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Clay Davenport: Cespedes = Adam Jones


DrungoHazewood

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Good bit on Clay's blog about translating Cuban performance, and how that impacts the projections for Yoennis Cespedes. The bottom line is that his most comparable MLB player is Jones, all the way down to age.

There is a major league player who is, statistically, quite comparable to Cespedes. He is also a center fielder, has a Gold Glove, and is only about 2.5 months older. Compare their 2011 DTs, enlarging Cespedes? to the same plate appearance total:
.                    ab      h     db  tp hr  bb  so     sb  cs   ba     oba    slg     eqaCespedes       544  133  23  1  32  49   97   12   1    .244   .307  .467   .267ML Player     562  162  25  2  25  31  100  11   5   .288   .325   .473  .274

The major league player gets more 24 hits, but gives most of that advantage back by drawing 20 fewer walks. He?s had major league EqAs of .246, .265, .262, and .274 in his career, and there is a near-constant expectation for him to break out and have a great season. Instead, we have a string of seasons which place him as the 7-10th best CF in the majors ? very good, but short of All-Star caliber. The hype of what we expect from Adam Jones and the reality we?ve gotten seems to me like a very good lesson for Yoennis Cespedes.

For the Orioles I guess the question would be do you trade Jones, then sign Cespedes for 6/60 or whatever similar amount it takes? They'd be essentially just re-upping Jones and taking the surplus value from the trade, plus taking on the risk that Cespedes' projections have wider variation because of the uncertainty in translation.

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Good bit on Clay's blog about translating Cuban performance, and how that impacts the projections for Yoennis Cespedes. The bottom line is that his most comparable MLB player is Jones, all the way down to age.

For the Orioles I guess the question would be do you trade Jones, then sign Cespedes for 6/60 or whatever similar amount it takes? They'd be essentially just re-upping Jones and taking the surplus value from the trade, plus taking on the risk that Cespedes' projections have wider variation because of the uncertainty in translation.

Good stuff. A while ago, when reports of Cespedes $$$ demands were sky-high, I said...

I can't imagine how Jones at 5/$60 isn't a better deal than Cespedes at $60m. I mean, isn't the hope that he gives you something like Jones's numbers?

At $30m over five years, I trade Jones and sign Cespedes. As it gets higher, though...Of course, there's the argument that if you have confidence in the translation, you sign Cespedes for Jones-money and trade Jones for assets. But that's a big gamble.*

*I appreciate that I just re-wrote (and reiterated) your last sentence because I got pre-emptively excited and responded before finishing. Yes. You're absolutely right about the issue.

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That's just one man's opinion on Cespedes though I think it is a correct one. In fact, I'm not sure Cespedes will carry as high an average as Jones though he'll probably pop a few more homers. The Cespedes hype has been over the top since the ESPN guy threw out Bo Jackson's name as a comp. I've been thinking Mike Camerson is a solid comp.

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This is exactly why I don't understand it when people think that AJ will be impossible or expensive to lock up. In my mind, AJ is very equal to Howie Kendrick. Both have been a bit of a disappointment, but both are still considered to have a lot of good baseball ahead. Howie's career slash line is .329 .434 .763, while AJ's is .319 .437 .756 in only 219 more PAs than Jones. Meanwhile, Kendrick just signed a 4 year deal worth jsut over $33M. Why can't we expect that type of contract from Jones? If he wants more years and more guaranteed money, offer him a 6/52 deal and let him walk as a FA after his age 31 season.

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Okay, I read the piece. Can someone explain to me how performance in Cuba can be translated to a projection of MLB performance with any degree of accuracy? Looking at totals doesn't fly when you are talking about a league with widely varying talent levels.

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Okay, I read the piece. Can someone explain to me how performance in Cuba can be translated to a projection of MLB performance with any degree of accuracy? Looking at totals doesn't fly when you are talking about a league with widely varying talent levels.

Wait, that was my argument against MLB-Nippon translations!

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Why?

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Okay, I read the piece. Can someone explain to me how performance in Cuba can be translated to a projection of MLB performance with any degree of accuracy? Looking at totals doesn't fly when you are talking about a league with widely varying talent levels.

Exactly what Stotle said.

What I think is fair to say is that Csepedes exhibits qualities that are similar to Jones. But to do a straight up comp like that? It means nothing to me.

On top of that, you have the culture change, etc.....

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Renders it a really cocktail-napkin-like analysis. Not irrelevant, but not enough to gamble big money on, certainly.

Or as I like to call it, a "D. Szymborski-ESPN-pays-me-to-write-about-projections-so-I'll-throw-something-together-for-page-hits" article.

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