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Welcome folks, to another round of Bear or Bull. The series is so awesome, I am able talk about animals AND baseball(s). And this week, I guess Walmart. Word. And while the best play on words I could think of involves Starling Marte and one of the cornerstones to an eventual Corporatocracy, well, you know something special is brewing around these parts. And it ain’t just the fermenting kim chee. Am I lost? Maybe you’re lost. More rum for everyone! Yes it’s supposed to rhyme, or else, what’s the point? So yeah, see that perfect line of association I just drew? Point A, animals, straight to Point B, rum. Whoooo! Can we talk about baseball now? Never!

Okay, now we can. Let’s talk about baseball. More specifically, let’s talk about Starling Marte and his role in baseball. And for those of you who actually want more specificity, let’s talk about Starling Marte and his role in fantasy baseball. At the most basic level, I’d like to think of him as a three-true-outcomes type of player. Not in the Adam Dunn sense, mind you, where its Power, Walks, and Strikeouts. Instead, Marte is a Power, Steals, and Strikeouts type of player. See the difference? You should, I underlined it for you bro. And while I usually try to focus on top-echelon guys who cause the tingles or the shakes, Marte is slowly convincing me that his skillset is something to talk about. Which is saying a lot, because I’ll go on record here saying that I never really was a believer. If people start laying down Andrew McCutchen comps (I swear, if I see one more spelling of his name like McCutcheon, I’m going to defenestrate), well, color me skeptical. And yellow. Because I don’t believe those words. And I’m also Asian. But, I would be remiss by not admitting I am now coming around on Marte, which might lead you, the readership, to wonder why. What are the happenings which led me here? And am I fully convinced of said happenings? Or just slightly intrigued? What wonderful questions I have just asked myself to setup the rest of this post. So, let’s take a magical trip to analytic mountain, home of the magical GIF caves of Pop Tarts. The Pop Tarts part is a lie. I’m just eating some now, so, yeah, you’re welcome.

To start off, let’s go over each of his three skill sets. We’ll begin with the most valuable skill in the fantasy baseballs — Power. To know power, one must see power. And to see power is to love power. And to love power is then to understand power. Dizzy yet? Good. Let’s see some of that power that I just Nietzsche’d in your general direction.

Gio Gonzalez: “Wait, where did the ball go?”

Starling Marte: “I dunno… just kidding. Check behind you sucka! Later.”

Signed for only $85,000 in 2007 from the Dominican Republic, Marte wasn’t considered an elite talent, but the tools were present, including his power tool. Standing at 6-2 and 180 lbs, he physically can drive the ball both for gap and homerun power. However, based on the consensus of scouting reports I’ve studied, his ceiling seems to be in the 15-25 homerun range, which places him on the 50-55 scale. And based on my anecdotal views, and both his minor and major league numbers, that feels about right. However, no one should be surprised to see him eclipse those totals in some outlier years. He has already matched his homerun total from last year, in 42 fewer plate appearances, and his ISO stands at a healthy .198. Evidence in the numbers to support this uptick in power are easily found. Both his LD% and FB% have increased from 2012, at the sacrifice of his GB%, which is a good thing. After all, to get the ball over the fence, you need to hit it in the air more.

So what’s the next most valuable skill in the fantasy baseballs? If you said grit, you would be wrong. Also, you would be Wes Welker. The answer is speed. You could argue other cats belong here, but I would remain unconvinced. Both power and speed are counting-stat commodities that are pricey, hard to find, and can win championships or destroy knee-caps. All the Rickie Weeks owners just nodded their heads and starting sobbing. Let’s see some of Marte’s speed in GIF-action.

Matt Wieters: “I am better than sliced bread!”

Starling Marte: “You ain’t nothin’ without being slightly toasted with Marmalade son!”

Granted, the only video I could find is from a Spring Training game, but you can complain to the MLB, not myself. I am merely a google simpleton and will remain a middle man in this matter. However, the GIF does illustrate the point. And the point is that Starling Marte is a fast human being. On the 20/80 scale, he likely sits around the 70 range, which is, in fact, superior to his peers. Always known as an excellent athlete, his speed is also an integral part of his defensive savvy, of which said savvy, does not count at all in fantasy baseball. But I have to state, he is certainly one of the more exciting players to emerge, and there is always room for such players in a sport that can bring fortune and fame to prime athletic specimens, and also to those on the other side of the spectrum. I call them John Kruk.

Behold the Kruk!

He looks like I need a diet. 

Now we move to Starling Marte’s last true outcome, which is more or less the bane of all fantasy baseball skills. Unless we are talking pitchers. We are, however, not talking about pitchers. Granted, strikeouts for a hitter aren’t the be-all end-all of a players worth, but they are a very good indicator of what a player is and where that player is going. Case in point, Rick Ankiel. Let’s take a look at what Marte does nearly 25% of the time while at the plate.

Aroldis Chapman: “Here’s a fastball, enjoy!”

Starling Marte: “Wha’ happened?”

To be fair, Aroldis Chapman happened. But what the GIF illustrates is Marte’s love for swinging on pitches outside of the plate, and his propensity to swing-and-miss in general. And I just want to add, it appears that Marte decided to swing 18 years after the pitch hit the catchers mitt. Just to go over some numbers, his career O-Swing% (Percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone) sits at 34.0. That isn’t inherently bad, as there are 78 players ahead of him, but he is still next to the likes of Dee Gordon and Brandon Crawford, which is not good, in any context. Then again, that number, by it self, means nothing. After all, he’s sitting right next to Miguel Cabrera. So what’s the difference here? Well, the problem is that Marte only makes contact on these pitches 55.4% of the time. Cabrera, in the same time span, has made contact 70.9% of the time. So that’s the rub.

But it’s not all bad. What I failed to mention there is that Marte’s Contact percentages are trending up from last season. You can see some of the analysis I’ve done on the subject here and here, but if you take anything from those posts, thresholds can be useful, but the fewer plate appearances that are available career-wise, the less confident I am in those numbers. I can only say that I am slightly optimistic with his 7.9% uptick in making contact, and 10.0% uptick in making contact with pitches outside of the zone. That is also seen in his improved K%, lowering from 27.5 in 2012, to 21.4 as of yesterday. I should note, K% does not stabilize until 200 PA’s.

There is one other aspect that bothers me, besides Marte’s propensity to strike out, and that is Marte appears to be a BABIP-driven player. While it is true that he can sustain a higher than normal BABIP because of his speed, the .396 average he has so far is not sustainable. I would expect that number to gravitate somewhere below his career mark of .360, which would still be lofty, but is a rational landing spot for a player with Marte’s skillset. To put that into context, if you take his current numbers and adjust accordingly, you’d probably see him putting up a 270/330/460 slash instead of the 325/393/524 he has right now. That’s not to take away from the stats Marte has already banked, but I feel much safer gauging a player with accurate expectations.

All that being said, he looks on his way, even with regression, to putting up close to a 20/30 year, which are top-50 numbers. In fact, that’s better than my fellow Korean, Shin-Soo Choo, who Grey ranked 35th for 2013. Now, by all means, I will endorse his ownership the rest of this year. But I’m still skeptical. For the ROS, I would assume he does regress a bit, but still provides a respectable 62/12/49/270/23. But, as stated, I’m wary predicting any prolonged success until we know his strike-out issues are manageable. Then you add in the fact that a player whose rate stats will be based substantially on the luck-dragon known as BABIP, you could have a guy hitting .290 this year, to a guy hitting .230 next year. And if that happens, the homeruns and steals will suffer along with it. It’s difficult to peg a line for the two years after, but a 70/10/65/250/20 as a baseline seems feasible.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not averse to taking risks, and Starling Marte certainly is, to me, a risk. But when I decide to jump off a cliff, I want to do it for cheaper assets, not ones where the perceived ceiling is already baked into the cost. Right now, his value is just too high in both redraft and keeper leagues. While I’m fine with holding him in both formats, I might be tempted to throw him out there while the value is being sustained to see what can come back my way.

Unlike last week with Matt Harvey, my final verdict is not so obvious. I’ve actually been going back and forth the entire time, but at the end, there is no such thing as halfsies in my line of work.

Yes, Starling Marte is a special player. He has power and speed. But he also strikes out quite a bit and also depends on the luck dragon. At what point can we determine if he’s the next Alex Rios in even-numbered years, or the next Alex Rios in odd-numbered years?

I just don’t know… yet.

Final Verdict: 

107 Responses

  1. JoeG says:
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    Look what Kazmir is doing today, is he worth a start against the Yankees on Monday?

    • Tio says:
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      @JoeG:
      Only if you are in an AL-only league.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @JoeG: I still think he’s pretty terrible, so only if you are desperate for k’s and a reason to drink.

      • JoeG says:
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        @jaywrong:
        Is Phelps a better option vs Clev.? Deep mixed league

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @JoeG: I’m okay with that.

  2. Tio says:
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    Jay – good call on Marte… I agree 100%

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Tio: thanks. You sure I shouldn’t call you hermano?

  3. Nate says:
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    I absolutely love these posts man… I wish I had one for each of my fantasy guys!

    Anyway, keep up the great work, love reading the detail you put in to these.

    Here’s an unrelated question for you, who do you like ROS: G. Jones, Y. Alonso or E. Hosmer?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Nate: thanks. I’d go with Yonder, but everytime I mention a Padres guy, Grey kills five kittens.

  4. Swat290 says:
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    I know Grey already said to sell Chris Davis, but I just offered him for Marte. This is good no?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Swat290: if you could use the speed, that’s fine. I think Davis might retain some of what he’s been doing though.

      • Swat290 says:
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        @jaywrong:
        I was remiss to even offer this trade but I was worried I had ROS colored glasses on for Davis after Grey’s article. Either way the trade was denied so I’m happy to stick with him.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Swat290: yeah, I think Chris Davis is somewhat for real this year.

  5. Keter Pings says:
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    How bout ‘em Padres?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Keter Pings: my Padres help me fall asleep at night.

  6. Birrrdy! says:
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    Hey, I traded this guy the other week based on the sell high recommendation from Razzball. Ouch, I hope that wasn’t the wrong move. How does 20-20 hindsight now view my trade? 5×5 NL only keeper auction, 10 teams. Have up Marte, Lincecum, Coghlan. Got Taveras, Bumgarner, J. Francisco. No reserve spots.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Birrrdy!: in a keeper? Seems to me you did just fine.

      • birrrdy! says:
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        @jaywrong: Thanks, I hope Taveras plays out, as it appears Marte has already cashed in on that tricky transition from prospect to big league stud. Not always a guarantee. Plus, I’ll be eating a dead roster spot now until Jay decides to stop hitting or the Cardinals outfield suffers an injury. At least I don’t have the heart attack starts with Timmah to worry about any more. Thx!

  7. Ron says:
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    Speaking of OF’s, I have too many OF eligible players and I know NOT what to do….

    Holliday, Bruce, Bautista, Gordon, Cespedes, L. Cain, Frazier and Carpenter.

    I’m being offered Samardjzia for Bruce. Yea or Nay?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Ron: in a heartbeat.

    • Parker says:
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      @Ron: I have a similar issue, though I don’t have the same quality you got: choo, fowler, marte, Chris davis ( OF eligible) L. cain and Mclouth.

      not sure what to do with all of em. also have three 3b: longo, Sandoval and arenado

      I’m bad at figuring out trades

  8. Zico says:
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    Pirates fan here(we do exist).

    One thing people need to remember about Marte is that he is raw in terms of development compared to others at this stage. He was a late starter to baseball, and recruited/signed based on his athletic ability. His K-rate might seem scary, but it’s reduced(as mentioned above) since last year. And his contact rate on pitches in the zone is solid. And as someone that gets to see him play daily, I think he’s a better shot to do well than to regress.

    Oh, and he hit the first MLB pitch he saw for a HR last year in Houston.(doesn’t affect potential, just love the romance of it)

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Zico: I agree with what you said. If anything, I’m more in a holding pattern. And because of that, I can’t just say I’m high AND low on him. Like I said, if I go halfsies, its a copout. I just want more data. No doubt, quite am exciting player to watch.

  9. Ron says:
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    Ok I hope you don’t mind me floating a few of these offers to you. I have guys trying to get at my team from all angles and you have GREAT knowledge of OF value (among other things)

    Would you trade away Gordon for Peavy?

    • Tio says:
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      @Ron:

      It depends on your team’s needs. I probably would hold Gordon a solid, normally underrated guy. The Sox are bad this year and Peavy is always a health-risk.

      If you are desperate for pitching and have solid OF depth than you may give it more consideration.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Ron: I’d hold. Peavy is good, but a little too risky for my taste.

  10. Alky Sobrera says:
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    Great article once again jaywrong (although I hate you because I obviously own my dear starling everywhere). That said, what would you look for in return (given his price atm) that would be reasonable?

    • Tio says:
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      @Alky Sobrera:

      Look, I don’t think Jay was bashing marte. He mentioned being conflicted on the verdict. I agree that he is a top talent, but with his K-rate, the recent success will not continue at the same clip. He will still be a very useful fantasy player.

      IMO – if you can get someone to pay top dollar for him, I would take it now before the k’s start appearing again.

    • Alky Sobrera says:
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      @Alky Sobrera:

      I’m also not averse to holding on to the kid given I use him as a 4th OF in most cases, or to fill a util spot. I feel like he’s worth keeping with realistic expectations of 60/10/50/260/25, with potential for more (though that seems to be reaching).

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Alky Sobrera: thanks. I would seek out a top-50 pitcher. Maybe aim for someone like Latos or Zimm and see what happens.

      • Alky Sobrera says:
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        @jaywrong:

        Danke. Anything on the hitter front?

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Alky Sobrera: depends on what you need. I’d go for someone like Rizzo.

          • Alky Sobrera says:
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            @jaywrong:
            Grazie

  11. Tio says:
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    BTW – Where did you come up with the Krukie GIF, that is priceless (and a few hotdogs ago).

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Tio: trade secrets my son.

  12. Clint says:
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    I’d like to take Jessica Alba out and show her my O-Swing% Face.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Clint: oh oh ohhhh.

  13. The Dredd Pirate says:
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    Hey jaywrong I had traded beltran for dickey after your post on him think it will work out? My hitting is legit and he’s like my number 4-5 not expecting him to be an ace or anything

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @The Dredd Pirate: I still believe, but that’s based on good health. That’s the concern right now, so its not looking like the best call so far, but I’m sticking with him.

    • Tio says:
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      @The Dredd Pirate:

      I have Dickey on a keeper team… had to keep him at last year’s price tag.

      I think the main issue has been the walks…and I believe he is walking more guys because of his back/neck injuries. Dickey is tough and will take the ball every fifth day hurt even if it means throwing out a subpar performance. The other issue is that he is giving up far too many longballs…8 in 42 IP. Again, I have to think this is partly due to the change in leagues with an extra hitter in the AL versus facing the pitcher slot 2-3 times per game.

      The bottom line is that the Jays have been really bad and I can’t see anything that leads me to believe it will turn around any time soon. I expect Dickey to pitch better than he has, but nowhere near last year’s magical run. Final 2013 projection 15-12, 215 IP, 3.9 ERA, 200 k’s.

  14. Ron says:
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    I have already talked to Grey about this one but looking for your input.

    Trying to decide who best to target in a trade. How would you rank these players ROS?

    Fowler, Rizzo, Alcides, BJ Upton

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Ron: Rizzo, Fowler, Upton, Escobar.

    • Tio says:
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      @Ron:

      Translation: “I don’t like what Grey told me so I’m asking someone else.”

  15. Chris says:
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    hey jaywrong+

    who do you prefer for bench spot and spot player: Moss or Alonso?

    thanks,
    Chris

    • Tio says:
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      @Chris:

      I would call them about equal… I think with Moss, you have to deal with him not playing everyday. But I like the A’s team and offense better….so it depends on if you can shuffle him out when a lefty is on the mound.

      • Chris says:
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        @Tio: Thansk for the advice.
        I have in OF: Fowler, J. Upton, Marte, Moss (BN), Alonso (BN). The last 2 I added when Stanton and Bourn went to DL.
        So, since Bourn is coming back shortly, I have to drop Moss or Alonso. I tried trading them, but no takers. Mix 12 team H2H.
        Know this, would you still recommed staying with Moss? Alonso is currently hitting more.
        Thanks,

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Chris: moss until he regresses. Yonder longterm.

      • Tio says:
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        @jaywrong:

        I agree… you don’t need Moss everyday… you can bench him against lefties (because he won’t play). I trust the Oakland offense more than the Padres and have to think the opportunity for RBI is better for Moss.

  16. Dan says:
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    Keeper League

    Stanton for Heyward and Scherzer
    who wins?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Dan: Whichever team is getting Stanton.

      • Dan says:
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        Got him!!!! Happy days!!

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Dan: Awesome saucem.

  17. Gabe says:
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    Think middlebrooks turns it around?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Gabe: By a little. The BABIP will regress, but his propensity to not take a walk and strikeout instead will always limit his ability.

  18. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    I own Marte nowhere, i dropped him before the start of the season on one team. But I do like the little clips you have. Can you do a write up that has less words and more picture boxes?

    Jack likes moving picture boxes

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @jaywrong: I did not, only follow you on Twitter, but now I know. How do you make those?

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @jaywrong: can I substitute some tequila in there

            • Jay

              jaywrong says:
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              @Jack Full of Hate: If you are also substituting my mouth, then sure.

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @jaywrong: so what your saying is if I send you a bottle of something make it makers mark or nothing

  19. One Man Crusade says:
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    I traded Marte and Josh Johnson for Greinke and an early pick in a keeper league. What are your thoughts on that deal?

    My other OF are Desmond Jennings, Justin Upton, Ellsbury, Heyward, Pence, D. Brown and Oscar Tavares.

    My rotation is Price, Cain, Bailey, and Cashner.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @One Man Crusade: Looks fair to me, and helps your pitching quite nicely.

  20. Josh says:
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    I liked this piece, and really agreed with just about everything you said. That is, until you projected his numbers. Not sure if those are only rest of season, or including his numbers so far, but either way, projecting 20-23 steals is low. In 80 career MLB games he has 22 steals. In 30 games this year he has 10. I’m prepared for him to produce at a lower level in average and power, but the speed isn’t going anywhere. I feel pretty safe expecting another 30ish steals in the rest of the season. Otherwise, solid work.

  21. Gareth says:
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    HEY JAYWRONG,

    I just posted this, but I thought it seemed more relevant to this article.

    There was a rumor that the Pirates wanted Shin Soo Choo when the Indians fell out of contention last season.

    The offer was for a pre-arrbitration Starling Marte in return for a season and a half of Choo.

    Cleveland turned down the offer.

    Obviously this offseason they dealt Shin Soo Choo, Jason Donald, Lars Anderson and Tony Sipp for Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw.

    Which trade Do you like better? The one they made or the one they turned down?

    And don’t say I would have kept Choo if I were them. He hired Scott Boras and expressed his intention to try the Free agent market. He was not staying in Cleveland. Which frankly makes any return with so little leverage pretty impressive.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Gareth: I’m okay with the package they got. I think Bauer will end up being good but not great.

  22. joeg414 says:
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    Whom would you rather have as a bench hitter:T.Plouffe or Juan Fran.?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @joeg414: I’m leaning Francisco.

  23. Ron says:
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    This trade is on the table.
    I give: Gordon, M. Carpenter and Henderson(RP)
    for
    Cano

    Should I take it or is this too much for Cano?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Ron: seems okay. You are getting one of the best so… I think its fine.

  24. Gonzo says:
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    Is didi gregorious just a hot schomato?or can he put up productive stats for r.o.s. And mitch moreland vs. Cris carter …who wins?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Gonzo: He’s not known for his bat. But I think he can make enough contact to be serviceable.

      Carter.

  25. Brendan says:
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    Carlos gomez, david wright for mike trout. The positions arent a concern. I want 2 for 1 trades b/c I have 4 dl players coming back soon and no one to drop. Accept it or look for other 2 for 1 or 3 for 2.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Brendan: Yeah, I’d do that if you are trying to consolidate.

  26. Ron says:
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    Side A or B

    Side A: Cliff Lee, Rizzo, Alcides
    side B: Cueto, R. Zimmerman, Segura, Cain

    Thanks!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Ron: a me thinks.

  27. troy says:
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    no idea if you still look at these posts a day or 2 after but trade question is i need a ci pretty bad was offered freeman for harvey or shelby miller for howard. I like freeman but feel like i would be selling harvey short, and i like miller a lot more then howard tbh… also obviously like freeman a lot more then harvey but i just dont know.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @troy: I think you’re getting the short end of the stick on both.

      Harvey should get you a top50 guy. Miller for Howard is okay if its a Redraft and you are desperate for a 1B… but I’d aim higher.

      • troy says:
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        @jaywrong: yea it is a redraft and my staff consists of strasburg harvey miller ogando cingrani cashner dickey cobb and niese, id like to get rid of one of the 3 that wont be there around playoff time because its a h2h league doubt cashner miller or cingrani will be effective come playoff time. knowing my staff would you maybe change ur mind?

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @troy: I’d sell Cingrani for Howard, see if that does anything.

          • Troy says:
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            @jaywrong: I tried he wouldn’t because doesn’t think he will stay on rotation wants miller instead basically stuck because no one else in the league buys into rookies…. Lol

            • Jay

              jaywrong says:
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              @Troy: I think you can do better than Howard, but its an okay trade with the depth you have.

              • Troy says:
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                @jaywrong: I appreciate the fast responses and yea it’s tough league needs us to start a 1bag ci and util right now I only have morneau Moreland carter and hafner for those 3 spots with Joyce being mixed in at util thinking of dropping hafner when eaton comes back so I can have another back up of in Joyce but may drop Joyce think I’d be ok with that group? Pretty deep league was lucky to get Moreland off waivers

                • Jay

                  jaywrong says:
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                  @Troy: Yeh, Joyce is expendable, but never been a Moreland fan.

                  • Troy says:
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                    @jaywrong: yea i feel the same about Moreland and ok sounds good I appreciate the input I really do

                    • Jay

                      jaywrong says:
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                      @Troy: np yo.

  28. John says:
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    Who could I get for yuniesky betancourt and nate mcclouth?

    They have both been hot and im looking to get 1 decent player

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @John: I don’t think Yuni is worth anything. McLouth, hmm, maybe Edwin Jackson? Not sure here, since the receiving party is buying high.

  29. Matty says:
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    Is carlos gomez for real?

    He had like 19 hr, 37 stls in only 450 plate appearences last year. He doesnt have any conpetition for playing time, once a top prospect and in his prime plus hes a gret defender so he will get at least 650 plate appearances(unless injured). What do you think his final numbers will be like and should I trade him now while hes on fire?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Matty: Well, he’s not the best baseball player, so no. But can he continue somewhat? Sure.

      I’d say a 20/30 year is there, with a 300/350/500 slash.

      Always trade a hot player if you have a need somewhere else.

  30. Matty says:
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    Chase headley or david wright?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Matty: I’m a Padres homer. So, for what its worth, Headley.

  31. Fish says:
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    Full Disclosure – this is off topic from your blogpost.

    I don’t know if you’ve come across or heard about this yet, but I’d love to hear your take on it. Mike Salfino has been writing articles for Yahoo! about this new stat he’s been more than intrigued by for pitchers called ISO allowed. Here’s the initial link: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pitching-by-the-numbers–weak-contact-.html

    He’s had many other posts based on it that can also be found with a simple Google search. Anyways, I’m curious to know what to make of this “discovery”? Is there any consistency and reliability in ISO allowed year-over-year? How consistent is it over time for an entire field of pitchers instead of just Johnny Cueto?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Fish: Well, I haven’t heard of this so I can’t really give an in depth comment until I get a full bearing, so be sure to ask me again at some point if you still want my input.

      My gut shot reaction is this stat seems highly volatile at face value. ISO for a hitter doesn’t stabilize until after 550 PA’s, in most cases, and really is only SLG-BA, which can categorize power in a simple way, but also is affect by BABIP, which is also volatile and usually doesn’t stabilize until after 2.5 years of PA’s.

      Also, you’ll most likely have to regress these samples towards the league average, in which case, how useful does it become? I’m not sure.

      I’ll be reading up on it though, as I could be completely wrong here.

      • Fish says:
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        @jaywrong:

        Thanks for the response. You seem a little like me and enjoy the nerdy statistical analysis – that’s mean to be a compliment. Predictably (and even understandably), Salfino believes he’s found piece to the puzzle and is making a lot of player judgement calls based on what ISO Allowed stats are indicating for this season (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pitching-by-the-numbers–believe-it-or-not–175048112.html). Without knowing it’s reliability and being wary of it’s consistency, I feel it’s a bit premature. It’s like asserting Michael Bourn will hit 30HR this year after he posted a .250 ISO in the month of April. Although I won’t lie; the concept intrigues me.

        He very well might be correct in asserting ISO allowed explains Cueto’s success since he’s maintained it year-over-year (similar to Stanton maintaining a high ISO for consecutive 550PA seasons). Maybe it does help to explain pitchers who inexplicably defy the sabermetric stats on an annual basis. Either way, I’ll have to remember to ask you in a few weeks if you’ve noticed anything about the statistic.

        If you find a website that posts a pitcher’s ISO Allowed, let me know as I haven’t found one.

      • Fish says:
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        @jaywrong:

        BTW, I came across this Fangraphs analysis which is very similar to the one you did last week. It’s even somewhat related to this blogpost about Marte as he made their list.

        The part I found most interesting is that the writer even expanded the statistics which normalize at the PA benchmarks including:
        150PA: Line Drive Rate, Pitches/PA
        200PA: Line Drive Rate, Pitches/PA
        250 PA: Flyball Rate
        300 PA: Home Run Rate
        500AP: 1B Rate, Popup Rate

        http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/evaluating-changes-in-contact-rate/

        • Fish says:
          (link)

          @Fish:

          Are you sick of me yet? So is my wife.

          After posting that link, I made a rookie mistake of scrolling down to the comments section (what can I say? It’s a fun habit from reading Yahoo! news stories), but was glad I did. There was a debate between a commenter and the author of the article about how the PA sample sizes for each benchmark he references are out-dated and incorrect. Here’s the accompanying , fully-viewable (read: free) article links the commenter posted:
          (Hitters) http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17659
          (Pitchers) http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20516
          (Tango’s Blog) http://tangotiger.com/index.php/site/comments/point-at-which-pitching-metrics-are-half-signal-half-noise

          Baseball Prospectus’ writer made the following adjustments to the stabilization points you listed for hitters:
          *no mention of Contact%*
          K%: 60PA (instead of 150PA)
          BB%: 120PA (instead of 200PA)
          HR/FB: 50 flyballs (instead of 300PA)
          OBP: 460PA (instead of 500PA)
          SLG: 420AB (instead of 500PA)
          *no mention of OPS*
          ISO: 160AB (instead of 550PA)

          Difference with pitcher stabilization:
          K%: 70BF (instead of 150BF)
          GB/FB: 70BIP (instead of 200BF)
          *no mention of K/BB*
          BB%: 170BF (instead of 550BF)

          AND the super fun one (to bring us back to where my original post came from) from Mike Salfino, ISO Allowed, which stabilizes at 630AB.

          I apologize as it’s not my intention to undermine your published work. I appreciate what you do and this “benchmark” correlation concept highly intrigues me as I hope it does for you, too.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Fish: thanks for the heads up. I did not come across that in my original research. I’ll prolly have to catch up and update my own process.

  32. Eric Bateman says:
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    Where do you rank Marte…. is he better than Austin jackson? I mean would you trade Greg Holland and Marte for Austin Jackson and Jim Johnson?

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Eric Bateman: i would bet a-jax is much higher. Only thing marte has better is the speed, and that isn’t that much better. Johnson’s only a little better than holland and could even end up with similar numbers, except K’s where Holland has edge

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Eric Bateman: I’d go with Jackson at this point. Bigger body of work. But they aren’t that far apart right now.

      Specifically with your trade, it seems like a lateral move at best.

      And with closers, besides Kimbrel and Chapman, they are all ranked the same in my eyes, so really, trading closers is an apples for apples thing.

  33. Gbuscaino says:
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    I was offered marte for Alex Gordon straight up. Wondering if I should hold. I have a solid OF of cargo, a jones, choo, and Gordon (utility) and markakis on bench. Kind of an odd trade but wondering other thoughts

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Gbuscaino: Just saw this. Yeah, it is an odd trade. I’m okay holding, but, you know, if you need a little more speed, I’m fine with it too. I don’t like Gordon’s year so far, but I don’t see this trade really changing anything.

      • Gbuscaino says:
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        @jaywrong:

        So he agreed to throw in prado if I throw in markakis ( who I never use). So the trade is Gordon and markakis for marte and prado. I like getting prado with the position eligibility and a buy low. I wanted to see if this would be enough to pull the trigger.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
          (link)

          @Gbuscaino: if you don’t use markakis, and need a corner, yeah, I think that trade works for you now.

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