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Baseball's acceptable 'defensive alignments' that spring to mind:
At the warning track
Corners in / bunt prevention
Playing to pull
Defenders in their traditional positions are almost always making subtle (and not so subtle) adjustments based on the game situation and the batter/pitcher tendencies. 'The shift' is simply another of the less subtle alignments. And it's very effective in the right situations.
Would it be wrong to call it the lefty play to pull on steroids, or does that bring back bad memories?
Somebody's been waiting a long time for this headline subtitle. Clever. I like.
I had a similar reaction. Starting pitchers are going 2/3 of an out shorter on average. Rosters are carrying an extra reliever. Coincidence? Can that starter innings be correlated to bullpen depth? Are managers more willing to pull the starter for a reliever if they have a deeper bench?
Is there a difference between AL and NL, where the starting pitcher might be getting pulled for a pinch hitter in the fifth or sixth?
A team's "will to win" starts at the top, and infuses the entire organization, including the faces of the organization's media arm / cheerleaders. It takes commitment. Conviction.
So, if your team has been losing, it's because they lack conviction. Including the cheerleaders. That's what's wrong with 29 of the MLB teams, every season.
Playing the other devil's advocate... you're saying because he couldn't get out of the way of a 89MPH pitch, it's justified because it's the first time he's assaulted a pitcher afterward?
The replay I saw showed it as an 89 MPH pitch... not sure if that's backed up with anything other than the instant TV broadcast...
I gotta listen to your podcast on the way home tonight, but jeez, the replay I saw shows it was an 89MPH pitch. Quentin's gotta be able to get out of the way or suffer the consequences...
My entry from my mobile device apparently failed. I lose. Sigh.
At least I was on vacation at a beach.
Bacon, Canadian bacon, ham, Spam, or other?
Can we see all the adjusted pitchfx 'down and away' calls to lefties from both teams, excluding any 0-2 and 3-0 counts?? Might help to establish whether Foster had any consistency for those pitches throughout the game...
Not that I'm making any excuses...
Thanks, Colin & team. I know from Joe's earlier posts that a lot of work was done under the good to validate these, and I appreciate it.
I'm not going to suggest that Hamilton is immune from regression (age 31, etc.), but his home/road split last season was very balanced. Just .009 differential in OBP and .005 in SLG, in exactly equal PA.
Sam, this is good stuff as usual. But #3 doesn't hold water. His team won't score "or fewer" runs. But at the time the announcer utters the phrase, his team still might score "or more."
The announcers really should just say, "4 runs. The [other team] might as well go home, because even Zito doesn't blow many games when he gets that much support before getting yanked."
Surgery. 2 months.
Okay, thank you.
And my namesake Rutledge in Colorado?
Mike, any chance we can get an updated post on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning For those of us drafting this weekend? Any way to separate SPs from RPs is doubly appreciated.
Hot damn, I went back to yesterday's post and see sortable positions. Don't recall seeing them before! Thanks in retrospect!!!
Joe, is there a way to reformat this week's auction values by position? Voila: interim tier rankings sans commentary.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
It's not too late to rebrand OBP to increase its market appeal. We should definitely crowd-source a better solution in the comments.
NGO. Not Getting Out (pronounced 'Engo'). He's a tough out against lefties this season, with a .384 NGO.
GOB. Getting On Base (credit to Ken Funck for this one). Old school charm. His GOB has improved dramatically since his rookie season. Elite pitchers can be hailed as GOB stoppers.
Fun. especially like the 50% selection.
Probability he turns an unassisted triple play?
Luke, I think of these statues, and Ben's writing about them, as a way of recognizing achievements that might otherwise go underappreciated.
Does the statue tell us how to pronounce Hrbek, by the way?
Very interesting! The effect may be larger than estimated, also, relative to mid-season with another variable to consider: With the extra rest-days in April, teams are often able to leave their fifth/weakest starter out of the lineup, too.
Joe, I wouldn't suggest that anybody is 'wrong.' I like the added commentary and insights, so that's a nice feature of the list. Knowing how the list was developed is important, and this approach definitely does that.
Personally, I use BP's expert opinions as my benchmark, and adjust my internal lists from the PFM (thank you for accelerating their release) and ADP info. Going deeper into the lists adds tremendous value, especially in the mid/late rounds of a draft, so I am looking forward to seeing the deeper lists, too. With 360 players drafted in a league, top 15 lists only scratch the surface, especially for league-only owners.
We're 2+ weeks ahead of last year's analyses, so it is all very much appreciated. I'll try to be more patient.
For your reference, I think we may have been spoiled by some of the content that Marc and Derek had published over the past couple years (and once the bar has been set...):
Forty-two first basemen listed and ranked, including projected stats.
Organizes the players into tiers, which I found helpful for for snake-format drafts (yeah, I know), but I understand it may not be useful for everyone. I guess dollar-values provide similar information.
Published March 1st. Definitely a bonus to get the information out earlier than that
Thank you again.
Paul, this a great in-depth look into the top-15. I appreciate it. But... I'm going to join the chorus of comments from the catcher rankings.
I need way (way) more info before draft day, digging deeper into the options in the pool.
I'm willing and able to be patint, but it would be super to get a list of your next 15, even if there are no additional comments added. I'm appreciative of the effort, and would like the opinion as a baseline comparison to the PFM (where I can customize lists from PECOTA).
Played this y once, attending a game at Yankee Stadium (against the Mariners) as part of my bachelor party. I recall drinking involved, but memory of that whole day is very cloudy so I could be wrong.
Everyone playing put a dollar in the cup as ante, every half inning. Whoever was holding the cup at the end of the half inning collected if the ball stayed ON the dirt of the mound. Resting against the edge of the grass counted as ON as long as part of the ball was touching the dirt. Pass the cup (and re-ante) every half inning.
There's no reason we can't get a beta version followed by more accurate subsequent refinements, as we have in the past.
Thanks for taking another look & coming through with a solution. Very much appreciated.
I knew what this was going to be before I clicked thru. Classic.
Agreed. The raw spreadsheet has traditionally been released to premium members in beta-format by the end of January. Would love BP to take another look and see if that can be accomplished again in 2013.
This was great, Evan. Thanks for taking the time to do this topic the lip-service it deserved!
It's almost like the wall in right has been moved up to the old warning track. Almost.
That's right. You're the victim here. It's not about the children at all.
The chart also made me look twice. Didn't take long at all to find these two pitchers (using baseball-reference, and cherry-picking some stats):
Pitcher A: 6'3", 195lbs, righty
Pitcher B: 6'3", 190lbs, righty
Pitcher C: 6'1", 160lbs, righty
Pitcher A: 1977-1994; .577 W%, 5.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 1.30 WHIP / 3.90 ERA
Pitcher B: 1978-1994; .591 W%, 5.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.27 WHIP / 3.44 ERA
Pitcher C: 1976-1998; .559 W%, 4.8 K/9. 2.6 BB/9, 1.27 WHIP / 3.70 ERA
Pitcher A - Season best: Wins, 21; Cy Young 3rd
Pitcher B - Season best: Wins, 27; Cy Young winner
Pitcher C - Season best: WIns, 16; Cy Young 5th
Pitcher A - Career WAR: 39.3 in 549 Games; (JAWS rank 167th)
Pitcher B - Career WAR: 39.9 in 506 Games; (JAWS rank 171st)
Pitcher C - Career WAR: 45.1 in 692 Games; (JAWS rank 134th)
Pitcher A: 4 Postseasons, 7-4 Record, 3.80 ERA in 13 Games
Pitcher B: 8 Postseasons, 3-3 Record, 4.56 ERA in 17 Games
Pitcher C: 3 Postseasons, 2-2 Record, 3.32 ERA in 12 Games
That's just two quick examples I pulled up. I expect there's others. Morris just doesn't stand out, even among his exact contemporaries unless we look back at a couple cherry-picked and rose-colored postseason memories.
Thanks for the quick response! So then backspin increases drag, but not side-spin?
One of the variables that are mentioned could also have significant impacts on total distance. At least as I intuit.
1) side-spin / slice / hook
Apologies if I missed this in the article. At any spray angle and launch angle, I suspect that side spin is significantly negatively correlated to distance. True?
And so, again apologies if i missed it, but what is the 'sweet spot' of all these variables that yields the longest taters / blue triangles?
But a Marlins fan on the intranets would ask for more... A lot more. Myers, Longoria, Price, and another eleventeen Top Rays.
Thanks for sharing your ballot and your thought process. I think you made the right decision regarding PEDs.
It will be interesting to see how the bottleneck of borderline and PED-associated players resolves itself heading into the next two or three years of voting.
Can BP readership influence your Raines fence-squat?
My condolences to Mrs. Freel and her daughters.
Many of us knew Mr. Freel from a game he played. Others knew him from a game we played based on the game he played. No matter how removed we were from him as a person, we appreciated his effort on the field.
Fans could be disappointed if TW jumped straight to Double-A in 2013...
Happy holidays to everyone at BP! Loving all the off-season content. Can't wait for the Annual and spring content.
American Idle. Designers compete to create the best mother's-basement fan-caves for baseball stat geeks who have never actually been to a game.
I understand where you're getting that feeling. I think you're seeing an inverse relationship where his low price tag 3/$30m is one of the factors contributing to the better prospect haul. If his salary demands were 3/$45m, Toronto wouldn't be offering as nice a prospect package.
Baseball and I have an open relationship, but no other sports get my attention when baseball's on stage.
I think he means "did you find a 'tell' that Crisp showed on his attempts that an observant catcher could communicate to his pitcher for a pitchout or a pickoff?"
If he's in spitting distance of 3000 hits by the end of 2014, the Yankees should be pretty happy with their offer.
Leet me get this straight, your asking what the case for his MVP would be if you don't count the individual stats that are actually indicative of performance?
Setting aside the absurdity of that premise... did you hear the narrative about how the rookie was called up and sparked the teams turnaround? And how his team won more games in a tougher division than Cabrera's?
Off the top of my head:
Defense, Baserunning, OBP, OPS+.
I love the pitch sequencing. Not sure wher I read this before, but I believe Maddux would throw the change up down and in to righties when he was looking to get a strike via a pulled foul ball.
Not sure if that's insightful or common knowledge.
... you have entered the Twilight Zone.
Since we're picking on agents, we should add a wrinkle to require them to submit a 'reserve' on their players before the draft. If the reserve isn't met by the bid when named by a team, then the team gets its $ back into its pool, but they cannot bid on that player again...
And the draftee's agent has less to do after draft day...
How 'bout Staten Island?
I'm sure this has been done elsewhere, but just for my own notes, here are the side-by-side comparisons of some various stats from B-Ref, FanGraphs, and BP.
Apologies in advance for the formatting.
Stat . Cabrera . Trout
PA . . . 697. . . 639
Avg . . .330 . . .326
OBP . . .393 . . .399
SLG . . .606 . . .564
OPS+ . . 165. . . 171
TAv . . .352 . . .359
oWAR . . 7.4. . . 8.6
VORP. . 59.4 . . 76.6
SB . . . 004. . . 049
CS . . . 001. . . 005
SB%. . . 80%. . . 91%
GIDP . . 028. . . 007
BRR. . .-5.5. . . 8.7
FRAA . .-2.3. . . 8.6
UZR . .-11.2. . . 11.0
WAR. . . 6.9. . . 10.7
WARP . . 6.1. . . 9.1
I'm fairly sure that Nate was up front about it in his writing this year, but not in each entry.
Do you get more value in the off-season or at the trade deadline?
Bringing him back for the first half of the season buys goodwill (and season ticket packages) and also carries risks. But I suspect that's the path Sandy takes unless he receives a knockyoursocksoff offer this winter.
In your estimation, whom and why? In the AL West, it would take a whole lot of wallet to get into contention. How would one smartly go about it through free agency?
This reminded me that time is almost up for voting in the Internet Baseball Awards. Go vote.
Definitely enjoyed it - as usual.
FYI, my reading skills improved considerably after my coffee kicked in. Aunt, grandmother. The IRS probably wounldn't know the difference, but you do.
Happy birthday to your aunt!
This was a great read.
I am way out of my league in statistical design and analysis, but humor me, please:
Since expansion (or the '94 strike, or some other payroll-significant point in time), there have been several dozen paired-matchups of teams in both 5-game and 7-game postseason series. Would it be possible to run matched-pair analysis of these matchups, with the percent-difference in payroll as the independent variable and number of games to win as the dependent?
It should be relatively straightforward to plot the results and also determine statistical significance.
Although it would be substantially more work, I'd also love to see this analysis re-run using only the active playoff-payroll, to eliminate the effect of money lost due to injuries.
I'd suspect that the number of matchups should be enough to reveal whether the payroll difference is significant.
I would first like to say this is absolutely brilliant. I mean the part where you make your trip to celebrate your grandmother's birthday into a business trip so you can write it off for tax purposes. Brilliant.
The article is entertaining, and my subscription to BP is certainly better than burning my money, so that's good too.
I'm intrigued about your suggestion that Granderson might have been benched instead of Swisher.
Had Girardi used an outfield of Ichiro, Gardner, and Granderson prior to last night?
Had he used an outfield of Ichiro, Swisher, and Gardner this season? If so, which positions did they play?
I have had the "ace reliever" / "fireman" conversation more than once with a longtime friend. It usually revolves around whether it's more valuable to deploy Mariano Rivera in the 7th or 8th innings to preserve leads that were in danger, or keep him in the pen until the 9th to lock down a victory.
I never took the time to research it, but the questions that we tossed about were:
a) how many opportunities have there actually been where the opposing team was down by 3 or fewer runs and rallied in the 7th/8th with men on base, and how successful has the "closer" strategy actually been in these situations?
a1) the starter was kept in and blew the lead.
a2) the starter was kept in and preserved the lead
a3) the closer was brought in and blew the lead.
a4) the closer was brought in and preserved the lead.
a5) a different reliever was brought in and blew the lead.
a6) a different reliever was brought in and preserved the lead.
A followup question to a1, a3, and a5 is how often the Yankees rallied back into the lead or a tie such that the 'closer' was then required to come in and preserve the new lead/tie.
A followup question to a2, a4, and a6 is how often the preserved lead was later blown by a subsequent set-up guy or by the closer?
A followup question to a4 is whether the closer ended up finishing the game anyway.
b) how much better is your closer than the "different reliever"? (most of these are moot with Mariano, but relevant in other contexts)
b1) with men on base
b2) with the particular batter at the plate (handedness splits, matchups, etc.)
c) would deploying the 'ace reliever'/'fireman' in the 7th and 8th innings increase the number number of innings he pitches in a season?
c1) is this a good thing?
c2) is this asking for an injury?
... at any rate, this is a fantastic conversation to have, as long as it's done in the spirit of friendship. If only somebody could answer all the subsequent questions it raises.
This would be brilliant.
People are meaning making machines."
1) Something happens.
2) We observe it.
3) We attached meaning to our observations.
The more we advance technology, the more we we can parse our observations into more discrete granules. But that doesn't change any of the other steps in the process.
This is the story of our lives.
Check the video replays again. I've looked at several different ones, and in many you can't even see second base. The few angles that show the bag, it appears to me that Holliday would have had to crawl back before he could reach it.
Tough play by Scutaro to stay in there and attempt to get some ooomph on his relay, and he paid the price for it.
I listened 'live' on radio and it wasn't until later that I saw the replay. I was listening to SF radio announcers (Jon Miller makes the game so easy to listen to!), and they described it as a hard aggressive slide. I don't recall too much discussion of whether it was illegal, just more concern for Scutaro.
Upon review of the replay, yes, he landed on top of the bag with his slide and then willfully carried himself well past the bag to collide with Scutaro. I don't think Holliday's hand could have reached the bag from where he ended up (after Scutaro's left leg and body brought his momentum to a stop).
This is why second basemen used to jump to make their relay throw (not just moving towards the pitcher's mound and waving their left foot in the vicinity of the bag as we often see these days).
I also don't think Scutaro realized how just how close Holliday was when he chose to stay planted to the ground to make that throw.
I think it could be possible, but still tricky.
I'm pretty sure a player can walk away from the game before the end of his contract expires, and leave the guaranteed money in the Owner's pocket. Didn't a Royals' SP do that a few years ago (Gil Meche)?
Not that I think ARod would do it.
I don't think the players' union would be able to argue against it, unless he waits a couple months and then tries to sign up with a team for less than he was originally owed.
That contract was a dubious value when the Yanks agreed to it, and it's not looking any better now.
I have no problem with the gist of the article, and I especially like the sub-title.
Does firing (the manager) for losing also extend to other manager positions? Bench coaches, hitting coaches, scouting personnel, etc.? Who would ever go to work for ... the Astros? There's got to be some more to the backstory then simply wins & losses. Though fewer losses would have been good for his immediate paycheck.
Love the timestamp
I agree, I had the same thought... The umps call caused him to back off. Very late call.
Hadn't thought about the implications of the runners advancing, but I still think he had a ways to backpedal before he was under that ball.
I heard the play on the radio. Didn't get to see it on television until much later. The radio description made it sound like it was a high fly ball that could have been caught by either fielder.
The call was also not made by the infield umpire, which the radio announcers pointed out Couldn't happen in a regular-season game, Since there are no outfield umpires. When I did get a chance to see the replay it was clear the umpire made that call extremely late. His hand went up about the time the shortstop pulled up short.
That's the part that bothers me - this is a judgement call that is supposed to be called 'immediately' upon the umpire's conclusion that ordinary effort of an infielder will result in an out. If he's waited for the infielder to run backwards for 45 feet before he makes that judgement, it wasn't ordinary effort.
Sam. Thanks, Sam.
Don't know why I thought I was reading Derek's article. I'm going to say that the caffeine hasn't kicked in yet...
This was a fun exercise. Thanks, Derek.
I wonder how many prior seasons exist that would have won the 2012 Triple Crown outright - not just disrupt it, but usurp it.
Zero is a bad idea, short of mathematically eliminated.
I would be remiss if I did not laud this article. Well done indeed.
Do they have seminars on baseball?
This should be in a seminar on baseball.
That's so weird.
Jason, are your readers and subscribers included in "the we" of Baseball Prospectus?
Would you be okay if I invited myself to join you under that umbrella?
I don't think his DUI has any impact on this season's voting, nor should it. I read point 3 to be in the context of both a) this season, and b) team impact.
"General character, disposition, loyalty, and effort."
My take: If a player were involved in an off-field incident (whether it was a crime or simply another distraction), I would think to be relevant to the MVP Award, it would have to have a discernable effect on the team this season. Past mistakes having an impact today would be relevant, but past mistakes with no impact on this season's team / results would not.
More germane to item #3 for Miggy, as mentioned by others above, would be his willingness to switch to a tougher defensive position in the off-season, work at it without complaint (as far as I can know), and be a congenial fellow on the team (I have nothing but anecdotal evidence here).
Wow, time flies. And I guess this makes me a conspiracy-theory minded fan, because this is the first thing that popped in my head a while back when his potential comeback was first announced.
I think it's entirely believable that he intends to mount a comeback because he feels he left too early. Still has something to prove. Has the fire in his belly. Etc.
I also think that there's an obvious secondary bonus that resetting his eligibility by 5 years would make any negative perceptions held by voters even smaller in the rear-view mirror.
I too am closer to 50 than 30, and would love to see him do it, just to know if he can.
Assuming Clemens finds a MLB taker, and he throws a few innings before injuries, sub-grade performance, or lack of interest ensues, would this reset the clock on his appearance on his inaugural HOF ballot?
That alone would be incentive for him to try.
Congratulations to the BP team!
Wrought iron. So, the for-man rotation has wreaked?
Wrought havoc? Will Wreak havoc?
Great news! Good for him. Good for the camily's brand recognition, too.
My long lost cousin and first MLBer with our last name?
And women's wrestling in Yankee Stadium.
Unfiltered posts were designed, in general, to have a broader base of topics.
And yet, I too think this was a bad article. It was missing imbedded video.
Thx, Sam. Reddick is a model of consistency on those two swings.
Front foot plants, hips rotate, arms extend, chin extends, top hand comes off the bat, back foot comes off the ground, body twists, eyes look into the stands behind the dugout.
Consistency is beautiful.
Nice thoughts, Jason. Good article.
But don't be ashamed of being smart. Don't be ashamed of being smarter than somebody else. I'd suggest, while I struggle with this myself on occasion, is that you should try not to judge yourself or others based on these facts.
You write about being detached from the emotions you used to have for the sport or a particular team based upon your understanding of the deeper statistical forces at work. I gained that detachment from the '94 strike, when I concluded that I cared more about my team than either the owners or the players. That conclusion may have been incorrect, but I've never regained that same emotional attachment. I don't judge it, it's just the way it is. I don't think I could go back, either. But I have friends who still have that attachment, and I'm sure you do, too.
Go Red Sox!
I was wondering if there's anything to prevent the club from simply paying him more in the years before arbitration as a sign of appreciation and to foster good will.
Call it a performance bonus. It's not like he's not earning it.
Richard, I'm not saying he is currently producing like either of those players, but that they are possible comps as much as any of the other names tossed out there.
I agree, Trout's 9% walk rate isn't close to Henderson's, but as you point out, he's making up for it in his Avg at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised, however, to see his walk rate improve if pitchers start to pitch around him more.
I read an article on line this morning (USA Today?) saying that others have also comped him to Mickey Mantle. I mean jeez. No pressure.
Is it unfair to comp Rickey Henderson's career, or 1975 Fred Lynn?
Sit and wait another year or 18 months before making any decisions...
I'd like to see Bolt go first to third more than I would see him trying out for ManU.
'x plus $639' sounds a lot better than 'x' to agents.
On second thought, I
changed my mind on Mike Trout.
He bends haiku rules.
Enjoyable as always.
Thank you, Ben Lindbergh.
Trout's noteworthy stats
Are deserving of haiku.
Not eighth syllable.
Verlander's so good,
Predicted FRA ... what?!!!
Alas, a typo.
'fix' the game by
1) removing WS-HFA.
2) carrying two AAA / Future Star SPs in the bullpen as extras in case of a long tie game.
3) managers can manage their rosters however they see fit, and are encouraged to get all the rostered players into the game for maximum fan enjoyment.
4) more in-game marketing opportunities and promotions using social media, with giveaways for the WS and next Year's All*Star game. It's an exhibition game, so let's really make it into a mid-season carnival.
Hometown fans booed David Ortiz because it meant they didn't get to see Billy Butler hit in that inning. I don't think anybody really cares who wins, just as long as they can see some remarkable and popular favorite players up against others.
That's what counts.
Then he's got a future in baseball for sure.
So, hey, that pizza cutter guy was on to something. Hope he's still got gainful employment somewhere if that baseball statistics hobby/career path doesn't pan out.
I have missed these the past several days...
In high school, I got caught in a pickle between third and home on a pick off move by the RHP. Pickle ended after just two throws, when the catcher threw the ball into the back of my helmet and I scampered home.
Most fun I ever had base running. Mind you, my coaches were pissed!
I swore the pitcher balked by stepping towards home and not towards third. My coaches said, "you can't balk to third base."
I am in agreement. I think technology has changed the experience of the game, and fans of the game have different expectations today than in yesteryear.
I think the fifth umpire in a booth at the game could help on the rest of the umpire crew with the calls in the field.
This won't come up more than a couple times a game, but getting the call right could be very important to the score/outcome. Such as bang-bang plays at first base (See: Armondo Gallaraga). Call on the field stands unless there's compelling/conclusive video evidence to overturn it within 30 seconds. It would be solved before the manager can even get to the umpire on the field to argue the call, so it's not like it would slow down the game any.
We would still run into some challenges, such as a fair ball down the line called foul ... can't just award two bases to the batter and runners after the fact, right? But I think fixing the obvious mistakes that can be fixed is far more acceptable than doing nothing.
I overheard any interesting conversation between two baseball fans of a certain age. Went something like this:
Person 1: There's a basic philosophical difference between the young folks today, and those of our generation.
Person 2: Sure is.
Person 1: these young fans are more concerned about getting the call right than they are with the game itself.
Person 2: I agree.
Person 1: the game has a human element, including the players and the umpires. Instant replay would destroy the human element.
Person 2: absolutely.
Person 1: if a player can convince the umpire that something happened, but it didn't, that's still an important part of the game. A time honored part of the game. It's part of the mystique of the game. Something to talk about at the office the next day.
Person 2: Truly is.
Person 1: just because we have the technology to get every call right, doesn't mean we should. These young fans don't care about the mystique of baseball. All they seem to want is for the calls to be right.
Person 2: they could have a point there.
Thank you, Jay. Have a great weekend.
HE"S A FLIP-FLOPPER! FIRST HE WAS FOR YOUKILIS TRADE, AND NOW HE"S AGAINST IT!! HE"S A SOCIALIST COMMIE FASCIST FLIP-FLOPPER!
RUNS NEED TO BE MANUFACTURED IN THE USA!!!
IT'S BUSH'S FAULT!
SEND OBUMMER BACK TO CHICAGO OR ELSE HE WILL SOCILIZE MLB WITH THE LARGEST REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH IN OUR PASTIMES" HISTORY!!!1
10-team semi-traditional 7x7 snake-draft league. 30-man active roster with an additional 3DL slots available if needed. 9 starting position players, 5SP and 6RP, with 1475 IP limit & 30-move limit.
We have 1 (whining) player with 7 guys on the DL at the moment. (Have a good weekend, David!)
Awesome fun league to play in, and I say that without ever having won & currently way back in 7th place with 3 guys on the DL.
Fare thee well, Jamie Moyer. Thanks for doing what you did the way you did it.
Do we have a large enough sample at this point to evaluate the effect of defense behind the Detroit pitchers? Before the season, there was speculation that the K-rate would be the best way to neutralize the butchery. Max might have been reading.
If you don't sign a pick, you don't get to use the money on another pick.
Belt or Adams for remainder of season (warming the bench behind Dunn)?
No worries. Not my clearest post. Gotta stop posting from my iPhone (like I am now).
Have a great weekend.
I believe the aging curve for Dunn would anticipate a lower batting average (yes, really) and increase in HR/9. Anyone out there able to confirm or deny with some BP PECOTA aging curves?
1) I love all the imbedded visuals in the articles this year. But that's unrelated to the subject at hand: the explanation for Ortiz's defiance of the dreaded Age Escarpment. And it's a great exploratory article. My guesses:
2) took a while to recover from the injury.
3) best shape of his career.
4) revamped his mechanics.
5) altered his approach / patience / selectivity.
5) lighter bat? Not sure if there is any evidence that he might have switched his lumber, but I'm speculating simply based on the results.
Hoot, I'll reply because you asked. You catch more flies with honey. So, if you're looking for pluses, make your posts as respectful as if you were commenting / replying to your own mother. Offer compliments before criticisms, and be gentle even so.
That's the best I can suggest. Good luck!
This Clete is made for walkin', and thats just what he'll do. This Clete is made for walkin' if he'd stop swinging at ball two.
What if we were to look at this from the other side? How would a researcher set out to prove that home runs are evenly distributed?
One way would be to investigate the likelihood of multiple-HR games vs. the observed data. But I think we're in agreement that multi-homer games will not going capture the essence of what we all think of as "in bunches."
So, what other ways might one go about it?
I was at Monday's Yanks/O's game with a few friends, & we all stood during Mo's 9th inning appearance. One of us commented that we didn't know how many more times we would get a chance to see him close a game in person. ... I'm going to go find that guy and kick his butt.
Texas had won 17 games, and Hamilton was worth 13WARP? That should be VORP, yes?
Ben, I think we can all agree that home runs are not distributed evenly, yes? Pujols may hit 39HR/162 games, but that doesn't mean he hits 1HR Every 4 games or so. It's not clockwork. It's not even Old' Faithful.
Therefore, if it's not distributed exactly evenly, then they must be unevenly distributed... in bunches. QED.
Is the new regression process applied to catchers, too?
I believe Kendall benefits JAWS-wise from The latest methodology where you no longer toss out the lowest HOFamer in the comparison, and also the fact that almost 30% of the inductees are VC selections.
The difference in Earned and Unearned Runs is, I would think, where the rarity of pitching lines is to be found (probablistically speaking) in otherwise "normal looking" lines.
Yep. The value at a given pick can/should only include the WARP of the remaining players available. Dynamic, as it were.
I've often wondered if there is any incental advantage for pitchers shifting on the rubber to try to mitigate platoon splits. Given the chart above, I'm less inclined to wonder. Agree?
The slightly less lazy doctor app (As mine said when looking at my sore throat this winter): "That looks like it hurts. Would you like a prescription painkiller?"
I like the format and execution of these 'What you need to know' articles.
Deadlines for the folks employing me are likely going to make it impossible to join the round table party, but today is a happy day.
Autism awareness deserves a shout-out here. It is becoming so prevalent in our children, if it doesn't affect you directly you probably know somebody whom it does.
It seems even the experts understand very little, except that it is becoming very common.
Surely that distinction would go to a member who is distinguished by a palindrome which is the multiple of the 7th prime by the 12th prime by three cubed. Or maybe by the multiple of the uniform numbers of Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Earl Averill, Bob Feller, and Casey Stengel.
Or maybe not.
Yes. Yes, we are.
Have a great weekend.
My wife votes for Gloria Estefan. Cantina Band is the runner up.
The 'culprit' is the change in pitcher usage:
"Back at the start of the era of divisional play, strikeout rates for starting pitchers and relievers were essentially even, right around 5.8 K/9. Forty-three years later, starters have picked up almost a strikeout per nine without pitching as far into the ballgame.
However, the real key to the spike in strikeout rates has been the relievers, as they've reached 7.5 K/9 while pitching a larger portion of every ballgame."
Great piece, CK. At the 1st NYC booksigning, there was a brief discussion on a similar topic regarding defense vs. hitting at third base. Cabrera was prominently mentioned. Chipper Jones came to my mind. Admittedly 3B is a bit further to the left on the defensive spectrum than LF & RF.
Looking forward to the rest of the new book.
Best regards & have a great weekend!
I don't feel it would be appropriate to take a picture, but there's a youngster on the train near me wearing a t-shirt with a pi symbol on the front. Wouldn't have had any clue about it if not for your article. It all makes sense now.
Delete, delete, delete... Misread the chart. All better now.
I'm confused. If Bumgarner is projected for 2.1 WARP. Why does the Giants chart not increase that amount between the second & third pitcher slots?
Ahhh... Right there in the middle of the article. I'll go back to reading now...
Didn't Dunn rush back after a spring appendectomy? Or so I recall. Not saying there's any evidence that this is a smoking gun, but it could be a contributing factor at least anecdotally.
It would be a shame if these aren't compiled and published as short fiction later this summer as a work of short fiction. The general reading public should have access to these.
Excellent! Disaster averted. NL can join modern MLB society, and pitchers can still hit if they can convince their manager to DH for the shortstop.
Okay, modify the DH rule to allow one position player or the pitcher to not hit.
Was this the precursor to today's announcement?
I'd like to suggest a farewell toast after the book signing on Monday. Pick a watering hole nearby, and I'll buy the first round.
Darn iPhone flagged this for moderation when I tried to plus it. Can't digger out how to unflagging it now...
I missed the previous installment of this series. Very well presented & looking forward to the rest.
I knew some of my fantasy team must have been involved. I was right. But, I would have to go back and check to be sure, I hope Scherzer was on my bench that evening.
Rocket-surgery is not as difficult as they make it out to be, thankfully.
Aha. I'll take this as a reminder to know all the league rules and use them to your advantage. It's been quite a while since I've played in a league where IP was unrestricted.
That being the case, and with the weekly moves you mention below, filling this spot on a rotating basis with 2-start SPs could be the way to go.
You might be surprised at how many wins & strikeouts you could get with the elite setup man option in addition to the bump in ERA and WHIP. The added benefit being a few extra $ to spend on top-tier hitter(s).
I've found that year after year, money doesn't buy as much as it used to. Prices are actually increasing!
My studies have shown that 87% of the time that there is an increase in population in a given year, prices go up. An increase in population means that there is increased demand for goods. Using basic economics, we know that an increase in demand allows companies to incrementally raise the prices of their goods and services.
Don't let nobody tell you different.
I thought Verducci effect explained how pitch velocity increased when hurlers were squeezed through narrow openings in MLB rosters.
This is interesting research. Not being a PITCHf/x analyst, I studied the two plots carefully. From my limited experience trying to hit or catch knuckles, I remember the 'flutter' typically happening very late in the trajectory. And while the magnitude of the fluttering in the chart above is minimal, I would suggest that the lower plot jigs 5 times in the last 20 feet of that throw while the other pitch jigged once along the same distance. And that is only when viewed in the horizontal plane. I would not be surprised to see a similar result in the vertical plane.
I wonder if there is some other visual effect happening that exaggerates the magnitude of the actual measured flutter.
The visual system is actually optimized for predictability. The signals from the photoreceptors are actually neurologically inter-connected and signals are being interpreted even before any impulse has transited the optic nerve. The signal is being processed at a neurological level to identify (and track) the motion. Our brains actually track the scene and the motion in response to where the neurons expect it to be, rather than the physical reality of where it actually is.
Our visual system does this constantly, and it usually works for us. [You may remember doing 'blindspot' tricks in elementary school, where our brains fill in the 'blindspot' where all the ganglion cells leave our eye through the optic nerve where there are no actual photo receptors to respond to incoming light]. And so, the unpredictable nature of the fluttering actually tricks our visual system into exaggerating the true magnitude of the effect.
So the next question would be, how can a hitter prevent their visual system from working as evolution has trained us to see? Because if I'm right, it isn't helping us to hit a knuckler...
Very interesting. Adding same vs. opposing handedness of pitchers as an independent variable would / could really raise the importance of this study.
I'm looking forward to reading the transcript of the 'liveblog' for the worst game of the year. If there were no useful fantasy implications, then I suspect several of my team's starters must have played in it...
That jumped out at me, too. Only if by "arguably" you mean that it could get you into a scuffle if you said that out loud in the Bronx.
If Pre-Season PECOTA is predicting the Red Sox "arguably" the best team in the AL in any other definition, I think you may need to kick its tires.
Pre-ordered my softcover copy along with the Best of BP series this past weekend. I'm psyched that I will be able to get a copy for my iPhone to read on my train commute!
I could not possibly find a better way to spend the iTunes gift cards from xmas... trust me, I've tried.
Yeah, thankfully I have no money riding on it either.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is their intention. Just saying that you shouldn't outright discount the possibility in 2 years because Detroit was the high bidder today.
The circumstances of the other teams are going to change, and it's impossible to predict exactly how, and all it takes is one team looking to fill a need.
As to being a defense attorney, I don't have the disposition for it.
Today, your analysis is right on target. Everything you say makes absolutely perfect sense.
However, circumstances change. What looks absolute today may not look the same in a couple years. History bears this out.
The number of players/contracts that defy
Largest contract in the history of the game (at the time) was ARod in Texas. At the time of the signing, Texas valued him WAY higher than any other team both in terms of $ and years. Result: traded mid-contract.
I recall a few other cases where the signing seemed way too expensive at the time, and too many years, and yet the circumstances changesd a trade happened mid-contract where a trade was possible: Vernon Wells and Carlos Delgado come to mind. Derek Lowe in Atlanta wasn't quite as long, but similar value/cost issues.
Short story: don't rule out the possibility that another team is going to want Fielder (and his contract) 2 years from now even though they weren't the high-bidder this off-season.
There is precedent for this strategy. Delgado Marlins/Mets, if I remember correctly.
Not to say that is evidence it is a strategy worth emulating (for either party), but it is a valid point of view.
Other reasons to like "POP" include: a positive baseball term, a palindrome, onomatopaeia, and a homonym. It is, in fact, my favorite word for these reasons.
Interesting! First one that came to mind for me was eerily similar: K-to-4 ratio.
Can we anticipate not reading about Moyer in this Year's annual (coming soon to a book-selling franchise near you!)?
This is great stuff, Jason.
I think it reinforces what I've observed in snake drafts, too. Selections in the very top rounds are important, but rounds 4-9 and 20+ can really make the biggest difference over the course of a season.
Depends what your alternatives are. If you have The Yankees lineup, sure. If your idea of a lead off player is a speedy out-maker, then not so much.
1, 2, 3, 5, 6. I withhold voting on 4 & 7 til I see what other options are on the ballot next week. I'm not familiar with 4 as a commonly held belief, and money does buy its way out of mistakes.
1 is dismissive. Imagine the defense attorney after the prosecution has nailed it's case on Law and Order, "Yeah, your honor, but still..."
2 is one of the classic blunders right up there with Sicilians & death.
3. Human element is meant to be the players' performance, not the first base umpire blowing the call on a Perfect Game.
5. He wasn't the most dominant sports writer of his era, so he doesn't get a vote.
6. You can't know how good he was until 20 years have pAst since his prime/memorable moment. The passing of time brings more clarity unfettered by wistful nostalgia, right? No? Yeah, but still.
Evans & Nettles both squeezing above Edgar at 3B eligibility. Not looking good for Edgar.
Bummer not being able to edit comments, right?
From past experience, the books are usually on the way to online distributors and chai-store warehouses by Feb.10~ish).
Depending on where you stand in said distributor's queue, you could receive by Valentine's Day or President's Day weekend. And, it could be on shelves at your local brick-and-mortar around the same time.
In the past, I have tried to go out of my way to buy my book at locations where BP has done book signings. And I've ordered online as well.
I'd like to know if it makes any difference to BP's bottom line where we order. I suspect that clicking through from the website is slightly more profitable for BP than any other method, but would love to get confirmation on that...
Note to readers: one Raines vote up for convincing next December. You know where to send the emails starting after Game 7...
(off-stage whisper: Check the caption on the photo...)
I believe it was actually for the "Golden Rule Farm for Boys" but I could be mistaken. It was a long time ago...
"Raines joins Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, and Lee Smith on this year’s JAWS-approved ballot."
Fundamentally, the JAWS level is set to distinguish those players whose stats are "at or above" the average inducted player at each position. These 5 players hit that threshold and have not yet seen the love of the voters. I would be very pleasantly surprised if they make progress towards induction this year, as the near future years will be packed with many more high quality candidates.
Thanks for the series, as always.
I was surprised (pleasantly) to see the Quentin trade info so quickly. Might have been nice to have set the expectation up front as a 'first take' or 'quick look' including an explanation that for expedience it was not going to include a review of the prospects involved & that such would come later.
I think there's a place for a quick response that may not cover all the angles. Just let us know that's what it is up front.
Thanks for listening.
A conversation summary from a few years ago between me and my boss:
[Miscommunication about deadlines on a project, and we under-deliver to a client]
Boss: Baseball seems to have become a distraction for you.
Burr: I don't believe that baseball had anything to do with what happened.
Boss: When I was just getting started in the professional world, I worked with a guy who did a lot of cocaine. Everybody knew he would take a line on his breaks, and he always delivered brilliant on his work. But when he seriously screwed up a project, everyone around him knew that the coke had become a distraction, even though he swore up and down that it was unrelated.
Burr: I still don't believe that baseball had anything to do with what happened. But if you want me to start doing coke, I'm going to need a raise.
I, for one, welcome our new baseball overlords.
Thanks to you both, and all the folks behind the scenes bringing us the annual updates and publications. Happy New Year!
In Morris' case, the extra innings he pitched compared to Radke we're not necessarily high-quality innings. And the remainder of his career is one of good pitching and even better run support. Not necessarily the characteristics we associate with his career, but there you have it.
One memorable and remarkable high-pressure performance in 1991 has colored the public perception of the rest of his career.
Just spent some time looking for JAWS in the sortable stats and came up empty. Nice to see the career stat sortables, but would love to have JAWS in there, too. Is that something that we might one day have available?
Also just read Greg Spira's research article on pitching to the score thanks to the way-back machine. Run support is a valuable commodity in a pitcher.
Jay, I love these articles and analyses. One of the highlights of the off-season.
I don't know how much trouble it would be, but I find your use of JAWS lists to be particularly illuminating in these discussions to show context of the nominees' achievements. Could you add lists showing the 7 players ranked just above/below each of the nominees being discussed according to JAWS?
For instance, you mention that Morris ranks 167th for SPs on JAWS. Can you list the pitchers who are 160-175? Same for Radke.
Same for Smith and the RPs. Since the role has evolved considerably, I expect this list may not be as revealing as the list for SPs, but I think it might still be educational.
Thanks in advance!
Pavano (to himself): shyeah, baby.
Cashman (to himself): shyeah, baby.
Photographer (out loud): everyone say "show me the money"
Testicular torsion sounds unpleasant, Colin.
Texas may not be done. But who is left in the Fielder Derby? Is it really down to Texas, Toronto & Seattle?
I'm curious how far this winter's meetings have shifted the balance of power in the AL.
PECOTA, PECOTA, let down your hair.
Keepin' up with the Joneses.
An analogy from my own field of expertise would be the "Energy Conservation" language in the Building Codes. A building that would have exhibited exemplary energy conservation in 2004 wouldn't be given a building permit today.
The Department of Energy keeps tightening the limits on allowable energy use. To even be allowed on the playing field (getting a permit), a GM (architect) needs to be about 40% more effective (efficient) than s/he was in 2001. If you don't keep up with the available tools & technology, you will no longer have a job.
If you, as a building owner, want to achieve exemplary energy performance, you're hiring architects who are conversant in cutting edge technologies that may not have even existed in 2004.
I imagine this is true in every industry, not just mine; not just baseball.
Jeez... somebody hit me.
One of the four playoff qualifiers from each league's Regular Season is declared World Champion, by virtue of winning the three-round elimination World Series playoff.
As a side note, I think it would be totally awesome to see other leagues around the world qualify teams to play in the World Series and compete for the title.
I'd be all for calling a game-ending dinger just about anything other than "walk-off." Sayonara works.
Any of the four playoff qualifiers from each league in the Regular Season is declared World Champion.
To qualify for the World Series, a team has to endure a 162-game summertime event called the MLB Regular Season.
Any of the four playoff qualifiers from the Regular Season is declared World Champion.
If you know of teams who want to pony up to join the MLB franchise and compete for title of World Champ, MLB can be contacted here:
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
Address: 245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
City: New York, State: NY Zip Code: 10167
There's a fine line between arrogance and confidence. One of the major differences tends to be that arrogance focuses solely on strengths without acknowledging weaknesses. You have admitted that MLB's superior level of competition is "never in doubt." So, we're all confident about this.
The undisputed fact is that MLB is the highest level of competition. MLB is the World Championship.
This is simply confidence, supported by all the facts. Maybe at some point in the future there would be a case for calling it arrogance, but today is not that day.
If there were a World Championship to play in, then I agree it would be arrogant to claim the title without actually winning the event.
Are you suggesting the World Baseball Classic or the Olympics should measure the "World Champs?" (Let's agree not to be absurd.)
Got it. Ichiro came to the U.S. because he wanted to pit his skills against "American Club Teams." Not because he had nothing left to prove against the level of competition in Japan.
In Hong Kong, 1980, I was my Little League team's MVP. In '81 and '82, I earned the same recognition on my team stateside.
I am clearly baseball's Little League World Champion.
I don't think anybody in the U.S. or elsewhere would argue if Barcelona wished to declare themselves World Champs. If Chunichi played 162 games in MLB and then another dozen in the post-season, they would have some claim to that title.
Can somebody run a Davenport Translation to see if Pittsburgh would be competitive in Japan over the last decade? Not that I'm suggesting they'd win the league.
There's got to be more to Albaladejo's performance at Scranton... north of 4/1 K/BB and why did he leave for Japan? This seems like it could make for a story on its own...
No copy-editorial suggestions for Tommy Bennett's intro.
Once again, good luck! And, g'night.
No copy-editorial suggestions for Parks' intro.
Volume II, Colin's intro to Chapter 5 -
Page 12 of the .pdf: "And since most of us our introduced to the game as children..." most of us were introduced...
On to Jason Parks...
I find it amusing that upon re-reading my own comments, I find mistakes that require editing.
Please don't let my tardiness affect your publishing schedule. I'm doing this for fun - you're doing this for business.
I am particularly fond of the credits... an excellent counterweight to Ben's introduction regarding the benefits and dangers of keeping the band together.
Chapter 4 introduction
Page 279 of the .pdf, first paragraph "McGraw could function not only as the team’s on-field boss but also as a part-time general manager, scout, and instructor, acquiring, developing, and training his own prospects without recourse to the minor leagues." Suggest a colon between "instructor" and "acquiring" rather than a comma.
Page 279, end of the second paragraph: I'm not sure what "mouthier" refers to with regard to Derek Jeter’s and his work ethic . Frisch had Derek Jeter's work ethic, but he was 'mouthy' to whom - to teammates? To McGraw? To opponents? For clarity, it might be useful to compare Alomar's results, Jeter's work ethic, and a third player's mouth... or drop the 'mouthier' aspect entirely, since it doesn't seem to impact the rest of the annecdote.
Page 279, third paragraph: "For Frisch, being captain meant..." I think you mean "For McGraw, Frisch being the captain meant..."
Quoting Frisch on Page 280: "Thevenow hit a grounder to my left as I was moving to second, and I couldn’t have topped the ball if I’d had a net on a long pole." ... couldn't have stopped the ball.
Page 280, first paragraph after the quote: "... it was clear that the relationship was irreparable, and that December, McGraw traded him to the Cardinals for Rogers Hornsby." Given all the commas in this compound sentence, it may read easier if the end is changed to "McGraw traded him to the Cardinals for Rogers Hornsby that December."
Page 281, last paragraph: "... stripping away those
arbitrary distinctions and getting at story, the decisions, accidents, coincidences, and yes, emotions, that motivated the events on the field—and in one case (mine) ourselves." Suggest a colon between "story" and "the decisions" instead of a comma.
I just read CK's intro to Chapter 3, and I have no copy-editorial suggestions. Cheers!
On to Chapter 4. Comments, if any, to follow.
Day 2, Chapter 2. Mike Fast's introduction for Pitching:
Page 103 of the .pdf: middle of the first paragraph: "do certain combinations of pitch types augur for better success as a starter" ... suggest removing "for" from the sentence, and possibly even replace "better" with "greater."
Page 103: Second paragraph: "Another major area of ongoing research is in the quantification of pitcher effectiveness, in at least two general areas." Remove the first "in."
Page 105, last paragraph: "As this sort of video record becomes available and computing power increases, the ability
of the analyst to make a detailed analysis of every play will also only continue to increase." Remove the "also," the "only," or both of these words from the end of the sentence.
I will be unlikely to get the chance to read any more of the intros before you self-publish, but thanks for the chance to preview them! Once again - good luck!
Agree with JRM - cool beans, indeed. And good luck with the sales of this collection!
My quick take in a read of Jay's intro to Volume I after a long week both in the field and in the office:
Page 12 of the .pdf: It might be useful to the new reader if the acronym (PED) is printed in parentheses immediately after it's spelled out the first time it's used.
Page 15: The word 'that' is repeated: "The move has been frequently used against several lefty sluggers of recent vintage such as Adam Dunn, Jason Giambi, David Ortiz, and Jim Thome, but Fox points out that that—theoretically, at least—there exist pull-heavy righthanded hitters against whom such a shift might be successfully employed as well."
Page 15: The paragraph beginning with "Speaking of models..." should probably be three sentences instead of two. Let the first thought stand on its own. Next sentence begins with "He elegantly..."
All the best. Now off to bed with me.
Another quick observation with regard to the "median" line, with the HOF CF list:
With the weighted set, and if Hamilton is above the new line, then there are 8 players above and 10 below.
Previously, there were 6 above and 12 below.
Would be interesting to see how the WS relates to the median line at the other positions...
Thanks, Jay! My first take is that I like this tweak. I am going to mull this over more carefully, and I'll offer any thoughts later.
In the meantime, I did notice that in the list of CF, unless there's a typo in the scores, then Billy Hamilton should be listed above the weighted mean.
Thanks also for actively seeking to improve the (already great) JAWS system. Complacence is for the weak!
Jay, with the "new JAWS," where would Santo appear in a ranking of inductees and non-inductees? What couple players are above / below him on the list?
Are there other 3Bs now who have passed Santo as "most-worthy" non-inductees (who are no longer on the BBWAA ballot)?
I look forward to reading more on the new WARP valuations, and thanks for keeping JAWS current.
My prediction is that Santo, Minoso, and Hodges get the most support from the VC... er, Era Committee.
Whether it's enough support to get inducted, if anybody gets in, Santo will. Ron Santo, Hall of Famer.
Thank you, Sam Miller. Indeed, Gonzalez was a really good player.
You make an interesting read (though I agree with Yarky's point, above). To be honest, I sorta felt guilty enjoying your review/criticism/shredding of the brochure. Maybe you can reach out to Luis Rodriguez Mayoral and offer to help with next year's effort...
I'd definitely like to see Page 7 (at least that's what it's labeled on the brochure, not page 9) from Barry Bonds' brochure.
What, now you expect the BBWA voters to count the spots on the giraffes, too?
Last year, Felix Hernandez had every 'advanced' metric lopsidedly favoring him, including several conventional stats like Ks. The Ws didn't follow, but the voters responded to his case. Halladay and Lee didn't have the same slam-dunk case, and Kershaw is certainly deserving, too.
VORP agrees - and so too did the Internet Baseball Award voters, apparently. There's no controversy here.
... lending more credence to the postulation that the 8th inning set-up guy and/or the closer might be better utilized in the high-leverage situations early in the game...
Larry, great stuff. As always. For future reference, the plural of runner-up is runners-up.
One of those crazy grammar rules that I remember, perhaps because I overuse hyphenated-words to confuse the word-counts in electronic-documents.
Having trouble reconciling these two statements:
"Despite garnering 47 percent of first-place votes, Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury actually appeared on 19 more ballots and finished second in the balloting."
"While Ellsbury finished second overall, he did not finish second in first-place votes; Tigers ace Justin Verlander snagged 22 percent of all first-place votes compared to Ellsbury's 19 percent."
I anticipate that there is a "Bautista" missing as the second word of the first sentence...
Hard for the show's producers to get the dinosaurs (Reynolds, etc.) to come back for another episode if you rip their statements to shreds.
Paging Mr. Ryan - Mr. Nolan Ryan - you have a call on the BP hotline.
Of course, I just magnified the effect by 10 in my caffeine-deprived state. A 2.4 actual WARP x 10 players over 15 years would naturally translate to 1.6 win difference each year. While not as bowl-you-over important as what I wrote above, that's still an important impact.
At the value of $5m per win, that's $8m value each year. That's a big chunk of a team's payroll.
A couple thoughts:
I think you missed a point about the discounting of the WARP in this analysis. A 1.17 Discounted WARP is different than 1.17 WARP. Though I agree with you that this appears to be a small difference over a 15 year career. Not sure what this would mean to actual WARP over that timeframe, but it's more (much more) than 1.17.
For the sake of the analogy below, let's assume that the actual difference in the players WARP might be 2.4 (pulled this out of my hat, but go with me for a moment).
Let's say that knowledge of this inefficiency had impacted a team's draft several years ago, without other teams catching on to their draft strategy. Let's also posit that at any given time today, 10 of the players on their roster today had been drafted by the organization. Which specific ten players are on the roster may change over time as players leave for free agency, suffer injuries, etc.. However, over the next fifteen years, and all else being equal, the aggregate of the 10 drafted players would produce 240 more wins than the competition.
That's an average advantage of 16 wins a year. I think that could be important at an organizational level.
Nice job, Rany. I love learning something new about baseball.
When people say "life's not fair," this is what they're talking about.
I enjoyed this.
I want to recount numerous stories of vehicular mishaps, all of which are vastly entertaining for me to tell, but which I suspect are not actually entertaining. End result: no passengers ever hit or hurt, no other cars ever hit or hurt. But damn, I still think they're good stories to tell.
On a side note, Funck's writing reminds me of Arthur C. Clarke.
Also like the Daily Hit List (which doesn't allow comments yet). In that vein, please note that today's Hit List shows the Red Sox, Rays, Braves, and Cardinals with a combined 0% chance of making the playoffs. I'm pretty sure that's inaccurate.
Is notoriety a stat? My wife knows who Reggie Jackson is. Hell, my *mom* knows who Reggie Jackson is. They know who he is because of the general publicity he received for his exploits on the field. Adam Dunn has no publicity outside the baseball world.
Ergo, Adam Dunn < Reggie Jackson.
I believe Royce Clayton also played the role of himself striking out in The Rookie...
Hey, wait a sec. What are you trying to pull here?! What's Steven Goldman doing writing an article about something other than the Yankees?
Number of enjoyable articles to read: ~20.
My thought in the small size would be that it's something that a minor league fan could bring to the ballpark to keep track of some of the hot prospects on the other team's roster. YMMV.
A few weeks after the Annual is published, a softcover paperback size of either KG's Top 101, or his awesome compilation of each team's Top 11.
I'll add the disclaimer that I'm not as interested in the prospect side of BP as many of KG's ardent followers, so I'm not sure how in-depth an analysis those who would purchase the book would be expecting...
Might benefit from a stat glossary at the bottom, for those unaccustomed to the headings.
Thanks for (considering) bringing it back!
It's fair to say that 11 seasons of 200-hit ball for Ichiro would be unlikely.
Yes, spending money doesn't necessarily solve all your problems - but it creates new ones most GMs would love to have!
Farewell, K-Rod. Farewell, Beltran. Farewell, Omar. Farewell, Cow jumping over the moon.
Didn't see it live. Looks like the wrist angle might shift slightly in the frames when the tag would have been applied, indicating there was some contact. Conclusive, no.
In answer to question #3, if a video replay system is enacted, I believe all direct and indirect evidence should be admissable for review. Whatever it takes to get the right call. But players don't always make the right conclusions, either. In fact they're more likely to make the wrong one than the umpire.
Agree with dcarroll, above. Good goin'. Now how do we get to work on Raines' case? Seriously.
Colin, I took a little time to think this over before posting my comment. No real questions here, just some observations. If this spurs others to have additional questions or comments, I'm all for it.
First, I really like the analysis. This could easily be a week's worth of articles for me to work my way through. Hopefully sleeping on it for one night was enough for it all to sink in.
There are two and a half takeaways that I have from the initial table, neither of which is new information for me:
1) SIERA slightly outperforms xFIP and FIP in the prediction of long-term future ERA when given a small sample size to work from (definitely at 100 IPs, and very slightly at 200 IPs).
1.5) After about two seasons of data for a young starter(300 IPs), the estimators are about as useful a predictor as ERA itself.
2) After 300 IPs, ERA actually becomes a slightly better predictor of future ERA than the estimators.
Why does SIERA outperform the other estimators with the small sample of data? The components may be needlessly complicated once you get to 300IPs, but for small data samples, those extra variables seem to have some added predictive power.
I would LOVE to have seen QERA side-by-side in that first table.
And, as evo34 notes above, if prediction was the real goal of the estimators, then park factors would almost certainly need to be included. Would park factors offer any added value?
For everything else you presented, I'm going to have to re-read and re-sleep-on-it. Could be an interesting and entertaining weekend. Thank you.
I certainly hope we get at least five more articles in this series. A good idea whose time has come.
Summer of 2001, sitting in the left field lower level seats in foul territory at Yankee stadium. I was on a double date with my girlfriend of a couple months, her friend, and the guy her friend had just started dating. I had just bought a round of beers for everybody from a roaming vendor, and we were passing the plastic cups down the line when everyone around us stood up suddenly.
The guy in the seat in front of me had just reached back and barehanded a liner that would have hit one of the two women if he hadn't caught it. At least that's what my conscience tells me for losing my focus on the game. It all ended well, however, because within four years both women had married their dates of that day.
Kick butt. I'm not qualified, but a nice opportunity for somebody who is!
Rules are a substitute for thinking.
Sometimes mindlessly obeying the rules is good. Like traffic laws, for instance. After a few years of repitition of the same learned behavior, we will naturally stay on the right side of the road while we're driving sober and alert, without any conscious thought. You "wake up" a few minutes later and find yourself pulling into your driveway. Nobody got hurt, and you're now home.
Sometimes this is bad. Insert your parallel of choice.
I'll invoke Maslow's hammer. "If the only tool you think you have is a hammer, then you'll view every problem as a nail."
Kevin, it's a big step for BP, and I think a smart move by Sirius as well. I'm a subscriber for a few years myself. It's a timeslot that probably gets a lot more air time on the left coast than it will on the right - but ya gotta start somewhere.
Good job, and good luck!
Fastforward to Jay Jaffe's recap in the next Unfiltered Post:
"On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Price hung a curveball, and Jeter drilled it into the left field bleachers for a home run."
... and it was a pretty good rant as rants go. Even though I disagree with you.
2006 Prospectus Today by Joe Sheehan documenting the struggles of Bobby Crosby (who torpedoed my fantasy team that year).
Enjoyed the story and the video. But where's Dust Girl in this adventure?
It's almost always about the kids. Especially with baseball.
You lost them at syllogism.
Nice, Ben. Keep up the excellent TAs.
A phrase you might consider for the GM's role is Replacement Level Negligent Homicide after he creates the situation and idly watches as his team dies.
I paddled over to the swim-up bar one afternoon at a hotel in Hawaii in early October 2003, where I started watching a nighttime playoff game from the east coast. Required a double-take to conclude that it was a live broadcast.
That's a far different story from the few years of my youth spent in Hong Kong, where the only baseball news I could get was from the US Military newspaper (Stars & Stripes) that my dad would bring home once a week. I'd read every recap and boxscore, and it was my only connection at all.
Do Burt Reynolds movies get a pass?
You don't think the porkchop sideburns make him look leaner, mattymatty?
Other than that, I agree with you.
I can agree with this. If the rules were enforced, there would be fewer collisions.
I have reviewed all of the links above, with various video images and review of the rules. Posey wasn't blocking the plate without the ball.
As I recall from last year, Carlos Santana had his entire left leg positioned on the third base side of the plate in an attempt to block it, long before the ball arrived. Posey did not.
http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=carlos+santana+injury&fr=my-myy&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8 [camera angle looking right up the third baseline]
In the past, I have been an advocate for the runner to collide with catchers blocking the plate. I've changed my mind.
Among all the snippets of wisdom you've revealed in your stint as ProGuestus, I'm most intrigued about your insight about women's shoes.
Get the bat off your shoulder.
Your mileage may vary.
The truck stop 10 minutes from Wilmington was another missed opportunity.
"[insert name], I'm going to be on the road for a few weeks scouting minor league baseball teams in the Carolina league. Can I call you when I get back to Brooklyn and take you to a Cyclones game?"
You only get so many opportunities in life, as in baseball. Make the most of 'em.
2 of the 6 guys on this list are ridin' pine on my team. Yea!
I'm very happy to see the ProGuestus series bringing BP's subscribers the benefit of so many respected points of view under it's one roof. (Best idea since BP-Idol, Ben!) Thanks very much for fielding our questions, Tom. I'm looking forward to your answers.
I appreciate your take on three questions, if you can do so without reavealing anything that your MLB employers would frown upon:
1) What sabermetric advancement do you think is the least-appreciated by a majority of franchises?
2) I like to flatter myself that I'm an 'early adopter' to the sabermetric perspective on the game, even though it's been so many years since its introduction and uptake by those like yourself. Is sabermetrics already 'mainstream' in your mind, or how long do you think it will be til it is?
3) What was / will be the tipping point to #2?
Thanks in advance.
Thanks, Jay and Steven, for this series of articles. Good info for the fantasy baseball readership.
This may have been covered elsewhere, and I missed it, but could somebody take a moment to explain Edwin Jackson?
Have a great weekend!
I dunno, he seemed a bit winded afterwards.
Four-base single. I like that.
The takeaway from this is that Moseley needs to learn to pitch to the score.
Might Fulchino's agent be the wiki author?
After today's repeat performance, I was wondering why he hadn't been more heralded...
Celebrity guests, too!
"he's going to get a lot of curve balls
This is very neat stuff. Like MGL, I think you'd have to look on an individual player-by-player basis. And also pitch type. When the pitchers figure out Rookie X taps curve balls to the shortstop, he's going to get a lot of sliders - but the pitch location may not necessarily change.
But, as you show, on a whole there is not a distinguishing difference in pitch location for rookies vs. established players.
Thanks for publishing this here!
I remember my first typed report for school - on a typewriter - and about the same time I learned to program with punchcards as I was a fortunate kid in a summer class at the local college.
Also, I remember using cassette tapes with my first home computer, before the 5.25" floppies gained popularity (who remembers playing computer games using casette tapes?).
Thanks for the technical overhaul & the update. Keep up the good work!
What's better than watching a ballgame? Watching a ballgame and getting to listen in to what the BP folks are thinking about as the game unfolds. The live chats are always enjoyable - hope this could become a regular feature!
Nice TA, Ben. Lookin' forward to your take on the moves the rest of the season.
Good luck to you in your new role as well as CK in hers.
I would venture to guess that the writer's are generally more pessimistic about the Yankees' starting pitching and Jeter's ability to field better than a traffic cone.
Small sample size alert:
NYY - Bottom of 7th
Coke relieved Verlander
Granderson homered to deep right
Anti-Yankees bias. No Yankee fans whatsoever on staff here at BP. ... haters...
The commission recognized that Joe Q. Viewer needed the extra time allotted to lean outta the Laz-E-Boy, reach into his Electrolix mini-fridge, and pop open his next big-mouth MegaBrew.
Dave, the lists at the bottom of the player pages that links back to BP articles has not been showing up in IE for me since this weekend. Not sure if it's just me.
Rest of the cards look great.
I also read that the Nats are considering Werth batting in the #2 slot, to take advantage of his OBP in front of Zimmerman.
Thankfully, that info is listed under Rumors and Rumblings, and the official position agrees with you - the Depth Charts still have 100% of the catching duties split between Quintero and Towles.
seriously, if you're going to hit your goal, you gotta gotta gotta show a little tenderness!
But who is dismissing the narrative aspect of the game? Saberists like data. Data is not a narrative. Therefore, saberists dislike narratives. It's a false syllogism.
But worse, the appeal to a "narrative" approach is a complete red herring. It's conceived by the story-tellers who refuse to acknowledge that they have fundamentally misunderstood the game they've watched and reported for so many years. They make this appeal to convince readers that saberists cannot tell a story, and therefore the metrics they have created can be ignored (and both can be banished to their parent's basements evermore).
Balderdash. The writing on BP and other sites demonstrates that writers who understand today's advanced metrics can also wax poetic about the game. The game we all love. See also: Baseball ProGuestus series.
Writers have to use the tools that they understand. Those with a facility for storytelling and an understanding of the underlying metrics of the game will tell grand stories with an underlying trust of the facts.
Ken is aboslutely correct, above, that baseball writers who refuse to use the underlying metrics that have stronger correlations to game outcomes will soon find themselves out of readers and out of work. Evolve or risk finding themselves at the short side of the cladogram.
I'm missing the NYC event tonight, but still aspire to attend the P'ton event tomorrow.
For any NYCers who wish to brave NJ Transit, here's your return schedule of trains, updated for the new schedule that went into effect last week.
Princeton Junction to NY Penn Station
leaves 8:45, arrives 10:02.
leaves 9:22, arrives 10:39.
leaves 10:04, arrives 11:25.
leaves 11:16, arrives 12:41.
leaves 12:01, arrives 1:22 (am).
leaves 1:12, arrives 2:49.
How late do these things run, anyway?
(The Princeton Junction train station is all of 5 minutes away from the Marketfair Barnes & Noble in a cab. And, I'll take anybody who can fit in my car to the station, presuming I make it.)
Looking forward to it!
This was a very nice read, Matt. I think flipping the perspective, as you suggest, makes a boatload more sense. Thank you.
So this is the actual and complete list, with credit to Jay and JAWS
1894-1909 John Clarkson (my own estimate... baseball-reference has him at 82 WAR) Not sure who would take over at his death in 1909, because I'm not as much of a baseball historian as I might be, but then I suggest...
1910 - Addie Joss (this is my own speculative selection, not based on published JAWS scores ... a short career, but excellent! 40 WAR in 9 seasons).
1911 - Cy Young, til he is supplanted in...
1927 - Walter Johnson, who passed away in...
1946 - Grover "Pete" Alexander, who passed away in...
1950 - Ed Walsh, who passed away in...
1959 - Lefty Grove, who holds the spot til superceded by...
1966 - Warren Spahn, who holds it til the retirement of...
1986 - Tom Seaver, though this is certainly debatable, as Tom Terrific holds nearly identical scores in Career & Peak as Spahn, with just 1.1 JAWS more, so one could argue that Spanh maintains the title til he passed away in '03 when Seaver would have inherited it and held it til the retirement of...
2007 - Roger Clemens. Greg Maddux retired in 2008 is the only other player above Seaver on the JAWS list, but he doesn't quite reach Clemens' total. But I'm sure that Clemens' claim to this title is similar to Bonds' to the 'best player' list...
"Johnson would still hold the title today." ... um... if he were still alive.
So, give me a coupla minutes and I'll see who would hold the title when Walter passed away in '46...
Yeah, I understood... just bustin' on ya.
As a way of apologizing, I did a little research. The list is potentially very short, because if we look at JAWS, for instance, Walter Johnson has the highest peak and highest career scores, and he retired in '27.
There are only a handful who retired before him and have a claim. Grover "Pete" Alexander retired in '30 and holds the #2 spot, so he's out.
Johnson would still hold the title today.
Going in reverse chronological order, Cy Young is #3 on the list, retiring in 1911. [Roger Clemens is #4, and far short of Walter.] Matthewson is #5, retiring in '16, so he might give Young a run at the title from '16-'27, but I'd stick with Cy.
Nobody who retired before Cy even makes this list. Addie Joss retired in '10, so he might claim the spot for a year. Before that, I dunno... I'll leave it for the next poster to opine.
That would be an interesting analog to this. However, I don't think Ruth would even enter into that conversation, since he was never the best pitcher in a season, much less over his short career...
And watch out if the Good Face player declares he's had the Best Shave of His Life.
That's too bad... would be lovely if there were a way to make that comparison. Would really drive home the point that QS is a better representation of the pitcher's performance than Ws.
Excellent analysis nonetheless. Have a great weekend!
Thanks for the article, Jay! This is awesome, in fact.
To help make the case, it's probably worth comparing Wins with the same rigor:
From 1951 to 2010:
ERA in Quality Starts: 1.90
ERA in all other Starts: 7.65
ERA in Starter Wins: ?
ERA in other Starts: ?
One would expect to find a much narrower difference.
On a year-by-year basis, as in the chart at the end of the article, would one expect to find Wins shows more variance year to year?
Tracking the numbers in the daily boxscores for "Lynn" and "Rice" got me hooked on the Red Sox when I was in pre-school. I thought it was so funny that there were players named after a girl and a food. Freddie Lynn is still my favorite player to this day.
Inflation refers to the value of your auction dollar as the auction progresses. If you track how much is being spent (as the PFM will help you do), you can see how much money is left for the remaining talent. So, if some of the top players each were claimed for a few dollars less than expected, then the dollar value of the remaining players is determined in relation to how much money is left out amongst the bidders. Therefore, there price tag actually goes up compared to what you might have expected.
Great point! Yes, it would be interesting to look at demographics of population vs. demographics of game-attendance (& game-watchers on television). I doubt that latter information is publicly available, however.
Are you implying that the Joba rules didn't work? The rules were to keep him healthy - job well done!
Back in the day, they knew the value of getting on base well enough to put it on the back of a baseball card as part of being the best leadoff hitter...
I believe the proper etiquette when referring to yourself with this phrase is to add your own rejoinder, "And so do ours, apparently."
It enbiggens us all.
While the train ride down to P'ton during rush hour can be pretty quick if you're on an express train (about an hour), the return trip will be a local ride and will take much longer.
Below are the return trains:
- P'ton :::: Arrives
- Jnctn :::: NYC
09.20 pm :: 10:39 pm
10:04 pm :: 11:25 pm
11:16 pm :: 12:41 am
12:01 am :: 01:22 am
01:12 am :: 02:49 am
[And if the event goes later than that... well, there are also hotels next door to Marketfair]
For those NYCers who do wish to brave the train schedule listed above, I will volunteer to shuttle however many of you can fit into my car over to the station (in addition to KBarth).
Can sublime rhythm
be too much of a good thing?
Fair enough. Bad taste aversion is hard to overcome, but theoretically I should be able to overcome it rather than leave these guys as DTM.
In fact, I was sort of expecting an answer like the one you gave above. Left undrafted long enough, every player can become a draft-day bargain - they simply have to drop low enough and the draft has to be deep enough. So, if these guys scared off al the owners due to their crappy 2010 results (even if their peripherals were okay), then may reach that point.
So, what I need to figure out is, at what point do they become undervalued in a straight draft with my league settings? And, I can't expect you or anybody else to answer that for me - I haven't done enough research on average draft positions vs. PFM results and Normandin's rankings yet to come to my own conclusions.
Bill, Beckett and Shields sunk my 2010 season. Nolasco, too. Can you try and sell me on why I should pick them again this season, even if they drop to a mid-teen round (straight-draft format)? For specificity, HR-allowed is also one of my pitching stats.
A very nice read! And now, I understand more than I did ten minutes ago. Thank you, professor!
I am surprised by Stanton leapfrogging Heyward, but I guess in fantasy leagues the HRs really make the difference.
2010 MLB Season
Stanton: 396 PAs, .287 TAv (.326 OBP/.507 SLG)
Heyward: 623 PAs, .304 TAv (.393 OBP/.456 SLG)
... and yet...
Stanton 625 81 34 93 2 .248 $15 $19
Heyward 620 80 16 72 8 .276 $9 $18
So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you're in an OBP league, or a league that uses Total Bases instead of HRs, then Heyward stands above Stanton.
I'm in that small minority, and I appreciate that they are separated.
Part of the beauty of last year's use of a tier system is that you can lump them together with very little effort. For those of us who do play in leagues where they are separate, this is much more useful than trying to separate a combined list.
You can also now use the PFM to sort/combine Marc's lists.
All that said, however, I do think it would be nice if Marc would do a truncated combined list, listed in order of his own ranking. That way you can compare across positions to see if Jay Bruce or Matt Holiday would be the 4th highest outfielder, for instance.
I will head over to purchase my book tonight from the B&N in Marketfair, and I'll let the manager know I appreciate that they invited you for an event. Hopefully I can make it for the event as well - though weeknights are tough.
On the chance that folks want to hang out after the event, there's a nice restaurant/bar a few steps away in the same mall (Big Fish).
MLB: One big government sanctioned unhappy commune.
Excellent article, Craig.
I will put forward the idea that we (and that is not the royal "we," but the all-encompassing humanity) are creatures who live in the future.
For instance, Friday at lunch, you're happy not because you're in the office with another half-day ahead of you. You're happy because you're thinking about what you're going to do over the weekend!
Sunday night. You're bummed as the last football game ends not because your beer is empty, but because you're already thinking about what's waiting on your desk Monday morning.
Human live in/for the future. In baseball, as in life, the anticipation is at least as captivating as the upcoming event. This may also explain why the hotstove is so much better more interesting than the actual season.
Larry, you misspelled November!
I believe this is the same problem people have using Internet Explorer, when they click "reply" to a comment and the site doesn't actually reply to the article. It's called "compatibility view."
If you are having problems, try changing your "compatibility view." This should also make it so you can reply to comments in the comment-threads.
I could be wrong, but it seemed to help for me just now...
If you plot location by organization, do Dave Duncan's hurlers show a 'low and away' pattern, or is that just me eyeballing things badly?
Running a baseball team is not brain surgery, but "Not doing anything stupid" is the first rule of the medical profession, so they have something in common at least...
Go ahead an minus this. Call me an apologist or whathaveyou. Go ahead, I can take it. The fact is, I've been (nicely) asking for the PECOTA and PFM for the past couple of weeks. Nobody "promised" you, me, or any other subscriber that everything would be up and running today. Not ten months ago, and not ten days ago. A week ago, they issued the PECOTA spreadsheet, and Colin told us that "the plan" was to have it out today. No promises, just letting us know "the plan."
So, note to Colin and everybody else at BP: you can't win.
Then again, it's all about me.
That is part of the next issuance of the 2011 PECOTA that is coming out this week.
I am happy to be working in an industry where when something gets f'ed up, I can rest easy knowing the mistake probably didn't kill anybody.
I'd ask for your subscriber number, but it's not palindromic.
It was mentioned in a different article on the site somewhere that the book is shipping from the distributor the week of the 14th (love is in the air... or rail/truck more likely). Feb 22nd is the date for the release, but you may find it sooner.
I admit that I saw NSFW in the teaser and thought it was another baseball acronym that I don't know.
I knew two people who wrote an extensive collection of "fan fic" on Hockey Players back in the mid-eighties. Not for print - just wrote the stuff. Not exactly 'slash' genre, however, since the player's adventures were heterosexual. Think "romance novel" kind of stuff.
Welcome, ProGuestus Prime. A very entertaining read. Fun stuff.
And thank you, BP, for kicking off this column.
Even if I don't pick them up on draft day, I'm always looking to find one or two guys who may start out in AAA who I keep an eye on.
I said it last year, and it may bear repeating... the most valuable piece of fantasy information that I can get in-season is some advance warning that one of these promising guys in AAA is about to get called up. (I got that info on Carlos Santana last year, and it worked out very well for me until the injury.)
So for now, whether the guy starts in AAA or not, I like these articles as an added primer for my in-season 'watch list.'
If Martin regains his hitting stroke, then the move buys another year of seasoning for Montero in the minors. Yankees win.
If Martin continues to struggle, they can always bring in Montero after he's likely to miss the Super-2 deadline. Martin's cost is sunk, but the investment is offset by the savings of deferring Montero's arbitration by a year. So, the Yankees don't exactly win, but they aren't completely losing out either since Martin's 'only' sinks them a few million.
Bem, nice little article! Definitely worth the extra word-count vs. a chat-length response.
I like the idea of seeing how this plays out for some of the youngsters who missed your years/PA threshold. Also, it might be interesting to see who the best non-5s are at each position, and what specifically holds them back from being a 5-tool.
I'd also be interested to see a thorough analysis of 'ace,' with input/opinion from a whole bunch of the BP authors. How do each of you define it, and who makes the cut by that definition.
The Promise was for Monday, or sooner if they are able to get it pulled together quickly enough...
Noooo.... that would have been filmed on the 24th before the game. But then the TV broadcast that leads into the scene in Wrigley is an acutal game on the fifth, with play by play. In that game a foul ball was actually hit into left field.
So, Ferris caught a foul ball from that game on the fifth, even though they were filming the shots on the 24th.
Courtesy of wiki: In the original Doom Patrol series, The Brain was regularly portrayed as a disembodied brain, bobbing inside a sealed dome filled with a nutrient bath, hooked up with numerous machines, including a loudspeaker to convey his voice.
As an aside, if you tell us where you're (likely) having an event in NYC or Princeton, I will make a point of going to *that* store to buy my copy of the Annual. Every year. Regardless of whether I can go to the actual event.
Sweet! I believe this needs a Wiki entry.
If the schedule worked out so I could attend (weekend?), then Princeton would be much more convenient for me than Edison would. If it's on a weeknight, then NYC preferred, generally.
I'll do my best to attend an event this year, whether in NYC or central NJ. Happy to toast in another season with all ya'll.
A .260 TAV and 2 FRAA in centerfield, over 375 PAs ain't going to set the world afire, sure. But 1.1 WARP isn't exactly setting the world afire either. It's basically saying he can hold is own against a 4A center fielder.
You think it's over-estimating his capacity to field the ball?
Good stuff, Tommy. Is the list at the bottom their career BRR/Opps? I'm assuming it's single season based on the text above, but the chart's not clear in that regard. Who would have the best career baserunning rate?
I will be very interested to see where PECOTA pegs him, even though there is no way I'm drafting him ... unless he drops to like the 29th round of my draft, at which point I might take him as a 4th outfielder.
Nick Markakis. Drafted him in 2009: one hot month, one long season of misery. Luckily I had the depth to bench him as the summer dragged on. Nevertheless, I missed winning my league by *that* much, and the blame rests squarely on his shoulders. DTM.
... and unless I've missed an announcement, we're still shy 2011 PECOTAs. Shouldn't those be coming out soon for fantasy players? Beta? The spreadsheet at the very least?
I love BP and thank you all for your efforts!
Thanks, Ken. Lots of fun.
Speaking of 5-Down, ummm... Kevin, Christina, and others, any time now for 2011 would be appreciated. As Jason Collette points out in his Unfiltered post, things are getting serious now for fantasy prep.
With regard to Rivera and Napoli, will they be Type A free agents at the end of the 2011 season (Rivera) or beyond (Napoli)? If so, in addition to the salary benefits, do I understand that the Jays have the possibility of additional draft picks?
So jealous! Sign me up for the next one!
Agreed re: the Bradbury piece. Interesting research, bad conclusions because he over-reached given his experimental design.
What I meant regarding the publication of that piece was that Kevin (I think it was Kevin) had indicated that there would be the first of many "outside" sabermetric pieces to get included at BP, though no others stand out in my mind at this time (though I'm also open to the possibility that they were there and I just don't remember them.)
I'm also reminded of the article BP posted last year with research (by Bradbury, if I remember correctly, where he posited a peak year much later than others have demonstrated, but he had a sample-bias where he was limited his sample to players who would qualify for the Hall of Fame).
At any rate, publishing the article was hailed as a leaf-turning moment, and we were led to believe that more of this kind of work would be featured at BP. Whether or not there was follow through on that aspiration last year, this could be an extention of it now...
I remember the links that Tommy would put up with the one sentence blurbs. To be honest, that was rarely enough of a hook to get me to click through (though I did from time to time).
I'd suggest that BP reach out to a few of the other sites and see if they would be interested in cross-posting to BP for a "best of" series. Each site would agree to submit a couple paragraphs as a hook to an article, with a link to the rest of the article. All topics would be fair game. Perhaps, in exchange, the other sites would do the same for one "best of" BP article. If it's pay-only content, perhaps they publish the whole article, for discussion at their site.
I know I would certainly be interested in that, especially since BP no longer adds new content on the weekends.
Obviously, this only works if other sites are interested, or if they are interested in cross-publishing a link to a BP article.
Please take it under consideration. Thanks!
Very nice article! Thanks for sharing. Makes me wish there was more cross-posting among the leading sites.
Agreed. My league uses OBP instead of AVG, and Total Bases instead of HRs. It's fantastic when fantasy analysis includes these differences from standard 5x5, because that can make the difference in my competitive league (which I've never won, because others use BP, too)...
I agree completely.
I suppose I should have said, "Steinbrenner Siblings" but I prefer the ring of "Cashman & Co" regardless of whether the decision originated in Tampa.
I suspect that fungibility of relievers does still exist, as much as it ever has. Given enough opportunities (ie sample size), if a guy can get batters out in the 7th, he can do it in the 9th.
And, just to expound on the point, the reverse is also true. If a guy in today's game is 'closing' in the ninth, then he damn well can come into the game in the 7th with the game on the line in the playoffs (note to Girardi). Get your best guy in to put out the fire.
Can we create and publicize a new LEV-based award (i.e. "Fireman" or "Rally-killer"), and publicize it? The guy who pitches in the highest LEV situations outside the 9th inning wins the award.
How can we see that LEV leaderboard with the sortable stats?
Colin, another kick-ass article.
I also think that Cashman & Co. have already come to the same conclusion, as they are now paying their closer the same amount as their best set up guy. Good job, Yankees!
What makes you think the Royals are not already "at the point" where they have to worry about overpaying to attract Free Agent talent - at least talent worth having?
They've been studiously sharpening that point for several years, going back at least as far as, I don't know... Jose Guillen in 2008 (3yrs/$36m). Or maybe Meche in '07 (5yrs/$54.6m).
With an equally sharpened point, they've been spending their sheckles on declining veterans who are just hoping to earn some extra spending money for their retirement (or resurrect their careers). Like 36-year old Jason Kendall last year (2yrs/$6m), or 32 year old Mientkewicz in 2006 ($1.8m), or 36 year old Matt Stairs in '04 (3yrs/$3.55m).
Okay... after going back and looking at all of those bad contracts, it occurred to me that you probably meant that they "don't need to worry" because they won't be in contention for a couple years, and thus they will have no need to sign anybody worth having. Was this what you meant?
Evidenced by reaching 600 plate appearances in just 4 seasons.
I loved watching Lynn as a kid - favorite player hands down. And he would have some old-school metrics in his favor, such as being the only player (other than Ichiro) to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season.
And, if I remember correctly, he hit four home runs in All*Star games during his career. I mean, you have got to be kidding!!! Who does that and doesn't get in the Hall?
Also, I've heard him as an announcer on tv broadcasts for more than one west coast game (can't remember who the broadcaster was), and I thought he was very good at it. Would love to see him replace Joe Morgan (...when Joe is ready to retire...).
But all that said, his career totals fall way short of HoF criteria due to his injuries. And, I believe there was a perception in the media that he wouldn't tough it out and play when he was less than 100%. I think that perception hurt his case as much as anything else...
One million pluses!
Legal action by the accused baseball player is a must-lose scenario for him.
1) More people will read about your lawsuit than they will read the writer's false accusations in the book;
2) The public will continue to hear your name linked to PEDs for months/years as the lawsuit goes through its various stages;
3) 99.99% chance that you lose the lawsuit, which means that after months of publicity linking your own name to PEDs, the public will now believe your link to PEDs is confirmed by a court of law.
As much as it must gall these players to sit on their hands, it's really the only good option they've got.
Fascinating read, Eric, thanks. So, did you check to see whether the Jock Tax did have an effect on Lee's three publicized offers? Or, if an accurate accounting is to be found elsewhere, can you provide a link?
This is most probably my mostest favorite annual series of articles at BP. Keep up the excellence!
"Most since Stan Musial's 429 in 1948."
The BP comments are usually top notch, no doubt. Two topics that tend to get heated are the Hall of Fame voting and steroids/PEDs. Put the two together - conflagration.
Thanks for sharing your ballot again, John. And for keeping an open mind and changing your vote on Raines. Good job.
I, too, am curious about what tipped your vote against some of those borderline players, if you choose to share your decision process. Thanks again.
Susprised Texas doesn't enter this conversation...
My fantasy league gets together at Stout for the All*Star game each year. Great bar, kinda loud, but that's what you'd expect, right? May not be so bad on a Sunday afternoon, unless there's a Rangers game...
Good luck, everybody. Sounds like fun, and sorry I missed out on the signups...
Thanks as always, Jay!
No arguing with those updated graphics!
I just searched the site for a JAWS analysis of Pettitte, but couldn't find one. (Doesn't mean it's not there, I just didn't find it...).
I'm curious about Pettitte's case for the HOF, and whether another year on the mound might help get him a few more votes 5, 10, or 15 years from now.
That could factor into his decision as well...
When you compare Bruce's contract to Evan Longoria's, it sure looks like Bruce did very very well...
This is an exceptional point. Good move for Bruce via the "in hand" vs. "2 in the bush" persective. And if he really is worth what the projection says down the road, then he'll be making plenty more when it's time to re-up. A true win-win for both parties.
The only thing that remains a head-scratcher to me is the club-option.
I think this only helps if they then aggressively pursue a ligitimate "plan B."
+/- on the BP forums is a proxy for agree/disagree. I don't know if this is how it was intended to be used, but that's what it has become.
I'm reminded by the notion that the market in baseball is not set by supply and demand, but instead it's set by the stoopidest front office.
This is what I was thinking, too. But you should see a more pronounced effect in the teams that are actively adjusting their roster. Or, do we assume that they are all doing it, but we're hyper-aware of only a few?
Perhaps we should all get together for a drink. After the book is at the publisher...
Upon further review, Cliff Lee bumps Cain out of the top 10.
Cliff Lee. Grumble.
I gotta revert back to my original definition, Andrew. I just can't see limiting it to 10 Aces. I like my 19 guys from the definition I compiled a few years ago better (and I admit it's a confirmation bias):
20 Aces: Halladay, Hernandez, Lee, Wainwright, Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Jered Weaver, Sabathia, Hamels, Johan Santana, Cain, Verlander, Kershaw, Lester, Lincecum, Greinke, Haren, Carpenter, Danks, and Oswalt.
Their is undeniably some variation within this list, but I think of all them would be highly coveted.
If I have to limit it to 10 to fit your limitation, then it's going to be the best pitcher from the most recent season who was also a Top 30 in at least one of the prior two seasons.
By my revised definition above, these are the Aces:
Price and Buchholz would have made it from 2010 alone, except they don't have the "proven track record" of 2 Top 30s in the past 3 seasons. The consolation prize for each is they can still be called "a phenom." Kershaw also came real close and doesn't have the track record...
It's surprising to see that Santana had such a good year, #12 in VORP. Kinda a stealthy good year, I suppose. If he could be signed for a 1-season deal right now, would he still get 'Ace' money?
By limiting the list to 10, noteworthy non-Aces include Lincecum, Verlander, and Lester, but they were simply out-VORPed by Hamels, Santana, and Cain in 2010...
Thank you for the shout out. As I said, I put a lot of thought into this a few years ago.
I can also agree with your subjective assessment of what an Ace should be: "coveted." But how do you define it objectively? I don't think Buerhle or Peavy fits that definition, especially if you're only going to limit it to ten pitchers going into 2011.
Injuries are a tough nut. I put in the 2 of 3 qualification to allow for a slightly down year, or time missed due to injury. I guess there's not much wiggle room for somebody out for two years. I guess you might call him, injured-Ace, or something like that. Former-Ace for a resurgent guy like Hudson.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of other terms besides "Ace" that denote valuable skills, caliber, and potential, such as "#1" (if he is the team's #1 even though not an 'Ace'), "phenom" (for that young kid who everybody knows will be an Ace if he stays healthy, "work-horse," "star," etc. #1 Star workhorse Mark Buerhle. Still doesn't make him an Ace (at least by VORP, which I've heard arguments undervalues him consistently, so maybe it introduces a different argument about which metric to use to objectively define Ace).
... like Hamels... he was Top10 in 2008, so he's an ace too... damn I shoulda done a more thorough double-check/edit.
whoops, Carpenter got listed as an Ace and also as "Top 30 in 2010 only." He's an Ace.
There may be a couple other mistakes in that list, too, unfortunately.
I had this same discussion three years ago, when Seattle acquired 'Ace' Eric Bedard. I put a bit of thought into it at the time. I disagreed with Bedard's Ace distinction at the time, and I argued (quite convincingly if you ask me) that one season of realized promise didn't make him an Ace, even if he was the best pitcher on his team or even one of the top 10 in the league. Earning that title meant achieving and maintaining a level of consistency and durability both...
At the time, I think I put forward that any pitcher ranked in the top 30 in two of the past three seasons would make him an Ace in the upcoming one, regardless of which roster he was on.
With that criterion, by VORP, there are 18 Aces at the beginning of 2011:
2010 Top 10, and also Top 30 in 2008, 2009, or both: Halladay, Hernandez, Wainwright, Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Jered Weaver, Sabathia;
2 of 3 Top 30s: Johan Santana, Cain, Verlander, Kershaw, Lester, Lincecum, Greinke, Haren, Carpenter, Danks, and Oswalt.
Best of the rest / Just missed the cut (1 of 3 Top 30s):
'10 only: Hudson, Price, Buchholz, Hamels, Gio Gonzalez, Cahill, Latos, Myers, Wilson, Dickey, Sanchez, Carpenter, Liriano, Pavano, Duensing, Scherzer; (these pitchers have two more years to repeat in the top 30 to qualify as 'Aces' in the future).
'09 only: Jurrjens, Vazquez, Edwin Jackson, Wolf, Wandy Rodriguez, Happ, Buehrle, Washburn, Millwood, Lilly, Beckett, Garza, Feldman; (could qualify as an Ace in 2012 if they get another top 30 finish in 2011)
'08 only: Dempster, Ervin Santana, Matsuzaka, Sheets, Webb, Peavy, Billingsley, Lowe, Saunders, Nolasco, Duchscherer, Mussina, Baker, Shields, Volquez, Guthrie, Maholm (these pitchers are having their clocks reset... gotta get 2 of the next 3 seasons to qualify as Aces again...)
Given the rare occassion for a touted rookie to be deserving of the title after (or during) the rooked season, I'd be willing to offer an exception for a rookie if he makes the top 3 or top 5 in his debut season... Lincecum yes, Strasburg unfortunately, no.
So, this may not be a perfect definition or analysis for such a nebulous term, but I think it's a defensible starting point for the discussion.
"Luck certainly *is* correlated between members of a lucky team."
Are you simply saying that a) teams have better W-L records when more of their players outperform their projections?
Or are you saying that b) lucky players who are good enough for MVP consideration are more likely to win the MVP because they had more lucky teammates, thereby getting the team into the playoffs?
Ditto on any translations...
Tango, I put more weight on "substantively" in the quote, and less weight to "no better off." End result = "inconclusive."
A lot of work has been done to skin this cat, and I speak for myself and I hope others when I say that I'm grateful to those who've done that work. But, after all the work, the cat's still furry. Substantively speaking.
I think he's simply saying that the voters take into account the success of the MVP/Cy Young candidates. Unclear whether this would actually impact any of your findings.
You could validate by studying the award winner and separately analyze the runner up. Is there more variance in performance for one over the other?
I think you typoed the slash stats... in his age 21 season, he slugged .497 with an OPS of .895. His Age 20 season was even better, leading the league in OPS.
In his Age 19-21 seasons, he averaged over 500PAs and had a slash line of: .295/.384/.497/.881. which altogether garnered an OPS+ of 143.
This is an interesting point. Does Jeter believe he really is worth what Close is asking? Does Close? You're right that it wouldn't be the first time a player and his agent misread the market. But, then again, it's also true that you're not going to get it if you don't ask...
And thank you for the banter... I sometimes think I love BP more during the offseason than inseason.
I'm not saying it's smart, nor likely. Nevertheless, I think there's a case to be made for KC as there would be for, say, the Marlins.
... I'm having serious issues with the reply feature... this was posted in regards to "just deserts." Feh.
I didn't know this one either... something new every day.
You're not buying into their "emerging young core" as competitive in the AL Central in '12 or '13?
To think a few weeks ago I was on the other side of this argument, and that they "had to have Jeter because there were no other choices. What would they do, put Nunez out there?" If they can't get Jeter for 3y/$51 (and not a penny more), then Nunez might have to do...
CK, I still think Kansas City should not be left out of this discussion. Jeter's an easy upgrade on Betancourt. Heck, Betancourt is so unproductive that he doesn't even get on the SS list in the article. And, I mean, it's not like they don't like they don't like themselves some good verteransy goodness. They're paying Kendall $3.75m next year, right?
... and 3y/$45m is the "we don't have a backup plan" price. Above that, and it rapidly becomes a case of "we can do better by going cheap at SS and spending the savings elsewhere."
This is spot on. All else being (roughly) equal, A) candidate 1 was on a playoff team, and candidate 2 was not; and B) candidate 1 was playing at his peak and had never before been awarded, and candidate 2 was not at his peak and has been awarded previously.
Human bias is to reward the candidate 1. And since all else was (roughly) equal, there's really nothing wrong with that. Groupthink voting aside.
I've typed and erased this one sentence half a dozen times, and I just don't know if it's true. But I believe it, so... to some degree, it seems to me that there is a cusp where established level of performance allows one to overcome the history, because you are given the second change. In a different context, Michael Vick comes to mind. But if their mistakes had occurred before they'd already become household names, their path could/would have been much different.
However, for an up and coming prospect, one who is not a household name based on his performance, I think a lot is going to depend on how he responds to the questions he will get. Is he genuinely contrite? Does he answer questions by being humble and forthright? "I made a terrible mistake that night, and I have no excuses. I have learned from my mistake, but that doesn't change what I did or the harm I caused that young lady. If I could change the past, I would. I apologize to her and her family. I am a changed man now, and I hope by my example moving forward, I can prevent other women from being hurt in the future." And he's going to have to say it in each town he visits, as often as somebody asks the question, without ever getting frustrated or angry. This will not be easy.
And, he has to back it up with real actions. Perhaps he can perform public service at local charities that help women who are the victims of domestic violence. Speak at the local high schools about date rape. There are plenty of these charities and opportunities to make a difference moving forward. If he's authentic in his contrition, they would welcome his involvement.
And, I think it will also depend on whether people believe that if he dropped out of baseball, he would still continue to make these statements and volunteer at these charities. Because if there's a perception that he's just saying and doing these things in order to succeed in baseball, then it's not going to make any difference in overcoming his history in the mind of the public.
These are the very reasons why baseball analysts have spent years developing a myriad of stats to isoloate player performance from its context. What can we credit a player for, and to what degree do we credit his teammates, or the ballpark.
More than 80% of the baseball fans who voted online this year felt that Felix was deserving of the AL Cy Young award. Since the voting takes place here at BP, you can assume that many of these voters are familiar with these advanced metrics. And, it is perfectly reasonable for you to disagree, as almost 20% of the voters did.
Historically, yes, the Cy Young has gone to players with some of the best W-L records. So why should that stop us from actually rewarding the most deserving pitcher now?
Are you really going to deny the best pitcher in baseball the Cy Young award because his teammates let him down?
And so, the question for you to consider is not how the Cy Young Award used to be given. The question from this day forward is whether you want to reward the pitcher who actually pitched the best over the course of the season.
Or, should we change the award description: "to be awarded to the pitcher who had a pretty darned good season for a competitive team who supported him more often then not by scoring runs when he was on the mound."
Like the game on September *23*, where he threw 8 innings of 2 hit ball, but got the loss anyway.
"Felix had 12 losses, you need to put some of the blame on him. He was an amazing pitcher, but he lost those games not his bullpen."
I can't tell if this is a troll. You seem to understand that Wins and Losses aren't a good metric for determining whether a pitcher had a good season, but you don't seem truly convinced that they can actually be "misleading" to that degree.
To help you in this regard (or to amuse you, if you are indeed a troll), I went back and checked the box scores for the 12 games where Hernandez was "credited" with the loss for his team.
In 4 of those 12 games where he got the loss, he really didn't pitch well. He gave up 25 earned runs in just 20-1/3 innings. Ouch. Definitely deserves the loss here.
In 1 of the 12 losses, he went 6-1/3 innings and gave up 4 earned (Sept 11). Well, he actually gave up 2 earned runs through 6, and then he allowed two guys on after just one out in the 7th, at which point he was relieved. Tori Hunter then doubled off the relief pitcher and plated those runs. But those are the breaks. Loss goes to Hernandez.
In the other 7 games with an "L" next to his name, he threw 6 or more innings and gave up 3 or fewer runs, for a Quality Start. Six of those were games where he went 7 innings, which I believe is unofficially called a Super-Quality Start. So, he threw a "Super-Quality Start" six times, and his team couldn't produce enough runs to even keep the game tied long enough to get the game to the bullpen.
So, of the 12 Losses in Hernandez' record in 2010, 4 were his and his alone, 1 he can thank his bullpen for, and 6 or 7 he can definitely thank his offense for. Like the game on September 13, where he threw 8 innings of 2 hit ball, but got the loss anyway.
And, since that "Win" stat can also be a bit misleading, I went back and checked the 9 games where Hernandez got a 'no decision.' In those 9 games, he gave up 14 runs. Over 65 total innings (that's a 1.94 ERA). In those 9 games, he threw 9 Quality Starts, and 7 Super-Quality Starts. In those 9 games, he got credited for 0 Wins.
So, I'm just saying, the W-L record doesn't exactly tell the whole story. If his offense gave him some more support in half of those Quality Start losses, and if his bullpen helped him out a bit more in half of those Quality Start no-decisions, he could easily have been 21-9.
And, with just that little bit of support from his teammates, you'd be saying, well hot-dang, why would anyone vote for Clay Buchholz over Felix, when he pitched 75 fewer innings and struck out 112 fewer players!
Oh, I agree he would not recoup that investment on the field. But I also think he'll expect more than that. And, if they let him walk, then what is Plan B?
You allude to it in your article above. They really don't have another good option here.
So, without any competition for the position, Jeter would not seem to be as powerless as you suggest. And do you really see anyone in the organization having the cojones to explain to their loyal fans that 'the captain' was not worth what he demanded, and the Yankees really can't spend that kind of money on the player they have idolized for the last eleventeen years because he's just not as good as they think. They're quite comfortable, really, with Jeter ending his career as a SS/DH with the Royals. Because, for the 2011 Yankees and beyond, Eduardo Nunez is the answer. Now please line up over here and buy one of these beeeuoootiful Jesus Montero jerseys!
Their best hope to salvage the situation is to convince Jeter just how much of a liability he has become, particularly after 2010. Anything they offer over 1-year league-average with incentives is purely largesse on their part. And if Jeter is man enough to accept that, then I will be impressed.
Thanks for another excellent article, Colin. The simple fact is that the team doesn't have a 'Plan B', so 'Plan A' is going to be 'overpay him.'
The yankees will be lucky if he signs for 3 years, $42m, with a 4th year as a player/bench coach who they can trot out there to tip his cap and make nice with the press.
In the meantime, they better get cracking on "Plan B."
Harry Potter: Dumbledore is a leader who is somewhat distant from his charges, and generally leads from afar. Except, when the circumstances demand it, he is willing to let himself be ejected for the good of the team.
Got it, thank you.
Realized as I walked home from the train station that it might have helped if I'd actually finished off the postulation with regard to 'average.' ...
If one is adamant that these numbers should be leveled to 'average' play, then you can zero out the 'average' to get a WAA / WAAP / WAAL if you so choose...
If you do that, then our platooning LFer is contributing 0.0833/-0.127 WAAg/WAA.
And since the WAA and WAR both use WAR as their base, they should always correlate.
Okay, so... what am I missing?
I've never postulated a baseball stat. No time like the present, as I sit here on my train during the evening commute.
I understand how playing time is the achilles heal of any 'average' as a baseline derived like WAR/WARP/WARL. At the end of the day, they are essentially a high-fillutin' counting stat.
I just don't understand why that should stop us from translating WAR/WARP/WARL into a rate stat. Then, at any given time, we can see how well any player, or group of players, is doing "per unit of time." Be it per game, per inning, etc.
For instance, once you have the rate stat, you can then create an 'average' for any position. Just take the mean performance of all players at any position, over that length of time, and you've now got your 'average' baseline. e.g. if the 30 left fielders who played in the first ten games contributed 5 WAR/WARP/WARL., then an average SS contributes 0.0167 WAR/WARP/WARL per game (that is 4WAR/300games from that position).
If you pair the rate stat and the counting stat together as paired slash stats, you can see how well your guy is doing on a per game basis, and also compare to 'average'.
In the above example, the average left fielder is contributing 0.0167/0.167. If I've got a righty left fielder who I've been platooning, and he's contributing 0.02/0.04, then I can see exactly what his contribution has been.
Does this make any sense, or should I have just kept surfing and reading during my train ride tonight?
I don't believe anybody at BP is suggesting he needs to have a long outing. Just long enough to get them out of the immediate trouble in the 8th.
What's that, we're down by two runs in the eighth? Guess there's no reason to play for the win, so we should just call it a night.
I appreciate the content being online by the time I'm getting on my 7:27 train each morning. As a former copy editor, I don't mind the errors, but some really are doozies.
Keep up the good work, strong effort, and awesome coverage.
I was thinking a comparison chart to Monday Night Football average share over the course of the season. MNF has been going on long enough that we should have enough datapoints to make a comparison, with mixed market sizes, etc. And, it's not subject to the SuperBowl National Holiday (SBNH) phenomenon.
1) If my starting pitcher's 91mph fastball is straight, I'm hoping he's my 5th starter.
3) Where's 'none of the above'?
9) I'm more a fan of Dumbledore in Harry Potter.
There was no way that ARod had a chance at scoring if the throw was anywhere close to the plate. It wasn't a difficult throw, since the ball was well struck and Cruz was charging straight at the plate as he approached the ball (as far as I could tell).
This was a classic example of when a third base coach should be jumping up and down with his arms-held-high like he's auditioning for a deoderant commercial.
Agreed!!! How can I give more than +1 to these comments?
I was sitting down the first baseline, right next to the ballboy. I thought the ball was going to be foul as it passed by me, and I decided to watch the players on the field rather than watch the ball. A moment later, I thought I heard a 'clang' over the roaring crowd.
And another very nice writeup, thank you CK.
To use Jay's phrase, there was a lot of "first guessing" Girardi's moves by the people around me in the stands last night. The "second guessing" was vocalized in the bronx cheers the remainder of the night. But make no doubt about it, the fans were very skeptical of most of the managerial shenanigans you mention above as they happened, not just after they failed.
I watched the game tonight surrounded by a vocal group of Yankee fans, most of them pretty savvy to the tenor of sabermetrics and the dangers of small sample sizes. We were also watching without the benefit of announcers or TV replay. Let's just say there was lots of criticism of Girardi's pitching decisions as they were happening, not just after the fact.
Before Bengie Molina's three run blast had even landed, the Stadium had gone silent. A few moments later, a "Let's Go Rangers" chant from one section in the second deck was loud and prolonged, and it didn't get drowned out by the Yankee faithful. Instead, it just kept going until they apparently tired of it. I've never been at a Yankee game where the crowd was so demoralized, and if the group around me was any indication, the root cause was a complete lack of faith in Girardi.
I, too, love to listen to a game on the radio. These days, the only time I ever do it is in the car.
I heard on ESPN this morning that it came up in the postgame interviews. Sort of.
Some reporter asked Ron Washington if he'd considered bringing in Feliz for a 6 out save, to which he answered, "No." Well you didn't get to bring him in at all, Ron, did you?
Reporters need to be educated in the right questions to ask. "Why didn't you bring Feliz, your best reliever, into the game before your team lost the lead in the eighth? Did you think he wouldn't have gotten you out of that jamb?"
I'm glad somebody said it. I love the predictive articles, but a statistical likelihood is just that. That's why the games are decided on the field.
And glad I'm not the only one feeling somewhat 'empty' during this hiatus.
I agree regarding the batting order. Many people seemed to agree at the beginning of the season that the order should have been Figgins/Ichiro. Seeing how they both ranked in the top 5 for the CIGSH Award, and how damning this is to the 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup, it probably wouldn't have made *that* much difference.
Hey, the announcers made the obligatory announcement that Philips was a triple shy of the cycle in tonight's playoff game. Made me think of this article, naturally. He popped out.
Nice article, Colin.
Two comments... 1) just where was that pitch in all likelihood? And 2) how accurate is a batter's judgement after all?
1) A clarification regarding the location of the ball. After accounting for Fast's PITCHf/x corrections, there's a 68% chance that the edge of the ball was over the plate by between half an inch to 1-5/16" when it crossed the front of the plate (0.6" to 1.33").
If my math is right (and you would know better than I would), then there's also a **95.4%** chance that the edge of the ball was somewhere between 2" over the plate to just an 1/8" off it (2.05" over to .12" off).
This seems to be more than a "borderline pitch," statistically speaking.
1a) As awayish notes above, there's <0.0001% chance that the first pitch caught the edge of the plate. That pitch was a ball.
2) As for the batter's ball/strike judgement, it is important to note that his decision is made long before the pitch was actually a ball or a strike.
According to FanGraphs, Berkman himself swung at pitches outside the zone 20.1% of the time this year. Are we to assume that those would have been called strikes if he'd left the bat on his shoulder?
If I were asked to play in a league with colleagues who use standard 5x5 fornat (the emphasis being "play"), why would I choose to be a stick in the mud? Play. Enjoy. And I could only hope to dominate the way Clay did. (Good goin', Clay!).
This is awesome! Thanks for the good work, Colin, John, and Eric. Nice to see this on a game-by-game basis.
Okay, I came back for a second read through the article. Something I rarely do, but here I am. What was bugging me was my recollection that the 2010 Player Card 10-year forecasts that several readers (including me) called into question. For almost all the players, but particularly for young prospects, the 10th percentile just seemed way too low, and if I remember correctly, there had been a programming update that introduced feedback into the algorithm. Players/prospects out of baseball very quickly at their 10th (and even higher) percentile of performance.
In the context of this observation from Colin: "... apparently there’s more uncertainty on the downside than the upside. This is something we can build into our model as well;" I wonder if our initial observations were incorrect.
It might be worth revisiting.
correction... "But, at the end of the day, only 10% of the overall population should fall into *each of* those categories if they are really percentiles at all (and if this sample is representative)."
Again, kudos. Have a great weekend watching the regular season come to a close! Best, Burr
This is amazing. And I'm very happy that BP is publishing it for our consumption and analysis. The results are truly astounding.
If the sampling that Colin chose should be representative (300 PAs), then the percentiles are busted. Absotively busted. Or, at the very least, they're not going by the right name.
In this sample, PECOTA actually does a pretty good job at capturing the center - 23.9% of the sample fell within the 40-60th percentiles. Not too shabby at all. But, as Colin points out, and Tom and others expound upon, the percentiles above and below this midpoint are under-predicted, until you get to the way-way outliers.
It's pretty straightforward to see that the overall spread is too tight, and would need to be widened to re-capture the true 0-10% and 90-100% ranges and distribute them into the troughs.
As several commenters have done, it's easy and kind of fun to rationalize why a player might perform under his 10th percentile, or over his 90th. But, at the end of the day, only 10% of the overall population should fall into those categories if they are really percentiles at all (and if this sample is representative).
As I said, this is amazing - to see this information analyzed and published for "review." I almost say "peer review," but that would imply something I'm not willing to accept.
Kudos to Colin, Kevin, and the rest of the team. I look forward to the offseason developments with excitement.
LOL. PECOTA, the best pre-season now-casting projection system from 2009-2010!
I always get a bemused chuckle from the "deadly accurate" claim, because it is a big joke, and a marketing ploy, and yet I also get the feeling that underneath it all, there's an undeniable element of pride and morale-building, too.
Back in the day when I played competitive sports, we used to give ourselves nicknames for all the same reasons. Well, except for the marketing angle.
Thanks, Dave. I appreciate the integrity it takes to put all of it out there this week. As you all know, PECOTA is one of the legs upon which BP stands. It's nice to see that you're not going to let it atrophy.
I also appreciate the effort from this season to identify the issues that PECOTA was experiencing, and even for putting together your beta-test team from subscriber-volunteers. Seems so long ago already, hard to believe it was just a few months ago.
FWIW, I was suckered into several of the notorious fantasy busts this year. Fielder in the first round, and other later round picks like Beckett, Nolasco, McLouth, Figgins, Lopez, and Iannetta. And yet, I'm still going to finish in the money in my league.
I'm very much looking forward to reading what the BP team has planned for BP!
KG, I really liked the organizational glass-ball preview you did of the Royals earlier this season. If after reviewing the Top11 prospects, if you could include a hypothetical lineup for 2012 or 2013, to see how/if these guys might fit into the future club, and what holes are left to fill, that would be a very cool way to broaden the scope of the series.
Very nice article, and an easy and entertaining read, Ken. Again. Even forgiving the BABIP-GB% ducksnort.
To me, the essence of the article is whether Ownership will see performance through TranformationalPerformance goggles, or will they be wearing SmallSampleSize goggles?
My three 2B-eligible players entering the season were Lopez, Figgins, and Beckham. Nothing to see here, keep moving, people!
I like these articles, Eric.
I'm curious what PECOTA had to say about CarGo in this spring's evaluations. Is his overall performance as big a surprise as Bautista's HR explosion?
... and apparently he kept the bat on his shoulders for four straight balls out of the strike zone, too.
This is what happens when the decision-makers begin to believe the hype of their own PR people.
Great article, Kevin. This is an awesome look into the future of a storied franchise that's really been in a downward spiral. I hope they are able to field a competitive team in the near future as you suggest. Would love to hear Rany's thoughts on this possible future...
As an aside, BP does a fantastic job of breaking down each team in the Annual, looking a few years back and a few years forward as a framework for understanding the upcoming season. However, this article offers a perspective that the majority of teams should be considering. What does each franchise have locked up now, and in the pipeline, to be competitive in the next three years? If you can manage it, I would love to see as KG article like this online for each franchise every October/November or in the annual in the spring. Thanks!
Thanks for these reviews, Marc.
I'm very happy that this article got cross-published at ESPN, where the larger audience might help Raines' case. Good job!
It's like rubbing salt into a fantasy owner's wounded psyche. Scherzer, Shields, and Nolasco all doing their part to keep my fantasy team out of contention this season. Scherzer doing admirably since fixing his mechanics in AAA, and I'm hoping James and Ricky regress to their SIERAs sooner rather than later.
Sweet! This is an awesome 'book end' to the article from Will yesterday. Thank you!
My nephew was more interested in his Playstation than watching the game. Too bad for him. I enjoyed the game immensely, and even more so with Will's primer.
Well, thanks for that!!!
Great article. My nephew pitches in Little League, and he's visiting me this week. I'm printing this article so we can read it and hopefully watch the game together tonight.
Thank you for posting this here (and not ESPN) today, Will.
Free Alex and Kila!
I was explaining this to a neighbor on our ferry ride to work this morning, who thought it must have been a tremendous boost to fantasy teams that had him playing last night. 3 strikeouts. That's evidence that the story last night should be as much about the defensive performance by the other 8 Detroit players on the field as it is by Galarraga.
Aside: if anyone is interested in expressing an opinion to the commissioner, the office is located at 245 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10167. The phone number is (212) 931-7800.
Jay, love these articles, and also lovin' the charts. The charts allow easy comparisons between the players. Thanks!
Iannetta had a TAv of .274 in 2009, in 350 PAs. That was the 9th best of the 29 catchers who had 300 or more PAs.
They simply need to give him a chance to play! Give him 450 PAs or trade him to a team that will!
"And he's almost living up to that OBP.
Figgins. And he's living up to that OBP. But he's getting it all through his walks.
Back at the time of Figgins' acquisition, there was speculation on the BP comments that Ichiro should bat second, since his OBP comes from his AVG, but Figgins from his walks. By batting Ichiro first, they must have cost themselves some runs... on offense they gotta play every small advantage they've got, no matter how small.
Thanks for the update, and enjoy your weekends!
and he matched his minor league HR total... and the game's not over yet.
Hard to do anything else useful when you're a player "clinging to the bottom rung of the defensive spectrum..."
Ken Funck rocks.
KG, what's Iannetta up to these days? Any word from the scouts if something's going on with his swing that's caused his slow start in Colorado?
Dr. Dave, I am in complete agreement. As the end of the game approaches, the delta in WP is less important than the ratio. Perhaps the same is true at any time of the game, as I think about it.
This is why Clay is to the solution with regard to outs remaining.
With two outs in the ninth, a player who gets on base has improved his team's changes of winning infinitely when compared to the alternative (getting out and ending the game).
This is also why there is widespread appeal for the concept of clutch hitting.
Dan, I saw the Span play numeroius times on replay and could not argue with the call on the field. I think the word that is left out of the discussion is "intentional." He intended to exchange the ball from the glove to the throwing hand. Since that didn't happen, he didn't "establish the validity of the catch."
To your point, if it had been the third out, he would have secured the ball better before turning around and heading to the dugout. However, that's not what happened. What he did do is try to reach into his glove to make a throw before he really ever had it. It's not even clear on replay if his throwing hand ever grasped the ball in the glove. Which indicates to me that he did not "voluntarily and intentionally" release the ball. He "intended" to grab the ball with his other hand, but it wasn't where he thought it would be in his glove.
I believe the rule is different for infielders at a bag, but my counter-example would be a first baseman. Imagine a first baseman makes a great snag while getting pulled stumbling off the bag just after making a wild "scoop catch." In his second stumbling step, as he's getting his balance back, he reaches into his glove to hold a speedy runner who's rounding third. The ball pops out. Is the runner safe at first? When in this scenario did the first baseman "hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional."
Thanks, Will. The latest "news" is that he'll be ready on Friday, especially since they expect warmer weather. Are the sports-newsies making this stuff up, or do they get that kind of info from a source on the team?
Surprised not to see anything from Will on this. The rumor initially was he'd be back in time for the weekend series, but would miss Friday. After missing the weekend, it was because they were exhibiting an abundance of caution. Now the rumor mill is silent. I'm thinking Will's our guy for the real story...
eight. I meant eight!
If he was hitting in the nine hole, was his low batting average and high walk rate a consequence of getting pitched around?
I love him, drafted him in 2008 and again this year, and I'm going to let him sit on my large bench while I wait for Olivo to slump or a trade to happen.
Thanks, Jay. Your JAWS analyses never fail to amuse and enlighten. And, I feel like they keep getting better, too.
A note on the site's player search feature. Used to be you could type in a last name, "rodriguez" for instance, and get a long list. All the active players had both a PECOTA card and a DT card. Inactive players just had the DT card. That actually made it easier to scan the list to find the player you were interested in. Is there any way to have active players listed in bold, as is done at baseball-reference, so that they are more easily distinguishable?
Thanks, John! Perfect complement to the full lists!
And I'm not suggesting anything exhaustive. Something as simple as "Twins bullpen re-shuffled" let's us know the latest thinking. We check out the full list for the details.
John, thank you for these regular updates. Very informative and interesting. However, it's hard to keep up with the discrete changes. Is there any way that you can preface these updates with a brief summary of the changes in each update?
In past years, for reference, each update took about 40 seconds to load. I had done a comprehensive 30-round mock the night before, so I pretty much knew who my best picks would be ahead of time.
Looking forward to another successful fantasy season courtesy of BP and the PFM!
Yeah, the slowness was noticed, as I was trying to use the PFM realtime during my online draft this Sunday. It took over a minute to re-load the list each time, sometimes more than my 90 second window. Consequently, I didn't have much time to consider my pick, if at all. More stressful than I'd imagined.
That's definitely today's story... Desmond to be the opening day SS.
"Why are you focusing on BABIP?" ... because predictive models have previously made assumptions that it will regress to the mean, and they have not done a good job of estimating what it really should be. It's one of the reasons why PECOTA has underestimated Ichiro for years.
By enabling a more accurate prediction of BABIP, one has the ability to improve the modeling systems. This second step has not yet been accomplished.
Agree! In fact, I want to know before he's called up.
I'd love to see an ongoing "down on the fantasy farm" list, showing some of the top prospects in the minors, how they're fairing, and when they might be expected to come up, and/or what event might trigger their callup (who is blocking them, etc.).
Last year I had a sucking vortex of doom in center field (thanks, cameron maybin/dexter fowler!). If I hadn't picked up McCutch the day McL was traded, my season would likely have been a long struggle.
Excellent article. Thanks, Matt. I've been looking forward to E-BABIP since Idol last year.
"Actually incorporating this model into a projection system would be a tricky endeavor..." but worth the effort. This could be the "next big step" in baseball analytics and projections. $$$.
er... Utley, Wright, and Votto.
2b should be Utley, Kinsler, Votto
You can go wrong in that situation, but as long as you stay flexible and draft according to what the rest of the league is leaving for you in your next few picks you should be fine.
If you don't take Prince, you can get Adrian or Votto in the 2nd or 3rd round, respectively. Other options like Berkman and Pena are available many rounds later should somebody reach for either Adrian or Votto.
If you don't take Utley, you can get Kinsler or Pedroia in the 2nd or 3rd round, respectively. Or Roberts, Weeks, or Uggla many rounds later.
If you don't take Longoria, you can get Wright or Zimmerman in the 2nd or 3rd round, respectively. Young, Beckham, and Chipper are your later-round options here.
So, which of these options is the best for you:
1a) Prince, Kinsler, and Zimmerman
1b) Prince, Wright, and Pedroia
2a) Utley, Adrian, and Zimmerman
2b) Utley, Wright, and Pedroia
3a) Longoria, Adrian, and Pedroia
3b) Longoria, Kinsler, and Votto
or, another alternative:
4) Prince, Adrian and Pedroia/Zimmerman.
The best part to me is seeing how many of the quotes about "managing" can be applied off the ballfield, too.
Yep, definitely some changes to the categories and rankings. Noticing a lot of players moving a few notches up or down.
Haven't seen any massive changes yet, but looking. With the settings of my league entered, McLouth still rates just above Kemp and Werth in CF, but behind Sizemore.
Mariano jumped ahead of Papelbon in the rankings of the relief pitchers, but Papelbon is still #2 (not that I draft top closers, but I try to keep an eye on what the competition might be looking for).
Clay et. al, thank you for including me in the beta-test program. I will probably learn more from participating in this venture than you will, so much appreciated.
Without reading all the other comments below, I'd like to chime in on a potential anomaly I'm seeing in the 10-year projections of both Heyward and Montero, both age 20. I think we can all agree that these are guys who we would like Pecota to nail. And I am just not confident that is entirely the case.
Looking at their 10-year projection SuperVORP and TAv charts, both of them peak at age 23 - in every one of the projection percentiles. Age 24 and 25 are declines - across the board in Heyward's case, and with some Age 25 stability in the upper projections for Montero. After Age 25, and into their so-called peak years, we see a slight spread in their projections. The upper percentile projections give them some respectability, but the red-50% line and other percentiles resign them to medicority or worse by age 27.
Mike Stanton, another 20 year old, is seeing a similar profile. His upper two projections show .290 TAvs well through his age 27 peak, but his 50%TAv stays under .250 for from age 25 onward.
I suppose it's possible that these three players all share the characteristics of an early peak, with only a slim chance at being star players from age 24 on. But it just seems odd to me that each player has such a decline in their 50% projection from Age 23 to Age 27 seasons:
Heyward: .289 TAv to .265
Montero: .283 TAv to .265
Stanton: .252 TAv to .229
These seem to be 'better' projections than the wide spread projections we had seen in the first round of beta cards. But something still strikes me as being odd, that these guys are all going to peak at age 23 across all their projections, and have their 50th percentile trend down afterwards.
Is this happening because of the "out of baseball" projections holding down his 50% projection? Just doesn't seem right to me. What happens if you toss those out of baseball percentages out? Does the 50% line more closely resemble a career path with peaks in the age 26 through 29 seasons?
Again, thanks for including me as a beta-tester, and I'm sure I am going to learn more from this than you will. But hopefully you get something useful from my inclusion.
Shawn, the social media angle of the story is very interesting. Ten years ago, if you were walking down the street with your friends and you heard a roar from a nearby bar, you might head down that way to find out what caused the commotion.
Now, if you're online (or connected via mobile app) and are anywhere near a television, when you hear the digital roar of your twittering/facebooking friends, you can change the channel on your tv.
As to the graphs in the article, there is no scale on the second graph. Rather than jumping to the conclusion that there was a worldwide interest in the sporting event, it could simply be that a large majority of the group watching (likely to be a very interested and engaged group) was also able to update their Facebook accounts. The simultaneous activity of these millions of interested and engaged viewers could easily create the spikes shown without requiring "worldwide phenomenon" status.
However, the spike in online chatter would almost assuredly have caused increased viewership as the game continued, drawing new viewers from the vast audience of folk who were less inclined to watch from the beginning but heard the online roar.
Thanks, Clay! This is fantastic.
Thanks for the update(s), John!
You note: "Mariners rookie Adam Moore has showed enough this spring that he will likely be the Opening Day catcher if Rob Johnson isn't recovered from three off-season surgeries, including one on his hip."
I was discussing this very scenario with a Mariners fan last night. Moore is still shown as only 30% of the playing time on the Mariners depth chart. Is that because Johnson is expected to win the starting role back after he returns?
I had the same interpretation as roughcarrigan. Perhaps you can edit the article above to be more explicit of Maddux not missing the corners, and add in another "control pitcher" who did miss the corners.
I remember that and am surprised it didn't get mentioned in the article. Perhaps not widely known. He spiked his VORB (Value Over Replacement Bystander) on that evening.
My fantasy 2010 analysis will still be 100% PECOTA-based, with a sprinkling of Marc Normandin insights to inform some of the more difficult drafting scenarios I'm likely to encounter.
So funny. As long as I've been using the PFM I've thought it was some way to tweak the PFM to evaluate the players by a slightly higher percentile of their forecast. Sigh.
At least I've finished in the money every season I've used it...
Thanks for setting me straight!
Seriously? What's the setting do in a straight draft?
Dave, the PFM allows us to set "aggressive," "moderate," and "conservative" rankings. In the past I've selected "aggressive" because I want to draft players with the best chance to outperform.
Is that setting reliable at the moment?
Thanks in advance!
Will - what's the latest timetable on LaPorta? Have I missed your infamous list of the injured players with their expected time-missed (... and did you choose an acronym for that list)?
Does Ryan Madson get a nod in the 1-star/take-a-late-round-gamble-on-him category due to Lidge's potential combustion?
Yer kidding, right? Rank the organization by who its prospects are. What difference does it make if they were signed on the international market, from high schools, or from colleges, or in trades. They all count the same when they're eventually playing in the show.
Thanks, Marc, for continuing to crank out these lists!
In a league that uses Quality Starts instead of Wins, are there any pitchers who might get knocked up one tier? Or to the top of their tier?
Any pitchers in pitchers parks with good defenses behind them who don't expect the offensive support to turn their quality starts into wins might qualify - Cain, Rowland-Smith, others?
I'm not sure that I need to see a combined list of the pitchers below 3rd tier. But a "gun to the head" "loosely ordered" list of the 5 through 3 star pitchers would be invaluable on draft day...
Perhaps somebody (Jeff?) can spin up a quick study on the value of the Braves making/missing the playoffs in 2010 vs. the future cost of a) the super two arbitration salary in 2012 and b) a potential 6-year 'buyout' contract that has become so popular.
I didn't realize the OBP & TB combination was so popular - my league uses them, too. In that regard, for consideration on your notes for CFers, McCutcheon's triples can make a big difference for leagues that score TB instead of HR.
Richard, it's a counterproductive to slot Marc's tier-ranking into rounds of the draft. The whole idea is to find players who are going to outperform their draft slot.
For instance: if Chipper Jones is getting drafted in the 13th round in most leagues, and he's ranked as a low-four-star 3B, that doesn't mean I should draft him in the seventh round when most of the other four star 3Bmen are coming off the boards. I should slot him to draft in the eleventh rnd if I don't have a 3B at that point.
However, if you disagree with Marc on a particular player's tier, you are empowered to drop him down a tier (or more) on your own draft board.
And, thanks for sharing your disagreement and reasoning on the message board for the rest of us to consider.
"I was asked to please rank them in some kind of order of preference, so I did."
And I adore you for it. May I say again, thank you!!!
Quoting from the Unfiltered post above: "To summarize Clay’s work, there do not appear to be problems with the 2010 PECOTAs. The PECOTAs have changed since then, and we want to provide comprehensive analysis, so Colin Wyers will be repeating and expanding the tests that Clay did and we will report his findings."
So, the PECOTA projections in the books were the same excellent PECOTA projections that it has developed in the past. The latest version on the website has been tweaked and finetuned, but apparently the 10-year projections are buggy (to my inexpert eye, it looks like the extremes are overweighted, and the middle-of-the-road projection trends too low).
But we're still being told that the 2010 projections are accurate. I agree that it would be great to get solid confirmation of this from Colin and Clay after they re-run their analyses, and also to get re-confirmation that the PFM is also running at its accustomed 110% "deadly accuracy."
PECOTA doesn't know what happened, or why, just the results on the field. You can take that into consideration if you think the issue is resolved.
That's understandable. My confidence is a bit shaken, too. But I'm also confident that we've got a dynamic and qualified crew at BP working on a fix.
I keep checking back hoping/expecting to see another announcement to the effect of "The n-teenth exponent of the such-and-such algorithm had a typo in this year's expansion of the comparable players. Beta release 2.0 is being compiled now, and BP's confidence is high that the underperformance of younger players will be rectified with the correction."
At least my draft isn't for another 4 weeks.
BP 2010, pg 621.
Heyward was the other prospect I wanted to check this morning but didn't have time.
Year / 2009 EQA Projections / 2010 Beta TAv Projections
2009 / .262 / .298* (*=weighted actual on my napkin calculator)
2010 / .278 / .282
2011 / .280 / .276
2012 / .287 / .277
2013 / .297 / .276
2014 / .300 / .271
2015 / .301 / .266
Above are the EQA/TAv projections from last year's player card compared to his Beta card for this year... keeping in mind the 2009 version shows weighted means and the 2010 is apparently showing the 50% lines. I mean, even the 50% PECOTA should be increasing over the next several years.
A couple silly thoughts... a) Does using the 50% projection cause downward feedback in subsequent years? Or, b) are the additional (and less successful) comps being weighted improperly, which brings down the career projection of the youngest stars-to-be?
Side note and compliment to everyone at BP involved in this endeavor: I think these new cards are going to be rock-solid once these kinks get worked out! They look awesome!
Jesus Montero has a similarly unsettling projection - flat from 2010-2012, then a slow decline.
I was going to offer a suggestion as to what PECOTA might be doing causing such conservative projections for the youngsters, but what do I know?
Marc, this list format is like Josh Hamilton at the Home Run Derby in Yankee Stadium. Out of the park!
I agree completely. The tiers are an excellent system. If you just kept on going with no changes, I would still be happy. "Enhancing" the tiers with some additional information would really be appreciated. No need to elaborate on why one guy ranks ahead of another within a tier - their all tier-mates.
One suggestion is that you might list them in the order of your perceived 'upside' to exceed expectations of the tier.
"they're." Twice. Gah!
I don't think you need to justify why one is higher than the other within a tier, because their all in the same tier. Maybe you put the players with the highest upside at the top... just use the order their listed to provide some added information. If you can do it without too much trouble, great! If not, I'm still very happy with what you've already done.
Marc, the tiers are definitely the way to organize this, and it is appreciated. Providing a loose "order" or "ranking" within the tier is frosting on the cake. However, in my opinion, it is not gilding the lily.
You're the best.
So don't go so far as "replacement player."
Ken Funck pointed out a simple stat improvement for broadcast, and it requies no real new explanations in one of his final BP Idol entries last summer. A graphic for the leadoff hitter showing his OBP vs. the league average leadoff hitter. Bang.
SIERA is a new ERA estimator that is designed to eliminate the defense, ballpark effects, and luck from a pitchers actual ERA. If a pitcher had a lower ERA than SIERA, it was due to one of these three factors. This is useful in analyzing past performance as well as predicting future performance.
Eric's post in Unfiltered, above, shows that SIERA is about as accurate as xFIP as a predictive model.
The lists within tiers are alphabetical. That's something several of the readers have asked Marc to revisit...
Thanks for the Chipper story!
For introducing 'advanced' stats into tv broadcasts, I think you've got to do a couple things:
1) Baby steps.
OBP and SLG are the stepping stones to get people to this side of the pond. Time honored aphorisms can be useful, such as "You can't steal first base," "Leading off the inning with a runner (or walk) leads to more runs in the inning." "Hard to score runs if you don't have runners." Then you follow up with a compelling example of why this is so.
Naturally, this information leads to run-probability and win-probability. For instance, "Why is it bad to make the third out at third base?" or "Pitchers can sacrifice bunt because it's the most likely chance they have to advance a runner and get some small value from the otherwise harmless lumber in their hands, but Jeter should not ever ever ever ever ever sacrifice bunt, even in a playoff game."
I love the idea mentioned above about demonstrating the impact of defensive range with a graphic. Solid dots for balls fielded, and hollow dots for balls misplayed. Basketball has been doing this for a long time with shot location charts, so casual fans should be able to understand it pretty easily.
Lovin' the tiers, Marc. Would also prefer to see a "loosely ordered" list of players within the tiers, rather than just alphabetical. Understanding that the order/ ranking is not hard and fast. For instance:
Dustin Pedroia 703 .310/.378/.480 104 18 68 19
Dan Uggla 669 .261/.366/.489 89 30 85 3
Brandon Phillips 664 .281/.338/.486 86 27 92 23
Ben Zobrist 625 .270/.378/.483 82 25 71 15
Gordon Beckham 625 .278/.351/.469 78 21 75 9
Robinson Cano 652 .297/.338/.493 80 25 87 2
Brian Roberts 720 .296/.380/.454 98 15 61 45
Rickie Weeks 560 .256/.383/.462 87 18 47 18
Aaron Hill 572 .279/.340/.495 78 26 71 6
So if Utley and Kinsler go in the first round, and Uggla and Zobrist are already drafted by the middle of the second, you would do well to go after Pedroia pronto.
The ***** rating is for fantasy purposes, by position.
If you can draft a first baseman with eligibility at, say, catcher, then if you play him at 1B on your team, he may only be equivalent to the other 3-star players at 1B. But if you intend to play him at catcher, he's worth far more to your team's success. So, he should have a higher star-rating at positions where performance is more scarce.
This makes perfect sense to me, and I don't see any reason to change it. For fantasy purposes.
Not suggesting multiple names. "OBP" gets the ol' heave-ho. Everything is rebranded to GOB (or whatever the marketing experts come up with).
We roll out the big marketing budget. I like the line somebody mentioned above, "you can't score runs if you don't have runners." That could be our catch-phrase! "GOB. You can't score runs if you don't have runners!"
In addition to having the announcers discuss GOB on air during nationally-broadcast games, we also imbed ad-placements on American Idol, Lost, and Two and a Half Men.
Goes without saying that we'll create its own webpage.
Will, I've very much enjoyed the staff-chats that BP has done for the All*Star game and other high-profile games. Perhaps something like this can be deployed more frequently to the accompaniment of a nationally broadcast game? ESPN's Wednesday night baseball, perhaps? You've already got a sharing agreement with them... perhaps you can work out the messy details that might allow this kind of synergy.
Will, to reach middle america fans, we need to get a marketing manager for OBP. It is the gateway stat to an advanced understanding of baseball. ... and it is not known or understood by the 99.44% of fans you mention. If you can't get people to understand OBP in 30 seconds, then you can't reach this audience.
Ken Funck made some statements in last years BP Idol competition regarding media use of simpler advanced metrics like OBP. At that time, I traded emails with him about rebranding OBP (his emails had the added benefit of being amusing).
We both seemed to agree that OBP is an awful acronym, and I believe that the name itself is a barrier to adoption by your everyday fan. We need something that is easier to say. OBP doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
I proposed Not Getting Out (NGO pronounced "en-go"). Can it be simpler than the batter's desire to Not Get Out? That's what each batter strives for, at a fundamental level. I also proposed that each year, the player with the highest NGO score gets the MLB BiNGO award (Best in Not Getting Out). Who wouldn't understand BiNGO?
However, Ken poked holes in NGO, and he counter-proposed Getting On Base (GOB). With its connotation of 'old-school' baseball, GOB would appeal to the casual fan. The best pitchers and team defenses, naturally, would strive for the title of GOB-stopper.
If you really want casual fans to understand the idea of OBP (or OPS), I think you really need to re-think how to market these ideas. Language is the heart of communication, and OBP and OPS are too convoluted to say and explain. GOB, however, is easy and intuitive.
And/or the PFM?
I'm pretty sure that is just them looking at their internal computers, which aren't necessarily updated until the book actually arrives.
In the past, I've ordered online and also checked my local B&N. If my brick&mortar store has it before my online order has shipped, I cancel the online order and buy the one from the store.
I know this doesn't help folks who are distant from any brick&mortar stores, but it might help others... if your online order hasn't shipped, call your local store and ask them to check their inventory.
I have been intrigued by the allure of Scoresheet, but it looks like a large, daily, time commitment while the season plays out.
For those who do play, how much time do you spend each day managing/GMing your team?
Is there any way that we can get a Fld% category added to the PFM? Please?
That's an interesting point. The player's salary is going to be an extremely high percentage of his income. However, a player's salary is only a relatively small percentage of a baseball team's payroll/expenses. Where a $1m difference in arbitration could be a ginormous percentage of a player's income, it would represent a comparatively modest impact on a baseball team's operation. As you say, risk/reward.
They changed the PFM late spring of last year so the SGP was binary. I saw the adjustment options and hoped it had gone back to a sliding scale...
I agree with this suggestion, for the most part. Being clear in the release name, as well as release notes, will help to set everyone's expectations. Beta 1.0, Beta 2.0, "Official Pre-Season PECOTA," etc. You could even have a "beta-only" check-button (with a disclaimer) that subscribers are required to click in order to download information.
However, I do love to get the data as early as possible, even with the errors. I think it's admirable that BP includes its readers in the process of cleaning up the projections - gives us the feeling of empowerment and ownership of the results, even if we don't have any substantial critiques...
didn't read the posts below before posting... ignore.
Organizational Wellness & Individual Evaluations
Shouldn't that be "oshen horoshow?"
Fantastic read, and thank you for sharing!
Just as an FYI, the question can also be phrased to the GMs slightly differently... "You're not going to get a chance to sign this robopitcher because his agent won't negotiate with you. But, what do you think the other GMs would offer him for a 3-year deal?"
There was a marketing team for a car company back in the day that asked people what they wanted in a car. They learned that car owners value consistency, craftmanship, and engineering in their cars. So, the car company built and marketed cars for those characteristics. They couldn't sell them.
The marketing people went out and asked folks what their neighbors wanted in a car, and they learned that the neigbors wanted flashy, sexy, sporty cars - the kind of cars that were actually selling off the lots.
Moral: people are too embarassed to answer the marketers' question honestly - they give the answer that they think will make them look good.
Some GM is going to offer Robopitcher 3 years at $7.5m per.
Understood. I don't know what's involved, specifically, but the idea is pretty simple. They put a cipher-code on their books, with each book getting its own code. Cover it in that scratch-off plastic stuff. That code gives a Premium Subscriber the option to pay more (say, an additional $9.95) in order to get the 2010 player write-ups as part of the projections.
BP and the publisher can split the additional revenue in whatever way satisfies both parties.
Obviously, it's too late to set this up this year. But maybe next year?
I like this. And, for some reason, I thought that I had the option of a two-year subscription when I first signed up (2004?), but then it's only been an annual subscription since then.
I'd pay an additional 50% of the publishing price in order to get a code with my BP Annual that allowed me access the full information on-line. Maybe a scratch-off, like a gift card. Far better to have all the information I need in one place (and I don't mean my bookshelf).
It's a very interesting dilemma. "Those who forget the past are doomed..." etc. Marc's taking this exercise as a learning experience, seeing if he has his own biases that he can identify and correct moving forward. I see this series of articles as bringing us along on his journey of fantastical self awareness, and I am enjoying them immmensely.
An excellent little pilot study. Thanks, Will. And good luck with your procedure. I'm very curious to see what the results of your own experience is with regard to reaction time. Acuity, I expect will improve. Not sure I'd expect a change in reaction times, but recognition might. Really depends on the details of the study, and whether you are reacting to or identifying threshold or supra-threshold targets. Again, good luck.
Catcher? Just askin'.
9 guesses below $10m
25 guesses above $20m
I was wondering this as well.
Stdev of $3.5m
Tossing out the $1, $2, and $1b guesses, the average value of those entered (through stevek, above) is $15.81m.
I love my lunch breaks.
Are you still sticking with this after you King Felix comment, below?
It would certainly come up in the comps. Probably doesn't affect their logic/reasoning for whatever their number will be. I'm still guessing it'll be around $18m based on the various contracts out there, including Zito's.
So ... who's going to scatter-plot these guesses and write an article about it?
Lee would be a good comp for the Giants, certainly.
$1 less than Zito.
Great article, Jeff! Thank you!
According to Cot's, the fifth-highest paid pitcher in the league this year is, coincidentally, Barry Zito, earning $18,000,000. It seems like a no-brainer for Rick Thurman to name that salary and still come off as a conservative number to the arbitration panel. Lincecum has arguably/demonstrably performed as "the top" pitcher, at least in his league. And, with more certainty, he's worth as much as his teammate.
From your Cot's Contracts website:
How can you slap a quota on that indispensible contribution? The more the merrier!
Thank you, BP, for making it easy for your readers to find suitable opportunities to help.
I have learned that in order to "post reply" when you are using Internet Explorer 8, you have to turn on "Compatibility View." In the standard setup, there is a button that looks like a torn sheet of paper - click that. It will make IE8 backwards compatible to webpages that are designed for older browsers.
To be consistent with the JAWS methodology, of which I agree completely, the above should read: "The /second/ lowest inductee at each position represents the 0th JAWSentile."
Jay, following up on our emails last week, this information regarding distribution of talent is the information that I think should be added to the analysis. It's not just about how many wins above or below the "average" HoF player a candidate may have, but just how unique that performance is in regards to those already enshrined. Obviously it's a non-linear distribution, and it probably varies by position.
So, there must be some "best fit" curve that representative of this distribution. Call it a JAWSentile. With the "average" HoFame score at each position being the 50th JAWSentile. The lowest inductee at each position represents the 0th JAWSentile.
Once the data goes public, I'll look at it and think about how to represent that information.
jc, thanks for posting your research at BP - I don't get out much, so this is my one source for baseball-related topics. This research is all new to me, so I'm sorry if I'm asking questions that have already been answered... how many players were in your sample? How big would the sample be if you restrict the sample to player ages 24 to 31 (instead of 35) and have a 2000PA cut off? And, finally, what are the results of that analysis? Thanks!
Agreed. His salary isn't suitable for a platoon, but his performance sure is!
I'm curious if there's a BP study based on young international signings and subsequent performance to show the relative value of these subsets of players.
If you want to determine the effects of aging on the health in the general population, you can look at every adult who lived to age 85 to see how they age and what maladies they have suffered. But then you've excluded a very large portion of the sample, because we don't all live to age 85. The ultimate 'aging' effect has already taken its toll before then.
Same in baseball. By reducing the sample to those who are still in the game at age 35, and started by age 24, we've reduced the sample to players who will be eligible for the Hall of Fame. The rest have retired due to injury, or been forced out because they can't perform, etc. So, while it might be useful to understand the aging effects in potential Hall of Fame eligble players for some analyses, it may not be useful in other analyses (including the general profile of a ballplayer).
One way to expand the information in order to determine whether there are 'survivor' biases would be to re-run the analysis on different populations and see how it differs. For instance, what if we look at players who were playing at Age 24 through Age 31, Age 32, Age 33. Do the peaks of the different skills shift significantly?
I think it's reasonable to expect that they will.
Agreed, very nice piece of research and well presented. I like the lead-in and the take-away. Thank you also for leaving the gory details elsewhere!
I love the PFM, and I rely on it. However, you'll notice Marc's list isn't simply a reiteration of the PECOTA forecasts. I think of his interpretation as PFM+. He's looking at why PECOTA may have been fooled high or low on its forecast, and adjusting his rankings accordingly.
As you can see from the reviews, it's an inexact science... but still a worthwhile endeavor, especially since he has the integrity to go back and see where he (and/or PECOTA) was off.
The hell of owning Markakis in 2009 was his hot March/April, inflating his stat lines for the rest of the year. He hit .381/.460/.560 in April, and then just .279/.329/.436 from May onward. But if you weren't paying attention, that hot start overshadowed how badly he was hurting you in his cumulative stat lines.
[can't reply to Colin and Patrick due to IE8 settings, so posting here]
Maybe I'm being daft.
Huff was 16th in VORP, and his value is being compared to the other DHs in the league. But since the positional adjustment is already within the VORP formula/baseline, I don't understand why any added emphasis is required. He's 16th - end of story.
What I inferred from the inclusion of "as a DH!" was that Russell found it necessary to point out that as a DH he didn't get any added bonus for being a good defender whereas the position players did get a boost. So his ranking at #16 is even more outstanding since it didn't include defense.
Anyway, I really liked the article, even if that line confused me a bit.
Russell, I could be wrong, but I believe VORP is truly a hitter's stat. WARP accounts for the defensive contributions. Again, I could be wrong.
I think the Mets would bite on that personal you wrote, however.
I think according to PECOTA's prediction for him going into the season, he would have been right on the cusp of making the list or being in the just missed category.
Will be interesting what PECOTA thinks about him for 2010.
Paging Chuck Knoblauch.
Thanks, Jay! It's good to know that there's hope for some of our aspirants.
I was also posing that questions more speculatively regarding the group on this year's ballot.
E.g., how likely do we the BP readers thinkg that voters will eventually forgive the steroid implications of McGwire? Or more likely that Raines gets momentum from the stat-oriented community as it reaches membership? Etc.
Or a "donate" button on the BP website during the month...
Of these, I drafted only Chipper. Packaged him with some pitching in a trade-deadline deal to get Youkilis and Hoffman.
^^^^ at each of their eligible positions ^^^
Marc, just want to re-state my preference to please include players with multi-position eligibility (or expected eligibility) in the multi-tier system (though you only having the full write-up once...).
Ooh, ooh, I remember that you do a consolidated list!
Maybe you should publish your consolidated list first, and indicate their eligible positions...
Does anybody who received under 50% get elected in the future? Not asking if any deserve to, but does anybody think they will?
I will always remember Cameron for the HR-saving over-the-wall catch in for Seattle after the Griffey trade. I'm not sure if it was the very first game of the season but that's my recollection.
Now let's see him go over the wall in the CF triangle at Fenway... that will be worth seeing.
CF definitely was a challenge during the season... once the best players were snatched up early in my draft, I felt great waiting for Maybin in the 20th round. The feeling didn't last, however.
When Florida sent him down, I scrambled for a while (ill-advised trades, etc.) until McCutcheon was brought up. [My league uses OBP and total bases instead of AVG and HR, so McC's his walk rate and triples were very welcome.]
I hadn't considered it until now, but one added feature you might consider is to include a few notable prospects who we might see come up from AAA, and where they might rank in the tiers once they come up. Could help for those unexpected in-season moves.
I'd read an examination of the writings of Hugo Grotius, whom Maurice imprisoned, and today's international draft.
BP has somewhere on the order of 60,000 unique subscriptions over its history, judging by user #s. ESPN frequently gets more people to comment on a Page2 survey in a single day. It is in BPs best interests to reach that audience - and in its subscribers' interests, too.
If just an itsy bitsy percentage of the new audience reached by cross-publishing on ESPN.com comes here and reads and eventually subscribes to BP, that miniscule amount is a significant number in comparison to the existing BP subscriptions. These new subscriptions help to pay for a lot of the added writers and researchers at BP.
I'm all for it.
Yes. Any improvement to PECOTA is worth the effort. Finding a way to add in new information about line drive rate, for instance, or overcoming the Ichiro effect.
I'd also love to see Brian Cartwright's Oliver analyses side-by-side to PECOTA's and explanations of significant divergences in the projections. I'd love to see that! Would pay more for it, too...
... and, substitute 'conclusions' with 'hypothesis' and you can save yourself a lot of trouble... this was one of my criticisms for the early BP Idol entries, too.
As my thesis advisor would say back in the day, "Always ask yourself 'so what?' If you begin your conclusions and in two sentences can't answer 'so what?' then the research isn't all that important to begin with.
Russell, I'm glad to oblige. Most of this is a summary of the other 'more' comments above. I've been reading only for the past 5+ years, but I don't believe I've ever been dissatisfied with my subscription. I believe I read more content in 2009 than in any previous year.
As to what the readers desire, I hope BP learned a lot about itself from the BP Idol competition, and the feedback that readers provided, in abundance. Those aspiring writers and researchers seeking a position at BP were asked over and over to give us informative and entertaining information about baseball. Several delivered it - and I'm happy with that result.
So, for 2010, I expect more articles that tell me important things about the game that I don't already know. Mostly, this is-the-field information - players and teams, MLB of today and tomorrow - delivered with humor and intelligence.
Regarding the statistical underpinning of BP and its analysis, I repeat what many other have already mentioned regarding the "extra 5%" of information to be derived from incremental improvements of certain metrics. While it's important and informative, it's not necessarily as informative to the whole audience to grasp the "Big Picture" of baseball. Do I want it? Heck yeah. But not at the expense of continuing to learn more about "big picture" aspects of the game.
Consider wringing out a dry towel. With a lot of hard work, you may get a few drops of water. But what we could really use is several analysts and writers to grasp the wet towels in BPs locker room - pitch F/x, play-by-play defensive metrics. These are still soaking wet and will yield water as soon as they're picked up, for example.
For fantasy pusposes, I loved Marc's contributions this year. Sounds like he's on course to deliver some more great content leading into the 2010 season. I always rely on the PECOTA-based Player Forecast Manager. Anything that can be done to improve it is very much appreciated! For instance, adding a defensive stat to the PFM (Fld%!) seems easy and valuable to those of us in leagues that include this metric.
I am disappointed that Joe's leaving, but confident that I will enjoy BP-2010 and beyond.
Kevin, do I understand correctly that the intent of the blogs to be more in keeping with rec.sports.baseball discussions? Will subscribers be able to comment similar to the Unfiltered? Thanks!
Handing the reins to Kevin was news last year this time. He took over from Nate, if I remember my details correctly.
Personally, I am looking forward to another wonderful season of BP Premium subscription. Yes, I'll miss Joe and his contributions - just as I miss Nate. As an aside, I do remember Kevin telling us in this space a year ago that we would continue to read occassional articles from Nate; yet, in retrospect none come to mind.
But BP is an evolving corporation. I've been through my share of personnel and management changes in my own employment, so I shouldn't expect anything different from other businesses.
I wish Joe the very best, and the same to all the other members of the extended BP family.
To correct my "top 5" categorization for Reyes, he generally regarded as a Top 5 fantasy pick in 2009. That was what I meant. Seeing him in the bottom half of the second round raised my curiosity level. You explained the reasoning above. Thanks!
Ah ha, thank you. Would love to learn Scoresheet some time... wish I knew people who played it!
Same question came to mind for me. Top 5 player in the whole league in 2009 dropped this low in a supplemental draft? Must be some serious questions about his recovery...
Okay, I've updated the list... I've added Pete Rose to the eligibility, and also included other contemporaries such as Bonds, Biggio, Palmeiro, Sheffield, Galarraga. Hopefully I've now captured everybody who would be at the top of this list.
Total bases + Walks from Age27 on:
4888 Edgar Martinez
4039 Eddie Collins
4005 Paul Waner
Additions to the "Under 4000" list include Tony Gwynn, Lou Brock, Doc Cramer, Nap Lajoie, Rod Carew.
Edgar is tenth on the list, in between Ted Williams and Rickey Henderson... wow.
I think I'm missing some important names from the list, perhaps because I'm not a b-r PI subscriber... Mays, Aaron, Musial jump out at me as missing... likely others. Will fill those in momentarily... but still, that list shows very good company...
Jay, thank you for the link to the list of players who had the most hits from Age27 onward! In addition to ranking 26th on that list, he also ranks 13th all time in total bases from Age27 onward.
Also according to baseball-reference.com, I've tried to put together a short list of the Hall of Famers and players on the ballot according to their Total Bases + Walks from Age 27 onwards:
5894 Babe Ruth
5362 Carl Yastrzemski
5060 Ted Williams
4888 Edgar Martinez
4869 Dave Winfield
4762 Honus Wagner
4682 Eddie Murray
4569 Sam Rice
4568 Wade Boggs
4540 Tony Perez
4520 Ty Cobb
4499 Reggie Jackson
4432 Tris Speaker
4382 Paul Molitor
4381 Lou Gehrig
4218 George Brett
4175 Billy Williams
4164 Earl Averill
4136 Carlton Fisk
4082 Cal Ripken
4001 Ernie Banks
3902 Dave Parker
3856 Andre Dawson
The dude could hit...
The interesting thing about his candidacy is that he holds up very well if you compare him to first basemen, even with the fact he didn't get to play when he was younger. Check the JAWS analysis.
Since Ryan Howard is considered (by many) to be one of today's permier hitters who got a late start to his career, and he's not exactly a defensive gem, I think he makes a pretty good foil for reviewing Martinez.
In terms of WARP3, Howard would have to equal his 2009 performance another 9.5 seasons to match Martinez's career accumulation.
Martinez: .312/.418/.515 with a .315 EQA.
Howard:.. .279/.376/.586 with a .310 EQA.
According to Jay Jaffe's analysis, Martinez's score, admittedly all from his bat, is still better than the average HoF first baseman's JAWS score (which looks at career and peak WARP3 scores).
Compared to the enshrined third basemen, Martinez falls just short of the average HoFamer, primarily because of his defensive shortcomings. However, he still ranks better than many third basemen in the Hall...
Thanks for reconsidering, John. I think most reasonable people understand that you have earned your ballot for the HoF, and it's your vote to cast.
In that regard, keeping an open mind about future votes for players left off your ballot this year is admirable.
From your list, Raines is truly an oversight that needs to be corrected. As others have demonstrated through his traditional, advanced, and analytic career stats, he definitely deserves his place among the best ever to play the game.
Please also take a closer look at Trammell next year. I think you'll find he also deserves to be enshrined.
As to some of the other borderline candidates who made your ballot this year, that's your call. And you deserve it to make the call as you see fit. Raines and Trammell would be good additions next year.
Best regards, and happy New Year!
Since you asked... I play in an awesome custom Yahoo! roto league, taking the standard roto format and giving it a little bit of 'advanced' metric twist better to simulate 'real' baseball. 7x7 format as follows:
Non-keeper, 10-12 teams
both leagues eligible
C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CR, RF, DH
5 SP slots, 6 RP slots w/1450 IP limit
30 spots on the roster, 30 free agent moves allowed, unlimited trades
Hitter stats: OBP, Total Bases, Runs, RBI, Steals, Caught Stealing, Fld%
Pitcher stats: Quality Starts, K, ERA, WHIP, HR-allowed, Saves, Holds
Would love to try my hand in a keeper league some time, but not with the sharks who read BP!
Just for the record, my fantasy team uses LF, CF, RF slots rather than just 3 OF slots.
I can't remember if Marc has done it in previous years, but summarizing a top-60 OF list after assembling the respective positions would be worthwhile for those (many) people who simply have OF slots to fill...
Thanks, Jay! I look forward to these articles in the off-season, and you never disappoint. Safe travels!
The interesting thing here is that if 96% of the voters feel that he might be worthy, except "not this year," then there won't be a next year.
Let's see if we can get 100 better nicknames for Will:
Will Carroll, BP Health Honcho
I knew you were going to say that! I meant that I haven't read your Guide to Sports Injuries, so I'm not sure if you've already covered this topic. What are the reasons to opt for/out of surgery in the rehab process, when both are potentially viable?
Will - haven't read the book yet, so I don't know if this is covered. However, to fans (and fantasy enthusiasts) I find one of the toughest questions regard those serious injuries that have two possible recovery paths: "let it heal, and then rehab it" and "let's do surgery, and then rehab it."
I know it varies by case and diagnosis, but my question would be, when both are viable solutions, what are the advantages/disadvantages of these options in terms of time away and performance upon return? We know that teams/players usually opt to avoid surgery if there's a chance that they can come back in the same season (because surgery theoretically requires longer to heal/recover. But is there a long term advantage for surgery, assuming the player can rehab over the offseason?
Bud, Instant Replay allows for increased revenue by opening new possibilities for advertising through MLB Advanced Media.
To the esteemed members of the committee, below please find one fan's modest proposals to improve the game:
1) No body armor. The inside half of the plate is neutral territory, and ballplayers shouldn't look like mechanized infantry in order to control it.
2) It's embarassing to let umpires blow calls that affect/determine the outcome of the game. Fix it. Balls-strikes. Fair/foul. Tags & force plays at any base. You name it, they can review it. Two full time umpires upstairs with complete control of f/x and all camera replays. They have 15 seconds to overturn a call on the field.
3) Unless the NL wants to adopt the DH because they feel it is imbalancing competition, MLB should keep the DH in the AL only.
Speed of play:
a) Enforce the time limit between pitches.
b) No more than one catcher-pitcher chat per half-inning.
c) No more than one "time out" by a batter per at-bat.
Thanks for your consideration!
Burr Rutledge, longtime fan
Drabek is being mentioned on ESPN - both during the MNFootball game as well as the SportsCenter that immediately followed.
By age 28, Bedard had only had one season where he hadn't been put on the DL. One. I was one of the ones calling it a silly trade at the time Seattle made it, and I think most agree with that assessment in retrospect.
Lee on the other hand has recovered from one serious injury, but he's demonstrated a remarkable recovery. An injury risk, yes, but not significantly more so than most successful pitchers at his age.
You know you are a dedicated BP follower when half of the 18 eligible players in the above "Top 20" have already been featured on your non-keeper fantasy team.
Gotta assume they're looking at left field. Gutierrez is clearly the best CF defensively, and Ichiro stays in right for that mini-cannon connected to his left shoulder. With Cameron in left, you'd have a good bet that no fly balls hit the outfield turf in Safeco in 2010.
Peter, please accept my sincerest 'thank you' for the years of entertainment and education you've provided on ESPN. I hope to have the chance to thank you in person some day. Good luck at MLB and NESN! Best regards, and happy holidays, Burr
... it doesn't matter what *I* think, but what the Royals think. Do you have a better explanation for what they could possibly be thinking? He's name recognition. That's it.
Again, they must be looking for a name to increase the gate.
"to try and build some enthusiasm around the team without actually building a competitive team."
That's a little harsh. I believe a more nuanced position might be that they are trying "to build some enthusiasm around the team now, while waiting for their prospects to mature and develop into a competitive team in the future."
This may be an improvement in CF over Melky, but I'm skeptical that it helps address their needs at corner OF or DH.
Melky's bat has come a long way as he's matured, but it's is still a full notch below the performance one might expect out of a Yankee Stadium corner outfielder... But then again, they did play Damon in left. And Swish wasn't exactly Bobby Abreu last season, either... and that didn't keep them from succeeding last season. I suppose they could put him in right field and move Swisher to left. But that's not much of an upgrade.
If they choose to do that, fine. But if not, then what do they do with Melky? Do they just platoon Melky and Curtis in CF?
They could sign any (qualified) retired catcher and make him a special assistant to the manager, or a bench coach. This would get him on the bench to talk with Flores and the pitchers between innings, etc. He can advise the manager if he has any ideas during the innings, too. That's a tutor. The Nats could get themselves one of those for a lot less than $6mil + taking up a spot on the 40-man roster.
This really seems to be more about having another name-recognition player on the roster to increase attendance. And to do that, he would need to actually play.
Yes, there may be doubt about which is the best offer, or whether the team "coulda done better." Mets/Twins Santana deal comes to mind.
Yes, the Jays should negotiate to get the most that they can in return. And, yes, the best offer may be one that includes the offerer's downside risk of losing Halladay to a direct competitor. But if it is the best offer when the haggling is done, then it is the best offer.
At the end of the day/week/month/trade-deadline/haggling, the Jays have a choice of accepting their best offer - yes or no. The best offer may still seem unfair, but 'no' means they get his services for the remainder of the season and nothing else.
I believe he's now "theirs" til mid-June.
Halladay and Wells to the Angels for a handshake?
July, 2010: "Roy, there's a contending team that keeps calling to see if they can use your services to help get them into the playoffs during the stretch drive. As you know, it's not looking like we'll get there this year. You want to phone it in the rest of the season with us? Or, are you interested in this chance for post-season glory, which in turn can bring you some well-deserved high-profile attention going into your contract negotiations?"
Yes, you should! Pink scented ones.
Complaints by the writers about the weather during the winter meetings. My goodness. They are *winter* meetings, after all, and Nashville and Indy are in the nation's ice belt. The weather will always have a good chance to be awful.
To alleviate the disruption of bad weather, I believe that next year's winter meeting should be a teleconference. And writers aren't invited to join.
Or, perhaps our cactus and grapefruit league states should alternate hosting the winter meetings each year. Somebody remind me, are there any cities in Arizona and Florida that are capable of handling gatherings?
...er, that would be 2009. My internal calendar is apparently needing to be re-wound...
I was wonderin' how happy the Angels are with Fuentes after the second half of 2008 ... 1.685 WHIP with an ERA of 4.81 and a K/9 of just 4.4.
Was curious if there was anything in the Angels system that the Royals could have an eye on for 2012-2013... and in Anaheim, Fuentes setting up Soria could also work at the turnstiles.
I will speculate on an answer here - there's just a very subtle difference between the 'ideal' lead-off hitter and a 'great' 2nd-slot hitter. Both need high OBP. But a slight difference in how they get on base can be significant if you have two high-OBP/low-power players for these two slots.
The guy who gets on base with some walks is your leadoff guy, and the guy who gets on base with his batting average bats in your 2nd-slot. This will lead to more first-and-third situations than if you reversed their slots in the order.
... but if you only have one high-OBP/low-power guy, he makes for a pretty good leadoff hitter...
The night before the draft, I will put my "top 300" into my own pre-draft rankings. That way I won't get burned too badly if the internet freezes me out of a pick or two. And it does happen more frequently than one might like.
The bottom of that long list is filled with players from Marc's sleeper lists. That way I don't have to waste time searching around for them at the end of the draft when everybody's making picks very quickly. Last year I got both Helton and Morales during the last few rounds.
And if Howard keeps up hitting at a 5+ WARP for another 10 seasons, he will be much like Edgar but in the N.L.
I think you misunderstand the comparison, and I realize that I haven't done a good job of explaining it. You may have missed that elsewhere in the thread I already agreed with you on the point that Edgar is not a Hall of Famer.
The analyses and comparisons I've been posting are to show that he sure did a good job of impersonating a Hall of Famer once he was "given the chance."
The question is, if he was able to do so well so late in his career, what might have happened if he'd been given the chance earlier? Nobody can answer that definitively.
I am simply suggesting that if he'd been able to play at 1B from age 24-26, or DH, perhaps he'd have put up another ten or twelve points of WARP3. Not that he'd be Pujols, who is in an elite class so rarely seen.
Why did the organization keep trying to make him into a third baseman when they knew he wasn't mobile and didn't have the glove for it? Is it because their organizational need was at 3B, and they already had 1B and DH filled with above-average players? Could they have made some trades to open up room, or move Edgar to bring in a better option at 3B? Maybe, but they didn't.
It's all fantasy-land hypotheticals. Nobody knows. And that's perhaps why it fascinates me. What we do know is that once he did stay up for good, he contributed more to his team's Wins, on an age-for-age basis, than 15 of the Hall of Famers in the recent past.
To be perfectly honest, I think it's unfair to judge him against Pujols. I was actually thinking Ryan Howard might be a better comp to Edgar's situation, but in reverse. If Thome had never been injured, Ryan Howard might have been tooling around in AAA for another two seasons waiting for a spot to open up for him, or to get traded away. Instead, Thome did get injured and we now have "Ryan Howard."
No argument from me on his defensive shortcomings at 3B! You also have to keep in mind that the Mariners did have him blocked by two of their best hitters at 1B and DH (Alvin Davis and Ken Phelps), whereas 3B was a real weak spot (Jim Presley). So they kept trying to mold him into a 3B. They never even tried him at 1B in the minors, as far as I can tell. We know how well that worked out for them.
And, I suppose the Mariners are to be commended for finally realizing that they had a position on their roster that didn't require "fielding skillz" as a pre-requisite.
The minor league stats I've been able to find are scarce, but they do show some bits and pieces of his hitting potential. Not nearly the hitting superstar he became later in life, but still enough to make this writer wonder, "what if?"
For instance, in '85, at age 22, he worked his way up from AA to AAA. He didn't mash at AA, but after getting moved up to Calgary he hit .353 AVG and .485 SLG in 20 games. Note that the stats I can find don't show PAs or walks (baseball-reference.com).
He toiled in '86 back in AA, with sub-standard results (.264 avg, .390 slg).
In '87 he was in Calgary (24 years old) in the PCL, for 129 games and 438 AB, hitting for a .329 avg and .473 slg. Again, no mention of OBP or BB, but simple math shows he was getting just 3.4 ABs/game, so he must have been getting a few walks in there. When he got to the majors that year, he didn't do so badly, either: .372/.413/.581 in 13 games.
In '88 he was back at AAA for more practice on his fielding, because he hit for a .363 AVG and .517 SLG in 95 games. In just 38 PAs in the majors that year, he hit .281/.351/.406.
In '89 he was back at AAA for 32 games, with a .345 AVG and .522 SLG. (His time in the majors was a disappointment in comparison, just .240/.314/.304 over 65 games.)
So, up til 1990, he wasn't hitting too badly at all, but his team couldn't find a place for him at either of the two positions where his glove might play: 1B or DH. Just bad luck on his part that he was blocked. And proof that not every good hitter is a third baseman.
But "wow," when they finally did give him a chance to put the lumber to good use. I mean, that list shows his bat is in very very good company, once he was "allowed" to use it.
You might want to learn how to score a game - it's fun and adds to the experience of the game more often than not.
I learned how in 2nd grade little league - our coach scored all of our games, and he kept a tally for us all season long using the same major statistics that MLB used. AVG, HR, RBI, etc. He updated it after each game, and then at the next game we all got a copy of our updated team stats. I think I still have the whole season of stats tucked away in a folder in my parents' attic somewhere.
Failing such a list forthcoming, I created one. Sort of. Below is a list showing only the modern-day position players who have been enshrined in Cooperstown since 1999. We should know these fellas and whether they are 'worthy'. Imagine if Edgar had been given the opportunity to play more than 280 PAs before he was in his age 27 season...
First number is the player's WARP3 from his age 27 season through retirement. The second number is his career WARP3.
WARP3 / WARP3 / PLAYER
27-on / TOTAL / NAME
----- - ----- - ---------------
79.1 / 119.4 - Rickey Henderson
78.6 / 84.6 - Wade Boggs
75.7 / 90.0 - Ozzie Smith
69.1 / 68.9 - Edgar Martinez
58.0 / 104.3 - Cal Ripken, jr
55.9 / 78.5 - Tony Gwynn
52.9 / 65.9 - Carlton Fisk
52.5 / 75.7 - Paul Molitor
50.3 / 78.2 - George Brett
49.3 / 59.0 - Tony Perez
46.6 / 69.1 - Ryne Sandberg
46.2 / 72.7 - Eddie Murray
43.6 / 62.6 - Dave Winfield
35.4 / 43.4 - Kirby Puckett
34.2 / 68.5 - Robin Yount
34.1 / 61.6 - Joe Gordon
18.1 / 48.6 - Bill Mazeroski
17.8 / 34.2 - Jim Rice
16.5 / 51.3 - Orlando Cepeda
... and, if you're still reading this thread, please hit the '+' or '-' sign, below... much appreciated!
Apparently 'clutch' goes in and out of vogue, but 'grit' is always in style.
Well, I like him. Where you read cliches, I read "genuine good kid trying to make it in baseball."
Does a list exist for the highest WARP3 totals for players from their age-27 season til retirement? Is it easy to create one? Would be interesting in context of Edgar's HoF candidacy... I'm not guessing he's at the top, but I bet he's keeping respectable company.
I can't reply to BillJohnson for some reason, but I've got my provisional ballot below.
New guys on the ballot:
Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin
Bert Blyleven, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell
Maybe, worth further consideration:
Edgar Martinez (too short a career, not his fault)
Fred McGriff (young phenom who hung around a long long tie... memorable Berman-nickname, too)
Very intriguing to compare these two. A slow day back at the office this post-Thanksgiving let's me share a little bit o' research...
As most of you probably know, due to managerial/GM discretion, Edgar didn't get his MLB start until he was already at/near his 'peak' age. Through his age-26 season, he had only accumulated 280 total MLB PAs.
Here's a comparison of their 'shared player-age seasons'. I've also thrown in two mystery players to make it seem like this trivial investigation is more important than it really is... or to let you draw some more contextual conclusions. You choose.
Age / Edgar / Manny / Plyr C / Plyr D
<27 / -0.2 / 18.9 / 16.4 / 39.0
>37 / 12.5 / ---- / 00.0 / 07.7
Shared player-age seasons:
@27 / 3.2 / 7.6 / 1.2 / 7.8
@28 / 4.8 / 4.4 / 1.9 / 6.8
@29 / 7.6 / 5.2 / 1.8 / 7.6
@30 / 0.0 / 5.8 / 3.5 / 3.4
@31 / 2.9 / 4.5 / 3.6 / 2.5
@32 / 8.6 / 3.8 / 2.0 / 5.8
@33 / 6.2 / 4.4 / 5.1 / -.1
@34 / 6.6 / 4.1 / -.6 / 2.1
@35 / 6.0 / 2.0 / 0.4 / 4.6
@36 / 4.7 / 8.0 / -.9 / 2.5
@37 / 6.0 / 4.4 / --- / 0.6
11-year TOT**/ 56.6 / 54.2 / 18.0 / 45.2
<27 + >37 TOT/ 12.3 / 18.9 / 16.4 / 46.7
Comparing Edgar and Manny in their player-age seasons of 27 through 37, Edgar would appear to have enjoyed a higher level of play when actually playing. He had six seasons at/above 6.0 WARP3, to Manny's two. Edgar edged Manny in seven of their shared 'player-age' seasons. I think we can all agree that he enjoyed a very nice late-career. I'm disappointed that he wasn't brought up, and kept up, a couple or three seasons sooner.
However, even ignoring his late start, Edgar had two other shortened and ineffective seasons in his already-short career. His candidacy to the HoF definitely suffers from the lack of MLB playing time as a youngster. I'm sure Mr. Jaffe will enlighten us on exactly how far his career stats fall below the "JAWS standards." I love that analysis each year, and this year is no exception.
In comparison to Edgar, Manny's candidacy relies on his early career to demonstrate that he's more Hall-worthy. And his early career is certainly beneficial to that cause. His Age 23-26 seasons have WARP3s of 4.4, 4.6, 4.4, and 4.3. Not too shabby, though they are slightly below his career average. Therefore, they don't help his low peak score compared to Edgar, but make a much stronger case for his career accomplishments.
I know a lot of people who put more weight on the counting stats than the rate stats when it comes to the HoF, so Manny's consistency over the years plays very well to that audience.
Mystery player C is an awful statistical foil for comparison to Hall-worthiness. I admit his stats are sure to make otherwise-borderline candidates look exceptional. Even so, I chose to include him, since, well, the writers thought he was worthy - please welcome, Mr. Jim Rice. I loved watching him, but he is not one who I thought was worthy for enshrinement.
Player D raked has a youngster. What a phenom! Later in his career, however, he was not nearly as dominating as in his youth. His career is a big neon warning sign for long term contracts. Please give a hearty welcome to Mr. Frank Thomas! I included him in the comparison because his late-career decline demonstrates just how impressive Edgar's performance was, and it also shines a spotlight on Manny's health and amazing consistency for his age.
Please draw your own conclusions...
Now that you mention it, the Free Agent market the past few years has shown a passing resemblance to Global Thermonuclear War.
I agree completely with including tier levels, but numeric ranking is still important.
I would suggest that you include more direct reference to players at their secondary positions, particularly if they have equal or more value there.
For instance, last season if you felt that Miguel Cabrera equally valuable for fantasy at 3B as 1B, then I think he should be mentioned in that discussion of the 3B players. If you felt that Miggy would be a five-star player at 3B, then you can just list him at the end of the five-star players to indicate he's eligible at the position. Same for Youkilis. You could leave these secondary position playes out of the numeric rankings for the 'purity' of the position ranks, and leave a complete discussion on them under their primary positions.
That's really interesting. My league is all about non-standard metrics like OBP instead of AVG. We also use Total Bases instead of HR, so seeing the SLG is relevant to me. There are very few sources to find rankings that include OBP and SLG, so that's a plus for BP.
I would recommend including traditional stats for ranking, and then in using the commentary to adjust a player if they are particularly influenced by high or low walk rates, doubles vs. HRs, etc.
I went to the opening night game of the Brooklyn Cyclones June 25, 2001. I seem to recall a lot of infield miscues.
The game was won in the 10th inning on a sacrifice fly by Mike Jacobs.
Games Started, IP, WHIP, K/9, and WARP3 in Haren's favor vs. Carpenter. These are relevant metrics. They made the difference to Will between third place and fourth. Maybe his vote would have been different if he'd been told he had a vote for NL Cy Young a month ahead of time, but he did submit a reasonable ballot.
Wow. Will put together a reasonable ballot, as did Keith. Controversy ensues. I wish I could go back to my IBA voting and see what order I put them in. I *think* I had Lincecum, Wainwright, Carpenter as my top picks, but somehow I remember putting Vasquez on my ballot, too. Pretty sure I left off Haren.
Anyway, thanks Will and Christina for having the courage of your conviction and explaining your official votes to your readers. I'm sure you expected us to dissect your processes. Thanks again.
Check out the writeup on the back of his baseball card from '34.
He hit .260 and yet he is named the best leadoff hitter in the American League.
So the twinkies may finally see some return on their Santana trade!
"The owner who brings a team to the non-baseball market and struggles at first should probably get more leeway than an owner in a good baseball city who flounders around for no good reason. Not that I have any idea how to do that systematically, mind you."
"and as you said, could man third base at an adequate level... so he gets flipped for a less expensive utility player like Getz and a dead bat in Fields."
Fixed that for you, Richard!
Said another way, it's a salary dump. To the Royals, Teahan isn't going to be worth his arb salary. It's not moving the team forward, which is disappointing, but it's not eating up their resources for a utility player, either.
Since it didn't actually score the winning run, it can't be directly responsible for the result of the game. However, I give some credence to the possibility that this play broke Lidge's already-shaky psyche.
It is fascinating. What an unusual play.
However, if we look at a more commonplace stolen base circumstance, wouldn't a shortstop also end up on the 1st base side of the bag as the play ends? He won't catch (m)any runners if his glove is over on the third base side, after all. And his momentum would seem to take him that way as he comes out of his tag, if his body wasn't already over there.
In watching the replays, what I find unusual (and perhaps equally damning) is that Feliz didn't even attempt a tag. If he had at least been attempting a tag, then he would have kept closer to Damon than he actually did, or at least redivert some of his momentum, and he would have been watching Damon more closely before he started to run for third.
This is what I get for heading for bed when they brought in Lidge. I mean, I expected the game to end in that top half of the inning, but I didn't expect to miss such an unusual play.
... and that's assuming that the downside of the sac bunt is just an out, rather than the possibility of a double-play, which still might have happened on a badly placed ball.
There are many outcomes possible when Jeter stepped to the plate. I agree that win expectancy is the way to analyze the situation. I like that website... very nice.
With that, here are the win expectancies from some of the common possible occurrances we might expect:
As he steps to the plate: 94.7% win expectancy
Double play, man on 3rd: 91.7%
Jeter out, runners stay put: 93.5%
Sac bunt, man on 2nd & 3rd: 95.3%
Single, +1 run, man on 1st & 2nd: 97.3%
Single, +1 run, man on 1st & 3rd: 99.2%
Double, + 2 runs: 99.4%
So Girardi played for a best case increase in his win expectancy of about 0.6%, with a downside risk of 1.2%.
With Jeter swinging away, he would have an upside of 4.7%, with a downside risk of 3%.
Hey, batter batter batter!
"If your position is "maybe they know something we don't and they're not telling us," you can justify all manner of idiocy."
Is that referring to baseball or invading foreign countries?
Just to be clear, I think you're saying that the restrictions on a player's ability to negotiate their salary in a free market early in his career transfers that wealth to Owners. That's why we see a smaller percentage of baseball's 'revenue' going to players. It is apparently very effective.
However, if Owners were to add a "salary cap" on top of the restrictions already in place, then even more wealth would be transferred to Owners...
Exactly. Much better for the Dodgers than the inaction that took place...
I think the better move would have been against Martin, as others have noted. It's not perfect, but you only need one perfect swing in that situation. Thome was the guy to provide that swing.
Thome hit .209/.314/.429/.743 in 105 PAs vs. lefties this season. 5 HRs. Not great, but he can still do some damage. And, he forces Manuel to make the pitching change.
Martin, in contrast, hit .243/.335/.325/.660 in 462 PAs vs. righties this season. 6 HRs.
Thome's faced Eyre 11 times, and walked 4. Hitless in the rest of the PAs, with 3Ks.
Still, the best move in this situation. If he hits for Martin, and Manuel brings in Eyre, he's still got Blake up next against Eyre instead of Madson.
Q - Joe, is it an inactive manager? My thought was "Earl Weaver doesn't make that mistake."
As an aside, this has actually bothered me for a while. I thought the foot was supposed to stay on the rubber until the ball left the hand. You don't need slow-mo replays to see that it isn't the case with all deliveries.
Am I incorrect in my understanding of the rule?
Nice work, Matt. Definitely useful alongside PADE. If given the choice, I think I like the idea in the comments above regarding a slightly modified version of this, to create a Park-adjusted ISOBIP statistic as PADE's complement.
For what my opinion is worth.
What question(s) would you attempt to answer with that data?
Answer #1: Baseball is a business. While winning is good for business, the playoffs are best for business.
So, the question is simple: what's our best path to the playoffs? And, since its a business, what are our payroll limitations to get us there?
Then, evaluate and re-value the talent that we have in our system. Start with the status quo - if we do nothing over the off-season, how many games are we likely to win, and how many will our division rivals win? Is it worth a shot to play for 2010 post-season, or are we better off retooling for 2011 or 2012?
In either of the above cases, what holes do we have to fill? Are we limited to free agents to fill the pieces, or do we have any extra depth on the roster or in the minors that would allow us to fill holes internally and through trades?
Answer #2: Adam Dunn.
Eric, this is fascinating regardless of the results of the ANOVA. Great job!
As a suggestion, it would be very useful to this fantasy player to see how your findings compare to what PECOTA foresees for 2010, for all the pitchers who you'd red-flag based on the PW% and PWO% filter you've identified.
Yes, exactly what I thought I said. I'll restate:
The Texas circumstance is different than Atlanta's because it is not something that could reasonably have been predicted in the pre-season. However, in retrospect, having Dunn's performance on their side of the ledger would have made a huge difference in the standings. They could be leading their division and/or the wildcard. Let's just call it a "what if..." observation.
The Atlanta situation, however, was more predictable.
Nice article, as usual, Joe.
I realize it's out of the realm of this exercise, and I don't think many people expected their 1B situation to have been quite this bad... but it is also of some interest to note the circumstances at Texas. Had they signed Dunn to play 1B, or even DH, this move would have had similarly changed the wildcard race in the AL. A quick glance shows approximately 60 VORP improvement for Dunn over the Texan 1Bs (though Dunn's value would change at 1B, as you note).
KG, great article. Pretty clear thesis here: for a successful MLB pitcher, velocity = life. Everything afterwards is secondary. Where exceptions exist, they are exceptions.
However, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the concerns that your readers are raising regarding semantics of "above average."
If scouts consider a 50 rating on a fastball to be "average," and they grade a 89 MPH fastball as a 50, then its time to slide that scale. It may have been the case at some point in the past that a 89MPH fastball was 'average' for a major leaguer. However, your study demonstrates very clearly and conclusively that this is no longer the case. If you're not sitting at 92 with your fastball, then you're 'below average' at the major league level.
That is also an important conclusion to draw.
Keith Hernandez was the bozo on the Mets broadcast last night deriding the new helmet. Wearing it is one of the smartest moves Wright has made in his career, and he's made plenty of smart moves. Good going, David! Be sure to bring Keith a bottle of Hair Color for Men next time you see him.
It didn't look ridiculous to me on the Mets broadcast... I'm not sure what a "screencap" is.
Yes, I do. Did. You mean the teams are losing all these millions of dollars on time lost to the DL and they carry no insurance on any of these contracts?
FYI, Mets broadcast showing David Wright with the new helmet. One broadcaster, "You could never get me to wear one of these things." Wright hits a sharp single on the first pitch he sees.
A friend of mine had a bike accident as a kid (in the 70s) in which he hit his head and had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Shortly thereafter, he began having epileptic seizures, and they have followed him throughout his life. A strict regimen of the most advanced medicines, dietary adjustments, and regular sleep routines have kept him seizure-free for the past five years. State law has allowed him to recently get his driver's license back.
Helmets good, even for recreational sports.
FoxSports article on the new helmet, and it is apparently mandated in the minors next year:
Let's hope nobody has to die for better helmets to be mandated.
Are you familiar with the 'grandfathering' that the NHL used in their introduction/requirement for helmets a few years ago? Perhaps the MLB would consider mandating safer helmets with a similar approach.
Mandate them now in the minor leagues. And, any player who has not appeared on a 40-man roster as of **/**/** will be required to wear the safer helmets going forward. Players who have appeared on a 40-man roster will be allowed to choose the older helmet designs, and simply need to sign a waiver.
You can be sure that the teams' insurance companies also would have an opinion about them...
Well, you see, back in McCarver's day, this well-known asiom was absolutely true. Without exception. No catcher ever hit for high average. Ever.
But today, these catchers have the benefits of better training and equipment that allow them to overcome the beating that they take back there. These young high-average catcher whippersnappers don't know how good they got it.
There's nothing selfish about wanting to transform the Fox baseball telecast into one that is more informative to its audience, Ken.
Kudos to you and BP for getting this interview with Pete. Every baseball fan website and blog from informed fans should link to this interview.
If Pete is truly amenable to new stats, I'd be happy to have a "beer summit" with him at the nearest ESPN bar to explain the value of an out and importance of OBP (e.g. not making an out).
Actually, I think you have it backwards. The producer picks his on-air talent. Macheska is a self-professed "old school" baseball guy, and he picks his announcers.
His own Pujols/Reyes/OBP example shows that he does not understand the value of an out. And hence, he has selected baseball announcers with a similar level of understanding: Outs are going to happen no matter what... but stealing a base - that's talent! Not just anybody can steal a base.
If, somehow, Macheska had selected an announcer who understood and appreciated the advanced stats we know and love, he still would not put up advanced stats on the screen, because he simply doesn't understand how they explain the game better than the ones he does understand.
Ken, great interview.
Couldn't agree more. However, you should also note that the producer puts the guy in front of the camera.
At first I felt that way, but then I got it. Ken is giving us his thought process as he hears the answer he's getting, and that forms the framework for his followup question. I liked this format just fine.
Was wondering the same thing. Righty/lefty tandem pitching, with slightly different styles of pitchers to boot. Could be worth a look.
Ah ha! I interpreted "this game" to mean "the game of major league baseball." That's why I added a short list of prospects, too.
Guess I got lucky that I missed Counsell on my first answer. I'll shut up now and cut my losses.
Love this daily feature, KG!
I was wondering the same thing as drmboat... I'd settle for just age without having to click through (and especially when there's no click-through because he hasn't made it into BP's player list yet).
For example, Adam Milligan killing the Sally League, but he went to junior college and was drafted in 2008. That would make him, um... how old? 20? 21? That would be very informative, too.
Just a suggestion if it's not too hard to add to your already full workload.
For further extra Seid-points, should they be in abundance at the end of the quarter:
Missed him. That makes four. Guess you get the extra Seid-points.
Jay Bruce wants to remind you that visiting players are not immune, either.
I was at that game and though I haven't seen any replays, it didn't look pretty from where I was sitting either.
Joe, great article. Again.
Finances 101. They say it on every TV commercial for mutual fund companies, etc. Past performance is not a guarantee of future success:
Notre Dame grads:
Extra Seid-credit for:
Adam Jones and George Sherill?
Brett pine tar.
As you know from my reaction to Ken's unfiltered post during the competition, I think this is a phenomenal idea.
BP has plenty of front-office contacts these days. It might be worth sending out a discrete email to these buds and see if they can hook you up with a producer for their local teams and/or national networks. Perhaps BP could even get mentioned in the credits for creating some of these 'advanced' stat lines for their use before each game...
player Avg/ OBP/ SLG/ HR/ RBI
McUpton .300/.400/.500/ 19/ 87
Is this too much to ask? I mean, really? Tells us so much more about the player without getting too 'advanced.'
Understanding OPS, VORP, and WARP requires a paradigm shift within the public mindset about what's important to scoring/preventing runs, and therefore winning.
I remember sitting at a game with a friend of mine about seven years ago, when explained OPS to me. In less than thirty seconds, my understanding of baseball was forever changed. A few weeks ago, I went to a game at Citi Field and overheard two guys behind me having the exact same conversation. OPS is shown on the Citi scoreboard along with the traditional stats, so I expect that conversation has taken place many times in those seats.
I think we have passed the tipping point. AVG/HR/RBI may always be the triple crown stats, but OBP/SLG/OPS is going to be understood as the more important slash-stats to winning. There is already a substantial minority of baseball fans who have been exposed to these ideas through Rob Neyer and others, including all the contributors to BP.
When I saw the headline about the perfecto this morning, my thought process went something like this:
1) Wow. Followed a half-moment later by:
2) What lineup was he up against?
It is human nature to try to explain things.
On their very best days of their careers, most hall of fame pitchers won't throw a perfect game (evidenced by how rare they are vs. the number of pitchers in the HOF).
Therefore, it's natural to ask what circumstances help explain why *this* pitcher accomplished *this* feat on *this* night - i.e. what breaks went in Buehrle's favor last night? The lineup he was facing *could* be at the top of the list, as well as their attitude.
Don't tear down Joe for admitting he's human.
People are going to get dinged for posting blatantly misguided and misinformed posts. Even if they're trolling us.
Thank you, sir, may we have another?
I had the same first-read, but I understood the intent on a double-take. Could definitely have been written more clearly.
Matt, nice to see you on the BP roster!
Kevin, I'm a bit confused by this comment:
"Said one exec, "Look, Bobby Abreu can't find a job and then signs for $5 million. While 16-year-old are getting signed off sandlots in the Dominican for $3 and $4 million? That's the kind of thing that's going to get the union going," he added, while predicting than during the next bargaining session, once the players figure out what they want, them giving into financially harnessing the signing system for both draftees and international players will be what they use for leverage."
Isn't that $5mil for one year of Abreu, whereas any Dominican signing is going to be valid for all of the team-controlled years of the subsequent contract? I don't understand how these two are being unfavorably compared... I'm sure I'm missing something obvious. Can somebody expand on that for me?
So, Joe, could you please explain why you were right about this prediction?
The topic choice appeals to me as much as any other baseball topic would. Baseball is a business, and growing the market has a significant impact on operations.
To those in the Indians front office who may be reading, thanks for allowing Tim to share this information!
Brian, with both breadth and depth, the research topics you've published during this competition have been tremendous!
Back in the early parts of the competition I offered some advice about using an introduction to frame your reader's attention on the topic. Since then, you've caught my attention in your introduction every time, and I think that's been a big improvement for 'readability'.
My next suggestion is that perhaps you can find a way to offer little mini-summaries and/or transitions with the same 'story-telling' perspective as you've been using in your introductions. And then, I think it would also help to get a bit of a summary at the end, leaving us with a solid and simple take-away from the article, in addition to the "more research" topics.
This would sort of follow the old maxim from Communications 101 - a) tell your audience what you're going to tell them, b) tell them, and c) tell them what you've told them.
In your follow-up post, above, you say "Going forward I am going to focus on using this as a tool to study batters and pitchers as they are, using str% and con% instead of bb% and so%, to see if is a more accurate way to project minor leaguers." That right there is the critical piece of the story that you introduced us to in the first paragraph, but I forgot about it as I was reading along the way. It would be great to remind me why this is important as I'm reading it.
I don't know if this is a problem with your writing as much as it is my own reading comprehension in this internet format. That's one of the reasons that I'd love to see your work in printed format, so I can take notes in the margins and use a highlighter as I read through it.
At any rate, as I've been saying the past few weeks, I think your research is tremendous, and I hope BP has a spot for you, whether or not you win the competition! Good luck!
Even before I'd considered the 'tourist' route on growing revenue, one of the 'mall' spots that I thought about was Easton Town Center in Columbus. And I was thinking that before considering that they have their AAA team nearby. http://www.eastontowncenter.com/
I know that Easton considers itself a 'destination mall' and gets a significant draw of weekend population of central Ohio from over 250 miles around. Church groups send tour buses, etc. So, once you leave the immediate Cleveland area, a location like this might work.
Yes, those are the exact questions I think could be considered.
It looks to me like the Indians have focused their demographics research from within their existing fan base, for tickets and memorabilia similar to your own (quite amusing) list in paragraph 2. And you're evaluating the impact of these local stores vs. the availability of an internet store, and whether the sales of one canibalize the other, or are they actually growing the brand.
I guess I'm asking whether there is potential for an untapped market - tourists - to help augment a store location. Find locations that can 'double-dip' by offering a convenient location for their local fan base as well as walk-by traffic from the tourist industry.
If my sister were visiting Cleveland with her kids, and my nephew walked past a team store near the RnR HoF, he would absolutely want an official Indians snow globe even though he's not necessarily an Indians fan. I noticed you don't have a snow globe in your collection, so I'm guessing they don't sell them - however, you get my point. The RnR HoF has hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, and the Indians aren't tapping that potential customer base with a store located in a mall.
Great article as usual, Tim.
This makes me wonder about locating stores in tourist locations vs. local shopping areas. If I remember correctly, the Mets have a store on 42nd Street just a long-block away from Times Square. The Yankees have a store on Fifth Avenue two blocks north of the Empire State Building.
Do other teams have opportunities like that, and would they have the broad-based appeal to spur sales to out-of-towners at these locations, like near the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for Cleveland?
And here I thought you were suggesting that Ken outdid himself.
I would love to see Howard come in to face a RHP only to have Maddon bring in a lefty.
Maybe he shoulda hit the 'send' button prior to getting into batter handedness. So think of it as one Unfiltered post, with a followup. It's still concise and demonstrates that swinging has no effect on protecting a runner trying a straight steal. Well done.
Good god, this guy needs to be working at Fox as well as BP.
C- Here's your Idol topic for Finals Week... what options do the Braves have to win the division this year and position themselves for contention through 2012? Discuss.
You see, in my job, my boss needs me at the top of my game at the exact moment when my set of skills are needed most. I've got my own projects to deal with, and I pitch in on others' at no notice whatsoever. Whenever that may be. A phone call from a client at 6, and I could be on a plane to Palm Beach at 8 with nothing more than a notebook and the knowledge of my field that I've got wrapped up in my little head.
So, I want to know why a team's top relievers can't handle the same attitude with their minds and arms. The bullpen phone rings, you warm up and shut down the other team's offense. That's the skill, whenever that phone rings. It's in their arms and their knowledge of how to toss to their catcher, and has nothing to do with the inning.
Was it LaRussa with Oakland who changed the way managers approached this?
Excellent article, Joe. Maybe ya'll can expand this a bit for the next annual?
Good luck on your dissertation, Richard!
And interesting but tangential point. A few years ago I bought my father-in-law a copy of Moneyball, because he's a big baseball fan, too. He's also been educating children for many years. Upon finishing the book, he told me that it makes him wonder if they're using the right metrics in evaluating student performance. Are there better metrics that just aren't being used and/or uncovered yet for evaluating students and helping them to learn material? An interesting thought... there are inefficiencies everywhere.
Didn't realize it was the same umpire. Maybe the Human Resources department needs to review his file.
Would be very interesting to see a pitch f/x study on umpire calls. Do teams already do this in order to prep players on umpire tendencies?
I'm not surprised that some readers are upset by the turn of events this week. Somebody's going to get booted off each week, and I forsee that many somebodies will be disappointed by the results. Especially now that we've gotten to 'know' each of the contestants over the past few weeks.
The final 4 contestants have been my top 4 since the beginning. Though Brian O. was not in my top 5 to begin, he improved every week and I was very happy to see him get as far as he did. I strongly believe that all 5 would be valuable contributors to BP and help grow the franchise (if not necessarily on the radio). I sincerely hope that Kevin can find a way to keep all of them in the family, as it were.
And if BP does not find a place for Matt, I'm sure that he's going to make some valuable contributions elsewhere. Congratulations, Matt on getting this far, and good luck! I hope to read more from you here very soon.
right... that would make your BP Premium subscribers vastly outnumbered by the potential podcast listeners out there. Or, we're a small minority.
Yes, big thanks to Mike Ferrin for doing four interviews in our contest. (Am I allowed to be possessive of this contest?) I'm choosing not to vote, because I have neither the time nor inclination to download audio files and pass judgement on this format.
If Will tells us that most subscribers do so, then I'll let their votes do the counting.
I still say, sign 'em all up!
Well said. I'm in exactly the same camp.
I have downloaded exactly zero audio clips from BP.
I have listened to exactly zero minutes of Mike Ferrin's XM radio show.
I have exactly zero confidence in my qualifications to vote on this week's topic. I will vote for none, but wish all well.
Thanks to Richard for taking on the transcription of these interviews!
Suggestion for future BP Idol topic:
An analysis of the equipment in the game. Possible topics would include:
an historical review of players' or umpires' protective gear;
analysis of bats / balls / gloves / mitts / hats / cleats;
training and medical facilities/techniques;
Brian O., congratulations on getting through the half-way point in the contest. Hoping to see more of your work out there. All the best!
We're half way through the competition. And, on the assumption that I'm not going to influence (m)any of this week's votes in the next 20 minutes or so, I offer a few of my own thoughts on the remaining five contestants. This is not a review of this week's articles, just a general look at the players still in the hunt, in alphabetical order, and what I think they'll bring to BP.
Brian Cartwright thinks big, with the analytic skills and baseball mind to match. Though I feel that the nature of weekly deadlines is not playing to his strengths, I also feel his submissions are getting stronger as he adapts to the quick turnaround on the assignments.
Ken Funck owns the "entertainment" and "enjoyment" aspects of the competition. He has the creative writing skills to make a living as a freelancer in a field other than baseball, were he so inclined. I'm happy he's chosen to write about baseball for the time being, and for sharing with us his joy of the game.
Tim Kniker has written polished and professional entries on a consistent basis, with the statistical facilities to bring new insights to the game. Fellow BP readers, dig in and enjoy.
Brian Oakchunas has the "everyday baseball fan" ethos, including an affinity for 'fantasy' storylines. His blog-style writing is comfortable and accessible for most of today's readers.
Matt Swartz showcases strong sabermetric and statistical capabilities. He's got the economics background for front office evaluations, and a phastastic writing voice.
Jeremy Greenhouse. Who, you ask? He's the finalist who gained entry with an analysis of Derek Holland, but had to withdraw before the competition had even begun. I wish him well and hope he's succeeding with the opportunity that stole him away from our competition!
Dave, since you reprinted my "sign 'em up" comment last week, you already know that I enjoy reading the submissions of all five of the remaining contestants. Even though I think this week was not their collective best effort, I'd like to repeat my advice. Sign 'em up!
These guys are good.
But more specifically, what I mean to say is, "Keep stringing these fellas along on this whole "Idol" gig, because I really like this format more than I ever thought I would have. But, please, after the dust settles, get all of them on the BP roster."
No comments for the authors from me this week, except, "Good luck!"
I looked around, and Will reported the same thing but I'd missed it. Thanks for the recap, or I might not have realised it at all. Have a great weekend!
I've always liked the "soft liner" play-by-play description. "So-and-so hits a soft liner to left that drops in for a single." I think that differs from a blooper by not so much, but a world of difference in how the listener may perceive the hitter afterwards.
"Shields is out for the year..." Really? 15 day DL but he's done? Why am I always the last to know these things?
Hmm... I found it a very easy read and intuitive to follow.
Yes, I am intrigued by that 3-2-3 double play - a very interesting fact that you uncovered, and it probably would have served you better to play it up more significantly in the opening paragraphs.
Rather than open by a discussion of sabermetrics and numbers vs. enjoying the game, perhaps start us off with the oft repeated cliche that pitching and defense wins championships. You can even toss in the recent evaluations of the re-emergence of the value of defense in building winning ballclubs, like the White Sox a few years ago, or last year's Rays. And then you drop the bomb shell on us - because you're going to tell us the story of *the most important defensive play in the history of the world series*.
I'm not suggesting that the topic isn't appropriate, just that I feel you could have found a better way to engage me in it. As Goldman said, history is a story. Pretend you're Mark Twain for a few minutes and you can really make this defensive play into amazing a story.
I disagree. The Ruth piece relates to modern ball by evaluating his pitching in comparison to other eras, including modern times, by analyzing the Davenport Translations in a new and creative way.
My post above collected a "-2" rating in just a couple hours. Looks like the "connect history to the present" idea has really struck a nerve. Or, Matt has a loyal following who will negatively rate posts that are critical of him.
Why am I unsurprised to find so many catchers on this list? Once again a nice article. Thumbs up!
Each week your submissions are stronger and stronger.
As a sim-baseball player, I find Ruth to be over-valued as a pitcher, generally. Definitely better options to choose from in his peers, as you point out.
Question for you, however, about one of the details of the translations from the deadball era in regards to home runs allowed. Since HR/9 is a key component of your analysis, and correctly so, understanding how the DT handles HRs seems to be critical, including park factors. Do the DTs take into account the park effects for the pitchers HR rate? If so, how?
More specifically, in his best season (1916), Ruth allowed zero home runs over 323 innings, with theoretically half these games at Fenway. Yet the DT for that season has him projected for 22 HRs over 274 innings. Why?
At any rate, the fact that I want to know more about the details of the analysis means I'm giving you another thumbs up.
I share Goldman's perspective. History does not exist in a vacuum. If history can't be readily applied to life today, then it's probably an obituary and not much more. People can make a living writing obituaries, but I don't suscribe to BP to read them.
Setting that criticism aside, this is still not my favorite article from Matt. This is the first article on my randomization this week, so I don't know how it compares to the others yet.
My biggest problem on readability is that I got confused by the basic construct of the WE and CE always being from the Twins' perspective. When writing about good plays by the Braves, I expected an increase in the WE and CE that immediately followed in parentheses. That disconnect made me stop reading the article and start scanning around trying to understand what was going on. Eventually, I jumped to the end and found the explanation in the comments.
The competition is getting tighter, and that was Not a Good Sign (NGS), and not a thumbs up on the first reading. This is the first week that Matt stumbles, so maybe a thumbs up will be forthcoming based on previous performance... we'll see when I'm done reading the rest of the articles.
I get the feeling that breaking out the players by decade was due to the "history" nature of this week's topic. Was that part of your thinking, Ken?
BP, another vote to get all seven of these guys on staff. Sign 'em up!
Could be an interesting submission down the line.
Along with Inge, there are a few other part-time catchers and part-time other-fielders in the big leagues right now... Doumit comes to mind. Napoli mentioned above. Is there enough data to include Sandoval?
I was merely curious if Inge's increased rate this year could be part of a league-wide effect. I heard HRs were up this year...
Would late-inning rain delays at Yankee Stadium count as a guilty pleasure? I've been to a few, and it seems like there's always someone drunk enough and bored enough to leap the fence and get pummelled by security.
During one such delay, a streaker put the moves on the first security guys to reach him, sending them sliding through the wet outfield grass. Then he outran them all the way back across the field, where he climbed the wall. The guards got him before he could get both feet over, and boy those guards were pissed!
This is an interesting choice for an article mostly due to the age discrepency. Other than that, this is a reasonable retrospective on his career, and a bleak outlook for what's up next.
There's a steep excarpment for the "peak, plateau, plummet" slugger model. Vlad's in plummet phase. But did anybody really doubt that? After a second reading, it's unclear what I've learned about him or other aging sluggers whose nagging injuries sap the end of their career.
Liked the subject choice and the analysis. Thumbs up from me.
A suggestion on the graph - use a graph format that supports the conclusion you want people to take away from it:
a) If you want to show how he varies pitch speed pitch to pitch, you picked the right graph. A line graph connecting each pitch to the next gives emphasis to all the ups and downs.
b) If you want people to see the declining pitch speed over the course of the game, a scatter plot that eliminates all the ups and downs of the line graph would serve you better.
If you had a way to distinguish fastballs from other pitches, that's better stilll. Was pitch number 95 a fastball at 86 MPH, or was that a slider?
And, adding in a line to show "average velocity" of that fastball over the course of the game would be even better.
Please take this as constructive criticism for this week's submission and beyond. Overall a fine piece of work.
What is the league average HR/FB rate over the same time period, including this season?
Mid-70's, the first Yankee game I ever attended. Everybody started spontaneously booing one of the Yankees as he approached the plate. My friend's dad is trying to explain to me that the player's name was Lou, but I couldn't hear him over the noise of the crowd. It wasn't until after the game driving home that I finally understood that they were calling his name, not booing him.
Jeez, thinking about memories of my dad and baseball, just a couple days before Father's Day. Getting misty eyed.
Got a few favorite moments at games, but my most memorable wasn't at a game - I was living overseas as a 1st grader, some night in May. My dad came home with a whole stack of sports sections of the "Stars and Stripes" (newspaper of the U.S. Army). I read through every recap and box score of every game for every team that had been played up to that point in the season. Best opening day ever.
Most wacky moment I've seen in person was in Fenway with my dad. Fred Lynn at Fenway making a full steam run straight in towards the plate for a liner dropping in front of him. He made a shoestring catch while making a full somersault. Batter was called out after some hesitation by the ump, but we found out from my grandfather who was watching at home that he didn't actually make the play, which you could only tell on replay.
Also wacky: Clemens catching the broken shaft of Piazza's bat and throwing it back at him running up the first base line.
Adding the (# new comments) feature to the main Idol page is wonderful! Thank you, BP!
... and the Brooklyn Cyclones are located along the boardwalk in Coney Island, in part, because the NYC gov't wanted to use the attraction of baseball to help revitalize that classic neighborhood from its downward spiral. Not sure that it succeeded, but the attendance at games has beaten all expectations - they had to add rightfield bleachers to add capacity before they even played their first game.
Barring a surprise vote this week, I see three tiers setting up right now, and it's pretty tight from #3 to #5. I have no problem with Ken being ranked #3, as I like Ken's submissions quite a bit, and I'd love for BP to publish his articles whether or not he wins this competition.
Nevertheless, I'd guess that he's coming in at #5 in the voting this week, behind both Brian C. and Matthew. If Tyler and Brian O. can take it to another level next week, Ken could be in danger of getting voted off.
couldn't agree more.
My high school english teacher said it best. "A paper should be like a woman's skirt. Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep it interesting."
Will, don't be annoyed. You're right, BP is more than stats. It's about substance.
My take on BP, as a very general mission statement, is that "BP will provide its readers with useful baseball information, and then support that information with substance and deliver it in an entertaining fashion."
That substance can be a) underlying metrics of success/failure (including traditional and non-traditional stats), and b) insider knowledge (including information from or interviews with scouts, medical staff, front office personnel that is not apparent at many other sites). And that substance is delivered with c) a flair and flavor that keeps it entertaining (Prospectus *Entertainment* Ventures).
Brittany has put a lot of effort into her submissions, and her submissions are weighted towards 'c' and a quite a bit weaker on 'a' and 'b.' In defense of people who complain about the 'lack of stats', I just think of it as 'wanting substance.' She makes more than a few unsupported statements, and without the support, they don't convince me that I've actually learned anything.
And, more frustratingly, the unsupported statements themselves aren't all that informative. There's just not much new, original, or thought provoking being offered in her submissions. Including this one. Here's an abstract for this submission:
"The Pirates haven't had a winning season for quite some time. In an effort to save money and build for the future, they have traded away a relief pitcher and their three starting outfielders in exchange for 11 younger prospects over the past year. This has opened up room on the MLB roster for their players in AAA. This submission will name the prospects they have received in trade, recap the AAA players who have moved up, and provide an overview of their recent performance. The article will provide the above without providing any context to judge whether the Pirates have positioned themselves for future success any better than they were a year ago."
I wish Brittany well in BP Idol and in the rest of her career. Hopefully she can take the information above and apply it to those future endeavors. I think she has the ability to craft an entertaining article, and with some effort and introspection, the rest can come.
Agree with the general list, but one exception. While I like Ken's humor, and appreciate his writing as much as you do, I get the feeling that he's not been running in the top 3 in the voting.
Brevity is overrated.
I found the whole submission to be funny, but the interview was probably the weakest segment. While I read it in the spirit of a Stephen Colbert sort of interview, poking fun at one's self as well as those being interviewed, it did fall a bit short. Baseball humor is hard.
Translation: another thumbs up, Ken, but it's going to get a lot tougher to stay in this competition next week...
Woot, there it is. Thank you!
Yeah, a little more of a transition might have helped there... or, perhaps, a topic for another article.
Matt, I think what you've identified is that you are more likely to get a 'slightly above replacement level MLB player' by drafting college players rather than high school players. By definition, that will not build a championship team. It's good to have these guys around to fill out your roster, but you really want a team of 'stars' to capture a pennant.
The question then, is will college vs. high school strategy be 'more successful' in that regard? If I remember correctly from Rany's research, he concluded that the first coupla picks were far more likely to have 'star success' (my term, not his), regardless of whether they were high school or college draftees. Every other consideration after the draft slot was not statistically significant. (That's my recollection, and I hope somebody will correct me if I'm off base).
If my recollection is correct, my suggested research would be whether you can identify 'star' potential through a high school/college correlation for the rest of the draftees, assuming you're not picking in the top coupla slots each year like the Rays. Example: if you've got the eleventeenth pick in the first round of the 2009 draft tomorrow, are you more likely to get a 'star' by drafting from high school, or from college? What about pitcher vs. position player? Anything else that might catch an emerging star to propel your club during the 2012-2015 seasons? If you can identify those characteristics, well... there's folks who would pay for that information.
Like others, I was immediately reminded of Rany's work. Without going back over Rany's series, I suspect that your research is not an exact duplicate. That said, it certainly could have informed some of the questions that you asked and researched. Perhaps there's a topic later in the contest that will allow you to revisit and expand on this...