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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Sabermetrics Newsbeat

Monday, March 12, 2018

Staying Ahead of the Curve: Why Conventionality is a Luxury of the Rich | The Process Report

Some great analysis on a idea that I’ve been a proponent of for a long time. Hopefully the team will get full buy-in from players with the ability to execute the plan.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2018 at 06:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, sabermetrics

Friday, March 09, 2018

SABR Analytics: Wins Above Replacement or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love deGrom

My talk on how we formulate WAR on

Sean Forman Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:12 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, stats, war, wins above replacement

Thursday, March 08, 2018

SSAC18: Next Frontier in Baseball Analytics

Some interesting stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2018 at 07:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, sabermetrics, videos

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Where Defensive Opportunities Have Declined Most | FanGraphs Baseball

This needs a larger study before conclusions can be drawn.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2018 at 10:08 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Sabermetric Movement’s Forgotten Foremother - The Ringer

Her work was truly ground breaking. I learned about r.s.b in the middle 90’s and was a big fan of Defensive Average. Baseball lost a great mind when her interests and responsibilities took her away from the game.

“I thought DA was a very interesting system that advanced our understanding of defense during that time,” Tippett says via email. Before spending 13 years with the Red Sox, Tippett developed the computer baseball sim Diamond Mind, which relied on Defensive Average ratings for a few years in the early ’90s. Subsequent stats also owe a debt to DA; “Defensive Average was definitely an influence on the development of UZR,” Lichtman says via email. SABR director Chris Dial emails an even more sweeping statement: “Sherri Nichols’s original DA/DR work is the framework for everything.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2018 at 08:07 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Art Vs Science: Using Data to Build A Better Pitching Approach – 216Stitches

Some interesting stuff at this new site.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2018 at 10:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Monday, January 15, 2018

Andruw of Center Field

The real issue is that people who see themselves as pro-analytical or post-analytical revolution, people who see themselves as sophisticated consumers of information, are in fact behaving in a manner which is identical to the pre-analytic arguments commonly used before 1975.  They argue that Andruw Jones has 63 WAR or whatever it is and that other players who have 58 WAR are in the Hall of Fame, therefore Andruw should be in the Hall of Fame as well.  This is no different than arguing that Herb Pennock won 240 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Waite Hoyt won 237 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Whitey Ford won 236 games and he is in the Hall of Fame, so David Wells, with 239 wins, obviously deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as well.  It is precisely the same argument; it is just using a “new” statistical category, rather than an old one.  Or, to apply it to a hitter, Yogi Berra drove in 1,430 runs, Charlie Gehringer drove in 1,427 runs, Joe Cronin drove in 1,424, Jim Bottomley drove in 1,422, Robin Yount drove in 1,406 and Ed Delahanty 1,400, and all of those guys are in the Hall of Fame, so how can you say that Joe Carter shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame when he drove in 1,445 runs, you moron, you.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:38 AM | 213 comment(s)
  Beats: andruw jones, bill james, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tangotiger Blog

I agree 100% with Tangotiger. The quest for one true number is foolhardy. Let’s try to get the best answers for the different questions with metrics specifically designed to answer those questions.

The true answer is ENTIRELY dependent on YOUR question.  You ask the question, then a solution will present itself.  But very few people think like that.

They want “the” number. And so, that’s what we are left with.  We are left with choosing the number.  And once we choose the number, meaning we’ve chosen a solution, a path, then we have to give the user the starting point, the question, and then we can add a provision to our WAR pages to say “only use the WAR on this page if you accept these assumptions as fact”.

And if you use it to answer a different question, then this solution, while it may give you close to the correct answer, might be wildly off in a few cases.

And that’s what Aaron Judge is.  He’s the exception to whatever question you ask.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2017 at 07:02 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, war

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Aaron Judge, José Altuve, and the Next Battle in the War Over WAR - The Ringer

Maybe we should stop calling different systems by the same name. We have different abbreviations for BABIP and AVG because, although they are both measuring a player’s ability to get on base by hitting the ball, they are calculated differently and are different metrics. Fangraph’s WAR and Baseball Reference’s WAR are two different calculations. At least Baseball Prospectus calls their version WARP to differentiate their version.

James’ Win Shares is/was a decent concept but its construction was fatally flawed. As Rany mentioned in his article, we now have the ability to make a more nuanced assessment of individual player’s contributions, related to the timing of their performance.

But I think it’s time to do away with half measures, and decide fully what WAR is supposed to represent. If it’s supposed to represent value, then it needs to evolve to account for the fact that all players, not just relievers, can perform in ways that alter the relationship between runs and wins. WAR should reward a hitter who bats .400 with runners in scoring position and penalize one who hits .136 in high-leverage situations. If the day comes when we can evaluate for how a player performs defensively in high-leverage situations, we can account for that too.

Why not develop new metrics which project performance without needing to be tied to the WAR name? In scouting teams often use terms like Overall Future Potential (OFP) and Future Value (FV). Why not tie our statistical assessment to the common scouting lexicon?

We can, and should, have a “predictive” version of WAR that evaluates a player’s performance based on skills that will carry forward into the future. This would not only strip away “clutch” and situational hitting that doesn’t carry over much from one year to the next and strip away luck on batted balls in play, but as our data set improves would also account for Statcast data like launch angle and exit velocity, so that the player who hit a ton of at-’em balls or the pitcher who gave up a lot of windswept home runs into the first row would have a statistic that says, look, this guy might have sucked last year, but if a butterfly had flapped its wings last April he would have been really good. As Nate Silver suggested, maybe we can call it predictive WAR, or pWAR.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, war

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Discussion of WAR Wherein I Ardently Attempt to Avoid any WAR-Related Puns |

It’s really tough to have a debate on Twitter. Comments, posts, and replies get so disjointed. I’m not sure Bill is actually as “steadfast” in the absolute certainty of his position. Now, he may have been at the beginning of this debate but, as the discussion has evolved, his comments, IMO, have softened as he’s heard/read other people’s comments. Again, my opinion.

In any event, Sean makes his case.

Now through years of arguing and debate, I have come to the conclusion that these two differing approaches, when considering how to value a season already in the books, are largely a matter of taste and worldview. Looking forward, I think the latter is better, but in looking back I’m fine with a person taking either approach to evaluating the value a player added to during a season. In interacting with Bill on Twitter, I believe that he’s steadfast that his view is correct and ours is wrong (or “nonsense”, “misleading”, “in error” to use his words). I disagree and believe each viewpoint has merit and is, on this issue, largely one of personal preference.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:37 PM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Sunday, November 19, 2017

More on WAR – Joe Blogs – Medium

Bill is off base here. Bill seems to want to use WAR to answer questions that WAR is not really suited to answer. He’s not alone, of course. Other people use WAR to answer the MVP question all the time. The reason it’s done is, there really isn’t a tool out there designed to specifically answer the MVP question. Bill tried to do it with Win Shares. Unfortunately the adjustment methods he chose were too broad in nature.

In any event we don’t have to throw out WAR. It’s really useful for answering a lot of questions. I heartily agree with a Tangotiger suggestion:

I have always thought the best way to design a WAR would be to break it down into separate elements, which we later combine in the most appropriate way to best answer specific questions. The breakdown, IMO, should be: 1) offense, 2) defense (further broken down into components), 3) baserunning, 4) positional adjustment, and 5) context adjustment. (They should all also be presented with the related rate stat to help people answer other specific questions.)

Anyway, by introducing a timing/context adjustment as Tangotiger suggested, the value of the current WAR systems would increase. Our current data sets are much better than they were twenty years ago. We can now provide individual contexts, and need not rely on team ratios as Win Shares did. We should do it.

Unfortunately, though, the additions will generate more confusion as many people will still want to use one number to answer all questions.

“But because that is true, I ASSUMED that these were complex, nuanced, sophisticated systems. I never really looked; I just assumed that the details were out of my depth. But sometime in the last year I was doing some research that relied on these WAR systems, so I took a look at them, and … they’re not very impressive. They’re not well thought through; they haven’t made a convincing effort to address many of the inherent difficulties that the undertaking presents. They tend to get so far into the data, throw up their arms and make a wild guess. I don’t know if I’m going to get the time to do better of it, or if it will be left to others, but … we’re not at anything like an end point here. I assumed that these systems were a lot better than they actually are.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 07:28 AM | 208 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, sabermetrics, war

dWAR to end all WARs – Joe Blogs – Medium

People might not remember but I created one of the first WAR, along with G. Jay Walker. Although I leave the evaluation of real MLB players to others now, I still use an offshoot of the system to evaluate players for my simulation league. For my system I essentially agree with Mitchel Lichtman’s thoughts at the bottom of the article. (Excluding tone, of course.)

I don’t think you’re really understanding how this works. I’m not sure Sean [Forman] does either. There’s no such thing as defensive wins or runs above “replacement” because replacement is defined by offense and defense. And as it turns out (not that it really matters) replacement players on the average are around average on defense. All their deficiency is in offense.

There is also no such thing as positional adjustment offense. You CAN give an offensive value relative to other players at that position but you have to specify over what time period.

All that being said, you are 100% correct in that most people want to know how good defensively a player is compared to others at their position and presenting a position adjusted number confuses that. Bottom line is this: Defense should be presented relative to the average at that position AND serious people SHOULD know how to compare players ACROSS positions (by applying positional adjustments).

Offense should be presented compared to average of ALL positions. Most people intuitively know that different positions have different offenses because of the size of the pool of players that can play that position (and the physical characteristics necessary to play them). But it’s not at all necessary to know those differences or include them in the offensive numbers.

Finally it IS necessary to include positional adjustments in the “final comprehensive number” (like WAR) in order to be able to compare all players AND because when we want to know “how good” a player is we MUST incorporate his defensive position.

I know Sean understands how this all works. He disagrees, however, on how positional adjustments should fit into a WAR framework. He’s not wrong but his choice makes WAR answer too narrow a question.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, war

Judge and Altuve | Articles | Bill James Online

I agree with a lot of what Bill James said in this article. WAR is wonderful when it’s used to answer the right questions. “Who is the MVP?” is not one of those questions. This is not a new opinion for me. I wrote the following 18 years ago:

6.Value is context driven: ability is context neutral.

The genesis for this item is the whole MVP debate. Every season people argue about who the Most Valuable Player is. The biggest point of contention is usually whether the player was on a contender or not. Another sore point is whether situationally dependent stats, such as RBI and Runs, should be factored in. To me, people meld together two different questions: “Who is the Most Valuable Player?” and “Who is the best player?” Although sometimes the answer to both questions is the same, they ask two distinctly different things. While the MVP question is about value, the “best player” question is about ability. Value is context driven; ability is context neutral.

If I want to know who’s most valuable, context is important because the value of a player’s contribution changes with context. A home run has more value with the bases loaded than with the bases empty. A steal of second base has more value with nobody on than with two outs (you have more opportunities to drive the player in with less than two outs. A run in a 0-0 game has more value than a run in an 11-0 game.

With the changing value of events, it’s very important to establish the context of the player’s action to properly valuate his performance. Say a player batted with lots of runners on base and drove in an average number of those runners. What would the result be? You guessed it, a lot of RBIs. Say another player batted with relatively few runners on base, but drove in a high percentage of them. What would the result be? Again, a lot of RBIs. Which player’s performance has more value? Well, that depends on the context of the production. We need to factor in team context to properly determine the value.

Wins are the currency of value for teams. Therefore, the team with the most wins has the most value. Since team wins are produced by the combined accomplishments of its players, the players’ value equal the team’s value. This means that two players who make exactly the same contribution do not necessarily have the same value. This greatly complicates answering the whole MVP question.

To illustrate, here’s a word problem for you. Two gentlemen (let’s call them Player A and Player B) play on two nearly identical teams. Each team scored 800 runs. Each team possessed fielders of exactly the same quality. The difference between the two ball clubs is the quality of the pitching staffs. Team A’s pitchers allowed 650 runs, while Team B’s pitchers allowed 700 runs. All this resulted in 96 wins for Team A and 91 wins for Team B. If I tell you both players generated 80 runs for their respective teams, does this mean they were equally valuable players?

Considering this is a baseball book rather than a math test, I’ll just give you the answer: no, Player A was more valuable. Why? Because in the context he operated in, his runs were more valuable–they bought more wins. Using a modified version of Pete Palmers runs to wins formula, I determine it cost 9.97 runs per win in Team As context [(10/3)*SQRT((800+650)/162)] and 10.14 runs per win in Team Bs context [(10/3)*SQRT((800+700)/162)]. Player A’s 80 runs purchased 8.02 wins while Player B’s 80 runs purchased 7.89 wins. Therefore, Player A was more valuable.

Ability, on the other hand, is context neutral. The ability to hit a ball 500 feet is the same whether a player is at Coors Field or at the Astrodome. The fact that the same ball might travel 540 feet at Coors is irrelevant. The change in conditions causes the ball to travel 40 feet farther, not a change in ability. (A non-baseball example of the same concept is weight. Take a 200 pound item on Earth and weigh it on the Moon. What does it weigh? About 32 pounds. The item doesn’t change, the conditions do. The change in conditions, gravity in this example, accounts for the difference.)

Since the best player is the player with the most ability, ability is what we should measure to answer the “best player” question. To measure ability, we must first filter out context. Once that’s done we can directly compare player in a neutral context–we can compare their ability.

To answer the MVP question, we need to incorporate context. Not having context, however, doesn’t prevent WAR from being an extremely valuable statistic. (It’s still great for answering a myriad of other important questions.) Its use just needs to be restricted to the tasks where it’s the appropriate tool. As Lee Panas said to me on Twitter, “I think there is a lot of confusion as to how and when to use it.  I see too many people using it as a hammer.” I certainly agree. We don’t need to get rid of the hammer; we just need to better differentiate between nails, screws, and fasteners so we choose the right tool to compete the task at hand.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 06:14 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dodgers vs. Astros is a World Series for baseball’s Information Age – Orange County Register

It’s not your daddy’s Moneyball.

The Dodgers and Houston Astros are playing in the World Series this week. But this is also the Proprietary Information Super Bowl.

Fifteen years into the post-Moneyball era, an analytics department is as essential to a major-league team as fungo bats and sunflower seeds. In the early 2000s, the disparity between the sophisticated and the unsophisticated was wide. Not anymore, every team now searches for advantages in algorithms and metrics, taking the data available from sources like StatCast, PITCHf/x and Trackman and squeezing it for all its worth.

“You should know there are at least a half a dozen, maybe 10 teams that are all in on analytics,” says Dodgers team president and CEO Stan Kasten. “Most of the teams in the playoffs were those kind of teams.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2017 at 01:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, astros, dodgers, sabermetrics

Friday, October 06, 2017

Astros at leading edge of analytics and their success is proof positive

A lot of good stuff in this one.

“You’ve always got to be questioning what you’re doing well and working on the things you do poorly,” said Hinch. “If you’re on the back end, following these massive trends, whether the use of technology or the use of analytics, imagine how far out in front the other teams are. I think that intellectual curiosity and fear is what drives you to get better faster.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2017 at 06:36 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, red sox, sabermetrics

Saturday, January 21, 2012

NYT: Q. & A. With Tom Seaver

Q. Ryan has campaigned against pitch counts. Do you agree?

A. There’s nothing wrong with pitch counts. But there’s an addendum to that. I presume Nolan thinks the same way. But it isn’t a blanket pitch count. People say, “I bet the pitch count drives you nuts.” Heck no. I had a pitch count. My pitch count as a general rule was 135. And I knew how many pitches I had when I went to the mound for the last three innings. And I wasn’t going to spend eight pitches on the No. 8 hitter. On the second or third pitch, he should be hitting a ground ball to shortstop. It might not work like that all the time. But theoretically, you have an approach about how you’re spending your bullets.

There’s nothing wrong with pitch counts. But not when it’s spit out by a computer and the computer does not look at an individual’s mechanics. And you can’t look at his genes. It should come from the individual and the pitching coach and the manager.

Q. Will your former manager Gil Hodges, a former Dodger, ever get into the Hall of Fame?

A. I don’t know. Everybody in the New York area wonders why he’s not in. His numbers are high middle. But what else did he do? He was the leader on that ball club that went to the World Series and beat the Yankees. He was the leader of a ball club and franchise that went to the World Series. If you look at his body of work I say yes. Absolutely.

Q. Should steroid users be allowed into the Hall of Fame?

A. The commissioner and baseball has to figure that out. They’re going to have guys that have great numbers not in the Hall of Fame. They have to figure that out.

Thanks to Wrecki.

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 05:36 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets, sabermetrics

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grantland: Bill James: The 100 Best Pitchers’ Duels of 2011

Bill James sez it all!

My list of the 100 best pitchers’ duels of 2011 is better than your list, for one reason and one reason only.

You don’t have any list.



Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 10:06 AM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: history, reviews, sabermetrics

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein


Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

The Platoon Advantage: Jack Morris is going to be a Hall of Famer, and that’s OK

BTW…I’m compiling a (H/T Moral Idiot) massivo (HA!) list of BBWAA ballotears for their Pro-Bonds/Clemens (9 as of now) ~ Anti-Bonds/Clemens (12 as of now) promised HOF ballots.

For a second thing: it’s getting to be a cliche by now, but it’s absolutely true that 2013 is going to be completely unlike any ballot that has come before. Jaffe’s reasoning is that “Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys.” I don’t think so. There are certainly a lot of should-be slam dunks coming in, but the only new guy who figures to finish particularly strong in the voting is Craig Biggio, and he’s far from a first-ballot lock. By and large, the guys interested in voting for Morris aren’t the same ones who might be tempted to bump Morris off because they’re voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and Biggio, and/or some combination of deserving first-timers or holdovers like Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, Kenny Lofton, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Edgar Martinez. If anything, the vast majority of them will bump any of those guys off (even Bonds or Clemens, maybe especially Bonds or Clemens) in favor of the presumptively “clean” Morris, who won’t have the fourteen shots left most of these guys will (assuming they get 5% of the vote, which I think will be a problem for Lofton and possibly Palmeiro).

Rather, the real 1999-like year, in terms of players the voters are actually likely to want to enshrine, is the following year, 2014: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas are all pretty close to first-ballot shoo-ins. You might as well think of 2013 as Morris’ last year on the ballot, because he’s not going in with those dudes.

So, that’s why I think Morris goes in next year. As amazing as the talent on the 2013 ballot is, it’s not going to pull many votes off of Morris, thanks to the “PE"D questions and because it’ll be viewed as his last realistic shot. It’s 2013 or nothing…and for 75%-plus of the voters, it’s going to be 2013. He’s going in. Might as well get used to it.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:01 AM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sean Forman to appear on Clubhouse Confidential, MLB Network

As I said yesterday…“The ONLY downside to Clubhouse Confidential is the nightly commercial for Intentional Talk.”

I’ll be appearing on Clubhouse Confidential on the MLB Network. We are taping this afternoon and I’m pretty sure it will be broadcast tonight. The show typically airs 5:30pm and 7:30pm ET and then probably 8 more times after that. We’ll be talking and some other stuff.

I’m looking forward to meeting their crew and I’ve been incredibly impressed with how they are promoting sabermetrics on the show. If you are a stathead, it is time well spent.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics, site news

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WalkSaber: 2011 Run Distribution and Win Percentage

Walk Like a Sabermetrician analyses the efficiency of run scoring.

The first breakout is record in blowouts versus non-blowouts. I define a blowout as a margin of five or more runs. This is not really a satisfactory definition of a blowout, as many five-run games are quite competitive—“blowout” is just a convenient label to use, and expresses the point succinctly. I use these two categories with wide ranges rather than more narrow groupings like one-run games because the frequency and results of one-run games are highly biased by the home field advantage. Drawing the focus back a little allows us to identify close games and not so close games with a margin built in to allow a greater chance of capturing the true nature of the game in question rather than a disguised situational effect.

fra paolo Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Phil Rogers: Bean-counting GM Beane deserves a better place to work

And furthermore

(bullet) MLB should have a minimum payroll. It would require all teams to at least attempt to be somewhat competitive, and fairness is an issue. For instance, how much of an advantage will the Angels and Rangers have in the wild-card race because they have 19 games each against Oakland?

(bullet) According to Bill James’ projections, the Athletics’ most productive hitter next season will be DH Brandon Allen, with a slash line of .243/.327/.449, 22 home runs and 71 RBIs.

(bullet) Melvin is a major upgrade in the dugout, probably the best manager they’ve had since Tony La Russa (although Art Howe was much better than the movie’s portrayal by Philip Seymour Hoffman suggests).

(bullet) MLB scoffs at Forbes’ projections, but they’re the best available.

(bullet) Wolff is very close to Selig, but so far that does not appear to have gained him any advantages.

(bullitt) There are bad writers and there are good writers - and then there’s Rogers.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2012 at 09:07 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, media, projections, sabermetrics

On DVD: Moneyball’s deleted scenes reveal the numbers game

The deleted scene in question features Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) discussing the team’s relief pitchers with field manager Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The two butt heads several times in the film, as Beane recommends fielding undervalued, unorthodox players over the objections of the more conservative Howe.

This time he’s singing the praises of Chad Bradford over Mike Magnante. He concludes his own pitch by telling Howe to bring Bradford out of the bullpen no matter what. “If we’re in, let’s say to make it easier on you, any situation. OK? Righty, lefty, two outs, one out, the umpires want to finish the game throwing darts … Bradford!”

It’s no surprise, however, when Howe does the opposite. Magnante promptly gives up a home run, and the crowd boos lustily. Beane then makes a rare (and illegal) trip to the dugout during the game to tell Howe what a costly f-you that was, and adds: “Those boos; they’re for you. Drink up.”

It’s a clever scene, probably cut only because we see so much sniping between Beane and Howe that their animosity is already clear.

Thanks to Nroll.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, media, sabermetrics

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fangraphs: Can Yoenis Cespedes Showcase Talents In MLB?

Os as shape-shifter deluxe, Mitch Williams said the other day…“All Yoenis Cespedes does is hit ground balls!”

So although Cespedes was definitely one of the top power hitters in the Cuban League, his exploits are hardly all-world or necessarily the best in his own country. The Cuban parks seem to be very difficult to pitch in. According to Davenport’s translations — which probably have to be taken with a pound of salt given how few players make the transition from Cuban baseball to American professional baseball — Cespedes’s numbers still work out to above-average major league power. I don’t think this is a terribly surprising conclusion — it’s difficult to hit 33 home runs in 350 at-bats in any league. It just doesn’t necessarily mean a 60-homer season is coming in the states.

The next question relates to plate discipline.

...Cespedes has shown remarkable improvement from a hack-tastic first season, all the way to the point where he walked more times than he struck out in 2011. However, there is the question of how many of those walks were intentional — he was in the process of setting a new home run record, after all. Either way, Cespedes made excellent contact in each of the past four seasons and although his strikeouts will undoubtedly rise against the higher talent in the MLB, we shouldn’t expect him to be the next Austin Jackson.

...Just looking at the statistics Cespedes compiled in Cuba, there isn’t a glaring weakness which looks to tank his game upon landing with an American (or Torontonian) squad. He was as complete as a player can be in any league. Much of his value depends on his ability to play center field, of which there seems to be optimism around scouts. His Cuban numbers seem to suggest above-average power for the position already, and with any sort of plate discipline he has the ability to push an All-Star level in MLB. With his power and his superior athleticism and strength, the risk factor for Cespedes seems lower than with other relative unknown players, and the reward if he reaches his potential could be incredible.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 06:51 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international, projections, sabermetrics

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NewsblogDodgers third baseman Justin Turner suffers broken left wrist | ESPN
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Gonfalon Cubs2018 Fearless Prediction thread
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NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-19-2018
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NewsblogOT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)
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NewsblogOT - March Madness 2018
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NewsblogInside Baseball MLB Notes | Where will Holland go? | FanRag Sports
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NewsblogOT - 2017 NFL thread
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NewsblogOTP 12 March 2018: Trevor Bauer thinks Major League Baseball trying to silence him on Twitter
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NewsblogAnother rough day for Shohei Ohtani prompts more questions for Angels | OC Register
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Newsblog‘Badass’ is bringing nasty streak back to Mets’ pitching staff | New York Post
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