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Slow Starters and Second Half Producers

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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:57 pm

Kelly Gruber wrote:Yes, but what is more significant in predicting his future? Recent trends or trends from his early carreer? Obviously, his last 3 seasons are much more of an indication of how he'll do next year than his rookie season.

Join my league, draft Magglio and offer me a trade around the all-star break. I'll happily accept it (assuming it's fair).


That depends. More recent data is obviously better, but it also has a larger variation, because it's based on smaller samples. As I indicated, you'd really need 6 years of pre/post ASB data to be able to examine real differences.

If we followed your policy throughout Magglio's career, I would have won that trade deal early in his career, and you would have won it the last two years. On net, we both get the same production.
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Postby Kelly Gruber » Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:03 am

I agree with you about older, established players, but how do you evaluate rookies or young players without large samples of major league stats? It would be a big mistake to not consider any of them in your plans, as some do produce (ex: I picked up Dontrelle Willis last year for his first CG SHO).
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Re: Slow Starters and Second Half Producers

Postby NZF » Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:13 am

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
New Zealand Fan wrote:
Guys that do repeatedly heat up after the break are

Jeff Bagwell
Miguel Tejada
Eric Chavez
Kelvin Escobar


Only a small list though isn't it?


Tejada does have slightly better numbers after ASB than before (263/320/447/767 versus 277/343/474/817), but his second best month for hitting is May. While he was better after the ASB in 2002 and 2003, he was better before in 2001.

In 2002, Chavez was better pre ASB than post ASB. Lifetime, there's literally no difference in his numbers in April, June, July, and September. The only monthly variation is bad Mays and great Augusts.

Similarly, early in his career Bagwell was a noted "early starter". Lately, he's been slow to start. Pattern or random? It's just too hard to tell.

There is so much random variation in player's performance that it is really dangerous to make decisions based on these data.



I think it is random and I agree with you. As I said I wouldn't read too much into the hot and cold theories at all because every year there are plenty of exceptions to the rule.
I was just giving some recent examples where it has happened to a significant extent.

Also you are wrong Chavez did improve slightly in 2002 after the break in categories that matter in Fantasy BB.

Avg. before .271 after .280 OBP before .341 after .355
Not enough to be significant but there is still a pattern there.
His 2001 and 2003 2nd halves increased way more significantly and there is no doubt he is a second half player but who knows for sure if that trend continues this season. With the lineup around him he hasn't got the luxury of a slow start in 2004. :-)
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:43 am

Kelly Gruber wrote:I agree with you about older, established players, but how do you evaluate rookies or young players without large samples of major league stats? It would be a big mistake to not consider any of them in your plans, as some do produce (ex: I picked up Dontrelle Willis last year for his first CG SHO).


Minor league statistics, adjusted for league and park effects, are every bit as predictive of a player's performance as major league statistics, something Bill James proved more than 20 years ago.

So, I use the EQA stats on Baseballprospectus.com to gauge young players. They adjust minor league numbers to create a Major League EQA for minor league players. That gives you a basis to compare major leaguers and minor leaguers.
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Re: Slow Starters and Second Half Producers

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:50 am

New Zealand Fan wrote:
Also you are wrong Chavez did improve slightly in 2002 after the break in categories that matter in Fantasy BB.

Avg. before .271 after .280 OBP before .341 after .355
Not enough to be significant but there is still a pattern there.
His 2001 and 2003 2nd halves increased way more significantly and there is no doubt he is a second half player but who knows for sure if that trend continues this season. With the lineup around him he hasn't got the luxury of a slow start in 2004. :-)


More HRs, more RBIs, more R and a much higher OPS in first half in 2002.

Three half-seasons is simply not enough data. And while he does show a pre/post difference in his full career, the montly data don't support the "slow starter" theory. April is his second best month for hitting. A true slow starter would have April as his worst month, with a progression toward better play through the season. That's not true of Chavez. That leads to the suspicion that it's just random variation.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:19 am

Summing up...

If you think a player has hot/cold start tendencies based upon one year or three year data of pre/post ASB data, do the following:

1. Look at his career data pre and post ASB. This will give you a larger sample to judge the evidence.

2. Look at monthly data over the last three years and his career. A hot starter should have April and May as two of his best months. A slow starter should have them as his worst months (in other words, the monthly data, while based on smaller samples, should be used to confirm the pattern; it will rule out cases where the pre-ASB pattern is actually driven by poor performance in May or June, which would suggest that it is not a "cold/hot" start, but something else driving he half-year results).

3. Keep in mind that in almost all cases the best predictor of what a player is likely to do is their overall tendency, rather than some split sample tendency. From clutch hitting to most platoon splits, most evidence suggests that the differences we see in split samples are random variation,not real effects.
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Postby Mookie4ever » Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:29 am

I have a clear strategy this year. If you are in a league with me then please, move along, nothing to read here
















for the rest of you, I am drafting Expos hitters with the plan of dealing them later on and looking to trade for Expos pitchers after the all star break.

The reason is that the Expos play their last game at Hiram Bithorn on July 11. HB should inflate the hitters' stats and make bargains of some of their pitchers. Pitchers that I am targeting had much better second half splits anyways, Livan Hernandez (3.63 1.31 pre all star game ERA and WHIP and 2.67 1.08 post) and Tomo Ohka (4.51 1.38 pre and 3.76 1.41 post).

I am pretty high on Hernandez and want to trade for him after the all star break in all of my leagues, I think that he is very underrated and after a few games in the PR may be even more devalued.

As for hitters, there is not much to choose from but Cabrera cooled down considerably after the break (.300 13 HR 61 R 51 RBI pre all star and .293 4 34 29 post) but I would not be so keen on trading him after they move out of the PR just because I like him so much.


When I was making up my cheat sheets I thought that this was brilliant, but now that I read it.....a strategy based on the Expos?? what was I smoking?
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Re: Slow Starters and Second Half Producers

Postby NZF » Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:57 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
New Zealand Fan wrote:
Also you are wrong Chavez did improve slightly in 2002 after the break in categories that matter in Fantasy BB.

Avg. before .271 after .280 OBP before .341 after .355
Not enough to be significant but there is still a pattern there.
His 2001 and 2003 2nd halves increased way more significantly and there is no doubt he is a second half player but who knows for sure if that trend continues this season. With the lineup around him he hasn't got the luxury of a slow start in 2004. :-)


More HRs, more RBIs, more R and a much higher OPS in first half in 2002.

Three half-seasons is simply not enough data. And while he does show a pre/post difference in his full career, the montly data don't support the "slow starter" theory. April is his second best month for hitting. A true slow starter would have April as his worst month, with a progression toward better play through the season. That's not true of Chavez. That leads to the suspicion that it's just random variation.


You can't count HR's RBI's and Runs because he obviously had far more AB's in the first half.

Again I say you are wrong, Chavez has improved after the break the last 3 years. 2001 and 2003 unbelievably so. Also I don't know where you are getting your data from to say his second best month is April. Again it looks to be selective. No way is April his 2nd best month in overall numbers. Check again ;-)
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Postby wkelly91 » Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:25 pm

I know this is a small sample but.......Marcus Giles .349 2nd half 8-o
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:55 pm

Even adjusted for ABs, Chavez had a better pre-ASB in 2002. He had just 27 more ABs pre ASB. in those 27 extra ABs he had 6 more homers, 11 more runs, and 7 more RBIs. That works out to be 120 HRs, 220 runs, and 140 RBIs on a full-season basis. he slugged 62 points higher and had an OPS almost 50 points higher.

His pre ASB stomps his post ASB in 2002, hands down.

Chavez. career, by month
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
April 116 423 69 112 31 3 21 62 52 95 2 1 .265 .345 .501 .846
May 122 436 60 110 22 3 17 59 47 77 8 2 .252 .325 .433 .759
June 124 429 68 113 22 2 26 89 45 75 1 3 .263 .335 .506 .841
July 119 377 55 104 29 1 17 62 44 70 6 2 .276 .348 .493 .842
Aug 130 489 80 152 34 3 29 100 44 71 2 .311 .368 .571 .939
Sept 123 440 78 126 20 3 22 87 43 68 9 2 .286 .348 .495 .843

April looks like a damn fine month to me. The only months that really stand out here are May and August. April, June, July, and Sept are virtually identical. He hits for a higher average in Aug and Sept., but he slugs higher in April and June.
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