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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bill James Mailbag - 10/17/12

That thing on the front page saying Robinson Cano is “the hottest hitter in baseball at this moment”?  You probably should ignore that…

Matt Harvey debuted this year and struck out 10.6 batters per nine innings and put up a 2.72 ERA in 60 innings. How likely is a pitcher with a debut like that at the age of 23 to become a great pitcher?

It’s fairly long odds.   I identified all pitchers since 1900 who were 22-24 years old, made 5 to 15 starts and less than 25 appearances, had no previous major league history or very limited major league history, and who were at least +10 vs. the league in strikeouts (10 more strikeouts than a league-average pitcher) and positive overall performance.   There are only 29 such pitchers in major league history before Harvey (I had expected it to be more) but none of the 29 became a great pitcher.   The ten best pitchers in the group were Danny Darwin, Bill Doak, Barry Zito, Schoolboy Rowe, Whitlow Wyatt, Stu Miller, Bob Turley, Denny Lemaster, Eric Hanson, Arthur Rhodes and Dave Righetti (OK, that’s 11)...

Most young pitchers get hurt.   Most young pitchers who look like they might be great, aren’t great.   Ten starts isn’t enough to get real excited about.

What do you think of Fred McGriff’s Hall of Fame chances?.. I just don’t know about him.

Well, I think you DO know; I think you’ve nailed it pretty well.   McGriff is hurt by at least four things.   First, McGriff’s best seasons are just BEFORE the big-hitting numbers of the late 1990s and 2000-2005 era… Second, McGriff is hurt by the expansion effect, which is just beginning to reach the point at which the standards are changing.   Third, McGriff lacks an MVP type season, which is critical to the Hall of Fame in marginal cases (ie Barry Larkin vs. Alan Trammell, Andre Dawson vs. Dwight Evans.)   Fourth, whereas the MVP process loves RBI men, the Hall of Fame does not.   The Hall of Fame favors high averages and defense, rather than RBI men.

These four factors are hurting McGriff, and he’s a marginal case anyway.   He WAS a better player than many Hall of Fame first baseman (Jake Beckley, Orlando Cepeda), but he’s not an obvious or overwhelmingly qualified Hall of Famer.

With the advent of the (more) balanced schedule and the move of the Astros to the American League next year, it looks like we will have inter-league games throughout next season… Three related questions: 1) Do you agree me that the new schedule will eventually necessitate that the two leagues either standardize on the use of the DH? 2) If yes to 1, which way do you think MLB will go: DH or no DH? 3) If yes to 1, which would you personally prefer: DH or no DH?

1) Do you agree me that the new schedule will eventually necessitate that the two leagues either standardize on the use of the DH?

Of course not.

How many wins do you think managers cost the average team due to suboptimal tactics each year?  Every time I see a sacrifice bunt with a runner on second and no outs (in many cases, with the offensive team down by multiple runs), I want to stick a fork in my eye and light Girardi’s binder on fire.

Well, we have no idea how many wins might be lost, because, to be honest, we really have no idea what the optimal tactics are.

The District Attorney Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:03 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bill james, fred mcgriff, hall of fame, history, matt harvey, rules of play, sabermetrics, strategy

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   1. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4275738)
Third, McGriff lacks an MVP type season, which is critical to the Hall of Fame in marginal cases (ie Barry Larkin vs. Alan Trammell

What? I'm pretty sure Bill was around for 1987.
   2. zonk Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4275771)
Third, McGriff lacks an MVP type season, which is critical to the Hall of Fame in marginal cases (ie Barry Larkin vs. Alan Trammell


What? I'm pretty sure Bill was around for 1987.


My suspicion is that he meant just "MVP" and erroneously added in 'type'... or else he just wanted to remind everyone that Alan Trammell's immense screwing by sportswriters occurred both while he was playing and they had the ability to award him MVPs and after he retired and decided to focus on the ho-hum innings eater he played with when it comes to HOF voting.
   3. Mark S. is bored Posted: October 18, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4275873)
The Matt Harvey question could have been answered with "Small Sample Size". He had 60 innings as a MLB pitcher.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: October 18, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4275977)
The Matt Harvey question could have been answered with "Small Sample Size". He had 60 innings as a MLB pitcher.

Any time you answer with small sample size, the fan of the player brings in the argument "he's different". I find it really silly to make any type of projection/prediction on a young players future performance with only 8-12 starts to judge them by. It seems a lot of good talented young pitchers have that 6-8 game start to their career where the scouting report isn't enough for the opposition.
   5. formerly dp Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4276022)
Any time you answer with small sample size, the fan of the player brings in the argument "he's different". I find it really silly to make any type of projection/prediction on a young players future performance with only 8-12 starts to judge them by. It seems a lot of good talented young pitchers have that 6-8 game start to their career where the scouting report isn't enough for the opposition.


I agree, and while I'm not projecting greatness for Harvey, he's at least worth getting excited over, from a Met fan perspective. His starts were fun to watch. But without looking it up, he did seem to run up a lot of high pitch counts in throwing effectively.

The Mets will not be a good team in 2013, but their rotation-- Dickey, Harvey, Niese, Santana, and Gee-- should keep them in games until the bullpen takes over and promptly gives up 5 or 6 runs. Wheeler's looking pretty good, too, but probably still a year away.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4276275)
I did a search for pitchers, first season, between 40 and 100 IP, started at least half their games and had a K/9 of 9 or better. Only 10 pitchers.

It turned up one Bob Feller. Granted, a 17-year-old Feller is a bit more impressive than a 23-year-old Harvey but still. It also turned up Zimmermann and Strasburg. And Rick van der Hurk, Ollie Perez, Angel Guzman (who might have been good but got hurt) and Hideki Irabu.

If you drop it to 8 K/9 you also pick up King Felix. And Jake Peavy (probably not HoF bound), the first muppet in MLB history Drew Smyly and everybody's favorite coulda-been Rich Harden. And a lot of fine to flameout pitchers (up to 27 pitchers now).

One last swipe, I drop the K/9 to 7 but add a K/BB of 2 or better. 36 pitchers but nobody of major note added.

So I can say that I am reasonably confident that Harvey will have a career somewhere between Rick van der Hurk and Bob Feller. Unless he gets hurt of course.
   7. bjhanke Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:28 AM (#4276373)
Walt - I've been sort of waiting for a thread like this to appear with you commenting on it. Way back in the 1960s, when I was majoring in math, I got it into my head that the point at which you start to develop some confidence in your results (not 95%, much less 99%, but SOME confidence) occurred at about a sample size of 30. I have read a few math books since then, but gotten no confirmation or denial of that. Is this true - that is, do you START to develop SOME confidence at about 30, or is the number higher (I doubt it's lower)? The relevance of that to this thread is, I hope, obvious. And you are the one person I know who is in a position to know that kind of thing more or less off the top of your head. Thanks in advance if this is easy to answer. If not, thanks for whatever you are able to say "with some confidence." - Brock Hanke
   8. smileyy Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:37 AM (#4276375)
[7] Does this help? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_size_determination
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:43 AM (#4276376)
I did a search for pitchers, first season, between 40 and 100 IP, started at least half their games and had a K/9 of 9 or better. Only 10 pitchers.


And that is a problem with the search, you can't do a search in season for guys who's career started out just as well and what happened afterwards.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: October 19, 2012 at 04:39 AM (#4276384)
And that is a problem with the search, you can't do a search in season for guys who's career started out just as well and what happened afterwards.

Yep. But this is an unimpressive enough list.

I got it into my head that the point at which you start to develop some confidence in your results (not 95%, much less 99%, but SOME confidence) occurred at about a sample size of 30.

A sample size of 30 is about where the Central Limit Theorem kicks in which means it's where you can start assuming that your esimator has an approximately normal distribution. That is you can start using +/- about 2 SDs as a 95% confidence interval.

As the link in #8 presumably shows, the necessary sample size is a function of the variance/SD and the desired level of accuracy. But, yeah, I've heard the "at 30 you start to have a clue" rule of thumb but I'm not sure what it's based on. I think somewhere around 30 you start having decent power to detect "large" effect sizes.

I'd stay away from any rules of thumb when it comes to baseball though. The level of accuracy you want is pretty ridiculous in baseball. You need something on the order of 1500 PA to reliably tell the difference between a "true" 350 OBP and a 400 OBP which of course is a "massive" difference in baseball.
   11. formerly dp Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:09 AM (#4276402)
So I can say that I am reasonably confident that Harvey will have a career somewhere between Rick van der Hurk and Bob Feller. Unless he gets hurt of course.


I like the boldness of your prediction. I do not appreciate the you putting Ollie Perez's name in any post that deals with a Met pitching prospect. It just feels dirty and wrong.
   12. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4276410)
the first muppet in MLB history Drew Smyly


I didn't know he was Guy's son!

One thing I will say about Bill James. I don't know why you'd do a mailbag if you aren't going to bother answering most of the questions.
   13. zack Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4276411)
Of course, we know a lot more about Matt Harvey than just 60 innings, it is silly for James to just pretend he materialized in the majors. He's a #7 overall pick and was #54 in the BA prospect ratings before this season. 6'4" and 225lbs with a mid 90's fastball and good curve and slider and a decent changeup. ~9.5 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and .7 HR/9 in Binghampton and Buffalo, all as a starter. The walks are definitely a concern but otherwise that's basically a prototype power starting pitcher.
   14. bobm Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4276419)
[9]

From 1918 to 2012, as Starter, In first 10 games, (requiring game_score>=58), sorted by greatest number of games in a single season matching the selected criteria

                                                                                                       
Rk   Gcar             Player Year        #Matching W L  W-L%  ERA GS CG SHO SV   IP  H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1               Steve Rogers 1973     9 Ind. Games 6 2  .750 1.06  9  5   3  0 76.2 45  9  3 27 37 0.94
                                                                                                       
2                 Don Sutton 1966     8 Ind. Games 6 2  .750 1.45  8  2   1  0 62.0 50 10  2  6 54 0.90
3            Mel Stottlemyre 1964     8 Ind. Games 7 1  .875 1.60  8  4   1  0 67.1 49 12  2 24 33 1.08
4                 Herb Score 1955     8 Ind. Games 6 2  .750 2.01  8  5   1  0 67.0 39 15  3 45 77 1.25
5         Arnie Portocarrero 1954     8 Ind. Games 2 4  .333 2.15  8  5   0  0 67.0 49 16  4 18 31 1.00
6               Bill Parsons 1971     8 Ind. Games 5 3  .625 1.23  8  5   2  0 66.0 37  9  1 25 46 0.94
7             Lynn McGlothen 1972     8 Ind. Games 5 2  .714 2.19  8  3   1  0 65.2 51 16  1 18 55 1.05
8               Jim McAndrew 1968     8 Ind. Games 3 5  .375 1.32  8  2   1  0 61.1 42  9  3 13 36 0.90
9                Jose DeLeon 1983     8 Ind. Games 6 1  .857 1.66  8  2   1  0 65.0 29 12  3 23 72 0.80
10                Cy Blanton 1935     8 Ind. Games 6 2  .750 1.01  8  8   2  0 71.0 44  8  0 16 48 0.85
                                                                                                       
11                Barry Zito 2000     7 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 1.69  7  1   1  0 48.0 24  9  2 24 35 1.00
12                Kerry Wood 1998     7 Ind. Games 6 0 1.000 0.92  7  1   1  0 49.0 27  5  1 19 79 0.94
13            John Whitehead 1935     7 Ind. Games 5 2  .714 2.29  7  7   1  0 63.0 34 16  6 27 17 0.97
14              Jered Weaver 2006     7 Ind. Games 7 0 1.000 1.15  7  0   0  0 47.0 26  6  2 11 40 0.79
15               Dick Tidrow 1972     7 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 2.13  7  1   0  0 50.2 31 12  4 18 28 0.97
16             Wayne Simpson 1970     7 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.31  7  3   2  0 55.0 22  8  3 19 33 0.75
17              Mike Mussina 1991     7 Ind. Games 4 2  .667 1.95  7  2   0  0 55.1 42 12  3 12 27 0.98
18                Mike Leake 2010     7 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 1.81  7  0   0  0 44.2 33  9  2 18 34 1.14
19                Tim Hudson 1999     7 Ind. Games 5 0 1.000 1.25  7  0   0  0 50.1 40  7  0 19 49 1.17
20           Felix Hernandez 2005     7 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 1.35  7  0   0  0 53.1 30  8  4 11 52 0.77
21               Matt Harvey 2012     7 Ind. Games 2 3  .400 1.67  7  0   0  0 43.0 22  8  3 20 55 0.98
22              Mark Fidrych 1976     7 Ind. Games 6 1  .857 2.05  7  7   0  0 66.0 47 15  4 12 32 0.89
23                 Lou Fette 1937     7 Ind. Games 6 1  .857 0.84  7  7   2  0 64.0 38  6  0 23 19 0.95
24              Dave Ferriss 1945     7 Ind. Games 7 0 1.000 0.57  7  7   4  0 63.0 36  4  0 21 29 0.90
25                 Zach Duke 2005     7 Ind. Games 5 0 1.000 0.78  7  0   0  0 46.1 34  4  1 10 35 0.95
Rk   Gcar             Player Year        #Matching W L  W-L%  ERA GS CG SHO SV   IP  H ER HR BB SO WHIP
                                                                                                       
26                Matt Young 1983     6 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 0.60  6  1   1  0 45.0 24  3  1 15 25 0.87
27            Jim Willoughby 1972     6 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.76  6  5   0  0 51.0 36 10  4  6 25 0.82
28          Dontrelle Willis 2003     6 Ind. Games 6 0 1.000 0.42  6  2   2  0 43.0 28  2  0 11 40 0.91
29            Butch Wensloff 1943     6 Ind. Games 3 2  .600 1.61  6  6   0  0 56.0 38 10  0 13 27 0.91
30              Brandon Webb 2003     6 Ind. Games 2 1  .667 1.80  6  0   0  0 40.0 24  8  5 12 33 0.90
31             Tim Wakefield 1992     6 Ind. Games 5 0 1.000 1.22  6  3   1  0 51.2 38  7  1 21 31 1.14
32                 Jay Tibbs 1984     6 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 1.45  6  2   1  0 49.2 31  8  2 15 22 0.93
33                Luis Tiant 1964     6 Ind. Games 6 0 1.000 1.50  6  6   2  0 54.0 31  9  5 20 43 0.94
34         Stephen Strasburg 2010     6 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 1.45  6  0   0  0 37.1 26  6  3  9 56 0.94
35                Greg Smith 2008     6 Ind. Games 2 2  .500 1.77  6  1   0  0 40.2 25  8  1 16 31 1.01
36             Bill Slayback 1972     6 Ind. Games 4 2  .667 1.25  6  3   1  0 50.1 35  7  0 14 44 0.97
37                 Spec Shea 1947     6 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.17  6  6   2  0 54.0 29  7  0 22 26 0.94
38             Tony Saunders 1997     6 Ind. Games 2 3  .400 2.33  6  0   0  0 38.2 25 10  2 22 36 1.22
39              Gary Ryerson 1972     6 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 1.21  6  4   1  0 52.0 51  7  2  6 20 1.10
40               Jose Rosado 1996     6 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 0.78  6  2   1  0 46.1 31  4  1  9 22 0.86
41              Ricky Romero 2009     6 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 1.91  6  0   0  0 42.1 30  9  3  9 35 0.92
42             Dave Righetti 1981     6 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 1.50  6  0   0  0 42.0 33  7  0 14 39 1.12
43               Bryan Rekar 1995     6 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 1.34  6  1   0  0 47.0 30  7  5 12 37 0.89
44                Mark Prior 2002     6 Ind. Games 2 1  .667 2.11  6  0   0  0 38.1 24  9  2 11 48 0.91
45              Howie Pollet 1941     6 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.38  6  6   2  0 52.1 36  8  0 18 30 1.03
46            Michael Pineda 2011     6 Ind. Games 6 0 1.000 0.92  6  0   0  0 39.1 22  4  0 12 42 0.86
47             Jarrod Parker 2012     6 Ind. Games 2 0 1.000 1.10  6  0   0  0 41.0 25  5  1 16 30 1.00
48                Hideo Nomo 1995     6 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 1.02  6  0   0  0 44.1 20  5  2 19 55 0.88
49            Jim Neidlinger 1990     6 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 1.22  6  0   0  0 44.1 29  6  2  6 26 0.79
50                  Jim Nash 1966     6 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 1.61  6  2   0  0 50.1 27  9  3 16 34 0.85
Rk   Gcar             Player Year        #Matching W L  W-L%  ERA GS CG SHO SV   IP  H ER HR BB SO WHIP
51                Tom Murphy 1968     6 Ind. Games 2 2  .500 1.89  6  1   0  0 47.2 22 10  1 15 30 0.78
52                Stu Miller 1952     6 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 0.67  6  6   2  0 54.0 28  4  0 17 44 0.83
53          Larry McWilliams 1978     6 Ind. Games 6 0 1.000 0.59  6  2   1  0 45.2 28  3  2  9 17 0.81
54              Greg Mathews 1986     6 Ind. Games 5 0 1.000 1.79  6  1   0  0 45.1 31  9  3 11 22 0.93
55              Art Mahaffey 1960     6 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 1.66  6  3   1  0 48.2 31  9  3 20 27 1.05
56            Dixie Leverett 1922     6 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.58  6  6   2  0 57.0 42 10  1 16 11 1.02
57                Dan Larson 1976     6 Ind. Games 4 2  .667 1.94  6  4   0  0 51.0 34 11  2 12 24 0.90
58                 Leo Kiely 1951     6 Ind. Games 4 2  .667 2.15  6  3   0  0 54.1 38 13  5 19 25 1.05
59        Jason Isringhausen 1995     6 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 1.57  6  0   0  0 46.0 33  8  1 10 28 0.93
60         Orlando Hernandez 1998     6 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 1.54  6  1   0  0 46.2 30  8  2 16 44 0.99
61             Joey Hamilton 1994     6 Ind. Games 4 2  .667 1.22  6  1   1  0 44.1 35  6  1 10 24 1.02
62             Dave Hamilton 1972     6 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.04  6  1   0  0 43.1 35  5  1 13 22 1.11
63              Mark Gubicza 1984     6 Ind. Games 3 3  .500 1.17  6  1   1  0 46.0 34  6  0 13 27 1.02
64              A.J. Griffin 2012     6 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 1.69  6  0   0  0 37.1 22  7  2  8 35 0.80
65             Dwight Gooden 1984     6 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 0.84  6  1   1  0 43.0 20  4  1 16 57 0.84
66             Spud Chandler 1937     6 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.21  6  5   2  0 52.0 38  7  4 10 22 0.92
67           John Candelaria 1975     6 Ind. Games 5 0 1.000 1.63  6  4   1  0 49.2 31  9  3 13 41 0.89
68              Pete Broberg 1971     6 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 1.09  6  3   1  0 49.2 30  6  0 17 35 0.95
69               Tiny Bonham 1940     6 Ind. Games 6 0 1.000 0.83  6  6   2  0 54.0 34  5  0  1 18 0.65
70              Dennis Blair 1974     6 Ind. Games 4 2  .667 1.58  6  4   1  0 51.1 30  9  2 18 28 0.94
71              Gene Bearden 1948     6 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.03  6  4   2  0 52.2 33  6  0 22 19 1.04
72                Don August 1988     6 Ind. Games 4 2  .667 1.82  6  4   0  0 49.1 40 10  4 11 27 1.03
73               Rene Arocha 1993     6 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 1.87  6  0   0  0 43.1 31  9  2  3 25 0.78
74             Rick Aguilera 1985     6 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 0.79  6  2   0  0 45.1 29  4  1 11 27 0.88


Source: BR PI Game Finder
   15. bobm Posted: October 19, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4276433)
Cherry picking further...

From 1918 to 2012, as Starter, In first 10 games, (requiring game_score>=58 and SO>=7), sorted by greatest number of games in a single season matching the selected criteria

                                                                                                      
Rk   Gcar            Player Year        #Matching W L  W-L%  ERA GS CG SHO SV   IP  H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1                Kerry Wood 1998     7 Ind. Games 6 0 1.000 0.92  7  1   1  0 49.0 27  5  1 19 79 0.94
2                Herb Score 1955     7 Ind. Games 5 2  .714 1.98  7  5   1  0 59.0 31 13  2 40 72 1.20
3               Jose DeLeon 1983     7 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.59  7  2   1  0 56.2 25 10  2 19 66 0.78
                                                                                                      
4         Stephen Strasburg 2010     6 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 1.45  6  0   0  0 37.1 26  6  3  9 56 0.94
5            Lynn McGlothen 1972     6 Ind. Games 4 2  .667 2.23  6  2   1  0 48.1 35 12  1 13 45 0.99
6               Matt Harvey 2012     6 Ind. Games 2 2  .500 1.46  6  0   0  0 37.0 20  6  2 15 52 0.95
                                                                                                      
7                Nolan Ryan 1968     5 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 1.15  5  2   0  0 39.0 19  5  3 18 51 0.95
8         Orlando Hernandez 1998     5 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 1.40  5  1   0  0 38.2 24  6  2 14 39 0.98
9             Dwight Gooden 1984     5 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 0.71  5  1   1  0 38.0 17  3  1 14 52 0.82
                                                                                                      
10         Dontrelle Willis 2003     4 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 0.58  4  1   1  0 31.0 21  2  0  7 32 0.90
11               Don Sutton 1966     4 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 1.12  4  2   1  0 32.0 25  4  1  3 34 0.88
12            Dave Righetti 1981     4 Ind. Games 1 1  .500 1.33  4  0   0  0 27.0 22  4  0 10 31 1.19
13               Mark Prior 2002     4 Ind. Games 2 0 1.000 1.80  4  0   0  0 25.0 14  5  2  9 38 0.92
14           Michael Pineda 2011     4 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 0.99  4  0   0  0 27.1 14  3  0  6 32 0.73
15             Oliver Perez 2002     4 Ind. Games 1 1  .500 1.67  4  0   0  0 27.0 14  5  3 12 36 0.96
16               Hideo Nomo 1995     4 Ind. Games 2 0 1.000 0.95  4  0   0  0 28.1 12  3  0 12 45 0.85
17               Gary Nolan 1967     4 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 1.57  4  2   1  0 34.1 27  6  2  6 37 0.96
18               Stu Miller 1952     4 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 1.00  4  4   1  0 36.0 15  4  0 12 34 0.75
19                Cliff Lee 2003     4 Ind. Games 2 1  .667 3.10  4  0   0  0 29.0 19 10  3  5 28 0.83
20               Tim Hudson 1999     4 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 1.23  4  0   0  0 29.1 19  4  0 11 33 1.02
21          Felix Hernandez 2005     4 Ind. Games 1 1  .500 2.32  4  0   0  0 31.0 19  8  4  7 35 0.84
22              Tom Griffin 1969     4 Ind. Games 2 2  .500 2.23  4  2   1  0 32.1 17  8  3 16 43 1.02
23            Bert Blyleven 1970     4 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 0.84  4  2   0  0 32.0 16  3  3  6 32 0.69
24              Bo Belinsky 1962     4 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 1.14  4  2   1  0 31.2 17  4  0 15 35 1.01
25           Brandon Beachy 2011     4 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 1.12  4  0   0  0 24.0 13  3  2  4 30 0.71
   16. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 19, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4276435)
From 1918 to 2012, as Starter, In first 10 games, (requiring game_score>=58), sorted by greatest number of games in a single season matching the selected criteria


Change it to first 10 starts and you get Fernando Valenzuela 1981 8-1 1.24 87 IP 9 starts of GS 58 or higher, 8 of 76 or higher.
   17. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: October 19, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4276464)
Of course, we know a lot more about Matt Harvey than just 60 innings, it is silly for James to just pretend he materialized in the majors.


He is not pretending, he is just answering the question of based solely on Harvey's debut season numbers what are his chances based on historical precedent.
   18. bobm Posted: October 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4276489)
[16]

It's the age filter on the debut season which seems to be the biggest restriction on James' list. Yes, there are posted positive expectations for Harvey based on more then just a brief major league stint, but in general, is an age 23 debut season for a strikeout / power pitcher already too old to portend much success?

From 1918 to 2012, as Starter, In first 10 games, (requiring game_score>=58, SO>=7, Age>=22 and Age<=24), sorted by greatest number of games in a single season matching the selected criteria


                                                                                                   
Rk   Gcar         Player Year        #Matching W L  W-L%  ERA GS CG SHO SV   IP  H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1            Jose DeLeon 1983     7 Ind. Games 5 1  .833 1.59  7  2   1  0 56.2 25 10  2 19 66 0.78
                                                                                                   
2         Lynn McGlothen 1972     6 Ind. Games 4 2  .667 2.23  6  2   1  0 48.1 35 12  1 13 45 0.99
3            Matt Harvey 2012     6 Ind. Games 2 2  .500 1.46  6  0   0  0 37.0 20  6  2 15 52 0.95
                                                                                                   
4          Dave Righetti 1981     4 Ind. Games 1 1  .500 1.33  4  0   0  0 27.0 22  4  0 10 31 1.19
5         Michael Pineda 2011     4 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 0.99  4  0   0  0 27.1 14  3  0  6 32 0.73
6             Stu Miller 1952     4 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 1.00  4  4   1  0 36.0 15  4  0 12 34 0.75
7             Tim Hudson 1999     4 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 1.23  4  0   0  0 29.1 19  4  0 11 33 1.02
8         Brandon Beachy 2011     4 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 1.12  4  0   0  0 24.0 13  3  2  4 30 0.71

   19. bobm Posted: October 19, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4276498)
Ages 20 & 21:

                                                                                                      
Rk   Gcar            Player Year        #Matching W L  W-L%  ERA GS CG SHO SV   IP  H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1                Kerry Wood 1998     7 Ind. Games 6 0 1.000 0.92  7  1   1  0 49.0 27  5  1 19 79 0.94
2                Herb Score 1955     7 Ind. Games 5 2  .714 1.98  7  5   1  0 59.0 31 13  2 40 72 1.20
                                                                                                      
3         Stephen Strasburg 2010     6 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 1.45  6  0   0  0 37.1 26  6  3  9 56 0.94
                                                                                                      
4                Nolan Ryan 1968     5 Ind. Games 4 1  .800 1.15  5  2   0  0 39.0 19  5  3 18 51 0.95
                                                                                                      
5          Dontrelle Willis 2003     4 Ind. Games 4 0 1.000 0.58  4  1   1  0 31.0 21  2  0  7 32 0.90
6                Don Sutton 1966     4 Ind. Games 3 1  .750 1.12  4  2   1  0 32.0 25  4  1  3 34 0.88
7                Mark Prior 2002     4 Ind. Games 2 0 1.000 1.80  4  0   0  0 25.0 14  5  2  9 38 0.92
8              Oliver Perez 2002     4 Ind. Games 1 1  .500 1.67  4  0   0  0 27.0 14  5  3 12 36 0.96
9               Tom Griffin 1969     4 Ind. Games 2 2  .500 2.23  4  2   1  0 32.1 17  8  3 16 43 1.02


Provided by <a href="http://www.sports-reference.com/sharing.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=ShareTool">Baseball-Reference.com
   20. bobm Posted: October 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4276503)
Age <= 19:

                                                                                                    
Rk   Gcar          Player Year        #Matching W L  W-L%  ERA GS CG SHO SV   IP  H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1           Dwight Gooden 1984     5 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 0.71  5  1   1  0 38.0 17  3  1 14 52 0.82
                                                                                                    
2              Gary Nolan 1967     4 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 1.57  4  2   1  0 34.1 27  6  2  6 37 0.96
3         Felix Hernandez 2005     4 Ind. Games 1 1  .500 2.32  4  0   0  0 31.0 19  8  4  7 35 0.84
4           Bert Blyleven 1970     4 Ind. Games 3 0 1.000 0.84  4  2   0  0 32.0 16  3  3  6 32 0.69
                                                                                                    
5             Ray Sadecki 1960     3 Ind. Games 2 1  .667 1.44  3  2   1  0 25.0 12  4  2 17 23 1.16
                                                                                                    
6            Curt Simmons 1948     2 Ind. Games 1 1  .500 0.53  2  1   0  0 17.0 17  1  0  9 16 1.53
7            Denny McLain 1963     2 Ind. Games 2 0 1.000 2.00  2  2   0  0 18.0 17  4  1 11 19 1.56
8              Bob Feller 1936     2 Ind. Games 2 0 1.000 1.00  2  2   0  0 18.0 13  2  0  7 25 1.11
9             David Clyde 1973     2 Ind. Games 1 1  .500 3.27  2  0   0  0 11.0  8  4  2  7 16 1.36
10           Dave Boswell 1964     2 Ind. Games 2 0 1.000 2.35  2  0   0  0 15.1 11  4  1  5 16 1.04
                                                                                                    
11           Curt Simmons 1947     1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 1.00  1  1   0  0  9.0  5  1  0  6  9 1.22
12         Blue Moon Odom 1964     1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 0.00  1  1   1  0  9.0  2  0  0  6  7 0.89
13          Hal Newhouser 1940     1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 1.00  1  1   0  0  9.0  5  1  0  5  7 1.11
14            Lew Krausse 1961     1 Ind. Games 0 1  .000 2.57  1  0   0  0  7.0  3  2  1  8  7 1.57
15           Sandy Koufax 1955     1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 0.00  1  1   1  0  9.0  2  0  0  5 14 0.78
16           Jack Jenkins 1962     1 Ind. Games 0 1  .000 3.24  1  1   0  0  8.1  7  3  2  4  8 1.32
17           Don Drysdale 1956     1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 1.00  1  1   0  0  9.0  9  1  0  1  9 1.11
18         Dick Brodowski 1952     1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 3.00  1  1   0  0  9.0  4  3  2  4  8 0.89
19             Rex Barney 1943     1 Ind. Games 0       0 1.93  1  0   0  0 14.0  7  3  1  6  8 0.93
   21. Adward Posted: October 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4276564)
Official Underwear Scouting Report
RHB

Regular wash:
Kyle Hansen IIRC (height not a problem)
Clay Bucholz (the manic taxi driver: a professional. what, me worry?)

Glad to have worn sliding shorts:
Jeff Locke LHP IIRC (threw high and inside, repeatedly)
Matt Harvey (good control and stuff; shame and fear equal)

Burned car seat after getting home:
Jeff Allison (from level ground!)
   22. bjhanke Posted: October 19, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4276793)
Walt (and smileyy) - Thanks a lot! As soon as I saw "Central Limit Theorem" I remembered much more than just the one isolated rule of thumb. You gave me what it's good for, and why you need larger sample sizes in baseball. What I had really remembered was that SD and variance fed into confidence intervals, which are sort of the finishing line for a lot of statistical analysis. No one talks about their results in terms of confidence here, but I know that, in many ways, it's the gold standard and more sabermetricians should probably go that extra step and try to figure out what confidence their analyses generate. That's MUCH more than I was hoping for. But, then, I knew who I was asking. My math professors at Vanderbilt are, of course, all retired and/or dead. You, poor soul, are by far my best remaining source. Thanks again, - Brock

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