PDA

View Full Version : Joey Votto: What's luck got to do with it?



RedsManRick
06-14-2012, 06:06 PM
At the time of this post, Joey Votto is hiting .362/.485/.657. Wow.

He is by far the most complete Reds hitter I've ever seen. But he also currently sports a .428 BABIP. So obviously he's been incredibly lucky, right? Actually, no.

There's a well known rule of thumb that BABIP is roughly line drive % plus .120. So a 20% LD rate correlates to a BABIP of about .320. It's rough, but it gets you in the right ballpark. Votto's career LD rate is .247 and his career BABIP is .358 (a difference of .111). Why does this matter? Well, so far this year, Joey Votto has been a line drive machine. When he's not hitting homers, he's hitting lazers all over the place. His 33.7% LD rate is 2.3% higher than the guy who is #2 and there are only 5 guys within 6.5% of him. Crazy!

So, a 33.7% LD rate correlates to a .457 BABIP. Huh. So has he been unlucky? Maybe. Or maybe the guys who code the hits were a bit generous on his LD rate. It's still early, so there's also just a bit more noise in the data. Suffice it to say, Joey Votto doesn't have a crazy high BABIP because of bad defense, seeing eye singles and bloops. He has a crazy high BABIP because he's destroying the baseball. That's not luck.

Ok, so that means he can keep this up, right? No. Almost certainly not. And that's because even Joey Votto cannot sustain a LD% of 33.7%. It's simply beyond what we've seen anybody ever do in this era. Basically, he's been ridiculously hot and is going to come back to earth -- even if that place on earth is somewhat exalted.

Why do I say that? Well, in the history of baseball, there have been exactly 2 seasons in which a player who accumulated 500+ plate appearances put up a BABIP over .425. Both of these seasons occurred in 1911, when Ty Cobb (.444 BABIP) and Shoeless Joe Jackson (.434) destroyed the American League. 1911, baseball introduced the cork-center baseball in an attempt to increase scoring. It worked. Well. The average runs per game (per team) in AL shot up from 3.6 to 4.6 (comparable to going from the depths of the high-mound 60's to the peak of the steroids era overnight -- we're at 4.3 this year). In 1911, most fielders still used a mitt not much bigger than their hand -- the pocket was just being introduced. It was the perfect storm of two amazing hitters playing in a league with less talent, inferior fielding tools and a juiced ball.

The point is, if Votto were to sustain that BABIP over a full season, he could rightly be described as either one of the luckiest or most talented hitter who ever lived. Ted Williams capped out at a .378 BABIP in 1941. Babe Ruth had a .423 season, but his #2 season was .385. Willie Mays never went above .344. Pete Rose come in at .368. Pujols, Bonds and Junior never even sniffed the upper 300s, while captain line drive Derek Jeter never went above .391.

Because we know that there's a pretty strong relationship between BABIP and LD% and we know that the random/luck part of BABIP decreases over time, a full season of .428 in 2012 would be downright historic, virtually unbelievable comparable to just a handful of seasons that happened in a time in baseball that was much more conducive to poor defense.

I'm sure none of this is earth-shattering around here. Obviously he's been amazing and is probably going to cool off a little at some. But I wanted to draw a clean distinction. Unless you're willing to call line drives luck, votto hasn't been lucky - he's been good. Real good. But he's not sustainably that good. Nobody is. So next time you're doing some analysis and inclined to use the word luck (and sometimes it really is luck), check to see if it's actually just "unsustainably good" instead.

(I'll leave the possibility that Votto is actually the best pure hitter of the last 100 years, but I don't think that's likely...)

So who is Votto? He's pretty special. He's Rod Carew with a lot more power. He's Jeter with better plate discipline and more power. He's Todd Helton if he deserved full credit for Coors. He's not peak Pujols, Bonds or Ruth. He just doesn't have that kind of HR power/swing. But he's just 1 run down the ladder from that -- and that ain't bad.

Brutus
06-14-2012, 06:31 PM
At the time of this post, Joey Votto is hiting .362/.485/.657. Wow.

He is by far the most complete Reds hitter I've ever seen. But he also currently sports a .428 BABIP. So obviously he's been incredibly lucky, right? Actually, no.

There's a well known rule of thumb that BABIP is roughly line drive % plus .120. So a 20% LD rate correlates to a BABIP of about .320. It's rough, but it gets you in the right ballpark. Votto's career LD rate is .247 and his career BABIP is .358 (a difference of .111). Why does this matter? Well, so far this year, Joey Votto has been a line drive machine. When he's not hitting homers, he's hitting lazers all over the place. His 33.7% LD rate is 2.3% higher than the guy who is #2 and there are only 5 guys within 6.5% of him. Crazy!

So, a 33.7% LD rate correlates to a .457 BABIP. Huh. So has he been unlucky? Maybe. Or maybe the guys who code the hits were a bit generous on his LD rate. It's still early, so there's also just a bit more noise in the data. Suffice it to say, Joey Votto doesn't have a crazy high BABIP because of bad defense, seeing eye singles and bloops. He has a crazy high BABIP because he's destroying the baseball. That's not luck.

Ok, so that means he can keep this up, right? No. Almost certainly not. And that's because even Joey Votto cannot sustain a LD% of 33.7%. It's simply beyond what we've seen anybody ever do in this era. Basically, he's been ridiculously hot and is going to come back to earth -- even if that place on earth is somewhat exalted.

Why do I say that? Well, in the history of baseball, there have been exactly 2 seasons in which a player who accumulated 500+ plate appearances put up a BABIP over .425. Both of these seasons occurred in 1911, when Ty Cobb (.444 BABIP) and Shoeless Joe Jackson (.434) destroyed the American League. 1911, baseball introduced the cork-center baseball in an attempt to increase scoring. It worked. Well. The average runs per game (per team) in AL shot up from 3.6 to 4.6 (comparable to going from the depths of the high-mound 60's to the peak of the steroids era overnight -- we're at 4.3 this year). In 1911, most fielders still used a mitt not much bigger than their hand -- the pocket was just being introduced. It was the perfect storm of two amazing hitters playing in a league with less talent, inferior fielding tools and a juiced ball.

The point is, if Votto were to sustain that BABIP over a full season, he could rightly be described as either one of the luckiest or most talented hitter who ever lived. Ted Williams capped out at a .378 BABIP in 1941. Babe Ruth had a .423 season, but his #2 season was .385. Willie Mays never went above .344. Pete Rose come in at .368. Pujols, Bonds and Junior never even sniffed the upper 300s, while captain line drive Derek Jeter never went above .391.

Because we know that there's a pretty strong relationship between BABIP and LD% and we know that the random/luck part of BABIP decreases over time, a full season of .428 in 2012 would be downright historic, virtually unbelievable comparable to just a handful of seasons that happened in a time in baseball that was much more conducive to poor defense.

I'm sure none of this is earth-shattering around here. Obviously he's been amazing and is probably going to cool off a little at some. But I wanted to draw a clean distinction. Unless you're willing to call line drives luck, votto hasn't been lucky - he's been good. Real good. But he's not sustainably that good. Nobody is. So next time you're doing some analysis and inclined to use the word luck (and sometimes it really is luck), check to see if it's actually just "unsustainably good" instead.

(I'll leave the possibility that Votto is actually the best pure hitter of the last 100 years, but I don't think that's likely...)

So who is Votto? He's pretty special. He's Rod Carew with a lot more power. He's Jeter with better plate discipline and more power. He's Todd Helton if he deserved full credit for Coors. He's not peak Pujols, Bonds or Ruth. He just doesn't have that kind of HR power/swing. But he's just 1 run down the ladder from that -- and that ain't bad.

Great post, Rick.

For what it's worth, Votto's hit-type xBABIP is currently .397, using the xBABIP formula from Beyond the Box Score (and endorsed partially by Fangraphs).

_Sir_Charles_
06-14-2012, 06:33 PM
You guys are overlooking the one obvious flaw in all your number crunching. Those formulas were created for MLB hitters. Not Cyborgs.

Joey Votto...does not compute.

camisadelgolf
06-14-2012, 06:52 PM
I was recently looking at his line drive rate and thought, "Wow. This is a discussion or article waiting to happen." I'm glad it was from the most articulate poster on RedsZone, so thank you, RMR.

klw
06-14-2012, 07:33 PM
The point is, if Votto were to sustain that BABIP over a full season, he could rightly be described as either one of the luckiest or most talented hitter who ever lived. Ted Williams capped out at a .378 BABIP in 1941. Babe Ruth had a .423 season, but his #2 season was .385. Willie Mays never went above .344. Pete Rose come in at .368. Pujols, Bonds and Junior never even sniffed the upper 300s, while captain line drive Derek Jeter never went above .391.

Wily Mo's first season in Boston his BABIP was .400
Other Joey statistical notes: He is on pace to shatter his career high in walks while matching his career high in k's. Pace to hit 31 hr's though his pace has certainly increased there. I have no idea what if any effect fewer balls in play has on BABIP- maybe a SABR savvy person can shed light on if there is an answer. He is also seeing 4.3 p/pa, highest of his career. Now if he could only get those CS under control.

Dan
06-14-2012, 08:14 PM
So who is Votto? He's pretty special. He's Rod Carew with a lot more power. He's Jeter with better plate discipline and more power. He's Todd Helton if he deserved full credit for Coors. He's not peak Pujols, Bonds or Ruth. He just doesn't have that kind of HR power/swing. But he's just 1 run down the ladder from that -- and that ain't bad.

He's George Brett (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/brettge01.shtml), minus the hemorrhoids.

edabbs44
06-14-2012, 08:50 PM
Are we still worried that Joey is getting nothing to hit? :)

No one should expect him to keep this up, however he has a little bit of a cushion built up there to keep his immortal status.

Dan
06-14-2012, 09:03 PM
So what happens to the team when Votto does regress to his mean this year?

Scrap Irony
06-14-2012, 09:07 PM
He's Jeff Bagwell without the steroid questions.

He's also about half-way to a Hall of Fame career.

PuffyPig
06-14-2012, 09:19 PM
I've never seen a hitter look like Votto has looked the last month.

He looks like no one can get him out in any kind of consistent fashion.

The Operator
06-14-2012, 10:31 PM
Just an awesome read. Thanks for putting this together, Rick.

Griffey012
06-14-2012, 11:25 PM
Not attempting to disagree with the original post by RMR by any means, but can anyone think of the last time they saw a hitter of Votto's caliber use the entire field the way he does? He had an AB late in Wednesday's game down 0-2 against a lefty and went into battle mode before casually poking a base hit into RF. To me that was one of his more impressive AB's, it is like "alright you have got me, I will let you just limit me to a single" type approach at the plate. How often do you see Votto get jammed (rarely) and how often do you see him pull a ball foul (never), his plate coverage is better than anyone I have ever seen (but I am only 25).

While he won't maintain his BABP as Rick mentioned; with his spray mentality, we may be watching something absurd under our eyes.

redsmetz
06-15-2012, 05:18 AM
So what happens to the team when Votto does regress to his mean this year?

It may well be true that he will regress, but this is a point that often rankles me about advanced statistics. While historically, the numbers say at some point a player can't keep up such a pace, that a regression will occur ("it's not sustainable"). But ultimately the truth is, we don't know that with any certainty. It's very possibly with any given player doing tremendous things that we're witnessing something historic; in fact they do sustain it, they don't regress, etc. Sometimes the player has that proverbial "career year" (something we can't know until said career is completed) and others maintain some new level of success over the course of several seasons, not just one.

Of course, this isn't directed at you in particular, rather your understandable comment seemed like the best to offer this thought.

RedLegsToday
06-15-2012, 07:10 AM
Just for reference, since an 0-4 on May 23:

19g, 34/67, 5-hr, 10-2b, 12bb, slash line of:

.507/.575/.880 :eek:

dougdirt
06-15-2012, 07:24 AM
I've never seen a hitter look like Votto has looked the last month.

He looks like no one can get him out in any kind of consistent fashion.

Didn't watch Barry Bonds much did ya?

dougdirt
06-15-2012, 07:26 AM
Not attempting to disagree with the original post by RMR by any means, but can anyone think of the last time they saw a hitter of Votto's caliber use the entire field the way he does?
Joe Mauer in 2009? Albert Pujols for most of his career.

elfmanvt07
06-15-2012, 07:34 AM
Joe Mauer in 2009? Albert Pujols for most of his career.

Mauer, sure. Pujols has definitely more of a pull tendency than Joey.

RedFanAlways1966
06-15-2012, 07:54 AM
I am glad Joey Votto is on my fav team. Great post and very informative. Nice work, Rick.

hebroncougar
06-15-2012, 08:03 AM
Where can I see a hit chart? I can't believe how often he's NOT pulling the ball. But I haven't looked it up.

dougdirt
06-15-2012, 08:48 AM
Where can I see a hit chart? I can't believe how often he's NOT pulling the ball. But I haven't looked it up.

Don't have that, but on B-ref they break it down like this:
Pull - 22
Middle - 103
Oppo - 41

hebroncougar
06-15-2012, 09:13 AM
Don't have that, but on B-ref they break it down like this:
Pull - 22
Middle - 103
Oppo - 41

I wonder how many of those pulls were in the air

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

Johnny Footstool
06-15-2012, 09:27 AM
It may well be true that he will regress, but this is a point that often rankles me about advanced statistics. While historically, the numbers say at some point a player can't keep up such a pace, that a regression will occur ("it's not sustainable"). But ultimately the truth is, we don't know that with any certainty. It's very possibly with any given player doing tremendous things that we're witnessing something historic; in fact they do sustain it, they don't regress, etc. Sometimes the player has that proverbial "career year" (something we can't know until said career is completed) and others maintain some new level of success over the course of several seasons, not just one.

Of course, this isn't directed at you in particular, rather your understandable comment seemed like the best to offer this thought.

Saying "it's not sustainable" is generally understood to mean "it is highly unlikely that these numbers will hold up," which is the truth.

redsmetz
06-15-2012, 09:34 AM
Saying "it's not sustainable" is generally understood to mean "it is highly unlikely that these numbers will hold up," which is the truth.

I would disagree. Perhaps it's understood that way, but that's not the actual meaning of the words. "It's not sustainable" is a fairly definitive statement, "it can't be done" or "it won't stay that way." Your words in the second phrase are, for me, certainly true. Even with as good as Votto is going, it is likely that the numbers won't be sustained. But "not sustainable" precludes it ever happening. To me, the language dismisses the whimsey of something remarkable occurring in this game, something that I think is it's very lifeblood.

I might be splitting hairs, but I continue to hope to keep the possible alive even when it is weighted with the huge caveat of "not likely".

nate
06-15-2012, 09:39 AM
Great post, Rick.

High five!

MWM
06-15-2012, 10:11 AM
High five!

On the flip side (sorry, had to). :D

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-N3A3Vdw60ro/TbJxIhp_mSI/AAAAAAAAANQ/ufYSTMBoMC4/s1600/david+puddy.jpg

Cyclone792
06-15-2012, 10:28 AM
Good stuff.

I'll add this: Votto currently has an OPS+ of 202. Pujols has never topped 200 (best seasons are 192, 189 and 187).

The number of first basemen who've posted 200+ OPS seasons is few and far between. Over full, modern seasons, you're basically looking at Gehrig and Foxx and that's it. Dan Brouthers did it a few times in the 19th century, McGwire did it in 1998 and both Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell did it in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

When we start throwing Votto's name in the same sentence as guys like Gehrig and Foxx, that's big time. Really really really big time.

RedsManRick
06-15-2012, 12:08 PM
It may well be true that he will regress, but this is a point that often rankles me about advanced statistics. While historically, the numbers say at some point a player can't keep up such a pace, that a regression will occur ("it's not sustainable"). But ultimately the truth is, we don't know that with any certainty. It's very possibly with any given player doing tremendous things that we're witnessing something historic; in fact they do sustain it, they don't regress, etc. Sometimes the player has that proverbial "career year" (something we can't know until said career is completed) and others maintain some new level of success over the course of several seasons, not just one.

Of course, this isn't directed at you in particular, rather your understandable comment seemed like the best to offer this thought.

What's great about statistics is that, while falling short of actually being able to predict the future with perfect accuracy, it actually does tell us the degree of certainty we have. Does that mean 1% chance? 10% chance? 50%? If you actually do the analysis, you can get a number like that. I didn't exactly do significant testing on the Votto stats, but it's a pretty safe assumption that if something would be a historical outlier for both the player and throughout the course of baseball history, it's probably not likely to occur.

One reason people struggle with stuff like this is that we don't have a tuition for this question: How frequently do we see a guy with a 33% line drive rate on June 14th? Is this a once a generation occurrence? Once a decade? Once a year? When we just compare partial samples to full samples, we get a distorted sense of how likely it is that the current situation will exist. The question we're implicitly asking is: Given a player with a certain level of career performance (our estimate of his true talent) and a certain level of performance to date this year, what are the odds he finishes the season at X? We could do that with Votto if we wanted to. But I don't think it's necessary to reach the conclusion I reached with a simplified version of the approach.

No, I cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy. But stating that stats can't do this is silly, because nobody is asserting otherwise. I'm taking for granted that RedsZone readers understand that assertions of certainty based on statistical analysis implicitly leave open the possibility of being wrong. But there's a ton of room being saying "we can't predict the future, so prediction is futile" and saying "we know precisely what will happen with absolute certainty". The entire field of statistical analysis is based in this fundamental idea.

What's funny is that for once I'm arguing that "luck" isn't at play, that a guy really is performing this well, and people still want to argue against the idea of regression to the mean. I guess hope is a powerful thing and arguments against the likelihood of continued success feel like an attack on enjoyment of the game for some people. Not necessarily you, redsmetz, but in general I think that's the visceral reaction people have to this kind of analysis -- "You can't be certain. Therefore I shouldn't pay attention to what you're saying. Therefore I can justify still believing that there's a very reasonable possibility this will continue." Pirates fans are in the same boat right now, just as they were last year.

redsmetz
06-15-2012, 12:54 PM
What's great about statistics is that, while falling short of actually being able to predict the future with perfect accuracy, it actually does tell us the degree of certainty we have. Does that mean 1% chance? 10% chance? 50%? If you actually do the analysis, you can get a number like that. I didn't exactly do significant testing on the Votto stats, but it's a pretty safe assumption that if something would be a historical outlier for both the player and throughout the course of baseball history, it's probably not likely to occur.

One reason people struggle with stuff like this is that we don't have a tuition for this question: How frequently do we see a guy with a 33% line drive rate on June 14th? Is this a once a generation occurrence? Once a decade? Once a year? When we just compare partial samples to full samples, we get a distorted sense of how likely it is that the current situation will exist. The question we're implicitly asking is: Given a player with a certain level of career performance (our estimate of his true talent) and a certain level of performance to date this year, what are the odds he finishes the season at X? We could do that with Votto if we wanted to. But I don't think it's necessary to reach the conclusion I reached with a simplified version of the approach.

No, I cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy. But stating that stats can't do this is silly, because nobody is asserting otherwise. I'm taking for granted that RedsZone readers understand that assertions of certainty based on statistical analysis implicitly leave open the possibility of being wrong. But there's a ton of room being saying "we can't predict the future, so prediction is futile" and saying "we know precisely what will happen with absolute certainty". The entire field of statistical analysis is based in this fundamental idea.

What's funny is that for once I'm arguing that "luck" isn't at play, that a guy really is performing this well, and people still want to argue against the idea of regression to the mean. I guess hope is a powerful thing and arguments against the likelihood of continued success feel like an attack on enjoyment of the game for some people. Not necessarily you, redsmetz, but in general I think that's the visceral reaction people have to this kind of analysis -- "You can't be certain. Therefore I shouldn't pay attention to what you're saying. Therefore I can justify still believing that there's a very reasonable possibility this will continue." Pirates fans are in the same boat right now, just as they were last year.

Waiting at airport for my daughter, so just a quick reply for the moment. My larger purpose was to merely to allow for the the suggestion that a wild deviation from previous norms is possible. Folks are right, some falling back to earth is possible and probably likely. And you did an excellant job laying out that we are witnessing something extraordinary. And while not greatly versed in advanced stats, I always will point out that ultimately the games must be played by living, breathing human beings. I'm not saying you're suggesting otherwise, of course.

RedsManRick
06-15-2012, 01:55 PM
Waiting at airport for my daughter, so just a quick reply for the moment. My larger purpose was to merely to allow for the the suggestion that a wild deviation from previous norms is possible. Folks are right, some falling back to earth is possible and probably likely. And you did an excellant job laying out that we are witnessing something extraordinary. And while not greatly versed in advanced stats, I always will point out that ultimately the games must be played by living, breathing human beings. I'm not saying you're suggesting otherwise, of course.

That's cool; I thought I pretty clearly allowed for that in my original post. I guess clarification is always welcomed.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-15-2012, 02:10 PM
Great read. This should be submitted to fangraphs or BP.

jojo
06-15-2012, 03:07 PM
I would disagree. Perhaps it's understood that way, but that's not the actual meaning of the words. "It's not sustainable" is a fairly definitive statement, "it can't be done" or "it won't stay that way." Your words in the second phrase are, for me, certainly true. Even with as good as Votto is going, it is likely that the numbers won't be sustained. But "not sustainable" precludes it ever happening. To me, the language dismisses the whimsey of something remarkable occurring in this game, something that I think is it's very lifeblood.

I might be splitting hairs, but I continue to hope to keep the possible alive even when it is weighted with the huge caveat of "not likely".

Votto's current numbers aren't sustainable. Going into June, Votto had a BABIP of .382 due primarily to a career high LD% that was about 10% higher than his career average. His BABIP ballooned to his current .421 largely because of a 50+ stretch of PAs in June where his BABIP is .581 (associated with a LD%=28.6 so his BABIP is really out of whack during this stretch).

For this to be sustainable (i.e. consistently repeatable), it would have to reflect true skill. I'll go a step further than saying, "it's highly unlikely that this is sustainable" and say, his current numbers are not reflective of his true skill and hence his current numbers aren't going to be maintained going forward. Clearly his true skill is such that he is capable of looking inhuman for stretches, but a hot streak isn't a mean. In other words going forward from June 15th till the Reds win the World series this fall, his numbers will more closely resemble .317/.412/.559 than they will .362/.485/.657.

bucksfan2
06-15-2012, 03:25 PM
Votto's current numbers aren't sustainable. Going into June, Votto had a BABIP of .382 due primarily to a career high LD% that was about 10% higher than his career average. His BABIP ballooned to his current .421 largely because of a 50+ stretch of PAs in June where his BABIP is .581 (associated with a LD%=28.6 so his BABIP is really out of whack during this stretch).

For this to be sustainable (i.e. consistently repeatable), it would have to reflect true skill. I'll go a step further than saying, "it's highly unlikely that this is sustainable" and say, his current numbers are not reflective of his true skill and hence his current numbers aren't going to be maintained going forward. Clearly his true skill is such that he is capable of looking inhuman for stretches, but a hot streak isn't a mean. In other words going forward from June 15th till the Reds win the World series this fall, his numbers will more closely resemble .317/.412/.559 than they will .362/.485/.657.

What is a true skill level and couldn't you say Votto is getting better?

Looking at the numbers on paper is one thing but watching him play is another. Right now he is hitting the ball hard all over the place. He may very well cool off but if he continues to hit the way he is now his numbers will stay high.

jojo
06-15-2012, 03:33 PM
What is a true skill level and couldn't you say Votto is getting better?

Looking at the numbers on paper is one thing but watching him play is another. Right now he is hitting the ball hard all over the place. He may very well cool off but if he continues to hit the way he is now his numbers will stay high.

A true skill level is the level of performance that is repeatable because it best reflects the player's skillset and the impact that skillset has on his average production.

Could Votto get better? Sure. I think there is evidence in his numbers that he has gotten better since his first few years.

He is not a BABIP of .581 better though.

RedsManRick
06-15-2012, 05:05 PM
What is a true skill level and couldn't you say Votto is getting better?

Looking at the numbers on paper is one thing but watching him play is another. Right now he is hitting the ball hard all over the place. He may very well cool off but if he continues to hit the way he is now his numbers will stay high.

This actually implies something about the nature of measuring talent. What time frame is appropriate. I could make an argument that my talent level changes daily. Some could argue that talent changes very slowly time.

The way most sabermetricians talk about it is this: What period of time gives you enough data that you can do a pretty good job at projecting the next similar period of time? And the reality of the answer to that question is actually about 3 years, with the most emphasis on what's happened recently. So, as it stands, what he's doing is not very predictive of what's he likely to do moving forward. So while Joey Votto is absolutely performing at a new level, he hasn't done it long enough for us to be reasonably confident that he can keep it up.

But let's go with the "it's possible he can keep it up" route. That's where the historical comps come in. Yes, if he continues to this this way, his numbers will stay high. But basically nobody in the history of baseball has been able to maintain this level of hitting. Many, many guys can do it for a few days or a week (just ask Jay Bruce). A fair number of guys can do it for a month. Many fewer can keep it up for half a season. And only a small handful of players in the history of baseball have ever done it over the course of a year. And nobody has done it for longer than that.

So is it possible he keeps it up? Sure. Anything is possible. Is it reasonable to expect? Nope. I'll happily leave the door open to the possibility of it happening. But I certainly wouldn't plan for it.

RedlegJake
06-16-2012, 02:33 PM
I don't look at his numbers. I just watch him hit. Right now Joey Votto is as good a hitter as ANYONE I'VE EVER SEEN. Period. At this particular juncture of his career in this span of time. Foster in July of 77, Robby in 62, Bonds at the peak of his 'roid era, Pujols in 2003. Joey is matching those players and pushing for those kind of numbers. He has to complete the season of course but right now I'm just enjoying watching the emergence of a legend. A player who will be talked about after he is gone. Our grandchildren will speak of him the way we talk about Jimmy Foxx or Tony Perez - mythical figures of the past that live on and on.

Reds/Flyers Fan
06-16-2012, 05:56 PM
Joey Votto flirting with Ruthian numbers, per ESPiN:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/8059738/joey-votto-literally-having-babe-ruth-type-season

Brutus
06-16-2012, 06:08 PM
To extrapolate a .581 BABIP during one stretch and ignore that the BABIP for the season almost matches the xBABIP by most measures is mostly cherry-picking.

His season numbers match where the peripherals suggest he should be, for the most part. That indicates he is, in fact, hitting at his "true skill level."

jojo
06-16-2012, 06:30 PM
To extrapolate a .581 BABIP during one stretch and ignore that the BABIP for the season almost matches the xBABIP by most measures is mostly cherry-picking.

His season numbers match where the peripherals suggest he should be, for the most part. That indicates he is, in fact, hitting at his "true skill level."

Sorry but no it's not and he's not. His exceptional hot streak is due to a BABIP than clearly won't be maintained and those 50+ PAs bumped his season numbers up about 15%. You're assuming his LD% and thus his BABIP are indicative of something he'll maintain. It's a great fantasy but it's not likely.

jojo
06-16-2012, 06:33 PM
Joey Votto flirting with Ruthian numbers, per ESPiN:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/8059738/joey-votto-literally-having-babe-ruth-type-season

That's a great look at Votto. My first take was surely Bonds did that because he hit for high average during his peak years too.... Nope. In Bonds' best season (2002), he batted .370 and didn't even have 150 hits (but he did have 198 walks) despite this line: .370/.582/.799 wOBA=.546. Interestingly, Bonds best season (as determined by wOBA) would've only been Ruth's 6th best season.

Players in the modern era occasionally harken the vision of Ruth in some aspect. Counting stats be darned though as such comparisons ultimately leave one gasping at Ruth's utter dominance and leads one to conclude Ruth is the greatest baseball player in the history of multicellular organisms. It's quite possible that evolution has never produced an individual better at its "job" be it plant, animal, amoeba or bacteria than Ruth was at hitting a baseball.

That Joey Votto might mimic one aspect of Ruth's greatness makes it an awesome time to be a Reds fan.

Brutus
06-16-2012, 06:49 PM
Sorry but no it's not and he's not. His exceptional hot streak is due to a BABIP than clearly won't be maintained and those 50+ PAs bumped his season numbers up about 15%. You're assuming his LD% and thus his BABIP are indicative of something he'll maintain. It's a great fantasy but it's not likely.

His xBABIP was just over .400 as of the other day. So the numbers suggest it absolutely is.

Line drives aren't a product of luck. They're a product of talent.

jojo
06-16-2012, 07:15 PM
His xBABIP was just over .400 as of the other day. So the numbers suggest it absolutely is.

Line drives aren't a product of luck. They're a product of talent.

You think he will maintain at LD% of 33.7% and an BABIP of .420 going forward as a player and I don't (those are his season to date numbers).

There hasn't been a player who maintained a BABIP of .420 over a season of at least 600 PAs since the early 1920's. The highest career BABIP belongs to Ty Cobb (.378). Joey would be the first player in the modern era (it's only since the early 2000's that batted ball type has been classified) to maintain a LD% above 28%.

It's just not realistic to expect Joey to maintain his LD% and BABIP as a matter of course at these levels. Enjoy it while its glowing redhot.

Brutus
06-16-2012, 07:41 PM
You think he will maintain at LD% of 33.7% and an BABIP of .420 going forward as a player and I don't (those are his season to date numbers).

There hasn't been a player who maintained a BABIP of .420 over a season of at least 600 PAs since the early 1920's. The highest career BABIP belongs to Ty Cobb (.378). Joey would be the first player in the modern era (it's only since the early 2000's that batted ball type has been classified) to maintain a LD% above 28%.

It's just not realistic to expect Joey to maintain his LD% and BABIP as a matter of course at these levels. Enjoy it while its glowing redhot.

Votto is doing a lot of things players haven't done in decades. I don't care what others have done. Votto is turning into one of the better hitters of this generation.

What others have done have jack to do with his ability to hit line drives. Anyone's BABIP is fueled in part by the ability to hit line drives, avoid infield pop ups and spray the ball around the park with terrific bat control. Meet Joey Votto.

So others haven't sustained a high BABIP? So what? They also haven't hit the ball hard consistently around the field like Votto has. That's not luck... that's a great hitter doing things with a bat few can do. He may well lose a few points off that average. The xBABIP suggests he should be hitting .400 right now instead of .425. That's about right.

Crumbley
06-16-2012, 07:56 PM
I don't look at his numbers. I just watch him hit. Right now Joey Votto is as good a hitter as ANYONE I'VE EVER SEEN. Period. At this particular juncture of his career in this span of time. Foster in July of 77, Robby in 62, Bonds at the peak of his 'roid era, Pujols in 2003. Joey is matching those players and pushing for those kind of numbers. He has to complete the season of course but right now I'm just enjoying watching the emergence of a legend. A player who will be talked about after he is gone. Our grandchildren will speak of him the way we talk about Jimmy Foxx or Tony Perez - mythical figures of the past that live on and on.
He just owns the plate.

wheels
06-16-2012, 08:07 PM
You guys know that it's okay if he's not...like...the awesomest player EVER.

Right?

jojo
06-16-2012, 08:11 PM
You guys know that it's okay if he's not...like...the awesomest player EVER.

Right?

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....... ;)

RedsManRick
06-16-2012, 08:18 PM
double post

RedsManRick
06-16-2012, 08:35 PM
Votto is doing a lot of things players haven't done in decades. I don't care what others have done. Votto is turning into one of the better hitters of this generation.

What others have done have jack to do with his ability to hit line drives. Anyone's BABIP is fueled in part by the ability to hit line drives, avoid infield pop ups and spray the ball around the park with terrific bat control. Meet Joey Votto.

So others haven't sustained a high BABIP? So what? They also haven't hit the ball hard consistently around the field like Votto has. That's not luck... that's a great hitter doing things with a bat few can do. He may well lose a few points off that average. The xBABIP suggests he should be hitting .400 right now instead of .425. That's about right.

Not trying to be condescending, but I don't think you understand the point Brutus.

If a guy goes 4-4 with 4 HR, we don't suddenly think he has the "true talent" to put up a 5.000 OPS moving forward. It's obviously silly to even use the example. We know intuitively that he just had a really good day. Even if he was the best hitter ever, he wouldn't keep that up every day.

This isn't about "luck" and "luck" running out. This is what most people would called "being hot". Yeah, it's been a crazy hot streak. But it's most likely just a streak. There's a difference between the two. Joey Votto is "earning" his performance. He's not getting lucky. But he's also not THIS good such that he'll be putting up this line 300 PA from now.

You suggest that others haven't hit the ball like this. But who are you comparing Votto to? Other guys in 274 PA? Or other guys over a full season? I can almost guarantee you that others have hit the ball consistently around the field like Votto has. Like Votto, they did it for less than half a season. Comparing what Votto has done in 274 PA to what others did in a full season is apples and oranges and precisely the point regarding sustainability.

If you're saying that Joey Votto is the best line driver hitter the game has ever seen, perhaps we'll just have to disagree. I think he's a very, very, very good line drive hitter who is in "the zone" right now. But that won't last. Every time something extreme like this happens, fans of the team or player rush to say that this time is special. This time regression isn't going to happen. This time is real. Maybe it is; I'll concede the small possibility. But in all likelihood, it's not.

kaldaniels
06-16-2012, 10:10 PM
To extrapolate a .581 BABIP during one stretch and ignore that the BABIP for the season almost matches the xBABIP by most measures is mostly cherry-picking.

His season numbers match where the peripherals suggest he should be, for the most part. That indicates he is, in fact, hitting at his "true skill level."

Then the logic would follow that by using the ~250 or so PA "everyday players" have each accumulated this season, and the peripherals that go with them, we would have every thing we need to determine their "true skill level". Nah.

Brutus
06-16-2012, 10:33 PM
Then the logic would follow that by using the ~250 or so PA "everyday players" have each accumulated this season, and the peripherals that go with them, we would have every thing we need to determine their "true skill level". Nah.

I think you're missing the point. There's a difference between sample size and luck.

What he's doing right now may or may not continue over the course of a season, but it's not a product of luck. It's legitimate performance that is corroborated by peripherals.

But just because we don't have a full sample also doesn't mean it isn't sustainable or his true skill level. That's a fallacy.

Brutus
06-16-2012, 10:34 PM
Not trying to be condescending, but I don't think you understand the point Brutus.

If a guy goes 4-4 with 4 HR, we don't suddenly think he has the "true talent" to put up a 5.000 OPS moving forward. It's obviously silly to even use the example. We know intuitively that he just had a really good day. Even if he was the best hitter ever, he wouldn't keep that up every day.

This isn't about "luck" and "luck" running out. This is what most people would called "being hot". Yeah, it's been a crazy hot streak. But it's most likely just a streak. There's a difference between the two. Joey Votto is "earning" his performance. He's not getting lucky. But he's also not THIS good such that he'll be putting up this line 300 PA from now.

You suggest that others haven't hit the ball like this. But who are you comparing Votto to? Other guys in 274 PA? Or other guys over a full season? I can almost guarantee you that others have hit the ball consistently around the field like Votto has. Like Votto, they did it for less than half a season. Comparing what Votto has done in 274 PA to what others did in a full season is apples and oranges and precisely the point regarding sustainability.

If you're saying that Joey Votto is the best line driver hitter the game has ever seen, perhaps we'll just have to disagree. I think he's a very, very, very good line drive hitter who is in "the zone" right now. But that won't last. Every time something extreme like this happens, fans of the team or player rush to say that this time is special. This time regression isn't going to happen. This time is real. Maybe it is; I'll concede the small possibility. But in all likelihood, it's not.

I'm confused. You start a thread suggesting he's not been lucky and now you're arguing with me that he has.

Bizarre.

Also, it should be noted that line drives weren't really kept with any accuracy prior to the 80's, so we can't really go back too far to know how he would compare as a line drives hitter historically.

Nonetheless, Votto has been the best hitter in baseball in total WAR over the last 3 years. I don't know why people can't fathom he might possibly be this good. You pretty much said so in your original post. Now you're arguing with me to the contrary.

I'm not missing any point. My point is that there is no reason why he can't continue to sustain hitting line drives at a prodigious pace. The fact he's had like three infield pop-ups in four years is a stat that already is absolutely mind-boggling. I'm guessing with a HIGH degree of certainty that if someone made a thread here four years ago saying he would only have three infield pop-ups in the next four seasons, you and everyone else would have said that's unsustainable. Well here we are and he's had three infield pop-ups in four years. If he's capable of that, why isn't he capable of sustaining a remarkable line drive rate? In case you haven't noticed... Votto is doing a lot of things that most hitters can't do.

kaldaniels
06-16-2012, 10:42 PM
I think you're missing the point. There's a difference between sample size and luck.

What he's doing right now may or may not continue over the course of a season, but it's not a product of luck. It's legitimate performance that is corroborated by peripherals.

But just because we don't have a full sample also doesn't mean it isn't sustainable or his true skill level. That's a fallacy.

So in order to determine Votto's "true skill level", do you use anything other than the 2012 season?

Brutus
06-16-2012, 10:46 PM
So in order to determine Votto's "true skill level", do you use anything other than the 2012 season?

Of course. But it's also not fair to assume he hasn't improved. I watch him hit this year and I think he flat-out has gotten better as a hitter. I think people are making the mistake of assuming that because he's taken his game to another level, it's a product of 'luck.' It could very well be that at 28, he's reached another level and what we're seeing is simply a phenomenal hitter.

The xBABIP suggests his BABIP should be around .400 right now. So certainly there's a little bit of 'luck' involved in his numbers. But most of it is legit. Just because he's hitting line drives at a rapid pace doesn't mean it's luck, even if it's not a full sample of a season.

We're getting close to being halfway through a season. It's knocking on July's door. At this point, I think it's time to consider the possibility that what's happening might not be a fluke.

kaldaniels
06-16-2012, 10:46 PM
I'm confused. You start a thread suggesting he's not been lucky and now you're arguing with me that he has.

Bizarre.

Also, it should be noted that line drives weren't really kept with any accuracy prior to the 80's, so we can't really go back too far to know how he would compare as a line drives hitter historically.

Nonetheless, Votto has been the best hitter in baseball in total WAR over the last 3 years. I don't know why people can't fathom he might possibly be this good. You pretty much said so in your original post. Now you're arguing with me to the contrary.

I'm not missing any point. My point is that there is no reason why he can't continue to sustain hitting line drives at a prodigious pace. The fact he's had like three infield pop-ups in four years is a stat that already is absolutely mind-boggling. I'm guessing with a HIGH degree of certainty that if someone made a thread here four years ago saying he would only have three infield pop-ups in the next four seasons, you and everyone else would have said that's unsustainable. Well here we are and he's had three infield pop-ups in four years. If he's capable of that, why isn't he capable of sustaining a remarkable line drive rate? In case you haven't noticed... Votto is doing a lot of things that most hitters can't do.

A lot of your last few posts are along the lines of "anything is possible". Of course. How about you project Votto's line the rest of the year, LD rate included. That way I can at least get my bearings of where your projections stand.

Brutus
06-16-2012, 10:52 PM
A lot of your last few posts are along the lines of "anything is possible". Of course. How about you project Votto's line the rest of the year, LD rate included. That way I can at least get my bearings of where your projections stand.

I'm not sure why I should have to play the role of prognosticator in order to take issue with a line drive rate being "unsustainable." I'm not a soothsayer. My opinion isn't based on what will or won't happen, it's that there is a real possibility what's happening right now isn't a fluke.

Frankly I think it wouldn't be fair to have to corner myself into a specific prediction because that defeats the context of what I'm saying. The post I responded to said this was "unsustainable." As in... cannot possibly be sustained.

I'm saying it is sustainable. Will it be sustained? I don't know. I personally think it will drop off *a little*. I think his OPS will wind up fairly close to what it is now. Maybe around 1.080-1.100. But to be frank, I think he's capable of winding up with an 1.138 OPS. I think he's that good.

jojo
06-16-2012, 11:03 PM
I'm not sure why I should have to play the role of prognosticator in order to take issue with a line drive rate being "unsustainable." I'm not a soothsayer. My opinion isn't based on what will or won't happen, it's that there is a real possibility what's happening right now isn't a fluke.

Frankly I think it wouldn't be fair to have to corner myself into a specific prediction because that defeats the context of what I'm saying. The post I responded to said this was "unsustainable." As in... cannot possibly be sustained.

I'm saying it is sustainable. Will it be sustained? I don't know. I personally think it will drop off *a little*. I think his OPS will wind up fairly close to what it is now. Maybe around 1.080-1.100. But to be frank, I think he's capable of winding up with an 1.138 OPS. I think he's that good.

Either his current LD% of 34% and BABIP of .420 is sustainable or it's not.... This "I don't know if he will but it's possible that a player could" stance is not consistent with strongly arguing we're seeing Votto undergo a real transformation and a resulting dramatic increase in true kill level. Will he maintain his current LD% and BABIP or not?

kaldaniels
06-16-2012, 11:10 PM
To me it is as simple as going to fangraphs and looking at LD% leaders over the past 5 years. If I see right, before this season, Votto's 2011 LD% of 27% is the best in the big leagues in the past 5 years.

I would expect from here on out that his LD rate is around 27% more so than 34%, though I would bet it is about 25%.

Having said that, he has banked 2.5 months of 34% LD rate. So, a LD% of over 30 is certainly not out of the question.

Brutus
06-16-2012, 11:11 PM
Either his current LD% of 34% and BABIP of .420 is sustainable or it's not.... This "I don't know if he will but it's possible that a player could" stance is not consistent with strongly arguing we're seeing Votto undergo a real transformation and a resulting dramatic increase in true kill level. Will he maintain his current LD% and BABIP or not?

Are the definitions of "can" and "will" causing confusion?

I'm not sure why on earth you're trying to conflate the two terms unless you're simply trying to be difficult. You flat out said it's "unsustainable." I said I believe it is on the basis that his xBABIP isn't far off his BABIP and I believe he can continue hitting line drives nearly at this rate. I didn't say it will be done for sure. It's possible that he might not sustain it. But doing so and being able to do so are two very different things and you're just being argumentative. Trying to make me predict what will happen is a total strawman.

jojo
06-16-2012, 11:35 PM
Are the definitions of "can" and "will" causing confusion?

I'm not sure why on earth you're trying to conflate the two terms unless you're simply trying to be difficult. You flat out said it's "unsustainable." I said I believe it is on the basis that his xBABIP isn't far off his BABIP and I believe he can continue hitting line drives nearly at this rate. I didn't say it will be done for sure. It's possible that he might not sustain it. But doing so and being able to do so are two very different things and you're just being argumentative. Trying to make me predict what will happen is a total strawman.

No it isn't a strawman Brutus. You've argued strongly it's his true skill and it's sustainable yet you wont actually say he will continue (which is the logical extension of being a true skill). The question has been answered by the lack of a direct answer....

jojo
06-16-2012, 11:36 PM
double post

Quoted for truth.... :D

Brutus
06-16-2012, 11:43 PM
No it isn't a strawman Brutus. You've argued strongly it's his true skill and it's sustainable yet you wont actually say he will continue (which is the logical extension of being a true skill). The question has been answered by the lack of a direct answer....

Because I'm not trying to predict the future. You said, in so many words, he can't sustain it. I said he can, not that he will for sure.

Not sure what's so hard about that.

You're just being difficult. You basically just moved the goal posts. First you say he couldn't, now you're forcing me to say he will or won't because I took issue with your first characterization.

Again, I'll say this very clearly...

I said it is not unsustainable. Meaning he *could* sustain it. I made absolutely no comment to the contrary that should be construed as an endorsement he either will or won't continue. So please stop moving the goal posts and twisting words around to meet a different definition than they actually mean.

jojo
06-16-2012, 11:48 PM
Because I'm not trying to predict the future. You said, in so many words, he can't sustain it. I said he can, not that he will for sure.

Not sure what's so hard about that.

You're just being difficult. You basically just moved the goal posts. First you say he couldn't, now you're forcing me to say he will or won't because I took issue with your first characterization.

Again, I'll say this very clearly...

I said it is not unsustainable. Meaning he *could* sustain it. I made absolutely no comment to the contrary that should be construed as an endorsement he either will or won't continue. So please stop moving the goal posts and twisting words around to meet a different definition than they actually mean.

The goal post hasn't been moved. In summary-you strenuously disagree with the notion that Joey's current LD% and BABIP aren't sustainable because anything is possible.

kaldaniels
06-16-2012, 11:50 PM
Sustainable/unsustainable, can/will....

My point of contention was that you "indicated" Votto is hitting at his "true skill level".

jojo
06-16-2012, 11:51 PM
Sustainable/unsustainable, can/will....

My point of contention was that you "indicated" Votto is hitting at his "true skill level".

Exactly. That has a very specific meaning....

Brutus
06-16-2012, 11:55 PM
Exactly. That has a very specific meaning....

The only specific meaning is that you said he can't do something, and now that I took opposition to that, you're changing the argument to whether he will.

That's moving the goal posts.

Brutus
06-16-2012, 11:56 PM
*

jojo
06-17-2012, 12:05 AM
The only specific meaning is that you said he can't do something, and now that I took opposition to that, you're changing the argument to whether he will.

That's moving the goal posts.

The argument hasn't been changed. There's been a strong objection voiced to a clearly stated position that Votto's current LD% and BABIP aren't sustainable but the opposing position isn't being taken when pressed by people legitimately asking for clarification. If we're seeing Votto's true skill shouldn't we expect him to maintain it going forward? This isn't a gotcha moment. Several people are legitimately trying to get clarification on a position that is seemingly inconsistent.

It goes without saying that anything is possible. We're talking about most likely though because "anything is possible" isn't really offering much insight or fertile ground for discussion.

757690
06-17-2012, 12:08 AM
Sustainable/unsustainable, can/will....

My point of contention was that you "indicated" Votto is hitting at his "true skill level".

Here's my two cents in this.

I think Votto current hitting does represent his true skill level, and that it is unsustainable. Actually, it is sustainable, the question is for how long?

It clearly is his true skill level, because he's doing it. He has worked hard over rhese last few years to get this good, to be the best. I have no problem believing, based on his previous production, intelligence, and work ethic, that this is his true skill level, If the world were to stay stagnant, Votto would continue to hit with these results. However, we all know that that is impossible.

Pitchers will adjust to him, he will get older, possibly injured, and likely dinged up and tired over the course of the season, the weather will change, his teammates hitting around him will slump, etc. That is why all streaks end, not because the player's true skill level changes, but because life happens.

If the stars align again the way they currently are, I have full faith that Votto will produce like he's producing now. But the stars change, and so will Votto's production. His true skill level will not.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 12:11 AM
The argument hasn't been changed. There's been a strong objection voiced to a clearly stated position that Votto's current LD% and BABIP isn't sustainable but the opposing position isn't being taken when pressed by people legitimately asking for clarification. If we're seeing Votto's true skill should we expect him to maintain it going forward? This isn't a gotcha moment. Several people are legitimately trying to get clarification on a position that is seemingly inconsistent.

Are you serious with this?

I clarified this over and over.

You said it was "unsustainable." I said it was "sustainable" as in it *could* be sustained.

Seriously... this is a matter of basic English. "Can" and "will" are two separate words. You said he couldn't do something. I said he can.

So why on earth is it relevant what I think he "will" do? I think he *can* do what he's doing now. I think it's indicative of his skill level. Doesn't mean it will be exactly the same. I don't know if it will be better, same or worse. But it doesn't matter. All I initially argued was that it was sustainable. I think this is his skill level. He is a 1.000+ OPS kind of hitter. It's basically an argument of semantics whether that means 1.050 or 1.130.

Being sustainable and actually sustaining it are two very separate arguments. Again, I find the argumentative, irrelevant attempts to move the goal posts very annoying.

jojo
06-17-2012, 12:15 AM
Are you serious with this?

I clarified this over and over.

You said it was "unsustainable." I said it was "sustainable" as in it *could* be sustained.

Seriously... this is a matter of basic English. "Can" and "will" are two separate words. You said he couldn't do something. I said he can.

So why on earth is it relevant what I think he "will" do? I think he *can* do what he's doing now. I think it's indicative of his skill level. Doesn't mean it will be exactly the same. I don't know if it will be better, same or worse. But it doesn't matter. All I initially argued was that it was sustainable.

Being sustainable and actually sustaining it are two very separate arguments. Again, I find the argumentative, irrelevant attempts to move the goal posts very annoying.

This is a matter of the definition of true skill and what it implies. This isn't semantics or a matter of basic English.

I have not moved the goal posts an inch. Basically the question has been answered.

Position 1: Player A's historic level of production X isn't sustainable and it's likely his next Y number of PAs will have production level Z.

Position 2. It's absolutely wrong to argue that Player A's production is unsustainable because it is indicative of his true skill! Though his current level of production is sustainable, it's impossible to argue he will most likely maintain his current level of production.

Position 2 is a discordant position and it does not follow application of the sabermetric definition of true skill.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 12:21 AM
This is a matter of the definition of true skill and what it implies. This isn't semantics or a matter of basic English.

I have not moved the goal posts an inch. Basically the question has been answered.

You're right... the question was answered when I opined that it was sustainable.


un·sus·tain·a·ble/ˌənsəˈstānəbəl/
Adjective:
Not able to be maintained at the current rate or level.
Upsetting the ecological balance by depleting natural resources: "unsustainable fishing practices".

I disagree it is "not able to be maintained at the current rate or level."

Thereby, that is the answer. Notice the definition doesn't say:

"does not believe it will be maintained at the current rate or level."

I believe Joey Votto is "able" to sustain the current rate or level. That's the diametric opposite to being unable to do so. So your original quote "unsustainable" doesn't allow for an opinion of what I think will actually happen, just whether I think it could. Thereby if you try to insert that into the conversation, you are indeed changing the subject because that has nothing to do with can or can't (able or unable).

RedsManRick
06-17-2012, 12:24 AM
I'm confused. You start a thread suggesting he's not been lucky and now you're arguing with me that he has.

Bizarre.

Ummm... what? I just said, and I quote, "There's a difference between the two. Joey Votto is "earning" his performance. He's not getting lucky."

So, no. I'm not.



I'm not missing any point. My point is that there is no reason why he can't continue to sustain hitting line drives at a prodigious pace. The fact he's had like three infield pop-ups in four years is a stat that already is absolutely mind-boggling. I'm guessing with a HIGH degree of certainty that if someone made a thread here four years ago saying he would only have three infield pop-ups in the next four seasons, you and everyone else would have said that's unsustainable. Well here we are and he's had three infield pop-ups in four years. If he's capable of that, why isn't he capable of sustaining a remarkable line drive rate? In case you haven't noticed... Votto is doing a lot of things that most hitters can't do.

Thanks for putting words in my mouth so you'd have something to argue against. Just last year, Howie Kendrick had zero infield pop-ups. Michael Young and Yunel Escober had just 1. That's uncommon.

In major league history, there have 10 season where a guy had 500+ PA and a BABIP of .415 or higher.


Player Year BAbip
Rogers Hornsby 1924 0.422
Babe Ruth 1923 0.423
Ty Cobb 1922 0.416
George Sisler 1922 0.422
Ty Cobb 1913 0.415
Ty Cobb 1912 0.425
Ty Cobb 1911 0.444
Shoeless Joe Jackson 1911 0.434
Jesse Burkett 1901 0.415
Nap Lajoie 1901 0.418

It last happened 88 years ago. This isn't something that would be a greater hitter doing what he do. It would be historic. Why didn't Pete Rose ever do it? Stan Musial? Rod Carew? George Brett?

Further, look at Votto's own history. What in his own record makes you think he can keep hitting line drives at this rate? Votto is the best line drive hitter in the game. But he's never been this good before -- nobody has. So, either Votto has take another huge leap forward, beyond the line drive hitting abilities of everybody since Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruther and Ty Cobb -- or he's going to regress a bit. That has nothing to do with luck. It has to do with athletes not being able to perform at their absolute peak for an entire season.

I guess I'll ask the simple question again: What makes you think that Votto can keep hitting line drives at this rate? The only answer I've seen from you on this front so far is some version of "he's special" -- even though this represents a massive step above anything he himself has ever done.

Is a .420 BABIP 100%, with out a doubt impossible to sustain for a reason? No. I've been pretty clear about allowing for the possibility. I'm sorry if the semantics of me saying "unsustainable" made you think that I didn't give it even a 1 in a million chance. He could sustain it. And he could hit 60 HRs this year. He's physically able to do that. He could probably steal 40 bases too. He's "able" to do that. And Dusty could bat Hanigan leadoff. But I'm certainly not going to hold my breath for any of those.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 12:34 AM
Ummm... what? I just said, and I quote, "There's a difference between the two. Joey Votto is "earning" his performance. He's not getting lucky."

So, no. I'm not.



Thanks for putting words in my mouth so you'd have something to argue against. Just last year, Howie Kendrick had zero infield pop-ups. Michael Young and Yunel Escober had just 1. That's uncommon.

In major league history, there have 10 season where a guy had 500+ PA and a BABIP of .415 or higher.


Player Year BAbip
Rogers Hornsby 1924 0.422
Babe Ruth 1923 0.423
Ty Cobb 1922 0.416
George Sisler 1922 0.422
Ty Cobb 1913 0.415
Ty Cobb 1912 0.425
Ty Cobb 1911 0.444
Shoeless Joe Jackson 1911 0.434
Jesse Burkett 1901 0.415
Nap Lajoie 1901 0.418

It last happened 88 years ago. This isn't something that would be a greater hitter doing what he do. It would be historic. Why didn't Pete Rose ever do it? Stan Musial? Rod Carew? George Brett?

Further, look at Votto's own history. What in his own record makes you think he can keep hitting line drives at this rate? Votto is the best line drive hitter in the game. But he's never been this good before -- nobody has. So, either Votto has take another huge leap forward, beyond the line drive hitting abilities of everybody since Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruther and Ty Cobb -- or he's going to regress a bit. That has nothing to do with luck. It has to do with athletes not being able to perform at their absolute peak for an entire season.

I guess I'll ask the simple question again: What makes you think that Votto can keep hitting line drives at this rate? The only answer I've seen from you on this front so far is some version of "he's special" -- even though this represents a massive step above anything he himself has ever done.

Is a .420 BABIP 100%, with out a doubt impossible to sustain for a reason? No. I've been pretty clear about allowing for the possibility. I'm sorry if the semantics of me saying "unsustainable" made you think that I didn't give it even a 1 in a million chance. He could sustain it. And he could hit 60 HRs this year. And Dusty could bat Hanigan leadoff. But I'm certainly not going to hold my breath.

OK you think he's earning his performance. Then why can't he continue to earn his performance? Why must I have to give scientific analysis for why I think he can continue to "earn" his performance going forward? Can't I just simply think he's good enough to do it and that be the answer? And for the record, I stated in the very first reply to this thread his xBABIP was .397 and in subsequent replies have stated I think he's capable of sustaining around that (as opposed to the .420 he currently has). So do I expect a small bit of regression? Sure. I've said so. So I've not once in this thread opined he would wind up with a BABIP exactly where it is now... just that it could stay in this ballpark, no pun intended.

You think it's possible that the overall production is sustainable, though. We agree. That's been the entire gist of my role in this thread.

jojo
06-17-2012, 12:35 AM
You're right... the question was answered when I opined that it was sustainable.



I disagree it is "not able to be maintained at the current rate or level."

Thereby, that is the answer. Notice the definition doesn't say:

"does not believe it will be maintained at the current rate or level."

I believe Joey Votto is "able" to sustain the current rate or level. That's the diametric opposite to being unable to do so. So your original quote "unsustainable" doesn't allow for an opinion of what I think will actually happen, just whether I think it could. Thereby if you try to insert that into the conversation, you are indeed changing the subject because that has nothing to do with can or can't (able or unable).

You clearly argued that Joey's current LD% and BABIP are indicative of his true skill. Yet your argument rejects the logical extension of the definition of true skill as "moving the goal posts". Either his current production will regress to the mean or it won't because it is reflective of a new mean (i.e. new level of true skill). While there is always uncertainty associated with sabermetrics, there really isn't any wiggle room here for Websters concerning the application of definitions...

Brutus
06-17-2012, 12:37 AM
You clearly argued that Joey's current LD% and BABIP are indicative of his true skill. Yet your argument rejects the logical extension of the definition of true skill as "moving the goal posts". Either his current production will regress to the mean or it won't. There really isn't any wiggle room here for Websters...

Albert Pujols had a couple seasons over 1.100 OPS. Clearly he had the skill to do so. It doesn't mean he hit every season over 1.100 OPS.

Why can't a guy be good enough, or have the "skill" to do something without it meaning he will automatically do it?

Yes, I think Joey Votto's true "skill" level is that of a guy capable of hitting 1.138. That's my stance. And I've said that in various ways over and over and over.

jojo
06-17-2012, 12:51 AM
Albert Pujols had a couple seasons over 1.100 OPS. Clearly he had the skill to do so. It doesn't mean he hit every season over 1.100 OPS.

Why can't a guy be good enough, or have the "skill" to do something without it meaning he will automatically do it?

Yes, I think Joey Votto's true "skill" level is that of a guy capable of hitting 1.138. That's my stance. And I've said that in various ways over and over and over.

This quote is actually an example of moving goal posts.

True skill implies a most likely level of production (i.e. average) derived from a player's abilities. In other words, it's the level of production that deviations in a player's production will regress toward given enough time. Arguing that Votto's true skill is captured by a LD% of 34% and a BABIP of .420 is suggesting that would be his average level of production that would be reasonable to expect going forward (i.e. these are the levels that his performance will regress to in the future until his true skill level changes).

Clearly a player is capable of a range of production levels centered upon his true skill level. In other words, suggesting that Votto could have an OPS of 1.138 is no different than suggesting he could have one of .800. It's certainly possible. But that isn't the same thing as saying his true skill is that of an OPS of 1.138 ( in this case, his true skill would be captured by an OPS of about .970 which is what I've argue in this thread is his likely true skill level). Hence, the argument that his current LD% and BABIP are not sustainable because they will regress to a mean that is different from their current levels.

Again, there is always uncertainty associated with sabermetrics (and it's understood that everyone understands this) but definitions are very important.

Votto is awesome and he's having a year for the ages concerning the Reds uniform. Everyone is happy about that, but again, definitions are very important.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 01:11 AM
This quote is actually an example of moving goal posts.

True skill implies a most likely level of production (i.e. average) derived from a player's abilities. In other words, it's the level of production that deviations in a player's production will regress toward given enough time. Arguing that Votto's true skill is captured by a LD% of 34% and a BABIP of .420 is suggesting that would be his average level of production that would be reasonable to expect going forward.

Clearly a player is capable of a range of production levels centered upon his true skill level. In other words, suggesting that Votto could have an OPS of 1.138 is no different than suggesting he could have one of .800. It's certainly possible. But that isn't the same thing as saying his true skill is that of an OPS of 1.138 ( in this case, his true skill would be captured by an OPS of about .970 which is what I've argue in this thread is his likely true skill level).

Again, there is always uncertainty associated with sabermetrics (and it's understood that everyone understands this) but definitions are very important.

Since 2009, his OPS is 1.000. His 3-year weighted OPS is nearly 1.020.

His career OPS being used as his "true skill level" clearly puts far too much emphasis on the first 500-1,000 plate appearances of his career when he was still young.

It's more likely that at 28 years old, where many hitters reach their peak, he's established himself as a legitimate 1.000+ batter.

jojo
06-17-2012, 01:25 AM
Since 2009, his OPS is 1.000. His 3-year weighted OPS is nearly 1.020.

His career OPS being used as his "true skill level" clearly puts far too much emphasis on the first 500-1,000 plate appearances of his career when he was still young.

It's more likely that at 28 years old, where many hitters reach their peak, he's established himself as a legitimate 1.000+ batter.

Its pedantic to suggest an OPS of 1.000 is a dramatic departure from .970. If one wants to quibble, ZiPS models true skill based upon weighted averages of four years and aging curves (so it's looking at Votto from 2009-2012) and it suggests that Joey should be expected to produce an OPS of .976 for the rest of the season.

Ignore ZiPS and bump him to an OPS of 1.000 for the remainder of the season. That still represents a significant regression from his current level of production. The point stands either way.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 01:40 AM
Its pedantic to suggest an OPS of 1.000 is a dramatic departure from .970. If one wants to quibble, ZiPS models true skill and it suggests that Joey should be expected to produce an OPS of .976 for the rest of the season.

Ignore ZiPS and bump him to an OPS of 1.000 for the remainder of the season. That still represents a significant regression from his current level of production. The point stands either way.

There's nothing pedantic about it. We're talking almost 50 OPS points. That's the difference between Scott Rolen and Russell Branyan's careers.

Votto's current Bayesian career average OPS is 1.020. And again, there's some bias in that because it doesn't factor into account that at 28 years old, what we're seeing now might actually be the product of development. After all, most players reach their peak at 27 or 28 years old. Votto's season might actually be the product of a player taking his game to another level above and beyond his previous averages. It has happened many, many times before, after all.

jojo
06-17-2012, 01:45 AM
There's nothing pedantic about it. We're talking almost 50 OPS points. That's the difference between Scott Rolen and Russell Branyan's careers.

Votto's current Bayesian career average OPS is 1.020. And again, there's some bias in that because it doesn't factor into account that at 28 years old, what we're seeing now might actually be the product of development. After all, most players reach their peak at 27 or 28 years old. Votto's season might actually be the product of a player taking his game to another level above and beyond his previous averages. It has happened many, many times before, after all.

Again, ZiPS models his true skill by weighting his recent years and adjusting for age. ZiPS suggests his true skill is captured by an OPS of .976.

In any event, it doesn't seem like anyone in this thread is willing to argue Joey's LD% and BABIP will be 34% and .420 going forward.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 02:16 AM
Again, ZiPS models his true skill by weighting his recent years and adjusting for age. ZiPS suggests his true skill is captured by an OPS of .976.

In any event, it doesn't seem like anyone in this thread is willing to argue Joey's LD% and BABIP will be 34% and .420 going forward.

ZiPS is a projection, not a true skill level. Projecting what one might do based on past performance is not the same as what they actually do.

If a computer model predicts a temperature of 78 degrees and it winds up being 60 degrees, one wouldn't say it was warm.

Projections are not skill levels. They're just that... projections based on recent performance. ZiPS doesn't suggest .976 is Votto's true skill level. It suggests that based on past performance, Votto was expected to have a .976 OPS. That really didn't capture anything.

jojo
06-17-2012, 08:29 AM
ZiPS is a projection, not a true skill level. Projecting what one might do based on past performance is not the same as what they actually do.

If a computer model predicts a temperature of 78 degrees and it winds up being 60 degrees, one wouldn't say it was warm.

Projections are not skill levels. They're just that... projections based on recent performance. ZiPS doesn't suggest .976 is Votto's true skill level. It suggests that based on past performance, Votto was expected to have a .976 OPS. That really didn't capture anything.

Projections systems are based upon estimating true skill level. That's the whole point.

PuffyPig
06-17-2012, 09:20 AM
If a computer model predicts a temperature of 78 degrees and it winds up being 60 degrees, one wouldn't say it was warm.



One would if they were in Canada....

757690
06-17-2012, 01:25 PM
As I posted earlier, the real question isn't "Is this level of production sustainable for Votto?" but "How long is this level of production sustainable for Votto?"

I would argue that history suggests that this level of production is sustainable for Votto for a few seasons.

I did a quick check of some of the best hitters in baseball history, and noticed that they all had a 2-4 year period in which they had much higher OPS+ and BABIP than their career averages, around 10-20% better. They had these years around their third to fifth years in the majors. That matches up with what Votto is doing so far in his career. I'm guessing that Votto should be able to sustain an OPS+ of around 185-195 and a BABIP of around .380-.400 these next few years if this trend continues with him.

The first number is their OPS+, the second is their BABIP


Ruth Career - 206 0.339
1920 - 255 0.365
1921 - 238 0.363
1923 - 239 0.426


WilliamsCareer - 190 0.328
1941 - 235 0.378
1942 - 216 0.345


Mantle Career - 172 0.319
1956 - 210 0.353
1957 - 221 0.378

Rose Career - 118 0.319
1968 - 152 0.368
1969 - 158 0.366

GriffeyCareer - 136 0.287
1993 - 171 0.298
1994 - 171 0.311

DiMaggioCareer - 155 0.304
1939 - 184 0.354
1940 - 173 0.331
1941 - 184 0.327

Votto Career - 156 0.358
2012 - 201 0.424

Brutus
06-17-2012, 02:14 PM
Projections systems are based upon estimating true skill level. That's the whole point.

No, projections systems estimate production not skill level.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 02:14 PM
One would if they were in Canada....

Touche :)

Patrick Bateman
06-17-2012, 02:44 PM
I think a better way to look at it besides the drive rate being driven by skill in a hot streak, is that his high line drive rate IS a function of luck.

A guy getting hot is more than likely just a function of hitting the right part of the ball numerous times in a small sample size. Although stats such as xBAPIP suggest the high BAPIP is a function of skill, it's still not sustainable because Votto is not capable of hitting so many line drives in a larger sample. The difference between squaring up for a perfect liner and a routine flyball is so small that a hitter is capable of getting lucky in that regards.

The difference between a Votto and an average player, is that Votto is going to be closer to that sweetspot more often, and as a result, he's going to get more line drives as a function of being close so often. But the skill aspect of control likely declines after that since the difference is so minute. Eventually, Votto will hit the sweetspot a little bet less often even though he's really not swinging any differently.

It's no different then when a mediocre bat like Adam Lind suddenly OPS's .900 for a season and never approaches it again. Votto is just a better player, and when gets a turn of good luck, he turns into an 1.100 behemoth because that's the next step up from a true talent .950 OPS hitter.

For him to become a "true talent" 1.100 OPS bat, he needs to be able to reduce his strikeouts, or hit for more homerun power without reducing his other areas of performance. He's already a normal .360 BAPIP guy which essentially maxes out that spectrum of human ability, but if he could somehow become an even more patient hitter with super human abilities not to swing at pitches outside the strikezone, he could likley reduce his K's and increase power without surrendering the rest of his attributes.

IMO, that is near impossible and Votto is likely already maxed out, because he doesn't have that Josh Hamilton type physical gifts to be a complete home run machine... he's instead super awesome because of his advanced plate recognition skills + having very good (just not freakish) athleticism.

jojo
06-17-2012, 03:00 PM
No, projections systems estimate production not skill level.

Thats simply not correct. They estimate true skill level as a means to project production. Without estimating true skill, there could be no projection. It's surreal that even basic stuff like this is being argued about.....

Brutus
06-17-2012, 03:11 PM
I think a better way to look at it besides the drive rate being driven by skill in a hot streak, is that his high line drive rate IS a function of luck.

A guy getting hot is more than likely just a function of hitting the right part of the ball numerous times in a small sample size. Although stats such as xBAPIP suggest the high BAPIP is a function of skill, it's still not sustainable because Votto is not capable of hitting so many line drives in a larger sample. The difference between squaring up for a perfect liner and a routine flyball is so small that a hitter is capable of getting lucky in that regards.

The difference between a Votto and an average player, is that Votto is going to be closer to that sweetspot more often, and as a result, he's going to get more line drives as a function of being close so often. But the skill aspect of control likely declines after that since the difference is so minute. Eventually, Votto will hit the sweetspot a little bet less often even though he's really not swinging any differently.

It's no different then when a mediocre bat like Adam Lind suddenly OPS's .900 for a season and never approaches it again. Votto is just a better player, and when gets a turn of good luck, he turns into an 1.100 behemoth because that's the next step up from a true talent .950 OPS hitter.

For him to become a "true talent" 1.100 OPS bat, he needs to be able to reduce his strikeouts, or hit for more homerun power without reducing his other areas of performance. He's already a normal .360 BAPIP guy which essentially maxes out that spectrum of human ability, but if he could somehow become an even more patient hitter with super human abilities not to swing at pitches outside the strikezone, he could likley reduce his K's and increase power without surrendering the rest of his attributes.

IMO, that is near impossible and Votto is likely already maxed out, because he doesn't have that Josh Hamilton type physical gifts to be a complete home run machine... he's instead super awesome because of his advanced plate recognition skills + having very good (just not freakish) athleticism.

For what it's worth, at 700 plate appearances, if we kept Votto's walk, strikeout, HR/FB and doubles rates the same, but regressed his BABIP to .360, his OPS would be 1.010 for a season.

At .375, it goes up to about 1.030. At .390, you'd be looking at just shy of 1.050. That, of course, is assuming that the other rates (walk, contact, FB%, HR/FB, etc.) all stay constant.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 03:14 PM
Thats simply not correct. They estimate true skill level as a means to project production. Without estimating true skill, there could be no projection. It's surreal that even basic stuff like this is being argued about.....

I'd appreciate it if you kept the condescension out of the discussion.

Projections are just that. The definition of the word should be self-explanatory.

Patrick Bateman
06-17-2012, 03:14 PM
For what it's worth, at 700 plate appearances, if we kept Votto's walk, strikeout, HR/FB and doubles rates the same, but regressed his BABIP to .360, his OPS would be 1.010 for a season.

At .375, it goes up to about 1.030. At .390, you'd be looking at just shy of 1.050. That, of course, is assuming that the other rates (walk, contact, FB%, HR/FB, etc.) all stay constant.

Good points, I was just throwing ballpark numbers out there to help illustrate my stance. Your analysis adds more reality.

I think my overall point stands, but the fact his regressed OPS is still 1.000 would suggest he very well might be improving, but the suggested "BAPIP luck" he has been getting might be overselling how large the improvement is.

jojo
06-17-2012, 03:16 PM
I'd appreciate it if you kept the condescension out of the discussion.

Projections are just that. The definition of the word should be self-explanatory.

Its not condescending to point out that the understanding being conveyed is incorrect especially since relying on such an argument is leading to an incorrect conclusion.

Projection systems in essence estimate true skill. That's not a matter for philosophical debate.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 03:18 PM
Its not condescending to point out that the understanding being conveyed is incorrect especially since relying on such an argument is leading to an incorrect conclusion.

Projection systems in essence estimate true skill. That's not a matter for philosophical debate.

It's condescending to phrase it in such a way that you think it's "surreal" that we're having this conversation, as if your opinion is the only right one.

Pointing out you think it's wrong doesn't give you the right to be condescending about it. That said, it's not for you to decide whether it's up for debate. You're not the judge or jury.

jojo
06-17-2012, 03:24 PM
It's condescending to phrase it in such a way that you think it's "surreal" that we're having this conversation, as if your opinion is the only right one.

Pointing out you think it's wrong doesn't give you the right to be condescending about it. That said, it's not for you to decide whether it's up for debate. You're not the judge or jury.

The definitions of common sabermetric terms are not open for debate if meaningful discussion is to be had using them. It is incorrect to argue that ZiPS or other such projection systems do not attempt to estimate true skill level. This is a basic principle and there really isn't any wiggle room concerning whether one agrees with it or not.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 03:27 PM
The definitions of common sabermetric terms are not open for debate if meaningful discussion is to be had using them. It is incorrect to argue that ZiPS or other such projection systems do not attempt to estimate true skill level. This is a basic principle and there really isn't any wiggle room concerning whether one agrees with it or not.

I wasn't aware you were the one that created these definitions to decide whether others can debate them.

jojo
06-17-2012, 03:36 PM
I wasn't aware you were the one that created these definitions to decide whether others can debate them.

I didnt invent the term four-seam fastball but its pretty clear that its incorrect to suggest that a four-seam fastball is used as an off speed pitch . Anyway, it's reached a point where it's clear further attempts at discussion will not be edifying.

Brutus
06-17-2012, 03:41 PM
I didnt invent the term four-seam fastball but its pretty clear that its incorrect to suggest that a four-seam fastball is used as an off speed pitch . Anyway, it's reached a point where it's clear further attempts at discussion will not be edifying.

You weren't attempting to discuss anything, you were telling me it wasn't up for discussion.

But you're right, clearly there's no point in further discourse since you've decided what is kosher to debate. So I'll defer to the baseball dictionary of jojo.

Plus Plus
06-17-2012, 04:38 PM
You guys know that it's okay if he's not...like...the awesomest player EVER.

Right?

But isn't it fun to think about the possibility that he is? :thumbup:

757690
06-17-2012, 04:48 PM
Btw, much bandwidth was used to show that Johnny Cueto's ERA was unsustainable too. ;)

camisadelgolf
06-17-2012, 05:15 PM
Btw, much bandwidth was used to show that Johnny Cueto's ERA was unsustainable too. ;)
If you put a bad defense behind him, I bet his ERA will blow up like a balloon.

westofyou
06-17-2012, 05:19 PM
http://gifsoup.com/webroot/animatedgifs/393832_o.gif

RedsManRick
06-17-2012, 05:58 PM
I'd appreciate it if you kept the condescension out of the discussion.

Projections are just that. The definition of the word should be self-explanatory.

So how are they projecting production if not by making an estimate of his ability to hit? Why would his production moving forward be different that his ability to produce?

RedsManRick
06-17-2012, 06:01 PM
Btw, much bandwidth was used to show that Johnny Cueto's ERA was unsustainable too. ;)

Unsustainable if he didn't improve his peripherals. Want to make a gentleman's bet regarding his ERA at the end of the year. I say it's north of 2.75.

redsmetz
06-18-2012, 11:52 AM
C. Trent tweeted this piece on Joey Votto which seems appropos to this conversation.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/19375876/the-underrated-joey-votto

membengal
06-18-2012, 01:06 PM
Unsustainable if he didn't improve his peripherals. Want to make a gentleman's bet regarding his ERA at the end of the year. I say it's north of 2.75.

Didn't happen that way last year. And now we are halfway through another year of the same. Just sayin'.

RedsManRick
06-18-2012, 01:47 PM
Didn't happen that way last year. And now we are halfway through another year of the same. Just sayin'.

And yet Johny has a .293 BABIP. Everybody was telling me that he found the magic fountain of BABIP suppression.

dougdirt
06-18-2012, 02:16 PM
And yet Johny has a .293 BABIP. Everybody was telling me that he found the magic fountain of BABIP suppression.

I told you no such thing Rick. :laugh: