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August 29, 2007 12:00 am

Future Shock: Positional Rankings--Center Field


Kevin Goldstein

The 2005 draft produced a bumper crop of flycatchers that dominate the upper echelon of center field prospects.

Like most years, the center field list is packed to the gills with athletes and high-ceiling players. Like most years, many of these players are center fielders for now, but won't be by the time they get to the big leagues. The 2005 draft has the potential to go down as one of the best ever for outfielders--even with Justin Upton and Cameron Maybin already in the majors--and the first three players on the center field list are first-round picks from that year. Another shows up two slots later, and a fifth makes the honorable mention list despite a disappointing year. The usual caveats apply--one has to be in the minors, one has to be technically a prospect (fewer than 130 big league at-bats), and 2007 draftees are not eligible, but will be discussed separately.

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October 12, 2006 12:00 am

Player Profile


Marc Normandin

The A's second-best hitter showed considerable improvement in his second full season in the majors.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

The Baseline forecast is also significant in that it attempts to remove luck from a forecast line. For example, a player who hit .310, but with a poor batting eye and unimpressive speed indicators, is probably not really a .310 hitter. Its more likely that hes a .290 hitter who had a few balls bounce his way, and the Baseline attempts to correct for this.

\nSimilarly, a pitcher with an unusually low EqHR9 rate, but a high flyball rate, is likely to have achieved the low EqHR9 partly as a result of luck. In addition, the Baseline corrects for large disparities between a pitchers ERA and his PERA, and an unusually high or low hit rate on balls in play, which are highly subject to luck. '; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_32 = 'Approximate number of batting outs made while playing this position.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_33 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats. In PECOTA, Batting Average is one of five primary production metrics used in identifying a hitters comparables. It is defined as H/AB. '; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_34 = 'Bases on Balls, or bases on balls allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_35 = 'Bases on balls allowed per 9 innings pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_36 = 'Batters faced pitching.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_37 = 'Balks. Not recorded 1876-1880.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_38 = 'Batting Runs Above Replacement. The number of runs better than a hitter with a .230 EQA and the same number of outs; EQR - 5 * OUT * .230^2.5.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_39 = 'Batting runs above a replacement at the same position. A replacement position player is one with an EQA equal to (230/260) times the average EqA for that position.'; xxxpxxxxx1160675573_40 = 'Breakout Rate is the percent chance that a hitters EqR/27 or a pitchers EqERA will improve by at least 20% relative to the weighted average of his EqR/27 in his three previous seasons of performance. High breakout rates are indicative of upside risk.

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Joe turns to JAWS and the Keltner Test to see if Jim Edmonds is a Hall of Famer.

What's your first reaction to that? A quiet nod? A horrified recoil? Something in between?

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October 11, 2000 12:00 am

Catching the Damn Ball


Gary Huckabay

Previous articles in this series:

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