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(Yahoo)   Joe Mauer - good catcher or force enabled jedi super catcher?   (sports.yahoo.com) divider line 65
    More: Cool, Joe Mauer, catch up to a fastball, backhands, Denard Span, Tim Welke, cannons  
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2234 clicks; posted to Sports » on 10 Jun 2013 at 12:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-10 12:11:11 PM
Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.
 
2013-06-10 12:13:59 PM
Haha that was pretty damn good. You know they were giving him shiat from the dugout.
 
2013-06-10 12:18:03 PM

Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.




Overpaid? Perhaps. Best catcher in baseball? No. Best catcher in the AL? No. Best catcher in the Al central? Maybe for know but Perez is going to pass him by
 
2013-06-10 12:22:17 PM

Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.


Best Catcher is Baseball is Yadier Molina. Most overpaid catcher is Brian McCann
 
2013-06-10 12:22:37 PM
That's not the pitch he's looking for.
 
2013-06-10 12:22:49 PM
The first time he did it it was so good no on noticed.

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1318611/MauerSmoak.gif.opt.gif

That's right. He's done this twice.
 
2013-06-10 12:24:03 PM

Mid_mo_mad_man: Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.

Overpaid? Perhaps. Best catcher in baseball? No. Best catcher in the AL? No. Best catcher in the Al central? Maybe for know but Perez is going to pass him by


If Perez pans out, then in seven years, when Mauer's 37 and Perez is 30, there's a pretty good chance Perez is better.  Again, if Perez pans out.  Right now he'shiatting 320, but a pretty weak 320 (no walks, no power).  But he's 23.  Plenty of room to develop.

Who, right now, is a better AL catcher than Mauer?  The only guy in his league (or above it) is Posey.
 
2013-06-10 12:28:42 PM
So he's played Frisbee.  Big deal.
 
2013-06-10 12:29:22 PM

Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.


Darth Molina frowns on your shenanigans
www4.pictures.zimbio.com
 
2013-06-10 12:30:12 PM

WTF Indeed: Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.

Best Catcher is Baseball is Yadier Molina. Most overpaid catcher is Brian McCann


I feel like Yadier's a mediocre hitter who has gotten lucky at the plate for 3 straight years or something.  Or maybe I just don't like him because of 2006.

I think Mauer beats him, slightly, if we ignore Mauer's tendency to get hurt.
 
2013-06-10 12:31:45 PM

Dafatone: Mid_mo_mad_man: Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.

Overpaid? Perhaps. Best catcher in baseball? No. Best catcher in the AL? No. Best catcher in the Al central? Maybe for know but Perez is going to pass him by

If Perez pans out, then in seven years, when Mauer's 37 and Perez is 30, there's a pretty good chance Perez is better.  Again, if Perez pans out.  Right now he'shiatting 320, but a pretty weak 320 (no walks, no power).  But he's 23.  Plenty of room to develop.

Who, right now, is a better AL catcher than Mauer?  The only guy in his league (or above it) is Posey.




That's a brain fart on my part. For some reason I had Posey in the AL. That being said Molina and Posey in the NL are better right now
 
2013-06-10 12:32:28 PM

Dafatone: WTF Indeed: Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.

Best Catcher is Baseball is Yadier Molina. Most overpaid catcher is Brian McCann

I feel like Yadier's a mediocre hitter who has gotten lucky at the plate for 3 straight years or something.  Or maybe I just don't like him because of 2006.

I think Mauer beats him, slightly, if we ignore Mauer's tendency to get hurt.


Excepting that Yadier is a much better defensive catcher, in every facet.
 
2013-06-10 12:33:01 PM
Too bad he can't pitch.

Because we need alot of guys who can do that here.

:(
 
2013-06-10 12:33:12 PM
not sure what the big deal here is, every kid has pulled one of those off at some point or you just haven't played enough ball
 
2013-06-10 12:45:32 PM

TeamEd: Dafatone: WTF Indeed: Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.

Best Catcher is Baseball is Yadier Molina. Most overpaid catcher is Brian McCann

I feel like Yadier's a mediocre hitter who has gotten lucky at the plate for 3 straight years or something.  Or maybe I just don't like him because of 2006.

I think Mauer beats him, slightly, if we ignore Mauer's tendency to get hurt.

Excepting that Yadier is a much better defensive catcher, in every facet.


Sure, but Mauer's been a better hitter pretty much every year except last year and this year, where they've been about equal.

So I guess it depends on the extent to which Yadier keeps this up.
 
2013-06-10 12:46:03 PM
I don't know, what's his hat size this week?
 
2013-06-10 12:55:45 PM

Dafatone: WTF Indeed: Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.

Best Catcher is Baseball is Yadier Molina. Most overpaid catcher is Brian McCann

I feel like Yadier's a mediocre hitter who has gotten lucky at the plate for 3 straight years or something.  Or maybe I just don't like him because of 2006.

I think Mauer beats him, slightly, if we ignore Mauer's tendency to get hurt.


There is no luck in Yadier's game. He's actually gotten to be supremely good at the plate. He's always had that ability too, just now he's really smacking the ball like it's his biatch.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=7007&position=C
 
2013-06-10 12:56:50 PM

danzak: not sure what the big deal here is, every kid has pulled one of those off at some point or you just haven't played enough ball


Thank you
 
2013-06-10 01:06:36 PM
Yeah...although cool to watch, this is just good peripheral vision. He makes the backhand move as he's turning to the ump to get a new ball. Most good athletes have good peripheral. It's essentially, "see it out of the corner of your eye and take a stab". You make that play probably half the time it presents itself.

\still looks cool tho.
 
2013-06-10 01:09:47 PM
Article headline:   Magician Joe Mauer backhands carom off stone wall without looking

Video and animated gif: Joe Mauer looks backward to his right and catches ball on his left.

It's a good catch that I certainly couldn't do (I have a hard time judging a basic fly ball when I sub in my brother's rec league, dammit), but it's not a no-look Jedi maneuver.
 
2013-06-10 01:27:58 PM
mmmrhubarb.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-06-10 02:09:44 PM

Dafatone: TeamEd: Dafatone: WTF Indeed: Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.

Best Catcher is Baseball is Yadier Molina. Most overpaid catcher is Brian McCann

I feel like Yadier's a mediocre hitter who has gotten lucky at the plate for 3 straight years or something.  Or maybe I just don't like him because of 2006.

I think Mauer beats him, slightly, if we ignore Mauer's tendency to get hurt.

Excepting that Yadier is a much better defensive catcher, in every facet.

Sure, but Mauer's been a better hitter pretty much every year except last year and this year, where they've been about equal.

So I guess it depends on the extent to which Yadier keeps this up.


And with the exception of maybe Waino, all the Cardinals pitchers attribute much of their success (best ERA in baseball) to Molina's ability to call a game and his encyclopedic knowledge of every batter.
 
2013-06-10 02:33:31 PM

Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.


There's a lot of analysis being done on catcher defense right now that should make everyone look twice at who the "good" defensive catchers are.  Now that we have PitchFx, we see that Jonathan Lucroy and Jose Molina in particular have a gift for stealing strikes on the edges of the zone.  Yadier and Mauer are decent at this, but they aren't upper tier.

How good is Lucroy?  He's gotten 261 favorable calls (strikes out of the zone) vs. only 159 unfavorable ones (balls in the zone).  Lots of different umpires, lots of different pitchers, but if Lucroy is behind the plate, the strike zone gets bigger.  That's worth a little over a win compared to an average catcher, and about two wins over a butcher like Doumit or Montero, and it's only June 10th.  If you watch video of him, you see why-- he makes as little movement as possible while receiving the ball, and sets up his stance so he's catching out-of-zone pitches without reaching for them.  If he's called a sinker, he's in a super-low crouch so his mitt looks 'centered' when the pitch hits.  Montero, on the other hand, looks panicked, and stabs violently at any pitch not thrown straight down the middle.

See this article for a lot of analysis on blocking (preventing PB/WP) as well.  Molina excels here, but there are a lot of other names on the list that bring value but aren't well known.  (The study is from 2011, so Mauer isn't mentioned much because he was hurt much of that year.)

That said, except for a weirdly bad 2012, Mauer controls the basepaths well (33% CS) and doesn't give away a lot of extra bases (PB + WP), which is traditionally how catcher defense got measured.  He's a good defensive catcher, just not elite.  His value comes from his bat at a premier defensive position, and if he moves to 1B, a lot of that value goes away.
 
RTX
2013-06-10 02:41:43 PM

rtaylor92: Dafatone: TeamEd: Dafatone: WTF Indeed: Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.

Best Catcher is Baseball is Yadier Molina. Most overpaid catcher is Brian McCann

I feel like Yadier's a mediocre hitter who has gotten lucky at the plate for 3 straight years or something.  Or maybe I just don't like him because of 2006.

I think Mauer beats him, slightly, if we ignore Mauer's tendency to get hurt.

Excepting that Yadier is a much better defensive catcher, in every facet.

Sure, but Mauer's been a better hitter pretty much every year except last year and this year, where they've been about equal.

So I guess it depends on the extent to which Yadier keeps this up.

And with the exception of maybe Waino, all the Cardinals pitchers attribute much of their success (best ERA in baseball) to Molina's ability to call a game and his encyclopedic knowledge of every batter.


Also, Yadi's consistently one of the best catchers in baseball when it comes to framing pitches so that more pitches look like strikes to the umpire, thus making the pitcher look better than he really is.  Mauer isn't.  Baseball Prospectus has done pretty ground-breaking work on this in the past year or so.
 
2013-06-10 02:42:35 PM

rtaylor92: And with the exception of maybe Waino, all the Cardinals pitchers attribute much of their success (best ERA in baseball) to Molina's ability to call a game and his encyclopedic knowledge of every batter.


People have looked for this effect and not really seen it.  If it were true, you'd see a change in the number of swing-and-miss outcomes, infield flies, etc. when Molina was behind the plate, vs. the few days he isn't.  It may be small sample size, but it didn't seem to matter across a large number of catchers.

Three major impacts catchers can have on defense: Preventing steals (Yadier is elite), 'framing' pitches (stealing strikes by misleading the umpire; Yadier is good), and preventing passed pitches (PB/WP; Yadier is elite).  The other stuff (fielding bunts, avoiding throwing errors, catching foul popups, calling good pitches, etc.) can't readily be detected as skills.  This doesn't mean they don't exist, but rather that they're at best small factors in winning baseball games.  (You'd never draft a guy because he was an awesome bunt-fielder, because bunts that a catcher can field and aren't routine are too rare.)
 
2013-06-10 03:06:35 PM
Just because there is no equation to measure a particular ability or skill does not make it have less of an impact on the game's outcome. The ability to call a game or manage the game from behind the plate is NOT something that gets brushed aside as insignificant or a "small factor at best".

Calling the right pitches (whether from the dugout or not) is a big part of being a good catcher. Also dealing with a pitchers mental state in certain situations is important. A trusted backstop can save many a visit from the manager.

Or have we gotten so bogged down in evaluating every little thing that we forgot the goal is to win the ACTUAL game. Not to have a bunch of numbers that say we SHOULD have won the game.

As far as the skills that are measurable...most of them can be taught. So lots of players get drafted based on physical stature and "potential"....and yes, some even get drafted higher than others based on mental maturity. Not on how they frame pitches in HS. Some players are more coachable than others. There is no equation that measures ability to be coached.
 
2013-06-10 03:26:41 PM

JohnnyCanuck: Just because there is no equation to measure a particular ability or skill does not make it have less of an impact on the game's outcome. The ability to call a game or manage the game from behind the plate is NOT something that gets brushed aside as insignificant or a "small factor at best".


But if you run the numbers and it turns out that teams don't actually give up any more runs with "bad" game calling catchers than with "good" ones, what have you got?

It might be that at this point there's such a book on every ML hitter who's been in the league more than a couple months that there's no such thing as a "bad" game calling catcher anymore.
 
2013-06-10 03:32:42 PM

JohnnyCanuck: Calling the right pitches (whether from the dugout or not) is a big part of being a good catcher. Also dealing with a pitchers mental state in certain situations is important. A trusted backstop can save many a visit from the manager.



thread a fwe months back where I posted some comments from D-Backs catcher Miguel Montero i think from last year, where Miggs was very critical of Snakes prospect Trevor Bauer.  Bauer had some comments along the lines of, "we're not quite on the same page, Miggy needs to adjust to how I want to call the game....."

Montero was incredulous (to put it charitably) that he was being shaken off by Bauer, at the time making his like, 3rd, or 4th start.  I recall the quote being something like, "I've played in hte majors for 6 years, I've caught Randy Johnson, and this kid is shaking me off?  But what do I know?  I'm just an All-Star."

(Bauer was traded to cleveland and is biding his time in AAA, last I checked).
 
RTX
2013-06-10 03:33:27 PM

JohnnyCanuck: Just because there is no equation to measure a particular ability or skill does not make it have less of an impact on the game's outcome. The ability to call a game or manage the game from behind the plate is NOT something that gets brushed aside as insignificant or a "small factor at best".

Calling the right pitches (whether from the dugout or not) is a big part of being a good catcher. Also dealing with a pitchers mental state in certain situations is important. A trusted backstop can save many a visit from the manager.

Or have we gotten so bogged down in evaluating every little thing that we forgot the goal is to win the ACTUAL game. Not to have a bunch of numbers that say we SHOULD have won the game.

As far as the skills that are measurable...most of them can be taught. So lots of players get drafted based on physical stature and "potential"....and yes, some even get drafted higher than others based on mental maturity. Not on how they frame pitches in HS. Some players are more coachable than others. There is no equation that measures ability to be coached.


I don't really see your point.  Molina and the Cardinals are winning a farkload of actual games this year.  A huge part of that is Molina's pitch framing, defense, offense, and-yes-intangibles like leadership.  In my mind he's the most valuable player in baseball, and it isn't close.  Mauer and the Twins aren't winning nearly as many actual games.
 
2013-06-10 03:38:18 PM

RTX: JohnnyCanuck: Just because there is no equation to measure a particular ability or skill does not make it have less of an impact on the game's outcome. The ability to call a game or manage the game from behind the plate is NOT something that gets brushed aside as insignificant or a "small factor at best".

Calling the right pitches (whether from the dugout or not) is a big part of being a good catcher. Also dealing with a pitchers mental state in certain situations is important. A trusted backstop can save many a visit from the manager.

Or have we gotten so bogged down in evaluating every little thing that we forgot the goal is to win the ACTUAL game. Not to have a bunch of numbers that say we SHOULD have won the game.

As far as the skills that are measurable...most of them can be taught. So lots of players get drafted based on physical stature and "potential"....and yes, some even get drafted higher than others based on mental maturity. Not on how they frame pitches in HS. Some players are more coachable than others. There is no equation that measures ability to be coached.

I don't really see your point.  Molina and the Cardinals are winning a farkload of actual games this year.  A huge part of that is Molina's pitch framing, defense, offense, and-yes-intangibles like leadership.  In my mind he's the most valuable player in baseball, and it isn't close.  Mauer and the Twins aren't winning nearly as many actual games.


His point is that he's angry at numbers.  It's pretty clear.
 
2013-06-10 03:47:07 PM

JohnnyCanuck: Just because there is no equation to measure a particular ability or skill does not make it have less of an impact on the game's outcome.


If it can't be measured, it's not important from an organizational standpoint.

You have a hypothesis: Yadier Molina has some ability to call the right pitches, dealing with pitchers' mental states, etc.  That hypothesis, if true, would have a measurable outcome: Pitchers would pitch better with Molina behind the plate, once you control for things Molina directly impacts.  (ERA alone is not a good example, because Molina could be suppressing ERA by preventing steals, blocking pitches, and stealing strikes.)

It turns out that if you look at things Molina can't do directly, but should be influenced by superior "dealing with mental states" skills, there is no measurable difference.  Look at swing-and-miss rates, take rates on out-of-zone pitches, for example.  No gap.  If he's calling "better" pitches, why are batters producing the same results when he's not in the game?  People have looked for this, and the outcome across data sets of reasonable size is: No statistically-significant effect.

It's possible that Molina has this ability.  If so, please describe how it impacts a baseball game and we can look for it.  Create a test for your hypothesis.

The probable reality is that Molina is an excellent catcher, and so people build up a narrative ex post facto that sounds good to them.  Just like how uninformed people tend to think Derek Jeter is a good defensive shortstop.  He's a great hitter who is well-liked, so people want that to be true, and he gets a Gold Glove.  The problem is that by every measurement, he has abysmal range (albeit with good hands) at a crucial position, and the Yankees suffer for it every year as grounders trickle into CF.  (His bat more than makes up for that in general.  But he's a horrible defender.)

JohnnyCanuck: There is no equation that measures ability to be coached.


Of course there is.  You can measure a player's performance against their cohort as a function of age.  Coachable players will improve relative to that cohort over time.  If they improve, and there isn't a confounding variable (injury, player loses playing time, trade to new team, etc.), the player either is self-coaching or responds well to coaching.  Either of those are worth considering during signing.

You can even get specific.  For example, Jeff Francoeur is apparently a very nice man who is dumb as rocks and swings at anything he can physically reach.  He's not very coachable-- his lack of plate discipline has stayed poor over many years.  That should be a coachable skill.  Why isn't he improving?

Put another way, if you can't measure "ability to be coached", it's worthless.  In that scenario, you can't make decisions on it.  You can't look at a guy's minor league history and decide if he's worth keeping in the organization.

By the way, the perspective I'm giving you is the same one that every MBA or Ph.D. goes through.  Mastering it is basically what those degrees mean.  It doesn't matter if your business is baseball or selling burgers.  If you can't measure the effect of something, even crudely, it's not part of your business plan and shouldn't enter your decision process.
 
2013-06-10 03:47:39 PM

you have pee hands: no such thing as a "bad" game calling catcher anymore.


Maybe. Most catchers relay from the manager and have the gameplan in place before the game anyway. But some still have that repoire with pitchers more than others. The catchers who depend too much on this and start butting heads with the staff are not good either.

RTX: In my mind he's the most valuable player in baseball, and it isn't close


I may not agree with MVP...but, all things considered, I do agree that Yad is the best catcher in the game without a doubt.

But he is so good because of his ability to do those things that can't be measured.
Although his measured stats are quite good too. He seems to be a guy who has all the tools both physical and mental. And pitchers trust him, which also goes a long way when measuring success for his team.
 
2013-06-10 03:48:03 PM

rickythepenguin: JohnnyCanuck: Calling the right pitches (whether from the dugout or not) is a big part of being a good catcher. Also dealing with a pitchers mental state in certain situations is important. A trusted backstop can save many a visit from the manager.


thread a fwe months back where I posted some comments from D-Backs catcher Miguel Montero i think from last year, where Miggs was very critical of Snakes prospect Trevor Bauer.  Bauer had some comments along the lines of, "we're not quite on the same page, Miggy needs to adjust to how I want to call the game....."

Montero was incredulous (to put it charitably) that he was being shaken off by Bauer, at the time making his like, 3rd, or 4th start.  I recall the quote being something like, "I've played in hte majors for 6 years, I've caught Randy Johnson, and this kid is shaking me off?  But what do I know?  I'm just an All-Star."

(Bauer was traded to cleveland and is biding his time in AAA, last I checked).


I'm skeptical of the D-Backs and their ditching of young talented players that have "attitude" problems.  Mostly, I'm pissed at them for giving away Justin Upton for a sack of baseballs,  But I don't think they got equal talent in return for Bauer, although time will tell (Gregorius has been very good so far.)

If you get rid of every player that's 25 and younger who isn't fully matured, you're going to have a very old team.  Also, while Montero's comments probably had a lot of people who don't like young whippersnappers high fiving each other, it's a pretty shiatty way to dump on a teammate who at that point hadn't said anything inflammatory, at least not to the media.  Montero's an established player, and a good one (save this disastrous year) but he was 28 at the time.  It's not like he's been around 15 years.

It just seems like the D-Backs are building a team around other principles than putting the best team out there that they can, and that they're way too sensitive to "attitudes."  But hey, they're winning.
 
2013-06-10 03:50:57 PM

chimp_ninja: He's a great hitter who is well-liked, so people want that to be true, and he gets a Gold Glove. The problem is that by every measurement, he has abysmal range (albeit with good hands) at a crucial position, and the Yankees suffer for it every year as grounders trickle into CF. (His bat more than makes up for that in general. But he's a horrible defender.)


yeah, i've heard that for years.  i don't watch many yankees games (or truthfully, games period) but I've heard that before.

but when i've watched him (meaning, the glory years, unlike the lats 2-3) he makes the routine play look remarkable, and then of course when he makes that insane "no-look shovel toss with glove hand to retire Giambi in the playoffs" play, he gets mileage out of that.   who knows.
 
2013-06-10 03:53:34 PM

rickythepenguin: Montero was incredulous (to put it charitably) that he was being shaken off by Bauer, at the time making his like, 3rd, or 4th start. I recall the quote being something like, "I've played in hte majors for 6 years, I've caught Randy Johnson, and this kid is shaking me off? But what do I know? I'm just an All-Star."

(Bauer was traded to cleveland and is biding his time in AAA, last I checked).


Erm.  Bauer's problem was that he's walked 28 guys in 32 MLB innings.  It has nothing to do with Miguel Montero's signs, unless the signs were "throw strikes, dummy" and Bauer was shaking those off.

This isn't a new problem, by the way.  Bauer has walked 4.2 per 9 in his minor league career, and that number tends to rise when you face more mature hitters.  He has great raw stuff, but he doesn't know where it's going.  Some guys are coachable and learn to correct this weakness, like that Randy Johnson guy.
 
2013-06-10 03:57:01 PM

Dafatone: I'm skeptical of the D-Backs and their ditching of young talented players that have "attitude" problems. Mostly, I'm pissed at them for giving away Justin Upton for a sack of baseballs, But I don't think they got equal talent in return for Bauer, although time will tell (Gregorius has been very good so far.)



Upton was just.....i don't doubt his commitement or heart or work ethic or anything, he just plateau'd.  I think that wsa the classic "change of scenery" move that you just have to do sometimes.  Didi has largely been lights out, Prado is starting to round into form (despite some miscues yesterday), so that looks like the trade wehre both teams fared better.  Upton kinda jinxed himself in a way with that early hot start that he never really matched.

another guy we kinda gave up on [perhaps too early was Carlos quentin.  while he hasn't lit the league on fire, he unquestionably did better in CWS than he did here.

Bauer was odd because of how quickly we gave up on him.  there were rumors that his dad was interfering with the coaching, or undoing what the coaches were telling him, and Bauer also rubbed some vets the wrong way.  while you hate to see "unnamed sources" trash a guy after he left, we all know that is the game.  and wehn bauer left, "unnamed sources" said Bauer was a bad locker room guy, arrogant, unwilling to listen, and then the crap about his dad.  who knows.

and speaking of trashing the guy after he left, I think Don Baylor took a poke at Upton in spring, where he said something like "we now have guys that will listen to the coaches.  that was a problem last year.  some guys in slumps didn't want to listen, but we don't have that problem anymore".  GEE WHO COULD HE POSSIBLY BE REFERRING TO?
 
2013-06-10 03:59:59 PM

chimp_ninja: "throw strikes, dummy" and Bauer was shaking those off.


bauer was shaking everything off and watned to throw the same pitch over and over. Miggs' point was that doesn't work "up here" and he was proven right.

and yeah, bauer's accuracy was an issue, and the team tried to get him to work on that.  he resisted.  he fell in love with his dopey pre-game long toss (last i checked, throwing the ball from foul pole to foul pole doesn't get battters out or put runs on the board) and wouldn't listen.  he seemed to tune the team out after awhile, which is why the Snakes were all to happy to lose a headache we didn't need.

not wishing bad on the guy.  but you know the old cliche, million dollar arm and a ten cent head.
 
2013-06-10 04:05:16 PM

rickythepenguin: chimp_ninja: He's a great hitter who is well-liked, so people want that to be true, and he gets a Gold Glove. The problem is that by every measurement, he has abysmal range (albeit with good hands) at a crucial position, and the Yankees suffer for it every year as grounders trickle into CF. (His bat more than makes up for that in general. But he's a horrible defender.)

yeah, i've heard that for years.  i don't watch many yankees games (or truthfully, games period) but I've heard that before.

but when i've watched him (meaning, the glory years, unlike the lats 2-3) he makes the routine play look remarkable, and then of course when he makes that insane "no-look shovel toss with glove hand to retire Giambi in the playoffs" play, he gets mileage out of that.   who knows.


I don't want a shortstop who makes a routine play look remarkable.  (If anything I want the reverse.)  But really, I want a shortstop who prevents a large percentage of ground balls to the left side from getting into the outfield, and turns them into outs.  I don't care if he looks remarkable doing it.  In particular, Jeter makes a lot of diving and/or jump-throw stops because he has a remarkably slow first step, and a good shortstop would have grabbed those grounders from a standing position after stopping his momentum or directing it towards 1B.

I can measure that, at least for eras where I have good data.  To give you a rough idea, here's a list of 129 shortstops with at least 500 MLB games under their belt.  It's ordered by how many outs they participate in (putouts plus assists) per 9 innings of play.  Derek Jeter ranks 128th.

Compared to a great defensive shortstop like Ozzie Smith, Jeter is involved in more than 1 fewer play per 9 innings.  (Some of this is era-dependent... pitchers strike out more guys these days, for example.  But this difference persists even if you correct for that.  I'm giving a simple measurement as an illustration.)   That means over the course of a year, he might be giving out ~180 free hits (mostly singles) to the other team, or about 20 per hitter.  Having Jeter instead of Ozzie basically adds 30+ points to every opposing hitter's batting average.

If I told you that I was a hitting coach that could improve every hitter on your team by 30 points of batting average, how much would that be worth to you?  That's what you should pay for a defensive upgrade from Jeter to Ozzie.
 
2013-06-10 04:07:17 PM

rickythepenguin: bauer was shaking everything off and watned to throw the same pitch over and over. Miggs' point was that doesn't work "up here" and he was proven right.


Well, sure.  But given that he can't throw strikes at any level of the minors, can Montero really take credit for having exceptional pitcher-handling skill there?
 
2013-06-10 04:13:22 PM

chimp_ninja: I can measure that, at least for eras where I have good data.  To give you a rough idea, here's a list of 129 shortstops with at least 500 MLB games under their belt.  It's ordered by how many outs they participate in (putouts plus assists) per 9 innings of play.  Derek Jeter ranks 128th.


It's fascinating that there are more contemporary players bunched towards the bottom of the list, which probably helps mitigate Jeter's low ranking.  Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins are very good defensive shortstops.  At worst, they're just good.

Of course, what this really does is help highlight just how phenomenal Troy Tulowitzki is.
 
2013-06-10 04:15:58 PM

Dafatone: His point is that he's angry at numbers. It's pretty clear.


Whatever, Einstein. I could calculate you under the table. Everything can be calculated, to a degree. But that doesn't mean it will accurately depict reality. It's just a representation. That's why in baseball, it is constantly changing. My only argument is that numbers alone will never tell the whole story. It will just let people who have no physical ability feel superior to make up for their own shortcomings. That shortcoming? The inability to realize how much of the game is attitude and mental ability.

chimp_ninja: it's worthless


You make a lot of good points, and I won't argue the importance of new & old measurable stats. But this is where you're missing the point. Just because something is not measurable you think it's worthless. Whereas many people in the game feel these aspects are probably MORE important BECAUSE you can't measure them.

You cannot simply look at the results like "swing & miss". There is a batter involved as well. Some are better than others...some hit particular pitchers or types better than others. When you start trying to mash all of these unrelated instances into a neat & tidy equation, sure you will get a number...or a solution to the equation...but what does it represent, really? A bunch of single instances that are not meant to be fused...but you fused them anyway.

I also agree with your point that fans tend to project skills to their favorite players that some stats prove wrong. Just as things like if player A should have gotten to this ball or not. Someone is making that call based on human judgment. Are we measuring velocity leaving the bat on every pitch yet? Or that a slider only moved 4 inches this pitch...when that pitch moved 8 inches? Did we finally start using pitchfx to call balls and strikes consistently? (wish they would)

All I am saying is that baseball is not an equation waiting to be solved and never will be.
 
2013-06-10 04:16:05 PM

rickythepenguin: I recall the quote being something like, "I've played in hte majors for 6 years, I've caught Randy Johnson, and this kid is shaking me off? But what do I know? I'm just an All-Star."


As I pointed out last time you said this:

Randy Johnson, ERA by catcher (minimum 5 games caught):

Jorge Posada: 4.82
Miguel Montero & Mike Fitzgerald, tied: 4.77
...
Chris Snyder, 2.12 (Montero's primary backup in 2008)
Brad Ausmus, 1.43

Now, I don't think that's entirely or even mostly Montero's fault. But bringing up "I CAUGHT RANDY JOHNSON" is sort of meaningless.
 
2013-06-10 04:21:52 PM

JohnnyCanuck: Dafatone: His point is that he's angry at numbers. It's pretty clear.

Whatever, Einstein. I could calculate you under the table. Everything can be calculated, to a degree. But that doesn't mean it will accurately depict reality. It's just a representation. That's why in baseball, it is constantly changing. My only argument is that numbers alone will never tell the whole story. It will just let people who have no physical ability feel superior to make up for their own shortcomings. That shortcoming? The inability to realize how much of the game is attitude and mental ability.


We're not talking about numbers representing pure physical traits.  If I said Nick Hundley should be the best catcher in baseball because he's the biggest and strongest and fastest and has the best eyesight and the nicest smile, and he didn't perform as well as I think he should, then yeah, something about mental makeup, attitude, ability to learn the game, etc would make sense.

But we're talking about how well a catcher calls a game.  If a catcher's great at calling a game, his pitchers should do better pitching to him than pitching to backups.  If his pitchers don't do better pitching to him than backups, then he's not especially good at calling a game.  Or, he AND the backup are great at it, and this can be tested out when they're not on the same team.

If "intangibles" make a guy perform better, then he should perform better.  What's so controversial about that?
 
2013-06-10 04:44:02 PM

WTF Indeed: Dafatone: Joe Mauer is both the best catcher in baseball and overpaid to the point of LOL.

Weird.

Best Catcher is Baseball is Yadier Molina. Most overpaid catcher is Brian McCann


McCann was injured most of last year to the point of needing surgery.  He's been flat out raking since he came back.
 
2013-06-10 05:00:51 PM

Dafatone: It's fascinating that there are more contemporary players bunched towards the bottom of the list, which probably helps mitigate Jeter's low ranking. Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins are very good defensive shortstops. At worst, they're just good.

Of course, what this really does is help highlight just how phenomenal Troy Tulowitzki is.


Range Factor is a pretty busted metric.  Build a rotation with 5 ground ballers and your whole infield is going to look really good.  I know the Rockies were going that route for a while because fly balls at Coors are trouble.  Tulowitzki is still really good but that's not how I'd get there.
 
2013-06-10 05:02:42 PM

Dafatone: JohnnyCanuck: Dafatone: His point is that he's angry at numbers. It's pretty clear


This is what I was talking about. It goes far beyond calling the game from behind the plate. Just because I threatened your delicate intellect and you felt the need to dig for something to try make yourself feel better is beyond my control. However, your response was probably more predictable than a players ability.

So who is it that is differentiating between a PB & a WP? Unless I am unaware that MLB went to a new scientifically developed system, I'm pretty sure it could be one of 30+ individuals on any given day. Individuals that have different definitions of such. Same as an umps zone. (at least they're starting to be schooled for some consistency)
FYI: The same person who decides what is an error or a base hit....among other things in the game that are used in graduated stats that are based on human judgments, yet somehow claim to eliminate such things.

An accurate equation does not have a bunch of instances, each with their own outliers, that get put together with an expectancy of ignoring the fact that you came to a single representation that does not account for the fact that all of those outliers have been magnified by having them all mashed into an answer.

\also..the criteria for who gets the W should have been changed LONG ago. The fact that a reliever can come it and hypothetically get the W without throwing a pitch is insane. We give the score the power to determine all sorts of things with regard to stats, yet not the W for the pitcher. If an RP comes into a tie game with 2 out and picks a guy off without throwing a pitch and his team takes the lead in their half of the inning he could get the W instead of the starter who went 7 strong in a scoreless tie.

\\stupid
 
2013-06-10 06:09:48 PM

JohnnyCanuck: So who is it that is differentiating between a PB & a WP? Unless I am unaware that MLB went to a new scientifically developed system, I'm pretty sure it could be one of 30+ individuals on any given day. Individuals that have different definitions of such.


You'll notice I reference 'passed pitches' (PB or WP) exclusively above for this reason.  Over a long enough period, certain catchers reduce WPs, because they can block a terribly thrown ball more often.  It's a repeatable skill worth paying for.  The scorer's bias is not worth considering.

JohnnyCanuck: FYI: The same person who decides what is an error or a base hit....among other things in the game that are used in graduated stats that are based on human judgments, yet somehow claim to eliminate such things.


And yet, over time, certain batters reliably get more hits than others.  Certain fielders get charged with more errors than others.  Etc.  Large data pools suppress the randomness injected by the human element you're discussing.  I can't tell you the outcome of a roll of a pair of dice, but I can tell you with high precision what will happen if you add 100 rolls.

JohnnyCanuck: An accurate equation does not have a bunch of instances, each with their own outliers, that get put together with an expectancy of ignoring the fact that you came to a single representation that does not account for the fact that all of those outliers have been magnified by having them all mashed into an answer.


You sound like you did well in algebra but never understood statistics.

JohnnyCanuck: \also..the criteria for who gets the W should have been changed LONG ago.


Or just get rid of them, because there are dozens of more meaningful ways to measure pitcher success.  We don't give a batter or fielder a 'Win' if they were in the game when the lead changed for the last time.

That and I'm not sure who you're arguing with here.
 
2013-06-10 06:11:33 PM

chimp_ninja: That and I'm not sure who you're arguing with here.


Numbers.
 
2013-06-10 06:15:27 PM

you have pee hands: Dafatone: It's fascinating that there are more contemporary players bunched towards the bottom of the list, which probably helps mitigate Jeter's low ranking. Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins are very good defensive shortstops. At worst, they're just good.

Of course, what this really does is help highlight just how phenomenal Troy Tulowitzki is.

Range Factor is a pretty busted metric.  Build a rotation with 5 ground ballers and your whole infield is going to look really good.  I know the Rockies were going that route for a while because fly balls at Coors are trouble.  Tulowitzki is still really good but that's not how I'd get there.


Absolutely, and I referenced that when I brought it up.  Contemporary shortstops tend to have lower RF/9's than the ones from the 1980s because strikeouts are up.  Tulowitzki's RF/9 benefits from the fact that Colorado has a unique incentive to avoid fly ball pitchers.  Etc.  That all said, Jeter has atrocious range, and since all the defensive metrics agree on that, I picked a simple one.  If it was team defense under discussion, Defensive Efficiency would be a good go-to for simplicity.

If you have someone arguing that "Equations" Are The Enemy, bringing up DRS, UZR, FRAA, etc. is kind of futile.
 
2013-06-10 06:26:49 PM

Dafatone: If "intangibles" make a guy perform better, then he should perform better. What's so controversial about that?


There are things that we (as fans) can't measure well, but it's worth noting that teams might be able to.

"Leadership" or "makeup" are examples.  If I'm the GM of a team, I can have some flunky measure how many hours each player logs at the park between games, how much video they check out, how many swings they take in the cages beyond what's mandated, who is on time for meetings, who participates in discussions in a positive way, etc.  That information is probably a reasonable proxy for morale, but isn't in the public domain.  If I notice an outlier, I might reconsider how much I want the guy on my team, and adjust salary offers up or down accordingly.

But some of this stuff JohnnyCanuck is talking about might as well be "Who Has Pretty Hair".  Sure, he might think Yadier Molina has Pretty Hair, and he might even have read some anecdotes from people who also think so.  But if it doesn't have an effect on a baseball game, who cares (*)?

(*): In Joe Mauer's case, his prettiness probably helps the team in terms of attracting fans to the ballpark, improving the Twins 'brand' through endorsements, and selling merchandise.  So it's not worthless in that respect.
 
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