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Friday, November 15, 2013

Mike Trout vs. Miguel Cabrera a proxy battle in a larger cold war | HardballTalk

Interesting but I don’t really agree with Craig. We will never get to the point where we’ll be rid of harsh rhetoric in the MVP debate. We will always have people who think differently. There will always be a healthy supply of iconoclasts, no matter who makes up the “old guard”. 

This is why we are where we are. This is why the rhetoric from some on the Trout side has turned, frankly, silly, what with references to “the intelligentsia” and “enlightened” people. They’re compensating. This is also why you see silly things like seventh place votes for Trout from the Old Guard/Cabrera folks. They’re compensating too.  Everyone is so damn worried about their place in the world that they’ll say and do the silliest things in order to justify it. And, for the moment anyway, the Cabrera folks have a greater hold on the BBWAA, so their reaction — and Cabrera’s attendant solidification as MVP despite no triple crown and a full season from Trout — is worth more in the voting.

This dynamic won’t last forever, of course. For one thing, the people involved in it are generally pretty smart and reasonable people and, if they haven’t already figured out that these skirmishes are dumb, they will eventually. This happens with all proxy wars. They are mere footnotes to and offshots of the larger cold wars which encompass far greater and far more fundamental political and philosophical differences.

But those end too and a new way of organizing the world is eventually agreed upon. It happens with things as large and as important as nation-states. It’ll happen with something as small and relatively unimportant as the world of baseball journalism too.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM | 71 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, media, miguel cabrera, mike trout, mvp, sabermetrics

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   1. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4600682)
If you were to draft a team heading into 2014, who would take Cabrera over Trout? Not I.
   2. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4600683)
This dynamic won’t last forever, of course.
I think some analysis is in order. This will be moderately creepy, so bear with me...

Here are the 30 voters. Here are their ages. What's the voting breakdown by age of voter. We should be able to apply some Nate Silverage/actuarial calculations to know about when we can expect data to trump "love".

Anyone?
   3. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4600684)
If you were to draft a team heading into 2014, who would take Cabrera over Trout? Not I.
that's not quite the question here I don't think - the key is if you were to draft a team for 2013, knowing what performance they would put out, who do you take?
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4600692)
If you were to draft a team heading into 2014, who would take Cabrera over Trout? Not I.


So Bryce Harper is the NL MVP?
   5. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4600703)
It's interesting that now the Cy Young voting is almost entirely based on individual stats, which don't even include wins anymore (King Felix), but the MVP voting is still closely tied to team narrative (and RBIs).
   6. BDC Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4600706)
We should be able to apply some Nate Silverage/actuarial calculations to know about when we can expect data to trump "love".

Anyone?


You're forgetting the inevitable human drift toward love in the course of aging. I think that creates a perpetual equilibrium :)
   7. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4600715)
Hey Foghorn - It's my question. And it sounds like you agree.
   8. TDF, situational idiot Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4600716)
If you were to draft a team heading into 2014, who would take Cabrera over Trout?
The correct question is:

You're drafting for a Strat tourney (so, all you're worried about is a player's current card). Who do you take?
   9. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4600717)
It's interesting that now the Cy Young voting is almost entirely based on individual stats, which don't even include wins anymore (King Felix), but the MVP voting is still closely tied to team narrative (and RBIs).


That's because the CYA is given to the "best" pitcher, while the MVP is given to the "most valuable" player. Most of the voters make the argument that the two are not equal.

-- MWE
   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4600727)

That's because the CYA is given to the "best" pitcher, while the MVP is given to the "most valuable" player. Most of the voters make the argument that the two are not equal.


And most of the voters are wrong.
   11. The Good Face Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4600729)
If you were to draft a team heading into 2014, who would take Cabrera over Trout? Not I.



So Bryce Harper is the NL MVP?


Would you really take Bryce Harper's career going forward over Trout's? I mean, it seems like the best case scenario for Harper is that he might become as good as Trout has been the past two seasons.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4600733)

Would you really take Bryce Harper's career going forward over Trout's? I mean, it seems like the best case scenario for Harper is that he might become as good as Trout has been the past two seasons.


I would not, but Trout is not in the NL.
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4600734)
Trout isn't eligible for NL MVP, though he may contribute a lot to some NL team in the distant future, which seems to be Yastrzemski In Left's criteria for MVP.
   14. SG Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4600735)
Would you really take Bryce Harper's career going forward over Trout's? I mean, it seems like the best case scenario for Harper is that he might become as good as Trout has been the past two seasons.


I guess you could wonder if Trout can continue to be as good as he's been the past two seasons as well.
   15. The Good Face Posted: November 15, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4600746)
I guess you could wonder if Trout can continue to be as good as he's been the past two seasons as well.


Yeah, it all just seems a bit surreal that somebody can be and STAY that good.
   16. tfbg9 Posted: November 15, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4600755)
Mike Trout, career, 9th inning: 110 PA's, .172/.345/.253/.598 1 HR

Miggy Cabrera, career, 9th inning: 512 PA's, .264/.335/.469/.805 25HR's

Weird.
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4600760)
Mike Trout, career, 9th inning: 110 PA's, .172/.345/.253/.598 1 HR


Not weird at all. If you've got a .950 OPS hitter with 1500 PA and do nine slices of that data, you would expect to see the slices range from about a low point of about .650 to a high point of about 1.250. And that's what we see here. Trout ranges per inning from .598 to 1.226. I suspect the 9th inning is a little lower because of the closer.
   18. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: November 15, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4600782)
"This is also why you see silly things like seventh place votes for Trout from the Old Guard/Cabrera folks. They’re compensating too. Everyone is so damn worried about their place in the world that they’ll say and do the silliest things in order to justify it."

Or maybe their not worried and not compensating, and that's just have their systems for reaching conclusions.. My guess is you could fill perhaps a medium sized room with those who actually do worry and fret and compensate - but not much more than that.
   19. Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4600793)
One of the things that really irritates me is when people try to justify their selection of Cabrera with something like "Trout is young. He will win his share of MVPs." Really? What if his first two years are his best years?
   20. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: November 15, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4600796)
I have a question about awards voters. My understanding is that there are two votes for each team in the league. For the Red Sox, the two votes rotate among the BBWAA members in the area. Where do Joe Pos and Robothal get their votes? Some legacy from when they covered a team? How are voters determined for other teams?
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4600798)

One of the things that really irritates me is when people try to justify their selection of Cabrera with something like "Trout is young. He will win his share of MVPs." Really? What if his first two years are his best years?


You're right, Jim. Its just like the time I could have met Mr. T at the mall. The entire day, I kept saying, "I'll go a little later, I'll go a little later..." And when I got there, they told me he just left. And when I asked the mall guy if he'll ever come back again.....he said he didn't know.
   22. Good cripple hitter Posted: November 15, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4600801)
I think some analysis is in order. This will be moderately creepy, so bear with me...

Here are the 30 voters. Here are their ages. What's the voting breakdown by age of voter. We should be able to apply some Nate Silverage/actuarial calculations to know about when we can expect data to trump "love".

Anyone?


I started to do this, but I quickly realized that I couldn't find the ages of most of the writers.


I have a question about awards voters. My understanding is that there are two votes for each team in the league. For the Red Sox, the two votes rotate among the BBWAA members in the area. Where do Joe Pos and Robothal get their votes? Some legacy from when they covered a team? How are voters determined for other teams?


According to the BBWAA's website: "Two writers from each MLB city are recommended by the local chapter chairman and approved by the national secretary-treasurer to vote for each award." Poz gets his vote from KC, Robothal from Baltimore.
   23. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 15, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4600803)
You may have your little award, that you set up for yourselves. I'll take 29/30 MLB front offices, and a Hollywood movie starring Brad Pitt. And yes, you may also keep the Royals.
   24. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 15, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4600806)
I have a question about awards voters. My understanding is that there are two votes for each team in the league. For the Red Sox, the two votes rotate among the BBWAA members in the area. Where do Joe Pos and Robothal get their votes? Some legacy from when they covered a team? How are voters determined for other teams?


Not every city has enough BBWAA members actively covering the game, and allowed by their employers, to vote on the awards. In those cases, the BBWAA taps into the national BBWAA (particularly those guys like Joe Pos or Robothal who are still very actively covering the game, just on a national level) membership to fill in the holes as needed.

   25. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 15, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4600820)
Mike Trout, career, 9th inning: 110 PA's, .172/.345/.253/.598 1 HR

Miggy Cabrera, career, 9th inning: 512 PA's, .264/.335/.469/.805 25HR's

Weird.


Trout's split is a sample size issue at this point
Miggy's split is probably normal/ the effect of closers (I can't find league stats for just the 9th, but OPS and run scoring is down in innings 7+ compared to 1-6 (and most of that is probably the 9th)
   26. Good cripple hitter Posted: November 15, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4600826)
Not every city has enough BBWAA members actively covering the game, and allowed by their employers, to vote on the awards. In those cases, the BBWAA taps into the national BBWAA (particularly those guys like Joe Pos or Robothal who are still very actively covering the game, just on a national level) membership to fill in the holes as needed.


AFAICT, that rule was used to get Verducci (Houston) Heyman and Sherman (Atlanta) votes. Poz and Robo were still somehow representing their past cities without being considered fill-ins.
   27. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 15, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4600827)
Captain Clutch Jeter hits .240/.342/.331 in the 9th (.290/.382/.410 "late and close")
Private Un-Clutch ARod hits .266/.346/.489 in the 9th (.274/.373/.523 "late and close")
   28. booond Posted: November 15, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4600833)
You're right, Jim. Its just like the time I could have met Mr. T at the mall. The entire day, I kept saying, "I'll go a little later, I'll go a little later..." And when I got there, they told me he just left. And when I asked the mall guy if he'll ever come back again.....he said he didn't know.


Saw Mr. T. twice in the lobby of the building where I used to work. He's not a big guy.

On a more baseball note, Pete Rose used to eat lunch across the street from the same building. It got old hat pretty fast.
   29. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 15, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4600840)
And most of the voters are wrong.


No, they just disagree with you, which isn't the same thing.

Bill James, writing about this subject, drew a distinction between ability and value:

Ability is context-neutral, value is context-driven.


The "best player" discussion is mostly about ability, stripping out the context to the extent possible, but the "most valuable" discussion is all about ability and context. If Team A is able to leverage Player A's performance within Team A's context better than Team B can, then Player A is more valuable to Team A than he is to Team B, even though his performance may not change.

I operate on the principle that it's perfectly legitimate to say both that Player A is a better player than Player B and that Player B is more valuable than Player A, in a given season and context - because to me, context matters when discussing value, and context-neutralizing methods are inappropriate for that purpose although very appropriate for identifying ability.

-- MWE
   30. The District Attorney Posted: November 15, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4600841)
Sherman (Atlanta)
He must be pretty unpopular there.
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4600845)
I operate on the principle that it's perfectly legitimate to say both that Player A is a better player than Player B and that Player B is more valuable than Player A, in a given season and context - because to me, context matters when discussing value, and context-neutralizing methods are inappropriate for that purpose although very appropriate for identifying ability.


Then what you're really saying is that not that Player B was more valuable, but that Player B's teammates were.
   32. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: November 15, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4600897)
Voters picking a player on a winning team over a player on a losing team is anything but new. The World Series Mvp usually wins too. This is how it works. It's not a sign of the times.
   33. fra paolo Posted: November 15, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4600901)
Then what you're really saying is that not that Player B was more valuable, but that Player B's teammates were.

Well, that's one way to interpret it.

One could just as well say that the value of Player B needs to be adjusted for team context, just as for park or league. And, paradoxically, it could be a player's value is increased by the extra value provided by his team-mates, if the highest value is associated with winning a pennant.
   34. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 15, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4600905)
Then what you're really saying is that not that Player B was more valuable, but that Player B's teammates were.

That's not close to what he said.
   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 15, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4600906)

Then what you're really saying is that not that Player B was more valuable, but that Player B's teammates were.

I don't think that's what he's saying. It's possible to take context into account without simply reducing it to "Player B was on a winning team and Player A was not". For example, Player A and Player B might put up identical slash lines in identical numbers of plate appearances (with the same park factors, facing the same level of competition, etc.). But perhaps Player B hit better with RISP while Player A hit better with nobody on. We may not consider that a repeatable skill, it may be accurate to say that "Player A is just as good as Player B", but I think it is perfectly fair to say "Player B was more valuable than Player A in that season". And that would be true even if Player A's team had a better record because Player A had better teammates around him.
   36. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 15, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4600914)
You're drafting for a Strat tourney (so, all you're worried about is a player's current card). Who do you take?

In my APBA league last year, Trout went #1 and Cabrera #2. I'd guess its the same this year.
   37. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: November 15, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4600915)
Then what you're really saying is that not that Player B was more valuable, but that Player B's teammates were.


Not necessarily. "Clutch" performance does happen. It isn't really a discernible or repeatable ability as such, but over the course of a season, even given the same opportunities and teammates with the same performance, it's possible that one player will produce more value and wins for his team while demonstrating equal or lesser actual performance than another. Two players go 1-4 with a home run in their respective games. Each had 3 PA with the bases empty and one with the bases loaded. In each case the team they were facing scored 3 runs. If you're trying to figure out the players abilities and predict what they'll do next year, that's all you need to know, and there's no difference in the performance of the two. On the other hand, if you're trying to figure out which one helped his team win most, then it does matter that one of the players hit his home run in the at bat with the bases loaded, and the other who hit his with the bases empty. It's the difference between a win and a loss.
   38. SG Posted: November 15, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4600919)
But perhaps Player B hit better with RISP while Player A hit better with nobody on.


But you could take this to the absurd extreme that it's not Player A's fault that his teammates didn't time their getting into scoring position for when he would get his hits. So really, Player A was just as valuable as Player B, it's his teammates who weren't.
   39. Ron J2 Posted: November 15, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4600976)
#37 Sure but if that's what Mike's arguing he's doing a lousy job of it. It's perfectly reasonable to attempt to assess the timing adjusted offensive contribution. I haven't seen anybody make a serious argument though for Cabrera over Trout.
   40. villageidiom Posted: November 15, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4600980)
So really, Player A was just as valuable as Player B, it's his teammates who weren't.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. $100 at the bottom of the ocean has less value than $1 in your pocket.

Intrinsic value and actual value are two different things. Two players can do the same exact things, and have the same individual performance - yet because of the context one could deliver more value than another. One player could deliver greater intrinsic value, yet less actual value, based on context/opportunity. Some opportunity is dependent on teammates, indeed, and that can take many forms (including playing time, defensive opportunity, RISP opportunities, etc.) and can cut both ways. Hell, a player on a team with a high-K pitching staff will be hurt on defensive counting stats due to fewer opportunities.

The MVP award is about actual value, not intrinsic value. I can totally buy the argument that Trout delivered more actual value than Cabrera anyway. But any arguments that start and end with intrinsic value are missing the point of the MVP award.
   41. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 15, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4600981)
I haven't seen anybody make a serious argument though for Cabrera over Trout.

Cabrera had roughly 40% more WPA than Trout, an amount not made up by Trout's running and fielding advantages.

That strikes me as a very serious argument for Cabrera over Trout.
   42. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: November 15, 2013 at 06:22 PM (#4600984)
Cabrera had roughly 40% more WPA than Trout, an amount not made up by Trout's running and fielding advantages.

That strikes me as a very serious argument for Cabrera over Trout.

So Chris Davis is the AL MVP? To be less reductionist, the post asked for an opinion of Cabrera over Trout and you delivered...the problem is that, by that argument, neither is MVP. WPA is a totally reasonable voting calculus (it's not one I agree with, but I definitely take something like post #35 into my own considerations), but it doesn't really help the pro-Cabrera argument so much as it helps the pro-Davis argument.
   43. Ron J2 Posted: November 15, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4600985)
#42 Yeah bad language on my part because that was what I had in mind. If you use WPA as the offensive base you still don't end up with Cabrera as the MVP.
   44. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: November 15, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4600986)
an amount not made up by Trout's running and fielding advantages.


What is your warrant for this?
   45. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: November 15, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4600989)
40--

You're drawing arbitrary endpoints between "arbitrary" and "actual" as if one guy played and the other didn't. I think most Trout backers would not only argue a) that much of Cabrera's PERCEIVED value came from his teammates being on base and pitching well (one of which helped his RBI stat and the other of which helped his "winning team" criterion), but also b) that Trout's ACTUAL on-field output, or value, was higher than Cabrera's. Arguing that the context-neutral argument should be discarded because contexts were not neutral may be correct, but it leaves the argument that Trout was still better given his context. I think good arguments have been advanced for that conclusion.

I guess what I'm saying is, the context-neutral argument is a good defensive weapon for Trout backers against Miggy's RBI stat, but it's not their main offensive weapon, which is that Trout was the best all-around player in the game, using the eye test, traditional metrics, and virtually every other metric there is.

EDIT: second "arbitrary" is supposed to be "intrinsic"
   46. Publius Publicola Posted: November 15, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4600999)
Yeah, it all just seems a bit surreal that somebody can be and STAY that good.


Considering how young he is, don't we expect Trout to get even better?
   47. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: November 15, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4601002)
Yeah, it all just seems a bit surreal that somebody can be and STAY that good.


Must be roiding.
   48. Mefisto Posted: November 15, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4601004)
That's pretty hard to do, PP. The sad irony of life is that the better you are, the harder it is to improve. Trout has 20.1 WAR in 2 seasons, during one of which he started the season in the minors. Mickey Freakin' Mantle had that many WAR (or better) over 2 seasons just twice in his whole career.
   49. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2013 at 07:15 PM (#4601006)
Considering how young he is, don't we expect Trout to get even better?


I think what we've seen is that the typical aging patterns don't apply to hitters who were great at ages 20 and 21. My guess is that this is essentially as good as Trout gets in most seasons, with a jump from this plateau here or there -- maybe in a couple of spike home run years -- to post a couple of OPS+s in the low 200s.

The thing that's odd to me is that looking at Trout's raw numbers, which are excellent, doesn't scream 170 OPS+ to me. I know league offense is down but it almost seems like there is a weird park factor at play here. A 9+ WAR when he has a -9 RField and was only in CF 2/3 of the year?
   50. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: November 15, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4601014)
Considering how young he is, don't we expect Trout to get even better?

I would be surprised if he could improve from these last two season. I would expect more of an Al Kaline-type career
   51. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 15, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4601031)
I know league offense is down but it almost seems like there is a weird park factor at play here.

There is. Anaheim is deemed a poor hitter's park even though it's not that big and the climate is virtually perfect for baseball. He's been getting a bump of over 10% against Cabrera, who plays in a bigger park with a much less friendly climate. The home/road runs obviously support the factors, but a big dose of skepticism is in order about whether they're reflecting what they purport to reflect, as opposed to being merely tautological.
   52. Jay Z Posted: November 15, 2013 at 09:11 PM (#4601042)
You're forgetting the inevitable human drift toward love in the course of aging. I think that creates a perpetual equilibrium :)


Get off my lawn, and into my heart?
   53. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: November 15, 2013 at 09:16 PM (#4601044)
Sherman (Atlanta)

He must be pretty unpopular there.


Burn!
   54. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 15, 2013 at 09:19 PM (#4601045)
Bob Nightengale is on MLB Tonight and it's painful. His thoughts on both MVP races sound like something you'd mockingly spout off to poke fun at the "his team didn't make the postseason, you can't even consider him" crowd.
   55. vivaelpujols Posted: November 15, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4601048)
The home/road runs obviously support the factors, but a big dose of skepticism is in order about whether they're reflecting what they purport to reflect, as opposed to being merely tautological.


You have it ass backwards dude. Saying "this is a hitters park because it looks like a hitters park" is tautological. Using actual data to determine how hitter friendly a park is is external evidence.

.
   56. DavidFoss Posted: November 15, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4601051)
There is. Anaheim is deemed a poor hitter's park even though it's not that big and the climate is virtually perfect for baseball. He's been getting a bump of over 10% against Cabrera, who plays in a bigger park with a much less friendly climate.

I'm a little skeptical of the two PF's as well. Not specifically for those reasons (many sea level parks are pitchers parks) but by simply comparing to five years ago. The trend is not just one year, so I guess its real, but any guesses as to the reason?

I know Comerica had an intial reputation for people much bigger than Tiger Stadium when it first open, but the fences were brought in 2005. But it seems to have gone up again in the 2010s.
   57. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 15, 2013 at 09:44 PM (#4601059)
I'm a little skeptical of the two PF's as well. Not specifically for those reasons (many sea level parks are pitchers parks) but by simply comparing to five years ago. The trend is not just one year, so I guess its real, but any guesses as to the reason?


I think the issue is with what we perceive PFs to represent.

Absent any structural changes that I'm not aware of, I doubt that Anaheim's park has actually begun suppressing offense compared to previous years. That's what we think of when we consider park factors (driven by such parks as Coors or Fenway or pre-wimpy Safeco or the Astrodome), but I'm not sure that's what's really going on.

It seems to me that PF are really just a measurement of the level of offense that's taken place in a ballpark in a given year or years, compared to average. In that way, Mike Trout's stats aren't adjusted upward because his home ballpark was making it harder to put up offensive numbers; they're adjusted upward to reflect the fact that his offensive numbers had more value in his home park because actual run scoring has been down there over the past X years.

   58. Swoboda is freedom Posted: November 15, 2013 at 09:58 PM (#4601062)
Considering how young he is, don't we expect Trout to get even better?

Just like Cesar Cedeno, Al Kaline and Dwight Gooden did.
   59. dave h Posted: November 15, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4601086)
To #41 and #42, I'm a big fan of WPA/LI for these discussions. Actual value provided, normalized for opportunity. Any guesses who came out on top?
   60. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 16, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4601118)
Just like Cesar Cedeno, Al Kaline and Dwight Gooden did.


Eddie Mathews too.
   61. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 16, 2013 at 07:09 AM (#4601142)
I'm a big fan of WPA/LI for these discussions.

Why would we ever adjust WPA for leverage? The leverage in a situation is the entire point of WPA.
   62. kcgard2 Posted: November 16, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4601149)
Yeah, context neutral win probability added. That's hilarious.
   63. Blackadder Posted: November 16, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4601204)
Why would we ever adjust WPA for leverage? The leverage in a situation is the entire point of WPA.


No, there are two important differences between WPA and linear weights style metrics: context sensitivity and leverage weighting. WPA/LI is an attempt to preserve the context sensitivity of WPA while discharging the leverage weighting.
   64. Matt Welch Posted: November 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM (#4601368)
Anaheim is deemed a poor hitter's park even though it's not that big and the climate is virtually perfect for baseball.

This is not a particularly informed comment. Yes, the climate is nice for the fans, but fans don't have to try to hit home runs through the marine layer at night. The Angels have hit more home runs on the road than at home in 11 out of the last 12 seasons. The only hitters' park the Angels ever played in was Wrigley Field, in 1961.
   65. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 16, 2013 at 10:52 PM (#4601381)

This is not a particularly informed comment. Yes, the climate is nice for the fans, but fans don't have to try to hit home runs through the marine layer at night. The Angels have hit more home runs on the road than at home in 11 out of the last 12 seasons. The only hitters' park the Angels ever played in was Wrigley Field, in 1961.


That may be true for home runs, but until the last three years the Angels ballpark had been overwhelmingly neutral, generally bouncing between 97 and 102 in terms of Park Factors, and never dipping below 96 or getting higher than 103 over a 30-year span (eyeballing it, I'd call it a very, very slight pitcher's park).

The last four years have seen a monumental shift to make it one of the better pitcher's parks in all of baseballdom. Has there been any environmental/structural change to account for this?
   66. Matt Welch Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4601493)
until the last three years the Angels ballpark had been overwhelmingly neutral

Looking backward in five-year chunks:

2009-13: 95
2004-08: 99
1999-03: 100
1994-98: 100
1989-93: 99
1984-88: 98
1979-83: 98
1974-78: 94
1969-73: 94
1966-68: 96

Heightening the contradictions:

2010-13: 94
2006-09: 100
2003-05: 97
1991-02: 100
1987-90: 97
1981-86: 99
1977-80: 96
1969-76: 94
1966-68: 96
   67. Matt Welch Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4601497)
The only five-year period of the Big A you can inch above 100 is 1997-2001, which is 101.
   68. cardsfanboy Posted: November 17, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4601518)
The last four years have seen a monumental shift to make it one of the better pitcher's parks in all of baseballdom. Has there been any environmental/structural change to account for this?


This is probably more looking for something and finding something, than it is a real thing. But West coast(teams bordering the ocean more or less) have seen their park factors become more pitch oriented.

Seattle has gone from an average of a 96 down to a 92 over the last four years. Oakland isn't as clear cut (a couple of years in the 95 range and a couple in the 98 range with no real consistency) Dodgers have had a moderate drop. San Diego hasn't had a change, they did move their fences in this season, so we'll see if that makes any long term changes. As mentioned Anaheim has had a moderate drop...

Of course when you get a drop in few parks, that is also going to affect other parks in the other way. Detroit has gone from being relatively neutral to a pretty good hitters park.
   69. Matt Welch Posted: November 17, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4601561)
#68 -- I presume that all West Coast teams are affected by the same broad Pacific-current weather patterns, and anecdotally Anaheim (the one I'm familiar with) plays WAY tougher against hitters at night & when the marine layer is in effect, more than just your average night-game split. Don't know if April-September weather patterns on the West Coast have been unusually cooler the past 3-4 years, but I recall reading that global temps have been kinda flat for the last few.
   70. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: November 18, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4602078)
Seattle moved some of their fences in a tad before this season. I think the weather was a little bit different, too.
   71. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 18, 2013 at 10:35 PM (#4602080)
I feel like Park Factors could get more specific. People like Fangraphs are already slicing them up in a lot of ways, but what about day/night splits? Or things like how Wrigley plays one way with the wind blowing in and another blowing out? If parks can be shown to play differently in a way that's predictable, it seems worth the effort.


(Worth the effort for someone else, I mean. Not me.)

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