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Thread: A Little More From Joey V

  1. #106
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman92 View Post
    Mark Whiten hopes not.
    Hard Hittin' Mark Whitten, my favorite sports nickname
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

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  3. #107
    Formerly Farsighted Fan sabometrics's Avatar
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    After farther analysis, there are more flaws with that number. The original 38/303 isn't even accurate. He's knocked in 38 runners when one person was in scoring position, but that isn't what we're measuring, it's with men on base. He's knocked in 40 runners when there were men on base. So you can scooch that number up even more. 40/285 (after taking out IBB instances). 14%.
    "He looked like a surfer kid from SoCal," manager Dusty Baker says. "He didn't say much, but you could tell he was cool."

  4. #108
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    Hard Hittin' Mark Whitten, my favorite sports nickname
    My favorite is Hot Lips Hannahan.

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  6. #109
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Lets look at it from a different perspective. If we just stare at this from the perspective of the Reds we don't get a full appreciation of what Joey is facing (in terms of opposing pitchers, managers, and how they decide to attack him). It isn't Joey Votto versus Joe Schmoe pitcher fresh from amateur ball coached by his dad, Jim Schmoe, who never saw a lick of pro in his life. Intelligent baseball minds are facing him both on the mound and in the dugout. What are opposing teams succeeding in doing that is limiting Joey's RBIs? Well, he's hitting .297 with runners on, versus .343 with no one on. Slugging .440 with runners on vs .562 with no one on. So they are limiting both the number of times he successfully gets a hit, and perhaps even more importantly, limiting his extra-base hits.

    It isn't a one-sided issue here though. Joey has made up for those numbers by getting on base more - .445 OBP with runners on vs .432 with no one on. Votto has walked in a whopping 26% of his PA with runners on vs. "just" 13% with no one on. Twice as much. Clearly teams are limiting Joey's production with runners on by A) Walking him intentionally, B) Walking him by pitching around him, and, I would make the case, C) Throwing him junk out of the zone and making him expand the zone so he is willing to swing at in order for him to get that hallowed RBI.

    Sadly, fangraphs Plate discipline and Pitchf/x stats don't have splits to go along with them, so I cannot point to empirical data showing how much junk Joey has seen this year.

    The point remains that he isn't hitting as well as he could, seeing as his walk numbers last year with runners on were even more inflated than this year.

    I'd venture to guess the answer for Votto's drop in RBI is probably the most obvious difference between last year and this year: Ludwick's absence. The combination of Phillips-Bruce-Frazier-Player X (in whatever order) is not the same presence behind Votto as Phillips-Bruce-Ludwick-Frazier was last year. In turn it's likely that Joey is seeing even less to hit this year than he did last year (which is a feat in and of itself) and the only reason why he isn't walking significantly more than last year's rate is that he is trying to make more happen with less. Either way, it really isn't Joey's fault he doesn't have the same protection that Miguel Cabrera does (Prince, V-Mart, Peralta).

    If in some hypothetical situation Joey listens to Marty and the more vocal fans out there who are harping on this issue, and he changes his approach to try to hit more runs in, what would that likely accomplish? Well, sans Ryan Ludwick, I'd argue it would only get worse for the Joey's numbers with men on and in turn for the team in general. So, lets everyone just put on our favorite pair of sunglasses and just chill out for a bit, shall we?
    Last edited by sabometrics; 08-08-2013 at 10:26 PM.
    "He looked like a surfer kid from SoCal," manager Dusty Baker says. "He didn't say much, but you could tell he was cool."

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  8. #110
    It's showtime! RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Quote Originally Posted by sabometrics View Post
    I'd venture to guess the answer for Votto's drop in RBI is probably the most obvious difference between last year and this year: Ludwick's absence. The combination of Phillips-Bruce-Frazier-Player X (in whatever order) is not the same presence behind Votto as Phillips-Bruce-Ludwick-Frazier was last year. In turn it's likely that Joey is seeing even less to hit this year than he did last year (which is a feat in and of itself) and the only reason why he isn't walking significantly more than last year's rate is that he is trying to make more happen with less. Either way, it really isn't Joey's fault he doesn't have the same protection that Miguel Cabrera does (Prince, V-Mart, Peralta).
    I was under the impression that Votto didn't actually have many PA with Ludwick in the lineup during the regular season last year. If he did, he certainly wasn't the insanely productive version of Ludwick that we all got to know and love during Joey's injury absence in the second half.

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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Quote Originally Posted by sabometrics View Post
    People keep quoting this 12% like it means something without any context. Votto has been intentionally walked 13 times with RISP? Does this count as an instance of FBRI (Failure to bat runs in) or whatever we're calling this inane statistic?

    By my count atm Votto has gone 38/303 now. This is the stat including IBB. That's 12.5%. He has been intentionally walked 4 times with a runner on 2nd, 2 times with a runner on 3rd, one time 1st and 3rd, 5 times 2nd and 3rd. Do the math and that is 18 base runners he never even had a chance to knock in. Subtract from the total number of baserunners and Joey is at 38/285. 13.3%. That's his IBB-adjusted FBRI or whatever. Only Miggy, Robinson Cano, and David Ortiz have been walked intentionally more than Votto. I'm not going to do the math here but this should narrow the gap between Votto and every non-Miggy player on that list.

    This is just counting the walks that are officially IBB's. Looking for legitimate pitch-around BB's and not just hard-fought BB's will narrow the gap even more. He has 48 walks with runners on. Extrapolate that to the number of baserunners where Votto was semi-intentionally walked and it reasons to guess that the real % of FBRI is probably much closer to the numbers listed in the OP.

    Stats are deceiving. The stat used in the OP is deceiving. It has inherent biases that make it an egregious stat to use when evaluating how good a player is at batting runners in. Votto is not having a "horrible" year. He's having a year that is probably around or well above MLB average if you create some kind of adjusted-FBRI stat.

    Votto isn't the guy to be yelling at when freaking out about runners LOB. Phillips shouldn't be held up as a shining example either. He's batting just above .300 w/RISP atm but as we see this number is normalizing right now. Phillips has also GIDP 14 times on the season - the absolute worst result w/RISP. Compare this to Votto's 5. By the end of the season Phillips "clutch" production will not look so clutch.

    So where is the blame to be placed? I'm not going to begin to attack that question, but safe to say I take issue with anyone pointing the finger at Votto in any way. Not even going to get into Votto's fielding as that isn't the central issue posed in the OP.
    Wasn't fully placing the blame on Votto. Obviously he is our best player. Simply stating for whatever reason he is not driving in the runs like he did in previous seasons and his defense has fallen off dramatically in 2013. IMO for the Reds to advance in the playoffs they are going to need him to return to his MVP form. Mabe a productive Ludwick in the four hole will be the key.

  10. #112
    Formerly Farsighted Fan sabometrics's Avatar
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Yeah, I realize your point wasn't to hold Votto up as one of the bigger problems with this ballclub, but that we could use a little more out of him. On that point I sort of agree, with the concession being that when Ludwick gets back I expect to see a little bit of a resurgence when it comes to Votto's extra-base hits with runners on. The posts were drawn up originally to show how the stats you used are misleading but naturally as I wrote my argument began to expand to reply to the thoughts voiced by a number of fans, pundits, and loudmouth commentators.

    Votto's defense definitely could be better compared to his past performance. That said, it still isn't as awful as it may be bade out to be. His defense has regressed towards the league median if you are looking at metrics, but it is far from being a significant factor when talking about the whole team picture imo. I'd argue his defense, while not as good as it has once been, is still a positive, or at worst a push when we're talking about extra runs denied/allowed.
    "He looked like a surfer kid from SoCal," manager Dusty Baker says. "He didn't say much, but you could tell he was cool."

  11. #113
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    I was under the impression that Votto didn't actually have many PA with Ludwick in the lineup during the regular season last year. If he did, he certainly wasn't the insanely productive version of Ludwick that we all got to know and love during Joey's injury absence in the second half.
    Votto played pretty much every day April-mid July when he got hurt and during that time Ludwick started 56 games. Ludiwick played 14 games in September after Votto came back. I'm too lazy to say that 70 is the exact number of times they were both in the starting lineup together but it stands to reason it was close to that number. That's a sizable majority of the games Joey played in.

    As for Ludwick's production during those spans, it's true, by far his best months were July (late July specifically, after Joey was out) and August. He was more mediocre during the spans that they would have been in the order together.

    That said, I'd still contend that opposing managers and pitchers have more respect for a 10 year vet with an impressive track record in Ludwick, even if he is hitting .230 atm than they do for Paul/Mez/Cozart/Heisey/whoever else has been bumped up/down into the 4th-7th mix in his absence. Opponent strategy is guided as much about subjective perceptions as it is objective measurements. One of these elements not quite aligning with the other often times does not change the course of action baseball minds decide to make.

    I.E. managers/pitchers have seen Ludwick produce for the better part of 6 years in the NL I'd contend they would still respect him more even if he has a slow start like he did last year.
    "He looked like a surfer kid from SoCal," manager Dusty Baker says. "He didn't say much, but you could tell he was cool."

  12. #114
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Quote Originally Posted by sabometrics View Post
    I'd still contend that opposing managers and pitchers have more respect for a 10 year vet with an impressive track record in Ludwick, even if he is hitting .230 atm than they do for Paul/Mez/Cozart/Heisey/whoever else has been bumped up/down into the 4th-7th mix in his absence. Opponent strategy is guided as much about subjective perceptions as it is objective measurements. One of these elements not quite aligning with the other often times does not change the course of action baseball minds decide to make.

    I.E. managers/pitchers have seen Ludwick produce for the better part of 6 years in the NL I'd contend they would still respect him more even if he has a slow start like he did last year.
    I dunno. I don't tend to buy into the whole idea of lineup "protection" very much. I realize the jury is still out on this, but from what I've seen, it looks to me that pitchers most often pitch to get the guy out, not worry about who is up next.

    I think Votto's stats this year are more a result of random variation. Can't remember the exact difference in his RISP between 2012 and 2013 (20% and 13%?) but I see no reason why that drop can't be explained away by random statistical noise. Votto's power may be a smidgeon less this year, but that's not the reason he's not driving in runs -- and his .940 OPS certainly isn't hurting anyone.

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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    I dunno. I don't tend to buy into the whole idea of lineup "protection" very much. I realize the jury is still out on this, but from what I've seen, it looks to me that pitchers most often pitch to get the guy out, not worry about who is up next.

    I think Votto's stats this year are more a result of random variation. Can't remember the exact difference in his RISP between 2012 and 2013 (20% and 13%?) but I see no reason why that drop can't be explained away by random statistical noise. Votto's power may be a smidgeon less this year, but that's not the reason he's not driving in runs -- and his .940 OPS certainly isn't hurting anyone.
    Digging deeper ...

    Perusing fangraphs plate discipline data to see how pitchers might be approaching Joey and how his results may be declining because of any altered approaches ... his 1st pitch strike % is down nearly 3% from 54.3% to 51.5%. Using baseball reference we find 47 times Joey has put the first pitch in play, 203 times he has gone down 0-1 in the count, and 249 times he has gotten ahead 1-0. This doesn't take into account men-on but it gives you an idea of the extent to which pitchers are falling behind Votto in general (and willing to fall behind? can't really say).

    Or can we? Most qualified starters in the majors this year have a 1st pitch strike % of at least 55%. Most good qualified starters have %'s better (and in many cases much better than that number. And Joey is at 51%. Pitchers and batters know how crucial it is to get ahead in the count. And this year pitchers have proved even more apt than last year to fall behind Joey Votto. Professional pitchers. All-Star pitchers. I'd say that's a pretty telling stat as to how pitchers are approaching Votto this year compared to last.

    Votto's 1st pitch strike % never got below 54% before in his career, spare his 1st year in limited ABs. In 2010, his MVP year, it was 58%. The biggest weakness in this argument is that we don't have 1st pitch swinging % stats so that we can eliminate Joey's level of aggression on the 1st pitch as a variable.
    "He looked like a surfer kid from SoCal," manager Dusty Baker says. "He didn't say much, but you could tell he was cool."

  14. #116
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Quote Originally Posted by sabometrics View Post
    Digging deeper ...

    Perusing fangraphs plate discipline data to see how pitchers might be approaching Joey and how his results may be declining because of any altered approaches ... his 1st pitch strike % is down nearly 3% from 54.3% to 51.5%. Using baseball reference we find 47 times Joey has put the first pitch in play, 203 times he has gone down 0-1 in the count, and 249 times he has gotten ahead 1-0. This doesn't take into account men-on but it gives you an idea of the extent to which pitchers are falling behind Votto in general (and willing to fall behind? can't really say).

    Or can we? Most qualified starters in the majors this year have a 1st pitch strike % of at least 55%. Most good qualified starters have %'s better (and in many cases much better than that number. And Joey is at 51%. Pitchers and batters know how crucial it is to get ahead in the count. And this year pitchers have proved even more apt than last year to fall behind Joey Votto. Professional pitchers. All-Star pitchers. I'd say that's a pretty telling stat as to how pitchers are approaching Votto this year compared to last.

    Votto's 1st pitch strike % never got below 54% before in his career, spare his 1st year in limited ABs. In 2010, his MVP year, it was 58%. The biggest weakness in this argument is that we don't have 1st pitch swinging % stats so that we can eliminate Joey's level of aggression on the 1st pitch as a variable.
    Okay, sure. But that still doesn't isolate the Ludwick variable from all the other noise. Or maybe you were just adding some information, regardless of the claim of "protection" from Ludwick.

    In any case, 3% is a drop, but I'd have to know the baseline for comparison. What were the variations between Votto's other seasons? What about other players from year to year? Seems to me that the most likely scenario is that this is just noise... but it doesn't mean it isn't without interest, obviously.

    Thanks for digging deeper!

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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    It was mostly just random brainstorming/data digging, not an immediate addendum to the point about Ludwick. Just an observation that whatever the cause, there has been a drop.

    For other seasons you can check Votto's fangraph page. For his career he's averaged a 55.7% 1st strike %. The last two years were pretty steady at around 54%. I thought about looking at other players but I don't think introducing another variable will help us isolate the variable I was trying to determine - are pitchers pitching to Joey Votto differently this year? What is the trend? We could look at another comparable NL bat but we'd be introducing the variable - said batter may swing more/less on the first pitch, making comparisons difficult when we can't quantify that amount.

    I suppose you could look at the entire league to look for a possible overall trend. The NL average 1st pitch strike % this year is 60.7% by my calculations. Last year it was 60.2%. So by that measure Votto's #'s are going against the minor trend in the NL.

    edit: For emphasis: 2013 NL average 1st pitch strike %: 60.7. Votto: 51.5%. I suppose that is about as useful as a player comp.
    Last edited by sabometrics; 08-09-2013 at 01:35 AM.
    "He looked like a surfer kid from SoCal," manager Dusty Baker says. "He didn't say much, but you could tell he was cool."

  16. #118
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    It should be noted that while his 1st pitch % is down, the overall % of strikes thrown to him has gone up according to one source (BIS) from 41.3% last year to 44.3% this year. I'm not sure what to make of that though, because Pitchf/x has it at a pretty static 46.6% last year to 46.7% this year. Maybe someone with more knowledge on those two systems could speak to how they get those numbers and why they differ so much. As I'm not well-versed enough to speak to the merits/disadvantages of each I haven't used these stats in my previous posts, but I felt it was worth mentioning, because they could be relevant stats concerning this line of thinking.

    Other plate discipline tidbits we can take from fangraphs - while the numbers show 1st pitch strikes on the decline for Votto from last year to this, the his overall swing % has risen (according to both BIS and Pitchf/x), indicating he has indeed become less selective this year. This would seem to contradict any theory saying Votto's 1st pitch strike % is going down because he is more selective this year. Again though, we can't definitively say pitchers are giving him less to hit on the 1st pitch because we don't have that 1st pitch swinging %. But ... the pieces seem to fit at least.
    "He looked like a surfer kid from SoCal," manager Dusty Baker says. "He didn't say much, but you could tell he was cool."

  17. #119
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    Flawed Or Not, That Was A Nice RBI By Votto In The First.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  18. #120
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: A Little More From Joey V

    And Another One Of Those Flawed Statistics In The third.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden


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