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Thread: Can Mike Trout field?

  1. #16
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Defensive stats are the only category of stats that I really don't trust. I think I'd much rather go off of scouting reports, etc. when it comes to evaluating players on their defensive skills and potential.

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  3. #17
    5.3 Posts Abv Replacement BluegrassRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Further illustrates that voters got the MVP right last year. Way too much credit was being given to something quite random and unreliably measurable.
    Rounding third and heading for home...

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    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by BluegrassRedleg View Post
    Further illustrates that voters got the MVP right last year. Way too much credit was being given to something quite random and unreliably measurable.
    That is not at all true. Considering the scouts see Trout as being great defensively, and the positional adjustments, Trout still comes out well ahead (even if you take away all of his defensive value) of Cabrera from a statistical standpoint.

    I'm not going to get into the subjective MVP pieces to justify between Cabrera and Trout because that's a completely different discussion, but purely from a statistical standpoint in calculating value, nothing in this thread should act as proof supporting Miggy.

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    5.3 Posts Abv Replacement BluegrassRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Respectfully disagree. We all know Trout is very good defensive player and was brilliant at times last season. There's no argument at all there. But there's no way to truly quantify how much his glove meant and no way to suggest that was enough to overcome a guy with triple crown numbers on a division-winning team. It would have been a travesty if Cabrera lost that award based on such data.
    Rounding third and heading for home...

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  8. #20
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Well if PB doesn't want to jump into the 2012 AL MVP debate, I will!

    I do not see how Cabrera losing would have been a travesty in any sense of the word. He played 161 games. Trout played 139 because he didn't get called up until the very end of April. Cabrera hit .330. Trout hit .326. Cabrera had a .393 OBP. Trout had a .399 OBP. Cabrera hit 44 home runs, Trout hit 30. Trout hit leadoff in every game he played in for the Angels last year and still managed to drive in 83 runs, if such a team dependent stat really impresses you. Cabrera had 144. Cabrera drove in more runs, Trout scored more runs. Trout played tremendous defense CF and stole 49 bases, caught only 5 times. In nearly 60 less at-bats, Trout walked one time more than Cabrera.


    At the end of the day, I really don't mind that Miggy won MVP. At this moment he deserves to win it this year. But the 'zomg triple crown = automatic mvp' thing is just such a disservice to the amazing year Trout had, and in no way would Trout winning the MVP have been a travesty, defensive metric debates or not.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  9. #21
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by BluegrassRedleg View Post
    Further illustrates that voters got the MVP right last year. Way too much credit was being given to something quite random and unreliably measurable.
    I think of something like this when guys take a hard line stance using numbers only to say they are right and you are wrong. I remember vividly hearing Keith Law saying on ESPN radio that if you thought Cabrera was the MVP last season you were wrong. When you see how an important part of his metric can be skewed maybe you should use a little more indiscretion before you say your point is infallible.

  10. #22
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by BluegrassRedleg View Post
    Respectfully disagree. We all know Trout is very good defensive player and was brilliant at times last season. There's no argument at all there. But there's no way to truly quantify how much his glove meant and no way to suggest that was enough to overcome a guy with triple crown numbers on a division-winning team. It would have been a travesty if Cabrera lost that award based on such data.
    If you give Trout and Cabrera even defensive value, Trout has more valuable offensive numbers by virtue of similar rate stats while playing a more difficult position defensively.

    From purely a statistical standpoint, you either need to be able to argue that Cabrera was actually better defensively than Trout, or that Cabrera having more RBI's and the way that he accumualted his rate stats (homeruns and batting average vs. doubles/walks, etc) provided more value offensively than Trout.

    Both of those arguments are pretty squarely debunked at this point.

    From a non-statistical perspective, Cabrera led a division winning team and had sexier numbers on the back of his baseball card. In my mind, that will always be the reason that he won, justified or not. But based on the quality of the statistical evidence out there, I have no doubt in my mind that Trout individially provided more value on the baseball diamond than Cabrera did in 2012.

  11. #23
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I think of something like this when guys take a hard line stance using numbers only to say they are right and you are wrong. I remember vividly hearing Keith Law saying on ESPN radio that if you thought Cabrera was the MVP last season you were wrong. When you see how an important part of his metric can be skewed maybe you should use a little more indiscretion before you say your point is infallible.
    I agree with that.

    There are a number of subjective qualities that deserve recognition in discussion of the MVP award. Carbera obviously did a lot of things well and was the number one reason his team made the playoffs. He certainly deserved strong consideration for the award.

    At the same time, again, purely from a statistical point of view, the gap in value between the two players was substantial enough to the point of removing much doubt as to whether the authenticity of the defensive values being assigned was the difference. Simply put, they were comparable offensive players, one played a skill position, and without much doubt played it at least above average, while the other played a much less scarce position, and nobody in the world thinks he does it well. Purely speaking stats, it wasn't much of a debate. But as I said, stats are not the only thing that gets included in the MVP discussion (whether one disagrees or not with that notion - it's not the point of the thread).

  12. #24
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    1) Defensive metrics are measuring events that actually occurred too. An out is either made or it is not. On that front, they're the same.
    There's a fairly sizable difference between the two, though.

    OBA is just a straight measurement with no subjectivity. Did you get on base? Yes or no? Divide that by the number of times you come to the plate. Simple math.

    UZR is a subjective ruling by a person as to whether a ball landed in an arbitrary zone, and thus should have been fielded, and then assigned a run value based on average results of past games/teams. I can't emphasize enough the tremendous amount of subjectivity in assigning whether or not the ball lands in a zone. Since the field itself doesn't have the lines drawn to guide the people performing the analysis, it's still a bit of a hit or miss proposition.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    5.3 Posts Abv Replacement BluegrassRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Well if PB doesn't want to jump into the 2012 AL MVP debate, I will!

    I do not see how Cabrera losing would have been a travesty in any sense of the word. He played 161 games. Trout played 139 because he didn't get called up until the very end of April. Cabrera hit .330. Trout hit .326. Cabrera had a .393 OBP. Trout had a .399 OBP. Cabrera hit 44 home runs, Trout hit 30. Trout hit leadoff in every game he played in for the Angels last year and still managed to drive in 83 runs, if such a team dependent stat really impresses you. Cabrera had 144. Cabrera drove in more runs, Trout scored more runs. Trout played tremendous defense CF and stole 49 bases, caught only 5 times. In nearly 60 less at-bats, Trout walked one time more than Cabrera.


    At the end of the day, I really don't mind that Miggy won MVP. At this moment he deserves to win it this year. But the 'zomg triple crown = automatic mvp' thing is just such a disservice to the amazing year Trout had, and in no way would Trout winning the MVP have been a travesty, defensive metric debates or not.
    Some good points here, but...

    * I'm using "travesty" as message board hyperbole here. Don't put too much emphasis on my choice there. I would have disagreed if Trout won, but I wasn't going on a hunger strike or anything that my choice of terminology might have indicated.

    * I don't think you can consider the games played in that manner. It assumes that he would perform a certain way. Trout could have killed the ball in those games. He also could gone through a prolonged slump. Who knows? All we can go on is what did happen.

    * The difference in RBI is monumental, and in an AL lineup, I'm not sure the difference in their batting positions makes a staggering difference. Maybe I'm wrong there. Could be way off, I'm not really sure where to look that type of thing up. I'm sure someone here will check it out.
    Rounding third and heading for home...

  14. #26
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by BluegrassRedleg View Post
    Further illustrates that voters got the MVP right last year. Way too much credit was being given to something quite random and unreliably measurable.
    Mike Trout outperformed Miguel Cabrera offensively last year. They were basically equals on a per/PA basis at the plate. Cabrera had more power, but he hit in to a lot of double plays. Cabrera had more PA due to Trout's late start, but once you account for base-running, Trout was more productive on net offensively. That's the part that most people simply refused to believe. The defensive stuff was mostly a side conversation. I would submit that nobody who felt Trout produced the same amount as Cabrera on offense would have voted Cabrera.

    Defense simply drove the nail home. But if you wouldn't/don't accept that Trout was Cabrera's equal offensively, the defense was irrelevant. And regardless of how you measure defense, there's no way Cabrera was more valuable than Trout on that front.

    Whether or not Cabrera was your MVP basically came down to 1) Willingness to accept what the sabermetric data said about offensive value and 2) Belief that Cabrera had significantly more value than Trout in areas not captured in on-field performance. And I imagine one's position on those two things was pretty strongly correlated.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-12-2013 at 06:52 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  15. #27
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Here are some important points that need to be made for context in this discussion:

    1) Trout's UZR is a composite across three positions. That means that while he has roughly 1000 defensive innings this season, he's only logged 700 defensive innings in his most frequently played position. He's logged about 2500 total defensive innings but only 1700 in CF. If one was going to pick a player whose defensive value was subject to randomness, this is exactly the scenario one would look for. This should give one cause for pause concerning estimates of Trout's true defensive skill level.

    2) There are clearly differences in the number of in zone and out of zone plays made between Trout's 2012 CF sample and his 2013 sample with 2013 being noticeably worse. This isn't UZR giving two wildly different answers despite similar samples. Importantly, Dewan's system is picking up exactly the same thing as UZR-both agree that Trout's 2013 isn't very good in CF especially relative to 2012. Also, this also jives with the eyes as people who watch him every day generally agree that he isn't making the highlight reel stuff this season and it's very noticeable compared to last season. In other words, Trout is actually having a down year defensively. Trout's 2013 isn't as good as his 2012. Despite potential sample size issues, UZR is reflecting this, even if we should be cautious about absolute magnitude. This is a positive concerning UZR and WAR. It's a sign it's working like it should not that WAR blows and UZR is junk.

    3) It's perfectly normal for players to have good and bad defensive seasons. In other words, it's not a reasonable expectation to expect that their performance wouldn't vary naturally on defense while it does in every other aspect of the game. If UZR didn't vary from season to season, it would be suspicious. Huge swings without injury should be noted but again that isn't a de facto proof of unreliability.

    Trout isn't a throw the baby out with the bath water example. UZR isn't really broken here. Some in the media just aren't using proper caution. Dirty harry once said a man has got to know his limitations. Well that also holds true concerning a man's statistics.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  16. #28
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Get precise measurements of where the ball is and how fast it moves vs. where the defender is and how fast he moves and the riddle will be solved. It'll happen eventually. Just a matter of getting the right cameras in place.

    For now, it's all still in shadow.
    Already happening. But baseball is keeping that data to themselves right now.

  17. #29
    5.3 Posts Abv Replacement BluegrassRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Mike Trout outperformed Miguel Cabrera offensively last year. They were basically equals on a per/PA basis at the plate. Cabrera had more power, but he hit in to a lot of double plays. Cabrera had more PA due to Trout's late start, but once you account for base-running, Trout was more productive on net offensively. That's the part that most people simply refused to believe. The defensive stuff was mostly a side conversation. I would submit that nobody who felt Trout produced the same amount as Cabrera on offense would have voted Cabrera.

    Defense simply drove the nail home. But if you wouldn't/don't accept that Trout was Cabrera's equal offensively, the defense was irrelevant. And regardless of how you measure defense, there's no way Cabrera was more valuable than Trout on that front.

    Whether or not Cabrera was your MVP basically came down to 1) Willingness to accept what the sabermetric data said about offensive value and 2) Belief that Cabrera had significantly more value than Trout in areas not captured in on-field performance. And I imagine one's position on those two things was pretty strongly correlated.
    I like some of it, don't care for others.

    Ultimately, I couldn't get away from three things: TC, OPS leader, division title. The other guy trailed in each one, and his team finished 3rd.

    Sorry, didn't mean to spark another 2012 MVP debate, but I realize that's more or less what the comment did.

    Back to the original thought: I think Trout is still tremendous defensively, regardless of what some of this data suggests. It's like people trying to say Choo has been a trainwreck in CF for the Reds this season based on some of the same numbers. I don't buy that, either.
    Rounding third and heading for home...

  18. #30
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by BluegrassRedleg View Post
    I like some of it, don't care for others.

    Ultimately, I couldn't get away from three things: TC, OPS leader, division title. The other guy trailed in each one, and his team finished 3rd.
    What does his team have to do with his value?

    Was Jhonny Peralta more valuable than Trout? He was also on the Tigers first place team (who had a worse record than the Angels).


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