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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, February 08, 2010

2010 ZiPS Projections - Toronto Blue Jays

In my opinion, you’re looking at the 5th-place team in the AL East.  There’s just not enough upside, at least in 2010, in the offense and while the team has legitimate players at every position, that’s not enough in this division.  The rotation already had serious issues before losing Roy Halladay, with essentially every other 2006-2008 starter being injured and the loss of Doc really blows a short-term hole in the pitching staff.  After the injury crew, there are simply questions marks of another kind, from Ricky Romero having serious problems in the Eastern League just a year ago and Marc Rzepczynski’s control issues.

The Anthopoulos regime is going to have problems if they try to do any quick fixes.  The team can contend, but it’s going to need a long-term plan.

Offensive Projections

Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Adam Lind*          lf 26 .277 .339 .488 152 582 84 161 38 2 27 102 53 119 1 1   117
Travis Snider*        rf 22 .240 .332 .452 128 429 58 103 23 1 22 63 56 147 1 2   107
Aaron Hill           2b 28 .275 .323 .447 131 528 72 145 32 1 19 73 36 82 3 1   103
Lyle Overbay*        1b 33 .251 .339 .416 130 442 56 111 29 1 14 57 59 95 1 1   100
Vernon Wells         cf 31 .260 .314 .430 128 507 70 132 29 3 17 69 40 73 7 2   96
Jarrett Hoffpauir     2b 27 .264 .331 .394 128 436 56 115 26 2 9 55 42 50 3 2   93
Edwin Encarnacion     3b 27 .233 .317 .397 132 464 68 108 23 1 17 72 50 103 3 1   89
Jose Bautista         lf 29 .227 .324 .389 129 414 68 94 21 2 14 60 56 109 3 1   89
Randy Ruiz           dh 32 .239 .301 .414 131 502 64 120 27 2 19 73 37 146 1 1   88
Brett Wallace*        3b 23 .246 .314 .385 134 525 75 129 23 1 16 63 38 135 1 1   85
Jeremy Reed*        lf 29 .274 .320 .386 139 368 53 101 19 2 6 43 24 51 5 5   84
Jason Lane           rf 33 .227 .307 .392 117 406 57 92 26 1 13 54 45 87 2 1   85
John Buck           c   29 .221 .292 .422 95 308 36 68 15 1 15 46 27 97 0 1   87
Howie Clark*        2b 36 .260 .312 .361 77 288 39 75 15 1 4 31 21 28 1 1   79
Jorge Padilla         rf 30 .263 .322 .352 118 392 55 103 16 2 5 30 28 63 11 8   80
Brad Emaus           2b 24 .241 .303 .350 118 452 54 109 24 2 7 49 38 81 5 2   74
Jesus Merchan         2b 29 .256 .304 .342 84 313 38 80 14 2 3 37 16 39 3 1   72
Rod Barajas         c   34 .229 .277 .382 99 327 36 75 17 0 11 46 20 62 0 0   73
Mike McCoy           ss 29 .226 .316 .304 123 411 52 93 16 2 4 33 53 82 20 6   67
Joey Gathright*      cf 29 .258 .327 .302 120 368 50 95 9 2 1 24 32 62 21 9   70
Kyle Phillips*        c   26 .244 .297 .338 95 352 30 86 15 0 6 35 25 73 0 1   69
Brian Dopirak         1b 26 .227 .275 .371 127 498 48 113 25 1 15 63 32 147 1 1   70
Chris Lubanski*      lf 25 .227 .282 .365 88 326 39 74 15 3 8 34 26 98 5 3   71
Cody Haerther*        lf 26 .231 .292 .332 74 238 25 55 13 1 3 24 19 51 1 1   66
Sea Bass Gonzalez     ss 33 .231 .277 .354 107 376 39 87 17 1 9 39 21 79 1 1   67
Raul Chavez         c   37 .246 .285 .338 61 195 19 48 9 0 3 22   9 31 0 0   66
J.P. Arencibia       c   24 .222 .258 .370 116 465 48 103 25 1 14 58 20 133 0 0   65
Brian Jeroloman*      c   25 .222 .258 .370 116 465 48 103 25 1 14 58 20 133 0 0   65
David Cooper*        1b 23 .218 .299 .282 108 404 51 88 15 1 3 44 45 98 10 6   57
John McDonald         ss 35 .232 .271 .323 85 198 22 46 10 1 2 18   9 29 2 1   58
Brian Bocock         ss 25 .188 .255 .245 107 400 51 75 15 1 2 39 35 123 9 8   35

Defensive Projections

Name           CThr 1b     2b     3b     ss     lf     cf     rf    
Lind*                                  Fr/68       Fr/68  
Hill                   Vg/89                            
Overbay*          Av/77                                  
Snider*                                Fr/161       Fr/214
Wells                                       Fr/88      
Hoffpauir               Av/115 Av/115 Pr/142                
Encarnacion                   Pr/116                      
Bautista           Av/97   Pr/122 Fr/97       Fr/97   Pr/97   Av/117
Ruiz             Av/145                 Fr/145            
Wallace*          Av/125       Pr/125                      
Reed*                                  Av/75   Fr/84   Av/75  
Lane                                   Pr/76   Pr/76   Pr/76  
Buck           Fr                                      
Clark*            Vg/100 Av/100 Av/100 Fr/100 Av/100 Fr/100 Av/100
Padilla                                 Av/83       Av/136
Emaus                   Av/122 Av/144                      
Merchan                 Av/144 Av/144 Av/144                
Barajas         Av   Fr/95                                  
McCoy                   Av/135 Av/103 Av/116 Av/121 Av/121 Av/121
Gathright*                              Vg/94   Vg/89      
Phillips*      Av   Fr/108       Fr/144                      
Dopirak           Av/155                                
Lubanski*                                Av/134            
Haerther*                                Av/80       Av/80  
Gonzalez                           Av/100                
Chavez         Vg                                      
Arencibia       Av                                      
Jeroloman*      Av                                      
Cooper*            Fr/138                                
McDonald                 Vg/94   Vg/94   Vg/94                  
Bocock                             Ex/132                

* - Bats Left
# - Switch Hitter

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

Player         PO     TOP   MID   BOT         COMP 1         COMP 2         COMP 3
FrasorJason     RP     43%  43%  14%    SpringerRuss   MotaGuillermo     BelindaStan
TalletBrian     RP     17%  54%  28%    McElroyChuck     EmbreeAlan     ForsterTerry
MarcumShaun     SP     37%  49%  14%    BoydOil Can   EckersleyDennis     TomkoBrett
AccardoJeremy     RP     16%  46%  38%    WallaceDerek       WinnJim     BatemanJoe
StewartZachary   RP     17%  56%  27%  GalehouseDenny     NolesDickie     ReiterGary
CampShawn       RP     17%  54%  29%      MadduxMike       WhiteRick     MurrayDale
McGowanDustin     SP     36%  50%  14%      WittMike     DownsKelly     HamiltonJoey
CarlsonJesse     RP     16%  51%  33%    McElroyChuck   HickersonBryan   SchatzederDan
RoenickeJosh     RP     12%  36%  53%    WilliamsFrank     BulgerJason       StoopsJim
LitschJesse     SP     17%  53%  30%    MathisDouglas     WegmanBill     TewksburyBob
RzepczynskiMarc   SP     11%  55%  33%      BirtsasTim     SaundersTony       DayleyKen
JanssenCasey     RP     7%  42%  51%      ArnoldTony     SantiagoJose   MontalvoRafael
CollinsTim       RP     5%  33%  62%      ClarkeStan     JohnsonTyler     ReyesDennys
WolfeBrian       RP     4%  28%  67%      GordonDon     SchmackBrian       McNabTim
HayhurstDirk     RP     1%  25%  73%    O’NealRandy     PadillaJuan       SilvaJose
RomeroRicky     SP     2%  44%  54%      MoyerJamie     ParraManny   ClaussenBrandon
FarquharDaniel   RP     5%  23%  72%    BowlesBrian     ThurbergTom   ChavezAnthony
CollazoWillie     SP     3%  20%  78%  OvermireStubby     McConnellSam       GeeJohnny
CecilBrett       SP     2%  34%  65%    JacksonDanny     MarshallSean     MoyerJamie
PurceyDavid     SP     2%  30%  67%    KruegerBill     EstesShawn     CollinsDon
RichmondScott     SP     3%  27%  70%    BittigerJeff   VargasClaudio     DarlingRon
MillsBrad       SP     3%  31%  65%  ClaussenBrandon   BurroughsDarren     KeislerRandy
ZinicolaZechry   RP     1%  17%  82%      MillsAlan     DePaulaJulio   PisciottaMarc
HennSean       RP     2%  20%  78%    JordanRicardo     TolarKevin     BurkeErick
GonzalezReidier   SP     3%  26%  71%    MitreSergio MacdonaldMichael       HouseyJoe
EvelandDana     SP     0%  20%  80%    MurrayHeath     DanielsJohn   ThompsonDerek
RayRobert       SP     2%  21%  78%    RasnerDarrell     MoehlerBrian     SnyderJohn
RomeroDavis     SP     2%  17%  81%  LilliquistDerek     IlsleyBlaise   ShumakerAnthony
CastroFabio     SP     0%  15%  85%    HalperinMike     HughesDusty   CaraccioliLance
PerezLuis       SP     0%  3%  97%    WodnickiMike   ThompsonDerek     CoenenMatt

Player         130 ERA+  100 ERA+  K/9 >8 BB/9 <2 HR/9

<1
FrasorJason 34% 81% 70% 2% 77%
TalletBrian 13% 60% 38% 0% 73%
MarcumShaun 13% 63% 17% 9% 31%
AccardoJeremy 16% 54% 11% 1% 61%
StewartZachary 13% 62% 18% 1% 80%
CampShawn 12% 58% 15% 5% 74%
McGowanDustin 9% 62% 19% 1% 71%
CarlsonJesse 12% 54% 26% 5% 65%
RoenickeJosh 8% 39% 53% 0% 67%
LitschJesse 3% 36% 0% 14% 32%
RzepczynskiMarc 1% 33% 40% 0% 87%
JanssenCasey 7% 36% 1% 8% 68%
CollinsTim 3% 32% 78% 0% 58%
WolfeBrian 3% 26% 0% 7% 49%
HayhurstDirk 1% 18% 5% 1% 42%
RomeroRicky 0% 12% 11% 0% 38%
FarquharDaniel 3% 21% 27% 0% 55%
CollazoWillie 2% 17% 0% 4% 37%
CecilBrett 0% 9% 3% 0% 30%
PurceyDavid 0% 8% 7% 0% 49%
RichmondScott 1% 9% 29% 0% 6%
MillsBrad 0% 11% 9% 0% 45%
ZinicolaZechry 1% 14% 3% 0% 65%
HennSean 1% 17% 40% 0% 58%
GonzalezReidier 0% 9% 0% 1% 57%
EvelandDana 0% 3% 1% 0% 47%
RayRobert 0% 6% 0% 0% 41%
RomeroDavis 0% 6% 1% 1% 17%
CastroFabio 0% 2% 0% 0% 35%
PerezLuis 0% 0% 0% 0% 48%

Pitching Statistics - Starters

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+
Shaun Marcum         28   4.18   6   5 18 18   97.0   93   45 14   31   76 104
Dustin McGowan         28   4.29   7   6 17 17   100.2 101   48 10   38   81 101
Jesse Litsch         25   4.67   9 10 24 23   135.0 148   70 18   40   75   93
Marc Rzepczynski*      24   4.69   9 10 27 27   136.1 140   71 11   81 119   93
Davis Romero*        27   5.02   7   9 31 20   120.0 136   67 20   38   83   87
Ricky Romero*        25   5.08 10 14 33 33   196.2 219 111 25   93 155   86
Kyle Drabek           22   5.21   4   5 16 15   86.1   93   50 11   42   63   82
Brett Cecil*          23   5.28   7 10 29 29   138.0 157   81 18   61 100   82
David Purcey*        28   5.29   7 10 27 27   148.0 160   87 17   82 113   82
Scott Richmond         30   5.30   8 11 27 24   137.2 146   81 24   59 117   82
Brad Mills*          25   5.34   5   7 18 17   87.2   96   52 11   47   67   82
Shawn Hill           29   5.35   2   2   7   7   37.0   45   22   4   12   23   80
Reidier Gonzalez       24   5.40   5   8 22 19   105.0 127   63 12   41   54   81
Dana Eveland*        26   5.49   6 10 30 26   144.1 166   88 17   73   96   79
Robert Ray           26   5.63   4   6 16 16   78.1   96   49 10   32   45   77
Fabio Castro*        25   5.65   5   9 33 22   127.1 146   80 17   72   80   77
Zach Jackson*        27   6.12   5 10 35 19   129.1 164   88 20   53   76   70
Luis Perez*          25   6.23   5 11 26 24   121.1 148   84 15   79   73   70
Lance Broadway         26   6.49   5 12 33 22   140.0 180 101 21   70   74   66

Pitching Statistics - Relievers

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+
Scott Downs*          34   3.58   2   2 61   0   55.1   52   22   5   21   49 122
Jason Frasor         32   3.76   4   3 55   0   52.2   46   22   5   22   51 116
Brian Tallet*        32   4.17   3   3 64   0   73.1   71   34   7   34   63 104
Jeremy Accardo         28   4.22   2   2 50   0   49.0   49   23   5   21   37 103
Zachary Stewart       23   4.24   3   3 32   9   76.1   77   36   7   33   60 103
Shawn Camp           34   4.26   3   3 54   0   61.1   62   29   6   22   49 102
Jesse Carlson*        29   4.41   4   4 72   0   67.1   68   33   8   23   56   99
Kevin Gregg           32   4.50   5   6 73   0   70.0   66   35   9   35   66   95
Josh Roenicke         27   4.63   2   2 43   0   44.2   45   23   5   24   41   94
Casey Janssen         28   4.73   2   3 42   4   59.0   66   31   6   21   36   92
Tim Collins*          20   4.90   6   7 47   0   68.0   64   37   8   47   68   89
Brian Wolfe           29   5.03   3   4 48   2   62.2   70   35   8   22   38   87
Dirk Hayhurst         29   5.04   4   5 48   5   85.2   98   48 11   31   63   86
Daniel Farquhar       23   5.17   2   3 41   0   47.0   47   27   5   33   39   84
Willie Collazo*        30   5.24   5   8 40 13   113.1 130   66 16   42   58   83
Zechry Zinicola       25   5.37   3   4 46   0   58.2   65   35   7   35   40   81
Sean Henn*          29   5.40   2   3 41   1   50.0   52   30   6   32   43   81
Merkin Valdez         28   5.56   1   2 42   1   43.2   48   27   5   30   36   77
Steven Register       27   5.66   2   5 60   0   62.0   74   39 10   27   37   75

* - Throws Left

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

Name           PO   EX   VG   AV   FR   PO       COMP 1       COMP 2       COMP 3
LindAdam       LF   22%  27%  21%  18%  12%      FalkBibb       HallMel   DyeJermaine
HillAaron       2B   29%  18%  19%  19%  15% HillenbrandShea     MoranBilly   MalzoneFrank
OverbayLyle     1B   3%  9%  14%  35%  38%  ChamblissChris   AldreteMike   SiebernNorm
WellsVernon     CF   11%  13%  25%  29%  22%  LandreauxKen       BellGus       MayDave
HoffpauirJarrett   2B   10%  12%  17%  27%  35%  BarrettMarty   MantillaFelix   WilliamsDavey
EncarnacionEdwin   3B   2%  8%  18%  31%  41%    SpiezioEd   PerezEduardo   HuskeyButch
BautistaJose     LF   1%  5%  8%  19%  68%    VoigtJack     GilesBrian   MokanJohnny
RuizRandy       DH   1%  3%  6%  21%  69%    DropoWalt GalarragaAndres   ThompsonRyan
WallaceBrett     3B   0%  2%  9%  26%  63%  WilliamsEddie     CredeJoe   JacobyBrook
LaneJason       RF   1%  3%  5%  13%  78%  CallisonJohnny     NorenIrv     BellBeau
ClarkHowie       2B   1%  2%  7%  21%  69%    RojasCookie     GantnerJim     StrippJoe
MerchanJesus     2B   0%  1%  3%  11%  85%  StennettRennieWhiteheadBurgess   GriffinDoug
EmausBradley     2B   1%  1%  3%  12%  84%LombardozziSteve   EasleyDamion     HowieMark
BarajasRod       C   1%  5%  10%  31%  53%    LyonsBarry   MartinezBuck   NorrisSteven
DopirakBrian     1B   0%  0%  0%  2%  97%    MurrayRich     HarveyKen     DaigleLeo
PhillipsKyle     C   0%  1%  5%  23%  71%    LowryDwight   AllansonAndy   FabregasJorge
ChavezRaul       C   0%  1%  5%  27%  67%    AlomarSandy     GirardiJoe   SchmidtWalter
HaertherCody     RF   0%  0%  0%  0%  100%  WetherbyJeff     SwannPedro ChristianEddie
ArencibiaJ.P.    C   0%  1%  3%  13%  84%ManriquezSalomon     BordersPat       FoxJake
McDonaldJohn     SS   0%  0%  0%  4%  96%    LillisBob NewsomeSkeeter     CastroJuan
CooperDavid     1B   0%  0%  0%  0%  100%  RogowskiCasey     ThomasTroy PritchettChris
BocockBrian     SS   0%  0%  0%  0%  100%    BasakChris   GilbertShawn     PettiniJoe

Name         .300 BA .375 OBP .500 SLG 140 OPS+ 45 2B   10 3B   30 HR   30 SB
LindAdam         20%    11%    35%    15%    21%    0%    34%    0%
HillAaron         17%    4%    16%    5%    5%    0%    9%    0%
OverbayLyle         5%    10%    5%    3%    2%    0%    1%    0%
WellsVernon         7%    1%    8%    2%    2%    0%    4%    0%
HoffpauirJarrett     10%    7%    2%    1%    1%    0%    0%    0%
EncarnacionEdwin     1%    2%    2%    1%    0%    0%    2%    0%
BautistaJose       1%    3%    2%    0%    0%    0%    1%    0%
RuizRandy         1%    0%    3%    0%    1%    0%    5%    0%
WallaceBrett       1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    1%    0%
LaneJason         1%    1%    2%    0%    1%    0%    0%    0%
ClarkHowie         9%    2%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
MerchanJesus       7%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
EmausBradley       1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
BarajasRod         1%    0%    2%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
DopirakBrian       0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
PhillipsKyle       2%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
ChavezRaul         8%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
HaertherCody       1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
ArencibiaJ.P.      0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
McDonaldJohn       2%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
CooperDavid         0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
BocockBrian         0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%

Extrapolated Career Statistics

Name           BA OBP SLG   G   AB     R     H   2B 3B   HR RBI   BB   SO SB CS OPS+
EncarnacionEdwin .243 .327 .417 1196 4163   584   1010 216 11 162 628   447   917 30 11   93
HillAaron     .272 .321 .428 1650 6493   866   1763 375 17 202 809   447   1029 42 19   97
OverbayLyle     .268 .353 .436 1444 4922   642   1319 349 13 150 645   650   1035 17   8 106
LindAdam       .267 .328 .461 1599 6051   838   1614 367 19 257 974   540   1283 13 10 107
WellsVernon     .271 .321 .449 1835 7246   1029   1963 417 38 267 1032   540   1040 113 35 100

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.

 

2010 ZiPS Projections Archive

Braves

Brewers

Cardinals

Cubs

Diamondbacks

Dodgers

Giants

Indians

Mariners

Marlins

Mets

Nationals

Orioles

Padres

Phillies

Pirates

Rangers

Rays

Red Sox

Reds

Rockies

Royals

Tigers

Twins

White Sox

Yankees




These projections were sponsored in part by:

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Dan Szymborski Posted: February 08, 2010 at 09:30 PM | 197 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 06:51 PM (#3457908)
As far as BABIP, players with lots of power and/or speed often carry higher BABIP's than the normal hitter correct? Howard's career BABIP is .333, Pujols' is .321, Cust's is .331, Ramirez's is .344...I'm sure there are more examples and plenty that disprove it but hitters with lots of power and/or speed can sustain high BABIPs.


I said high BABIPs, not higher than normal! Snider's BABIPs have been in the .390-.420 range, which is completely unmaintainable. There are a few hitters that can maintain BABIPs in the .340-.350 range and as you go higher, the number of players that can maintain drops off like the actuarial table of 110-year-olds.
   102. RJ in TO Posted: February 10, 2010 at 06:54 PM (#3457912)
I need to ask Sean or Nate if I'm the only one that can't seem to communicate this after years and years of doing this or if it's just because my projections tend to be tethered to a more discussion-based area.


It's the forum, and the participants. We're an argumentative group of bastards, and a good chunk of us are so eager to argue that we often don't finish reading that to which we're planning to respond.
   103. jfish26101 Posted: February 10, 2010 at 06:58 PM (#3457915)
BABIP is always higher in the minors though. What are you estimating Snyder's BABIP to be with that projection? I don't think it's too unrealistic to think he could easily keep a .320-.330 BABIP.

As far as projecting young players, is that rate any higher with high profile players? Heyward is right up there with Bruce/Upton in expectations, he wasn't quite on their level entering the draft but his performance in the minors have raised expectations. Not all rookies are the same and I don't think you should treat them the same...but that argument leads us down the road we have traveled too often so I'll leave it with that I guess.
   104. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:02 PM (#3457920)
In Lind's case, ZiPS has Lind retaining about 60% of his gain. Young players that take big step forwards without taking steps back are the exceptions, not the rule, and if you ignore this fact, then overrating every single young player having a good season and underrating every single young player having a bad season will be a built-in feature of your projection system.
   105. RJ in TO Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:04 PM (#3457924)
BABIP is always higher in the minors though. What are you estimating Snyder's BABIP to be with that projection? I don't think it's too unrealistic to think he could easily keep a .320-.330 BABIP.


Using the numbers available, Snider is expected to get 78 non-HR (99 - 21) hits in 264 (429 AB - 144 K - 21 HR) Ball-in-play ABs, for a BABIP of about 0.295.
   106. jfish26101 Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:07 PM (#3457926)
A .295 seems shockingly low if that is accurate. It's below average even, that just doesn't make much sense to me.

Again I ask, is the rate different for high profile prospects? Lind/Snider were both highly rated prospects. I think it's safer to project them (like other top prospects) to have less regression than normal.
   107. RJ in TO Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:10 PM (#3457928)
A .295 seems shockingly low.


If you bump it to 0.330, then he picks up an extra 9 hits, of which about 2/3 will be singles. Doing a quick estimate, that would bump his line up to a 0.252/0.337/0.464, which would probably be about a 110-115 OPS+.
   108. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:11 PM (#3457929)
I don't think there's a subjective element in ZIPs for Dan to tell it if a prospect is high-profile. It just sees the performance record. Which strikes me as reasonable, actually. High-profile prospects are still humans, and would be a part of the performance pattern Dan's describing.
   109. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3457933)
Actually, I better check Snider now - .295 does seem lower than it should be.
   110. jfish26101 Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:21 PM (#3457941)
I don't think there's a subjective element in ZIPs for Dan to tell it if a prospect is high-profile. It just sees the performance record. Which strikes me as reasonable, actually. High-profile prospects are still humans, and would be a part of the performance pattern Dan's describing.

Sure they are humans but people whose job it is to assess the likelihood of players' success think the odds are greater for them. I don't see how it is reasonable to treat all rookies the same. Jason Heyward has a far FAR FAR greater chance of being successful out of the gate than say...Jeremy Slayden. If both of them debut this year and have very good seasons, how is it reasonable to regress Heyward just as much as Slayden?
   111. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:35 PM (#3457954)
. I don't see how it is reasonable to treat all rookies the same.


But ZIPs doesn't do that. It sees minor league performance as well -- it's not comparing Jason Heyward to Jeremy Slayden, it's comparing him to other 20-year-old outfielders who ripped through the high minors as teenagers. Even star prospects regress (or progress) towards a mean. When Dan ran those numbers for you, the stars are included in it -- in fact, there are plenty of stars who broke out, fell back, and broke out further. The point is that even great prospects aren't usually like Albert Pujols -- they're usually more like Brian McCann (143 OPS+ collapsed by 40 points before he built back to previous levels), Matt Kemp (127 OPS+ followed by 110 before he returned to the mid-120s), or Joe Mauer (OPS+ at 23: 144; following year: 118).
   112. jfish26101 Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:44 PM (#3457972)
Sure the stars are included, my point is players with far less ability are also included which skews the numbers. I'm saying top prospects are probably less likely to regress 65% so they shouldn't be treated the same as someone who was thought to be roster filler. Nowhere am I suggesting they shouldn't regress (even though I think expecting all young players to regress is a poor way of handling it), I'm saying they shouldn't regress as much.

Edit: Changed 68% to 65%, misread above but not much of a change. Also Dan says under 25 so he isn't comparing Heyward to just 20 year olds who reached the majors. Unless I'm reading it wrong, he lumped everyone who was 25 or younger in the same group.
   113. RJ in TO Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:49 PM (#3457977)
I'm saying top prospects are probably less likely to regress 68% so they shouldn't be treated the same as someone who was thought to be roster filler.


Why are they less likely to regress? They're probably just as likely to regress, but the stars are regressing from a much higher starting point - for true young stars, even if they do regress and lose about 32% of their gains (and not 68%) from the previous year, they're still valuable performers. For those non-stars, however, that loss of the 32% can turn them from contributors to non-contributors.
   114. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:54 PM (#3457982)

Edit: Changed 68% to 65%, misread above but not much of a change. Also Dan says under 25 so he isn't comparing Heyward to just 20 year olds who reached the majors. Unless I'm reading it wrong, he lumped everyone who was 25 or younger in the same group.


No, ZiPS has a detailed model of regression, but illustration is frequently a more useful technique for explaining things than describing a fairly rigorous model.
   115. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:55 PM (#3457987)
There was a Snider problem. Not sure how it happened (I re-checked all the Blue Jay hitters and everyone else was fine). Rogers is a poor park for $H and players like Snider are the worst bets to improve, but .295 was too low.
   116. jfish26101 Posted: February 10, 2010 at 07:58 PM (#3457990)
You don't think top prospects are less likely to regress as much as players believed to be roster filler or organizational depth? Their skills are thought to be superior, that is why.

Definitely misread above, 34 and 65 is a big difference but it doesn't change my point. To expect say Adam Lind or Travis Snider to regress 34% just because he had a good year last year and is 25 or under seems wrong. They should only be compared to players that fit their profile, their performance, their pedigree.

As usual, this is a losing battle. I continue to be amazed the community here genuinely feels using MLB trends including all players can be applied the same to every player instead of trying to use similar players/groups. Take Justin Upton, he isn't just your average under 25 year old OF'er so why treat him so?
   117. jfish26101 Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3457995)
No, ZiPS has a detailed model of regression, but illustration is frequently a more useful technique for explaining things than describing a fairly rigorous model.


So assume (for arguments sake) Heyward debuts this year and puts up a 125 OPS+. Next year when ZiPS goes to put out a projection for Hewyard, what will be the factors? Heyward's minor league performance, rookie season performance, park/league adjustments, and only 20 year old OF'ers?
   118. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3457996)
They should only be compared to players that fit their profile, their performance, their pedigree.

Which, in fact, is the case. Profile and performance are indicated. The 65% is simply an illustration about baseball history, not something that's contained in a model.

As for pedigree, I haven't found much in the way of worth regarding regression (I checked using variables for both BA prospect position and draft pick # as inputs for estimating regression and I found them to be worthless).
   119. jfish26101 Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:07 PM (#3458003)
As for pedigree, I haven't found much in the way of worth regarding regression (I checked using variables for both BA prospect position and draft pick # as inputs for estimating regression and I found them to be worthless).

So ZiPS thinks a top 10 selection is likely to regress the same amount as a player taking somewhere between the 40th-50th rounds?
   120. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:09 PM (#3458007)

So ZiPS thinks a top 10 selection is likely to regress the same amount as a player taking in the 40th-50th rounds?


If the two players play exactly the same and have the exact same performance history, yes.

Don't like it? Your complaint is essentially that reality is inconsistent with reality.
   121. Ron Johnson Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:09 PM (#3458008)
#117 Here's the thing. It's "seems" wrong to you. Dan on the other hand has checked. Why not run your own systematic study?

EDIT: To be clear, there's a very real chance that the projections for Snyder (or any given young stud) will be wrong. And the spectacular misses rate to be low projections.
   122. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:11 PM (#3458014)
As for Jason Heyward, if he puts up Nate McLouth's 2008 season (a 125 OPS+), his age and profile are strong enough that he then would project to a 127 OPS+ for 2011.
   123. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:11 PM (#3458015)
What would your projection be for a 26 year-old who hasn't played baseball since the rec league travel squad (so age 14, let's say)? Keep in mind, back then I was an OBP machine. Like .300/.450/.450.

I will go to fangraphs to ask for a playing time projection, in keeping with Tango's latest findings.
   124. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:14 PM (#3458022)
Probably because a top 10 selection is likely to regress.
   125. jfish26101 Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:14 PM (#3458023)
Just because ZiPS thinks it doesn't mean it is reality. How many picks taking between the 40th and 50th rounds even reach the majors? How many have had 1 above average season? How many have had 5 above averages seasons? How many have had 10 above average seasons? You are telling me that in reality, there is absolutely no distinction between the success rate of a the 1st pick and the last pick of the draft?

Well it's probably going to sound selfish but I don't have the time to start building a database of every player that reached the majors this afternoon and get it done in time to provide evidence within the next 20 years. I'm assuming Dan has this stuff readily available if ZiPS does in fact know the difference between the success rate and rate of regression for top 10 picks and extremely late draft selections.
   126. jfish26101 Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:19 PM (#3458029)
Probably because a top 10 selection is likely to regress.

Sure but not likely to regress as much as someone with a much lower profile.

Anyway, I've spent too much time reading this thread as it is so better go accomplish something this afternoon. I appreciate what answers I did get but it still doesn't sound as realistic as you all keep saying. I know top 10 picks have a high attrition rate but it can't be the same as someone taking between the 20th-29th rounds, 30th-39th rounds, and nowhere remotely close to someone taking between the 40th-49th rounds.
   127. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:20 PM (#3458033)
But how is a statement like that at all useful when talking about a player as young and inexperienced (at the MLB level) as Travis Snider?
It goes without saying that almost every MLB player out there had to improve significantly from their 22 year old talent level to become good MLB players. It certainly isn't very useful as far as projecting anything. You won't project him to be a good player until he becomes a good player?


Depends. I have been suggesting for some years now that high-K prospects tend not to develop all that well. More specifically, I have been "under-estimating" high-K prospects who have had "breakout years" based on unsustainable on-contact numbers. It's not rocket science, it's simply a matter of pointing out how unlikely it is that a player hits like Babe Ruth.

The numbers above project Snider to K 1 per 3 AB. It is very, very difficult to be a quality ML hitter while doing that. The numbers above project Snider to hit about 350/650 on-contact. That seems reasonable although maybe, after checking, Dan will upgrade that. But, for example, those are much better on-contact numbers than Gary Sheffield's career numbers, they are roughly equivalent to Alfonso Soriano's career numbers. Nothing embarrassing about that.

But that's the rub. Alfonso Soriano has a 113 career OPS+ while hitting 350/650 on-contact ... and K'ing about 1 per 4.5 AB. If Snider maintains his on-contact performance, he has to cut his K-rate from 1 per 3 to 1 per 4.5 -- not impossible but that's a big change. And that's to turn out as an average-hitting corner OF. Alternatively, as I pointed out before, he could maintain his 1 per 3 K-rate but greatly improve his on-contact (which he might be doing as we speak as Dan re-runs the numbers) to, say, 380/720 and he'd be an average-hitting corner player. To become "good" or a "star" he needs to do both of those things. I put forward the claim that it is unlikely that any young player will greatly improve both his K-rate and his on-contact production on a long-term basis. Dan or someone else can test this hypothesis (as much grief as I give Dan, ZiPS and I tend to be in agreement on such players.)

Now, some will. But none of them should be _expected_ to until they have actually done so. (With, yes, the caveat that scouting reports or o-swing %s or hiring hitting gurus or draft position or whatever may have some predictive value over and above past performance ... something I also won't believe until someone shows that they do.) It's also possible that Snider could develop the awesome power of Howard or Pena but I can't see any reason to _expect_ him to do that either.

That said, on closer inspection (which, fair enough, I should have done earlier), Snider's projection seems a little low. ZiPS is projecting improvement in HR-rate (from about 1 per 29 to 1 per 20) but essentially constant on-contact BA -- essentially turning singles and doubles into HRs and killing the BABIP. Maybe that makes sense but it seems a little odd. And yeah, if you add 20 points of BA (and thereby SLG), you get Lyle Overbay with an extra 40 points of SLG or, roughly, a 110 OPS+.
   128. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:23 PM (#3458038)
Just because ZiPS thinks it doesn't mean it is reality. How many picks taking between the 40th and 50th rounds even reach the majors? How many have had 1 above average season? How many have had 5 above averages seasons? How many have had 10 above average seasons? You are telling me that in reality, there is absolutely no distinction between the success rate of a the 1st pick and the last pick of the draft?

Not if they put up the same stats. Why should there be?

If two players are drafted #1 and #1000, and proceed to put up exactly the same stats. Say, 150 OPS+ in Rookie, A, AA, and AAA, and they both debut in MLB at the same age, and put up a 100 OPS+, why would you project them differently based on how they were evealuated 4 or 5 years ago?
   129. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3458063)
Just because ZiPS thinks it doesn't mean it is reality.

No, it's reality is why ZiPS thinks it's reality. To this date, there is no relationship between regression and draft position. There is a relationship between quality and draft position, but quality and regression are very different things.

How many picks taking between the 40th and 50th rounds even reach the majors?

- Not many, but there are a lot of players between the 5th round and the 40th-to-50th rounds.

- Regression isn't something that manifests itself solely at the major league level.
   130. Zoppity Zoop Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:44 PM (#3458070)
Since you're paying attention Dan, are you leaving BTF?
   131. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:46 PM (#3458072)
The fixed Snider is up.
   132. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 08:47 PM (#3458074)
Since you're paying attention Dan, are you leaving BTF?

No, why would I?

Also, I strongly urge META discussions to be taken to the lounge or elsewhere.
   133. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:02 PM (#3458085)
You are telling me that in reality, there is absolutely no distinction between the success rate of a the 1st pick and the last pick of the draft?

Man, oh man. You really have no concept what you are talking about. You simply have no idea what these models are doing. You don't grasp the basic concepts. You might as well go onto physics boards and argue against string theory.

Do 1st round picks have a better chance of making the majors than 25th round picks? Of course. What's your point?

What Dan is saying is that if you take the population of 1st round picks projected to put up a 110 OPS+ at age 22 and the population of 25th round picks projected to put up a 110 OPS+ at age 22, you will see the same distribution of performance.

You do understand that the above statement in no way suggests that the probability of a 25th round pick being projected to put up a 110 OPS+ at age 22 is the same (or even remotely similar to) the probability that a 1st round pick will be projected to put up a 110 OPS+ at age 22.

Furthermore, Dan is saying that young players retain most but not all of their "improvement" from the previous year (similarly they retain only some of their poor performance) and that this holds regardless of, say, draft position. All that means is that if a young player improves by 20 points of OPS+, he can expect to retain 14 points of it. If a Justin Upton jumps from a 110 to a 130 OPS+, he might project to a 124. If a borderline player jumps from an 80 OPS+ to a 100 OPS+, he might project to a 94. I don't see any reason to think that's strange. I don't see why that's inconsistent with scouting reports or draft order position or BA rankings or whatever.

You seem to somehow confuse this with the notion that Justin Upton and the scrub will get the same projection but that's obviously not the case. ZiPS doesn't treat all young players the same. It treats all 22-year-olds the same after controlling for past performance (and body type and some other things). Dan is telling you that adding draft order or BA rankings or whatever to the model doesn't improve the prediction -- i.e. AFTER CONTROLLING FOR PAST PERFORMANCE, ETC. draft order has no independent effect. Why is that hard to believe?

Perhaps you'll understand it better if put in these terms. On the one hand, you would scoff if Dan had projected Pujols at age 22 to put up a 125 OPS+. On the other hand, you would scoff if Dan projected a 13th round pick (Pujols) who had a great season at age 21 to regress less than a 1st round pick who did so. In short, you want ZiPS both to project Pujols to develop much better than BJ Upton and much worse than BJ Upton. You can't have it both ways.

You also clearly don't understand how models work. There is great power in having a large sample. Reducing comparisons to only "very similar players" is going to give you tiny sample sizes and blow your variance up astronomically. Even with the large samples, the variance on a prediction is already extremely high, increasing it would make any such projection useless.

Models take advantage of both the broad population trends and the specific group trends as best they can. They do so by controlling for individual characteristics (primarily weighted past performance and age) which (informally speaking) define the sub-populations of interest while also using the power of the large sample of baseball history to improve the precision of the estimates and to avoid "wild" over/under-estimates.

And what Dan is saying is that after you have used the individual-level variables such as age and past performance to (informally speaking) define a group of similar players, then sub-dividing that group by draft order does not help you predict future performance (well, next year's performance). I don't find that difficult to believe whatsoever.

Does that make scouts wrong? Does that mean draft order doesn't matter? Of course not. The group of 22-year-olds with a projection similar to Heyward is surely largely a group of high draft picks (and international signings which create problems with using draft order in the model). All Dan is saying is that if a player has developed into a guy who projects to a 110 OPS+ at age 22 then it doesn't matter when he was drafted and he has emprical evidence this is the case. If a team hit the jackpot with Pujols, a team hit the jackpot with Pujols. That doesn't mean the expected outcome of a 13th round pick is Pujols.

In fact, ZiPS seems to be saying pretty much just what you want it to say -- "if there's a player who's torn up the minors and torn up the majors at a young age, you'd better pay attention."

And I'm sorry jfish but you seem incapable (or unwilling) to understand what's being claimed and what's not being claimed. Until you can get that straight, it's difficult to have a discussion with you.
   134. heyyoo Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:06 PM (#3458088)
There was a Snider problem.


I tried to tell you.....

The fixed Snider is up.


This makes much more sense. And if I am right in my speculations in #89, he might still beat the revised projection, assuming he can get that K Rate under 30%. I am far less inclined to take the over now that the projection has been corrected.
   135. Danny Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:12 PM (#3458093)
As for pedigree, I haven't found much in the way of worth regarding regression (I checked using variables for both BA prospect position and draft pick # as inputs for estimating regression and I found them to be worthless).

This is really surprising to me, as it essentially says that BA's scouting output is worthless. It's especially surprising for pitchers, given how much is made about junkballers with great stats in the low minors having little chance once they move up.

Are your findings also true for players with very limited pro experience?
   136. formerly dp Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:13 PM (#3458094)
The fixed Snider is up.

That looks a lot more realistic. Thanks.

For Dan and Walt, continuing on the discussion from upthread, I'd be curious to see if a decent walk rate (somewhat) mitigates concerns about a high strikeout hitter. Walt brought up Soriano, who has a much lower walk rate. With hitter like Upton and Snider, who have decent-but-not-great walk rates, it seems like they're striking out sometimes as a result of at least attempting to work the count, rather than swinging at anything in their zipcode.

In terms of projecting growth based on reputation WTF happened to Rios last year? Was anyone expecting him to completely crater like this?
   137. RJ in TO Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:18 PM (#3458099)
You might as well go onto physics boards and argue against string theory.


From my understanding, he'd actually get a lot more support if he went on a physics board and argued against string theory.
   138. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:18 PM (#3458100)
This is really surprising to me, as it essentially says that BA's scouting output is worthless. It's especially surprising for pitchers, given how much is made about junkballers with great stats in the low minors having little chance once they move up.


Again, we're talking regression here, not ability.

BA does an extremely good job at predicting low minor performance of amateurs - I've attempted to translate college stats and draft pick position is far more useful.

Also, I'm mostly talking about MLB/AAA/AA/A+ performance. I rarely project mid-A and lower, so have not checked for regression characteristics at those levels.
   139. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:19 PM (#3458101)
as much grief as I give Dan, ZiPS and I tend to be in agreement on such players.)

I'm very disappointed your BABIP radar didn't pick up on Snider being way too low!
   140. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:26 PM (#3458103)
This is really surprising to me, as it essentially says that BA's scouting output is worthless.


No it doesn't. It says that great young studs regress just like lousy little weiner boys do.

Fist Powers, 1B, Manhattan Rich Giants, drafted round 1 pick 1, Eastern League God among Men, OPS+(1) = 130; projected OPS+(2) = 123

Limpy Laxative, Beaverton Sad Cats, OPS+1, drafted round 50 supplemental, pick 30, crappy minor league records, OPS+(1) = 80; projected OPS+(2) = 70

The studs just start from a higher point.
   141. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:27 PM (#3458104)
From my understanding, he'd actually get a lot more support if he went on a physics board and argued against string theory.


I thought that too, but I think the suggestion is that he wouldn't understand it, regardless of its own veracity.
   142. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:33 PM (#3458110)
For Dan and Walt, continuing on the discussion from upthread, I'd be curious to see if a decent walk rate (somewhat) mitigates concerns about a high strikeout hitter.

In general, not really. Bill James's observation of old and young player skills actually holds up quite well to rigorous examination in general.
   143. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:36 PM (#3458113)
I thought that too, but I think the suggestion is that he wouldn't understand it, regardless of its own veracity.

"You don't understand string theory!" is an extremely weak insult unless you're in a room of physicists.
   144. Danny Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:37 PM (#3458114)
Again, we're talking regression here, not ability.

BA does an extremely good job at predicting low minor performance of amateurs - I've attempted to translate college stats and draft pick position is far more useful.

Also, I'm mostly talking about MLB/AAA/AA/A+ performance. I rarely project mid-A and lower, so have not checked for regression characteristics at those levels.

I understand we're talking about regression. I'm surprised that knowing Ben Hornbeck's (lack of) prospect status is worthless in projecting him going forward. If he put up those same numbers with a mid-90s fastball and a top 50 BA prospect ranking, most observers would be a lot more optimistic about his future than they are now.

I'm not saying your findings are wrong, of course. I'm just saying I'm surprised by them.

Or am I misunderstanding something?
   145. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:37 PM (#3458115)
   146. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: February 10, 2010 at 09:39 PM (#3458116)
Danny, I think part of what's going on is that we've gotten better at discerning what in a statistical profile suggests future success. Those junkballers might not have the super high k/9 for one, etc... so Dan is already accounting for some of the same attributes (albeit in a proxied way) as do the scouts.
edit: not talking about hornbeck specifically, obviously.
   147. zenbitz Posted: February 10, 2010 at 10:07 PM (#3458138)
   148. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 10:08 PM (#3458140)
While there are always some junkballers that put up good numbers in the minors, using multiple years tends to weed out a lot of them as their big years tend to be spottier and their $H more erratic than average (I check out a lot of things).
   149. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 10:10 PM (#3458142)
That's awesome! I'll go post that right nwo.
   150. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 10, 2010 at 10:13 PM (#3458145)
While there are always some junkballers that put up good numbers in the minors, using multiple years tends to weed out a lot of them as their big years tend to be spottier and their $H more erratic than average (I check out a lot of things).


So is there a big difference in the ability of major league caliber pitchers in the minors to prevent H on BIP vs. minor league caliber guys?
   151. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 10:20 PM (#3458153)
So is there a big difference in the ability of major league caliber pitchers in the minors to prevent H on BIP vs. minor league caliber guys?

$H regresses a mega-shitload in the majors and a mere shitload in the minors.
   152. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2010 at 10:21 PM (#3458155)
Oops, I have a new word to nanny.
   153. RJ in TO Posted: February 10, 2010 at 10:23 PM (#3458156)
Oops, I have a new word to nanny.


You'll also want to block off shitty while you're at it.
   154. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: February 10, 2010 at 10:25 PM (#3458159)
And Francoeur.
   155. jfish26101 Posted: February 11, 2010 at 12:02 AM (#3458242)
I would think ability and regression should have some negative correlation even if it is weak. Just like I would think ability and success would have a positive correlation. The more ability you have the better odds of success and improvement to a point until you level off and eventually begin to decline or get injured. That just makes sense when you say it, especially for young players who are improving their craft. Every player that gets to the majors has amazing ability but there is still a range and MLB clubs spend millions upon millions to discern the difference between players that can and can't be successful at the MLB level. Every player that reaches the majors will have varying levels of success but the ones with the most ability should produce more and regress less than players of lesser ability. Prospecting/scouting isn't a science but I continually get the feeling this community doesn't think it matters at all. Not to mention coaches sometimes have players working on specific skills like using their CB or change more, focusing on hitting the other way, etc. We have already went over changes in hitting/pitching mechanics, no need to get into that again though.

Even if a 1st round pick and a 40th round pick have similar minor league stats, similar park/league factors, and are the same age, yes I would still have more confidence in the 1st round pick. Even if they reach the majors at the same time and put up similar stats, I'd have more confidence in the 1st rounder to improve moving forward and to regress less than the 40th round pick. With every jump in level going all the way back from tee-ball to little league, a certain percentage of players can't adjust to the new talent level. Unless of course you feel the talent level in MLB is no different than the minor leagues? Many of the players that can't keep up at the next level were very successful until that point. You see this often with pitching, a great FB can get you through AA, sometimes AAA and perhaps a season or two in the majors but the superior talent around him should eventually prevail. All of those AAAA players run into that many of which were pretty successful until they reached the majors.

Perhaps you are right Walt. Perhaps I don't understand what a model is or what ZiPS is trying to do. To me, it doesn't seem to be trying to project future performance because I don't think numbers are the only thing worth considering especially when talking about players that are this young. Maybe I'm wrong though. Perhaps ability doesn't matter, only results, regardless of how you get them. Unfortunately, I have a problem believing that so maybe this model isn't for me. Every team that is released has numbers that make no sense to me and I find it odd that you've said before you disagree with ZiPS often but seem to think it does its job...which I thought was to accurately project future performance? I'll never understand how you can dismiss important factors when projecting players future performance but I'll just stop posting so you don't have to put up with my stupidity.

Again, I appreciate the answers and explanation, I'm just trying to figure out exactly how ZiPS gets the numbers it does. I see some comments from Dan that he has or is trying to quantify things that previously haven't been so perhaps in the future I'll feel better about the ZiPS model. Obviously no projection system will be perfect but the vocal minority of this community seem to share the belief that ZiPS couldn't do anything to improve.
   156. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: February 11, 2010 at 12:12 AM (#3458253)
Why not just accept that, if a guy is drafted in the 40th round but puts up numbers as good as the best first rounder, the logical conclusion is that the scouts got the 40th round guy wrong?
   157. BobbyS Posted: February 11, 2010 at 12:30 AM (#3458268)
Does the email function (from user's profile) work on here...does Dan's?
   158. RJ in TO Posted: February 11, 2010 at 12:33 AM (#3458272)
Obviously no projection system will be perfect but the vocal minority of this community seem to share the belief that ZiPS couldn't do anything to improve.


We don't think that it can't be improved. What we do think is that the sort of things that you've suggested (stuff like limited scouting opinions from a very limited subset of scouts on a limited subset of players) won't actually act to improve it across a sufficient number of players, since the depth and uniformity of the type of information you're suggesting isn't available.
   159. RJ in TO Posted: February 11, 2010 at 12:35 AM (#3458276)
Does the email function (from user's profile) work on here...does Dan's?


Yes to both questions.
   160. BobbyS Posted: February 11, 2010 at 12:54 AM (#3458292)
Even if a 1st round pick and a 40th round pick have similar minor league stats, similar park/league factors, and are the same age, yes I would still have more confidence in the 1st round pick.


With High school (and even the college guys I suppose) picks still growing and changing, most with nothing more than tools that need to develop...I would think if they go toe-toe in performance for multiple years, they would have to be treated the same eventually...especially through multiple levels. Not that those tools and pedigree don't matter, but until they show themselves to be more than the 'lesser' prospect, why treat them differently, and how would you even go about doing it?

But I do understand having more confidence in that player to continue a solid performance over long period of time, although to randomly project that jump or the other player's regression at a larger rate would feel unsupported for now.
   161. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: February 11, 2010 at 03:38 AM (#3458380)
The revised ZiPS projection for Snider is entirely reasonable. Dan has him with an IsoP over .200. If Snider turns into an offensive star, it'll probably be along the lines of .270, 40 homers, 90 walks, 160 strikeouts. The age 22 line is perfectly consistent with that.

I'll take the over on the Aaron Hill projection. What ZiPS does not know is that Hill's 2008 comes with a big asterisk. He played just the first quarter of the season under the tutelage of Gary Denbo. The whole offence tanked with Denbo, but unlike the rest of the players, Hill did not get a chance to redeem himself the rest of the season due to a David Eckstein elbow. Subjectively, I would use the mid-point of the 2007/2009 numbers to describe where he is, but I expect that pitchers are going to get cute after his unusual home run outing last year, and that Hill will adjust successfully. Hence, higher BA, more walks, lower IsoP.

Hill is 28 with a career OBP of .337. A projected OBP 14 points below career for a 28 year old does seem unusual.
   162. Snowboy Posted: February 11, 2010 at 05:08 AM (#3458416)
I can't see what Snider's old proj looked like - it's gone from 99 OPS+ to 107?
Will the ODDIBE be updated? What are his chances (re post#92) that he'll post a 100 OPS+, now over 50% chance? Chances of 120+?
Thanks for the revise.

Oh, and porting Brandon Morrow's proj 107 ERA+ to the top of that pitching staff helps. Jumping on Dana Eveland this week (costing a roster spot too) shows how thin they are.
   163. Accent Shallow Posted: February 11, 2010 at 05:35 AM (#3458425)
I would think ability and regression should have some negative correlation even if it is weak. Just like I would think ability and success would have a positive correlation.


While it'd be a lot of fun (ok, maybe an abnormal definition of fun) to regress based on smaller and smaller groupings, at some point sooner rather than later, I'd think you'd get diminishing returns, especially if you shrink the groups further. As an example, right handed pitchers drafted from high school in the first round in the past 20 years include Todd Van Poppel, Josh Beckett, and Phil Hughes.
   164. 'Spos Posted: February 11, 2010 at 03:18 PM (#3458531)
As an example, right handed pitchers drafted from high school in the first round in the past 20 years

Roy Halladay & Matt ####### Bush
   165. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2010 at 03:52 PM (#3458552)
Just like I would think ability and success would have a positive correlation.

Why not just accept that, if a guy is drafted in the 40th round but puts up numbers as good as the best first rounder, the logical conclusion is that the scouts got the 40th round guy wrong?

What T&B;said.

Why wouldn't you think that if the the 40th round guy has put up similar performance through 3 or 4 levels of mLB and then in MLB that he has the same ability as the 1st round guy?

If this "ability advantage" the scouts saw doesn't translate into anything in professional baseball performance, isn't it far more likely that the gap wasn't there, than that it's hibernating somewhere ready to impact the age 24 seasons?

in 1994 would you still have been downgrading Mike Piazza for being the 2000th pick?
   166. RJ in TO Posted: February 11, 2010 at 03:58 PM (#3458556)
Why wouldn't you think that if the the 40th round guy has put up similar performance through 3 or 4 levels of mLB and then in MLB that he has the same ability as the 1st round guy?


Because Mike Piazza never existed.
   167. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2010 at 04:03 PM (#3458562)
Because Mike Piazza never existed.

Or Keith Hernandez, or Don Mattingly.
   168. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: February 11, 2010 at 04:24 PM (#3458581)
Of course, Matt ####### Bush was a shortstop at the time.

*****************************************************

Dear jfish...

Prospecting/scouting isn't a science but I continually get the feeling this community doesn't think it matters at all.
Not remotely true. Many of the names in this thread I see at Sickels' site or commenting at BA. Articles on stuff like PitchFx are (imo) very well received here, by and large. Dan mentioned that he looked into integrating BA rankings here - only that it wasn't significant. Heck, one of the site's contributors left to become a MLB scout.
I'm not sure why your equating "doesn't matter for this purpose" with "doesn't matter". Very, very different.

Sidenote: Even if I accepted your premise, I'd be careful with the 1st round / 40th round stuff. You'd be better off, I think, using bonus as a proxy for the talent/ceiling (where available).

every jump in level going all the way back from tee-ball to little league, a certain percentage of players can't adjust to the new talent level.
It really isn't that bi-modal at high levels (thinking AA on) - it's really more whether you're clearly good enough or whether you get the right fit. There's no evidence, for example, of a true AAAA hitter - the people that we put that label on have either been at the wrong place at the wrong time or, more often, have some other issue (bad d, for example) that keeps them from success at the next level. [That statement is complicated by how you react to the data issues associated with cup of coffee / failed prospect types. Also, I'm not as unequivocal with regard to pitching, largely because of the starter/reliever split, but I digress.]

Unless of course you feel the talent level in MLB is no different than the minor leagues?
This is, of course, simply stupid.

Obviously no projection system will be perfect but the vocal minority of this community seem to share the belief that ZiPS couldn't do anything to improve.
Imo, ZiPS has changed fairly dramatically since I was first exposed to it (enough that I discontinued my own model making as his clearly surpassed my work). I presume it will continue to do so. Furthermore - Dan has made generic versions available in the past. If you want to test alterations or add components - please do so! But the burden of proof that your ideas matter will fall on you - if you hadn't noticed, Dan is believed to be pretty good at this sort of thing - and, right now, your arguments aren't that persuasive.
   169. spycake Posted: February 12, 2010 at 12:05 AM (#3458941)
Playing devil's (jfish's) advocate,

Could BA rank / draft position / bonus still affect the "optimistic" or upper-percentile projections? I guess once you have an adequate sample of data, it probably can't make much more than a marginal difference anyway, but "ceiling" is perhaps the one area it could affect. A 40th rounder, with the exact same age and pro stats as Snider, might be perceived as having a lower ceiling than Snider -- "more 1st rounders make the hall of fame than 40th rounders." But then again, that's probably just a bunk perception -- not many 1st rounders make the hall of fame anyway -- and one of the valuable things about ZiPS is that is can sort through the numbers and point those things out to us (particularly when league/park/age factors muddy the waters).

I think jfish's primary confusion is over what a projection system like ZiPS is supposed to do. It's not supposed to identify breakout/collapse candidates in the traditional sense -- it's supposed to detect patterns, particularly patterns below the surface of the numbers, and tell us likely outcomes based on those patterns. That may not seem very useful or sexy to the casual fan, but it is really the only way to systematically project a large group of players with any degree of accuracy. That's not to say that observation and scouting aren't valuable too, and maybe with the right pair of eyes you can better identify breakout/collapse candidates, but it's just not practical to apply that to a large group and expect accurate results over a long period of time.
   170. LB813 Posted: February 12, 2010 at 04:09 PM (#3459252)
Hate to post this in the Blue Jays one, but doesnt look like Dan goes way back to the RedSox. Was wondering if Ryan Kalish was going to get a projection in the final disk. Also wondering if there was any chance that Casey Kelly or Jose Iglesias get one.
   171. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 12, 2010 at 05:28 PM (#3459302)
I go through all requests after the main chunk of teams are done. I don't imagine, in this case, that Iglesias or Kelly are good candidates for projections. I imagine Iglesias will receive a projection next year and Kelly if he has a better season above the Sally.
   172. LB813 Posted: February 12, 2010 at 07:21 PM (#3459422)
Thanks for responding to that Dan. I fully understand about Kelly and Westmoreland, just figured that Iglesias will definitely see time in AA and maybe AAA by then end of the year and would get a projection. No biggy.
Looking forward to the last two teams.
Keep up the good work.
   173. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 13, 2010 at 03:09 AM (#3459745)
Ordinarily, Iglesias would be high enough to get him a projection, but we have limited data on Cuban play and projections aren't really good in situations where there's not much to go on. If Iglesias was a sure-thing to be in the majors, I'd have to bite the bullet, but since he's not, I don't have to yet (like I had to with Alexei Ramirez a few years ago). I may have to already with Chapman.
   174. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: May 29, 2010 at 07:52 PM (#3545802)
So, the only Jays projected above a 100 OPS+ are either injured or currently blowing goats. The pitching staff also isn't at all 'thin.' And this team's kinda not at all boring. Oh random and fickle fates, how dearly we loved ye.
   175.   Posted: August 24, 2010 at 03:06 AM (#3624042)
So I'm wondering what the ODDIBE was of Bautista hitting 40 bombs...
   176. Greg K Posted: August 30, 2010 at 07:03 PM (#3630042)
Those Hill and Lind projections would be nice.
Meanwhile Overbay's done a good job of working his way back up to surpass his ZiPs!

I'm guessing we do this thread all over again in February, with Jose Bautista playing the role of Ben Zobrist?
(Who by the way is sporting a nice .252/.358/.354 OPS+ 94)
   177. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 30, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3630051)
Considering the level of competition this might be the most surprising team in baseball to me. I thought they had a good chance to be the worst team in baseball. Is there any talk about who Cito's replacement will be? It looks like he is inheriting a much better situation than was expected.
   178. RJ in TO Posted: August 30, 2010 at 07:26 PM (#3630068)
Considering the level of competition this might be the most surprising team in baseball to me. I thought they had a good chance to be the worst team in baseball.

It has been a wonderful season to follow, since I also expected them to be among the worst teams in baseball. Instead, they've managed to put together a solid pitching staff, and an incredibly entertaining all-or-nothing offense.

Is there any talk about who Cito's replacement will be? It looks like he is inheriting a much better situation than was expected.

There was an article in the Toronto Star a while ago about possible replacements, but it was basically a list of a dozen of the standard candidates - every high profile former coach looking for work, mixed with the bench/3B coach of every succesful team, and a couple guys doing well as AAA managers.
   179. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 30, 2010 at 07:32 PM (#3630076)
I suspect Zobrist may be playing hurt; he was having a fine year until he tweaked his back at the end of July. Since then he's been drawing walks, but his BA is .178, and his slugging is .250.
   180. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 30, 2010 at 07:33 PM (#3630078)
Considering the level of competition this might be the most surprising team in baseball to me.

Me too. If you told me ahead of time that none of Hill, Lind, or Snider would be all that good and they'd still be above .500, I would say something with a hint of snark.
   181. Greg K Posted: August 30, 2010 at 07:50 PM (#3630106)
I suspect Zobrist may be playing hurt; he was having a fine year until he tweaked his back at the end of July. Since then he's been drawing walks, but his BA is .178, and his slugging is .250.

Though his 1st half numbers, while solid, don't match even his ZiPs projection.

EDIT: Perhaps that's too strong, his OBP was quite good, but with the lack of power his OPS was lower than the projection.
   182. Matthew E Posted: September 01, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3631608)
I just reread this whole thread and I have to tell you that it's a rare and strange feeling to be the guy who was closest to having predicted something correctly.
   183. Greg K Posted: September 01, 2010 at 02:45 PM (#3631618)
In re-reading it I was confused by the 1st comment, made in February of 2010
You're missing Yunel Escobar's offensive projection.

Am I missing something? Or is Teal and Black a time traveler?
   184.   Posted: September 06, 2010 at 09:51 PM (#3634633)
That's a funny coincidence.

As I recall, Dan did the Projections in reverse order by Team name, which meant "Blue Jays" followed "Braves." Dan did indeed miss Yunel in his Braves projections, and T&B tried to get his attention by posting in the next ZiPS thread.

And now it looks alarmingly prescient.
   185.   Posted: October 02, 2010 at 06:14 PM (#3653417)
So seven guys on this team managed to get to the 20-HR mark, and Sea Bass had 17 before being traded in June. Remarkable.
   186. Accent Shallow Posted: October 02, 2010 at 06:32 PM (#3653423)
So next year, will someone be calling Dan a moron when Bautista is projected to hit "only" 27 bombs or something?

(Note: that person will not be yours truly)
   187.   Posted: October 02, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3653431)
I'm thinking 29 (will be the projection)

I think an over/under on that would be tough. Not sure.
   188. formerly dp Posted: October 02, 2010 at 07:33 PM (#3653436)
I'm thinking 29 (will be the projection)

I think an over/under on that would be tough. Not sure.


29 would be a sensible number for a projection system to spit out. But I could see him getting to 35; he hasn't had the long HR droughts that would make you suspect his success isn't repeatable. He's tailed off a little this month and still hit 11.
   189. Walt Davis Posted: October 02, 2010 at 09:13 PM (#3653477)
So seven guys on this team managed to get to the 20-HR mark, and Sea Bass had 17 before being traded in June. Remarkable.

And Encarnacion got to 19 before being released (360 PA) and Snider is at 14 in 319 PA.
   190. RJ in TO Posted: October 02, 2010 at 09:20 PM (#3653481)
And Encarnacion got to 19 before being released (360 PA)

Encarnacion wasn't released. He hit his 20th earlier today.
   191. Davo Dozier Posted: October 02, 2010 at 09:37 PM (#3653489)
Back when I was a kid, I remember reading that the 1961 Yankees were the only team in baseball history to have 6 different players hit at least 20 home runs.

I probably read that in...1996 or so.

Has another team topped that? Because if not, these 2010 Blue Jays just got their 7th (Bautista, Wells, Hill, Lind, Buck, Overbay, and now Encarnacion).
   192. Swedish Chef Posted: October 02, 2010 at 09:48 PM (#3653497)
Has another team topped that? Because if not, these 2010 Blue Jays just got their 7th (Bautista, Wells, Hill, Lind, Buck, Overbay, and now Encarnacion).

The 2000 Blue Jays had 7. (My "methodology": clicking on a homerun-happy team in the power era).
   193. rlc Posted: October 02, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3653511)
I probably read that in...1996 or so.

Perhaps in an article about the '96 Orioles, who had 7 players hit 20+ with Baltimore and acquired 2 more who wound up with 20+ on the season.
   194.   Posted: October 02, 2010 at 10:58 PM (#3653524)
They mentioned on today's broadcast that 7 ties the Major League record, set by those 2000 Jays.

It's a shame they didn't keep Gonzalez, just for that trivia....although Gonzalez+Escobar is 21.
   195. Kirby Kyle Posted: October 02, 2010 at 11:30 PM (#3653536)
Last year's Yankee team also had seven 20-homer hitters. On the Toronto broadcast, they named about five teams who predated this Jays team.
   196. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 08, 2010 at 05:38 PM (#3685877)
Beaverton Sad Cats


Mascot.
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