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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Corcoran: Top studs and duds: The best and worst No. 1 picks in MLB draft history

1. Chipper Jones, SS, Braves, 1990

By career wins above replacement, Alex Rodriguez has been by far the most valuable first-round pick in draft history, but no team ever got more out of the No. 1 overall choice than the Braves got from Chipper Jones. Rodriguez, who went 1/1 in 1993, chased big free agent money at the first opportunity, leaving Seattle after compiling 38 WAR in his team-controlled years. Ken Griffey Jr. (1987) forced a trade to his home city of Cincinnati after 11 years with the Mariners, but Jones, a regional high school shortstop who settled in at third base in the major leagues, spent his entire 19-year, soon-to-be Hall of Fame career with team that drafted him.

“He looks just like you, poindexter!”

Eddo Posted: June 03, 2014 at 05:03 PM | 130 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, draft, mariners, mets, padres, twins, white sox, yankees

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   101. CrosbyBird Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4719008)
The 18 games the Rangers improved by the year following the trade.

Baseball-reference doesn't have full salary information, but the Rangers pitching staff was about 25 wins (24.9) better in 2004 than they were in 2003, and while they made some additions like Rogers, Dickey, and Francisco, they weren't expensive players.

A great deal of the pitching improvement came from the especially crappy pitchers improving or getting a lot less playing time. Ryan Drese was almost 6 wins better in 2004. Chan Ho Park was still lousy but almost a full win better. The cut Jay Powell's innings in half and gained almost two wins there.

The 2003 pitching was absolutely brutal. Of the 27 players that pitched for them, 22 were below-average and 18 were below replacement level.
   102. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4719016)
This is quite likely the craziest thing I've ever read on this site. Which means it's quite likely the craziest things I've ever read period.

If something has a significant impact, you can measure it.
   103. Nasty Nate Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4719021)
As anyone who works in data will tell you if you can't measure it, it's irrelevant. If we can't figure out an accurate and precise way to measure chemistry then it's functionally irrelevant.


This is stupid and would be called a strawman if an old-school type tried to argue against it.

If a gust of wind knocks down a wall of my house, I don't have the know-how or equipment to measure the speed or force of that gust but it sure as hell wasn't irrelevant.
   104. Nasty Nate Posted: June 04, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4719023)
If something has a significant impact, you can measure it.


Not if you don't have the appropriate methods, equipment, and knowledge to do so.
   105. CrosbyBird Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4719033)
For one thing, you are just looking at the pure value that the player has provided for the team, so it's as non-arbitrary a measure as you can get.

Well, you have to account for the value the team gets in return for a trade or compensation pick as well, and all the subsequent trades/compensation picks, in order to make a fair comparison.

Once you do that, you're still punishing players that were traded for poor value or that came from franchises that didn't draft well. Was A-Rod a worse pick because the Mariners used their compensation pick on Michael Garciaparra when David Wright was available?
   106. Ron J2 Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4719034)
I'm not aware that there is an Oscar Gamble scouting report on the record. Buck O'Neill is always credited with finding him (playing semi-pro)
   107. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4719055)
"A-Rod might be that female office worker of yours, where everything she does to boost productivity is negated by the deflating effect she has on everyone else."

Explain the Yankees continued success with ARod. Are you arguing those were true-talent 110 wins Yankee teams that could withstand the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" and still make the playoffs?


I burst out laughing reading this at my desk. Thanks for the new handle, snapper.
   108. Rally Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4719057)
Baseball-reference doesn't have full salary information, but the Rangers pitching staff was about 25 wins (24.9) better in 2004 than they were in 2003, and while they made some additions like Rogers, Dickey, and Francisco, they weren't expensive players.


To put that on A-Rod, you'd have to argue either:

A) Michael Young was a far better defender at short or
B) A-Rod's alleged pitch calling from shortstop was terrible. He was the anti-Molina.
   109. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4719073)
If something has a significant impact, you can measure it.


Like dark matter?
   110. Curse of the Andino Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4719108)
I thought the story was Bill Veeck himself saw Baines playing in Easton, MD, and decided he had to have him player for the White Sox. (Easton's on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore, half ridiculously wealthy, half-rural; used to be a lot of old money there.)
   111. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4719121)
Like dark matter?


Yes. Like dark matter. We know about the existence of dark matter precisely because we can measure its effects.
   112. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4719128)
We know about the existence of dark matter precisely because we can measure its effects.


When were those "effects" first measured, Miserlou?
   113. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4719133)
I don't understand those who engage with trolls.
   114. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4719136)
When it was discovered that galaxies and galactic clusters had only a fraction of the matter required to keep them gravitationally bound, in visible form. It' a macro form of how astronomers discover extra solar planets. They don't actually see them, but infer their existence based on how the visible matter (stars) have their motion perturbed by unseen mass.
   115. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4719137)
but infer their existence based on how the visible matter (stars) have their motion perturbed by unseen mass.


Kind of like inferring from the change in won/loss record the perturbation a single player has it a team once he leaves?
   116. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4719138)
Not if you don't have the appropriate methods, equipment, and knowledge to do so.

Someone can measure it.

If ARod was causing his teams to under perform vs. individual performance (e.g. WAR), one could construct a model of team success and include an "ARod on team dummy variable" that would show up as significant.

If ARod was causing players on his team to individually underperform, one could construct a ZiPs like projection system with an "ARod team-mate dummy variable" that would provide a better predictor of performance than straight ZiPs.

If an impact is there, you can measure the impact, even if you don't know precisely the cause or mechanism.

If a gust of wind knocks down a wall of my house, I don't have the know-how or equipment to measure the speed or force of that gust but it sure as hell wasn't irrelevant.

In this case, you measured the impact, and the immediate proximity to the damage. That's not scientifically precise, but it's a measurement.
   117. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4719145)
I don't understand those who engage with trolls.


You should try it. It's fun. For instance, from this very thread, I've somehow gotten snapper to insist he can predict the future and madvillain to say that information that cannot be measured precisely is insignificant and therefore not worth considering.

The funny thing is I wasn't even trying. People respond sometimes in the most bizarre ways when you challenge their biases and preconceived notions. they say all kinds of crazy things to defend them rather than re-assess

   118. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4719147)
I don't understand those who engage with trolls.


debate practice

also to possibly educate random lurkers who may not know that a troll is actually a troll.
   119. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4719148)
Kind of like inferring from the change in won/loss record the perturbation a single player has it a team once he leaves?


No, not like that at all.
   120. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4719153)
In this case, you measured the impact, and the immediate proximity to the damage. That's not scientifically precise, but it's a measurement.


Correction. He noted the impact. He did not measure it. Measuring something is completely different from passively observing it.
   121. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4719159)
No, not like that at all.


Yeah, kind of like that.
   122. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4719167)
They don't actually see them, but infer their existence based on how the visible matter (stars) have their motion perturbed by unseen mass.


Anyway, you missed my point. Before it was possible to measure the "effects" of dark matter. Not dark matter itself but the effects it had on other things. Before it was possible to do that, and dark matter itself was immeasurable, then dark matter was inconsequential and insignificant. That's what madvillain is saying.

And you agree? Wow.
   123. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4719191)
And you agree? Wow.


I look forward to your presentation at the next SABRE conference explaining how you have been able to isolate the ARod effect from the other hundreds of variable that go into a team's won-loss record. I look forward to seeing you repeat this experiment with other players. Or, failing that, I look forward to you monetizing your discovery by selling it to the highest MLB bidder. Until then, what you have is an unsupported bullshit theory masquerading as scientific fact.

"Hey look! I didn't drive yesterday, and today it's cooler. It's as simple as that to end global warming" is more plausible.
   124. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4719194)
If a gust of wind knocks down a wall of my house, I don't have the know-how or equipment to measure the speed or force of that gust but it sure as hell wasn't irrelevant.


this is an awful analogy. You quantified the ####### wind by watching it knock down your wall.

We can't quantify clubhouse chemistry in such an obvious manner. Let me add on simply to the original claim: if we can't measure it, it's irrelevent to our decision making

It doesn't make the bold claim that this thing we can't quantity does not exist or does not affect our plans -- only that as rational decision makers we should not consider it until we have the tools to measure it.

One day maybe we will be able to measure chemistry (the military is quite involved in research like this, one of my good friends is persuing her PHD in it and getting paid good money by the army to do so) and then we can factor it into our decision making. Until then, we should ignore it.

I look forward to your presentation at the next SABRE conference explaining how you have been able to isolate the ARod effect from the other hundreds of variable that go into a team's won-loss record. I look forward to seeing you repeat this experiment with other players. Or, failing that, I look forward to you monetizing your discovery by selling it to the highest MLB bidder. Until then, what you have is an unsupported bullshit theory masquerading as scientific fact.


Forget common core. Make everyone learn Bayesian inference and read Nassim Taleb and go from there. The ignorance on how statistical models work and the scope of what they can and can't tell us is the driving factor of much of the anti-science, anti-ration rhetoric in the US that is screwing us all. When Science (capitol S) projects the earth to warm 2 degrees and then it warms 1 degree it doesn't mean you reject the entire claim, in fact this is simply a projection and any scientist working on the project not a hack would admit as much and in fact probably bolded it and triple underlined in the conclusion.

We cannot predict, otherwise we'd be God. If ZIPS is incredibly off about a player, or even quite a few players, you don't reject the theory behind it. Projections are not predictions.
   125. Nasty Nate Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4719205)
this is an awful analogy. You quantified the ####### wind by watching it knock down your wall.


That's not quantifying wind speed or force at all.

Let me add on simply to the original claim: if we can't measure it, it's irrelevent to our decision making

It doesn't make the bold claim that this thing we can't quantity does not exist or does not affect our plans -- only that as rational decision makers we should not consider it until we have the tools to measure it.


Yeah, this is more the point I was getting at. Without those qualifiers, "if you can't measure it, it's irrelevant" is a ludicrously foolish statement (and even with the qualifiers, it's an overstatement).
   126. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4719206)
I look forward to your presentation at the next SABRE conference explaining how you have been able to isolate the ARod effect from the other hundreds of variable that go into a team's won-loss record. I look forward to seeing you repeat this experiment with other players.


Umm, non sequitur anyone?
   127. Publius Publicola Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4719209)
only that as rational decision makers we should not consider it until we have the tools to measure it.



That there is some crazy ass ####. If only we all had the luxury of living in the world we understand rather than the one that actually exists.
   128. Nasty Nate Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4719210)
If an impact is there, you can measure the impact, even if you don't know precisely the cause or mechanism.


Setting aside A-Rod, this is simply not true as a general statement. The tools, methods, and knowledge necessary are simply non-existent now to measure some things which have an impact on other things.
   129. PreservedFish Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4719226)
This has gone in an interesting direction.
   130. theboyqueen Posted: June 04, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4719231)
No it hasn't.
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