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Thanks for Contributing, Nick


bryanman8

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Here's some info on aging of power hitters (as opposed to speedsters, Nick fits the profile) done by Tom Tango.

Here’s guys born from 1940-1969:SLGclass Start End peakAge nPower 1940 1949 28.4 89Power 1950 1959 28.5 79Power 1960 1969 29.1 116

Its the average age that the group of power hitters born in each decade maximized their slugging. The fun two things to note are:

1) Nick is a lot younger and

2) the trend is getting older

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I've been saying for awhile that Nick Markakis is Paul O'Neil. He's going to be a real solid regular starter for a long time, but I don't really think we're talking a perenial All-Star here. That's not taking anything away from Nick, because having a nice long productive career is not anything to scoff at.

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I've been saying for awhile that Nick Markakis is Paul O'Neil. He's going to be a real solid regular starter for a long time, but I don't really think we're talking a perenial All-Star here. That's not taking anything away from Nick, because having a nice long productive career is not anything to scoff at.

So he'll win 5 World Series rings? I'll take it!

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Let me explain the thing about Nick Markakis.

Everyone seems ready to assume that he's this emerging superstar, because he's got these incredible HOF-caliber players like Carl Yastrzemski and Tony Gwynn on his comp list. People see those names and get all crazy with lofty, mostly unrealistic expectations.

Meanwhile what gets ignored is the part where Markakis' comp list also contains many more names that are/were just decent ballplayers that had average-to-good careers.

Nobody seems to pay much attention to those names, though.

Here's what I'm talking about:

[b]Baseball Prospectus top 20 comps for Nick Markakis, sorted by Avg WARP3[/b]                                               Total     Avg[u]Rank Hitter              Year  Score   Games    WARP3   WARP3[/u]10   Grady Sizemore      2006     44     443     28.3    10.36   Keith Hernandez     1977     47    2088    109.3     8.57   Tony Gwynn          1983     47    2440    124.1     8.214   Chet Lemon          1978     41    1988     93.8     7.65   Billy Williams      1962     48    2488    116.9     7.61   Carl Yastrzemski    1963     62    3308    140.7     6.98   Darin Erstad        1998     46    1360     55.2     6.620   Steve Kemp          1978     39    1168     46.6     6.59   Terry Puhl          1980     44    1531     53.9     5.715   Dan Driessen        1975     40    1732     57.5     5.44   Gus Bell            1952     53    1741     50.0     4.712   Dan Ford            1976     42    1153     32.6     4.617   Sean Burroughs      2004     40     439     11.7     4.32   Carlos May          1971     54    1165     28.3     3.919   Whitey Lockman      1950     40    1666     39.8     3.93   Rick Manning        1978     54    1555     32.5     3.416   Tito Francona       1957     40    1719     35.6     3.413   Ed Kranepool        1968     41    1853     31.9     2.811   Gary Thomasson      1975     42     901     15.5     2.818   Jerry Turner        1977     40     733      9.5     2.1    [b]Average                            1574     55.7     5.7[/b]

The first 6 names on that list are obviously the real attention-grabbers -- perennial All-Stars caliber guys.

The next 6, from Erstad to Ford, all had lengthy careers with good, solid production. Nothing earth-shattering or remotely HOF-worthy, but certainly solid.

The last 8, from Burroughs on down, are a smattering of guys with WARP averages that would make for an average, at best, starting player.

So at the end of the day, Markakis has roughly similar odds of being truly great, being merely good, or being mostly forgettable.

But despite that reality, many folks are ready to crown his ass, as Denny Green might say.

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So at the end of the day, Markakis has roughly similar odds of being truly great, being merely good, or being mostly forgettable.

Thats not exactly true. The comp scores of course aren't uniform from top to bottom of that list. The first six on the list average out to 48.2, whereas the next 14 average out to 43.9.

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Thats not exactly true. The comp scores of course aren't uniform from top to bottom of that list. The first six on the list average out to 48.2, whereas the next 14 average out to 43.9.

That's a fair point. It'd be reasonable to argue that everything ought to be weighted by comp score.

If you do that, the Average line changes to 1623 games with a total WARP3 of 58.0, yielding an average WARP3 of 5.8.

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Here's some info on aging of power hitters (as opposed to speedsters, Nick fits the profile) done by Tom Tango.
Here’s guys born from 1940-1969:SLGclass Start End peakAge nPower 1940 1949 28.4 89Power 1950 1959 28.5 79Power 1960 1969 29.1 116

Its the average age that the group of power hitters born in each decade maximized their slugging. The fun two things to note are:

1) Nick is a lot younger and

2) the trend is getting older

I appreciate your analysis as always, Baltimoron.

Guys, I'm not off the Nick bandwagon yet. I realize it's only been half a season, and he's still my favorite player right now. I just brought up this as a discussion point that personally, Nick has fallen far below my expectations, as well as TTFs and others like ourselves who believed Nick was capable of really exploding offensively this year and not regressing from last year but rather going up to near .900 OPS territory.

OPS itself is a relatively raw stat that should be broken down much further by MLB GMs with access to all the data, and that's why I realize me simply pointing out his OPS is near .750 doesn't tell the whole story and that's why I really enjoy when you point out why. Some of my fears are certainly lessened as you pointed out Nick's BABIP and all indicate he's been basically the same as he was last year despite being a "slow starter" and my eyes certainly deceived me with Nick; I always thought he was hitting far more groundballs but you mentioned that was far from the truth.

I definitely believe Nick's struggles are a big part of why this offense has been awful, but I fully realize he's around our 2nd best hitter now with Miggy out and that's still not bad at all. It needs to be noted that this is not simply a "slump" and is not based only on these last two games; Nick's numbers so far this season have been abysmal. I also question how he went from being a minor leaguer known for his amazing eye to basically not walking.

Still, he is young, he's in a bit of a sophomore regression as you mentioned, but still has plenty of time to turn it around. I'm not giving up yet. The in-depth numbers you posted indicate he hasn't been nearly as bad as he looks. Still, as Tony noted, I think he might not be the perenial All-Star many of us initially thought he could be. And, I agree with all the posters who mentioned that Terry Crowley is a huge deterrent for Nick and everyday he stays on takes Nick further away from that count-working walk machine he used to be.

I sincerely hope though that he has a terrific second half and get the OPS back up to .820 level and then continue to go on a steady climb until he reaches his peak years, which is still not for a while as you said.

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I appreciate your analysis as always, Baltimoron.

Guys, I'm not off the Nick bandwagon yet. I realize it's only been half a season, and he's still my favorite player right now. I just brought up this as a discussion point that personally, Nick has fallen far below my expectations, as well as TTFs and others like ourselves who believed Nick was capable of really exploding offensively this year and not regressing from last year but rather going up to near .900 OPS territory.

OPS itself is a relatively raw stat that should be broken down much further by MLB GMs with access to all the data, and that's why I realize me simply pointing out his OPS is near .750 doesn't tell the whole story and that's why I really enjoy when you point out why. Some of my fears are certainly lessened as you pointed out Nick's BABIP and all indicate he's been basically the same as he was last year despite being a "slow starter" and my eyes certainly deceived me with Nick; I always thought he was hitting far more groundballs but you mentioned that was far from the truth.

I definitely believe Nick's struggles are a big part of why this offense has been awful, but I fully realize he's around our 2nd best hitter now with Miggy out and that's still not bad at all. It needs to be noted that this is not simply a "slump" and is not based only on these last two games; Nick's numbers so far this season have been abysmal. I also question how he went from being a minor leaguer known for his amazing eye to basically not walking.

Still, he is young, he's in a bit of a sophomore regression as you mentioned, but still has plenty of time to turn it around. I'm not giving up yet. The in-depth numbers you posted indicate he hasn't been nearly as bad as he looks. Still, as Tony noted, I think he might not be the perenial All-Star many of us initially thought he could be. And, I agree with all the posters who mentioned that Terry Crowley is a huge deterrent for Nick and everyday he stays on takes Nick further away from that count-working walk machine he used to be.

I sincerely hope though that he has a terrific second half and get the OPS back up to .820 level and then continue to go on a steady climb until he reaches his peak years, which is still not for a while as you said.

I agree with a lot of what you say, but to say his numbers have been "abysmal" is very strong. Entering today, he was essentially league average. His OPS+ was 102, and he is on pace for 18 HR and 42 2B. Disappointing based on his own lofty standards? Perhaps so. But abysmal? Not even close.

Last season Nick walked once every 12.6 PA, good for 43 BB. He also had 25 2B and 16 HR with 2 3B, with an IsoP of .158. His average hit netted 1.54 TB.

This season Nick has walked once ever 12.9 PA, putting him on pace 42 walks. He is also on pace to hit 33 2B and 14 HR with 2 3B, with an IsoP of .158. His average hit has netted 1.57 TB.

[All numbers based on statistics prior to today's game]

Obviously, those numbers are pretty damn similar. He's walking at a nearly identical rate as he did last year. His power is up ever so slightly, though his HR rate is down just a bit. So obviously any difference from last year is based solely on his average, namely how many singles he's hit. Last year Markakis hit .291, this year it's at .274. If Nick had 5 more singles, his numbers would be identical to last year.

I understand that your criticism is based not as much on his regression, but also in his fail to improve. But I think that expecting a .900 OPS or finding it to be a reasonable possibility was setting yourself up for disappointment. I think that a reasonable expectation would have been something around .290/.360/.480/.840 - a reasonable improvement, but not an All-Star season.

I certainly share some of the concern about Markakis. Although most of that is because of his frustrating number of GIDP (15) so far this season. The weak ground balls to the right side have grown tiresome. But I am still optimistic. We have, I think, taken his growth for granted. His minor league record indicates he is a special talent, as does the fact that he had a good season at age 22 with little experience above Frederick. I am confident in him in the second half.

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I've been saying for awhile that Nick Markakis is Paul O'Neil. He's going to be a real solid regular starter for a long time, but I don't really think we're talking a perenial All-Star here. That's not taking anything away from Nick, because having a nice long productive career is not anything to scoff at.

I know many expect more, but I'd be happy if Nick has Paul O'Neil's career, as long as he becomes quite good at an earlier age.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/oneilpa01.php

Not too shaby. 99.4 WARP3 including 5 seasons of 8.6 or better.

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It needs to be noted that this is not simply a "slump" and is not based only on these last two games; Nick's numbers so far this season have been abysmal.

Abysmal? Talk about harsh... I'd hardly call his numbers abysmal. .274 with 43 runs, 44 rbis, 9 hrs, and 7 steals???

They are not all-star caliber- but abysmal? How then, would you define Gibbons stats?

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Abysmal? Talk about harsh... I'd hardly call his numbers abysmal. .274 with 43 runs, 44 rbis, 9 hrs, and 7 steals???

They are not all-star caliber- but abysmal? How then, would you define Gibbons stats?

Well said. If he has a month like his 10 home run month last year, he could easily wind up with 100 runs and 100 RBI's. Maybe something like 25 HR's with 90 runs and 100 RBI.

I'll take it.

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