And most aren't.
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Wait a minute. Did Brittingham.Sam turn into Salukifan2 right in the middle of the debate?
The difference between 10-30 on a national list is next to no difference really. We are talking about an elite level prospect whether the guy is ranked 10th or 30th.
Hamilton is about as interesting of a case study as there can be for saber-friendly prospect guys. He goes against a lot of things because of how interestingly different his skillset is.
2 thoughts:
1. I know WAR measures running ability and it will make or break a players perceived value - but is it going to measure a lot of little things a guy like Hamilton may/may not do - sort of like Manny in left field ("Manny being Manny") where he did 2 or 3 weird things a week that never really showed up in the box score, but may have impacted the team's avbility to win. Could Hamilton be the reverse? A player that adds to the overall ability of a team's chance to win, but because it's hard to perceive -it sort of gets undervalued (by the sabermetric community). Pete Rose did about 3 things a week that helped the team win- but they were little weird things that were tough to value - same with Ozzie Guillen.
2. Billy's power from the left side will improve as he gets more reps- any of us that make that change from one side to another - increase our power over time- his swing may get a little smoother.
Hamilton has the speed to break WAR. With him, it's not just how many extra bases he takes, but how many extra bases he takes that almost no one else can take. And he might just set a new bar for stealing 1B. Think about how that affects BABIP. The other team effectively got him out, at least it did what would get most every other player out. Yet there he is on 1st ... and now he's on 2nd ... and now he's on 3rd ... and now he's crossing the plate when, dammit, he should have been out.
That doesn't even touch on the errors he might induce. Billy Hamilton has the potential to be the New Math. How we think about the game, how we crunch the numbers - that could be in for an overhaul.
Absolutely. doug and M2 are both right-- he's the most fascinating case in baseball right now for just about every prospect hound in the game and for most of the sabre community. (Though Mike Trout might also have something to say there.)
Hamilton's speed-adjusted WAR could very well double the next highest person on the list. He could be the Babe Ruth of the WAR speed set. And that makes me giddy.
Imagine a line of .225/ .320/ .380 with a WAR in the top ten of the game.
Could happen.
Could very well happen.
Correct me of im wrong but doesnt WAR not care about how you got your bases but just that you got them?
Have there been any studies to see if a triple is actually better than a double plus a steal? Obviously a triple removes the possibility of a CS and the steal may come after another out has occurred, but does a triple actually mean higher expected run production.
Yes, because a triple has a 100% probability of clearing the bases while a double does not. If you've got a slow runner on first and the double was of the 'stretching a single' variety, the double might not score the runner. A triple, by definition, will send the runner home.
The linear weight of a triple is 1.063 runs.
The linear weight of a double is 0.764 runs.
That 0.299 runs is a pretty big difference.
The numbers above are the average of all base-out states. The "base-out state" is a term referring to the number of outs in the inning and the locations of base runners. There are 24 possible base-out states when a hitter comes to the plate.
For example, the base-out state with the largest difference between a triple and a double is 2 outs with men on 1B and 3B. The difference here is 1.96 runs for a triple and 1.46 runs for a double for a difference of .500 runs.
Another one of the base-out states is 2 outs and a runner on second. In this example a triple is worth 1.080 runs while a double is worth 1.020 runs. This is the base-out state with the smallest difference (0.060 runs) between a triple and a double. If the batter who hit a double in this situation subsequently stole 3rd base it would add an extra .050 expected runs, which is still not quite as good as the a triple would have been. If he gets caught attempting to steal 3rd base it would result in -0.340 expected runs (Ouch!) therefore it is not worth the risk unless you expect an 85% chance of success.
A triple is always better than a double. This is true even if the player who hit the double subsequently steals 3rd base.
... and a Caught Stealing is worth -0.456 runs. So you better make it if you go!
Actually a caught stealing in that particular situation is far more damaging than that. The average linear weight of a Caught Stealing is -0.456 runs, but most of those are for attempted steals of second base. If you are already on second base and get busted trying to steal third the damage is worse than getting thrown out at second because you are losing a runner that was already in scoring position. I don't have an exact linear weight value for getting caught stealing 3rd base, but it is much worse than -0.456 runs.
http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902.html
Well, if you're attempting a steal from 2B with nobody on 1B and 0 outs, you're going from RE of 1.189 to either:
Success: 1.482 (+.297 runs)
Failure: 0.297 (-.892 runs)
So break-even is at about 75% success rate when attempting with 0 outs.
With -2- and 1 out (0.725 RE):
Success: 0.983 (+.258 runs),
Failure: 0.117 (-.608 runs)
Break-even with 1 out is at 70%.
With -2- and 2 outs (0.344 RE)
Success: 0.387 (+.043 runs)
Failure: 0.000 (-.344 runs)
Break-even with 2 outs is 89%.
So the best risk/reward comes with 1 out, but 0 outs is pretty similar.
That said, I wonder how having his speed changes the chances of scoring from 2nd or 3rd respectively. We know he'll score on any single (even an IF single apparently), but he's also more like to score from 3B than the average runner. When you combine the fact that Joey Votto will be close behind, I think it probably swings the odds in favor of staying put when he's on 2B unless it's a virtual lock.