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Thread: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

  1. #196
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by dubc47834 View Post
    I don't know, I just can't say that it is pure chance, or whatever people want to call it. It doesn't explain to me thow a guy can have 1 set of numbers during the regular season over a career, and then be way better or way worse during the playoffs. I understand there are small sample sizes, like it's their 1st post season, but there are guys out there that have multiple playoffs that suck during the postseason.
    Everything changes in the playoffs. In basketball, superstars are guarded in completely different ways that leads to other opportunities for guys (who become "legends" because someone else double-teamed all night). In baseball, players are pitched in a completely different way. The weather is completely different in October than it is in June or July. Schedules and routines are thrown off by things like media availability and travel.

    There are million things that go into all of this that the players have absolutely 0 control over -- our brains like stories, so we spin it into "this guy is clutch, this guy isn't."
    Championships Matter.
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  4. #197
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    You've shown he was the anti-Phillips when it came to luck this season. That doesn't support the conclusion that his RC metric is invalid for the season.
    "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

  5. #198
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    There absolutely is such thing as clutch. Some people handle pressure situations better than others. That's a truism.

    Defining it, however, much less knowing how to quantify it, is a whole other issue.
    Phillips' and Votto's 2013 compared to their careers demonstrate that the concept of clutch as fans understand and apply it is bunk.
    "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

  6. #199
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Phillips' and Votto's 2013 compared to their careers demonstrate that the concept of clutch as fans understand and apply it is bunk.
    It demonstrates a few things, for sure, but not really about those people. It's the people that respond that show their true colors with their demonstrative and dismissive attitude at everything that doesn't fit in their own little box.

    There are arguments to be made both for and against those stats, but certainly no evidence that gives anyone latitude to dismiss it as "bunk."
    "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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  8. #200
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    It's the people that respond that show their true colors with their demonstrative and dismissive attitude at everything that doesn't fit in their own little box.
    Sorry, Brutus, I've read enough of your posts on this site to conclude that the sentence above describes you as much as it does anyone else.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton View Post
    Votto himself says he had a down season (as has been pointed out ad infinitum here). He said he "never got it going offensively." then mentioned defense. Do you disagree with him, also?
    He obviously had to be referring to his RBI and 2B totals, because he excelled in every other area (offensively). Joey needs to hang out on ORG more often, so he'll learn those stats aren't important.
    "I talked to an advance scout that told me if Joey Votto and Albert Pujols were on the same team he'd advise his team to do the unthinkable...pitch around Votto to get to Pujols." - Buster Olney, ESPN

  11. #202
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    You've shown he was the anti-Phillips when it came to luck this season. That doesn't support the conclusion that his RC metric is invalid for the season.
    The runs created stat assumes that all of a players stats are distributed equally. Those stats demonstrated that Votto performed less than expected in crucial situations that have been statistically proven to lead directly to runs and wins. The most logical conclusion to be drawn from such evidence is Votto's runs created stat does not accurately reflect how runs he actually created for the team.

    It could be because of luck, clutchness or underpants gnomes. Why is not the issue, the issue is that the stats are clear on what happened.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    The runs created stat assumes that all of a players stats are distributed equally. Those stats demonstrated that Votto performed less than expected in crucial situations that have been statistically proven to lead directly to runs and wins. The most logical conclusion to be drawn from such evidence is Votto's runs created stat does not accurately reflect how runs he actually created for the team.

    It could be because of luck, clutchness or underpants gnomes. Why is not the issue, the issue is that the stats are clear on what happened.
    Actually the proper interpretation isnt that Votto's RC overvalued his bat, it's that his unlucky performance wRISP decreased hiw RC in a way that isn't likely to occur going forward.
    "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

  13. #204
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    It demonstrates a few things, for sure, but not really about those people. It's the people that respond that show their true colors with their demonstrative and dismissive attitude at everything that doesn't fit in their own little box.

    There are arguments to be made both for and against those stats, but certainly no evidence that gives anyone latitude to dismiss it as "bunk."
    We've heard all season about how Votto wasn't clutch or a run producer because he only batted .291/.477/.455 OPS: .932 during a 134 PAs with runners in scoring position and didn't have enough rbis. It's a crazytastic argument. But also if one fo the best run producers in baseball can do this wRISP for his career .340/.477/.590 OPS: 1.067 yet in any given season OPS over 100 pts lower, it just shows how meaningless 100 pts actually is given sample sizes.

    In other words, clutch as fans wax on about it, is bunk.
    "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

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by New York Red View Post
    He obviously had to be referring to his RBI and 2B totals, because he excelled in every other area (offensively). Joey needs to hang out on ORG more often, so he'll learn those stats aren't important.


    Who doesn't love 2Bs? Everyone loves 2Bs. Trying to act like people hate getting hits because they can appreciate a walk is little off base.

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    Sorry, Brutus, I've read enough of your posts on this site to conclude that the sentence above describes you as much as it does anyone else.
    If I could, I would "like" this 100 times.
    "I talked to an advance scout that told me if Joey Votto and Albert Pujols were on the same team he'd advise his team to do the unthinkable...pitch around Votto to get to Pujols." - Buster Olney, ESPN

  18. #207
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    If I could I'd stay on topic

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  20. #208
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Forget the word clutch. It's canard that people use on both sides to muddy the waters. I apologize for using that loaded word, it simply was a matter of laziness on my part.

    Do you think that Votto performed as expected with RISP, with runners on base, late in close games and in high leverage situations? The empirical evidence overwhelming says that he did not.
    Let's back up for a minute. How much of this was Votto not being clutch vs. simply not hitting as well?

    Code:
    		PA	AVG	OBP	SLG	wOBA	BB%	K%	LD%	GB/FB	BABIP
    2012		475	.337	.474	.567	.438	19.8	17.9	30.2	1.18	.404
    2013		726	.305	.435	.491	.400	18.6	19.0	27.2	1.50	.360
    Career	       3790	.314	.419	.541	.411	14.9	18.5	25.2	1.23	.359
    We should recognize the big themes of Votto's 2013 overall:
    1. His BABIP regressed from Godly to simply really freaking good, his career level. This hurt his stats across the board.
    2. His power was down, the lowest ISO of his career. Perhaps not surprisingly, he also set a career high GB/FB rate.

    Regarding #1, that was not unexpected. He wasn't going to have a .400 BABIP again. He just wasn't; end of story. For a player with so little speed, Votto is already pushing the limits of historical performance on that front with his career .359 rate.

    Regarding #2, the question is why he hit the ball on the ground so much more. I'm not sure I can link that to his (arguably) overly disciplined approach. If anything, his unwillingness to expand the zone should minimize grounders. However, if his knee was indeed bothering him, and he wasn't able to turn on the ball as quickly or in quite the same way, that's strikes me as a plausible cause. Will that get better in 2014? I hope so.

    So we know he hit for a lower average and less power in 2013 than 2012. Both his AVG and SLG were below his career norms, which would explain the RBI issue somewhat. But that's obviously not the full story.

    Joey Votto did a poor job at converting RBI opportunities, period. Of the 199 players with 400+ PA, Votto was 165th best at converting baserunners to runs OBI%. Brandon Phillips, for reference, was 20th. Also for reference, Votto was tied for 13th (with Big Papi) with 441 men on base in total while Jay Bruce was 2nd with 500 and Brandon Phillips was 3rd with 492.

    But Voto was still a really good hitter in 2013; he still hit .305 and slugged nearly .500. So what's with the RBI conversion rate. HeLet's take a closer look at those splits:
    Code:
    		PA	AVG	OBP	SLG	wOBA	BB%	K%	LD%	GB/FB	BABIP
    --2013 Splits--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bases Empty	394	.318	.416	.531	.414	14.2	19.8	26.3	1.45	.401
    Men on Base	332	.287	.458	.434	.383	23.8	18.1	28.4	1.57	.329
    Men in Scoring	192	.291	.477	.455	.384	26.4	17.1	23.4	1.65	.271
    
    --Career Splits------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bases Empty	2086	.302	.390	.526	.399	12.2	19.7	26.0	1.30	.346
    Men on Base	1704	.331	.455	.561	.426	18.2	17.0	24.2	1.15	.376
    Men in Scoring	 989	.340	.477	.590	.435	21.2	16.5	24.9	1.04	.379
    Here's what I see:
    1. His walk rate shoots up with men on base. Not a surprise, nor something out of the ordinary for him throughout his career. But the degree to which is shot up was significantly higher this year. So maybe he's just not swinging? But his strikeout rates were much closer to his career averages. Perhaps he was slightly more willing to take a pitch in 2013, but it seems like the larger portion of the explanation is that he just got less to hit.

    2. Votto's BABIP cratered with men on base. For his career, his BABIP actually jumps 30 points with guys on base. Last year, it dropped from .401 with the bases empty to .271 with runners in scoring position. That's huge. As for why? Well, BABIP jumps around a fair amount, especially in smaller samples. But it's also something hitters do have a decent amount of control over. If Votto was being too patient, too unwilling to swing, it would seem odd to suggest he was making worse contact with guys on base. And when we look at LD%, we see a guy was still stinging the ball when he made contact. Doesn't really compute -- especially given that BABIP on grounders is higher than BABIP on fly balls and....

    3. Votto's GB/FB spiked with men on base, the opposite of his historical trend. Again, I struggle to tie this to being too patient, too unwilling to chase.

    So, at the end of the day, we have guy who:
    - Lost some power
    - Lost some luck
    - Had worse timing

    He didn't have a "great" year from an RBI standpoint, something which appears to be driven by all the things that went wrong for him. If Votto's primary job is to convert base-runners to run batted in, his 2013 was poor. Of course, the problem is that no batter has just one job, regardless of where he bats in the lineup. Batting 3rd simply isn't that different from batting 2nd, 4th, or anywhere else.

    Every batter is responsible for both advancing his teammates and putting himself on base to be advanced (or to advance himself). And the balance of the value provided by fulfilling those responsibilities does not change drastically at different spots in the lineup. For whatever reason, many people seem to think that the RBI conversion part is the rare/more valuable skill; the best hitters are the "run producers" who tally a lot of RBI. But in fact, getting on base is actually the more rare skill. It's harder to find guys who get on base a lot than guys who slug or hit for average and we know that at the team level OBP is more strongly correlated to total runs than either AVG or SLG.

    Votto did not do a good job at driving in runs last year. But the leap from "didn't get an RBI" to "failed to do his job" is myopic and misguided. Yes, Votto could have been better, especially on the advancing runners front. I expect him to do better in that respect in 2014 and so should you. But despite his "struggles" to "produce runs" in 2013, Joey Votto still managed to create more runs as a hitter than anybody else in the NL -- or close to it -- easily justifying his salary and contract.
    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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  22. #209
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Forget the word clutch. It's canard that people use on both sides to muddy the waters. I apologize for using that loaded word, it simply was a matter of laziness on my part.

    Do you think that Votto performed as expected with RISP, with runners on base, late in close games and in high leverage situations? The empirical evidence overwhelming says that he did not.
    The 'empirical evidence' says nothing of the sort. Votto had a FINE 2013 regardless of situation; certainly well within normal expectations.

    However, what your post is saying is that there's a tremendous gap between what we could reasonably expect from a hitter and what you expected. That's not a Votto issue; instead, it's an issue with your expectation.

    What you've done is taken a total of 753 completely unrelated AB across Votto's career and concluded that we should reasonably expect him to hit .341 w/RISP annually going forward. But that's not how things work. Sometimes hitters post better situational numbers in a given year and sometimes worse. Sometimes normal variances pop up versus overall performance (like 2013) and sometimes not.

    The issue is that the sample sizes you're using are too small and year-to-year small sample performance is naturally too volatile to allow you to form the conclusions you're using to drive your expectations; resulting in wild expectations of situational over-performance that, really, no one can match over any real period of time.

    In short, if you use the improbable to fuel an expectation that the exception is 'normal', you're going to be disappointed pretty much every time. But, again, that's not a 'Joey Votto' issue.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch thatís over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.Ē
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  24. #210
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    The 'empirical evidence' says nothing of the sort. Votto had a FINE 2013 regardless of situation; certainly well within normal expectations.

    However, what your post is saying is that there's a tremendous gap between what we could reasonably expect from a hitter and what you expected. That's not a Votto issue; instead, it's an issue with your expectation.

    What you've done is taken a total of 753 completely unrelated AB across Votto's career and concluded that we should reasonably expect him to hit .341 w/RISP annually going forward. But that's not how things work. Sometimes hitters post better situational numbers in a given year and sometimes worse. Sometimes normal variances pop up versus overall performance (like 2013) and sometimes not.

    The issue is that the sample sizes you're using are too small and year-to-year small sample performance is naturally too volatile to allow you to form the conclusions you're using to drive your expectations; resulting in wild expectations of situational over-performance that, really, no one can match over any real period of time.

    In short, if you use the improbable to fuel an expectation that the exception is 'normal', you're going to be disappointed pretty much every time. But, again, that's not a 'Joey Votto' issue.
    If this is the case, that we can't use one seasons worth of AB's in high leverage situations, or with RISP to draw any conclusions, because the sample size is too small, then we need to throw away nearly every study in clutch hitting, or BABIP, or UZR, or a the majority of studies done within the SABR community.

    Anyway, the only conclusion that I have drawn is that Votto wasn't as productive in crucial situations in 2013 as he was during the rest of his career. I drew no conclusions or attempted to draw any conclusions as to why this happened. The only conclusion that I drew is that it did happened.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.


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