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Postby HOOTIE » Wed Dec 10, 2003 10:22 pm

LCBOY wrote:BLaock is a potential batting champion. If he improves against lefties he will hit .340-.350. In view of his age he ceiling is high. As a hitter he could be George Brett.


I gotta agree.
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Postby Erboes » Wed Dec 10, 2003 10:32 pm

The prior "study" as you call it went through every hitter the past two seasons. It was in response to someone who said Green would not be a good pick next season because he was coming off a bad year ( I think that was the discussion in that thread). I went back a and found about 30 players who had down seasons in '02 and compared them to how they did in '03. I've since gone through every hitter for the past five years (over 2000 total seasons) and came up with a slightly higher rate than I did in my initial "study".

The 67% thing was also done over the past five seasons. I think that is sufficient enough of a period to draw conclusions.

I have also done it with hitters who were coming off "career years" (players who have had seasons at least $5 of value greater than their prior career highs) and those coming off two fairly consistent seasons. I am also in the process of doing the same things on the pitching side.

I am doing this for reasons other than winning any of my leagues. If I bring it up from time to time, just ignore it if you don't believe in this sort of stuff. Just like anything else, some people may find it interesting, others may not. But why is it when someone brings up a varifiable claim such as this it gets attacked but when someone calls a player the next "George Brett" no one says a thing? I'm trying to bring as much objective thought to this very muddled process, that is all. "FAR from convincing"? I'm not trying to convince anyone, but instead am using the method I think works well when someone asks a question about a player. If you prefer, I'll just compare everyone to Dave Winfield and be done with it.

And the claim was 80% of comeback players return to the norm, not the other way around.
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Postby HOOTIE » Wed Dec 10, 2003 10:40 pm

Erboes wrote:
Fact 3. Here's a list of players and you tell me what they all have in common:

Beltre
Casey
Drew
Dunn
Travis Lee
Glaus
Hidalgo

These are all players who had substantial success at about the same age as Blalock who, at worse, never came close to those numbers again or, at best, have struggled to even match them. Success at an early age does not mean you'll improve or even stay at that level.


At 22, Hank hit 300

At 22, Casey was in minors
At 22, Drew had 36 rookie abs
At 22, Hidalgo had 62 rookie abs
At 22, Glaus hit 218
At 22, TLee was in minors
At 22, Dunn hit 249

Only Beltre, had better stats at 22, then declined.
Sure no one's a lock. Any many a guy have taken a slide. But Hank sure looks like a high average hitter with some pop.
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Postby Madison » Wed Dec 10, 2003 10:48 pm

HOOTIE wrote:
Erboes wrote:
Fact 3. Here's a list of players and you tell me what they all have in common:

Beltre
Casey
Drew
Dunn
Travis Lee
Glaus
Hidalgo

These are all players who had substantial success at about the same age as Blalock who, at worse, never came close to those numbers again or, at best, have struggled to even match them. Success at an early age does not mean you'll improve or even stay at that level.


At 22, Hank hit 300

At 22, Casey was in minors
At 22, Drew had 36 rookie abs
At 22, Hidalgo had 62 rookie abs
At 22, Glaus hit 218
At 22, TLee was in minors
At 22, Dunn hit 249

Only Beltre, had better stats at 22, then declined.
Sure no one's a lock. Any many a guy have taken a slide. But Hank sure looks like a high average hitter with some pop.


Hootie provided the stats, but I have to ask the question: That's considered substancial success? :-?
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Postby Erboes » Wed Dec 10, 2003 10:49 pm

I said "about the same age". And every player on that list was dubbed as a future superstar after they had nice years at about the same age, no? You can make a similar list of players who did become superstars at that age, I realize that, but I don't think success at 22 or 23 or 24 necessarily guarantees continued success either. That was my point.
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Postby Erboes » Wed Dec 10, 2003 11:26 pm

Compared to Blalock, sure. I'll use dollar values earned here as an example;

Beltre: $21 at 22
Casey: $27 at 24
Drew: $19 at 24 and $25 at 25
Glaus: $30 at 23 (he turned 24 in August)
Lee: $18 at 23
Dunn: $19 at 22
Hidalgo: $37 at 24 (turned 25 in July)
Blalock: $23 at 22

Again, everyone of these players were going to be stars and had similar numbers to Blalock at ABOUT the same age.

I have a confession to make. I made a mistake on my figures. Guys who are labeled "comeback" hitters comeback at a 60% clip. They remain at that new level 24% of the time, and actually do substantially worse at a 16% clip (these are usually the older players like Alomar or Alou who continue the slide or players who are injured back to back seasons). The 80% numbers was actually those of players who have had "career years". They actually drop at least $5 in value at a rate of well over 80% the following seasons. I apologize. I had my papers elsewhere and was going on memory.
Last edited by Erboes on Wed Dec 10, 2003 11:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Erboes » Wed Dec 10, 2003 11:32 pm

Oh, here's where the 80% figure comes into play for "comeback" hitters. By omitting the upper-30 players (the ones on their last legs) and those who have had back-to-back injury filled seasons (like Dye), the figure is actually 79%. For our argument this figure is useless, but for practical purposes it is very useful. I apologize again.
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Postby wrveres » Thu Dec 11, 2003 4:24 am

Erboes wrote:Oh, here's where the 80% figure comes into play for "comeback" hitters. By omitting the upper-30 players (the ones on their last legs) and those who have had back-to-back injury filled seasons (like Dye), the figure is actually 79%. For our argument this figure is useless, but for practical purposes it is very useful. I apologize again.


this is interesting ... I'd actually like to see the final results ... should be a good read.... ;-D

Sorry If I am getting at this late.... but what is the 'Definition' of a comeback player for this converstaion or study .... I mean who are the players we putting into excell in the first place ?? and why only them .. I get the feeling that is what everybody is asking ... but you may have a nice angle here ... I believe in the numbers ... ;-D show me, please ..
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Postby Erboes » Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:51 am

I use a $5 drop in value over the prior season to define someone as being a "comeback" candidate. Conversely, a player has to have an increase of $5 value over the previous season to be considered as a player coming off a "career year" (Note: it doens't have to actually be his best season, but it's easier to call them "career years"). I must also note that to included in this "study", a player must have had three full seasons in order to establish a player's norm. When I find time I will go back and look at hitters first 3 seasons to try to determine just what kind of flucuations young players actually have.

I showed the numbers for "bounce back" candidates earlier. Here are the final numbers for hitters coming off "career years":

6.5% do better the following season by at least $5 of value.
6.5% do about the same as their "career year".
87% do at least $5 worse the following season after their career years.

Like I said, if you don't believe it go do your own research. If you don't care, ignore it. I must point out, though, that this is the same concept as the arguments many of you were making during the "clutch hitting" thread of last week. Hitters tend to return to their norms after either a very good year or a very bad year. In fact, players tend to actually do worse than their norms after career years or better than their norms after down years, which I guess can be explained by the leveling out of their averages to their career norms (i.e, good year + bad year = close to normal year).

There's nothing revolutionary here, but judging by these mock drafts people tend not to use these principals come draft day. For example, the TSN "expert" claims Brian Giles and Shaun Green were bad picks just because they're coming off of bad years. I find this ridiculous. These are the types of hitters that win you championships because they're so undervalued come draft day. Was it you, Wrveres, who put Giles in the category of Abreu and Berkman (another big bounce back candidate)? I think you are exactly right.

This also gives credence to Madison's assertion that Wilson and Loiza (although I am in the middle of looking at pitchers. As an aside, pitchers are far, far, more unstable than hitters. I'm really beginning to think that no pitchers other than a handful should be picked anywhere in the first 15 rounds of a draft) will not repeat their seasons.

Like they say on Fox, "I report, you decide". These are my findings, so you can do with them what you want.
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Postby ramble2 » Thu Dec 11, 2003 1:53 pm

Erboes wrote:I use a $5 drop in value over the prior season to define someone as being a "comeback" candidate. Conversely, a player has to have an increase of $5 value over the previous season to be considered as a player coming off a "career year" (Note: it doens't have to actually be his best season, but it's easier to call them "career years"). I must also note that to included in this "study", a player must have had three full seasons in order to establish a player's norm. When I find time I will go back and look at hitters first 3 seasons to try to determine just what kind of flucuations young players actually have.

I showed the numbers for "bounce back" candidates earlier. Here are the final numbers for hitters coming off "career years":

6.5% do better the following season by at least $5 of value.
6.5% do about the same as their "career year".
87% do at least $5 worse the following season after their career years.

Like I said, if you don't believe it go do your own research. If you don't care, ignore it. I must point out, though, that this is the same concept as the arguments many of you were making during the "clutch hitting" thread of last week. Hitters tend to return to their norms after either a very good year or a very bad year. In fact, players tend to actually do worse than their norms after career years or better than their norms after down years, which I guess can be explained by the leveling out of their averages to their career norms (i.e, good year + bad year = close to normal year).

There's nothing revolutionary here, but judging by these mock drafts people tend not to use these principals come draft day. For example, the TSN "expert" claims Brian Giles and Shaun Green were bad picks just because they're coming off of bad years. I find this ridiculous. These are the types of hitters that win you championships because they're so undervalued come draft day. Was it you, Wrveres, who put Giles in the category of Abreu and Berkman (another big bounce back candidate)? I think you are exactly right.

This also gives credence to Madison's assertion that Wilson and Loiza (although I am in the middle of looking at pitchers. As an aside, pitchers are far, far, more unstable than hitters. I'm really beginning to think that no pitchers other than a handful should be picked anywhere in the first 15 rounds of a draft) will not repeat their seasons.

Like they say on Fox, "I report, you decide". These are my findings, so you can do with them what you want.


Well, it sounds about right that most players will tend to their career averages - especially after an off year or a breakout year.

Here are the questions I have:

1. How does this apply to Hank Blalock?
2. Did you find any trends that correspond to a player's age? That is, did you find any kind of career arc trends?
3. How many players ended up counting as comeback players each year? Or, to phrase this another way, how many players from one year to the next see a $5 decrease in production?
4. When you say you went back and looked at every hitter for the past five years, does that mean you calculated how often each hitter performed within $5 of the previous year's performance? Was it only about 30 players a year? I'm confused as to how many players were included in this study.
5. Did you or did you not include players over the age of 30? If not, why mention Alomar or Alou? If so, then I have to ask again whether age was a significant indicator of whether a 'comeback' player would fall back to his norm, or of whether a 'dropback' player would produce back to his norm.
6. Is part of your claim that last year's numbers alone aren't the best indicators of future performance? I agree with that, although last year's numbers certainly aren't irrelevant, either.
7. And finally, the question others are asking too, how are you calculating your $ values? Is it Shandler's numbers? Is it for 5x5, or 4x4?

Look, the reason I'm asking these questions, and pushing you on this, isn't because I'm trying to disprove you. It's because I'm confused as to exactly what the claim is, and why it applies to Blalock. Also, if you went back and looked at every player, it'd be interested to see what other kinds of factors were relevant here. If there was a strong correlation of something like age and ability to sustain a surge in production (or vice-versa) that would be good to learn.

As for Blalock. He's got very good skills, and in his second year in the major leagues showed a vast improvement over his first year. I'm not going to induct him into the HoF quite yet, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him follow a career arc like Eric Chavez (another 3B who has trouble with lefties).
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