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Postby reiser » Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:40 pm

beltrans_boy wrote:
reiser wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote:
reiser wrote:so can you defend BABIP in evaluating hitters or not? if not, why not just stick to OBP?

While there is a ton of fluctuation in BABIP from hitter to hitter,
It's less reliable than using it to evaluate pitchers, but it's still useful. Like I said, BABIP fluctuates quite a bit from player to player

so you can't defend it. you are misusing a stat basically. frankly, i think BABIP is a *crappy* way to evaluate picthers, much less hitters, and OBP is perfectly sufficient for this discussion.


First of all, I'm not misusing the stat. OBP is not sufficient for this discussion because it is significantly dependent on BABIP. I went on to explain why we can expect Lee's BABIP to drop, but of course you left that out of my quote because it doesn't suit your argument. I'm not going to retype it again. If you want to believe that current OBP is a perfectly sufficient way to predict future performance, then go right ahead. You're allowed to be wrong. You have to look at the whole picture, and BABIP is a very significant part of that picture.

Bullshit. BABIP was used as a basis for evaluating pitchers in the DIPS studies which have not held up. Even the most recent study I found defending DIPS took an exorbitant amount of time arriving at the conclusion that HR/9 and K/9 were the best indicator's of predicting future ERA.

Which was already well established.

I am not aware of any studies that purport to show that most of what hitters do is luck. Nor have you provided any. To help you make your argument look less unreasonable, here is the only study I have found http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/artic ... ing-props/
which is based on 2004 data only. and here's the reviews:
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/fil ... ion/28477/

Hitting is not luck. You've played baseball- given a pitch you can handle, you can pull the ball, go the opposite way, hit it over the fence, hit it right at a fielder, whatever. It's not luck. It's a skill, honed to the nth degree by the small universe of major league hitters capable of hitting around .300 year in and year out. Scott Boras's friends :)

Which doesn't rule out your point about regression to the mean, or even a mean .20-.40 odd points above Lee's career #'s. We agree there. But I can't believe you are using BABIP to evaluate hitters.


beltrans_boy wrote: Do you really think he's going to finish the year hitting .390?


hey that's the one point we agree on! don't go muddying the waters!
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Postby cookman » Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:35 pm

First of all, to everyone on this thread saying he won't continue on his .396 pace, way to go out on a limb. You're really putting yourself out there saying D. Lee won't be the first person since Ted Williams to hit .400. That's bold.

Second, to the guy who thinks D. Lee will hit .280 from here on out, please tell me you haven't bothered to watch any Cubs games this year or last. Because if you did, you'd notice that Lee is a completely different hitter this year than last. He's hitting with more power, he's spraying the ball to all fields, he's cleaned up a lot of the holes in his swing. This guy is still south of thirty, so he's still in his prime, and it looks like he's finally figured out what it takes to go from a good to a great player. Sosa didn't have his breakout year untill he was the same age as Lee (possibly even older, knowing how they doctor birth certificates in the Dominican). Say what you want about the possibility of steroids, Sosa did it by improving plate discipline and working with hitting coach Jeff Pentland to refine his approach at the plate. Will Derrek Lee slow down? Obviously, a bit. Will he still be one of the most valuable players in baseball? Well, unless he completely regresses back to his old hitting style, definitely.

Now, about the triple crown, I'd like to say he's got a shot, but I don't see him finishing with the RBI lead. I'd bet on BA, and I think he's got a shot at the HR lead, especially playing in Wrigley. But I don't see pitchers pitching to him all year, and I don't see Neifi and C. Pat getting on base enough for him to get the opportunities.
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Postby HOOTIE » Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:28 pm

Cleveland Steamers wrote:youre an idiot if you trade him for second round talent. that is ridiculous and shouldnt be read. second round talent is thome, cabrera, schmidt, rolen, ichiro, crawford, ortiz, beltre, jeter, etc. NONE of these guys are worth Lee right now. Nothing less than a stupid statement.


It's not a stupid statement. I would take Cabrera in a second for Lee in a keeper. Beltrans Boy does a good job in here.
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Postby beltrans_boy » Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:50 pm

reiser wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote:
reiser wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote:
reiser wrote:so can you defend BABIP in evaluating hitters or not? if not, why not just stick to OBP?

While there is a ton of fluctuation in BABIP from hitter to hitter,
It's less reliable than using it to evaluate pitchers, but it's still useful. Like I said, BABIP fluctuates quite a bit from player to player

so you can't defend it. you are misusing a stat basically. frankly, i think BABIP is a *crappy* way to evaluate picthers, much less hitters, and OBP is perfectly sufficient for this discussion.


First of all, I'm not misusing the stat. OBP is not sufficient for this discussion because it is significantly dependent on BABIP. I went on to explain why we can expect Lee's BABIP to drop, but of course you left that out of my quote because it doesn't suit your argument. I'm not going to retype it again. If you want to believe that current OBP is a perfectly sufficient way to predict future performance, then go right ahead. You're allowed to be wrong. You have to look at the whole picture, and BABIP is a very significant part of that picture.

Bullshit. BABIP was used as a basis for evaluating pitchers in the DIPS studies which have not held up. Even the most recent study I found defending DIPS took an exorbitant amount of time arriving at the conclusion that HR/9 and K/9 were the best indicator's of predicting future ERA.

Which was already well established.

I am not aware of any studies that purport to show that most of what hitters do is luck. Nor have you provided any. To help you make your argument look less unreasonable, here is the only study I have found http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/artic ... ing-props/
which is based on 2004 data only. and here's the reviews:
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/fil ... ion/28477/

Hitting is not luck. You've played baseball- given a pitch you can handle, you can pull the ball, go the opposite way, hit it over the fence, hit it right at a fielder, whatever. It's not luck. It's a skill, honed to the nth degree by the small universe of major league hitters capable of hitting around .300 year in and year out. Scott Boras's friends :)

Which doesn't rule out your point about regression to the mean, or even a mean .20-.40 odd points above Lee's career #'s. We agree there. But I can't believe you are using BABIP to evaluate hitters.


beltrans_boy wrote: Do you really think he's going to finish the year hitting .390?


hey that's the one point we agree on! don't go muddying the waters!


So if I understand your argument, you're saying that Derrek Lee has developed a talent that no other player in the history of baseball has ever had and will continue to maintain his BABIP of ~.425 from now under the end of the season? Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Ichiro, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Carl Yastrzemski and Joe DiMaggio couldn't do it, but Derrek Lee can? I'm sorry, that just seems a little shortsighted for my blood.

And hitting *does* have an element of luck. It's not purely luck, but to deny that luck plays a part in the equation is absurd. Have you ever seen a player line out sharply to a SS or 2B? What about a player who hits a bloop single that falls in between 3 players in the OF? Do you really mean to tell me that the outcomes have nothing to do with luck? That's a ridiculous and assinine claim.

Let me ask you this...do you think Derrek Lee's BABIP will remain over .425 from now until the end of the season? I'd love to revisit this question in 3 months.
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Postby HOOTIE » Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:51 pm

reiser wrote:so you can't defend it. you are misusing a stat basically. frankly, i think BABIP is a *crappy* way to evaluate picthers, much less hitters, and OBP is perfectly sufficient for this discussion.


Hit rate % can't be predicted. Look at Ichiro last year. Was way off his career norms. But it's why i believed he had zero chance at .400 this year. But hit rate % can tell you that LUCK played a part in era or average. Hitting is skill, but luck is involved somewhat. Ever watch a guy smoke 4 linedrives and go 0-4? While in that same game another guy goes 4-4 on 4 bloops? There is no question Lees hit rate % is quite a bit over his norm. Wrigley over ProPlayer has helped, but it's hard to believe Lee will hit 380 the rest of the way. I do believe hit rate % plays a big part in era for a given year.
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Postby beltrans_boy » Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:53 pm

HOOTIE wrote:
reiser wrote:so you can't defend it. you are misusing a stat basically. frankly, i think BABIP is a *crappy* way to evaluate picthers, much less hitters, and OBP is perfectly sufficient for this discussion.


Hit rate % can't be predicted. Look at Ichiro last year. Was way off his career norms. But it's why i believed he had zero chance at .400 this year. But hit rate % can tell you that LUCK played a part in era or average. Hitting is skill, but luck is involved somewhat. Ever watch a guy smoke 4 linedrives and go 0-4? While in that same game another guy goes 4-4 on 4 bloops? There is no question Lees hit rate % is quite a bit over his norm. Wrigley over ProPlayer has helped, but it's hard to believe Lee will hit 380 the rest of the way. I do believe hit rate % plays a big part in era for a given year.


Well said, Hootie. ;-D
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Postby beltrans_boy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:39 am

Sorry, I took a time out to watch the end of the Spurs/Pistons...let me continue:

reiser wrote:I am not aware of any studies that purport to show that most of what hitters do is luck. Nor have you provided any.

I never said most of what hitters do is luck. I said that luck plays a part in the outcome, and it does. You can observe this by simply watching any baseball game.

reiser wrote:Hitting is not luck. You've played baseball- given a pitch you can handle, you can pull the ball, go the opposite way, hit it over the fence, hit it right at a fielder, whatever. It's not luck. It's a skill, honed to the nth degree by the small universe of major league hitters capable of hitting around .300 year in and year out. Scott Boras's friends :)

So if Player A hits a sharp liner to CF and Andruw Jones makes a diving catch to rob him of a base hit, that's not unlucky? I'd argue that it is, especially when you compare it to Player B who knocks a bloop single into CF just over the second baseman's head off the handle of the bat.

Or what about a defensive alignment/shift (say, where the infield is in) that allows a batted ball that would normally be a routine out to become a base hit?

Skill takes care of a large portion of batting, but luck does enter into the equation at one point or another. To ignore the factor of fortune is ridiculous.
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Postby reiser » Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:46 am

beltrans_boy wrote:So if I understand your argument, you're saying that Derrek Lee has developed a talent that no other player in the history of baseball has ever had and will continue to maintain his BABIP of ~.425 from now under the end of the season? Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Ichiro, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Carl Yastrzemski and Joe DiMaggio couldn't do it, but Derrek Lee can? I'm sorry, that just seems a little shortsighted for my blood.


uhh, Ty Cobb hit .400. 3 times.


beltrans_boy wrote:And hitting *does* have an element of luck. It's not purely luck, but to deny that luck plays a part in the equation is absurd. Have you ever seen a player line out sharply to a SS or 2B? What about a player who hits a bloop single that falls in between 3 players in the OF? Do you really mean to tell me that the outcomes have nothing to do with luck?
That's a ridiculous and assinine claim.. Let me ask you this...do you think Derrek Lee's BABIP will remain over .425 from now until the end of the season? I'd love to revisit this question in 3 months.

let me make this r-e-a-l clear for you. pay attention.

I dispute your entire premise that BABIP is an effective means of evaluating hitters. i have asked repeatedly for you to offer any long-term study supporting BABIP. which you won't acknowledge. why? there isn't one. because basically there is no need to reinvent the wheel-no one has hit .400 in 50 years. how many have come close? Brett? Carew? BABIP is so flaky it tells me Lee's AVG should actually be .35 points higher.

which is fine, inasmuch we have already agreed upon the unliklihood of a Triple Crown.
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Postby beltrans_boy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:00 am

reiser wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote:So if I understand your argument, you're saying that Derrek Lee has developed a talent that no other player in the history of baseball has ever had and will continue to maintain his BABIP of ~.425 from now under the end of the season? Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Ichiro, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Carl Yastrzemski and Joe DiMaggio couldn't do it, but Derrek Lee can? I'm sorry, that just seems a little shortsighted for my blood.


uhh, Ty Cobb hit .400. 3 times.


Right, but his career BABIP was significantly under .400 (yet, it is also significantly higher than Lee's). That's all I'm trying to say.

reiser wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote:And hitting *does* have an element of luck. It's not purely luck, but to deny that luck plays a part in the equation is absurd. Have you ever seen a player line out sharply to a SS or 2B? What about a player who hits a bloop single that falls in between 3 players in the OF? Do you really mean to tell me that the outcomes have nothing to do with luck?
That's a ridiculous and assinine claim.. Let me ask you this...do you think Derrek Lee's BABIP will remain over .425 from now until the end of the season? I'd love to revisit this question in 3 months.

let me make this r-e-a-l clear for you. pay attention.

I dispute your entire premise that BABIP is an effective means of evaluating hitters. i have asked repeatedly for you to offer any long-term study supporting BABIP. which you won't acknowledge. why? there isn't one. because basically there is no need to reinvent the wheel-no one has hit .400 in 50 years. how many have come close? Brett? Carew? BABIP is so flaky it tells me Lee's AVG should actually be .35 points higher.

Ok, first of all, don't patronize me. I'd like to have a civilized discussion here.

Second of all, let's make this simple...if a player has a BABIP of .000, what is his batting average going to be? .000 + whatever HRs he hits. Conversely, if a player has a BABIP of 1.000, what is his average going to be? 1.000. So we've determined that there is a relationship between BABIP and batting average, correct? It might be small, but there is a positive trend there.

My 2 major points in this thread are:
    1) That Lee's BABIP has inflated his batting average to the point that it's at right now.
    2) That Lee's BABIP (projected over the course of the season) would be one of the highest marks in the history of the game.
Before I move on, would you care to dispute either of those points?
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Postby cookman » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:13 am

I also would like to see any information on conferring BABIP averages onto hitters and their performance. I just don't see it. For instance, speedy guys, like Ichiro, are going to have higher BABIP just because they can leg out more hit balls. Guys with line-drive swings are also going to have a higher BABIP than guys with upper-cut swings, as will guys who can hit to all fields because they can hit away from the shift. I think there are to many factors that into each different hitters' swings to convey one norm BABIP on every hitter, and to say if they're above that then they are lucky, and if they are below that they are unlucky.

I have seen this stat used for pitchers, and I do find it useful for pitchers because I think the thinking is that they will face enough hitters of different styles for all of these to sort of "average" out and leave a "norm" number that should be achieved. I don't think I've ever heard this stat used on hitters, though, and I question its reliability in that aspect. If you have any info to make me change my mind I would certainly entertain it, however.
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