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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, May 29, 2009

Orioles - Promoted Wieters

Matt Wieters - Granted the Baltimore Orioles the right to take the field with him.

Not since Mike Mussina’s debut has there been an Orioles call-up that I have been more excited about.  Hopefully, the success of Wieters will encourage the Orioles to remain aggressive in the draft.  For those that don’t remember, Wieters was minutes from returning to college, but the Orioles came to the wise decision that they should thank every possible deity that the Pirates chose to draft Daniel Moskos for no particular reason and up their offer for the tip-top prospect Wieters by the equivalent of two months of Danys Baez’s salary.

Wieters was clearly ready at the start of the season and even a not-ready Wieters would have been extremely hard-pressed to not obliterate the 210/304/327 that Gregg Zaun and Chad Moeller have combined to put up for the O’s behind the plate.  For delaying the arrival of Wieters, it is not known whether the O’s former catching tandem will be allowed to open up their wrists in a warm bath or if they’re going to be bowstringed later after Wieters’s victory procession.

All kidding aside, Wieters is a tremendous hitting prospect, the first the Orioles have had in a really long time.  Much has been made of PECOTA’s very aggressive projection for Wieters this season, but who can blame it?  ZiPS likes Wieters a lot, too almost to the degree that my old 386 PC had for Civilization 15 years ago.  The amazing thing is that the 305/387/504 that Wieters has put up in AAA this season was accomplished one of the most difficult hitting environments in the upper-minors.  Harbor Park has been terrible for power-hitters in recent years, with HR park factors the last 3 years of 60, 60, and 72 (by comparison, Petco’s weighted factor over the last 3 years is 76).

It remains to be seen how successful Baltimore’s strategy of trying to keep Wieters from being a Super-Two arbitrationee will be.  After all, the more teams that try to game the eligibility for that extra year of arbitration, the later in the season a quality prospect will have to be brought up to avoid that status.


2009 ZIPS Projection - Matt Wieters
——————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI   BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG
——————————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date   143   23   39   7   1   5   25   16   29   0 .273 .342 .441
Rest-of-Year   349   50 100 13   1 15   52   40   63   1 .288 .360 .462
——————————————————————————————————————
MLB Total     349   50 100 13   1 15   52   40   63   1 .288 .360 .462

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: May 29, 2009 at 07:50 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. CraigK Posted: May 29, 2009 at 08:41 PM (#3199158)
I wanna see what ZiPS projects his full career to look like.

Hey, it can't be any more off than the Ortiz projection. :)
   2. RJ in TO Posted: May 29, 2009 at 08:50 PM (#3199188)
Hey, it can't be any more off than the Ortiz projection. :)

Are you sure? It could be like the Lastings Milledge projection.

Between those two, I think we've ensured that Dan will never use ZIPS like that again.
   3. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: May 29, 2009 at 08:53 PM (#3199195)
Who?
   4. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 29, 2009 at 08:59 PM (#3199210)
It would have been funny if Dan had put 2.000/2.000/8.000 for the rest of the year. But he could be Weitered out. Uh, that's not a bad projection for a catcher, is it?
   5. RJ in TO Posted: May 29, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3199247)
Uh, that's not a bad projection for a catcher, is it?


For a catcher, ZIPS line of 288 .360 .462 is pretty impressive. Last year, as a group, catchers hit .257 .325 .390. Weiters line is roughly that of an All Star.
   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 29, 2009 at 11:50 PM (#3199436)
[5] Yeah, but not an MVP candidate. :(
   7. rlc Posted: May 30, 2009 at 12:08 AM (#3199456)
Harbor Park was modified in some way during the off-season. When this season's park factors come in, I wouldn't be surprised to see it rated somewhat less hitter-antagonistic than in the past.
   8. jyjjy Posted: May 30, 2009 at 12:08 AM (#3199457)
Starting this season the MVP award shall be renamed the MVW(most valuable Wieters) award. Weiters will win it every year in both leagues by managing to be more valuable in just interleague play than any national league player for the whole season.
   9. akrasian Posted: May 30, 2009 at 12:20 AM (#3199482)
Damn. I was hoping the Dodgers had a chance at winning the World Series this year. Oh well.
   10. Willie Mayspedester Posted: May 30, 2009 at 12:26 AM (#3199490)
He protected Luke Scott so well that he hit a grand slam. Also the pitcher with the 1.60 WHIP so far in 7 starts this year is one over the minimum through 4 innings on 46 pitches... That's Lebronish.
   11. AROM Posted: May 30, 2009 at 12:28 AM (#3199492)
For a catcher, ZIPS line of 288 .360 .462 is pretty impressive.


Pretty much a Russ Martin line.

He's 0-2 right now, but Matt Wieters is catching a shutout.
   12. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 30, 2009 at 01:08 AM (#3199569)
He's 0-2 right now, but Matt Wieters is catching a shutout.


Did the O's trade him?
   13. RollingWave Posted: May 30, 2009 at 02:55 AM (#3199712)
0-4

The world has ended.
   14. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 30, 2009 at 02:59 AM (#3199716)
0-4, but Dontrelle was so scared of him that Luke Scott hit 2 HR in front of Wieters.
   15. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 30, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3200157)
Wieters went 0-4 just to see how it feels.
   16. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 10, 2009 at 06:50 PM (#3319108)
You significantly overprojected him, for this year at least. At least you didn't go PECOTA-level crazy.
   17. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 10, 2009 at 07:00 PM (#3319123)
You significantly overprojected him, for this year at least. At least you didn't go PECOTA-level crazy.

Well, in Dan's defense, he was projecting Wieters on only 550 PA, all in the Minors to boot, which adds additional uncertainty - forecasting is tough enough when you have two or three times that much data to work with.
   18. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 02:29 PM (#3322138)
I haven't seen Wieters play, so if those who have can tell me what they think, is he just having a tough time adjusting, or is he just not that good? Is he another Alex Gordon? His first 600 minor league PAs were superlative, but it was split between A+/AA and AAA, he never really went around a league a 2nd or 3rd time...
   19. The Essex Snead Posted: September 15, 2009 at 02:51 PM (#3322155)
or is he just not that good

How about giving him an actual full season w/ the big club before jumping to conclusions?
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3322159)
How about giving him an actual full season w/ the big club before jumping to conclusions?

Well, I think it's pretty clear he's not Pecota-level, best C in the league good. No right now. Maybe in a few years.
   21. PepTech Posted: September 15, 2009 at 03:02 PM (#3322164)
Maybe after Mauer breaks a leg...
   22. Jeff K. Posted: September 15, 2009 at 03:11 PM (#3322174)
Yeah, "Best catcher in the league" is going to be a hard standard for a few years.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2009 at 03:14 PM (#3322176)
Maybe after Mauer breaks a leg...

Or moves to 3B.
   24. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 03:14 PM (#3322178)
or is he just not that good

How about giving him an actual full season w/ the big club before jumping to conclusions?


What conclusion? I don't have a conclusion.
He has 500 minor leagues PAs that say he is good
300 or so MLB PAs that say "eh"
I haven't seen him play.


BUT weren't all those people calling him the next Johnny Bench jumping to conclusions in the first place?
   25. Jeff K. Posted: September 15, 2009 at 03:23 PM (#3322183)
BUT weren't all those people calling him the next Johnny Bench jumping to conclusions in the first place?

He's a "Jump to Conclusions" Matt.

I'm sorry. I'll go.
   26. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: September 15, 2009 at 03:40 PM (#3322201)
his swing looks a little long to me, and all of his home runs have been to the opposite field. I'm not worried about him yet but he may need to make some adjustments to catch up to big league fastballs.
   27. The Essex Snead Posted: September 15, 2009 at 03:43 PM (#3322203)
It's just as loony & conclusion-jumpy to ask if Wieters isn't "that good" after only half a season in Baltimore (at the ripe old age of 23) as it was to call him the new Johnny Bench based on his MiLB stats. And I'm pretty sure folks whose projection systems made him look like a superstar in the making offered copious caveats re: their projections (cf. Szym's explanation above). Tho it's the folks that view the projections as unquestionable gospel (instead of highly-educated & totally fallible guesses) that're the real problem.
   28. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: September 15, 2009 at 03:56 PM (#3322221)
Hey, to be fair, Wieters can still make his PECOTA forecast if he bats around .625/.738/1.879 down the stretch. Let's not write off the forecast juuuuust yet.
   29. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: September 15, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3322232)
it's the folks that view the projections as unquestionable gospel (instead of highly-educated & totally fallible guesses) that're the real problem

Including those that will criticize any outlier projection, and its failure, as an indictment of the projection system as a whole. We're all suspicious of those outliers; most of us don't bother using them as a stick to beat someone with. For months on end.
   30. DKDC Posted: September 15, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3322243)
A catcher with a 700ish OPS is what, a slightly below average player? He's 23 and obviously has the chance to be a lot more than that going forward. I'm not worried, but that's because I always took the PECOTA projection with a grain of salt.

PECOTA's projection was ridiculous, and I think people were right to criticize it. I'm pretty sure they screwed up their translations. The other projection systems were too high on Wieters as well, but it's still not crazy to expect Wieters to end up as an 800ish OPS hitter. I doubt he'll ever sniff PECOTA's projection.
   31. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: September 15, 2009 at 04:26 PM (#3322270)
JLAC, the problem is that this is not "an outlier" but part of a systemic issue affecting BP's Eastern League translations from '08. PECOTA had an outlier projection for Travis Snider as well, just to pick a name that I think will register with you. And again, his performance this year (.222/.310/.383 in 205 PAs) is much closer to what other systems are projecting.

I know this is anecdotal so far at this point, but at the end of the season we can (and I probably will) look at all Eastern League players from last year who played in the majors this year, and I think you'll see the same pattern bear itself out.
   32. Jeff K. Posted: September 15, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3322294)
Including those that will criticize any outlier projection, and its failure, as an indictment of the projection system as a whole. We're all suspicious of those outliers; most of us don't bother using them as a stick to beat someone with. For months on end.

This assumes this is about Colin: For what it's worth, and as much fun as I make of him over it, I thought Colin did brilliantly with this. He thought it was wrong, he asked questions first of others around (a couple of Lounge diversions), then of those more and more in the know, addressed direct questions to the principals, and then did his own examination and discovered a systematic issue. I don't know what more one could ask for.
   33. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 04:43 PM (#3322297)
PECOTA's projection was ridiculous, and I think people were right to criticize it. I'm pretty sure they screwed up their translations.


See #31, actually there was an article somewhere (Hardball Times?) that said that BPro's translations for two leagues EL and the Carolina League (both Wieter's leagues) seemed way off- league difficulty was messed up- EL seemed to be as difficult as the PCL/IL, based on their translations, and the Carolina League was as difficult as the SL and the TxL...

Wieters has underperformed other projections, but Pecota was seemingly based on bad translations to begin with- so they massively overshot...
   34. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: September 15, 2009 at 04:50 PM (#3322306)
Yeah, at THT. I'm pretty sure the EL and CL were the same issue - league translations for the low minors are based on chaining, and so if the EL translation is screwed up the CL translation is going to be screwed up in roughly the same direction.

Wieters was a "perfect storm" sort of case (because he had ONLY played in those leagues) but there are dozens of projections affected by these issues to some extent. As noted, I intend to do a followup for THT after the season.
   35. Jeff K. Posted: September 15, 2009 at 04:56 PM (#3322319)

See #31, actually there was an article somewhere (Hardball Times?)


Written by another Plaschke, Mariotti, Justice, Chass-style old-school know-nothing hack, no doubt.
   36. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3322321)
Written by another Plaschke, Mariotti, Justice, Chass-style old-school know-nothing hack, no doubt.


You two friends?
   37. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: September 15, 2009 at 05:00 PM (#3322326)
CW - that was a good article, I'd forgotten about it. I presume BPro never responded - that's a pretty big deal allegation.
   38. Jeff K. Posted: September 15, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3322337)
You two friends?

Colin tolerates me. If you call that being friends, and I do because I am desperate for human contact in any form, then he is my best friend ever.
   39. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 05:08 PM (#3322341)
Yeah, at THT. I'm pretty sure the EL and CL were the same issue - league translations for the low minors are based on chaining, and so if the EL translation is screwed up the CL translation is going to be screwed up in roughly the same direction.


did you ever hear from them?
   40. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: September 15, 2009 at 05:37 PM (#3322391)
Not really. I've talked with some people at BP about it but haven't gotten a productive comment out of it. They seem content to simply remain silent on the issue.

To drag out the beating stick one more time:

Any young player looking to receive a Wieters-style PECOTA projection and become an instant fantasy (and real-world) darling should follow a simple formula. First, dominate your league. Second, be the appropriate age for your league; PECOTA is properly skeptical of four-year college players who beat up on high school pitchers as 24-year-old players in short-season rookie ball. Third, do not rely too much on your ballpark to help you. Oh, and if it's not too much trouble, fourth, do your best to show no weaknesses in any phase of your game. Just like Wieters did last season.


- Steve Goldman, 3/3/09

When there is something you care about, and a group of informed baseball fans takes shots at it, it is sometimes difficult to swallow your response in the name of taking the higher road. As far as the legitimacy of your particular comment. I would argue that there is a lot more transparency than not when it comes to the metrics. I will also say add fantasy is just one baseball audience that we try to serve among many. It exists in parallel to other coverage, not in place of it.


- Steve Goldman, 9/13/09
   41. Blackadder Posted: September 15, 2009 at 06:16 PM (#3322452)
Colin in #40 gets at the real problem. Even if Wieters were just a single outlier instead of symptomatic of a more systematic problem, BP not only failed to acknowledge that the projection was silly but actually wrote a whole article extolling its virtues.
   42. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: September 15, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3322457)
Yup. And citing transparency ... well, that's never been one of that group's virtues (as is their right).
   43. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 06:34 PM (#3322475)
They seem content to simply remain silent on the issue.


I remember back in the 1980s, Bill James made a monumental screw up in how he calculated OWP (offensive winning percentage). OWP was a great idea- but he botched the execution becasue he took a shortcut, he based the denominator not on a league/park neutral number (runs/game) but on the actual r/g in that player's games (he reasoned that since it included both home and away games...)

He then wrote an article claiming that Seitzer was a better hitter (in 1987) than McGwire. The conclusion was absurd, McGwire's OPS was higher, his RC/27 oputs was higher, and McGwire played in a pitcher's park and Seitzer played in a hitter's park (yes KC was a hitters park- a fact James would acknowledge when extolling Royal pitching...)- But Seitzer had a higher OWP...

How did that happen? It happened because McGwire's teammates were better hitters than Seitzer's and the A's pitcher's were worse than the Royals'. IOW he took a great idea- OWP and created something no better than RBI at determining an indivdual's value...

I have never seen James acknowledge that he screwed it up*, nor did he "fix" it (and fixing it was easy), rather he simply abandoned it and moved on to something else...

PECOTA is properly skeptical of four-year college players who beat up on high school pitchers as 24-year-old players in short-season rookie ball.

Look at what Joshua Satin did this year, look at his OBP/SLG compared to the Sallie League average, then consider that his home park had a park factor of .87 (per Dan). One hell of a hidden year, of course 24 in the Sallie League is wee bit old...



* In fact the only comment I have seen from James on the issue took the form of him changing, after the fact, what he claimed OWP was designed to do...
   44. Ron Johnson Posted: September 15, 2009 at 06:56 PM (#3322508)
#43 I'm only about 100% certain that you're mis-remembering the Seitzer/McGwire 1987 thing. The article said something very close to, "look I'm a Royals fan so maybe I don't get to make this argument, but isn't it possible that a 3rd baseman creating 120 runs had a better year than a first-baseman who created 131?"

I'm equally certain he didn't mention that Seitzer used 50 more outs. Nor did he park adjust in making the argument. IOW it wasn't as close as he implied.

Yes he did use a goofy OWP at one point -- just didn't use it for Seitzer/McGwire ROY (unless it was in a different place)
   45. JJ1986 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 07:00 PM (#3322517)
I've seen James write that he was wrong about that somewhere, probably the NBJHBA.
   46. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: September 15, 2009 at 07:03 PM (#3322521)
I remember back in the 1980s, Bill James made a monumental screw up in how he calculated OWP (offensive winning percentage). OWP was a great idea- but he botched the execution becasue he took a shortcut, he based the denominator not on a league/park neutral number (runs/game) but on the actual r/g in that player's games (he reasoned that since it included both home and away games...)

He then wrote an article claiming that Seitzer was a better hitter (in 1987) than McGwire. The conclusion was absurd, McGwire's OPS was higher, his RC/27 oputs was higher, and McGwire played in a pitcher's park and Seitzer played in a hitter's park (yes KC was a hitters park- a fact James would acknowledge when extolling Royal pitching...)- But Seitzer had a higher OWP...


Even my 11-year-old self who would have really liked to believe that Seitzer had the better rookie year and unable to recognize the methodical error was unconvinced by that piece. That being said, given the amount of work necessary to write the Abstracts it's impressive how few blunders James made.
   47. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: September 15, 2009 at 07:47 PM (#3322562)
Regarding #30/34 - believe me, I remember all of it, Colin, and you were 100% right and they were 100% wrong. And clearly, there was a methodological problem as you showed very clearly. Actually a followup after the season, showing the underperformance of those players against their projections, would indeed be useful.

Re Blackadder in #41 - so what? They were wrong, then they tried to defend being wrong and ended up more wrong. It's one projection. If the lesson is to be skeptical of single data points, I think we can take that as read. I think that none of those comments made by BP gainsay or even mitigate the fundamental point, which is that player projections (especially statistical player projections) need to be taken with salt. And so we should do so. As MARCEL shows quite well, player projection is just a game.
   48. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 07:51 PM (#3322567)
#43 I'm only about 100% certain that you're mis-remembering the Seitzer/McGwire 1987 thing.


I'm 100% certain he used OWP as a part of his argument, in fact, he started off his whole argument by observing that Seitzer had a higher OWP... He didn't explain OWP in that article, he merely used it the way someone here will use OPS+ of EQA, and assumed his readers would know what he meant.

I'm equally certain he didn't mention that Seitzer used 50 more outs.
no he didn't

Nor did he park adjust in making the argument.
No he didn't- if he HAD I'm sure the article would not have been written, it was his error in calculating OWP that lead to his erroneous belief that Seitzer's was higher, that was really the jumping off point.

Basically, let's say that Sean Forman messed up on data entry one day, and one team, got pegged with a .90 park factor when it should have been 1.05, and an unheralded ROY candidate on that team had a listed OPS+ of 130 when it should have been 115. And people would look at that BBREF page and likely take it at face value, and pretty soon you would have people arguing that he's better than some other rookie who only has a 127... and pretty soon the argument would diverge into a discussion of positional adjustments and defense...

and the next day Forman would fix the glitch and the next post in that thread would be WTF

McGwire in 1987 had an OPS+ of 164, an OWP of .727 (per BBREF) Seitzer had an OPS+ of 128 and an OWP of .648. James calculated the OWP for everyone back then, and when he did it for the 1988 Abstract, being a Royals fan he couldn't help but notice that Seitzer's was higher than McGwire's

Now he could have done 3 things:
1: say how about that and let it pass
2: Say, hmmm something is wrong here, McGwire has a higher OBP X SLG and plays in harder park to hit in.... (and James had written extensively by then about how difficult Oakland Coliseum was for hitters)
3: Say, hey! Thats' not fair, not only does Seitzer play a tougher defensive position, but he's better hitter too! I'm going to write about this!

He chose #3.
   49. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 08:02 PM (#3322583)
I've seen James write that he was wrong about that somewhere, probably the NBJHBA.


In the NBJHBA He wrote that he was wrong to believe that Seitzer would be the next George Brett...

If you cross reference his winshares tables you'd notice that he gives McGwire quite a few more winshares in 1987 than Seitzer, but I didn't notice him explicitly mentioning that he was wrong about 87Seitzer v. 87McGwire...

That being said, given the amount of work necessary to write the Abstracts it's impressive how few blunders James made.

I have every Abstract from 1982 onward, and the later Bills James Baseball books.

What was impressive was he asked questions, someone would say that Nolan Ryan was worth $X to a team because attendance was up because fans came out to see him. James would take that quote and
would look up the paid attendance for every game started by Ryan and compare it to games when Ryan didn't pitch.

No one else was doing that back then (at least not to a wide audience).

What amazed me then (it no longer amazes me) what that some people got pissed off by stuff like that- basically they didn't WANT TO KNOW THAT SOMETHING THEY BELIEVED WAS UNTRUE

A lot of what James writes now saddens me because he's changed (haven't we all), he is no longer inquisitive as he once was, he's quicker to defend conventional wisdom now where before he was quicker to attack it. I get the impression he does not like where the sabr revolution has gone, worst of all I've read hints that he's not above behaving like Seymour Swioff in some ways.

He is still THE GREATEST figure in the history of sabrmetrics.
   50. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 15, 2009 at 08:07 PM (#3322593)
People don't want to believe there is no God either - this surprises you?
   51. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 15, 2009 at 09:38 PM (#3322756)
People don't want to believe there is no God either - this surprises you?

After seeing Wieters, can you really blame them?
   52. rlc Posted: September 15, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3322776)
Since the national media are not entirely convinced that the Orioles exist (one game on the MLB network, one on ESPN) I haven't seen Wieters play very much, but his numbers are very puzzling to me in one respect:
Level    vRHP   vLHP
Minors   .961  1.146
Majors   .761   .567 

I can't find a source for college splits from '04-07, but my recollection is that Wieters was also significantly more successful against lefties at Georgia Tech.

So what gives? Are major league LHP qualitatively different from those in the minors and college in a way that major league RHP are not? I wish I had the minor league splits for other switch-hitters so I could see if there's a precedent for someone to struggle to adjust so much more on his strong side.
   53. puck Posted: September 15, 2009 at 10:26 PM (#3322824)
The article said something very close to, "look I'm a Royals fan so maybe I don't get to make this argument, but isn't it possible that a 3rd baseman creating 120 runs had a better year than a first-baseman who created 131?"


Wow, you have a good memory. You both do, actually, but Ron is almost quoting the article.

Here's what he wrote in the '88 Abstract:


"There are some arguments that I am, as a Royals' fan, not allowed to make...As a Royals' fan, I have zero chance of convincing anybody that Seitzer was a better player.


"...Still, McGwire was a slightly superior offensive player. Seitzer created an estimated 120 runs, or 7.03 per game (27 outs); McGwire created an estimated 131 runs or 8.61 per game. Their offensive winning percentages were .754 for McGwire, .724 for Seitzer. McGwire was better, but it was close.

Defensively, Seitzer has a big edge...[Not typing all that in, but notes McG moved from 3rd to first and Seitzer played well at 3rd]...

My argument would be, shouldn't defense count for something? Is a first baseman who creates 131 runs really more valuable than a third baseman who creates 120? Wouldn't it be worth a few runs if McGwire could have played third base?


McGwire had a higher OWP, but they do seem far too close given the RC/27.
   54. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 10:30 PM (#3322832)
So what gives?


SMALL SAMPLE SIZE ALERT
he has 121 PAs against LHPs

he could be a true talent .300/.400/.550 hitter against lefties and still put up a .200/.250/.300 line in 100 PAs
   55. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 15, 2009 at 10:39 PM (#3322842)
Well, in Dan's defense, he was projecting Wieters on only 550 PA, all in the Minors to boot, which adds additional uncertainty - forecasting is tough enough when you have two or three times that much data to work with.

Shouldn't that result in, like, a shitload of regression to the mean?

(Maybe it did and Wieters' MiL numbers were just that good.)
   56. JPWF13 Posted: September 15, 2009 at 10:46 PM (#3322851)
"There are some arguments that I am, as a Royals' fan, not allowed to make...As a Royals' fan, I have zero chance of convincing anybody that Seitzer was a better player.


I remember that

"...Still, McGwire was a slightly superior offensive player. Seitzer created an estimated 120 runs, or 7.03 per game (27 outs); McGwire created an estimated 131 runs or 8.61 per game. Their offensive winning percentages were .754 for McGwire, .724 for Seitzer. McGwire was better, but it was close.


my memory is bad- I distinctly remember that James claimed Seitzer's OWP was higher...
But my memory concerning HOW James calculated OWP is accurate I am glad to say:

McGwire: 8.61 r/g, the A's scored 806 and gave up 789, that gives 4.92, pythag 8.61 against 4.92 and you get .754
Seitzer: 7.03 R/g, the Royals scored and allowed 715 and 691, that gives 4.34 runs a game, Pythag 7.03 against that and you get .724

If he did OWP correctly (IMHO), he would have taken league average R/g: 4.90, and adjusted for park
Oakland's was .93 so (4.90*.93+4.90)/2= 4.73
KC's was 102 so (4.90*1.02+4.90)/2= 4.95

McGwire's OWP = .768
Seitzer's OWP = .669
(using traditional Jamesian pythag- if you use 1.8 power you get lower numbers for each...)
   57. puck Posted: September 15, 2009 at 10:53 PM (#3322863)
Did he calculate OWP that way for the run of the Abstracts, or did something change in '88?

Also, did he never adjust for park? If not, when did park factors become standard?
   58. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: September 15, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3322870)
That being said, given the amount of work necessary to write the Abstracts it's impressive how few blunders James made.
Rereading the '84 annual recently, I noticed a big honking error from James: He claimed the Dodgers, in 1983, got nearly as much out of their catchers that season as the Expos did. Meaning, the Yeager/Fimple/Scioscia combo was right up there with Gary Carter. O RLY?
   59. Jeff K. Posted: September 15, 2009 at 11:05 PM (#3322875)
Just to note, James can't exactly be held harmless even if he had been 100% correct in his calculations. This:

Still, McGwire was a slightly superior offensive player.

is in no way related to this:

McGwire: 8.61 r/g
Seitzer: 7.03 R/g


That's not "slightly" anything. That's at the least a marked, significant difference, even ignoring the basic (and well-known already at the time, of course) concept of decreasing marginal gains at the high end of the spectrum and how that makes gains at the right side of the parabola more valuable than equal gains in the middle. When you factor in that it's harder to get win 5 than win 1, at the levels we're looking at, calling 8.61 vs. 7.03 a slight advantage is just a misstatement of fact.
   60. JPWF13 Posted: September 16, 2009 at 02:13 PM (#3323342)

Still, McGwire was a slightly superior offensive player.

is in no way related to this:

McGwire: 8.61 r/g
Seitzer: 7.03 R/g


No, but he was basing it on a .754 v. .724 OWP (which was calculated badly...)

Did he calculate OWP that way for the run of the Abstracts, or did something change in '88?
as far as I know he always did- he also knew or should have known it wasn't right, he defined OWP much as Forman does: the winning % a team of 9 of this guy would have assuming average pitching and defense- to do that you need to figure out a run scoring park factor for each team - adjust the league level of r/g and use that as [part of] your pythag denominator.
Back in 1980, computing power was FAR less than today, info on home road splits was far less readily available, and...

he got lazy.
He simply said ok, Brett plays fro the Royals, the Royals scored 675 and gave up 625, that's both home and road, that's both Royal batting and pitching and everyone else's batting and pitching, it's CLOSE ENOUGH, to show the run context Brett played in...

You know what? It a team's (reverse)ERA+* and OPS+ add up to 200 (100+100 or 95+105, or close to it)- Jame's "shortcut" works.... for about 1/2 the teams in any given year

But in 1987? The Royals team OPS+ was 93, and the team ERA+ was 118 (Reverse ERA+ approx 82)
That meant Royals games were very low scoring in 1987 BECAUSE they had terrific pitching and bad offense (not quite as extreme as the 2003 Dodgers...) so their rERA+ and OPS+ added up to 175, which is very low.

James never really fixed it- he moved on- eventually to winshares [I'm still amazed at how he decided to finally fox RC when he did winshares- he'd known for years what the main flaw in RC was- it didn't scale up correctly at the extremes- especially if a batter had a VERY high OBP and SLG, his RC would start producing 11 to 12.5 runs/g when 9-10 was more realistic. The problem arose from how he multiplied times on base against total bases- he refused to change that aspect because he insisted it was the RIGHT approach, ERP was better- hell Jame seven printed an article on it once, but ERP was essentially a linear weights formula- and he'd spent years claiming that linear weights modelled offense incorrectly... and then came baseruns- which in some ways even looks like RC... but nope... at some point he just decided he was not going to adopt someone else's idea.

He fixed RC, by swapping a player's statline in and out of a hypothetical team stat line and measured the difference- declaring that was the "correct" way to do it. Well personally, to me, that "fix" while it "works" is evidence of his latter thought processes in the face of better alternatives, besides it doesn't really fix the problem so much as dampening it down.

*reverse ERA+ is team ERA/league ERA so a 95 reverse ERA+ would be equivalent to a 105 ERA+
   61. JPWF13 Posted: September 16, 2009 at 02:19 PM (#3323347)
calling 8.61 vs. 7.03 a slight advantage is just a misstatement of fact.


Especially when you know, as James did, that Oakland's stadium decreased offense, and KC's did the opposite.

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