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TommyD4207

JR House

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House: 57 SB's, 17 CS, .231 CS %

Bako: 28 SB's, 7 CS, .200 CS %

This is if the innings are equalized AND assuming that House caught every inning of every game.

Oops, didn't see you already did this. Here's Drungo's formula on your numbers:

House = (57*.25) - (17*.75) = +1.5 runs

Bako = (28*.25) - (7 *.75) = +1.75 runs

Make whatever adjustment for league/level you want, but House isn't going to be that far behind Bako in terms of throwing runners out. Again, Bako is generally terrible, so I don't think he's a great basis for comparison, but I really don't think House's defense is going to hurt enough to make up for his bat and versatility to play 1B and DH as well.

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Quick post I promise!

Mackus, that's an awfully, awfully, awfully large leap in faith that you're taking in saying that House would surefire not be that far behind Bako in terms of runners being thrown out. A few reasons:

1. Guys get thrown out at a higher rate in the IL than in the AL. The difference is greater than the difference between Bako and House's CS %. That has to count for something. What does it count for? Well, like TGO said earlier in this thread, it's probably guys stealing because they're looking to impress their parent clubs. One way to do that is to show a wider skillset. This probably means that you're having guys that are stealing more than they typically would or are capable of. Consequently, they get thrown out sometimes, thus equating to the higher throw-out rate. Also, I tend to believe that guys in the big leagues are better baserunners.

2. Remember, you're only looking at one year's worth of work. His 2006 season gets continually glossed over. If last year he threw out guys with great authority, I tend to believe that this year would be much more discounted than it is. As of right now, it's used as the main reference point and I don't believe that that's fair. If we're betting on what he would do next year, you'd have to take both years into consideration. Both years he had more than the league average amount of guys try to steal on him and he had a below average CS %. As shown in the Hardball Times article that os1971 gave, he had among the worst CS % there was. That has to count for something. When I get the time, I'll do a comparison for that.

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Quick post I promise!

Mackus, that's an awfully, awfully, awfully large leap in faith that you're taking in saying that House would surefire not be that far behind Bako in terms of runners being thrown out. A few reasons:

1. Guys get thrown out at a higher rate in the IL than in the AL. The difference is greater than the difference between Bako and House's CS %. That has to count for something. What does it count for? Well, like TGO said earlier in this thread, it's probably guys stealing because they're looking to impress their parent clubs. One way to do that is to show a wider skillset. This probably means that you're having guys that are stealing more than they typically would or are capable of. Consequently, they get thrown out sometimes, thus equating to the higher throw-out rate. Also, I tend to believe that guys in the big leagues are better baserunners.

2. Remember, you're only looking at one year's worth of work. His 2006 season gets continually glossed over. If last year he threw out guys with great authority, I tend to believe that this year would be much more discounted than it is. As of right now, it's used as the main reference point and I don't believe that that's fair. If we're betting on what he would do next year, you'd have to take both years into consideration. Both years he had more than the league average amount of guys try to steal on him and he had a below average CS %. As shown in the Hardball Times article that os1971 gave, he had among the worst CS % there was. That has to count for something. When I get the time, I'll do a comparison for that.

It does...Just not much and especially not much when considering the difference in bats.

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Two things:

1. I think Tommy deserves Major Props for showing, by his example, how good stat-based discussions should be handled. He's not ranting, he's not calling people stupid, he's not dissing people who disagree. What he's doing is investigating a specific issue, and he's doing it with an open mind. I think the "open mind" part is a very big thing. He is relying on actually thinking about things, and not just retreating into cliches.

2. About the CS% issue with House. I think the sheer frequency of IL steal attempts on him *suggests* (doesn't "prove", but "suggests") that some non-base-stealers were running on him. I would think that this means that the people he's throwing out include a bunch of folks who wouldn't run on anybody else. But this is just conjecture. To address it, you'd prolly have to look at the base-stealing data for each and every guy who ran on him, and then use that to somehow normalize his CS to something that better represents what his "normal" CS might be. (This would require a ton of work, just digging out and compiling the data, and I'm not trying to hint that Tommy needs to do it.) For myself, I suspect that his IL CS% is inflated because of this (by "this", I mean that he's throwing out guys like Boog Powell, not CPat), but this is just conjecture on my part.

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Quick post I promise!

Mackus, that's an awfully, awfully, awfully large leap in faith that you're taking in saying that House would surefire not be that far behind Bako in terms of runners being thrown out. A few reasons:

1. Guys get thrown out at a higher rate in the IL than in the AL. The difference is greater than the difference between Bako and House's CS %. That has to count for something. What does it count for? Well, like TGO said earlier in this thread, it's probably guys stealing because they're looking to impress their parent clubs. One way to do that is to show a wider skillset. This probably means that you're having guys that are stealing more than they typically would or are capable of. Consequently, they get thrown out sometimes, thus equating to the higher throw-out rate. Also, I tend to believe that guys in the big leagues are better baserunners.

2. Remember, you're only looking at one year's worth of work. His 2006 season gets continually glossed over. If last year he threw out guys with great authority, I tend to believe that this year would be much more discounted than it is. As of right now, it's used as the main reference point and I don't believe that that's fair. If we're betting on what he would do next year, you'd have to take both years into consideration. Both years he had more than the league average amount of guys try to steal on him and he had a below average CS %. As shown in the Hardball Times article that os1971 gave, he had among the worst CS % there was. That has to count for something. When I get the time, I'll do a comparison for that.

My overall point is that he'd have to be some kind of awful to not make up for his defense with his bat. His bat is, IMO, going to be far, far superior to most backup catchers. If most backup catchers aer only superior defensively compared to House (and from what I've seen, he hasn't looked that bad) then we're still coming out ahead, plus we'd have a great option for PH opportunities and DH/1B role.

I know that House is a better overall catcher than Bako. That I don't doubt at all. Now, there may be other backup catchers available that are overall better than House, but we haven't exactly done a great job of finding them as a franchise.

I know I'd much rather give the job to House than to bet on the O's finding someone better. I'd argue they haven't had a backup catcher as good as House in a very, very long time.

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I think if the Orioles are going to dump House for someone better, great, but make sure they've actually got someone better lined up first.

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House caught 51 games in the minors this year (can't find exact # of innings caught, lets assume 9 innings per game, or 459). Bako caught 57 total games, 421 innings.

Lets average those guys out to 500 innings caught each to make it easier:

Bako - 500 innings - 33 SB - 8 CS

House - 500 innings - 62 SB - 18 CS

Using Drungo's formula:

Bako = (33*.25) - (8*.75) = +2.25 runs

House = (62*.25) - (18*.75) = +2.00 runs

So House was worth roughly as many runs throwing out runners in AAA as Bako was against MLB guys. I'll cede that MLB runners probably are better, and House's numbers wouldn't be as good in the bigs, but no way will there be a big enough difference that House won't make up for it with his bat.

IMO, House is a much better option at backup C for 2008 than Bako. Now, Bako is a terrible option, so thats not saying much right there. We may be able to do better than House, but I doubt we'll find anybody who has as good of a bat as House does, just somebody who is much stronger defensively (Bako is pretty terrible defensively as well).

Very good post. This is what I was asking for earlier when saying the caught stealing attempts need to be factored in, and as I figured, this throws a huge wrench in Tommy's original post which some House haters instantly took as the gospel.

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Very good post. This is what I was asking for earlier when saying the caught stealing attempts need to be factored in, and as I figured, this throws a huge wrench in Tommy's original post which some House haters instantly took as the gospel.

Why do you do this? Who is a "House hater"? I haven't seen anybody hating on House, only some people who are curious about better understanding his strengths and weaknesses....

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Why do you do this? Who is a "House hater"? I haven't seen anybody hating on House, only some people who are curious about better understanding his strengths and weaknesses....

Do what? You act as if I do whatever this is all the time or something.

Fine, haters was the wrong term, but there are people who have made it clear they don't think House should be a major league catcher, and don't think it matters much or at all that we dropped him.

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Why do you do this? Who is a "House hater"? I haven't seen anybody hating on House, only some people who are curious about better understanding his strengths and weaknesses....

You were here during spring training when the House Wars first broke out, right?

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Don't forget that if a manager feels his guy at first base can get to second safe at a decent pace, he isn't going to hesitate doing more hit and runs. We would then have less double plays too. You can't just look at steals you also have to look at balls put in play with a man at first and missed double plays. This happens alot.

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Okay, I finally found the time to complete my thoughts:

1. Let’s look at 2006 first, shall we? JR House had 92 guys steal successfully on him over the course of 565 innings. That’s a successful steal once every 6 innings. He had 27 caught. That was good enough for a 227 CS %.

In 2006, Bako had 20 guys successfully steal on him with 9 getting caught, good enough for a 310 CS %. In 2005, Bako had 1 guy successfully steal on him in 107 innings, 3 caught. I’ve been adding those together in order to get a sample size. That comes out to 21 guys stealing successfully and 12 being caught over 499 innings of catching.

If we adjust it so that it’s both 565 innings it comes out to:

House: 92 successful, 27 caught, 227 CS %

Bako: 24 successful, 14 caught, 310 CS %

For that year in the Texas League, the average attempted steals per game was 1.06 attempted steals per game. House had 1.89 attempted steals per game. The average CS % was actually 361. To say the least, he did pretty pitiful. He was very, very below average. He’s 63% as good as the rest of the catchers as far as CS % and he has nearly twice as many guys trying to steal on him.

The reason we were able to come to an agreement (at least I assume it was an agreement considering I got a PM asking me about it and then I posted it on the forum and received no disagreement) that House being 75% as good as his league and there being 25% more base stealers in the IL as opposed to the AL, this is now negated. The average per game for the Texas League, as stated is nearly identical to the IL and House was only 63% as good as his league. This cannot be overlooked.

How this doesn’t raise anybody’s eyebrows is beyond me.

House allows nearly 4 times as many base stealers. He does get twice as many outs though. That’s still twice the amount of total baserunners though. Then again, it all goes back to what rshack and myself have been saying which will be my 2nd point.

2. We have to consider the quality of the baserunners and the fact that they’re facing him. I certainly agree with what rshack said in that there are guys going on him that normally are pretty terrible base stealers. Nelson Cruz is a good example, as he was caught stealing by House this year. If you’re trying to use that as evidence that he’s a good catcher, sorry, but I believe you’ve chosen the wrong guy. As mentioned, he only attempted to steal 6 times this year in 96 games and was thrown out on 4 of those times. I didn’t see his other steals to the best of my knowledge but I do know that when he tried to steal on House he got a godawful jump. It was terrible. I’m pretty sure that most people on this board could’ve thrown him out. They might not have caught the pitch to begin with, but all the same it was a terrible, terrible jump. Any catcher in MLB should be expected to make that play.

3. I have no clue why it keeps being said that Bako is not a good option for 2008. I am yet to see anybody claim that we should keep Bako for 2008. Sorry, but that’s a red herring.

4. I am not saying at all that Bako would most assuredly outproduce House at all. Next year or had he played this year. That’s not what I’m after. What I AM after, however, is that I’m trying to show that there is plenty of reason to believe that it might NOT happen. It’s not a foregone conclusion at all in my opinion. The fact that it’s very, very possible that teams will look at the fact that he had a lot more guys steal on him than average and that his CS % is below average, it’s not good.

5. It is also not a foregone conclusion that he does hit to a 750 OPS or whatever the amount that everyone is citing him at. As I mentioned, his 2006 MLE OPS was 719. I’m assuming that they’re saying that the Texas League is about 84% as difficult as MLB. If we used that figure and used his hitting as strictly a catcher when he was with Corpus Christi, you get a 665 OPS. That’s not that good. When you consider that he has hit considerably differently as a catcher than he has as a 1B or DH, it’s concerning to say the least.

6. People keep saying that he wasn't that bad from what they saw of him. Just curious, but did any of you see him at Norfolk on a consistent basis? I've seen multiple people say that they believe he's a good catcher based on that. Does that strike anybody else as a huge double standard? In his limited time, he put up a 268 OBP here. If you can assume that he's that good of a catcher, then is it not just as logical to assume that he hits that well? 46 innings is nowhere near enough time to gauge catcher performance in my humblest of opinions. Note, I am not, by any means saying that I believe that is what House what put up as an OBP if he were played on a consistent basis. I am just calling it as I see it as far as seeing a double standard goes.

What I refute is that it’s a foregone conclusion that House would outproduce Bako. It’s simply not that simple. In 2006, his OPS only translated to 132 points higher than Bako’s as them both being strictly catchers. In 2006, he was a revolving door to base stealers, 64% as good as his league and he had nearly twice as many guys attempt to steal on him.

If you don’t believe that the runners in MLB are better, then I don’t know what to tell you. If you are not concerned that he has been 64% and 75% as good as the rest of his league. If you’re 75% as good as a 900 OPS hitter, you’re a 675 OPS hitter. If you’re 64% as good as a 900 OPS hitter, you’re a 576 OPS hitter. That’s just to put it into perspective.

Also, lest we forget, it has already been stated that three guys I would trust more than myself on this are Leo Mazzone, Gary Allenson, and Dave Trembely. If everyone believes that this is just some huge vendetta that they have against JR House and that they hate him inexplicably and tha the was given a fair shake just based on their own intution, I completely disagree with that. Leo Mazzone believed that Paul Bako’s mentoring would be best for the young pitching staff. I completely agree with that school of thought. It’s been said that Bako is a good guy to have behind the plate if you’re a pitcher. Gary Allenson, his AAA manager, was a major league catcher. There are other things to catching besides base stealing and I tend to believe that he would know about that. Instead, he didn’t fill out House in his line-up card everyday. Alberto Castillo, at 80 years old, got considerable amounts of playing time this year. Dave Trembley has known JR House since he was 19 years old, they have a great relationship. He had the opportunity to give him regular playing time. Instead, he only gave him 46 innings of catching this year. If this is all just some huge vendetta, then I completely disagree with that. These are three guys that I would tend to trust the opinions of.

Once again, I am not, by any means, saying that we should keep Bako around for next year. I am not saying that we should keep House around. What I am saying is that it is by no means a foregone conclusion that House would outproduce Bako. He has a lot more guys attempt to steal on him than typical guys in the minors or majors. If anyone can state without a shadow of doubt that House would outproduce Bako, it’s really not relevant to my argument.

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It is always possible that House could have improved at catching.

Or he could be one year further removed from shoulder surgery. :confused:

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