Fresh Adulation for the BB
Or any other Ruthian skills you wanna show us

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In a February Hey Bill, he argued that although our sabe formulas love BB's, they don't love them enough.  In real life a team that is taking its free passes is getting lots of traffic, and as it adds more such players, the effect compounds:

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To the question about what a simulation might show about effects of different kinds of roster composition, you answered, "The real-life advantages of each system would disappear in a simulation." ...Can you say something about why the roster-construction thing wouldn't be well demonstrated in a simulation?

Asked by: MarisFan61

Answered: 2/18/2019

But in that case, I actually do know what it would show.   I am 100% confident that what it would show is that the real-life advantage of the high-walk player, in that situation, was LARGER than we have estimated it to be.   I am certain that that would happen, and I am certain it would happen in real life. 

You are confusing knowns and unknowns.   In this case that you keep asking about, think about it this way.   A hitter's contribution is either an A-type (that is, creating run-producitve situations) or a B-Type (that is, paying off the run-productive situations with actual runs.)  Joe Cunningham vs. Joe Carter.  (OBP vs SLG - Dr. D) 

Every B-type player that you insert into the lineup means that there are fewer "payoff opportunities" available for the next one; thus, adding a second such player is less effective than adding the first.  

 But for the A-type player, the Joe Cunningham type player, each player that you add to the lineup has MORE impact than the previous one.   So if you put together a whole lineup of hitters who are perfectly happy to take a walk, what happens in real life is that the pitcher soon finds himself in a situation in which he HAS to throw the ball over the plate, and he gets hit.  

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A few M's applications:

(1) The M's are #4 of 30 teams in walks, with close to double the BB total of the worst teams, Miami, San Diego, Baltimore.  They're also tied for #1 in runs, 240, along with the Astros.  First in runs scored?!  Huh?

(2) Encarnacion has a 27:33 EYE, which puts him #7 in the league for walks.  You'd think this would make him that much more attractive to savvy GM's looking for a solid bat.  ... oh by the way James just finished some material, claiming that the high-BB, high-HR player ages the best, that "very good not great" players have the best chance of playing well at ages 36-38 if they are BB/HR men.

(3) Vogelbach has a 26:34 EYE, putting him #9 in the league despite playing only 75% of the games that everybody else has played.  Like we mentioned yesterday, if he keeps up anything like this level of performance (simply BB and HR) then it's quite impossible to deny him.  But I like his HIT tool also, figure him for a nice AVG.

Wondering if 'Bach is in there to stay at this point.  Every time I see him at #4 in the lineup I think, That's an admission of guilt by Servais, that Bach is our best hitter.  (He's at .250/.390/.600 for a 170 OPS to start his year off.)

(4) Haniger is probably our #3 man for drawing walks; he walked 70 (!) times last year and is on pace for more this year. However, he's striking out at a dangerous 200-type pace and needs to whittle those down.

(5) You gotta love this observation about driving a rally -- that you walk one guy early in an inning, it's not pretty, but you walk a second guy and the whole situation becomes an ugly chore for the pitcher.  Whether or not he gets out of it.

This probably applies across innings too - that if the pitcher walks his 3rd guy in the 4th inning, that he needs to stop walking people.  And "he has to throw the ball over the plate" so that he gets hit.

BABVA,

Dr D

Comments

1

As the explanations, but I think at least a few of us have understood similarly on some level for awhile.  What 9 Edgar's in the lineup would be expected to produce was just shy of a meme for awhile in the local blogosphere and it highlighted it well.  But consider that Encarnacion and Vogelbach are also in the much rarer "Both" section of that discussion.

Vogelbach has gone the other way against shifts a couple times this year that I recall but I can't combine shift splits with hit locations anywhere that I can find.  Hitters with lesser hit tools don't even try to.  But as Seager has suggested, maybe he shouldn't do that.  Much.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/24049347/mlb-hitters-explain-why-just...

2

OK, out in front of God and everybody, I will admit that I was sort of wrong about Encarnacion.  But only sort of, mind you.

I suggested, well predicted, that we would continue to see an eroding skill set, making it four consecutive years.  Well, his OPS suggests that is not the case.  He's bounced back, nicely, to 2017 levels.  However, here's the rub:  He's walking a career best 131 points and he's on pace for a career high in homers.  Can either continue?  He's hit only 2 doubles all season and his BABIP is .192.  Something is up!  He hit homers, walks or taps out weakly! There is little else.   At 87.7MPH Average Exit Velocity, he is #229 in MLB.  Yikes!  His 91.6 Average for FB/LD ranks #255!  Yikes x2. But his 8.3% barrel rate ranks #62.  EE is as feast/famine as a MLB hitter can be.  So it is fair to ask if he can continue this level of OPS/HR production in light of his exit velocity demise.  I didn't see him walking or homering at this kind of clip.  I'm not sure it can continue.  Let's trade him soon.

And I'm sort of with Doc:  Everytime Vogs bats clean-up, I wonder if Servais is saying, "Man, did I ever jack this kid around for two years!"

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