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Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Aaron Judge’s Decision To Bet on Himself Is Paying Off

Judge’s season line stands at a spicy .303/.371/.657, numbers that would count as superlative even in Coors Field during the era’s highest-offense seasons. In 1968: The Next Generation, that’s enough for a 192 wRC+ and 2.8 WAR; spicy may actually undersell just how dangerous he’s been.

Unlike a lot of similar extension offers, it’s hard to call the Yankees’ unreasonable. Some might compare Judge’s potential deal to what Mike Trout is set to get through his age-38 season, but even ignoring Trout’s strong argument for being the superior player entering the season, the Angels superstar’s contract also started at age 29. Similarly, the extension Mookie Betts signed started at age 28. How much does that matter? Let’s start with the ZiPS projection for Judge entering the 2022 season:

Knocking three years off his age bumps that valuation all the way from $147 million to $232 million. Similarly, if Judge was scheduled to become a free agent at 26, like a number of other young phenoms have, ZiPS would suggest $273 million over seven years or $334 million over 10, comparable to those other players.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 01, 2022 at 10:38 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: aaron judge

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   1. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 01, 2022 at 11:53 AM (#6079344)
Judge’s season line stands at a spicy .303/.371/.657, numbers that would count as superlative even in Coors Field during the era’s highest-offense seasons.


Todd Helton and Larry Walker both beat all three of those figures in 2001. They finished 9th and 24th in the MVP voting.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: June 01, 2022 at 12:12 PM (#6079349)
more relevant:

AJudge 2022 OPS+ - 193, 3rd in AL
Walker 2001 OPS+ - 160, 6th in NL
Helton 2001 OPS+ - 160, 7th in NL
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 01, 2022 at 12:53 PM (#6079354)
Judge’s pace - 18 HRs in the Yankees first 49 games - works out to ~ 60 HRs over 162 games. My guess is that would be sufficient to bump the Yankees offer to the $250M - $275M range. Maybe a bit more if he tops it off with a big playoff performance. Should be an interesting season.
   4. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 01, 2022 at 01:04 PM (#6079355)
It's all good as long as he bet on himself to win.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: June 01, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6079360)
more relevant:

AJudge 2022 OPS+ - 193, 3rd in AL
Walker 2001 OPS+ - 160, 6th in NL
Helton 2001 OPS+ - 160, 7th in NL


So you agree with Tom that Judge's numbers dropped into Coors 2001 wouldn't be so superlative.
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: June 01, 2022 at 02:04 PM (#6079364)
I think 'superlative' is relative to the given league in the given year given a smoothing out of numbers via park factors.

Mickey Mantle's final season, 1968, produced 18 HR, 54 RBI, and a .237 AVG in 144 games - and a 142 OPS+ that was good for 8th in the AL. 8 teams, 64 hitter slots - 8th is good.
   7. John DiFool2 Posted: June 01, 2022 at 02:20 PM (#6079367)
Interesting that his walk rate has consistently declined since his 1st full season where he led the league in BB's; barely over 10% right now.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: June 01, 2022 at 02:27 PM (#6079369)
I think 'superlative' is relative to the given league in the given year given a smoothing out of numbers via park factors.

Mickey Mantle's final season, 1968, produced 18 HR, 54 RBI, and a .237 AVG in 144 games - and a 142 OPS+ that was good for 8th in the AL. 8 teams, 64 hitter slots - 8th is good.


And Aaron Judge's 2022 plopped right down into 2001 Coors Field would also fit the "good" description.* Superlative, not so much.

In 2022, they are truly superlative.

*Todd Hollandsworth's raw OPS of 1.075 that year was good for a 150 OPS+, so Judge's current OPS in 2001 Coors would probably be close to Mickey's 142.



   9. Nasty Nate Posted: June 01, 2022 at 02:46 PM (#6079374)
Could be concerning.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: June 01, 2022 at 03:30 PM (#6079378)
I think 'superlative' is relative to the given league in the given year given a smoothing out of numbers via park factors.

Right and if, as the author of the piece suggests, we took Judge's raw numbers and judged them relative to 2001 Coors, we'd find he was the 3rd best hitter on his team. His OPS+ would have been 138. That's mighty fine ... perhaps you want a debate on the meaning of "superlative."

The lgOBP figure that b-r uses for 2001 Coors is 367. An average player playing half his games in Coors would have put up a 367 OBP. So Judge's 371, just dropped into Coors 2001, is barely above league average. Helton in 2001 had a 432 OBP ... that was only the 5th-best of his career. (FWIW, Walker matched/beat Judge's OBP his last two seasons in Mtl and both his seasons in StL ... 426 in the Col years; he slugged over 700 in 97 and 99.)

So we can safely conclude what was obvious from Tom's first post -- the author's claim that Judge's raw numbers would be superlative even for Coors at the height of sillyball is incorrect.

Now Howie, if you want to start an argument about whether Judge's first two months of 2022 are "superlative given his context", I'm not sure you'll find anybody to argue against you.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: June 01, 2022 at 04:13 PM (#6079388)
Anyway, as we all know, the main question with Judge is durability (as with Walker conveniently enough). As the article notes, ZiPS projects him to be worth about $150 M (18 WAR) over 2023-29 (through age 37). 18 WAR over 7 years isn't a lot. The main issue is that even in year 1, ZiPS -- which is not a playing time projection system -- projects him for only 537 PA and it gets lower by 20-30 every year after that. It's only about 3100 PA over 7 years.

ZiPS also projects a pretty massive decline in quality, especially starting at age 34. I don't know if there's something specific about Judge's profile that drives that. So in 2023, he's proejected to a 897 OPS (unknown context) which is down to 800 by age 34 and 722 by age 36. ZiPS is not optimistic. That seems much too pessimistic to me but I don't who Judge's ZiPS comps are.

When I think massive guys, I think of Frank Thomas (18 WAR 31-37), Willie McCovey (25 WAR 31-37) and Frank Howard (18 WAR 31-37). Ortiz (23 WAR), Cruz (24.5), Ryan Howard (0), Mo Vaughn (3) weren't on the same scale of massive. The most promising comp (again not that massive) is Stargell at 30 WAR. The problem with all of those comps is that Judge is far more athletic than any of them. The only big, athletic guy that springs to mind is Winfield -- 22 WAR 31-36, missed all of age 37 and was never really the same player again.

Of course size is hardly a determinative factor, it might not even really matter at all once we control for performance (and durability?). Frank Robinson (32 WAR) or even Aaron (51 WAR, a god) aren't impossible. People forget how good Jack Clark was (142 OPS+, 30 WAR 22-29) -- 18 WAR in 3100 PA for 31-36. It's the Yanks so Reggie springs to mind: 20 WAR. And what the heck, why not Larry Walker at 33 WAR (in just 3400 PA). That's right, all you folks whinging about Walker missing all that time and he still out-produced almost everybody 31-37.

So I'm guessing ZiPS is low here and something in the 22-25 WAR range is more the expectation. Add 7 WAR to that ZiPS projection and the money probably comes out around $210 M which means that rumored Yanks offer was about right. We'll see how the rest of this season goes. If he keeps this up then the Yanks will up the offer; if he misses substantial time again, he may regret turning down that offer. I'll guess he's popular enough in NY that the Yanks won't pull that offer if he gets hurt (in a recoverable way) but you never know.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: June 01, 2022 at 04:28 PM (#6079390)
if, as the author of the piece suggests, we took Judge's raw numbers and judged them relative to 2001 Coors, we'd find he was the 3rd best hitter on his team. His OPS+ would have been 138. That's mighty fine ... perhaps you want a debate on the meaning of "superlative."

but given the run-scoring environment of Coors in 2001, why would anyone possibly believe that Judge would have anything like the same statistics, and thus be the third-best hitter on the team?

I'm going to win games not just by how many runs I score, but how many runs I score compared to the opposition. #scoreboard

I guess we could drop Walker and Helton into the Phillies' 1930 season, where an 1.123 OPS (Chuck Klein) only got you a 159 OPS+, while Walker got a 160 for a 1.116 and Helton got 160 for a 1.111.

That also strikes me as irrelevant, though. When I was a kid, Pie Traynor often was named as the best 3B ever, because after all, look at his stats - they're better than anyone's!

But that was a half-century ago, and we wouldn't seriously compare raw numbers without context anymore.

check that, I guess it still happens. and yes, the author can be dinged for his overbid.
:)
   13. Stop Oppressing Zonk by Investigating His Heroes Posted: June 01, 2022 at 04:36 PM (#6079391)
That excuse didn't work for Pete Rose...
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: June 01, 2022 at 04:43 PM (#6079395)
but given the run-scoring environment of Coors in 2001, why would anyone possibly believe that Judge would have anything like the same statistics, and thus be the third-best hitter on the team?


No one here has said anything like that.

Tom subtly observed the author's statement was wrong. You either misinterpreted his comment or just decided to counter that claim with something everyone here already understands and acknowledges.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: June 01, 2022 at 04:54 PM (#6079397)
I was just questioning the point of bringing 2001 Rockies into it, by anyone.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: June 01, 2022 at 07:54 PM (#6079435)
I was just questioning the point of bringing 2001 Rockies into it, by anyone.

Blame the author of the piece who wrote the bit Tom quoted. Or blame Retro for quoting that bit if you want. But the author put it in that context, Tom refuted it, you either mistakenly or intentionally missed Tom's point which I (and SoSH and presumably Tom) thought was pretty clear.

Now slot him into the 68 Astrodome and, surprisingly, those raw numbers only move him up to a 208 OPS+. Wynn and Staub both had slightly better OBPs which is impressive. Of course Wynn was barely within 200 points of that SLG.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 03, 2022 at 10:26 PM (#6079810)
20 HRs & a .316/.384/.679 batting line for a 1.063 OPS. Pay the man!
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 04, 2022 at 05:01 PM (#6079868)
Make that 21 HRs / .316 / 1.075 OPS.
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 05, 2022 at 03:35 PM (#6079977)
Hang on - some complex math here. Today was the Yankees 54th game, one-third of the 162 game season, which puts Judge ‘on pace’ to hit 63 HRs. Sixty HRs remains among the rarest of MLB milestones, with only Ruth, Maris, McGwire, Sosa & Bonds hitting that mark, and only the two Yankees doing so without a PED cloud. A 60-HR season would look pretty good at the negotiating table, too.

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