Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Roger Angel - New Yorker World Series Writeups

Someday I'm going to get all of Angell's World Series write ups for the New Yorker. Until then I'll have to satisfy myself with the 3 that are online.

2003 - Gone South
2004 - Long Voyage Home
2005 - White Sox Nation


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More D-train...

Anyway - I reran the same data except instead of looking at players who were better than Dontrell, I looked at guys who were slightly worse. The second selection of players won between 40-60 games by the end of their age 24 season and who prevented between 40-60 runs above above average.

Jim Abbott 47 41
Dan Petry 60 43
Steve Carlton 47 43
Kevin Millwood 40 43
Steve Barber 57 47
Britt Burns 48 47
Jim Palmer 59 52
Ismael Valdes 52 53
Scott Erickson 41 53
Ferguson Jenkins 48 59
Freddy Garcia 44 59
Dontrelle Willis 58 60

How this list isn't nearly as impressive obviously but we have 3 hall of famers, two active pitchers, medical marvel and these guys:

Erickson - definition of an young peak pitcher. No injuries really, but a guy who was consistently better when young than when old. With the exception of 97-98 when he was pretty good.

Valdes - A guy who was only consistently healthy after two years after his age 24 season. Though similar to Erickson in that he was never as good as he was when he was young. Who knows how much was due to an early peak and how much was due to injuries?

Burns - Injury casualty. Looked like he was going to be a fantastic pitcher around 1981.

Steve Barber - Consistently very good through age 26, but then the injury bug.

Petry - Similar to Erikson, in that he peaked early except he never really was any good every again.

Garcia - This is probably more like what Sam is thinking about... big early career then above average but rarely as good as when he was young.

Millwood - Very similar to Garcia.

So to conclude... on this list of guys who through age 24 weren't as good as Dontrell. We have 12 guys.

3 hall of famers.
1 medical/heart marvel, who I won't compare anyone to EVER.
3 Injury flameouts.
2 Early peak guys who were lousy.
2 Active guys who been 7 runs better than average per year since.

You couple this level of production, with Willis's drive I think you have a chance to have a fantastic pitcher on your hands. Assuming he stays healthy.


Dontrell Willis

I got into a conversation today about how special, from a historic standpoint Dontrell Willis is. Not only the charisma, and flamboyence, and ear to ear grin - but the results. At his age only a handful of pitchers have won as many games and prevented as many runs relative to average.


Dwight Gooden100116

Bert Blyleven95171

Frank Tanana84101

Fernando Valenzuela7879

Dennis Eckersley77112

Gary Nolan7697

Bret Saberhagen6986

Ken Holtzman6571

Dean Chance6272

Roger Clemens60105

Dontrelle Willis5860

Not proof of future greatness, but a pretty impressive list to be on.


The Cardinals Running game...

I saw this link on BBTF about the value of the Cards run game in 06 - it was a really well written article. According to the Bill James 2007 handbook, the Cardinals were also bad at running the bases beyond caught stealing and picked offs.

Name Rating

Preston Wilson -3

Jim Edmonds -9

Albert Pujols 13

Scott Spiezio 2

So Taguchi 0

Aaron Miles -8

Skip Schumaker N/A

Hector Luna -6

Jeff Suppan N/A

Sidney Ponson N/A

Yadier Molina -12

Ronnie Belliard 4

Scott Rolen 11

David Eckstein 5

Juan Encarnacion -6



Mets Zips projections

Dan Szymborski has posted his Mets projections at BBTF.

Here are the outliers relative to Chone projections:

First Last Chone OPS ZIPS OPS Difference Abs

Michael Tucker* 0.67 0.732 0.062 0.062

Moises Alou 0.807 0.856 0.049 0.049

Paul Lo Duca 0.75 0.707 -0.043 0.043

Jose Reyes# 0.763 0.802 0.039 0.039

Ramon Castro 0.724 0.686 -0.038 0.038

Chris Woodward 0.65 0.62 -0.03 0.03

Edgardo Alfonzo 0.686 0.659 -0.027 0.027

Julio Franco 0.7 0.721 0.021 0.021

Anderson Hernandez# 0.615 0.594 -0.021 0.021
Why is this important? Because it shrinks our sample size of players to be concerned with. For example, both Chone and Zips project almost exactly the same results for Beltran and Wright so both think they will each be .860 and 900 OPS players respectively. If they turn out to be .800 and .970 OPS players they both are missing the mark. By focusing on just these guys it's easier to eyeball the accuracy.

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Tigers lock up Bonderman

Last night the Tigers extended Jeremy Bonderman:

One of baseball's most promising young pitchers, Bonderman agreed to a $38 million, four-year contract on Monday -- passing up a chance to become a free agent after the 2008 season...Bonderman gets $4.5 million next year, $8.5 million in 2008 and $12.5 million in each of the following two seasons.

This looks like a tremendous deal for the Tigers as Bonderman, 24 has dynamic stuff and a fantastic projection. Tremendous deal for Baseball America's executive of the year Dave Dombrowski.

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Reds Off Season

I got this link for baseball musings

So with all this competent pitching floating around in big league baseball's trade market, where were the Cincinnati Reds? They were announcing the re-signing of 37-year-old David Weathers.

Often times when teams are on the fringe of the playoffs the previous year they are tempted to get ahead of themselves. Sometimes, that is the correct move when you teams improvement was real, or sustainable. Other times it isn't as wise. I tend to think the Reds would be getting ahead of themselves if they have up some young arms for a Freddy Garcia, or Jason Jennings.

Well done Wayne Krisky.


Lou Piniella Talks to Baseball America

Alan Schwarz has a good interview with Lou Piniella up at Baseball America. If you don't subscribe you should.

Piniella... With Kerry Wood, I talked to Kerry personally about the possibilities of moving into the bullpen. We felt he could stay healthier. We thought he could be more dominant. We told him we'd give him all the time in spring training he needed to make those adjustments. He was very pleased with that. So we're really not counting on Kerry as a starting pitcher.

So it looks like Kerry Wood will be a reliever, I can't imagine he is willing to step into a middle role. That could be trouble, for Ryan Dempsters job security.

SCHWARZ: What about the kids who have come up through the system recently, the Rich Hills and Sean Marshalls? The Tigers resurrected themselves largely by developing guys like Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman and Joel Zumaya--that young injection.

PINIELLA: Remember, Detroit brought in Rogers also. That experience. And they brought in the closer, Todd Jones, who had experience. They added some experience to their young mix. You can't just put it on young pitchers, the full load.

That's an interesting quote, I think it's something we could study, but I'll need to think of the correct design.

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Igawa: Signs for 5 years 20 million

Kei Igawa, signed with the Yankees last night for 5 years, and 20m total. Igawa, who was posted last month for $25m, is the 3rd Japanese posted player to come to the states this year.

Igawa, is the favorite to be the Yankees 5th starter this year after Tiger Wang, Mike Mussina, Andy Petite and Randy Johnson. Igawa's, translated projection is pretty good, Chone checks in with him showing an above average K rate, and walk rate. With average hit and home run rates.

The deals NPV is $43m.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chone... more blogging...

Good old Chone Smith at Anaheim Angels all the way was blogging a bunch today.

The Limits of a Projection System
- He determined the best possible correlation showed an r of 0.770

Batted Ball Charts
- He talks about Dan Fox's batted ball charting application. I was planning on playing around with it more than I have so far, but BR-PI has taken all my distraction time away.


New Rob and Rany on the Royals...

Talking about the transaction I just posted about:

Wow, you know what's really interesting about this transaction? I had no idea there are two Ross Gloads. The only Ross Gload I ever heard of is going to be 31 soon, and has a bright future as a first baseman in Class AAA. Exactly the sort of player the Royals have little (if any) use for.


Andy Sisco traded for Ross Gload

Interesting trade yesterday as Royals made an inter division move sending lefthanded giant (6'10") Andy Sisco to the White Sox for bench player Ross Gload. The reason the trade is interesting is because the Royals organization is a very light on upsiCheck Spellingde arms, but relatively deep in terms of depth of corner types. Alex Gordon, Mark Teehan, Mike Sweeney, Emil Brown, Billy Butler, Justin Huber, Ryan Sheely, and Reggie Sanders - all are under control for next year. Now Sweeney, Sandersm and Brown won't be part of the next good Royals team, but will the 31 year old Ross Gload? Even if Gload projects to be the third best hitter on the Royals? Which he does.

Gload makes a lot of sense for a lot of teams, but I'm not sure if the Royals are one of them. I guess, the Royals may hope that by giving him his first shot at a full time job he will play well enough to be able to traded for a greater return than Sisco? Or maybe they are tired of Sisco 10 cent head screwing up million dollar arm? Or maybe they think the Sisco we saw last year, with the 90 mph fastball and the rolling slider was the real Andy Sisco... and the Sisco of 05, with the 95 mph heater and sharp slider is gone to parts unknown.

One thing worth pointing out is that the Royals have traded away two guys (Sisco and Ambriox Burgos)with very live arms over the last week for two guys (Gload and Brian Banister) without a ton of upside, who will likely help them more in the upcoming year or two but who won't ever be much more than what they currently are. These are the deals where we get a handle of how good at talent evaluation Drayton Moore is.

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Baseball Reference: Play Index

Baseball Reference just went live with it's newest toy, Play Index. A searchable index which allows you to cull game level data rather than just season level data. The data was of course obtained from retrosheet. This is also the first part of baseball reference, that you need a subscription to fully use. I'll likely subscribe, as it's cheap and I've sponsored pages in the past.

I've been playing around a bit with some data and here are the top game scores for each year since 1990.

2006: John Lackey

2005: Chris Carpenter
2004: Randy Johnson
2003: Randy Johnson
2002: Curt Schilling
2001: Hideo Nomo
2000: Pedro Martinez
1999: Eric Milton
1998: Kerry Wood
1997: Roger Clemens
1996: Roger Clemens
1995: Frank Castillo
1994: Bobby Witt
1993: Randy Johnson
1992: Randy J0hnson
1991: Nolan Ryan
1990: Nolan Ryan

Whats a game score? A stat invented by Bill James in one of the mid 80's abstracts designed to measure how dominant a starting pitcher was in a given game. Start with 50 points. Add 1 point for each out recorded, (3 points per inning). Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th. Add 1 point for each strikeout. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed. Subtract 1 point for each walk.

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