Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Mariners


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Mariners Blog

Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

E-mail Geoff| Mariners Forum| RSS feeds Subscribe | Blog Home

August 7, 2008 10:12 AM

Adam Jones revisited

Posted by Geoff Baker

A year ago at this time, the debate was raging as to whether the Mariners should insert raw rookie Adam Jones into the starting lineup at the expense of any one of a number of regulars. In fact, in the history of this blog, Jones and the debates that swirl around him have generated more site traffic than any other player with less than a full season to his credit.

Well, Jones has just finished his first season in the big leagues. He has a broken foot and is almost certainly done for the season.

His final batting line?

A .279 average, .320 on-base percentage and .405 slugging percentage. He hit seven home runs and drove in 50 runs. His .725 OPS ranked 13th out of 17 major leaguers with at least 400 plate appearances at the centerfield position. Same with his home runs totals. In other words, he hasn't set the world on fire with his bat yet, much as we've seen -- albeit in fewer at-bats -- from Jeff Clement and Wladimir Balentien over here in Seattle.

Playing the kids, as we've mentioned, requires patience and isn't always the quick ticket to the playoffs.

But wait. There is a second component to what Jones does, given how he plays centerfield. His defense, naturally, has to be taken into account. The author of this very interesting Reds blog has crunched more numbers than I can fit in my brain at one time and come up with a system for ranking the overall contributions of every player. Calls it "Total Value Measures". He's adjusted it for positions as well, a centerfielder being more valuable than a first baseman defensively and such.

The numbers only run up to about two weeks ago but you get a fair indication of what Jones accomplished in his first season for the O's. By that measure, Jones is the seventh best CF in the AL. So, right in the middle. But overall, in the majors, he rated 10th best.

That's right in the top third. Not bad for a first season. So, while Jones did not threaten Joe DiMaggio on any scale, as some projections (taking artistic liberties here) might have had you thinking a year ago, he did indeed show signs of that promise projected for him. Hopefully, he recovers quickly and can put in a full season next year. Ditto on the guy the M's received in a trade for him.


The top Mariners on the list?

Adrian Beltre rates as the sixth highest all-around player in the AL. The third-best third baseman.

Ichiro comes in as the sixth best CF in the AL. Overall, he's the 21st highest rated player in the league.

Jose Lopez is next on the overall list at No. 60 and ranks 8th at his position in the AL.

There are plenty of Mariners at the bottom of the list:

Second-worst overall in the AL is Jose Vidro. Guess we know why nobody called the Mariners to trade for him

Ninth-worst is Yuniesky Betancourt. Just a notch below the 10th worst, Kenji Johjima. Balentien is right up there with the worst right fielders in the league, but we won't count him because he hasn't played enough.

But you can see why things have gone the way they have in Seattle this season.

For pitchers, both starters and relievers, Felix Hernandez is No. 5 overall in the league. Cliff Lee leads Roy Halladay by a hair at the top of the AL -- which is key for me as I have a Cy Young Award vote this year and had them Nos. 1 and 2 on my list (won't tell you what order yet).

The system being used here is a combination of runs above replacement level pitching that the hurler is worth, as well as his performance independant of fielders.

Carlos Silva comes in next, way, way down the list at No. 38. Followed by Jarrod Washburn at No. 46. Erik Bedard ranks only 57th.

This adjusts for park factors, league differences, etc. My feeling is the number of innings pitched has a lot to do with it as well since Bedard is not up there with Silva or Washburn in that regard.

Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Submit a comment

*Required Field



Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Posted by Bill

10:19 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Balentin looked pretty solid in CF yesterday from what I saw.

Posted by Get a real short stop

10:32 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Do the numbers go low enough to measure how bad Betancourt is?

Posted by Mike

10:36 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Gosh, that's bad news.

Not wanting to rehash old arguments but I think most of the artisitic liberties about what Jones was projected to do came in the form of the pro-trade crowd saying the pro-Jones folks were expecting the next Willie Mays.

During the "free Adam Jones" craze whilst Raul was struggling I think Dave Cameron guessed that Jones might put up an OPS around .720-.730 for half a season but that his defensive contribution would be worth it. I think Baltimore probably thought that up until he was injured. And keep in mind that he showed evidence he was really starting to "get it" at the plate.

Jones OPS by month this year..

April .722
May .585
June .804
July .780
Aug .909 (only 11 ABs)

The point that the keep Adam Jones crowd made was that he didn't have to be a superstar to really help the team. A guy who can put up an .800 OPS while playing an important defensive position well is really valuable and the sort of player you should build around, especially because he would be under club control for not much money so you could spend money elsewhere.

Posted by JP

10:37 AM, Aug 07, 2008

I am just excited to see the young guys out there finally! This will give them two months to showcase their abilities at the Major league level which will allow the new GM enough of a scouting report to which he can make decisions on the future direction of this team.

I have seen others comment on bringing up some of the other guys like Diaz, Frierband, RRS. I know what the two pitchers give us or potentially could give us but what is the general prognosis on Diaz? What could he bring that we don't already have on this team? First of all i just want to claim ignorance on this guy. What position does he play, would he be considered a DH or could we play him in the field. Does he project as an everyday player.

Lastly, what do we have left in AAA that people think we should bring up to showcase in the last two months of the season? Again, claiming ignorance here do we really have that much talent in AAA that would be worthwhile bringing up and supplanting any of the current players? I'll take all of your comments of the air, thanks.

Posted by BrianL

10:41 AM, Aug 07, 2008

I'm going to be very interested in seeing if Jose Lopez can continue his success at the plate through this season and into next. If he finally has turned a corner, he can shed that "Average 2B" label that's been dogging him since 2004. I'm not going to call anything definitive on him yet, but this year has been encouraging.

As for Ichiro, I imagine that if you regress his wonky April to something a little more normal, he'd be in the top 10-15 players in the AL. Since may he has hit .324, but for some reason that seems lost on a lot of people. April really skewed his numbers into something funky.

(As a side note, since Jeff Sullivan put up the "Ichiro is fine" article at LookoutLanding back in June, Ichiro is hitting something like .350)

And As for Beltre...Well, I think I've said enough concerning him this season. Easily replaceable? Nope. Should you offer a contract extension? You bet.

Posted by Klatzy

10:42 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Not only does AJ provide average offense for a CF and above average defense, but he does it at age 23.

And at league minimum.

Betancourt is -5.7 defense (in runs saved) and -4.8 offense (runs) with a +3.8 runs for playing SS, which equals -6.8 overall. Ug.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:43 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Playing the kids, as we've mentioned, requires patience and isn't always the quick ticket to the playoffs

Most fans don't want a quick ticket to the playoffs. I recall Geoff stating last year that no way the M's start two rookies in 2008. Well, that ideology cost them a top prospect in Jones.

I also think it's a bit unfair to evaluate Adam Jones right now who just turned 23 years old a few days ago.

This is the argument I had with Lord Adam earlier in the year regarding Jose Lopez. Lord Adam was basically trying to predict Lopez would suck in the middle of the order in 2008 based on his early career numbers from 2003 to 2007. I attempted to explain to Mr. Know-it-all that Lopez's numbers were skewed as a result of his developmental years of 2004 and 2005 were he hit .232 and .247 and an OBP under .300 with little power. We all have seen how Lopez has thrived in the 5 hole.

Adam Jones, 2008, is part of his developmental year. Without looking at the almighty OPS, his numbers weren't too shabby. He is going to get better and with more power and he has a quick bat to improve on his numbers going into next year.

Nothing like adding salt in the wound than rehashing Adam Jones for Erik Bedard, eh Geoff? lol.

Posted by Klatzy

10:45 AM, Aug 07, 2008

What is up with our middle infielders?

Lopez rates as -4.2 runs defense. They both suck but at least Jose Lopez has a good enough bat, at least this season to make up for it.

Posted by BrianL

10:47 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Klatzy - We'll get a more definitive picture of what his true fielding ability is once HITf/x is finally introduced (something that I am very, very, very excited about).

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:52 AM, Aug 07, 2008

I'll be sure to put "Total Value Measures" right next to how I value
"Win Shares."

There is an obvious flaw in a all-in-one formula that cites Beltre is the second best third bagger in the A.L. much less the 6th best player in the A.L.?! Ha. That is ridiculous.


Posted by BrianL

10:54 AM, Aug 07, 2008

"Most fans don't want a quick ticket to the playoffs. I recall Geoff stating last year that no way the M's start two rookies in 2008. Well, that ideology cost them a top prospect in Jones."

Not to mention Tillman, Butler, and Mickolio...

Posted by meagain

10:54 AM, Aug 07, 2008

What I like about Lopez is the solid way he gets the ball to first; unless he acquires Steve Sax disease at some point, he's solid there. On the other hand, his lack of range is stunning. Anytime he makes a nice play in the hole, I'm surprised. But as he matures, better positioning may allow him to get to more balls. He's less worrisome than Betancourt, at this point in his development.

Posted by isaac_spaceman

10:55 AM, Aug 07, 2008

But Jones's second half has been much better than his first half, and Baltimore has him under control for more than one more year.

Don't you think the Mariners would have won more games this year with Sherrill (and maybe Mickolio) in the bullpen and an OF rotation of Ibanez-Ichiro-Jones plus either Reed or Balentien? Or better yet, Ibanez at 1B and Clement and Balentien platooning at DH? And if you don't think they would have won more games this year, don't you think they would have won more next year if they had played that lineup this year?

Not realistic given who was making the decisions, I realize that.

Posted by BrianL

10:55 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating- So do you have any rational reason to despise Beltre other than the fact that Dave Cameron says he's a good thirdbaseman that will be incredibly difficult to replace?

Posted by Full Count

11:02 AM, Aug 07, 2008

How is that Nut Free section at Safeco working out?

Posted by Mike

11:16 AM, Aug 07, 2008

BrianL--Because Resin takes issue with any statistic that tries to quantify defensive value so therefore Beltre isn't that good.

I on the other hand was impressed that Beltre was rated the third best defensive player in the entire league. And Geoff, Beltre is the 3rd best third sacker behind ARod and Longoria. I'd certainly rather have Beltre than Lowell, Guillen or even Alex Gordon (he of the -10 defense).

Posted by BrianL

11:21 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Mike - And another thing, has anyone other than me taken a look at Beltre's monthly splits? May was some sort of strange black hole as far as his BABIP goes. He's been pretty darn good in every other month of the season.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:22 AM, Aug 07, 2008

BrianL- I will bite on your instigating comments.

I was ecstatic to sign Beltre in 2005. He has not lived up to being the impact hitter he was supposed to be. It has nothing to do with your constant non-cited source of information in Dave Cameron. Beltre is not below average third baseman, but to say he is the 6th best player in the American League is a delusion of grandeur. Seperate the homerism from sound baseball analysis and you will be hard pressed to find fans agreeing Beltre is the 6th best player in the A.L.

I run out names like Josh Hamilton, Grady Sizemore, Carlos Quentin, Evan Longoria, Miguel Cabrera, Vladimir Guerrero, Kevin Youkillis, A-Rod, Jermaine Dye, Justin Morneau.

And Beltre is ranked 6th among that list? Beltre isn't ven the best overall player on our team, and he's 6th in the league?
Sorry, I don't buy it. You have every right to add "Total Value Measures" to a spreadsheet on your notebook.

Longoria, Lowell, A-Rod, are better players than Beltre. Second best third bagger in the A.L.???? nonsense.

Posted by BrianL

11:25 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - Defense matters. When are you going to understand this?

Do you believe in any statistic other than wins, losses, batting average, and ERA? These are ancient metrics that have glaring, glaring flaws. Your completely irrational vitriol towards any kind of analysis that doesn't appear on ESPN or the back of a baseball card is mind boggling at times.

If you have the tools at your disposal, you should make use of them. Good teams do this.

Posted by Brian Harms

11:33 AM, Aug 07, 2008

I noticed where Adam Jones hit .326 in his last 31 games. We could sure use him.

Posted by Mike

11:34 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Actually Resin, he's third, Geoff got that wrong. And while Lowell gets help from Fenway, Beltre gets hurt by Safeco. I'd much rather have Beltre.

If you think that defense doesn't matter, you are absolutely right about Beltre. He's way down the list in offensive contribution this year. But his defense is spectacular according to this combination of defensive metrics. He, Scott Rolen and Mark Ellis are way way ahead of anyone else in the league and there is value in that. I understand you don't think you can quantify that value and that's fine but many people think you can. A run saved is just as important as a run scored. Anyway, you should take a look at the link Geoff provided. It is interesting.

Posted by Idaho Invader

11:34 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Actually I agree w/ Resin regarding Beltre THIS year at least. He hasn't been nearly as good this year. I assume that has something to do w/ his thumb injury (I think?) back in ST.

Resin also had a lot of good things to say about W-Lad long before people were wanting to see him this year. So he does know what he's talking about in many cases.

However, he knows me and him don't see eye to eye regarding Yuni. I thought this year would really show us if he was headed the right direction and ready to be a legit hitter and fulfill his defensive potential. My patience as long since past though.

Posted by Sounders

11:37 AM, Aug 07, 2008

The FO needs to go to Dumbasses Anonymous

Posted by BrianL

11:38 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Idaho Invader - Go take a look at Beltre's monthly splits:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=beltrad01&year=2008

See anything odd?

Posted by The Mariners FO.

11:41 AM, Aug 07, 2008

And just who do you think are the founding fathers of the fine org., D.A.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:41 AM, Aug 07, 2008

BrainL-I did not discount defense at all in my argument. If you value defense so much then you wouldn't have a problem replacing Raul Ibanez in left field with Randy Winn.

Go ahead and trade the league's alleged worst defensive outfielder in baseball, with a massive improvement in defense with former centerfielder in Randy Winn. Then have a press conference and explain that defense matters. Or if defense is more important, trade Ibanez for Coco Crisp and have Crisp become our new left fielder. . LOL!

Posted by Novice

11:43 AM, Aug 07, 2008

W.Bloomquist .280 .286 69 161 32 45 46 1 0 0 9 25 27 14 3 3

Willie's stats this year prove he just isnt getting the playing time her deserves. This was a guy who had as much potential as adam jones when he was in the minors, but the FO just doesnt know how to use leadership and power, and as a result he can't put up the numbers that we all know he can.

Posted by Idaho Invader

11:49 AM, Aug 07, 2008

BrianL

I noticed that he can't hit w/ RISP in close games or otherwise and hit well in April despite having fielding issues that month. Also he can't hit righties or at home worth a darn this year. But then again, that just means he fits right in, lol.

Posted by BrianL

11:50 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - I don't even know where to begin with you.

Raul Ibanez is a terrible defender in the outfield. I know it, Geoff knows it, the talking heads at ESPN knows it, Bob the peanut vendor knows it, and just about every person who posts on this blog knows it. There's no way you can make an argument that his defense doesn't hurt this team. The statistics say so, even the naked eye says so. Raul Ibanez should be a DH, where his contribution to the team is maximized and his bad glove can be eleminated. I don't see why that is such an incredibly difficult concept for you to understand.

Oh, yes I do. Because Dave Cameron said it.

Your hatred of sabermetrics is clouding your judgment on just about everything. You seem to hate it so much that it's no longer beneath you to quote things way out of context (like the Corey Patterson thing you love to incorrectly use against Adam on a regular basis). Why must you resort to every logical and argumentative fallacy in the book in order to "refute" those gosh darn nerds living in their mother's basement?

You don't see me ripping apart scouting. If you ever read anything I posted, you would know that I think baseball teams should embrace an approach that uses both sabermetric analysis and scouting, because having more tools at your disposal leads to better roster decisions.

You, on the other hand, just rip what you refuse to understand. Why are you so threatened by new ideas?

Branch Rickey was right. This sport and many of it's fans are like glaciers when it comes to change.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:50 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Idaho-I'm mailing you that Hulett jersey today, sorry I took so long buddy. Ha!

Posted by BrianL

11:51 AM, Aug 07, 2008

Idaho Invader - Check out his BABIP in the month of May. That's a case study in awful luck. Regress that to something normal, and Beltre looks more like a .275/.350/.450 player.

Posted by meagain

11:53 AM, Aug 07, 2008

I'm beginning to think that Novice is actually serious.

Re BrianL va. Resin, I like the old stats I grew up with as well as the new ones. Players like Mays, Musial, Spahn and Ford shine under any system. The new analyses are good for evaluating the middle-grounders. I like both.

This doesn't mean I'm for dogs and cats living together...

Posted by BrianL

11:58 AM, Aug 07, 2008

meagain - The old stats are good for cursory evaluation, but there are some flaws in them

BA - Often what seems to be a good batting average can hide serious problems. Remember Jose Vidro last year? That BA was spectacular. What it didn't tell you was that he was getting an inordinate amount of infield hits, and as we all know, that's not sustainable for a player like Vidro.

ERA - ERA is largely a defense-dependent metric. It doesn't do a very good job in isolating a pitcher's real performance. Jarrod Washburn is a good example of why ERA is flawed. In his final season with the Angels, he his ERA was pretty good. What that didn't tell you was that his stranded-runner rate was off-the-charts high, and that wasn't going to be sustainable. Lo and behold, the next season he regressed (much like the statheads predicted)

I recommend reading this article: http://ussmariner.com/2006/08/29/evaluating-pitcher-talent/

It changed the way I looked at pitcher evaluation.

Wins - That's predicated by way too many factors outside of a pitcher's control

The old stats can be useful, yes, but they should be used in conjunction with new stats that provide a better picture of what a hitter/pitcher can really do.

Posted by meagain

12:06 PM, Aug 07, 2008

BrianL, I'll stick with Christianity myself, but I appreciate your fervor. You're not exactly preaching to the choir, but I didn't need convincing.

Posted by BrianL

12:07 PM, Aug 07, 2008

meagain - Cute. I see what you did there.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

12:07 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Raul's defense isn't hurting the team on a daily basis. There's no question his lack of range makes him a below average defender, and a move to DH is sensible. However, Raul's lack of range did not make Carlos Silva suck this year,

Raul Ibanez's lack of range did not make Erik Bedard injured, Raul Ibanez's lack of range did not cause Jarrod Washburn not to have an out pitch to use when he is ahead in the count with 2 strikes and throws a predictable below average fastball.

If Raul Ibanez could not read a flyball, and every line drive hit to Raul became extra base hits. You would have a strong argument that Ibanez is a huge liability to the club in left field. In the real world of baseball, Raul Ibanez is not a major liability defensively that is causing the team to lose games.

Your defense is more important than offense argument is absurd and an extreme exaggeration made my saberheads. Just as absurd as believing the M's would be better today with Corey Patterson (.191/.221/.338) in left field replacing Raul Ibanez.

There are players who are defensive liabilities. See Mike Morse. That guy is so bad in the outfield, it outweighs his ability to hit for an empty high batting average. He can make such bad reads that a routine flyball becomes an extra base hit. Raul is no Mike Morse in left.

Have a great day!

Posted by BrianL

12:09 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - See, now you're putting words in my mouth again.

Where, specifically, did I say that defense was more important than offense? I want an answer to this.

Posted by BrianL

12:11 PM, Aug 07, 2008

And, one more time, here's the Corey Patterson argument!

Problem: Raul's defense and Jose Vidro's bat are awful. What's a cheap way to improve the club?

Answer: Corey Patterson. His defense is great, but his bat is awful. Sign him, play him in left, move Raul to DH where his defense can't hurt the team.

Why is this so incredibly difficult for you to understand and why have you been quoting it out of context since April!?

Posted by scottM

12:12 PM, Aug 07, 2008

"Oh Happy, Happy Felix day!
We're gonna stomp on lowly Tampa Bay,"
we sing while on our way.

Watch out for wild Buffaloes in the North Cascades,
Watch out for Washburn and Guillén trades.

But we sing all the way to the Safe today,
"Watch out you low-budget Devil Rays
Oh Happy, Happy Felix day!"

Posted by Idaho Invader

12:13 PM, Aug 07, 2008

LOL Resin regading Tuggles. You know this organization hates lefties who can walk every now and then (Wilkerson/Norton) ;-)

Brian L...I think most of Beltre's "bad luck" hitting has to do w/ virtually every game swinging at garbage either over his head or low and in the dirt.

Posted by BrianL

12:14 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Idaho Invader- PitchF/X begs to differ with you.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:15 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Would Beltre have ranked even higher if he went on the DL to heal his thumb? His thumb injury has to have knocked quite a bit off of his average and power numbers. Why they didn't put him on the DL starting around the ASB, when it was obvious the season was done, is beyond me.

But then, Bedard should have gone to the DL a week or two earlier than he did, and Batista should have been shut down for the year a month and a half ago.

Posted by BrianL

12:16 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Chris from Bothell - If I understand the formulas correctly, Beltre would rank lower if he went on the DL.

Posted by Adam

12:19 PM, Aug 07, 2008

This is the argument I had with Lord Adam earlier in the year regarding Jose Lopez. Lord Adam was basically trying to predict Lopez would suck in the middle of the order in 2008 based on his early career numbers from 2003 to 2007. I attempted to explain to Mr. Know-it-all that Lopez's numbers were skewed as a result of his developmental years of 2004 and 2005 were he hit .232 and .247 and an OBP under .300 with little power. We all have seen how Lopez has thrived in the 5 hole.


And Resin yet again manages to mischaracterize an opposing argument. Boys and girls, this is what we call a "Straw Man."

Now all we need is Mr. X and we could formally convene a conference entitled "Logical Fallacies and You; How to Lose All Credibility in One Little Post."


My argument was simple - You don't put Lopez in the 5 hole just because that's where he does best when hitting with men on, or RISP, or whatever the measure was. Because there were better hitters on the team in such situations, and better hitters period, my argument was simple: Lopez shouldn't be the 5 hitter in this lineup.

He had an OPS of .849 w/RISP in 2006, but that dropped to a ghastly .633 in 2007. If we are weighing past performance properly, 2007 is a bit more relevant that 2006. Lopez had not yet shown in his career that he could be a dependable middle of the order bat. Doesn't mean he won't turn into such a hitter, but he hadn't yet.

So far, in 104 ABs in the 5 hole in 2008, he's doing great. That's wonderful. Let's see him keep it up. So far, he's breaking with the trends of 2006 and 2007 and actually hitting well in the second half.


But let's not let Resin's logical fallacies get in the way again.


And BTW - Beltre is good (much better than this board gives him credit for) - but hes' not the best 3B in the AL, or the 6th best player in the league.

Posted by Idaho Invader

12:21 PM, Aug 07, 2008

BrianL, you aren't seriously be asking me to buy into a system that says Beltre DOESN'T swing at bad balls are ya?

Or are you saying he hasn't done that as much lately?

Just checkin'

Posted by Adam

12:22 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Brian L...I think most of Beltre's "bad luck" hitting has to do w/ virtually every game swinging at garbage either over his head or low and in the dirt.

Considering he's hitting the ball as hard (LDs) as he has ever before, and swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone since 2005, I think you are wrong.


Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

12:25 PM, Aug 07, 2008

BrianL- my last post of the day, Make sure and re-read it.

Where, specifically, did I say that defense was more important than offense?

This is where you said it.....

Answer: Corey Patterson. His defense is great, but his bat is awful. Sign him, play him in left, move Raul to DH where his defense can't hurt the team.

You are basically saying that Corey Patterson's offense (.191/.221/.338) is of no consequence to the team since his defense is great and better than Raul's defense. You said it.
That is saying you believe in your mind, that Corey's bat is acceptable as a starting player in Major League Baseball (for a veteran player i might add), and that his defense is more valuable since it is "great" and outweighs his deficiency in hitting a baseball.

I strongly disagree and most rational fans will also see my perspective.

P.S.

There is absolutely zero scouting analysis included in your link above on how to evaluate a pitcher. It looks like your source of ideas and information does not practice what you preach in the blending of sabermetrics and scouting.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:25 PM, Aug 07, 2008

scottM -

It's Felix Day, It's Felix Day,
Hip hipp hooray it's Felix Day,
It's Felix Day, It's Felix Day,
Glory alleluia, It's Felix Day

I'm a Mariner fan and I can't complain
Just gimme Felix, Raul - and 4 days of rain!
It's Felix Day, It's Felix Day,
Let's go out to the park - it's-a-Felix-daaaaaaaaaaay!

Posted by BrianL

12:27 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Idaho Invader - PITCHf/x is actually a system of high-speed cameras that tracks where a pitch crosses the zone (now in place in all 30 ballparks and officially endorsed by major league baseball). It also tells you what kind of pitches a hitter swings at. It's not exactly one of those spreadsheet formulas.

This season, Beltre has cut down on "bad" swings and is swinging at far more pitches in the zone. His contact rate is up, his pitch recognition appears to be a good deal better.

Remember, subjective analysis can be easily influenced.

Posted by Adam

12:27 PM, Aug 07, 2008

And Resin - you miss the point, AGAIN.


We aren't replacing Ibanez with Patterson. We are replacing Ibanez's glove and Vidro's bat with Patterson. Get it?


And of course, your whole point is moot since Patterson's numbers were not this bad earlier in the year, when we pushed for his addition.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:27 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Idaho Invader - Beltre's "bad luck" is spelled b-r-o-k-e-n t-h-u-m-b.

Posted by BrianL

12:30 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating -

Oh my God you have to be kidding me. Did I explicitly say in that post that defense is more important than offense!? You are a case-study in argumentative fallacies.

Patterson and Vidro are essentially a wash as far as hitting goes. Raul to DH takes his glove out of the equation. Patterson's defense is a net improvement overall.

I give up. There is no reasoning with you.

I am sick and tired of you accusing me of saying things I've never said. Your only weapons seem to be ad-hominem attacks and red-herring deflections. My high school English teacher would have had an absolute field day with you.

Posted by Scanman

12:40 PM, Aug 07, 2008


If I may chime in with my two cents worth, BrianL on your11:58 post you alluded to the fact that BA can hide serious problems.
But If you were to look at all the facts given on the back of a baseball card you could readily determine that he had too many singles and not enough power to be an effective DH.
Another thing about those stats, cards only came out once a year so it was never a small sampling of what a player did, but a full season or seasons.

Posted by BrianL

12:43 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Scanman - Oh, I'm in complete agreement. There's plenty of reasons as to why Jose Vidro was a terrible DH that can be explained without sabermetric numbers. Just the raw counting stats were pretty damning.

I think a better case in point would have been Al Martin. Remember that shiny .303 batting average he had when we traded for him?

Posted by Idaho Invader

12:53 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Regarding Beltre,

So does this pitch recognition/analysis thingy say Beltre is swinging at less bad balls this year FOR HIM or not that much compared to anyone?

I guess I could buy that he may be doing it less than usual FOR HIM. But it would be hard to believe that compared to all other players he isn't swinging at garbage very often.

Posted by 11Records

1:10 PM, Aug 07, 2008

1) How is Silva that far up the list? That's shocking. More shocking than Beltre being 6th best.

2) We all know that you're voting for Roy Halladay, Geoff.

Posted by fartus

1:10 PM, Aug 07, 2008

MIKE you really are just a silly little girl

Posted by assinine

1:15 PM, Aug 07, 2008

How many clones are there? Judging by the writing analysis there are about 3 guys with 5 handles each...GET LIVES!!

Posted by Mike

1:18 PM, Aug 07, 2008

"There is absolutely zero scouting analysis included in your link above on how to evaluate a pitcher. It looks like your source of ideas and information does not practice what you preach in the blending of sabermetrics and scouting."

Really? This is what your argument boils down to? An article on how to evaluate pitching statistics doesn't mention scouts so you dismiss it even though that same author has said countless times that scouting is important?

Here's the thing Resin. I think the tradionalist viewpoint is worth hearing and contrasting with newer tools of evaluation. And while I think the newer stats give us greater insight they certainly don't tell us everything. Even PITCHfx won't tell us if a pitcher happens to hide the ball well or have a deceptive delivery or is changing his grip or arm angle.

But try to bring something to the table other than insults and mischaracterizing others arguments. When cornered you tend to either name-call or accuse Dave Cameron of thinking for people. I say defense is important and save runs. Do you agree with this?

Posted by DC

1:22 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Resin, BrianL, Idaho Invader, Adam,

Yaaawwwnnn.....

At least a few people on this blog are excited that Felix is pitching today. I know I am.

Posted by JP

1:42 PM, Aug 07, 2008

I think Mike and BrianL sound eerily the same. I smell a conspiracy brewing!

Posted by scottM

1:46 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Chris of B-

We'll be dining on Devil Ray
Oh, happy, happy, Felix Day!!!!

Posted by Mike

1:50 PM, Aug 07, 2008

JP-Nope. But thanks for the compliment.

Posted by Lance

1:54 PM, Aug 07, 2008

To simply look at AJ's 2008 season as a whole is a mistake to appreciating just how much the M's gave up when they traded him.

More to the point is that he followed up a .226avg/.273 slpct May with a .323 average in June, and a July with 19 runs scored with 19 RBIs.

And, that doesn't even speak to his other intangibles that O's fans love about him. Besides his physical tools he's intelligent and maintains a level of emotional composure.

The M's lose big time if it was only a straight Bedard for Jones deal. Add in George Sherrill and Chris Tillman, who the O's are very excited about, and it becomes the worse trade in Mariners history, beating out the infamous Lowe/Varitek for Slocumb trade.

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

1:59 PM, Aug 07, 2008

"Willie's stats this year prove he just isnt getting the playing time her deserves. This was a guy who had as much potential as adam jones when he was in the minors, but the FO just doesnt know how to use leadership and power, and as a result he can't put up the numbers that we all know he can."

..............................I don't even know where to start. Are you Willie's mom or something?

Posted by Arnold

2:00 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Anything to defend the front office, eh Geoff? you might as well be on their payroll. Jones is 23, cheap and performing better than most of our roster, dont forget about tillman and sherrill.

Posted by Lance

2:01 PM, Aug 07, 2008

As to determining a hitter's value I'd be much more impressed by what a hitters's stats are when you remove plate appearances where the team is more than three runs down or three runs up. In that case I suspect Beltre's productivity would fall quite a bit while Jose's would increase quite a bit.

It's not just what one does. It's when they do it. Timing is everything.

Posted by scottM

2:03 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Lance,

If Bedard were to sign a longer term contract with the M's AND stay healthy, the jury would still be out on the Jones/Bedard trade. BTW, both are in the same place right now––on the DL.

Posted by Idaho Invader

2:05 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Lets have a contest:

What is worse?

A. Willie's slugging %

B. Yuni's OBP

C. Raul's Fielding Range

D. Batista's pitching

Posted by Munchy

2:06 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Bedard and Jones are on the downlow? Together?

Posted by Mike

2:19 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Lance---A lot of time and brainpower has gone into studying if there is any such thing as being a clutch hitter and the answer is there really isn't. Beltre's career OPS is .784 and his career OPS w/RISP is .786.

His results w/RISP this year have been down but we're only judging on 116 at bats. I think it is more likely this is random fluctuaction than Beltre suddenly forgetting how to hit in the clutch but remembering how to hit the rest of the time.

Posted by Judge and Jury

2:29 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Brian and Resin are just some old married couple that like to fight. Please ignore them. When you're in love, you can't explain everything sometimes.

Posted by tomas

2:30 PM, Aug 07, 2008

jones is one of the worst cf in the AL as geoff pointed out, BIG LOSS LOL!!!!!! LIKE WE NEED MORE WORSER PLAYERS?!?!

Posted by Faceplant

2:40 PM, Aug 07, 2008

"Raul's defense isn't hurting the team on a daily basis. There's no question his lack of range makes him a below average defender, and a move to DH is sensible. However, Raul's lack of range did not make Carlos Silva suck this year,"

Given that a lack of range turns into fewer balls in play turned into outs a logical argument can be made that bad defense is part of the reason why Carlos Silva sucks.

"Your defense is more important than offense argument is absurd and an extreme exaggeration made my saberheads."

Nobody ever said that and you know it. Apparently you've decided that you can't win an argument without lying.

Pitching is a component to run prevention, as is defense. Pitchers don't prevent runs entirely on their own.

And about Corey Patterson. His bat is not as bad as Resin wants to pretend it is. Yes, he's hovering around a .190 AVG. He also has a BABIP of .190. That's completely unsustainable, and will go WAY up.

I've always thought it was funny how people like Resin tell us that statistics are flawed because it doesn't measure the intangibles (like gee, I don't know...luck?). Then they ridicule statheads for attributing something to luck.

Luck plays a real part in every game. You would think the "traditional" fans would understand that better than anyone else.

Posted by Ziasudra

2:47 PM, Aug 07, 2008

To Lance @2:01, on Beltre - I agree with you on Beltre's non-performance in clutch, game winning winning situations - he has not been up to snuff. Notwithstanding the HR that was caught by Span yesterday. He does not consistently help us win. Sexson was much worse. Sexson had only one significant tie breaking HR, and unfortunately, the BP blew the save (must have been back in April)
But, back to Beltre - the thought struck me in Wednesday's game, on how to characterize him "If Beltre swung only at strikes, he would have atrophied by now."

CAN'T YOU JERKS FIX THAT CAPTCHA? IT TIMES OUT IN LESS THAN TWO MINUTES!! i CAN'T EVEN TYPE IN ONE PARAGRAPH IN THAT TIME!!!!

Posted by Scanman

2:49 PM, Aug 07, 2008

I take it davis that you have never played 3rd base at a high level. If you had you wouldn’t make such a comment. He has above average reflexes, an above average arm and I believe his thumb is the main reason for the down year at the plate. A year from now we will know if that is true or not.

Posted by davis

2:52 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Find me one baseball analyst or scout who thinks beltre doesnt suck? i'll give you 10 minutes.

Posted by Faceplant

2:53 PM, Aug 07, 2008

"I agree with you on Beltre's non-performance in clutch, game winning winning situations - he has not been up to snuff. Notwithstanding the HR that was caught by Span yesterday. He does not consistently help us win."

Sigh... Nothing tht people say on this blog suprises me anymore.

Posted by DC

2:56 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Mike,
OK. You mistakenly equated avg or OPS with RISP with being a good hitter in the clutch. If you look back at Lance's comment, you'll see that he wasn't even talking about RISP in the first place. He spoke of comparing a player's performance in a game 3 runs or closer to his performance in a game that was out of hand. Now I don't know if 3 runs would be where I'd draw the line, but this still aludes to a talent that you just ignored.

It's possible that there is convincing data to show that this also is not a talent--that hitting is hitting regardless of inning, lead or no lead, RISP or bases empty. I am not going to proclaim that is or isn't.

However, I am comfortable saying that there definitely are batters who feast on crummy pitchers and can't hit a good pitcher worth a d*mn (Alfonso Soriano for example) and there are guys who seem to hit .250-.260 regardless of who they're facing.

Posted by Mike

2:56 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Scanman--His thumb might well be hurting him but he's hitting more line drives this year. Hard to say. HIs RISP numbers are indeed bad but again with those line drives finding gloves.

I don't have time to look now but I read recently that the MLB batting average for line drives is over .600. For GBs and FBs, under .200. Beltre's BABIP is really down this year, so I'm guessing it is just bad luck...but who knows, with the terrible offense around him maybe he was pressing and swinging at bad balls in key situations.

Posted by meagain

2:57 PM, Aug 07, 2008

BrianL, a work break finally allowed me to read that article. Nothing new or counter-intuitive there. If you love numbers, it gives you a good place to go find 'em.

I use numbers to separate fact from opinion when I post here. The numbers are fact, as far as the past is concerned. What I think might happen in a given future scenario is my opinion, and I throw that out there from time to time. The numbers don't establish facts about the future. They just aid in prediction. A sore shoulder, a broken foot, or a spouse who refuses to come out to Seattle for the summer for that matter, can overrule the numbers. So I take it all with a grain of salt.

The reason I enjoy sports is because I DON'T know what's going to happen on a given day. Maybe Yuniesky Betancourt will go up to bunt and walk on four pitches; it really could happen.

Posted by Scanman

2:59 PM, Aug 07, 2008


Better yet, would you find me some that do. I am I admit no wizard on the computer and don’t spend much time researching what others say about Beltre. I try to form my opinions from directly observing him

Posted by Mike

3:03 PM, Aug 07, 2008

DC---You are correct that I ignored the run differential part of the argument. I think the clutch hitting studies took into account situation but I'm not sure. I dalso don't have time to link to the work as I have to run. Perhaps someone more knowledgable can chime in.

But do be careful of thinking there is such a thing as pressure hitters. Based on my perception, I think Doug Strange is one of the greatest clutch hitters in history. Betcha the facts disagree. And then there is Edgar's double...I think Edgar is a great clutch hitter but most likely because he's a great hitter.

Posted by Scanman

3:08 PM, Aug 07, 2008


To all the stat people, I’ll admit I don’t understand a lot of it. I’m interested though in what every one has to say. Is there a stat that shows how many times a year a player strikes out vs. his number of at bats? This should be a front line stat because it will show whether or not a player is putting the ball in play.

Posted by Klatzy

3:25 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Scanman http://www.fangraphs.com/ will show you what percentage of time each batter strikes out, walks, etc. And you can sort by season, last 30 days, year, and compare players.

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

3:31 PM, Aug 07, 2008

The notion that Beltre is a bust is laughable. Do a little research before putting forth such a ridiculous claim.

Posted by ancient mariner

3:33 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Sherrill made the All-Star team, Jones is a blossoming star and the Orioles also got a couple of pitching prospects......all for lame-armed Erika Bedard. Conehead Bavasi at his finest hour!

Posted by Scanman

3:43 PM, Aug 07, 2008


Thanks Klatzy, so if I interpret the info correctly, Beltre only strikes out once every 5.76 times at bat. To me this shows that he is making a lot of Contac. Because of my age I would next scan a BB.Card for his hits, doubles, homers and rbi’s. Then look at his averages over the years. Then check out his weight and see if he is getting a lot heavier over time. These were the stats I used in my youth to determine if I wanted him on my team.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

3:48 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Mike - notion of clutch hitting was disproved in one statistical analysis in The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball . They studied 4 or 5 season's worth of data from around '99 - '04 and concluded that good hitters in clutch situations by and large also tended to be good hitters overall.

Posted by Lance

4:00 PM, Aug 07, 2008

"If Bedard were to sign a longer term contract with the M's AND stay healthy, the jury would still be out on the Jones/Bedard trade. BTW, both are in the same place right now––on the DL." -- scottM

I'll take your DL crack as a joke. However, I'm much more concerned over a pitcher with a shoulder problem and a long history of injuries than a player who simply fouled a ball off his foot and broke it. That'll heal.

And, if this team signs Bedard to alonger term contract it's only going to make a bad situation much worse. Why pay the guy as if he's a top starter when he's nothing of the sort? He's MOTO at best. Let another team overpay him and get what you can for him.

Mike--I'm not even as concerned with a hitter's performance w/RISP as I am with his performance when his team is in a close game, i.e. three runs or less differential. It's not the same thing. If a guy knocks in two runs with his team down by eight or ten versus what he does when the game is close is what I'm referring to.

Posted by DC

4:02 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Bothell Chris,
Define clutch hittting.

My point is that whether you believe clutch hitting exists or not, it is true that the the likelihood of facing Mariano Rivera when down 6 runs to the Yankees is considerably lower than the likelihood of facing him when down by a run in the 9th in a playoff game.

So what we call "clutch hitting" more often than not refers to facing a pitcher like Mariano Rivera instead of a non-clutch hitting situation like facing Jared Wells in the 8th inning of a 7-3 ballgame. And facing a focused Rivera is a very different thing than the scrawny Mr. Wells. There are batters who feast on pitchers like Wells and can't do squat against Rivera.

Why does A-Rod fail so miserably in the playoffs? Can it really just be coincidence after so many seasons? Or is it that he pads his numbers against lackluster pitching?

Posted by Mr. X

4:13 PM, Aug 07, 2008

LOL

The "Adam argument" against Lopez hitting 5th was classic. He argued that the guys hitting 3rd and 4th would be better 5 hole hitters, so Lopez shouldn't hit in that position. So who would hit 3rd or 4th instead of those players? Still waiting for that answer.

It's pretty obvious that Adam and others have been victimized by the fantasy baseball mentality of today's fan.

Posted by Nick in pdx

4:18 PM, Aug 07, 2008

"The point that the keep Adam Jones crowd made was that he didn't have to be a superstar to really help the team. A guy who can put up an .800 OPS while playing an important defensive position well is really valuable and the sort of player you should build around, especially because he would be under club control for not much money so you could spend money elsewhere."

Now THERE's a reasonable argument for keeping an Adam Jones that does not rely on selective endpoints and measures.

Posted by DC

4:25 PM, Aug 07, 2008

WSUx3. The epitome of ignorance. (and I mean that as a compliment)

Posted by meagain

4:38 PM, Aug 07, 2008

It's still bright outside; why are the trolls out so early?

Posted by Adam

4:49 PM, Aug 07, 2008

The "Adam argument" against Lopez hitting 5th was classic. He argued that the guys hitting 3rd and 4th would be better 5 hole hitters, so Lopez shouldn't hit in that position. So who would hit 3rd or 4th instead of those players? Still waiting for that answer.

It's pretty obvious that Adam and others have been victimized by the fantasy baseball mentality of today's fan.


Oh, darn it. Too bad Resin isn't here. We could have our logical fallacies seminar up and running. Tell you what, X, since you are so good at ad hominem attacks, why don't you just take that topic, and we'll leave straw men to Resin. Sound good?


Since you never brought up the "who is going to hit 3 or 4?" argument before, I'm a bit surprised that you all of a sudden bring it up before as a rebuttal, but of course, this is Mr. X we are talking about.

As you may recall, at that time several hitters in the lineup, including Wilkerson, Sexson, Ibanez, and Beltre were each better over their careers w/RISP. Each were better hitters, period. That's four hitters right there. Since we only need to fill up three spots (3, 4, 5), I'm not really seeing the problem.

Of course, with another 80 games or so under his belt, I think Lopez is showing he's becoming more capable of becoming a middle of the order bat (although in a REAL lineup, I wouldn't have him hitting there), and I hope he continues to get better, making this argument moot.


Feel free to commence with the personal attacks in your attempt to discredit my point. We're all taking notes...

Posted by Pirata Morado

4:51 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Lets have a contest:

What is worse?

A. Willie's slugging %

B. Yuni's OBP

C. Raul's Fielding Range

D. Batista's pitching

E. Beltre's clutch hitting skills.

Posted by Mr. X

4:52 PM, Aug 07, 2008

So you're on record, again, that the 2008 editions of Sexson and Wilkerson were better options? That brings the number back down to 2.

You discredit yourself with bizarre arguments like that. No need to comment further, thank you for your quick reply.

Posted by Bum Knee McGee

4:56 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Last Sunday on 60 minutes, Bill James admitted that he is having to re-think the " There is no such thing as a clutch hitter " argument.

Does anyone else here wish we could strand Mr. X, Resin, BrianL, and Adam together on a deserted island far, far away?

Posted by miscreant

4:57 PM, Aug 07, 2008

DEFINE CLUTCH HITTING:

1988 NL MVP Kirk Gibson

Game one of the World Series October 15th1988

Dodgers trailing the A's 4-3 in the 9th. Mike Davis on 1B. HOF Eckersley on the mound. A limping, injured Kirk Gibson jacked a 3-2 slider out of the park. Dodgers win 5-4.

THAT is clutch hitting

for all you non believers STFU!

Posted by Adam

5:00 PM, Aug 07, 2008

So you're on record, again, that the 2008 editions of Sexson and Wilkerson were better options? That brings the number back down to 2.

In late April or May, when this was discussed - yes. Now, of course not.


But why let a little detail such as context get in the way, right?

Posted by kaseyswagger

5:03 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Adam JOnes has had a very solid rookie year and has done way more for his team then Erik Bedard has done for his.

This trade was even worse then Soriano for Ho-ram.Bavasi should not be getting a job any time soon.

Posted by tikal002

5:11 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Sorry, but you missed the critical factor with the rookie Adam Jones. Yes he averaged .279, better than all but Ichoro and Lopez, but he struggled his first two months, since June first he is batting over .300!! That is fantastic for a rookie !! His power numbers are heating up too.

Posted by Sounders

5:16 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Beltre might not be one of the Goof's biggest problems,but you don't see any players, not one, from the Red Sox, Angels,or any real team swinging at pitches three feet over their heads.

You don't see them flailing at bad first pitches either (Yuni), you don't hardly even see the reaching.

Posted by Sounders

5:18 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Beltre might not be one of the Goof's biggest problems,but you don't see any players, not one, from the Red Sox, Angels,or any real team swinging at pitches three feet over their heads.

You don't see them flailing at bad first pitches either (Yuni), you don't hardly even see them reaching.

Posted by NB

5:19 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Hello all,

I just wanted to check in with Mr. Isn't Cheating to see how his scouting projection for Wlad of .280/.350/.480 is going. Seeing as how, you know, many statheads predicted struggles for him upon his call up and we all know they are idiots who know nothing of the intricate nuances that go into talent evaluation. So I expect Wlad to put up about a /.350/.450/.690 run here to get up to your projections.

Your thoughts?

Posted by Adam

5:26 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Adam Jones has a .797 OPS since June 1. He's got the fourth-best Zone Rating among ALL regular CFs in baseball. He's 23. He's cheap. He's concquered every level that he's played at. He's by all accounts a hard-worker with a great attitude.

So while we don't know for sure what Jones will end up doing, the Orioles have to be awfully thrilled with the move. Regardless of what Sherrill has done, and what Chris Tillman is doing. Jones by himself is making it a big win for the Orioles.

Recent entries

Aug 15, 08 - 05:12 PM
Thoughts from Pelekoudas

Aug 15, 08 - 04:46 PM
Game thread, Aug. 15, Mariners vs. Twins

Aug 15, 08 - 04:37 PM
Bonser rumor shot down

Aug 15, 08 - 02:35 PM
Washburn: "I'm disappointed"

Aug 15, 08 - 10:41 AM
Why Twins wanted Washburn

Advertising

Marketplace

Advertising

Advertising

Categories
Calendar

August

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
Browse the archives

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

Advertising

Buy a link here