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Thread: Leake and HR surrendered

  1. #1
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Leake and HR surrendered

    Interesting factoid...

    Leake right now has given up 26 homers. His current HR/FB rate is 17.8%. In the past 10 years of Major League baseball, only five qualified starters had previously allowed a higher rate during the year. That's out of a sample of at least 1,000.

    Now, consider that none of the five had a HR/FB rate the following season within 5 percentage points of their previous year's total.

    The point here is that Leake's homers, to some degree, are not a problem that should be considered indicative of his pitching ability. His GB/FB ratio this year is 1.83 (entering into tonight where he's had a 4:1 ratio). The problem isn't giving up too many flyballs, just too many of them are leaving the yard. But again, that's not likely to sustain going forward.

    His xFIP puts him at a 3.72 pitcher this year. My hunch is that next season, he'll likely be in that range.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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  3. #2
    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    Out of curiosity, who were those qualified starters?
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    There wasn't anything random about Soriano's homerun to left. Throw meatballs like that and a pitcher is lucky to only have a HR/FB%=18.
    "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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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    Out of curiosity, who were those qualified starters?
    Odalis Perez (2003, 19.7%)
    Derek Lowe (2005, 18.9%)
    Brandon Webb (2005, 18.8%)
    Greg Maddux (2004, 18.2%)
    A.J. Burnett (2007, 17.7%)

    Burnett is actually lower than Leake's current total so he's mistakenly on there. This year, Ervin Santana is up there as well.

    Interestingly, Lowe, Webb, Maddux and Burnett are all groundball pitchers.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    There wasn't anything random about Soriano's homerun to left. Throw meatballs like that and a pitcher is lucky to only have a HR/FB%=18.
    There was a Fangraphs article on the word "luck" in regards to BABIP, HR/FB etc., and it's not necessarily that players outside the established numbers are completely unlucky, they're just unlikely to keep playing in a way that skews those numbers. So it's not necessarily that Soriano's or any other HR Leake has given up has been unlucky, it's just that most pitchers good enough to pitch in the majors won't continue to serve up meatballs at such a rate that their HR/FB stays out of the usual range.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

  7. #6
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    There was a Fangraphs article on the word "luck" in regards to BABIP, HR/FB etc., and it's not necessarily that players outside the established numbers are completely unlucky, they're just unlikely to keep playing in a way that skews those numbers. So it's not necessarily that Soriano's or any other HR Leake has given up has been unlucky, it's just that most pitchers good enough to pitch in the majors won't continue to serve up meatballs at such a rate that their HR/FB stays out of the usual range.
    Exactly. There are certainly home runs given up that are deserved. But if you give up fly balls, you're likely getting the ball up to begin with, so one should not expect an inordinate number of them to leave the park.

    Not every homer is unlucky. One could argue that individually, perhaps the homers themselves aren't unlucky. The point is that almost no players have shown any propensity to sustain a greatly inflated HR/FB ratio. Guys have sustained an inflated FB rate, obviously, but of the number of flyballs, typically guys won't give up more than 13-14 % over a period of time... and that's usually only in a hitter-friendly park.

    Leake's homers right now are significantly an outlier. He has nearly a 2-to-1 groundball/flyball ratio and out of 1,000 pitchers, only five have given up that rate of homers and all of them significantly came back down to earth. It's irrational to expect that it won't be the same for him. The SIERA predictor puts him at a sub-4 ERA pitcher. I really think that will be the case next season.
    Last edited by Brutus; 09-19-2012 at 11:06 PM.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    If Leake had ever posted a normal HR/FB% as a major leaguer, it might be more compelling to argue that his performance should be regressed back to the average for qualified starters.
    "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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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    Leake's previous two seasons were in the 13% range. That right there suggests that nearly 18% is a total outlier. Nevermind the fact there are 10 years worth of studied data that suggests pitchers don't often stray much about 13% with any sort of consistency.

    In fact, only one pitcher in the past 10 years combined has sustained over 15% HR/FB rate during that period. There's virtually no chance Leake will continue to have a HR/FB rate this high going forward. It's almost a mathematical certainty.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    There is absolutely no reason presented in Leake's major league performance to date to suggest he should be regressed to a normal HR/FB%. In other words, xFIP likes him too much.
    "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

  11. #10
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    No one is asserting that Leake will sustain a "normal" rate. But 18% is nowhere near normal. Leake's career average, including this year's outlier, is just over 14%. That's more likely where it would be next year and beyond. That alone would be worth six fewer homers against him thus far this year and almost a half run deducted from his FIP.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  12. #11
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    It would truly be newsworthy if Leake posted a FIP below 4 next season.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  13. #12
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    I don't care what his FIP is anyhow. He's a groundball pitcher so he's likely to outperform his FIP over a period of time. His SIERA has him at a 3.99 pitcher this year. That seems like a pretty good indicator of what he might do next season with normalized HR/FB rate (normalized as in not such an extreme statistical outlier that it's almost worthless to use as a template for future performance).
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  14. #13
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    xFIP is being fooled by the fact 5% of Leake's flyballs were turned into LDs this year. The tangible point is that there really isn't a reason to expect Leake to be a significantly better pitcher next season.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  15. #14
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    Sinkerballing types seem to give up a higher HR/FB than normal. Perhaps that's because when you rely on downward movement low in the zone to get lots of grounders and you let a pitch get away up in the zone, it flattens out and sits there like it's on a tee.
    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.

  16. #15
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Leake and HR surrendered

    His FIP, xFIP and, most importantly, his SIERA are all between .30 to a full run lower than his actual ERA. Usually when every major metric is in agreement on a pitcher, there's a decent chance the next season will be fairly significantly better.

    SIERA actually does better on an r2 level than FIP and xFIP by almost 10% variance. So I'd rely on that one and his SIERA has him being .7 better than his current ERA.

    He's not going to reel off a 2.50 ERA next season, most likely, but a sub-4 ERA could be reasonably predicted and not be too far away from probability.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda


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