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Postby George_Foreman » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:18 am

i don't think the fact that hitters have different swings would enter in to this.... unless lee has drastically changed his swing and/or leg speed in the off-season, his numbers would still conform (to one extent or the other) to his career norms. what he's doing now is WAY off what he's done in the past, and you've got to expect some regression, even if the new park is helping him to some extent.

as BB said, right now, his BABIP is one of the highest in the history of the game, so unless his approach is significanlty different from most other ML players in the past 100 years or he's significanlty better than them, it doesn't seem like he'd be able to maintain this.
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Postby beltrans_boy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:20 am

cookman wrote: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.


I'm not arguing that there's a set number at which we can proclaim a hitter "lucky" or "unlucky". What we can do, however, is look at career patterns for individual hitters and determine it from there.

In this case, Lee's current BABIP is 30% higher than at any other time in his career. He didn't become significantly faster, he hasn't really changed his approach at all (uppercut swing, etc.), so that leads me to believe that his current BABIP of ~.425 is more of a mirage than a result of some skill set that he's acquired between last year and this year.

I could be wrong, and God knows, I've been wrong before, but it's all about playing the numbers and looking at the most likely scenario. That's what I'm trying to do here. Lee's career numbers indicate that he's playing over his head right now, and his BABIP backs that assumption up. I hope this clarifies what I'm trying to say...

;-D
Last edited by beltrans_boy on Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby RAmst23 » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:20 am

Why does this keep going on? First off, don't come in and call beltrans boy an idiot, someone in this cafe who consistently backs up his points (as he has here), and who constantly has interesting points to make. If you disagree with his opinion fine, but don't just state that you think his evidence is BS. Start providing statistics of your own.

If you want to leave BABIP out of it (Which you shouldn't, but oh well), then look at Lee's career. Does it look like he's going to maintain this pace? How about that yes, Lee has performed well. Yes, good job for owning him, and yes, most likely you should keep him. The whole statement here is that trade him if you think you can get someone who you value higher, and if you can't, don't.
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Postby WittyC » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:25 am

Can't we all just get along? :~(

BB -- This can be settled with an answer to a single question: Do you think D-Lee's success has a great deal to do with luck right now?

I'm not going to argue the value of BABIP, I think in Lee's case, he's really not getting lucky. "Hittin' it where they ain't," can be a skill. There's no way to argue that Ichiro can do this, and I think D-Lee's doing it in a much different manner.

Lee's not making his outs on pedestrian grounders, he's getting out on balls that he mashes right at people. He's clobbering almost every ball he puts in play.

I think his BABIP will fall, but it will be because he won't see the pitches as well, or teams will find a weakness that hasn't been exploited yet this year. But right now he's hitting everything, including good "pitcher's pitchers" when he's down in the count -- a situation he hasn't been in very often this year.

It's possible -- not likely, but possible-- that he's fixed whatever holes he's had in his swing up until now and we're simply watching a very good first baseman blossum into one of today's greatest hitters. I, for one, am going to sit back and enjoy watching this guy hit... because right now it's just a thing of beauty. ;-D

Oh yeah, and he's the best defensive first baseman in baseball. No question about it. B-)
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Postby beltrans_boy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:31 am

WittyC wrote:Can't we all just get along? :~(

BB -- This can be settled with an answer to a single question: Do you think D-Lee's success has a great deal to do with luck right now?


I believe his batting average of .395 is largely the result of luck, yes. The power that he's displayed is not, that's the result of a man possessed who is seeing and hitting the ball very well right now. The batting average, for the most part, is the result of luck.

I realize this isn't a popular opinion, but it's not like I'm saying this because I have a personal vendetta against Derrek Lee. I like the guy, he's a true ballplayer in every sense of the word. I'm just trying to point out that he's playing over his head and give facts to back up my assumptions. You have to expect a regression based on the numbers...
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Postby George_Foreman » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:32 am

two things:

well, he might turn in to one of "today's greatest hitters", but he's done nothing to indicate to me that he'll be near pujols or the helton of the past. i think he'll be a very good 1B, but no better than third in the near future, behind teixiera and pujols. i could be wrong, but that's the way i see it.

and also, a better fielder than erstad? you've got to be kidding me.
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Postby WittyC » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:42 am

George_Foreman wrote:two things:

well, he might turn in to one of "today's greatest hitters", but he's done nothing to indicate to me that he'll be near pujols or the helton of the past. i think he'll be a very good 1B, but no better than third in the near future, behind teixiera and pujols. i could be wrong, but that's the way i see it.

and also, a better fielder than erstad? you've got to be kidding me.


I just tagged that on because your goat looked very appealing to me. :-)

I didn't intend to imply that you did have a vedetta against him BB, and I respect the hell out of you on this board, so don't get the wrong idea from what I said! ;-D

Like I said, it's possible that we're going to see D-Lee turn into a tremendous hitter from here on out. Will he be above Pujols and Teixiera on my draft board next year? Definitely not Pujols, but at this point he'd be just below Teixiera for me.

Just getting my $0.02 in is all... plus I'm an idiot Cubs fan! :-b
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Postby cookman » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:53 am

I do agree also that his BA and BABIP will regress. I mean, let's be realistic, they have nowhere to go but down. I whole-heartedly disagree, however, that they will regress to career norms. I watched him last year, and I watch him this year, and there are two different hitters at the plate. I don't know where you're at, but catch a Cubs game if you get WGN and watch him for a couple at bats. Like Witty said, he's just not making soft outs right now. He is hitting everything hard. Trust me, I was one of those guys saying after a month and a half that he couldn't keep it up, but he HAS, everyday, and its almost the All-Star break. And there he was again today, almost single-handedly saving the Cubs @$$. Has he gotten lucky at times to be hitting .396? Sure. Will he hit .400? Not a chance. If Ichiro, Gwynn, or Brett couldn't do it, Lee's not going to. But to write off his season as just a 71-game lucky "hot streak" is ridiculous.
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Postby beltrans_boy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:55 am

WittyC wrote:I didn't intend to imply that you did have a vedetta against him BB, and I respect the hell out of you on this board, so don't get the wrong idea from what I said! ;-D


Oh, I know. I wasn't talking about you when I made that comment. It just seems like certain people here are implying that I want the guy to fail. That's not the case at all, if anything I enjoy watching Lee hit. I'm trying to look at the case as objectively as possible.

By the way, thanks for the compliments! and thanks for keeping a level head in this discussion. You bring up some very interesting points yourself. It's fun to talk about these kinds of things like civilized adults once in a while...

;-D
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Postby HOOTIE » Fri Jun 24, 2005 2:03 am

WittyC wrote: This can be settled with an answer to a single question: Do you think D-Lee's success has a great deal to do with luck right now?

I'm not going to argue the value of BABIP, I think in Lee's case, he's really not getting lucky. "Hittin' it where they ain't," can be a skill. There's no way to argue that Ichiro can do this, and I think D-Lee's doing it in a much different manner.


If Ichiro can do it, why is he hitting under .300, when he hit .423 the 2nd half last year? Hit rate % doesn't predict, but it can paint somewhat of a picture on what happened. Ichiro has had hit rate % of

37
35
33
40.

As you can se, his 40% suggests he was a bit lucky, he was out of his norm. Now people can ignore it, but what it tells me was his last season average was a bit of a fluke, and there was a good chance he regresses from it, provided the luck stops. We can't predict luck. Lee could in theory have a great hit rate % the rest of way. But the odds could also catch up to him. In the last 5 years, Lees hit rate % have been real consistent.

33
33
33
31
31

To say that Lee is hitting .395 with no luck involved is crazy.
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