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Articles Tagged Toby Hall 

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April 30, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: Cooperstown Cases

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Jay Jaffe

Among active players, who's helping themselves, and whose cases are a bit more problematic?

During last Friday's chat, I was treated to a heaping helping of Hall of Fame-related questions, including a few that I didn't have time or space to answer. In light of a few recent milestones and some hot- and cold-running starts, I though it might be a good time to devote a column to the JAWS cases of these players, who form the core of the most frequently inquired about among my readers. If you're new to the JAWS (Jaffe WARP Score) system, it's designed to compare each player with those already in the Hall of Fame at his position using career and peak (seven best seasons) WARP3 totals, and to learn more you can check here and here for the nuts and bolts.

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May 29, 2007 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: AL-brand Catsup

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Christina Kahrl

Swinging over to the junior circuit, Christina tries to make some sense of some roster disasters and damage control.

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The Matsuzaka posting in all its indentured glory, plus the Gold Gloves and a new man in the Rangers dugout.

"Then I got traded to Arizona and all of a sudden, (and) now I'm with Jay Bell. He would keep telling me the same things Brian Butterfield was telling me and adding some things about his way, so now I'm feeling more comfortable playing second base."
--Snakes second baseman Orlando Hudson, on his latest Gold Glove. (Arizona Republic)

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Notebook has regular season post-mortems on the Indians, the Yankees and the Devil Rays.

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The Braves were wise to let their free agent hitters go. The Twins' pen could stay on top even with the departure of Hawkins and Guardado. The Devil Rays have high hopes for their offense, but remain in pitching limbo. These and other news and notes in today's Prospectus Triple Play.

  • End of the Road?: Many analysts predicted that 2003 would be the final year of the Braves' dynasty. Their once-vaunted rotation didn't look so fearsome after losing Tom Glavine and Kevin Millwood to division rivals, and there were few bright spots in the lineup.
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    Following up on yesterday's article, here is the definitive list of every transaction made at last weekend's Mock Winter Meetings in Chicago. The list of moves includes a blockbuster trade for Mark Teixeira, cheap contracts for Trot Nixon and Juan Gonzalez, and a surprise new home for Vladimir Guerrero.

    AL WEST

    ANAHEIM

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    In an article that appeared last week on ESPN.com, Peter Gammons provided a list of 20 players whom respondants to an informal straw poll described as candidates for a breakout season. The list, derived from a survey of major league executives, included a mix of pitchers and hitters, five-tool talents and makeup guys, united only in their ability to tease hibernating fantasy leaguers into dreams of greener days ahead. If one needs any reminder that lists like these are little more than a grownup's version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it's worth reviewing a similar list that Gammons produced last year.

    In an article that appeared last week on ESPN.com, Peter Gammons provided a list of 20 players whom respondants to an informal straw poll described as candidates for a breakout season. The list, derived from a survey of major league executives, included a mix of pitchers and hitters, five-tool talents and makeup guys, united only in their ability to tease hibernating fantasy leaguers into dreams of greener days ahead.

    If one needs any reminder that lists like these are little more than a grownup's version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it's worth reviewing a similar list that Gammons produced last year. That list includes roughly equal representation of the good (Alfonso Soriano and Derek Lowe), the bad (J.D. Drew), and the ugly (Juan Uribe), as well as four players whose performances were so impressive that they made repeat appearances on this year's list.

    Now, none of this is meant to be a knock on Gammons, or the lists he has compiled. Everybody likes to talk about breakout candidates this time of year, ourselves included (Eddie Yarnall, anyone?). Having formerly moonlighted as a daily team correspondent for another baseball website, I can attest to the fact that virtually every player provides at least some excuse each winter for gushing commentary, delusions of grandeur, or other forms of irrational exuberance.

    As it happens, however, we're unrolling a new forecasting system at BP this year--one that is also preoccupied with the question of breakout candidates. The PECOTA system--short for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm--seeks to identify potential breakouts by comparing a player against a database of his historical peers. In so doing, it comes up with an objective estimate of the probability that a player will display marked improvement in the upcoming season (defined as an increase of at least 20% in his Equivalent Runs per plate appearance, or a decrease of at least 20% in his PERA, relative to a weighted average of his previous three years of performance). We refer to this estimate as a player's Breakout score. Readers interested in a more extensive treatment of the PECOTA system will find it in this year's book, and in the PECOTA glossary provided here.

    One brief caveat: the PECOTA system is new technology. That doesn't mean that we stole it from the Raelians, or that we haven’t tested it thoroughly. But sometimes PECOTA provides us with definitive and unexpected answers, and we need to work backwards to try and explain why they came about. That's a bastardization of the scientific method, and I'll ask that you'll excuse me as I run through the hitters on Gammons' list.

    Rank on Gammons List, Player, PECOTA Breakout Score

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    Chris Kahrl analyzes transactions involving 13 teams during May 28-29, 2002.

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    March 12, 1998 12:00 am

    Shortstops and DFTs

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    Clay Davenport

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