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Thread: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

  1. #31
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    Arguing about who is a worse outfielder--Griffey or Dunn--strikes me as arguing over who is more of an obnoxious drunk: Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan?
    Pretty much my take.

    My only concern is which one to build around and which one to discard. One player is 28 while the other is 38; seems like a pretty easy decision to me.

    FWIW, those defensive run values are better than I've seen, but I'm still not going to buy the fact that a left fielder can be as much as 15 runs above or below the average. Perhaps a catcher or shortstop, but not a left fielder. The vast majority of defensive run value belongs to the guys on the mound, and rest of the small pie piece is divided among nine gloves with the left field glove being one of the two or three least important. There simply isn't enough runs to go around.
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  3. #32
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Kearns View Post
    It could be true, but I certainly don't see any level of conclusive analysis on that particular subject. I would have a lot of trouble believing that mainly because I just don't think there were very many quality fielding LF'ders last season. It's not like it was a coming of age season for LF'ders. It was the same group of slow, big, offensive minded players.
    Not as a definitive argument, but just a starting point:

    Qualified LF:
    Luis Gonzalez, LA
    Matt Holliday, Col
    Manny Ramirez, Bos
    Shannon Stewart, Oak
    Geoff Jenkins, Mil
    Josh Willingham, Fla
    Hideki Matsui, NYY
    Carl Crawford, TB
    Carlos Lee, Hou
    Eric Byrnes, Ari
    Jay Payton, Bal
    Alfonso Soriano, ChC
    Adam Dunn, Cin
    Barry Bonds, SF
    Raul Ibanez, Sea
    Jason Bay, Pit
    Pat Burrell, Phi

    Qualified RF:
    Magglio Ordonez, Det
    Corey Hart, Mil
    Austin Kearns, Was
    Nick Markakis, Bal
    Jermaine Dye, CWS
    Bobby Abreu, NYY
    Shane Victorino, Phi
    Jeff Francoeur, Atl
    Michael Cuddyer, Min
    Shawn Green, NYM
    Delmon Young, TB
    Mark Teahen, KC
    Alex Rios, Tor
    Brian Giles, SD
    J.D. Drew, Bos
    Brad Hawpe, Col
    Ken Griffey Jr., Cin
    Jose Guillen, Sea
    Jeremy Hermida, Fla

    After a 2 second look, I'd say I'd say both groups have their share of athletic types as opposed to offense first brutes.

    However, I think one of the reasons we see Dunn so low is the cost of misplays on balls in zone -- it's really a killer. It takes a number of plays out of zone to make up for a single in zone misplay. So while it might seem like Dunn doesn't mess up as often as Junior, the mistakes he does tend to make are more costly. As viewers, I imagine it's easier for us appreciate a count of events than their collective value/impact.
    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.

  4. #33
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I am unsure.... most people here care about the Reds and how they can improve, while I bet a very small minority of people care about either BS or LL Bean.
    I'll spell it out for you: both players suck defensively, big time. No doubt about it. So does it really matter if Dunn is rated a couple of runs worse than Junior--or vice-versa? Really? Combined, they've got to be the worst corner outfield combination in the league, if not all of baseball, when defensive metrics are the consideration.

    So who's a more obnoxious drunk, Britney or Lindsay?
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  5. #34
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    This is precisely why we can't simply just dump Jr for a B prospect if we expect to contend next year. For all his warts, he was our 3rd best position player.. Although Josh was a close 4th and may surpass him next year.

    Dumping Jr frees up money, but there's not a lot of FA's that can be had for Jr's money.
    So, we are back to trading for talent.
    Maybe we could find some small market willing to trade someone getting pricey in arb,
    but that costs prized prospects.. I'm not opposed to doing that, but trading Jr for nothing really does nothing to help us win next year, unless we are willing to go all out and sell prospects. It's pretty clear the team wants to win next year. It's not clear if they are willing to trade prospects to do so. Thus, I see Jr staying.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

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  6. #35
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'm not sure how true that statement is for 2007 AK. There were a number of very good LF this year. I think it's probably true as a matter of convention or over time, but it's possible LF were better than RF in 2007.

    To the point of the thread, and to FBC's comments, have you read Justin's work? Justin has done a ton of great analysis over there and it merits much more discussion than this chippy back and forth.
    Hopefully we can get this thread back on target, because it has potential. I have read Justin's work and have previously voiced my concerns with his methodology re: Defensive Run valuation.

    Justin notes the work by Skyking162 at his blog. Take a look at the LF comparisons there:

    http://skyking162.com/2007/11/2007-r...left-fielders/

    After hearing repeated calls of Dunn being allegedly worth 15-20 negative Runs versus positional average, Skyking's analysis places him at -11. That's a little closer to reality. Justin's own numbers place Dunn at -14.9. I think we can put the "-20" baby to bed at this point, particularly after our previous thread about defensive value. At worst, Dunn appears to be 10-15 Runs worse than your average LF during a season in which he had leg issues. At best, if completely healthy, he may be an average to slightly-above average option in 2008.

    BTW, look down the list at Bonds. -6 Fielding Runs? The guy is a statue. <shrug>

    Skyking (-10) and Justin (-10.4) are in virtual agreement on Griffey's defensive value versus his peer group. Considering the difficulty in assessing the true validity of defensive Run values, I'd suggest that Dunn and Griffey could each be worth the same number of negative Runs versus their respective positional average, but that Dunn actually could still field his position better than Junior does his.

    From a subjective perspective, Griffey possesses better lateral range and goes back on the ball better than Dunn, but I've rarely seen an Outfielder do a worse job of getting to balls hit in front of him. In the end, that may affect Run value as Griffey projects to be better able to suppress single-play intensity (read: Doubles), but his inability to get to a goodly number of singles appears to balance things out. Lastly, I remember more than one 2007 play where a ball dropped between Gonzalez and Dunn where, had Dunn continued to move in, he'd have killed Alex. Dude ain't lithe and he doesn't stop on a dime, quarter, or ten dollar bill. Communication and familiarity are key, and I didn't see a whole lot of it.

    The other interesting this is Skyking's TVAR rankings. Here are the numbers from Dunn on up:

    5. (Tie) Adam Dunn, Carl Crawford- 37 TVAR
    4. Alfonso Soriano- 38 TVAR
    3. Eric Byrnes- 44 TVAR
    2. Barry Bonds- 59 TVAR
    1. Matt Holliday- 67 TVAR

    Until you hit Bonds at #2, you've got fractional Win players ahead of Dunn. I'd suggest that Byrnes doesn't project to reproduce his .358 OBP going forward. And who knows what Bonds will be doing next season. That should leave Dunn in the mix as one of the top three or four players at his position from an overall Run value standpoint.

    On another note, I'm a little leery of Justin's results for the 1B position. No, I've never worked under the assertion that Hatteberg/Conine/Cantu/Votto were good defenders, but to see that quartet combine for nearly 15 negative Runs? Yikes.
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  7. #36
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post

    On another note, I'm a little leery of Justin's results for the 1B position. No, I've never worked under the assertion that Hatteberg/Conine/Cantu/Votto were good defenders, but to see that quartet combine for nearly 15 negative Runs? Yikes.
    Outside of catcher and maybe pitcher, first base defense is the hardest thing to quantify. Anything they bring to the table in terms of covering the bag or recieving throws is pretty difficult to judge whether someone else would have done the same thing or not.... or thats at least my opinion on defensive values for first baseman.

  8. #37
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    On another note, I'm a little leery of Justin's results for the 1B position. No, I've never worked under the assertion that Hatteberg/Conine/Cantu/Votto were good defenders, but to see that quartet combine for nearly 15 negative Runs? Yikes.
    So, -15 runs is about a run every 10.8 games or roughly 0.09 runs per game. If a single is worth something on the order of .3 or .4 runs (http://www.tangotiger.net/runscreated.html), then we're talking about the difference of allowing 1 single every series that an average fielder would have gotten. Given the fairly poor range of the two guys who got the bulk of the innings, that doesn't seem so far out.

    Outside of a platoon difference due to opportunity, shouldn't 1B actually be one of the positions with the greatest range of values? Opportunity aside, what's the difference between a 1B and a 3B -- the 1B has to field throws quite often. Furthermore, because of the forced sub-optimal positioning of holding the runner on base, a particularly rangy 1B has more opportunity to gain ground defensively on his peers. Perhaps we're so focused on the catching throws part of 1B defense that we underrate the value of range. We give 1B the benefit of the doubt for missing a ball that a 3B would have gotten. Also, because it's deemed the easiest, the overall competition at the position has a lower standard, particularly in the NL, where 1B is the last resort for a poor defender. The pool is somewhat polluted by guys who shouldn't be in the field at all, but whose value is carried by their bat.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 11-09-2007 at 03:57 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.

  9. #38
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    You're right. And I'm saying that I'm choosing to put more stock in that approach than in yours. I have no love affair with bloggers. I do have a preference for an evaluation approach which considers all available information examined critically. You apparently a purely qualitative, experiential approach. We'll have to agree to disagree.

    I would absolutely love to hear what M2, Steel, and WOY have to say on the matter, particularly in regards to the numbers (and methodology behind them) which is the subject of this thread.
    I think you have to tackle defense with a scattershot. I've yet to see a methodology without critical flaws. I like the idea of PBP assessment, but I think they measure the wrong thing. I like Dewan's idea of measuring plays made instead of runs makes sense. I think Bill James has lapped the field about two times over in terms of equating defensive value with performance at the plate. I think, given the holes in the methodology, that common sense and observation have a huge role to play.

    I also think FCB has an excellent eye (he's proven it time and again) and that he does fantastic job of cutting through the noise to the heart of the matter in most cases. He's got horse sense. I respect the hell out of that.
    Last edited by M2; 11-09-2007 at 04:03 PM.
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  10. #39
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I think you have to tackle defense with a scattershot. I've yet to see a methodology without critical flaws. I like the idea of PBP assessment, but I think they measure the wrong thing. I like Dewan's idea of measuring plays made instead of runs makes sense. I think Bill James has lapped the field about two times over in terms of equating defensive value with performance at the plate. I think, given the holes in the methodology, that common sense and observation have a huge role to play.

    I also think FCB has an excellent eye (he's proven it time and again) and that he does fantastic job of cutting through the noise to the heart of the matter in most cases. He's got horse sense. I respect the hell out of that.
    In regards to scatter-shot, Justin did use 3 different systems in his take on plus/minus. His weight formula was admittedly arbitrary, but that said:

    +-Fielding = 0.375*PMR + 0.375*UZR + .25*FSR

    PRM: Probabilistic Model of Range (using BIS data)
    UZR: Ultimate Zone Rating (using STATS Inc data)
    FSR: Fan Scouting Report (run by Tom Tango)

    That's two different quantitative systems, based on qualitative coding, and one purely qualitative source generated from a spread of independent observers.

    I don't mean to demean FBC's eye and should not have gone down that road. Rather, I question the ability of anybody's eye to assess the specific question being assessed by the study presented here. It is very difficult for any person to

    - neutralize a single season's performance of a given player from their established body of work
    - make an assessment of that player's performance (not ability) relative to a dozen or more peers
    - compare two players at different positions on this basis

    I just don't think you can make all the necessary adjustments in your head. We hear all the time evaluations which are summary assessments of ability, rather than performance. "Ken Griffey Jr. is a bad RF" -- rather than "In 2007, Ken Griffey Jr. made fewer plays than the average RF, thus resulting in fewer runs prevented". Qualitative assessments tend to lend themselves to more holistic evaluations, whereas quantitative ones are necessarily specific. Neither approach is right or wrong per se', but the conclusions are different nonetheless.

    I think we can all agree that both Griffey and Dunn are below average fielders at their positions, and overall, that their defensive value (or lackthereof) is in the same ballpark -- pardon the pun. The metric difference in terms of Justin's +- Runs calculation is on the order of a 1 play difference a month.

    I think we'd be very well served to treat any +- metric with a healthy confidence interval and I'm pretty sure that the measured difference between Dunn and Junior would fall within that such that we can say they are not significantly different.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 11-09-2007 at 04:32 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.

  11. #40
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    I'm aware of Justin's methodology, I read the piece. I still don't think it offers a 1:1 equivalence with runs produced on offense.

    As for Jr. vs. Dunn, I'm with you and registerthis in not caring.
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  12. #41
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I'm aware of Justin's methodology, I read the piece. I still don't think it offers a 1:1 equivalence with runs produced on offense.

    As for Jr. vs. Dunn, I'm with you and registerthis in not caring.
    I agree M2. I don't think he's found the holy grail of player valuation. Obviously I'm not going to dismiss other analysis. At the end of the day, it will always be a scattershot approach.

    However, in terms of creating a single number player valuation on a run scale, I haven't seen a better attempt -- or if I have, certainly I've forgotten it.
    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.

  13. #42
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I agree M2. I don't think he's found the holy grail of player valuation. Obviously I'm not going to dismiss other analysis. At the end of the day, it will always be a scattershot approach.

    However, in terms of creating a single number player valuation on a run scale, I haven't seen a better attempt -- or if I have, certainly I've forgotten it.
    I have. I don't like linear weights, never have. It's shoddy math, requiring you to assume a false and shifting norm. I vastly prefer the ground up approach of Win Shares.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  14. #43
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I have. I don't like linear weights, never have. It's shoddy math, requiring you to assume a false and shifting norm. I vastly prefer the ground up approach of Win Shares.
    I wonder what the correlation between this and Win Shares looks like, with runs being converted to wins presumably. Have you seen a linear weights vs. win shares comparison you can point me to?
    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. #44
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I wonder what the correlation between this and Win Shares looks like, with runs being converted to wins presumably. Have you seen a linear weights vs. win shares comparison you can point me to?
    Not a direct one, though check out James' preamble in his Win Shares book. It's one of the smartest things written about baseball numbers that's ever been published. Doesn't make WS the be-all, end-all system, but what he gets right goes a long way toward ameliorating what he gets wrong.

    What Win Shares has got in spades is rigor. James applied it to the whole of baseball history and the individual performances on the team roll up to the total team value. Try that with a holistic linear weights system and you'd be looking at a disasterbacle of the highest order.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  16. #45
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    All the math makes my head hurt. Defensive metrics ... Here are my questions - how can you measure the damage done by shoddy fielding. It doesn't correlate, imo, to offensive stats. For isnstance, what bats would you have avoided facing had the error not been made (or a ball not caught that would be in another players range)? An error that extends the inning is likely to be much less damaging over the course of a season if the pitcher is due up next than Albert Pujols or Adam Dunn. My biggest gripe with these kind of stats is exactly the isolationism that is supposed to make them superior. Baseball is not an isolation sport- ARod is proof enough that just having the best player in baseball isn't going to get you anywhere of itself. Maybe for an individual player stats can be isolated from temamates to make valid comps to other players but on a team basis - as a collective - that ios where stats seem to come up short. Teams with a group of hitters that should wreck all scoring records rarely seem to, teams that have poor fielding seem to always have poor pitching. Individual analysis is great but does anyone know if anyone is doing any work in team aggregated stats. Like balancing a lineup, the affect of situations in a game given a team's variables in player abilities and how all that may affect outcomes. How do you statistically model different team characteristics to achieve a competitive balance. When is acquiring stud pitcher A better than keeping stud hitter B or vice versa. How does an error affect the likelihood a pitcher grooves a pitch to the next hitter (is it me or does that seem to happen a lot?) and how does that type of performance affect statistical measure. Seems to me individual metrics wouldn't be as important in that scenario than the team value in aggregate - and that seems to me to require some of the same stats and some different tools. I'm explainig my questions poorly, I think but maybe Steel or M2 or can follow me enough to see what I'm after here.


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