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Thread: Article: Twins Chasing Top Catcher Jarrod Saltalmacchia?

  1. #141
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
    Doumit Salty
    Year OPS+ OPS+
    2007 110 90
    2008 127 90
    2009 88 70
    2010 100 69
    2011 131 95
    2012 114 97
    2013 96 118


    In all but one year, 2013, Doumit OPS+'d Salty.

    That is what is most telling.

    Doumit
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...oumiry01.shtml

    Salty
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...altaja01.shtml
    Doumit. Is. Not. A. Legit. Starting. Catcher. This. Comparison. Is. Therefore. Irrelevant.

  2. #142
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
    So Pinto will not get better...than his rookie year?
    I'd say its pretty likely he isn't going to put up a .960 OPS in 2014.

  3. #143
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Free Agent Catchers, 2011-2013

    Player PA WAR Framing RAA WAR*
    Brian McCann 1416 8.3 64.8 14.8
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia 1304 7.0 18.0 8.8
    Mike Napoli 1427 11.4 -27.2 8.7
    Jose Molina 778 1.9 54.6 7.4
    A.J. Pierzynski 1549 6.1 -7.9 5.3
    Kelly Shoppach 625 2.7 -9.3 1.8
    Chris Snyder 401 -0.1 14.3 1.3
    Dioner Navarro 541 1.8 -6.0 1.2
    Hector Gimenez 183 0.7 2.0 0.9
    Jesus Flores 387 -0.3 3.8 0.1
    John Buck 1359 3.9 -38.2 0.1
    Yorvit Torrealba 833 0.7 -7.8 -0.1
    Kurt Suzuki 1273 2.3 -23.9 -0.1
    Humberto Quintero 556 1.2 -13.0 -0.1
    Wil Nieves 349 -0.5 2.3 -0.3
    Ramon Hernandez 579 1.5 -19.5 -0.5
    Henry Blanco 329 0.6 -11.0 -0.5
    Taylor Teagarden 162 -0.5 -2.0 -0.7
    Ronny Paulino 312 -0.2 -15.1 -1.7
    Miguel Olivo 910 0.0 -22.1 -2.2
    Koyie Hill 253 -1.1 -20.1 -3.1

  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    Last three years OPS+ 104

    Keep throwing out single stats like strikeouts, or his World Series numbers etc but at the end of the day, 104 ops+ is what Is most telling
    That's just the fancy way of saying Saltalamacchia had a sub 100 OPS+ two of the last three years.

    I don't think this stat is very telling. The slugging % is great but like it or not park variables may affect this and we won't know until games are played. The OBP is awful including .288 marks in 2011 and 2012. Park factors almost certainly have zero impact on this. A poor OBP is a much more sure bet than a high SLG.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    I'd say its pretty likely he isn't going to put up a .960 OPS in 2014.
    And neither will Saltalamacchia considering only once did he put up a +.750 OPS.

  5. #145
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    That's just the fancy way of saying Saltalamacchia had a sub 100 OPS+ two of the last three years.

    I don't think this stat is very telling. The slugging % is great but like it or not park variables may affect this and we won't know until games are played. The OBP is awful including .288 marks in 2011 and 2012. Park factors almost certainly have zero impact on this. A poor OBP is a much more sure bet than a high SLG.



    And neither will Saltalamacchia considering only once did he put up a +.750 OPS.
    I never said he will put up a .800 OPS every year, however it is a good bet he will at least put up a .740 OPS (I think somewhere around .750-.760 next year personally)

    And Pinto becomes the perfect catching platoon partner for him.

  6. #146
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    A better approach to using WAR is:


    Saltalmacchia WAR

    Pinto WAR plus added player(s) using that $10MM WAR

    Compare these values. Add an adjustment for the experience (improvement?) Pinto receives by playing for the Twins.

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    Doumit. Is. Not. A. Legit. Starting. Catcher...
    With this, I agree. But Salty isn't much better. He's a worse hitter, for sure. Doumit had some injuries last year. He's actually a decent hitter.

    The premise was that Salty is definitely not that much better than Doumit or even Pinto or even the value that Pinto could be...for $10M annually. It's too much investment for too little return.

  8. #148
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer 70charger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    My point. While thermal dynamics and wind analysis are hardly my specialty, it's not hard to look at that long ramp heading up to right field to see how a wind tunnel effect could be created. If a ball goes high enough and escapes that (hypothetical) flow of air, it might not die on the warning track like we've seen so many times in the past four seasons.
    Well I actually am a geo-thermal-nuclear-physicist-meterologist, and if you look at the delta minus the gamma over the theta, there's a roughly 50% you might be right.

    Or wrong. I don't actually speak Greek.

    In any case, I think something is often lost in this dicussion, and that's the comparison. Is Salty a great player? No, not really, and he's not up for a Mauer contract anyway. Of course, talking about whether he's all that good is sort of a moot point if you look at who you're comparing him to. Doumit isn't a catcher; at best he's a DH, bench bat, backup catcher. Fryer isn't a major leaguer now or ever. Pinto really isn't a major leaguer either, but the hope is that he'll become one. Just because he had a September cup of coffee that looked a lot like Chris Parmelee's a few years ago, doesn't mean he's ready.

    Basically, in each case, I think you're comparing a serviceable-to-above-average major league catcher to a few guys that aren't in his class. The only real question as I see it is which other catchers could match his performance at his price or lower. I don't think Pierzynski is one of them. Who else is there?

  9. #149
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    A better approach to using WAR is:


    Saltalmacchia WAR

    Pinto WAR plus added player(s) using that $10MM WAR

    Compare these values. Add an adjustment for the experience (improvement?) Pinto receives by playing for the Twins.
    Again. That all assumes the Twins are comfortable with Pinto being the main guy behind the plate defensively. The SSS int he majors indicates he had issues, and even more telling was the fact the Twins had him DH over half the time in AA.

  10. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
    So Pinto will not get better...than his rookie year?

    The argument was Salty would get better after age 28...(which most catchers decline after 29)...

    Subjective opinions are one thing...fact based models are another. Simply saying something doesn't make it so.

    Salty plays at most 120g a year, hits .247 on average. Provides average defense. The Twins will spend...you fill in the blank. $80M? So you would be happy to put 12.5% of that (10/80M) towards a guy who hits below .250 on average and plays less than 75% of the games?

    Nevermind the Red Sox are letting him go at age 28 when $10M to them is like $5M to us. Makes no sense whatsoever. Unless they're signing someone else out there (if so, who?) who is better (they are THE advanced statistics/metics team in MLB)...

    One season over .255 doesn't constitute any sort of consistency.
    You cited Pinto's .342 BA and 45% runners thrown-out and said he'll only get better. Neither of those numbers are realistic. I do think he has the potential to be a solid MLBer.

    I won't be heartbroken in the least if the Twins don't sign him, I just don't think it's horrible like you're trying to make it out to be. You certainly are not using "fact based models"... sprinkling real, but hand-selected data among opinions doesn't qualify. You keep trying to make this case against him with disingenous data points and subjective opinions.

    You do have a point on the consistency issue, but don't act like you know exactly how many games he'll play and exactly what is BA will be (which is about as relevant as RBI, which you've already denounced). We can use the games played argument on pitchers too... and, the Red Sox do reportedly have an offer out to him for 2 years for what is likely a similar AAV. It's the third year that Salty is looking for.

  11. #151
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    Since I've seen several Fangraphs references, I thought I'd post this article from the site. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-l...e-agent-class/

    I agree that Salty would be fine defensively, but I've seen several posts defending his offense. He's just not a good offensive player. He strikes out 30% of the time, which would be fine if he walked more and/or provided more power.

    I understand we have the money to spend, but I'd rather not just throw bad money at average players and say "hey, at least we spent money". Instead of $10M a year on Salty, spend $16-18M a year on Choo.

  12. #152
    Senior Member Triple-A goulik's Avatar
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    Pinto is almost but not quite ready, Hermann or Fryer is the defensive replacement, backup, Doumit is a DH emergency 3rd catcher. This means we need a stop gap.

    Am I ok with Salty? Yes, keep the contract short. If you're looking stopgap though, you may be looking AJ more than Salty. So the real question isn't really Salty vs Pinto or how good is Salty. The REAL question is 1 yr or someone with potential for more than a year or two as insurance against Pinto flopping. (See Plouffe, Parmalee, Hicks)

    When you answer that question, we should examine free agents.

  13. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    Free Agent Catchers, 2011-2013

    Player PA WAR Framing RAA WAR*
    Brian McCann 1416 8.3 64.8 14.8
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia 1304 7.0 18.0 8.8
    Mike Napoli 1427 11.4 -27.2 8.7
    Jose Molina 778 1.9 54.6 7.4
    A.J. Pierzynski 1549 6.1 -7.9 5.3
    Kelly Shoppach 625 2.7 -9.3 1.8
    Chris Snyder 401 -0.1 14.3 1.3
    Dioner Navarro 541 1.8 -6.0 1.2
    Hector Gimenez 183 0.7 2.0 0.9
    Jesus Flores 387 -0.3 3.8 0.1
    John Buck 1359 3.9 -38.2 0.1
    Yorvit Torrealba 833 0.7 -7.8 -0.1
    Kurt Suzuki 1273 2.3 -23.9 -0.1
    Humberto Quintero 556 1.2 -13.0 -0.1
    Wil Nieves 349 -0.5 2.3 -0.3
    Ramon Hernandez 579 1.5 -19.5 -0.5
    Henry Blanco 329 0.6 -11.0 -0.5
    Taylor Teagarden 162 -0.5 -2.0 -0.7
    Ronny Paulino 312 -0.2 -15.1 -1.7
    Miguel Olivo 910 0.0 -22.1 -2.2
    Koyie Hill 253 -1.1 -20.1 -3.1
    Thanks. Molina will be back with Rays. McCann is with a Yankees. Salty is the only other guy on this list that would help our young pitchers.

  14. #154
    Senior Member Triple-A goulik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    Thanks. Molina will be back with Rays. McCann is with a Yankees. Salty is the only other guy on this list that would help our young pitchers.
    Using that set of stats, the guy with the most experience is AJ suggesting he should be in that conversation

  15. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    You cited Pinto's .342 BA and 45% runners thrown-out and said he'll only get better. Neither of those numbers are realistic. I do think he has the potential to be a solid MLBer.

    I won't be heartbroken in the least if the Twins don't sign him, I just don't think it's horrible like you're trying to make it out to be. You certainly are not using "fact based models"... sprinkling real, but hand-selected data among opinions doesn't qualify. You keep trying to make this case against him with disingenous data points and subjective opinions.

    You do have a point on the consistency issue, but don't act like you know exactly how many games he'll play and exactly what is BA will be (which is about as relevant as RBI, which you've already denounced). We can use the games played argument on pitchers too... and, the Red Sox do reportedly have an offer out to him for 2 years for what is likely a similar AAV. It's the third year that Salty is looking for.

    You just did, what you said I did. But really, you took my Pinto line out of context. Leave it in context with the line that Salty will get better. Is there any reason to think Salty would get better was the line. I understand sarcasm and context take some discernment to pick up - so I won't fault you there.

    You certainly are not using "fact based models"... sprinkling real, but hand-selected data among opinions doesn't qualify.
    Do you have some examples of some 'fact based models'...? Perhaps you have a working definition that should be shared. It's fine to point out someone is wrong, but if you don't teach or show, then what value have you really offered?

    Going back to the Pinto comment. In context, I didn't see any evidence, Sabermetrics or whatever, that would suggest Salty would get better than he was in 2013. So I said, "Why not Pinto?" He's a rookie. IF we must play the linear game, play it for both players. Again, context.

    Can you provide some sort of statistical analysis to aid his case? How about a simple linear regression model based models and optimization based on similar catchers.

    Or going the way of Baseball Prospectus, any idea what the PETOCA might be for Salty for 2014?

    I generally find those a bit low...but I guess I'm at a loss. It seems you can just say "Fangraphs" or "Statistic" and that counts as statistics based?

    See one problem with most of the statistics cited for Salty is that year-to-year there's very little correlation of consistency. BABIP, OPS+, SLG, etc show very little consistency year to year.

    Do you know how lucky Salty was this year? His BABIP was .372. So when he actually got the ball in play (roughly 70% of the time, 30 K%) he did pretty well. But do you know how likely he is to put that up? I mean, without even using Bayes Theorem or some other likelihood of events reoccurring formula.

    In 2012, his BABIP was .265. In 2011 it was .304. For 2009 it was .320. But, remember, he doesn't put that ball in play that much. 30% K rate...

    Here's a link on K rates , HR rates, and batting average.
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/why-strikeouts-stink/

    The problem here is, Salty isn't an OBP guy OR a power hitter.

    The most consistent statistic YoY? Contact % at 90%. Following by SwStr%, Swing %, K%, and so forth.

    Here's a link for those consistency statistics:
    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/201...t-year-to-year

    So Salty swings and misses. A lot. But, he also only plays 120g a year, well only twice (sorry, not a fact based model, just a fact). And by definition, he hasn't had a full season in 7 seasons based on plate appearances (501 needed). I struggle with the idea that someone could give a guy 12.5%+ of your payroll (for an $80M payroll, e.g. Twins) for the next 3 seasons with that kind of production or cost. If he cost 5% of your payroll ($150M total, e.g. Red Sox), sure, it makes more sense in terms of payback ROI.

    I do stats for a living. I've taught AP Calculus for years before switching into industry to do analytics. Instead of saying something arbitrary that has no real data points or relevance. Please show me your statistics points versus your opinions and projections on me. This isn't SABR where everything has to be a statistic either. I'm a member, so if you are too, maybe we should take our SQL, Excel, R, and head over there instead?

    And then, just acknowledge what did happen. Salty did sit for 4 of the 6 World Series games. I don't know how that's not an important stat. As Herm Edwards said, "You play to win the game!"

  16. #156
    Super Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
    Salty did sit for 4 of the 6 World Series games. I don't know how that's not an important stat. As Herm Edwards said, "You play to win the game!"
    This point above rings very loud in my opinion. That point and 3 years 30 million don't go well together.

    I'll take him... He could help us but I don't really want him.
    "9. Lipstick"

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  17. #157
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    You dismiss Salty because of his BABIP, yet state that Pinto should improve on his 2013 numbers without even mentioning his .440 BABIP

    Also the 12.5% of payroll is misleading as hell, especially considering the Twins will have a lot of players over the next few years who are impact players and will be making next to nothing: Sano, Buxton, Meyer, Rosario, Arcia, Hicks, Gibson, May, and even Potential DH/maybe C Pinto.

    Per the same site you sourced:
    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/201...in-really-cost

    A win costs 7 million, even if you dont go by that method, it was widely assumed a win is worth 5 million, which means in order for Salty to be worth it he would need to average 2 WAR a year, which I personally feel he is more than capable of doing as he has been trending in a positive direction each of his last 3 years. If you go by 7 mil, he needs to produce about 1.6 WAR year. Again Steamer has him as a 2.9 WAR player, which makes him a very nice signing for the price.
    Last edited by SpiritofVodkaDave; 11-26-2013 at 08:22 PM.

  18. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    Free Agent Catchers, 2011-2013

    Player PA WAR Framing RAA WAR*
    Brian McCann 1416 8.3 64.8 14.8
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia 1304 7.0 18.0 8.8
    Mike Napoli 1427 11.4 -27.2 8.7
    Jose Molina 778 1.9 54.6 7.4
    A.J. Pierzynski 1549 6.1 -7.9 5.3
    Kelly Shoppach 625 2.7 -9.3 1.8
    Chris Snyder 401 -0.1 14.3 1.3
    Dioner Navarro 541 1.8 -6.0 1.2
    Hector Gimenez 183 0.7 2.0 0.9
    Jesus Flores 387 -0.3 3.8 0.1
    John Buck 1359 3.9 -38.2 0.1
    Yorvit Torrealba 833 0.7 -7.8 -0.1
    Kurt Suzuki 1273 2.3 -23.9 -0.1
    Humberto Quintero 556 1.2 -13.0 -0.1
    Wil Nieves 349 -0.5 2.3 -0.3
    Ramon Hernandez 579 1.5 -19.5 -0.5
    Henry Blanco 329 0.6 -11.0 -0.5
    Taylor Teagarden 162 -0.5 -2.0 -0.7
    Ronny Paulino 312 -0.2 -15.1 -1.7
    Miguel Olivo 910 0.0 -22.1 -2.2
    Koyie Hill 253 -1.1 -20.1 -3.1
    I like it.

    Pitch framing is something where a catcher can easily do. I caught through high school. It something a catcher has to cognizant of.

    When I pitched I was always a little frustrated when my catcher didn't give me a good target. Same thing when I watch MLB games today.

    I'm guessing that most teams don't feel it's that important as it could easily be taught and emulated.

    Why isn't Ryan Hanigan on this list? He's easily the best defensive catcher by the eyeball test, CS% (1st), fielding % (1st), and his pitch framing isn't bad either.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...rticleid=15093

  19. #159
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    Fangraph columnist:

    Who coincidentally, made all the same points I did about Salty.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-l...e-agent-class/
    In a season in which Salty posted a .372 BABIP, he still only managed a .338 on base percentage. That’s kind of amazing, but it highlights how significant Salty’s contact problem really is. Guys who strike out 30% of the time have to either have to hit for a lot of power or draw a lot of walks to be effective offensive players, because the vagaries of BABIP means that their rate of hits on balls in play will fluctuate too much to be dependable. Salty has some power, and he draws some walks, but expecting him to repeat his 117 wRC+ would be foolhardy, as he’s more of a below average hitter than an above average one.

  20. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    You dismiss Salty because of his BABIP, yet state that Pinto should improve on his 2013 numbers without even mentioning his .440 BABIP
    Well, I quoted Salty in the thing too. It was an "If then" statement. Meaning, if Salty can improve (he had a huge way above his career numbers) then why not Pinto (who also had way above his likely contributions).

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