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Thread: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

  1. #16
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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    Bryan Smith at Baseballanalysts.com did an article last month on 19 year olds playing in the MWL since 2002. The average statline of all of them is .265/.334/.391. Jay currently has a line of .282/.335/.551. Which puts him ahead of the average 19 year old in the MWL in all categories and especially in slugging, where he is ahead by .160. ( you can read the entire article here )
    Fascinating article. I'm a bit skeptical due to the sample size and a few other factors, but it is food for thought. Some of the comments are also rather interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    As for his strikeouts and walks, I am not so worried. Kearns for examples walked 50 times and struck out 120 times as a 19 year old. As a 20 year old, he struck out 93 times and walked 90. He was the first guy I looked at and well that is where I stopped looking, but all I was looking for was an example of what can happen from season 1 to season 2 of minor league baseball and well there we go.
    He was also repeating Low A as a 20 year old. I think that is rather important in terms of looking at that kind of a progression.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    Comparisons to Harvey and Dopirak are poor in my opinion. Both were older than Bruce, while in the same league as Bruce. They had more time in the minors, more instruction etc.
    Fair point that I will happily concede.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    My last post had a lot more than this, but I lost it all, so this is what I am leaving now. It covers most of my last post, just in a shorter, abbreviated version.


    Thanks for the compliments and good discussion. Most other boards out there have not been ideal for this kind of thing.

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  3. #17
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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    I am not sure repeating a level caused his strikeout/walk ratio to go from 70 apart to 3 apart. I also dont think that Cincinnati had a High A affiliate in 2000, so Kearns didnt have anywhere to go unless they wanted to send him to AA.

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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Saying that walks are trending towards being overrated is in and of itself a bit misleading. Walks, as a value event, are not particularly significant. It's the fact that it is a guaranteed non-out event that is significant. The value difference between a walk and a hit is, largely, insignificant over time, compared the value difference between a walk and an out.
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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    I am not sure repeating a level caused his strikeout/walk ratio to go from 70 apart to 3 apart. I also dont think that Cincinnati had a High A affiliate in 2000, so Kearns didnt have anywhere to go unless they wanted to send him to AA.
    I honestly think that did play a significant role in his drastic improvement. While his numbers in his first go-around were pretty good (.258/.340/.458), they could have used improvement. Thus, in his repeat, he did markedly better (.306/.415/.558). He faced pitching that was not quite up to his level of talent and thus he made them pay. Whether it was because of the lack of a High A affiliate or having him hone his tools is not something I know about.

    Quote Originally Posted by ochre
    Saying that walks are trending towards being overrated is in and of itself a bit misleading. Walks, as a value event, are not particularly significant. It's the fact that it is a guaranteed non-out event that is significant. The value difference between a walk and a hit is, largely, insignificant over time, compared the value difference between a walk and an out.
    I am not saying that they are overrated in that they are unimportant or insignificant. Quite the opposite, I think they are rather important to a hitter's success and also to a team's ability to score runs. However, I think a lot of people have taken to overstating their importance to a hitter's success. OBP and IsoD have flaws, much like any other metric. I do not think that it is wise to evaluate a hitter solely on those grounds.

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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by Outshined_One
    I believe you misread my hypothetical there. I was attempting to indicate which player would have been more productive over the course of that season as opposed to which player you would rather have on your team at the beginning of a season.

    Secondly, there is a key difference between the two players that you did not pick up on. Player A will have a higher SLG than Player B. Remember, SLG takes into account singles, doubles, triples, and home runs. Walks are not a factor in calculating it.
    You're right. Walks are not part of SLG. But your scenario didn't mention that both players would have identical Isolated Power numbers. If they did, then Player A would be the more productive of the two over the course of a season because his SLG would be higher.

    That being said, the productive low IsoD/high IsoP player is a pretty rare beast. And using the same top 40 2006 MLB RC/27 Outs players, here are the correlations:

    BB/K to IsoP: -0.016
    IsoD to IsoP: 0.235
    K/AB to IsoP: 0.345

    Now, we've already figured out that high IsoP behavior correlates highly (0.696) with high RC/27 rates. Knowing that, we need to look for behavior that more closely correlates with high IsoP behavior. Not surprisingly, we find that high IsoD behavior has a stronger correlation with high IsoP behavior than does BB/K rate. In fact, among the best NL hitters this season, we're seeing that BB/K rate is actually holds a tiny negative correlation with the behavior we'd like to see (high IsoP).

    At first, the K/AB correlation seems out of place. But once we figure out that, in isolation, the most productive hitters tend to have the high IsoP rates, it makes complete sense because K rate is a power residual. IsoD= pitch recognition driver. K/AB rate= power residual. BB/K? Nothing- same as K/AB rate when compared to RC/27 rate.

    Now, because we know that IsoD is more highly correlated with high IsoP rates, we're able to figure out that Player B in your example may actually be more likely to produce higher IsoP numbers long term. Takes a bit for the brain to get around that concept but sometimes we need to bend it. While young Player A is producing the same IsoP numbers as young Player B, the IsoD differential makes young Player B the most likely to actually produce long-term high IsoP behavior as he climbs the minor league ladder. In short, we're talking about projection here and- all things being equal- players who establish high IsoD rates earlier have a better chance of actually manifesting high IsoP rates long term than players who cannot.

    I will tend to agree that batting average can be a misleading statistic at times due to such factors as BABIP, luck, and so on. However, a power hitter who hits .300 will be much, much more valuable to a team than a David Eckstein-type who hits .300. As I mentioned above, being able to put a charge into the ball will likely result in a guy who gets more extra base hits.
    Only if that power hitter doesn't trade Outs for Singles, which is really what we're talking about when we start bringing Batting Average into the mix. Oh, and high IsoP hitters tend to take defenses out of the mix more frequently because they're hitting balls over outfield walls. And, as we know that high IsoD numbers correlate better with high IsoP numbers and that high BB/K rates don't...well...y'know.

    BTW, Batting Average correlates with RC/27 performance at a rate of 0.309. Basically, that's just about as bad a correlation with performance as is BB/K (0.280). If looking at BB/K, BA, and IsoD alone, IsoD is going to give you the highest correlation of the three so why not use it instead?

    There is another thing that I think should be addressed here. Until recently, walks were thoroughly underrated and neglected to a fault. Even today, a number of organizations refuse to accept the walk as being an important facet of the game and will instead rely on other metrics (AVG, HRs, RBIs, etc) in creating an offense. Naturally, there is plenty of crossover, as there is nothing keeping a player from hitting 40 HRs a year and having an IsoD over .100.

    However, I think in the past few years, a number of people have been focusing on the walk to a problematic degree. It's getting to the point where it overshadows other tools in terms of its importance.
    I don't think so due to what the Walks actually mean- discipline and pitch recognition. That's why high IsoD numbers are so very important when projecting a hitter. In short, high IsoD numbers represent a players ability to properly identify good pitches to drive consistently.

    Simply put, what is the most important offensive play in baseball?

    The home run. It automatically scores at least one run, it creates no outs, and it scores all runners on the bases. After that, I would put the triple, double, single, and walk in that order.

    This does not detract from the importance of the walk, far from it. However, I think a lot of people have attained a preference for the walk over those other plays. There is nothing wrong with it; plenty of guys who post excellent walk numbers are fine offensive players. The best players in baseball are the ones who are able to incorporate all of those into their game.
    I'd have to respectfully both agree and disagree. I'm pretty sure you couldn't find anyone who'd prefer a Walk over those other events in a game situation. But we're not talking about game situations. We're talking about player projection and players who show they know how to walk at a high rate simply project better.

    Power is a highly coveted tool in baseball for a very good reason. In the MLB draft, guys who rate 70 or better in the power category are going to be very likely to be picked in the early rounds. Teams love the idea of finding guys who can drive the ball a mile and who can do it consistently. A power hitter is especially effective because he is able to drive in baserunners and put himself into scoring position. That is a trait that I think gets overlooked.
    I do agree there that a ton of folks overlook the fact that a high-IsoP player puts himself into scoring position every time he walks to the plate. But that being said, the players with the best chance of being productive are the guys who produce consistently high IsoD rates from just about the word "go".

    I think it's detrimental to evaluate all players universally in a number of cases. There is a very good reason why I tried my best to use the term "power hitter" in these discussions. If Juan Pierre and Adam Dunn hit the exact same pitch in the exact same way, Adam Dunn would hit the ball farther and harder than Pierre would. Juan Pierre is not a power hitter by the stretch of any imagination, no matter how delusional or psychotic a person may be. His value comes from his speed, ability to make contact, and ability to beat out ground balls. He takes a different approach at the plate than Adam Dunn does because he simply is unable to play the power game.
    A slap hitting type who can manifest high IsoD rates projects better than one who doesn't. But because we know that IsoD correlates with good performance more highly than BB/K rate, we can use IsoD pretty much indiscriminately over all player types. It's realistically that useful a future performance indicator. It's better alone than BB/K rate alone and while BB/K rate has a virtual zero correlation with high IsoP rate, IsoD tells us something more significant.

    A power hitter will have a different swing and a different mentality at the plate. The basics of it should be the same ("I do not want to make an out here"), but a power hitter will instead be looking for a pitch in his zone that he can drive a long way. Ideally, if he does not get any pitches in that zone, he will either be able to draw a walk or make contact with a bad pitch for a hit.

    There is something I did forget to address in my recent post in regards to not making an out as something a power hitter should do. I overlooked a hitter's ability to change his swing as necessary. As I mentioned above, as a hitter advances through the minor leagues, the number of pitches that he can drive with ease will drop with each level. If he employs the same powerful swing at each level, pitchers will be able to exploit it since powerful swings (while effective for HRs) often have holes in them.

    In order to succeed, a hitter has to learn how to employ different swings in order to get on base via contact. Shortening up a swing, using quick wrists to turn on inside pitches, and so on will be helpful in this regard, but it is not as likely to result in an extra base hit as that powerful swing mentioned above. However, it will instead result in more base hits and ergo result in a higher average.
    I'm not sure what any of that has to do with using IsoD as a key future performance indicator.

    Average and strikeouts are important statistics for hitters, in spite of their flaws. Some hitters do a much better job of making contact for hits than others do. A stronger a hitter is, the more likely he is to have extra base hits when making contact with the ball. If that guy cannot make consistent contact, then what good is his power?
    Yeah, there's a huge gap. We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Batting Average has one of the smallest correlations with actual performance versus any metric out there. In fact, if we're looking at high-performance hitters, we can pretty much ignore Batting Average and, instead, swap in IsoD and we'll be more accurate in our analysis. K rate is red herring. It has zero correlation with performance. It's not that strikeouts are "flawed". It's that strikeouts are dead. There's nothing to be learned by including them in an analysis because they don't at all correlate with performance. Knowing that we're better off eliminating them from the mix entirely.

    Lacking better data, BB/K rate has a strong enough correlation with performance that it could be just about as useful as Batting Average. Problem is that we have much better data available and IsoD is one of those things. I'm sure there was a point at which BB/K rate was one of the better things we'd discovered but that was then, this is now and BB/K just doesn't pass muster anymore.

    OBP and IsoD have flaws, much like any other metric. I do not think that it is wise to evaluate a hitter solely on those grounds.
    Nor do I. But I do think folks should start including IsoD while eliminating BB/K rates from an analysis because we've been able to figure out that IsoD is a better predictor. And I can tell you that- without looking at anything else- high IsoD hitters have a better chance of replicating and improving on their IsoP and SECA performance while developing. There's extreme value in knowing that and IsoD tells us that with more certainty than BB/K rates do.
    Last edited by SteelSD; 06-11-2006 at 09:49 PM.
    "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 that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  7. #21
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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by SandyD
    Steel, how do you apply these measures to college players?

    Different levels of competition in different conferences.
    College baseball is about winning, while the minor leagues focus on development. So, a college coach isn't concerned about how his player projects. He wants his players to contribute here and now.

    Just curious.
    It's tough because of the aluminum bat variable. That being said, if we're looking at advanced college hitters who're playing at the same level of competition we know that they're closer to their physical peaks so we can assume a bit more about their power potential than younger kids even though we'll most likely also see a power degradation for many.

    Aluminum bats don't really impact IsoD that much, but I'd much rather see an IsoD well above .100 (see: Swisher, Nick) in a big conference than see something below. Even at .100, it's not a guarantee that the hitter will be able to manifest an above average IsoD over time- especially over the short range future as there's generally some IsoD degradation that we need to account for.

    A guy like Stubbs is right on the fence. If his IsoD is for real, that bodes well for his Isolated Power numbers long-term because it means a goodly portion of his college power numbers representative of his plate discipline/pitch recognition skill sets. Personally, I think he can keep his IsoD above 80 points and that means he's got a real shot of being a productive hitter even losing the aluminum bat. He's got the size to do so and the potential to grow a bit more into his 6'4" frame. Problem is that I'm not sure we're looking at a Center Fielder for too long if he puts on any more muscle mass- and he may have to if rumors of wood bat power issues are true.

    A comparable guy (already noted) to take a look at is Nick Swisher out of Ohio State. Similar BA for Swisher and Stubbs in big NCAA Division 1 conferences. Similar power numbers. But take a look at Swisher's IsoD numbers his last two seasons. Ridiculously good. Also important, IMHO, was that Swisher was immediately placed into an environment that consistently nurtures and rewards his innate discipline and recognition skill set. In my mind, it's important that the Reds do the same with Stubbs to max out his potential because he's shown that he kinda' "gets it".
    "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 that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    So how would Joey Votto project?

    For a kid that had back to back 90 BB seasons in the low minors and then watched his BB numbers dip into the 50's last year. With this year looking like as if he'll be in the midlle ground of those.

    I would assume that its not unsual for a hitter to have less walks in the high minors against the low minors due to pitchers with more control and more refined pitches. But for prospects who's walk rates fluctuate like that how would you project them?

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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Do you think the nature of the college game affects a players stats at all? Or just insignificantly? Have you looked at players who may have exceeded expectations, then gone back to their college experience to determine why?

    1. The emotional factor. The college (and HS) game can be intensely emotional. And young players I've seen often start to press a bit, being less selective at the plate, when their team is behind late in a big game.

    2. Coaching. College coaches depend on wins to keep their jobs, so their going to coach their players for immediate success rather than long term projections.

    Personally, I'd like to see them go to wood for Div-1 colleges, but I'm afraid it would force a lot of players whose baseball career now ends at that level out of the game.

    Hopefully, the Reds have the "right enviroment" for Stubbs to succeed.

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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsIn07
    So how would Joey Votto project?

    For a kid that had back to back 90 BB seasons in the low minors and then watched his BB numbers dip into the 50's last year. With this year looking like as if he'll be in the midlle ground of those.

    I would assume that its not unsual for a hitter to have less walks in the high minors against the low minors due to pitchers with more control and more refined pitches. But for prospects who's walk rates fluctuate like that how would you project them?
    I'd have little issue projecting Votto with an 80-point IsoD at the MLB level and I'd suggest that his MLB peak IsoD is around 100 points as he acclimates himself to higher levels. I'd be flabbergasted if baseballprospectus.com's MLB equivalent numbers don't bear that out (I just checked. They do.)

    Here are the seasonal IsoD numbers for Votto:

    2002: .073 (Gulf Coast Reds- Rookie)
    2003: .135 (Billings- Rookie), .117 (Dayton- A)
    2004: .117 (Dayton- A), .087 (Potomac- A+)
    2005: .074 (Sarasota- A+)
    2006: .078 (Chattanooga- AA)

    Career (2002-2005): .101 IsoD

    MLB average IsoD tends to hover right around 65-70 points recently which tells us that Votto's valleys are still above average. I like that- particularly for a 22-year old who's advanced to AA. We also know that Votto's IsoD isn't particularly IBB or HBP-driven. And that's good too, even though acquiring HBP can be a viable part of the IsoD skill set for some.

    Personally, I see Votto as a potential Lyle Overbay comp. That's interesting because Overbay's minor league numbers (.413 OBP/.531 SLG) seem out of whack with Votto's (.379 OBP/.452 SLG) until we realize that Overbay's OBP and SLG numbers were tremendously BA-driven (.342 BA). And it's simply unreasonable to project anything resembling that Batting Average at the MLB level.

    Here are the IsoD and IsoP numbers:

    Votto: .101 IsoD, .178 IsoP
    Overbay: .071 IsoD, .189 IsoP

    In the Show, Overbay has produced a .088 IsoD and a .165 IsoP. I think Votto still has room to grow and really don't forsee many circumstances under which he wouldn't eventually be able to produce those kind of IsoD/IsoP numbers and a reasonable Batting Average (which is what Overbay has now).

    Those aren't premium run production numbers. But a .280 BA/.370 OBP/.450 SLG profile does have value- particularly when you're not paying a premium price for it. And Votto could still produce a higher SLG than that because he is demonstrating a .200+ IsoP right now in AA at age 22 and his IsoD tells us that's most likely not a mirage.

    2005 didn't look all that good, but I'd like to mention the "take-a-strike" plan that was indisciminately implemented by O'Brien's regime. On paper, that might make sense, but I's suggest that high-IsoD players need "zone" instruction rather than "patience" instruction. It may seem intuitive to a guy like O'Brien (who never really seemed to understand the difference between a plan and a well-conceived plan), but telling a disciplined, selective hitter to watch pitches go by that he may like isn't the right way to go about things.

    The above opinion is, of course, anecdotal in nature. It may be possible that his coaches asked that Votto be immune to that mandate. It may be possible that Votto just had a less than optimal season in a pitcher's league. Given his medium-HR pop, Doubles-driven power skillset that's always a reasonable take as well. That being said, if Votto appears to have failed in 2005, he "failed well" as he still produced an above-average IsoD along with an IsoP (.169) that falls in line with his previous career norms.

    And one thing you'll note I use often when referencing performance is "succeeded poorly" versus "failed well". Within the realm of performance analysis, I honestly believe that both exist. In Votto's case, I've seen him "fail well" but I've yet to see him "succeed poorly". To me, that's a Big Deal in projecting how well he might do in the future.
    "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 that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by SandyD
    Do you think the nature of the college game affects a players stats at all? Or just insignificantly? Have you looked at players who may have exceeded expectations, then gone back to their college experience to determine why?
    Wow. That's a tall order but I'd be happy to take a look at it if someone gave me a list of players who ended up significantly outperforming their college numbers at the MLB level.

    1. The emotional factor. The college (and HS) game can be intensely emotional. And young players I've seen often start to press a bit, being less selective at the plate, when their team is behind late in a big game.
    And that's quite possible. But I've always wondered if "press" doesn't mean "getting dumb"- i.e. allowing the brain to overtake instinctual reaction. What I'd love to find out is if there's any objective way to determine whether or not a player- under extreme stress- does what he thinks he's supposed to do or does what he knows to do. Kind of like a baseball Wonderlic.

    2. Coaching. College coaches depend on wins to keep their jobs, so their going to coach their players for immediate success rather than long term projections.
    Instruction is key. Knowing that, I'd very much like to see some kind of coaching interview process by MLB clubs about what that coach actually thinks IS more conducive to winning and what he's teaching his kids. That would, of course, be voluntary but it might be worth it considering the potential recruiting gain. For example, if a college coach can tell a HS prospect that X% of MLB teams agree that his coaching methods produce results they want to see, there might be a definite interview compliance gain.

    That being said, I have little doubt that MLB scouts haven't already discerned much of that data during normal conversation. Yet, it would be nice to have it somehow documented.

    Personally, I'd like to see them go to wood for Div-1 colleges, but I'm afraid it would force a lot of players whose baseball career now ends at that level out of the game.
    I'd like to see that too and not only from a safety perspective. I understand how expensive wood bats can be over the course of a season. And yet, considering how much money MLB teams spend on college players every amateur draft, I can't for the life of me understand why MLB wouldn't supplement NCAA budgets. Maybe MLB has already done a cost analysis on the subject and found that having teams waste a ton of cash on failed draft picks is more cost effective. Yet, I can't see how that would be true.

    Hopefully, the Reds have the "right enviroment" for Stubbs to succeed.
    I agree. That's the hope. But keep in mind that Krivsky came over from an organization that doesn't value IsoD and he hired a scouting director who- in his only three drafts- has drafted high BB/K rate college hitters whose power games have seen a serious degradation when translated to wood bats (Aaron Hill, Russ Adams, Gabe Gross). That scares me a bit because it projects a philosophy of allowing hitters to be who they are without an influx of hitters who project to be all that good. In fact, I haven't seen a single Chris Buckley draft pick really make good and his drafts go back to 2001 (through 2003).

    That doesn't give me a whole lot of confidence- particularly when hearing rumors that Stubb's power game won't translate to wood bats. His IsoD (@.100) can overcome some of that, but it begs the question as to why the Reds would select a hitter over two more projectible pitchers (Linecum, Scherzer). Even a guy like Brett Sinkbiel may have been a more prudent choice if the Reds were looking for fast-advancing talent (and there's no reason to take a college hitter if that's not what the goal is).

    I hope like heck that Stubbs makes good. But right now I'm a bit worried.
    "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 that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD
    And that's quite possible. But I've always wondered if "press" doesn't mean "getting dumb"- i.e. allowing the brain to overtake instinctual reaction. What I'd love to find out is if there's any objective way to determine whether or not a player- under extreme stress- does what he thinks he's supposed to do or does what he knows to do. Kind of like a baseball Wonderlic.
    You know, there is one thing I've been wondering about recently. All the time, people talk about how clutch hitters are, such as the ability to get a base hit with RISP and two outs or whatever. The problem is, most statistical analysis has thus far pointed to either inconclusive results or to the notion of clutch being a myth in hitters.

    However, there is a second possibility to this whole notion that I think people have not adequately addressed: the role of the pitcher. In numerous interviews with pitchers I've read, along with scouting reports and the countless number of games I've seen in my life, a good number of pitchers have had different reactions to situations where they are in a pressuer situation (bases loaded and no outs, for example). I've seen some guys reach back and add a few ticks to their fastball while other guys have seemingly collapsed under the pressure, throwing a "get me over" pitch that ends up in the bleachers.

    Is this also something that would be hard to prove or that would be inconclusive? If there is something to it, perhaps this could also be applied to the college pitchers in those situations...

    Terrific post above, by the way. I have some bones to pick with it, but that will require some time for me to ponder over some of what you said and also to write yet another long-winded response.

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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by Outshined_One
    You know, there is one thing I've been wondering about recently. All the time, people talk about how clutch hitters are, such as the ability to get a base hit with RISP and two outs or whatever. The problem is, most statistical analysis has thus far pointed to either inconclusive results or to the notion of clutch being a myth in hitters.

    However, there is a second possibility to this whole notion that I think people have not adequately addressed: the role of the pitcher.

    In numerous interviews with pitchers I've read, along with scouting reports and the countless number of games I've seen in my life, a good number of pitchers have had different reactions to situations where they are in a pressuer situation (bases loaded and no outs, for example). I've seen some guys reach back and add a few ticks to their fastball while other guys have seemingly collapsed under the pressure, throwing a "get me over" pitch that ends up in the bleachers.

    Is this also something that would be hard to prove or that would be inconclusive? If there is something to it, perhaps this could also be applied to the college pitchers in those situations...
    You mean that there's more happening during the game than just the hitter? Do tell...

    Good take.

    Terrific post above, by the way. I have some bones to pick with it, but that will require some time for me to ponder over some of what you said and also to write yet another long-winded response.
    Thanks and same to you. But before you write that "long-winded response" (because, of course, I never write those) I'd ask you to take another look at the correlations. The reason I ask you to do that is that you've shown a propensity to, IMHO, overestimate the value of Strikeouts when incorporated in an analysis. That's not uncommon. I repeat- that is not uncommon because, intuitively, Strikeouts are bad.

    That being said, again- take a look at the correlations because we're talking about how to best project performance. What we've been able to identify during this exercise (with you as a primary contributor) is that K-based metrics have a lower correlation with performance and that which is most correlated to peformance than more valid non-K-based metrics.

    That doesn't mean you're wrong, mind you. It actually means that you're mostly right. It also means that you might be able to better project performance by dropping strikeouts from the mix entirely. There's real value to that because it might just allow you to move on to what I consider to be a more sophisticated talent projection iteration (IsoD projection rather than BB/K projection).
    "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 that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  14. #28
    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Steel,

    Do you know of a good source for a primer on IsoD/IsoP? I get the general idea, but I would like to know more about how it is calculated, the theory behind it, relevance, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

  15. #29
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    So Steel, gotta ask you two things here. One, what does your name stand for? And two, what are your feelings on Delmon Young? He is nearly by all acounts is the best prospect in baseball, but well, he also has a small margin between his AVG and his OBP of just 0.053 for his career.

  16. #30
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Isolated Discipline and Prospect Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Heeler
    Steel,

    Do you know of a good source for a primer on IsoD/IsoP? I get the general idea, but I would like to know more about how it is calculated, the theory behind it, relevance, etc.

    Thanks in advance.
    Not sure if that primer exists, RH. But I'll help as best I can:

    IsoD = OBP minus Batting Average (OBP-BA=IsoD)
    IsoP = SLG minus Batting Average (SLG-BA=IsoP)

    Secondary Average = (TB - H + BB + SB - CS) / AB

    All three metrics speak to secondary base acquisition and work independent of Batting Average.

    As for relevance, let's take a look at MLB 2005 from a behavior subset vantage point.

    In 2005, Runs Created per 27 Outs produced a 0.919 correlation with Runs Scored per game on a team level. That's a scintilla better correlation than between Runs Created and Runs Scored. What we're looking for is that which correlates more strongly with RC/27 Outs within our secondary base acquisition subset.

    Correlations:

    IsoD to RC/27: 0.410
    BB/K to RC/27: 0.415
    IsoP to RC/27: 0.793
    SECA to RC/27: 0.875

    It's pretty clear that what we're looking for is high IsoP and, even better, high Secondary Average (which incorporates BB and SB which is why it's correlation runs higher than IsoP). It's interesting to note that, at this point, IsoD and BB/K are running neck in neck on our behavior chain. So let's take a look at which one correlates more strongly with high IsoP and SECA production.

    Correlations:

    IsoD to IsoP: 0.174
    BB/K to IsoP: -0.011

    IsoD to SECA: 0.610
    BB/K to SECA: 0.364

    The IsoD correlation to IsoP, while small, is still there. Not so with BB/K rate. It falls off the map. That's interesting because IsoD is BB/HBP related and doesn't incorporate a single base used to calculate SLG. Yet we find that IsoD is actually related to IsoP production while BB/K rate isn't.

    The correlation of IsoD to SECA (our preferred secondary base acquisition metric) is much stronger because SECA incorporates BB already. Yet so does BB/K rate and IsoD holds a much stronger correlation with our preferred behavior.

    Here's the kicker...

    Correlation:

    IsoD to Batting Average: -0.141
    BB/K to Batting Average: 0.256

    I have a feeling that folks using BB/K rather than IsoD are looking for BA-driver behavior. BB/K is somewhat useful in identifying behavior that may produce a slightly higher Batting Average over time. That being said...

    Correlation:

    BA to RC/27: 0.720
    SECA to RC/27: 0.875

    If BA doesn't correlate as highly with run production behavior versus better numbers, looking for a potential driver of that less productive behavior isn't the best way to go about it. Instead, what we'd rather do is search for the best driver/driver/driver chain. That's what we've done with IsoD and IsoP and we can apply those metrics at the individual hitter level to give us a pretty decent shot at realistically projecting performance over the long haul.
    "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 that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams


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