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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BP: Moonshot: The Analytic Value of the Crack of the Bat

What’s the frequency, Robert?

I collected several games worth of audio, saving individual audio files for each contact event, and noting the result of that contact in broad terms (fly out, groundout, home run, etc.).

The result of that work was a small sample (5-10) of each event variety…

 

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, sabermetrics

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BP (Levine): Will a pitcher ever be suspended for hitting a batter again?

Just saw a headline about Kirk Gibson being back, so we’ll probably find out!

In 2006, 12 players were suspended multiple games for beanballs alone… This year, beyond bat-tossin’ Manny Machado, the only players to get multiple games for anything were Martin Maldonado, Carlos Gomez, and Travis Snider for their roles in that dumb Pirates-Brewers fight. Nobody has been suspended for the hit by pitches that have sparked cultural debates and, at times, have really hurt. Only once this year has it happened: Brandon Workman vs. Evan Longoria, on a pitch that missed head-high on June 2. Since then, nothing… What happens the next time MLB wants to issue a suspension for an intentional hit by pitch and the player appeals, citing this year’s precedent?...

The easiest way out of this precedent would be for the next intentional hit batsman to start a massive brawl or lead to something unusual occurring… [but] Nobody charges the mound anymore… [and] We’ve sort of already tried that this year. Fernando Abad was ejected for throwing the pitch that led to Machado’s bat throw. He was also not suspended even though it turned into an ugly incident.

So MLB might not get there the easy way, which leaves the hard way: A pitcher seriously injuring a hitter. Put a fastball in somebody’s brain and precedent may not matter much.

Even then, it will look like Major League Baseball is only affirming one of the dumb cliches: That there’s a right way to hit batters. Still, that’s a step up from what the last few months may have revealed about MLB’s thinking.

The District Attorney Posted: August 19, 2014 at 12:13 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, hit batsmen, sabermetrics, suspensions

Friday, July 18, 2014

BP: Why are we playing the Hunger Games with minor leaguers?

Is this a good system? I don’t ask that question as an exercise in moral philosophy with the poor pitiable minor leaguers cast as a vulnerable group in need of protection. I’m asking this from the other side. Is it smart for teams in Major League Baseball to willfully pay their minor leaguers so little? Aside from cost-savings and the moralizing, could teams actually have more success developing players if they opened their wallets a little wider?

In addition to the points made in the article, a lot of minor leaguers have to supplement their income by working in the offseason at a job rather than working on their craft and potentially making a breakthrough. The assumptions used by the author seem reasonable, though I don’t know enough about minor league finances to know how pay works, or how players staying in the system longer would affect the number of players in the organization.


Friday, April 04, 2014

HACKING MASS Competition 2014

Remember all those articles about how Billy Hamilton could revolutionize the game?...

HACKING MASS, our competition to pick the least dangerous hitters and least effective pitchers in the majors, returns for the 2014 season!... You’ll have a full week to enter (the deadline is April 11, 2014, at midnight PST), but it’s easy to change players, so feel free to go all in on Darwin Barney on the entry form today, then switch to Ryan Goins next Friday morning…

Your 10 players will be:

one each at catcher and each infield position (5 players)
one at each outfield position (3 players)
two pitchers (2 players)

Simply pick the players who you think will be the stiffest at each position. A team’s aggregate stiffness is measured by summing the ESPN (Exuded Stiff Points, Net) of all of the players on your team. For hitters, ESPN is 0.800, minus his OBP, minus his SLG, and multiplied by plate appearances - i.e., (.8-OPS)*PA. For pitchers, the formula is the pitcher’s ERA, minus 4.5, times his innings pitched, divided by three, or (ERA-4.5)*IP/3. This results in similar Stiffness scores for the firmest hitters and pitchers.

In each case, it isn’t enough for a player to simply suck; somehow the Stiffest of the Stiff must find a way to remain in the lineup or rotation.

The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2014 at 11:32 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, sabermetrics

 

 

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