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Tony-OH

2019 #5 Prospect Austin Hays - CF

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10 hours ago, Frobby said:

Jones is a bit overrated here.   His career OPS+ is 106, and his best 5-year run was 116.    That’s good, but not elite.    I loved what he did here, but it’s not like he’s some near Hall of Famer.   Among active position players he’s 39th in WAR.   18 of those players are his age or younger, and 28 have played as many seasons or fewer.

Now, do I expect Hays to top his career WAR?    Not really.    Is it nearly impossible?    I wouldn’t say that.   

It's funny but I almost feel as if Jones is a bit underrated around here.  Call it recency bias, but I think people really underrate his defense, because they remember when he was old, and they rely on numbers which I think are really flawed.

I don't think Jones was winning GGs while being a negative in the field, which some of the stats will tell you.  Not in his prime.  I think, and this is true of Markakis too, that their career WAR values are suppressed by defensive statistics which I don't fully trust.

Not to say that either of these guys are anymore than the Hall of Very Good, but they were ours, and they led us out of the darkness.

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9 hours ago, Ohfan67 said:

Yes, it’s nearly impossible. I think you would be shocked if you calculated the probability that a player Hays age, games played in the minors the past two years, career games played in the majors, etc., producing 32 WAR. Nick Markakis has 33. Is Hays going to have a better career than Nick? Nick had 6.7 WAR at 23. 
 

I’m  not trying to be combative, but I think you guys are way off on this one. 
 

p.s.  Adam Jones is 499th in career WAR. He’s clearly among the damn good baseball players. That what I said to myself as I scrolled through the list and read the names with 32 career WAR. Damn good really starts in the 20s WAR wise. Tons of players that had damn good careers. That list is a fun reminder of just how hard/low probability it is to have a career that generates 25+ WAR. 
 

p.p.s.  Turns out there are a lot more players that generated 32ish WAR that didn’t really produce any WAR until they were 25 or 26 than I thought. So maybe I’m just pessimistic and full of baloney. 😄

You made a lot of really good points in your posts about Jones.   I don’t think it’s likely at all that Hays will have a career as Jones’.    We might have a slightly different take on what it means to be “nearly impossible,” is all.

I have a few nitpicks with a couple of points you made in prior posts:

1.   You pointed out that Jones was “an all star at 23,” while Hays “turns 25 next summer.”    To be clear, 2020 is Hays’ age 24 season.   Yes, he turns 25 on July 5.    But Jones turned 24 on August 1 of the year he was an all star.   So, Hays will be one year older this year than Jones was in his first all star season, not two.

2.    Though Jones was named to the all-star team in 2009, he really didn’t have that great a year.   He started off very hot and that resulted in an all star nod, then he got ice cold and by the end of the year he was at 105 OPS+, 2.6 rWAR.    Nothing to sneeze at, to be sure, but not really all star level. To me, Jones’ first true all star level season was 2012, his age 27 season (and 5th full year as a starter).

I do think Hays generally is two years behind Jones, after some injury derailments.    Jones got 147 PA at ages 20-21, putting up a .620 OPS (63 OPS+) but 0.9 rWAR.    Hays has  138 PA at ages 21 and 23, putting up a .765 OPS (102 OPS+) and 0.2 rWAR.    He’d have to play some serious catch-up to have a career as good as Jones’.   But as you point out at the end of the post above, different players have different career arcs.  It looks like Jones kind of hit a wall after his age 31 season.    Not all players do that.    We’ll see if Hays is even in the majors at all at that age.  

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3 hours ago, Pickles said:

It's funny but I almost feel as if Jones is a bit underrated around here.  Call it recency bias, but I think people really underrate his defense, because they remember when he was old, and they rely on numbers which I think are really flawed.

I don't think Jones was winning GGs while being a negative in the field, which some of the stats will tell you.  Not in his prime.  I think, and this is true of Markakis too, that their career WAR values are suppressed by defensive statistics which I don't fully trust.

Not to say that either of these guys are anymore than the Hall of Very Good, but they were ours, and they led us out of the darkness.

You are preaching my sermon. 

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3 hours ago, Pickles said:

It's funny but I almost feel as if Jones is a bit underrated around here.  Call it recency bias, but I think people really underrate his defense, because they remember when he was old, and they rely on numbers which I think are really flawed.

I don't think Jones was winning GGs while being a negative in the field, which some of the stats will tell you.  Not in his prime.  I think, and this is true of Markakis too, that their career WAR values are suppressed by defensive statistics which I don't fully trust.

Not to say that either of these guys are anymore than the Hall of Very Good, but they were ours, and they led us out of the darkness.

Adam also played with leg injuries. Many of them. Adam was a  ceiling outcome.  

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17 hours ago, Ohfan67 said:

I think you guys are being wildly optimistic about Hays. As you pointed out, this year’s OH evaluation of Hays is in many ways its rosiest evaluation ever of Hays, yet he was hurt a lot this year and his performance In the minor leagues was disappointing. Seems overly optimistic to me.  ...

Likewise with 32 career WAR. I think 12 career WAR would be a really good, maybe even great outcome for Hays. Jones has produced 5.5 when he was 23. I like Hays and don’t want to sound like I am hating on him, but he’s turning 25 next summer and hasn’t proven he can stick in the majors next season. 

I think you're right. Our hopes for Hays are really built on the 80-90% case for him, not the 50-75% case. As much as I think Jones was always over rated (and I do), he was still a good player who played a lot of games and accumulated a fair amount of counting stats. That's not as easy as it sounds.

9 hours ago, Pickles said:

Call it recency bias, but I think people really underrate his defense, because they remember when he was old, and they rely on numbers which I think are really flawed.

I don't think Jones was winning GGs while being a negative in the field, which some of the stats will tell you.  Not in his prime. 

I'd love to see advance defensive data on Jones. To me, he looked fast, but wasn't really. He rarely chased down gappers. He had a strong, but pretty inaccurate arm. I don't *feel* like he got great jumps or closed the gap with speed. I always felt this way since he was young and dropping fly balls while blowing bubbles. Always thought his reputation was better than his production, and my impression was always based on the eyeball test, not objective data.

7 hours ago, Frobby said:

He’d have to play some serious catch-up to have a career as good as Jones’.   But as you point out at the end of the post above, different players have different career arcs.  It looks like Jones kind of hit a wall after his age 31 season.    Not all players do that.    We’ll see if Hays is even in the majors at all at that age.  

This is certainly true. Jones has a head start and played a lot of games. Hays' best hopes to surpass Jones are 1) stay healthy, 2) surpass expectations by a fair amount and 3) don't hit the age wall like Jones did.

With that said, I also always thought Jones had physical tools to be a better all around player, but not the org to get him there. I hate saying that because I think Buck has a knack for winning, but I saw very few player development wins under his tutelage. Hopefully Hays' career takes place in a better developmental environment. For example, I'd wager that the O's did more with Hays' approach last year in AA and AAA than Jones ever had the benefit of. I remember some middling changes for Jones, but never the focus on improving his approach that I think the org should have done for him.

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33 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

I'd love to see advance defensive data on Jones. To me, he looked fast, but wasn't really.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/adam-jones-430945?stats=career-r-hitting-mlb

This says Jones' sprint speed in 2015 was 79th percentile. From 2017 on, he's been around 50. Austin Hays last year was 85th percentile. There's no data from before 2015 but I recall Jones having slowed down a bit by then.

They seem like mostly the same player to me, but Jones had a big head start by being healthy enough to play.

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4 hours ago, SilverRocket said:

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/adam-jones-430945?stats=career-r-hitting-mlb

This says Jones' sprint speed in 2015 was 79th percentile. From 2017 on, he's been around 50. Austin Hays last year was 85th percentile. There's no data from before 2015 but I recall Jones having slowed down a bit by then.

They seem like mostly the same player to me, but Jones had a big head start by being healthy enough to play.

Here is a little piece I wrote about sprint speed by position in 2018. Jones was multiple standard deviations below the mean. His running ability was just average for his position at his best and it declined quickly.

https://www.orioleshangout.com/2018/04/20/statcast-sprint-speed/

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10 hours ago, Luke-OH said:

Here is a little piece I wrote about sprint speed by position in 2018. Jones was multiple standard deviations below the mean. His running ability was just average for his position at his best and it declined quickly.

https://www.orioleshangout.com/2018/04/20/statcast-sprint-speed/

I remember Jones in 2008.    He was super fast and it looked so easy for him.    Reminiscent of Devon White the way he glided around out there.    But not surprisingly, he lost a bit of speed as he aged and bulked up.    Even in his prime offensive years, he wasn’t the same guy I saw in the OF in his Orioles’ debut season.    But certainly a lot faster in his prime than in the last 3-4 years.    His speed really fell off a cliff.   

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On 11/8/2019 at 7:43 AM, Frobby said:

You made a lot of really good points in your posts about Jones.   I don’t think it’s likely at all that Hays will have a career as Jones’.    We might have a slightly different take on what it means to be “nearly impossible,” is all.

I have a few nitpicks with a couple of points you made in prior posts:

1.   You pointed out that Jones was “an all star at 23,” while Hays “turns 25 next summer.”    To be clear, 2020 is Hays’ age 24 season.   Yes, he turns 25 on July 5.    But Jones turned 24 on August 1 of the year he was an all star.   So, Hays will be one year older this year than Jones was in his first all star season, not two.

2.    Though Jones was named to the all-star team in 2009, he really didn’t have that great a year.   He started off very hot and that resulted in an all star nod, then he got ice cold and by the end of the year he was at 105 OPS+, 2.6 rWAR.    Nothing to sneeze at, to be sure, but not really all star level. To me, Jones’ first true all star level season was 2012, his age 27 season (and 5th full year as a starter).

I do think Hays generally is two years behind Jones, after some injury derailments.    Jones got 147 PA at ages 20-21, putting up a .620 OPS (63 OPS+) but 0.9 rWAR.    Hays has  138 PA at ages 21 and 23, putting up a .765 OPS (102 OPS+) and 0.2 rWAR.    He’d have to play some serious catch-up to have a career as good as Jones’.   But as you point out at the end of the post above, different players have different career arcs.  It looks like Jones kind of hit a wall after his age 31 season.    Not all players do that.    We’ll see if Hays is even in the majors at all at that age.  

Good points. Jones has had a damn good career, but his career is definitely a two sided coin. When viewed from one side, Jones is probably better than some appreciate...and most players never have close to as good of a career. When we look at the other side of the coin, however, it's justifiable to argue that some of Jones' accolades over state his productivity (like the all star "year" you reference above and certainly some of the modern metrics don't correlate well with his gold glove awards, etc.). But I think Jones was certainly among the best center fielders during his multiyear run. It's a little more sobering, however, to look at other players with similar career WAR (Markakis et al.). That really drives home how rare it is to have a 32 WAR career and how many meaningful players have similar career WAR. 

 

I really enjoy the prospect lists that Tony and the crew puts together, the ones published online by various baseball outlets, etc. But I sometimes get grumpy about the discussions revolving around potential career comps of players like Jones because I feel that the probability of failure is vastly under appreciated in those discussions. I know it's just prospect list discussion and people are just chatting, but I always struck by how hard it it so have a productive career. Even us Orioles fans sometimes sort of forget how unlikely it is that prospects pan out during these discussions. But I'm glad others are not as pessimistic as I am. :)

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1 hour ago, Ohfan67 said:

I really enjoy the prospect lists that Tony and the crew puts together, the ones published online by various baseball outlets, etc. But I sometimes get grumpy about the discussions revolving around potential career comps of players like Jones because I feel that the probability of failure is vastly under appreciated in those discussions. I know it's just prospect list discussion and people are just chatting, but I always struck by how hard it it so have a productive career. Even us Orioles fans sometimes sort of forget how unlikely it is that prospects pan out during these discussions. But I'm glad others are not as pessimistic as I am. :)

I get you there.    Not many players live up to our hopes and dreams for them.    If I may say so, especially pitchers.    

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Keith Law doesn't think he can be a centerfielder. I would have said the same thing in July, but he looked good out there when he was called up. Hopefully this will end up as ammunition for the Law haters.

Tom
2:13
Does Austin Hays have a shot at being a decent everyday CF?
 
Keith Law
2:13
I don't think he has any shot at CF.

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2 hours ago, MurphDogg said:

Keith Law doesn't think he can be a centerfielder. I would have said the same thing in July, but he looked good out there when he was called up. Hopefully this will end up as ammunition for the Law haters.

Tom
2:13
Does Austin Hays have a shot at being a decent everyday CF?
 
Keith Law
2:13
I don't think he has any shot at CF.

Keith Law says some pretty odd things sometimes. He definitely has the tools to play center. He might need some work on his routes. But he has good speed and arm strength. I really don't think it's a too much of a stretch envisioning him roaming around in centerfield for a handful of years.

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5 minutes ago, OsEatAlEast said:

Keith Law says some pretty odd things sometimes. He definitely has the tools to play center. He might need some work on his routes. But he has good speed and arm strength. I really don't think it's a too much of a stretch envisioning him roaming around in centerfield for a handful of years.

He's got a shtick.

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