The $64,000 Q on "Sample Size" for INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS

Where is this guy going to end up? Will 100 more feet tell you?

 

I've never understood why people referred to Doug Fister's July 2010 as a "sample" of any kind.  How could Fister's performances in July 2010 relate in any way to the pitcher he was going to be in 2012?  ... yet Fangraphs insists on casting a player's MONTH as a type of 2% REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE of his career.

If Nick Franklin comes up and takes 100 AB's for the Mariners, that's not going to be a "sample" of ANYTHING, except a very small sample of Franklin's skill level AT THE MOMENT.

It really is like watching a motorcycle zoom around through mountain passes, and you "sample" him going around one curve, and project his overall direction from that.  Is it not?

.........

Here's where we run into Gaffney's "moving target" problem.  He was careful to specify that he was most dubious about pop sabermetrics as they apply to roster construction issues.

James (and I) couldn't agree more.  You won't see Bill James casting much of an opinion on whether Nick Franklin should be called up or not.

Industry trends?  Sure, you can conclude that pitchers with 8K per game are better bets than pitchers with 4K per game.  Industrywide tendencies, those you can capture.  Roster construction?  Different animal, scientifically.

This isn't a quibble.  Sabermetricians' job seems to be to "sample" that motorcycle going around one corner, and then to forecast where he'll be in 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  Can we agree that another 15 seconds' worth of "sample" is useless?

.............

Sure, PECOTA will tell you that the last 10 motorcycles taking this turn ended up "averaging" a NW direction.  

You want to know that.  The problem comes when Rany Jazayerli insists you "correctly value" the path as NW'erly.

..............

... how were you supposed to use "sampling" to project Kyle Seager, one day before his ML callup?  His career arc took an unexpected direction when he collided with MLB pitching.

How would "wider sampling" have helped you project Raul Ibanez when he was 26, or Jason Varitek when he was 24, or Jesus Montero when he's 23?  Rauuulllll's career arc took an unpredictable turn in his late 20's.  No amount of high-speed photography, of his mountain turns, at age 25, would have helped you.

But we see pop sabermetricians, all the time, see a ballplayer called up for one month, and then start gravely discussing his future based on their "sample."

We don' have a sample of Jesus Montero's career, gennlemen.  His 2012-13 is not providing a certain fraction of data as to his 2016 outcomes.

Matt, I'd like your comment on this, if you're so inclined.

Klat Categories: 

Comments

M's Watcher's picture

M's Watcher

What I am confident about in projecting Franklin, should he get 100 MLB-TM at bats, is that if he does well, his trade value will increase. It still may not predict his future performance, though it may more likely be with another team. Until he's promoted, he'll be just another AAA prospect, a top one, but untested in the bigs. He's worth more with MLB success. If he fails, he's just not ready yet, but it shouldn't hurt his value. It's not like a cup of coffee compares to Smoak's 1500 PAs.

1

Suffice to say, the Yankees face enough media scrutiny that if you are an employee and you're saying anything that could be construed as a comment on a player of "interest"...on the industry trends, or especially on the Yankees...the media here in NYC will quickly pounce on it as a comment from an unidentified team source.

The unethical conduct of the media has gotten so bad now that the Yankees have a hard rule against blogging, tweeting, or public commenting to the press. It also suffices to say that I can't really do that and still enjoy being a Mariner fan. I am looking for alternative (less public) means of conversing with my friends in the Seattle blogosphere. I'm pretty miserable with this particular rule. So if anyone wants to talk baseball over Skype or another chat service...or through email if you lack the patience for that sort of thing...I would greatly appreciate the chance to stay in touch and talk Mariners and baseball philosophy. Doc...I don't want to post my email address here...you have my email address that I used to register with...can you pass it along to anyone asking for it?

I am sorry about this, all. Trust me...I'm not happy with it at all.

2

If you're interested in an old guy's views, get my e-mail from Doc and we can skype during key games - I have premium, which allows conference skype, so we could get more guys involved (up to 5, I think, but my bandwidth allows ~4).

5

I don't have a good address to reach you and I am hoping you can be a go-between here while I try to establish some connections during the games. Sorry to bug you...don't have another good way.

6

Maybe you can set up an incognito name at MC or something.  That totally BUMS me OUT, dude.  Grrrrrr...

At least we have confirmed what we always suspected about "unknown org sources" ... not that any bloggers around here would do that .....

7

You'll always be a part of the Mariners community. Hope the Yankees gig takes you where you want to go, though. Just make sure if we ever meet in the playoffs you drop some bad sushi on the pre-game buffet table. That'll make up for the umpiring we'll get.

8

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <ul> <ol> <li> <i> <b> <img> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <div> <strong> <p> <br> <u>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Shoutbox

Please log in or create an account to post shouts.
DaddyOhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9xQlcvNlxg7 hours 5 min ago
GLSIt might be a good time for a Dr. D-style Saunders breakdown.7 hours 14 min ago
rick82Classic, moedawg8 hours 17 min ago
moethedogHere's my daily request for us to not see Saunders in the lineup, outside of backing up Almonte, anymore. Ever Ever Ever! OK, that's it......Now back to our regularly scheduled program, "The Jackson Five Story" starring The Osmond Brothers (I figured a bit of Cheech and Chong might help us all).8 hours 39 min ago
rick82You called it Gordon. This team went into a tailspin after that Felix loss. Their psyche is shot.8 hours 54 min ago
Gordon GrossThe problem with the tough losses is that they make it impossible to offset the obvious ones. If we'd gutted out the tough wins then getting blown out isn't so rough, but when we're just losing hard or losing big the pain just piles up.10 hours 13 min ago
JDDubThis is going about as I thought it could. All that's left is for the bullpen to come in and remove all hope......10 hours 58 min ago
SABR MattWe're in deep trouble. Elias isn't going to go deep today...and Maurer certainly won't tomorrow. This is not at all good.11 hours 11 min ago
SABR MattWell Cano will be there soon enough. :)15 hours 7 min ago
rick82All this left handed sock, and our two best hitters are Corey Hart and Mike Zunino at .842 and .834 OPS respectively. Only Ackley is anywhere close at 782.16 hours 44 min ago
GLSThere may come a time when Stanton is available and that time could be this next offseason. With 2 seasons left until free agency, if they offer a long-term deal and he refuses, that's the point at which someone may be able to get him.1 day 3 hours ago
muddyfrogwaterATTENTION! Giancarlo Stanton was not on the trade block. Never was. Miami made it clear early on they planned to build around him. He was no more available than Felix Hernandez was. He's theirs and we cant have him.1 day 4 hours ago
Bat571Bring Back Hyphen!! The D'Back's DFA'd Ryan Rowland-Smith today. He was 7-0 with a 1.55 ERA last year in AAA. Maybe he'd have something left as a 13th starter/long reliever?1 day 4 hours ago
Gordon GrossI'm regretting not keeping Harang. ;-) He's killing it right now. I could have used a month like that from a starter not named Felix.1 day 5 hours ago
GLSI wonder if the Mariners regret not going after Tanaka.1 day 5 hours ago
Gordon GrossThis is why I wanted Mike Stanton BADLY the last two seasons, and was talking about 4 or 5 top prospects/ young big-leaguers for him if we could do it. Ah well. Sure is a fun guy to watch though.1 day 5 hours ago
Bat571B-ref says he's never played 1B, though. But given Morban's injury history and LHedness, it might be worth a try.1 day 6 hours ago
Bat571Morban's a good idea, too.1 day 6 hours ago
Bat571Granted OF are more *valuable* than 1B, and he is an athletic OF who can play CF, but I still think it'd be worth a try, just to regain the energy in the lineup.1 day 6 hours ago
JDDubHey, a Morban sighting! Hand him a 1B glove to keep him of the DL.1 day 6 hours ago