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Parker Hageman
01-11-2013, 12:38 AM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1299-Will-Willingham-continue-to-hammer

TRex
01-11-2013, 08:06 AM
Sincere question...

You are using HitTracker to predict a decrease in Willinghammer's HR production (which I think is pretty obvious), but in order to be truly predictive doesn't the algorithm also have to be able to predict someone who is likely to increase their production? So my question is 'has HitTracker ever been successfully used to predict success'? And I mean truly predict, not ex post facto.

Parker Hageman
01-11-2013, 08:26 AM
So my question is 'has HitTracker ever been successfully used to predict success'? And I mean truly predict, not ex post facto.

Think of it similarly to the BABIP theory. If a player's BABIP is abnormally high or low, there will likely (not always) be a regression to the mean.

Yes, HitTracker's data can also help identify players who are "unlucky" and should see their HR totals increase as well. But, no, no one has done a complete comprehensive, thorough study on the data. Because of this, I refer to it as a "theory" rather than something that is completely accepted in the sabr/stats community.

Willihammer
01-11-2013, 09:29 AM
Whereas ballpark present distances that are based mostly on the architecture of the existing facility and projecting where the ball would have landed had it not have been stopped by, say, the batter’s eye in center field, HitTrackerOnline.com factors in atmospheric data and speed off the bat (http://hittrackeronline.com/howitworks.php) to generate their data. This, in theory, should be a more accurate representation of a player’s true abilities to hit and sustain home runs.

Willingham only had 5 HR's where his actual distance was greater than his true distance. All the rest, his ball landed shorter than his true distance. For a net difference of 95 feet, or 2. 7 feet per home run. At Target Field, he underhit his true distance by 98 feet, or about 3 feet per HR.

His HR/FB rate may still come down but I am skeptical that we can yet say how much outside factors are contributing to his luck, esp. least at Target Field. It is still new and the local 9 have only fielded 2 true power hitters in its existence. Maybe as the sample grows, we won't see such gaps between actual distance and true distance for players like him.

Out of curiosity, I looked up at the weather on May 30, 2012 in Minneapolis. This was the date when Willihammer hit a HR with the greatest net outside impact - 9 due to wind, -3 due to temp, and 3 due to altimeter. As you can see, he hit the ball almost due north: ESPN Home Run Tracker :: Player and Field Detail (http://hittrackeronline.com/hrdetail.php?id=2012_1457)

Yet the weather on that day was this? History | Weather Underground (http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KMIC/2012/5/30/DailyHistory.html?&MR=1)

James
01-11-2013, 10:42 AM
Should anyone be expecting another 30+ bombs? I know the past two years have been going very well for him, but those are some hefty numbers.

The other question is, if he falls back to career norms of "only" 22 HRs, would anyone really be disappointed with that production as well? (That is assuming there in no drastic change to BA and OBP that accompanies that).

ashburyjohn
01-11-2013, 12:08 PM
Something that stats can't do much for is to answer whether Josh ending the season on the DL could have some carryover to the new season. He hurt his shoulder, and if this becomes a new chronic condition, it could affect his power.

mike wants wins
01-11-2013, 12:57 PM
I would be happy with a similar OPS with a few less homeruns. I would be surprised if next year was well above his career norms, but not shocked.

Brock Beauchamp
01-11-2013, 02:13 PM
The other question is, if he falls back to career norms of "only" 22 HRs, would anyone really be disappointed with that production as well? (That is assuming there in no drastic change to BA and OBP that accompanies that).

Going into 2012, I would have been happy with 20 dingers from Willingham. I won't be terribly disappointed if he falls back to that level in 2013 and nobody else should be, either. The guy is making $7m a year and considering that the Twins got around $15m of production from him last season, the contract has nearly paid for itself already.

SweetOne69
01-11-2013, 02:38 PM
Going into 2012, I would have been happy with 20 dingers from Willingham. I won't be terribly disappointed if he falls back to that level in 2013 and nobody else should be, either. The guy is making $7m a year and considering that the Twins got around $15m of production from him last season, the contract has nearly paid for itself already.

I agree. I was expecting 20-25 dingers from Willingham. Anything more than that is a bonus. I expect the same again in 2013.

TRex
01-11-2013, 03:02 PM
Hey Parker,
I guess I didn't explain my point well enough, and please understand that, to a point, it is purely semantics and I agree with the overall premise, so let me try again.

I think your example of BABIP is a great comparison because you can say that someone is likely to perform worse next year because they had the highest BABIP of their life OR you could say they are likely to do better next year because they had the lowest BABIP of their career. However, I haven't ever seen anyone say a hitter is likely to hit more HR next year because he had very few "Just Enough" HR this year.

nicksaviking
01-11-2013, 03:09 PM
The other question is, if he falls back to career norms of "only" 22 HRs, would anyone really be disappointed with that production as well? (That is assuming there in no drastic change to BA and OBP that accompanies that).

People probably wouldn't be as disappointed with the production as much as they'd be disappointed in the loss of value. If he regresses, this forum is going to blow up with people* upset the Twins didn't trade him at his peak value, which may not be as much as we like to think.

*Full disclosure: I could be one of them.

SweetOne69
01-11-2013, 04:09 PM
People probably wouldn't be as disappointed with the production as much as they'd be disappointed in the loss of value. If he regresses, this forum is going to blow up with people* upset the Twins didn't trade him at his peak value, which may not be as much as we like to think.

*Full disclosure: I could be one of them.

From what I hear, there really isn't much added value based on his HR performance the last 2 years. It seems that most teams feel that they were flukes as is so a drop to the norm wouldn't affect anything anyway.

Andrew Bryz-Gornia
01-11-2013, 10:55 PM
Hey Parker,
I guess I didn't explain my point well enough, and please understand that, to a point, it is purely semantics and I agree with the overall premise, so let me try again.

I think your example of BABIP is a great comparison because you can say that someone is likely to perform worse next year because they had the highest BABIP of their life OR you could say they are likely to do better next year because they had the lowest BABIP of their career. However, I haven't ever seen anyone say a hitter is likely to hit more HR next year because he had very few "Just Enough" HR this year.

This mimics what Parker said about Willingham, but people used Hit Tracker to show that Mauer's 2009 career year benefited from a bunch of "Just Enough/Lucky" home runs, far more than he usually hit. However, like you've been asking, no one has used the website to say that a power hitter was unlucky one year and could regress back up to his career norms.

kab21
01-11-2013, 11:18 PM
You can't really use the hittrackeronline website to project guys that will hit more HR's the following year. If you wanted to do that then you would need to have a data set of 'just misses'.

You can do a different analysis to project Willingham's 2013 HR's
Games played - 2013 was a career high for an often injured player that turns 34 next month. Fewer games = fewer HR's
HR/FB - 21.2% was a career high by a fair amount so for the same reason as looking at the hittrackeronline data you would expect a regression. He has always played in pitchers parks so that hurts his career HR/FB rates but I would still expect a regression there.

One interesting thing about looking at the hittrackeronline data. Many have said that Willingham was successful at Target Field because he was more of a pull hitter than Cuddyer. Willy actually hit his HR's mostly to LC and CF just like Cuddyer. Plouffe was a definite pull hitter though last year.

h2oface
01-12-2013, 10:57 PM
Poor Willingham. He performs, and all folks want to talk about is that he will only do worse in the future. Show them all wrong Hammer!

Kwak
01-12-2013, 11:07 PM
This sounds like the people who tout stock-picker systems based on last year's chart.

mako83
01-13-2013, 12:10 AM
Would like an increase in batting average and runs batted in versus dingers. Morneau will hit more, Centerfield and Rightfield will too.

kab21
01-13-2013, 12:22 AM
Poor Willingham. He performs, and all folks want to talk about is that he will only do worse in the future. Show them all wrong Hammer!

It's called being realistic. He's still going to be a very good player.

old nurse
01-13-2013, 09:13 AM
What is Willingham's career just lucky percentage number? As numbers go closer to the mean, willingham is more likely to go back to his average of just luck home runs rather than the league average.
If Willingham has a average healthy year with 600 plate appearance he would hit 27 homers by career average HR/plate appearance

Top Gun
01-13-2013, 09:36 AM
25 to 30 are good numbers, even the high 30's are in reach as the the older he get the better he gets, it's all about playing time.

jimbo92107
01-14-2013, 12:47 AM
We want happy stats, we want happy stats!

For those of us looking for a reason to buy a Twins hat or even (gasp) a ticket to a game this year, can't you come up with some stats or projections that will warm our hearts on these frigid winter days? Here, I'll start: If Sam Deduno gets that pesky control problem fixed; if Kyle Gibson dominates in spring training; if Hicks, Arcia and Benson tear the cover off the ball all spring; if Florimon learns to read pitchers; if Plouffe starts playing third base like Dave Schmidt; if Morneau arrives in Fort Myers looking like he's 25 again; if Gardenhire loses fifty pounds and starts doing wind sprints with the players; if Parmelee starts swinging the bat like Rafael Palmiero...

Of course, some of these things may not happen, but for sure most of them will!

FrodaddyG
01-14-2013, 01:11 AM
We want happy stats, we want happy stats!

For those of us looking for a reason to buy a Twins hat or even (gasp) a ticket to a game this year, can't you come up with some stats or projections that will warm our hearts on these frigid winter days? Here, I'll start: If Sam Deduno gets that pesky control problem fixed; if Kyle Gibson dominates in spring training; if Hicks, Arcia and Benson tear the cover off the ball all spring; if Florimon learns to read pitchers; if Plouffe starts playing third base like Dave Schmidt; if Morneau arrives in Fort Myers looking like he's 25 again; if Gardenhire loses fifty pounds and starts doing wind sprints with the players; if Parmelee starts swinging the bat like Rafael Palmiero...

Of course, some of these things may not happen, but for sure most of them will!
I, for one, welcome the second coming of Dave Schmidt at the hot corner.

snepp
01-14-2013, 01:51 AM
He apparently can also be a moderately effective pitcher should the need arise.