should it have been a ballplayer or umpire because security assumed the guy was a prankster, and not a psycho with a knife ? Should it have been a security guy from having a heart attack chasing the idiot around ? Or should that very small risk have been assumed by the idiot who broke the law and put himself in harms way ?
While it may be true that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, at the opposite end of the spectrum Chicken Little's desensitize us to real risks. Likening a teenage moron getting taser'd to torture is ridiculous when real torture continues to go on in the world today. Get up in arms about that, not some 17 year old jerk off in Philly, you undermine and belittle your own cause when you do that.
That's 3 per year, out of how many uses ? More people die falling down the steps in their house. Granted people make many more trips up and down stairs than get taser'd, but still, if it is as common as some people claim it is, 3 deaths per year doesn't seem like a lot. Personally, I'd rather be taser'd than have a bunch of pissed off cops with billy clubs "apprehend me". That's when you really need to be in a public space or you'll get your face re-arranged.
That's why I'm not so sure that tasering isn't more humane overall. Maybe not to that kid on the field last night, but in general if cops used tasers instead of billy clubs, it probably would be more humane.
The problem is that your hysterics about a police state ultimately lead to people not listening or paying attention to your warnings. You're part of the problem too.
There must be thousands upon thousands of traffic stops each day, probably millions per year, and there's what one video of a cop a tasering someone ? You make some serious allegations(cops taze people as first resort regularly) but without any real numbers or evidence. How often do people really die when taser'd ?
How do you know tackling is safer ? How many taser'd people actually die ? Where are your numbers ? What are the injury numbers for people tackled by security ? Do you have a break down by sober vs drunk ? Maybe drunks are less likely to be hurt by a tackle, I believe they are more likely to survive a car crash. Maybe security should give the guy a brethalyzer and a full medical history and then decide the most humane way to apprehend the person.
Yes, I saw the video. Unfortunately, I guess I'm not as well trained as you and was unable to definitively ascertain his age or intentions. Where does one obtain such expertise, have you thought about a career in law enforcement ? I'm sure they could use people like you who have all the answers.
Why don't you explain to everyone again why it is that people have the right to trespass on private property, behave like an idiot, possibly pose a threat to innocent bystanders, and still be treated with kid gloves ? He was not in a public space, he was on private property. To enter that private property one must willingly allow one's possessions to be searched, and in some cases you must submit to a pat down. Your ticket which allows you entrance to the private property carefully spells out the rules which must be followed, as well as precautions which should be taken to avoid personal injury. I don't see how anyone can attend a major sporting event and believe that are in a public venue and therefore guaranteed all rights they would enjoy in say city hall or a public park. You can be ejected from a stadium for foul language, is that fair ? What about freedom of speech ? Oh, right, you check that at the door don't you ?
And please stop with the torture crap, torture is a terrible thing and those who cry wolf about it do a tremendous disservice. I mean why don't you get it over with and liken the Phillie Phanatic to Hitler, that's what's coming next right, the Hitler comparison ?
First of all we need to drop the fact that he was a teenager the discussion, at the time of the incident no one involved knew the guy's age. Stressing that he was a teenager and not an adult, colors people's perception of the event in an unfair way.
Second, you have no idea what that guy's mental state was. Neither did the security personnel.
Third, Citizen's Bank Park is not a public park, it is not a public space, he was trespassing on private property. I am curious as to whether the police officer was officially "on-duty" or if he was being paid by the Phillies. I would expect that the Phillies would have the right to decide appropriate force to use in crimes committed on their property. If someone breaks in to my house, they surely have forfeited their liberty as far as I'm concerned, and I doubt any judge, jury or DA would have a problem with a homeowner tasering a tresspasser in their house.
I can imagine that doing comps would cost a lot in terms of processing time, and I can also imagine some weird feedback effects developing, which I think you are alluding to.
Maybe there is a middle ground, just run the comps once, but don't let players drop out. Rather than have the later years of a projection only informed by the players who were still standing, maybe there should be some sort of default value, just below replacement value that gets plugged in when the career of a player's comp ends. This would prevent the quality "creep" that seems to be occurring over time, and also maintain the quality of the comps used for the later years of the projection.
If comps are replaced as their career ends, it would be possible(perhaps even likely depending on the turnover rate), that the comps used for the year 10 projection would be almost completely different from the year 1 projection. Not only would they be different, they would be better caliber players and less similar to the subject player.
I think this all goes back to the comparable players only being done once, assuming that is true, and could someone from BP please confirm or deny this ?
Let's just do a simple thought experiment. Let's say PECOTA is taking the 100 players most similar to Aumont to project his 2010 season. For 2011, let's say 10% of his comps are gone from baseball. Either the sample size his projection is based on shrinks, or we replace the 10 dropped comparable players with the next 10 most comparable. Repeat several times. You're now projecting 2015 with either just half of the original sample size, or with a full sample that is less comparable to Aumont(in a worst case scenario you could have replaced comps 1 thru 50 with 101 thru 150).
Two things are happening every year, the quality of the pool of comparables goes up(in general only good or better players will play in both 2010 and 2015), and their similarity to the subject player(Aumont) goes down. In a perfect storm I can envision where the pool of players that survives is very different looking from the actual subject player, and so a guy who is a GB pitcher is paired with comps who are fly ball guys, because the GB guys(who were most similar) dropped out.
As for the BABIP, a large part of whether a mediocre player plays a lot in a given season is probably luck. So, of course, the comps who play a lot several seasons from now are probably also biased towards being lucky(low BABIP). So, suddenly PECOTA starts projecting someone to be lucky(like Aumont).
This is why in my opinion the correct methodology would be to take the 2010 projections and develop new comps to be used in projecting 2011. Then use those 2011 projections in creating comps for projecting 2012, and on and on.
What PECOTA is missing is that sure maybe 10% of Aumont's top comps for 2010 don't actually play in 2010. But that doesn't mean the actual quality of players in MLB has improved. It just means that a crappy 10% portion of players has been replaced with a different 10% portion of crappy players, some of whom will be very similar to Aumont. You can't ignore that fact. Replacement players come and go, they don't just go. If you don't factor in the arrival of new crappy players who are comparable to the guys you are trying to project out several years then you're introducing a bias in the results.
We can't all be as smart as you though. If BP can only sell to those smart enough to understand it(like you) it's not going to be much of a business. Perhaps they could broaden their appeal to the cognitively challenged, like myself, by publishing projections that actually made sense, and didn't include historically unprecedented discontinuities in player performance. Of course if they did, there wouldn't be any need for your pontifications, but such is the cost of progress I suppose.
Well, it's being presented in just the way you are telling me not to interpret it, that's how it doesn't make sense.
Maybe the answer is to show percentiles by year, maybe not all 9 that are shown for the current season, but rather P90, P75, P50, P25 and P10. Show those for 5 years, rather than just the weighted mean for 10 years. I'd rather have 5 years of really useful info, than 10 years of largely useless info.
I don't expect to come back in 10 years and see that the weighted means were dead on for Aumont. But I would prefer that enough info be made available such that the "story" makes sense. What you're saying is that the discontinuities I'm complaining about are an artifact of weighted means, fine. But then display enough info so that the discontinuities are easily understood.
I still have an issue with the projections. If what you are saying is true that Aumont is a GB pitcher in most scenarios, but some small % of the time he develops another pitch and becomes a different, better pitcher, it seems like there should be evidence of this in his 2010 projection. In other words, his 90th percentile would show some evidence of his ability to change from a ground ball pitcher and to limit his BABIP. But look at Aumont's 2010 projection and there is no evidence of that, he GB% only drops about 3% in his 90th percentile projection and his BABIP maybe 10 points. Again this would be an argument for more detail in the 10 year forecast as perhaps if you could start to see the new Aumont who misses bats begin to creep into the picture then 2015+ wouldn't look so strange.
Actually no. I understand what you are saying, but to me it doesn't make sense, and Aumont is an example why.
So, if Aumont is in the majors in 2014, he'll be a mediocre ground ball pitcher. If he's in the majors in 2015, he'll suddenly be a fly ball pitcher with an uncanny ability to prevent hits on balls in play ? That's simply not realistic, I will bet my house that won't happen. Is there any historical precedent for a pitcher who was a ground ball pitcher for 5 years suddenly becoming a fly ball pitcher ? Is there any pitcher in ML history who has posted a .200 BABIP for 5 straight seasons ?
I think the problem is ignoring the players who drop out. The fact that PECOTA only thinks Aumont has a 20% chance of being in the majors should be part of his 2015 forecast. Ignoring the 80% of the time he won't be in the majors turns the 10 Year Forecast into something very different. I'm not sure what to call it, but it is not a 10 Year Forecast. A 10 Year Forecast for Aumont would show that by 2015 he'd be posting below replacement level stats, and the discontinuity in his GB and BABIP rates wouldn't be there.
Looks like Britton is on track for a Cy Young season in 2025 at age 37 according to PECOTA, aided by his .100 BABIP. By the time he is 42 or 43, he should go a whole season without allowing a hit. What's the problem ?
Sorry for the snark, but the 10 year projections still look like rubbish to me. Can someone(from BP) explain the relationship between Avg and EqAvg in the 10 Year Projections. I'm looking at Adam Jones and I see for 2010 a projected Avg of .293 and an EqAvg of .282. Ok, fine. But in 2011, his Avg is .279 and his EqAvg is .280 ? What is going to change in MLB between now and next year that would cause a 14 point drop in batting average to only move an EqAvg 2 points ? Felix Pie is even worse. His batting average falls 14 points from 2010 to 2011, yet his EqAvg rises 3 points ?!?!
What's the deal with aging ? Adam Jones shows a steep decline in his TAv at age 33. Nolan Reimold makes it to 35 until he suffers a similar drop. Really ? Two players, one establishes himself in MLB at age 22, the other at age 26, the younger one is by all accounts a better athlete, plays a tougher defensive position, yet he'll be the one who declines first ?
Also, no one from BP has addressed the Phillpe Aumont projection. How exactly does a guys serve up a .300 BABIP for 5 years with a > 50% GB rate, then drop his GB rate ~30% and drop his BABIP to .200 for the next 5 years ? That is the most remarkable projection for a player I've ever seen. When the 10 year projections are run, is a new list of comps generated for each projected year, or do you use the 2010 comps only and see what they did over the next 10 years ? It seems like the latter is what is being done, and I would argue that is wrong, or at least not optimal.
Since you are apparently all knowing in all things PECOTA, why don't you put down your pom-poms and actually explain how the comps work.
So, heads PECOTA wins and tails I lose.
What you are saying is not a projection at all. It would be like projecting each week of the NFL schedule in August, showing that the Lions should go 6-10, and then including that in Week 18, that they still have a chance of winning a wild card game, because you know if they DO go to the playoffs they must be pretty good. If they DO go to the playoffs after you said they would go 6-10, why would I give a crap what you thought about the Wild Card game ?
Carry your argument to it's absurd conclusion. Let's publish 25 year PECOTA projections, what would Aumont's projection look like for his 40's, when the only guys left pitching are Hall of Famers ?
I guess my point isn't that I want to know what Aumont would look like pitching in his late 30's or 40's because if he is, he must have been a good pitcher. I want to know IF PECOTA thinks he will be pitching when he's 30 or 40. I want the 10 Year Forecast to reflect that. Not the alternate universe where the crappy Aumont PECOTA projects for the next few years is secretly replaced by better quality pitchers each further year that is projected. This is a selection bias and it should be removed.
I don't expect an extensive explanation, you're putting words in my mouth. A simple, "that's not quite right, read this to see how it really works" (with a link to said article) would be fine.
I don't mean to be rude, but who are you ? I'm really not interested in your defense of BP and PECOTA. If my understanding is wrong, I trust that a BP staffer will correct me. Please stop writing as though you are the BP help desk.
As I understand it, the essence of PECOTA is finding similar players based on many types of measurements(physical traits, size, age and baseball performance). In essence clustering players, and then projecting their future performance based on the growth patterns exhibited by their cluster peers. Changing the nature of the clusters, by allowing more variation across playing level(ML,AAA,AA, etc) would probably make a big difference. It's all speculation, but BP is inviting it at this point thanks to their relative lack of transparency(although they are doing better in this regard in the past week or so).
Thank you, I think you made my point. You're implying there is a selection bias in PECOTA. Because the crappy players flame out, only the late bloomers are left to project let's say years 7 to 10 of Aumont's forecast.
Take a look at the 4th chart:
What you are saying is that for Aumont by 2015 there are no Pete Peaky's or Eddie Early's left, so by default his projection jumps to a career path like that of Lenny Latebloom. Great, except it is inconsistent and makes no sense. If you project the player to be out of baseball, project him to be out of baseball, don't say "but if by chance he's still there then I guess he has to be pretty good". That's not a prediction, it's a cop out.
More 10 Year Forecast stuff, this time I'm looking at Tyson Gilles the OF prospect for the Phillies. PECOTA projects him as a .246 TAv hitter at age 21. For 9 years he shows no improvement, even regresses some, until miraculously at age 30 in 2019 he posts a .264 TAv. Really ? What kind of career path is that ? I know that not all prospects make it in the show, etc. But how many 21 year olds capable of posting a .246 TAv in the show(and that's the weighted mean I believe, not the 80th or 90th percentile) NEVER improve ?
I believe the increase in coverage(200 players per team ?!?!) and strict adherence to comps is causing some unfortunate and unintended consequences. I still haven't been able to put my thumb on what exactly is bugging me, but there is just something completely unrealistic about the 10 Year Forecasts. It's almost as though each year is treated independently of every other. I get it that out of all the guys like Tyson Gilles most of them don't pan out and that might be why his TAv for age 22 and 23 drops from his age 21 TAv. But, each year should be predicated on the previous year's performance. If we fast forward to next year, and PECOTA was dead on and due to injuries in the Phillies OF, Gilles actually got 400 PA's and posted a .246 TAv, would he still be projected for a .243 TAv for 2011 ? I certainly hope not. So, why don't the projections reflect this ?
It feels like every projected year is being weighed down by all the prospects that didn't make it, which is ignoring the fact that PECOTA is already saying he DID make it. Just speculating, but I assume comps are done by using ML equivalencies, but is priority given by the level of play ? A .246 TAv posted in the majors is very different from a .246 TAv MLE posted in High A. After all I'm sure lots of guys in High A who post a .246 MLE TAv don't make the show, but the guys who did it in the majors already made the show. Big difference, akin to the way PECOTA supposedly takes draft position into account.
I still have issues with the 10 Year Forecasts. There seems to be a sort of false precision involved. For example, I checked out Phillippe Aumont. He is projected to steadily decline from 2010 to 2014 with his Stuff going from 12 to -13. Suddenly in 2015, at age 26, he posts a stuff score of -3, which is a big improvement, more interestingly his ground ball percentage tumbles from 51%(it had always been above 50%) to 33%. The next year his GB rate is at 38% and his Stuff is -1. Essentially, PECOTA is predicting that 5 years from now Aumont will dramatically remake himself as a pitcher, abandoning his ground ball tendencies and becoming much better in the process. That is an astounding and remarkable prediction and quite frankly absurd. PECOTA should be informed by comparables, but not a slave to them. In this case it feels like some quirk of Aumont's comps have created this absurdly detailed projection.
Looking at the 10 Year Performance Chart it seems that his median projection for 2015 is to be out of baseball. So, it makes me wonder what numbers are being used in 10 Year Forecast Chart. If they are simply Weighted Means then I also have an issue when the Median Forecast says "out of baseball" but the weighted means says "above average pitcher".
First, thanks for this opportunity. Second, I think it's a step in the right direction. Third, I think things are looking better. But......
Looking at Josh Hamilton, under his 10 year projection I see a TAv of .296 for 2010, but when I look at his 2010 projection by percentiles, that looks like it would be a level of performance around his 85th percentile. So, something doesn't quite make sense.
If for some reason you feel you MUST use 2009 data in training, at least randomly split your data in half or 60/40. Train on one piece and measure accuracy on the remaining group. But an accuracy test based on data you trained on is pretty close to worthless.
How about using the PECOTA percentile projection that matched your depth chart playing time. PECOTA says the better a guys plays the more he plays. So, if you are projecting that a guy who has never started regularly before will get 600 PA's, it seems logical that you are also assuming the he will play well. Few players could play at their 10th percentile level while simultaneously establishing themselves as regulars.
So, how exactly are the "2010 Projections" done that are in the box at the top of the box on the player cards page ? I see that it's the Median rate stats, but they are applied to more PA's ? Where does the PA number come from ?
As for the 10 year projections they still don't pass the sniff test. Nate McLouth is not going to show any meaningful decline as a player until age 35 ? Give me a piece of that action. Meanwhile, Adam Jones, who arrived in the majors at a much younger age than McLouth shows a drop off at age 33. Doesn't this fly in the face of what we know about career arc's ? Typically, it's the later arrivers who fade first, right ?
"With so many moving parts, it's really hard to know what went wrong."
No it's not, you just gave the answer. Too many moving parts. You can't port software to a new platform AND make changes at the same time. Port it. Test it. Then change it. If you only change one thing at a time, and constantly test after making each change, you'll know exactly what broke it. It's when you get in a hurry, and try to cut some corners that you end up screwing yourself. Unfortunately, I know this from experience.
I feel duped. I actually re-upped when subscription expired on Monday because it appeared BP was beginning to take this seriously. Since then not a peep out of them. Once can only surmise that PECOTA is seriously broken at this point. If the problems were minor why not roll out the pitchers cards like the hitters cards ? Why no updates ? Can I get a refund ?
Thankfully, for my sake, I'm not supported by a bunch of folks that each pay 35 bucks a year for the product and whine like my 5 and 3 year-olds when they can't have it *NOW*. If you'd like, you're welcome to borrow my Whaaaaaaa-mbulance to cart them off =
a) I'm grateful to be working for a going concern that doesn't judge my performance on a job-by-job, customer-by-customer basis
b) you apparently don't have to give a crap about the customer
I have been critical of BP over the last few days, but never personal, unlike you. I have no doubt that the BP staff is working their tails off. However, the perception obviously exists or existed that BP failed to grasp the gravity of this situation to their customers, as evidenced by the multitude of responses(mostly unhappy and concerned) to the recent Unfiltered postings about PECOTA. As to whether the BP staff works thanklessly I don't believe that is true as each of us posting has paid an annual subscription. As customers that's pretty much the only way we have to express our thanks and support in any meaningful way.
Very good news !
Let me get this straight. I am a whiny baby because I only pay $35 a year for the product. Are you aware that we as customers don't set the price ? Maybe I would have paid $50 or $100 ? In your omniscience at what price point do my complaints warrant being taken seriously ? Why do you feel the need to apologize on behalf of BP when you haven't any idea what the problem really is ? Good for you though that your business is in such good shape that you apparently don't have to give a crap about the customer, and if they don't like it they can leave because you don't need the revenue.
The book seems to match the PECOTA cards. The problem seems to be with the 10 year forecasts more than with the 2010 projections. Of course that doesn't mean the 2010 numbers are correct, but I don't think anyone has really questioned them yet, and obviously people have been pouring over the data. Even if the projections in the book have to be changed, it's worth getting for the player comments and team articles.
Not if the release included a total rewrite of the PECOTA code, which it apparently did. Read the piece from last year linked to at the top of this thread. Rewriting an entire code base to better automate it is not a trivial technical task, in fact it is practically the ultimate in substantive changes.
Would BP have listened to us and published this data if they KNEW it was wrong or bad ? Of course not. I'm not criticizing them for trying to meet our demands or expectations. I'm criticizing them for the lack of self-knowledge that led them to think what they had was releasable or useful.
The lack of QC is their fault, not ours for simply wanting the product we paid for. As I've said before I like BP, and I think they'll fix this, and I suspect they in general agree with me. Customers apologizing for bad service doesn't help the company improve or solve the problem.
I disagree, beta releases, by and large should work. There may be occasional crashes and bugs, but generally the software works. PECOTA right now doesn't work.
I guess I'm funny that way, when I pay for something I expect to receive it in a timely manner and for it to work.
Most businesses would love to have a customer base as passionate as BP's is, this is a good problem for BP to have. I have to believe that BP knows this, their track record has been outstanding. I suspect this whole PECOTA problem is just an anomaly and will be worked out soon, but I'm not doing BP any favors if I am really dissatisfied with them and don't express it. From their perspective the worst thing that could happen is that everyone who is unhappy says nothing and then cancels their subscription or doesn't renew, at least by sharing our opinions and dissatisfaction we are giving them a chance to make things right.
Beta is a software term. Typical software in beta testing has relatively few show stopping bugs, or at least they are fairly obscure. If the PECOTA card pages had errors on them like problems with graphing/display, etc. I would have no problem with that, in fact I was under the impression that was the "beta" designation was referring to, as it seemed it was the new PECOTA cards design that was holding up the release.
However, the concept of a "Beta" version of data seems a reach. Data is much more binary right or wrong than a piece of software. You might say well what if there was a bug with demographic data like height or weight, who cares ? But those are inputs into a system like PECOTA, there really is no room for data errors if you want the outputs to be correct. Garbage in, garbage out. In summary, I am dismayed and concerned that at this late stage it seems like the presentation of the data(the new PECOTA card pages) seems to be in better shape than the data itself. The cart is literally in front of the horse.
I was going to say that I almost feel bad for BP in that one drawback of having such a passionate customer base is that we clamor for things like PECOTA and then when you give us a Beta version we pick it apart. However, then I looked at my calendar. It's just not unrealistic for people to expect to have PECOTA in their hands by now, the regular season ended 5 months ago, and spring training games start in a few days. It is disconcerting not that while we may have a cool new format for PECOTA cards, the actual content is still not correct at this late stage. The other thing that bugged me is why were the Top 11 lists so late this year ? The book has been out for weeks, but we still haven't seen a Top 100 Prospect article. Typically this arrived just before the book, or coincided with the release of the book. I have my copy of the book now so it's not a huge deal, but when you start to see timelines slipping, and questionable data, you start to wonder if the numbers in the book are worth anything. It pains me to say that because I've been a long-time subscriber to the site and purchaser of the books. I come to BP for the superior content. I don't need pretty web pages. Give me a spreadsheet with the PECOTA card data, and the usual high quality writing on a timely basis, and I'd be VERY happy. If I want flashy, crappy content I can get that at any mainstream sports site. Keep your eye on the ball BP.
Plus look at Wieters projections from last year, .320 EqA's as far as the eye could see, with improvement from a .320 to .328 EqA and an average of 30 HRs per year.
If this isn't a bug in PECOTA, it's a really crappy feature that renders it worthless.
That is simply not true. No one thought any thing much of Coghlan going into last year, he wasn't a top 100 prospect and no one thought of him as RoY material starting the 2009 season.
Look at some real prospects from last year. Travis Snider and Colby Rasmus were Top 10 prospects. Snider was projected to post a .268 EqA in 2009 and peak at .285 in 2012. Rasmus was projected at .267 in 2009, peaking at .276 in 2011. Now look at Jason Heyward from this year, also a top 10 OF prospect. He is projected for .282 for 2010, and then he steadily declines for the next 10 years. That's ludicrous and completely different from Snider and Rasmus. The fact that Heyward is younger than either Snider or Rasmus makes the projection even more ridiculous.
The whole point of PECOTA is for it to NOT hedge it's bets. The Heyward projection is useless. It says he'll be good this year, gee that's news. Then he'll be ok in the future and almost play as much as a regular. But of course his actual numbers will be ok he just won't play full-time for some reason. If it was really projecting that he would suck that would be one thing, but instead it seems to think he'll be good, but won't go out on a limb at all to project any growth. Actually, I don't think PECOTA has bothered to even climb the tree. It's like one of those long range National Weather Service Forecasts, 33% chance of normal temps, 33% chance of above normal temps, 33% chance of below normal temps. Gee thanks, that really nails it down.
In the 7 year projection Felix Pie last year was projected to peak at around .261 EqA or between 6 or 7 VORP.
This year, in the 10 year projection Pie is projected for a .261 TAv for 2013, but that equates to 11 VORP.
How does the same EqA or TAv result in VORP's that are 50% different ? I was going to guess playing time, but the lower playing time is associated with the higher VORP's so that doesn't really make sense.
Something seems very wrong. Michael Saunders the #60ish prospect in the Top 100, is supposed to peak as a player in 2011 with a TAv of .247 ?
Gerardo Parra one of the youngest players in the league basically shows no growth over the course of his career ?
Have you looked at the breakdown by individuals to see what is driving the gain in the second year of two year contracts ? In other words, in general does everybody improve some, or is it mostly noise with a few outliers driving the disparity between the 1st and 2nd year ? The sample size is pretty small. You're talking about only a 12.5 WARP improvement spread over 71 players, it wouldn't surprise me if the improvement was being driven by handful of players.
It still sounds like age may be playing a role. An average age of 35 for guys with 2 year contracts is pretty old, a lot of lesser players would have been weeded out by then. Maybe good players decline more slowly than mediocre players, and with an average age of 35 the mix is more tilted towards good players. Lots of guys flam out in their early 30's which is the extact time period that seems to be covered by the longer deals.
Since the pitcher is seeking a "reputation for consistency", not actual consistency, I would advise the young man to frame all of his answers to the press with talk about consistency. If you pitch a bad game you stress that you need to be more consistent and that consistency is your goal. If you pitch a great game, downplay it, you did what you always do and just got lucky tonight, it all about consistency and if you can just remain consistent great games will follow from that. If you are mediocre, talk about how you battled, you kept the same approach and tried to stay consistent, kept your team in the game and tried to give them a chance to win. After a while, reporters will internalize the consistency meme and you'll be thought of as consistent whether it is warranted or not.
Paying homage to the convention of naming things after middle infielders who spent the 1980's in Missouri:
Did Holland lose anything in terms of velocity last year ? BP2009 noted that his breakout was due to him suddenly, and unexpectedly going from average velocity to mid to upper 90's. Did he retain that in 2009 ? Was it just the curveball that he struggled with ?
My problem with the first ballot fetishists is that they are really just grandstanding on the backs of other voters. Since they KNOW Alomar will get the minimum required to stay on the ballot, it allows them to get on their high horse, and draw this false distinction between first ballot hall of famers and other hall of famers. It's all BS. If everyone bought their argument and didn't vote for Alomar on the first ballot then he would be dropped from consideration. So, unless you really feel a guy doesn't deserve to be in the Hall you ought to shut up and vote for him. Anything is else just pious BS. That's my $.02.
Let's say the NFL changes their rules and says they will actually incorporate Vegas lines into the games, and you are a Detroit Lions fan. The Lions are an 18 point underdog on the road at New England, as expected they get outplayed, but given their 18 point head start they hang on to win the game 28-27. As a Lions fan, how thrilled would you be with that big win ? Who in their right mind would carry on about it or be excited by it ? The 18 point head start renders it meaningless.
The Yankees advantage vs the rest of baseball is no different, just less obvious. I actually want to feel bad for Yankees fans in a way, their tremendous advantage robs them of much the joy that one would normally experience when your team wins a championship, and when they don't win it all the failure is just exaggerated by their advantages. However, so many of their fans are so clueless and ignorant about their advantages and arrogant about their "excellence" that it's hard not to hate them.
Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for the US to win the Summer Olympics. I don't blame anyone for doing it, but when the inevitable happens it bothers me tremendously when the fans conveniently forget all of the advantages their side enjoyed.
Sure, the US wins more medals than Austria, Italy and Turkey, but that has absolutely nothing to do with American athletes being better or trying harder. It's our competitive advantages, we have more people and more money so we send many more athletes to the games and have more chances to win medals.
Getting excited because the Yankees won the World Series is just silly, they are playing a different game from everyone else. It's that simple. No other team, in any sport, can go out in one season and sign the 3 best free agents available. Until MLB remedies this, it is a joke. For the past 10 years MLB has been lucky that the Yankees incompetence has obscured their advantages. My fear is that the Yankees will probably have to practically destroy baseball before it wakes up and saves itself.
I'm going to change my name to Randy Jones Jr. Then I'll call the Pads and get a try out, and since I'll play for free, I should be pitching in the Show in no time. What's not to like ?
I think this article sets up a false choice. The assumption is that the salary cap will be calculated by taking total league revenue divided by number of teams to get an average revenue per team, and then 45% of that number is the salary cap. So, the assumption is that all revenue is being shared equally.
But then suddenly, when it comes talking about why it won\'t work, the revenue is no longer shared, leading to all of the inequities that were pointed out. I doubt very much this would happen in real life. Either complete revenue sharing would go into effect prior to the cap, thus negating the arguments made in this article. Or, the cap itself would have to vary by team based on their revenues, this too would negate the arguments presented here.
Also, the Posnanski piece is stupid. For the last 30 years, MLB has had free agency and no salary cap. The only financial structure that has changed in MLB is the limited revenue sharing that goes on today. Every other sport has seen dramatic changes in the financial structure that has impacted the competitiveness of the league. The NFL has had a salary cap and free agency for what 15 years ? The NHL even less than that. Turnover in champions is lower over the last 30 years in those sports because for most of that time there was no free agency and no salary cap. Hence, dynasties like the 49ers, Cowboys, Edmonton Oilers and NY Islanders which reduces the number of unique champs over the last 30 years.
Also, the Posnanski article ignores the unique structure of MLB playoffs. MLB has by far the most restrictive playoff structure of any major sport. For much of the last 30 years just 4 teams made the playoffs. Compare that to 12 or 16 for the NHL or NBA. The scarcity of playoff spots makes it much harder for a champion to repeat. Over the last 30 years a typical World Series champ had just one playoff spot open to them next year(the one they could get by winning their division), while the typical Super Bowl champ had 3 or 4 playoff spots available(the one for winning their division plus several wild card spots).
If the Marlins are such an embarrassment to MLB, what does that make the 16 teams that finished behind them last year in the standings ? To finish behind a team that doesn’t even try to win, that’s a real embarrassment, and yet over half of MLB accomplished the feat.
Why is Loria a bad guy because he insists on turning a profit ? I’m sure the Yankees turn a profit too. The Steinbrenner’s probably spend 50% of their revenues on salaries and are good guys because that happens to work out to $200mm, but Loria is a jerk because he spends 70% of his revenues which is only $30mm ? I’m making those numbers up, but I have to believe that no matter how cheap Loria is, there is no way the Marlins have a higher gross margin than the Yankees. So, why aren’t the Yankees labeled the cheap bastards ?
You can argue it’s terrible that Loria wants to stick the taxpayers with a bill for a new stadium ok fine. But how much higher are average ticket prices today because of the foolish, uncontrolled spending of owners like Steinbrenner, Angelos, Moreno, McCourt, etc. ? What’s worse for John Q. Public paying for a new stadium with tax dollars or not being able to go to the games once the stadium is built because of the grotesque ticket prices jammed down people’s throats by spendthrift owner’s in large markets ?
I know that ticker prices are impacted by a number of factors, not just player salaries, but it seems to me that the lack of a salary cap, and the lack of revenue sharing has created a situation where large market teams “buy” their way out of mistakes. This unfair advantage set up a cycle of inflating player salaries, creating a dire need for new revenues for smaller market teams, causing new stadiums to be built(with smaller capacities to limit supply and increase price, thereby maximizing revenue), etc. The new revenues were spent on player salaries, and on and on it went. It was/is a bubble. It will of course pop. Meanwhile we lambaste a guy like Loria who wins and makes money in the worst market in MLB, and praise stupid fat cats like the Yankees whose main skill is buying their way out of mistakes. Beautiful, I guess that’s the American way these days, but I can’t help but think that a league of Loria’s with a salary cap and revenue sharing would mean that I could:
a) have an expectation that my team has as much a chance of winning as any other team
b) take my family to a game with decent seats for less than $200 per game
What’s so wrong with that ?
What happened to instant replay ?