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What do the stats tell us about foreign pitchers in MLB?

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  • Agente Libre
    replied
    He was a left-handed reliever who struck out 200 in 264 innings; guys like that don't grow on trees. He was a prospect coming out of Cuba but had a bad attitude/work ethic. Not much different than a lot of draft picks.

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  • Cubano100%
    replied
    Originally posted by Agente Libre

    Viera actually had decent statistics in Cuba and got good reviews from the minor league managers and coaches who saw him. Boston released him kind of fast (less than 2 years) and he apparently was not very dedicated to training, as one article said he showed up to major league spring training about 20 pounds overweight. He had some problems with indy and foreign teams, so it looks like he just had a bad attitude.
    Rolando Viera's stats tells you he was not top of the line in Cuba. 318 innings in 6 seasons means he was not used to much. Maybe if he had a different attitude he would have reach the majors, but he would not stayed for long. He barely tops 90 miles per hour, right?

    Series W L JS INN AVE PCL SO BB

    6 22 19 2 318 264 3.42 200 131

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  • Agente Libre
    replied
    Viera signed with -- and was quickly released from -- at least four different independent league and foreign (Mexico, Nicaragua) teams since being released by Boston.

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  • Cubano100%
    replied
    Originally posted by Agente Libre
    I don't like the draft either but I'm not sure about some of your conclusions.

    Viera actually had decent statistics in Cuba and got good reviews from the minor league managers and coaches who saw him. Boston released him kind of fast (less than 2 years) and he apparently was not very dedicated to training, as one article said he showed up to major league spring training about 20 pounds overweight. He had some problems with indy and foreign teams, so it looks like he just had a bad attitude.

    Also, Viera didn't lose his case. He lost an initial ruling and then fired his lawyer and agent because he didn't want to pay them. (See ESPN.com stories from 2001 to 2003.)
    What do you mean by indy and foreing teams?

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  • Agente Libre
    replied
    I don't like the draft either but I'm not sure about some of your conclusions.

    Viera actually had decent statistics in Cuba and got good reviews from the minor league managers and coaches who saw him. Boston released him kind of fast (less than 2 years) and he apparently was not very dedicated to training, as one article said he showed up to major league spring training about 20 pounds overweight. He had some problems with indy and foreign teams, so it looks like he just had a bad attitude.

    Also, Viera didn't lose his case. He lost an initial ruling and then fired his lawyer and agent because he didn't want to pay them. (See ESPN.com stories from 2001 to 2003.)
    Last edited by Agente Libre; 01-08-2006, 10:13 PM.

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  • Cubano100%
    replied
    I want to get your opinion on the below.


    Players from the USA, Puerto Rico and Canada are subject to the baseball Draft. I am not sure about players from Canada but I believe they have to go through the Draft too.

    Foreing players, on the other hand, are free agents. I think this is unfair to Americans, Puerto Ricans and Canadians. The Baseball Union and baseball agents do not want to see foreing players go through the draft because foreing players drive salaries up. This benefits players that go through the draft too. In my opinion, the right thing to do is either to have all players go through the Draft or all players should be free agents.

    But here come the Cubans again. What are they?

    If your anwser is Cubans are free agents your anwser is wrong. Once they defect, they are in a limbo. MLB does not grant them free agency automatically. I believe and someone here can correct me that MLB requires them to have a passport or residency in a foreing country. The problem is that the Cuban government takes their passport away from Cuban team members once they go through customs. This happens not only when the Cuban team travels to the USA but also to any other country. So they do not have a passport after defecting. MLB does not grant them free agent status even though they are not Americans, Puerto Ricans or Canadians.

    What choices does a Cuban baseball defector has?

    1. To go to a third country to obtain citizenship of that country. This is a lenghthy proccess. Many governments are sympathetic of Castro and are not friendly to Cubans seeking legal status.

    2. Come to the USA and become a free agent. I say this because this is a controversial topic. Even though Cuban defectors are not Americans, MLB officials and owners want them to go through the draft. I believe even when they somehow manage to have a Cuban passport, they can not become free agents because they live in the USA.
    The USA government does not give them a passport until they spend 5 years living in America.
    So the bottom line is that they are not either Cubans nor Americans but MLB wants them to enter the draft.
    For the record, Cuban defector Rolando Viera sued MLB so he could become a free agent in the USA and lost his case. Viera was not worth a dime in Cuba and signed with the Red Sox. I think he is out of baseball now.

    3. Enter the Baseball Draft. This is what MLB teams want. They want to pay cheap money to Cuban defectors. Imagine a 32 years old Jose Contrears in the draft or 32-36 years old El Duke in the draft. At these age, how many contract would they get in their life spam. If they are selected in the first rounds, they become millioners. But if they are selected in the latter rounds, they get nothing. Most of the times players from the draft are signed for 3 or 4 years and then arbitration kicks in. So for El Duke and Contreras, the draft is not their best choice.

    I am sure ther are some Baseball-Fever users that knows more about how free agency works. So all your opinions are wellcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • Agente Libre
    replied
    I agree but, frankly, it only reflects stupidity on the part of reporters. Anyone with internet access could have independently verified the stats/backgrounds of just about every defector since El Duque, so any media member who believed the hype about Andy Morales and has now made it his life's mission to disparage Cuban defectors is a lazy fool (and from the number of such stories/comments I've seen, there are a lot of lazy fools covering MLB).

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  • jalbright
    replied
    If you want to drop the standard to 100 IP, that's OK. I don't know that going any lower than that means anything more than getting a shot at the majors does. My point being, there's got to be some apples to apples type comparisons to mean anything. The fact there have been 13 Cuban pitchers to make it to the majors in recent years certainly does mean there's some quality in Cuba, which I think most people have at least suspected.

    The idea that the press has downplayed Cuban players is probably correct, but I think it is a backlash to the fact that many of these guys were seriously hyped and then couldn't come close to measuring up to the hype. After this happened several times, the boys in the press box let their cynicism come out.

    Jim Albright

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  • Licey Fan
    replied
    Originally posted by Cubano100%
    I know where you coming from, but that is a lot of work. If I refine my criteria to 500 IP, Cuba will only have 3 pitchers. Japan will only have 5 pitchers.
    As for trying to convert their Cuban stats into MLB stats is not an easy nor exact proposition. I would prefer MLB performances only though I am open to the possibility of converting those stats with some help. I do not know where to get serie by serie stats for the Cuban National series. I only can get lifetime stats on Cuban players.

    As I said, I just wanted to show the Baseball-Fever community that the media rarely tells you a complete picture when writing about Cuban defectors.


    I will get the Cuban stats for all defectors. I am sure 3/4 of them were not top players back home. People should not expect bad players from Cuba to make it to the Major Leagues. The same thing can be said about bad Japanese, Dominican, Mexican and other players.

    This is getting interesting, but it's a lot of work... Let's see how it works out... KEEP IT UP!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Cubano100%
    replied
    Originally posted by jalbright
    There's no question this is a lot of work, but presented this way, I can't see that this data tells us much at all, especially about Cuba. There are more guys from the Dominican who were good enough to get a shot in the majors. Of course, the Cubans haven't exactly been granted the access to the majors the Dominicans have. So, that fact doesn't tell us much. But comparing 13 or 14 Cubans to what, 50 Dominicans means even less. There's no showing that the Cubans who had the chance are a representative sample. Even if we exclude the Cubans and their unique situation, all I might be able to draw from this data is basically how many pitchers each country has provided who are good enough to have met certain criteria. Making the majors is one such criteria. Another might be those who were good enough to stick around a few years (say 120 games in relief or 500 IP, or some other criteria). If you want to try to refine the issue of skill, you might try to add ERA as a criteria (an ERA under 4.00 in at least 500 IP, for example).

    This data could be related back to how they performed in leagues at home, but that would require more data. If you could do that, it would at least help us evaluate the quality of play in those leagues back home.

    I wish I could be more encouraging, but that's how I see it.\

    Jim Albright
    I know where you coming from, but that is a lot of work. If I refine my criteria to 500 IP, Cuba will only have 3 pitchers. Japan will only have 5 pitchers.
    As for trying to convert their Cuban stats into MLB stats is not an easy nor exact proposition. I would prefer MLB performances only though I am open to the possibility of converting those stats with some help. I do not know where to get serie by serie stats for the Cuban National series. I only can get lifetime stats on Cuban players.

    As I said, I just wanted to show the Baseball-Fever community that the media rarely tells you a complete picture when writing about Cuban defectors.


    I will get the Cuban stats for all defectors. I am sure 3/4 of them were not top players back home. People should not expect bad players from Cuba to make it to the Major Leagues. The same thing can be said about bad Japanese, Dominican, Mexican and other players.

    Leave a comment:


  • Agente Libre
    replied
    I agree, but at a minimum, it does sort of refute the popular perception that Cubans, and particularly Cuban pitchers, have been a bust. The media was down on Contreras after 3 starts, while guys like Pavano get a free pass. The bottom line is, the combined contracts given to just Hideki Irabu and Kaz Matsui exceed those given to ALL 70-PLUS CUBAN DEFECTORS not named Jose Contreras. You would not know this, however, from the various slants in the MLB media.

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  • jalbright
    replied
    Originally posted by Cubano100%
    This is a lot of work. I looked the names and the stats of all MLB pitchers from these countries since 1993. I got a spreadsheet where I sorted the numbers from the smallest to highest. The problem is cutting and pasting the names.

    I am trying to compare the stats among players from different countries. Specially, I like to see how Cuban players stats compare to other foreing players.

    Because we have disparity among the number of players per country, I like to get the input from a Statiscian.

    There's no question this is a lot of work, but presented this way, I can't see that this data tells us much at all, especially about Cuba. There are more guys from the Dominican who were good enough to get a shot in the majors. Of course, the Cubans haven't exactly been granted the access to the majors the Dominicans have. So, that fact doesn't tell us much. But comparing 13 or 14 Cubans to what, 50 Dominicans means even less. There's no showing that the Cubans who had the chance are a representative sample. Even if we exclude the Cubans and their unique situation, all I might be able to draw from this data is basically how many pitchers each country has provided who are good enough to have met certain criteria. Making the majors is one such criteria. Another might be those who were good enough to stick around a few years (say 120 games in relief or 500 IP, or some other criteria). If you want to try to refine the issue of skill, you might try to add ERA as a criteria (an ERA under 4.00 in at least 500 IP, for example).

    This data could be related back to how they performed in leagues at home, but that would require more data. If you could do that, it would at least help us evaluate the quality of play in those leagues back home.

    I wish I could be more encouraging, but that's how I see it.\

    Jim Albright

    Leave a comment:


  • Cubano100%
    replied
    Originally posted by Mattingly
    Were these stats compared exclusively against players for their same country? Or were they in mixed competition? I presume the former.

    How do you say that someone's a better pitcher if, like in my last post, the capabilities of the hitters aren't established there?

    These are major league pitchers and their MLB stats. I collected their MLB stats and ran the calculations.

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  • Mattingly
    replied
    Originally posted by Cubano100%
    No, Licey. You know I am dissapointed with some American journalists that trash Cuban players without digging into the facts. I hope some journalists read some of my posts. I was just trying to compare them to other countries. I always thought they have done remarkable well taking into consideration that some come old and all the extra stuff they have to deal with.

    Stay tune everybody for my next little project. I am going to find the Cuban stats for every defector. I am sure I will find out that most of them were not worth a dime in Cuba nor in the USA.

    Always remember, the best Cuban talent is still in the island. Kendry Morales, Yuniesky Betancourt, Alain Soler, Juan Miranda and Hassan Pena have talent and youth. Therefore, they are going to do well.

    If Cuba is allowed to come, the death bracket is the one with the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
    Were these stats compared exclusively against players for their same country? Or were they in mixed competition? I presume the former.

    How do you say that someone's a better pitcher if, like in my last post, the capabilities of the hitters aren't established there?

    Leave a comment:


  • Cubano100%
    replied
    Originally posted by Licey Fan
    OK, it's easier to read this way... Now make your point

    If you were going to say that venezuela has the best pitching per country,that's definetly true... And that's why the team I fear the most, and I think is vastly underrated for the WBC is Venezuela... They have a killer staff!!!

    No, Licey. You know I am dissapointed with some American journalists that trash Cuban players without digging into the facts. I hope some journalists read some of my posts. I was just trying to compare them to other countries. I always thought they have done remarkable well taking into consideration that some came old and all the extra stuff they had to deal with.

    Stay tune everybody for my next little project. I am going to find the Cuban stats for every defector. I am sure I will find out that most of them were not worth a dime in Cuba nor in the USA.

    Always remember, the best Cuban talent is still in the island. Kendry Morales, Yuniesky Betancourt, Alain Soler, Juan Miranda and Hassan Pena have talent and youth. Therefore, they are going to do well.

    If Cuba is allowed to come, the death bracket is the one with the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
    Last edited by Cubano100%; 01-07-2006, 05:09 PM.

    Leave a comment:

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