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Thread: Thoughts on David Sappelt

  1. #61
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    Maybe I should say I tend to ignore judgments about ceilings when they're meant to limit players, to say they can only be this good and no better. I've watched too many players exceed expectations. I've no objection whatever to judgments about players' ceilings when they are high.
    They aren't meant to limit players they are meant to limit expectations of players.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    By the way, I'm not referring to you specifically, just the entire concept. It's a very, very inexact science. It doesn't factor in work ethic, desire or aptitude, among other things (I understand why, those are impossible to measure). But, those are some very big factors.

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsFanInBama View Post
    By the way, I'm not referring to you specifically, just the entire concept. It's a very, very inexact science. It doesn't factor in work ethic, desire or aptitude, among other things (I understand why, those are impossible to measure). But, those are some very big factors.
    No I get that part of it but talent/genetics is the ultimate decider when it comes to moving the ceiling needle out of a "neighborhood" if you will. And for the most part judging ones talent is usually pretty spot on these days. For example Hanigan can only run so fast, Janish can only have so much power they aren't moving the needle out of their respective talent neighborhoods by improving wrist strength or leg strength. Genetics are what they are.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    I agree that judging a player's physical tools is pretty exact. But that other stuff is not at all insignificant IMO, which makes determining an accurate ultimate ceiling based solely on physical tools a tough thing to do. Also, coaching and instruction has to be considered. There are bad coaches, average coaches, good coaches, great coaches.

    Maybe we're talking about two different things here.

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsFanInBama View Post
    I agree that judging a player's physical tools is pretty exact. But that other stuff is not at all insignificant IMO, which makes determining an accurate ultimate ceiling based solely on physical tools a tough thing to do. Also, coaching and instruction has to be considered. There are bad coaches, average coaches, good coaches, great coaches.

    Maybe we're talking about two different things here.
    Well no not really I mean a players skillset (which is what you are referring to) is a part of the equation in determining what a players likely ceiling is. However changing/improving a skillset doesn't usually move that "needle" all that much. Though I know it does happen, Chris Heisey is an example of it. He changed something in his swing mechanics which improved his pop. He wasn't getting his left foot down in a timely manner during the delivery of the pitch, he changed it (got it down sooner) and it allowed him more time to see the pitch and therefore square it up better resulting in better contact and of course more XBH's/Pop.

    So in essence you are correct things can be done to move that needle, at least where we are concerned. We don't have all the information to really get it right but in this case and a handful of others I have seen enough to feel pretty good about what I'm saying.

    In the end I could be wrong but if that's the worst that happens I can live with it. Much easier than having to defend a guy from unrealistic expectations.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    That's not a fair argument. For whatever reason, you're using only qualified outfielders. My argument is that Sappelt, even with only 5 HRs per 650 PAs, would be an above-average starter in the major leagues when you factor in his defense provided the rest of his numbers stay the same. Even if you're speaking solely of offense, a .768 OPS is better than more than half the starting center fielders in MLB.
    I'm using only qualified players because I wanted to show what starters looked like. I'm not interested in what 4th OFs and defensive subs bring to the table. The split definitely increases when you included everybody because you're including guys who can't hit but get playing time in CF on occasion b/c of their gloves. If a guy's glove is good enough to make him a starter full-time, he'll still show up in the list. That so few crappy hitters show up in the CF list speaks to either the difficulty of making up that value with your glove or many teams' unwillingness to play the glove guy.

    To your point, Sappelt could very well be an average or better overall CF, but the part of the conversation I was replying to was about hitting. As a hitter, the standard for starting CF isn't much lower than it is for corner OF. I'd look at a WAR framework for the full picture.
    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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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'm using only qualified players because I wanted to show what starters looked like. I'm not interested in what 4th OFs and defensive subs bring to the table. The split definitely increases when you included everybody because you're including guys who can't hit but get playing time in CF on occasion b/c of their gloves. If a guy's glove is good enough to make him a starter full-time, he'll still show up in the list. That so few crappy hitters show up in the CF list speaks to either the difficulty of making up that value with your glove or many teams' unwillingness to play the glove guy.

    To your point, Sappelt could very well be an average or better overall CF, but the part of the conversation I was replying to was about hitting. As a hitter, the standard for starting CF isn't much lower than it is for corner OF. I'd look at a WAR framework for the full picture.
    Using qualified starters doesn't show us enough about starters. It shows us only about the few players who were good and healthy enough to be a starter for an extended period of time. The fact is that we know exactly how many starting center fielders there are. Each team has exactly one.

    And how is the standard for a center fielder not much lower? I don't know where you got your numbers, but using ESPN's stats, I came up with these numbers at each position in 2010:
    LEFT FIELD
    AL .274 .339 .431 .770
    NL .266 .334 .434 .767

    CENTER FIELD
    AL .265 .326 .409 .735
    NL .260 .329 .407 .736

    RIGHT FIELD
    AL .279 .356 .445 .801
    NL .265 .335 .450 .785

    Granted, those are including defensive subs, fourth outfielders, etc., but regardless, you can see that there's a pretty big difference between center fielders and corner outfielders. If you limit the split to only starters at each position, the gap widens even more. However, if you use only those who 'qualify', you're omitting many of the starters. I suppose it's just semantics.

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    Using qualified starters doesn't show us enough about starters. It shows us only about the few players who were good and healthy enough to be a starter for an extended period of time. The fact is that we know exactly how many starting center fielders there are. Each team has exactly one.
    I'm sorry, but this just isn't true. For any given game, each team has just one. But some teams have the same guy starting the vast majority of their games and some don't.

    If you want to go through each team and select their "starter", be my guest. But I wanted to paint the picture of what a starter-worthy player looks like so we'd have some basis for the conversation of whether a certain offensive line qualified a player to be a starter. And you don't get to that picture by including fill-ins and back-ups.

    I got my data from Fangraphs. What's funny is that the differences are pretty much the same whether you include the starters or not. LF is about .35 points higher than CF. RF is about 50 points higher. Some years it's 40, some 60. You can split starters out from backups. Whatever. The point is that corner OF don't hit a ton better than CF.
    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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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'm sorry, but this just isn't true. For any given game, each team has just one. But some teams have the same guy starting the vast majority of their games and some don't.

    If you want to go through each team and select their "starter", be my guest. But I wanted to paint the picture of what a starter-worthy player looks like so we'd have some basis for the conversation of whether a certain offensive line qualified a player to be a starter. And you don't get to that picture by including fill-ins and back-ups.

    I got my data from Fangraphs. What's funny is that the differences are pretty much the same whether you include the starters or not. LF is about .35 points higher than CF. RF is about 50 points higher. Some years it's 40, some 60. You can split starters out from backups. Whatever. The point is that corner OF don't hit a ton better than CF.
    For each game, there are two center fielders. Sure, some of them are in platoons, have occasional off days, get optioned, get injured, etc., but that's not the point.

    The point is that if Sappelt were to produce in the way I stated above, he would be an above-average center fielder worthy of being the starter for more than half the teams in MLB. If you reduce the field to only 18 center fielders, he would be in the middle of the pack, but why would you close your eyes to the other 12 teams that need to field a center fielder every day?

    I'm not saying he would be an above-average starter amongst teams that have a player with enough plate appearances to qualify. I'm simply saying he would be an above-average starter amongst all the teams in MLB. Period.

    But if you still don't agree with that, I understand because it seems like a semantic debate to me. I'll reword it. Amongst all the Major League teas using a center fielder, Dave Sappelt would OPS better than half of the starting center fielders.

    Just so you know, by your definition of 'starter', there are only enough outfielders to field 15 baseball teams.

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Camisa, I get your point and I concede. An OPS of .750 would put Sappelt right around #15 on the list of CF. Add in plus defense and you have an above average CF. Though I'd rather not anchor the conversation around offense and then layer defense on top -- I'd rather talk about both from the very start.

    If we use wOBA instead of OPS, we can easily convert it to runs and then add in a best guess on defense.
    Simply take a player’s wOBA difference from the league average, divide by 1.15, and multiply that by how many plate appearances he got, and you have a run value above or below average for that player.
    A .750 OPS would be in the ballpark of a .340 wOBA, which would be worth about 10 runs above league average. Give him a +5 on the defensive side and a full season of that would make him something like a 2.5-3.0 win player. I think we can all agree we'd be happy with that.
    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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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Is this guy aware that they keep track of the number of times a player is caught stealing? He sure has run into a lot of outs this year, hopefully he can improve his sb%.
    Last edited by Orenda; 08-04-2010 at 06:51 PM.

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    I had a real good conversation with a scout who has seen Sappelt play a lot this season. Here is how it went:

    "He was a .269 hitter in Dayton last year. Now he's hitting .340 in Double-A. What happened?"

    "He figured out that he was not a home run hitter and starting hitting the ball where it is pitched."

    "Is he a Norris Hopper type profile?"

    "I actually thought Norris was a pretty good player. I am not sure if he will be as good as Norris or not. It's a little early to say. But, yes, that type of player."

    "When he was in Dayton, they ran on his arm. Every runner went first to third on anything to the right of straightaway center. Can you have that in the big leagues?"

    "He will have to play shallow and maybe move to left field, although he has great range in center."

    "Can he play in the big leagues?"

    "I think so, but probably not as an everyday player."

    That's it. I personally was not impressed with Sappelt last season but you can't argue with what he has done in 2010. Last season, I thought he was more of the problem than the solution. The team was 31-47 when he moved up, and they got better after he left. Too many base running blunders. The steals were mostly in meaningless times when they were not concerned with holding him on. Too many runners taking extra bases on his arm. His confidence level is over-the-top, and I did not care for that, but others think that is one of his best attributes. The word is that he toned it down this season, at least outwardly. He is a great example of why you can't make a long-term judgement on a player based on first impressions.

    Congrats to Dave for a great, great 2010 season.

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    The comparisons of Sappelt to Norris Hopper are quite frankly ridiculous. Here are Norris's numbers:
    As a 23 year old, Hopper was at High A ball, posting a .636.
    He then spent 3 seasons at AA, as a 24, 25, and 26 year old, posting .688, ,653, .722.

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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    I started this thread last year and it is very interesting to read through it. It is amazing how much can change in such a short period of time. Sappelt has seemingly gone from a guy who could be just a fringe major league player to a guy fans are clamoring for to come up and hit leadoff. Two things seem to be consistent from comments from last year. One, he is still hitting the cover off the ball and he is a lousy baserunner.

  16. #75
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    Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt

    Does anyone know why he was pulled after 1 AB last night?


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