Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sabean Naysayers Has Blinders on Regarding Martis

Even after all this time, Sabean naysayers are still at it, complaining about the loss of Shairon Martis, he of WBC no-hitter fame, in the Mike Stanton trade. I didn't cover it here, but on McCovey Chronicles, I explained that his stats don't look good in comparison to the league's overall stats, he was a slightly above average pitcher in that league. But not everyone bought that.

I think that some Sabean naysayers are blinded by their hate and are just disagreeing with everything he does, particularly in regards to this trade. Sabean hasn't been perfect, but I think that he has been a good evaluator of talent, with his main problem being contracts, so I still think he's better than most GMs. These same naysayers complain about losing youth because the team is so old, but under their noses the Giants have been transitioning to young players in the pitching staff in a significant way, out of 12 pitchers, 5 are young Giants bred players, and before the Accardo and Stanton trades, it was 7 of 12, over half.

Martis Compared to 19 Year Olds in Sally League

Anyway, back to Martis. I realized that perhaps people were not swayed because I used league stats in comparison and some might think that he suffered in comparison to the college pitchers who come in older and more experienced. So I dug up my 2004 and 2005 stats for the Sally League and separated out the 19 year old pitcher's stats and ranked them including Martis' stats with Augusta in 2006, plus compared him with the averages for the 19 YO's:

Player - h9 - hr9 - w9 - k9 - WHIP - k/bb
Martis - 8.9 - 0.4 - 2.5 - 7.8 - 1.27 - 3.1
19 YOs - 8.3 - 0.8 - 3.3 - 8.2 - 1.29 - 2.5
Ranks - 20 - 6tie - 7 - 19 - 16 - 10 (out of 28 total pitchers)

He compares OK against the average 19 YO, good in some, bad in others, but at low A ball, you are not looking for above average stats, you are looking for dominating stats if you are looking for someone who will be a major league starter. His ranks were down around the 30-40 percentile for half of them - h9, k9, WHIP - but not too bad for the other half - hr9, w9, k/bb. So the picture appears to be blurry for him.

Monthly Performances Declining: Getting Figured Out

So I took a look at his monthly stats to see if the league was catching up with him or if he was sticking it to the league: the league won. His k9 dropped greatly to barely good levels - 10.4, 7.5, 8.6, 6.5 - where 6.0 is the minimum you look for. And his w9 rose to the threshold of poor performance - 1.0, 1.7, 2.9, 3.0 - where anything over 3.0 is not good. As a result, his k/bb fell from 10.0 to 4.3 to 3.0 to 2.2, where 2.0 is the minimum you want. So his w9 is not good afterall, his good early months covered the fact that the league had figured him out and he couldn't strike out guys as easily anymore and thus also walked more as well.

Flukey HR Total Should be Higher

In addition, his low hr9 was flukey because his HR/Flyball ratio was abnormally low. Most pitchers should be bouncing around a mean of 10% for that ratio, but he is at 3.5% currently, so his hr9 rate is way down and prime to return to the mean of 10%. Even if you only double it, he falls to the 19 YO average HR9 rate, so there goes another good ranking in hr9, he is only about average there now. And if it goes to the full 10%, his hr9 rate will probably be over the 1.0 benchmark for not going over.

MLEs Say Flee

Furthermore, his Major League Equivalents (MLEs; scroll to bottom), which is a methodology to convert a particular league's stats into equivalent major league stats to give a glipse of how good they are, are absolutely horrible. His WHIP would be 2.8, his w9 is 6.8, his HR9 is 1.2 (where 1.0 is the maximum you want on your staff), and OPS for opposing batters is 1.079; they are all pretty high and outrageous. Only his k9 is on the high side, at 9.3 strikeouts per 9 IP. Who would want a pitcher like that?

Conclusion

So yes, he's only 19 YO and he might suddenly have the lightbulb go on and he becomes something good. But his performance, based on MLEs, is absolutely putrid. And his key w9 and k9 stats fell greatly with each month, showing that the hitters had, over time, mastered his pitching after facing him a second (or more) time. In addition, he is very close to the average 19 YO's performance over the past two seasons and his rankings are not particularly noteworthy.

He is a prospect not worth worrying about in a trade, just be glad we got a major league quality LOOGY for him so that we could sent Jonathan Sanchez back to the minors to start games. That, to me, is the most important development of this trade, the team putting Sanchez back into a starting role so that he could build up his arm and become a starter again.

2 comments:

  1. Sorry, forgot to add a linky to his stats splits: http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?pl=463017&tm=AugSAL&bp=p.

    I will fix up the post as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good post, Martin. But you forgot to include the infallible argument: "Since Sabean is an idiot, this trade must be stupid."

    I keep reading that on the Internet, so it must be true!

    ReplyDelete

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