Risky Hitters: 2010 (includes 2009 review)

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Simply Fred
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Risky Hitters: 2010 (includes 2009 review)

Postby Simply Fred » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:03 pm

On May 27, 2009 I posted: “Risky Hitters—in the vein of Rudy Gamble's Risky Pitchers” (viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1500). They were deemed Risky for one of two reasons:

1)their AB (At-Bats) dropped from over 460 AB in 2007 to fewer than 340 AB in 2008, or
2)their OPS (On-base-Plus-Slugging-percentage) dropped at least -.100 from 2007 to 2008 (100 AB min).

The drops indicated that they had little chance of returning to form in 2009. The results are in:

Group 1:
R Furcal
A Hill
M Cuddyer
V Martinez
T Helton
J Posada
J Lugo
T Hafner
M Loretta
J Bautista
Dimitri Young
E Byrnes
T Pena
O Vizquel
R Belliard
S Stewart
J Wilson
J Vidro
A Kearns
R Church
J Uribe
N Punto

19%, FOUR (Furcal, Hill, Cuddyer, Martinez) returned to 2007 AB or better.
67%, FOURTEEN achieved, on average, 55% of their 2007 AB.
14%, THREE (D. Young, DL; Stewart and Vidro, released) had 0 AB.

So, if one assumed the risk of picking a player from this list he had roughly a one-in-five chance of getting a player with as many AB as before the drop. He had a four-in-five chance of getting roughly 50% of what the player produced before the drop.

Group 2:
P Fielder
C Crawford
T Tulowitzki
R Cano
J Morneau
D Ortiz
C Pena
E Renteria
K Greene
M Ordonez
K Johjima
A Rowand
C Hart
J Francoeur
F Sanchez
G Sheffield
B Upton
A Rodriguez
C Patterson

26%, FIVE (Fielder, Crawford, Tulowitzki, Cano, Morneau) returned to 2007 levels.
68&, THIRTEEN achieved, on average, 90% of 2007 levels.
ONE (Patterson) only had 29 AB so he was not calculated with the others.

This group did much better, and likely doesn't even warrant the “risky” label. As a group these players probably came at a discount since their performance had dropped for 2008. If one can expect a return to 90% production, or achieving an outstanding previous OPS, the “risk” might easily be worth it.

So, here are the candidates for 2009. Do with them what you will.

Group 1, drop in AB, high risk?:
Akinori Iwamura
Alex Gordon
Aramis Ramirez
Bobby Crosby
Carlos Beltran
Carlos Gomez
Edwin Encarnacion
Fred Lewis
Geovany Soto
Jose Guillen
Jose Reyes
Josh Hamilton
Ramon Hernandez
currently DL'd:
Carlos Delgado
Rickie Weeks
Brian Giles
*Carlos Quentin just missed the list with 351AB (340 cutoff); risky
*Sizemore, two surguries,?

Group 2, drop in OPS. Might return 90%?:
Aubrey Huff.912
Pat Burrell.875
Ryan Ludwick.966
Carlos Quentin.965
J.J. Hardy.821
Melvin Mora.826
Garrett Atkins.780
Randy Winn.790
Jhonny Peralta.804
Mike Jacobs.812
Alex Rios.798
Mark DeRosa.857
Russell Martin.781

So, the key here is 90% of what? If the OPS was sufficiently high in 2008 that a return to 90% would be worth the price, go for it.

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Re: Risky Hitters: 2010 (includes 2009 review)

Postby sean1981 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:25 pm

Fred, this looks like a bit of fuzzy math to me.

First, it's a bit of a truism that if a player missed 100 ABs or more in a season that he would be a risky player to select the following season. To miss 100 ABs or more, the player either: (1) dealt with a serious injury, (2) became oft-injured during the course of the season; (3) had a skill regression; or (4) was involved with suspension, personal problems, or a roster move (release, optioned, etc.).

That said, your numbers aren't really parsed out well enough to demonstrate any clear-cut trends. The sample size is really small. Maybe if you ran it over 20 MLB seasons, I'd start to buy into what you are attempting to sell.

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Simply Fred
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Re: Risky Hitters: 2010 (includes 2009 review)

Postby Simply Fred » Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:22 pm

Don't disagree with any of your arguments. I will have to get a new calendar!

This from forums interplay with Grey:

@Grey: I don’t take credit for any originality of thought. I tried to take Rudy’s Risky Pitcher criteria and apply it as near as possible to hitters. One of Rudy’s criteria was “less than 120 IP.” 340 ABs seemed a fair equivalent for batters. I didn’t pick players ending careers, or not. Just what the criteria spit out.

Could well, indeed, end up faulty logic. Hopefully, there will be power in tracking for more years. Tracking started 2008. Numbers held up indicating high risk (80% failure to return) for 2009 group. Will see what happens with next year’s group.

# 29 Grey Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 1:46 pm
@Simply Fred: You’re comparing apples and oranges. If a hitter gets 320 ABs, then gets 600 ABs the next year there’s no cause for concern. Pitchers don’t operate the same way. If they get 50 innings one year then 120 innings the next year, there’s reason to be worried. Arms aren’t meant to throw like that. For instance, try and throw as hard as you can 100 pitches. Your arm will be sore. Try and swing a bat 100 times. You’ll be fine.

# 30 Simply Fred Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 1:56 pm
@Grey: I understand the logic of your statements, which make total sense to me.

However, I have years of looking outside the box. I don’t care if it makes sense or not. The proof is in the results. If, for whatever reason, hitters don’t return to prior form, and it happens year after year, that is enough for me. It doesn’t have to make sense. (BTW: It is this kind of willingness to look where others would not that helped me to create models that brought me to the top of my profession–nationally.)

At this early stage, I would think it reasonably likely that your position will be proven out. I am willing to see where the numbers fall for 2010, given that group includes not only old and feeble players.

In the meantime, personally, where a call is close, I will go with the player without limited playing time for this year’s choices. This could well hurt my final position, a risk I am willing to take.

# 31 Simply Fred Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:00 pm
@Simply Fred: It’s all a journey.

# 32 Simply Fred Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:02 pm
@Grey: To extend your logic: there is no guarantee the player will get the 600 ABs. He tore a groin last; is he more likely than another player to do so again? I don’t know. A player had two surguries. Is he more likely to another one than say, one who hasn’t? I don’t know.

# 33 Simply Fred Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:05 pm
@Grey: If a player went into rehab for drug/alcohol abuse, is he more likely than another player to fall of the wagon again–most assuredly.

# 34 Grey Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:05 pm
@Simply Fred: One thing to look outside the box, another is to compare to unlike relationships. Take Vizquel for instance. He dropped from 579 ABs in 2006 to 177 ABs in 2009. Reyes dropped from 643 ABs in 2006 to 147 ABs last year. They are no comparisons between these two players’ dropoffs. One guy is 40-something, another is 26 and was injured.

# 35 Simply Fred Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:08 pm
@Grey: The proof is not in winning the logic of the argument. It is in the results. Yet to be determined.

# 36 Simply Fred Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:11 pm
@Grey: I do take this truth to be self evident: If Grey puts a player on the overrated list, listen to him and avoid at all costs! (because you have a RESULTS record of 100% for 2009)

# 37 Grey Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:14 pm
@Simply Fred: Even if Reyes and everyone on your list doesn’t bounce back, you haven’t made an argument to lead me to believe it would work for 2011. I’m an overrated expert! Wait, that sounds wrong.

# 38 Simply Fred Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:14 pm
@Grey: I am not comparing to unlike relationships. You are making that comparison. I only set a qualifying standard, fewer than 340 ABs–not compared to anything.

# 39 Simply Fred Says:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:16 pm
@Grey: That’s fine. I appreciate that you are a hard nut to crack. I truly value that trait! How many years of players not returning to form, at say a 70% rate, would get your buy in?

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