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Sunday, June 15, 2014

BLS: Jimmy Rollins’ and Mike Schmidt’s career batting averages leave Ruben Amaro confused

The Amaro Variation: Monster-Error-of-the-Week.

In said appearance, Amaro did not seem to fully grasp the basic differences between a plate appearance and at-bat and how they effect stats such as batting average and on base percentage. The confusion stemmed from Philadelphia’s broadcast team noting that Jimmy Rollins was approaching Michael Schmidt’s team record for career hits — which he ultimately surpassed in a very cool moment on Saturday — to which Amaro replied.

  “Yeah, we were checking it out. In fact Schmitty was in the booth yesterday when we were talking about it, and, um, I think it’s about a thousand difference in, ah, plate appearances. Pretty amazing. But their batting averages aren’t that different, which is kind of… weird. I don’t quite understand it.”

At a time when Phillies fans are looking for reasons to have faith in Amaro, that might just crush all hope.

At the time of the conversation, Rollins was sitting on 2,233 hits in 8,323 at-bats, which is good for a .268 career. Schmidt finished his Hall of Fame career with 2,234 hits in 8,352 at bats, which is a .267 batting average. It’s undoubtedly amazing that the averages are so close, but there’s nothing confusing about either average. In fact, the math is actually quite simple.

Where it becomes complicated for Amaro, apparently, is when he starts lumping in both players career walks, sacrifices and hit-by-pitch totals, which count toward their plate appearances and career on base percentage, but have no influence on batting average. Schmidt, one of the greatest and most respected power hitters in MLB history, walked 784 times more in his career than Rollins has to this point. That explains again, without any confusion, why Schmidt has a significantly higher on base percentage.

Repoz Posted: June 15, 2014 at 08:10 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

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   1. bobm Posted: June 15, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4726479)
From the article linked to in TFA

Less than two months after they picked George Springer from the University of Connecticut, the Astros sent Pence and cash to the Phillies on July 29, 2011, for Cosart, Singleton, Zeid and a player to be named, which ended up being [RF prospect Domingo] Santana. In spring training, a Phillies official admitted that Santana wasn’t actually supposed to be on the list that was given to the Astros to pick from to satisfy the final piece on Aug. 15, 2011.

Santana, a 6-foot-5, 224-pounder from the Dominican Republic, has usually been one of the youngest players at each minor-league level. He’s 21 now at OKC hitting .292 with nine home runs, 36 RBIs and an .858 OPS over 58 games. It wouldn’t be surprising if he’s up in the majors this year.
   2. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: June 15, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4726485)
Have fun, Phillies fans.

Jesus Criminy.
   3. TerpNats Posted: June 15, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4726486)
So much for the value of a Stanford degree.
   4. puck Posted: June 15, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4726819)
Ha, wrong thread.
   5. Cooper Nielson Posted: June 15, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4726896)
Oddly enough, Ruben Amaro Jr. was actually not terrible at drawing walks as a player. He had 88 in 1051 PA (or, should we say, 927 AB, as if anyone knows the difference). And he certainly wasn't being pitched around, as a .235 hitter with a .353 SLG.
   6. Cooper Nielson Posted: June 15, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4726948)
RAJ was a consistent .400 OBP guy in the minors before his call-up, even when he wasn't hitting for average. For example, in 573 PA in 1988 at A and AA, he hit just .257 but drew 109 walks.
   7. Textbook Editor Posted: June 15, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4726996)
Less than two months after they picked George Springer from the University of Connecticut, the Astros sent Pence and cash to the Phillies on July 29, 2011, for Cosart, Singleton, Zeid and a player to be named, which ended up being [RF prospect Domingo] Santana. In spring training, a Phillies official admitted that Santana wasn’t actually supposed to be on the list that was given to the Astros to pick from to satisfy the final piece on Aug. 15, 2011.

Santana, a 6-foot-5, 224-pounder from the Dominican Republic, has usually been one of the youngest players at each minor-league level. He’s 21 now at OKC hitting .292 with nine home runs, 36 RBIs and an .858 OPS over 58 games. It wouldn’t be surprising if he’s up in the majors this year.


FWIW, it's starting to get noticed (on talk radio) that the Pence deal may wind up being even dumber than the Howard extension. People are starting to get pissed that the young talent they want the Phillies to have right now plays for the Astros, for which they received the immortal Hunter Pence.

And--allegedly--the guy who screwed up including Santana is/was Chuck LaMar, and supposedly that led to him "pursuing other options" after the 2011 season.

But really, the fact Amaro doesn't understand OBP is no surprise to me. It's been almost an anti-walk crusade since he took over. See, Phillies fans... you thought you had the bottom of the barrel with Ed Wade, but little did ye know...
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: June 15, 2014 at 11:58 PM (#4727068)

Pence is a good, durable player.

hate the trade, but don't hate the playah...
   9. Walt Davis Posted: June 16, 2014 at 03:08 AM (#4727091)
In fairness, I'm pretty sure Amaro was confused long before he encountered the Schmidt-Rollins Paradox.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: June 16, 2014 at 03:27 AM (#4727093)
The Pence trade may turn out terrible but it was just a classic win now trade. Pence raked for the Phils and helped lead them to 102 wins, easily best in the NL. They just lost early in the playoffs.

And, sure, three years later the Astros are starting to see some return. On that return, surely Cosart's dropping like a rock in terms of potential. His minor league numbers were solid but not spectacular (<8 K/9, nearly 4 BB/9 and in 140 ML IP he's K'ing 6/9 while walking over 4 in a league where the average is nearly 8 K/9. That can turn out league average of course which is nice but it doesn't seem he's likely to be a star.

Singleton has some work to do. His career miL BA is just 279, 241 in AAA. He has the look of a guy who'll be K'ing a ton for a while. He could easily just be the next Chris Carter or maybe Carlos Pena -- again quite useful but a player you'd gladly trade away for a WS title (not that the Phils got one after this trade). Coming into this season, ZiPS projected Singleton to 233/325/398, 99 OPS+ ... and currently at 233/324/409 RoS so not much has changed. Of course he's only 22 and that's not a bad line for 22.

Zeid's a 27-year-old reliever. Santana was projected to 214/290/390, 86 OPS+. I don't think there's a ZiPS update for him and his stock has probably gone up as his AAA BA is up to 286 (it was only 252 in AA last year). And he's only 21. Astros seem pretty aggressive with him.

For sure the 2015-18 Astros will be better due to this trade and it was a lot to pay in today's market. But if I were a Phils fan I think I'd be more upset about the crappy return from trading Pence to the Giants.
   11. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 07:44 AM (#4727103)
The Pence trade may turn out terrible but it was just a classic win now trade. Pence raked for the Phils and helped lead them to 102 wins, easily best in the NL. They just lost early in the playoffs.


That's exactly why it was such a terrible idea--Pence was specifically acquired to help them win in the playoffs, which is impossible because the playoffs are random. The Phillies ran away and hid from the NL East in 2011, and would easily have won the division without him.

Pence did have a year of arb left, but it looked like an overpay at the time and looks like an overpay now.
   12. TerpNats Posted: June 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4727175)
But really, the fact Amaro doesn't understand OBP is no surprise to me. It's been almost an anti-walk crusade since he took over.
And anyone who watched the 1993 Phillies knows one reason that team excelled was that it drew more than its share of walks.
   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4727195)
I thought Amaro's statistical ignorance was overplayed since he makes himself such an easy target, but Holy Toledo, that is a little over the top.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4727219)
Pence was specifically acquired to help them win in the playoffs, which is impossible because the playoffs are random.


Really?
   15. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4727419)
Pence was specifically acquired to help them win in the playoffs, which is impossible because the playoffs are random.


Really?

Yeah, that's an astonishing simplification. Pence made a win-now team a lot better. They had been starting Ben Francisco and Dom Brown in right.
   16. Ron J2 Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4727465)
#15 Sure, but any given upgrade only moves the dial so far. I remember doing some back of the envelope calculations that said Pence trivially increased their chance of winning it all. Maybe 1%.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: June 16, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4727525)
#15 Sure, but any given upgrade only moves the dial so far.


Yeah I'd guess that was Zeth's point. It seems pretty easy to make that point without including garbage like the notion that it's impossible for a good player to help a team win in the playoffs.
   18. dave h Posted: June 16, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4727535)
How much does any player increase a team's chance of making the playoffs? Divide that by 8, and how often is it much more than a 1% increase in the chance of winning the World Series? Sure, when talking about prospects they'll have several years to impact your playoff/WS odds, but in that case you have to account for the odds they become useful major leaguers at all.

Put another way, would the players the Phillies sent for Pence increase their World Series probabilities 1% during the time they were team-controlled?

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