Jump to content
Myshkin

MLB 2019: The Good, The Bad, and The Mets

Recommended Posts

I can’t believe I stayed up until 1 a.m. for that game. Thank god we won….

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/17/2019 at 8:27 PM, DMC said:

I also think you're fundamentally mistaken in terms of his valuation.  Just because he has a fWAR (I prefer fWAR for hitters) of .5 in 53 games doesn't peg him as 1.5 guy for the next three and a half years.  If he improves he defense, that'd become a.7, or maybe even a .9, which means he could definitely be a 2-3 WAR guy for three years.  That's certainly more valuable than a fringy lotto pick with basically no experience above High A like Florial.  Mike Axisa, at least, thinks Frazier could be the centerpiece of a deal for Trevor Bauer:

I don't think a single team will accept valuations that suggest he's a 2-3 WAR guy. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that. It requires that he both a) Continue hitting at his current pace, b) reverse his trends defensively. I'm with you that perhaps he can become a below average guy instead of terrible, but any addition to overall war is because his defensive contributions become less negative. Teams can sometimes be convinced that a guy is a 2-3 WAR guy if he's done it before. But Frazier as a 3 WAR guy is a lotto ticket, too as you're buying the chance of a potential upturn in value that doesn't really have a very strong basis in reality. I think his defensive metrics will get better (they really can't get worse) but not enough to really shift the narrative. What is concerning though, is that he's also due (perhaps even moreso) for some serious regression at the plate. Altogether (and even with a rosy outlook defensively), I think 2-3 with regularity is unfathomable.

Speaking to Frazier's success at the plate this year in particular. It looks to be flukey when you dive into the numbers. First of all, Yankees stadium gifted him with two HRs that are outs in most stadiums (4-16 and 4-22). https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/clint-frazier-640449?stats=career-r-visuals-mlb Shows his spray chart and with an overlay of average stadium dimensions. The short RF porch in NY has dramatically altered his result and in only 53 games has transformed two possible (one very likely) out into HRs, contributing tremendously to his SLG%. The 4-16 HR was the more respectable of the two at 364 ft, a 100.6 mph exit velocity and a 29 (!!!) degree launch angle. It had an xBA (probability of being a hit) of .670. Let's say that one turns into a double. The 4-20 HR, however, was simply an out that Yankee Stadium made into a HR. It had an .xBA of .270, travelling 356 feet with a pedestrian exit velocity and a poor launch angle at 34 degrees. That's an out elsewhere. There is a very good argument that his home stadium has helped his numbers (including defensively, given the limited range to cover). In fact, it already has. 

That all sounds very anecdotal, but when you delve into his batted ball profile, it is apparent that he isn't doing anything special. His exit velocity is below average, he isn't making solid contact at a higher rate. His spray chart is consistent. His BB% is TERRIBLE (6.4%), his K% is slightly improved but still quite bad at 29.3%. He doesn't really do anything particularly well that would give you any reason to think he's a 120 wRC+ guy moving forward, or will even retain this level of hitting.

To illustrate how luck driven his 2019 has been thus far: his BABIP of .347 is going to lead to regression and it's going to be painful. A BABIP of .347 is extremely elite (average is about .300). That's a huge expected drop-off in production. Frazier has a sprint speed above average, but he's not a candidate for having a sustainably high BABIP. Even if he was, .347 is not within the realm of possibility. With regression, he probably ends up a slightly above average to average hitter (as Steamer, ZiPS and the other prominent projections predicted). The difference between his wOBA and his xwOBA (expected wOBA) is around .030, a meaningful and notable gap also suggesting that his results are largely driven by luck (.322 xwOBA vs .355 wOBA, which shows that his results have indicated performance beyond what we would expect given what he has actually done.) Regression is coming, and it's coming hard. Meaningful data suggesting that he's going to sustain or improve on his 2019 isn't really out there. 

There is a quantifiable reason to believe that he will regress as a hitter, but what suggests that it is a) improvable or even b) sustainable? But the up-to-date projections systems (which incorporate data from 2019 thus far) ALL have a pretty bleak outlook on his future. I looked at his batted ball profile before looking at the projections and we basically agree on the output (a hitter about average or up to 10% better than average.) Most projections agree that he will remain a poor defender over the course of the year but not continue to bleed value on his present pace. (sidenote: I was not intending to suggest that his present defensive performance will persist at these low levels, but merely that there is reason to believe that he is not a very good defender. His rates at the moment are some of the worst in statcast history. That won't continue, but he's still probably pretty bad.) Those projections have him as about a 1.2 WAR contributor over the course of a year. I tend to agree.

He is a generic power hitter who isn't really good at anything and has been getting very lucky so far this year. Even with that luck, he is only 20% better than the average hitter. That is not a rosy outlook. Notice the percentile rankings on the top right which bear out that he has a poor hard hit %, poor exit velocity, poor launch angle, and a poor xBA and xwOBA (https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/clint-frazier-640449?stats=career-r-visuals-mlb). There is no good explanation for his luck beyond luck. Therefore, regression looms.

Two final notes on Frazier:

1) Thank you for clarifying the team control number. I noticed it didn't fit with what I was reading, but the issue for me was more about what he'll be moving forward. More concerning than team control is age. People continue to have a collective misunderstanding of aging curves for baseball players. The conventional wisdom is that peak is 27-32 (or something similar) but that isn't the case anymore. At nearly 25 (24, 9 months, I believe) Frazier is either in his prime or leaving his prime, depending on what source you look at. This really hurts arguments that suggest that he is due for improvement. To further undermine those arguments, his prospect pedigree directly suggests that "late bloomer" is not really the case for him as it has been a confounding factor for some (read: few) other players. It isn't impossible. But 25 can no longer be said to be pre-peak. It is damning for what sort of improvement can rightfully be expected. The age chart for defenders is even less forgiving and suggests that his age already comes with some defensive decline.

2) For the sake of rough math I tripled his current figures when they rightfully should be doubled to reflect his contributions moving forward. Steamer thinks he'll get just over double his current appearances, others think he'll get far less. But they all agree that BABIP and xwOBA is about to regress like mad. 

(Here is a source overlaying his hits on various parks. I picked Atlanta just for funsies to help illustrate the point made on the two HRs- 2 of 11. But there really is at least one more HR that is questionable.) https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/statcast_search?hfPT=&hfAB=triple|home\.\.run|&hfBBT=&hfPR=&hfZ=&stadium=&hfBBL=&hfNewZones=&hfGT=R|&hfC=&hfSea=2019|&hfSit=&player_type=batter&hfOuts=&opponent=&pitcher_throws=&batter_stands=&hfSA=&game_date_gt=&game_date_lt=&hfInfield=&team=&position=&hfOutfield=&hfRO=&home_road=&batters_lookup[]=640449&hfFlag=&hfPull=&metric_1=&hfInn=&min_pitches=0&min_results=0&group_by=name&sort_col=pitches&player_event_sort=h_launch_speed&sort_order=desc&min_pas=0#results

Florial is also, in my opinion, poorly characterized as a "fringy lotto pick" unless you think that all low-minors prospects are inherently fringy lotto picks. You're obviously more informed on having observed him, but I'm looking at industry consensus which has him as AT LEAST a 45 FV, most as a 50 FV. For prospect evaluators, that's approximately a top 100 prospect (which seems to be the GENERAL area of Florial- let's not quibble over top 100 versus top 125). Given his injury issues and being 1.5 years younger than the average at A+ (not famous for housing AAAA players), I think his outlook is better than you seem to (given what I've inferred.) True lotto picks have no carrying tools. Florial has two in speed and arm. Speed, as a carrying tool, actually presents value with regularity (and is also baked into defense and, to a lesser extent, hitting ability). If he had 0 carrying tools and was simply a 5 tool potential player with nothing manifested, I'd agree. That isn't really the case. Which is probably why he's still a 50 FV (very, very good) top 100-125 prospect. Those have a lot of value. Yes, it depends on what you think of him personally. But that applies to everything in baseball evaluation.

As a numbers guy, check this fun little thing out. https://www.baseballtradevalues.com/trade-simulator/

It does exactly what it says, it calculates surplus value and does the calculations for proposed trades for ya. It also, interestingly, has Florial and Frazier as having a difference of value of precisely $500,000. I happened upon this site earlier and put it in for funsies and would have posted it regardless of what it said on that particular valuation. But it isn't controversial. 50 FV position prospects have a general consensus value and are only lotto picks insofar as any other 50 FV prospect is a lotto pick and that is only because all players not in MLB are, by definition, lotto picks.

Edit: You're absolutely right Frazier can be a centerpiece for Bauer, but you need to nearly double Frazier's value to really get there. And that assumes that the Indians (currently -0.5 of a WC spot) are willing to sell. Luckily, Bauer's value drops more precipitously from the passage of time than Frazier's, so if you wait he'll become a larger slice of the value-pie required. But to convince the Indians to sell and abandon 2019 playoff hopes, you'd have to purposefully overpay. Yanks should be perfectly happy waiting until the trade deadline or until the Indians are willing sellers, at which point Frazier will represent a higher percentage of the value required for Bauer.

 

Edited by Demetri

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Demetri said:

I don't think a single team will accept valuations that suggest he's a 2-3 WAR guy. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that. It requires that he both a) Continue hitting at his current pace, b) reverse his trends defensively. I'm with you that perhaps he can become a below average guy instead of terrible, but any addition to overall war is because his defensive contributions become less negative.

Yeah, we just fundamentally disagree in terms of our perceptions of how teams evaluate Frazier.  And I think you're quite clearly wrong.  I think most teams view him as a solid corner outfield starter that can provide above average offense and hopefully only slightly below average defense - who's under team control for 4.5 years and is ready to go right now.  And it's not just me and Axisa who think it.  This Indians blog thinks Frazier as the key piece in a Bauer trade is an attractive prospect.  This Giants blog thinks he'd be "really attractive" in a trade for Bumgarner.  And while I'm definitely not a fan of Jim Bowden, he presumably still has many contacts in the industry and said the tweet below.  Honestly, if you google "clint frazier trade," I can't find any source that has nearly as low of an opinion of his value as you do.  It's just you.

 

2 hours ago, Demetri said:

What is concerning though, is that he's also due (perhaps even moreso) for some serious regression at the plate.

From our previous discussions, I assume you're at least somewhat trained in statistics, so you should know regression goes both ways.  You mentioned in a previous post his overly high K rate and very low walk rate.  Both of those should regress as well - as wells as his inflated ISO.  It's  really not hard to expect Frazier to be an above average, or a 110-120 wRC+ hitter, for the next five years.

 

Alright, I'm tapping out after your first paragraph.  I appreciate the very detailed response, but I took the day off and watched the Yanks kick the shit of the Rays to complete the sweep.  Pretty pumped, pretty drunk, and the above are pretty much my main points anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, DMC said:

Yeah, we just fundamentally disagree in terms of our perceptions of how teams evaluate Frazier.  And I think you're quite clearly wrong.  I think most teams view him as a solid corner outfield starter that can provide above average offense and hopefully only slightly below average defense - who's under team control for 4.5 years and is ready to go right now.  And it's not just me and Axisa who think it.  This Indians blog thinks Frazier as the key piece in a Bauer trade is an attractive prospect.  This Giants blog thinks he'd be "really attractive" in a trade for Bumgarner.  And while I'm definitely not a fan of Jim Bowden, he presumably still has many contacts in the industry and said the tweet below.  Honestly, if you google "clint frazier trade," I can't find any source that has nearly as low of an opinion of his value as you do.  It's just you.

From our previous discussions, I assume you're at least somewhat trained in statistics, so you should know regression goes both ways.  You mentioned in a previous post his overly high K rate and very low walk rate.  Both of those should regress as well - as wells as his inflated ISO.  It's  really not hard to expect Frazier to be an above average, or a 110-120 wRC+ hitter, for the next five years.

 

Alright, I'm tapping out after your first paragraph.  I appreciate the very detailed response, but I took the day off and watched the Yanks kick the shit of the Rays to complete the sweep.  Pretty pumped, pretty drunk, and the above are pretty much my main points anyway.

I am most certainly not "quite clearly wrong" but disagreements are fine. We don't have anything suggesting how most teams view him. We do know that Scott Boras, of all people, has said that teams have reached a general agreement and that that general perception of value is tied into analytics. And it isn't just me who thinks he's, at best, a 4th outfielder. I put more stock in statistical projection models than blog posts, but I could easily dredge up contradicting opinions. Hell, the link provided for trade value is a static tool that inputs data and pops out other data and it disagrees with you. He might be ready to go now, but the concern is what he's going to be able to do when he gets out there. All data indicates a 4th or 5th outfielder (depending on the quality of the team.) I explained my rationale in detail as a basis for why I (and the projection systems, and this random resource that is linked below) all tend to agree that he is limited. He's being traded because he is not a legitimate starter. We can say "Oh, maybe he turns into Hank Aaron" and that's fine, but we have no reason to think he will. We have a lot of reason to think his offensive production is going to drop as he adds more and more data to 2019. I highly recommend scanning over the rest of my post because I explain precisely what is happening with Frazier as a player and why he's likely to be worse moving forward. It wasn't an assertion, it was carefully constructed support for my contention.

I'm not simply asserting that he'll get worse at the plate. BABIP and xwOBA demonstrate that he is paying over his head. The regression isn't theoretical, we can point to numbers that indicate why and how much he'll regress. It might not be hard to imagine him as a 110-120 wRC+ hitter, but it is still imagining. But the projections that incorporate his data total and from this year all see that his results are luck driven. Without him being super lucky, he's not a 120 wRC+ guy. He's a 100-110 wRC+ guy who, with bad defense, has extremely limited value. Namely, his value is that of a 4th of 5th OFer (this isn't some rogue assertion, look at the projections! look at his batted ball profile, look at the gap between his production and his expected production.) 

I'm deep-diving in the numbers to reach these conclusions, which happen to jive with projections. Teams use such models and data in valuing player. In fact, the player trade link I provided is based on a bunch things, including past trades, market value, arbitration history etc. They value him as providing $20.4 million in surplus value, which is right around Florial and what I've been saying.

Sure, regression goes both ways and in all things, but there is a subtle distinction here as I'm speaking directly to how and why his offensive output will regress to HIS mean. The luck driven results indicated by BABIP and xwOBA show WHY regression is going to happen. Projection systems have his BB% regressing UP to maybe 8%ish. That still isn't great. His K% is very unlikely to regress. It isn't high relative to his performance or any expectation, simply high compared to the league average. But he is unlikely to regress to THAT mean because he doesn't have a league average batted ball profile. He's a generic power hitter, and with that comes a high K%. That K% might be the most predictable stat we have on him. BB% will go up, but it won't ever be good. 

The regression from him comes from his performance indicating better results than his below average hard hit %, exit velocity, xwOBA and launch angle suggests. That's where the regression comes from, not simply cancelling out the noise from data. This isn't hypothetical. I guarantee you that his BA is going to go down over the course of the year UNLESS his luck holds. Again, note that the gap between average BABIP and his BABIP is bout .040-.050 points. That's what I mean when I say it's going to hit hard. Everything points to him playing well over his head, if you guys find a suitor willing to buy a half season of solid, luck-driven offensive production then pull that trigger immediately. After all, you only have to find one team willing to trade.

I also agreed with you that he can be a centerpiece for Bauer (that link I provided earlier and mentioned earlier in this post, this one: https://www.baseballtradevalues.com/trade-simulator/) is super interesting. So, centerpiece, yes. But that calculator suggests you need to at least provide 80% of Frazier's value to Frazier's already $20.4 mill surplus value to reach Bauer's value. 

Sidenote: I hope Snell is okay. I didn't see the play, but after Newcomb had a 102 mph hit bounce off of his head into foul territory, perhaps it is time to start seriously considering those protective pitcher caps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Demetri said:

All data indicates a 4th or 5th outfielder (depending on the quality of the team.)

What data?  ZiPS?  How often are those even updated?  They may very well change after his recent performance.  Regardless, I'll take actual real life data over projections, thanks.  Same thing with expect wOBA.  As for BABIP, there's an inherent difference between every player.  I don't think it's an indicator, really.  It's a reflection of actual indicators - like exit velocity, ground/fly ball rates, or even barrels, which his pretty solid in.  Also, no one's saying he's gonna turn into Hank Aaron, that's a strawman.

14 minutes ago, Demetri said:

I also agreed with you that he can be a centerpiece for Bauer (that link I provided earlier and mentioned earlier in this post, this one: https://www.baseballtradevalues.com/trade-simulator/) is super interesting.

Ok, then I don't really know what we're arguing about.  That's all I'm arguing.  And I don't see Florial as being the centerpiece of a trade for Bauer or Bumgarner or Stroman (although I'm suspect Frazier as the centerpiece could net Stroman myself).

Oh, and yeah I hope Snell is OK as well.  I saw the play, didn't look like much, but you never know what the training staff sees that we don't.  Plus, it was just an unbelievably terrible inning for him.  He was at 39 pitches with only one out.  They probably wanted to get him out of there if they saw something funky or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, DMC said:

What data?  ZiPS?  How often are those even updated?  They may very well change after his recent performance.  Regardless, I'll take actual real life data over projections, thanks.  Same thing with expect wOBA.  As for BABIP, there's an inherent difference between every player.  I don't think it's an indicator, really.  It's a reflection of actual indicators - like exit velocity, ground/fly ball rates, or even barrels, which his pretty solid in.  Also, no one's saying he's gonna turn into Hank Aaron, that's a strawman.

Ok, then I don't really know what we're arguing about.  That's all I'm arguing.  And I don't see Florial as being the centerpiece of a trade for Bauer or Bumgarner or Stroman (although I'm suspect Frazier as the centerpiece could net Stroman myself).

Oh, and yeah I hope Snell is OK as well.  I saw the play, didn't look like much, but you never know what the training staff sees that we don't.  Plus, it was just an unbelievably terrible inning for him.  He was at 39 pitches with only one out.  They probably wanted to get him out of there if they saw something funky or not.

They incorporate live stats as the season goes. Current projections seen on fangraphs are what the projection systems think will happen MOVING FORWARD, meaning add that production (or rate of production) to the present figures. As to how often they're updated, I'm not sure, they keep their methodology hush-hush. But it is updated and is approximately live and inclusive of all data he's produced.

He is also not solid in exit velocity and hard hit%, he is actually below average. For hard hit %, he is the 25th percentile of MLers, his exit velocity is at the 37th percentile. This is the "generic power hitter who doesn't do anything well" thing I was saying. The baseball savant link shows that he is below average in both categories. His hard hit % is actually a major cause for concern, as is his exit velocity. I wasn't trying to prop up a straw man with the Hank Aaron thing, I meant to say that anything is possible, but the numbers don't suggest any reason for optimism.  

Yes, there are some players who inherently have high BABIP and xwOBA players. They are the exception, not the rule. And generally there is some skill that can be identified to explain it (such as preternatural speed.) No such explanation exists for Frazier. It would be nearly unprecedented to outperform your peripheral stats by THAT much. A BABIP of .347 is super elite. A great way to illustrate how flexible BABIP is is that pitchers and hitters EACH have an approximate average BABIP of .300. A BABIP of .347 only makes sense with elite contact. His current .347 would tie him with Baez from last year's leaderboards. The only player from 2018 to have a similar BABIP with a BA below .290 was Brandon Nimmo (BABIP of .351, BA of .263.) This year, he's regressed in a big way. BABIP is just luck accumulation, on average, with rare cases in which especially speedy guys can outperform. Frazier is graded as fast, but he is not fast enough that he's worth of that luck.

He has simply gotten lucky. And almost all FOs (We miss you Dave Stewart, we can also probably include the Orioles) are savvy to this. They won't pay for half a year's worth of luck-driven stats that only make him 20% better than average. I concede that his defense will bounce back (it virtually has to) but his offensive stats are gloom and doom.

I'd be down for a sig bet if you are with the terms being some level of production with some PA threshold for him. 

As to the trade value, yea I'm not sure we disagree on Frazier having value. I'm not saying he's without value. But while the Yanks might push to have FOs consider him as a 2-3 WAR player, it is based solely on speculation and a best case scenario. By centerpiece, if you mean more than half the trade value for Bauer, then sure. But industry consensus is that Florial provides almost the same value (the calculator has it off by $500,000 which is consistent with various other prospect valuation figures). These figures ARE hypothetical, but they're grounded in common practice and past trades. Once again, you need to add about 80% of Frazier's value to Frazier to get to Bauer's surplus value. I'd agree that that is a centerpiece, but you still need about 16-18 million value added onto the $20.4 million for Frazier. And that is disregarding market factors for the Indians (are they competitive, when will they decide to sell, if they rebuild what is their timeframe). If I'm the Indians and I decide to sell, 50-55 FV prospects (especially position prospects with some pedigree/history) are my target, not 25 year olds with looming questions.

Once again, industry consensus suggests Florial and Frazier have nearly identical value moving forward. Frazier has a smaller range of outcomes, Florial has MUCH more upside. Pick your poison. I simply struggle to term any 50 FV position player a "lotto pick", especially when he already has two carrying tools. Yes, there is risk, but also more upside. A club fully devoted to a rebuild might well prefer the prospect with loud tools but inconsistency over Frazier. But speaking objectively, disregarding for a moment who Florial is as a player, he is worth about the same amount (approximately $20 million in surplus value). Florial and Frazier together only exceed the suggested surplus value of Bauer by $3 million and change (or something very close to that.)

MadBum isn't really that valuable. SF fans think he is, but Frazier and Florial are about double his value. I also have major doubts about his efficacy moving forward, but that's a different subject. I think the calculator also overvalues him but it might be baking in a compensation pick if he is kept (which isn't a ton in reality but does represent an opportunity cost both of choice and of slot money flexibility.) Stroman is super close. You'd need to add something to Frazier, but that could almost get it done and only leaves about $5 million surplus value needed. You're right on Stroman, he's close but I would be surprised if he alone is sufficient. MadBum would be a HUGE overpay at Frazier alone. 

Yea, we don't disagree that much once we come down to that. Those 4.5 years of team control are exceptionally valuable, even for a 4th/5th outfielder (which context suggests Frazier is). It is interesting that we come to about the same general view despite the fact that you think I'm undervaluing him and I think you're overvaluing him. Florial, however, is much more a philosophical disagreement based on a tools v. ability approach to scouting that I'm trying to smooth over by pointing to general industry consensus. As a result, I won't argue about deep stats for Florial as it is perfectly legitimate to want to see ability whereas someone else might salivate over the 5-tool potential and adjust value accordingly. 

As a bit of a wander, teams are more and more approaching hitters with the mindset of "Is this prospect viable for a swing adjustment." Clint Frazier is who is he, basically, or at least in terms of general batted ball profile (generic power hitter who doesn't excel at anything in particular) but Florial's upside and relative youth might lead some teams to believe he is a viable candidate for a swing renaissance. This generally happens more in the draft than trades (at least, with a top 100ish prospect) but the shift in thinking is happening.

To take it big picture again, it is happening because the industry is more and more looking at the same stuff. Some of, but not nearly all, are the factors mentioned above that give me great concern about Frazier moving forward.

On Snell: Did you see the Newcomb come-backer? (https://www.mlb.com/video/comebacker-hits-newcomb-in-head) That....is scary. But concussion is a wonky pursuit. They just put him on the 7 day IL, but reports are that it is largely precautionary. Yet, we all know that concussion symptoms can be dormant or present themselves a time after the initial injury. Super scary. Tyler Flowers and AJ Pierzynski each have companies or products designed for the health of catchers. I think maybe it is time for pitchers to start considering wearing SOME gear. I mean the 102 mph liner on Newcomb bounced off his head INTO THE STANDS!!! That is super scary stuff. 

When I played, a friend of mine was getting BP from his dad (sans an L, I think you see where this story is going). Hit one low and right back up the middle. His father now has 1 testicle as a result of the shot. Obviously, he should have taken more precautions. But the combination of a throwing motion that leaves you somewhat helpless, the nature of balls hit back at the pitcher on a line, and the short reaction time means that seriously bad things can happen.

I'm glad to hear that Snell is okay, or at least that it wasn't horrific.

Sorry if I'm throwing a lot out here. I LOVE baseball and I derive great joy from talking about it. I think we probably love it for similar reasons (we both seem to enjoy stats and baseball is a game in which EVERYTHING can be expressed mathematically). I'm not trying to pick on you at all, or nitpick, so much as stoking conversations. Cheers for playing along. Drinking and watching baseball is a perfectly valid excuse, so if you'd respond later I'm about to be on the drunk baseball train myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Demetri said:

He is also not solid in exit velocity and hard hit%, he is actually below average. For hard hit %, he is the 25th percentile of MLers, his exit velocity is at the 37th percentile. This is the "generic power hitter who doesn't do anything well" thing I was saying. The baseball savant link shows that he is below average in both categories. His hard hit % is actually a major cause for concern, as is his exit velocity.

Sure, but my point was he's rock solid in barrels.  Which coupled with those hard hit/exit velo percentages suggests when he does get a hold of one, it's hit particularly well.  Which explains his inflated ISO.  And conforms to the eye test that he's got bat speed like Sheffield.  

6 minutes ago, Demetri said:

Yes, there are some players who inherently have high BABIP and xwOBA players. They are the exception, not the rule.

Gotta admit, I find it a bit amusing that your argument is so invested in these metrics, but the fact is Frazier still has a very small sample in terms of major league experience.  24 year olds often improve - and even often considerably improve - as they progress.  The empirics bare that out as well.  Projections are inherently conservative, even Szymborski will tell you that.

11 minutes ago, Demetri said:

He has simply gotten lucky. And almost all FOs (We miss you Dave Stewart, we can also probably include the Orioles) are savvy to this. They won't pay for half a year's worth of luck-driven stats that only make him 20% better than average. I concede that his defense will bounce back (it virtually has to) but his offensive stats are gloom and doom.

So, you get to this later in the post, but it's hard to carry on this discussion because it seems to be you're making self-contradictory arguments.  You said you agreed Frazier could be the centerpiece of a trade for Bauer in the last post (and yes, certainly for MadBum, who I agree isn't worth much.  I wouldn't even want them to give up Frazier for him, was just making a point in those prior links I cited).  But you continually argue that front offices view him as a backup outfielder.  It can't be both.  Nobody is trading Trevor Bauer for a package that has an expected 4th outfielder as the key piece.

15 minutes ago, Demetri said:

But industry consensus is that Florial provides almost the same value (the calculator has it off by $500,000 which is consistent with various other prospect valuation figures). These figures ARE hypothetical, but they're grounded in common practice and past trades.

This is all nonsense.  I am very confident that different teams evaluate Florial in very different ways - just as different public scouting sources evaluate and rank him in drastically different ways.  You can't put a number on it and assume every team is going to follow the same valuation.  That's not how the real world works.  And the facts are he's just getting back from an injury, and hasn't even stood out thus far at High A, which he's repeating.  You are not going to convince me that that type of prospect has equal or more value than Frazier at this juncture, full stop.

BTW, this goes for all your estimates on the FV and how that translates to salary worth.  First of all, this is not the only consideration when teams trade players, even prospects.  Second of all, you're acting like the evaluations or "industry consensus" is how all teams value any given player, and that's simply not true.  What was the "industry consensus" on Didi Gregorius when Cashman traded for him?  Or Aaron Hicks?  Or Luke Voit?

31 minutes ago, Demetri said:

Did you see the Newcomb come-backer? (https://www.mlb.com/video/comebacker-hits-newcomb-in-head) That....is scary.

I did not.  That is indeed scary.  And "OUCH" and sorry about the story with your friend's dad.  God damn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, DMC said:

Sure, but my point was he's rock solid in barrels.  Which coupled with those hard hit/exit velo percentages suggests when he does get a hold of one, it's hit particularly well.  Which explains his inflated ISO.  And conforms to the eye test that he's got bat speed like Sheffield.  

No, it's simply the profile for a generic power hitter (that's why that K% isn't going anywhere) who doesn't make much contact in general, but sometimes really gets a hold of one. But so what? There are better stats unless you're trying to prove he can hit HRs. I concede he can, that's what generic power hitters do my definition, and not much else. Sure he barrels balls a lot, but he also has a lot of weak contact. It is illogical to suggest his barrel % suggests amazing bat speed but disregard that his bat speed still doesn't save him from overall weak contact. Sure, you can focus on literally 25 balls he's hit (while claiming SSS on other stats?), or we can use the more holistic xwOBA or the more commonly occurring hard hit %, which is below average entirely because he makes so much weak contact. 

But let's say he does have legendary bat speed. His plate discipline stats are HORRID. He whiffs at an above average amount of pitches in the zone, and makes well below average contact for pitches out of the zone. This means he isn't extending ABs and isn't getting a lot of quality contact. It further reinforces that his BB% will remain low. 

He still has a below average xwOBA, meaning that even with all his barreling (which is included in the stat) that once luck settles his xwOBA of .323 is below the average of .324 for major league hitters. His barrel ability and power merely make him an average hitter, propping up poor plate discipline and bad contact. The barrel % is incredibly limited (Again...25 data points...) and doesn't indicate a renaissance. In fact, it indicates that he's probably a finished product. Plate discipline doesn't really change too much, nor does poor contact (barring a swing overhaul), so the fact that power and ability to barrel keep his head over water means that he has developed the skill that all generic power hitters use to get by: ISO. 

It would be foolish to not bend to an inclusive and more holistically defined stat like xwOBA because a tiny subset of that data shows promise. I'll spin it and say that he's learned to do the one thing he does well and can actually do it (power and barrel). But it balances the stuff he does poorly, it doesn't outweigh it. 

24 minutes ago, DMC said:

Gotta admit, I find it a bit amusing that your argument is so invested in these metrics, but the fact is Frazier still has a very small sample in terms of major league experience.  24 year olds often improve - and even often considerably improve - as they progress.  The empirics bare that out as well.  Projections are inherently conservative, even Szymborski will tell you that.

So you're citing literally 25 balls hit as barrel rather than hard hit % which has more data points and xwOBA which is more holistic (and simply a better metric) and then citing sample size?

It isn't so much that I'm "invested in the metrics" so much as they explain what Frazier is doing perfectly. Sample sizes for advanced batting metrics stabilize VERY quickly. It might not be the best sample size, but it is no longer insufficient. It also just so happens to reflect past performance. It would be an incredible coincidence if two flawed data sets spit out essentially the same data. 

Szymborski (who is a super nice guy who pops by the Braves blog almost everytime his name is mentioned- we joke there is some sort of Szymborski symbol) would certainly say that projections are conservative, but they are also pretty damn accurate. He'd also tell you that the sample size for Frazier is sufficient as offensive stats stabilize pretty quickly. 200 PAs is generally sufficient to start saying that the information you're looking at has statistical validity offensively, with more data being better. Combining years, the stats are pretty consistent if you aggregate the nearly 400 PAs. If there were wildly different things among the two major data sets (2017 and 2019) then perhaps we should just look at 2019 (which we could, as it is over 200 PAs and thus has some good value) and ignore the other set. Because they describe the same thing, we can aggregate them. We're now at just under 400 PAs, and they tell about the same story, but with ridiculous luck in 2019. But more importantly, Szymborski himself points out that sample size requirements vary by the stat being looked at. Most of what I've looked at is in the lower end of PA requirements: (https://blogs.fangraphs.com/when-samples-become-reliable/) (By Dan himself: https://library.fangraphs.com/principles/sample-size/)

So, yes, you're right that we don't have a great sample size. We have an alright sample size. But more importantly, we have data! It has a value beyond 0, obviously, and is starting to have predictive value. The projections you call inherently conservative actually say his BB% will increase (while everything else regresses).

And where in the world are you getting the "inherently conservative" notion and how does that affect accuracy? As in that they don't generally predict crazy outliers? That strengthens, not diminishes, the accuracy of projections. What you call "inherently conservative" is simply placing projections closer to league average. That's good statistics unless you have a crystal ball that can tell you which ones are conservative and positive for the player and which are conservative and underestimate the player. But look at Acuna. He was projected at around 125 wRC+, which people thought was crazy low given the phenom that is Acuna. He's currently at 129.

The projections are generally accurate. The onus is on you to explain why you think the projections are wrong, because the projections are finely crafted statistical models that are balanced and fed new information (remember, until two posts ago, you were uncertain about what data these projections included). They are in the business of being accurate, and are quite good at it. 

More importantly, how wrong do you think these projections are exactly? And why do you think he's going to retain this level or improve it when stats, projections and luck-defining metrics all suggest they're going down? I need a more substantial critique either on the systems as a whole, or for you to tell me why Frazier's is just wrong. Very rarely are they just completely wrong. I'm not saying projections are infallible religious texts, but they ALL think that Frazier is playing over his head. All of them, independently, saw the same things I saw. Mostly, it is the xwOBA and the BABIP which suggests that he's merely average.

That's costing him in the projections and that is frankly how BABIP works. We need like 300 more PAs before it stabilizes, but I'd bet everything I own that it does not stay above .340 (it doesn't for anyone, really, that's top 20 in all of baseball and Frazier has no skills suggesting he is an exception.) When that BABIP falls, so will Frazier

1 hour ago, DMC said:

So, you get to this later in the post, but it's hard to carry on this discussion because it seems to be you're making self-contradictory arguments.  You said you agreed Frazier could be the centerpiece of a trade for Bauer in the last post (and yes, certainly for MadBum, who I agree isn't worth much.  I wouldn't even want them to give up Frazier for him, was just making a point in those prior links I cited).  But you continually argue that front offices view him as a backup outfielder.  It can't be both.  Nobody is trading Trevor Bauer for a package that has an expected 4th outfielder as the key piece.

So Frazier is currently a starting OFer for the Yankees? They didn't expressly trade for a player and demote a guy who is having a good offensive year for an aging player to fill a starting OF role? The Yankees JUST TREATED HIM like a 4th OFer. You're speculating, but we KNOW the Yankees went out of their way to replace him. Is that how starters are treated? The Yankees demoted the guy after a purposeful trade, I'd say it is contradictory for you to suggest that he isn't a 4th OFer.

Hell, if you simply extrapolate his current numbers, he is, by definition, a sub player (War generally considers 2+ as starter and Frazier would have to keep up his offensive pace and improve his defense dramatically to even get to 2.) His WAR and his treatment by the Yankees PROVE he is not viewed as a starter.

They also really aren't contradictory if you understand the valuation stuff, which I've provided several links for. His 4.5 years of team control give him an estimated surplus value of $20.4 million. That is somewhere between 2-3 wins above what they're paying him. He is still pre-arbitration, that isn't going to be hard to do. 

1 hour ago, DMC said:

This is all nonsense.  I am very confident that different teams evaluate Florial in very different ways - just as different public scouting sources evaluate and rank him in drastically different ways.  You can't put a number on it and assume every team is going to follow the same valuation.  That's not how the real world works.  And the facts are he's just getting back from an injury, and hasn't even stood out thus far at High A, which he's repeating.  You are not going to convince me that that type of prospect has equal or more value than Frazier at this juncture, full stop.

BTW, this goes for all your estimates on the FV and how that translates to salary worth.  First of all, this is not the only consideration when teams trade players, even prospects.  Second of all, you're acting like the evaluations or "industry consensus" is how all teams value any given player, and that's simply not true.  What was the "industry consensus" on Didi Gregorius when Cashman traded for him?  Or Aaron Hicks?  Or Luke Voit?

It certainly isn't nonsense. First of all, the calculator is ba

sed on past trades (including gregorious). Am I saying that value is properly captured in individual trades? Of course not. But does that mean we don't have any data to get an idea how the industry works and that there aren't general rules? Absolutely not. There is a ton of scholarship in this area. Beyond the calculator I already provided.

Once again, this data litters the ground. I concede that there FOs differ, obviously, but you're denying that there is any consensus and that is simply false. Here are just SOME of the work that suggests all the same stuff: 

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2018-trade-value-1-to-10/ (this deals with MLers more, if you read only one, this is a good one)

https://www.baseballtradevalues.com/valuing-minor-leaguers/

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/an-update-to-prospect-valuation/ (this is very good for prospect valuation)

http://www.thepointofpittsburgh.com/mlb-prospect-surplus-values-2018-updated-edition/ (this has methodology explained in more detail on its original platform, I'm happy to provide)

https://www.drivelinebaseball.com/2019/02/prospect-valuation-much-top-prospects-worth-professional-baseball-teams/

(I could go on and on, again, there is a lot of scholarship here. We are no longer in the days where analytics departments are rare or unknown)

The Yankees, like many teams, have created their own models https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2019/4/4/18294438/mlb-yankees-data-analytics-brian-cashman-steinbrenner-chapman-betances-voit-ottavino-world-series

So, yea, FOs differ. The argument isn't that every FO views data the same way, but we do know that they endeavor to value players and that there are finite numerical inputs in the world. Logic follows that the Yankees didn't invite something that isn't already represented (at least in part) by any of the others. Beyond prospects, we already have a system that values players: that is what arbitration is aimed to do (though in an adversarial, all-or-nothing process). We know the value of WAR from free agent figures. This information isn't simply made up, it is derived from and compared against historical events.

But we're talking about how the industry as a whole does things, not what you can trick one GM to give you. Again, if you can trick a FO (like the Braves did with Stewart) then fine and dandy. We know overpays happen, we know some folks value players differently, but there is a general consensus. There is a lot of historical data on top 100 prospects being traded. The same data used for these figures (all shockingly similar....) also suggests that a 50 FV position prospect is worth more than 50 FV pitching prospect. We've seen that play out and also is conventional knowledge.

But here is a guy who knows a thing or two who completely disagrees that there aren't common approaches (Scott Boras):

"How do we know teams are using numbers like ours?

We don’t for sure, but we have enough evidence to suggest they’re using a similar model. Even super agent Scott Boras acknowledged it, in an April 2019 story in The Athletic by Ken Rosenthal (by way of criticism of it):

To hear Boras tell it, the problem is not his negotiating style, but the way that clubs use analytics to value players, often landing at similar dollar amounts in their appraisals.

“These markets are very different because we have got a dynamic where the valuation component is common to all teams by design,” Boras says."

Boras is basically saying that the FA market situation comes from a market "where the valuation component is common to all teams by design." In fact, many agents claimed collusion (which isn't impossible) because of the similar approaches.

Look, what I'm doing is providing an objective baseline. You are fundamentally misunderstanding what I mean by "general industry consensus" if your rebuttal is "well, that doesn't apply to every player and every team." I never said that. I'm saying that this is a useful baseline. Whether you like it or disagree with it does not detract from its validity. Furthermore, the world you suggest (where every team is different and mysterious) then we can't say Frazier should/could be the centerpiece for any trade. We'd have to ask each team "Hey, what's a Clint Frazier" as if stats didn't exist. They do. The Yankees, by action, have indicated that they don't think Frazier is a starting OFer. They probably based this on his luck-driven results, just like I am. That isn't even to mention the bargaining position power. And of course things like bargaining position, urgency, window for contention etc are all factors and all very impactful. I never once denied it.

But Boras seems to think that the finite data is being used in similar ways by teams (hence free agent results). Rather than assertions, I've provided independently consistent models (how independently is debatable at point of origin, but they are not directly affiliated), pragmatic evidence in the form of FA consistency, and a quote by an expert in the field of valuing players (Boras) as well as pointing to a MLB mechanism for player valuation (arbitration). That's a lot of evidence for nonsense!

Of course, the real world isn't simply plugging in a figure. Who in the world said we plug in an exact figure? First, the valuations aren't simply saying "Prospect of X FV is worth Y". They build in bust rates, position v. pitcher, bands of performance that we see from similarly ranked/rated prospects, bust rate, star rate, median WAR etc etc. This data isn't simply made up, it is based in empirical data and leads to the resulting valuation.

One thing that helps a prospect's value is how much younger he is than competition. You cite Florial as repeating A+ (most recently, he spent 75 games at A+ in 2018 and 11 thus far in 2019) and yet he is still 1.5 years YOUNGER than the average competition. Saying he's "repeating" A+ is not totally true as 75 games in 2018, but furthermore, it misses that he remains younger than the competition which is far more important than playing the level again (being -2.4 years from average in 2018 and -1.5 in 2019). Injury certainly creates uncertainty, but does it move his value to 0 or does it simply shift it around what history suggests? Does playing older competition compensate?  The injury question is a fair unknown, but again, I was providing a baseline stat not a definitive value. But the general valuation I provided SOMEWHAT built in injury questions, as it accounts for his current place on lists that also accounts for injury.

Furthermore, why would they promote a player coming back from injury? Many medical experts suggest that an entire year of playing is necessary for power to fully recover from hamate injury. Given that injury and the second wrist injury that was uncovered after the hamate injury (pardons if the timeline there is a bit off) what's the concern? He is young, has carrying tools, and is coming back from injury. There is a lot of promise there. As said previously, you can value ability over tools. Teams do often divide on such lines, but he has plenty of loud potential tools and I still think arm and speed (and, to a lesser extent, defense) are all carrying tools for him. Those kind of tools even out the wide gaps in expected WAR. 

In terms of FV. It is remarkable how many prospect evaluations come out, and how generally similar they are. I won't argue that scouts might differ. But to suggest that FV ratings have no value is to say that FV ratings are entirely meaningless. And yet, we hear constantly that teams are seeking "a top 100 prospect" for a certain guy or "need a top 50 prospect and a top 100." I could produce countless articles on that. When negotiating a trade, we KNOW FOs reference top prospect lists. 

Do you think that they all compare their independent top 100 lists? What happens when a GM asks for a top 100 guy, only to find out that the other team thinks that the guy is really a top 300 guy? That just doesn't really happy (though, it does happen a bit more in pitching prospects.) We know that such industry lists are relevant because we hear such lists cited EVERY offseason and EVERY trade deadline. It is also remarkable how similar lists are. A guy can probably be fairly considered top 100 if a well thought off prospect service has a guy on a top 100 list.

You're right, that the individual tiers of lists (representing jump from 50 to 55 FV within top 100, for instance) might and do change. But that is not the same thing as suggesting that there is no usefulness to that data at all. We also know that there is movement between scout evaluating professionals and front offices (Kiley McDaniel and Jeff Sullivan are notable examples.) This all suggests that FOs, to an extent, use this data. I also tend to think they are more likely to differ on players in their system versus players from another system. 

But no one is saying it is a perfectly crafted and absolutely predictive number, but history suggests that it represents the approximate value of a guy with a general consensus FV of a certain number. It isn't perfect or directly translates, but it is present and it is increasing. The fact that the data is derived from historical data further gives it application to MLB (whether by informing FO personnel or by expressing why and what happened in a generally correct manner.)

The idea that each team has to take every trade conversation by first having to prove that at top 50 guy isn't actually a guy more worthy of a top 200 spot is ludicrous. The evaluators and the FOs are rational actors and are using the same, limited, published data. FOs are even taking it further by starting to install measurement systems in JUCO and minors. So, yes, they have proprietary data and more access, but the data they're gathering is bringing them in step with what the industry was already, at least in part, doing. 

I think the Florial issue is agree to disagree. I think that you'd really enjoy some of the resources out there, but prospects are a personal pursuit. I personally love it, but arguing about prospects doesn't take us far. Now nearly 25 year old MLers with major question marks defensively and concerns offensively, I think we can meet openly and have a legitimate discussion on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow dude, that might be the longest post I've ever seen in the general forums.  Um, I'll get back to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a wild convo. 

So Reds sweep Astros, and Yankees sweep Rays. This has me worried for the upcoming 4 game set somehow. I’ll be at the game Sunday. I was really hoping it would be against anyone but stupid Verlander. :unsure:

Scherzer is an absolute stud, and Trout is ok too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ramsay B. said:

What a wild convo. 

So Reds sweep Astros, and Yankees sweep Rays. This has me worried for the upcoming 4 game set somehow. I’ll be at the game Sunday. I was really hoping it would be against anyone but stupid Verlander. :unsure:

Scherzer is an absolute stud, and Trout is ok too.

 

I hope the Astros have a hangover from their series with the Reds but I'm not counting on it. My job is raffling off tickets for Sunday, I hope I get them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ramsay B. said:

So Reds sweep Astros, and Yankees sweep Rays. This has me worried for the upcoming 4 game set somehow.

Agreed.  Seems set up to be a trap series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Culturally, Montreal and Tampa Bay have always felt like sister cities so I'm glad they can finally share a team that neither team will care all that much about. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Triskele said:

What is this Garlick?

Yup, a big ol hunk of raw Garlick. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Myshkin said:

Yup, a big ol hunk of raw Garlick. 

These Gigantes aren't done yet despite even more Garlick, Goblin King.  What say you?  

ETA:  And lo, the Goblin King sent forth his minion whom he called Joc, and halted the Giant's charge.  

Edited by Triskele

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×