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Question about approach and process.


Outlander

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You're right. He's good now, I just want him to be great. The tools are there for him to be great, but instead his discipline keeps him outside the best 50 hitters in the game. I don't think he understands how far it holds him back, and it doesn't appear the Orioles do either. Among players with 400 PAs in 2013, Jones was tied for 60th in wRC+ with James Loney and Jonathan Lucroy. Those guys were good hitters last year but I don't anyone was referring to them as elite.

Goes to show the wRC+ formula sucks for determining hitter's values. Loney shouldn't even have a 1B job in MLB; he's a good hitter with not enough power to be valuable at that position. He's only there b/c Luke Scott was an embarrassingly terrible fielder, horrible baserunner and such a streaky hitter, he was a liabilty. Plus, the Rays don't have anyone to replace him...yet.

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Feel free to elaborate. I'd like to know what you believe are the major shortcomings to wRC+ and what things Adam Jones does that don't show up there. If you prefer wOBA (I don't, since it doesn't adjust for parks), he was 44th. Still not an elite hitter. He's a good hitter, I'm not arguing that. I don't think there's a legitimate argument that he is great or elite.

"There are lies, damned lies and statistics"

- Mark "hit 'em where they ain't" Twain

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Goes to show the wRC+ formula sucks for determining hitter's values. Loney shouldn't even have a 1B job in MLB; he's a good hitter with not enough power to be valuable at that position. He's only there b/c Luke Scott was an embarrassingly terrible fielder, horrible baserunner and such a streaky hitter, he was a liabilty. Plus, the Rays don't have anyone to replace him...yet.

Well, the Rays signed Loney to a three-year deal this offseason, so they must like something he does. However, I do find it surprising that he was tied with Jones in wRC+ (and actually ahead of him in OPS+, 119 to 115). I have a bit of skepticism that the park effects really impact these players as much as these stats suggest.

That said, for me the reason that Jones is so valuable is that he provides good offense from centerfield, a position where not many good offensive players can be found. In the context of all the hitters in the league, putting aside the position that he plays, he is not an elite hitter, and his lack of selectivity at the plate is the main reason why. His power is elite or near-elite, but his ability to get on base and not make outs is nowhere near elite. That skill is extremely important, and there are many posters who don't seem to appreciate how important it is.

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And there are people who don't understand Twain quotes?
Care to elaborate? Except that Twain is quoting Disraeli, how does the statement not apply. One doesn't have to agree that statistics lie but that is certainly what Twain is suggesting.

"Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

- Mark Twain's Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review

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And there are people who don't understand Twain quotes?

"Figures often beguile me," Mark Twain wrote, "particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'"

I love stats, but there is no "God Stat" that unequivocally defines players' values. Certainly, wRC+ fails the test.

As for Loney, he's a good hitter. He'd be more valuable if he hit that way as a middle infielder or even center fielder (wink to Frobby). I'm puzzled by the 3-year deal for a first baseman who hits a dozen HRs over 600 ABs, however.

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Care to elaborate? Except that Twain is quoting Disraeli, how does the statement not apply. One doesn't have to agree that statistics lie but that is certainly what Twain is suggesting.

"Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

- Mark Twain's Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review

I would say the heart of the quote, and the idea it represents, is that a number is not evidence of anything without context and explanation. I agree with that. But that is not a refutation of the validity of a particular statistic.

The question put to gpolee was "what are the shortcomings of wRC+?" Saying that statistics, generally, have the potential to be misleading, falls well short of answering that question.

That said, I was really only joking around, and should have included this :). If someone wants to use power numbers as the ultimate measure of a 1b as opposed to something more nuanced like wRC+, that is fine. I think it's counter to how most folks who work with baseball stats generally view things, but that doesn't mean we can't all use whatever measures we want.

The irony, of course, is that reducing a 1b offensive value to homeruns comes closer to the "damn lies that are statistics" than wRC+ ever could. :)

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If you want to know what is king, check out Total Bases. That's where the BoSox blew the rest of the league away last year. Ask the Cardinals, A's, Angels and Rangers how they scored so many runs. Especially ask Chili Davis, who helped change the dynamics of Oakland's offense with an approach that mirrors Presley's.

On the flip side, ask the Dodgers, Nats & Giants why their offenses were ineffectual last year. They'll tell you, "because we couldn't move runners around the bases."

Some very interesting information there, I will have to think about that.

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Well, the Rays signed Loney to a three-year deal this offseason, so they must like something he does. However, I do find it surprising that he was tied with Jones in wRC+ (and actually ahead of him in OPS+, 119 to 115). I have a bit of skepticism that the park effects really impact these players as much as these stats suggest.

That said, for me the reason that Jones is so valuable is that he provides good offense from centerfield, a position where not many good offensive players can be found. In the context of all the hitters in the league, putting aside the position that he plays, he is not an elite hitter, and his lack of selectivity at the plate is the main reason why. His power is elite or near-elite, but his ability to get on base and not make outs is nowhere near elite. That skill is extremely important, and there are many posters who don't seem to appreciate how important it is.

This is pretty much exactly what I was getting at. I'm well aware that a 118 wRC+ is more valuable in CF than at 1B. Nowhere did I say it was some "God Stat" that completely sums up entire player values, it is however a good barometer for offensive value, position aside. In the context of the discussion we were having here, it served just fine.

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Feel free to elaborate. I'd like to know what you believe are the major shortcomings to wRC+ and what things Adam Jones does that don't show up there. If you prefer wOBA (I don't, since it doesn't adjust for parks), he was 44th. Still not an elite hitter. He's a good hitter, I'm not arguing that. I don't think there's a legitimate argument that he is great or elite.

I think that most advanced metric place weight on things that happen to be trendy.

This is a very simplistic number and it takes into account most of the important information that I believe in. It addresses being on base, not making outs, and the ability to do more than slap a ball past a diving infielder. What it does not do is take into account the positional scarcity, weather, God, types of parks, types of pitchers faced, phases of the moon, or experimental fielding metrics.

1. Cabrera (DET) 1.078

2. Davis (BAL) 1.004

3. Trout (LAA) .988

4. Ortiz (BOS) .959

5. Goldschmidt (ARI) .952

6. Tulowitzki (COL) .931

7. Werth (WSN) .931

8. Votto (CIN) .926

9. Cuddyer (COL) .919

10. McCutchen (PIT) .911

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I would say the heart of the quote, and the idea it represents, is that a number is not evidence of anything without context and explanation. I agree with that. But that is not a refutation of the validity of a particular statistic.

The question put to gpolee was "what are the shortcomings of wRC+?" Saying that statistics, generally, have the potential to be misleading, falls well short of answering that question.

That said, I was really only joking around, and should have included this :). If someone wants to use power numbers as the ultimate measure of a 1b as opposed to something more nuanced like wRC+, that is fine. I think it's counter to how most folks who work with baseball stats generally view things, but that doesn't mean we can't all use whatever measures we want.

The irony, of course, is that reducing a 1b offensive value to homeruns comes closer to the "damn lies that are statistics" than wRC+ ever could. :)

What part of the word lie don't you understand?Twain clearly is calling statistics one of 3 kinds of lies. None of this BS about context. That's equivocation, what some people think is yet another kind of lie.
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Also of interest: The Red Sox were #1 in wRC+, followed by the Tigers, Athletics and Angels. The Cardinals were 7th (best in the NL though).

Again, it makes sense to look at this. I think that several of those teams were represented in my list.

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Some very interesting information there, I will have to think about that.
Quote Originally Posted by gpolee

If you want to know what is king, check out Total Bases. That's where the BoSox blew the rest of the league away last year. Ask the Cardinals, A's, Angels and Rangers how they scored so many runs. Especially ask Chili Davis, who helped change the dynamics of Oakland's offense with an approach that mirrors Presley's.

On the flip side, ask the Dodgers, Nats & Giants why their offenses were ineffectual last year. They'll tell you, "because we couldn't move runners around the bases."

A pretty good list there also. You may be on to something.

1. Davis (BAL) 370

2. Cabrera (DET) 353

3. Goldschmidt (ARI) 332

4. Trout (LAA) 328

5. Jones (BAL) 322

6. Beltre (TEX) 321

7. Cano (NYY) 312

8. Longoria (TBR) 306

9. Pence (SFG) 304

10. Carpenter (STL) 301

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