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Thread: San Francisco Giants 2012 Offseason Thread

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by KHenry14 View Post
    Stats are a tool. So are eyes. IMO, we need both. And I admit that I am a bit fed up with whatever the next stat of the week is, too often a stat is invented not because it is needed, but because someone could figure out a new stat, so he did it. With that said, my assessment of players, both current and historical, will never be based solely upon numbers. And that's my decision. If that makes me ignorant in your opinion, so be it.
    Everyone is ignorant of something.

    What makes you ignorant of what xFIP is is your admittance that you don't know what it is.

  2. #42
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    KH,

    xFIP is is basically what a pitcher's ERA "should" be. It's a helpful tool but some pitchers can have ERA's much lower than what their xFIP suggests. Matt Cain is a very famous example of this. For years saber dudes couldn't understand why Matt Cain's ERA was much lower than what his xFIP was. Grant Brisbee over at McCovey Chronicles wrote a very poignant and hilarious essay about it back in late 2010. The bolded part is a key point. If Matt Cain's xFIP is the same as Jon Garland and Joe Blanton's xFIP that does NOT mean Cain is is on their level.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Viceroy of Stats,

    First off, thank you for the stats. If I were to do a line graph comparing my love for baseball and the rise of the internet, the two lines would start rising dramatically around 1996 without a single dip. The stats are a big part of that. One of my favorite things in the world is feeling superior to other people. Now when someone references RBI, I know I’m objectively better than them in every capacity. You can’t buy that feeling, and I have stats to thank. Plus, when people argue about "sabermetrics" vs. "sabremetrics", it reminds me of the Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912 joke,and that’s always a good thing.

    But I also remember those early days of the internet stats. No-hit, all-glove wizards were not tolerated. Teams and GMs who signed players like Royce Clayton, Rey Sanchez, and Mike Bordick were mocked without mercy. The new stats, though, tell us that some of those guys had pretty valuable seasons. Jose Vizcaino, for whom I had a strong distaste in 1997, was actually a 2+ win player that year. Well, I’ll be. This isn’t to suggest that because the methods of evaluation have changed, people should discount every innovation because it’s likely to be considered wrong in a decade. Of course not.

    It might not be a bad idea, though, always to assume that stats are likely to contain some measure of imperfection. When I see single-season WAR totals used with a dogmatic certainty, it makes me uneasy. I have a feeling that the formula for WAR will be updated and tinkered for years, if not decades, because it’s surely tricky to combine hitting stats with something as variable as single-season fielding stats to produce a single number. Yet there’s a small faction among us who likes to use single-season WAR as a blunt object. It feels like some folks -- certainly not most or all -- use the stat without the spirit of intellectual curiosity with which it was created.

    So I’ve searched for the most diplomatic way to phrase this, and I think I’ve arrived at something that fair, honest, and non-combative. Here goes: Matt Cain is good, and people who use xFIP as a blunt object can shut their yap holes. The idea of normalizing ERA to account for luck with balls put in play is a fine one. Trying to normalize home runs per fly all is a good idea too. Assuming that the current construct will work as an infallible predictive tool for every single pitcher in professional baseball right now? Not my favorite idea.

    Matt Cain has outperformed his FIP for four straight seasons. He has probably benefited from some measure of luck, especially in 2009, when he beat the mark by a full run. The traditional stat, ERA, indicates that Matt Cain is an elite pitcher. FIP suggests that Cain is merely very good. That’s a fair debate. Pitchers can do that sort of thing for an entire career, but they’re the exceptions, not the rules. The burden of proof would probably be on the person suggesting that Cain is elite.

    However, xFIP suggests that Matt Cain is an innings-eater of the most ordinary capacity, like a Jon Garland or a Joe Blanton. Matt Cain’s career xFIP is 4.43, and aaaaaaany day now, his ERA will regress to meet that mark. Some people pounce on that, and they froth at the mention of Matt Cain as a top pitcher. And I’m forced to react like a troglodyte, mentioning that a) I’VE TOTALLY WATCHED, LIKE, EVERY ONE OF HIS STARTS, AND MY EYES ARE MORE BETTER THAN YOUR STATS, and b) but his ERA! I don’t like both of those arguments. I can link to a study by the wizard who actually invented FIP, which acknowledges that there could be outliers like Cain when calculating xFIP, but because the math hurts my brain, I can’t do anything but appeal to his authority.

    It feels like with some folks, you get "Matt Cain’s xFIP is this. His ERA is that. The difference means there is something wrong with Matt Cain." I would like more, "Matt Cain’s xFIP is this. His ERA is that. Maybe there’s something that makes this happen every year." That’s all. I would just like the small, vocal minority to use stats like WAR, FIP, and xFIP as useful tools, not divinely inspired scripture just yet. Please command them to do so with your powers as Viceroy of Stats.


    I would like to end this open letter by noting that Matt Cain did not allow an earned run this postseason, and contrary to popular belief, that performance has tremendous predictive value. I predict that in 20 years, Matt Cain’s performance in the 2010 playoffs will still have been totally awesome.

    Sincerely,
    Some English Major
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 12-19-2012 at 03:41 PM.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  3. #43
    xFIP is FIP (see video)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuWoLBhnJ1g

    with a normalized home run rate.


    Cain somehow has the ability to have a well-below average HR rate. Most pitchers can't sustain that.

  4. #44
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    That's why I hate a lot of these advanced metrics. Any stat that equates Matt Cain to Joe Blanton is just plain wrong.

    And just look at the discussions we have over WAR on this site to understand why this stuff grates on me.

    BTW, I've spent time at FanGraphs and my head hurts after every visit. Frankly, advanced stats just flat out take the fun out of the game for me.
    ďWell, I like to say Iím completely focused, right? I mean, the gameís on the line. Itís not like Iím thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer ó it tastes frigginí awesome!"--Brian Wilson

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by KHenry14 View Post
    Frankly, advanced stats just flat out take the fun out of the game for me.
    That's fine. Not everyone thinks the same things are fun.

    If you think that there's a front office in major leagues that doesn't use advanced stats though, you're wrong.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    That's fine. Not everyone thinks the same things are fun.

    If you think that there's a front office in major leagues that doesn't use advanced stats though, you're wrong.
    Well the Minnesota Twins don't seem to know much about "advanced stats".

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/po...t-sabermetrics

    With the Twin's recent demise it seems they are getting criticized for not using sabermetrics.

    http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_2...thods-dont-add
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    If you think that there's a front office in major leagues that doesn't use advanced stats though, you're wrong.
    Never said that. I'm sure they all do to one degree or another. I would be curious to know to how GM's factor in advanced stats into the decision making process though.
    ďWell, I like to say Iím completely focused, right? I mean, the gameís on the line. Itís not like Iím thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer ó it tastes frigginí awesome!"--Brian Wilson

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Well the Minnesota Twins don't seem to know much about "advanced stats".

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/po...t-sabermetrics

    With the Twin's recent demise it seems they are getting criticized for not using sabermetrics.

    http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_2...thods-dont-add
    http://twinsdaily.com/1278-where-twi...-analysis.html
    When asked how he feels that the outsider perception of the Twins’ use of statistical analysis is behind the rest of the game, Jack Goin, the team’s Manager of Major League Administration and Baseball Research, simply replied “That’s fine.”

    Goin cites the St. Louis Cardinals as an example of how he wants his operations to be viewed. Whereas teams like Tampa, Cleveland, Boston and New York have been well-known and forthright about their endeavors into the statistical world, the Cardinals have been extremely stealth yet very much active in research. If it were up to him, he would just as rather have people continuing to overlook the team while they continue to improve.

    One way in which they have progressed in just a few shorts years is that Goin has turned to MLBAM’s Pitch F/X system – a relative unknown to the staff as recently has 2010 – when attempting to analyze potential free agent pitchers.

    “We used it just a few weeks ago on a free agent pitcher we were looking at. We were talking about his sinker and trying to figure out what’s going on with it. He had been injured the last few years and we were trying to figure out where that sinker is in terms of when it was really good and where it is now. So we looked at it and tried to figure out how much vertical break was on it and how much horizontal break was on it and tried to distinguish some of the contact rates.”

  9. #49
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    Got to hear the Twins are finally embracing new ways of doing business.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  10. #50
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    Man, I really wish the Giants could pry outfielder Adam Eaton from the Arizona D-Backs. The D-Backs, apparently, are not sold on Eaton as a everyday regular. But the kid can really play. Come on Brian Sabean, get Adam Eaton!

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/...a-diamondbacks

    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/9/4/329...rospect-roster
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  11. #51
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    Heard an interview with Mattingly on Friday, two tidbits were fun...

    First, Mattingly said the first time he saw Lasorda after being hired, Tommy told him "Whatever you do, beat the *bleeping* Giants"

    And when questioned about the playing the Giants at Mays Field, Donnie said "Those fans up there are nuts"

    LOL, we fans must be doing something right I guess
    Last edited by KHenry14; 01-13-2013 at 07:33 PM.
    ďWell, I like to say Iím completely focused, right? I mean, the gameís on the line. Itís not like Iím thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer ó it tastes frigginí awesome!"--Brian Wilson

  12. #52
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    In case nobody's seen it yet, here's Buster's MLB The Show commercial. Got a good laugh from it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBSx_...ature=youtu.be
    ďWell, I like to say Iím completely focused, right? I mean, the gameís on the line. Itís not like Iím thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer ó it tastes frigginí awesome!"--Brian Wilson

  13. #53
    Just a reminder, there has never been a National League team in history to win 3 world series in 4 years
    1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
    2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
    3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

  14. #54
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    As with every spring training, a few kids stand out. today some scribes were praising this kid Mac Williamson, a kid I'd never heard of. So I looked up his stats http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats...pbp&pid=607776 and he did well in short league A ball. Scribes were commenting specifically on his power, which is never a bad thing.

    Anyway, anyone know anything about him?
    ďWell, I like to say Iím completely focused, right? I mean, the gameís on the line. Itís not like Iím thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer ó it tastes frigginí awesome!"--Brian Wilson

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by KHenry14 View Post
    As with every spring training, a few kids stand out. today some scribes were praising this kid Mac Williamson, a kid I'd never heard of. So I looked up his stats http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats...pbp&pid=607776 and he did well in short league A ball. Scribes were commenting specifically on his power, which is never a bad thing.

    Anyway, anyone know anything about him?
    Some scouting reports.

    http://obsessivegiantscompulsive.blo...illiamson.html

    http://www.scoutingbook.com/players/p3139

    Baseball America ranked him as the #236 prospect but the Giants drafted him at #115 in 2012.

    Drafted with the #115 overall pick by San Francisco Giants and signed for $390,000
    While offense in college baseball has trended down with the new bats, Williamson's power has trended up. In 181 at-bats as a redshirt junior, Williamson had 17 home runs and a .608 slugging percentage. He puts out plus-plus raw power from his 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame. It comes with some swing-and-miss and scouts have reservations about his ability to hit, but he has toned down his strikeouts a little this season and walked at a solid rate. He plays center field for Wake Forest and runs well, but he fits best in right. He has a strong arm that would profile fine there.
    He's a big kid, 6'4", 240 lbs. If he's assigned to San Jose I'm definitely going to go check him out. A big time right handed power hitter is sorely needed at AT&T Park.

    Mac Williamson 1a.jpg
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-20-2013 at 02:01 PM.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  16. #56
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    Looks like you will get your wish Wags, Williamson is on his way to San Jose.


    BTW, it needs to be mentioned, Brandon Belt is hitting out of his mind right now. A Bondsian 1.344 OPS???? 4-4 today with 2 hrs?? Sure it's still ST, But boy, it makes you want the season to start today!!
    ďWell, I like to say Iím completely focused, right? I mean, the gameís on the line. Itís not like Iím thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer ó it tastes frigginí awesome!"--Brian Wilson

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