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Saturday, June 11, 2022

Byron Buxton hits two homers in win over Rays

If only the baseball gods would grant him a full season of good health.

jimfurtado Posted: June 11, 2022 at 10:44 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: byron buxton, twins

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. I Am Not a Number Posted: June 11, 2022 at 04:03 PM (#6081276)
From 2020 to 2022, he has hit 49 HR in 575 PA. That's effectively a season's worth of playing time for people not named Buxton.
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 11, 2022 at 04:30 PM (#6081279)
Buxton also hit two homers against the Yankees the night before this, and one the game before that, giving him five in his last three games. For the month of June - which is ten days old - he's hitting .393/.485/1.017 with 6 homers.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: June 11, 2022 at 05:45 PM (#6081294)
Alas, he's also still Buxton in other ways ... he hit 127/222/246 in the 14 games before he got hot which had his seasonal OBP back under 300. For sure, the 360 ISO following last year's 340 and 2020's 320 is crazy. If I was the Twins, I'd just stick him at DH.
   4. bookbook Posted: June 12, 2022 at 02:46 PM (#6081368)
Has Byron Buxton become Eric Davis?
   5. . . . . . . Posted: June 12, 2022 at 03:00 PM (#6081376)
Eric Davis had 4 seasons at his prime where he averaged 135 games a year, a 915 OPS (in the late 80s!) with high end base running. Buxton isn’t half the player that Eric Davis was.
   6. Cooper Nielson Posted: June 12, 2022 at 08:56 PM (#6081432)
Alas, he's also still Buxton in other ways ... he hit 127/222/246 in the 14 games before he got hot which had his seasonal OBP back under 300.

I hear a lot about how great Byron Buxton is, and he makes a lot of highlight reels, but whenever I check on his stats it seems he's batting .215 with an OBP around .300.

The home runs are nice, but this year he only has 1 stolen base and no triples (he hasn't hit a triple since 2019). His Rbase is 0 and his Rfield is 0 (maybe he's being more cautious?) so for all the talk about how he could be the best player in baseball if he stayed healthy, he's starting to look more like Kyle Schwarber on paper.
   7. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 12, 2022 at 10:25 PM (#6081444)
whenever I check on his stats it seems he's batting .215 with an OBP around .300.


He currently has an OPS+ of 159.
   8. Snowboy Posted: June 12, 2022 at 10:48 PM (#6081446)
Forgiving the questionable merits of posting a "Buxton has a good game" thread to BBTF...is no one going to comment on the identity of the OP?
   9. Cooper Nielson Posted: June 12, 2022 at 11:35 PM (#6081450)
He currently has an OPS+ of 159.

Yeah. The last time I checked was probably a week ago when his OPS had dipped below .800. 5 home runs in 3 days will change things. And of course I'm speaking hyperbolically.

But people have been raving for years about how he's the fastest player in the game and a peerless defensive player, with the potential to be a high-average, high-power hitter. I would love for that to be the case -- baseball needs superstars -- but if you just look at him "on paper" right now, even after his hot streak, he looks like a high-SLG, low-OBP guy who doesn't hurt you in the field/on the bases. That's still a very useful player, but it's not a Mookie Betts/Mike Trout (or Eric Davis) type.
   10. Cris E Posted: June 13, 2022 at 12:02 AM (#6081453)
Yeah 159 blah blah blah, but I love watching him because almost anything could happen in any at bat. I literally stop and watch his at bats. He's just so fast, so strong, and he plays with such utter joy that it's completely infectious. He was not great this afternoon (0-4, 2 K) but you still hang on every pitch when he's up.
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 13, 2022 at 01:57 AM (#6081458)
Post 9, I wouldn’t read too much into 45 games of defensive stats. In his last 145 games, he’s been worth 21 runs in the field (and 3 on the bases and 2 at avoiding DPs). He’s been worth 8.5 bWAR over that time period. Health and inconsistency are definitely concerns, but that’s why people say “if only he could stay healthy”…
   12. Cooper Nielson Posted: June 13, 2022 at 06:37 AM (#6081461)
Post 9, I wouldn’t read too much into 45 games of defensive stats. In his last 145 games, he’s been worth 21 runs in the field (and 3 on the bases and 2 at avoiding DPs). He’s been worth 8.5 bWAR over that time period. Health and inconsistency are definitely concerns, but that’s why people say “if only he could stay healthy”…

Actually, those fielding stats are only over 30 defensive games (he was a DH in the others) so they're even less meaningful. However, combined with the SB, 3B and Rbase numbers, plus his age (he's already 28), they seem to suggest that he's lost a half-step and/or he's decided to play more conservatively.

I'd love to see him put it all together -- hitting, defense, running -- for a full season, or even 130+ games. But perhaps time's running out.
   13. Cris E Posted: June 13, 2022 at 02:09 PM (#6081502)
He's explicitly worked on playing defense differently because of the number of injuries he's suffered crashing into things. They have him playing deeper so he doesn't approach walls as fast, for example. But yes, he's got a son that's nearly 10 years old so he's not a kid at all anymore.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: June 13, 2022 at 04:08 PM (#6081522)
Since they're unlikely to ever appear in the same sentence again:

BB 1948 PA, 107 OPS+, 87 HR, 18 WAR, 11.5 WAA, 29% K, 6% BB, 4.5% HR
KS 2830 PA, 120 OPS+, 169 HR, 10 WAR, 0 WAA, 28% K, 13% BB, 6.0% HR

Schwarber racks up about 14 Rbat/650 vs Buxton's 5. That becomes Buxton's advantage by a win+ once Rbase, Rdp and Rpos are factored in, then the quality of defense on top of that. Of course Buxton's first few seasons as a hitter weren't very good.

BB 2019-22: 267/319/576, 140 OPS+, 31 Rbat/650
KS 2019-22: 239/343/509, 126 OPS+, 21 Rbat/650

I expected the Rbat to be closer -- 24 point edge in OBP seems to me is usually worth about 40-50 points of SLG ... could be park effects.
   15. NaOH Posted: June 14, 2022 at 02:36 PM (#6081697)
8. Snowboy Posted: June 12, 2022 at 10:48 PM (#6081446)
Forgiving the questionable merits of posting a "Buxton has a good game" thread to BBTF...is no one going to comment on the identity of the OP?


I'm gonna assume people around here don't know what "OP" means.
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 14, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6081735)

I know what "OP" means. I guess it's interesting that Jim posted this article?
   17. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 14, 2022 at 04:35 PM (#6081738)

I expected the Rbat to be closer -- 24 point edge in OBP seems to me is usually worth about 40-50 points of SLG ... could be park effects.


this is an interesting pt, Walt. Could it be due to the current low run environment? I know .slug should get greater value in such an environment just not sure how much.
   18. Ron J Posted: June 14, 2022 at 06:10 PM (#6081753)
#17 No. Even in the lowest offensive context OBP is underrated in OPS+. Conceptually OPS works out to roughly 1.2*OBP+SLG (park adjusted and scaled so that 100 is average) and even in the lowest offensive context a single point OBP is worth somewhere around 1.45 times as much as a single point of SLG.

All that to say is that the Buxton type of player is "less overvalued" by OPS+ in today's environment.
   19. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 15, 2022 at 03:40 PM (#6081937)
Ron: Can you provide some sort of reference/source for that? That seems contrary to what I understand or else I am not understanding what you are saying.

It seems quite clear that in a low run environment HRs should get slightly more value than normal times. And correspondingly that walks should get a bit less value.

ANd in a high run environment, its reversed. Your statements seem to contradict that or are not well worded. For instance:

Even in the lowest offensive context OBP is underrated...


THe word "even" does not belong there. That situation is where you expect OBP to be downgraded, so to correctly use that word you would have to say "Even in high run environment OBP is consistently underrated. The way you are using it sounds like you disagree with my premise. And like I said Im pretty sure that's correct premise.

Also your suggestion of 1.2 X OBP seems at odds with Walt's valuation in post 14. so something is off.

Maybe I am misunderstanding you. Maybe Walt is wrong (!). But at least I think you need to show your work or explain your reasoning here.
   20. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: June 15, 2022 at 04:31 PM (#6081961)
i think people use 1.4, not 1.2?
   21. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 15, 2022 at 04:40 PM (#6081966)
that's what Walt seems to be saying and why I mentioned it.
   22. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: June 15, 2022 at 04:43 PM (#6081968)
ah, i see - yes.
   23. Ron J Posted: June 15, 2022 at 07:13 PM (#6082009)
#19 Sure. It's pretty simple. Just do multiple regressions on team OBP / SLG versus team runs per game. There's a very clear relationship (though I never managed to express it as a formula). The higher the offensive context the more costly outs are. (I'd encourage you to study this yourself. The Excel stat pack can do multiple regressions and it's easy these days to get decent data sources. I always used the Lahman database. No idea whether that's even around any longer)

What you're attempting to do with this is model team scoring with just those two variables. The multiple regressions just speeds the process of what would otherwise be trial and error. And you can in fact make a pretty good model with just those two variables. You can do very slightly better with a model that breaks SLG into ISO and BA (all other things being equal the team with the *lower* BA will score slightly more. It's not a big issue and not worth the work)

Peaks out in Colorado in sillyball -- where a point of OBP was worth around 2.2 times as much as a point of SLG (take this for what it's worth -- noisy data samples). And the lowest I found was in deadball 2. The late 60s (but not including 1969). I think I got it at 1.43 in 1968 (but I try to avoid using a single year for models. My concern there is over-fitting)

And #20 if you want a general number, 1.7 works best. 1.2 is just what you get when you deconstruct OPS+ (nobody's interested in this any more, but Gary Huckabay put in a fair amount of work on this)-- in other words it systemically undervalues OBP.

It's been quite some time since I did any of these studies but I'm quite confident of the general conclusions.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: June 15, 2022 at 07:36 PM (#6082015)
I appreciate that OPS+ relatively overrates OBP - but I have been under the impression that it's by a trivial amount.

meaning, can we express in some way the high-SLG, modest-OBP guy is better than the high-OPS, modest SLG guy?

with no evidence, in my mind I think of both, if they are 140 OPS+, well the slugger really is about 5 points better - which to me is not a big deal. they're both very good but not other-worldly hitters.

am I underrating the difference?
   25. Ron J Posted: June 15, 2022 at 08:10 PM (#6082020)
#24 It undervalues OBP. And yeah, for most players -- well park factors are a larger source of error (and don't get me wrong. You need park adjustments, and what we have is as good as can be) -- it's only really important at the edges. (or slightly overrates the Buxtons. Or Joe Carters since Buxton's a pretty unusual players)

It's why I'm perfectly willing to talk OPS+. With the occasional note that OPS+ slightly overvalues certain players.

I'm the guy who complains about false precision in our metrics (the standard error for WAR is not smaller than .7 per year in full time play -- and it's probably larger) so as long as people mentally append the ish to a player's OPS+ I'm cool.
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: June 15, 2022 at 08:16 PM (#6082023)
It undervalues OBP.

yes.

hard to believe I knew that when I read what I typed, I will concede.

:)
   27. Ron J Posted: June 15, 2022 at 08:24 PM (#6082024)
It's all good. I figured you knew it, but a chance for a little ... exposition ... on false precision is always good.

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