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Bill James' projections -- did you guys see this?

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Postby Pogotheostrich » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:30 pm

Erboes wrote:All your little numbers fail to tell you one thing with Beltre, and that is he learned how to hit. He shortened his swing and worked the zone better, which is something you guys are overlooking.
He shortened his swing but I don't think he worked the zone any better. Here are his #P/PA for the last 3 years: 3.75, 3.8, and 3.74. For his career it is 3.77. Plus his walks per AB didn't increase as much as you would expect for someone hitting as well as him. Just pitchers pitching around him more should have bumped it up some. He wasn't more selective he just hit better. He was almost 100 points in AVG and 200 points in SLG. If he can keep those up then he will repeat but I expect some regression and a OPS around .900
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:32 pm

Erboes wrote:
GotowarMissAgnes wrote:In other words, how often does a young player with a few years under his belt post a big BA/SLG spike and then regress to about halfway between that spike and his past level?

You just don't have time enough for me to document how frequently that happens.

Beltre is a good player. Even with that regression, he's among the top players.

But, it's very likely he'll be 100 or so points of OPS below last year (unless he moves to a good hitter's park).


We'll let you do the homework, Agnes. The truth is, most of your present day stars have had a spike in average and slugging because most struggle somewhat when they first come up. When that surge happens comes at different times and at different ages. Hell, it took Bonds until he was 28 until he did it. Don't act like Beltre is any different than most every other present day superstar. Sure, there are exceptions, but since you can name only a few it proves my point. Could Beltre be an exception? Sure, but it isn't the money play to think so.


I agree that Beltre is not different from any other player. I'm afraid that it is you guys who are claiming that Beltre is the exception, not me. Many guys with his history revert to a high 800s to low 900s OPS, not sustaining a 1.000+ OPS.

Santo tops 962 at age 24 and has only one other season in his career over 950
Sierra tops 890 at 23 (before most recent hitting spike) and only two other years over 850.
Glaus 1.008 at age 23, only one other year so far over .900
ARam, 886 at age 23, followed by two down years until last year.
Hidalgo 1.028 at age 25. Just one season over 811 since.

Beltre will post very good numbers---860 is nothing to get upset about from 3B--but I seriously doubt he'll come close to matching last year. The rule is in MY favor, not yours, Erboes. Players who have low performance followed by spikes tend to regress to their mean. Players that have a history of sustained high performance tend to sustain it. Contrast A-Rod or Pujols to Beltre.

Even your comparison of Bonds is wrong-headed, because it fails to take into account his full range of performance. You point to his age 28 season, where his OPS+ was 206. The year before it was 205. The year before that it was 161. The year before that it was 170. 125, 147, 114, 103 in his earliest years.

Beltre's line, on the other hand, looks like this: 74, 100, 116, 93,98,89, 163.

Now, those aren't comparables. One is an essentially good player (he's about average, but that's good for as young as he is), who had a spike and is likely to regress The other is a great player who is likely to continue to be great.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:34 pm

I would really like to see a comprehensive study done on player injuries and tagging certain players "injury prone". Im at the point now where I truly think trying to project injuries is one of the most common mistakes made in fantasy sports in general. To me, there is a very very small number of players that I would consider injury prone - for example Austin Kearns, JD Drew, and Josh Beckett are not on my injury prone list even though they have a history of injuries.

Like I said in my post GTWMA - you have to have a balance between technical analysis (what happened) and fundamental anaylsis (why did it happen that way), and it seems to me you are placing your theories fully in a technical basket. Just something to think about.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:42 pm

A little quiz...

Of the 15 other players who posted a 1.000+ OPS in any of the last three years, how many of them had, like Beltre, three years with 300+PAs, in which they were below average in their OPS+? (While a few of these players did not start their careers until age 24, most of them began between at ages 21 or 22)

How many of those players had 2 years where they had 300+ PA and were below league average OPS+?

How many had one or fewer?

Which of these players is the exception to the rule?
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Postby Erboes » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:45 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:A little quiz...

Of the 15 other players who posted a 1.000+ OPS in any of the last three years, how many of them had, like Beltre, three years with 300+PAs, in which they were below average in their OPS+? (While a few of these players did not start their careers until age 24, most of them began between at ages 21 or 22)

How many of those players had 2 years where they had 300+ PA and were below league average OPS+?

How many had one or fewer?

Which of these players is the exception to the rule?


We have no time for your silly games, Agnes. If you have a point to make, make it.
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Postby Mookie4ever » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:46 pm

Unless an injury is chronic, the player is very old, plays a style that is condusive to injury or has shown that he cannot play through pain then you just have to take injury out of the equation. There is no way that you can predict it.

As for Beltre, it was a medical procedure/illness that was not baseball related. He had an emergency appendectomy in the DR that was botched and had to be fixed months later. He lost a full year (and I would say even regressed) because of the damage that it did to him. It's kind of like Greg Ostertagg when he donated a kidney - you can't call him injury prone because he donated a kidney.
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Postby Erboes » Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:00 pm

Why don't we cut to the chase, Agnes. Where do you think Beltre should go in a mixed draft considering he was a top 5 hitter last season? Which players would you take ahead of him?

The funny thing, Agnes, as a general rule I agree with you. I have a range that I work with aroung a player which I consider his norm. There's nothing uncommon to have a player be +/- .100 in OPS, for example, and I base my projections accordingly. I think where we differ is when a player breaks out of that +/- .100 norm. I tend to look to see what has changed with that hitter whereas you assume it was an aberration. In the case of Beltre, I find it hard if not impossible to claim an aberration since his OPS jump about .300. This does not happen often and when it does it is rarely a blip. You disagree, so let us see how this plays out.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:02 pm

Just wondering what everyone else predicts, assuming he stays in LA? Here is the James projection: Beltre .287 34 .866
I'd bump it up to around .310 35 .900 but that is based more on a guess than any formula.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:38 pm

Erboes wrote:
GotowarMissAgnes wrote:A little quiz...

Of the 15 other players who posted a 1.000+ OPS in any of the last three years, how many of them had, like Beltre, three years with 300+PAs, in which they were below average in their OPS+? (While a few of these players did not start their careers until age 24, most of them began between at ages 21 or 22)

How many of those players had 2 years where they had 300+ PA and were below league average OPS+?

How many had one or fewer?

Which of these players is the exception to the rule?


We have no time for your silly games, Agnes. If you have a point to make, make it.


Simple. None of the players who have posted a 1.000+ OPS over the last three years, had a three year period where they were below league average. Only two of them even had two seasons of where they were below average.

Contrary to what you claim, Erboes, most of these players who have sustained great levels of performance started off as above league average players, and then steadily grew to great performance.

Beltre, on the other hand, started out a little above average, then tanked for three consecutive years (the first man in history with a THREE YEAR appendix problem!!). Then, he has a spike, which is almost entirely due to an increased batting average, one of the batting stats most likely to be influenced by flukes.

One of these things is not like the others, gang. Beltre is a good to very good player who had a great season, not a great player.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:42 pm

Mookie4ever wrote:Unless an injury is chronic, the player is very old, plays a style that is condusive to injury or has shown that he cannot play through pain then you just have to take injury out of the equation. There is no way that you can predict it.

As for Beltre, it was a medical procedure/illness that was not baseball related. He had an emergency appendectomy in the DR that was botched and had to be fixed months later. He lost a full year (and I would say even regressed) because of the damage that it did to him. It's kind of like Greg Ostertagg when he donated a kidney - you can't call him injury prone because he donated a kidney.


Simply not true. Injuries are highly correlated from year to year. Look at DL days from year to year. You'll find the same names.

That appendix operation was in January 2001. What's his excuse in 2002? 2003?

I don't know whether he's injury prone or not. Others brought that up as an excuse for his poor performance. I find that not a credible excuse.
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