Monday, November 24, 2014

Your 2015 Giants: Panda-Less

As reported by all our good beat writers, Pablo Sandoval has moved on to "new challenges" with the Boston Red Sox.   The Giants in their last try at negotiations (they were not afforded the chance to match Boston), gave Sandoval a great bid:  5 years and $95M, plus a team option for a 6th year, and indicated that they could go higher (not sure how that would be communicated, though, seems to be a CYA info released to the reporters because if I were Sandoval's agent, I would then say, "well, how much higher?"  Why even bother mentioning that?).  

It is clear to the reporters that the rumor that the Sandoval team felt that Pablo was disrespected and thus was not returning to the Giants appears to be true.   It appears that they used the Giants interest to get the Red Sox to up their contract offer.  Boston is rumored to have offered 5 years and roughly $100M, more details will probably come out before Thanksgiving (and they were rumored to want some sort of weight clause).

ogc thoughts

Whew, we dodged a huge bullet here!

I am one of the ones who feel that losing him is not a big deal. He's being paid way over what he's worth, in my eyes, and so I can let go. Yes, he was a nice (and fun) contributor to our grand golden era, but to me, it was our pitching that won the championships for us.  Yes, it is certainly big news, HUGE news, but for that price, I'm OK with letting him go.

Offense in the playoffs is mostly randomness and BABIP-mess, that's why you get the weird MVPosition Players over the years, like Gene Tenace, Edgar Renteria, David Eckstein, Bucky Dent. Performance that you can rely on is pitching, as Cain, Bumgarner, Affeldt, Romo, Lopez, Casilla, Wilson, even Lincecum in the playoffs.  Not all pitching, but that is where scouting and player development comes in.

Furthermore, another reason it is not a big deal to me because we are set in our lineup even without him. Pagan, Panik, Belt, Posey, Pence is a good 1-5. Belt, Posey, Pence have better 3 year batting line than Panda in 2012-2014. Crawford would have been slightly better than average batting 6th in 2014, he had .713 OPS and average NL 6th hitter .696 OPS. I think he has more growth offensively in 2015.

I'm assuming we are picking up a good hitting LF who would then bat 6th and Crawford would be a good 7th hitter (NL average .689 OPS). Average 8th hitter has .625 OPS, Arias, Adrianza and Duffy hit close to that in sporadic regular play, I'm actually looking forward to seeing what one of them can do with regular ABs.

There are other alternatives that I've brought up that most probably won't happen.  One is moving Belt to LF, opening up 1B.  Then they could start Ishikawa there in a platoon with Posey.  Another alternative is to start sharing C and 1B between Posey and Susac, with Posey the starting catcher and Susac the backup catcher when not starting at 1B (in this scenario, we could still have Hector Sanchez as the third catcher and main PH, saving him from many more concussions; he also played 1B nicely in spring training and probably willing to try other positions as well).  There are no real good 3B alternatives, just Headley, but 1) the Yankees sound like they want to keep him and 2) he's not really that good in any case, for the money.


I think Pablo will eventually come to regret this decision and fire his agent, as well as be mad at all his inner circle of yes-men who pushed him to move on because they thought that he was being disrespected. He's going to be miserable once the boo-birds come out when he hits his first tough spot: look at all the Giants fans coming out of the woodwork in April when he wasn't hitting, complaining about him being fat, and square that, and that's the fan pressure he will have in Boston.  Maybe he will finally man up and be the star he appeared to be in 2009 and 2011.  But I don't think so.

It is going to be exponentially worse in Boston, where he has no built-up reserve of tolerance and affection, as he had with Giants fans.   Fans there will expect great hitting from the get-go and will complain whenever he slumps, and he regularly gets into one, often related to recovering from an injury.  For he is not a healthy player, he will be on the DL at some point almost every year, for one reason or another.  If he thought the Giants were disrespectful, when until his first major slump.

And a miserable Pablo, we've seen how he acts and hits: in 2010, he spent the season in turmoil, pending divorce, custody battle over daughter, mom yards away from being incinerated in the San Bruno explosion, and his reaction was to get really fat, so fat that he couldn't hit RHP, so fat that he was benched during the World Series because the Giants felt that Renteria, who barely played that season, was a better alternative at SS (shifting Uribe to 3B), even though he hit 1 for 16 in the NLCS.

What Now?

I'm very interested in what they might do with these dollars now that Sandoval has moved on. But not signing Peavy though, that would be like dodging a bullet only to get skewered by a spear. Between the eyes.

The Giants can now accept a deal for either a 1B (Belt moves to LF), 3B, or LF which a team wants to dump his salary for a lower prospect, but a player who would still be productive for the Giants.  As I noted above, won't take much of a hitter to provide a positive contribution to the lineup in the 6th spot.  

The rumors is that the Giants are now kicking the tires on Lester, who would be a fine addition to the rotation.   Unfortunately, talk is that he turned down a huge contract with the Red Sox, and we could be looking at 6 years and $132M in order to sign him.  I would rather pass.  The Giants have also reported that they have significant interest in the two Cuban free agents, OF Yasmany Thomas and SS Yoan Moncada.   I'm very interested in Moncada, sounds pretty great.  Not sure what other pitching we might be able to pick up, but that would be a nice area to add a great 5th starter who could be at least mid-rotation.

For 3B, I would be happy with the Giants giving Duffy and Adrianza a chance to grab the starting 3B spot and see what they can do with regular playing time, much like Panik last season, with Arias as the floor on production, because he plays defense at 3B as well as Sandoval, and would be OK as an 8th hitter.  As I had noted above, we are set in the top of the lineup with Pagan, Panik, Belt, Posey, and Pence, that's a good looking top of the lineup through the middle, and Crawford in 2014 hit better than the average 6th place hitter in the NL.  Heck, he was not that much worse than Sandoval and was better during parts of the season.

I'll be happy if the Giants sign a good hitting LF (Morse?) or trade for one (Cespedes?), and he could hit 6th with Crawford being an even better 7th place hitter. And Arias, Duffy, and Adrianza each did not hit much worse than the average 8th place hitter, lets see what one of them can do with regular starts. Sandoval's hitting was a luxury, not a necessity.

And ultimately, not much better than any other team's 6th or 7th place hitter.  Is that what you want to pay $20M per season for?  I don't.  Let's see what Sabean and gang can do with that money now.

I thank Sandoval for his years of great service for us, but it's time to move on, and see what our young guys can do in his place or what we can acquire from the marketplace, whether free agent or through trade.  I wish him no ill-will, but I won't wish him good luck either, we might face him at some point.


  1. I think this definitely free's up moneys for Morse. Who is a great depth signing. You don't have to sign him to play 9/162 like Hunter Pence. He can be a 5 day a week guy/6 inning guy. 400 PA target. That's a great depth signing. And we saw just what a weapon he was off the bench. He was great in the playoffs. He is a very good hitter. Too much focus on what he does wrong, not enough on what he does right.

    I'd make Morse priority number one personally. You can smooth the bumps defensively. Plus he's Belt insurance!

    1. Sorry guys, my e-mail wouldn't come up on my tablet, so I missed all of this.

      Seems like the Giants are trying to think out of the box, pursuing Lester now. Morse might be plan C, D, E, ....

    2. Plus, I guess it depends on what he wants in a deal, I did not think this through. I know most quote him as $6M, but it had bonuses that could push it to $9M if he made certain targets, presumably related to PA or games. Since he missed so much season, reasonably to assume he did not get much of that, but he did get into 131 games and 482 PA, so could have gotten something. I was thinking the $9M when I had my short answer above.

      In any case, I should have noted that he could be part of the plans, per your comment, if he's willing to accept nearer to the $6M than if he's going for a multi-year deal in the $9M range that his contract called for with all bonuses paid. That would make a huge difference if it's a one year commit at lower than multi-year for more. If he wants $9M for a year, I think the Giants would still be looking at options, while if he leads with $6M, he could be signed quickly (since still not a peep since the Sandoval Show ended, my guess is he's looking for more).

  2. Morse, at 1 WAR (f or r) in just under 500 PA in 2014, is the, or even a, top priority for 2015? More than one or two good SPs? More than a good- fielding, at least decent hitting third baseman? More than a left fielder who can field well and also hit well? In fact, one might suspect that reupping Morse might keep the Giants from getting that left fielder. That would be proof in my eyes that far too little is said about how bad Morse is, and far too much about the things, or thing, he can do reasonably well.

    1. Fair enough. I don't think Morse would stop the Giants from signing Tomas though. There really isn't any other LF out there to worry about. Morse was a very nice low key move that is easily discarded if it doesn't go right. I'm sure he's looking for a 3 year deal, which will morph into a 2 year deal... which will...

      Giants are really good at finding this section of the market. Uribe. Huff. Hell, Renteria. Ross. You don't always get the goods, sometimes you have to squeeze lemons.

      And I do acknowledge at crunch time you absolutely have to have good fielders everywhere. So he's a huge liability and gets turned into a limited role. But you have to admit - he earned that 6MM contract huge, came up huge in the postseason, only made a few cringe worthy gaffes. It was fun watching him celebrate. Nice guy.

    2. Well, by the CPA school of baseball evaluation, getting 1 WAR for $6M is hardly a bargain. But leaving that aside and taking your priority statement as enthusiastic rather than literal, I would say that the Giants need an LF who can hit and field or, second best, a fourth outfielder who can hit and field so that he can spell Blanco, who'd start regularly in LF, and Pagan. Aoki would be a possibility.

      About Tomas and other Cubans, teams can get a good idea of their tools and their ability to make valuable use of the tools. I wonder, though, if they have any equivalent of the old boy network that helps them assess young American prospects in terms of baseball IQ, character, willingness and flexibility to profit from coaching, and work ethic. Puig and, in Boston, Cespedes have fallen short in some of these latter respects. I'm made a bit nervous about Tomas as our big purchase for LF, in light of what I'm guessing his MLB team won't know about him till it's too late. Me, I'd prefer something like the Aoki option if the alternative is Tomas, and hope that Mac Williamson demonstrates by mid-2015 that he's on the verge of moving to the Big Leagues.

    3. I think the Greybeards are nervous as well, and nervous of overbids with hot competition with the Cubanos. I'm not sure I believe all this noise about going after the top flight pitchers, it sounds like agent hype, but maybe they are looking at a Lester or a Shields. Scherzer is rep'd by Boras and Heyman always hypes his clients with lots of noise.

      Forget the dWAR penalty for a second campanari, Morse put up a sweet slash line and hit dingerz. That has value beyond the accountant's eyeshade.

    4. Indeed, Shankbone. Morse put up a slash line, OPS+, and wOBA nearly identical to AGon. So, how do I differentiate these two guys? My metrics.

      Morse wasn't nearly as productive scoring (runs + RBI per plate appearance). Interestingly, Morse rates among many with a very different skill set: Starlin Castro, Yelich, Utley, Reyes, and Aybar on this. Well below the elite, but still above average.

      Morse's closest comps for power are Springer, AGon, and J Upton. Just below Bautista, but above Donaldson and Puig.

      Morse was good at total bases taken (per PA), especially for a slow guy who didn't walk a ton. And never got an IBB. Closest to Pujols, Posey, Lind, and Neil Walker here.

      Add all these together and we got my Productivity Total (PrdT). Think of it like a hefty OPS rating. Morse has a 1.114 PrdT.

      That is near the top-end of 'above average.' Runs, RBI, Full Total Bases, and my isolated power stats combined, all divided by plate appearances.

      Puts Morse above Carl Crawford 2.4 rWAR, Melky 3.1, Desmond 3.6, Pence 3.6, and Zobrist 5.0. How much could Morse's deficiencies be mitigated if he's pulled by the 6th or 7th inning and/or used as a LF/insurance/DH?

      That's just one factor. Mike Morse has an "overall value" similar to Desmond, Sandoval, Reyes, Aybar, Fowler, and Castro.

      It's not WAR. But it tells more of his value, IMO. Mike Morse for 2/22M if we can't get a guy like Melky to return? I believe we could do A LOT worse and probably not much better. I don't even want to hear Denorfia is an option.

    5. People have been using RBI + Runs since at least the 70's, and the better way of utilizing that is to subtract homeruns from it, else you are double counting.

      There was a post on it at The Book, which was highlighted by Baseball Musing:

      I guess if you want to emphasize the value of a homer, it works, but this has also been noted as being random luck for some because runs depends on someone driving you in, and RBI depends on guys being on base ahead of you. Lou Gehrig don't drive in that many runs without Babe Ruth getting on ahead of him, for example.

      I see you added a twist with the division by PA. And the way you create the index is interesting. But have you actually run a test of this over historic stats to see what comes up from it? I would need to see that before I believe in its value in differentiating players. All I see is that it takes traditional measures of players and added in a random value via the runs and RBI, plus an additional factor for those who hit a lot of homers. I could probably pull these from guys with low AB/HR and a PA floor.

    6. And to be clear, I believe that there is value in RBI, but I haven't figured out a way to show that to people. Sometimes you have to chose your battles, and what is important and what is nice.

      For me, offensive stats have taken a back seat to pitching because it is pitching that controls the game. Pitchers have been given the back of the hand by sabers because of the whole WAR and DIPS concepts, but they are the true controllers of the game. That is, if they are very good at it, which most are not. But one thing I like to do to show how the value of pitchers are severely undervalued is by comparing each players WAR/game. Pitchers' WAR/game is much much higher than a position player's, and for the best pitchers, if you add together the average WAR produced by each player based on their seasonal results, an ace pitcher can provide more WAR on average than even the best hitters playing all the games in the series. However, that is masked by the need for that pitcher to pitch twice in a five game series and three times in a seven game series.

      In addition, multiple studies have found that there is no particular offense that can be tied to success in the playoffs. Until there is some new study and evidence, I treat offense as hygiene and pitching as core competency, using the terminology of Geoffrey Moore of Chasm fame. Hence, I'm more willing to lose a Sandoval, knowing that the rest of the offense is still pretty good overall, he was nice but not necessary.

    7. Hey OGC, I figure my ADJ+ stat stuff might be of interest to you. I understand your point about the HR being double counted, and thanks for the links. I've read others' opinions and debated how to handle this myself. As a "counting stat," somebody drives in the run. In this instance, it's the same batter that scores. OTOH, it IS a double reward. Deserving?

      A few simple keystrokes in excel and I can change it. I have left it, by choice. It hardly changes my "overall" metric. But, I do recognize the point you make.

      Your point about WAR for pitchers is also something I've noted. I actually "project" pitchers to 660 batters faced, which is a simple reference of (my arbitrary decision) a batter's season. I can quickly scan for numbers I 'recognize' in a specific context. Easier for me to review a pitcher as 30 2B/20 HR- which I'd recognize from batters as a season. Even though it usually represents only about 160 IP. As opposed to building a new reference point to 200 IP or whatever. Just 'works' better to how my brain already figures things, is all.

      I take exception to many commonly used metrics. you mention the low AB/HR thing. wOBA can't figure how to deal with a .210 avg slugger and 30 HR versus a .380 singles hitter with only 2 doubles all season. My power stat tries to do better. I've compared player sets I get back in comps: ISO, wOBA, SLG, OPS+, and my "pwr" stat. It's interesting how different the player comps are based on which metric is used.

      Here are the details on my "pwr" stat. Perhaps you could tell me if this makes good sense to you? It starts by isolating the XBH "factors" from wOBA. A single is 0.888, we don't use this directly... 2B are multiplied by the "weighted" factor of 1.271, 3B = 1.616, HR = 2.101. I agree with the idea of weighting. Now...

      Using 1.271 would imply a 1B is 1.000 as a baseline for a single. That isn't true. So, we must ADD the 0.383 (1.271 - 0.888 = .383) to define our baseline for each XBH "value factor." Essentially I'm using discretion to 'reset' the values. Of course, you (or others) may dispute these choices. Is a triple twice as valuable as a single?

      1B = 1.000, 2B = 1.654, 3B = 1.999, HR = 2.484

      So, we ONLY take the extra base hits and multiply each by its respective "weight" factor. Got it?

      ((2B*1.654)+ (3B*1.999)+ (HR*2.484)) / (AB- SH- SF- IBB)

      Cool. We'd find Brantley, Donaldson, Puig, Rendon, Harrison, Cespedes, and Moss all have a pwr value of between .212 -.215.

      Their respective ranges in:
      wOBA __ .327 -.390
      ISO____ .175 - .204
      SLG___ .438 - .506
      OPS+___ 110 - 154
      rWAR____ 2.6 - 7.4

      (Using ISO: Lawrie, Desmond, Calhoun, and Viciedo come back among the comps for Michael Brantley's .178 ISO - yeah, go figure).

      To test accuracy for pwr: Trout .293, McCutchen .283, Cruz .260, Morse .227, Posey .197, Melky .186, Pence .183, Sandoval .154, Pagan .122, Arias .079. Bonds 2001 = .543, Mays 1965 = .316.

      Sorry, this got long. For some more info on my ADJ+ stat, I posted a comment on Shankbone's site: Pablo is Shipping to Boston post. You've probably already seen it? My pwr stat is one of 8 metrics I've created to combine into my ADJ+ stat, which I use to replace WAR; for overall player values.

      My pitcher WAR is much, much more complex, and lower values are better. Still, my pwr stat also offers great insight into which pitchers are more prone to give up XBH.

      For example, Haren, Danks, and Lincecum are each right around .204 pwr. Yup, the league hits these pitchers with power roughly like HanRam, Lind, Freeman, Belt, LaRoche, Plouffe, or Walker ON AVERAGE. Yikes. Gee gad.

      I'm still working on my ADJ+ metrics to constantly find ways to better tune them. I'd love your feedback. Cheers.

    8. Interesting. Many thoughts, I'll probably come back as these various threads bounce around my brain.

      First off, you should not use the WAR term if you are going to have it be better the higher it is for hitters, while it is better the lower it is for pitchers. You'll just confuse everyone and disincline them to even try to understand your theory.

    9. Oh, so make up your own term for whatever it is you are trying to measure. Tango Tiger purposefully designed wOBA so that it is similar in scale to BA and thus people looking at it can easily translate that what is a good BA is a good wOBA

    10. Clearly, at least from what you keep emphasizing, power is your main intent with your metrics that you described here. You mention choosing to include the homers, plus how you used the linear weights portion devoted to the extra base hits.

      Do you understand that scoring comes from the two main parts of the batting line, OBP and SLG? That was Bill James basic Runs Created components long ago (since modified a lot), but the essential component are still roughly this equation: OBP times SLG times AB or basically OBP times Total Bases.

      That's why OPS got developed, because the player metric was suppose to be OBP times SLG, but that's hard to see off the sports page, so OPS = OBP + SLG was developed as a short hand to that. Anytime I have to choose hitters, I use that formula to get a closer sense to which one is better than the other for creating runs.

      Now, I know you emphasize power, especially HR power, but you don't get into WHY you decided to do that. For me to understand what you are doing, you will have to explain why you did that, else it just seems random and capricious.

      It was interesting what you did to the linear weights, but not very clear, and ultimately illogical to me.

      First, I would note that the weighting have nothing to do with singles but everything to do with runs, is my understanding. So adding the difference between a double and single don't make sense to me from that viewpoint.

      Second, the whole point of weighting is to provide a relative sizing in proportion to what you are trying to measure, which is a ratio relationship, not an additive one as you implemented. Personally, I would have used 1.271 by 0.888, if you are going for such an effect.

      FYI, for those following, I just did research on wOBA and learned that the coefficients carmot used were the ones calculated and published by Fangraphs for 2013 season, as they change each season (this is TangoTiger's mechanism to tie the season's run creation to the actual number, not a historical long term one, much like how Bill James now complicated Runs Created formula is adjusted to keep things tied to the actual runs scored, and I believe that he has Win Share tied to actual cumulative stats as well, but forget what that mechanism is).

      Third, then you do the cardinal math sin of simply adding that same difference to the coefficients of 3B and HR. At minimum, following your logic, you should have added the difference of 3B-1B to 3B and HR-1B to HR. And again, these are weights, so to my logic, you should be using the ratio for them too.

      Ultimately, the problem I have with your metric is the lack of illustration of improvement of your metric over existing metrics, which has been the litmus test for most metrics being added to the canon of sabermetrics. If you could illustrate this, you would convince not only me but get published in Fangraphs for sure. I recoomend the book, Curveball by Bennett and another professor, should be in Amazon, I'll get exact details later when time.

    11. Curve Ball: Baseball, Statistics, and the Role of Chance in the Game [Jim Albert, Jay Bennett]

      They do a lot of work with sabermetrics in the book while also teaching the reader how to do such work. They did a number of studies in the book illustrating how one metric was better than another, and that is why I recommend the book, so that you can learn how to analyze the efficacy of your metric.

      For those wanting to learn more about statistics and sabermetrics, the two authors later wrote a statistics textbook that teaches statistics using baseball stats. I haven't gone through that whole book, but used it as a reference to jog my memory on certain statistical techniques.

      Back to carmot. Of course, you need to get clear exactly what the purpose is. It appears you want to measure power, so you need to compare it with SLG and ISO, which are the standard measures of power. wOBA is meant to measure the run producing output of a batter's performance, and if you want another example of how to compare systems, Fangraphs did this for wOBA previously, just search on the terms. I'm not sure how you would compare, hence why I give you these suggestions on ways of comparing.

      But basically, to me, what you are doing with your equation is similar to those math tricks people like me used to love to do when we were kids. Basically the one where you tell your audience to take their birth year, do all sorts of math on it, then give me the result, and I can basically reverse engineer the algebra and get your birth year. Frank Viola!

      You use the linear weights, it seems to me, as a way to confer some legitimacy to your equation, but then twist them a bit with the addition, but to what effect, I'm not sure, and I don't think you are sure either, since you were not aware that the coefficients are related to run production, and not to some base value for singles. I understand that you want to emphasize the extra-base hits that a hitter provides, but the guys you list, of course the guys with power show up. Some people look at XBH% as a way to show a player's power vs. others, that's a column in BB-Ref's extended Hitting page of stats.

      Now, I don't view myself as an expert in sabermetrics, but I feel I know enough to make commentary. So perhaps I'm missing something with your metrics. Right now, it seems like you created all this just to have something different. You need to solidify what and why are doing things with your formulas. Methodology and the reasons behind each change. Sure, you want to measure power, but why is that a better method than, say, just removing singles and using simply the wOBA calculations for the XBH? Or weighing them like I suggested, relatively? Or some other method?

      And why the focus only on power? You mention it often, but don't have a reason other than because you can.

      A common way I see others show how their method is better is to illustrate with a comparative list (beyond the few that you provided, ideally every player with significant PA), and pointing out all the ones that your method succeeds in bringing notice to when the other method fails. And to be fair, not all systems are perfect, you need to address all the ones who should be identified by missed by your methods. Well, maybe not all, but enough to show that your method, while not perfect, is still better.

    12. I agree that power is an underserved component. It is being masked by SLG and ISO helps but few people ever reference that stat, let alone other ones.

      Someone on Beyond the Box Score (say, that would be a good place for you to ask questions regarding your methodology, maybe get help in suggesting a way to compare your methodology with other metrics) did a linear regression, which resulted in weights for each lineup position based on each hitter's OBP and SLG. All that advanced statistical reasoning on why one variable or another was above my head when I took a class on Econometrics (one of my shame from college, I had to drop that class, it was just too hard, but I wish now that I had stuck it out and mastered it), but I wonder if there are other metrics that could be included, like maybe breaking out batting average and then instead of OBP and SLG, use ISO-o and ISO-p instead. I believe that sabermetrics is going too far with the pendulum regarding OBP and forgetting about the value of BA.

      For example, people worry so much about walks and OBP that they forget that every additional point of BA adds to both OBP and SLG (actually, ultimately more than a point of SLG because there are XBH in there as well), showing how much more important BA is relative to walks, which is not the impression I get anytime I see prospects being analyzed sabermetrically, the focus is only on OBP and the number of walks the guy gets, nothing about BA, very little about making contact with the ball, it is almost like hitting is now the after thought in player analyst. But as Brian Bocock illustrated, no matter how good your walks stats look like, if you can't hit, you don't have much of a MLB career.

      I'm happy to be a sounding board when you get together a solid methodology and set of comparative data, so feel free to bounce things off me, you can do it here to centralize everything (I get notices that direct me to the right posting), just start a new thread down below each time, or OffTopic them on the latest, whatever works for you.

      Here's something I've worked on, off and on, feel free to run with it if you are able, but once upon a time, I took the RC equation and tried to do calculus derivatives with it. I think that's the next step that will need to be taken to understand run creation. But it was too complicated for me, who hadn't done derivatives for many, many, many moons ago now, plus somebody else did it on-line, so I stopped, not that I thought he did it justice but he did derive the equation. Anyway, if power is important to your calculations, maybe you can do something similar with your equation. Or maybe second derivatives is what you are looking for with your metric. Anyway, maybe that inspires, maybe not, just one thought that has been bouncing in my synapses for over a decade now.

    13. Well, thanks ogc. You make some good points. Some I agree with, others I may not. You seem to make a lot of conclusions and assumptions. Obviously, I haven't furnished nearly enough details about my methodology, nor reasonings behind ALL of my Adjusted-Plus stat. That is a truly long story. Complicated as well.

      Several times you claim I emphasize power. I don't feel this to be true at all. As I think I clearly mentioned... It is one of about eight total metrics that combine to create my ADJ+ stat. I thought I'd clearly laid out that things like runs scored, RBI, full total bases, and productivity total are all considered in various forms.

      So, "pwr" is simply one metric I use. I used it as an example. It is simpler than some of my others. So, I felt I could explain it in shorter order. I tried to show examples of how it gives a practical comparison to ISO, wOBA, SLG, and other stats. I listed a few comps. I further wished to explain how it can also be applied to pitchers, as a difference reference point. And how it differentiates Morse, for example. I probably wasn't clear enough. Or, I simply don't hold enough credibility for this to be considered with an open mind. Or, my concepts are truly flawed.

      Like I've said, I feel many commonly used metrics are misleading. OGC, I know you often refer to players' ISO. But it severely favors one with a low batting average (SLG - AVG). Others like wOBA and wRC tie in factors like "league average" and "ballpark factor" that are somewhat arbitrary determinations by somebody else. Conclusions I don't necessarily agree with. If a player hit 20 HR this season, it is "better" than 20 HR in 2012; because "others" didn't hit for as much power? That seems odd to me.

      Park Factor is based on things like how many HR are hit. Not actual park dimensions or things like climate. Again, highly misleading, IMHO.

      I have a lot of comparative data. I'm not here to take over your blog and post 160 players. I've mentioned some examples. Then, if the retort is I'm "cherry picking" or I "haven't given a large enough sample of comparative data," I don't know how to even respond. Well, anyways... Thanks for the feedback. Cheers.

    14. Look, you asked for my opinion. If I wasn't coming to this with an open mind, I would not have wasted three long comments trying to explain my position, I would have brushed you off like many other sabers with short disparaging comments about it. Really, after all I wrote trying to understand your concept you come at me with that comment?!?

      If I made assumptions, it's because you didn't give me enough to know what was your thoughts were in regards and I had to make assumptions otherwise it's a waste of time to reply to you. I hate hand waving and flowery language about what a wonderful thing something is. I'm a Joe Friday, here's the facts ma'am type of guy. My BS meter is on all the time.

      I've gone through the bother of rereading what you posted here. Power this and power that, total bases there and total bases there, all through your comment, then there is one line about how it is one of many metrics used, but you don't really mention any of them here. So what really were you expecting me to comment here on, underwater basketweaving? You presented to me your power metric, and, to me, that was the bulk of your tool as that was all you bothered to explain to me here when you asked for my opinion. And I gave it.

    15. Here are my thoughts on your comments at the end.

      ISO does not severely favor hitters with low batting average. It favors hitters who have more power, that is why their ISO is so large, not because they have a low batting average but because they hit so many balls for extra-bases.

      Again with the assumption, but I don't know what else to assume given your comment about it favoring low BA hitters. I assume you have this impression because if you look at hitters with high ISO, there are a low of low BA. Hitters with high BA and high ISO are very rare hitters, if they were easy to get, every team would be overrun with them. But teams aren't.

      You got to field 8 position players, and after your stars, you are left with the choice of high BA guys with low ISO or low BA guys with high ISO (low BA and low ISO very rarely makes the majors, must have great defense). Most teams favor low BA and high ISO because they can sometimes find those players they call Three True Outcomes who ameliorate their low BA with a high walk rate, giving them good OBP and good SLG. If you got no power, though, not much you can do with a high BA, there are only so many walks you can get, and you need higher SLG to score runs (using the underlying Runs Created theory that seems to work).

      You didn't provide much information other than that upsets you, so I don't know what else I can do but assume things, unless you prefer I ignore you (which apparently a lot of people prefer I do online, but I've grown OK with it, with each championship showing that my original stance was not crazy, that they were the crazy ones).

    16. You apparently think that I'm just dismissing your concepts, but mainly I'm providing my knowledge of current baseball analytics to the best of my abilities. I also view my blog as a learning place for those who want to learn, as I hope to learn from my readers as well. Hence my blog statement up above, which has been there for nearly a decade, basically the same.

      The idea of league average and park factors is to adjust statistics so that one can more accurately compare players playing in very different circumstances.

      Let's dissect your statement about park factors: "Park Factor is based on things like how many HR are hit. Not actual park dimensions or things like climate. Again, highly misleading, IMHO."

      More like highly uninformed or highly misunderstood. It does take park dimensions and climate into account, based on the number of homeruns hit in that park relative to other parks. I would agree to an extent that it is somewhat arbitrary, as you noted above this quote, but that is true for ANY metric, as there are rarely any metrics that fully captures what anyone wants to measure.

      While the mechanics is somewhat arbitrary, the goal is always the same: how do you adjust the raw counting stats in order to account for parks that favor hitters vs. parks that favor pitchers? If you don't like their methods, viewing them as arbitrary, then it is your onus to either suggest better methods or why they should not be used.

      I can go either way on park factors. Every analyst seems to favor their own way of doing it. Bill James has his methods, BP has their own, everybody seems to do it a different way.

      I find them interesting and useful to explain what might happen if one player moves from one park to another.

      A method I started doing when the provided them, is to use a hitter's spray pattern at his former home over his career, and apply it at his new home park, to get an idea of how many homers he might gain or lose with his new park.

      And while you complain about these methods, your stats don't take these factors into place either, based on what you have shared with me so far. Not that it is necessary to add this factor, more that you brought it up as a factor.

      And from my understanding of these metrics, neither one takes into account park factors at all, so I feel that you are way off in complaining about this.

    17. I just read the end of your comment. Whatever, apparently I'm wasting my breath on you, but here it is for anyone else interested.

      League Average concept revolves around the fact that each season is not truly comparable with every season before. There was the deadball era before 1920's, then the live ball after that with Babe Ruth and everything (they put in a livelier ball, but also outlawed the spitball, and started replacing horribly mangled balls with new balls). And, of course, the so-called Steroid's Era, which I believe will eventually be acknowledged as Live Ball era Part 2, I believe the evidence supports that (but that's another story that others don't agree with me on, so I won't bother here).

      So what does someone trying to compare players from different eras do? They create standardized metrics that adjusts by the offensive environment that exists in that year, in order to put each player on more of any equal footing. Carl Yaztremski had the only .300 BA that one year he won the batting title with that number, and another year, George Brett was flirting with .400 (or Tony Gwynn), so how do you adjust for those different baseball environments?

      That's where the idea of league average comes in and all that stuff.

      I'm personally with you here. I don't care much for the stuff. I know it enough to be able to talk about them and even bring it up when necessary, but I don't use them generally.

      Not because I don't trust them, just that I find standardization has underlying assumptions that I don't always agree with (I don't trust black boxes that purport to solve things without an explanation of some of the logic going into the box), plus, like with the seasonal adjustments made with employment data, you could have raw data that shows a decline, but after seasonal adjustment, you have an increase. I understand the concept, and can accept it at some levels, but something about that don't settle well with my gut, so I don't like that either.

      In the baseball world, BP's black box efforts with their numbers always left me cold. I understood some of the concepts, but they were giving me the fish, whereas Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster taught me how to fish, and all the process into the hows and whys. That's part of the reason why I don't buy their books anymore (the main reason was their open recommendation that Brian Sabean should be fired in their 2010 Annual; talk about the wrong thing at the wrong time, they basically wanted to fire the man who would help lead the Giants to win 3 of the next 5 World Series Championships. I'll never buy another thing they produce until they openly apologize to Giants fans all over. Weak sauce!)

      In any case, I find standardizations to not be as necessary when we are comparing players in the same era, as I normally do because I'm only discussing the current team and what we might do to improve it.

      On the other hand, I know that park factors are important, but the way I handle that is to look at the player's splits to show how differently they perform at different parks. I mean, hitters for Colorado and Texas benefit greatly from their parks, while their pitchers suffer greatly.

      I don't care much for the Park Factor adjustments, like you, I don't really trust them but that is because everyone seems to use a different method. If everyone could agree, then I would feel better about that method.

    18. Lastly, that is why I provided the title of the book that would teach you how to a comparative study, so that you do not pollute my blog or anywhere else with your entire comparative data. If I were "closed minded" why would I bother to do that?

      You know what, never mind even replying to anything. You have made me closed-minded. I spent a lot of time and effort to try to teach you where you went wrong (even before your nasty-gram) per the current state of the art as I am aware of it, and how anyone else would have issues with what you are doing. You asked for my opinion and I gave it, I can't help it if YOU are too closed-minded to accept it.

      The challenge for you if you hope to convince others that you are on the right track is to demonstrate, as the professors in that book I gave you the title of did, that your methodology does a better job than any other metric that is similar to your metric, which you know are SLG and ISOp for pwr, wOBA and wRC for ADJ+, but you would need to show a chart or some other graphic why your metric is better than others based on your research.

      I've re-read my comments. You either did not bother to read them or they were above your head, I never once wrote that you were cherry-picking or that your sample size was too small. But here's a tip for you for next time: don't insult anyone you are asking for help before you understand what his/her comments are.

      I would agree that sample size is important here: if you aren't using multi-year samples, then I would have a problem with it. I had a problem with DIPS when it first came out because it was only for one year, I still can't believe that. It wasn't until that study at Diamond Mind came out, by Tom Tippett, covering the whole of baseball history that I started accepting what was being said.

      And while I accept certain parts of it, I still feel that it led to a denigration of the art that is pitching, and been battling to get others to see that pitching IS the competitive differentiator in the playoffs. So I feel your pain, or rather felt it, hence why I tried to help and got insulted by you.

      Good luck with your project, you are going to need it. Most people would not be as open minded as I was to help you out as I did, and if you are going to crap all over the messengers, you are not going to get a lot of help.

  3. Would the giants be willing to take another shot at Melky? He was a good giant and fan favorite, until he committed a major baseball sin. I guess the giants will not give him another shot. Sometimes the giants shock me, but it will take a lot of money to get Lester, Does anyone think that the giants are doing anything but trying to drive his price up for someone else? However, if he wants to win a ring, and if the giants can land one more solid hitter in their lineup, perhaps the giants will have some attraction for Lester. I am worried of course, as next year is an odd year, 2015.

    1. Melky committed two major baseball sins. He took PEDs when he was on a team which had its reputation hurt by being soft on PED use. And he let down his teammates by not being honest with them before he got caught and not trying to make things right with them after he got caught. Also that was with a pennant race heating up. I believe that management cannot trust him and his fellow players cannot either.

    2. I agree with Acorn. Melky did not man up and face his teammates, plus his actions could have cost the team the pennant. The team was lucky that Scutaro got as hot as he did, though part of that was luck, his peripherals were great early in the season but poor BABIP cost him (even in good ol' Coors Field), so the BABIP gods gave later what they took away earlier and the Giants benefited.

      So even if ownership or FO thought that he would be a good baseball add, as long as Posey is around, I don't think we'll see Melky wear a Giants uni.

      Though I would note that I've wondered if his stupidity might have forged a common unity among his teammates that might not have happened otherwise. Of course, we'll never know either way.

  4. Whether they can trust Melky at this point or not, I do not think that the giants want to take the chance of being twice embarrassed by the same player. But one has to admit, that before the PEDs event occurred, he was an integral part of the team's success and a fan favorite. Luckily after he was gone, Scutaro turned into the first few months of the giants Randy Winn.

    1. Exactly, that is why Mota was gone after his cough meds problem took him away.

  5. Sandoval has been the greatest player on the planet for two weeks in the postseason, twice. Other than that his lack of motivation and discipline--at both plates the rest of the time makes him unworthy of the $ and terms of the contract he signed with the Red Sox. Yes, the Giants dodged a bullet there.
    HSanchez and Ishikawa signed for so little, in baseball dollars, that they can be cut if they aren't working out or SF needs a roster spot, the Giants not eating that much $.
    If they don't get the 3B FA they are hoping for I'd try Panic at 3B, with Duffy, Scutaro etc. playing 2B. Watch Panic's power #'s increase if playing 3B, less stressful than 2B.
    Re Melky- I don't see a problem with him coming back, he's a good player. HAD they lost the 2012 WS after him taking off the way he did, then no.

    1. I see a problem, a lost #19 or better draft pick, since Melky has a QO.

    2. Thanks for the comments. Totally agree, I hope the Giants do not sign any free agent which would cost us our draft pick. However, because they lost Pablo and got the other pick, which is not that further back than the first round pick, they might feel like they can give it up for the right free agent. I don't think any are worth losing a pick over, Scherzer maybe, but I don't like Boras's clients in general, as a bias against his brand of business practices. He has done wonders for his clients, but he's a pox on the MLB, as far as I'm concerned. (and yes, I'm aware he was both Bonds and Zito's agent; Zito helps makes my case...)

      Great points on Hanchez and Ishi, but Hanchez is going nowhere, he still has at least one option for the team to use if necessary (I believe that the Giants said what they did about incumbency to get Hector's big butt moving to win the job, he has had weight issues that caused him problems and he needs to focus on getting healthy and fit for spring training; I think they see Susac's potential as our future catcher once Posey is ready to move on and will give him a season starting as C in AAA to give him more experiences and ABs, then he can come up in 2016 for good).

      Panik does not have the arm for SS by many accounts, perhaps adequate at best, so moving him to 3B would just make his arm issues that much worse. This is why most prospect experts had him pegged as a future 2B in the future after we drafted him.

      Arias is actually excellent defensively at 3B, much better than Pablo, and Adrianza probably would be even better, he's a whiz at SS already.

      I think Panik has excellent bat control, and I think he'll figure out how to take advantage of the gaps in AT&T and other parks to boost up his power some, at some point. I don't think stress at 2B affects power, look at Jeff Kent, Rogers Hornsby, others, who have hit a lot of homers there, Joe Morgan.

      I don't have a real problem with Melky other than the core players need to vote on him, Survivor style, on whether they can play with him or if he's burned the bridge with his distasteful behavior before. I personally would pass, been there, done that, move on, nothing to see here.

  6. Panic is at 2b because he lacked the range to play SS, not because of his arm.
    He would do well at 3b.

    1. Hmm, I could have sworn I hit this reply. See below for my first response to your comment (Thanks again!) then read this.

      Also, here is a link to my original post on him:

      PG notes: "Scouts are impressed with his long, lean athletic frame, but aren’t convinced he will remain at shortstop as he climbs the ladder in professional baseball. He has the soft hands and quick feet to play short, but his range and arm strength may be better suited for second base. He had labrum surgery on his shoulder following his freshman season at St. John’s and has some difficulty, at times, making the long throw from the hole at shortstop."

      Oh, and just found a Sickels reference:

      He excerpted his prospect book: "Moving across the bag last year, he’s quite good at second base and won’t botch the job at shortstop despite a mediocre arm. "

      All in all, the expert sources feel that Panik has a mediocre arm that don't really play at SS, and if it can't play there, I don't see how it could play at 3B.

    2. Just me being anal, moving my first comment up here:

      Thanks for sharing Frank.

      Here is the info I've gotten.

      From Minor League Baseball Analyst:
      2012 and 2013: "doesn't have great range or a strong arm"
      2014: "Drafted as a SS, the move to second should improve his arm"

      Baseball America:
      2012: "His arm isn't a cannon, but his throws have good carry"
      2013: "He has average range and average arm strength"
      2014: About him moving to 2B, "He has enough arm to turn double-plays"

      None of these comments suggest someone who can throw out runners from 3B.

  7. Thanks for sharing Frank.

    Here is the info I've gotten.

    From Minor League Baseball Analyst:
    2012 and 2013: "doesn't have great range or a strong arm"
    2014: "Drafted as a SS, the move to second should improve his arm"

    Baseball America:
    2012: "His arm isn't a cannon, but his throws have good carry"
    2013: "He has average range and average arm strength"
    2014: About him moving to 2B, "He has enough arm to turn double-plays"

    None of these comments suggest someone who can throw out runners from 3B.

  8. HI
    This was an excellent post and was very insightful.
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