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A's sign Kotsay to 3-year extension...

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Postby davidmarver » Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:03 pm

Madison wrote:Come on guys, this is a thread about Kotsay and his new contract with the A's. :-/ This is not about Jeter and Ortiz. :-/

Thank you...and back to Kotsay and his defensive prowess.

You can argue against win shares and how it awards win shares differently to different positions, but it doesn't award differently between centerfielders; comparing Kotsay's outfield win shares (he ranks 5th) to his peers is perfectly relevent. In fact, his defensive win share rank is higher than Miguel Cabrera's offensive win share rank (7th), in comparison to all other outfielders. This means that Kotsay's defensive skills are more rare than Miguel Cabrera's offensive skills. A bold statement, yes, but I can't stand when I hear Kotsay doesn't stand out in any certain category; he's a defensive beast who isn't a tad below average at the plate. How many players with the same description make less than eight million dollars a season?
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Postby so0perspam » Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:15 am

beltrans_boy wrote:First of all, you're using Fielding Percentage which is a flawed metric. Second of all, the Yankees defense (notably in CF), is atrocious. Third of all, I never said it was the primary reason why the Yankees are losing, but it's certainly a much bigger part of the equation than you're giving it credit for. The Yankees pitching has been bad this year, but it was nearly as bad last year too, and they still managed to win 101 games. What's the wildcard? Fielding.


1) I don't understand how FPCT is flawed at all, since it's a fair percentage and weight isn't put on as to how many balls get hit to a player's way.

2) The Yankees of 2004 made 100 errors, and the Yankees of this year have made 55 thus far. Not too big a discrepancy in my mind, as I expect the Yankees offense to keep the error total under 50 in the second half when they put things together.


beltrans_boy wrote:A couple of things...

Renteria wasn't on the Red Sox last year. He was on the Cardinals. They did, however, acquire Orlando Cabrera from the then-Montreal Expos. Cabrera is an outstanding fielding shortstop and (in my opinion) is one of the main reasons why that Sox team started cruising after the trade deadline and through the playoffs. However, using a sample size as small as the 2nd half and playoffs of 2004 to determine whether a metric is flawed or not simply isn't logical. The outcome of any playoff series is largely luck dependent.

I never said that a team MUST have a good SS and C to win, but the difference between a team with a good SS and a bad SS is a lot larger than the difference between a team with a good 1B and a bad 1B. Same thing applies to Catcher and star reliever.

The reason why a high-K pitcher is valued more in the Win Share system is because he doesn't rely on his defense to get outs for him. That's not to say that a pitcher cannot be effective if he doesn't strike batters out (that's an entirely different argument). Strikeouts, however, should be more valuable than letting hitters put the ball into play. When you strike a batter out, 99.99% of the time, he's out. When you let the batter put the ball into play, there's a much higher chance that the batter will get on base. The Win Share system takes that into accountability. Strikeouts are simply more valuable when it comes to analyzing pitchers.


That damned memory of mine, lol. You say the difference between a team with a good SS and a bad SS is a lot larger than the difference between a team with a good 1B and a bad 1B? Prove it. I think that's just a statement you just pulled out of nowhere and one that isn't a bit feasible. What did Alex Gonzalez do for the 2003 WS Champ Marlins? Eckstein for the 2002 WS Champ Anaheim Angels? Womack for the 2001 WS Champ D'Backs? History indicates that a team doesn't need the great SS to be successful. And sure you have Pudge and Varitek, but you also have your Benjie Molina's and Damian Miller's. An offense with Teixera, Soriano, Chavez, Vlad, Abreu, Deivi Cruz, and Yorvit Torrealba will be FINE. And I know why K pitchers are weighed more, that's why I brought them up. There's no need to explain me the Win Shares system, I'm very familiar with it. I brought it up for the point that a great pitchers does not have to be a high-K pitcher at all. A certain Cy Young who holds the record for career wins at 511, only averaged 3.6 K per 9 innings.


beltrans_boy wrote:Conversely, a player who fields his position well should get credit for that ability, don't you agree?


I'm saying the Win Shares system is flawed because it gives weight to fielding abilities, something vastly less important to a team's success than hitting.



Still forgot to respond to one part of my post:
Again, if Eric Chavez is standing near 3rd base waiting for a ground ball or two to come his way, and a good majority of the balls hit in play head Mark Kotsay's way in centerfield, how do you call that fair when more win shares are awarded to Kotsay? Win Shares does not fairly exemplify a player's defensive ability. Chavez could have been making that diving grab instead of Kotsay, so who's to say Kotsay gets the advantage. I use straight stats like FPCT and errors to judge a player's fielding abilities, and 8x8 hitting categories (BA, runs, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG, and OPS) to judge a player's hitting abilities.
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Postby so0perspam » Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:20 am

davidmarver wrote:You can argue against win shares and how it awards win shares differently to different positions, but it doesn't award differently between centerfielders; comparing Kotsay's outfield win shares (he ranks 5th) to his peers is perfectly relevent. In fact, his defensive win share rank is higher than Miguel Cabrera's offensive win share rank (7th), in comparison to all other outfielders. This means that Kotsay's defensive skills are more rare than Miguel Cabrera's offensive skills. A bold statement, yes, but I can't stand when I hear Kotsay doesn't stand out in any certain category; he's a defensive beast who isn't a tad below average at the plate. How many players with the same description make less than eight million dollars a season?


Would you rather build your franchise around Miguel Cabrera's hitting abilities on your team than a centerfielder possessing Kotsay's fielding abilities? Come on man, seriously. Don't you think you're taking this a bit far? Kotsay is a good centerfielder, but again, isn't that $8 mil a year player. Being that the Win Shares system values them that closely is exactly my basis of why it is flawed.
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Postby blackbearabroad » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:39 am

The problem with using feilding % and errors to judge feilding performance is how errors are awarded.
Because the decision lies entirely with the scorer they are extreamly judgmental. A player who takes a bad route and misses a fly is not awarded an "error" while thats just as detrimental as a player droping the same fly that took a good route. Errors are all about apearance and style
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:37 am

Fielding percentage is not a very consistent metric for the reasons blackbeard stated, it's completely judgemental. An error from one scorer may be scored differently by another and both could be correct. Or an error could be awarded to a player who gets to a ball most others wouldn't even get close to, but boots it or muffs the throw, giving him an error though he has superior range. I realize the other metrics aren't fail-safe, but they're much more consistent than FPCT or going by number of errors because they incorporate range and other factors not included in simple FPCT or error counts.
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Postby reznorsboy » Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:50 am

It just doesn't seem Beane like to award a player a high paying contract. I expect to see Kotsay on his way out by the deadline. Maybe to the cubs ;-)
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Postby beltrans_boy » Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:03 pm

so0perspam wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote:First of all, you're using Fielding Percentage which is a flawed metric. Second of all, the Yankees defense (notably in CF), is atrocious. Third of all, I never said it was the primary reason why the Yankees are losing, but it's certainly a much bigger part of the equation than you're giving it credit for. The Yankees pitching has been bad this year, but it was nearly as bad last year too, and they still managed to win 101 games. What's the wildcard? Fielding.


1) I don't understand how FPCT is flawed at all, since it's a fair percentage and weight isn't put on as to how many balls get hit to a player's way.

2) The Yankees of 2004 made 100 errors, and the Yankees of this year have made 55 thus far. Not too big a discrepancy in my mind, as I expect the Yankees offense to keep the error total under 50 in the second half when they put things together.


blackbearabroad and SaintsOfTheDiamond already covered this. Fielding Percentage and Errors just don't cut it when you're talking about defense. A player could stand in one position in the outfield, and never move once during the season. Hell, he could even sit down if he wanted to. If he catches every ball hit DIRECTLY to him, he has a fielding percentage of 1.000 and no errors. Is he a perfect fielder?

It's a small part of the equation, you have to look at the whole picture to get a good idea about what's going on in the field. The Win Shares calculation actually takes errors into account, but it makes them significantly less important.

so0perspam wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote:A couple of things...

Renteria wasn't on the Red Sox last year. He was on the Cardinals. They did, however, acquire Orlando Cabrera from the then-Montreal Expos. Cabrera is an outstanding fielding shortstop and (in my opinion) is one of the main reasons why that Sox team started cruising after the trade deadline and through the playoffs. However, using a sample size as small as the 2nd half and playoffs of 2004 to determine whether a metric is flawed or not simply isn't logical. The outcome of any playoff series is largely luck dependent.

I never said that a team MUST have a good SS and C to win, but the difference between a team with a good SS and a bad SS is a lot larger than the difference between a team with a good 1B and a bad 1B. Same thing applies to Catcher and star reliever.

The reason why a high-K pitcher is valued more in the Win Share system is because he doesn't rely on his defense to get outs for him. That's not to say that a pitcher cannot be effective if he doesn't strike batters out (that's an entirely different argument). Strikeouts, however, should be more valuable than letting hitters put the ball into play. When you strike a batter out, 99.99% of the time, he's out. When you let the batter put the ball into play, there's a much higher chance that the batter will get on base. The Win Share system takes that into accountability. Strikeouts are simply more valuable when it comes to analyzing pitchers.


That damned memory of mine, lol. You say the difference between a team with a good SS and a bad SS is a lot larger than the difference between a team with a good 1B and a bad 1B? Prove it. I think that's just a statement you just pulled out of nowhere and one that isn't a bit feasible. What did Alex Gonzalez do for the 2003 WS Champ Marlins? Eckstein for the 2002 WS Champ Anaheim Angels? Womack for the 2001 WS Champ D'Backs? History indicates that a team doesn't need the great SS to be successful. And sure you have Pudge and Varitek, but you also have your Benjie Molina's and Damian Miller's. An offense with Teixera, Soriano, Chavez, Vlad, Abreu, Deivi Cruz, and Yorvit Torrealba will be FINE. And I know why K pitchers are weighed more, that's why I brought them up. There's no need to explain me the Win Shares system, I'm very familiar with it. I brought it up for the point that a great pitchers does not have to be a high-K pitcher at all. A certain Cy Young who holds the record for career wins at 511, only averaged 3.6 K per 9 innings.

You say you understand the Win Shares system, but based on your responses, I don't think you do. The Win Shares system never says that a team NEEDS a great SS to be successful. However, a great fielding shortstop is more valuable to his team than a great fielding right fielder since the shortstop is in the middle of the diamond and has a direct influence on balls hit up the middle, turning double plays, etc. I'm not making this an offensive argument, but for some reason, you're inclined to make it one. I'm not concerned with how these players hit the ball. The "bonus" that they're given in the WS system is based on the positions they play in the field.

As for your Cy Young example, again, I never said that you HAD to be a high-K pitcher to be successful. God knows, that's not true. Win Shares does say, however, that, all else being equal, a high-K pitcher helps his team more than a low-K pitcher, since the results aren't dependant on the performance of the defense. I think you'd agree that a 99 times out of 100, a strikeout is a better result than a groundout or a popout, correct? That's all Win Shares is accounting for...more strikeouts is significantly better than less strikeouts if everything else is equal.

so0perspam wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote:Conversely, a player who fields his position well should get credit for that ability, don't you agree?


I'm saying the Win Shares system is flawed because it gives weight to fielding abilities, something vastly less important to a team's success than hitting.

Fielding abilities ARE important. They're crucial to evaluating player contributions to team wins. You might argue that Win Shares OVERweights fielding, but to say that it should be ignored is ridiculous. All position players have 2 jobs:
    1) To avoid making outs at the plate (hitting)
    2) To make outs in the field (fielding)
If you ignore 50% of that equation, your analysis is flawed. Players save runs in the field, and that has to be analyzed if you're going to understand how any one player helps his team win. The runs saved in the field are JUST as valuable (if not moreso) than the runs produced at the plate. Essentially, it all comes down to this equation for hitters:
    (Runs saved) + (Runs produced) = (Win Shares)
Don't ignore the first part of that equation just because it's not as obvious or easy to quantify as the second...

so0perspam wrote:Still forgot to respond to one part of my post:
Again, if Eric Chavez is standing near 3rd base waiting for a ground ball or two to come his way, and a good majority of the balls hit in play head Mark Kotsay's way in centerfield, how do you call that fair when more win shares are awarded to Kotsay? Win Shares does not fairly exemplify a player's defensive ability. Chavez could have been making that diving grab instead of Kotsay, so who's to say Kotsay gets the advantage. I use straight stats like FPCT and errors to judge a player's fielding abilities, and 8x8 hitting categories (BA, runs, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG, and OPS) to judge a player's hitting abilities.

Forgive me, I thought I answered this in my last response. I thought you understood Win Shares calculations? Basically, the infield positions are calculated differently than the outfield positions. Every position on the diamond is evaluated using 4 or 5 different defensive metrics, each weighted according to its importance at that position. Like I said before, errors ARE a part of this equation, but in most cases, Win Shares nullifies their significance, instead concentrating on things like Putouts, Assists, etc. Third base and centerfield are evaluated entirely differently based on the chances that they see and their relative importance to how many games a team will win.

Did Bill James steal your girlfriend or something? ;-7 I don't understand why you're so biased against Win Shares. Essentially it's just a more refined version of your "8x8 analysis". I know it comes up with some unconventional answers sometimes, but for the most part, it's pretty standard.

Anyway, I can respect that you've got beef with the Win Shares system. It's not perfect by any means. It's constantly changing and being refined by minds greater than mine. I'd just caution you not to ignore fielding ability...I think it's a lot more important than you give it credit for.

;-D
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Postby so0perspam » Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:42 pm

(Runs saved) + (Runs produced) = (Win Shares) is the problem I have with it. 50% of it shouldn't be runs saved. Compare the nasty stuff that the pitchers of today have against the routine grounder or the routine flyball. Good hitting skills are much more essential IMO than fielding skills. The equation should be something like (.25 X Runs saved) + (.75 X Runs Produced) = (Win Shares). My analylsis of fielding thus far may look like I don't put an emphasis upon it all, but that's not true. A team does not some good defense to be successful. But compared to hitting, it's value takes a huge hit.
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Postby mamorris » Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:43 pm

so0perspam wrote:Still forgot to respond to one part of my post:
Again, if Eric Chavez is standing near 3rd base waiting for a ground ball or two to come his way, and a good majority of the balls hit in play head Mark Kotsay's way in centerfield, how do you call that fair when more win shares are awarded to Kotsay? Win Shares does not fairly exemplify a player's defensive ability. Chavez could have been making that diving grab instead of Kotsay, so who's to say Kotsay gets the advantage. I use straight stats like FPCT and errors to judge a player's fielding abilities, and 8x8 hitting categories (BA, runs, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG, and OPS) to judge a player's hitting abilities.


Beltran's Boy covered most of this very well, but I'll just add something: be careful not to confuse a player's skill and their value to a team. Yes, it's quite possible that Eric Chavez could play CF and get more fielding win shares than he does. However, he doesn't play CF - Mark Kotsay does. All we can do here is compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges: Eric Chavez vs other third basemen, and Kotsay vs other centre fielders. That is a flaw in the metric, but it would be pure guesswork to say how Eric Chavez would fare if he played CF, so it's best left to judge him on his performance at his current position. Certainly, it's nowhere near as bad as fielding % or errors, which are a horrible judge of how good a fielder a player is (your David Ortiz example was a perfect illustration of this).

Having said this, my query isn't about his fielding win shares, which seem quite reasonable. However, he has 8.1 offensive win shares (according to THT), which is good for #68 in the majors. As a comparison, Hank Blalock has 8.0 offensive win shares, yet he equals or betters Kotsay in pretty much all the standard metrics - OBP, SLG, OPS, RC and RC/27. What gives there? He does strike out more than Kotsay, but I don't see how that makes up for the difference in power. Is the baserunning really that different?
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Postby mamorris » Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:48 pm

so0perspam wrote:(Runs saved) + (Runs produced) = (Win Shares) is the problem I have with it. 50% of it shouldn't be runs saved. Compare the nasty stuff that the pitchers of today have against the routine grounder or the routine flyball. Good hitting skills are much more essential IMO than fielding skills. The equation should be something like (.25 X Runs saved) + (.75 X Runs Produced) = (Win Shares). My analylsis of fielding thus far may look like I don't put an emphasis upon it all, but that's not true. A team does not some good defense to be successful. But compared to hitting, it's value takes a huge hit.


There's no need to weight runs saved in the field. As they say, a penny saved is a penny earned. Generally though, the number of runs a player will save in the field will be a lot less than the runs they produce at the plate, except with all-glove, no-bat guys (like Brad Ausmus).
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