PDA

View Full Version : Opening Day Lineup



10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-14-2013, 04:18 PM
You can view the post with the whole roster explanation here:

My Opening Day Lineup - Blogs - Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum (http://twinsdaily.com/blogs/10pagesofclearbluesky/2634-my-opening-day-lineup.html)

Here is the batting order:

Starting Lineup


CF. Aaron Hicks
2B. Brian Dozier
C. Joe Mauer
LF. Josh Willingham
1B. Justin Morneau
DH. Ryan Doumit
3B. Trevor Plouffe
RF. Chris Parmelee
SS. Eduardo Escobar


Opening Day Starting Pitcher
Vance Worley


What does everybody think?

spideyo
03-14-2013, 08:54 PM
Pretty close to what I posted a while back, except I thought the twins might sign Podsednik and had Dozier hitting 8th (with everyone above him sliding up)

http://twinsdaily.com/minnesota-twins-talk/5000-opening-day-lineup.html

Saw your bench guesses. I don't think Thome and Colabello both make it. If Escobar is the emergency catcher, they're going to want two guys that can cover 2b/3b/SS

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-14-2013, 11:49 PM
Yes, pretty similar. I don't think Gardy will be likely to go for Mauer batting second. And really when I think about it, with Hicks' potential OBP and as long as Dozier can have close to average OBP I don't mind them one and two at all. Your lineup didn't seem very optimistic regarding Hicks. Podsednick never seemed very likely to me, but then again neither did Hicks looking so well.

Your scenario in which both Mauer and Doumit are unable to catch and therefore Escobar is needed to catch AND one of Carrol/Dozier/Plouffe are unavailable to play the infield seems unlikely at best. And am I remembering correctly that Mastro is said to be able to play a little bit of 2B in an emergency? In your scenario occurred, then Mastro at 2B would be the least of my worries. I would rather have the nice pinch hitting balance of R/L, but that doesn't mean Gardy won't agree with you.

spideyo
03-15-2013, 07:19 AM
To be fair, I posted that pre-spring training and had no idea Hicks would come roaring out like he has. I think if Colabello could at least cover 3B in a pinch, there might be a chance they'd carry both him and Thome, but as it stands they are both just too limited in what they could cover on the field. A day-to-day injury from Hicks, Dozier, Escobar, Carroll, Plouffe or Mastroianni would completely hamstring Gardy's lineup options.

Now, if we could get a 5 man rotation that could get 6+innings every game, we theoretically could carry 6 guys in the pen, and have a bench of Mastro, Flori, Carroll, Thome and Colbello. That would be pretty sweet. Chances of it happening are incredibly small though

Nick Nelson
03-15-2013, 09:08 AM
Not sure how even Gardy could justify sticking Dozier in the 2-spot unless his bat picks up in the final weeks of spring training. The guy has simply done nothing to show he can handle that role. I'm thinking at this point there's a very good chance Mauer opens as the No. 2 hitter.

Top Gun
03-15-2013, 09:47 AM
As far as I know Florimon is still the Twins startin ss.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-15-2013, 11:28 AM
Nick,

Thanks for the response. This was my first post here. Nice to have one of the big guys make me feel part of the community right off the bat.

While in principle, I agree about Dozier not earning the number 2 spot in the order during Spring Training, I'm still not convinced that Gardy will ultimately see it that way. Odd as it may sound, Dozier might be earning his spot in the order with his solid defense. Clearly his defense has gotten people talking and has made his spot as the starting 2B more likely. If we assume he wins the 2B position we can then nitpick about the choice between Carrol, Florimon, and Escobar. If Carrol were to be given the start at SS, I would see Gardy batting him number 2. In my lineup, however, I am guessing that Escobar ends up as the starting SS. Given this, I just don't see Gardy stacking up the middle infielders at the bottom of the order. He really seems to love to put a "speed guy" in the number 2 spot in the lineup. Going on my roster assumptions, I then choose between Escobar and Dozier for the number 2 spot. While Dozier hasn't been lighting it up, I believe the perception exists that his offensive upside would be make him much more palatable at the number 2 spot than Escobar. Even if Florimon beats out Escobar for the SS spot (which I believe he won't because of Escobar's emergency catching potential) I still would expect to see Dozier number 2 and Florimon number 9.

As far as Gardy batting Joe 2nd; I said in my blog post that I may be likely to try it, but I've just not seen enough evidence that this is a likely option given years of witnessing Gardy's style of constructing batting orders. "A very good chance" of Joe batting 2 seems overconfident on the subject unless you know something I don't know (which is very much likely). If I were to bet Monopoly money, I would wager that Joe Mauer bats third on Opening Day and beyond.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-15-2013, 11:33 AM
Spideyo,

Yes, you went on the record with you lineup substantially before I did. I still would have been shocked to see Podsednick signed as it would have indicated very little faith in the Hicks/Mastroanni/Benson combination on the part of the front office and coaching staff. To me, it seemed pretty clear even in early February that the Twins believed their CF would come from inside the organization. Like I stated, to be fair I did not foresee Hicks making the choice of the three as easy as it seems like it is going to be.

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 01:05 PM
You guys are over complicating this.
With Gardy its "play 2nd, bat 2nd." Thats it.

CDog
03-15-2013, 01:40 PM
You guys are over complicating this.
With Gardy its "play 2nd, bat 2nd." Thats it.

Ben Revere plays what?

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-15-2013, 01:50 PM
Ben Revere plays what?

Agreed. This slight against Gardy that he only bats second basemen in the 2-spot has always rubbed me the wrong way. What he does prefer is a "speedy guy who can run around and steal some bases" in the 2-spot. I don't blame him for that either. The fact that the Twins' speed guys have tended to be Second Basemen has simply made that occurrence more often. Now, arguing that he should pay more attention to these speed guys' On Base numbers before he puts them in the 2-spot would be a more fair criticism.

CDog
03-15-2013, 02:28 PM
Agreed. This slight against Gardy that he only bats second basemen in the 2-spot has always rubbed me the wrong way. What he does prefer is a "speedy guy who can run around and steal some bases" in the 2-spot. I don't blame him for that either. The fact that the Twins' speed guys have tended to be Second Basemen has simply made that occurrence more often. Now, arguing that he should pay more attention to these speed guys' On Base numbers before he puts them in the 2-spot would be a more fair criticism.

That was a much more complete stating of my thoughts. From whether it's a "rule" of his, to why it may have happened a lot, to why it maybe shouldn't. Nice work.

I've mentioned it elsewhere before, but my preference leans toward batting Mauer 2nd based on the likely lineup, and I cling to some hope that it may happen because it's happened in the past (a smallish, but not insignificant amount). I don't know if I'd go so far as expecting it, but hoping it. And if he doesn't, it wouldn't cause me too much angst, either.

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 03:26 PM
Agreed. This slight against Gardy that he only bats second basemen in the 2-spot has always rubbed me the wrong way. What he does prefer is a "speedy guy who can run around and steal some bases" in the 2-spot. I don't blame him for that either. The fact that the Twins' speed guys have tended to be Second Basemen has simply made that occurrence more often. Now, arguing that he should pay more attention to these speed guys' On Base numbers before he puts them in the 2-spot would be a more fair criticism.

I guess I never looked at Matt Tolbert as a big time base stealer.

Obviously I was only partially serious about my previous comment. Of course he hasnt hit a 2B'man at #2 every time, but its no secret that he likes to put them there.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-15-2013, 03:43 PM
CDog,

I agree that Mauer in the 2-spot is sometimes tempting, but in general my perspective has been that it should have been done during certain stretches of time when injuries and roster considerations have made that option the most desirable. Generally speaking, Gardy hasn't done this during times when 'just sliding everybody up' has seemed the most obvious choice. For Gardy to choose to do so when he theoretically has the entire roster to choose from would be even less likely than him doing it in the aforementioned scenarios.

That being said, if Dozier, Escobar, Florimon or Carrol were to hit well enough and have decent On-Base numbers then I would rather see Mauer stay as the number 3 hitter. Carrol not having great speed seems to decrease the desirability to have him in the 2-spot despite his usally solid OBP. Still, I am not so sure Carrol in the 2-spot would be a bad thing. In my projection, Carrol is the utility man, so that is a moot point.

I also really like to see runners on base with Mauer coming to the plate. People who desire Mauer at 2 don't seem to see him as quite the RBI threat that he can actually be. One good and one decent OBP guy gives Mauer and his plate discipline an opportunity to select a pitch to drive in some runs if he gets one, or to draw a walk and let the big guys swing it. Mauer at 3, with his combination of OBP and ability to drive the ball sounds pretty darn good to me.

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 03:59 PM
CDog,

I agree that Mauer in the 2-spot is sometimes tempting, but in general my perspective has been that it should have been done during certain stretches of time when injuries and roster considerations have made that option the most desirable. Generally speaking, Gardy hasn't done this during times when 'just sliding everybody up' has seemed the most obvious choice. For Gardy to choose to do so when he theoretically has the entire roster to choose from would be even less likely than him doing it in the aforementioned scenarios.

That being said, if Dozier, Escobar, Florimon or Carrol were to hit well enough and have decent On-Base numbers then I would rather see Mauer stay as the number 3 hitter. Carrol not having great speed seems to decrease the desirability to have him in the 2-spot despite his usally solid OBP. Still, I am not so sure Carrol in the 2-spot would be a bad thing. In my projection, Carrol is the utility man, so that is a moot point.

I also really like to see runners on base with Mauer coming to the plate. People who desire Mauer at 2 don't seem to see him as quite the RBI threat that he can actually be. One good and one decent OBP guy gives Mauer and his plate discipline an opportunity to select a pitch to drive in some runs if he gets one, or to draw a walk and let the big guys swing it. Mauer at 3, with his combination of OBP and ability to drive the ball sounds pretty darn good to me.

I guess I've never understood the reason why a #2 hitter needs to have speed as part of his game?
I mean if you are giving me the choice between two different guys with equal OBP's, sure I'll take the one with more speed.
But, the lack of speed shouldnt be a reason to keep a guy out of the 2 hole, and I'm not sure I've ever heard it explained why it should.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-15-2013, 04:01 PM
Mr. Brooks,

I understood your jest, and did not think you would die by your ascertation about Gardy batting 2nd Baseman in the 2-spot, but I believe that it is a perception that exists.

Baseball Referance has Tolbert's stolen base numbers at an 11 per 162- Game clip. While not exactly a burner, Tolbert could steal a base when called upon. A player with a grand total of 680 plate appearences doesn't seem to have been blocking anybody from the 2-spot, more like just filling in during injuries. This brings me to my conversation with CDog, in which I stated that when a guy like Tolbert is the other option, Mauer batting second seems like a better choice.

I would be interested to see somebody with a better mastery of stat-sorting do a study of how often Gardy has batted the 2nd Baseman in the 2-spot compared to the frequency across the league. Noting the OBP of these players on average would also help to confirm or deny actuality of tis perception.

Dont look now, but Dozier switched his jersey number. New number: 2. It's meant to be!

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 04:13 PM
Mr. Brooks,

I understood your jest, and did not think you would die by your ascertation about Gardy batting 2nd Baseman in the 2-spot, but I believe that it is a perception that exists.

Baseball Referance has Tolbert's stolen base numbers at an 11 per 162- Game clip. While not exactly a burner, Tolbert could steal a base when called upon. A player with a grand total of 680 plate appearences doesn't seem to have been blocking anybody from the 2-spot, more like just filling in during injuries. This brings me to my conversation with CDog, in which I stated that when a guy like Tolbert is the other option, Mauer batting second seems like a better choice.

I would be interested to see somebody with a better mastery of stat-sorting do a study of how often Gardy has batted the 2nd Baseman in the 2-spot compared to the frequency across the league. Noting the OBP of these players on average would also help to confirm or deny actuality of tis perception.

Dont look now, but Dozier switched his jersey number. New number: 2. It's meant to be!

IMO, the ONLY qualifications you should look at for your top 2 hitters is OBP.
Obviously there would be some exceptions to this, I think it would be a waste to put a 30 HR power hitter at leadoff even if he had the best OBP on the team, but those are extreme exceptions.
Its pretty simple, the #2 hitter is going to get one more PA than the #9 hitter in the vast majority of games.
So, unless Matt Tolbert had one of the 2 best OBP's on the team in those instances that he was penciled in at #2, then yes, he was blocking someone.
My original comment was more or less an attempt to mock Gardy's fascination with "lineup continuity", as if somehow when a guy is at the plate, he's actually thinking, "oh boy, I usually hit 8th, but today I'm hitting 7th, i cant concentrate!!".
I have no idea if Gardy hits 2nd basemen more often #2 than other managers.
And FWIW, I think Gardy is a good manager, but that doesnt mean he's perfect and to me lineup construction is one of his biggest flaws.
I understand that lineup construction has a minimal effect, but even if it loses you 1 or 2 games versus the "optimal" lineup over a season, that can prove to be a very significant amount in some seasons.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-15-2013, 04:39 PM
IMO, the ONLY qualifications you should look at for your top 2 hitters is OBP.
Obviously there would be some exceptions to this, I think it would be a waste to put a 30 HR power hitter at leadoff even if he had the best OBP on the team, but those are extreme exceptions.
Its pretty simple, the #2 hitter is going to get one more PA than the #9 hitter in the vast majority of games.
So, unless Matt Tolbert had one of the 2 best OBP's on the team in those instances that he was penciled in at #2, then yes, he was blocking someone.
My original comment was more or less an attempt to mock Gardy's fascination with "lineup continuity", as if somehow when a guy is at the plate, he's actually thinking, "oh boy, I usually hit 8th, but today I'm hitting 7th, i cant concentrate!!".
I have no idea if Gardy hits 2nd basemen more often #2 than other managers.
And FWIW, I think Gardy is a good manager, but that doesnt mean he's perfect and to me lineup construction is one of his biggest flaws.
I understand that lineup construction has a minimal effect, but even if it loses you 1 or 2 games versus the "optimal" lineup over a season, that can prove to be a very significant amount in some seasons.

It's funny to me when people just want OBP in the 2-spot, because the ultimate goal is to score runs. If a high On-Base guy doesn't come around to score, what is the value in having them on base in the first place?

What you've apparently never "heard explained" is that sometimes high on base guys can be high on base clogs. If a speedy guy gets on base less, but yet comes around to score much more often due to his speed, it would seem to be a clear indication of why a manager would prefer the speed guy hitting number 2 in his order.

That being said, Tolbert is obviously not a poster child for this argument, as his time in the 2-spot seemed to usually have to do with maintaining the "lineup continuity" that you mentioned. While I wouldn't prioritize continuity over the best man for the job, I wouldn't belittle it as completely insignificant either. When hitting has much to do with comfort and confidence in repeating a successful approach, I would think there is at least some sense in trying to make that comfort level more likely. I would definitely not say it makes a big enough difference to forego more sound lineup construction, but I would submit that it might make some difference.

Shane Wahl
03-15-2013, 04:40 PM
Keep in mind that there is absolutely no legitimate way for Mauer not to be batting second this year. Anything else will point to Gardenhire being incompetent about his lineup.

Hicks and Carroll are the only real contenders to adequately leadoff for the Twins. I guess it is *possible* that if Carroll is getting on base at the .345+ level as a starter, then maybe Mauer as the three-hitter makes sense?

Anyway, I really like the idea of Willingham batting third because there are often 2 outs in that first inning and in such a circumstance the most likely way to score a run is by hitting a homer (instead of stringing two extra base hits or three singles together, etc.). I am really not sure why lineups aren't--for the most part--basically just OBP from top to bottom, but whatever.

Note: Hicks might not start out with a good enough OBP, but it will happen eventually.

Shane Wahl
03-15-2013, 04:43 PM
Further note: Hicks has a .379 career OBP and even in his weaker seasons he was above .350. That's damn impressive. Hicks at .360 and Mauer at .410 is a *remarkable* top of the lineup, especially when followed by Willingham, Morneau, Doumit, and Plouffe.

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 04:49 PM
It's funny to me when people just want OBP in the 2-spot, because the ultimate goal is to score runs. If a high On-Base guy doesn't come around to score, what is the value in having them on base in the first place?

What you've apparently never "heard explained" is that sometimes high on base guys can be high on base clogs. If a speedy guy gets on base less, but yet comes around to score much more often due to his speed, it would seem to be a clear indication of why a manager would prefer the speed guy hitting number 2 in his order.

That being said, Tolbert is obviously not a poster child for this argument, as his time in the 2-spot seemed to usually have to do with maintaining the "lineup continuity" that you mentioned. While I wouldn't prioritize continuity over the best man for the job, I wouldn't belittle it as completely insignificant either. When hitting has much to do with comfort and confidence in repeating a successful approach, I would think there is at least some sense in trying to make that comfort level more likely. I would definitely not say it makes a big enough difference to forego more sound lineup construction, but I would submit that it might make some difference.

IMO, that is backwards.
If that slow footed, base clogging high OBP guy is going to be in the lineup either way, doesnt it make sense to bat him in front of the high power guys who are normally hitting #3,4, and 5?
It seems to me the best opportunity for that slow footed guy to score runs is to have guys behind him who hit doubles and HR's, which also seems like the best way to keep him from clogging the bases.

And the faster, lower OBP guys dont need power guys behind them. They should be able to use their speed to steal 2nd, then score on a single, so it would make sense to bat them in front of the weak, singles hitters, rather than batting the slow footed base cloggers in front of the singles hitters.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-15-2013, 04:51 PM
Keep in mind that there is absolutely no legitimate way for Mauer not to be batting second this year. Anything else will point to Gardenhire being incompetent about his lineup.

Hicks and Carroll are the only real contenders to adequately leadoff for the Twins. I guess it is *possible* that if Carroll is getting on base at the .345+ level as a starter, then maybe Mauer as the three-hitter makes sense?

Anyway, I really like the idea of Willingham batting third because there are often 2 outs in that first inning and in such a circumstance the most likely way to score a run is by hitting a homer (instead of stringing two extra base hits or three singles together, etc.). I am really not sure why lineups aren't--for the most part--basically just OBP from top to bottom, but whatever.

Note: Hicks might not start out with a good enough OBP, but it will happen eventually.

To take your perspective to its logical end, you wouldn't understand why OBP isn't the most important consideration when determining which players are placed on your roster in the first place. On Base fanatics seem to view "getting on base" as the ultimate end. Yes, you have to get on base to score runs. That doesn't mean that a guy who gets on base more often is necessarily likely to score runs more often. It also doesn't mean that they are more likely to drive in more runs. Balance throughout a lineup is a somewhat nebulous concept, but to me it seems to have value when you consider that the ultimate goal is to score runs.

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 04:59 PM
To be clear, I'm not in the camp that thinks that OBP is the most important consideration in getting a guy into the lineup or not.
My stance is that once a guy is already in the lineup, OBP should be the most important factor (not the only) in determining the #1 and #2 hitters.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-15-2013, 05:10 PM
First of all, I am not arguing that high On-Base guys are slow footed and clogging up base paths. What I am saying is that getting on base is important in that it makes scoring a run possible in the first place, but it doesn't guarantee the On-Base guy of scoring at a higher rate than a somewhat lower On-Base guy who could steal a base or go from first to third, or first to home.

Your assumption is that the slow footed on base guy and the power guy are not one-in-the-same. Morneau comes to mind as a guy who fits this description. I would rather have Morneau hitting a double with a fast guy on first. I know that your argument is that you would rather have Morneau hitting with a GUY ON FIRST period. I understand that, and in a vaccuum I would choose the same. Keep in mind that I am not arguing for low On-Base guys in the two spot, I am simply saying that a significant amount of speed could potentially outweigh a somewhat higher OBP when in regards to the actual reality of bringing a guy around to touch home plate.

I also tend to think that throughout the history of Baseball, managers have tried many different approaches. An approach that seems to have been settled on, presumably due to its higher level of effectiveness, is to balance a lineup with a combination of speed and OBP guys in front of RBI threats.

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 05:18 PM
First of all, I am not arguing that high On-Base guys are slow footed and clogging up base paths. What I am saying is that getting on base is important in that it makes scoring a run possible in the first place, but it doesn't guarantee the On-Base guy of scoring at a higher rate than a somewhat lower On-Base guy who could steal a base or go from first to third, or first to home.

Your assumption is that the slow footed on base guy and the power guy are not one-in-the-same. Morneau comes to mind as a guy who fits this description. I would rather have Morneau hitting a double with a fast guy on first. I know that your argument is that you would rather have Morneau hitting with a GUY ON FIRST period. I understand that, and in a vaccuum I would choose the same. Keep in mind that I am not arguing for low On-Base guys in the two spot, I am simply saying that a significant amount of speed could potentially outweigh a somewhat higher OBP when in regards to the actual reality of bringing a guy around to touch home plate.

I also tend to think that throughout the history of Baseball, managers have tried many different approaches. An approach that seems to have been settled on, presumably due to its higher level of effectiveness, is to balance a lineup with a combination of speed and OBP guys in front of RBI threats.

Sure, I can buy that, but it depends on how big of a gap we are talking in both OBP and speed.
If its only 5 points difference and one guy is billy hamilton and the other guy is matt lecroy, well I think that one is fairly obvious.
My original point was taken somewhat off the rails though, and that was this:
The lack of speed shouldnt rule out an otherwise obvious choice.
If a guy is a .385 OBP'er, with minimal power, I think its absurd to say, "I can't bat him #2 because he doesnt have the speed to move around the bases like Matty Tolbert does." And to an extent, I honestly think that is how Gardy considers his lineup construction sometimes.
Same goes for "being able to handle the bat and lay down a bunt."
But I'll save my bunting in the AL rant for another day.

snepp
03-15-2013, 07:55 PM
We could only wish to have too many problems with "base-cloggers" in the lineup.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-15-2013, 11:58 PM
We could only wish to have too many problems with "base-cloggers" in the lineup.

The only way your statement makes any sense is if you take my comments completely out of context.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-16-2013, 12:41 AM
Sure, I can buy that, but it depends on how big of a gap we are talking in both OBP and speed.
If its only 5 points difference and one guy is billy hamilton and the other guy is matt lecroy, well I think that one is fairly obvious.
My original point was taken somewhat off the rails though, and that was this:
The lack of speed shouldnt rule out an otherwise obvious choice.
If a guy is a .385 OBP'er, with minimal power, I think its absurd to say, "I can't bat him #2 because he doesnt have the speed to move around the bases like Matty Tolbert does." And to an extent, I honestly think that is how Gardy considers his lineup construction sometimes.
Same goes for "being able to handle the bat and lay down a bunt."
But I'll save my bunting in the AL rant for another day.

Our conversation got me thinking and doing some math. I wondered what the threshold would be for preferring speed over OBP. I thought about it this way:

Take Hypothetical Player A, who has a very good .380 on base percentage. Let's say he's reasonably competent on the base paths, and that the speed he has allows him to score 50% of the time. This means that out of 600 plate appearances Player A will be on base 228 times and will score a run 114. Not bad at all, the on base machine gets the job done.

Now take Hypothetical Player B, with an average .325 on base percentage. Let's say Player B is a pretty darn fast runner, however, and that his speed helps him to score 60% of the time, ten percent more than the high on base guy. In 600 plate appearances Player B gets on base 195 times. His skill-set doesn't include the high on OBP of Player A, but he does have that 10% more scoring per time on the base paths due to the skill-set he does have. Player B scores a run 117 times, three more runs per 600 plate appearance than the On-Base guy.

These numbers seem to indicate that the difference need not be Billy Hamilton to Mathew LeCroy in order for speed to be preferable over OBP when the ultimate objective is to score runs.

FrodaddyG
03-16-2013, 04:10 AM
Our conversation got me thinking and doing some math. I wondered what the threshold would be for preferring speed over OBP. I thought about it this way:

Take Hypothetical Player A, who has a very good .380 on base percentage. Let's say he's reasonably competent on the base paths, and that the speed he has allows him to score 50% of the time. This means that out of 600 plate appearances Player A will be on base 228 times and will score a run 114. Not bad at all, the on base machine gets the job done.

Now take Hypothetical Player B, with an average .325 on base percentage. Let's say Player B is a pretty darn fast runner, however, and that his speed helps him to score 60% of the time, ten percent more than the high on base guy. In 600 plate appearances Player B gets on base 195 times. His skill-set doesn't include the high on OBP of Player A, but he does have that 10% more scoring per time on the base paths due to the skill-set he does have. Player B scores a run 117 times, three more runs per 600 plate appearance than the On-Base guy.

These numbers seem to indicate that the difference need not be Billy Hamilton to Mathew LeCroy in order for speed to be preferable over OBP when the ultimate objective is to score runs.
Your completely made-up and non-fact-based situation certainly does point to you being correct.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-16-2013, 10:16 AM
Your completely made-up and non-fact-based situation certainly does point to you being correct.

Actually, it does. It illustrates that the ability to score can come from different skill-sets. One type is the skill-set of getting on base very often and converting that on base situation into a run often enough to score a significant amount of runs. Another skill-set puts you on base at a less often percentage, but yet results in converting a higher percentage of on base situations into runs. Of course converting on base situations is in large part based on the hitting that occurs subsequently in the lineup, but if you don't believe that a speedy player with a lower on base percentage like Cristian Guzman could convert more on base situations into runs than a slower player with a higher on base percentage like Doug Mientkiewicz, then you are truly unable to see the actual Baseball forest due to blocked view from the statistical trees.

spideyo
03-16-2013, 10:33 AM
I just want to see a lot of guys touch third base this season. I don't care if they steal it, get bunted over, hit triples/homers, whatever. I want to see Joe Vavra tear a rotator cuff from throwing up too many stop signs and keep-going signs.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-16-2013, 10:38 AM
I just want to see a lot of guys touch third base this season. I don't care if they steal it, get bunted over, hit triples/homers, whatever. I want to see Joe Vavra tear a rotator cuff from throwing up too many stop signs and keep-going signs.

Joe Vavra been taunting you, bragging about his impressive rotator cuffs, and you want to take away his point of pride?

FrodaddyG
03-16-2013, 12:06 PM
Actually, it does. It illustrates that the ability to score can come from different skill-sets. One type is the skill-set of getting on base very often and converting that on base situation into a run often enough to score a significant amount of runs. Another skill-set puts you on base at a less often percentage, but yet results in converting a higher percentage of on base situations into runs. Of course converting on base situations is in large part based on the hitting that occurs subsequently in the lineup, but if you don't believe that a speedy player with a lower on base percentage like Cristian Guzman could convert more on base situations into runs than a slower player with a higher on base percentage like Doug Mientkiewicz, then you are truly unable to see the actual Baseball forest due to blocked view from the statistical trees.
Yet, strangely, the MLB runs leaderboards aren't dominated by low OBP fast guys. I wonder why that is?

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-16-2013, 02:37 PM
Yet, strangely, the MLB runs leaderboards aren't dominated by low OBP fast guys. I wonder why that is?

Some people choose to make straightforward statements, while some other people opt for sarcastic questions. I don't wonder why that is. I've learned that communication is nuanced, and sometimes people feel more comfortable communicating things in the way you have chosen to.

No, MLB runs leaderboards tend to be dominated by HIGH OBP guys that also have A LOT OF SPEED. Obviously, both of these qualities in combination can often result in the elite type of run scoring that we see on the leaderboards. Do players like cabrera and hamilton occupy the runs leader board despite relative lack of speed? Yes, of course super high on base percentages, not to mention high homerun numbers, lead to more opportunities to score runs. This was never the argument. If you review the thread you would see that I am contending that OBP should not neccessarily be the top consideration when constructing a lineup. To say it more clearly, there is a threashhold of speed that results in more conversions of On Base opportunities into runs than just pure OBP does.

Mauer, fielder, and posey were the three top leaders in OBP this year. Strangely, the first time any of them, fielder, shows up on the runs leader board, is at number 50. Obviously because they were driven in less than some other players higher in the list. Why though? The prowess of the hitters behind them clearly has the most to do with it. Neglecting to acknowledge that their speed and ability to get around the basepaths, however, is absurd. Players with baserunning abilities, a large part of which is SPEED, have an augmented ability convert their On Base opportunities more often than players who aren't as skilled on the basepaths.

None of this is to say that speed should be prioritized over OBP. Obviously the elite combination of both is most desirable. All I am saying, straightforward, is that speed can definately help players who don't get on base as often come around to score at a higher rate per on base opportunity than players with higher OBP who are slower-footed. Therefore, speed should be a consideration when constructing lineups. Sometimes, a slightly lower OBP, combined with greater speed, can result in more runs actually scored during the course of a season.

You're using a straw-man argument. I never said "Low OBP fast guys" should be batted higher in the order. I am simply saying that a very fast guy with an OBP that may be somewhat lower than another player could potentially, and often times does, end up scoring more runs during the course of a season.

diehardtwinsfan
03-16-2013, 02:56 PM
First off, Gardy has used Mauer in the two spot before, and when he did, the offense exploded. I don't remember why he stopped, or why he never returned to that experiment, but it did happen.

Second, I don't see Dozier making the team given how he's playing. I'm not sure, if Gardy wants pop off the bench that he should be keeping 4 middle infielders either. Dozier needs to play every day, and at this point, I think he should ply his trade in Rochester.

Third, the whole point of an at bat is to not make an out. I really don't care how the players go about doing it, whether it be a hit or a walk, but a team will score more runs and wear down the opposing pitchers by not making outs. You absolutely need high OBP guys in the top of the order. Those guys see the most at bats and they will be on base more than low OBP guys when the power hitters come up. I didn't mind batting Mauer 3rd when you have 2 decent OBP guys in front of him, but there have been way too many times in Gardyland where the 2 hitter barely has an OBP over .300 making outs in front of Mauer and Morneau, all because they are a scrappy middle infielder that bares the illusion of speed. Mauer isn't going to hit 20 HRs in a season, so batting him second does make a ton of sense. He's not exactly slow footed either, so I don't get what the debate is.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-16-2013, 03:18 PM
First off, Gardy has used Mauer in the two spot before, and when he did, the offense exploded. I don't remember why he stopped, or why he never returned to that experiment, but it did happen.

Second, I don't see Dozier making the team given how he's playing. I'm not sure, if Gardy wants pop off the bench that he should be keeping 4 middle infielders either. Dozier needs to play every day, and at this point, I think he should ply his trade in Rochester.

Third, the whole point of an at bat is to not make an out. I really don't care how the players go about doing it, whether it be a hit or a walk, but a team will score more runs and wear down the opposing pitchers by not making outs. You absolutely need high OBP guys in the top of the order. Those guys see the most at bats and they will be on base more than low OBP guys when the power hitters come up. I didn't mind batting Mauer 3rd when you have 2 decent OBP guys in front of him, but there have been way too many times in Gardyland where the 2 hitter barely has an OBP over .300 making outs in front of Mauer and Morneau, all because they are a scrappy middle infielder that bares the illusion of speed. Mauer isn't going to hit 20 HRs in a season, so batting him second does make a ton of sense. He's not exactly slow footed either, so I don't get what the debate is.

You must not have read the entire post either then, because I said that Mauer in the 2 hole would be a good option if there were no decent On Base guys to put in front of him.

In 2012 Joe Mauer's OBP was .416. He scored 81 runs. ben revere's OBP was .333. He scored 70 runs. The difference between the two run totals was basically Mauer's 10 home runs to revere's 0. Your argument that high OBP guys should be at the top of the order is pointless, as nobody here seems to be arguing against that. I'm certainly not. Of course I want high On Base guys at the top of the order. My argument is that greater speed and somewhat lower OBP can result in higher run totals than higher OBP and lower speed.

Not making an out, getting on base, etc. are all means by which players eventually score runs. So, scoring runs is actually the objective, right? If that's the case then refusing to acknowledge that players with lower OBP's can actually score more runs per On Base opportunity due to their speed is plain and simple ignoring the obvious. Sometimes higher OBP guys don't score as many runs as lower OBP guys who convert the opportunities at a higher rate.

Would you rather have a team that scores more runs, or stubbornly insist that OBP is the end-all-be-all of lineup construction considerations?

Mr. Brooks
03-16-2013, 04:11 PM
Actually, it does. It illustrates that the ability to score can come from different skill-sets. One type is the skill-set of getting on base very often and converting that on base situation into a run often enough to score a significant amount of runs. Another skill-set puts you on base at a less often percentage, but yet results in converting a higher percentage of on base situations into runs. Of course converting on base situations is in large part based on the hitting that occurs subsequently in the lineup, but if you don't believe that a speedy player with a lower on base percentage like Cristian Guzman could convert more on base situations into runs than a slower player with a higher on base percentage like Doug Mientkiewicz, then you are truly unable to see the actual Baseball forest due to blocked view from the statistical trees.

It only illustrates that if your math is factual data.
You just made those percentages up, so it doesnt illustrate anything.

fairweather
03-16-2013, 05:07 PM
Couple things, I have and always will think Mauer should bat 2nd. Worley has looked awful so far this spring. Hope it's just him easing his way in after the off season surgery. I like that you want Escobar over Florimon though. I think the Twins should start Deduno in game #1 of the regular season but I know that isn't going to happen. Of all the candidates to make the rotation Deduno is the only one other than DeVries that is experiencing real success this spring.If you really think about it though who else on the Twins staff has the stuff to go head to head with Verlander? I Vote Deduno for Opening Day Starter!

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-16-2013, 05:37 PM
It only illustrates that if your math is factual data.
You just made those percentages up, so it doesnt illustrate anything.

Yes, it does. It clearly illustrates the concept. It does it in a way that is easily digestable. I was simply trying to show you how it is CONCIEVABLE that a player with lower OBP scores more runs due to factors like speed. I would think that instead of saying it illustrates nothing, that you would first say something like: "I understand the concept that you illustrated. But have you seen it anywhere in factual occurences?" That would suggest that you're interested in seeing if the concept is viable, not just in simply looking for a reason to outright dismiss my hypothetical scenario.

If I showed you a situation in which it actually was feasible that it occured, would you state that my findings "prove everything"? I doubt it.

I'll show you a scenario like that anyhow, in hopes that an objective observer would admit I have done so and begin to lesson their stubborness about the ultimate importance of OBP. Since this is Twins Daily, and Gardy we're talking about, I chose some names we're all familiar with.

From 2001-2002 Cristian Guzman and Doug Mientkiewicz played on the same team, both often hitting at the top of the lineup, and mostly against the same pitchers and defenses. They also had a conveniently similiar amount of plate appearances.

During this time, Mientkiewics made 1180 plate appearances and posted an excellent .376 on base percentage. Mientkiewicz was a pretty slow runner, even in his prime. I don't think anybody would really argue that point, but I wouldn't put it past the posters on this board. Anyhow... Mientkiewicz was decent at getting around the basepaths, and scored a run at about 31% of the time.

During that same time period, Guzy made 1183 plate appearances. He posted a mediocre .312 on base percentage. The thing of it is, Guzy was a very fast runner. Not neccessarily a great base stealer even, but he was undeniably fast. Guzy scored 43% of the time.

Who would you rather have? Dougie, the slower, high OBP guy? Or Guzy, the much faster, much lower OBP guy?

During this time, Mientkiewicz scored 137 runs. Guzman scored 160 runs.

Obviously the rest of the lineup, the situations in which each player was on base and many other factors went into the difference in runs being scored. With the huge advantage Mientkiewicz had in amount of scoring opportunities (444 to 369) it would be foolish to not see that speed was very likely a substantial factor resulting in a very good OBP guy who was slower footed scoring less actual runs than a pretty mediocre OBP guy who was pretty darn fast.

Does it always work out like this? No. Just look down the batting order a bit and you'll find Corey Koskie, who made 1225 plate appearances with a very good .365 OBP. Koskie wasn't a speed demon by any accounts, but he scored more than both Mientkiewicz and Guzman, 171 times. The homerun numbers helped Koskie, but it shows a slower OBP guy scoring quite a bit, facing many of the same pitching and defense conditions. See? I'm fair with my arguments about the "Get to Know 'Em" Twins...

Anyhow, even if you're not, I'm confident that I have proven there is at minimum very likely more than just a "billy hamilton to Matthew Lecroy" validity to my perspective on this subject.

mrmpls
03-16-2013, 05:43 PM
Not sure how even Gardy could justify sticking Dozier in the 2-spot unless his bat picks up in the final weeks of spring training. The guy has simply done nothing to show he can handle that role. I'm thinking at this point there's a very good chance Mauer opens as the No. 2 hitter.

Totally agree, only problem is Gardy. for some ?? reason why does he always bat a weak hitting middle infielder 2nd. drive me nuts!!!

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-16-2013, 05:50 PM
Totally agree, only problem is Gardy. for some ?? reason why does he always bat a weak hitting middle infielder 2nd. drive me nuts!!!

Hilarious. Yep, definately Gardy. He likes to do it because he thinks middle infielders are sexy. He does it because they have the keys to the box that Drew Butera owns containing photos of Gardy thinking middle infielders are sexy. Amazing he ever has managed the team to a win with his concentration on photographs of boxes of photographs of sexy Drew Butera and low on base percentage middle infielders.

Like I said, hilarious.

Mr. Brooks
03-16-2013, 06:40 PM
Yes, it does. It clearly illustrates the concept. It does it in a way that is easily digestable. I was simply trying to show you how it is CONCIEVABLE that a player with lower OBP scores more runs due to factors like speed. I would think that instead of saying it illustrates nothing, that you would first say something like: "I understand the concept that you illustrated. But have you seen it anywhere in factual occurences?" That would suggest that you're interested in seeing if the concept is viable, not just in simply looking for a reason to outright dismiss my hypothetical scenario.

If I showed you a situation in which it actually was feasible that it occured, would you state that my findings "prove everything"? I doubt it.

I'll show you a scenario like that anyhow, in hopes that an objective observer would admit I have done so and begin to lesson their stubborness about the ultimate importance of OBP. Since this is Twins Daily, and Gardy we're talking about, I chose some names we're all familiar with.

From 2001-2002 Cristian Guzman and Doug Mientkiewicz played on the same team, both often hitting at the top of the lineup, and mostly against the same pitchers and defenses. They also had a conveniently similiar amount of plate appearances.

During this time, Mientkiewics made 1180 plate appearances and posted an excellent .376 on base percentage. Mientkiewicz was a pretty slow runner, even in his prime. I don't think anybody would really argue that point, but I wouldn't put it past the posters on this board. Anyhow... Mientkiewicz was decent at getting around the basepaths, and scored a run at about 31% of the time.

During that same time period, Guzy made 1183 plate appearances. He posted a mediocre .312 on base percentage. The thing of it is, Guzy was a very fast runner. Not neccessarily a great base stealer even, but he was undeniably fast. Guzy scored 43% of the time.

Who would you rather have? Dougie, the slower, high OBP guy? Or Guzy, the much faster, much lower OBP guy?

During this time, Mientkiewicz scored 137 runs. Guzman scored 160 runs.

Obviously the rest of the lineup, the situations in which each player was on base and many other factors went into the difference in runs being scored. With the huge advantage Mientkiewicz had in amount of scoring opportunities (444 to 369) it would be foolish to not see that speed was very likely a substantial factor resulting in a very good OBP guy who was slower footed scoring less actual runs than a pretty mediocre OBP guy who was pretty darn fast.

Does it always work out like this? No. Just look down the batting order a bit and you'll find Corey Koskie, who made 1225 plate appearances with a very good .365 OBP. Koskie wasn't a speed demon by any accounts, but he scored more than both Mientkiewicz and Guzman, 171 times. The homerun numbers helped Koskie, but it shows a slower OBP guy scoring quite a bit, facing many of the same pitching and defense conditions. See? I'm fair with my arguments about the "Get to Know 'Em" Twins...

Anyhow, even if you're not, I'm confident that I have proven there is at minimum very likely more than just a "billy hamilton to Matthew Lecroy" validity to my perspective on this subject.

I didnt need your example to understand that the concept exists. Who would deny that there is a % threshold that a baserunner could theoretically cross that would give him an advantage at scoring runs? For that reason I thought you were trying to illustrate that a faster runner DOES score more, not that he COULD.
However, even if you could show the exact % advantage that a faster baserunner has, it would still be almost impossible to prove that your lineup overall scores more runs with that baserunner near the top of the order.
For example, a faster runner could steal second base, then advance to 3rd on a wild pitch that wasnt far enough away from the catcher to advance a slower runner, then come home on a fly ball that wouldnt have been deep enough to score a runner.
In this example the faster baserunner clearly scored a run that the slower baserunner probably wouldnt have, BUT, it wouldnt have mattered where in the order he was in this instance, since he created his own advantage, and wasnt necessarily driven in by the meat of the lineup.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-16-2013, 07:17 PM
I didnt need your example to understand that the concept exists. Who would deny that there is a % threshold that a baserunner could theoretically cross that would give him an advantage at scoring runs? For that reason I thought you were trying to illustrate that a faster runner DOES score more, not that he COULD.
However, even if you could show the exact % advantage that a faster baserunner has, it would still be almost impossible to prove that your lineup overall scores more runs with that baserunner near the top of the order.
For example, a faster runner could steal second base, then advance to 3rd on a wild pitch that wasnt far enough away from the catcher to advance a slower runner, then come home on a fly ball that wouldnt have been deep enough to score a runner.
In this example the faster baserunner clearly scored a run that the slower baserunner probably wouldnt have, BUT, it wouldnt have mattered where in the order he was in this instance, since he created his own advantage, and wasnt necessarily driven in by the meat of the lineup.

You're obscuring the conversation a bit. A faster base runner DOES often score more as a percentage of the opportunities that he has to score. That is not in doubt.

Take two players that have the same OBP. Undoubtedly you would assume that if everything else is equal, including the outcomes of the at-bats that follow them getting on base, the faster baserunner will score more runs than the slower baserunner.

Now take a baserunner that is fast enough to often times score runs from 2nd and fairly often score from 1st, and put him on base slightly less than a player that can sometimes score from 2nd and can hardly ever score from 1st. It is possible to imagine that faster player still scoring more runs, even though he has slightly less opportunities than the player who has more opportunities to do so but is less fast.

Now gradually increase the numbers either way until you reach a point where a substantial amount of On Base skills are being overcome by the speed of the lesser OBP guy. This happens in Baseball all the time, one example of which is the Mientkiewicz/Guzman example. To what do you attribute the clear percentage of scoring per On Base opportunity that Guzman displays compared to Mientkiewicz (43% to 31%)? If speed is at least any part of what you attribute the difference to, then you must acknowledge that OBP does not neccessarily trump SPEED in every instance.

Therefore, OBP from top to bottom is not a smart lineup constructing system.

Now ask yourself: Is it possible that my team would score runs with a player who is faster but has a less high on base percentage in a higher spot in the order? How often could your guy who "created his own advantage" benefit from also being in front of hitters who will more often give him an opportunity to go from 2nd to home, 1st to 3rd, and 1st to Home? Very often, perhaps, but you would never find out because his somewhat lower OBP demands that a slower player with a somewhat higher OBP take the more advantagous place of batting in front of the power hitters in a lineup.

The Mientkiewicz/Guzman example isn't neccessarily able to single out how much of Guzman's increased scoring was directly due to SPEED, but it at least indicates the ability for SPEED to be a significant factor in determining a players usefulness and deservedness at the top of a batting order despite other options for that lineup spot having higher OBP's.

Simply put, SPEED can trump OBP. It probably happens more often than we realize, and certainly happens more often than you seem willing to admit.

Mr. Brooks
03-16-2013, 07:52 PM
Again, I've already said that of course there is some threshold that can be crossed where speed can overcome OBP.
I'm just saying we don't know where it is.
The Mientkiewicz/Guzman example is far too small of a sample size to determine anything. We don't know how many of those runs can be attributed to speed, and how many to pure happenstance.

Outs are a valuable commodity in baseball. You only get 27 of them. Its not like basketball where you can foul to lengthen the game, or like football where you can manipulate the clock or kick an onside kick. I dont want guys who are more likely to make an out, getting 1 more AB per game than guys who are less likely to make an out. For me, that is the bottom line in its simplest form.
I've already said there are exceptions, what more do you want me to say? But as a general rule, I want to give that extra AB to someone who is less likely to make an out.

TheLeviathan
03-16-2013, 09:03 PM
To what do you attribute the clear percentage of scoring per On Base opportunity that Guzman displays compared to Mientkiewicz (43% to 31%)?

This is the key statement to see the flaw in your argument. You're answering with "speed" because you seem pre-determined to look at the player in question's skillset rather than seeing run production for what it is: a team effort. A speedy runner can create more run-scoring opportunities, no one will deny that, but unless the player in question is stealing home frequently (I'm going to assume even in your case you're going to accept that this is not happening) than scoring runs is dependent upon the actions of the hitters that follow the player more so than with the player themselves. Hence why the more you bunch players at the top of your lineup that avoid outs (thus getting on base) the better your chances.

Part of why using counting stats like runs and rbis is not a good way to evaluate a player is because those statistics are contingent on other players. Your analysis may be true, but you are using a woefully inept sample size to prove it. And it should be across the league, not a two player comparison.

What may account for the difference in your example here might be totally different for the next pair. So, as a general rule, it's better to defer to guys that can get on base at a higher rate before you worry about how well they translate that into scoring.

Willihammer
03-16-2013, 09:49 PM
The majority of Guzman's PAs during 2001-2002 were hitting from the 1st or 2nd spot in the order. Meaning, he more often got on base with 0 or 1 out. Whereas Doug, batting in the 3 hole and to a lesser extent, the 6 hole, he more often got on base with 2 outs. Thus there were fewer opportunities for him to be driven in.

Its the same reason Willingham scored more runs than Mauer last year despite Mauer having a .050 advantage in OBP. More often when mauer got on, there were already two outs. By contrast, Willingham lead off the 2nd inning quite a bit, got on base quite a bit, and had 3 full outs where he could be driven in.

Incidentally, this is why you don't squander a high OBP guy by putting him in the 3 hole.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-16-2013, 11:56 PM
The majority of Guzman's PAs during 2001-2002 were hitting from the 1st or 2nd spot in the order. Meaning, he more often got on base with 0 or 1 out. Whereas Doug, batting in the 3 hole and to a lesser extent, the 6 hole, he more often got on base with 2 outs. Thus there were fewer opportunities for him to be driven in.

Its the same reason Willingham scored more runs than Mauer last year despite Mauer having a .050 advantage in OBP. More often when mauer got on, there were already two outs. By contrast, Willingham lead off the 2nd inning quite a bit, got on base quite a bit, and had 3 full outs where he could be driven in.

Incidentally, this is why you don't squander a high OBP guy by putting him in the 3 hole.

Really? Willingham scored 85 runs to Mauer's 81. I tend to think that the 25 more times that Willingham drove himself in by hitting a home run had quite a bit to do with the higher runs scored number. If we subtract self created RBI, which are home runs and not contingent upon how many outs there are when they occur, Mauer scored 71 times from the base paths, while Willingham scored 50 runs from the base paths. Despite the confidence with which you share your theory, and despite its general validity in many comparisons, I just don't think your theory holds much water in this particular scenario.

jokin
03-17-2013, 12:20 AM
Really? Willingham scored 85 runs to Mauer's 81. I tend to think that the 25 more times that Willingham drove himself in by hitting a home run had quite a bit to do with the higher runs scored number. If we subtract self created RBI, which are home runs and not contingent upon how many outs there are when they occur, Mauer scored 71 times from the base paths, while Willingham scored 50 runs from the base paths. Despite the confidence with which you share your theory, and despite its general validity in many comparisons, I just don't think your theory holds much water in this particular scenario.

As I've illustrated in other threads, I like the AL East's collective approach to the #2 batter- OPS, not speed is their imperative for the 2-Hole.

Though the difference in run production wasn't as dramatic as it usually has been- given Boston had a major down year, and JJ Hardy had an uncharacteristic BABIP meltdown- the AL East continued to be the biggest run producers in 2012, and all take the exact opposite tack to Gardy's approach of a preference for speed and bunting ability in the 2-spot.

AL East#2 hitter OPS: .730 Average Runs Scored: 733
AL West#2 hitter OPS: .698 Average Runs Scored: 727
AL Cent#2 hitter OPS: .688 Average Runs Scored: 703

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-17-2013, 12:23 AM
This is the key statement to see the flaw in your argument. You're answering with "speed" because you seem pre-determined to look at the player in question's skillset rather than seeing run production for what it is: a team effort. A speedy runner can create more run-scoring opportunities, no one will deny that, but unless the player in question is stealing home frequently (I'm going to assume even in your case you're going to accept that this is not happening) than scoring runs is dependent upon the actions of the hitters that follow the player more so than with the player themselves. Hence why the more you bunch players at the top of your lineup that avoid outs (thus getting on base) the better your chances.

Part of why using counting stats like runs and rbis is not a good way to evaluate a player is because those statistics are contingent on other players. Your analysis may be true, but you are using a woefully inept sample size to prove it. And it should be across the league, not a two player comparison.

What may account for the difference in your example here might be totally different for the next pair. So, as a general rule, it's better to defer to guys that can get on base at a higher rate before you worry about how well they translate that into scoring.

I think that you meant I was using a woefully inadequate sample size, meaning not large enough. Clearly a larger sample size would be preferable, but I wouldn't say that over 1000 plate appearances would be woefully inadequate. In this particular case, however, it seems somewhat difficult to do just "do it across the league". One problem is that I am trying to compare specific types of players (slower OBP guys to faster guys) who also faced similar competition within similar conditions. Not sure how I would sort that type of information out of or into a league-wide analysis. In order to do so I would need to be able to label SPEED guys and OBP guys. Seeing as how these are often one in the same, it would be hard to get relevant data. Those are the reasons I chose Mientkiewicz and Guzman. I felt that they were two players that Twins Daily forum would easily recognize for what they were during 2001-2002, a pretty good on base guy and a pretty darn fast guy who had a very similar number of plate appearances.

"So, as a general rule, it's better to defer to guys that can get on base at a higher rate before you worry about how well they translate that into scoring"

Worrying about "how well they translate that into scoring " is exactly what managers who want to score the most runs possible should be doing. Managers who want to get guys on base but aren't concerned with how often those guys come around to score would be woefully neglectful of the true objective of lineup construction, which is scoring runs. If anyone is predisposed to focusing on one particular skill-set, it is you regarding OBP.

jokin
03-17-2013, 12:26 AM
I think that you meant I was using a woefully inadequate sample size, meaning not large enough. Clearly a larger sample size would be preferable, but I wouldn't say that over 1000 plate appearances would be woefully inadequate. In this particular case, however, it seems somewhat difficult to do just "do it across the league". One problem is that I am trying to compare specific types of players (slower OBP guys to faster guys) who also faced similar competition within similar conditions. Not sure how I would sort that type of information out of or into a league-wide analysis. In order to do so I would need to be able to label SPEED guys and OBP guys. Seeing as how these are often one in the same, it would be hard to get relevant data. Those are the reasons I chose Mientkiewicz and Guzman. I felt that they were two players that Twins Daily forum would easily recognize for what they were during 2001-2002, a pretty good on base guy and a pretty darn fast guy who had a very similar number of plate appearances.

"So, as a general rule, it's better to defer to guys that can get on base at a higher rate before you worry about how well they translate that into scoring"

Worrying about "how well they translate that into scoring " is exactly what managers who want to score the most runs possible should be doing. Managers who want to get guys on base but aren't concerned with how often those guys come around to score would be woefully neglectful of the true objective of lineup construction, which is scoring runs. If anyone is predisposed to focusing on one particular skill-set, it is you regarding OBP.

That's why OPS is a better representation of run-producing productiviy and easily more quantifiable, than "speed".

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-17-2013, 12:33 AM
As I've illustrated in other threads, I like the AL East's collective approach to the #2 batter- OPS, not speed is their imperative for the 2-Hole.

Though the difference in run production wasn't as dramatic as it usually has been- given Boston had a major down year, and JJ Hardy had an uncharacteristic BABIP meltdown- the AL East continued to be the biggest run producers in 2012, and all take the exact opposite tack to Gardy's approach of a preference for speed and bunting ability in the 2-spot.

AL East#2 hitter OPS: .730 Average Runs Scored: 733
AL West#2 hitter OPS: .698 Average Runs Scored: 727
AL Cent#2 hitter OPS: .688 Average Runs Scored: 703

Taking the overall run production of the three divisions and positioning their run totals as a function of their 2-hole hitters' OPS numbers is not relevant to the discussion of whether or not a fast guy can make up for and exceed his higher On Base peer-players runs scored totals. Not sure what your analysis really proves at all, as the OPS of number two hitters in the lineup is far from the only difference between the three divisions that contribute to their runs scored totals.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-17-2013, 12:36 AM
That's why OPS is a better representation of run-producing productiviy and easily more quantifiable, than "speed".

Sure, more easily represented and quantifiable. That doesn't mean that it is more of a contributing factor. Just because an attribute isn't easily tracked and sortable doesn't mean that it isn't greatly influential in the actual outcomes of games.

LaBombo
03-17-2013, 02:14 AM
Sure, more easily represented and quantifiable. That doesn't mean that it is more of a contributing factor. Just because an attribute isn't easily tracked and sortable doesn't mean that it isn't greatly influential in the actual outcomes of games.



To what do you attribute the clear percentage of scoring per On Base opportunity that Guzman displays compared to Mientkiewicz (43% to 31%)?....


What if it had something to do with Guzman being really bad at hitting?

In 2002, the Twins managed a stable, if unconventional, top of the order. Jacque led off almost every game, with a respectable .346 OBP and 25(!) home runs. Guzman batted over 600 times in the 2 spot, posting an abysmal .292 OBP there. Mientkiewicz settled into the third spot and took most of his plate appearances there, posting an exceptional OBP.

As alluded to by Willi and others, that's where Mr. Run Expectancy Matrix (http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/run_expectancy_matrix_2011_is_1969_1992/) enters the picture. Guzman batted in front of Minky pretty often. And Guzie made an out reeeally often. So that means that, as far as scoring a run himself, Minkie was bucking casino odds quite a bit thanks to Guz. Really. Check it out (http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/run_expectancy_matrix_2011_is_1969_1992/). Flash Guzman made a ton of outs. Flash Guzman usually batted in front of Minkie. A ton of outs in front of Minkie made it hard for him to score runs. Really.

In other words, as much as it might seem like sabr snobs are not getting your obvious point, consider the fact that Minkie 2002 often came to the plate with a below-average or less chance to score a run mostly because he was batting behing a speedy, incompetent hitter named Christian Guzman.

If that's not enough, there's the tidal wave of generic statistical evidence that isoloated speed is insignificant compared to OBP/OPS/wWhatever/etc. Of course speed matters, all things being equal. But other things are seldom equal, and they almost all matter more.

Also, Guzman was a middle infielder who often batted at the top of the Twins order despite a bad OBP, and it's a huge joke to you that someone could dare to question Gardy's alleged(?) tendency to bat an OBP-unqualified MI there. So if you couldn't explain Guzman's presence there with "speed", you'd have a lot to answer for, wouldn't you, doctor?

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQQim3TD1CwVpSmSP74uZHnUAtM2CzfB FNyxznip3D_OYKToTh-

;) Not a trial, and you've raised some valid and interesting points about statistical vacuums in a game (or at least a chunk of its fan base) that abhors them. Well done.

TheLeviathan
03-17-2013, 02:49 AM
I just don't think your theory holds much water in this particular scenario.

At this point, if you're eliminating players who hit for more power, have "everything else being equal", ignore general factors about the production and tendencies of players around them, and want to speak in generalities about being "speedier" -

How relevant is your scenario exactly? Because hypotheticals are great, but if they aren't relevant or generalizables.......than they don't have much weight as recommendations. Which, if you remember originally, was your point. Again, what you are saying might be true, but you have so narrowly defined and defended it that it is virtually irrelevant.

In baseball, all things are not equal. And in baseball run production is contingent upon more than isolated hitters - it is a team effort. I don't hide from the idea that I rely most on OBP/OPS to determine a lineup - those are the statistics with the best reflection of how well a batter avoids outs and does damage on their own. It requires far less irrelevant scenario-building.

kab21
03-17-2013, 03:48 AM
I'm not sure if bothers fact checking but Dougie glove only hit 3rd (or higher) in 61% of his PA's in these heavily debated seasons. Unexpectedly his RS% didn't change a lot moving from the #3 to the #6 spots in the lineup. I also checked Luis Rivas and he scored about 42% of the time he was on base (not taking into account FC and E's). It's possible that Gardy has been using these advanced sabr stats all along.

I'm still in the camp that would like to see the <.320 OBP speedy guy hitting in the #8 and #9 spot than the #9 and #2 spots. The reasoning is that I want each of the better hitters (Mauer, Willy, Morneau) to get the extra plate appearances.

FrodaddyG
03-17-2013, 04:00 AM
I'm still in the camp that would like to see the <.320 OBP speedy guy hitting in the #8 and #9 spot than the #9 and #2 spots. The reasoning is that I want each of the better hitters (Mauer, Willy, Morneau) to get the extra plate appearances.
Sure, if you want to see guys get on, and then stand on a base. Those kind of guys will only even attempt to run toward the next base 53% (rough estimation) of the time when the person at bat puts the ball in play, because they don't understand the finer points of the game.

The point has been undeniably made, and backed by the rock solid science of made-up facts, that a lineup of Guzmans is far superior to a lineup of guys like Mauer/Willingham/Morneau with their useless, tangible "on-base percentage" and lack of the important factor in baseball, which is, of course, the chronically undefinable "speed".

Sure, they get on base at a ridiculously low clip, but when they do, there's a slightly better chance of them scoring, provided that the guys behind them can also find ways to effectively get on base at a solid clip. Wait a minute... that would almost mean that it has more to do with the linup composition than the individual players. Nah, that couldn't be. Rock solid science. 9 Guzmans > 9 Mauers.

Willihammer
03-17-2013, 09:48 AM
Really? Willingham scored 85 runs to Mauer's 81. I tend to think that the 25 more times that Willingham drove himself in by hitting a home run had quite a bit to do with the higher runs scored number. If we subtract self created RBI, which are home runs and not contingent upon how many outs there are when they occur, Mauer scored 71 times from the base paths, while Willingham scored 50 runs from the base paths. Despite the confidence with which you share your theory, and despite its general validity in many comparisons, I just don't think your theory holds much water in this particular scenario.

That's a fair point and something I should have accounted for.

If you eliminate home runs from the equation, you are left with Mauer getting on base 257 times and Willingham 190 times. Of these, Mauer scored 71 runs and Willingham 50 runs. Or, 27.6% of appearances for Mauer, and 26.3% of appearances for Willingham.

Its probably worth noting two things: Mauer is an above average baserunner and Willingham is a below average baserunner. In 2012, Mauer took the extra base 46% of the time to Willingham's 40%, scored from 2nd on a single in 16/17 chances to Willingham's 7/14. Mauer just flat out hit more doubles (and triples) too so he was in scoring position more often. Similarly with Mauer advancing to 2nd on a single (advancing 23/35 times when a single is hit to Willingham's 18/32) Small beans but it counts. All around, Mauer ran the bases better and in a small way that did contribute to him scoring more than Willingham. But I still believe that all things being equal, the guy hitting 3rd will score less often than the same hitter, in the same lineup, batting 4th, although I admit the difference is probably smaller than I initially indicated.

Oxtung
03-17-2013, 12:15 PM
I think the really large elephant in the room here is this, baseball is about TEAM runs scored not INDIVIDUAL runs scored. In your Guzman/Mientkiewicz example you only looked at individual runs. But Guzman also created an out >8% more times when at the plate. Add onto that his 13 times caught stealing and you're looking at many more outs. How many times did he prevent other teammates from scoring because he created an out?

jokin
03-17-2013, 10:21 PM
Taking the overall run production of the three divisions and positioning their run totals as a function of their 2-hole hitters' OPS numbers is not relevant to the discussion of whether or not a fast guy can make up for and exceed his higher On Base peer-players runs scored totals. Not sure what your analysis really proves at all, as the OPS of number two hitters in the lineup is far from the only difference between the three divisions that contribute to their runs scored totals.

Yeah, because a guy with a higher OBP and a higher SLG than the "speedy" guy, who thus produces more total bases, and thusly, more run-scoring opportunities, and then, oh yeah, justifiably batting more often at the top of the lineup and getting more PAs to achieve the multiplier effect, will have nothing to do with the higher runs-scored totals.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-17-2013, 11:26 PM
It's funny to me how often the chosen mode of debate in this thread has been to pretend I am making an extreme argument, and then argue against that made up extreme argument.

FrodaddyG,

Since you seem to be one of those incredibly pleasant people who are very often inclined to use the well respected and exceedingly sophisticated humor and communication style of sarcasm as your chosen method of discourse, I will try to respond in a similar manner in hopes that the communication is successfully received.

Yes, Frodaddy, you got me. Despite making clear statements like "I'm not saying SPEED should be prioritized over OBP", I secretly think that lineups should be made up entirely of "9 Guzmans". You nailed it there. In fact, despite saying things like "combinations of high OBP and SPEED are obviously most desirable" I actually secretly despise OBP. In fact, I like guys that exclusively posses the skill of speed, and who get on and off base as quick as possible because I just don't even like the part where they're on base. I have been waiting for somebody to tell me that the actual stats I discussed were the "rock solid science of made up facts". You're right, I created those 2000 plate appearances from thin air. In fact, Meintkiewicz and Guzman didn't really exist. I knew I was going to have this discussion with the ever convincing and insurmountably sarcastic FrodaddyG, so I went back in time and faked these two player's existences for the sake of then having their fabricated stats at my disposal. My motivation? Because of how much I love Gardy, of course.

I'm sorry, but I have to stop the sarcastic tone. It is just exhausting to keep up, and it makes me feel like I should be sitting in a dimly lit room eating Doritos and watching Anime. The way you go about your argument makes you seem like you either don't pay full attention to the conversation, or aren't capable of the type of intellectual honesty that people who disagree with me, like Willihamer and Lobombo, display within their posts. The arguments that you are attempting to belittle me for making have quite simply never been made by me. But don't let that get in the way of another of your hilarious and high-brow sarcastic responses.

I think it is clear that OBP is one of the most important factors in determining the amount of runs a player or team scores. OBP is also very easy to quantify.

I think that SPEED is another factor which has a substantial impact on the amount of runs a player or team scores. Sometimes, a player or teams speed can even make up for somewhat lower OBP when in regards to actual runs being scored. I also think that SPEED is a skill that is very difficult to quantify. Here's the real problem though, and the difference between "Sabermetric minded thinkers" and "Sabermetric adherents". Thinkers would say, "Speed is hard to quantify, but it exists and definitely has to impact games in certain significant ways, even though an excellent way to quantify it hasn't been found yet. How can we find it?". Adherents.... They would just ignore it as a factor unless somebody has found a way to quantify it. If it's not presented in a nicely packaged statistic, it just doesn't exist in their world view. So, adherents say things like "You would prefer a whole lineup full off Guzmans, 'cause you love Gardy."

Siehbiscuit
03-18-2013, 09:25 AM
Our conversation got me thinking and doing some math. I wondered what the threshold would be for preferring speed over OBP. I thought about it this way:

Take Hypothetical Player A, who has a very good .380 on base percentage. Let's say he's reasonably competent on the base paths, and that the speed he has allows him to score 50% of the time. This means that out of 600 plate appearances Player A will be on base 228 times and will score a run 114. Not bad at all, the on base machine gets the job done.

Now take Hypothetical Player B, with an average .325 on base percentage. Let's say Player B is a pretty darn fast runner, however, and that his speed helps him to score 60% of the time, ten percent more than the high on base guy. In 600 plate appearances Player B gets on base 195 times. His skill-set doesn't include the high on OBP of Player A, but he does have that 10% more scoring per time on the base paths due to the skill-set he does have. Player B scores a run 117 times, three more runs per 600 plate appearance than the On-Base guy.

These numbers seem to indicate that the difference need not be Billy Hamilton to Mathew LeCroy in order for speed to be preferable over OBP when the ultimate objective is to score runs.

Here is where I COMPLETELY disagree with you. The dude that gets on at a .380 clip controls very little of what the hitters behind him do. This guy could be John Kruk or John Olerud, but you have to get your teammates the opportunity to drive you in. Top of the order guys, have a job to do. One see several pitches and ultimately finda way to get on base. Once on base, try to advance without getting out. Seems pretty simple, but in your EXTREME example your comparing Ben Revere to a Kruk/Olerud-type. Revere definitely has his advantages leading off or batting in the two hole, but so do Olerud and Kruk. They may not run as well, but they also had far more XBH and were on 2nd base to start with A LOT more than Revere would ever be.

Your scenario is kinda ridiculous to put it nicely. The math works, but the logic doesn't. Even Scott Hatteburg batted 2nd for the A's at times. Speed is great if that's your team's philosophy. If it isn't, like the A's (who frown at stealing bases) or the Yankees, who play for the 3-run homer, it doesn't matter.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-18-2013, 09:58 AM
Here is where I COMPLETELY disagree with you. The dude that gets on at a .380 clip controls very little of what the hitters behind him do. This guy could be John Kruk or John Olerud, but you have to get your teammates the opportunity to drive you in. Top of the order guys, have a job to do. One see several pitches and ultimately finda way to get on base. Once on base, try to advance without getting out. Seems pretty simple, but in your EXTREME example your comparing Ben Revere to a Kruk/Olerud-type. Revere definitely has his advantages leading off or batting in the two hole, but so do Olerud and Kruk. They may not run as well, but they also had far more XBH and were on 2nd base to start with A LOT more than Revere would ever be.

Your scenario is kinda ridiculous to put it nicely. The math works, but the logic doesn't. Even Scott Hatteburg batted 2nd for the A's at times. Speed is great if that's your team's philosophy. If it isn't, like the A's (who frown at stealing bases) or the Yankees, who play for the 3-run homer, it doesn't matter.

You're choosing to argue against a hypothetical that was intentionally extreme in its nature. It was to illustrate the fact that comments like "IMO OBP is the ONLY quality to be considered when constructing a lineup" are ridiculous. Is OBP incredibly important? Yes. My purpose with the hypothetical was just to make my idea plainly clear by pushing out the averages to the point where that philosophy cost a team actual runs.

My subsequent discussion of Guzman and Mientkiewicz was a fact based example of the same type of scenario, in which SPEED likely played a noteworthy role in actual runs being scored by different types of players. Is my example perfect? No. I say as much in the posts. I mention that subsequent hitters impact the likelihood of scoring more than the SPEED of the player on base. To outright ignore SPEED as a factor, however, is to ignore something that clearly impacts the amount of runs being scored.

Just because ideas like moneyball have taught us that teams historically have greatly overpaid for a difficult-to-quantify quality like SPEED doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered, or that it doesn't exist, or that it can't sometimes, in certain lineups, in regards to certain types of players, be more important than things like OBP.

You're coming in to the conversation a little bit late to be expected to have read all of it though, much less to have paused your conventional SABR wisdom enough to ask yourself whether or not SPEED may exist in a statistical grey area, and whether or not it may actually impact games in a way that it is difficult to quantify.

Willihammer
03-18-2013, 12:03 PM
These numbers seem to indicate that the difference need not be Billy Hamilton to Mathew LeCroy in order for speed to be preferable over OBP when the ultimate objective is to score runs.

The run values vary year to year and team to team. Overall, these are the average run values for 2012, per fangraphs:




Season
wOBA
wOBAScale
wBB
wHBP
w1B
w2B
w3B
wHR
runSB
runCS
R/PA
R/W
cFIP


2012
0.315
1.245
0.691
0.722
0.884
1.257
1.593
2.058
0.2
-0.398
0.114
9.544
3.095




Obviously this doesn't count taking extra bases, scoring from 2nd on a single, etc. Safe to say that those things are all probably comparable to SBs in their run values though.

So, if you take player A: a lousy baserunner who costs his team 7.5 runs in caught stealing and baserunning blunders; and player B who steals 50 bases and is caught only 5 times, and who produces 8 additional runs via 1st to 3rd, scoring from 2nd on a single, etc. (totaling +16 net runs). Assume both play on the same, perfectly league average 2012 team. Player A will need to draw 34 additional walks to equal player B's run value, a difference of .056 OBP. Or, he could hit 17 home runs, a difference of .028 in OBP.

edit: Error. Only 11 HRs with a weighted run value 23.5 runs. A difference of .018 OBP instead of .028.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-18-2013, 12:46 PM
The run values vary year to year and team to team. Overall, these are the average run values for 2012, per fangraphs:



Obviously this doesn't count taking extra bases, scoring from 2nd on a single, etc. Safe to say that those things are all probably comparable to SBs in their run values though.

So, if you take player A: a lousy baserunner who costs his team 7.5 runs in caught stealing and baserunning blunders; and player B who steals 50 bases and is caught only 5 times, and who produces 8 additional runs via 1st to 3rd, scoring from 2nd on a single, etc. (totaling +16 net runs). Assume both play on the same, perfectly league average 2012 team. Player A will need to draw 34 additional walks to equal player B's run value, a difference of .056 OBP. Or, he could hit 17 home runs, a difference of .028 in OBP.

I hesitate to "characterize" your analysis, because it would be a translation on my part of YOUR MATH into MY ENGLISH and would include subjective terms like "substantial", "significant" and "obviously".

I appreciate the seriousness with which you approach a legitimate question.

TheLeviathan
03-18-2013, 01:00 PM
It was to illustrate the fact that comments like "IMO OBP is the ONLY quality to be considered when constructing a lineup" are ridiculous.

This is an unfair and inaccurate account of this discussion. That quote was only made after two attempts to say OBP > speed, speed comes into the equation when OBP is roughly equal. You resisted that characterization and spun it into the extreme position you later characterized this way:


It's funny to me when people just want OBP in the 2-spot, because the ultimate goal is to score runs. If a high On-Base guy doesn't come around to score, what is the value in having them on base in the first place?

The fact is, that guy not coming around has more to do with the subsequent hitters than it does with the baserunner themselves. As a rule, it's far better to construct the top of your lineup by loading it with guys that are good at not making outs. If they happen to bring speed to the table that's a bonus and a potential tie-breaker in close analysis, but by no means should it treated in the manner you have tried to illustrate.

diehardtwinsfan
03-18-2013, 03:25 PM
You're choosing to argue against a hypothetical that was intentionally extreme in its nature. It was to illustrate the fact that comments like "IMO OBP is the ONLY quality to be considered when constructing a lineup" are ridiculous. Is OBP incredibly important? Yes. My purpose with the hypothetical was just to make my idea plainly clear by pushing out the averages to the point where that philosophy cost a team actual runs.

My subsequent discussion of Guzman and Mientkiewicz was a fact based example of the same type of scenario, in which SPEED likely played a noteworthy role in actual runs being scored by different types of players. Is my example perfect? No. I say as much in the posts. I mention that subsequent hitters impact the likelihood of scoring more than the SPEED of the player on base. To outright ignore SPEED as a factor, however, is to ignore something that clearly impacts the amount of runs being scored.

Just because ideas like moneyball have taught us that teams historically have greatly overpaid for a difficult-to-quantify quality like SPEED doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered, or that it doesn't exist, or that it can't sometimes, in certain lineups, in regards to certain types of players, be more important than things like OBP.

You're coming in to the conversation a little bit late to be expected to have read all of it though, much less to have paused your conventional SABR wisdom enough to ask yourself whether or not SPEED may exist in a statistical grey area, and whether or not it may actually impact games in a way that it is difficult to quantify.

I think the problem I have with what you've been saying (and what others have commented as well), is that speed didn't "likely" play a noteworthy role. You've largely cut out the most obvious role, namely in what the person behind them does, by cherry picking a few guys to make your point.

If you want to address the role of speed in scoring runs, I would strongly suggest you do some research based off of stuff I've seen John Bonnes post reguarly... namely run expectancy. There's some pretty good numbers out about the average run expectancy in various situations (i.e. a runner on 1st with 2 outs will score X percent of the time). With enough sample size (and it would take years of fast runners in various lineups with league average, year by year, and team by team comparrisons), you might be able to conclude that fast runners can out perform that system by a specific margin, which can be extrapolated to a season, but that type of research is going to take A LOT of time.

I don't think anyone on this forum doubts that speed plays a role in scoring runs. The question at hand has to do with how much of a role it plays. I think it's safe to say that not making outs behind the said runner is more often than not, more important than the speed of a runner on the basepaths. That is the assumption that you are challenging, and I don't think you've proven your point.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-18-2013, 08:46 PM
I think the problem I have with what you've been saying (and what others have commented as well), is that speed didn't "likely" play a noteworthy role. You've largely cut out the most obvious role, namely in what the person behind them does, by cherry picking a few guys to make your point.

If you want to address the role of speed in scoring runs, I would strongly suggest you do some research based off of stuff I've seen John Bonnes post reguarly... namely run expectancy. There's some pretty good numbers out about the average run expectancy in various situations (i.e. a runner on 1st with 2 outs will score X percent of the time). With enough sample size (and it would take years of fast runners in various lineups with league average, year by year, and team by team comparrisons), you might be able to conclude that fast runners can out perform that system by a specific margin, which can be extrapolated to a season, but that type of research is going to take A LOT of time.

I don't think anyonPe on this forum doubts that speed plays a role in scoring runs. The question at hand has to do with how much of a role it plays. I think it's safe to say that not making outs behind the said runner is more often than not, more important than the speed of a runner on the basepaths. That is the assumption that you are challenging, and I don't think you've proven your point.

Completely incorrect characterization. I don't think I should keep responding to these posts, because it us a constant process of tearing down straw man arguments. I am not at all challenging the assumption that not making outs behind a runner and in general OBP are much more contributing factors. I have said as much many times over. If I have done a poor job of illustrating that the effect of SPEED on runs scored, is under-represented in statistical analysis, so be it. The arguments agai my contention continually involve representations of me claiming that I think SPEED is more important than not making outs. I have never made such a claim. I have clearly stated the opposite of such a claim.

I feel like I should stop responding to posts that include these types of misrepresentations, despite how fun it may be to marvel at their obliviousness to their transgression.

stringer bell
03-18-2013, 09:05 PM
While I'm not totally averse to Mauer hitting second, I don't think it is as simple a proposition as OBP. Gardy seldom hits and runs with Mauer and he does like to put runners in motion. Traditionally, the best hitter in the lineup hits third and Mauer is the best hitter, despite not being much of a home run threat. I'm not sure if Dozier would be up to hitting second, but I don't doubt that Gardenhire will try it.

Oxtung
03-18-2013, 10:39 PM
...[mis]representations of me claiming that I think SPEED is more important than not making outs.

Of course you're making that claim. If one has a lower OBP then one is making more outs...

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-18-2013, 10:51 PM
Of course you're making that claim. If one has a lower OBP then one is making more outs...

No. Making that claim would be for me to say that SPEED always trumps OBP. I never said anything close to that. In case anybody was ever confused about the point I was trying to make, I repeatedly explained with caveats that I believe OBP and not making outs is more important than SPEED overall. To say that because SPEED equals more actual runs sometimes despite a somewhat lower OBP IS NOT to say "SPEED is preferable to not making outs".

To just ignore the many times I have clearly stated my view that OBP is ultimately a larger contributing factor than SPEED is strange, and seems to suggest you are just trying to make me "seem wrong" instead of approaching the subject in a good faith effort to interact regarding this subject. Intellectual honesty is a quality that people who might disagree on a subject rely on in order to operate by fair standards in the arena of ideas. I don't feel that people pretending that I think speed ALWAYS or MORE OFTEN or USUALLY trumps OBP is part of an effor to employ intellectual honesty and social goodwill.

Oxtung
03-18-2013, 11:17 PM
No. Making that claim would be for me to say that SPEED always trumps OBP. I never said anything close to that. In case anybody was ever confused about the point I was trying to make, I repeatedly explained with caveats that I believe OBP and not making outs is more important than SPEED overall. To say that because SPEED equals more actual runs sometimes despite a somewhat lower OBP IS NOT to say "SPEED is preferable to not making outs".

To just ignore the many times I have clearly stated my view that OBP is ultimately a larger contributing factor than SPEED is strange, and seems to suggest you are just trying to make me "seem wrong" instead of approaching the subject in a good faith effort to interact regarding this subject. Intellectual honesty is a quality that people who might disagree on a subject rely on in order to operate by fair standards in the arena of ideas. I don't feel that people pretending that I think speed ALWAYS or MORE OFTEN or USUALLY trumps OBP is part of an effor to employ intellectual honesty and social goodwill.

Of course you're claiming that at some point speed is more important than outs. It is the fundamental pedestal upon which your whole argument stands. If a player has a lower OBP then he is making more outs. Now maybe his speed can make up for that in the real world. Hypothetically it is possible. But you haven't shown that to be the case. There in lies your problem.

As for intellectual honesty I think you need to do some thinking on the subject. No where in my post was I claiming anything you haven't said. I in no way misrepresented your idea. I am a bit offended by your rant to be honest because intellectual honesty and social goodwill is something I strive for in ever interaction I have.

SpiritofVodkaDave
03-18-2013, 11:42 PM
OBP, Speed? Who gives a crap! It's all about laying down that bunt in the #2 spot, every body who isn't a pleb knows that!

jokin
03-18-2013, 11:44 PM
OBP, Speed? Who gives a crap! It's all about laying down that bunt in the #2 spot, every body who isn't a pleb knows that!

It's SPEED

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-19-2013, 09:26 AM
Of course you're claiming that at some point speed is more important than outs. It is the fundamental pedestal upon which your whole argument stands. If a player has a lower OBP then he is making more outs. Now maybe his speed can make up for that in the real world. Hypothetically it is possible. But you haven't shown that to be the case. There in lies your problem.

As for intellectual honesty I think you need to do some thinking on the subject. No where in my post was I claiming anything you haven't said. I in no way misrepresented your idea. I am a bit offended by your rant to be honest because intellectual honesty and social goodwill is something I strive for in ever interaction I have.

You seem to be taking offense to this statement: "I don't feel that people pretending that I think speed ALWAYS or MORE OFTEN or USUALLY trumps OBP is part of an effor to employ intellectual honesty and social goodwill."

Unless you count yourself amongst those who have misrepresented my statements in the manner I described, I don't understand why you would take the comments as offensive. Would you not agree that my characterization of people who create a strawman argument out of my perspective aren't displaying the type of intellectual honesty and social goodwill that you always strive for?


I clearly stated that I do not think SPEED is MORE IMPORTANT than making outs. You, seemingly simulteanously ignoring and responding to that statement at the same time, chimed in with "You are absolutely making that claim." It seems to me pretty obvious that you were directly accusing me of making an argument that I didn't make. I apologize if I misinterpreted what you were truly trying to say, but it would seem that I accurately received your communication. I understand hat I made a generalized comment about intellectual dishonesty in a post that directly quoted and addressed you. I did count you among those building strawman arguments. I then was careful to be very general in my comments criticizing it. I'm assuming you DO indeed count yourself amongst people who have handled the argument in that manner, otherwise you would not have flat the criticism was directed toward you.

Overall, I did not intend to be insulting in any way beyond general message board banter. Since you are claiming that I was, I will take that in good faith and offer my apology.

This thread is really silly at this point, and I'm doubting whether all the attention this thread has gotten is good for business on this site. It is just semantic arguments about the argument at this point, and I am probably more guilty than anybody for continually responding and perpetuating it. I will really try hard to only respond to non-semantic conversations at this point, or to directly answer questions that are asked of me.

USAFChief
03-19-2013, 09:58 AM
It's SPEED
Well played sir.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-19-2013, 10:59 AM
Well played sir.


Yes, SPEED. I just like it to look more like OBP looks in the threads, and I was amused by putting it in all caps. I wondered how long it would be before the caps drove somebody crazy. Careful now, don't get too mad...

Oxtung
03-19-2013, 12:31 PM
You seem to be taking offense to this statement: "I don't feel that people pretending that I think speed ALWAYS or MORE OFTEN or USUALLY trumps OBP is part of an effor to employ intellectual honesty and social goodwill."

Unless you count yourself amongst those who have misrepresented my statements in the manner I described, I don't understand why you would take the comments as offensive. Would you not agree that my characterization of people who create a strawman argument out of my perspective aren't displaying the type of intellectual honesty and social goodwill that you always strive for?


I clearly stated that I do not think SPEED is MORE IMPORTANT than making outs. You, seemingly simulteanously ignoring and responding to that statement at the same time, chimed in with "You are absolutely making that claim." It seems to me pretty obvious that you were directly accusing me of making an argument that I didn't make. I apologize if I misinterpreted what you were truly trying to say, but it would seem that I accurately received your communication. I understand hat I made a generalized comment about intellectual dishonesty in a post that directly quoted and addressed you. I did count you among those building strawman arguments. I then was careful to be very general in my comments criticizing it. I'm assuming you DO indeed count yourself amongst people who have handled the argument in that manner, otherwise you would not have flat the criticism was directed toward you.

Overall, I did not intend to be insulting in any way beyond general message board banter. Since you are claiming that I was, I will take that in good faith and offer my apology.

This thread is really silly at this point, and I'm doubting whether all the attention this thread has gotten is good for business on this site. It is just semantic arguments about the argument at this point, and I am probably more guilty than anybody for continually responding and perpetuating it. I will really try hard to only respond to non-semantic conversations at this point, or to directly answer questions that are asked of me.

You made your rant after directly quoting me. So I took that as directed towards me. If that was not the case then I apologize for coming back as strongly as I did. Please be more careful in the future as to identifying who the subject of your writings are. Perhaps you could have begun the opening of that paragraph with something like, "This is not directed at you Oxtung but to the .....".

Moving on.

Personally I think this is one of the most interesting discussions this board has had in quite a while. It is by far more interesting than the retread rants about Butera or how many pitchers should be carried to start the season. This is a new conversation that hasn't been rehashed to death recently. Let me try and get back to the core of your argument. Hit the reset button if you will.

If we think of OBP/SPEED as a bar graph I think it might help conceptualize your argument. On one end we have a player who's OBP is 1.000 but he can't move. On the other end we have a player whose OBP is .000 but he is The Flash fast. Obviously both these players are going to go scoreless. In the middle of the graph we have a player with average OBP and average speed. As you work from the edges towards this middle point the number of runs scored will increase. The unknown question here is where will the most runs be scored. Your arguing that the most runs will be scored somewhere slightly on the "speed" side of the equation. Is this a fair representation of your contention?



OBP..............................Average.......... ..................Speed

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-19-2013, 01:17 PM
You made your rant after directly quoting me. So I took that as directed towards me. If that was not the case then I apologize for coming back as strongly as I did. Please be more careful in the future as to identifying who the subject of your writings are. Perhaps you could have begun the opening of that paragraph with something like, "This is not directed at you Oxtung but to the .....".

Moving on.

Personally I think this is one of the most interesting discussions this board has had in quite a while. It is by far more interesting than the retread rants about Butera or how many pitchers should be carried to start the season. This is a new conversation that hasn't been rehashed to death recently. Let me try and get back to the core of your argument. Hit the reset button if you will.

If we think of OBP/SPEED as a bar graph I think it might help conceptualize your argument. On one end we have a player who's OBP is 1.000 but he can't move. On the other end we have a player whose OBP is .000 but he is The Flash fast. Obviously both these players are going to go scoreless. In the middle of the graph we have a player with average OBP and average speed. As you work from the edges towards this middle point the number of runs scored will increase. The unknown question here is where will the most runs be scored. Your arguing that the most runs will be scored somewhere slightly on the "speed" side of the equation. Is this a fair representation of your contention?



OBP..............................Average.......... ..................Speed

I appreciate the reasonable attempt to visualize my perspective. No, my view isn't even as " on the side of SPEED" as your assessment of my place on the average line would be.


My argument hasn't even at all been to try to say that SPEED is in any way a more "contributing factor" to runs being scored on average, in general, or on balance.

Somebody said that they were ever told why SPEED needs to be a consideration of a potential number 2 hitter's skill-set.

I was just saying, simply, that some players posses SPEED that is enough of a contributing factor that it makes up for their deservedness to bat in a more advantageous place order than another player who has a higher OBP. This was a contrasting view to the idea that OBP trumps all, and that the tops of lineups should be constructed strictly based on OBP as the determining factor. People have responded and said things along the lines of, "of course speed is a factor, but only a tiny bit at the margins. Only in the case of an OBP tie. Only as a thrown in additional bonus. Only in comparisons such as billy hamilton to Matthew LeCroy".


And my response, and my argument at its core has simply been, "I don't know guys, I bet it's a decent bit more important than statistics have been able to accurately quantify yet."


The substance hitting the proverbial fan that ensued contained so many ridiculous characterizations of my viewpoint (see Fro's responses, etc.) that nobody but a select few people kept track of the initial gist of my perspective. Even now, you present a bar graph that is in assumption of a perspective I do not have. I guess that's my fault for not communicating my respective well enough, though I feel I ave stated my perspective very clearly many times over. I wonder if everything I have written, which I admit is a lot, has been read by everybody who has participated in the conversation.


Regarding your graph. Your bar graph assumes that all increase in SPEED is necessarily a decrease in OBP and vice versa. It isn't necessarily a 1:1 ratio, and in fact there is not likely a constant ratio that would apply effectively.

I think Willihammer started to approach a relevant analysis, but he hasn't been back around to characterize what he feels his numbers imply. I wish he would, and I would encourage him to continue to refine the type of approach he is taking toward illuminating a statistical grey area.

Oxtung
03-19-2013, 03:25 PM
My argument hasn't even at all been to try to say that SPEED is in any way a more "contributing factor" to runs being scored on average, in general, or on balance.

And my response, and my argument at its core has simply been, "I don't know guys, I bet [speed is] a decent bit more important than statistics have been able to accurately quantify yet."


Regarding your graph. Your bar graph assumes that all increase in SPEED is necessarily a decrease in OBP and vice versa. It isn't necessarily a 1:1 ratio, and in fact there is not likely a constant ratio that would apply effectively.

Let me assure you I have read this entire thread. While I might get caught up in the more recent comments it is not out of an intention to purposefully be deceitful or to "win" an argument. It is more because that is the way the human brain works. It prioritizes recent events over previous events. This is why I wanted to to just break from the previous line of thoughts and get back to what your original statements were. I believe there is a possibility you are onto something with speed. Or SPEED if you prefer ;).

As to my bar graph you're absolutely right that it is not useful in this case as it implies a 1:1 relationship between speed:OBP. That was not my intention. Call it a brain fart.

Less try a less rigid representation. You believe that if a player is fast enough he can create more runs than someone with a higher OBP. You don't know where that speed to OBP ratio is however.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-19-2013, 03:34 PM
You believe that if a player is fast enough he can create more runs than someone with a higher OBP. You don't know where that speed to OBP ratio is however.

Correct. It's kind of funny because I might have actually said this a dozen times by now. Yes, that is what I'm saying and I appreciate your approach to this most recent part of the conversation.

I'm not really onto something, it's been known by managers and observers for years. I think people fall in love with quantifiable stats like OBP and OPS, and sometimes ignore contributing factors that aren't as easily quantified.

I really wish WilliHammer would expand and tweak his analysis, and also comment on how his numbers sit within the context of this conversation.

TheLeviathan
03-19-2013, 03:46 PM
I think people fall in love with quantifiable stats like OBP and OPS, and sometimes ignore contributing factors that aren't as easily quantified.

I think many of us find that love not as strong as you do in fact. Particularly with our Twins.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-19-2013, 03:49 PM
I think many of us find that love not as strong as you do in fact. Particularly with our Twins.

Sorry if I'm being obtuse, but I really don't understand the intended meaning of your last post. Would you care to clarify?

Badsmerf
03-19-2013, 03:59 PM
Bluesky.... first off, I appreciate your outside the box thinking. Second, my ****ing god are your posts impossible to read. Not only do you post a documentary with every post, use a (forced?) complex vocabulary, but you do a poor job of clearly defining your argument. Also, does it feel weird that this idea is basically being destroyed by anyone that posts in this thread? I'm not trying to be a jerk, just frustrated in 4 pages of this thread that you've been arguing a hypothetical trend that has no support other than cherry picked stats between two players and a made-up scenario that conveniently shows you to be right. lol. You have to understand why you are getting nowhere with this... right?

I think I can agree with you, like many others that have argued against you. Speed will make a difference between 2 players if the separation is large enough. However, you're attempting to see where speed can make up for lack of OBP. Unfortunately for this idea, the only quantifiable stat for speed is SB, unless you want to start clocking guys on the basepaths. It is an impossible argument. It is, however, a valid point IMO. What is the threshold, how do you measure it? This is your problem. I will never, nor will most, accept made-up percentages and numbers to give proof to something.

I don't think you're completely wrong, just that you are ignoring obvious factors that contribute to runs being scored far more.

TheLeviathan
03-19-2013, 05:43 PM
Sorry if I'm being obtuse, but I really don't understand the intended meaning of your last post. Would you care to clarify?

My point was that the Twins, Gardy in particular, tends to go with some very old conventions rather than relying on OPS and OBP. The "play second-bat second" is obviously exaggerated, but there have been times where he has batted inferior players (see: Mike Redmond) in the same position as far superior players on the basis of nothing more than position. Carlos Gomez got quite a few ABs in the leadoff role based solely on his speed as well. If your point was that a team is overlooking speed in favor of OBP, the Twins are not a good example. (This coming from a guy who has long railed on the Twins for their ineffective use of team speed BTW)

The issue with your suggestion isn't that speed can aid in run scoring, I think we can most all agree it can. But your hypothetical doesn't prove it, especially with how narrow you have it defined and how shallow your examples are. If there are two guys, one with a .340 OBP and one with a .355 OBP and Mr. .340 is MUCH faster, I think most people can get behind the idea of him batting second. But the far better general rule is to load your lineup in order of guys who make the least number of outs. I think the confusion in this thread is that you seemed to be taking issue with that. (And at times I think it's clear your language was doing precisely that)

Willihammer
03-19-2013, 06:29 PM
Unfortunately for this idea, the only quantifiable stat for speed is SB, unless you want to start clocking guys on the basepaths. It is an impossible argument. It is, however, a valid point IMO. What is the threshold, how do you measure it? This is your problem. I will never, nor will most, accept made-up percentages and numbers to give proof to something.
Firstly, there are a lot more stats that indirectly measure speed than SB. For one, baseball-reference has a baserunning section on a player's "More Stats" tab.

Secondly, I think we can get a crude measure of strong baserunning, or SPEED and I will attempt to do this by looking at two players who hit in front of similar lineups (in an attempt to control for that very important variable).

Enter: Mike Trout and Austin Jackson. Both were leadoff hitters for lineups that were very strong 1-5 last year. Behind Jackson, hit Dirks/Santiago, Cabrera, Fielder, and Young. Behind Trout was Aybar, Pujols, Hunter, and Morales. More or less an equivalent 2-4, I think we can agree. Maybe even a slight edge to the Tigers.

So, as a starting point, take RS%: the percentage of times a runner reaches base and scores. Trout had the edge, 44% to 40%.

What might explain the difference then, if the hitters hitting behind Trout and Jackson were equally productive?

Trout and Jackson made about the same number of outs on the bases (22 to 23), but Trout got on base 22 more times. So, they were picked off, thrown out, or caught stealing at almost the exact same rate. So its not baserunning blunders that separated them.

Next we can try to solve for positive contributions. Jackson stole 12 bases in 292 opportunities. Trout stole 49 bases in 246 opportunities.

Two other things we can look at are 1stS2 and 1stS3 - the number of times a runner reached 2nd and 3rd base (or home) respectively, when a single is hit.

The Tigers hit 43 singles when Jackson was standing on 1st base. Of these, Jackson reached 2nd base 28 times, and reached 3rd base or scored, 15 times.

But consider this:

The Angels hit 45 singles hit when Trout was standing on 1st. Of these, Trout reached 2nd base 17 times. But 28 times he ran all the way to third or home. He actually took the extra base(s) more often than not.

And that, I believe, accounts for that 4% variance in scoring efficiency. Over the course of 600 PAs, with a constant OBP of .399, that's 10 runs. A full win, separating a player with very good speed, and one with elite speed.

LaBombo
03-19-2013, 07:30 PM
Secondly, I think we can get a crude measure of strong baserunning, or SPEED and I will attempt to do this by looking at two players who hit in front of similar lineups (in an attempt to control for that very important variable).


First off, excellent work on the Trout/Jackson comparison. It's hard to eliminate all the external variables in a small sample comparison of two players, but it seems like you came as close as possible to that ideal. And a fun read to boot.

Second, don't think it's been mentioned yet, but in addition to Willihammer's helpful mention of the BRef info, there's also the FanGraph Ultimate Baserunning stat. It's the mirror image of Zone Rating for fielders, taking into account where batted balls go and how well a given baserunner produces relative to the situations they create.

It includes things like first to second vs. first to third, staying out of the DP and advancing on tags, and other important factors. It cares not one whit about stolen bases, triples, or other traditional counting stat measures of speed. As an aside, it's figured into Fangraph's WAR ratings, which I didn't realize until this thread.

In the case of Trout vs. Jackson, Hammer's excellent analysis corroborates UBR, or the other way around. Jackson has a nice UBR of 1.2 in 2012, which is just a hair below what the definition page categorizes as "above average". Trout scores a 5.0, halfway between "great" and "excellent".

Not citing UBR as comprehensive by any means, but it seems useful, including even its definition/mission statement. It doesn't seek to define speed, because speed is a tool, not a skill. A heady player with good situational awareness and average speed can equal or even outperform a SPEEDy one on the basepaths. They can tag or take the extra base more often, get the split-second jump that prevents the double play, and above all, not get thrown out on an unforced advance.

Kwak
03-19-2013, 08:18 PM
Talk about hijacking a thread... . "Traditionalists" (which include Gardenhire) often spoke about "bat control" for a #2 hitter--the ability to hit a ball in a certain direction, etc. Other skills under that heading include: patience (taking a pitch or two to allow a SB as well as trying to build a "favorable count"), hitting ground balls behind the runner, fouling-off pitches to extend a PA (and frustrate a pitcher), and bunting (as a sacrifice and for a hit). Part of "The Twins Way" is "productive outs". Speed (which is actually easily measured with a stopwatch) and OBP are both oversimplified for use as a sole criteria for position in a lineup. The above sentences start to define why the Twins like guys like Carroll--they do things that aren't easily included in a stat sheet. Example: the stolen base; not only does it take speed to steal (and some clever skills by the stealer to know when to go), but also a willingness by his manager to "greenlight him", and (oh yes) his teammate at bat to not hit the ball.

There was a post comparing Trout and Jackson that make it appear as if Jackson was some slug on the bases as opposed to the Tigers preference to not risk out-on-the-bases in order to provide more RBI opportunities to the two guys that are very highly paid to do exactly that. There are other factors that those that get compiled on stat sheets when it comes to player evaluations.

Ultima Ratio
03-19-2013, 09:30 PM
So now, after this lengthy though informative digression, who should be batting second for the Twins when OBP, SPEED, SB%, UBR, and SCRAPINESS and all other relevant considerations are summed in some master formula?

I conclude that given the options, one J. Mauer should bat second.

Badsmerf
03-19-2013, 10:30 PM
Firstly, there are a lot more stats that indirectly measure speed than SB. For one, baseball-reference has a baserunning section on a player's "More Stats" tab.

Secondly, I think we can get a crude measure of strong baserunning, or SPEED and I will attempt to do this by looking at two players who hit in front of similar lineups (in an attempt to control for that very important variable).

Enter: Mike Trout and Austin Jackson. Both were leadoff hitters for lineups that were very strong 1-5 last year. Behind Jackson, hit Dirks/Santiago, Cabrera, Fielder, and Young. Behind Trout was Aybar, Pujols, Hunter, and Morales. More or less an equivalent 2-4, I think we can agree. Maybe even a slight edge to the Tigers.

So, as a starting point, take RS%: the percentage of times a runner reaches base and scores. Trout had the edge, 44% to 40%.

What might explain the difference then, if the hitters hitting behind Trout and Jackson were equally productive?

Trout and Jackson made about the same number of outs on the bases (22 to 23), but Trout got on base 22 more times. So, they were picked off, thrown out, or caught stealing at almost the exact same rate. So its not baserunning blunders that separated them.

Next we can try to solve for positive contributions. Jackson stole 12 bases in 292 opportunities. Trout stole 49 bases in 246 opportunities.

Two other things we can look at are 1stS2 and 1stS3 - the number of times a runner reached 2nd and 3rd base (or home) respectively, when a single is hit.

The Tigers hit 43 singles when Jackson was standing on 1st base. Of these, Jackson reached 2nd base 28 times, and reached 3rd base or scored, 15 times.

But consider this:

The Angels hit 45 singles hit when Trout was standing on 1st. Of these, Trout reached 2nd base 17 times. But 28 times he ran all the way to third or home. He actually took the extra base(s) more often than not.

And that, I believe, accounts for that 4% variance in scoring efficiency. Over the course of 600 PAs, with a constant OBP of .399, that's 10 runs. A full win, separating a player with very good speed, and one with elite speed.
You are going to have to do better than one player to player analysis that goes in your favor. Baseball has hundreds of players and has been played over a hundred years. You don't think that little 8.5% difference in SLUG had anything to do with Trout scoring 4% more? Ben Revere also scored about 39% of the time with much less offense behind him. I can see this is an ok example, but a 4% difference in a single season between any given 2 players can happen by luck alone.

Look, everybody gets it. Faster players will score more than slower ones. Some, are even better on the basepaths and will separate themselves from guys that are almost as fast. I'm not sure what your point is. Speed can be quantified to show value in some way?

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-20-2013, 06:10 AM
You are going to have to do better than one player to player analysis that goes in your favor. Baseball has hundreds of players and has been played over a hundred years. You don't think that little 8.5% difference in SLUG had anything to do with Trout scoring 4% more? Ben Revere also scored about 39% of the time with much less offense behind him. I can see this is an ok example, but a 4% difference in a single season between any given 2 players can happen by luck alone.

Look, everybody gets it. Faster players will score more than slower ones. Some, are even better on the basepaths and will separate themselves from guys that are almost as fast. I'm not sure what your point is. Speed can be quantified to show value in some way?


[QUOTE=Badsmerf;91366]You are going to have to do better than one player to player analysis that goes in your favor. Baseball has hundreds of players and has been played over a hundred years. You don't think that little 8.5% difference in SLUG had anything to do with Trout scoring 4% more? Ben Revere also scored about 39% of the time with much less offense behind him. I can see this is an ok example, but a 4% difference in a single season between any given 2 players can happen by luck alone.


No, everybody does not get it.


When wOBA values a stolen base with a .2 coefficient, and we consider that other similar "base running plays" might have similar weighted value (there are some debatable aspects within this statement as well), we can clearly see that in terms of pure runs from a historical perspective, SPEED has indeed been a significant contributing factor. As big a factor as it is shown to be within models like wOBA, one can wonder whether or not it might be even bigger if bases reached on error and avoiding a double play were to be factored in. I don't think wOBA counts errors yet, and an argument could be made that SPEED correlates. Do faster runners "cause" more bases reached on error? UBR and UZR for that matter have not been perfected yet, but I think it's easy to see where SPEED could make up for the pure run value of a certain amount of OBP, or any positive contributing offensive skill for that matter.

So.... If we agree that Willihammer has gotten us closer to quantifying the idea I am championing, does that mean Mauer should bat second? I respond with a very strong maybe. Now if we consider the rest of the lineup that this 2 hitter will be batting in, and the likely base running, hit and run, SB, bunting, and SCRAPPINESS philosophy that the manager of the team is likely to employ, it somewhat supports Mauer batting second and somewhat doesn't. Should Gardy neccessarily have this philosophy? Very probably no, but there are enough tangibles and grey areas within all of this that I am unwilling to just dismiss his approach because his lack of viewing OBP as he ultimate determining factor.

SPEED. If that rendering of the term takes hold, even to belittle the notion, I'll feel good about my contributions here....;)

Badsmerf
03-20-2013, 06:59 AM
I would champion Mauer for the 2-hole for a few different reasons. The biggest, is that I want him to get more AB's in the season, and hitting second will accomplish this, small amount or not. Also, he isn't a big power threat (or hit many fly balls) so I don't consider him an RBI guy. I would be fine with him hitting 3rd if there were better (more traditional) options on the Twins. I can't justify a low OBP is this position because he can do the small things well. Those type of hitters have a place in the MLB, but its not at the top of a line-up, speed or not.

mike wants wins
03-20-2013, 07:33 AM
"productive outs". I hate productive outs. The object is to not make an out, not to advance the runner with a sacrifice bunt, or a ground out to 2nd. The math on this (before the 7th/8th inning) is super, super, super clear to anyone that wants to pay attention to it.

Willihammer
03-20-2013, 08:38 AM
I'm not sure what your point is. Speed can be quantified to show value in some way?

Yes, that was my point. You said it was impossible to argue for speed and I'm saying its possible and here's an example of where we can see the value of superior speed. Rather than merely flatly siting UBR or some other esoteric stat that might get dismissed as sabr mumbo jumbo.

There's an average weighted value to taking the extra base, tagging up, breaking up a double play, beating out a potential double play for a fieldier's choice, advancing to third on a GB hit up the middle. There's anywhere from 1 to 2 wins or more separating the best and the worst baserunners every year, and that's before you even look at stolen bases.

TheLeviathan
03-20-2013, 08:39 AM
Also -as good as hammer's analysis is the conclusion is still too strong. Some of that gap could be further reduced by any number of explanations other than speed. One example would be the number of those singles hit to RF vs LF.

Badsmerf
03-20-2013, 08:52 AM
Yes, that was my point. You said it was impossible to argue for speed and I'm saying its possible and here's an example of where we can see the value of superior speed. Rather than merely flatly siting UBR or some other esoteric stat that might get dismissed as sabr mumbo jumbo.

There's an average weighted value to taking the extra base, tagging up, breaking up a double play, beating out a potential double play for a fieldier's choice, advancing to third on a GB hit up the middle. There's anywhere from 1 to 2 wins or more separating the best and the worst baserunners every year, and that's before you even look at stolen bases.
Ok, you've shown there is evidence. However, how can you predict it going forward? From a hitting standpoint, it is easy to show trends and point to things like LD%, BABIP, ISO and all kinds of other stats to predict future success. What can you point to (stat, clocked time, ect.) with a player that shows they are more likely to score when on the basepaths? Perhaps using this you can compare it to average RS% and then find where a difference in OBP is negated by speed. Sounds like an interesting blog post to me... shoot, maybe you could even get published! To me, its more work than its worth since it would take a large amount of data to overcome numerous variables that exist.

Physics Guy
03-20-2013, 09:45 AM
Shockingly, LaVelle projects this lineup in his blog today:

"Hopefully, that Friday game will be the day manager Ron Gardenhire posts the lineup he intends to open the season with. Indications are that the order will go Hicks, Dozier, Mauer, Willingham, Morneau, Doumit, Parmelee, Plouffe, Florimon. Gardy could come up with something else between now and Opening Day. But the last week to week and a half of camp is when spring training games are treated more like regular season games."

Twins spring training: Plouffe, Deduno, rain | StarTribune.com (http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/blogs/199169711.html)

mike wants wins
03-20-2013, 09:52 AM
Brian Dozier and his OBP hitting second....................not sure how either Doumit or Parmalee hit in front of Plouffe either, not based on last year. Maybe I'm missing something.

I know we have beat this horse so we can't even see it used to be a horse, but Mauer should be hitting second.

Willihammer
03-20-2013, 10:00 AM
I don't see why Mauer shouldn't be leading off. He's an OBP machine and probably the 2nd best baserunner on the team.

Badsmerf
03-20-2013, 10:10 AM
I don't see why Mauer shouldn't be leading off. He's an OBP machine and probably the 2nd best baserunner on the team.
I completely agree. Gardy would never bat someone leadoff without speed! (from now on I'm referring to it as speed!, and will try to work it into my posts from here on out). In the scheme of things, batting first or second wont matter too much if Hicks can get on base like he did in the minors.

LaBombo
03-20-2013, 11:44 AM
Luckily Revere batted 2nd a couple hundred times last year. Otherwise, with a .271 Obp 2nd baseman in the 2 spot, we might start hearing more crazy talk about how Gardy almost always plugs in a middle infielder there regardless of their on base skills.

Anyway, as long as Dozey has teh SPEEDZ for it...

Ultima Ratio
03-20-2013, 12:07 PM
Shockingly, LaVelle projects this lineup in his blog today:

"Hopefully, that Friday game will be the day manager Ron Gardenhire posts the lineup he intends to open the season with. Indications are that the order will go Hicks, Dozier, Mauer, Willingham, Morneau, Doumit, Parmelee, Plouffe, Florimon. Gardy could come up with something else between now and Opening Day. But the last week to week and a half of camp is when spring training games are treated more like regular season games."

Twins spring training: Plouffe, Deduno, rain | StarTribune.com (http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/blogs/199169711.html)


Besides batting Dozier second, I can at least see why Gardy would want his lineup this way -- against LHP it alternates R/L batters as is, and RHB against RHP in only the 2 and 8 holes. (Florimon, Hicks and Doumit are all switch hitters, right?)

Mr. Brooks
03-20-2013, 12:34 PM
Luckily Revere batted 2nd a couple hundred times last year. Otherwise, with a .271 Obp 2nd baseman in the 2 spot, we might start hearing more crazy talk about how Gardy almost always plugs in a middle infielder there regardless of their on base skills.


Anyway, as long as Dozey has teh SPEEDZ for it...

You know, when I made the statement, "play 2nd, bat 2nd", my initial thoughts were that it would be so obvious that I didnt mean this literally, that I didnt bother to further explain my point.
Then when people did take it literally, I made sure to explain that it wasnt meant that way, stated that I don't know or care if Gardy bats MI's more in the 2 hole than others, and explained what was behind the comment.
Yet, somehow there still seems to be belief that such a comment was meant literally. Either that or someone just prefers to intentionally ignore those facts because its funner to belittle someones posts.

Physics Guy
03-20-2013, 01:27 PM
Besides batting Dozier second, I can at least see why Gardy would want his lineup this way -- against LHP it alternates R/L batters as is, and RHB against RHP in only the 2 and 8 holes. (Florimon, Hicks and Doumit are all switch hitters, right?)

I agree, the lineup looks good to me except where they have Dozier. Dozier should bat 8th with everyone 3-8 sliding up a spot, IMO.

LaBombo
03-20-2013, 05:32 PM
Yet, somehow there still seems to be belief that such a comment was meant literally. Either that or someone just prefers to intentionally ignore those facts because its funner to belittle someones posts.

Slow down there, Mr. B. You should have more confidence in your earlier assertion. My post was a reference to the ridiculous, snarky post that offered Ben Revere's 347 AB's in the two spot as an attempted rebuttal to the fact, not opinion, that Gardenhire bats a middle infielder (very often a second baseman) in the two spot the overwhelming majority of the time.

Revere's 2012 total in the two spot is by far the most for a non-middle infielder during Gardenhire's tenure. Only two others have taken more than 100 AB's there in a season for him, Jacque Jones (159) and Mauer (123).

Batting middle infielders second is fine with me, if those middle infielders are qualified. But looking at OBP as a quick and dirty check of two spot hitter competence, Twins middle infielders are usually and emphatically not qualified.

In seven of Gardy's eleven seasons as manager, the two spot hitters have managed an aggregate OBP either worst or second worst in the lineup (3 worsts, 4 second-worsts). In every one of those seasons, a middle infielder received either the majority or plurality of AB's there. In all but one year, middle infielders accounted for at least 500 and usually 550 or more at bats in the two spot.

And it's really not much better if you use OPS instead. In the seven aforementioned seasons, the two spot hitters managed an OPS better than second-worst only three times, finishing 6th twice and 7th once. In one of the 6th place finishes for two spot hitters, 2009, Mauer spiked the OPS aggregate by taking 123 AB's there and slugging over .700.

So yes, Gardy bats a middle infielder in the two spot almost every game. He does it whether or not they can get on base or hit for power. And apparently he's getting ready to do it again with Dozier.

Mr. Brooks
03-20-2013, 05:37 PM
Slow down there, Mr. B. You should have more confidence in your earlier assertion. My post was a reference to the ridiculous post that offered Ben Revere's 347 AB's in the two spot as an attempted rebuttal to the fact, not opinion, that Gardenhire bats a middle infielder (very often a second baseman) in the two spot the overwhelming majority of the time.

Which is fine with me, if that middle infielder is qualified. But looking at OBP as a quick and dirty check of two spot hitter competence, Twins middle infielders are usually and emphatically not qualified.

In seven of Gardy's eleven seasons as manager, the two spot hitters have managed an aggregate OBP either worst or second worst in the lineup (3 worsts, 4 second-worsts). In every one of those seasons, a middle infielder received either the majority or plurality of AB's there. In all but one year, middle infielders accounted for at least 500 and usually 550 or more at bats in the two spot.

And it's really not much better if you use OPS instead. In the seven aforementioned seasons, the two hitters managed an OPS better than second-worst only three times, finishing 6th twice and 7th once. In one of the 6th place finishes for two spot hitters, 2009, Mauer spiked the OPS aggregate by taking 123 AB's there and slugging over .700.

So yes, Gardy bats a middle infielder in the two spot almost every game. He does it whether or not they can get on base or hit for power. And apparently he's getting ready to do it again with Dozier.

Ok, gotcha.

LaBombo
03-20-2013, 07:17 PM
Agreed. This slight against Gardy that he only bats second basemen in the 2-spot has always rubbed me the wrong way. What he does prefer is a "speedy guy who can run around and steal some bases" in the 2-spot. I don't blame him for that either. The fact that the Twins' speed guys have tended to be Second Basemen has simply made that occurrence more often. Now, arguing that he should pay more attention to these speed guys' On Base numbers before he puts them in the 2-spot would be a more fair criticism.

Pay more attention? Are you certain he's been paying ANY attention?

Gardenhire bats middle infielders in the two spot almost all the time. They've not only been mostly mediocre to dreadful relative to rest of the league at getting on base, they've usually been worse than the rest of the Twins' lineup . Given the absence of Jose Reyes/Ian Kinsler base stealing prowess, why is it that for over a decade there's usually a middle infielder who can't find his way onto first base with a GPS and a Sherpa guide manning the two spot for Gardenhire?

Bunting? Bat control? Because they battle until their tails come off? This may seem like a wacky conspiracy theory, but in the absence of any tangible evidence to the contrary, it looks to me like Gardenhire usually pencils a middle infielder into the second lineup spot because he believes that a middle infielder should bat second.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-20-2013, 08:17 PM
Pay more attention? Are you certain he's been paying ANY attention?


Gardenhire bats middle infielders in the two spot almost all the time. They've not only been mostly mediocre to dreadful relative to rest of the league at getting on base, they've usually been worse than the rest of the Twins' lineup . Given the absence of Jose Reyes/Ian Kinsler base stealing prowess, why is it that for over a decade there's usually a middle infielder who can't find his way onto first base with a GPS and a Sherpa guide manning the two spot for Gardenhire?


Bunting? Bat control? Because they battle until their tails come off? This may seem like a wacky conspiracy theory, but in the absence of any tangible evidence to the contrary, it looks to me like Gardenhire usually pencils a middle infielder into the second lineup spot because he believes that a middle infielder should bat second.


It's pretty simple. He values SPEED, SCRAPPINESS, BATTLING TAILS OFF... And let's not forget REALLY GETTING AFTER IT.


And he perceives the players on his roster that best fit those descriptions to have been middle infielders. So he bats them second. When he's had other players that he's perceived to fit that description, he's batted them second as well. And a discussion regarding the not-yet-quantified aspects of the game would take those qualities more seriously than many people participating in this thread are willing to take them. And if, one day, those ideas and quantifications become sophisticated enough to reliably project future performance, those people will have some reconsidering to do... Won't they doctor?

http://twinsdaily.com/attachments/minnesota-twins-talk/3538d1363832333-opening-day-lineup-image.jpg

All in good fun, and many of your criticisms are valid.... But I think everybody is guilty of sometimes taking for granted that we are NOW, OFFICIALLY living in the times when we've FINALLY GOT IT ALL FIGURED OUT.

10PagesOfClearBlueSky
03-20-2013, 08:21 PM
Now..... Could you teach me how to put a photograph in here correctly... :)

Badsmerf
03-20-2013, 10:02 PM
There is a little tree icon to the right of your smiley face above where you type. Click on that and it does it for you. You could use code too, I'm guessing since you're asking that you aren't familiar with it so the first way is easier.

Pius Jefferson
03-20-2013, 10:20 PM
With his job on the line I thought he might mix things up with the lineup. I guess the writing is on the wall and he'd rather go out doing things is way and not change.

LaBombo
03-20-2013, 11:14 PM
Now..... Could you teach me how to put a photograph in here correctly... :)

And get us both kicked? Ok, fine, my penance for a merciless, self-proclaimed win in a topic that barely registers with Twinskind, let alone mankind...

Cursor over picture. Right-click. From pop-up, left-click on "copy image". When you get to a post/page you want to throw down on with the graphic in question, place the cursor over the best guess insertion point, left-click and hit Ctrl-V:
http://calibermag.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/You-cant-handle-the-truth6.jpg


Btw, graphics in posts may be stealing bandwidth and profits from Twins affiliates like this site, and so by corollary this thread may be unintentionally draining resources that could prevent the future Twins from acquiring a Kevin Correia or retaining a Nick Blackburn. So when you speak of me, speak well. TBC.

CDog
03-21-2013, 09:26 AM
You know, when I made the statement, "play 2nd, bat 2nd", my initial thoughts were that it would be so obvious that I didnt mean this literally, that I didnt bother to further explain my point.
Then when people did take it literally, I made sure to explain that it wasnt meant that way, stated that I don't know or care if Gardy bats MI's more in the 2 hole than others, and explained what was behind the comment.
Yet, somehow there still seems to be belief that such a comment was meant literally. Either that or someone just prefers to intentionally ignore those facts because its funner to belittle someones posts.

While this topic may have been pounded to a pulp...

I originally quoted the post you mention with a comment about Ben Revere not playing 2nd. That may or may not have been the impetus for later posts from others. I'll expand further on the point... As BlueSky has stated, it seems that Gardenhire likes certain things in his 2-hitter and many of those things also happen to be common in middle infielders.

Yes, I have looked and MI (not just second-baseman, which is part of why the "Play 2nd, Bat 2nd" snark irks me some...it's not even accurate so it comes off as lazy) have hit 2nd a HUGE amount since he's been the manager. BUT, the fact that Revere was almost always there when in the lineup just last year (and that there were even times when Mauer has been used there for not-tiny stretches) shows if he thinks there is reason to have someone else there, then he'll do it.

I think Mauer third is fine, in general, but given the people likely on the roster this year my preference would be that he hits second. If the spring training lineup with Dozier hitting there leaks into the season, I'll be disappointed.