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For this study, I estimated career VORP for the BA’s top 100 prospects from 1990 through 1997, that is, those who have had at least five years to prove themselves. I used the rule of thumb that 10 runs of value moves one game into the win column. This is what I found:
Bonds, over his last 100 games or so, is perhaps the biggest statistical outlier in the game’s history. He breaks the formulae, in that the many walks Bonds takes are, collectively, less valuable than our usual tools for evaluating such things would perceive. He’s being given so many walks in RISP/first-base-empty situations that they are, if not a negative, certainly not the positive that, say, linear weights might indicate. They’re not a bad thing–and they certainly don’t warrant the kind of “Bonds should swing more” analysis that has been proffered–but the context of the walks is something to consider when evaluating his performance.
The type of analysis that we perform is an outgrowth of a passion for the game that we all had long before we ever knew about strikeout-to-walk ratio or context-neutral performance or career paths.
Thatï¿½s Barry Bonds’s on-base percentage, a figure that is so far off the charts as to be mind-boggling.
Starting today, we will be periodically running some of the best content from the new, super-charged Baseball Prospectus archives. Those new to BP may be reading this content for the first time. Long-time readers can rekindle old debates. We begin today with Keith Woolner’s look at the conversion of balls in play into outs, from 2002. To do your own mining, go to BP’s Search function. To request a specific article from the archives, e-mail email@example.com.
Lance Berkman was nice enough to stop at two home runs yesterday, so we’ll complete our look around the majors with some notes on National League performances to date.
There’s some merit to the argument that a few starts can skew a pitcher’s cumulative line, and there have been attempts, such as
Michael Wolverton’s Support-Neutral statistics to better model the maximum impact a single game can have on a pitcher’s value.
Then, all of a sudden, it happens: the player just collapses.
As the Month of Gory Managerial Death fades away, is there some sort of central lesson that can be learned from the various dugout purges? Were the decisions to hire Davey Lopes, Phil Garner, Tony Muser, and Buddy Bell just bad decisions from the outset, or were they good decisions that just didn’t have good outcomes? Is there anything at all to be learned from this wave of firings? What will a smart organization take away from all this?
One word thrown around a lot when a manager is fired is “accountability.” At the end of the day, managers are accountable for what happens on the field–the wins and losses.
Just running through the AL stats, a month into the season, we marvel at Garret Anderson’s consistency, and try to keep Chad Bradford–the submarine reliever–straight from Corey Bradford, the NFL wide receiver.