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Projecting the Defensive Future of Minnesota's Top Prospects


20 minutes ago, Tim said:

I like the part where you completely ignored the .313. avg / .374 obp ... that was a nice touch.

I didn't ignore anything. OBP is included in OPS.

 

And for the record, he hasn't had a .374 OBP in either of the last 2 seasons.

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1 hour ago, USAFChief said:

I didn't ignore anything. OBP is included in OPS.

 

And for the record, he hasn't had a .374 OBP in either of the last 2 seasons.

for the record, that's his entire career avg. Are his most recent numbers suggesting he's declining so much to the point that he isn't capable of that again?

I am making the assumption you don't believe he is a "damn good hitter" because of his lack power, correct?

can you explain to me why you don't believe he is?

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2 hours ago, Wax off said:

He was a pretty good hitter in his rookie year. Last year he was average with sub-par defense.

Are you serious??  .294 and .357 is average?  On what planet?  The OPS is weak, maybe, but an average hitter?  Sorry, my friend, not a chance.  

As for sub-par defense, at what position?  He hasn't had a firm position since he came up 3 years ago.  How about finding one, and letting him play there full time before deciding once and for all he is sub-par defensively?  

If you think Arraez is average and sub-par, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.  Take care, my friend.  

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6 minutes ago, Mark G said:

Are you serious??  .294 and .357 is average?  On what planet?  The OPS is weak, maybe, but an average hitter?  Sorry, my friend, not a chance.  

As for sub-par defense, at what position?  He hasn't had a firm position since he came up 3 years ago.  How about finding one, and letting him play there full time before deciding once and for all he is sub-par defensively?  

If you think Arraez is average and sub-par, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.  Take care, my friend.  

Who should he have replaced in the last three years? Not Donaldson. Not Polanco. Not C or 1B or CF or probably any OF position. Certainly not SS. Not Cruz at DH.

That said, on another team w/o those players (or the guys coming up) he likely has a defensive position. He's not nearly so bad defensively as some think. But he didn't hit as well this year as the previous two....so some think he's a better hitter than he is. Like I said upthread....he's a 2-2.5 WAR player, which is a good player.

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12 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Who should he have replaced in the last three years? Not Donaldson. Not Polanco. Not C or 1B or CF or probably any OF position. Certainly not SS. Not Cruz at DH.

That said, on another team w/o those players (or the guys coming up) he likely has a defensive position. He's not nearly so bad defensively as some think. But he didn't hit as well this year as the previous two....so some think he's a better hitter than he is. Like I said upthread....he's a 2-2.5 WAR player, which is a good player.

You know, that is a post I totally agree with.  Thanks for putting it in ways we can agree on.

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18 minutes ago, Wax off said:

On planet OPS.

Arraez OPS: 733

League average OPS: 728

Sub-par defense, I think it's safe to say.

 

what is the league average for .OBP and batting .AVG

do the thing where you compared Arraez's OPS to league average for those categories too.

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3 minutes ago, Tim said:

what is the league average for .OBP and batting .AVG

do the thing where you compared Arraez's OPS to league average for those categories too.

I think OPS is the best measure of a hitter because it includes OBP which includes AVG.

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13 minutes ago, Wax off said:

I think OPS is the best measure of a hitter because it includes OBP which includes AVG.

It's not. 

How do you think a team constructed solely on OPS would do ?? a lineup of 9 Joey Gallo's or 9 MIguel Sano's ... Not really a recipe for success.

Now what if you were to do that same exercise, but throw in 3 or 4 hitters like Luis Arraez ?? That's a lineup capable of scoring a lot more runs. 

You cant use one stat to look at a hitter's makeup and skillset.

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7 minutes ago, Wax off said:

I think OPS is the best measure of a hitter because it includes OBP which includes AVG.

 

Sano has a career .819 OPS.  Arraez a career .777.  All other batting stats and total defense:  who is the preferred player?  On planet OPS Sano is.  On all others.......as long as you only look at OPS, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.  

If you could field a team of 9 Sano's, hitting and defense, and I could field a team of 9 Arraez's  hitting and defense, who, in your opinion, would win?  Assuming, of course, the pitching was identical for both teams?  

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4 minutes ago, Mark G said:

 

Sano has a career .819 OPS.  Arraez a career .777.  All other batting stats and total defense:  who is the preferred player?  On planet OPS Sano is.  On all others.......as long as you only look at OPS, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.  

If you could field a team of 9 Sano's, hitting and defense, and I could field a team of 9 Arraez's  hitting and defense, who, in your opinion, would win?  Assuming, of course, the pitching was identical for both teams?  

There's a stat for this called WAR that is essentially used for this exact simulation. Arraez team wins

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18 hours ago, Danchat said:

Well, I wonder what your opinion of Ichiro Suzuki is, owner of a career .757 OPS. While he was more around .780 to .820 in the prime of his career, I think OPS undervalues hitters who usually end up on 1B more often than not.

It would be nice if Arraez had a defensive home... I think he can handle 2B just ifne, but that is rightly Polanco's spot.

Ichiro also stole bases, played every day, and provided ELITE defense in right field. Arraez is 0-3 there. 

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2 minutes ago, Tim said:

You cant use one stat to look at a hitter's makeup and skillset.

OPS is more than one stat, combined.

 

3 minutes ago, Mark G said:

 

Sano has a career .819 OPS.  Arraez a career .777.  All other batting stats and total defense:  who is the preferred player?  On planet OPS Sano is.  On all others.......as long as you only look at OPS, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.  

If you could field a team of 9 Sano's, hitting and defense, and I could field a team of 9 Arraez's  hitting and defense, who, in your opinion, would win?  Assuming, of course, the pitching was identical for both teams?  

Polanco had a .269 BA and a .323 OBP.

Arraez had a .294 BA and .357 OBP.

Who would you rather have, a team of Polancos or Arraezes?

If you chose Polanco, you do in fact prefer OPS to OBP.

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27 minutes ago, Tim said:

There's a stat for this called WAR that is essentially used for this exact simulation. Arraez team wins

That's because the idiots who designed WAR believe a hit is worth more if it comes from a 2nd baseman instead of a first baseman. The exact same stats will produce different WAR. Conversely, Sano's offense would have a higher WAR value if he stood 90 ft to his right on defense.

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32 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

That's because the idiots who designed WAR believe a hit is worth more if it comes from a 2nd baseman instead of a first baseman. The exact same stats will produce different WAR. Conversely, Sano's offense would have a higher WAR value if he stood 90 ft to his right on defense.

The idiots who designed WAR ultimately run every front office in baseball. I think there might be something to it.

36 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

Ichiro was also a below average MLB hitter over the last half of his career.

This is .. nvm.

49 minutes ago, Wax off said:

OPS is more than one stat, combined.

 

Polanco had a .269 BA and a .323 OBP.

Arraez had a .294 BA and .357 OBP.

Who would you rather have, a team of Polancos or Arraezes?

If you chose Polanco, you do in fact prefer OPS to OBP.

The initial debate of whether Arraez was a good hitter or not has nothing to do with Polanco, Sano, or whoever's OPS, so these comparisons don't really do much here. Right?

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1 hour ago, Wax off said:

 

Arraez OPS: 733

League average OPS: 728Total

Sub-par defense, I think it's safe to say.

 

According to BBRef, Arraez profiles pretty close to average as a defender. He has positive numbers in both Total Zone Fielding Runs Above Average and BIS Total Runs Saved Above Average at second base in both 2020 and 2021. He was one run below average in Total Zone Fielding at third in 2021 and zero runs in left field. The BIS numbers are better--three runs saved in left and five at third. Overall Arraez' defensive numbers look decent except for his rookie year. 

I'll edit to add that Arraez is far from a complete player. He lacks power and speed and has been injured a fair amount, but in the batter's box, he sees a lot of pitches, makes contact at a high rate and gets on base more than any other Twin. 

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21 minutes ago, Tim said:

The initial debate of whether Arraez was a good hitter or not has nothing to do with Polanco, Sano, or whoever's OPS, so these comparisons don't really do much here. Right?

Arraez's OPS and OPS as the best measure of a hitter are central to my side of the debate.

8 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

According to BBRef, Arraez profiles pretty close to average as a defender. He has positive numbers in both Total Zone Fielding Runs Above Average and BIS Total Runs Saved Above Average at second base in both 2020 and 2021. He was one run below average in Total Zone Fielding at third in 2021 and zero runs in left field. The BIS numbers are better--three runs saved in left and five at third. Overall Arraez' defensive numbers look decent except for his rookie year. 

Fair enough. I think fielding stats are less reliable than say OPS is for a hitter, but your point taken, I won't say sub-par anymore.

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On 10/20/2021 at 8:54 AM, roger said:

Polonco at second, Lewis at short and Miranda at third.  Keep Buxton and Kepler in center and right.  Add Larnach and Martin in left field with Martin moving around to center and right as needed.  Arraez gets a lot of at bats as DH, while also backing up Polo and Miranda at second and third.  Kirilloff is the first baseman with Sano as DH and AK's backup.  

Would be heck of an every day lineup without the need to go out and sign any expensive free agents.  But it all starts with Lewis being able to handle short.  As for who plays short when Lewis needs a day off, could be Polo, Martin or another backup utility guy...maybe Gordon?  

I agree. A lot depends on whether Lewis can play SS. If Buck gets an extension and Lewis is an above average SS,  with Polo at 2B and Kirilloff at 1B (where I thought he looked competent) the Twins IF will be  good. enough In view of the defensive shifts, the 3B position requires a good fielder. We can no longer stash a slow- moving player at 3B. I thought Sano was a better than adequate fielding 3b, especially with that rocket arm. 

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3 hours ago, USAFChief said:

That's because the idiots who designed WAR believe a hit is worth more if it comes from a 2nd baseman instead of a first baseman. The exact same stats will produce different WAR. Conversely, Sano's offense would have a higher WAR value if he stood 90 ft to his right on defense.

Then look at only offense and defense and not WAR? 

Calling people idiots for trying to understand the relative value of a 1B vs a CF seems beyond rude. Beyond.

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6 hours ago, Tim said:

The idiots who designed WAR ultimately run every front office in baseball. I think there might be something to it.

This is .. nvm.

The initial debate of whether Arraez was a good hitter or not has nothing to do with Polanco, Sano, or whoever's OPS, so these comparisons don't really do much here. Right?

1. Those who designed WAR are certainly NOT running every front office in baseball.

I think it's fair to say every front office in baseball is currently looking at, and using, quantitative ways to evaluate players. I seriously doubt ANY front office pays much attention to WAR. I'm willing to bet a large sum of money they have better methods than, at the least, something still relying on crude defensive measurments such as UZR.

2. Ichiro Suzuki, OPS+

2001-2010: 126, 120, 112, 130, 113, 106, 122, 102, 129, 113

2011-2017: 86, 93, 77, 89, 58, 102, 79 

I'll leave off 2018 and 19, very small sample sizes, but it got worse, not better. 

I stand by my assertion, Ichiro was a below average MLB hitter over the second half of his career. 

3. Polanco, Sano and whoever were introduced by proponants of Arraez,  I understand why you don't want them in the conversation, though. Arraez doesn't hold up well in comparison.

 

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25 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

1. Those who designed WAR are certainly NOT running every front office in baseball.

I think it's fair to say every front office in baseball is currently looking at, and using, quantitative ways to evaluate players. I seriously doubt ANY front office pays much attention to WAR. I'm willing to bet a large sum of money they have better methods than, at the least, something still relying on crude defensive measurments such as UZR.

2. Ichiro Suzuki, OPS+

2001-2010: 126, 120, 112, 130, 113, 106, 122, 102, 129, 113

2011-2017: 86, 93, 77, 89, 58, 102, 79 

I'll leave off 2018 and 19, very small sample sizes, but it got worse, not better. 

I stand by my assertion, Ichiro was a below average MLB hitter over the second half of his career. 

 

He was 37 years old in 2011. And got worse through his mid 40s. What a bold and brave take. 

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1 hour ago, USAFChief said:

1. Those who designed WAR are certainly NOT running every front office in baseball.

I think it's fair to say every front office in baseball is currently looking at, and using, quantitative ways to evaluate players. I seriously doubt ANY front office pays much attention to WAR. I'm willing to bet a large sum of money they have better methods than, at the least, something still relying on crude defensive measurments such as UZR.

2. Ichiro Suzuki, OPS+

2001-2010: 126, 120, 112, 130, 113, 106, 122, 102, 129, 113

2011-2017: 86, 93, 77, 89, 58, 102, 79 

I'll leave off 2018 and 19, very small sample sizes, but it got worse, not better. 

I stand by my assertion, Ichiro was a below average MLB hitter over the second half of his career. 

3. Polanco, Sano and whoever were introduced by proponants of Arraez,  I understand why you don't want them in the conversation, though. Arraez doesn't hold up well in comparison.

 

Nobody (I hope) is advocating that Arraez is comparable to Polanco.  But Sano?  I will take Arraez for 162 games vs. Sano for 162 games, OPS or no OPS.  Arraez: .294/.357/.733.  Sano: .223/.312/.778.  Sano strikes out just over 34% of his plate appearances (even worse when you look at at bats).  Arraez just 10%..  A 45 point difference in OPS doesn't come close to making up for the above differences, as well as his poorer defense.   I guess I fall into the category of a proponent of Arraez for a lot of reasons, but I like Polanco even better, especially at 2nd.  Arraez is too young to put at DH on a permanent basis, but maybe later in his career.  Molitor didn't play the field the entire time he was our DH at the end of his career.  Arraez reminds me a lot of him at times the way he has quality at bats.  I get we have no place to put him right now, but he is definitely worth finding 500 at bats a year somewhere.  Only 3 players who were on the roster at one time or another had a higher OBP, and all 3 had less than 300 at bats.  Yeah, I guess I am a proponent of getting on base, and he is a good one when it comes to that.  Without the guys on base, all home runs would be solo.  :) 

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One question as it pertains to Lewis or Martin for SS is not just how well they defend, but how well would others defend better than them, and how much better will they be at the other positions.  I have written several times that to find a top hitting and fielding SS is very rare.  Normally, you are happy with one being above average and the other average, but many times it ends up being one is average and the other is below average.  Teams need to balance the defense with the bat.  Both are expected to be good hitters overall, Marten less on the power.  

So the team needs to see who else would fill in.  Do we have anyone in the organization that is better for SS than either?  If not, can they go out to sign someone that is expected to be better?  If not, then do you settle for now on Lewis at SS until someone better comes along?  Lewis could play there maybe for a season or two until someone else is available and you move Lewis to new position then. 

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21 hours ago, USAFChief said:

That's because the idiots who designed WAR believe a hit is worth more if it comes from a 2nd baseman instead of a first baseman. The exact same stats will produce different WAR. Conversely, Sano's offense would have a higher WAR value if he stood 90 ft to his right on defense.

The measure is Wins Above Replacement.  Given 1B has more offensive production on average than 2B the replacement player at 1B needs to produce more than someone at 2B to have the same impact on WAR.  Once again, you think someone else is an "idiot" (your words) because you don't understand this analytical construct.  I would bet the people who developed that stat have formal educations in quantitative measures and other credentials that actually got them that job.  Yet, if you don't understand, you assume the problem is that the people who actually have the credentials to have this job are idiots.  

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