I took a walk around the world
To ease my troubled mind
I left my body lying somewhere
In the sands of time
But I watched the world float
To the dark side of the moon
I feel there is nothing I can do, yeah
I watched the world float
To the dark side of the moon
After all I knew it had to be
Something to do with you
I really don’t mind what happens now and then
As long as you’ll be my friend at the end
This one is in the free area at Bill James Online, the last 30 days' worth of Hey Bills:
That input comes as a pleasant surprise. There are two basic paradigms here, each one of which has several variations:
- At age 40+ you can't hit, and if somebody does, you treat it as a fluke.
- You plot the age-arc curve normally, more or less, no matter what age a player is.
The thing that makes you lean towards (1) above is that --- > Rauullll physically looks 100.00% as quick as he did at age 41. ... some sabermetricians will not care about that, but do you think the Seattle Mariners' decision-making process includes their scouts' assessments of batspeed?
So When Do We Start the Schuss
After age 36, 37, you plot the age-arc decline down fairly steeply. But Raul's age-arc plot hasn't even started down! His OPS+ right now is 147; his previous high was 132, the World Series year with Philadelphia.
We remember having this conversation with James, back when Nolan Ryan was 40, 41, 42. James would point out exactly that: "Everybody is skiing down a slope. Ryan has not started down yet." Of course, Ryan was still a great pitcher at 42-44, still a star at 45.
If That's Selling Out, Gimme a Pen
Raul has reinvented himself at age 41; his EYE ratio used to be 0.50 and now it's 0.30. His ISO used to be 170-200; now it's 300. As Gordon noticed several weeks ago, Ibanez has a strong understanding of what he can do and what he can't. He has evidently decided that what he can do, is stalk his pitch and do damage to it. He has apparently chosen to move into a Gorman Thomas mode -- guess curve, get curve, and then when you get it, put an extra biscuit into the swing.
Chad Young, who followed on Gordon's insight, called this "selling out for power." For SURE a hitter can choose to dial up the PWR tool at the expense of the HIT tool, and vice versa.
But the 0.30 EYE does not imply, in his case, that his batspeed is down. His EYE was 0.31 two years ago, with the Phillies, and you would have thought that was it. But last year, his EYE bounced back up to 0.52 with the Yankees.
More compelling than the up-and-down EYE lately, is Rauuulll's splits this year vs left hand pitchers. Do you have any idea what Rauuull's SLG is against lefties? It's .603. It is precisely in the LH-vs-LH (not RH-vs RH as much) that you see batspeed the most ...
Raul is year to year, obviously. But if he has a strong second half, then in 2014 he is worth more than the $2.75M he made this year.
Assuming that he doesn't hit the end of the line here in 2H 2013, then --- > in my book he's an ideal #25 roster player for 2014. After which point he'd probably wind up batting fourth again...