Friday, February 23, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: 6 of the SI Top 100

This should be a short one!

SI just published their SI 100 Top MLB players, and the Giants had two among 21-50 - Posey #29 and Bumgarner #36 - and four among 51-100 - Longoria #67, Crawford #79, Belt #82, Cueto #89.  The average team would have 3.33 players on the list, and the Giants had 6.

Unfortunately, the Dodgers had 3 of the Top 21 - Kershaw #7, Seager #17, Turner #21 - plus Bellinger #40, Jansen #62, and Taylor #64.

Together, the two NL West clubs had 12 out of 100.  The D-backs also had four on the list:  Goldschmidt #10; Greinke #24; Pollack #55; Ray #98.  The Rockies had 3:  Arenado #8; Blackmon #28; LeMahieu #86.

Other clubs with at least 6:
  • Astros (7):  Altuve #2; Correa #9; Verlander #19; Springer #27; Reddick #66; Bregman #69; Keuchel #71
  • Cubs (7):  Bryant #3; Rizzo #23; Darvish #53; Lester #70; Hendricks #72; Quintana #80; Contreras #91
  • Indians (6):  Kluber #11; Lindor #15; Ramirez #26; Carrasco #31; Encarncion #76; Miller #81
  • Nationals (7):  Scherzer #4; Harper #12; Strasburg #25; Rendon #33; Turner #38; Murphy #77; Gonzalez #84
  • Red Sox (6):  Betts #6; Sale #20; JD Martinez #61; Kimbrel #63; Bradley Jr #74; Price #94
  • Yankees (6):  Stanton #13; Judge #14; Sanchez #48; Gardner #56; Severino #59; Gregorius #83
ogc thoughts

Out of the teams above with 6 players in the Top 100, the Giants were the only ones to not make the playoffs last season.  Of course, they didn't have Longoria last season, but I think we can see the connection between having players who make the Top 100 list, the only playoff teams to not make the above were the Twins, Rockies, and D-backs.

One could argue that the Giants should have had a seventh player in McCutchen.  Honestly, surprised to see Cueto make the list after such a poor season, so they could be swapped I guess.

And the teams above did not have all those players last season, so I understand that these rankings are not 1:1 with last season.  Yankees picked up Stanton, Red Sox JD Martinez, Cubs Darvish.

Team Rating/Ranking

Plus, the other teams had more higher ranked players.  To build a rating and then a ranking, we can sum up ratings starting at 100 for #1 Trout, and down to 1 for #100 Frazier, and get a rating for each team, and then rank them, much like the MVP votes.  The Giants only added up to 224.  They were far from first place.

The Astros took first place with 444, just edging out the Nats with 434.   The Astros 1-7 were better than the Nats, except for 5, and would have been far and away the best team, if it were not for Trea Turner, who was a lot better than the Astros #5 player, Reddick.  The Nats can thank San Diego for giving him away like that in trade a couple of years back.  Dodgers had 395 for third.  Indians had 366 for fourth while the Yankees had 333 (huge jump with Stanton) and fifth.  Cubs were 6th with 315, as Darvish replaced Arrieta's rating, else they would be below the Angels instead.  Red Sox 7th with 288 (without Martinez, would be 248), Angels 8th with 273 (but no Ohtani, he could push them up to the Yankees-Cubs area at some point).

Not sure exactly where Giants fit in with 224, as I did not do every team, but they appear to be 9th.  For a contrast, the D-backs had 217 with their players, Rockies 186.  And the Mets with 168 (5 players, thanks to Frazier) edged out the Cards are at 167 (4 players, close thanks to addition of Ozuna).  These are the teams expected to fight for the two NL wild card spots. 

On the AL side, Red Sox at 288, Angels at 273 (but Ohtani factor), then Mariners at 194 appear to be the teams fighting for the wild card slots.  The Blue Jays are next at 129, ahead of the Rangers at 127, and Twins at 114.  Twins are still trolling for a SP, they were trying to pick up Darvish, which would have pushed them to 162, and signing Arrieta would put them at 163, plus Lynn is still available, but would only add 8.  Looks like a three team race at the moment, based on this rating/ranking.

Overall:  Giants Wild Card Competitive

Based on this rating, the Giants have the 4th best NL team, behind the Nats, Dodgers, and Cubs, which is basically what most projection systems has them, though most have the Cards up there with them, and they only had four adding up to 167.  And there is a pretty clear delineation between the top 3 and the next tier, where the Giants are. 

Again, basically, this says that the Giants are competing for one the wild card slots, and is one of the better teams fighting for those slots.  Even if McCutchen had made the list, say around where Longoria is, that would have still left the Giants way behind the Cubs, let alone the Dodgers.  But it would have provided some separation between them and the current cluster around 200.

I feel good:  Go Giants!

4 comments:

  1. Did you see, ogc, the piece on Stratton in The Athletic? It apprises its readers of pretty much the same spin rate information that you analyzed so closely a short while back, and offered very similar, pleasing inferences.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First off, thank you very much for bringing this to my attention! I greatly appreciate the heads up, as I unfortunately do not catch all articles on the Giants! Life, you know?

      I did happen to read the piece, as I'm a subscriber to The Athletic (joined after Baggarly was announced to be a writer, but waited for a good deal of 40-50%, get on their mailing list and you should get the offer eventually; I would have signed up as a subscriber, had he or Schulman joined, both are indispensable to Giants fans, and Pavlovic is getting there). For those interested, here's the link if you are a subscriber: https://theathletic.com/252714?shared_by=128573 . I have no idea if I share one would make it free to read by anyone, as the Chronicle seems to do)

      I also want to credit the MLB analysis which brought me to the StatCast information that is readily available right now, they were the ones who brought him to my attention, with their brief write-up, then I just took the next logical step and dug a little further into the numbers. Plus dug into other pitchers. There are hitters data as well, data galore.

      Delete
    2. This got me interested in finding out more about when his curveball got so good, so I looked around and found a number of good articles

      This one is a good one that pinpoints when Stratton made the change that made all the difference, his breakout game, giving nice stats on how his pitch usage changed between before when he was struggling and after, when he was dominating: https://goldengatesports.com/2017/12/29/san-francisco-giants-stratton-breakout-game/

      This following one is similar to the original article that brought me to Stratton's stellar spin rates, but focuses more on stellar curveballs in the majors that could be exploited to greater effects (though again focused on an Astro's pitcher, this time McCullers, it was Morton in the other article): http://sixmanrotation.com/next-great-curveball-pitcher/

      What they wrote: "There isn’t a lot of data for Chris Stratton, but the data we have is quite encouraging.
      His ground ball rate is over 60%, compared with a small FB%. And he didn’t give up a home run on the pitch all of last year, despite throwing it over 200 times. His velocity isn’t great, but he’s gotten plenty of swings-and-misses regardless. That’s due, in part at least, to the whopping eight inches of horizontal movement. Only six other pitchers have more than that on their curveballs. What’s more, he doesn’t have to sacrifice much drop. He gets a little less vertical movement than our sample curveballers, but it’s still well over league average. Moreover, he has the least exit velocity among all our candidates and sample pitchers. For these reasons, he looks like a good bet to ramp up his curveball usage–he gets good results, and he has the movement to back them up." They selected Stratton as the guy they think has the most potential to do as McCullers did and throw a lot more curveballs.

      Delete
    3. Lastly, ran across a new Giants blog written by a former minor leaguer, who was a local prospect, and he wrote a detailed breakdown of Stratton's transition with a lot of stats tables: http://straight108.com/2017/09/19/cs2/

      He also notes the switch to more curveballs, less of pitches that didn't work as well for him, and he was great in that stretch, last 9 starts, 2.42 ERA. And as my blog post noted, his xwOBA, or expected wOBA, was pretty good too, meaning that the results matched the expected results with how he pitched with his curveball.

      And it looks like he could improve even more if he uses the curveball more. Seems like Romo in that he has one elite off-speed pitch that he can throw a lot and get a lot of outs with it.

      Delete

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