Thursday, February 24, 2005

John Sickels gives his list of the top 20 Angel prospects.

Casey Kotchman tops the list, right ahead of Dallas McPherson. Jered Weaver does not appear, but Sickels mentions that he would make the top 6 had he been signed, which would apparently put him right around Kendry Morales.

Sickels is big on Howie Kendrick, and picks Erick Aybar as the best of the plethora of Angel middle infield prospects.

Recent acquisitions Bob Zimmerman and Maicer Izturis rank 17th and 18th, respectively, and Nick Gorneault and his career 850+ OPS in the minors don't make the list.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I apologize for my silence of late; I've been swamped, and just haven't had the time to try to make any sense about any baseball matters. My off-season schedule of player reviews and pro-Grich propaganda has thus been interrupted, but I hope to get back to same fairly soon.

In terms of actual Angel news, there isn't that much to inspire comment. Vlad is healthy, K-Rod is confident, and Kendry Morales is not yet in-country. Silly state legislators are trying to make names for themselves by conjuring ridiculous oppositions to the name change, and Tim Salmon is watching it all from a removed place.

I'll be back for more soon ...

Monday, February 14, 2005

This is one of those times where I actually have to do my job for a few days, so hopefully normal programming will resume later this week.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

And they're up!

There are certain caveats to the OF numbers which are described in the CF entry, which is in the sidebar to your right under "PMR Runs." So without further ado:

Player            Runs Above Average

Carl Crawford 24.8758
Charles W Thomas 12.7824
Carlos Lee 12.0267
Aaron Guiel 9.1359
David Dellucci 8.3708
Eric Byrnes 7.2331
Terrmel Sledge 6.9092
Reed Johnson 5.7037
Hideki Matsui 4.5936
Kevin Mench 3.8687
Jayson Werth 3.4405
Craig Monroe 3.0186
Jay Bay 2.3555
Barry Bonds 1.8948
Moises Alou 1.6590
Jose Guillen 1.3301
Brad Wilkerson 1.2064
Luis Gonzalez 1.0418
Dave Roberts 0.7722
Dee Brown 0.2923
Ray Lankford 0.1636
Cliff Floyd -0.2363
Raul Ibanez -0.2564
Larry Bigbie -0.5529
Miguel Cabrera -1.0971
Manny Ramirez -2.2345
Jeff Conine -2.2782
Bobby Kielty -2.7803
Eric Young -3.6360
Lew Ford -3.9867
Eli Marrero -5.4573
Lance Berkman -6.0025
Geoff Jenkins -6.1274
Matt Lawton -6.4017
Rondell White -6.6150
Craig Biggio -6.9204
Adam Dunn -9.4239
Pat Burrell -9.5233
Matt T Holliday -11.3309
Shannon Stewart -12.2244
Ryan Klesko -15.6444

Player Runs Above Average
per 4000 BIP
Aaron Guiel 36.1124
Carl Crawford 31.3913
Charles W Thomas 29.9025
Reed Johnson 16.1602
David Dellucci 16.1232
Terrmel Sledge 15.6428
Kevin Mench 13.8191
Carlos Lee 12.3310
Eric Byrnes 10.8141
Craig Monroe 8.8222
Jayson Werth 8.6469
Hideki Matsui 4.2497
Brad Wilkerson 3.7144
Jay Bay 3.2180
Dave Roberts 2.3819
Barry Bonds 2.1690
Moises Alou 1.7738
Jose Guillen 1.5382
Luis Gonzalez 1.5187
Dee Brown 0.8297
Ray Lankford 0.5591
Cliff Floyd -0.3403
Raul Ibanez -0.3489
Larry Bigbie -0.7895
Manny Ramirez -2.7120
Miguel Cabrera -2.9952
Jeff Conine -4.2579
Geoff Jenkins -5.9308
Lew Ford -7.6867
Matt Lawton -7.7786
Adam Dunn -8.9814
Bobby Kielty -10.0620
Pat Burrell -11.6792
Lance Berkman -13.7885
Rondell White -13.8006
Eric Young -14.2706
Craig Biggio -14.5517
Matt T Holliday -15.2942
Eli Marrero -18.8649
Shannon Stewart -25.2417
Ryan Klesko -27.9717

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

In looking through David Pinto's archives, I came across to this link to a Mets' blog called The Raindrops wherein the author converts 2003 PMR to runs. The author uses a very simple method, which is to multiply each out by .8, the rough value of an out for all positions. It does not seem like he makes an attempt to find the specific average for the 2003 season as I have for the 2004 season. Anyway, there it is, I'm not the first one to be doing something along these lines. I do intend to go back and present the 2003 figures at some point using the slightly more complex method I have been using here, but I doubt that my calculations will prove much different from what is found in this linked article.

David Pinto's first base numbers are up.

Again, and as with outfielders and thirdbasemen, we have a problem in that not every firstbaseman has an equal ability to prevent doubles vis-a-vis singles. Some 1B are likely better at diving down the line to prevent extra base hits, where others are likely better going into the hole to prevent singles.

With that in mind, here are the estimates on how the PMR data presented converts to runs.

Player            Runs Above Average

Jeff Conine 25.0754
Darin Erstad 23.5104
Kevin Millar 18.1228
Nick Johnson 11.8406
Ben Broussard 10.2713
Tino Martinez 8.6354
Todd Zeile 7.3886
Albert Pujols 6.7466
J.T. Snow 6.3631
Brad Wilkerson 5.7451
Hee Seop Choi 4.7755
Todd Helton 2.8661
Mark Teixeira 2.7710
Pedro Feliz 1.1715
Tony Clark 0.9626
Derrek Lee 0.4181
Jason Giambi -0.0911
Carlos Delgado -0.2085
Julio Franco -0.3547
Randall Simon -0.3839
Doug Mientkiewicz -0.6593
Craig A Wilson -0.9750
Daryle Ward -1.1445
Jim Thome -1.4644
Adam LaRoche -1.7168
John Olerud -2.0153
Shea Hillenbrand -2.5650
Carlos Pena -2.9199
Mike Sweeney -4.0695
Ken Harvey -4.4276
Justin Morneau -6.0726
Paul Konerko -6.7470
Lyle Overbay -7.0980
Phil Nevin -10.8437
Mike Piazza -11.0182
Jeff Bagwell -11.1313
Sean Casey -14.1295
Shawn Green -14.8519
Rafael Palmeiro -15.8615
Scott Hatteberg -15.9038
Some of these seem right on: Darin Erstad, Mike Piazza. But a few stick out ... Jeff Conine? Kevin Millar better than Doug Mientkiewicz? Really? David Pinto discusses this, so check him out on that, if you're curious.

Here's the above put in the context of 4000 balls in play:

Player            Runs Above Average

per 4000 BIP
Jeff Conine 70.0915
Kevin Millar 48.1985
Darin Erstad 29.7691
Todd Zeile 26.7941
Nick Johnson 25.8806
Ben Broussard 13.1722
Tino Martinez 11.5985
Brad Wilkerson 10.5945
J.T. Snow 9.9226
Hee Seop Choi 7.4265
Albert Pujols 6.7043
Pedro Feliz 2.9785
Mark Teixeira 2.8556
Todd Helton 2.6971
Tony Clark 2.0081
Derrek Lee 0.4151
Carlos Delgado -0.2565
Jason Giambi -0.3073
Julio Franco -0.7255
Doug Mientkiewicz -0.9038
Randall Simon -1.5117
Jim Thome -1.6366
John Olerud -2.5219
Daryle Ward -2.6315
Craig A Wilson -2.6902
Shea Hillenbrand -3.0613
Adam LaRoche -3.1248
Carlos Pena -3.2162
Lyle Overbay -6.8286
Paul Konerko -7.4269
Ken Harvey -8.6607
Mike Sweeney -10.3554
Jeff Bagwell -11.7237
Phil Nevin -11.8031
Sean Casey -14.2223
Justin Morneau -15.0039
Scott Hatteberg -16.4215
Rafael Palmeiro -18.1434
Shawn Green -21.2630
Mike Piazza -26.9397
You know, I think the whole Millar/Mientkiewicz thing is just sample size, which is the case with Conine, as well. Millar was only in the field (at 1B) for 1504 BIP, and Conine for 1431. 4000 is about a full season's worth, so combined these guys are barely over half a full season. Mientkiewicz did fare better than Millar in 2003.

Monday, February 07, 2005

I don't think I explained something very well.

I said:

So, in looking at Pinto's methods, we can easily see how many outs each shortstop made against expected, which is different from average. What I did here was go through and convert those outs to runs. For all the SS's he lists, the mean Runs Against Expectation was -16.22 per 4000 balls in play ...

Which Richard translates to:

Again going by Pinto's numbers, the average shortstop was 16.22 runs "below average". Chronicles takes this number as 16.22 per 4000 BIP - it isn't.

Actually, it was.

In the data provided by David Pinto, there were 38 shortstops who were in the field for a total of 114,599 balls in play. They made 13,820 successful plays where 14,436.33 were expected, so they were -616.33 plays. That comes out to -464.731 runs, by the method I've been using, which is described and linked to in my original SS post.

So that's -.00406 runs per ball in play ... and when you multiply that by 4000, you get -16.2211 runs against per predicted per 4000 BIP.

David Eckstein, the source of all this, made 356 plays where 400.26 would have been expected, That's -44.26 plays and -33.3734 runs. He had 3562 balls in play, so that's -.00937 runs per play, and over 4000 BIP that's -37.4771. Now, we've established that the average for this group was -16.2211 runs per 4000 BIP, so Eck was -21.256 runs against that.

Now, we've shown that he was -33.3734 runs against predicted in his 3562 BIP. If we apply the average runs per play to that 3562, we find that the average SS was -14.4617 runs over 3562 BIP*. As Eck was actually -33.3734, that means he was -18.9116 against that average, which is how I derive the numbers portrayed here.

Hope that clears it up.

*FYI, there is rounding off here, if you're looking to duplicate all this in a spreadsheet. The runs per BIP for the SS were actually -.004055282, which I rounded off to -.00406 when I was making the calculations. This makes an ever-so-slight difference, but there you go.

UPDATE: In re-reading Richard's post, I found the source of the confusion ... remember the sample was -616.33 plays ... and if you divide that by 38 (the number of players), you get 16.22 - the same number of runs below predicted the group was per 4000 BIP! This is what the fates call a coincidence.

This was my fault for being very imprecise in my language and using the word "mean" where I should not have. Hopefully the above makes sense.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Appears to be drunk off his gourd (2/4/05, 2:37 AM entry).

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Pinto has posted his rightfield figures.

All the caveats I mentioned for centerfielders hold true for rightfielders, as well. Also note that Pinto's method does not attempt to measure what value a rightfielder creates from his arm, either by recording assists or holding runners.

So the following are the estimates of how this method sees 2004 RFs as preventing runs from range alone.

Player            Runs Above Average

Richard Hidalgo 15.6323
Jermaine Dye 15.3680
Sammy Sosa 14.4463
Karim Garcia 9.3199
Kevin Mench 8.8320
Jacque Jones 8.5935
Kevin Millar 7.5106
Gabe Kapler 6.5262
Bobby Higginson 6.1380
Juan Encarnacion 6.1276
Brian Jordan 5.8728
Brady Clark 5.7889
Craig Monroe 5.1555
Joe Borchard 4.6634
Jose Cruz 4.1840
Ichiro Suzuki 3.4024
Abraham Nunez 2.5287
Alexis I Rios 1.4301
Gary Matthews Jr. 1.2217
Reed Johnson 1.0269
Gary Sheffield 0.5615
Danny Bautista -0.3596
Vladimir Guerrero -0.7566
Jay Gibbons -0.9479
J.D. Drew -1.1741
Dustan Mohr -1.3827
Timo Perez -1.4944
Michael Tucker -2.3227
Austin Kearns -2.4653
Magglio Ordonez -2.6845
Lance Berkman -2.7134
Ben Grieve -3.5882
Wily Mo Pena -3.8127
Jody Gerut -4.2726
Larry Walker -4.9880
Brian Giles -5.2353
Rob Mackowiak -5.5902
Juan Rivera -7.1247
Jeromy Burnitz -8.1266
Reggie Sanders -8.7332
Miguel Cabrera -9.0731
Shawn Green -10.9477
Craig A Wilson -13.4916
Bobby Abreu -16.3047
Matt Stairs -16.7465
Before I get to the rates, I'll point out that even Pinto acknowledges there are a lot of surprises here. Sammy Sosa? Kevin Mench? Remember, it's a small sample size, and does not include arm ratings. But there are a ton of guys within a few runs of average, which makes intuitive sense.

Player           Runs Above Average

per 4000 BIP
Karim Garcia 27.3914
Kevin Mench 22.6901
Kevin Millar 22.4871
Brian Jordan 20.7520
Sammy Sosa 18.9152
Richard Hidalgo 17.7693
Jermaine Dye 17.0332
Craig Monroe 16.6042
Gabe Kapler 15.0809
Joe Borchard 13.3528
Brady Clark 9.7664
Jacque Jones 9.2182
Bobby Higginson 8.0898
Juan Encarnacion 7.8135
Abraham Nunez 6.1528
Jose Cruz 4.0861
Reed Johnson 3.4521
Gary Matthews Jr. 3.1901
Ichiro Suzuki 3.1390
Alexis I Rios 1.9128
Gary Sheffield 0.6126
Danny Bautista -0.4078
Vladimir Guerrero -0.8255
J.D. Drew -1.2788
Jay Gibbons -2.2248
Michael Tucker -3.4743
Lance Berkman -4.8214
Dustan Mohr -4.8941
Brian Giles -4.9739
Timo Perez -5.2385
Jody Gerut -5.4933
Austin Kearns -6.2807
Magglio Ordonez -9.4688
Ben Grieve -9.6455
Larry Walker -10.6751
Juan Rivera -12.8429
Wily Mo Pena -13.8140
Miguel Cabrera -14.1876
Bobby Abreu -15.3815
Rob Mackowiak -17.6344
Reggie Sanders -17.6693
Jeromy Burnitz -19.1100
Craig A Wilson -27.9762
Shawn Green -34.8652
Matt Stairs -45.1690
Last month, I explored Vlad vs. Miguel Tejada for MVP at obscene length. I was going off the premise that Vlad was roughly 25-30 runs better than Tejada offensively, and that Tejada was around a +20 defensively amongst SS and Vlad about average defensively amongst RF. As SS have a 10-run defensive advantage over RF, that starts Tejada off with a 10-run advantage. But, if we believe PMR, Tejada was -8 runs, which takes that advantage down to -2. Vlad being about -1 by this method gets Tejada's lead up to three runs, but when you add in the offense Vlad takes a large lead.

I don't know that I buy that Tejada was below average with the glove last year, but I can't really prove it the other way, either. It just shows to go you how much we still don't know.

Back when I first converted David Pinto's PMR to runs, I did it for shortstops and only presented the runs per 4000 balls in play, not the actual, "raw" level of runs. A comment pointed this out, so here it is:

Player            Runs Above Average

Cristian Guzman 21.0513
Julio Lugo 17.9001
Bobby Crosby 16.3170
Jimmy Rollins 14.3149
Adam Everett 13.6371
Alex Gonzalez 13.4263
Cesar Izturis 12.2668
Pokey Reese 10.1786
Carlos Guillen 9.8006
Rich Aurilia 8.9471
Neifi Perez 5.6549
Jose C Lopez 5.4710
Chris Gomez 5.3730
Chris Woodward 4.5315
Orlando Cabrera 3.2063
Khalil Greene 2.2673
Craig Counsell 1.6432
Jose Valentin 1.0122
Wilson Delgado 0.9801
Ramon E Martinez -0.6151
Jack Wilson -1.1050
Jose Vizcaino -2.2449
Edgar Renteria -3.2029
Derek Jeter -4.5724
Deivi Cruz -6.9491
Kazuo Matsui -7.2728
Alex S Gonzalez -7.4327
Royce Clayton -8.8965
Miguel Tejada -9.1401
Barry Larkin -9.4536
Michael Young -10.2213
Alex Cintron -10.5894
Felipe Lopez -11.6830
Nomar Garciaparra -11.8374
Omar Vizquel -12.2391
Angel Berroa -13.8858
Rafael Furcal -17.1837
David Eckstein -18.9116

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

David Pinto has published his 2004 PMR figures for third basemen. My attempt to convert this to runs is below.

You can read an explanation, as well as the shortstop figures, here. Note that like with the outfielders, there is some lack of confidence here as third basemen will differ in their ability to prevent doubles and singles, and that is not reflected here. A deeper explanation is in that link to the center field numbers. You can also find second basemen here.

Player          Runs Above Average

Adrian Beltre 24.3637
Scott Rolen 23.4351
Chipper Jones 14.2803
Chone Figgins 13.4836
Eric Chavez 11.8403
Kevin Youkilis 11.5133
Joe Randa 11.2116
Alex Rodriguez 10.2874
Melvin Mora 9.4739
Pedro Feliz 8.7117
Ryan Freel 7.7310
Russell Branyan 7.5510
Bill Mueller 5.4551
Vinny Castilla 3.3685
Corey Koskie 2.9539
Casey Blake 2.8694
Mike Lamb 2.6622
David A Wright 2.0618
David Bell 1.0252
Todd Zeile 0.6792
Juan Castro -0.2693
Rob Mackowiak -0.8068
Mark DeRosa -1.2339
Geoff Blum -1.8195
Sean Burroughs -2.2803
Edgardo Alfonzo -2.3046
Scott Spiezio -2.5503
Chad A Tracy -3.1055
Ty Wigginton -3.1195
Morgan Ensberg -3.6513
Mike Lowell -4.7843
Chris Stynes -4.7948
Hank Blalock -5.0148
Keith Ginter -6.0239
Brandon Inge -6.6714
Desi Relaford -7.6884
Aubrey Huff -8.6763
Aramis Ramirez -9.3431
Eric Munson -9.5740
Mike Cuddyer -13.2103
Tony Batista -14.7281
Wes Helms -16.3313
Joe Crede -19.5914
Eric Hinske -27.3359

Player          Runs Above Average

per 4000 BIP
Pedro Feliz 31.7928
Kevin Youkilis 29.5955
Russell Branyan 27.0387
Chone Figgins 26.5539
Scott Rolen 25.5337
Ryan Freel 24.6781
Adrian Beltre 24.3742
Chipper Jones 23.4566
Eric Chavez 13.7781
Joe Randa 13.4133
Melvin Mora 10.2486
Alex Rodriguez 9.7655
Bill Mueller 8.9119
Mike Lamb 7.7938
David A Wright 4.4085
Corey Koskie 3.8965
Vinny Castilla 3.2679
Casey Blake 2.7868
Todd Zeile 2.4525
David Bell 1.0760
Juan Castro -0.8817
Rob Mackowiak -2.5055
Edgardo Alfonzo -2.7734
Sean Burroughs -2.7775
Mark DeRosa -2.8253
Chad A Tracy -3.9629
Ty Wigginton -4.3420
Hank Blalock -4.6046
Mike Lowell -4.8825
Morgan Ensberg -5.6981
Scott Spiezio -5.7104
Geoff Blum -5.9045
Aramis Ramirez -10.7905
Tony Batista -14.5768
Aubrey Huff -15.6772
Brandon Inge -15.7920
Chris Stynes -16.1596
Eric Munson -16.6666
Joe Crede -20.6243
Keith Ginter -20.9182
Eric Hinske -26.5350
Desi Relaford -29.6867
Wes Helms -38.5190
Mike Cuddyer -49.9933
Looking at the regulars, a lot of it comports with, shall we say, popular opinion. Beltre and Rolen grade quite well. Melvin Mora and Legs Figgins are kind of surprises, Mora because of his many errors and The Legs because of his inconsistency. But when I thought about it, Figgins did improve steadily as the year wore on, so it's not too shocking to see him do well here in a fairly small sample (2031 BIP, about half a season). A lot of the small sample guys -- Youkilis, Feliz -- seem out of place, but, hey, that's why we call it a small sample ...

... at every position we've looked at with PMR, there has been a similar difference between best and worst. The best full-time fielder at a position will be around +23 or +24 runs, and the worst full-time defender will be around -23 or -24.

I'm also going to back to David's 2003 numbers to do the same thing. I've only done 2B so far, so at some point I'll get to posting those, as well. Some have said that you really need two years of data to get a good read on a player's defense, so it's best not to get too carried away with one season. For instance, though Adam Kennedy came out at -2 in 2004, he was +16 in 2003, and were he healthy for 2005 I think starting with +8 or so (his Runs Above Average per 4000 BIP over the two years) would be the good starting point. But I'm getting ahead of myself ...

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