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Re: Mauer's Contract

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#41 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

Specifically a lefthanded one.


Specifically a lefthanded one that goes opposite field so often and can seemingly pull the ball at will. I shake my head when people bash Mauer. It's like they're not watching the same game (perhaps they're not). The guy is incredibly intelligent and has bat control above and beyond all but a few of the all-time greats. When he goes out there, he is often doing exactly what he wants to do (or, given baseball's failure rate, he does what he wants at a much higher rate than other players).

#42 ThePuck

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:16 PM

He could be one of those outlier players. While I haven't seen enough evidence to prove the idea, I don't think it's a coincidence that the players with extraordinary bat control (Gwynn, Molitor) were the "outliers" in that RISP study. It makes sense that the guys who can choose where the ball is hit do better with RISP than the "swing away" type of players.

But those guys are an extremely rare breed. Is Mauer on the level of a Molitor and Gwynn? Right now, yes. Whether that stays true as he ages is another matter entirely.


This topic interests me. Baseball Prospectus talked about the numbers wiwth RISP stat. In the article it states: 'a single year’s worth of data for a player with runners in scoring position is an incredibly small sample riddled with random variation—so much so that it essentially renders the data useless.'

The way that reads, that would lead me to believe that for a career, it's a much better stat to look at. As are most stats. Would you concur?

#43 snepp

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:22 PM

Mauer's career numbers with RISP are quite a bit better than his normal numbers though. 20 points in BA, 55 points in OBP, 30 points in slg%


A couple of things to keep in mind.

The league as a whole "hits" better w/RISP. Sacrifice flies don't hurt a player's batting average (or OBP/SLG), a typical flyball with the bases empty that would drop a hitter's average no longer does if a player happens to be on 3rd at the time and scores.

Another, intentional walks almost always occur with someone already in scoring position. In Mauer's case, every IBB in his career has come w/RISP, this inflates the w/RISP OBP relative to his overall line. So he didn't really "hit" better in those situations.

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#44 The Wise One

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

A couple of things to keep in mind.

The league as a whole "hits" better w/RISP. Sacrifice flies don't hurt a player's batting average (or OBP/SLG), a typical flyball with the bases empty that would drop a hitter's average no longer does if a player happens to be on 3rd at the time and scores.

Another, intentional walks almost always occur with someone already in scoring position. In Mauer's case, every IBB in his career has come w/RISP, this inflates the w/RISP OBP relative to his overall line. So he didn't really "hit" better in those situations.


then you would want babip with risp to determine who is the clutch hitter. Although getting a long enough fly ball to score a runner shouldn't be counted against the batter, less you forget the "useless" stat of RBI, as the object of the game is to score runs

#45 ThePuck

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

A couple of things to keep in mind.

The league as a whole "hits" better w/RISP. Sacrifice flies don't hurt a player's batting average (or OBP/SLG), a typical flyball with the bases empty that would drop a hitter's average no longer does if a player happens to be on 3rd at the time and scores.

Another, intentional walks almost always occur with someone already in scoring position. In Mauer's case, every IBB in his career has come w/RISP, this inflates the w/RISP OBP relative to his overall line. So he didn't really "hit" better in those situations.


The IBB would affect his OBP but not his slg% and BA...that's all based on actual at bats. Not only that, but to say they don't matter would be to assume he would have gotten an out in every instance when he was IBB....which would be a strange assumption based on the results he has when he isn't IBB.

'a typical flyball with the bases empty that would drop a hitter's average no longer does if a player happens to be on 3rd at the time and scores.'

Doesn't affect his BA/OBP/SLG% RISP numbers though...and there's an assumption there that if the guy had been on 2nd instead of 3rd, he wouldn't have gotten a hit instead of sacrificing himself.

BTW, all these scenarios, apply to everyone...

Edited by ThePuck, 12 February 2013 - 12:46 PM.


#46 jimbo92107

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:43 PM

When you spend $23 million dollars of your payroll on one player, the natural substitution would be two $10 million dollar starting pitchers and a $3 million dollar starting catcher. If the Twins had traded Joe Mauer, they would have gotten any team's first round draft pick, of course, or a top rotation starter. Then you keep Wilson Ramos as your starting catcher, a guy that looks to me like a young Terry Steinbach, and you compete in the division for the next five years.

Would two solid starting pitchers plus a decent catcher be worth more to this team than Joe Mauer?

#47 snepp

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

The IBB would affect his OBP but not his slg% and BA...that's all based on actual at bats. Not only that, but to say they don't matter would be to assume he would have gotten an out in every instance when he was IBB....which would be a strange assumption based on the results he has when he isn't IBB.


At no point did I say IBB would effect his BA or SLG, nor at any point did I say that they don't matter.


You made a direct comparison of his w/RISP slash line in comparison to his overall line. I simply tried to point out that much of what can be viewed as "hitting better" w/RISP is due to context (and subsequent calculations), not necessarily the actual act of hitting itself.

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#48 ThePuck

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:47 PM

At no point did I say IBB would effect his BA or SLG, nor at any point did I say that they don't matter.


You made a direct comparison of his w/RISP slash line in comparison to his overall line. I simply tried to point out that much of what can be viewed as "hitting better" w/RISP is due to context (and subsequent calculations), not necessarily the actual act of hitting itself.


I added a part responding to your sac fly comment...

#49 DaveW

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:47 PM

When you spend $23 million dollars of your payroll on one player, the natural substitution would be two $10 million dollar starting pitchers and a $3 million dollar starting catcher. If the Twins had traded Joe Mauer, they would have gotten any team's first round draft pick, of course, or a top rotation starter. Then you keep Wilson Ramos as your starting catcher, a guy that looks to me like a young Terry Steinbach, and you compete in the division for the next five years.

Would two solid starting pitchers plus a decent catcher be worth more to this team than Joe Mauer?


It should be noted that Wilson Ramos injury history makes Mauer look like Cal Ripken.

#50 amjgt

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

While the thread has turned away from Mauer's contract, I think many people missed the point of the Grantland article.

It wasn't "these were the 15 worst contracts when they were signed."
It was "these are the 15 worst contracts as they sit today."

At the time Mauer signed the contract, I agree with most people in this thread that it was fair market value for an MVP, batting champ, catcher, hometown guy, who had shown signs of power potential.

BUT

The next couple years happened and, at least currently, he is a part time hometown catcher, who obviously has value, but not like when he signed the contract.

I was really surprised that he wasn't on Keri's list. His contract is eating up 30% of the team's current payroll, they needed to spend 3 mil per year on a realistic backup option since Mauer is best when he's catching about 2/3 of the games, and he's not performing at a $23 mil level.... and I think most people would be relatively surprised if he got back to 23mil level within the duration of his contract.

#51 ThePuck

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:51 PM

While the thread has turned away from Mauer's contract, I think many people missed the point of the Grantland article.

It wasn't "these were the 15 worst contracts when they were signed."
It was "these are the 15 worst contracts as they sit today."

At the time Mauer signed the contract, I agree with most people in this thread that it was fair market value for an MVP, batting champ, catcher, hometown guy, who had shown signs of power potential.

BUT

The next couple years happened and, at least currently, he is a part time hometown catcher, who obviously has value, but not like when he signed the contract.

I was really surprised that he wasn't on Keri's list. His contract is eating up 30% of the team's current payroll, they needed to spend 3 mil per year on a realistic backup option since Mauer is best when he's catching about 2/3 of the games, and he's not performing at a $23 mil level.... and I think most people would be relatively surprised if he got back to 23mil level within the duration of his contract.


I'm not sure I'd agree that value of a contract lies solely with on-field production. There's other factors. However, according to Fangraphs, he was at 22.5M just in on field value last year. Obviously, in the injury year (2011) he wasn't, but last year he's right there.

I would have been shocked if he had been on that list.

#52 SweetOne69

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

I'm not sure I'd agree that value of a contract lies solely with on-field production. There's other factors. However, according to Fangraphs, he was at 22.5M just in on field value last year. Obviously, in the injury year (2011) he wasn't, but last year he's right there.

I would have been shocked if he had been on that list.


This! Injuries happen and can't be accounted for in the value of the contract. When Mauer has been healthy he certainly performs up to the level of his contract. The list of the 15 worst contracts are of people who even when healthy don't or won't live up to the value of the contract.

#53 ashburyjohn

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

In any event, I learned something today, which is awesome. I'm going to research that a bit more.

My sincerest apologies to ashburyjohn.


And in the spirit of kumbayah, my "get out more" shorthand was not the best way to encourage you to, well, look around more. :) So my apologies for that lapse, Brother.

#54 Alex

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

When you spend $23 million dollars of your payroll on one player, the natural substitution would be two $10 million dollar starting pitchers and a $3 million dollar starting catcher. If the Twins had traded Joe Mauer, they would have gotten any team's first round draft pick, of course, or a top rotation starter. Then you keep Wilson Ramos as your starting catcher, a guy that looks to me like a young Terry Steinbach, and you compete in the division for the next five years.

Would two solid starting pitchers plus a decent catcher be worth more to this team than Joe Mauer?


The flaw in this argument is that the Twins actually have the money to pay two hypothetical starters $10M this year AND had it last year but chose not to. They will also have that money over the next five years and more.

So, Mauer's contract hasn't kept them from your hypothetical at all. They could, in fact, have had their cake and eat it, too with Ramos, Mauer, and two $10M dollar pitchers. Mauer's salary isn't what's keeping them from being competitive.

#55 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

This topic interests me. Baseball Prospectus talked about the numbers wiwth RISP stat. In the article it states: 'a single year’s worth of data for a player with runners in scoring position is an incredibly small sample riddled with random variation—so much so that it essentially renders the data useless.'

The way that reads, that would lead me to believe that for a career, it's a much better stat to look at. As are most stats. Would you concur?


Definitely. I'd have a hard time judging a player's ability with RISP until he's well past his peak, preferably retired. At that point, he should have accumulated enough ABs with RISP to declare something meaningful about his ability. Before that, not so much. It takes many years to get even one season worth of ABs with RISP (say, 600 PAs) and players fluctuate considerably from season to season so even 600 PAs can be feeding you bad information. Right now, Mauer has about 1300 PAs with RISP. Enough to draw a conclusion? Probably not.

#56 The Wise One

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:15 PM

While the thread has turned away from Mauer's contract, I think many people missed the point of the Grantland article.

It wasn't "these were the 15 worst contracts when they were signed."
It was "these are the 15 worst contracts as they sit today."

At the time Mauer signed the contract, I agree with most people in this thread that it was fair market value for an MVP, batting champ, catcher, hometown guy, who had shown signs of power potential.

BUT

The next couple years happened and, at least currently, he is a part time hometown catcher, who obviously has value, but not like when he signed the contract.

I was really surprised that he wasn't on Keri's list. His contract is eating up 30% of the team's current payroll, they needed to spend 3 mil per year on a realistic backup option since Mauer is best when he's catching about 2/3 of the games, and he's not performing at a $23 mil level.... and I think most people would be relatively surprised if he got back to 23mil level within the duration of his contract.


If Mauer was a free agent this winter what would have he commanded. Over the last six years he is 13 in War for the total WAR over that period. It was once posted that a top free agent should get abot 5 mill per war. Mauer averaged just a hair under 5. So whar is unreasonable about his contract?

#57 ThePuck

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

And in the spirit of kumbayah, my "get out more" shorthand was not the best way to encourage you to, well, look around more. :) So my apologies for that lapse, Brother.


My post was over the top snarky (which I try not to do). Your response was mild in comparison...I likely deserved worse. But thanks.

#58 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:20 PM

Could it be that a double by Mauer scores someone like Revere from first ahead of him, while a double by Willingham leaves Mauer on third waiting to be driven in? This is a reason I don't trust RISP statistics very much.


It has far more to do with the fact that Mauer has had far less opportunities to drive people in. RBI is cumulative, and the guy hitting fourth in the order will typically have more opportunities to drive in runs than the guy hitting 3rd... especially when the manager consistently puts a 2nd basemen in the 2 spot... no matter how good his OBP is.

#59 ThePuck

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

If Mauer was a free agent this winter what would have he commanded. Over the last six years he is 13 in War for the total WAR over that period. It was once posted that a top free agent should get abot 5 mill per war. Mauer averaged just a hair under 5. So whar is unreasonable about his contract?


This. Additionally Fangraphs gives Mauer a value of 165.9M so far for his career. He's gotten paid less than half that so far. Where's the outrage?! :-)

#60 LoganJones

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

Seriously, go look at the best hitters in Twins history, and compare them to Mauer through age 29. He has a higher OPS+ than every Twins great apart from Tony O and Harmon. He's on a track to be one of the greatest Twins of all time. It's just bizzaro land where these thoughts of Mauer not being 'worth' his top contract.