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Comeback Players | xAVG vs AVG

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Comeback Players | xAVG vs AVG

Postby luger » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:04 pm

Thought you guys might enjoy this: http://www.mrcheatsheet.com/2013/01/comeback-players-for-2013-xavg-vs-avg.html

Some of the players listed as being potential bounceback players:

Darwin Barney, .304 xAVG, .254 AVG
Chase Utley, .298 xAVG, .256 AVG
Ben Zobrist, .295 xAVG, .270 AVG
Mark Teixeira, .292 xAVG, .251 AVG
Alexei Ramirez, .291 xAVG, .265 AVG
Freddie Freeman, .290 xAVG, .259 AVG
Jason Kipnis, .286 xAVG, .257 AVG
Jose Bautista, .283 xAVG, .241 AVG
Eric Hosmer, .275 xAVG, .232 AVG

And, some players who already had nice seasons that could stand to improve even more:

Ichiro Suzuki, .332 xAVG, .283 AVG
Norichika Aoki, .319 xAVG, .288 AVG
Adam Jones, .313 xAVG .287 AVG
Michael Young, .312 xAVG, .277 AVG
Jose Reyes, .311 xAVG, .287 AVG
Edwin Encarnacion, .309 xAVG, .280 AVG
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Re: Comeback Players | xAVG vs AVG

Postby Ender » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:21 pm

This is a pretty flawed evaluation method. When you are talking about players with a significant history you would want to look at how their xAVG vs AVG has performed over a longer period of time and regress towards that. Just like using xERA is flawed. I mean it is a nice list of guys to maybe take a deeper look at and decide for yourself but I wouldn't just assume any of these guys are going to see a jump in AVG without looking for the reasons behind it.
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Re: Comeback Players | xAVG vs AVG

Postby luger » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:30 pm

While I agree that career numbers should be accounted for in a deeper analysis (this post is clearly just a surface-level view of who should perform better this year in a luck-neutral world), I'm not sure how it would be necessarily flawed over the course of a full season. xBABIP accounts for batted ball types so it accounts for the type of hitter that a player is... a flyball hitter would have a lower xBABIP than a slap-hitter, for instance. xBABIP should not be taken as the final say in things but it does paint a decent picture of who suffered from poor luck and who did not. Granted, I can fully agree that a full-blown analysis on a player's career would provide a much more robust picture but this is mainly just drawing attention to some of the major outliers from last year that may be worth a second look.
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Re: Comeback Players | xAVG vs AVG

Postby Ender » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:34 pm

Because xBABIP is far far from perfect as is xAVG. Look at Manny Parra and how his ERA vs component ERA's always worked. At some point you have to accept that his ERA is just going to be higher than it looks like it should be.

Teixeira is a good example, he has sort of set a new baseline at this point where you can expect his BABIP to be lower than it looks like it should. It has been like that for 3 years now, most likely because of the shift being used against him. My point was just to not expect all of these guys to improve or chalk this up to bad luck, there easily can be other explanations once you dig deeper.
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Re: Comeback Players | xAVG vs AVG

Postby luger » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:53 pm

Agreed. I wouldn't take xBABIP as the final word in any argument. It's a good impetus for further discussion and analysis though.

Teixeira is a fascinating case study himself... The shift could certainly be a reason for the BABIP drop. But, what I find most interesting about him is that he became much more of a flyball hitter in 2010 and 2011 (typically his GB/FB ratio was around 1.00 prior to joining the Yankees and then it dropped to around 0.75 in his first three years there). That would certainly suggest a change in approach which could account for his change in numbers but then 2012 seemed to be a return to form (1.04 GB/FB) but the numbers didn't follow along with it. Granted, this is just analyzing his batted ball profile (which is what xBABIP uses) but it at least shows two changes with Teixeria and if last year's change was an indication of him returning back to his old style then perhaps the change in results could be coming too. But, yes, there are significant red flags too.

As you said, there could be many explanations but xBABIP/xAVG at least helps start the discussion on who may be worth explaining.
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