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AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby bigh0rt » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:10 am

RynMan wrote:
bigh0rt wrote:Here's a stat, just for fun.

Miguel Cabrera - 444 Runners On, 139 RBI, 21.40% (only Josh Hamilton drove in a higher % of runners on when they came to the plate - 22.19%)
Mike Trout - 306 Runners On, 86 RBI, 17.32%

These % are formulated by taking (RBI - HR)/Runners On, so no bonus to Miggy for all his dongs.

Interestingly enough, some other ridiculously efficient RBI players this year were Adrian Gonzalez (20.55%), Chase Headley (19.63%), and Alfonso Soriano (19.39%), while others who had a huge number of opportunities, not so much...

Hunter Pence had the most runners on in the league this season (505), and only drove in 15.84% of them. Robinson Cano was 2nd with 476 runners, and only drove in a meager 12.82% of them. Of the Top 20 players among Runners On, only A-Gonz and Cabrera surpass the 20% mark, and just 5 players surpass 18%.

Cabrera may have had a ton of runners on this year (6th in the league, trailing teammate Prince Fielder who was 5th -- kudos to Austin Jackson), but he was also ridiculously efficient at driving those players in, which can't be said for many other players, like the aforementioned Cano and Pence.


And this is exactly the kind of analysis Cabrera lobbyists need to push. But out of the countless hours of discussion and pages of reading, I've not once heard anyone mention this. All I hear about is the Triple Crown, how he carried his team to the playoffs, and how many runs he is knocking in. I also noticed this above average rate of driving guys in, but I still don't see it as enough to push him past Trout in my mind. Nice work for bringing this up man.

For me, it's simple. The most valuable player is Mike Trout.

I honestly don't care who wins. I'm just getting tired of the old rhetoric that RBI is an entirely teammate based statistic, as if the player at the dish doesn't have to drive them in. It's a mixture of opportunity and ability. Otherwise, Robinson Cano or Hunter Pence should have led the league in RBI, or one of the other 3 players who came to the plate with more runners on than Cabrera this season. I was wondering if Cabrera had just been the beneficiary of a ridiculous amount of RBI Opportunities, and being 6th is certainly no disadvantage, but it was interesting to see the clip at which he was able to plate teammates. Again, I couldn't give a crap less who wins, and I imagine the voters will ultimately give it to Cabrera due to the Triple Crown, Trout being a Rookie, so on and so forth. Two years from now nobody will care.
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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby RynMan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:37 am

Yep, pretty much.
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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby AquaMan2342 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:48 am

RyeWhiskey wrote:
My main argument is that Trout's amazing season did not lead his team to the playoffs and getting to the playoffs is the goal of the regular season. Hence, in real baseball terms, his season was not as valuable as someone who's team did make the playoffs.

I'm sorry but it's true. Not everything comes down to stats.


This can't be a real argument, can it?
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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby AquaMan2342 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:52 am

bigh0rt wrote:I honestly don't care who wins. I'm just getting tired of the old rhetoric that RBI is an entirely teammate based statistic, as if the player at the dish doesn't have to drive them in. It's a mixture of opportunity and ability. Otherwise, Robinson Cano or Hunter Pence should have led the league in RBI, or one of the other 3 players who came to the plate with more runners on than Cabrera this season. I was wondering if Cabrera had just been the beneficiary of a ridiculous amount of RBI Opportunities, and being 6th is certainly no disadvantage, but it was interesting to see the clip at which he was able to plate teammates. Again, I couldn't give a crap less who wins, and I imagine the voters will ultimately give it to Cabrera due to the Triple Crown, Trout being a Rookie, so on and so forth. Two years from now nobody will care.


I don't think the argument is that RBI is entirely a teammate based statistic, just that the difference between Cabrera's past RBI outputs and this year's are almost entirely due to Austin Jackson's OBP increasing by about 60 points this season.
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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby bigh0rt » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:55 am

AquaMan2342 wrote:
RyeWhiskey wrote:
My main argument is that Trout's amazing season did not lead his team to the playoffs and getting to the playoffs is the goal of the regular season. Hence, in real baseball terms, his season was not as valuable as someone who's team did make the playoffs.

I'm sorry but it's true. Not everything comes down to stats.


This can't be a real argument, can it?
Just for giggles, by this logic, Mike Trout's season was less valuable than Coco Crisp's, as his efforts led the A's to the playoffs, in the same division even. This would be correct, yes? It would be less valuable than every single member of the A's, in fact. Correct?

AquaMan2342 wrote:
bigh0rt wrote:I honestly don't care who wins. I'm just getting tired of the old rhetoric that RBI is an entirely teammate based statistic, as if the player at the dish doesn't have to drive them in. It's a mixture of opportunity and ability. Otherwise, Robinson Cano or Hunter Pence should have led the league in RBI, or one of the other 3 players who came to the plate with more runners on than Cabrera this season. I was wondering if Cabrera had just been the beneficiary of a ridiculous amount of RBI Opportunities, and being 6th is certainly no disadvantage, but it was interesting to see the clip at which he was able to plate teammates. Again, I couldn't give a crap less who wins, and I imagine the voters will ultimately give it to Cabrera due to the Triple Crown, Trout being a Rookie, so on and so forth. Two years from now nobody will care.


I don't think the argument is that RBI is entirely a teammate based statistic, just that the difference between Cabrera's past RBI outputs and this year's are almost entirely due to Austin Jackson's OBP increasing by about 60 points this season.
They aren't, though. They are due to him hitting 44 HR and driving in the 2nd highest Pct of runners on in the entire league. There were a half dozen players with more runners on this season, all of which fell well short of Cabrera's RBI total. Austin Jackson was a small piece of the puzzle, albeit a certain contributor.

Also, in this thread alone, I think I've seen RBI called 'entirely team based' probably three times. I'm not saying it's some wild measure of talent, ability, or performance, but let's stop pretending like it's random.
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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby Skin Blues » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:11 pm

RBI% is much better than just RBI, but there's also a difference between having Austin Jackson in scoring position with 1 out and having Chris Iannetta on 1st base with 2 out. Extreme examples obviously, but context is always an issue when you choose not to use a neutral environment. If you want to look more broadly at contributions solely from the batter's box, without adjusting for context, and also disregarding Trout's league-leading base running, then you can use RE24. Expected Runs versus league average based on the outcome of every single plate appearance. Trout is 2nd in the majors behind Edwin Encarnacion, and Cabrera is 7th. But this ignores the score of the game, and only considers the expected run total. So maybe you want to use win expectancy instead. Net contribution towards his team's chances of winning a game. Trout leads the majors in a landslide. Cabrera is 5th. Again, this doesn't even account for going first to third on the bases, scoring from first/second on hits to the outfield, stealing bases and putting yourself in scoring position while hardly ever getting caught, etc. These are all very concrete arguments, and I've never seen them disputed. Why can nobody make a concrete argument for Cabrera? I understand why voters pick Cabrera, and it's because they don't care about concrete arguments. But I see so many people here who are aware of these tools and simply choose not to use them. Why? Is it really that hard to understand that it just appears as hocus pocus voodoo?
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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby dannahann » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:44 pm

Skin Blues wrote:RBI% is much better than just RBI, but there's also a difference between having Austin Jackson in scoring position with 1 out and having Chris Iannetta on 1st base with 2 out. Extreme examples obviously, but context is always an issue when you choose not to use a neutral environment. If you want to look more broadly at contributions solely from the batter's box, without adjusting for context, and also disregarding Trout's league-leading base running, then you can use RE24. Expected Runs versus league average based on the outcome of every single plate appearance. Trout is 2nd in the majors behind Edwin Encarnacion, and Cabrera is 7th. But this ignores the score of the game, and only considers the expected run total. So maybe you want to use win expectancy instead. Net contribution towards his team's chances of winning a game. Trout leads the majors in a landslide. Cabrera is 5th. Again, this doesn't even account for going first to third on the bases, scoring from first/second on hits to the outfield, stealing bases and putting yourself in scoring position while hardly ever getting caught, etc. These are all very concrete arguments, and I've never seen them disputed. Why can nobody make a concrete argument for Cabrera? I understand why voters pick Cabrera, and it's because they don't care about concrete arguments. But I see so many people here who are aware of these tools and simply choose not to use them. Why? Is it really that hard to understand that it just appears as hocus pocus voodoo?

If you want to "adjust for context" as in A-Jax being on base more you can't just then assume Trout's huge SB tallies occurred in a "neutral environment". He plays for a manager who is typically at or near the top in team SB attempts, and a manager who promotes aggressive base running. Maddon might be the only AL manager more aggressive than Scoscia. To look at the extremes, if Trout had played for Whitey Herzog he'd probably rip around 100 bags, if he had played for Earl Weaver, 20 might be a stretch. He is in a great situation to score runs, get on base, and swipe bags as he leads off for a particularly aggressive manager and hits in front of some of the more dangerous and highly paid talent in the AL. (Kid was seeing a lot of fastballs during his white hot early/mid summer).
The biggest thing that's going to come into play isn't the triple crown, it's the playoffs. The Angels were projected to be a better team than Detroit coming in and infact won more games. That said they were picked by most to win that division after they plucked the so called ace (CJ Wilson) from their biggest rival and broke the bank to sign Pujols. They didn't think they were a team just hoping to get lucky and somehow qualify when they later added Greinke to what was on paper the best starting staff in the AL without him. Trout didn't approach his June or July stats in Aug or Sept and that will cost him a few votes. Some of his teamates stepped up then (esp Hunter) but Trout just wasn't as great late. Miggy got hotter in crunch time and rescued a projected division winner from what appeared to be the grave. That will add a few to him. Both are worthy candidates. Last year stat guys whined as to how Kemp was robbed, but his Dodgers (projected to win) underachieved while Braun (another worthy candidate) led his squad to a division title. The same is likely to occur in the AL this season.
Something else that seems to be getting lost in this thread is just what the voting criteria for MVP are. Per the voting criteria it's 'the player most valuable to his team', not the 'best player' or 'most outstanding player in a league'. - from BBWA "“The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931: (1) actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense; (2) number of games played; (3) general character, disposition, loyalty and effort; (4) former winners are eligible; and (5) members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.” I also find it funny how some state earlier in this thread that playing fewer games favors Trout somehow. Rule (2) is in direct contrast to that premise. As to defense, there is no doubt Trout is superior here, but Miggy did add some value to his own team by unselfishly allowing himself to move to 3B (a position he knew would hurt his personal "defensive WAR component") to add Fielder's offense to the team. That added games won (value) at the expense of Miggy's personal "WAR", flawed as WAR is.
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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby AquaMan2342 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:34 pm

I'd be more inclined to buy the context argument for SBs if Trout hadn't stolen them at a EDIT: 90% rate. It's not like he was just running wild and accumulated those #s. He did it, like everything else this season, at a higher level than just about anyone.
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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby dannahann » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:35 pm

AquaMan2342 wrote:I'd be more inclined to buy the context argument for SBs if Trout hadn't stolen them at a EDIT: 90% rate. It's not like he was just running wild and accumulated those #s. He did it, like everything else this season, at a higher level than just about anyone.

Which is exactly what Cabrera did for RBI. He drove in the runners available to him at a higher rate than just about anyone. Yet somehow his RBI tallies are being questioned as more about him being in such a favorable situation, yet Trout's SB OBP and R are above the same scrutiny?? Trout landed in a pretty sweet situation himself, just ask the kid leading off in Seattle.
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Re: AL MVP. Mike Trout show?

Postby jorgesca » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:26 pm

I'd like to see something like Win expectancy that takes into account the environment (runs scored, inning, men on base, etc) but done for Playoff hopes. Playoff clinch expectancy or whatever, as much as I want and would like to have an objective argument for Cabrera I can't find it, the RE24 article on fangraphs dismantled my last hope.

I know Cabrera is going to win it and I think people here are undervaluing:
RBI's as being completely team dependent
The value of offense compared to defense
The importance of Cabrera performance in September
Games played

Having said that I do think Trout should win it, but I'm happy Cabrera is going to win it, just would like to have an argument to defend it.
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