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Thread: Can Mike Trout field?

  1. #76
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    If UZR were more consistent would you guys be making this defensive variability argument? Seems like a classic case of making the facts fit the experiment.
    The quantitative evidence suggests variability exists. Some are asserting that defensive performance does not vary much, thus the data must be wrong. Their argument is based on what amounts to logic and personal observation. We (Jojo, me and others) are providing a similar argument based on logic and observation to make the case that defensive performance may vary on the scales suggested by UZR data. Frankly, neither camp has a strong enough logical case to be convincing. Normally, that's where we would bring in the available evidence.

    Am I asserting with authority that I know defensive metrics to be very accurate? I hope not. What I am asserting is that simply coming up with a story of why defense doesn't vary much does not in any way convince me (nor should it convince anybody, in my view) that the data must be wrong. If there is no burden of proof required, one can easily come up with any number of plausible hypothesis regarding the amount of variability in defensive performance.

    My only point real point is that if I have to move forward and either accept or reject the data, as one must do if he/she is to come up with a system of holistic performance measurement, then I think UZR provides us better information than simply ignoring defense or applying some arbitrary defensive performance number based on our gut intuition, ad hoc adjustment to UZR, or any other approach I've seen put forth.

    Hopefully, over time, defensive data will get better. But I've yet to see anybody put forth an approach to measuring defense that actually produces a better estimate. I have no more confidence in the accuracy/reliability of a "WAR" measure that ignores defense than one that incorporates data that might not be as reliable as we would wish it to be.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-13-2013 at 04:56 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.

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  3. #77
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    I think defensive performance varies in the sense that, based on fluctuations in so-called true skill and the variability of a season's worth of batted-ball opportunities, particularly for outfielders, a defender's actual measured production can be quite different from season to season.

    But "actual measured production" is not exactly the same thing as "true skill," and I think what M2 was saying in the original post was, the current metrics are sensitive to the opportunities factor to the point where the numbers can swing markedly from year to year even if the true skill does not budge an inch. As with many other cases with baseball stats, estimating true skill and projecting future performance and figuring out what really happened all require a different lens.

    (Of course, it also begs the question of how much people actually care about such things in the context of things like MVP voting. It's kind of like noting a guy was really BABIP-unlucky -- sure, it hurt his numbers, but no one's going to vote based on hypothetical value.)

    But I do agree with you, RMR, about the fact that we have to use something, even if it's just UZR + gut. When comparing two players, one of whom hits better and the other defends better, we can't make a choice without at least implicitly assigning a value to the difference in defense. Even ignoring defense is making a value judgment, albeit a lazy/wrong one.
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    It's kind of like noting a guy was really BABIP-unlucky -- sure, it hurt his numbers, but no one's going to vote based on hypothetical value.)
    RE: BABIP -- could something like a "fielding BABIP" throw a lot of noise into UZR just like it might for BA?
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  6. #79
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    OBA measures an actual event that has occured so there is no question about it's accuracy. A batter either gets on base or he doesn't. It's always going to be accurate after even one AB.
    Well, we do have BABIP. There may be a correlation between BABIP and the speed at which the ball comes off a player's bat, and that's a statistic we don't have access to yet (though I think it might be getting measured now).

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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by gilpdawg View Post
    Exactly. The baseball writers have been proven to be clueless time after time. These are the same cats who voted Jim Rice into the HOF but not Jeff Bagwell. Just because they vote a certain way certainly doesn't make it the way it should be.
    Jim Rice wasn't a roider....Bagwell easily was.

  8. #81
    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman92 View Post
    Jim Rice wasn't a roider....Bagwell easily was.
    I must have missed the drug test that Bagwell failed...
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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  10. #82
    5.3 Posts Abv Replacement BluegrassRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Just to make sure I understand your perspective:

    Miguel Cabrera was more deserving of the MVP in large part because the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers were better than the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, meaning that Detroit's 88 wins won a division while the Angel's 89 finished 3rd.

    Similarly, if Cabrera had better teammates, such that the Tigers ran away with the AL Central instead of squeaking by with 88 wins, he would have been less valuable, perhaps making Trout more deserving.

    Or, if Trout had better teammates, such that the Angels finished ahead of Texas and won the wild card, Trout would have been more deserving.

    Is any of that inconsistent with you view of value? If yes, please clarify.
    My view is that Detroit is a second- or third-place team without Cabrera last year. His monster season enabled the Tigers to win their division, the ultimate goal every player should have when the season starts. Trout, as good as he was, didn't make a bit of difference in the Angels' fate. They're third with or without him, so it can be argued that his value was minimal, as fantastic an individual talent he might be.
    Rounding third and heading for home...

  11. #83
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Going back on a ball hit over your head is more than simply having the speed to run in down. Technique matters.
    Yep, and for the most part major league outfielders have that technique down pretty well. They've played a fair amount of baseball and gotten more than a little bit of coaching. And their technique doesn't fluctuate. A guy doesn't suddenly forget how to go back on a ball one season only to suddenly remember it the next.

    Likewise, gross motor skills really don't fluctuate that much either. Raw abilities generally climb to a peak, plateau for a while and gradually decline. It's a fairly orderly pattern and it's repeated in sport after sport. Yet in baseball you have an element of the game (OF defense) that is largely based on gross motor skills and our stat instrumentation has it bouncing all over the place.

    I'm with you that we still need to try to put some kind of value on this stuff, but we're never going to get to a good value representation if we keep measuring the noise and calling it the signal.
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  13. #84
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    Batting Triple Crown winners who DID NOT win their MVP award (since 1930)...

    (1) 1934, Lou Gehrig
    >> One of the biggest WTHs ever. Mickey Cochrane wins b/c he is the leader of the AL champion Tigers.

    (2) & (3) 1942 and 1947, Ted Williams
    >> Hated the writers and they hated him. Enough said.

    You win the triple crown, then you should win the MVP. It has happened 17 times in 140+ years. About 1 time per decade on the average. 1 time in the last 45 years. Same goes for a .400 batting average (god forbid BA gets mentioned!).

    Sorry. No stat, UZR or anything else will convince me otherwise. Sure there are always "other variables" (position in order, who surrounds you in lineup, etc), but this is an accomplishment that most of us have seen done one time in our lives. ONE TIME in your life (except old-timers LOL). Say that over-and-over (one time in my life, one time in my life). Not often something happens once in your life in MLB.
    Mike Trout had a rarer season in 2012 than Miguel Cabrera did. But most people didn't recognize it because it wasn't some mythical idea of what offensive production is all about (AVG/HR/RBI).

    Winning the triple crown should not mean you win the MVP if someone else had a better season than you did. Mike Trout had a better season than Miguel Cabrera did. Mike Trout had one of the best seasons anyone has ever had in the entire history of the game. He should have run away with the MVP because he was EASILY the best player in the game last year (and you could argue that he is the best player again this year too).

  14. #85
    5.3 Posts Abv Replacement BluegrassRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    (and you could argue that he is the best player again this year too).
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    Rounding third and heading for home...

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by BluegrassRedleg View Post
    Palm affixed to face.
    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    Batting Triple Crown winners who DID NOT win their MVP award (since 1930)...

    (1) 1934, Lou Gehrig
    >> One of the biggest WTHs ever. Mickey Cochrane wins b/c he is the leader of the AL champion Tigers.

    (2) & (3) 1942 and 1947, Ted Williams
    >> Hated the writers and they hated him. Enough said.

    You win the triple crown, then you should win the MVP. It has happened 17 times in 140+ years. About 1 time per decade on the average. 1 time in the last 45 years. Same goes for a .400 batting average (god forbid BA gets mentioned!).

    .
    For what it is worth, in 1933 Chuck Klein won the triple crown and also lead the NL in slugging and OBP, but he wasn't named MVP-the award went to pitcher Carl Hubbell (and probably properly did so).
    The last guy to hit .400 didn't win the MVP that season either, as Ted Williams's .406 season in 1941 gained him only a second place finish in MVP voting behind Joe DiMaggio.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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  17. #87
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Mike Trout had a rarer season in 2012 than Miguel Cabrera did. But most people didn't recognize it because it wasn't some mythical idea of what offensive production is all about (AVG/HR/RBI).

    Winning the triple crown should not mean you win the MVP if someone else had a better season than you did. Mike Trout had a better season than Miguel Cabrera did. Mike Trout had one of the best seasons anyone has ever had in the entire history of the game. He should have run away with the MVP because he was EASILY the best player in the game last year (and you could argue that he is the best player again this year too).
    Of course this has been argued ad naseum. And I am starting to think this is purposely being done by the new age MLB thinkers (imagine that). Can this whole argument be a "shove it in your face as to why I am smarter and savvier than you by the SABR crowd"? I do not have a problem with SABR-nuts (or doug) and love the info/data presented in this world. But to state a triple crown winner was EASILY not the MVP is absurd. Say it over and over again: ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE, ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE, ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE.

    Mike Trout, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams... sounds right to me lol. Let me know when he wins a triple crown. I will bet it will not happen in my life nor yours. ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  18. #88
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Mike Trout had a rarer season in 2012 than Miguel Cabrera did. But most people didn't recognize it because it wasn't some mythical idea of what offensive production is all about (AVG/HR/RBI).

    Winning the triple crown should not mean you win the MVP if someone else had a better season than you did. Mike Trout had a better season than Miguel Cabrera did. Mike Trout had one of the best seasons anyone has ever had in the entire history of the game. He should have run away with the MVP because he was EASILY the best player in the game last year (and you could argue that he is the best player again this year too).
    I would.
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  19. #89
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    Of course this has been argued ad naseum. And I am starting to think this is purposely being done by the new age MLB thinkers (imagine that). Can this whole argument be a "shove it in your face as to why I am smarter and savvier than you by the SABR crowd"? I do not have a problem with SABR-nuts (or doug) and love the info/data presented in this world. But to state a triple crown winner was EASILY not the MVP is absurd. Say it over and over again: ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE, ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE, ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE.

    Mike Trout, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams... sounds right to me lol. Let me know when he wins a triple crown. I will bet it will not happen in my life nor yours. ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE.
    Funny. Neither Babe Ruth nor Willie Mays ever won a triple crown. Those guys must not be as good as Miggie either.

    Rarity does not imply value. We could sit here all day and come up with things that have happened only once in the last 40 years. What makes them valuable is how much they actually have to do with the winning baseball games.

    This has nothing to do with shoving anything in anybody's face. It's asking people to thinking a tiny bit harder than "ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE, ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE, ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE" as if that actually had meaning in and of itself.

    By the way, guess the last time somebody had 30 HR, 45 SB and 125 Runs Scored? Well, Mike Trout. Before him.... oh wait, nobody had ever done that before. Say it over and over again: NOBODY HAD EVER DONE THAT BEFORE. NOBODY HAD EVER DONE THAT BEFORE.

    If rarity is what counts, Trout wins. If you want to actually look at the value of the things we're counting, sabermetricians are happy to have that conversation.
    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.

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  21. #90
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Can Mike Trout field?

    I am well aware of the list of Triple Crown winners, Rick. There are SO FEW that it is fairly simplistic to remember them.

    Thinking harder is neat too. As a matter of fact harder is always better IMO lol. I am bothered by statements like EASILY. Bull. I applaud Trout's season and will not dismiss what he did. Nor should the "harder thinkers" dimiss Cabrera's season and that ONCE IN YOUR LIFE event.

    I wonder what the next argument will be from the "harder thinkers" to dimiss the "not so hard thinkers"? It will happen and it will not take as long as that Triple Crown thing happening again. Don't get me wrong as I enjoy the new age stats. It is the condescending arguments/attitudes used by some that bug me. And the "not so hard thinkers" do this too.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.


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