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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, October 04, 2009

2010 ZiPS Projections - New York Yankees

Obviously, not a lot goes wrong wrong for teams that win 103 games.  The Yankees were no exception, essentially improving offensively at every position from 2008.  Even the things that did go wrong, like Joba Chamberlain not being a star this year, weren’t exactly deal-breakers.

The Yankees scored the most runs this season (unless the Angels score 37 more runs in their game against the A’s, which they’re losing 2-1 in the 3rd as I type this) and even though the offense is fairly old, they talent is simply too deep and the position that may need to be fixed soonest, catcher, is the position Montero plays, at least right now.  Not that Posada stinks or anything, but backstops pushing 40 aren’t exactly known for gentle declines.

The team has a few more questions with the pitching, most notably just what to do with Hughes long-term after his excellent stint in the bullpen and what to make of Wang.  It’s not a deep free agent pool for starters, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the team mostly trolls for relievers after the big Sabathia/Burnett haul last winter.

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Offensive Projections

Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Alex Rodriguez       3b 34 .281 .382 .526 128 477 86 134 25 1 30 93 69 106 15 3   141
Mark Teixeira#        1b 30 .280 .369 .505 147 574 95 161 38 2 29 112 75 111 1 0   132
Hideki Matsui*        dh 36 .277 .360 .464 111 390 54 108 20 1 17 64 49 58 1 1   119
Derek Jeter         ss 36 .303 .372 .424 139 571 88 173 29 2 12 60 56 86 19 5   114
Johnny Damon*        lf 36 .272 .350 .436 130 507 87 138 29 3 16 61 60 83 18 3   110
Nick Swisher#        rf 29 .243 .354 .446 147 511 87 124 30 1 24 81 85 137 1 1   113
Robinson Cano*        2b 27 .296 .334 .474 160 614 82 182 42 5 19 88 31 71 3 4   110
Shelley Duncan       rf 30 .252 .328 .460 116 417 59 105 22 1 21 72 45 100 3 1   109
Xavier Nady         rf 31 .275 .326 .454 85 313 51 86 18 1 12 61 19 67 1 1   107
Jorge Posada#        c   38 .256 .336 .430 77 270 33 69 15 1 10 46 32 68 1 0   104
Eric Hinske*        rf 32 .233 .324 .424 105 257 45 60 14 1 11 40 31 68 3 1   99
Jesus Montero         c   20 .273 .315 .416 115 454 47 124 24 1 13 61 26 78 0 0   94
Melky Cabrera#        cf 25 .266 .324 .393 155 519 63 138 27 3 11 64 43 67 11 3   92
Juan Miranda*        1b 27 .246 .317 .391 120 447 52 110 24 1 13 62 44 111 1 1   89
John Rodriguez*      lf 32 .244 .321 .391 84 266 39 65 13 1 8 38 25 70 0 1   90
Brett Gardner*        cf 26 .253 .328 .344 119 387 66 98 14 6 3 31 42 75 32 7   81
Cody Ransom         3b 34 .233 .304 .401 106 347 54 81 20 1 12 51 33 90 6 2   87
Jerry Hairston Jr.    3b 34 .252 .305 .378 101 294 53 74 17 1 6 37 21 45 8 3   82
Reegie Corona#        2b 23 .250 .313 .347 136 507 72 127 27 2 6 42 46 89 15 4   78
Chris Stewart         c   28 .260 .323 .344 84 262 33 68 14 1 2 24 20 36 1 1   80
Kevin Russo         2b 25 .260 .312 .351 94 365 46 95 17 2 4 31 26 65 10 5   78
Francisco Cervelli     c   24 .255 .307 .380 61 184 24 47 9 1 4 22 12 37 0 2   83
Freddy Guzman#        cf 29 .251 .303 .330 119 446 75 112 16 5 3 33 33 64 44 11   70
Colin Curtis*        lf 25 .244 .297 .347 132 513 61 125 23 3 8 50 36 101 5 3   73
Austin Jackson       cf 23 .245 .296 .338 138 551 65 135 25 4 6 56 38 136 16 4   70
Austin Romine         c   21 .247 .285 .367 118 458 53 113 24 2 9 52 23 92 5 3   74
P.J. Pilittere       c   28 .262 .299 .336 83 301 33 79 14 1 2 31 14 34 0 1   70
Doug Bernier#        ss 30 .224 .315 .313 96 281 40 63 12 2 3 30 33 75 2 1   70
Eric Duncan*        3b 25 .233 .280 .353 113 408 44 95 20 1 9 45 26 93 2 2   69
Ramiro Pena#        ss 24 .249 .296 .332 93 382 47 95 17 3 3 32 25 78 5 5   69
Brian Peterson       c   30 .237 .293 .320 52 169 20 40 8 0 2 20 13 37 0 1   65
Jose Molina         c   35 .227 .275 .308 68 185 20 42 9 0 2 17 11 39 1 0   57
Kevin Cash           c   32 .208 .277 .309 53 149 14 31 6 0 3 18 14 47 0 0   57
Total                   .258 .324 .397   0 127 178 329 66 60 33 162 115 251 23 80 2936

Defensive Projections

Name           CThr 1b 2b 3b ss lf cf rf
Rodriguez               Av        
Teixeira#          Av            
Matsui*                    Pr    
Jeter                   Av      
Damon*                    Vg Pr  
Swisher#          Av       Av Fr Av
Cano*              Fr          
Duncan             Av       Fr   Fr
Nady                     Av   Av
Posada#        Pr   Fr            
Hinske*            Av   Pr   Av   Av
Montero         Pr                
Cabrera#                  Vg Av Vg
Miranda*          Av            
Rodriguez*                  Fr   Fr
Gardner*                  Vg Vg  
Ransom             Av Av Av Fr      
Hairston             Fr Av Fr Av Av Av
Corona#              Vg   Av      
Stewart         Vg                
Russo               Av Av        
Cervelli       Av                
Guzman#                    Vg Vg  
Curtis*                    Av Av Av
Jackson                   Av Av  
Romine         Av                
Piliterre       Fr   Fr            
Bernier#          Av Av Av Av Av   Av
Duncan*            Fr   Fr   Fr   Fr
Pena#              Vg Vg Vg      
Peterson       Fr                
Molina         Av                
Cash           Av    

* - Bats Left
# - Switch Hitter

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

Name             PO   EX   VG   AV   FR   PO         COMP 1         COMP 2         COMP 3
RodriguezAlex       3B   84%  12%  3%  1%  0%      BoyerKen     SchmidtMike     MoraMelvin
TeixeiraMark       1B   35%  44%  15%  6%  1%    MurrayEddie     DavisChili     OrtizDavid
JeterDerek         SS   69%  21%  7%  2%  1%    RizzutoPhil     AparicioLuis     ApplingLuke
MatsuiHideki       DH   13%  32%  27%  23%  4%      FairlyRon     BainesHarold     MartinezTino
CanoRobinson       2B   45%  19%  16%  13%  7%      OrtaJorge       VidroJose     WalkerTodd
DamonJohnny         LF   20%  29%  21%  18%  12%    GoslinGoose   SlaughterEnos     VeachBobby
SwisherNick         RF   14%  26%  24%  23%  14%    EvansDwight   BurroughsJeff       DeerRob
DuncanShelley       RF   10%  23%  22%  25%  20%    BrunanskyTom       BuhnerJay     DyeJermaine
NadyXavier         RF   5%  22%  25%  28%  20%    GonzalezJuan   YoungbloodJoel     GuillenJose
PosadaJorge         C   25%  40%  21%  10%  3%    SchangWally     PiazzaMike   HartnettGabby
HinskeEric         RF   4%  9%  16%  29%  43%    NunnallyJon   LowensteinJohn     BrunanskyTom
MonteroJesus         C   4%  31%  37%  24%  3%    RodriguezIvan   CardonaJavier     AlomarSandy
CabreraMelky       CF   5%  10%  28%  38%  20%      AlmadaMel   GallagherDave       CrispCoco
GardnerBrett       CF   3%  13%  34%  37%  13%    PrietoChris     RobertsDave     ButlerBrett
MirandaJuan         1B   0%  1%  4%  27%  68%    FalconeDave     McAnultyPaul   StahoviakScott
RodriguezJohn       LF   1%  3%  5%  15%  76%      StahlLarry       KempSteve HollandsworthTodd
RansomCody         3B   1%  5%  14%  28%  51%      BooneRay       DurhamRay     ClaytonRoyce
HairstonJerry       3B   0%  3%  10%  26%  60%    BarnesSkeeter   O’RourkeFrank     BrookensTom
GuzmanFreddy       CF   1%  3%  16%  38%  41%    BrownAdrian     RedmanTike     RobertsDave
CoronaReegie       2B   1%  3%  8%  25%  64%    PhillipsTony     ThomasDerrel     CrespoFelipe
StewartChris         C   0%  3%  14%  44%  38%      TaylorZack     WilsonCraig     KluttzClyde
CervelliFrancisco     C   0%  0%  4%  29%  67%  TorrealbaYorvit     DempseyPat   BellorinEdwin
RussoKevin         2B   0%  1%  4%  16%  78%  BloomquistWillie     BarfieldJosh     LansingMike
JacksonAustin       CF   0%  0%  3%  18%  79%    TerreroLuis     RepkoJason     MoranJavon
RomineAustin         C   0%  1%  5%  29%  66%        HearnEd     CotaHumberto     MathisJeff
CurtisColin         LF   0%  0%  0%  1%  99%      SwannPedro     VazRoberto     MillerDavid
PilittereP.J.        C   0%  0%  3%  24%  73% EncarnacionAngelo     TaylorZack     PhillipsPaul
BernierDouglas       SS   0%  0%  5%  20%  75%    SchofieldDick       RungePaul       KoppeJoe
DuncanEric         3B   0%  0%  0%  2%  97%    HansonTravis   FrostadEmerson       BakerDave
PenaRamiro         SS   0%  0%  2%  12%  86%      WeissWalt       MeloJuan       OlmedoRay
PetersonBrian       C   0%  0%  1%  6%  92%      TillmanBob     HundleyRandy     MahoneyMike
MolinaJose         C   0%  0%  1%  4%  95%    DifeliceMike     KnorrRandy   SantiagoBenito
CashKevin           C   0%  0%  1%  4%  95%      KnorrRandy     ChavezRaul     DifeliceMike            

Name             .300 BA   .375 OBP   .500 SLG   140 OPS+    45 2B     10 3B     30 HR     30 SB
RodriguezAlex         23%      61%      66%      47%      0%      0%      49%      0%
TeixeiraMark           22%      41%      48%      27%      17%      0%      41%      0%
JeterDerek           56%      44%      4%      8%      3%      0%      1%      6%
MatsuiHideki           21%      27%      18%      11%      0%      0%      2%      0%
CanoRobinson           49%      8%      29%      13%      40%      1%      11%      0%
DamonJohnny           18%      20%      11%      8%      3%      1%      6%      4%
SwisherNick           2%      19%      14%      9%      4%      0%      18%      0%
DuncanShelley           4%      5%      19%      5%      0%      0%      9%      0%
NadyXavier           20%      5%      14%      2%      0%      0%      0%      0%
PosadaJorge           9%      11%      11%      4%      0%      0%      0%      0%
HinskeEric             2%      5%      6%      2%      0%      0%      0%      0%
MonteroJesus           12%      0%      1%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
CabreraMelky           9%      2%      0%      0%      1%      1%      0%      0%
GardnerBrett           4%      3%      0%      0%      0%      10%      0%      70%
MirandaJuan           1%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
RodriguezJohn           3%      4%      2%      1%      0%      0%      0%      0%
RansomCody             1%      0%      3%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
HairstonJerry           6%      1%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
GuzmanFreddy           3%      0%      0%      0%      0%      7%      0%      98%
CoronaReegie           2%      1%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
StewartChris           9%      4%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
CervelliFrancisco       9%      2%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
RussoKevin             8%      1%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
JacksonAustin           1%      0%      0%      0%      0%      2%      0%      0%
RomineAustin           1%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
CurtisColin           0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
PilittereP.J.          10%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
BernierDouglas         0%      2%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
DuncanEric             0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
PenaRamiro             2%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
PetersonBrian           3%      1%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
MolinaJose             2%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%
CashKevin             1%      1%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%      0%

Extrapolated Career Statistics

Name           BA OBP SLG   G   AB   R   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   SO   HP   SB   CS OPS+
RodriguezAlex   .294 .384 .550 2960 11273 2184 3311   585   32   745 2207 1489 2426   222   379   88   141
TeixeiraMark   .276 .365 .502 2293 8837 1417 2439   565   31   456 1650 1147 1800   134   26   3   126
PosadaJorge     .273 .370 .471 1894 6425   955 1752   400   13   283 1142   955 1547   73   19   18   120
MatsuiHideki   .282 .361 .469 1412 5099   768 1439   283   17   212   863   623   751   34   17   13   119
JeterDerek     .310 .380 .444 2832 11532 1993 3578   578   68   276 1322 1155 1917   183   389   106   117
SwisherNick     .238 .348 .438 1841 6374 1052 1514   360   15   295   950 1050 1687   74   17   17   109
CanoRobinson   .291 .327 .457 2271 8888 1221 2582   589   45   267 1115   443 1034   63   54   67   106
DamonJohnny     .283 .352 .434 2702 10644 1851 3009   573   109   272 1231 1119 1419   51   447   111   104

Pitching Statistics - Starters

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+
C.C. Sabathia*        29   3.48 17   9 34 34   235.1 215   91 23   58 201 130
Joba Chamberlain       24   4.21   8   5 38 26   147.1 143   69 17   63 136 107
A.J. Burnett         33   4.46 12 11 31 31   195.2 186   97 25   86 178 102
Andy Pettitte*        38   4.48 11 11 31 31   190.2 200   95 21   67 130 101
Chad Gaudin           27   5.02 10   9 40 24   154.1 167   86 18   69 126   90
Sergio Mitre         29   5.07   6   5 23 19   108.1 129   61 14   31   64   89
Zachary McAllister     22   5.08   8 10 24 24   124.0 139   70 17   45   66   89
Chien-Ming Wang       30   5.13   6   8 19 17   105.1 114   60 10   40   58   88
Ian Kennedy           25   5.22   4   4 17 16   81.0   83   47   9   40   62   87
Ivan Nova           23   5.87   6 11 25 24   130.1 156   85 16   76   64   77
Josh Towers           33   6.11   5   8 25 16   101.2 130   69 19   29   50   74
Kei Igawa*          30   6.39   5 12 25 24   132.1 158   94 30   54   75   71

Pitching Statistics - Relievers

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+
Mariano Rivera         40   3.18   5   2 62   0   62.1   53   22   7   13   64 141
David Robertson       25   3.84   6   3 54   0   70.1   59   30   5   38   81 120
Philip Hughes         24   4.32   7   5 40 12   93.2   93   45 11   33   84 105
Edwar Ramirez         29   4.62   3   3 52   0   64.1   60   33   8   38   68   97
Alfredo Aceves         27   4.70   5   4 62   0   76.2   81   40 10   23   55   95
Brian Bruney         28   4.72   3   2 52   2   47.2   47   25   5   29   40   94
Phil Coke*          27   4.91   4   3 79   0   69.2   72   38   9   29   57   93
Mark Melancon         25   4.96   4   3 47   0   74.1   78   41   9   29   55   92
Damaso Marte*        35   4.97   3   2 53   0   41.2   41   23   5   17   40   92
Jonathan Albaladejo     27   5.06   7   6 74   1   90.2 100   51 13   36   62   89
Humberto Sanchez       27   5.32   2   2 19   3   23.2   25   14   3   13   15   85
Michael Dunn*        25   5.50   4   4 44   0   75.1   76   46 10   57   69   83
Eric Wordekemper       26   5.61   2   3 40   0   51.1   60   32   8   26   28   80
Romulo Sanchez         26   5.69   3   6 39   6   68.0   72   43 10   39   44   80
Kevin Whelan         26   5.91   2   3 39   2   56.1   53   37   7   57   49   77
Zachary Kroenke*      26   6.14   2   5 42   1   58.2   64   40 10   41   37   74
Jose Valdez           27   6.16   3   5 42   2   57.0   62   39 10   40   40   74
Grant Duff           27   7.07   3   9 40 10   85.1 103   67 16   68   44   64

* - Throws Left

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

Player           PO   TOP   MID   BOT         COMP 1         COMP 2         COMP 3
RiveraMariano       RP   75%  23%  2%      JonesDoug   HoffmanTrevor   AndersenLarry
SabathiaC.C.        SP   89%  10%  0%    KoufaxSandy       GuidryRon   CandelariaJohn
RobertsonDavid       RP   46%  36%  18%      ManteiMatt   WilliamsonScott     LittellMark
ChamberlainJoba     SP   46%  41%  12%      MaloneyJim       RijoJose     PizarroJuan
HughesPhilip       RP   24%  46%  30%      BantaJack     CaudillBill     AyalaBobby
BurnettA.J.        SP   30%  58%  12%      NomoHideo     ClemensRoger   StottlemyreTodd
PettitteAndy       SP   23%  64%  13%    RogersKenny       KeyJimmy     ReussJerry
RamirezEdwar       RP   22%  36%  42%      NelsonJoe     SimpsonAllan     DohmannScott
AcevesAlfredo       RP   19%  30%  50%    FoulkeKeith     DeLeonLuis       BellHeath
BruneyBrian         RP   24%  28%  49%    BalfourGrant       NelsonJoe     LaCorteFrank
CokePhil           RP   15%  31%  54%  LittlefieldDick     AyalaBobby   GuardadoEddie
MelanconMark       RP   17%  30%  53%      AyalaBobby       YorkJim       BeardDave
MarteDamaso         RP   20%  32%  48%    PercivalTroy     DotelOctavio       GordonTom
GaudinChad         SP   19%  40%  41%    DarwinDanny       WeaverJim       GreggHal
AlbaladejoJonathan   RP   12%  28%  59%    BelindaStan       LaddPete     JohnsonKen
MitreSergio         SP   20%  35%  46%      PavanoCarl     EthertonSeth       EatonAdam
McAllisterZachary     SP   7%  54%  39%    LittellMark   BurdickStacey     JohnsonJoe
WangChien-Ming       SP   9%  47%  44%        WojnaEd     KisonBruce     HamiltonJoey
KennedyIan         SP   20%  30%  50%      HardenRich   D’AcquistoJohn     FoppertJesse
SanchezHumberto     RP   16%  29%  54%    JonesGordon     CoombsDanny       DeanPaul
DunnMichael         RP   10%  21%  69%    WilliamsMitch       MeyerJack     BruneyBrian
SanchezRomulo       RP   1%  15%  84%    MarquezJeff     ValdezCarlos   PattersonJeff
WordekemperEric     RP   1%  19%  80%      CrowDean     RoehlScott     HinesCarlos
NovaIvan           SP   0%  15%  85%      WellsJared       RitzKevin     MoehlerBrian
WhelanKevin         RP   1%  12%  87%    BowlesBrian     VoylesBrad van BurenJermaine
TowersJosh         SP   5%  18%  77%    SchmidtDave     SmithsonMike   TollbergBrian
KroenkeZachary       RP   0%  7%  93%      FeshSean     NanceShane   DuquetteBryan
ValdezJose         RP   0%  6%  94%      WilmetPaul     MiadichBart     VillanoMike
IgawaKei           SP   0%  6%  94%      OlinSteve       YoungCurt   LorraineAndrew
DuffGrant         RP   0%  0%  100%      SextonJeff     NelsonJeff     HolmanBrad

Player           130 ERA+  100 ERA+    K/9 >8   BB/9 <2 HR/9 <1
RiveraMariano 68% 96% 85% 62% 62%
SabathiaC.C. 55% 97% 34% 32% 73%
RobertsonDavid 41% 75% 85% 1% 85%
ChamberlainJoba 17% 69% 57% 1% 52%
HughesPhilip 18% 59% 51% 8% 61%
BurnettA.J. 6% 59% 57% 0% 38%
PettitteAndy 3% 54% 2% 1% 52%
RamirezEdwar 19% 50% 71% 1% 51%
AcevesAlfredo 17% 43% 17% 27% 51%
BruneyBrian 19% 46% 40% 1% 61%
CokePhil 13% 42% 34% 5% 53%
MelanconMark 15% 40% 21% 8% 47%
MarteDamaso 20% 46% 59% 8% 59%
GaudinChad 4% 35% 32% 0% 56%
AlbaladejoJonathan 10% 36% 13% 9% 41%
MitreSergio 6% 33% 1% 27% 47%
McAllisterZachary 1% 23% 0% 1% 31%
WangChien-Ming 1% 24% 0% 1% 76%
KennedyIan 8% 32% 20% 1% 62%
SanchezHumberto 16% 46% 13% 11% 52%
DunnMichael 9% 28% 53% 0% 44%
SanchezRomulo 1% 10% 0% 0% 28%
WordekemperEric 1% 15% 0% 0% 30%
NovaIvan 0% 3% 0% 0% 46%
WhelanKevin 0% 10% 35% 0% 52%
TowersJosh 1% 11% 1% 24% 22%
KroenkeZachary 0% 5% 0% 0% 18%
ValdezJose 0% 3% 2% 0% 15%
IgawaKei 0% 1% 1% 0% 1%
DuffGrant 0% 0% 0% 0% 7%

Extrapolated Career Statistics

Player             W     L     S   ERA     G     GS     IP     H     ER     HR     BB     SO   ERA+
BurnettA.J.        158   142     0   4.22   408   404 2580.0   2411   1209   277   1089   2372   105
PettitteAndy       268   172     0   4.07   573   563 3557.7   3762   1609   319   1146   2592   115
RiveraMariano       82     56   608   2.37   1038     10 1206.0   955   317     72   282   1132   190
SabathiaC.C.      290   181     0   3.80   618   618 4113.3   3985   1735   410   1167   3380   120

All figures in % based on projection playing time


Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2009. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 
This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in
the offseason. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.46 ERA and the NL having a 4.41 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected.  More information
is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting
the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Positional offense is ranked by RC/27 and divided into quintiles based on what the
most frequent starting players at each position did in 2007-2009.  Excellent is the top
quintile, Very Good the 2nd quintile and so on.

Dan Szymborski Posted: October 04, 2009 at 09:04 PM | 82 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 04, 2009 at 09:59 PM (#3340141)
Are those OPS+'s based solely on the 1-year New Yankee Stadium PF?
   2. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 04, 2009 at 11:11 PM (#3340176)
I'll take the overs on Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano, the under on Hideki Matsui.
   3. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 04, 2009 at 11:12 PM (#3340177)
Yeah, I see Rivera I definitely think Doug Jones.
   4. RJ in TO Posted: October 04, 2009 at 11:17 PM (#3340181)
Yeah, I see Rivera I definitely think Doug Jones.


Doug Jones, Age 40 - 80.1 IP, 2.02 ERA, 231 ERA+.

That line looks pretty much like a standard Rivera season, and there aren't many 40 year old closers to compare against.
   5. Zoppity Zoop Posted: October 04, 2009 at 11:19 PM (#3340183)
RB, what you're probably seeing is that there aren't exactly a whole bunch of awesome 40-year-old relievers. No doubt ZIPS wouldn't know that Rivera is a much harder thrower, but they were both pitchers that struck out a lot of guys, had excellent control, and one ridiculous go-to pitch (Jones had an amazing change).
   6. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 04, 2009 at 11:25 PM (#3340185)
I do know the reason Rivera gets compared to Jones, it's just an odd comparison because you don't think of Jones of being in Rivera's class, although he was excellent.
   7. APNY Posted: October 04, 2009 at 11:51 PM (#3340197)
Romine projects better than AJax.

What's the avg OPS+ for catchers? Romine projecting to 74 already seems very encouraging.
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 04, 2009 at 11:58 PM (#3340200)
OPS+ for all MLB catchers tends to be between 88 and 92 or so while the OPS+ as a starting catcher tends to be between 92 and 96.
   9. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 05, 2009 at 12:04 AM (#3340204)
Montero for catcher!
   10. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: October 05, 2009 at 12:11 AM (#3340211)
I will take the over on Cano, Hughes and Robertson.
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 05, 2009 at 12:20 AM (#3340215)
I'd take the over on Jeter on the theory that the 8th most hits for an age-35 season in MLB history constitutes pretty good evidence (along with the rest of his career) that he will age much better than average.
   12. rconn23 Posted: October 05, 2009 at 12:23 AM (#3340216)
Wow. Basically projecting every Yankee player to decline, even those in their 20s.

Can't wait for the Red Sox 2010 DIPS that shows Buchholz with a 1.03 ERA.
   13. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 05, 2009 at 12:30 AM (#3340223)
Wow. Basically projecting every Yankee player to decline, even those in their 20s.


What would you expect when 8 of 9 position player starters had a 2009 OPS+ above their career averages?

Can't wait for the Red Sox 2010 DIPS that shows Buchholz with a 1.03 ERA.

An Oriole fan writing a projection system with a pro-Red Sox bias would be a rather odd choice, I imagine.
   14. Lassus Posted: October 05, 2009 at 12:35 AM (#3340224)
An Oriole fan writing a projection system with a pro-Red Sox bias would be a rather odd choice, I imagine.

Dan, I have what I'm sure is going to be shocking news for you. There are a certain number of Yankee fans who have used the last eight years of no title to fuel one of the most intensely wacky persecution complexes in the history of psychiatry.
   15. APNY Posted: October 05, 2009 at 12:40 AM (#3340226)
No projection system is going to expect Jeter and Posada to be great forever, they're already historical outliers, even if we as fans think we are seeing unique players who can keep it up.
   16. Cowboy Popup Posted: October 05, 2009 at 01:51 AM (#3340244)
Thanks for posting the Zips Dan.

I think that Jeter projection is pretty good, 114 OPS+ and average defense at SS. That's a very valuable season. Of course I'd love him to hit .330 again but I would take that projection.

I'm surprised about Melancon's awful projection. I know he's struggled in Major League time but his minor league numbers are really good. Are his control issues in the Majors bad enough to make his projection that low or are his minor league numbers not as impressive as I think they are? To some extent my question also applies to Robertson.

I like the rotation depth the Yanks are going to have. Gaudin, Mitre, Wang, Kennedy and MCAllister are all reasonable enough 5th starters and some of them have some pretty high upside for 6th-10th starters.

I hope this year is the beginning of a more consistent stretch for Cano and that in 10 years we look back and wonder what the hell happened to him in 08.

Can't wait for the Red Sox 2010 DIPS that shows Buchholz with a 1.03 ERA.

This is annoying because it's exactly what the posters here expect from Yankee fans and it's just going to lead to more anti-Yankee posts and distract from actually talking about the team.
   17. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 05, 2009 at 01:55 AM (#3340247)
I'll make sure and double-check Melancon; he does look a bit high.
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 05, 2009 at 01:58 AM (#3340248)
This one is weird to me:
DuncanShelley RF 10% 23% 22% 25% 20% BrunanskyTom BuhnerJay DyeJermaine
So, Brunansky was giving a run on 105ish OPS+ seasons at age 29, and it's not unreasonable to think Duncan could match that offensively. Bruno was an excellent defensive player, so it's not really the system's fault that comes up. And Dye seems like another not-the-fault-of-the-system glitch, Dye becomes a comp for Duncan because he put up that 38 OPS+ at age 29, when he tried to come back from a broken leg too quickly.

Buhner, though, was a middle of the order threat on a playoff team, and remained such for a couple years. Why does he come up as a comp for a minor league slugger?
   19. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 05, 2009 at 02:04 AM (#3340253)
RobertsonDavid RP 46% 36% 18% ManteiMatt WilliamsonScott LittellMark


Give that man the 10,000 dollars!
   20. PooNani Posted: October 05, 2009 at 02:47 AM (#3340277)
just for shits and giggles, the 09 projections and actual (OPS)


tex: 907 + 948
a-rod: 941 - 933
jete: 791 + 871
posada: 836 + 885
cano: 808 + 871
damon: 800 + 854
matsui: 844 + 874
cabrera: 703 + 752
swisher: 835 + 869

absent a-rod, every starting player is 30-80 points better than their projections. is this all park-related?
   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 05, 2009 at 02:57 AM (#3340281)
absent a-rod, every starting player is 30-80 points better than their projections. is this all park-related?

Well, if that's all it is, I take back every nasty thing I've ever said about the park, including its financing. But though their .858 / .821 home / road OPS+ split shows that their new Stadium didn't hurt, what does a similar .859 / .753 split for the Red Sox say about the way that Boston hitters use Fenway as a crutch?
   22. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 05, 2009 at 03:04 AM (#3340286)
Why does he come up as a comp for a minor league slugger?

First, the baseline for Duncan is a little higher - ZiPS/zMLE have Duncan as a 114 OPS+ in a neutral context.

There's also the issues that I calculated exact component park factors (rather than generalized ones) and with a slightly easier league, Buhner's 126 OPS+ over those years in question drops to 120 OPS+ in a neutral context.

Even that 6 is actually one of the bigger differences among the comps - remember, shape matters, too. If I have a 115 OPS+ hulking slugger, I want a group that contains 110 and 120 OPS+ hulking sluggers, not Carl Crawford!

Some more on Duncan's list:

Jason Lane
Kurt Airoso
Bubba Trammell
Richie Zisk
Carmelo Martinez
Aaron Guiel
Jeff Burroughs
Wally Post
Ed Spiezio
Jerry Morales
Dusty Baker
other Brian Giles
Rob Deer
Andy Kosco
Joe Vitiello
Sam Mele
Willie Kirkland
Dick Gernert
Gene Schall
Chuck Workman
Vic Wertz
Greg Vaughn
Johnny Rizzo
Mike Lum
Cecil Fielder
Ron Kittle
Jack Voigt
Ozzie Timmons
Deron Johnson
Ryan Radmanovich
Ruben Sierra
Richard Hidalgo
Jerry Martin
Dan Ford
Dave Kingman
Ernie Young
Dustan Mohr
Steve Balboni
Babe Dahlgren

And on and on.
   23. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 05, 2009 at 03:05 AM (#3340287)

absent a-rod, every starting player is 30-80 points better than their projections. is this all park-related?


Part park, part league scoring more than I thought, part everybody but ARod playing better than usual. As noted above, considering that 8 of the 9 regulars played above their career averages, I should have hit low.
   24. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 05, 2009 at 03:25 AM (#3340298)
Damon is projected to 3000 hits. Interesting.
   25. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 05, 2009 at 04:12 AM (#3340324)
And C.C. is projected to retire with 290 wins, the highest sub-300 career total since 1887. Cue the strangely unsatisfying "we will never again see another 290-game winner" columns.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: October 05, 2009 at 04:25 AM (#3340333)
was it on this board that someone claimed the greatness of Jeter, because he'll likely be one of six players to have 3000 hits and 2000 runs scored? (the qualifiers of 3000 hits knock, Ruth and Bonds of the list from 2000 runs scored?

Assuming Biggio gets in, if he makes it to 3000, Damon will probably be the first 3K player not to make the Hall, with the exception of those not in for other reasons (Rose of course and very likely Palmeiro).
If Damon gets 3000 hits, I think he gets into the hof, he'll be compared to Brock enough and his superior defense (even with the weak arm) will be enough to get him in.
   27. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 05, 2009 at 04:33 AM (#3340339)
If Damon gets 3000 hits, I think he gets into the hof, he'll be compared to Brock enough and his superior defense (even with the weak arm) will be enough to get him in.

Maybe eventually, but it's a tough crowd now. When Tim Raines gets 1/3 of what he needs for qualification, there ain't going to be many who are going to "feel" like Johnny Damon is a HOFer.

20 years ago, sure. It's pretty scary that it only took some knee problems to keep Buckner from getting 3000 hits. Now that would be comical.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: October 05, 2009 at 04:45 AM (#3340346)
Maybe eventually, but it's a tough crowd now. When Tim Raines gets 1/3 of what he needs for qualification, there ain't going to be many who are going to "feel" like Johnny Damon is a HOFer.

I think he has it harder than Brock did, but he is going to get compared to Brock, no matter whether that is the best comparison, and in almost every aspect in that comparison Damon is going to grade out better.
   29. SG Posted: October 05, 2009 at 04:47 AM (#3340349)
FWIW, ZiPS had the highest average projected run total for the Yankees in my Diamond Mind projections at the beginning of the season.

cairo: 855
chone: 847
hbt: 860
marcel: 856
pecota: 822
zips: 883

So don't pick on Szym too much. If anything, pick on PECOTA.
   30. SG Posted: October 05, 2009 at 04:50 AM (#3340352)
Dan, I'm assuming if you switch Hughes to a starter, his projection would go up to an ERA of around 4.70? Is that about right?
   31. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 05, 2009 at 04:54 AM (#3340353)
Yup.
   32. Juan V Posted: October 05, 2009 at 05:02 AM (#3340356)
I think he has it harder than Brock did, but he is going to get compared to Brock, no matter whether that is the best comparison, and in almost every aspect in that comparison Damon is going to grade out better.


Will he? It's getting late out here, so I won't take a deep look at the numbers, but Brock retired with the single-season and career records for stolen bases. For "Fame", that counts for a lot.
   33. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 05, 2009 at 05:44 AM (#3340367)
This format is awesome. It's probably been this way for a while now, but still... The pitchers are a lot worse than I thought they'd be.
   34. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 05, 2009 at 05:51 AM (#3340368)
Will he? It's getting late out here, so I won't take a deep look at the numbers, but Brock retired with the single-season and career records for stolen bases. For "Fame", that counts for a lot.


I'd say Brock is perhaps the one guy who is non-Hall of Meriter, Hall of Famer, with both groups getting it right.

I don't see Damon having much of a chance of making it (absent more seasons like this one), 3,000 hits or not. Of course, I'm perhaps the most disbelieving of automatic markers here.
   35. Marcel Posted: October 05, 2009 at 06:30 AM (#3340369)
Wow. Basically projecting every Yankee player to decline, even those in their 20s.


The Book Blog thread explaining Regression
Important reading.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: October 05, 2009 at 07:42 AM (#3340382)
If Damon ends up with 3000 hits he's also gonna end up with 1800+ runs and that's very select company (e.g. Brock had just 1610). He'd be top 20 all-time in runs, possibly top 20 in hits (Biggio at 3060). Not bad.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: October 05, 2009 at 08:18 AM (#3340391)
Clyde Kluttz -- now that's a classic name.

Please, please, please don't let Michael Kay find out the Scooter is Jeter's #1 comp.

The Robinson Cano comps have me thinking Jorge Cantu must be #4. :-)
   38. The Republic of Dresses Posted: October 05, 2009 at 10:56 AM (#3340409)
Dye becomes a comp for Duncan because he put up that 38 OPS+ at age 29, when he tried to come back from a broken leg too quickly.


2001 OPS+: 109
10/14/01: Breaks leg
2002 OPS+: 110
2003 OPS+: 38
   39. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 05, 2009 at 11:23 AM (#3340410)
I love comparables lists! For Posada we have Piazza and Gabby Hartnett and I'm feeling it, but who in the good christ is Wally Schang? Sounds like a funny fake name to give at Fuddruckers.
   40. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 05, 2009 at 11:25 AM (#3340411)
Wow, Wally Schang was pretty good for a dead-ball era catcher!
   41. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 05, 2009 at 01:01 PM (#3340452)
Wally Schang was pretty good for a dead-ball era catcher!


Yes, he was - better than his contemporary Ray Schalk, who is in the HOF on the strength of being one of the "Clean Sox" of 1919 (and Warren Brown's pushing).

-- MWE
   42. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: October 05, 2009 at 01:13 PM (#3340462)
schang/schalk: see bill james's historical abstracts for more
   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 05, 2009 at 01:22 PM (#3340464)
The Book Blog Thread explaining Regression.
Important reading.


From that link:

The thing that people don’t understand (actually one of the things) about regression toward the mean in baseball is that the reason any above or below average player will always regress, on the average, towards average, is that they were not really as good or bad as we thought in the first place, based on any of their stats. That goes for Sabathia, Halladay, Bonds, Chipper Jones, etc., etc. Chipper Jones is not as good as his career stats tell us, even after you do all the appropriate adjustments. Same for Halladay. And Sabathia. And everyone else who has been above average and we think has true talent X. When I say “as we think” I mean as their stats suggest, not as we think based on a credible projection which already does the regression. And of course, there is some chance that any given player is better than his prior stats - it is just that the chances of him being worse is greater than the chances of him being better. That is ALWAYS the case, as long as we properly define the mean for that player.

That is the KEY to understanding regression toward the mean and is what most people don’t understand, even if they think they understand the concept.


The first highlighted passage is mgl's. The second highlighted passage is one that needs more elaboration. In this case, I'm specifically wondering how those numbers for Phil Hughes were arrived at, numbers which seem to imply a mean that's a lot worse than what his performance this year (his first full injury free year) might project. What assumptions were you making about injuries and managerial schizophrenia when you project him to a 4.32 ERA, with 12 starts in 40 games?

I'm obviously missing something here, but what is it? How do you take the sum of Phil Hughes's minor league and Major League career and come up with a line like that? Seems to me that it has to be based on an expectation of another major injury somewhere along the road.
   44. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 05, 2009 at 01:26 PM (#3340470)
Jesus, a serious baseball fan who hasn't heard of Wally Schang? He's one of the 20 best catchers of all time, right? Hell of a player, probably the only catcher worth a damn b/w Bresnahan and liveball.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: October 05, 2009 at 07:55 PM (#3340912)
The thing that people don’t understand (actually one of the things) about regression toward the mean in baseball is that the reason any above or below average player will always regress, on the average, towards average, is that they were not really as good or bad as we thought in the first place, based on any of their stats. That goes for Sabathia, Halladay, Bonds, Chipper Jones, etc., etc. Chipper Jones is not as good as his career stats tell us, even after you do all the appropriate adjustments. Same for Halladay. And Sabathia. And everyone else who has been above average and we think has true talent X. When I say “as we think” I mean as their stats suggest, not as we think based on a credible projection which already does the regression. And of course, there is some chance that any given player is better than his prior stats - it is just that the chances of him being worse is greater than the chances of him being better. That is ALWAYS the case, as long as we properly define the mean for that player.

Ugh. This again. MGL should never write about statistics. Let's break it down:

1. any "player will always regress" WRONG. The notion of "always" is antithetical to statistics.
2. "on the average" CONTRADICTS ANY MEANING OF THE WORD "ALWAYS"
3. "towards average" WRONG
....... really, that first sentence is just horrible.
4. "the chances of him being worse is <sic> greater than the chances of him being better" CONTRADICTS #1 AND #3 which clearly state he has no chance of being better (unless he was below average)
5. "ALWAYS" -- wrong (antithetical) but hard to know what this is referring to given the preceding series of conflicting statements
6. "as long as we properly define the mean for the player" -- AYE, THERE'S THE RUB

We don't know what Chipper Jones' "true" mean is. But if we did know Chipper's "true" mean, he would be every bit as likely to over-perform as under-perform that mean (give or take a bit of skew in the true distribution -- i.e. it's not necessarily normal but it's probably close enough).

As to the rest ... a player whose true mean is a 110 OPS+ but who has hit for a 100 OPS+ the last 3 years will, OF COURSE!! ALWAYS!! CHANCES ARE!!, regress towards his true 110 OPS+ -- i.e. he will regress away from average. The projection systems will, on average, under-predict such a player because the projection systems won't know he's a true 110 OPS+ player. That's not a big deal but it's a fact.

Regression towards the mean is really the wrong concept because we don't know what the mean is for any individual player. In a sense, we don't even predict a mean for the individual player. A better explanation of how projection systems work would be something like the following (admittedly short on specifics):

From 2007-2009, 8 players with at least 1200 PA had an OPS+ of 140 or better. However, from 1901-2009, only 57 hitters have had a 140 OPS+ for their careers (minimum PA of 4000). Even if you limit it to ages 25-32 (at least 3000 PA), you only get 90 hitters. Therefore we assume/estimate that it would be incredibly unlikely that the unknown distribution of true talent levels would produce 8 true 140 OPS+ hitters at one time. Therefore some members of this group must be over-performing their (unknown) true talent so we estimate that, on average, members of this group will regress towards an OPS+ of 100. That is, as a group they averaged something like a 150 OPS+ but we'll project the group to average about a 135-140 OPS+ in 2010. We really haven't a clue what any individual member of that group will do (even Teixeira has a 1% chance of being "poor" next year) and we know that it is highly likely that, if only by chance, one or more of them will hit better in 2010 than they did from 2007-2009.

Of course the projections adjust for other predictive factors (most importantly age) and they don't use OPS+, but that's the gist of it.

Or if you prefer ... regression towards the mean would be the correct concept if every player in baseball had the same mean -- i.e. came from the same population. We are very highly confident however that Albert Pujols is not in the same population as Aaron Miles. So the task becomes figuring out which population a given player most likely belongs to. The main drivers behind our guess are the player's recent performance and age. Unfortunately, even using 3-4 seasons, these are small samples to detect small differences in performance that are so important in baseball. So we have a great deal of uncertainty around a mean estimated purely by recent performance and age.

The question which follows is -- do we think that performance-age mean estimate is an unbiased predictor of the player's true mean? That's not an easy question to answer but history and earlier statistical analysis do quite clearly show that such a mean is biased. It is biased upwards for those who performed above average (in the overall league sense) and biased downward for those below average.

But let's be clear about what's "really" going on. There are a group of players who come from the "true 120 OPS+" population. Over the last few years, a few of these guys (say 20%) had an OPS+ between 90 and 110 -- they will all be projected to about a 100 OPS+. 30% were between 110 and 120 and they'll be projected to about a 110 OPS+ (everybody loses 5 points towards average). 30% were between 120 and 130 and they'll be projected to about a 120 OPS+. And 20% were between 130 and 150 and they'll be projected to about a 130-135 OPS+. You'll notice the projection system has correctly projected only 30% of that population to their true mean.

In the subsequent year, those "true 120" guys who were projected to a 100 will be considered "true 100" flukes after putting up a 120 season and will get projected to about a 105 OPS+ even though, were we omnisicient, we'd have no reason to expect them not to repeat their performance.

This is one thing about projection systems -- they can't identify "true 120" players who have underperformed the last 3-4 years. They see them as guys who have put up a 100ish OPS+ and will remain at a 100ish OPS+. They handle average or better players who overperformed their true means fine (by regressing them towards 100); they handle average or worse players who underperformed their true means fine (by regressing them towards 100). But above-average players who underperformed their true means and below-average players who overperformed are not being projected correctly because they can't be identified.

That's not a fault of the projection systems necessarily. But the key is that they treat the mean estimate (after regression) as "true" rather than incorporating the substantial amount of uncertainty that there is in that projection. Unfortunately, the uncertainty introduced into a projection just from basic randomness of a season's worth of PAs is already huge (again, see Teixeira ... or Swisher who could basically perform at any level) and adding in the uncertainty of our mean estimate only shows how little we do know about individual players. And I don't know what can be done to try to improve that mean estimate other than possibly incorporating some biometric data (e.g. eye tracking ability), maybe psychometric, or things like pitch f/x (and what comes after).

By the way, how many of you knew that Matt Holliday is one of the 8 players in that 140+ group? The full list, in order: Pujols, AROD, Mauer, Teixeira, Berkman, Holliday, Pena, Gonzalez. I would have guessed at least those last 3 would have been in the 130s.
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 05, 2009 at 08:03 PM (#3340920)
What assumptions were you making about injuries and managerial schizophrenia when you project him to a 4.32 ERA, with 12 starts in 40 games?


ZiPS assumes that a player's recent usage reflects his future usage. A human can better guess how Hughes will in fact be used.

As for the 4.32 ERA, that reflects ZiPS not knowing about the rib and muscle issues. I found back when I started doing this that removing seasons in which a pitcher spent at least 30 days on the DL made projections significantly less accurate - the injury performance doesn't go away because players with an injury have an increased risk of being injured. So what amounts to a 6.27 ERA in 2008 is part of his record.


IOW it's an educated guess that derives from a large database of past cases rather than an educated but non-provable belief (based on how he's performed since his recovery) that the injury was of a flukish sort. That's reasonable, and thanks for the explanation, even if I'd still bet on Hughes far outperforming that projection.
   47. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 05, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3340922)
Great job Dan, thanks for taking the time.

One thing I noticed, Teixeira shows as projecting to "AV" D at first, but has a 79% chance of being VG or EX according to ODDIBE . . . that doesn't make sense to me . . .
   48. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: October 05, 2009 at 08:12 PM (#3340930)
I'm intrigued.

Tell me ZiPS - are you by chance a ... pleasure model?
   49. DCA Posted: October 05, 2009 at 08:14 PM (#3340935)
Walt,

You missed Chipper, Hanley, Manny, and perhaps a few others too. But it doesn't change the main point.

I like to refer to the "classic" case of regression to the mean, at least the one I recall most in introductions to the subject, characteristics of offspring. Tall fathers tend to have tall sons (compared to average height), and short fathers tend to have short sons. But tall fathers tend to have sons who are shorter than them, and short fathers have sons who are taller than them.

It is other words, the second random variable (son's height, or year X+1 OPS), conditioned on the first (father's height, or composite of OPS up to year X) will tend to regress part way toward the overall mean.

A couple key things: when projecting, you're conditioning on a random variable, not a known constant. "Tend to" doesn't mean "always." Even if we conditioned on true talent, we'd see some hitters not regressing toward that true talent. And, of course, players get better or worse all the time, so true talent is not constant across time.
   50. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 05, 2009 at 08:31 PM (#3340949)
That's a pretty terrifying list of comps for Mr. Hughes.
   51. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 05, 2009 at 08:44 PM (#3340964)
One thing I noticed, Teixeira shows as projecting to "AV" D at first, but has a 79% chance of being VG or EX according to ODDIBE . . .

I think the 79% is the likelihood of his offensive production being among the top 40% of first basemen.

Edit: Only 12 minutes late! Is that like, a 12 pack of cokes?
   52. Juan V Posted: October 05, 2009 at 08:49 PM (#3340972)
That's a pretty terrifying list of comps for Mr. Hughes.


Sabathia's top comp might be scarier, given the contract length.
   53. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 05, 2009 at 09:03 PM (#3340989)
even Teixeira has a 1% chance of being "poor" next year

This would have to be quite the Madoff-like catastrophe.
   54. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 05, 2009 at 09:14 PM (#3341009)
how many of you knew that Matt Holliday is one of the 8 players in that 140+ group?


(raises hand)

The guy that did surprise me in that group was Carlos Pena.

-- MWE
   55. JPWF13 Posted: October 05, 2009 at 09:30 PM (#3341022)
The guy that did surprise me in that group was Carlos Pena.

-- MWE


2007 really pulls that multi year average up.

herefore we assume/estimate that it would be incredibly unlikely that the unknown distribution of true talent levels would produce 8 true 140 OPS+ hitters at one time. Therefore some members of this group must be over-performing their (unknown) true talent

From 2007-2009, 8 players with at least 1200 PA had an OPS+ of 140 or better.

FWIW BBREf PI says there are 14 playesr with 1200+ PAS, and OPS+ over 140 from 2007-09:
Cnt Player            OPS+   PA  From  To
+----+-----------------+----+-----+----+----+
    
1 Albert Pujols      178  2020 2007 2009 
    2 Alex Rodriguez     158  1837 2007 2009 
    3 Chipper Jones      152  1730 2007 2009 
    4 Prince Fielder     150  2094 2007 2009 
    5 Mark Teixeira      149  1967 2007 2009 
    6 Hanley Ramirez     147  2051 2007 2009 
    7 Manny Ramirez      147  1654 2007 2009 
    8 Joe Mauer          145  1704 2007 2009 
    9 Matt Holliday      144  2006 2007 2009 
   10 Lance Berkman      143  1895 2007 2009 
   11 Carlos Pena        142  1789 2007 2009 
   12 Ryan Braun         141  1863 2007 2009 
   13 Adrian Gonzalez    141  2101 2007 2009 
   14 Miguel Cabrera     140  2043 2007 2009 

Of the 14, Pena is alone in that he has just 1 year over 130, that would seem to indicate that 140 is likely not his true talent level.
   56. Walt Davis Posted: October 06, 2009 at 05:04 AM (#3341278)
You missed Chipper, Hanley, Manny, and perhaps a few others too. But it doesn't change the main point.

Hmmm ... I used PI too ... I must have accidentally set a criterion I didn't mean to set.

Anyway, the explanation in #51 is clear and simple. The key point I want to add regarding projection systems is that they are regression towards the mean conditional on past performance (usually a weighted function of the last 3-4 years) plus age and a few other variables. And that's fine -- I don't mean to question their utility as standard sorts of models. The problem comes in when they are interpreted as regression towards the player-specific mean.

Dan's presentation (and PECOTA's and I suppose most of them) are good in that they are displaying at least some of the uncertainty. What I'm not clear about is how that uncertainty is being estimated (feel free to link me if you want Dan).
   57. jar75 Posted: October 09, 2009 at 08:06 PM (#3346665)
It seems odd to me that Swisher's projection is significantly worse than last year's projection when he just had the best season of his career. Is ZIPS projecting his skills to deteriorate rapidly from his age 29 season on?
   58. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 09, 2009 at 08:25 PM (#3346692)
It seems odd to me that Swisher's projection is significantly worse than last year's projection when he just had the best season of his career. Is ZIPS projecting his skills to deteriorate rapidly from his age 29 season on?

He's an old players skills type (low BA, lots of walks, lots of Ks), so maybe ZiPs sees him petering out soon.

Also, this was just another (good) season for him - it's certainly not clearly his best.
   59. jar75 Posted: October 09, 2009 at 10:12 PM (#3346833)
He's an old players skills type (low BA, lots of walks, lots of Ks), so maybe ZiPs sees him petering out soon.

That's certainly a possibility and the only reason that I can think of to explain the projection.

Also, this was just another (good) season for him - it's certainly not clearly his best.

His wOBA this year was .375, his next highest was .368 back in 2006. Maybe 'clearly' was too strong, but this is the best offensive season that he's had in his career. His defense was a bit better in 2006, but that shouldn't affect the offensive projections.
   60. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: October 18, 2009 at 10:11 PM (#3357117)
Tell me ZiPS - are you by chance a ... pleasure model?

not kewl!
   61. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 19, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3358058)
It seems odd to me that Swisher's projection is significantly worse than last year's projection when he just had the best season of his career. Is ZIPS projecting his skills to deteriorate rapidly from his age 29 season on?


I note that his top comp is Dwight Evans, and Evans had his best offensive seasons from 29-32 and was productive for a long time after that. Burroughs, too, had a couple of productive seasons between 29-31, although he fell off much more rapidly than did Evans. It's very possible that Swisher could be very productive over the next year or two and then fall away fairly quickly.

-- MWE
   62. Nasty Nate Posted: October 19, 2009 at 08:28 PM (#3358091)
unrelated, but it seems like Rivera is in the midst his 4th (at least) distinct 10+ innings playoff scoreless streak. geez.
   63. Thomas Posted: February 20, 2010 at 02:54 AM (#3463999)
Something I don't get. Alex Rodriguez is 2 years ahead of anyone else in getting to the number of HRs he has. In other key areas (hits, etc.) he is among the leaders for his age.

Everyone's projection models have him slowing down, hitting maybe .280/30/90 next year and steadily declining thereafter, giving him a fairly low (say 35%) chance at 3,000 hits or 700 HR.

I'm having a little bit of trouble swallowing the idea that a guy who was arguably one of the most productive hitters ever up through age 33 is suddenly going to basically curl up and die, having statistics AFTER he turns 34 which aren't anywhere near the best in any category.

Seems to me that if a guy has demonstrated durability and productivity for 14 years at a rate which is arguably just as good as anyone who has played the game in a lot of ways, we ought to presume that will continue. I don't see any signs of him breaking down. He seems fully recovered from the hip. He still has good speed. He can still motor decently well on the bases. He can still hit tape measure HRs. He remains a defensive asset, playing a tough position well. He just doesn't in any way, shape or form look like someone who is done for. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to see him, like a Ruth or Aaron or Bonds, have a string of great years in his mid 30s.

So, I need to ask this question. What is it about the career projection formulas which is driving this? Is it the fact that he had a huge year two years ago followed by a soso year followed by an injury year? Has anyone ever "gamed" the formulas to see if we need to put in an emergency override when the last couple of seasons have some quirks, such as the first in the series being out-of-context GOOD, followed by a last one out-of-context BAD?

It's just not sitting well to think that a guy can average 40 HR and a bunch of RBI and a great OPS for 14 straight seasons, then with no apparent physical issues all of a sudden he's gonna go from being best-in-class to soso at best, winding down in ignominy. If he was getting fat, had apparent substance abuse issues, couldn't run, SOMETHING, maybe I could go for it. But it just doesn't jive with what I see.
   64. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 20, 2010 at 03:06 AM (#3464004)
Everyone's projection models have him slowing down, hitting maybe .280/30/90

The problem is that you're focusing on the triple crown stats. There's nothing at all shabby about Rodriguez' ZiPS projected rate stats. An OPS+ of 141 isn't a projection of massive decline for a guy who went 150 and 147 in his last two seasons. It's all about playing time, and given that he's missed a good number of games the past two years, projecting him to get 700 PA in 2010 wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. If he plays 150 games this year, his counting stat projections for 2011 will reflect that.
   65. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 20, 2010 at 03:55 AM (#3464027)
Part of issue is that the outliers, even among the guys who have historically been good and durable, are the guys who keep going long enough to break records. For every Barry Bonds there's a Jimmie Foxx. Rodriguez, at the age of 33, experienced both serious injury and a major drop-off in his ISO. His playing time at 32 and 33 has been well below career norms -- not information to be ignored, but to be incorporated, in his projections. It doesn't strike me as at all odd that one might be conservative in his projections for Rodriguez.
   66. Thomas Posted: February 20, 2010 at 03:05 PM (#3464122)
Well, the Jimmie Foxx / Ruth comment sort of plays right into the comment I was trying to make.

Jimmie Foxx was an alcoholic of massive proportions and it finally caught up to him. I think you would also find that was the case in similar early dropoffs, e.g. Bobby Bonds, Frank Robinson, Mantle, some of the others. Ken Griffey's substance abuse problem was more a function of Dunkin Donuts, thus his mid career decline.

If you look at the guys who had decent mid-30s careers, one big attribute was, they were apparently free of substance abuse issues, didn't have career-changing injuries, and they stayed in shape. Ruth, Aaron, Cobb, Speaker, Mays, Williams, even guys like Brian Downing or Mickey Tettleton or Joe Morgan. Not that all those guys had their best years in the 33-38 area, but they had some good ones. It wasn't just the flat down curve.

I would suspect Arod will probably manage another 2-3 years with 40+ HR and that 50 again is not out of the question, and if his selectivity grows, he could pair that with 110 walks and have some fabulous offensive years with OPS+ in the 160 or more range.
   67. Thomas Posted: February 20, 2010 at 03:24 PM (#3464125)
Now, if you were to pose one example that would cause me more concern, so to speak, it might be Robin Yount. There is a guy who apparently had all the tools, had a great early career, did not to my knowledge have any substance abuse issues, still appeared fast and in shape and more or less injury free after age 33, yet just did absolutely zero after that.

Having said that, even his severe decline, off a career base that was considerably less than Arod's, still led him to a level that would have Arod scooting comfortably into 3,000 hits, and several more HR.

I'm not disputing that the projection systems often are quite correct. I'm just suggesting that in this case it's not smelling right, that we're missing something, and not by a little, but by an egregious amount, and I'm trying to put my finger on it.
   68. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 20, 2010 at 03:30 PM (#3464128)
Thomas - The problem is that the computer model is predicting a most likely outcome. What you are suggesting is that there is something about A-Rod that would make him likely to land outside that outcome. While he has been undeniably great in his career he is already showing signs (as Voxter pointed out) that a decline of some sort is in progress.

Obviously he isn't going to turn into Emilio Bonifacio overnight but most players do not get get better or even hold steady in terms of either performance or playing time as they age. To suppport your hypothesis in #75 I think the onus is on you to identify something about Rodriguez that makes him likely to age better than the average superstar.
   69. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 20, 2010 at 03:39 PM (#3464129)
Rodriguez hit at least 40 HRs in six straight seasons from 1998-2003. In the six seasons since, he's hit 40 or more twice. Sure, he has the potential for a couple more 40+ HR years if he stays healthy enough to get 650-700 PA, and he could even hit 50 again. But there's not much basis for saying those things are highly probable or likely. He's had an OPS+ of 160 or more five times in 14 full seasons. He certainly has the potential to do that again, but it doesn't seem wise to count on it happening several more times or to try to pick the year(s) when it might happen.

Projection systems are about setting baseline expectations, not about best (or worst) case scenarios. When Dan puts these up, I can look at any given player projection and do a little quick arithmetic in my head to come up with what a great year or a disappointing year will look like for that guy. It sounds like if you were doing the projections, I'd be looking at everybody's 90th percentile expectation. Or maybe 90th percentiles for the good to great players and 10th percentiles for the mediocre to marginal ones.

And since you brought up Ruth, he played 154 games at age 33 and never more than 145 in any subsequent season. He almost certainly would have had three or four more 50+ HR seasons if he'd been able to play every day at ages 34-37, but he wasn't able to do that. Probably had something to do with being 34-37 years old.
   70. TomH Posted: February 20, 2010 at 03:45 PM (#3464132)
Probably had something to do with being 34-37 years old..... and being FAT
   71. Thomas Posted: February 20, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3464175)
OK, here is where I am headed. Let's take a few players. George Brett. By 33 he was injury ridden and he never really played at the offensive level Arod did. Pre (and including) age 33 he hit 209 HR and had 2095 hits. After he had 108HR and 1050 hits. Robin Yount - pre was 2600 and 208, post was 550 and 43. Al Kaline - pre was 2322 and 314, post was 690 and 85. Mike Schmidt, pre was 1500 and 390, post was 750 and 150. Ken Griffey - pre was 2080 and 481, post was 700 and 150. I'm taking examples of guys who by and large I think had fairly (except Schmidt) disappointing post age 33 careers and yet they are still averaging something like 30% of their early production in the later period. I don't think any of those guys except maybe Schmidt would have been considered "durable." OK, maybe Yount. And they played in an age when staying in shape basicaly consisted of not getting fat. Brett NEVER played a whole year early on. Griffey missed whole seasons. Kaline was ALWAYS injured. I think I picked a fair representation. Based on early career, you would have to believe Arod would be more durable than this pack and decline less. At age 34, I bet he's faster than any of them except maybe Yount, probably a lot stronger, and though he's not Schmidt at 3b, he's more than adequate. So everything I see suggests he ought to age BETTER than that pack did as a whole.

I think maybe there are a few things going on.

(1) My guess is the aging curve is flattening out. That players are peaking later than they used to and declining less steeply. Basically because workouts are allowing them to remain closer to their physical prime so that the net tradeoff between experience and loss of physical ability is resulting in less net deteroration. (1a) Sure would be interesting to see how the difference between smart and dumb players affects this. For example, Shawon Dunston retained his physical tools for a long time, but since he was dumb as a bag of rocks, he never really grew as a power hitter or a walker so his value declined when it could have stayed relatively constant.

(2) My guess is the aging curve affects superstars differently than regular players. Again for a few reasons. (a) I think there is some baseline level of ability you need to have to stay in the majors. Marginal players exist on the margin for years, then poof one day their ability is gone and they fall off the edge. Superstars can decline for years and still be viable players, so the dropoff is shallower. If you believe the aging curve, then I would suggest that the earlier one gets to the majors and thrives, there ought to be something in the formula to suggest they will have longevity. If someone was doing well at 19,20 chances are they will do OK at 39,40 relatively speaking. (b) Superstars will tend to get more chances - both because they have extended contracts and because someone will always be hoping they might snap back and be willing to take a chance on them. (c) Since their decline is shallower, they have more time to adjust and develop "old player skills" such as power and on base percentage, to compensate for lack of physical attributes. I'm gonna have to do a little bit of work to see if the decline curve works as well with superstars as it does with average players.

(3) I think there should be a "speed component" to the predictor. You can see when players lose their speed, decline follows quickly. You can also see that those who keep their speed tend to do better.

(4) I'm wondering about the weighting of the calculation. In other words, I see how the one calculation we tend to use works, and what it predicts. But step back. With logic, it would seem that I ought to be able to take a greater timeframe and say hey, if this guy hit more HR than anyone else (by a wide margin) up to age 33, why shouldn't that trend continue indefinitely? Why shouldn't he remain 5th or whatever he is (and has been for several years) in number of hits by age right up to age 40?

(5) What if you take apart last season, and say he came back from the hip too fast? If I recall, on Jul 1 he had missed one month, played poorly for two and was hitting about .240 with 10 HR. The second half of the year he batted about .315 with 20 HR.

I just think there is something wrong here. I don't tend to quibble too much with the projection system results. This one just seems all wrong.
   72. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 20, 2010 at 07:24 PM (#3464217)
Thomas - I'm guessing you are an A-Rod fan which is fine but I think it is coloring your opinion of what is happening here. #77 makes the point well "Projection systems are about setting baseline expectations, not about best (or worst) case scenarios"

Looking at your five points I would make the following comments;

#1, 2 and 3 are items that I assume are taken into account. I'm guessing tha ZIPS, CHONE and the rest don't assume that players today are aging the same as they did when Cobb played and since these are based on comparisons a lot of times Rodriguez' aging pattern is presumably modeled more after Mays, Mantle, Schmidt etc... than it is after Butch Hobson or Ray Oyler. 3 is a bit of an offshoot of 1. If Sean or Dan or someone who does these stumbles on this they can accurately answer some of what I am assuming here.

#4 - Trends don't continue indefinitely. The top HR hitters through the age of 30 include a bunch of guys but Aaron is "just" tenth, Ruth 15th and Bonds 26th. Players who are great in their 20s are not always great in their 30s. Why would Rodriguez finish ahead of those guys, wouldn't you want to model him after the guys most similar to him, the guys that were 2nd, 3rd or 4th?

#5 - I'm not sure why you would do that. Without looking just about every season by every player in baseball history has ups and down. You seem to be crediting Rodriguez for having the hip injury while the system seems to be debiting him for it. I don't think a serious hip injury is something I would use as a positive indicator. Guys who were hurt at the age of 33 are not less likely to get hurt at 34, 35 or 36.
   73. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 20, 2010 at 07:53 PM (#3464231)
<blockquote>You can see when players lose their speed, decline follows quickly.</bockquote>

For one thing, there are several "speed proxies" in the projections -- notably stolen bases, and caught stealing. For another, A-Rod has been losing steps every year. When he came to the Yankees, he was still a relatively fleet SS. Now he's much heavier and slower. He stole half as many bases last year as he did in his first season in NY.

But the really important thing is what Jose said in 80 -- players who miss time in their early 30s are significantly more likely to miss time going forward than players who don't.
   74. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 20, 2010 at 08:42 PM (#3464248)
Unrelated to the discussion going on but what happens if/when it's time for Pat Venditte to appear on these sorts of things? What about games like Diamond Mind? Is he going to break the engines that drive these things?

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