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Articles Tagged SLG 

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07-10

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2

Baseball ProGUESTus: Does the Hit and Run Help?
by
Pete Palmer

09-12

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11

Prospectus Hit and Run: Opponent Quality and the AL Cy Young Race
by
Jay Jaffe

05-19

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11

Changing Speeds: Bounceback, Breakthrough, or Balderdash?
by
Ken Funck

04-06

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0

Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Catcher, Second Base, and Shortstop
by
Michael Jong

04-05

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Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: First Base, Third Base, and Designated Hitter
by
Michael Street

03-29

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7

Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: First Base, Third Base, and Designated Hitter
by
Michael Street

03-24

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9

Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
by
Rob McQuown

03-22

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18

Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: First Base, Third Base, and Designated Hitter
by
Michael Street

10-28

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15

Changing Speeds: Smoltz, SOMA, and the Series
by
Ken Funck

08-03

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46

Ahead in the Count: Runs Per Inning, and Why I Love the Long Ball
by
Matt Swartz

06-21

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36

Prospectus Idol Entry: The Little Big Man Awards
by
Ken Funck

08-07

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0

Wait 'Til Next Year: Minor League Leadoff Hitters, Ranked
by
Bryan Smith

07-10

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0

Prospectus Toolbox: Small Samples and All-Star Berths
by
Derek Jacques

05-05

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0

The Prince Is Dead
by
Jonah Keri

04-13

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: The Irreducible Essence of Platoon Splits
by
Dan Fox

03-29

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0

Future Shock: Spring Prospect Report, National League
by
Kevin Goldstein

03-28

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0

Future Shock: Spring Prospect Report, American League
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-27

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Prospectus Notebook: White Sox, Reds
by
Baseball Prospectus

05-05

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0

Crooked Numbers: Do Not Pass Go
by
James Click

02-24

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Crooked Numbers: More on the Lineup
by
James Click

01-31

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Prospectus Today: The Sabermetric Challenge
by
Joe Sheehan

01-17

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0

Prospectus Triple Play: Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Toronto Blue Jays
by
Baseball Prospectus

09-14

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0

Breaking Balls: Barry, Barry Good
by
Derek Zumsteg

08-18

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0

Doctoring The Numbers: Chasing Wes Ferrell
by
Rany Jazayerli

05-14

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Taking One for the Team
by
James Click

05-05

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Can Of Corn: Hidden Hitters, Continued
by
Dayn Perry

02-19

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Baseball Prospectus Basics: Measuring Offense
by
Dayn Perry

01-06

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The Class of 2004
by
Jay Jaffe

08-06

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Can Of Corn: Minor League Power, Part II
by
Dayn Perry

07-01

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Breaking Balls: Dissecting Melvin
by
Derek Zumsteg

06-18

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1

Prospectus Today: Pitcher Workloads
by
Joe Sheehan

02-21

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0

Japanese Baseball, Pt. 2
by
Clay Davenport

04-14

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Not-in-Book Players
by
Baseball Prospectus

02-23

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Two Point Four Five Million Dollars
by
Clay Davenport

08-06

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Thunder in the Nine Spot
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-01

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The Prospectus Projections Project
by
David Cameron and Greg Spira

09-15

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Prospectus Notes - National League
by
Dave Pease

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May 14, 2004 12:00 am

Taking One for the Team

0

James Click

Rather than look at the batters results in various sacrifice situations, well look at the resultant base/out situation. The reason for this is because the sacrifice is a play that both gives the defense a choice and places it under a great deal of stress. Trying to cut down the lead runner on a sacrifice is a high-risk, high-reward strategy and results in a variety of scoring decisions (errors, fielders choices, etc.) that dont map absolutely to the resultant base/out situation. Further, the results of a sacrifice can be thought of as falling into three categories: success, failure, and overachievement. Obviously, when sacrificing, the batter is attempting to concede himself for the advancement of the runner. In "success," the batter is out, but the runner advances. In "failure," the runner is out and the batter is safe at first. In "overachievement," the runner advances and the batter is safe. (There is also the possibility of "miserable failure"--a double play--and a few other rare ending states after errors, etc.) Looking at the data for 2003 in three baserunner situations, the data yield the following results: Situation Success Failure Overachievement Runner on first 61.7 23.5 14.8 Runner on second 60.4 21.2 18.4 Runners on first and second 59.3 25.7 15.0

Last time, we established several initial estimates for "thresholds" at which point sacrificing becomes a good idea, either increasing raw run scoring or increasing the probability of scoring at least one run. While these estimates are a much more accurate way to evaluate the strategy of sacrificing, they are lacking in several key areas.

First, BP's resident Royals nut, Rany Jazayerli, pointed out that I ignored one of Tony Pena's favorite sacrifice situations: runners on first and second and no outs. This situation is easily punched into the equations developed last time and, jumping straight ahead to the conclusions, this state--nicknamed Situation 4--falls somewhere in between Situations 2 (a runner on first and no outs) and Situation 3 (a runner on second and no outs). Here are the actual numbers:

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I posited that this might be the profile of the "Hidden Hitter"--one who, like Ordonez, wields the lumber with impunity in the majors despite an underwhelming record of performance coming up through the minors. This idea applies really only to power production, and the metrics I focused on were primarily SLG, ISO (Isolated Slugging Percentage, or SLG minus AVG) and XB% (extra-base hits expressed as a percentage of overall hits). To test this further, I picked the brains of my BP label mates to come up with a laundry list of hitters who meet this profile. By no means is this an exhaustive litany of said prototype, but it will provide a deeper look into whether the Hidden Hitter profile is worth our time.

1) Rates stats that are, at first blush, unspectacular.
2) In seasons of poor performance, less decline in peripheral power indicators than in other areas.
3) Superior record of performance in the high minors when compared to the low minors. In particular, peripheral power indicators, while perhaps not outrageous on a rate level, increase greatly in percentage terms.
4) Overall minor league numbers dragged down to middling levels because of weaker performances in the low minors.
5) Minor league numbers that can't otherwise be explained away by his being drastically younger than his peer group (e.g., Juan Gonzalez).



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Before delving into those harrowing inhabitants of the Baseball Prospectus statistics page like VORP, RARP, EqA or any other acronym that sounds like a debutante sneezing or something uttered on Castle Wolfenstein circa 1986, it's worth asking: What's wrong with those comfy traditional offensive measures like RBI, batting average and runs scored? This Baseball Prospectus Basics column is going to address that question and, ideally, demonstrate why the traditional cabal of offensive baseball statistics tell only a piece of the story. Later, someone smarter (but shockingly less handsome) than I will take you on a tour of the more advanced and instructive metrics like the aforementioned VORP, RARP and EqA. For now, though, we'll keep our focus on why we need those things in the first place.

This Baseball Prospectus Basics column is going to address that question and, ideally, demonstrate why the traditional cabal of offensive baseball statistics tell only a piece of the story. Later, someone smarter (but shockingly less handsome) than I will take you on a tour of the more advanced and instructive metrics like the aforementioned VORP, RARP and EqA. For now, though, we'll keep our focus on why we need those things in the first place.

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January 6, 2004 12:00 am

The Class of 2004

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Jay Jaffe

With the 2004 STATLG-L Hall of Fame balloting now in the books, and the results of the BBWAA voting slated to be released this afternoon, there are few topics more prominent in baseball fans' minds than "Which players will make it to Cooperstown in 2004?" And rightfully so. Enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame is the highest honor a former-player can receive, and most fans are protective of that: a fact that has spurned countless heated debates over the years--rational, objective, and otherwise. With that being said, I thought it would interesting to see what some of Baseball Prospectus' newly updated measures of player evaluation had to say on the topic. For the uninitiated, BP's Davenport Translated Player Cards measure a player's value above replacement level for offense, defense, and pitching while adjusting for context--park effects, level of offense, era, length of season, and in Clay's own words, "the distortions caused by not having to face your own team's defense." The Davenport Cards offer the most sophisticated statistical summaries available; if you can adjust for it, it's in there. The basic currencies of the Davenport system, whether it's offense, defense, or pitching, are runs and wins, more specifically, runs above replacement level and wins above replacement level.

With the 2004 STATLG-L Hall of Fame balloting now in the books, and the results of the BBWAA voting slated to be released this afternoon, few topics are more prominent in baseball fans' minds than "Which players will make it to Cooperstown in 2004?"

And rightfully so. Enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame is the highest honor a former-player can receive, and most fans are protective of that: a fact that has spurned countless heated debates over the years--rational, objective, and otherwise.

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August 6, 2003 12:00 am

Can Of Corn: Minor League Power, Part II

0

Dayn Perry

A little something to take your mind off the forthcoming cinematic pantheon-dweller... In last week's Can, I took a gander at the minor league power indicators of some of today's most potent hitters in an effort to find the most accurate power indicators at the minor league level. The study pool (Group A) comprised the 25 active leaders in slugging percentage who had logged at least 3,000 ABs in the majors. The group included such heavies as Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero. This time around, we'll look at Group B--those that, despite strong minor-league SLGs, have been at least vaguely disappointing in the bigs. To populate Group B, I included anyone with a career minor league SLG of at least .490, at least a 10 percent decline in their SLG in the majors (you'll recall that almost all of today's elite power hitters posted higher SLGs at the major league level) and at least 1,750 ABs in the majors.

In last week's Can, I took a gander at the minor league power indicators of some of today's most potent hitters in an effort to find the most accurate power indicators at the minor league level. The study pool (Group A) comprised the 25 active leaders in slugging percentage who had logged at least 3,000 ABs in the majors. The group included such heavies as Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero.

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I love new managers. Each one is a chance for a new approach to rotation and bullpen management, in-game strategy, and roster handling. This off-season, Bob Melvin was called the dark horse candidate by local media. To the surprise of many, he interviewed so well that the Mariners hired him over others who had more managerial experience. Since his hire, Melvin has the best record in baseball at 52-28. And yet...the dark horse has shown himself to be a dim bulb. Melvin has two big, predictable flaws that have emerged in the first half of the season, both ripe for post-season exploitation: He uses his best relievers to protect a lead, any lead, and is prone to punt the game when the team is behind by even a run, putting his worst relievers in. He's also inordinately fixated on "playing the percentages," frequently pinch-hitting to his disadvantage in order to get a lefty/righty matchup or play a guy who's 5-15 lifetime against a particular pitcher--the same is true with his use of the relievers. In both cases, it appears that Melvin is operating out of fear, or at best, a fixation on being conservative. If a team's behind by one run and Joe Mopup gives up six runs, the fans aren't going to be as mad about that as they would if the team blew a six-run lead and lost the game. There's a psychological impact of a bad bullpen that can drive teams to spend a lot of money to patch holes. Fans expect to see a lead protected, and they get more angry with every collapse. By protecting any lead, Melvin assures the paying crowds that almost any lead will be a win. The flip side, that the team may never come back from a deficit, is ignored. Similarly, Melvin's matchup games are easily defensible in the press. A manager can't be faulted if he pushes what are perceived as the right buttons and it doesn't work out; there's not a lot of second-guessing about that kind of old-school thinking.

Melvin has two big, predictable flaws that have emerged in the first half of the season, both ripe for post-season exploitation: He uses his best relievers to protect a lead, any lead, and is prone to punt the game when the team is behind by even a run, putting his worst relievers in. He's also inordinately fixated on "playing the percentages," frequently pinch-hitting to his disadvantage in order to get a lefty/righty matchup or play a guy who's 5-15 lifetime against a particular pitcher--the same is true with his use of the relievers.

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The focus on pitcher workloads--largely through tracking pitch counts--is perhaps the most heated area of contention between old-school baseball people and outside performance analysts. Baseball Prospectus has been a big part of the debate, with Rany Jazayerli and Keith Woolner developing and refining tools that measure workload and investigating the effects, short- and long-term, of throwing a lot of pitches. At the other end of the spectrum are coaches and ex-players, many of whom have been in the game since before Woolner and Jazayerli were born. These men believe that pitch counts are a secondary tool at best, and at the extreme, proffer the notion that the real problem is that pitchers today are babied, not like the men years ago who always went nine innings. Or 12. Or even 26. Lost in that line of thought is the fact that pitching is harder now. No one counted pitches 90 years ago because, to a certain extent, there was no need to do so. Pitching a baseball game from start to finish required a level of effort well within the ability of the men assigned to do so. Now, pitching nine innings of baseball at the major-league level requires a much greater effort, one that may be too much for one human arm to handle.

At the other end of the spectrum are coaches and ex-players, many of whom have been in the game since before Woolner and Jazayerli were born. These men believe that pitch counts are a secondary tool at best, and at the extreme, proffer the notion that the real problem is that pitchers today are babied, not like the men years ago who always went nine innings. Or 12. Or even 26.

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February 21, 2002 12:00 am

Japanese Baseball, Pt. 2

0

Clay Davenport

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Each edition of the annual Baseball Prospectus covers more than 1,600 players, with full Davenport Translations and comments. Even with that kind of blanket coverage, every year players who miss the cut for the book make the cut in spring training, finding their way onto major-league rosters.

Our staff has collected DTs and player comments for just about everyone who made an Opening Day roster but wasn't in BP2K1. We've also included updated Wilton projections for hitters. Enjoy!

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Just over two weeks ago, Brian Hunter's arbitration case was heard. The Seattle Mariners offered him $1.75 million, while the player countered with a figure of $2.45 million. To the surprise of many, Hunter won the case, and will make the higher figure in 2000.

Well, that's just the kind of thing that pricks up our ears. See, Hunter isn't just another mediocre player. He was probably the worst regular in baseball last year, and...well, we'll let Clay Davenport tell the story. (For more on his methods, go here.)

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There's really no way around the facts that 1) the players' union is about as likely to give up the DH as they are to go on a sympathy strike for the umpires and 2) the NL is dead-set against adding the DH to their league, both to protect the "purity" of the Senior Circuit and--the real reason--because they don't want to pay seven-figure salaries to full-time DHs when they can pay six-figure salaries to Dave Hansen and John Vander Wal instead.

So let's not debate the issue. Rather, let's celebrate the benefits that both leagues bring us. Let's enjoy the rule that allows Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines to swing a bat more than once a game, all without having to watch Martinez turn a popup into three weeks on the DL. And by the same token, we should glorify those pitchers about whom the words "helps out his own cause" have been used even more than "he's lost his release point", whose bats are potent enough to keep opposing managers from intentionally walking Rey Ordonez or Kirt Manwaring in a sticky situation.

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