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Thread: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

  1. #46
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    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.
    Especially when Dunn had in the neighborhood of 5% of the Reds' TC in the field in 2007. His zone rating suggested he got to 15% less of the balls than he should have, but when Dunn was basically averaging 2 fielding chances a game, I find it very hard to believe that he could be held accountable for 15 runs below the average. 10 runs below average I could possibly fathom for a LF, but nothing more. There just aren't that many plays in LF.

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  3. #47
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    Especially when Dunn had in the neighborhood of 5% of the Reds' TC in the field in 2007. His zone rating suggested he got to 15% less of the balls than he should have, but when Dunn was basically averaging 2 fielding chances a game, I find it very hard to believe that he could be held accountable for 15 runs below the average. 10 runs below average I could possibly fathom for a LF, but nothing more. There just aren't that many plays in LF.
    15% of 2 plays per game is 1 play every 3 games or 54 plays on the season. You don't think 50 plays in LF can add up to 15 runs?
    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. #48
    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
    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.
    I've got new historical abstract from a few years back -- haven't read it since then. Time to dust if off and read the Win Shares section again.
    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.

  5. #49
    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've got new historical abstract from a few years back -- haven't read it since then. Time to dust if off and read the Win Shares section again.
    Check out the Win Shares book itself, it's lesser known, but the opening section is well worth the read.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  6. #50
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I've got new historical abstract from a few years back -- haven't read it since then. Time to dust if off and read the Win Shares section again.
    Rick, this may be quite difficult (and perhaps quite $$$ too), but if you can find a used copy of Win Shares itself, I'd suggest doing what you can to pick up a copy for yourself. Along with the New Historical Abstract, it is among the greatest baseball resources I've ever owned.

    James gets pushed to the side by the linear weights community quite a bit nowadays, but he understands baseball on another level from them, which is the historical level. Much of his research has been applied and tested throughout the history of baseball, and he understands the variances in the game throughout its time.
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  7. #51
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    15% of 2 plays per game is 1 play every 3 games or 54 plays on the season. You don't think 50 plays in LF can add up to 15 runs?
    15 runs for 50 plays? No.

    15 runs over 292 plays (which is 15% more than the 254 TC Dunn had in 2007)? Still no.

    15 runs at 254 TC says that 6% of the time of Dunn attempts to field the ball, a run scores. 10 runs at 254 TC says that 4% of the time Dunn attempts to field the ball, a run scores. 15 runs at 292 TC says that 5% of the time, Dunn attempts to field the ball, a run scores. You're basically adding 5 runs over 38 TC, which is 13% of the time, a run scores. I just don't buy it.

    10 runs over 292 TC, sure, I'll concede that. Anything more than 10 is stretching it, IMO.

  8. #52
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Just got this email from Justin ( http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/ ), he can't post in this thread on this forum, but asked me to post this (mods, if its against the rules posting this for him, feel free to erase this, although I figure its relevent since the entire thread is based around his work)
    Some comments on this thread:

    * Thanks to everyone who has said nice things about my work.

    * I'd say that the estimated fielding runs difference between Griffey and Dunn (~4 runs) should probably be considered to be about within the margin of error of these fielding estimates. I, like just about every other baseball researcher, am pretty negligent when it comes to reporting error bars around my estimates. Sorry.

    Nevertheless, we might be able to learn something by comparing what each of the datasets report (see my original post for breakdown). The Fans' Scouting Report is very critical of Dunn, but much less so of Griffey. RZR is highly critical of both fielders. ZR is critical of Dunn, though much less so than the others--and it gives Griffey a positive rating (probably because out of zone plays are nearly irrelevant for ZR--and that's where Griffey gets hammered by RZR). So my inclination is to rank Griff a tad above Dunn. But I think they're both liabilities with the glove.

    The comment that the fielding talent in left field might be better than in right is interesting. On average, left fielders and right-fielders have been found to be roughly equivalent according to UZR (that's what I'm using to set position adjustments). But the Fans' scouting report indicates that right fielders have better overall fielding talent than left fielders. So those data don't support that claim...but then again, it's a hard thing to quantify.

    * The problem with just using Fielding Bible data is that they are (naturally) based only on Baseball Info Solutions' data. And, as we've seen in several studies now, there are substantial differences between BIS's raw data and STATS Inc.' raw data. Some independent sources agree with BIS a touch better, but there's no clear consensus on which company has the more accurate data right now. Therefore, we're probably best served by taking the average of the two datasets...and by using the best stats we can find that were generated from the two raw datasets prior to taking those averages (PMR>RZR, UZR>ZR). PMR's are just starting to be released by David Pinto, which is great. But unfortunately MGL has indicated that he does "not really" have plans to release '07 UZR data this offseason. Which is a shame--though ZR is remarkably well correlated to UZR, and thus is probably almost as good. And I like to work in Fans' Scouting data into my estimates as well.

    * Votto's negative fielding rating according to RZR has as much to do with his performance in LF as it does at 1B (about -2 runs each). And yet, he played 3/4 of his time at first base, so he's a better first baseman than a left fielder (of course, that's predictable). Furthermore, like any statistic related to him, we're dealing with some really small sample sizes, which makes the error bars around his ratings really large.

    * I sincerely hope that FCB (and everyone else who said they watch lots of games in this thread) is contributing to the annual Fan Scouting Report surveys. We could use all the expert eyes that we could get, and this year we had pretty low ballot totals for Reds compared to prior years. Fans Scouting data are really valuable, and add a healthy dose of reality to our fielding estimates!

    * I don't see a substantial difference between how "theoretical" the fielding data are and how "theoretical" our runs estimates on players are. Both make lots of assumptions, but those assumptions all make sense to me. Reliability, in terms of the size of error bars around fielding estimates, is another question--and it's absolutely true that you need ~2 years of fielding data to have equivalent signal in terms of evaluating individual player skills as you get from one year of hitting data. In that sense, fielding data aren't too different from our estimates of pitching performance...

    Nevertheless, fielding estimates are still relatively "young" stats--doesn't mean that they're invalid or irrelevant by any means, but it does mean that there still may be a substantial room for improvement. Shane Jensen's SAFE system is the most promising system I've seen... But I think just discarding them because you think they're flawed is a mistake. It's also not constructive. I can almost certainly point out flaws in every single performance estimate we have available to assess baseball players. That doesn't make them all irrelevant. The question is how we can use our knowledge of their flaws to better interpret the results these estimates give us.

  9. #53
    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    I'm deleting page 3. And I got stuck in traffic. And LaRosa's screwed up my take-out. And it's my daughter's birthday.

    I appreciate however the efforts of those to turn the discussion around.
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  10. #54
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Griffey a better RF than Dunn a LF? Nonsense. Seriously. Garbage. Griffey is the worst outfielder in baseball. Bar none.
    Agree completely.
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  11. #55
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Just got this email from Justin ( http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/ ), he can't post in this thread on this forum, but asked me to post this (mods, if its against the rules posting this for him, feel free to erase this, although I figure its relevent since the entire thread is based around his work)
    doug, thanks for posting that. Off topic, I'd like to see special consideration given to Justin and (if he isn't already here) JD Arney of Red Reporter fame to allow them to post on ORG. IMHO, their bodies of work deserve inclusion.

    That being said, I have a couple of items to touch on regarding Justin's email...

    The Fans' Scouting Report is very critical of Dunn, but much less so of Griffey...

    ...I sincerely hope that FCB (and everyone else who said they watch lots of games in this thread) is contributing to the annual Fan Scouting Report surveys. We could use all the expert eyes that we could get, and this year we had pretty low ballot totals for Reds compared to prior years. Fans Scouting data are really valuable, and add a healthy dose of reality to our fielding estimates!
    I have no interest in participating in a ballot system in an effort to determine who's good and who's bad. And I really don't want to see a statistic that's skewed because of the involvement of a subjective pseudo-stat like "FSR" (Fans' Scouting Report), particularly when we find that the "Agreement Level" (yeah) on average is 0.71 versus a Dunn AgLvl (my way of shortening) of 0.57. Dunn sits almost as close to the lowest AgLvl (0.40) as he does to the average AgLvl (0.70). Even if the subjective feedback in question was from reliable expert-level sources at high sample sizes, such data would be black with warts.

    Simply put, not only is that take on defensive purely subjective, but it's also not reliable- and it's even less reliable than if it were just "average unreliable" due to the low rate of agreement between fans who cast ballots. That's likely a small sample size issue as Justin noted low voter turnout, but if we know that the well is poisoned then why use the water to cook?

    ZR is critical of Dunn, though much less so than the others--and it gives Griffey a positive rating (probably because out of zone plays are nearly irrelevant for ZR--and that's where Griffey gets hammered by RZR). So my inclination is to rank Griff a tad above Dunn. But I think they're both liabilities with the glove.
    Zone Rating does NOT give Griffey a "positive rating". Average ZR for qualfied MLB Right Fielders in 2007 was 0.870 (median- 0.871). Griffey's ZR was 0.868. Dunn ranked at 0.846 to a MLB qualifier average of 0.844 (median- 0.846). It rates both as being basely average from a ZR standpoint.

    That doesn't mean either is "average" from a Run prevention probability standpoint. It only means that each is getting to as many balls as the "average" player at their respective positions.

    And the assertion that Out of Zone Plays are nearly irrelevant for ZR? No one who understands how ZR is calculated would say such a thing. Any OOZ Play made is calculated as a ZR Out, but is not calculated as a ZR Chance. That's very relevant because OOZ plays can make up for missed in-zone chances (either fielding Errors or missed balls).

    And, as we've seen in several studies now, there are substantial differences between BIS's raw data and STATS Inc.' raw data. Some independent sources agree with BIS a touch better...
    I've yet to see a reliable independent source that has proven BIS data to be more valid or reliable than STATS Inc. product, much less "sources".

    Therefore, we're probably best served by taking the average of the two datasets...
    I'm not really interested in "might as well take an average". I'm interested in methodology where we don't need to take that kind of fast-and-dirty shortcut. This shouldn't be a mix of two parts objective + one parts subjective + part wildly subjective + a pinch or two of "I dunno, so might as well".

    While I appreciate Justin's vigor and dedication to searching for answers, I suggest that he's been leading himself (with the help of THT) down the wrong path. I do appreciate his note about how he should be noting the margain of error, but the margain of error noted is as much as 40 percent of the defensive Run values themselves just for Dunn and Griffey. That'd be a big deal if the results could be correlated with some kind of baseline. But we have no baseline, so exactly how is that margain of error derived?

    Now, I know my entire post seems like an indictment of Justin, his methods, and his results. However, I'd like to note that his work may hold a great deal of value as a jumping-off point. I think we got close to an evolution in our last thread about defense. Unfortunately, we're shut down until we can get some specific information as to average "missed" event impact at each position for both BIZ and OOZ Plays. For example, on average, how many "missed" plays in LF turn into Singles, Doubles, Triples, etc. When we know that, then we can really start to dig in.
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  12. #56
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    I'm not really interested in "might as well take an average". I'm interested in methodology where we don't need to take that kind of fast-and-dirty shortcut. This shouldn't be a mix of two parts objective + one parts subjective + part wildly subjective + a pinch or two of "I dunno, so might as well".
    Exactly. The beauty of hitting stats is there's so much concrete around them. They translate to the actual runs that get scored. It's why they're such a powerful tool for anyone working in or interested in baseball. No one's being asked to stick with hitting stats while we work out the kinks, they are precise measurements of a player's contribution to the offense.

    I think we all are using numerous inputs to form a decent thumbnail take on a player's defensive worth, but there's a huge difference between having a general sense of a player's defensive ability and having a number that matches the concrete of the offensive evaluation being used.

    It seems to me that this combination system could lead a team to some really dangerous player valuations. For instance, Vernon Wells last year would have looked like Superman using that system. Eric Byrnes is that guy this year. Are we to believe he's a franchise player? Or is he a guy who plays solid defense who had a career year at the plate? Does Pedro Feliz's glove really offset his bat to the degree this sort of player representation would have us believe? I would say it doesn't and that he's still a bottom tier player at the hot corner.

    I'm all for pursuing every avenue when it comes to defensive evaluation, but be careful how you use it because it doesn't roll up to what happens on the scoreboard the way offensive stats do and that is a major flaw. When you're using "best available" that means you're starting a discussion, not presenting a conclusion.
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  13. #57
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I won't deny that Griffey is below average in RF.... but that has little to do with how bad Dunn is in LF really. Both suck out there, but I have yet to find anything that suggests Griffey sucks more than Dunn does compared to his positional peers.
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  14. #58
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Outside of catcher and maybe pitcher, first base defense is the hardest thing to quantify.
    Anything concerning defense right now is the most difficult thing to quantify. (no matter what posistion)

    There are so many different methods and formulas (none that I really have faith in) that we can pick and choose the one that most supports our own opinion.

    I quess that's one of the reasons we all love the game.

  15. #59
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Well, except offensive metrics are far more reliable than defensive ones. Round and round we go.
    And your position more and more represents spinning yourself into irrelevance.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  16. #60
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    IMO, it's a slippery slope to equate the offensive runs with highly theoretical fielding runs. Technically it should add up to your team's overall +/- compared to the rest of the league, but it can't even get you close to that.
    Offensive metrics like RC for instance aren't real runs. In fact there are some serious issues with their ability to capture reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Also, Votto's -4.1 runs below average number in 23 games in the field (more like 21 games if you go by innings played) is highly suspect.
    Of course it needs an asterisk. I don't think many would use a 23 game sample as definitive proof of anything. Does anyone think Votto is going to OPS 1.025 against righties for the rest of his career? Sample size is a consideration with defensive stats just as it is with offensive metrics.
    "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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