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Brian Oakchunas
176 comments | 183 total rating | 1.04 average rating
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Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

PA by Ryan Howard or PA by Brendan Ryan

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

WARP of Darvish and Feliz or WARP of all other Rangers' pitchers

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 2

Right, the scouting report explains how his skills will hold up in a vacuum. The impact of the stadium is another topic, but one anyone can figure out. Take the difference between the Fenway and Yankee park effects on a LHB (homer and BA park effects by hand are in the Bill James Annual and maybe elsewhere). I don't have them on me, but you divide the difference by two (because half his games are away), add that to 100 and add a decimal to convert it to a percentage. So if the difference is 20, you add 10 (half that) to 100 and add the decimal to get 1.10. Now you just multiply 1.10 by his expected Fenway home run total. If you expected him to hit 10 at Fenway, he'd hit 11 as a Yankee. People tend to overreact to possible park factors: "If he hit 10 here, he'll hit 20 there!" but they're usually much lower. There'd have to be an 80% gap between Fenway and Yankee stadium just to get Ellsbury from a projected 10 to 14 homers.

Dec 18, 2013 12:15 PM on Jacoby Ellsbury
 
Brian Oakchunas
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How about bold predictions that worked out?

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Great stuff, Doug. One thing I noticed about Miller was that his velocity chart showed that he had both the highest average fastball velocities and the highest single pitch velocities of his whole season in his last two games. He also had some relatively low fastball velocities in the same two games. What do you think about that in relation to his recent struggles? I guess I am hypothesizing that he is feeling weak and trying to compensate for it by overthrowing, leading to reduced command/control. Or is it a result of the differing mechanics? Or maybe it's just a hiccup in Pitch F/X?

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

If I understand correctly, Adjusted Hit List Factor is a combination of actual record, W1, W2, and W3, then adjusted for league. How is it possible that the A's and Rangers are in the same league and the A's are better in *all four* categories and are still lower on the Hit List.

Jun 14, 2013 10:13 AM on Friday, June 14
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

BTW, best giveaway ever was A's BBQ grill set.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

Yeah, there are definitely a number of questions as to how well this will work once implemented. For example, maybe they found that promotions work the best on Tuesdays. But they found this because there were relatively few promotions on Tuesday and the people who could best attend games on Tuesdays flocked to a couple bright spots in the schedule. Now there will be a promotion every Tuesday and it won't hold true. Similarly, fireworks bring people out, but that probably wouldn't be true if they had them every night. Even the three hat nights could be subject to this. There will definitely be people who want only one hat and will only pick one of the three games. It could almost be an incentive to NOT go to the other games: "I already got a hat; let's wait for a better giveaway." Ouch.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 5

Inconclusive does not mean no effect. The research in Extra Innings suggests there is at least some effect even when comparing players who were not caught (but many of whom may have been using) to those who have. It also talks about the dearth of credible samples of players. I think most readers of this site are actually pretty conscientious about the conclusions they draw.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 3

I've actually been losing sleep at night wondering how many of Byrd's 82 home runs over an 11 year career were legitimate.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

I wonder if you think there's a problem with the way the system views Lincecum.

Feb 11, 2013 1:38 PM on November 14-23
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Right, sorry, but what I mean is your tone suggests that this is not a good trade for the A's. A perhaps better example is "Oakland did well to get anything back at all" which again is not deliberately saying that they didn't make a good trade but makes it sound like Werner is an afterthought. I know Werner doesn't make scouts go gaga, but a lefty that is better than average in all three of Ks, BBs, and GBs is a pretty unusual thing in the minors or even the majors. There were lots of articles about this trade with the Ross focus, but to me, the discussion should be about how the Pads let that guy go.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

Some other things that bode well for the A's: The reason a team with so many starts by rookie pitchers never did so well is that rookie pitchers usually take a year or two to round into shape. Next year will be a year later. Brandon Moss' success is protected under the "given half a chance" clause. Gomes is replaced by Chris Young who will contribute more and--if he replaces Cespedes on defense--will save the A's about 25 runs over last year. The A's had a substantial +99 run differential, which is more than the Pads in 2010 and a lot more than a team like Baltimore that screams flash in the pan.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

I don't see how the A's are selling low. Werner is a lefty with the proven ability to throw strikes, get some K's and pile up ground balls while Ross has the proven ability to do none of these things no matter how good he might look. I guess people are just down on Werner because he got roughed up during his cup of coffee this year. It seems like the A's fell into an opportunity to discard an ineffective player and pick up a potentially effective one and jumped all over it.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

I do see that they earned part of the Angel's snowball's chance, but that still leaves two points to account for...?

Sep 12, 2012 11:56 AM on Wednesday, September 12
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
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Just a technical question: How did the A's get nearly a 3-point bump in their likelihood of winning the division despite staying even with Texas. I'd think as we get closer to the end, staying even would drop their percentage.

Sep 12, 2012 11:54 AM on Wednesday, September 12
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

The fascinating thing about that first graph is that even the little year-to-year dips and bumps seem the same for RPs and SPs. There are clearly things that affect all pitchers; it's not just some general trend.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Comment rating: 0

I'll try to field this one as I've created an ERA estimator of my own. I'm not sure what point you saw it at, but by the end of the year Cueto's estimated ERA was far superior. Hellickson is another story. His FIP (which uses HR/9 instead of GB%) was a little better than Reyes and his xFIP (which uses GB%) was actually worse at season's end. So why the better real ERA? Well, there are some factors outside of what an estimator considers. First, park effects. Hellickson played in St. Petersburg which allowed 33% less runs last year than Toronto where Reyes pitched most of his games. Half the games are away, but already you should expect Hellboy's ERA to be 16.5% lower. Next Tampa had the best defense in baseball. They got to 2.5% more balls in play than Toronto (Baltimore, where Reyes played for a short time was even worse). That's good for almost a half run of ERA. Sure, if you were a GM you'd prefer Hellickson: he's younger, has a better injury history, and he has better stuff (which points to a better future), but last year it was mostly an illusion that he pitched better.

Jul 09, 2012 2:42 PM on Hire Joe Morgan
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

Forgive what may seem like a dumb question, but if you're not allowed to share anything you learned then what will you be writing about? If you did a study on defense, are you not allowed to write about defense now? Or you can write about defense but you have to avoid some underlying truth that is staring you in the face because you worked on it for a team? Can you repeat a study done with the team and then share results? Can you do a similar study but you will have to avoid some conclusions because they intersect with what you did for the team? It just seems like if there are huge underlying assumptions that you now know are wrong, but you can't talk about them you will have to just pretend they are right.

Jul 09, 2012 11:55 AM on Hire Joe Morgan
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

Great work, Doug. Hope to see you over at the Oakland ballpark event.

Apr 20, 2012 11:15 AM on Downhill from Here
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

I love Shlabotnik! While I agree with the "Players are overpaid," because it is usually mentioned in ignorance of what would otherwise happen with the money, the underlying problems of our economic system affect this in different ways. When people complain that baseball players are overpaid and owners get too much money and tickets cost too much, they may seem to be arguing points in conflict with one another and their own habbits but they are really arguing against a financial system that allows for those conditions, though they may not be able to state it so explicitly. Also, part of the supply and demand that causes problems is inside baseball. For example, building tiny stadiums to raise demand or selling the extra innings cable package for $170 when they could get three times the viewers (all of whom still have to watch the commercials) for $70. They seem to be steering away from the working class almost intentionally, which is sad because it has such a history as a people's game.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 2

The more I think about it, almost every Yankees fan I know says, "Money doesn't matter," and yet I have never heard any of them suggest the Yanks should cut payroll. Such hypocrisy!

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

Actually, though, yeah, I was with you right up until #7. It should be replaced or at least followed by "Money Doesn't Matter"--especially when uttered by Yankee fans who are all for their team's spending and accuse other teams of not spending enough. Other suggestions: "Yeah, but he's good at hitting with guys on base." "He's good in the clutch." "He must be a good player because he sure looked good when he played against (insert speaker's favorite team) last year." "ERA can get inflated by one bad game...which is why I look at a pitcher's wins."

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 3

This was the funniest baseball article I've read since "The Good Face." Ooh, I have a 'when it might be correct' for #2: An extra inning game in which all the bench players have been used. A baserunner is booking it up the first base line and has a massive heart attack just as he's about to reach first base. He falls to the ground, hand first and comes to a dead stop just as his hand reaches first base. The manager, having no substitutions available, has to leave him there...eh, heh, you see where I'm going with this?

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

They're going to have to sign Prince Fielder if they want to get the payroll to the point it was at last year when people argued the same thing about signing Fuentes, et al

Jan 04, 2012 1:52 PM on Wednesday, January 4
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 2

I'd love to see a little bit more for those of us who don't just need a refresher course on sabermetrics. For example, Josh Byrnes talks about speed off bat, they offer some sob stats, and some of the highlights with accompanying stats. How much more power or average do high speed off bat guys hit for? I'd tune in every day to learn new things and since they are a part of MLB, they ought to have access to a lot that the rest of us don't. Also, I'm not jazzed with the guests. I'd like to see some real experts in specific areas of sabermetrics (like, say, Steven Goldman on history)rather than the one or two guys who are cath-alls (James) and then a re-hash of people we've seen everywhere (Verducci, Showalter, Reynolds). I like the GMs but maybe grill them on how they use advanced analysis a bit more.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Line drive rate stabilizes at 150? Seems like something is wrong there.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Trade 2 looks fair, especially when considering the $15 faab. Not enough info was provided about the league (keepers?), but I'm assuming you started with $100 faab (as opposed to $1000). That money can help you land Lawrie. Trade one, wow, I guess the guy needed steals, but it's not like Asdrubal is a slow coach. The 1st and 2nd best players in the deal are Asdrubal (the only star) and Encarnacion. One could make a case that Rivera is the third best.

Aug 06, 2011 2:04 AM on The Offensive Gamble
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Not sure why anyone would agree to trade one. I guess I'm just frustrated with silly deals that go through in trade leagues.

Aug 05, 2011 11:34 AM on The Offensive Gamble
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 6

In my version of the film, you'd end on a scene where the Red Sox hire the bookish Theo Epstein, foreshadowing how the window for small market teams to take advantage is going to close soon.

Aug 05, 2011 11:05 AM on Moping About Moneyball
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 6

The whole point of Moneyball was taking advantage of an inefficient market. The front office culture has changed radically since then--partly because of the book--and the A's are in a more efficient market now. So the very fact that they aren't doing well helps to support that the premise--there are myriad ways to take advantage of an *inefficient* market if you're smart--is true.

Aug 05, 2011 11:00 AM on Moping About Moneyball
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Sorry about the typos. Didn't have my coffee this morning.

Jun 06, 2011 9:26 AM on HR/FB, SIERA, and Luck
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 6

You know, the thing about SIERA is that it underestimates the value of a high groundball rate. For example, here is a quick and dirty list of buckets for all pitchers with over 150 innings over the last three years and how much higher SIERA is for each: GB% ERA SIERA Difference 55-60 3.64 3.95 .31 50-55 3.83 4.05 .22 45-50 4.09 4.20 .11 40-45 3.94 4.04 .10 35-40 4.23 4.25 .02 First, I am not sure why SIERA is consistantly higher than ERA. I would guess maybe it was buiult off data when the league as a whole had stronger hitters, but I'm not sure I buy that. Usually league changes in hitting correspond with a change in pitcher rate stats. But also, SIERA clearly pegs pitchers with low groundball rates much more accurately. Those with high GB rates can expect to beat their SIERA by a third of a run.

Jun 06, 2011 9:21 AM on HR/FB, SIERA, and Luck
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Just to add to what Tom said to the last question, pitchers have control over home runs, but in specific ways rather than a generic way. Pitchers who get a lot of strikeouts (non-balls in play) and a lot of ground balls (which can't clear the wall) tend to be those that don't allow homers. By the same token, a strikeout pitcher will allow less doubles as they will allow less of all types of balls in play. I don't have the numbers in front of me but I'd suspect that groundballs are also less likely to become doubles. But as a broad rule, flyball go for a home run for one pitcher just as often as another after you normalize for the ballpark. There are some exceptions like pitchers who throw really good, really slow changeups, which are more difficult to turn around and other pitchers (Verlander comes to mind) who may just be the outliers of luck.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

It is a worthwhile topic for further study in my view. We know that players are better today in a general way, but we also know that there is a larger population pool to draw players from and better technology to help them train. Can the competition of all the distractions, especially in more developed nations be a counter-effect? It seems that a lot more Dominicans per capita make it to the majors than Americans so researching why that is must be worth something. This seems as plausible a reason as any. I have to say, though, I have no idea why the focus would be on pitchers instead of players in general. While I don't have a citation, it seems that it's been proven that kids who throw more are more likely to get injured when they are older so one could argue that this effect is a good thing for pitchers if in fact it does exist.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 2

Speed guys tend to beat out their BABIP. It makes sense because they can get down the line and beat out groundballs a lot more often. I recalculate every player's batting average to eliminate luck. Here is what Davis should have hit the last three years: 2008 .277 rather than .260 2009 .274 rather than .305 2010 .249 rather than .284 2010 looks low, yes, but Raj hit far fewer line drives than he has in previous year and was well below average which has not been his M.O. Similarly, he hit far more infield flies than in the past. That is something he is quite unlikely to repeat as he is getting away from the coliseum's expansive foul territory. In fact, Rajai "lost" 27 points of BA (vs. a league average hitter) because of those two types of balls in play. By way of comparison he had a net +3 on line drives and pop-ups the year before. I'd expect him to get that back and ultimately regress to his true talent level which lies in the .270s.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Wouldn't it make more sense to have either the stats split up like the plate appearances or to have all positions next to a full set of plate appearances and stats? It is confusing as is.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Yeah, I was wondering how Chris Carter was going to manage to hit 12 homers in just 129 plate appearances and still have a negative WARP. This isn't your grandfather's replacement level.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

The Longoria projection is maybe a little low but not radically different from what he's done. Stanton had a lot more homers than PECOTA is projecting him for and a higher translated batting average so it's not spectacularly optimistic about him either.

Feb 07, 2011 3:19 PM on They're Here!
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: -1

Really great point. Batting average gets lost in an OBP and stolen bases aren't even present. I would like to see comparisons in each stat--not just one.

Feb 07, 2011 3:04 PM on They're Here!
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 2

I thought Ichiro was meant to have a new and improved forecast for this year. Looks more pessimistic than ever.

Feb 07, 2011 12:48 PM on They're Here!
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

MDC's ADPs are heavily influenced by their own default rankings. If MDC has Walker defaulted at 355, the draft participants don't notice him in their list until they are in the 300s. If they had him defaulted at 155 it would be a different story.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 2

Is Connor Jackson really worth 3.3 mil? And if it went to arbitration, would he really win? On what grounds could he get more than, say, a million?

Jan 21, 2011 10:25 AM on Junior Circuit Jumble
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Marc, Give any thought to representing BP in the NFBC?

Dec 17, 2010 12:42 PM on Offseason Content
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

I didn't say it makes them good. I said it didn't make them 'really bad.' That makes it sound like they are one of the worst teams. The Pirates are one of the worst teams. I don't think the A's would have won 57 games in the NL central, and while someone posting on Yahoo might make such a comment I don't think you'd get much traction for that argument on here. Or, to put it another way, they wer 51 and 53 against teams outside their division.

Nov 05, 2010 12:26 PM on Oakland Athletics
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

The Rangers played them too, and as I stated above their run differential surpassed their actual record. You know, one might just as easily argue the Mariners offense would have been better if they didn't have to play the A's X times.

Nov 05, 2010 11:18 AM on Oakland Athletics
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

Dude, they won 81 games. You don't need any fancy statistics to tell you they're not 'really bad.'

Nov 05, 2010 9:39 AM on Oakland Athletics
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

Points of interest: *To put a popint on what other posters said, Vlad had an on-base of .322 and hit only 9 homers in the second half last year. At his age, I think it's fair to speculate that's the beginning of the end. *With Chavez and Duchscherer also off the books, they get back 24.5 million from the two of them and Sheets. *Beane has already sounded like he is going to be a Scrooge this Christmas, saying they don't want to overspend until they're ready to move into a new park. http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101004&content_id=15413198&vkey=news_oak&c_id=oak *He has also said they don't want to compromise the defense so the DH might be the place to improve. *Depending on the pythagenport record you choose to look at, the expected wins of the A's were between 85 and 86 while Texas was between 88 and 91. *Texas will lose Lee and Guerrero while the A's will gain Carter.

Nov 04, 2010 9:19 AM on Oakland Athletics
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

What would Ellis go for on the market? I would have thought the A's were planning to release him and then sign him for less.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

So...is the projection for Pettitte or Hughes?

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

I think home field advantage is something like 55/45. So the neutral odds might be 62/38. Really?

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Did you account for home field advantage?

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 4

According to pitch F/X, Halladay only had one called strike that was outside of the zone, against four balls that were inside the zone. We are getting to the point where players are going to have to go home and check their computers before running their mouths off. We can prove he's wrong.

Oct 08, 2010 8:57 AM on Trying to Taint a Gem
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Craig, I wonder if a lot of the Blue Jays changed their approach in this way, explaining the team-wide power spike. The idea being that it just didn't work out for Hill. Any idea?

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks for everything, Will. Definitely my favorite BP column and I'll be another to follow you wherever you go.

Sep 29, 2010 3:40 PM on Fade To Black Album
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

I am more interested in why these guys will continue to produce. Bonifacio is a guy who strikes out an awful lot and doesn't generate any power through which he can generate the extra hits that come with home runs. Therefore, what about him suggests that the surge in the small sample of the last month is likely to continue? Indeed, he hit .274 in the minors before he came up.

Sep 17, 2010 1:13 PM on Targeting A Category
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Exellent in depth look at the pitchers in question. Maybe there should be a bit more in places about park effects and to some extent defense. Oakland and the Mets would be in my top three ballparks for overperforming pitchers while Philly and Boston would rank pretty low and those parks cover more than half the pitchers here (not counting Buchholz).

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 4

Excellent article. The one issue I have is that if teams aren't saber-oriented then they must be scout-oriented. In other words, their decisions must come from some philosophy. Asking BP staffers will get you mostly saber-oriented opinions and they are likely to think good teams follow their philosophy (i.e. "The Yankees are good so they must be sabermetrically oriented.") I think if you ask a bunch of scouts which team most utilizes scouting information you won't get a unanimous response of Kansas City, the way BPers proudly claimed Boston. I think they tried to give it a fair shake when I see where Pittsburg is, for example, but I think comments like "Sabermetric teams are doing better overall compared to teams that do not rely as much on sabermetrics" have to be taken with a grain of skepticism given the bias of the response group.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 10

I think it's clear that you can't comment, Will. I'm sure the BP brass is reading this as well, though, and there must be someone who can comment or that an agreement can be made on a statement about the status of the column. We are looking for something along the lines of "BP is in negotiations wih Will concerning the future of his column" or "Will is signed through the end of the season and will move on to other endeavors at that time." If the reason you can't comment is that you're moving on and they won't let us know when or where that is kind of shady on BP's part.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 6

Arizona's moves make me think they have a former showgirl owner who wants them to finish in last place so a clause in their lease with Arizona can be invoked and cause them to move to Miami.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Great article. The recent trend of teams being afraid to give up much of value for a win-now guy has seemed over the top to me. Teams used to get ready-now prospects for a star; now it is guys who are 2-3 years away, which also seem 2-3 times less likely to work out.

Jul 30, 2010 11:36 AM on The Futility of Selling
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Jesse, please respond to your original quote: "they went in the wrong direction" and ScottyB's summation of some of the comments: "A run prevented = a run scored, right?" I still don't understand why they went in the wrong direction.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 3

The mainstream media does a lot of stuff like this. The offense sucks, get bat. I think you have to consider who you're replacing. It is going to help just as much to upgrade a near-replacement level pitcher, like Saunders, as it is going to help to improve on a near-replacement level hitter (like Callaspo). Yes, there is a point at which the offense is so bad that they can't score any runs and then no pitching can help, but for a team that is 11th in runs and 24th in ERA, I don't think that is even an issue. If your point is that the Angels need to get a first baseman and reinstall Napoli as the primary catcher, I can see your point, but the Angels are hellbent on not doing that and then you have a whole other article on your hands, where your persuation has a lot more to do with the idea of moving Nap than who they get after that.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

My system had Prado ahead by a nose hair, but depending on how they do the math, he might get something for having multi-positional eligibility too.

Jul 13, 2010 9:42 AM on The Fantasy All-Stars
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

I really liked Hamilton coming into the year. He was an injury risk for sure, but he is a hitter--at least you're not concerned that he'll blow out his elbow. Seeing him perform as well or better than he did before his injury-marred 2009 campaign is not really a great surprise. I can see him keeping it up for sure. Cano is a great, great hitter. I think there is almost no limit to where he can go. He rarely strikes out but has continued developing power over the last few years. According to Hit Tracker, he had four no doubt bombs this year against one lucky dinger. Compare that to Martin Prado, a slappy hitter who pulled 10 homers out of his, um, ear. He has three lucky homers (tied for second place on the list), with only two no doubters. As a hitter, his future upside is probably as a David DeJesus clone.

Jul 12, 2010 12:59 PM on The Fantasy All-Stars
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

As a fantasy player, you are trying to get guys in their typical round and then have them perform better than that round. That's your first priority during the draft and it defines a sleeper--someone who outperforms the spot he was valued at. If every guy on your team performs better than his round (i.e. you had a first rounder who is performing better than the average first rounder, etc.) it would be awfully hard to lose. You'd have to have an incredibly lopsided team. I do agree, however, that the article was not about this. It was about THE best fantasy players. I would like to see a better metric to explain the rankings, maybe giving a value to each player, rather than just choosing whoever CBS claims is the best. There is no way to know whether their methodology is anything better than an intern updating whoever he thinks is the best every day.

Jul 12, 2010 12:35 PM on The Fantasy All-Stars
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Maybe it could just be regressed heavily depending on how big the sample of DER is? I can probably agree on that. But then maybe you open a can of worms where you start regressing everything and then the SIERA tells you nothing about how good a guy has been after a few starts. I don't think DER correlates well enough from year to year to use last years percentage, and then, of course, you have to worry about double counting the effect of the ballpark in the DER as well as the park effect. It gets mucky pretty quickly once we start down this road. I think just having the park effect would be useful as a second stat (PIERA?), but I'm not sure there is any way to apply the DER without without having a bunch of caveats.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

Well, if you own a fantasy team, you want to factor that stuff in. If you control a real team, you want to know how good he is outside of his environment. These stats are tailored more so that we can compare pitchers on a level playing field. Furthermore, you'd need a projected DER prior to the season for a projection and in April when teams have small sample DERs of .780 or .620 you'd end up with SIERAs lower than one and others up around ten. That kind of information would be far less useful than a SIERA that does *not* use defense.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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A few weeks ago, I bought Livan in a very deep league that uses faab for $1 (out of a budget of $1000) and he has never been owned in the small 12 teamer I'm in. Five years ago you might have been able to sell high, but I really think fantasy players are too savvy for that with all the information that is available to them these days. While I completely agree that his performance is unsustainable, pitchers who throw substantially slower than their peers tend to allow less homers and that is something that SIERA does not account for. He'll regress for sure but it helps to explain some part of the difference.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Nice feature! It is too bad the Giants article doesn't even address pitch count. A lot more than 32,000 fans are going to be upset if their freak gets injured and disappears for a year.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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"the ball park would have to allow no home runs to anyone" This does not make sense. Also, I addressed the one year park factors, noting why they will likely change next year.

Mar 06, 2010 2:49 PM on Power Sapped
 
Brian Oakchunas
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According to Greg Rybarczyk of hit tracker, Wright lost 9 homers that would have gone out of Shea and in general the team lost a great deal. The park effect number for last year is most likely due to bad luck that the Mets and especially their opponents had with hitting homers on the road last year and will likely go down significantly after we have another sample in 2010. Note that the overall number of homers for Mets and their opponents was very low last year. If Wright has 30 homer power this year, he could again lose half of them to the ballpark and end up with 15.

Mar 04, 2010 9:21 AM on Power Sapped
 
Brian Oakchunas
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What, you thought the power wasn't for real? The only flukey thing he did was hit for average and PECOTA sees him regressing by 24 points in that department.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Michael Taylor is neither here nor in the spreadsheet.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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PECOTA is up in the fantasy section.

Jan 28, 2010 10:45 AM on May 23-27, 2002
 
Brian Oakchunas
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A downloadable version of PECOTA comes in the fantasy section. Since it downloads into excel, there is no reason you can't sort it, right?

Jan 26, 2010 11:50 AM on Juice
 
Brian Oakchunas
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And bring back the Triple Play articles, offering thoughts on three teams. 1/3 of each article would be a nice addition to the respective team pages. I know you don't like to go backward, but an organized way to offer thoughts on all the teams would be excellent. Not that I feel the overhead on these additions would be high enough to justify a substantial increase in the subscription price.

Jan 26, 2010 11:41 AM on Juice
 
Brian Oakchunas
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We had a similar conversation about Jeff Suppan and whether he is even worth rostering over on the NFBC message boards. Basically, it depends on the quality of the team and what they are hoping to achieve. If you are going no place fast, but need a 5th starter and want to get all your guys in the minors more seasoning, this guy is valuable in that he fills the void and keeps your bullpen from getting overworked. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are a contending team that needs a fifth starter, then you look at how many runs you might give up and allow (with and without him) and see if he makes sense. Let's say, for example, you have an 85 win team without this guy (not counting the fifth starter's spot). Then he makes no sense to add and you'd rather some volatile high-upside minor leaguer who might actually help you or better yet, spend the money on someone better. But, if you have a team that would win 95 games, even with this guy included, then he is invaluable because economically you don'yt need to spend more and at the same time he gives you much more certainty than a minor leaguer and keeps your bullpen fresh.

Jan 25, 2010 11:21 AM on Analyzing RoboPitcher
 
Brian Oakchunas
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20.1 Million

Jan 19, 2010 9:57 AM on May 20-26
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Ellis was not the same guy in 2009. That was clear to me even without looking at the numbers. There was no question he was among the best in the game a couple years ago, but he didn't look the same in 2009. That said, yeah, even using a good stat like UZR, defense is difficult to project.

Dec 18, 2009 12:29 PM on Anatomy of a Blockbuster
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Very true. Also, there have been a lot of great minor league pitcher's who became nothing. My point is more just that I don't think he's done much to justify praise or to be an important chip in a big trade at this point.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I didn't know he was post TJ. Doesn't really make me like him any more than I already did to know that, though. In fact it seems like another point against him.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Joe, I don't quite get the love for Drabek. He only K'ed 7 per 9 in Double A and doesn't have an impressive groundball rate. Knowing that pitchers have an early peak and that strikeout rates tend to stabilize quickly, that doesn't look encouraging. Looking at his BP translations, he had a 5.1 K/9 rate, 3.3 BB/9, and 1.7 HR/9. Taking it a step further, his peak translations are 6.0, 2.6, and 1.1, basically making him what he seems to be in the minors, a pitch-to-contact type guy. Sometimes these guys bust out for sure, and I know scouts love him, but I don't see that he's putting much together yet.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I like the ultimatum game and I am of course familiar with how his extra wins won't translate to bucks for the Jays if they don't contend, but I think the picks are worth something; I think the PR hit on a bad trade would be substantial; and I think there is always a chance that the team ends up contending--maybe it's not likely but a lot of baseball is luck. Then you need those extra wins. Beyond that, there are other concerns with taking "a nickel" for him. One is that the team is setting up a bad precedent for future deals, where other teams think you'll do bad business just to unload a player. Think about it this way: if the new administration already had a reputation for unloading just to do it, would they get good or bad offers for Halladay? Yes, the potential trade partners have to compete against one another, but you don't want to make it any easier for them. Furthermore, there is some value to a game of chicken here. If you don't get a deal and you aren't in a rush to get whatever you can, you can wait until another team decides they want him bad enough to pay handsomely. Could be now, in March or at the trade deadline, but it is pretty senseless to take your nickel when you might get a couple of Franklins down the road.

Dec 08, 2009 11:50 AM on A Halladay Ultimatum
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Seriously. If I want to use three years of data, I have to drop them all into spreadsheets separately and then cut and paste them together. It is not any more fun to do ten years! It can be done simply but it is a painstaking process and it would be great if I didn't have to go through it.

Nov 15, 2009 5:22 PM on Tick, Tock
 
Brian Oakchunas
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With Lidge it was more of a bad year all around. He was still striking out batters but not at the rate he did the year before, and striking out well over a guy an inning can make up for an ugly walk rate. This year the walk rate wasn't just ugly, it was horrendous, and without the gaudy strikeout rate to help make up for it. Add to that, a sky-high homer rate and his situation wasn't good. You walk a guy in most innings and allow homers afterward a quarter of those times and he really earned his earned run average. Whether he can bounce back is another question. All his problems stemmed from poor location, which was rumored to be due to imperfect health. The K rate shows that he still has talent so an off-season of rest might do him some good.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Nah, he had a worse year than he should have this year so it's the proverbial 'correction' rather than regression to the mean.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Will wondered if anyone could explain Hamels' year outside of the Verducci Effect about two months ago in his column and I responded with a shorter response that was nevertheless right in line with what is here. http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9360 Yeah, the thing about Hamels was that he was never as good as he appeared so a universal-type karmic correction was in order for him, one might say.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I believe in the Verducci Effect 100%, but I'll play devil's advocate on the Hamels question. He's outperformed his peripherals a few years in a row given his mediocre home run rate and unstellar K rate. In other words, he was never as good as his ERA might have suggested. This year he has the same exact K rate as he had last year, supported by a fastball velocity that is a tick higher than 2008. His walk rate is also better this year. Those are going to be the first hints I look for when judging whether a guy's arm is working correctly. So it is only his HR rate and hit rate that are worse. They are the elements that tend to be out of a pitcher's control and prone to luck, particularly the hit rate, which is his biggest problem. They aren't helped by the fact that he's had his highest ever percentage of home starts and the Phillies' defense taking a downturn this year. The injury woes are worse this year, but the guy has mostly been on the field.

Aug 10, 2009 12:47 PM on Big Things
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Yeah, a target return date or how many more days a guy will miss would work much better and be very useful. Everyone knows it's not an exact estimate. We're just looking for your best guest.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Great stuff! My favorite of three good unfiltered posts.

Jul 14, 2009 2:38 PM on Reality Check
 
Brian Oakchunas
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This is done well, but I'm not sure it's not better suited to some kind of retail trade journal. Nate's articles had more connections to real live fans and team success. I can see the utility for a team's marketing department for sure, but how much interest is there for Joe Fan or even Joe Stathead?

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I thought this was really well done. On the one hand, I thought it ran a little long, but on the other I felt that I wanted references to more research done by others (like Keith Woolner's article from BBTN). Really, you can't do everything when it comes to such ambitious topics so Ken does a great job exploring the topic in the way he does. One thing bugged me throughout: there is an assumption that pitchers would be just as fresh when showing up with less off-days. I felt that needed to be addressed in some way. As an aside, most of Ken's articles explored serious topics in a funny way. His initial offering explored a funny topic (TGF) in a serious way. Up until now I felt TGF was his strongest piece. I hope that should Ken win, we will see more work done in that vein.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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The thing that sucks about being a BP Idol contestant is that you can't be part of the judging process. Well, you can, but it seems really sleazy to go over to another contestant's page and write anything negative, constructive or otherwise. Anyway, now that I'm out I can have some judging fun here in the last week. Starting out this article I got really excited because Brian had an interesting topic and he used a great narrative device, which, to me, helps to show his maturation since the beginning of the contest. He was always a good analyst but we needed more personality. Later, it fell a little flat later for two reasons that have plagued Brian since the beginning: 1. He completely drops the narrative which helps to both explain what he's doing and makes it into enough of a story to pull the less stat-oriented through. 2. I hate to seem like the old grammarian, but there is no thesis. This had 4-6 sentences that basically told me he is going to talk all about the relationship between balls and strikes, but you need one concise sentence that tells the reader what it is you intend to demonstrate/prove with your piece. I feel that a lot of the 'heavy eyelid' comments that Brian gets would go away if he was clear about what he was doing from the get-go. It gets hard to read when you don't know what you're reading about. Brian is great at doing analysis and I feel like I can learn a lot from him, but the writing still needs to be tightened up.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Sorry about the unnecessary apostrophe. Wasn't looking to get my punctuation blasted at this late date!

Jul 08, 2009 1:28 PM on How Good Is It?
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I'll stick my head back out of my cave, look around, and comment on this week's controversy. To me, if you liked Matt enough to not want him to get voted off because of his interview, then you probably voted for him regardless of how well you felt he did. If you felt that based on this week in combination with the others, you'd rather see the other three writers' progress you probably did not vote for him. One person suggested that the comments should be taken into account. They are! Those people get a vote just like everyone else. Readers vote for who they want to see win the contest based on their own criteria and based on their own weighting of one week's article against the articles that have come before. The readers as a whole decide what is most fair. I'm not sure what could be more equitable and democratic than that.

Jul 08, 2009 1:25 PM on How Good Is It?
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Thanks to BP for the opportunity and thanks to all of you who read and voted for my work. It's been great fun. I'll throw out an article idea. The last two contestants should have a very open-ended topic: write a column that is to be a model for what you regularly plan to do here at BP. Include a brief explanation of how it embodies the things you plan to do with your space.

Jul 01, 2009 10:47 AM on The Arms Race
 
Brian Oakchunas
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There was plenty of evidence that Cecil was fatigued with regard to DIPS. He walked three and only struck out two. Two Ks in three innings sounds okay until you consider how many batters he faced. He also allowed more fly balls than ground balls. You'll note that I mentioned the infield hits he gave up were unlucky. Beyond all that, a prerequisite for DIPS has always been that the pitcher is pitching at a Major League caliber, which one could argue that Cecil was pitching neither like himself nor like a Major Leaguer that day.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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The person who wrote that I made a mistake on Rios' position was incorrect as molnar noted above. What will happen to Cecil is/was TBD. I judged as best as I could based on the available information at the time of the article.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Misplaced modifiers bite everyone now and then. I love them because they are so funny, though. I once tried to write a short story in which everyone speaks in misplaced modifiers and hilarity ensues over the resulting misunderstandings, but it was really tough.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Yes, the DTs take park effects into account. While I am not privy to the exact DT calculations, my understanding is that they take season, era, ballpark, and pitcher into account and then do a good deal of regressing to the mean. In other words, 22 HRs is about as well as you could expect Ruth to do if you played that season over again in a different era. PECOTA might take a first year professional player who didn't allow any HRs in A-ball and project a poor HR rate for the majors in the following year. It is using the same types of principles (not counting ground ball rate).

Jun 23, 2009 12:51 PM on Babe Ruth the Pitcher
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I definitely identify with the postmodern camp where it is okay to blend some pop culture with your academia. It seems like they shouldn't go together at first, but they really make a tasty concoction, sort of like maple syrup and sausage.

Jun 23, 2009 11:46 AM on Babe Ruth the Pitcher
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Just with regards to the last paragraph, I was trying to illustrate that his translated rate stats improve partly because he would be pitching less innings. You can see the counting stat translations on his DT page (including IP) and they illustrate the same point. Sorry if that was not made clear in the article.

Jun 22, 2009 4:07 PM on Babe Ruth the Pitcher
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Wow, one thing at a time: Could the Babe limit hits of opposing batters in his era? Maybe. His hit translations come up to around 8 H/9. That could just as likely be due to luck and defense. In either event, it is unlikely that the ability would convert to today's game so I needed to omit it in order to eliminate luck and defense from the equation, which, of course, was part of the point of the article. As far as using starting pitchers in my comparison, the DT Translations make him into a starter and convert his innings. Furthermore his original stats as a starter were converted. That is to say that relief pitchers have different data attached to their rate stats because of coming in in the middle of an inning and so forth. Consistently comparing him to SPs seemed like the way to go. "For example, if he'd allowed 1 HR that year, he would have had a MUCH higher translated ERA for you, right?" That is, perhaps, a better question for Davenport, but for my part, it seemed appropriate that they translated close to league average. I assume that there is a lot of reversion to the mean going on there. I would have loved some ground ball data to use, but I couldn't even find anecdotal evidence of whether he was killing worms. You do the best you can with what God or the record-keepers of the time give you.

Jun 22, 2009 1:19 PM on Babe Ruth the Pitcher
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Pick one of those three guys and put him in the Teens and I like his chances to be the best pitcher in the league.

Jun 21, 2009 11:42 AM on Babe Ruth the Pitcher
 
Brian Oakchunas
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If he fulfills PECOTA's forecast of being one of the top 30 pitchers in baseball, I'd call that an ace.

Jun 15, 2009 9:59 AM on Brett Cecil
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Definitely. I don't mean to imply that my explanation is the only one at all. However, I do think that it's possible. Consider that he was reassigned to minor league camp on March 15th. I don't have a record of what kind of workload he had there, but there are two situations that could lead to fatigue: 1. He pitched a good number of innings that interfered with his stamina. 2. He didn't pitch enough innings and wasn't stretched out properly to start the season. Either way, I see stamina as a plausible explanation for his poor start to the season.

Jun 14, 2009 11:24 PM on Brett Cecil
 
Brian Oakchunas
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My comment was in reference to the fact that he pitched very well in spring training before Triple-A. It is also possible he was discouraged by the demotion or just on a bad streak, but I see a pattern emerging that leads me to believe it's stamina.

Jun 14, 2009 9:53 PM on Brett Cecil
 
Brian Oakchunas
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This week's prompt said, "as long as 2000 words," which I took to mean no longer than 2000 words. I definitely cut stuff to keep it under. We were warned at some point about long stuff getting sent back to us. I was concerned about BP's limitations more than upsetting the audience.

Jun 14, 2009 9:48 PM on Brett Cecil
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I think the stamina was probably catching up with him at Trip-A and then the layoff got him back to normal. That was a casualty of the word count. I came in at 1,999.

Jun 14, 2009 9:18 PM on Brett Cecil
 
Brian Oakchunas
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PECOTA thinks he should outperform the GB rate. Of course, in the majors, it is a very small sample in which he gave up four homers in an inning to the Red Sockers so his rate was sky high. We wouldn't expect that rate to continue and based on his first few starts, I think he can definitely keep the homers down as long as the stamina is not getting in the way like it did the first time around.

Jun 14, 2009 9:16 PM on Brett Cecil
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Definitely, the entire system is unfair. However, I have enjoyed the discussioin here about whether women can play in the majors. I was really hoping to get people involved in the topic this week so I'm happy to have done that.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Toni Stone was the first and most famous woman in the Negro Leagues. It is hard to get line statistics on them as you can imagine, but they were good enough to play in the Negro Leagues but probably not the majors, as I mentioned. My intended point was that if women from a small segment of the population (black women) were good enough to play in a league drawn from the same population (the Negro Leagues), then it is entirely possible that there have also been women from the the larger population that were qualified for the larger league.

Jun 08, 2009 12:53 PM on Yeah, That Girl Can Play
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I actually didn't know about her somehow. It is an interesting story. Thanks for passing along her name.

Jun 08, 2009 12:41 PM on Yeah, That Girl Can Play
 
Brian Oakchunas
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You spelled it the same way and as far as I know it's correct. Maybe you're nit-picking my periods? I've seen it both ways.

Jun 08, 2009 12:37 PM on Yeah, That Girl Can Play
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I'm surprised I didn't attend to the movie title. Had I been cognizant of what I was doing I'd have probably underlined or italicized it.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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In four years they went 58-127. That's far from great, but they had to have a few gals worth their salt to get 58 wins.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I think your comments are very useful and you've been a great addition to the level of discussion in these articles, Richard. Personally, I know how much work it is to do well every week in this contest and I am thinking less of myself than some of my co-writers, who are clearly talented but have perhaps struggled with some of the topics. While it is great for us all to get feedback, I'd hate to think that the criticism will dishearten anyone about the idea of writing about this game we all love, especially when some are so talented given the things that they cover well.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I appreciate the constructive criticism and have learned from it. Some of the mean stuff seems unnecessary. It might be fun to watch Simon but most of us are better than that. (I've never seen the show, but I hear he's the mean one.) However, yes, I'm just glad to be here. Just my two cents.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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You mean for voting? I'd love to get your vote but I'm not arguing for it in my comments. I'm just trying to answer questions about the article and clarifying ideas as well as I can.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Just FYI, I account for number of at bats and discussed that in my comment just after the judges' comments.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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SGP’s are directions to look at the differences between categories. SGP's aren't publicly available and not based on such a broad sample of fantasy play for a 10x10 league. Sources like the PFM convert SGP's to dollar values but don't tell you how much more or less than ideal a player is worth. It is this idea, that you know whether you are winning or losing a category during the draft that most makes VOFP valuable.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I don't have the numbers with me at the moment, but there were few to none as you guess. The key is to pair up your catcher with who you can get in another round and see whether it makes sense from a total value level to take him earlier or later.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Good question. The idea is that the VOFP numbers work as a single digit but they can easily be drawn out to show how much VOFP a player is getting from each category. During a draft, I actively drop players into a spreadsheet as I draft them. Here again, the zero value comes in handy. I know that if I am in the tenth round and my team VOFP for home runs :) is at +150 while my VOFP for stolen bases is at 0, then I better focus more on speed as the draft progresses because the players at the end are going to all have negative values and while I have power to lose, I can't say the same for speed. VOFP and drafting strategy is a whole other article or series of articles. I was more interested in just introducing the conceppt, given my limited space here.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Thanks for the comments, Derek. The overall winner in the NFBC usually has around 3,300 points after you adjust the number of contestants to 390 per year. That means that 330 points or 60th place should get you in the conversation for the grand prize. 40th would ensure it, and it is not so far toward the top that gaps start to appear between the numbers of stats each person has. As for the calculation, I look at how many homers there are between 40th and 350th place each year and do some simple division to see how much it moves you. When you graph the data, you see a steady progression, except at the ends. In other words there isn't a larger number of homeruns between 50th and 100th place than between 200 and 250th place so a hard number, like 4.08 is relevant here.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Replacement level can help me to manage the ideal level if I were to adjust for positional scarcity, but that doesn't change the nature of the stat. I prefer to not adjust for positional scarcity, however. It can be better handled by comparing players at an equal footing. It requires a whole other article as I hinted in the last paragraph. But, to give you an idea, the difference between 3rd and 10th round catchers is not relatively large but the drop to replacement level is enormous. On the other hand, there is a huge difference between 3rd and 10th round first baseman but not so big between 10th and replacement level. Adjusting for positional scarcity, the third round catcher and first baseman will tend to look the same but it's a trick that you can see better by comparing actual VOFPs. During your draft you can also know exactly where your team stands because you can simply add up your VOFPs and if they are near zero by the end, you are in good shape. If they are adjusted artificially, you won't get the same accuracy. Yes, there are thresholds for what you want from each category. The goal is to use VOFPs to build a balanced team that is at or above zero in every category. But you should never be far above zero in one category while far below in another because you can only go so high before there are no more points to earn while there is plenty of room to fall. Part of the purpose of the stat is to see if you are misallocating resources.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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We're comparing players to the ideal player you'd need to help you win here. It's a single number just like VORP but has little to do with replacement level.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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With regards to batting average, I do weight it according to at bats. That 1.3 is a soft number but the numbers you see for the players in the example are weighted by the number of at bats PECOTA projects. As I said in my comment about Cabrera: "A .294 batting average, weighted for the number of at bats, gains him another 12 points." He gains those 12 points because PECOTA has him at .294 in 571 at bats. I add a percentage to the weight of those points based on the understanding that a typical fantasy player on a good roster would accrue 535 at bats. While accounting for the extra 36 at bats only adds up to less than a point of difference in this case, I am accounting for it. This is the kind of thing that can help catchers because though they tend to have poor batting averages, they also get them in less at bats. Zero is just the floor for an ideal player. Guys who get 21 homers score zero, but guys who get bigger numbers score well over that. Again, using Cabrera, he was projected at 32 homeruns, so those 11 extra dingers translate into 45 VOFP points. The system is based on real success of fantasy players over the last four years of the NFBC. I'd love to do another article showing how well you'd do in previous years of the NFBC if you got specific numbers at the end of the year and how your point values dictate in which place you'd finish. I've done it in the past and it works out very accurately. Of course, an individual player's projected VOFP will only be as good as the projections it's based off of, but PECOTA is a good way to go, I think.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Interesting thought. Maybe some people are just opening articles to look at the comments and not voting for or against. As a contestant, I am not certain that BP's choice of using the counting stat is the wrong way to go. If someone opens my article but doesn't really read it and then doesn't vote, I wouldn't want it to count against me.

May 27, 2009 2:00 PM on Catching Up
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Byron, I enjoyed your stuff and thought your work with Pitch F/X was great. Good luck in the future!

May 27, 2009 9:04 AM on Catching Up
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Funny you should ask. I was actually going to reference an article that answered that exact question but I was over my word limit and I didn't quite have a good spot to put it in anyway: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-memory-remains/ Baxamusa finds that counts that start 1-0 and then go to 1-1 are actually more successful than the reverse. A lot of the comments asked for more detail in various ways but it is tough with the word limit. I would probably run the topic into two or three continued articles under different circumstances.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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A couple of people suggested privately that I respond to this comment so I'll mention that I didn't feel that I needed to unnecessarily complicate the article with a discussion of p-value and its viability over a stat difference hat was so small it wasn't affecting the outcomes much at all. Thanks for reading.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I was commenting on how previous research compared all at bats that started with a first pitch strike vs. all that started with a ball. The findings are fun to look at but since real pitchers never throw first pitch strikes 100% of the time, it doesn't help us to understand how much better pitchers who throw them frequently really are. Thanks for your feedback.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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My take on it was that he was using WHIP and OBP almost synonymously, except that WHIP was from a pitcher's standpoint.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I am jabbing at my typewriter with a Lucky Strike dangling from my mouth right now.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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The adjusted ERA takes the league average ERA and applies defense. The Reds start with an average ERA (like every team), which goes down to below average when you apply the defensive debit. Their pitching staff was also pretty bad which is what makes their real-life ERA worse than the defense-only adjusted ERA.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Prior to the chart I found that each thousandth of a point of DER is worth .0215 runs of ERA. Taking that into account, it is easy to make the chart by finding the difference between team DER and the average DER and then adding the corresponding ERA to the average ERA. Hope that helps.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I'm calculating it by starting with a league average ERA for the pitching staff--then adjusting according to defense.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I definitely want to do another article on park effects. For most teams it doesn't make much difference but it has huge effects on Boston and Oakland, for example. However, the outer limits of difference in ERA will stay relatively the same.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I didn't adjust the actual ERA at all. I was just putting it there to show what it was. The adjusted ERA for each team takes the league average ERA and alters it according to the team's defense. The idea is that if each team had an average pitching staff in every way, we get to see how the team's ERA would be altered by the defense alone.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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Would be great to just put out a collection of highlights from articles that didn't make it: good writing, bad writing, funny writing, great analytical points, interesting quotes, etc. There is no need to label them. Just put them out there and let everyone take a look.

May 11, 2009 10:02 AM on Game One
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I like Carty and I respect his work so maybe he was just using a different data set or only using RA and RS in conjunction, but I did a study on the same thing and found a relationship between runs allowed and saves, though not runs scored. It makes sense that low scoring games would have more saves because there is a smaller distribution of runs. For that reason the ballpark can actually have an effect on saves as well.

Apr 21, 2009 1:32 PM on Save Opportunities
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: -1

I'd say a lot of Bowden's questionable moves worked out in the end. Can you say he didn't know Guzman would work out? He did. You have to give him the credit.

Apr 02, 2009 10:26 PM on A Look at the Year Ahead
 
Brian Oakchunas
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\"With the team turning over its closer role again, Jon Rauch has the first shot\" Please explain. I thought Qualls was named closer.

Mar 04, 2009 11:30 AM on Arizona Diamondbacks
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: -1

I read BP every day so I do not usually find much on the newsletter that I can\'t see on the site. It would be great if we could find out some of tomorrow\'s articles or get an update on what is going on with things like the PECOTA spreadsheet that everyone is wondering about and that the powers that be don\'t seem inclined to tell us. Actual newsletter-type news.

 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: -2

Shame on you guys for having a sense of humor. God forbid. How about suggesting readers who are less trigger happy on the minus switch. Jeepers.

Jan 02, 2009 3:34 PM on July 23-30
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Agree on Triple Play, better fielding metric, and new James Click.

Jan 01, 2009 3:40 PM on July 23-30
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I don\'t blame the Yanks for spending. They have the money. Most teams spend what they earn--or at least plan to earn via hitting the sweet spot for the playoffs or a new revenue stream. As a fan, though, I don\'t know how it is fun to watch a team underachieves its potential every time it loses and if it wins, it merely meets expectations. I take satisfaction in watching a team well-built, but when it is a team well-bought, that seems empty.

Dec 28, 2008 9:06 AM on July 24-25, 2001
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Congrats. Were the two of you the first and only \'internet-only\' writers to be admitted or were there others?

Dec 14, 2008 10:57 AM on The Jermaine Dye Trade
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Will, not to stir the pot, but let\'s say someone comes to you with a sure thing trade with huge names in it that no one else has reported. Do you just sit on it?

 
Brian Oakchunas
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I think Will is probably talking about a graph of a team\'s park and how much area they have covered with their defense compared to other teams/average defenders, along with a multitude of information about the individual players that you can see. Would be interesting to see stuff like that. Just looking at numbers would not give you as much information on where teams can improve.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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The price is excellent, but you would hope that BP is working on bringing us better defensive stats as per their reputation.

Dec 06, 2008 12:55 PM on The Burroughs Hypothesis
 
Brian Oakchunas
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\"How many games did those two guys win last year, 14? Next year, they might win 35. They have the capabilities. That\'s another 20 wins right there. Now, you can\'t assume those things will happen. But they could happen.\" If this is the way your GM does math, you probably don\'t have a chance next year. Is this really him or does he just think the fans and media are this stupid?

Dec 01, 2008 6:02 PM on November 24-30
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I liked your analysis of possible trades.

Dec 01, 2008 4:17 PM on Sharing the Dais
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Thanks for the piece. It hasn\'t been clear what the channel would provide until now. A couple of concerns: Wouldn\'t this programming decrease ESPN\'s audience, making them less likely to run Baseball Tonight? Aside from the previous poster\'s concerns, that would seem bad for the sport as Joe Casual Fan would be more likely to catch Baseball Tonight than MLB\'s programming I would think. Also, it will be in 50 million homes, but how many will have access to it in HD? Comcast does not offer any of the Extra Innings games in HD so I\'m not optimistic. Too bad it sounds like they will not be any more open to scouts, BP-type analysts, or other experts. We get \'broadcasters\' again.

 
Brian Oakchunas
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\"Subscribe\"? It\'s not a pay channel, is it?

 
Brian Oakchunas
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The coliseum is affordable and usually provides a good product (a team that wins), which is more than can be said for the nice ballpark on the other side of the bay. The food is good and the field is nice when football isn\'t on. The team needs the money is the only real reason I want them to move.

Nov 21, 2008 11:53 AM on Our Picks at the Break
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I admit I\'m never on 880 there 5-7 before a game, but coming home from work at about 4 when Thursday day games have let out, they only slow down traffic minimally. Since that is all at one time, I assumed it was less likely to impact traffic when people are showing up at their leisure. Furthermore, the amount of people driving into the game at one time is not that heavy. As a season ticket holder for 8 years the longest I have *ever* waited to drive into a game was about 1 minute and there is no traffic, none, on the smaller streets right outside the coliseum where people have to drive to get in. So it is very difficult to believe a few extra cars on 880 at one time is making a difference. I could be wrong since I\'m not out there but I\'d think you are either blaming normal traffic patterns on the game or there is a flood of traffic right at 7:00 to get in (I never arrive that late). Even so, traffic should be down by 7 and are we really worried about extra cars at that time? I\'d think the 5:00 rush hour traffic is more the issue.

Nov 20, 2008 11:48 PM on Our Picks at the Break
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I didn\'t say it would be the same, but as long as you bring it up, there are zero problems now. So 0*2=0. I think to really know accurately, you need to know the number of cars that travel 880 north and south between 5 and 7 and then see how many more cars to add onto that. I\'d say an optimistic projection would be 5000 when you count the number of fans coming from other directions, like 680 and the surrounding areas, and the average number of people who travel together, which I\'d posit could be as high as 3.5. So 2,500 cars in each direction over two hours, mostly with access to the carpool lane--seems like it might not be that many.

Nov 20, 2008 9:12 PM on Our Picks at the Break
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
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Good point. See Camp, it is potentially good news for your keeper team if in fact April was Utley\'s only real month last year. Don\'t look now, but his post April numbers were scary.

Nov 20, 2008 7:05 PM on 5,715
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
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Can I be the geek this time? Players aren\'t ever worth 30 wins, not on their best day, not even on that side of Barry Bonds. Don\'t care about the Phils or Mets, but the Mets are just treading water at this point and they\'re going to start sinking without some smart moves this offseason.

Nov 20, 2008 7:02 PM on 5,715
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

I concur. I pass by both sites on my way to work every day. There are no traffic problems off 880 in Oakland due to the Coliseum and there\'d be few here. Even if there were, people discuss it as though it would be a major traffic inconvenience 24 hours a day that would affect the morning commute and everything else. People get to the park at all different times so arriving is not an issue and similarly I don\'t think anyone is concerned that traffic is going to get congested at 10 PM or on weekends. There is just no existing traffic to have this add to the problem at those times. So, basically, the only concern is weekday day games letting out, which is an instance that would occur maybe 12 times a year for maybe an hour. 12 hours a year. Is that something people are really worried about? If it is that big of a problem, you can have the games start at 12 instead of 1 so that fans are out by 3, before the traffic starts. Sheesh.

Nov 18, 2008 7:04 PM on Our Picks at the Break
 
Brian Oakchunas
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They have talked about moving him to first *if* he can\'t play the field. Beane just referred to them as their 2009 third baseman yesterday, though, and it makes sense to at least try and stick him out there as most of his remaining value is wrapped up in defense. I assume Marc was just ignoring the Giambi rumors. They almost have to be rumors because there is not anywhere for the rumors to leak from at this point. The A\'s pretty much make all their decisions at the very top and Beane and Forst aren\'t talking. That is to say that there aren\'t a whole lot of mid-level organizational intermediaries to leak to the press. That said, they haven\'t gone out of their way to deny anything and the move would make sense for them as Giambi should be relatively cheap for a relatively short number of years and Oakland is about the only place in the world where the Giambino would have legitimate gate appeal. On the other hand, where do you put him if you\'re Oakland? He only works at 1st or DH. His bat works at first, but his glove is awful there and if Chavez needs to move over, he will be in the way. He seems more likely to DH, but then you have to consider just how much of an improvement he is over fellow left-handed power hitting walk machine who can\'t hit Jack Cust. All things considered, I think the A\'s will kick the tires on an incentive-laden deal they can get for a bargain, but I think that Furcal is the far more important piece and I think they will recognize that and focus their time and money in that direction.

Nov 13, 2008 6:34 PM on AL West
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I am confused about suspending the game. If the Rays had not scored and they suspended it to be continued, wouldn\'t the Phillies have filed a grievance saying that according to the rules, they should be declared the winners?

Oct 28, 2008 6:52 AM on World Series Game Fi...
 
Brian Oakchunas
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It is ridiculous how the media has not come around at all on defense. I was excited to see two good defensive teams play in the ALCS and the whole time I had to hear about how bad Tampa is. They have no idea that the biggest part of their turnaround has been on defense. It\'s like all these guys carefully read the Moneyball chapter on OBP and then went right ahead and skipped the ones on defense. I wonder if my doctor and my mechanic are nearly as behind as some of the professionals in the baseball industry.

Oct 20, 2008 10:45 PM on October 13-19
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
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Wow, lots of opinions here. My feeling is that Joe was finding fault with making random assertions without the facts to back them up more than that he was being pro or con Manny. The current political campaigns probably make this a hot topic.

Oct 09, 2008 11:20 PM on May 28-June 3
 
Brian Oakchunas
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Kevin, I think any kind of overall rankings along with team rankings is a good idea. I guess it is probably not the order you figure stuff out in during the offseason which would make it hard. But, for example, if you titled a piece the #30 Orioles so that we know where the organization ranks in terms of their prospects that would be awesome. Ideally, you would go in reverse order to build interest but it\'s not necessary. Also, if there were overall rankings that would be spectacular, i.e. #1 Orioles prospect (#25 overall). p.s. I have no idea where Baltimore ranks but that very fact may add credence to my idea.

Oct 08, 2008 5:33 PM on It's Monday
 
Brian Oakchunas
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I think what we are really learning here is that pitchers intentionally throw outside the strike zone far less often than we give them credit for. The reason why these guys aren\'t seeing \'better pitches\' is because the pitchers can\'t make their pitches any better.

Oct 03, 2008 4:17 PM on May 21-27
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
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Which is why it is good that we have BP to set us staight on the things that are counter-intuitive.

Oct 03, 2008 4:11 PM on May 21-27
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Great work! I have looked for this in BBTN and it is odd that it wasn\'t there, but with pitch f/x we get much better data anyway. Thanks!

Oct 02, 2008 7:50 PM on May 21-27
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Agree with fireatwill.

Sep 19, 2008 12:31 PM on Starting Pitchers
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
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Would love to see a study on how much difference it makes when a good hitter is in front of/behind you.

Sep 04, 2008 6:28 PM on Ryan Ludwick
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
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Why is Justin Upton\'s DXL at 60? Does it include the time he missed before he came back? Also, in general, just a thought but it would be useful if the DXL was prorated for what they will miss in the future, rather than since the beginning of the injury. In the Upton example, I am more curious how much more time he is going to miss. To figure that out right now I have to go back to the beginning of his injury and count ahead by 60. Not trying to break the cardinal rule of BP comments. Just a constructive suggestion that would add to my experience as a reader. You are doing a great job as always, Will!

Sep 02, 2008 11:20 PM on Tweaks
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 1

Ben, you are missing the point. I would rather not sign up for the Kansas City Star just so I can read the article that the quote comes from to find out what it is in reference to. A little more explanation is a fair thing to ask for.

Sep 01, 2008 10:08 PM on August 25-31
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

Agree with the previous poster that I\'ve had to google quotes to find out what they were in reference to. But great titles, particularly this week!

Sep 01, 2008 2:49 PM on August 25-31
 
Brian Oakchunas
(9790)
Comment rating: 0

You have to wonder if there is something wrong with Harden and they just aren\'t telling anybody. He didn\'t look too sharp in his last start.

Sep 01, 2008 10:34 AM on Band-Aids