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Are crazy.  That’s continuing on the title.  They are just nuts.  Like the guy who stands on a milk crate carrying a giant sign about the apocalypse crazy. The room Bill James once shared with Chris Davis has a few new occupants.  Ryan Kalish’s line is 94/20/82/.271/43 in 582 ABs.  That reminds me of this joke I once heard.  It made so little sense that it made me laugh.  If Kalish got 800 ABs, he’s not approaching those steals.  Eric Young Jr. once stole 87 bases in a single minor league season.  Bill James has him down for 46 steals in 2011.  Kalish’s high for speed in 18 bases in 360 ABs in Single-A Ball.  43 steals?  Mmm…K-lish?  Or Mmm…K-rayzee?  Kalish is an interesting name to look at for 2011 fantasy baseball but he’s a 20/20 guy if everything breaks right.  Not a 20/43 guy.

Then there’s Domonic Brown.  Bill James has him down for 84/26/94/.288/28 in 548 ABs.  Oh.  Wait, whaaaa?!  He’ll only be 23-years-old and in his first full season in 2011.  I’m a fan of Brown, but James has him blowing away every number he ever put up in the minor leagues.  Is it possible?  Sure, and Tiger Woods and me tag-teaming a young Jessica Tandy is possible too with a time machine.

Another name Bill James stained is Mike Moustakas.  I love Mike Moustakas.  I already wrote about my 2011 Mike Moustakas fantasy and I’ll post it on Monday.  I will probably write more about him after that.  Will be mostly praise.  But Bill James’ Moustakas line of 74/26/98/.297/2 is slightly bonkers.  Can Moustakas reach James’ projections?  I suppose, but I wouldn’t count on him coming close to those numbers.  What seems to be a recurring theme with James’ projections is the inability to translate minor league or limited major league experience to a full season of major league numbers.  This all started in 2009 with Chris Davis’ projections of 107/40/118/.302/8 and continue to this day.  Or maybe James is just doing it all for the nookie.  Rookie nookie, that is.

67 Responses

  1. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Grey I was questioning James on Kalish as well. Think I figured out where he may be coming from on steals. Think you got Kalish’s best for SB incorrect. James likely keying off of 2010 AA/AAA combined 25 SB (3 CS) in 293 AB. (Also had 18 SB in 84 AB in A-…WOW!). I used a minor league calculator that attempts to convert minors to majors (Stephen provided, but not that hot on it I don’t think): http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mlecalc.html
    Anyway, when I plunked in the 2010 12 SB in 143 AB and converted to the 582 AB he projects, I get 40. The minor league converter is independent of James so is support for that number. ALL of the other projections for Kalish fall quite short of James’ (the calculator adjusts to 16 HR, assuming the 582 AB). But, if you are looking for SAGNOF, Kalish might come closer than you think.

  2. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Got a line of 66/29/90/.257/2 for Moustakas using 2010 at AAA. If one includes the AA numbers, his line would be higher.

    This from the calculator site:

    “MLE’s are calculated using the league factors and formulas that
    Sean Smith shared with me. Thanks Sean!
    Minor league park factors are Dan Symborski’s, and MLB’s are those
    published at baseball-reference.com. NW Arkansas and Lehigh Valley
    are assumed to be neutral. I don’t park-adjust walks or strikouts.
    FAQ: Why does the number of at-bats change?
    I hold plate appearances constant, so if walks or HBPs change,
    ABs change as well.” So, he projects ABs even with minor league, which then somehow need to be adjusted independently to MLB AB.

  3. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Have no idea how this calculator has faired at predicting conversions. Just saying there seems to be a method behind the madness.

  4. Earl Battey says:
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    I have little interest in the method, but I will include the link to the calculator when I send all of my leaguemates a copy of BJs projections to help them prepare for our auction.

    Do I hear $30 for Kalish? $40? $50?

  5. Nate says:
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    Damn … why’d I go and acquire Justin Upton last year in a keeper league? I could have grabbed Kalish off waivers and, according to James, gotten the far more promising player.

  6. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Earl Battey: The real trick will be in convincing them that he will get 582 AB–off the bench!

  7. big o says:
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    Warning …. Fantasy Baseball May Be Hazardous To Your Health !!

    irresponsible journalism ?

    (as reported on CNN …. 7/1/12) :

    GREY ALBRIGHT INDICTED ON CO-CONSPIRACY CHARGES .
    said Albright , ” I only provided the introduction” .

    anywho ,
    here’s Bill James’ taped confession :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OZphe4GhE8

  8. AJ says:
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    Just as a sidenote, but I thought I read somewhere that these projections aren’t actually made by Bill James — instead, the company has trademarked his name and simply puts it on the books they sell.
    So if that’s the case, then SOMEONE is kuh-razy… but maybe just not James.

    Maybe it’s some guys in an ESPN league or something…

  9. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @big o: But I was nice to Bill James! Now that is hilarious! :-) :-) :-)

    Freds rule!

  10. GopherDay says:
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    I have Kalish in my dynasty league. I’ve made three sacrifices to the fantasy baseball God’s praying Bill James is right.

  11. sean says:
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    It’s clear that this is starting to get to be a stunt for Bill James and his church. Most projection systems agree on about 90% of the players. It seems like Bill James always has a tendency of going all-in on that other 10%. One of these years, if by nothing other than dumb luck, he has to be right…

  12. Scott says:
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    More nookie: According to BJ, Hellickson will have the best K rate, ERA, and WHIP of the Rays rotation members.

  13. Howard says:
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    @simply fred Thanks for the calculator tip. There’s a few players I’m looking at like Brandon Allen and Brett Lawrie.

  14. Matt Tweeters says:
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    it’s like Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: Maybe that calculator is how he came up with Chris Davis’ projections.

    @Earl Battey: Ha

    @Nate: See that!

    @big o: Ha

    @AJ: He’s being paid to have his name on it, so I’m blaming him.

    @GopherDay: Ha

    @sean: Not sure I agree.

    @Scott: Yeah, that’s pretty silly.

    @Matt Tweeters: That’s very funny.

  16. Maybe he is in a very competitive fantasy league and wants to oversell certain players so they go before more coveted and productive outfielders.

    For example, someone drafted Justin Heyward in the first round in one of my leagues last year. Maybe he reads Bill James!

  17. Tony says:
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    Bill James is just an idiot, his name shouldn’t even be linked to fantasy sports.

  18. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    The thing with that calculator is that they take the raw numbers and plug them into a formula. Formulas aren’t inherently correct, nor does the formula indicate the actual amount of playing time or advanced metrics like BABIP, FIP, Hit types (LD, GB, FB), or unsustainable ratios. My understanding of the that Minor League Splits MLE Calculator is for it to be used as a reference point. If Kalish steals 43 bases in 2011, I’ll become a Red Sox fan (whom I hate more than the Yankees). I love me some Kalish, but those MLEs aren’t going to make me believe the converted numbers.

    As of Moustakas, I don’t think he’ll get a full season in the majors. He’ll be babied like Longoria and Braun to save a few more pennies.

  19. Matthew Raynor says:
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    Agree with you completely Grey. I am just wondering if you will have a “Bill James like” prediction for Joey Votto’s 2011 season. I am already expecting you to throw out:

    120/65/145/.335/20, and him becoming Mrs. Joey Grey Albright

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @ChrisV82: I want that guy to be my butler.

    @Stephen: As tidy as a minor to major league calculator might be, there’s too many X factors when you’re promoted. Quality of competition, the “Holy crap, I’m playing in the major leagues” factor, playing time, etc.

  21. Jason Heyward, I mean.

  22. fitz says:
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    With those projections the Sox won’t need Crawford or Werth. Theo says thanks Mr. James.

  23. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Grey: Absolutely concur.

  24. Tony says:
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    @Matthew Raynor: votto is going to be the first 50/50 player according to bill james.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @fitz: Not to mention a healthy Ellsbury. The Sawx are suddenly going to be like a dead ball era team.

  26. swpayton says:
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    My fantasy baseball weenie often hardens in the presence of rookie nookie as well.

    Why do I so love the young player?…the innocence?…the cleanliness?…the untarnished possibilities?…I guess its the “player you can dream on” syndrome scouts get paid to find. It’s funny to me how I fall into the same mistakes tho… scouts overvalue a guys potential due to body type, fastball speed, ablity to “sell jeans,” etc and I, while making projection decisions based soley on the numbers, overhype a guy ’cause of absurd numbers against lesser competition.

    So why, despite having been burned on plenty of occasions, do I continue to trust my OF/MI/#3-5 starters to the big upside potential having untested future star? Dun-no…but I do.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @swpayton: Recognizing the problem is the first step.

  28. Tom Emanski says:
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    Grey, I think YOUR projections are generally optimistic. Then I see Bill James’ and my head assplodes.

  29. Earl Battey says:
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    Hey, are you sure these aren’t Rick James’ projections?

  30. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Has anybody heard any speculation that Yanks trade Montero for better backstop arm? They had a cumulative 15% CS% (mlb avg is 28%). His minors 23% probably tracks down. Yankees ranked 3rd-worst MLB in SB-allowed, giving up 132. Doesn’t seem as if Montero fills the gaping hole.

  31. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Makes sense. Montero with C eligibility as a DH sounds upside?

  32. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Howard: Welcome. I just use it to help fill in the picture. If the projection matches the other stuff I am reading, it helps me to move on. If not, I dig deeper. (Stephen, usually my next inquiry.)

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: Yeah, but Posada’s going in that role first.

  34. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Sounds like “get to know the bigs” this year; not expect anything over the top production-wise. Will see how it unfolds, but not looking to target him for draft. Really, original concern, was his CS% not really filling the gap. My money is on them getting another catcher.

  35. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Who you think takes over if Broxton bleh: Jansen or Kuo? (Would have thought Kuo with Torre still at the helm, but not sure which way Donnie swings?)

  36. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @simply fred: @Grey: Montero wont stay catcher, Baseball America even said as much in 2009.

    @simply fred: As long as you have third inquiry after mine …

  37. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Stephen: No, you are the final expert to make the last call! No one better at breaking down the newbies.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: Why isn’t Broxton the closer?

  39. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @simply fred: Thank you; no pressure right?

  40. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: What you thinking Jhoulys?

    That PASB line looks pretty good:

    4-4/2.24/1.21/58 in 9 GS and 60.1 IP

    Will the WHIP stay under control?

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: Not sure, need to look into him.

  42. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Oh, am sure Broxton is starting the season. But, he was replaced during season last year. Just trying to line up a couple set-up guys to fill out the draft that might be in line for moving up if a closers falter. Jansen, Kuo, Thornton, … seem to fit the mold. ??

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: That’ll make itself more clear in spring training.

  44. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Gotcha, too much time on my hands.

  45. Steve says:
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    @simply fred: @Grey: At this time of the year, the only thing you can rank them on is their golf handicap.

  46. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: @simply fred: Yeah, middle relievers at this time of year is a tough call.

  47. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: OK what are the golf handicaps for Lind and L. Scott? I KNOW not a sterling idea to fill UT with a DH. However, am thinking these guys can return some solid value, much better than generic yahoos at the lower end of the draft. I see Lind as a candidate for good bounce-back, 27 yrs, off-year BABIP. Scott strong in his division as a lefty and had some good runs last year. A solid pick of the two? Am I making a huge mistake if I fill with DH?

  48. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: I like Lind still. Scott is a late round flier that won’t stay on your team.

  49. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: A BIG THANKS! Lind the Man.
    @Steve: See that’s dated last March. Still, if the threat happens-which it sounds as if he KNOWS could be any minute-well, just reinforces the pick of Lind.

    We don’t allow ‘em in our house.

  50. Steve says:
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    @simply fred: Quite right too.

    I think Grey has a gunrack on his Prius though.

  51. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    “Sources have told Matt Pignataro of 7 Train to Shea that the Mets will make Jose Reyes available for trade and will be open to dealing him during the Winter Meetings. The Red Sox, Orioles and Rays have already been in touch with the Mets.” Apparently, one year from free agency. There goes Jennings’ leadoff spot, or Roberts, or …Kalish :-).

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: No problem.

    @Steve: I’m fixing the environment Chuck Bronson style.

    @simply fred: Thanks for the heads up! Hopefully he doesn’t go to the O’s. Blech.

  53. Howard says:
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    @Simply Fred @Grey All this talk about closing has me salivating for some SAGNOF!

  54. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Howard: You have a one track mind.

  55. fitz says:
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    Would you guys consider Braun a top 5 offensive player in baseball? I am having an argument with a friend and I believe he is but he doesn’t. If not who would you put above him?

  56. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @fitz: He’s right there barely. Somewhere in 5-7.

  57. Superfectaman says:
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    Grey,
    James lost me in 2003 when he projected something like 40 HRs and 120 RBI for Ken Harvey.

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Superfectaman: Ha, you have a great memory. I faintly remember that too.

  59. fitz says:
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    @Grey: Who would you put ahead of him? Obviously Pujols, Miggy, Hamilton who else? Thanks Grey.

  60. Steve says:
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    @fitz: @Grey: Cody Ross.

  61. big o says:
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    @fitz:

    i think you have to wait for February Grey ,
    before you’ll see hamilton ranked above braun .

    but , you’re correct , he’s the best outfielder in the majors ,
    and should be the 1st one off the board , come draft day .

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @fitz: @big o: I wouldn’t put Hamilton in front of him.

  63. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    there’s still time .

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