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   1. Nasty Nate Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4374141)
I'm surprised Justin Upton isn't on that top-20 list.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4374144)
Justin Upton is 21st.

Also, it's more than two seasons for Stanton. I meant to fix that and forgot.
   3. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4374146)
Of the free agent outfielders of the past offseason, Shane Victorino has the most VORP from 2010 to 2012.


2nd most, behind Hamilton, right?

Good post, though. Was it inspired by the Passan column linked on the main page? In that article, Passan pointed to Victorino as an example of how the Sox are no longer slaves to the stathead dogma. That struck me as the opposite of the truth.
   4. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4374149)
(And Choo wasn't a FA, right?)
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4374150)
It was inspired by your post in that thread. I collected all the data, and then I was like, this is a blog post. (And now you know... the rest of the story.)

And yes, most after Hamilton. And the cost for Choo was Trevor Bauer.
   6. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4374154)
Another conclusion from this would be: Bourn is a really, really good deal.
   7. ColonelTom Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4374155)
Of course, Victorino's playing RF for Boston instead of CF, which will cut into his VORP with the Sox.
   8. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4374156)
The real surprise in that list to me is Upton. How does his sub-.300 OBP last year allow him to be projected ahead of Hamilton and co.?
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4374157)
I think the problems with Victorino are as follows;

1. He's not a superstar - After unloading Nick Punto and friends there was a lot of hope to bring in a pony and Victorino ain't a pony. I think you're right that he isn't necessarily a bad signing but it's not like the Sox got him at some discount rate either. This isn't Millar or Ortiz or Mueller, this is market value for a good player. That's just not going to generate much excitement.

2. 2011 - Looking at Victorino's track record I think a simple look at the last three years VORP (or anything else) is going to overrate him. He had a heck of a 2011 season but that sticks out against the rest of his career. To reach the +113 VORP over three years you need a 130 OPS+ season in there and that seems unlikely.

3. He doesn't seem like a fit - Napoli made a ton of sense, the Sox needed that type of player. Dempster, hey, you can never have too much pitching. Victorino? He feels, and this probably isn't fair, like a poor man's Carl Crawford. Given that the rich man's version didn't exactly work out it's hard to be excited by the move.

4. The Sox suck - OK, they don't suck but for the last 18 months it's been bad news upon bad news. At this point anything that isn't great news is going to get scorned. For better or worse there is no "in Ben we trust" movement afoot and justifiably so in my view.

I don't think Victorino is a bad signing or a symbol of everything wrong with the Sox' off-season but I don't really see him as a solution. If the Sox make a push to the post-season or 90 wins this year I'll be surprised if Shane Victorino is the reason why.
   10. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4374159)
Oh, and hey, here's another very short response: Isn't Trevor Bauer a top-20 prospect? That seems like a far cry from FA.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4374160)
Yes. Didn't mean to imply anything different.
   12. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4374162)
Of course, Victorino's playing RF for Boston instead of CF, which will cut into his VORP with the Sox.


It should hurt his fake VORP but not his real value in any significant way. One way of looking at it: giving Victorino credit for the positional adjustment of being a CF gives him credit for being an overqualified RF, if that makes any sense.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4374163)
I don't think Victorino is a bad signing or a symbol of everything wrong with the Sox' off-season but I don't really see him as a solution.
The Red Sox need a near-CF quality glove in right to handle Fenway. Shane Victorino is a very good offensive player who is also a near-CF quality glove for right field. He makes perfect sense as a fit.
   14. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4374172)
One of the other problems is that Victorino was a media darling for his grit, IIRC. For a long time, I didn't realize his stathead bona fides were so strong--I just assumed he was overrated. (Same with Rollins)
   15. tfbg9 Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4374173)
The Red Sox need a near-CF quality glove in right to handle Fenway. Shane Victorino is a very good offensive player who is also a near-CF quality glove for right field. He makes perfect sense as a fit.


Agree. On paper at least. But like you said, last year's struggles at the plate are a little scary. And how is his OF arm rated?
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4374181)
Agree. On paper at least.
Yes. To be clear, I am concerned about Victorino's injury history and possible related decline. My point here isn't that Victorino is a guaranteed bet, just, exactly as you say, that he's a good bet on paper. Statheads like things on paper.
And how is his OF arm rated?
Quite good. Victorino has played about a full season in right over his career, and his arm has been above average both there and in CF, by the numbers. He doesn't have a cannon, but the strength is good and the accuracy and release are well above average.
   17. tfbg9 Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4374191)
the strength is good and the accuracy and release are well above average.


And he gets to the ball quickly, which holds runners. I assume. He's the Flyin' Hawaiian. Whenever I hear "Victorino", I think of "Beefarino".
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4374192)
Why is he cited as the symbol of everything that’s wrong with the Red Sox offseason, by people who generally identify as statheads?


Shane Victorino vs. RHP, by year:

2012: .229/.296/.333
2011: .270/.333/.455
2010: .233/.305/.376

Career: .267/.330/.402
   19. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4374194)
Whenever I hear "Victorino", I think of "Beefarino".


Great. I'll add this to "Lisa Needs Braces" on my list of things I will unsuccessfully try not to think of when certain Sox players bat/pitch in 2013.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4374200)
Career: .267/.330/.402


That's not too different from BJ Upton (.253/.324/.418). And it doesn't really answer the quoted question.

FWIW: lefty starters in the division include Sabathia, Pettitte, Wei-Yin Chen, Price, Matt Moore, Buehrle, and Romero. Is that more/less/average compared to what one usually faces in-division? (legit question, I don't know the answer).

   21. tfbg9 Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4374201)
Lisa Needs Braces


Dont get it. I know its the Simpsons, but that is as far as I get it.
   22. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4374204)
And Corey Hart's a FA next year. Might fit nicely at 1B.
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4374206)
That's not too different from BJ Upton (.253/.324/.418).


Upton isn't a 32-year-old on the downhill half of his career.

And of course, Upton's actual L/R splits aren't predictive, since he's a RHB instead of a switch-hitter like Victorino.
   24. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4374210)
@21: Someone mentioned at one point that Hanrahan's name reminded them of the "Dental Plan" loop that plays in Homer's head. Weird, but there it is.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4374211)
Career: .267/.330/.402
Is that supposed to be disqualifying? Victorino has a slightly larger than average platoon split, but that just means (a) random variation and (b) his value is somewhat more concentrated in one set of games than another. Or is the argument that we can extrapolate from the three (incredibly divergent) seasons listed that Victorino projects to be much worse than his career numbers against RHP? I would guess that regression to the mean will be a far larger factor in Victorino's projected platoon split.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4374215)
And of course, Upton's actual L/R splits aren't predictive, since he's a RHB instead of a switch-hitter like Victorino.
All platoon splits are predictive. You just need large samples, and in the case of RHB, very large samples. Two or three seasons of a switch-hitter still require a lot of regression to be useful, as you can see in the divergences between 2011 and 2010/2012.
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4374237)
If Shane Victorino can put up 3-4 WAR and play an above average RF, it will be a nice victory for the front office - they've had so many misses lately, getting this one right would be a bit of redemption. Certainly to me it would be a much bigger victory than the 2004 ALCS.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4374249)

Upton isn't a 32-year-old on the downhill half of his career.


That's why he got a much bigger contract. And if Victorino's age is what you are getting at, why not list that instead of his recent RHP splits? ... for the record, I am one of the people who didn't like the Victorino signing much.

And of course, Upton's actual L/R splits aren't predictive, since he's a RHB instead of a switch-hitter like Victorino.


I don't understand.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4374268)
Is that supposed to be disqualifying?


It provides context for his more recent numbers, to show that he's trending down.

All platoon splits are predictive. You just need large samples, and in the case of RHB, very large samples.


And Upton's aren't even close to large enough, so they're not predictive.

And if Victorino's age is what you are getting at, why not list that instead of his recent RHP splits?


No, I'm getting at the splits. The age is just there for context, to show a possible reason why his numbers against RHP are getting worse.

I don't understand.


Today in Classic Primer: Link.
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4374273)

And Upton's aren't even close to large enough, so they're not predictive.
Neither is the sample for the "trend" in Victorino's platoon numbers which you're making the core of your argument.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4374275)
It provides context for his more recent numbers, to show that he's trending down.


It doesn't show him trending down, it shows him going up and then going down. In short, it shows the zig-zagging around his career numbers that you would expect from small samples.

Today in Classic Primer: Link.


Thanks, I will give it a read.
   32. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4374277)
There are reasons to worry about Victorino. He was relatively poor this last season. Sometimes when players have a down season, it’s a sign of more, badder things to come. Usually it isn’t.

Is this true for old centerfielders? If I had to guess I'd guess for old players a 'relatively poor' season portends a cliff dive more often than it does for younger players, and that for guys in skill positions it portends a cliff dive more often than it does for guys at the corners.
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:50 PM (#4374281)
It provides context for his more recent numbers, to show that he's trending down.
As Nate says, Victorino is not trending down. He was consistently good from 2007 through 2010, had his career best season in 2011 and followed it up with a mediocre season in 2012. There is no trend to explain, and the platoon split numbers wouldn't do that even if a trend existed.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4374287)
Is this true for old centerfielders? If I had to guess I'd guess for old players a 'relatively poor' season portends a cliff dive more often than it does for younger players, and that for guys in skill positions it portends a cliff dive more often than it does for guys at the corners.

You have it exactly opposite. The plodding 1B/LF/DH/RF with "old player" skills are the guys who collapse early. The good athletes tend to age better.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4374288)
If I had to guess I'd guess for old players a 'relatively poor' season portends a cliff dive more often than it does for younger players, and that for guys in skill positions it portends a cliff dive more often than it does for guys at the corners.
It's certainly possible, and it's somewhat more possible the older you are. But there have been no good studies that demonstrate a method for distinguishing statistically cliff dives from normal/fluky down seasons. Methods for predicting cliff dives, though many sound plausible, have no rigorous support in the literature.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4374289)
There is no trend to explain, and the platoon split numbers wouldn't do that even if a trend existed.


Well, he may be in the midst of a trend (given his age), but one sub-standard year is not necessarily proof of it.
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4374290)
You have it exactly opposite. The plodding 1B/LF/DH/RF with "old player" skills are the guys who collapse early. The good athletes tend to age better.
Yes, right - this study is in the '87 Baseball Abstract, it's a good one. I'm not sure if it means that a young-player-skills guy who has a down season is meaningfully less likely to cliff dive, though.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4374293)
My opinion is that purely statistical methods for identifying or predicting of cliff diving or breakouts are mostly bullshit dumps. They sound plausible, but no one's actually shown an ability to do the thing these methods purport to do.

If you want to project something widely divergent from the projection engines, you need your eyes and your knowledge of baseball as support, not the numbers.
   39. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 22, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4374295)
Certainly to me it would be a much bigger victory than the 2004 ALCS.

I support this as a new meme.
   40. Darren Posted: February 22, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4374298)
Certainly to me it would be a much bigger victory than the 2004 ALCS.


Which one was that? Was that when the Sox lost to Tampa Bay? Or one where they beat Cleveland? To be honest, I get them all mixed up in my head.
   41. tfbg9 Posted: February 22, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4374306)
Which one was that?


It was the one that a mostly disinterested Andy could barely be bothered to peek-in on, as he watched Matlock on another station.
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4375547)
If you want to project something widely divergent from the projection engines, you need your eyes and your knowledge of baseball as support, not the numbers.


Well, to my eyes, he looked pretty damn terrible last year, too. Like someone took film of a guy aging and played it at 2x speed.
   43. Dale Sams Posted: February 25, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4375567)
RE Victorino's arm: It's just quibbling, but I would put it 'cannon range' for two reasons.

1) A guy i work with it a Phanatic. hard-core. And he always praised his arm.

2) I saw the Phillies in Colorado this year, and this happened.

Sorry..I can't get it to link to the direct video. It's under highlights where Shane doubles a guy off first.
   44. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4375601)
Like someone took film of a guy aging and played it at 2x speed.


If so, how does one reconcile that with him stealing a career-high 39 bases?
   45. dave h Posted: February 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4375606)
If so, how does one reconcile that with him stealing a career-high 39 bases?


Well, he was going at 2x speed. I'm surprised he could only steal 39.
   46. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4375608)
If so, how does one reconcile that with him stealing a career-high 39 bases?


The speed he was losing was in his bat, not his legs. That'll probably go sooner or later as well, of course.

If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. I took a close look at Victorino last year because there were rumors about the Pirates trading for him near the deadline, and I concluded that I didn't want the guy.
   47. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4375610)

The speed he was losing was in his bat, not his legs. That'll probably go sooner or later as well, of course.

If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine.


Thanks. I didn't see any of Victorino last year (that I remember), so I have no basis to disagree. And others have written similar things.

Maybe I'm trying to talk myself into liking an acquisition I initially didn't like.
   48. dave h Posted: February 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4375615)
2) I saw the Phillies in Colorado this year, and this happened.

That was just a bizarre play. Total miscalculation at several points by the baserunner, and then Howard decides to go for the tag instead of the force, though it works anyway.
   49. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 25, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4375624)
Certainly to me it would be a much bigger victory than the 2004 ALCS.

I support this as a new meme


What am I missing?

2) I saw the Phillies in Colorado this year, and this happened.

Besides the head-scratcher by Colvin (and Howard) on this play, was that even much of a throw to be impressed by from Victo? An arcing one-hopper to first from shallow LCF?
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: February 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4375628)
What am I missing?


Post 81 in this thread.

A few of us were a little skeptical of Andy's accounting.
   51. villageidiom Posted: February 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4375631)
What am I missing?
Hyperbolic revisionism in another thread.
   52. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4375637)
Thank you, SOSH. That'll teach me to take a few days off (actually, I had quit on that thread just before the relevant section, figuring it would be just more of the same - in fact it appears to have begun to approach the PLATONIC IDEAL of same. Incredible. Just from 70-99, Andy does that, YR is hilarious, Sam is perfect Sam, CFB doesn't get it, I agree completely with SBB for the first time ever... just an absolutely stellar series of posts. I can't wait to plow through the next couple of pages next time I'm taking a dump. Thanks again.)!

Anyway, I'm on board 100%.
   53. villageidiom Posted: February 25, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4375653)
I can't wait to plow through the next couple of pages next time I'm taking a dump.
That'll make that dump even better than the 2004 ALCS, if it wasn't already.
   54. Dale Sams Posted: February 25, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4375658)
An arcing one-hopper to first from shallow LCF?


I think it goes pretty far, and Shane is backing up a bit when he catchs it.

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