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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Miklasz: Kozma confounds those who study statistics

Unfortunately, The Gagarin Computer Rating does not divulge the methodology behind their system.

The Kozmanaut’s performance continues to cause considerable consternation among the sabermetric sons and daughters of Bill James.

To some, what Kozma is doing really is unbelievable.

And let me say that I usually march with the sabes. I crunch so many advanced statistics, I’ve knowingly violated several bylaws of the Baseball Writers Association of America. (Rule: for the love of Max Mercy, son _ stick to Triple Crown stats.) 

My favorite books include the old Baseball Abstracts; I prefer them to the Brothers Grimm – yes, even if Kozma is looking a lot like the Frog Prince.

So I’m not slamming stat heads. I feel their confusion. The dude batted .236 with a .308 onbase percentage and a .344 slugging percentage in 2,752 minor-league at-bats, and that isn’t supposed to translate into Robin Yount.

That said, I’m enjoying watching Kozma shred the sabermetric spread sheets and make paper airplanes out of the reports that suggest his bat carries traces of Mario Mendoza DNA.

...The Kozmanaut’s performance continues to cause considerable consternation among the sabermetric sons and daughters of Bill James.

To some, what Kozma is doing really is unbelievable.

And let me say that I usually march with the sabes. I crunch so many advanced statistics, I’ve knowingly violated several bylaws of the Baseball Writers Association of America. (Rule: for the love of Max Mercy, son _ stick to Triple Crown stats.) 

My favorite books include the old Baseball Abstracts; I prefer them to the Brothers Grimm – yes, even if Kozma is looking a lot like the Frog Prince.

So I’m not slamming stat heads. I feel their confusion. The dude batted .236 with a .308 onbase percentage and a .344 slugging percentage in 2,752 minor-league at-bats, and that isn’t supposed to translate into Robin Yount.

That said, I’m enjoying watching Kozma shred the sabermetric spread sheets and make paper airplanes out of the reports that suggest his bat carries traces of Mario Mendoza DNA.

Repoz Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:10 AM | 106 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cards, history, sabermetrics

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   1. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:26 AM (#4403956)
If he does it over 600 plate appearances I'll buy it. The Bob Hazle Memorial Sample Size makes for a nice early season story, I guess.
   2. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:28 AM (#4403957)
Yes, but does a dude batting .236 with a .308 onbase percentage and a .344 slugging percentage in 2,752 minor-league at-bats translate into Robin Yount?
   3. Greg K Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:49 AM (#4403966)
Kevin Ahrens and Peter Kozma were taken within 2 picks of each other in the 2007 draft. Ahrens has been a total bust, but I always took solace in the fact that Kozma wasn't much better. Then all of a sudden he's a major league hitter? No fair.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:52 AM (#4403967)
That said, I’m enjoying watching Kozma shred the sabermetric spread sheets and make paper airplanes out of the reports that suggest his bat carries traces of Mario Mendoza DNA.

I actually really enjoy it when players achieve things the underlying stats say they shouldn't. It's fun. I would wager 95% of stat heads share my enthusiasm for freaks like this.
   5. HowardMegdal Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:01 AM (#4403969)
4. I just signed in to make the same point.
   6. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:09 AM (#4403971)
Right, I may think that a player like Kozma isn't going to amount to anything based on his minor league stats, but it's still really cool if he succeeds despite that. And also, what #1 said.
   7. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:10 AM (#4403972)
The one silver lining in Kozma's minor league record is his solid walk rate. So far in the majors, he has not swung at very many pitches out of the zone (roughly 20%, which is excellent). He does seem to have decent pop as well - his huge weakness in MiLB is a very poor BABIP - and since he doesn't seem to be an extreme flyball hitter, he must make a lot of weak contact (such as popups). It's possible he has fixed or could fix some of these issues at the Major League level, but I'm going to be skeptical of his ability to be even a mediocre hitter until he proves otherwise for at least 2/3 of a season.
   8. Darren Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4403973)
Voros's Law.
   9. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:34 AM (#4403983)
So did scouts think that Kozma would hit considerably better than his minor league numbers? If not, I don't see the point of singling out the "sons and daughters of Bill James."
   10. Bug Selig Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:48 AM (#4403991)
#9 beat me to it. I guess I missed the glowing reports from scouts saying he would set the league on fire.

The dude batted .236 with a .308 onbase percentage and a .344 slugging percentage in 2,752 minor-league at-bats, and that isn’t supposed to translate into Robin Yount.


It won't.
   11. AROM Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:03 AM (#4403999)
Sometimes the stat projections totally miss the mark and provide an opportunity for a lesson learned. Kozma dude has 31 major league hits. Way too soon.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4404002)
We're declaring the models wrong based on 118 PAs? Really???

Shane Spencer was Babe Ruth for his first 118 PAs. How'd that turn out?
   13. JJ1986 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4404003)
For some reason I thought of Chris Snopek (though he was a much better minor league hitter). He set the world on fire for a month's worth of games before never being decent again.
   14. Chris Needham Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4404005)
Pete Kozma can go to hell.
   15. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4404006)
I guess Bernie forgot about Super Joe, too.

Joe McEwing through his first 130 at bats in 1999: .346/.406/.469.
   16. zonk Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:21 AM (#4404011)
Haven't you people ever heard of steroids?
   17. bobm Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4404013)
From 2008 to 2013, Playing in the NL, In first 45 games, Played: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, DH, PH or PR, minimum 110 PA, sorted by batting average

            Player  PA     BA    OPS
           Jon Jay 111  0.378   1.028 
    Pablo Sandoval 171  0.344   0.844 
     Daniel Murphy 137  0.339   0.940 
     Josh Rutledge 169  0.331   0.938 
      David Freese 148  0.331   0.879 
      Buster Posey 166  0.325   0.881 
      Jesus Guzman 114  0.324   0.906 
   Alcides Escobar 128  0.314   0.713 
   Kosuke Fukudome 195  0.311   0.851 
     Casey McGehee 130  0.310   0.801 
    Edgar Gonzalez 150  0.309   0.799 
    Logan Morrison 211  0.307   0.910 
        Josh Thole 127  0.306   0.756 
        Pete Kozma 118  0.304   0.890 
       Jose Tabata 201  0.299   0.752 
     Jason Heyward 185  0.298   1.011 
  Emmanuel Burriss 119  0.298   0.718 
    Norichika Aoki 115  0.297   0.790 
  Kirk Nieuwenhuis 170  0.295   0.763 
    Jose Constanza 122  0.295   0.706 
 Andrelton Simmons 168  0.294   0.758 
      Blake DeWitt 160  0.294   0.816 
  Andrew McCutchen 209  0.293   0.805 
      Alex Presley 142  0.291   0.759 
     Jimmy Paredes 176  0.291   0.726 
    Jordan Pacheco 169  0.290   0.721 
        John Baker 162  0.290   0.843 
      Bryce Harper 196  0.289   0.882 
 Steve Lombardozzi 125  0.286   0.684 
     Chris Johnson 143  0.285   0.738 
       Jose Altuve 184  0.284   0.679 
   Chris Dickerson 167  0.283   0.948 
    Matt Dominguez 149  0.280   0.749 
     Josh Harrison 142  0.279   0.670 
  Martin Maldonado 143  0.277   0.739 
        Dee Gordon 181  0.277   0.617 
    Hector Sanchez 141  0.276   0.664 
     J.D. Martinez 192  0.273   0.749 
     Gregor Blanco 147  0.273   0.743 
        Nick Evans 112  0.272   0.740 
   Yasmani Grandal 172  0.271   0.856 
       Neil Walker 160  0.270   0.718 
Welington Castillo 160  0.270   0.784 
  Jonathan Herrera 119  0.268   0.600 
         Jay Bruce 187  0.268   0.760 
       Drew Stubbs 206  0.266   0.758 
     Darwin Barney 136  0.266   0.657 
     Gerardo Parra 201  0.265   0.717 
   Jonathan Lucroy 179  0.265   0.643 
       Ian Desmond 171  0.265   0.802 
    Starlin Castro 173  0.265   0.670 
     Chris Coghlan 186  0.264   0.733 
       Xavier Paul 126  0.263   0.703 
       Zack Cozart 184  0.263   0.735 
      Chris Nelson 121  0.261   0.683 
    Donovan Solano 120  0.260   0.670 
  Paul Goldschmidt 167  0.260   0.847 
         Ike Davis 183  0.259   0.817 
    Everth Cabrera 178  0.258   0.726 
   Jason Jaramillo 166  0.255   0.717 
        Brett Pill 122  0.254   0.769 
    Matt Carpenter 136  0.254   0.796 
    Starling Marte 173  0.253   0.735 
      Bobby Scales 124  0.250   0.734 
        Joe Mather 127  0.250   0.789 
         Mat Gamel 116  0.250   0.773 
 Tyler Pastornicky 157  0.248   0.605 
        Erik Kratz 147  0.248   0.788 
       John Bowker 149  0.248   0.689 
   Roger Bernadina 141  0.246   0.663 
      Todd Frazier 128  0.244   0.759 
       Kyle Blanks 149  0.244   0.812 
       Allen Craig 125  0.243   0.705 
   Daniel Descalso 139  0.242   0.656 
   Steve Clevenger 137  0.242   0.611 
  Charlie Blackmon 150  0.241   0.558 
     Elian Herrera 173  0.240   0.638 
      Adam Rosales 133  0.239   0.646 
   Michael McKenry 151  0.239   0.615 
    Danny Espinosa 177  0.239   0.790 
     Pedro Alvarez 182  0.239   0.773 
      Dave Sappelt 135  0.238   0.610 
     Freddy Galvis 151  0.238   0.660 
     Trent Oeltjen 119  0.236   0.702 
 Giancarlo Stanton 181  0.235   0.791 
      Will Venable 164  0.234   0.669 
    Cole Gillespie 113  0.231   0.649 
     Dexter Fowler 152  0.231   0.616 
      Colby Rasmus 163  0.229   0.689 
      Nick Hundley 152  0.229   0.635 
      Ryan Wheeler 111  0.225   0.613 
      Tyler Greene 115  0.222   0.587 
   Freddie Freeman 116  0.221   0.696 
         Luis Cruz 137  0.221   0.543 
       John Hester 112  0.220   0.674 
     Wilin Rosario 147  0.219   0.770 
      Brandon Belt 145  0.219   0.685 
     Argenis Reyes 116  0.217   0.504 
     Brandon Allen 146  0.214   0.699 
        Matt Downs 145  0.211   0.610 
    Jordan Schafer 176  0.208   0.626 
     Brett Wallace 136  0.207   0.592 
    Tommy Manzella 142  0.206   0.522 
        Ivan Ochoa 133  0.203   0.519 
    Josh Whitesell 126  0.200   0.695 
    Justin Sellers 160  0.200   0.585 
    Chase d'Arnaud 143  0.200   0.486 
  Brandon Crawford 164  0.200   0.564 
      Andy Parrino 116  0.198   0.582 
   Carlos Corporan 156  0.196   0.536 
      Jason Castro 149  0.195   0.568 
    Devin Mesoraco 147  0.192   0.648 
       Jerry Sands 160  0.187   0.585 
 Fernando Martinez 143  0.186   0.548 
        Lucas Duda 134  0.183   0.596 
      Mike Nickeas 120  0.179   0.486 
      Ruben Tejada 155  0.174   0.477 
      Brian Bixler 117  0.160   0.424 
       Luke Carlin 125  0.153   0.473 
     Anthony Rizzo 139  0.129   0.515 
   18. BDC Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4404014)
My favorite Shane-Spencer type was Jeff Stone, who was utterly fabulous in 1984 in 50 games for the Phillies and never did much in the majors thereafter, though he had a respectable lesser-journeyman kind of career overall. Stone hit .362 in the majors in 1984, and now I can't believe I found that indicative of anything. Yet he did hit .287 lifetime in the minors and .277 lifetime in the majors. He simply had no power, and despite great speed, no fielding position. He didn't really come out of nowhere; in his early 20s he hit well over .300 in AAA.
   19. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4404017)
Pete Kozma can go to hell.

Works best if heard in a Charlton Heston voice.
   20. JJ1986 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4404020)
Josh Rutledge 169 0.331 0.938


I remembered that Rutledge had been very good as a rookie last year, but when I looked him up a few days ago I was surprised that his overall season was nothing special. He hit .197/.248/.288 in September/October.
   21. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4404022)
We're declaring the models wrong based on 118 PAs? Really???


He's not. He specifically points out in TFA that it's a small sample size and that it's usually true to see regression to the mean over larger samples. He does give some counterpoints based upon visual evidence that Kozma might be different, however. It's overall a fair piece.
   22. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4404025)
I always took solace in the fact that Kozma wasn't much better. Then all of a sudden he's a major league hitter? No fair.


Did you not realize he was on the Cardinals?
   23. bobm Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4404030)
From 1984 to 1988, Playing in the NL, In first 45 games, Played: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, DH, PH or PR, minimum 110 PA, sorted by batting average

           Player  PA    BA   OPS
      Kal Daniels 116 0.350 1.001
     Ricky Jordan 183 0.330 0.853
    Milt Thompson 153 0.319 0.758
   Kevin Mitchell 132 0.317 0.847
  Terry Pendleton 193 0.315 0.734
     Dave Magadan 121 0.314 0.839
       Mark Grace 184 0.307 0.791
  Herm Winningham 118 0.305 0.753
        Curt Ford 118 0.298 0.828
  Benito Santiago 171 0.295 0.798
    Jeff Treadway 173 0.292 0.757
        Jose Lind 204 0.291 0.709
    Vince Coleman 209 0.288 0.716
       Chris Sabo 196 0.287 0.779
     Barry Larkin 187 0.286 0.738
     Gerald Young 193 0.282 0.681
  Rafael Palmeiro 145 0.276 0.824
   Robby Thompson 181 0.275 0.720
   Casey Candaele 163 0.272 0.657
        Tom Nieto 124 0.268 0.707
 Andres Galarraga 139 0.264 0.742
      Chris Brown 179 0.264 0.693
     John Russell 135 0.263 0.749
       Will Clark 207 0.263 0.764
         Ed Hearn 145 0.262 0.714
      Al Pedrique 112 0.260 0.658
        Rick Schu 153 0.257 0.730
     Felix Fermin 122 0.257 0.574
       Shane Mack 140 0.256 0.679
        Paul Noce 148 0.255 0.686
     Mike Woodard 120 0.250 0.610
Nelson Santovenia 168 0.248 0.692
  Damon Berryhill 133 0.248 0.598
      Sam Khalifa 174 0.245 0.613
    Lenny Dykstra 183 0.245 0.620
   Mariano Duncan 191 0.243 0.633
   Stan Jefferson 159 0.241 0.705
        Joey Cora 186 0.241 0.636
     Jeff Blauser 166 0.241 0.699
      John Morris 112 0.240 0.574
   Kirt Manwaring 130 0.240 0.587
     Kevin Elster 114 0.238 0.635
     Ken Caminiti 161 0.238 0.624
   Roberto Alomar 199 0.238 0.616
      Shawn Abner 113 0.238 0.674
    Billy Hatcher 140 0.236 0.628
         Ron Gant 182 0.234 0.634
    Randy Kutcher 158 0.233 0.711
      Mike Ramsey 138 0.232 0.583
      Glenn Davis 159 0.228 0.627
    Tracy Woodson 131 0.225 0.607
     Jim Lindeman 136 0.225 0.622
     Mike Aldrete 141 0.225 0.662
       Jose Uribe 138 0.223 0.560
      Barry Bonds 200 0.222 0.779
      Bip Roberts 139 0.221 0.538
    Terry McGriff 132 0.221 0.608
     Craig Biggio 121 0.221 0.638
      Barry Lyons 121 0.216 0.581
      Luis Rivera 150 0.212 0.591
   Shawon Dunston 153 0.211 0.578
      Luis Alicea 193 0.211 0.569
 John Christensen 124 0.210 0.684
  Franklin Stubbs 155 0.209 0.684
   Denny Gonzalez 163 0.201 0.583
      Mark Bailey 161 0.200 0.613
    Matt Williams 165 0.197 0.581
       Eric Davis 150 0.197 0.649
  Mike LaValliere 116 0.196 0.535
   Kurt Stillwell 125 0.174 0.482
      Mark Parent 116 0.134 0.316

   24. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4404031)
Player  PA     BA    OPS
     Jon Jay 111  0.378   1.028 
  Pete Kozma 118  0.304   0.890 
Bryce Harper 196  0.289   0.882 


Pete Kozma: Better than Bryce Harper, but he's no Jon Jay.
   25. zonk Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4404038)
Did you not realize he was on the Cardinals?


Precisely...

Who knows how much longer the Dave Duncan pixie dust farts will linger in the air of that wretched city... it apparently mutated some time ago to boost position players, too and our best scientists missed it, so too late now to do much about it.
   26. GregD Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4404044)
My favorite Shane-Spencer type was Jeff Stone, who was utterly fabulous in 1984 in 50 games for the Phillies and never did much in the majors thereafter, though he had a respectable lesser-journeyman kind of career overall. Stone hit .362 in the majors in 1984, and now I can't believe I found that indicative of anything. Yet he did hit .287 lifetime in the minors and .277 lifetime in the majors. He simply had no power, and despite great speed, no fielding position. He didn't really come out of nowhere; in his early 20s he hit well over .300 in AAA.
I loved Jeff Stone's APBA card and was baffled that he didn't become a star.
   27. bobm Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4404050)
Jeff Stone, 1983-1984

                                                                                              
Rk   Gcar        #Matching  PA  AB  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1            45 Ind. Games 134 128 47  3  5  1  12  4 16 .367 .396 .492 .888  0  0   0   2   1

   28. AROM Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4404052)
Jeff Stone:

That dude could fly. Leading up to 1984, his SB/CS numbers were:

1981: 123/13
1982: 94/15
1983: 90/13

I thought he could have had a decent career. He was a better hitter overall in the minors than Vince Coleman. Baseball sure had a ton of prospects like that, with him and Vince, Otis and Donell Nixon, while Tim and Rickey were establishing themselves as stars.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4404055)

I guess Bernie forgot about Super Joe, too.

Joe McEwing through his first 130 at bats in 1999: .346/.406/.469.


Bo Hart 2003 - first 134 PAs - .336/.382/.467

.236/.272/.345 in his next 187 PAs.
   30. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4404056)
I dug Stone and Donell as well.
Another guy who started big around that time, though he managed a decent career, was Dan Gladden.

Mark Parent: .134. Oof.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4404059)
He's not. He specifically points out in TFA that it's a small sample size and that it's usually true to see regression to the mean over larger samples. He does give some counterpoints based upon visual evidence that Kozma might be different, however. It's overall a fair piece.

The guy has a .378 BABIP and 118 PAs. It's not even worth discussing what might have changed until we have a more reasonable sample.
   32. xdog Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4404078)
A decent column from Miklasz, but even if it sucked I'm prepared to give Bernie a lot of slack (as it were) for the toughness he showed in dropping 100 pounds or so in the past year.
   33. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4404100)
Pete Kozma can go to hell.

Works best if heard in a Charlton Heston voice.
Or Tony Schiavone.

Although they weren't precisely similar, I always think of Kevin Maas when I think of Shane Spencer. And it seems like the Red Sox have had a bunch of these guys: Sam Horn of course, Ted Cox, Rudy Pemberton (this was a TREMENDOUS Strat-O-Matic card), Dwayne Hosey.

But who knows, once in a great while a guy does "figure something out", and maybe Kozma is one, but we don't know yet. I don't love the way Miklasz phrased everything here, but his overall point is clear and fair.
   34. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4404108)
Nothing "confounding" about it at all. It isn't going to last and has next to no chance to last.
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4404122)
And who could forget Tuffy Rhodes? 3 HR on opening day, .313/.396/.600 in 80 April PAs. .201./285/.296 in 217 PAs the rest of the 1994 season.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4404126)
Jon Nunnally - I loved that guy - as a Rule 5 pick rookie was hitting .297/.391/.619 over his first 180 career PAs. He hit .189/.322/.318 in 180 PAs the rest of the 1995 season.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4404132)
And who could forget Tuffy Rhodes? 3 HR on opening day, .313/.396/.600 in 80 April PAs. .201./285/.296 in 217 PAs the rest of the 1994 season.

An article on all these guys (the myriad flops and few successes) would have been much more interesting.
   38. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4404139)
An article on all these guys (the myriad flops and few successes) would have been much more interesting.

Wul, get writin!!
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4404143)
Wul, get writin!!

And who will be paying me? I'm certainly not going to use my goofing off time at work, to do work. I might as well do my own job ;-)
   40. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4404144)
I loved Nunnally (and Rhodes) as well.
Mind you, given Rhodes' success in Japan, he probably would've done just fine in the bigs with a sustained opportunity.
   41. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4404155)
My favorite example of "it's early days" Paul Bako in 2008. I mean everybody knows the guy can't hit. He had a pretty extensive track record. And yet after the game on May 10 he was hitting .319/.386/.549 (and playing regularly)

He finished the year with a 64 OPS+. Meaning of course that he was just brutal the rest of the season (and playing pretty regularly)
   42. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4404179)
Nos. 8 and 14, and we're done here.
   43. AROM Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4404195)
Another guy who started big around that time, though he managed a decent career, was Dan Gladden.


I thought about Gladden as well. 1984 seems like it was just a freak career year for him. His overall minor league line was 316/378/464, mostly in good hitter's leagues. That seems in line (considering context) with his 270/324/382 MLB career in just shy of 5000 PA, a 95 OPS+.

But in 1984, he hits 397/493/543 in the minors and 351/410/447 in the majors. His combined totals show 141 runs, 213 hits, 63 steals, 78 walks and 60 strikeouts. That was the only season, majors or minors, where he had a high walk rate.
   44. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4404200)
Willie Bloomquist's first 38 PAs saw him hit .455/.526/.576 for a 198 OPS+.

   45. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4404203)
David Newhan, first 124 PA of 2004: .430/.476/.667
   46. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4404209)

I thought about Gladden as well. 1984 seems like it was just a freak career year for him. His overall minor league line was 316/378/464, mostly in good hitter's leagues. That seems in line (considering context) with his 270/324/382 MLB career in just shy of 5000 PA, a 95 OPS+.

But in 1984, he hits 397/493/543 in the minors and 351/410/447 in the majors. His combined totals show 141 runs, 213 hits, 63 steals, 78 walks and 60 strikeouts. That was the only season, majors or minors, where he had a high walk rate.


ROIDS

What about pitchers? Do crummy pitchers ever have great stretches? A few that come to mind:

Jack Armstrong: 11-3 2.28 ERA over the first seventeen starts of the 1990 season (started the All-Star Game IIRC) was pretty garbage other than that

Jeff Juden 11-2 3.70 ERA over eighteen starts in the 1997 season. 0-4 with a 6.06 ERA in nine starts after that, and never did anything else.

Runelvys Hernandez 4-2 2.04 over eight starts in the Royals great 2003 start. 3-3 with a 8.15 ERA in his next eight starts before getting hurt. 6.08 ERA in 54 career starts after that.

Kent Bottenfield's entire 1999 season (18-7 3.97 ERA). He was 28-42 with a 4.69 ERA other than that.
   47. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4404211)
What about players on the other side? I believe Mike Schmidt and Matt Williams both started out hitting under .200. It's fairly common even for great hitters to stub their toe in their first few hundred PAs. Arod didn't hit much in cups of coffee at 18 and 19.
   48. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4404217)
#47 A topic you might recall from RSB. I believe it was David Grabiner who put together a team of truly great players who were pretty awful at the very start of their career.
   49. zonk Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4404222)
And who will be paying me? I'm certainly not going to use my goofing off time at work, to do work. I might as well do my own job ;-)


AMEN!

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy...
   50. Mark S. is bored Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4404228)
Benny Agbayani's first 99 PA were .356/.414/.756.
   51. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4404233)
What about players on the other side?


Roberto Clemente got off to a terrifc start his rookie season, but slumped terribly in June and July and hit just .255/.284/.382.

Robin Yount hit .227/.252/.282 over his first 110 PAs.

Yaz hit .217/.267/.342 over his first 165 PAs.

Barry Bonds hit .213/.325/.426 over his first 232 PAs.

Jeff Kent hit .219/.304/.416 over his first 266 PAs.
   52. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4404244)
What about players on the other side?


Cal Ripken batted .128/.150/.128 in a 40-PA cup of coffee in 1981 and started 1982 7-for-60 (.117/.131/.217) (which included a 3-for-5 opening day, so 4-for-55 after that). He managed to turn that around enough to win Rookie-of-the-Year that season.

Robin Ventura had an 0-for-41 stretch early in his first full season.
   53. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4404245)
Jeff Francoeur is notorious for good starts, both to his career and whenever he shows up in a new city.

Ken Reitz was well-known for his good Aprils, and I see he also started his career hitting .329 in 81 PA. Not as much sock as a Shane Spencer, but hey, it was good for a 123 OPS+, whereas he was never over 88 after that.

It's rare for an extremely young player to tear the league apart, so there are a bunch of examples of those who didn't, yet went on to be good (since that's also what extremely young players tend to do). Mike Trout was 220/281/390 in his first cup of coffee, Justin Upton 221/283/364, both 19 years old.

Jose Reyes was good as a rookie, but he scared the crap out of me when he went 269/294/383 (78 OPS+) in nearly 1,000 PA at ages 21-22. (It was doubly frustrating because he led the league in plate appearances, so his total stats looked nice, so a lot of people thought he was actually good. He definitely was not.)

Greg Maddux was 8-18, 5.59 (76 ERA+) in his first 186.7 IP over two seasons; Tom Glavine 9-21, 4.76 (80 ERA+) in his first 245.7 IP, also over two seasons.
   54. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4404248)
Barry Bonds hit .213/.325/.426 over his first 232 PAs.

Jeff Kent hit .219/.304/.416 over his first 266 PAs.


Following up on #53, putting up an OBP over .300 and a SLG over .400 in your first taste of major-league hitting strikes me as fairly unremarkable as far as bad starts to careers go.
   55. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4404258)

Following up on #53, putting up an OBP over .300 and a SLG over .400 in your first taste of major-league hitting strikes me as fairly unremarkable as far as bad starts to careers go.


Yea, I was debating putting that up, or Kirby Puckett's empty .290 batting average start (something like .290/.320/.360).

In any case, I remember getting a Bonds rookie card and trying to trade it because his batting average was so low.
   56. booond Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4404280)
Sam Horn of course, Ted Cox, Rudy Pemberton (this was a TREMENDOUS Strat-O-Matic card), Dwayne Hosey.


Best part of the Ted Cox story is they bundled him along with the late Bo Diaz, Mike Paxton and Rick wise and got Eck in return. Cox was a 1st round pick who hit well in AAA then hit well in September. It was a great move.
   57. Honkie Kong Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4404288)
Alex Rodriguez : 204/241/204 in his first taste of the majors ( 59 PAs ).
   58. KT's Pot Arb Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4404308)
Willie Bloomquist's first 38 PAs saw him hit .455/.526/.576 for a 198 OPS+.


And the warm afterglow of that monster debut has lingered long enough to keep Willie in the league for another 2,737 PAs of .267/.315/.342/.656 for an OPS+ of 77.
   59. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4404342)
Batters in the Hall of Fame, who in their rookie seasons had 22+ PA and an OPS+ of 80 or below:

Player                PA OPSYear   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Robin Yount          364   79 1974 .250 .276 .346 .622
Kirby Puckett        583   79 1984 .296 .320 .336 .655
Al Kaline             30   78 1953 .250 .300 .357 .657
Red Schoendienst     597   78 1945 .278 .305 .343 .648
Roberto Clemente     501   77 1955 .255 .284 .382 .666
Luke Appling          26   77 1930 .308 .308 .385 .692
Mike Schmidt          40   76 1972 .206 .325 .294 .619
Joe Cronin            92   73 1926 .265 .315 .337 .652
Luis Aparicio        583   72 1956 .266 .311 .341 .653
Ed Delahanty         303   72 1888 .228 .261 .293 .554
Reggie Jackson       135   71 1967 .178 .269 .305 .574
Freddie Lindstrom     88   71 1924 .253 .314 .316 .630
Rick Ferrell         181   69 1929 .229 .373 .285 .658
Bill Mazeroski       277   67 1956 .243 .293 .318 .611
Rogers Hornsby        61   66 1915 .246 .271 .281 .552
Joe Kelley            47   65 1891 .244 .277 .311 .588
Andre Dawson          92   63 1976 .235 .278 .306 .584
Pie Traynor           57   63 1920 .212 .268 .308 .576
Tommy McCarthy       215   62 1884 .215 .237 .244 .481
Frankie Frisch       197   61 1919 .226 .242 .295 .537
Bobby Doerr          170   55 1937 .224 .313 .313 .626
Johnny Evers          98   52 1902 .222 .263 .222 .485
Duke Snider           89   51 1947 .241 .276 .301 .577
Rabbit Maranville    101   44 1912 .209 .292 .233 .524
Buck Ewing            46   32 1880 .178 .196 .200 .396
High Pockets Kelly    40   28 1915 .158 .179 .237 .416
Gabby Hartnett        82   27 1922 .194 .256 .236 .493
Johnny Bench          93   26 1967 .163 .207 .256 .462
Tris Speaker          20   15 1907 .158 .200 .158 .358
Billy Williams        34    4 1959 .152 .176 .212 .389
Larry Doby            33    4 1947 .156 .182 .188 .369
Old Hoss Radbourn     21   
-3 1880 .143 .143 .143 .286
Tony Perez            28  
-15 1964 .080 .179 .120 .299
George Brett          41  
-18 1973 .125 .125 .175 .300
Cal Ripken            40  
-19 1981 .128 .150 .128 .278
Brooks Robinson       22  
-49 1955 .091 .091 .091 .182 

With pikers like Bench and Perez, it's no wonder the Reds never won anything.

   60. zenbitz Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4404343)
Variance is a #####.
   61. Morty Causa Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4404345)
Ken Reitz was well-known for his good Aprils, and I see he also started his career hitting .329 in 81 PA. Not as much sock as a Shane Spencer, but hey, it was good for a 123 OPS+, whereas he was never over 88 after that.


For a few seasons there, some writers at All-Star time complained that Reitz was not chosen for the All-Star Game over Schmidt.
   62. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4404355)
Cal Ripken batted .128/.150/.128 in a 40-PA cup of coffee in 1981 and started 1982 7-for-60 (.117/.131/.217) (which included a 3-for-5 opening day, so 4-for-55 after that). He managed to turn that around enough to win Rookie-of-the-Year that season.


Because if Earl Weaver thought you could play you were going to get far more than 100 PAs to prove him wrong

   63. zonk Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4404384)

Because if Earl Weaver thought you could play you were going to get far more than 100 PAs to prove him wrong


Earl hated being proven wrong... even by his own eyes.
   64. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4404388)
Another in the "whaddaya expect, he was 19" file is Pudge Rodriguez, 264/275/354 in 288 PA.

To complete the circle, how about players who had great cups of coffee and then in fact turned out to be really good? Three I can think of are Willie McCovey (354/429/656 in 219 PA), Frank Thomas (330/454/529 in 240 PA), and J.D. Drew (417/463/972 in 41 PA). Not as great players, but certainly good ones, Gregg Jefferies (321/364/596 in 118 PA) and Mike Greenwell (323/382/742 in 34 PA).
   65. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4404391)
#62 He mentions in one of his books that he kept playing Don Buford in 1972 because he simply could not believe Buford would continue to suck.
   66. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4404407)
To complete the circle, how about players who had great cups of coffee and then in fact turned out to be really good? Three I can think of are Willie McCovey (354/429/656 in 219 PA), Frank Thomas (330/454/529 in 240 PA), and J.D. Drew (417/463/972 in 41 PA). Not as great players, but certainly good ones, Gregg Jefferies (321/364/596 in 118 PA) and Mike Greenwell (323/382/742 in 34 PA).

Stan the Man had a steaming hot cup of coffee in 1941. And the sample sizes are miniscule, but Lou Gehrig sure tore it up in his mini-auditions in 1923 and '24.
   67. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4404482)
What about players on the other side?

Eventual RoY and MVP Dustin Pedroia in his age-22 season: .191/.258/.303, OPS+ of 42 in 98 PA. .182/.308/.236 in 65 PA in the first month of the next year, too.
   68. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4404505)
Albert Belle .213/.259/.390 in his first 147 PAs

Sammy Sosa .257/.303/.366 in his first 183 PAs

   69. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4404514)
Sammy Sosa .257/.303/.366 in his first 183 PAs


Heck, Sammy Sosa batted .234/.282/.380 in the first 1,411 plate appearances of his career.
   70. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4404568)
#### Pete kOzma.
   71. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:20 PM (#4404582)
If you want a real example of the sort of thing this guy is saying Kozma *might be doing* look at Martin Prado. Maybe Dan Uggla too, but Prado's the classic case example of a guy that no one but a single Atlanta scout thought would do anything in the Bigs.

Also, #### Pete Kozma.
   72. booond Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4404620)
The difference between Prado and Kozma is Prado had a AAA season which showed he could hit; last time Kozma gave any hint that he could hit was in A ball. Uggla hit with power the year before he got to Florida.
   73. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4404641)
Prado hit .316/.374/.420 in AAA at age 23(IL, not the PCL)
Kozma hit .214/.280/.289 in the PCL at age 23

and then hit .232/.292/.355 in the PCL at age 24


Prado IS a guy who outperformed both what [most] scouts thought, and his minor league numbers- but still before reaching the MLB he showed a whole hell of a lot more ability than Kozma had.

The guy I'd throw out is Podsednik, who has a glittering .265/.344/.348 career minor league line (3000+ PAs) and yet somehow managed to hit .314/.379/.443 in over 600 PAs in 2003... sure Podsednik hovered around (and sometimes below) replacement level most years after that, but he's had a career- more of one you'd project from his minor league numbers- which while bad were better than Kozma's

Kozma's #s to date are interesting because the MLEs of his AAA numbers basically say that he's got the hitting ability of a pitcher - .304/.371/.520 in 118 PAs is "possible" for someone whose true talent level is, oh, .200/.250/.300, but pretty unlikely - and I mean really unlikely- even after just 118 PAs I'd say it's more likely that he's better (or he's improved since) his PCL days...
not saying he's .304/.371/.520 good, but maybe he's all the way up to .240/.300/.375 or something
   74. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4404674)
Kozma's #s to date are interesting because the MLEs of his AAA numbers basically say that he's got the hitting ability of a pitcher - .304/.371/.520 in 118 PAs is "possible" for someone whose true talent level is, oh, .200/.250/.300, but pretty unlikely - and I mean really unlikely- even after just 118 PAs I'd say it's more likely that he's better (or he's improved since) his PCL days...


Stubby Clapp?
   75. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4404682)

The guy I'd throw out is Podsednik, who has a glittering .265/.344/.348 career minor league line (3000+ PAs) and yet somehow managed to hit .314/.379/.443 in over 600 PAs in 2003.


That would be an interesting list. Guys who absolutely sucked in the upper minors, but somehow found a way to get to the big leagues and become a good MLBer. I can't say I can think of anyone. The closest would be Aaron Crow, who was atrocious in his only full season in the minors (5.73 ERA) but the Royals promoted him anyway, and he became an All-Star reliever. But he was a former first round pick with a good scouting pedigree.
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4404709)
I'm just happy he isn't sucking. He's got the position whether he is good or bad, and the team really has no plans to replace him, so it's best if he happens to put up acceptable numbers. The team is going to be happy with anything over .240/.300/.340 (average major league shortstops hit .257/.310/.378 last year)and average defense. The team is looking for the textbook definition of replacement, anything beyond that is a pleasant surprise.
   77. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4404716)
Guys who absolutely sucked in the upper minors, but somehow found a way to get to the big leagues and become a good MLBer. I can't say I can think of anyone.
I can't off the top of my head either. It'd presumably be more likely to happen pre-Bill James when minor league stats were not taken seriously as an indicator of ability.

Hanley was 271/335/385 in AA before getting called up, but a) that's not terrible, and b) he still overall had a good minor league career and was considered a top prospect.
   78. tfbg9 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4404722)
Freddy Lynn was really good in September '74 (the rest of the team, not so much): .419/.490/.698/1.188 for a 229 OPS+
   79. Walt Davis Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4404736)
Sandberg atarted his career 8-56 and 18-96. By game 45, he had it up to 216/240/302. In typical Cub fashion they sent him down to the minors and traded him for nothing. What, I woke up in the universe where the Cubs only do 99% of everything wrong? That almost never happens.

   80. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4404755)
The closest would be Aaron Crow


I was about to say David Cone - but low and behold, he did figure things out his 2nd go round in AAA (it's amazing what knocking your walk rate down by 2 bb/9 can do)- not that KC noticed when they traded him away for a bag of peanuts.

But I wouldn't count pitchers anyway- James had a long list in one of his abstracts of guys who were bad in the minors and yet became good MLB pitchers.

   81. zonk Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4404770)
Sandberg atarted his career 8-56 and 18-96. By game 45, he had it up to 216/240/302. In typical Cub fashion they sent him down to the minors and traded him for nothing. What, I woke up in the universe where the Cubs only do 99% of everything wrong? That almost never happens.


You must hail from an alternate universe where Dusty Baker didn't wait till he retired, and became a player-manager earlier... and came over with Ron Cey as a toss-in. But then, whither Tommy Lasorda? And now I'm intrigued...
   82. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4404774)
Guys who absolutely sucked in the upper minors, but somehow found a way to get to the big leagues and become a good MLBer. I can't say I can think of anyone.


I can't off the top of my head either. It'd presumably be more likely to happen pre-Bill James when minor league stats were not taken seriously as an indicator of ability.

One comes to mind from back in the day: Jimmie Hall, who largely stunk it up in the minors, then somehow finds himself in the show and rattles off OPS+'s of 136, 124, 124, 107, and 117.

Then he immediately reverted to (I'm afraid, yes) a pumpkin.

One of the strangest careers.
   83. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4404783)
Goofy study- 18 guys have 300+ PAs over the last 3 years and an OPS+ between 99 and 101

how did those guys do in AA/AAA?
Desmond hit .252/.314/.396 in AA and .354/.428/.461 in AAA (he completley flopped his first go around in AA- .182/.214/.231- he hit well there after that year)

Frenchy hit .269/.309/.467 in AA

Plouffe hit .261/.315/.449 in AAA, but spent a lot of time there, he really started to rake his last year

skipping over some names, Chris Johnson hit .324/.364/.506 in AA and .281/.327/.464 in AAA

2 things- all 18 guys hit better in the minors/high minors than Kozma, BUT some were at one point as bad (in the minors as Kozma)- young players do every now and then take that patented "great leap forward" It's possible Kozma has- the thing is you almost never see that great leap take place in the majors rather than minors (cf Jose Bautista)- because a hitter as bad as Kozma generally doesn't sniff MLB playing time- until he starts hitting in the minors first- Ian Desmond was as hopeless a hitter as Kozma through 2006. then one year he added 150 point to his OPS+, then 75 then next, then he was in the MLB.

Ike Davis- Ike was college teammates with Brett Wallace- Wallace outhit Davis EVERY single year,
Wallace was drafted ahead of Davis, Wallace hit .337/.427/.530 his first time in the minors, Davis hit .256/.326/.326 in a LOWER league

Ike Davis now has a 117 OPS+ in the majors, Wallace is at 91

Davis' minor league OPS went up 200 points going from lo-A to the FSL, 90 more going from the FSl to AA, and up again when he went to AAA, in little more than a year he went from being a below average hitter in the NYPenn league, a guy demonstrably worse than Brett Wallace to being a league average MLB 1B

Wallace is going nowhere, he's a moderately above average hitter in AAA and a below average one in the MLB

some guys develop, some guys don't
   84. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4404784)
It would probably have to be someone who was in the majors for their defense. Or at least a guy at a defensive position like SS or C. A guy who doesn't hit at an offense-first position won't get the chance.

What were Ozzie Smith's minor league numbers like? He's a guy who, IIRC, didn't really hit that well until later in his major league career.
   85. puck Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4404788)
How about Matt Holiday? I don't remember the scouting reports on him, maybe he was always seen as a toosly guy. But his AA numbers at 22 and 23 seem unimpressive (.375/.391 at Carolina at age 22 and .313/.395 at Tulsa at age 23) considering what he's done in the majors.
   86. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4404804)
#### Pete Kozma
   87. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:48 PM (#4404805)
What were Ozzie Smith's minor league numbers like?

Oh, if only there was someplace to look this up ...

Just one year in short-season A, but he did real good.
   88. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4404806)
What were Ozzie Smith's minor league numbers like? He's a guy who, IIRC, didn't really hit that well until later in his major league career.


He actually hit pretty well, but it was just 1/2 a year in lo-A, and then he was in the majors for his glove, but he was a terrible hitter until traded to St Louis...


#### Treder

(just kidding)
   89. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:02 PM (#4404814)
I guess one cheap way to find a bad in the minors/good in the majors player is if the guy got hurt. I can go even beyond the minors... Johnny Damon hit .306 as a high school senior, which as anyone who has looked at MLB players' high school stats knows, is awful by those standards. But he got sick; he was Baseball America's #1 high schooler going into the season.

303/391/362 isn't bad, but sure as hell doesn't look like a statline that will get a 4th rounder promoted straight out of low-A ball either. I guess they noticed that he could field like Ozzie Smith.

Omar Vizquel was pretty horrible in the minors, 241/329/319 career, and it's not like he had a good season to prompt a call-up, he was right around that average every year. (Yeah, yeah, he didn't put up a much better line in the majors, but he was better.)
   90. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4404853)
If I've missed it, I apologize. But all this talk and not one mention of Kevin Maas?
   91. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:08 PM (#4404857)
Bobby Bonilla wasn't much of a hitter in the minors.
   92. bobm Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:38 PM (#4404913)
Kevin Maas, In first 45 games

                                                                                      
#Matching           PA  AB  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
45      Ind. Games 168 142 37  4  0 15  28 25 44 .261 .375 .606 .981  0  0   7   1   0
   93. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:53 PM (#4404958)
Dustin Pedroia had a 561 OPS in 98 PA as a 22-year-old. Then he had a 518 OPS in 68 PA to start the next season. I was surprised the Sox stuck with him, but he then hit .335/.392/.470 the rest of the way.
   94. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:14 PM (#4404961)
<blockquote>
Bobby Bonilla wasn't much of a hitter in the minors.
<blockquote>

Speaking of Rule 5 guys, Fernando Vina had a .578 OPS in AAA before his MLB career got started.
   95. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4404969)
One comes to mind from back in the day: Jimmie Hall, who largely stunk it up in the minors, then somehow finds himself in the show and rattles off OPS+'s of 136, 124, 124, 107, and 117.

Then he immediately reverted to (I'm afraid, yes) a pumpkin.

One of the strangest careers.


Bob Hamelin kind of had a run like this,
   96. AROM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:51 AM (#4405023)
"Dustin Pedroia had a 561 OPS in 98 PA as a 22-year-old. Then he had a 518 OPS in 68 PA to start the next season. I was surprised the Sox stuck with him, but he then hit .335/.392/.470 the rest of the way."

Dustin had a good minor league track record. Good thing for them they had the guy who invented MLEs on payroll. I remember seeing some quote to the effect that Theo had his doubts, but Bill James stuck by his forecasts and convinced his GM to stick around for laser show.
   97. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:25 AM (#4405036)
Further to #64 Jimmie Foxx put up a .339/.396/.515 line over 191 PAs in three season from ages 17-19.

He must have been bored out of his mind on the bench those three yeasrs, he only appeared in 41 minor league games over that stretch.
   98. BDC Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4405059)
Guys who absolutely sucked in the upper minors, but somehow found a way to get to the big leagues and become a good MLBer

Melvin Mora came to mind, because he was the quintessential late bloomer. (And yes, I know, steroid suspicions; but most guys who juiced didn't have nearly as weird a career shape as Mora.)

At the age of 25, Mora hit .257/.356/.330 over nearly a full season at AAA, and was having trouble staying even at AAA; he was nearing the standard "career-over" line for minor-league journeymen. He got worse at 26, and then after a decent AAA season at 27, flailed around helplessly in ~40 PAs in the majors that year. The rest, as they say, is history.

Mora 's career OPS in AAA was .749; in the majors, .781.

Others will know more than I do about whether Mora was really a top prospect in his youth or not …
   99. Don Malcolm Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4405279)
Sandberg atarted his career 8-56 and 18-96. By game 45, he had it up to 216/240/302. In typical Cub fashion they sent him down to the minors and traded him for nothing. What, I woke up in the universe where the Cubs only do 99% of everything wrong? That almost never happens.


Well, that was the 1% (not to be confused with that other 1%...) and that netted you a couple of trips to the playoffs. SOMEBODY has to keep being cursed, you know...otherwise George Will might actually crack a smile, which would open up such a huge gash in the universe that neither you nor me nor Pete Kozma would be doing any dreaming whatso-evah!!

You need at least three 70-game chunks to get a reasonable handle on a hitter's major-league performance. That was demonstrated in BBBA '01 but we weren't able to follow up with an automated system that created such breakouts. Possibly that's a function that Sean F. can add to the Play Index one of these days, as in "show partial/sequential career data in breakouts of (xx) number of games." Quite probably doable, much easier than, say, by plate appearances (which a good programmer could probably do with the actual Retrosheet db, if, like Ichiro!, they wanted to).
   100. Ron J2 Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4405288)
#95 Hamelin had a couple of serious physical problems which go a long way to explaining his ups and downs. Eye and back.
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NewsblogTigers To Acquire David Price
(48 - 5:55pm, Jul 31)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogHardball Talk: Calcaterra: Nationals-Orioles TV Money Dispute about to Explode
(21 - 5:51pm, Jul 31)
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NewsblogJULY 31 2014 OMNICHATTER/TRADE DEADLINE CHATTER
(323 - 5:51pm, Jul 31)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3938 - 5:47pm, Jul 31)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

NewsblogA's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes
(125 - 5:47pm, Jul 31)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogWhy the Mets Are Right to Save the New York State Pavilion
(14 - 5:43pm, Jul 31)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-31-2014
(18 - 5:41pm, Jul 31)
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NewsblogJim Bowden Caught Stealing From Fake Twitter Account, Deletes Everything
(14 - 5:38pm, Jul 31)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogAthletics, Twins Swap Tommy Milone, Sam Fuld
(19 - 5:29pm, Jul 31)
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NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(547 - 5:18pm, Jul 31)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1050 - 4:47pm, Jul 31)
Last: clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right

NewsblogGeorge "The Animal" Steele Mangles A Baseball
(152 - 4:09pm, Jul 31)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogCardinals Acquire John Lackey
(87 - 4:05pm, Jul 31)
Last: esseff

NewsblogCameron: Why a July 31 trade deadline just doesn’t make sense anymore
(18 - 4:05pm, Jul 31)
Last: Barry`s_Lazy_Boy

NewsblogRed Sox trade rumors: 'Very good chance' John Lackey and Jon Lester are traded - Over the Monster
(90 - 3:36pm, Jul 31)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

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