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Bill James' 2013 Projections


luismatos4prez

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Well, since there doesn't seam to be much discussion about projections (and I still think this subject is related), Tango's study (specifically the first set of data) does include most of the specific parameters you are looking for. Specifically protected batter, score (2 runs or less lead), runners on (2nd, 3rd, 2nd/3rd) with first base empty. Not to mention the second set of data which includes 20k plus more generic samples. I'm just not seeeing any reasonable objections why the data is somehow skewed (other than it could be).

Fosusing one one case (i.e. Miguel Cabrera) is flawed. I only brought it up because it was initially referenced.

I'm not focusing on Cabrera, just using him as an example. No two situations are the same. I'm gonna have to read it again when I'm not exhausted.

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What do all the other stats show? I don't think you can take just one stat and prove it either way.

I could argue. His walks are down cause because of Fielder he got pitched to more. 108 walks last year to 66 walks this year, which lowered his OBP, which lowered his OPS.

....and you'd be exactly right, but it also lowered his individual "statistical" value. i.e his OBP went down more than 50 points while his SLG percentage only went up about 20 points.

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I think the idea of protection means a hitter gets pitched to more. IMO, means he will get more ab's and pitched around less often. If you look at Cabrera's stats, his ab's, hits, hr's, rbi's where all up. Taking walks out of someones OBP/OPS and adding in more at bats will almost always lead to a decrease in OPS.

Okay, but the bolded is literally what the article says. And as for the unbolded part of your quote, yes, adding in more at-bats at the expense of walks will often decrease your OPS, as well as how much value you're providing with the bat. Miggy gave away an astounding 55 points of OBP this year and, despite hitting 14 more homers, he was a less valuable hitter. So if that decrease in walks is a result of protection, or even a result of Miggy believing in protection, then it did more harm than good.

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Okay, but the bolded is literally what the article says. And as for the unbolded part of your quote, yes, adding in more at-bats at the expense of walks will often decrease your OPS, as well as how much value you're providing with the bat. Miggy gave away an astounding 55 points of OBP this year and, despite hitting 14 more homers, he was a less valuable hitter. So if that decrease in walks is a result of protection, or even a result of Miggy believing in protection, then it did more harm than good.

If you believe that OPS is the only stat that matters.

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For an easy example. If a batter walks 100 more times in one season then the next and in those 100 ab's hits .500, his OPS is more then likely still gonna go down.

Well, for one, there's no reason to expect him to hit .500 in those at bats. And if he hits even, say, .350, unless it's for crazy power, he will be less valuable as a hitter. 100 walks is just insanely valuable to your team.

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This has nothing to do with OPS. In fact, OPS overvalues batting average and power. OPS is probably the most generous stat re: your argument, and it doesn't support it.
If Cabrera gets better pitches now, his stats don't reflect it. He actually posted a better OPS in his last two pre-Fielder seasons (1.042 in 2010, and 1.033 in 2011) than he did this year with Fielder behind him (.999).

This is why I'm using OPS. I said below, I don't think you can use one stat or even 2 maybe even 3 to prove or disprove this.

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This is why I'm using OPS. I said below, I don't think you can use one stat or even 2 maybe even 3 to prove or disprove this.

What do you mean? All the semi-robust offensive stats, starting with the relatively crude OPS and going all the way up the ladder of complexity, show that Cabrera was less valuable as a hitter, for whatever reason, this season.

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If Cabrera gets better pitches now, his stats don't reflect it. He actually posted a better OPS in his last two pre-Fielder seasons (1.042 in 2010, and 1.033 in 2011) than he did this year with Fielder behind him (.999).

Yes, his stats do reflect it. That is because he got more walks without Fielder behind him. His slugging % this year was right in the middle of his range for the 2 previous years. He was getting walked in key situations previously, hence the higher OBP and, therefore, higher OPS. Given the chance to hit in those situations this year, he drove in more runs, despite the lower OPS. Although some might say that RBI are totally random, I believe that the fact that he is seeing pitches in certain situations with runners in scoring position that he was previously being pitched around in does affect his run production. He drives in more runs. The bottom line on offense is about scoring runs, not OPS. OPS is an indicator, it is not the end game.

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Yes, his stats do reflect it. That is because he got more walks without Fielder behind him. His slugging % this year was right in the middle of his range for the 2 previous years. He was getting walked in key situations previously, hence the higher OBP and, therefore, higher OPS. Given the chance to hit in those situations this year, he drove in more runs, despite the lower OPS. Although some might say that RBI are totally random, I believe that the fact that he is seeing pitches in certain situations with runners in scoring position that he was previously being pitched around in does affect his run production. He drives in more runs. The bottom line on offense is about scoring runs, not OPS. OPS is an indicator, it is not the end game.

There are many subtle shadings here. Yes, hits produce more RBI than walks. But you're looking at only a part of the picture. How many RBI opportunities did Fielder lose because Cabrera got on base far less than in 2011? In fact, despite more home runs and more hits, Miggy scored fewer runs in 2012 than in 2011, despite having a much better hitter behind him. And so on. The best way to measure the total package is to look at, not RBI or R, but at more comprehensive stats such as wOBA.

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Yes, his stats do reflect it. That is because he got more walks without Fielder behind him. His slugging % this year was right in the middle of his range for the 2 previous years. He was getting walked in key situations previously, hence the higher OBP and, therefore, higher OPS. Given the chance to hit in those situations this year, he drove in more runs, despite the lower OPS. Although some might say that RBI are totally random, I believe that the fact that he is seeing pitches in certain situations with runners in scoring position that he was previously being pitched around in does affect his run production. He drives in more runs. The bottom line on offense is about scoring runs, not OPS. OPS is an indicator, it is not the end game.

Again, I hate taking one example and applying it, but lets go with your assumptions here and say you are 100% correct.

Cabrera was statistically less valuable in 2012 that he was in 2011. There is no disputing that (wRC+ has him 11% less valuable). Your argument seams to be that Cabrera provided more value (to the team as a whole) than his individual statistics indicate because he had more RBI's. That may or not be valid.

You say the bottom line is about scoring runs, yet the most important aspect of scoring runs is getting on base. Cabrera's OBP was down 50+ points while his SLG percentage was up 20 points (OBP is more valuable than SLG percentage). What if we transferred Cabrera's statistics from 2011 to his 2012 year where Cabrera is getting on at a 50+ point higher rate in front of Prince Fielder? Think that would create a lot of runs? Wouldn't a lot of the RBI's that Cabrera loses be transferred to Fielder? This is why RBI's are considered a pretty marginal statistic.

In the end, your argument about more/less team runs boils down to strength of the overall lineup. There is really not much dispute that adding a good hitter makes your lineup better and contributes to more runs. If that was the "protection argument" I'd be perfectly fine with it. That's not what it is though. The protection argument is generally that the protected hitter will become a better hitter by virtue of getting more pitches to hit. If anything, it appears to be just the opposite (marginally so at least). That's what the aggregate statistics say.

Again, I'd argue (as a general rule) that pitching to hitters and getting ahead in the count is more effective than pitching around hitters and getting behind in the count. In my opinion, that's the main flaw in the protection argument.

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Again, I hate taking one example and applying it, but lets go with your assumptions here and assume what you say is 100% correct.

Cabrera was statistically less valuable in 2012 that he was in 2011. There is no disputing that (wRC+ has him 11% less valuable). Your argument seams to be that Cabrera provided more value (to the team as a whole) than his individual statistics indicate because he had more RBI's. That may or not be valid.

You say the bottom line is about scoring runs, yet the most important aspect of scoring runs is getting on base. Cabrera's OBP was down 50+ points while his SLG percentage was up 20 points (OBP is more valuable than SLG percentage). What if we transferred Cabrera's statistics from 2011 to his 2012 year where Cabrera is getting on at a 50+ point higher rate in front of Prince Fielder? Think that would create a lot of runs? Wouldn't a lot of the RBI's that Cabrera loses be transferred to Fielder? This is why RBI's are considered a pretty marginal statistic.

In the end, your argument about more/less team runs boils down to strength of the overall lineup. There is really not much dispute that adding a good hitter makes your lineup better and contributes to more runs. If that was the "protection argument" I'd be perfectly fine with it. That's not what it is though. The protection argument is generally that the protected hitter will become a better hitter by virtue of getting more pitches to hit. If anything, it appears to be just the opposite (marginally so). At least that's what the aggregate statistics say. Pretty convincingly imo.

Again, I'd argue that pitching to hitters and getting ahead in the count is more effective than pitching around hitters and getting behind in the count.

The fallacy of your argument is that you are taking an overall stat (OBP, OPS, or even wOBA) and applying it universally to all situations.

More often than not, getting on base is the primary goal of a batter. There are times, however, where driving in a run is the primary goal. It is in those situations that lineup protection becomes important.

You seem to be saying that to recognize the value of lineup protection is to claim that these statistics are worthless. That is simply not the case. In fact, through the prudent use of statistics a manager can most effectively use a strategy of lineup protection. The two are not mutually exclusive. I am recognizing the fact that prudent baseball men have and continue to employ a strategy of lineup protection, and that they have success by scoring in those game changing situations more often.

To argue that a player's OPS is not improved by such a strategy is irrelevant to the issue of whether lineup protection is a sound strategy. Of course a walk improves a player's OPS. It simply does not score a runner from scoring position (unless the bases are loaded - in which case roster protection is not an issue). Think about it -- if your argument were true and getting on base was always the primary goal, regardless of the situation, then why would the defense ever intentionally walk a batter or pitch around him?

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