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Friday, September 23, 2011

Baseball America: A’s Have Struggled To Live Up To ‘Moneyball’s’ Promises

Squareheads Of The Round Table Discussion

The A’s quietly stepped away from the mantras of “Moneyball.” By 2006, they used their top pick on high school pitcher Trevor Cahill, a refutation of the principles that dictated that premium picks should not be squandered on prep pitchers. Fuson returned to the organization before the 2010 season as a special adviser.

The draft strategy that Lewis touted simply did not work. The A’s elevated on-base ability to the level of the most coveted tool, and the organization found itself with one-dimensional players who could not find positions or excel in the majors, leaving the A’s short on talent and struggling at the big league level. For a small-market team, drafting and development is critical, and the draft had failed the Athletics.

So as “Moneyball,” the movie, hits theaters, Moneyball, the philosophy, collapses into rubble, and “Moneyball,” the book, begins to look like a literary antiquity.

Old hands will call this the wages of hubris and mutter about the Baseball Gods. In retrospect, it was preposterous to boast about the genius of a plan that had never been tested. Viewing the book now, eight years after publication, is like walking through a museum of the obsolete. Not only does Lewis gloat about the inevitable success of the A’s new approach, but he extols the virtues of derivatives and Wall Street brilliance. That does not carry the same luster in 2011.

Repoz Posted: September 23, 2011 at 01:32 PM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, books, history, media, sabermetrics

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   1. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 23, 2011 at 02:00 PM (#3933941)
he extols the virtues of derivatives and Wall Street brilliance. That does not carry the same luster in 2011.


Jonah Keri is going to open up a can of whoop-ass.
   2. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 23, 2011 at 02:43 PM (#3933997)
The A’s quietly stepped away from the mantras of “Moneyball.” By 2006, they used their top pick on high school pitcher Trevor Cahill, a refutation of the principles that dictated that premium picks should not be squandered on prep pitchers.


Other than Billy Beane writing another book, that's about as loudly stepping away from the alleged mantras of Moneyball as you can get.
   3. Bote Man Posted: September 23, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3934240)
Jonah Keri is going to open up a can of whoop-ass.

Or Jonah Hill.
   4. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 23, 2011 at 07:36 PM (#3934299)
It really does seem strange that the A's allowed that much access. I mean, what did they expect to happen after publicly announcing that the reason they were doing well despite having a tiny payroll was that other teams undervalued OBP?

And I know that the theory is about "undervaluing", not about "OBP", but that's the main undervalued thing that they knew about. They gave it away, and seemingly didn't have anything significant to replace it with once it was no longer undervalued.
   5. Bob Tufts Posted: September 23, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3934312)
It really does seem strange that the A's allowed that much access. I mean, what did they expect to happen after publicly announcing that the reason they were doing well despite having a tiny payroll was that other teams undervalued OBP?



So true - in Keri's book, the Rays senior management goes out of its way to keep a cone of silence on their activities.
   6. flournoy Posted: September 23, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#3934324)
I think it's beyond time to recognize that if so many people have misunderstood the premise of Moneyball, that failure lies with the book, not the readers.

As far as the high school vs. college question, I don't think it helps that my memory (and it's been a long time since I've read the book) of the draft scene consists of the Athletics contingent gleeful over the stupidity of these dumbass teams selecting high school players. And of course, the Pirates were idiotic for selecting a pitcher with the first pick, but hey, at least they chose a college pitcher like Bryan Bullington.
   7. Squash Posted: September 23, 2011 at 08:36 PM (#3934339)
It really does seem strange that the A's allowed that much access. I mean, what did they expect to happen after publicly announcing that the reason they were doing well despite having a tiny payroll was that other teams undervalued OBP?

Yeah this as an A's fan is kind of annoying. It was probably going to happen soon regardless once their executives moved on to other organizations, but still. That being said, the book wasn't originally intended to be only about the A's - Lewis has said it was supposed to be about how small-market sports teams competed with big ones or something like that, with the A's as a chapter. Once he got to Oakland and saw he had a colorful class of characters, that changed. Supposedly Beane's reaction on getting the first galley was "horrified".

I think it's beyond time to recognize that if so many people have misunderstood the premise of Moneyball, that failure lies with the book, not the readers.

I think it's important to keep the phrase "vested interest" in mind. The uproar over Moneyball is partially about tradition, but it's mostly about jobs and money.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#3934343)
But did the A's draft strategy fail? I'm asking, not telling although some numbers follow:

The 2001 draft produced 25 WAR. Unfortunately for the A's, most of that for other teams. Also I guess Ethier didn't sign that year so it's really 13 WAR
2002: 58 WAR (Moneyball draft)
2003: 12 WAR (all Ethier) ... 1st round picks #25 and #26
2004: 25 WAR (Street, Suzuki, Braden) ... 1st round 24, 26, 40
2005: 8 WAR (Pennington, Smoak unsigned) ... picks 21 and 36
2006: 16 WAR (Cahill, Bailey) ... no 1st round pick ... yes their "anti-Moneyball" top pick was #66.

and in 2007? After picking Cahill and moving away from Moneyball? Their first 12 picks were college players. In 2008, there does seem to have been a shift to JC players (3 in the top 9) but the first HS player wasn't picked until round 10. In 2009, they did use a round 4 and round 7 pick on HS players. They don't really move away from it until 2010 when 4 of the first 5 picks are HS. But in 2011, the top HS pick is #9.

Anyway, the draft experts can chime in but that looks like pretty standard production for a draft, especially when picking that late. And becoming good and therefore picking late is a good chunk of the reason why the A's drafts didn't produce great players. And other than 2010, there's no evidence the A's haven't maintained a strong preference for college players.

What continues to interest, but not surprise, me is that only the Moneyball approach is subject to scrutiny. It is simply assumed that the scouting approach works. If the A's don't draft brilliantly, their approach is a failure with no evidence offered that the traditional approach works.
   9. Stormy JE Posted: September 23, 2011 at 08:42 PM (#3934344)
It really does seem strange that the A's allowed that much access. I mean, what did they expect to happen after publicly announcing that the reason they were doing well despite having a tiny payroll was that other teams undervalued OBP?

Read the "Afterword" in the paperback. As Lewis describes it, Beane was horrified after reading the draft. In fairness to the A's, Lewis did not know what he was going to write before spending time with Beane and others in and around the club.
   10. bads85 Posted: September 23, 2011 at 08:42 PM (#3934345)
I think it's beyond time to recognize that if so many people have misunderstood the premise of Moneyball, that failure lies with the book, not the readers.


I think a bigger problem is that many people that speak about the book have never read the book. Bouton had the same problem with Ball Four, -- some of his harshest critics never read the book.
   11. flournoy Posted: September 23, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3934353)
I think it's important to keep the phrase "vested interest" in mind. The uproar over Moneyball is partially about tradition, but it's mostly about jobs and money.


I think a bigger problem is that many people that speak about the book have never read the book. Bouton had the same problem with Ball Four, -- some of his harshest critics never read the book.


I appreciate both of those points. I still fault Lewis for this, though. There wouldn't have been such a backlash to the book (largely from folks with a vested interest in the status quo) if he hadn't adopted such a confrontational tone. I also realize that his confrontational tone was a huge part of what made the book so successful, so Lewis clearly made the right decision for himself.

I'm not really sure what my point is, other than that for all the good things Moneyball did, it did some things pretty poorly as well.
   12. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: September 23, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3934358)
And I know that the theory is about "undervaluing", not about "OBP", but that's the main undervalued thing that they knew about. They gave it away, and seemingly didn't have anything significant to replace it with once it was no longer undervalued.

The thing they moved to was clearly fielding. The reason they've fallen on their faces has been an utter failure to develop position players, and that rather obviously has nothing to do with having given away their secrets.
   13. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: September 23, 2011 at 08:58 PM (#3934361)
And becoming good and therefore picking late is a good chunk of the reason why the A's drafts didn't produce great players.


Not buying it. This isn't the NBA or NFL draft we're talking about here.
   14. JJ1986 Posted: September 23, 2011 at 09:05 PM (#3934364)
The reason they've fallen on their faces has been an utter failure to develop position players


Why is this? Do the A's spend less than other teams on minor league hitting instruction? Is it the fault of big league coaches? Is their park so horrible? It's been a fairly systematic failure since Swisher.
   15. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: September 23, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#3934375)
Good article by Crasnick on the moneyball draft.
   16. flournoy Posted: September 23, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3934377)
Is their park so horrible?


That I wouldn't buy. Is their park any different than it used to be? This is the team that developed Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, and a bunch of other guys. They didn't used to have problems developing hitters in that park.
   17. Xpgdxbq Posted: September 23, 2011 at 09:27 PM (#3934385)

I think it's beyond time to recognize that if so many people have misunderstood the premise of Moneyball, that failure lies with the book, not the readers.


That is not especially fair when many of its most vocal critics have not read the book, or had already formed an opinion before they read the book.

I also find it funny that people are patting themselves on the back about the A's doing stuff "differently" than in 2002.

1) Doing things that are different is the point.

2) Even if you were to grant that point, it's not like the A's are now winning 100 games a year now that they've "abandoned Moneyball."
   18. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 23, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#3934386)
Walt,

I actually ran through a number of teams like that and the A's indeed did perform quite well comparatively. Part of that had to do with never signing Type A free agents (this has hurt their cross town rivals), but then that's strategy as well and one that hasn't seemed to work out so well for the Giants.

Also their position players aren't as bad as they're being made out to be. They had Swisher in 2002, Ethier in 2003, Suzuki in 2004, Pennington in 2005 and now Jemile Weeks in 2008. Their crosstown rivals over that span have Buster Posey, Nate Schierholtz and Fred Lewis so far.

Where they've struggled is not in talent acquisition but in talent aggregation. They've had trouble putting together a full team at the same time, and my theory has been the revolving door of talent has prevented them from doing that.

Now if you want to start talking about a failure in international players, that's a different story.
   19. Swedish Chef Posted: September 23, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#3934398)
Their crosstown rivals over that span have Buster Posey, Nate Schierholtz and Fred Lewis so far.

So the A's are better than a team known for being worthless at developing hitters.
   20. Khrushin it bro Posted: September 23, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#3934400)
Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez


Count the back pimplzzzzz!!!!111!!
   21. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 23, 2011 at 10:12 PM (#3934406)
They're better than a lot of teams. Basically they're better than most teams who didn't have a bunch of top 5 picks over that span. In their division:

The Rangers had Kinsler in the 17th round in 2003 and John Mayberry who has been a bust until this year but otherwise their best position players are all guys with 1 WAR or less (with Smoak still to be determined). The Angels so far have Howie Kendrick, Sean Rodriguez, Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos (and Hank Conger still to be determined and then Trout in 2009). And the Mariners are Adam Jones, a few guys they didn't sign and otherwise absolutely nothing on the position player front.

Walt's got it right. The A's draft and in particular the 2002 draft is being judged against a silly and impossible standard that no one else matches either. The A's 2002 draft was actually quite a good one. Getting Swisher and Blanton with those first two picks makes it a good draft even with goose eggs after. They did get Ziegler as well in that draft and a couple other guys who were decent big leaguers for a bit in Burton and Baker. What do people think teams normally produce in a draft?
   22. Swedish Chef Posted: September 23, 2011 at 10:44 PM (#3934419)
The A's draft and in particular the 2002 draft is being judged against a silly and impossible standard that no one else matches either.

Sure, the A's had a good draft, wasting picks on players that would be there later notwithstanding.

If only some writer hadn't needed to fit the draft into a narrative about how they were transforming baseball all would have been well.
   23. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: September 23, 2011 at 10:51 PM (#3934420)
The A's draft and in particular the 2002 draft is being judged against a silly and impossible standard that no one else matches either.

Sure, the A's had a good draft, wasting picks on players that would be there later notwithstanding.

If only some writer hadn't needed to fit the draft into a narrative about how they were transforming baseball all would have been well.


Right. Swisher and Blanton were perfectly cromulent first round picks, the ones any dumbass GM would make in a similar situation.
   24. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 23, 2011 at 11:02 PM (#3934425)
So the criticism of the A's approach is what, exactly? That they let Lewis write a book about them?

By reading the above article, you'd get the distinct impression that the A's were one of the worst drafting teams in baseball from 2002-2008, rather than being solidly above average. How is that fair?
   25. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2011 at 11:37 PM (#3934447)
Not buying it. This isn't the NBA or NFL draft we're talking about here.

Not buying what? That the payoff on late draft slots is low? That the payoff from 2nd round or later is low?

Do you realize that, by Chone WAR, Swisher is already somewhere around the 250th-275th best position player ever drafted (it's hard to do an exact P-I search on this sort of thing). He is the 4th best 16th pick in history with a chance at #3. Only 16 #16 picks have reached 2 career WAR.

Hey, Sam Horn himself was a #16 pick -- 1.4 WAR.

Looking at some of the rest of the Moneyball draft. Blanton was the #24 pick and he's the 5th best #24 of all-time with a chance at #4. (Chad Billingsley is already #3.) The infamous Jeremy Brown was a #35 pick and with 0 WAR, he's the 13th best of all-time (by simple virtue of making the majors). Teahen was #39 and, who knew, Chone gives him -1.7 career WAR but that still puts him in the top half by making the majors (the man does have 2900 PAs so he's been fooling lots of people for a long time).

The 2003 draft didn't help. #25 and #26 never made the majors but that's the most likely outcome for those picks. #33 did but he stunk (Quintanilla), also the expected outcome. Their #62 pick was Ethier though and he's only 1.3 WAR away from being the best #62 ever ... unfortunately for other teams.

The 2004 draft was pretty impressive. #24 was Landon Powell who's been a replacement level backup C -- again a good outcome for #24 pick. #26 was Robnett who never made it. #36 was Danny Putnam who wasn't any good but made the majors briefly. #40 was Street, the 4th best #40 of all-time (by a lot and a decent chance at #2 eventually). #49 never made the majors but #67 was Suzuki. He's only the 5th best #67 of all-time -- Reuschel, Guidry, Joyner, and Mike Moore were all #67s. So's Jordan Zimmerman (from the Cubs signing Soriano, you're welcome). And all the way down at pick #727 is Braden -- the #1 #727 pick of all time, just beating out Willie Harris. All told 11 players made the majors from that draft and totalled about 25 WAR so far when you probably couldn't expect (given where they were drafting) more than maybe 3-4 to make the majors and, what, maybe 5 WAR if you were lucky? That was a great draft.

The 2005 draft hasn't done too much. Pennington (#21) is the 9th best of all-time and Buck (#36) is the 7th best of all-time (just a hair behind Randy Johnson and Johnny Bench :-).

The 2006 draft netted them Cahill at #66 and just 2 WAR behind Ryan Dempster [EDIT: Cahill is already the #2 #66 pick of all-time]. Also Andrew Bailey at 188 and he's also #2 and just 1 WAR behind Ken Landreaux. Given where they were picking, hard to say they should have done better than that.

One I'm particularly amused by is noted A's "bust" Bobby Crosby. The #25 pick in 2001, he's tied for the 6th best #25 pick of all-time. Matt Cain is already easily the 2nd best #25 pick of all-time; Matt Garza will soon pass Bill Buckner into 3rd place.

I don't know how anybody can objectively look at those drafts and not think the A's did at least OK and seemingly well above expectation in those drafts. I also don't know how anybody can objectively look at draft outcomes and come away thinking that the traditional model has any sort of impressive track record.
   26. Padgett Posted: September 24, 2011 at 01:20 AM (#3934497)
In case no one else says so, this is tremendous stuff.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2011 at 04:57 AM (#3934597)
One thing the A's draft record does show is something that everybody knows -- the difference between a good draft and a great draft is generally one great (or exceptionally good) player. The A's have not drafted a great player in over a decade -- I believe Swisher is the best.

Anyway, more fun with the draft pages. In the 2002 draft, the Devil Rays had the #2 overall pick and grabbed BJ Upton. He's got a nice 16.7 WAR which would place him 2nd to Swisher among A's picks of the last decade. Upton is the #12 #2 pick of all-time. A median #2 pick is somewhere around Rick Manning, 8 WAR.

Tampa also had the #43 pick. Man is this a cursed selection. They grabbed Jason Pridie who has .1 WAR which makes him the #7 #43 pick of all-time. Only 3 have topped 2 career WAR -- Bob Knepper, Mark Prior (unsigned) and Scott Hatteberg. Heck there are three that have done worse than -2 WAR. All the signed #43 picks in the history of the draft have amassed about 14 WAR.

The Rays did do well in the very late rounds getting Jason Hammel in the 10th and drafting but not signing Pelfrey and Ellsbury.

In 2003, they had the #1 overall pick and grabbed Delmon Young (oops). Their best guy was John Jason at 2.4 WAR at the #338 pick (the #2 #338 pick behind Dan Uggla). They spent a 3rd round pick on Andrew Miller who didn't sign ... which maybe was good for them. Even ignoring Miller, their 2003 draftees totalled -.7 WAR. Delmon Young is one of the worst #1 picks of all time -- only 3 never made the majors.

Holy moly, I've been playing around with these pages for close to an hour and only now realized that at the bottom they give the total and average WAR for the qualifying players. The average will be biased downwards since it will include recent draftees and of course all the active players. In later rounds, it includes unsigned draftees as "major leaguers" if they later make it which kinda screws things up. So 87% of #1 overalls have made the majors (with 3 recent draftees in the denominator) and, among those who made the majors, they've averaged about 20 WAR. Of course that distribution is heavily skewed by Messrs Rodriguez, Griffey and Jones.

In 2004 they used the #4 pick on Jeff Niemann (4.5 WAR vs. an average of 14) but also grabbed Wade Davis at #75 (#7 all-time at 2.1 WAR) and Jake McGee at 135. In 2005, they used #8 to grab Wade Townsend (oops) and their 2nd and 3rd round picks have yet to make the majors either. They did grab Jeremy Hellickson at 118 and he should move into the #2 spot on the #118 list early next year (has a long way to go to catch Mickey Tettleton). They also drafted Tommy Hunter and Ike Davis in late rounds but didn't sign them.

Then in 2006, with the #3 overall pick, they grabbed Longoria and everybody realized what a brilliant drafting organization the Devil Rays were. They also grabbed Alex Cobb at 109 -- the 7th best 109 of all time with .8 WAR -- and Desmond Jennings at 289. Jennings has 2.4 WAR which, if we ignore the unsigned Clemens and Wetteland (the Mets had taste at least), is already the greatest 289 pick of all time.

Oh man, the great Ernie Young was also a #289 pick -- 282/371/502 line in over 5000 AAA PAs.

Anyway, other than the sheer genius of picking Longoria, I don't see that the Rays drafted any better from 2002 to 2006 than the A's did despite the fact they were drafting 15-20 spots ahead of the A's. They've had more late round guys pay off but they've "wasted" a lot of high picks.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2011 at 04:57 AM (#3934598)
double
   29. Rollie Fingers' moustache Posted: September 24, 2011 at 05:55 AM (#3934609)
Just saw the movie and overall it was good but was a little slow in some spots. I think that some of the critics of the movie were off in some of the portrayals of Pena and Howe they said existed in the movie. I don't think it was entertaining enough to keep people's attention was like say "The Blind Side" but overall it was a better movie than I thought it was going to be.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2011 at 07:53 AM (#3934634)
I may have found my favorite pick: #106

Leading the WAR pack is SS Tim Raines with 65
Next on the list is OF Dave Stieb with 53 despite being 0 for 2 in his ML career
Next is Zach Miner with 2.9 followed by someone I'd never heard of, 2003 Rangers pick Wes Littleton with 1.7. Mike Birkbeck rounds out the guys with positive WAR.

#496 is also good. Ian Kinsler is here with 24.8; somewhat amazingly so is Eric Hinske at 10. And Lorenzo Cain and his 1.1 WAR are holding down the #3 spot.

Pick #30 is perhaps the awesomest though, adjusting for context:

Schmidt, David Wells, Brian Jordan, Jerry Reuss, Travis Fryman, Terry Forster, Moose Haas, Chris Sabo, Noah Lowry, Jack Cust and 7 more guys with positive WAR. 55% have made the majors at 12.5 WAR per. Of course 9 of those average guys are Schmidt but it's 5 guys over 30 and another 3 over 10.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2011 at 08:11 AM (#3934635)
Total WAR from draft 2002-6. Will include unsigned and traded players.

A's: 56.5/11.5/25.6/7.8/18.7 = 120.1
Rangers: .6/46.1/-.6/2.7/2.8 = 51.6
Angels: 24.3/4.3/29.3/5/3.5 = 66.4
Ms: 7.6/12/-2.3/-2.1/10.3 = 25.5

The A's had the #1, #4, #6, #7 and #9 drafts among AL West teams from 2002-6. I don't think that's why they've struggled to make the playoffs.
   32. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 24, 2011 at 08:43 AM (#3934636)
Always enjoy the slight of hand involved in a post like 31. The A's top three guys by WAR from that timeframe are Swisher, Papelbon and Either. The Angels are Jared Weaver, Howie Kendrick and Joe Saunders. Either became 500 PAs of Milton Bradley then Andrew Brown. Swisher was good for awhile then became Gio Gonzalez and Ryan Sweeney. Saunders was ok for a while and then packaged with some bits and became Dan Haren.

Which team do you think got more help to their major league team from the draft in that time frame? That is after the goal, getting help to your major league roster.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2011 at 09:06 AM (#3934637)
And I always enjoy the laziness of #32 who doesn't bother to re-estimate the numbers to his liking. You take the ####### time to put it together mate.

Swisher gave the A's 9 WAR; Gio Gonzalez has given them 6.6 WAR; Sweeney has given them 6.6 WAR. That's a total of 22.2. Swisher's total is 19.6 ... so add 2.6 to the A's total.

Ethier (12 WAR) brought in Bradley (2.9) and he brought in Andrew Brown (meagre .6) so take off 8.5

Papelbon is 17 WAR off.

So take 23 off the A's and that's 97.

The Angels are getting credit for Brandon Morrow (zero value to the Angels) and Sean Rodriguez (zero value to the Angels), so 7 wins off. They are getting 4.4 for Buster Posey and 1.4 for Brian Matusz. So take 13 wins off the Angels then feel free to add in the value provided by Scott Kazmir.

So 97 to 53 -- sorry for being so horribly misleading.

Feel free to track down further examples (I'm sure they exist). But at the moment, the A's lead is greater than the combined value of Weaver and Kendrick so I think you're gonna have a hard time whittling that down. But I'll leave you to do the math on Huston Street.
   34. Honkie Kong Posted: September 24, 2011 at 09:47 AM (#3934638)
The A's have done better at drafting than I expected. I checked the Braves' record for the same period, and its low ( cpl of 20s and a cpl of 0s). I think that Beane's frantic trading in the middle of the decade hurt them more than I thought, keeping the team in a state of flux.

The other angle to this is that baseball is a more global game, and lot of teams have had success with the international signings, something A's haven't had much success with ( What happened to Inoa anyway? ). So just studying the Rule IV draft is looking at only half the picture.
   35. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 24, 2011 at 10:04 AM (#3934641)
You can also tack on 0.2 more for Fautino De Los Santos for this year in the Swisher deal. He was actually a key piece (was the highest rated of the three White Sox prospects) and then had Tommy John a month or two after the trade and he's flew a little below the radar since.

The A's project to have a lot of pitching next year, they have to figure out how to score some runs.
   36. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 24, 2011 at 02:43 PM (#3934711)
And Haren. Whatever. It's clear 31 was designed to be misleading. And it was.
   37. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: September 24, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3934715)
Jeremy Brown was a .300 hitter in the Majors, so there.
   38. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: September 24, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#3934721)
Wait, you're discounting their draft because they traded the guy away? That has nothing to do with how well they drafted! At all!
   39. Swedish Chef Posted: September 24, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3934724)
Wait, you're discounting their draft because they traded the guy away? That has nothing to do with how well they drafted! At all!

What about Papelbon, should they receive credit for a guy they didn't sign?
   40. Mr Dashwood Posted: September 24, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3934749)
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery:

Tigers 33/-2.1/26.4/21.5/-1.9 = 76.9
That 33 is mostly Curtis Granderson.
The 26.4 is entirely Justin Verlander.
The 21.5 is about 60 per cent contributions from Matt Joyce and Cameron Maybin.

NatSpos -1.3/5.2/3.0/25.7/0.9 = 33.5
25.7 is all Ryan Zimmerman and John Lannan.

Marlins 26/-1.4/3.4/4.5/2.4 = 33.9
26 includes a goodly amount of Josh Johnson.

It's interesting that the Montréal Expos' 'brains trust', which mostly went to Florida with Loria, hasn't done a whole lot better than the hurriedly assembled minions of the MLB Expos.
   41. Something Other Posted: September 26, 2011 at 08:45 AM (#3937080)
Thanks, Walt. Great stuff.
   42. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 26, 2011 at 10:53 PM (#3937877)
Part of that had to do with never signing Type A free agents (this has hurt their cross town rivals), but then that's strategy as well and one that hasn't seemed to work out so well for the Giants.
Other than, you know, the whole "winning the World Series" thing.
   43. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 27, 2011 at 12:50 AM (#3938084)
The A's project to have a lot of pitching next year, they have to figure out how to score some runs.

All they have to do is make big huge improvements at, say, seven of nine lineup spots, and WORLD SERIES HERE WE COME!
   44. Something Other Posted: September 27, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3938101)
Should be in what has always been described as Beane's wheelhouse, no?

Find an undervalued fielder here, a 2m DH there, there always seems to be a productive 2bman around for next to nothing. Part of what seemed odd to me about the A's as currently constructed is how many guys were making around 5m/year.
   45. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 27, 2011 at 01:02 AM (#3938117)
Other than, you know, the whole "winning the World Series" thing.

Which essentially had nothing to do with signing Type A free agents, which is the strategy in question. What was the total WAR of Type A guys on the 2010 Giants?
   46. Matt Welch Posted: September 27, 2011 at 01:47 AM (#3938266)
Walt, I don't know why you'd include unsigned players. Other than that, thanks for looking all this stuff up!

I've always wondered -- should one make an adjustment for draft placement based on # of current big-league teams? (Like, the #10 pick in 1966 would somehow be equivalent to the #15 in 2006?) Or is that just thinking too hard for no appreciable gain?
   47. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 27, 2011 at 01:57 AM (#3938306)
Walt, I don't know why you'd include unsigned players.

Well I think with the way bbref presents the info, it's just easier that way.

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