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  1. Is any any validity to a catcher hitting better against a former battery mate? Granted, the entire league homered off Irvin Santana, but Napoli had four homers in two games. Any data that looks at this issue?

    Comment by Tom SInclair — October 1, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

  2. Vlad and Tim Salmon used to do the same thing to the Rangers when they played for the Angels. It’s good to be on the other end occasionally.

    Comment by Terry — October 1, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

  3. He’s alright, but he’s no Frank Francisco.

    Comment by Jack — October 1, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  4. I wonder about Tom’s point as well, he’s caught Weaver, Santana and Haren with the Angels and CJ Wilson with the Rangers. Another thought I had is that this might be a little bit of Mike Scoicia huberis, from that quote he doesn’t seem to respect Napoli as a hitter, disparaging his avg. Maybe he tells his pitchers to challenge him in the zone more than other pitchers. Although the increased walk rate would contradict that.

    Comment by Preston — October 1, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  5. Tom Sinclair beat me to it. Napoli probably has a good idea how former teammates pitch, or how pitchers are coached and catching works, in his former team. So when he’s facing them when only just last year he was thinking along with them.

    Makes it easier to punish mistakes and be a guess hitter when you were thinking the same way they were just last season…

    Comment by Chris from Bothell — October 1, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  6. It’d be nice if someone could calculate the overall value for every piece of those series of trades (including the new head to head matchups), and see what the end result is for each team involved.

    Comment by Radivel — October 1, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

  7. If that really is the case, then sign him up for the Mariners next year. They play enough games against the Angels and the Rangers that it would be worth seeing him in the uniform. I’ll take that many games against a divsion rival who the Mariners can’t seem to beat.

    Comment by Average_Casey — October 1, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

  8. I nominate you.

    Comment by vivalajeter — October 1, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  9. Well, he hasn’t caught the Angels pitchers since 2010 so I doubt he has a good enough memory to have any sort of impact. And this may be completely wrong, but Napoli never struck me as the type of intellectual catcher who would recall such things.

    Comment by vivalajeter — October 1, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  10. The Magic of AA!©

    Comment by Wat — October 1, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  11. Should read: “He’s alright, but he’s no Frank Francisco plus a supplemental first round draft pick.”

    Comment by Petetown Matt — October 1, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  12. Some of the smartest baseball players I ever played with were some of the least intellectual human beings on the planet. I mean, some of those guys were so dumb, I wondered how they managed to stay alive.

    Comment by Choo — October 1, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  13. Scioscia let it go, man.

    Comment by Curtis — October 1, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  14. Ninja!

    Comment by maguro — October 1, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

  15. He didn’t know what the Angels pitchers were throwing when he caught them, don’t see how it would help him at the plate.

    Comment by Roster Management — October 1, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

  16. People don’t perform better when focused and motivated?

    Comment by Captain Willard — October 2, 2012 @ 12:55 am

  17. At least GM AA’s fetish with supplemental draft picks are now over.

    In the past, It seemed like that was his excuse for fielding a bad bullpen.

    Comment by tbjfan — October 2, 2012 @ 2:34 am

  18. It would have been cool to compute Napoli’s WAR against the angels and against others. Seems likely that, as with his WPA, he may have negative WAR against everybody but the Angels…

    Also, no need to bother with the arbitrary 95% CI for “significance” (which many fields don’t use; physics is like 6 sigma, sociology is like p > 0.5); you could have added a column with p-values to show hopw likely such a thing is. My bet is some of those p -values would be minuscule. This is a crazy data set which Napoli has produced…

    Comment by Someanalyst — October 2, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  19. The M’s is not even close to contending, while Oakland can really use Napoli.

    Comment by Kampfer — October 2, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  20. I was wondering throughout the article as well if Jeff was going to bring up the fact that Napoli caught quite a few of the Angels pitchers. Maybe he wasn’t the best at handling pitchers, but surely he has a memory of how they like to approach hitters.
    This may not be the entire reason, along with focus and motivation…but surely it doesn’t hurt his ability to hit the Angels’ staff.

    Comment by StatsNut83 — October 2, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

  21. If anyone is still following this thread, is there anyone who wants to look at other catchers’ performance against former pitchers they have caught? As my wife said, “What? You mean there’s a stat nobody has looked at?” Thanks.

    Comment by Tom SInclair — October 5, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

  22. Kampfer,

    Just to be clear, Oakland’s team is not as good as their record indicated. They pretty much hit a homerun in terms of peak potential deriving from trades, which is going to lead to a huge team regression and that’s after calculating in development for the young players. I mean EVERY move they made, not only worked, but almost every one of their moves exceeded expectations, which is not typical to say the least. I guarantee you that Reddick and others will under-perform, Chris Young and/or Cespedes will get hurt, and they will look very underwhelming up the middle (2B/SS/C) offensively, starting with Weeks and whoever they throw out at SS to impersonate a poorman’s Brandon Crawford.

    Their prospects are interesting to good and there are even some really great prospects in there as well, but the Athletics have busted far more of the time than most teams do with their prospects. I will be surprised if they win more than 81 games next year and that’s with the 17 gimme games they play against the Astros.

    The facts are that the Mariners have the best farm system in baseball, they could meet the real cost of trading for Stanton and J. Upton both right now, without even dropping their farm system out of the top 15 in baseball, while having under-27 year-old-players at 7 or more key positions. An example:

    SP Taijuan Walker, C/1B Jesus Montero, 2B Nick Frankin, 3B Stefen Romero, SP Jordan Shipers, SP Blake Beavan, RF Denny Almonte

    for Giancarlo Stanton

    CP Tom Wilhelmsen, SP Brandon Maurer, SS Brad Miller, 3B Vincent Catricala, RP Tyler Burgoon

    for Justin Upton

    That would still leave Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, Victor Sanchez, Tyler Pike, and Anthony Fernandez for starters, Carson Smith and Chance Ruffin as AAA relief prospects, with guys like Mike Zunino, Francisco Martinez, Julio Morban, Jack Marder,John Hicks, some of the recent draft picks less known around baseball (Ard, DeCarlo.Taylor, Lopes, etc, and then there are the high ceiling guys (like Guillermo Pimentel, Alfredo Morales, Phillips Castillo, and Ji-Man Choi, etc.). Add in another year of improvements from a farm system drafted and signed by some of the best scounts in the business and I’m sure they’d be back to a top 10 farm system in a year following the 2013 draft and the advancements from existing players.

    To summarize:

    The Mariners already have more talent than the Athletics on the field in the Major Leagues, they’re just younger and aren’t finished developing.

    The Mariners already have more talent in the minors and they are more desired among the baseball industry than just about any other prospects in baseball.

    The Mariners have more money and are 2 years away from signing a new television deal on top of the already signed MLB t.v. deal that takes effect in two years and offers each team $25M extra each year above the already $35-$50M they receive as part of the profit sharing. So figuring each team will start with a payroll limit of atleast $75M in two years and the Mariners will have a bigger private t.v. deal than 80% of the teams in baseball.

    I’m pretty sure that they can maximize that a little better than the Athletics can maximize their resources… it’s not like Oakland has been winning pennant after pennant since the early part of the last decade. One 5-game playoff series in almost 10 years, a dynasty it does not make.

    I apologize to all non-Mariners/non-Athletics fans for my rant, but I really want to drive home my point because ever since they squeezed their fatasses into the postseason with a miracle series against the Rangers, all their fans act like they just coasted through the AL West free from luck or devine intervention. I mean, if the Mariners stay hot through September, they could’ve probably finished with as many wins as the Athletics, just considering the almost 10 times they played each other in September alone. The Athletics are an 80 win team and they will always be an 80 win team as long as they spend 75M or less each year on payroll. The years that they win more than 80 wins will be luck or devine intervention, just like 2012.

    Comment by I Hate Elephants On Baseballs — November 23, 2012 @ 2:48 am

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