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  1. Not to nitpick but that Cuddyer contract was with the Twins

    Comment by The Humber Games — March 14, 2013 @ 10:09 am

  2. Don’t forget the value added by his speed on the base paths, 86.6% SB rate last 3 years with 37 SB’s last season. His ability to steal may be the key to making this deal a steal for the Brewers.

    Comment by McAnderson — March 14, 2013 @ 10:22 am

  3. His career BSR is 17.2 runs, in 2130 PA. In 400-500 PA, that is +3-4 runs– he’ll still need to get on base and hit for power to be worth the money…

    Comment by Eric R — March 14, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  4. I did my own analysis of the Homerun Tracker data to look at top gainers in homerun distance from ’11 to ’12, and Carlos Gomez tops the list with an average 53 foot gain on his homerun. That tells me he did something different last year and was hitting the ball further vs. getting more lucky homeruns.

    Also, his average distance crossed the 400ft threshold which seems to be the line for guys that are traditional power hitters — Over 405 ft and your talking about elite power guys. This tells me that he likely has room to beat last year HR total as well.

    Comment by MLB Rainmaker — March 14, 2013 @ 10:52 am

  5. Take a look at the projections by Bill James.

    I did and it projects me to get a 40% raise and marry Kate Upton this year.

    Comment by Captain Willard — March 14, 2013 @ 10:58 am

  6. One thing I don’t think most people realize about Gomez is his size. The man is 6-4, 210. It’s not like he is a small, speedy outfielder who lucked into some homers.

    Comment by jward106 — March 14, 2013 @ 11:08 am

  7. Gomez was never seen as a platoon player by the Brewers. Morgan was the starting CF but was so awful against LHP that they were platooning him, Gomez happened to be the guy behind him.

    Gomez changed his approach in 2011. The Twins had spent a lot of time trying to get him to hit grounders and the Brewers said be Carlos Gomez and play your own game. He started hitting the ball in the air a lot more and the power followed. If not for a horrid April in 2011 his ISO would have been higher that year than it is this year. It was a .296 in the 2nd half of 2011. The power is definitely for real, unfortunately so is the swing at everything approach.

    Comment by Ender — March 14, 2013 @ 11:09 am

  8. I don’t know why James’ projections are cited so much in serious articles/conversations. James himself is on the record as saying they are just for fun and his process for developing them is unscientific.

    Comment by TD — March 14, 2013 @ 11:35 am

  9. Not nitpicking. Thanks!

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 14, 2013 @ 11:35 am

  10. No hope on the on-base percentage I don’t think.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 14, 2013 @ 11:35 am

  11. Leaving fly balls out of your sample degrades the size and shape of your sample. In other words: why leave fly balls out and only look at balls that went over the fence? You’re only looking at one tail of his fly ball distribution.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 14, 2013 @ 11:36 am

  12. You know why I used them? They are the most pessimistic about Gomez. Interesting?

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 14, 2013 @ 11:37 am

  13. Yes that was my conclusion in my article that I linked to in the bottom, that he was just finally being more comfortable being who he was and not trying too hard to be someone else. As for the platoon bit, dunno. Seemed to me like he was being platooned, but maybe it was Morgan’s ‘fault.’

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 14, 2013 @ 11:38 am

  14. Are they really? I haven’t looked them up, but I thought Bill James was always much more optimistic than the other guys.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 14, 2013 @ 11:48 am

  15. Nice write-up, but it seems like some of the analysis ignores that he was already under contract for about $4MM this year. This line in particular:

    “If he can manage even two seasons of average production, he could return to being a platoon-first defensive outfielder for the last two seasons of the deal and the deal would still be fine.”

    The first of the two seasons would have been a net-gain even without the extension. So they’d essentially be paying an extra $24MM for 1 year of average production and 2 years of platoon-first.

    Aside from that though, I think it’s a good deal. I was thinking the Mets might’ve made a play for him over the off-season. It’d be interesting if they signed him as a FA the year that Santana drops off the books.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 14, 2013 @ 11:56 am

  16. I just preferred to look at whether or not he could be worth $28 million in four years than to look at each year.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 14, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  17. Glad that this article mentions his plate discipline. When he was on the Twins, I always thought he chased a lot of pitches outside the zone and swung at too many (often bad) first pitches. Looking at his O-Swing% numbers, he’s not as trigger-happy as my biased memory would lead me to believe. But Baseball Heat Maps does show that he’s still swinging at way more inside pitches than league average. He’s having better results at this stage in his career, though, so good for him.

    Comment by BookWorm — March 14, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  18. It definitely was. Look at Morgan’s splits for his career. I watch most of the games and it was definitely about Morgan. In 2 years with the Brewers he had 71 PA against LHP. Gomez would occasionally still play vs RHP to rest other OFs but he always played vs LHP in CF. I guess in some ways that is worse since they considered Gomez more of a bench guy than a starter~.

    Comment by Ender — March 14, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  19. ZiPS says you’re getting fired and you’re marrying Kathy Bates.

    Comment by wobatus — March 14, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

  20. I’d give this deal to Gomez 100 hundred times before I’d give Upton 5/70. I’ll concede that BJ has a better offensive track record but if Gomez’s gains last year are real or even regress slightly and Upton’s decline continues it will be a nonfactor.

    Throw in all the metrics and the eyes which agree that Gomez is a far superior fielder and younger to boot. Even if last year’s offense was a blip his glove and speed should make this deal a break even at worst assuming health.

    Comment by grandbranyan — March 14, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

  21. First, I think we can agree that IFF distance isn’t valuable for this analysis, right? So to follow your process, we’d still have to draw some arbitrary line at 200ft (?) from home plate and then average the distance on those balls in play. I don’t think that arbitrary line tells us anything more than an arbitrary line set at the HR fence; if anything, I would argue based on his HR/FB% there are significantly more fly balls hit that never had a chance to get out of the park than fly balls that were at the warning track.

    To me there are three factors to achieve a HR:
    1) Contact on the sweet spot – squaring up, middle of the ball middle of the barrel. Essentially hitting the ball as hard as you are capable of
    2) Swing angle/lift to achieve “escape” trajectory
    3) Speed of the ball off the bat

    I assume the lift in the players swing can’t really change, as that is mechanical, so the two factors that can drive HRs are quality of contact and speed off the bat. If you assume the trajectory won’t change materially, you can make the correlation between speed off the bat and distance. So to bring it back to Carlos Gonzalez, his increase in HR distance tells me that when he does make perfect contact, he’s hitting the ball harder than in the past. I view that as a change in skillset, moving his power up the scale vs. a player that saw an increase in HR and no change in distance.

    Comment by MLB Rainmaker — March 14, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

  22. Given his size, I think he’s got the potential to take a big step forward this year a la Curtis Granderson in 2009. I think average is still going to be a problem given his plate discipline, but a 30-30 campaign isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

    Comment by MLB Rainmaker — March 14, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

  23. Yes to some extent except that bigger samples are almost always better and we did this empirically and found no relationships between just homer distance and hr/fb, certainly nothing predictive. I linked to a five part series in this article that links batted ball distance (hr and fb) and angle to expected hr/fb. I stand behind their work as empirically derived and fundamentally sound.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 14, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

  24. And actually we are arguing for no reason. Our analysis says that the near 15 foot jump from 2010 to 2011 was predictive, and it turned out to be in his case.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — March 14, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

  25. Why don’t we look at median FB distance rather than average?

    Comment by Travis L — March 14, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

  26. My thoughts as well. Because of his speed and style, people forget that Gomez has a very big frame, he’s the type of guy who probably could’ve played major college football if he’d been born in the US. Also, even though he’s been in the majors for a long time he was really, really raw earlier in his career, and he might just be a late bloomer. His 2012 reads much more like a great athlete putting his tools together than it does a fluke.

    Comment by geefee — March 14, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

  27. Looks like a win-win for player & team. The player has some sort of certainty/security as the starting CF without a platoon partner, and the Brewers get player with a high floor (due to his defense) with a sizable amount of upside (if his bat continues to improve). I wonder how much his CF defense was a double edge sword, leading to Gomez being promoted on defense before his bat was mature at a level, and retarding his development due to part-time play at the MLB level.

    Comment by Nate — March 14, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

  28. First paragraph: false dilemma

    Second paragraph: opportunity cost

    Comment by TD — March 14, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

  29. I hope what he did different doesn’t lead to a 50 game suspension…

    Comment by shthar — March 14, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

  30. What a horrible horrible deal.

    He doesn’t even hit the left.

    Unless Milwaukee knows they’re gonna change the rules to let you steal first base.

    Comment by shthar — March 14, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

  31. The right is more deserving of being hit, anyway.

    Comment by TecJug — March 15, 2013 @ 1:10 am

  32. Gomez has been listed at 6’4″ 210 since he was 21 years old. We’re not talking about a small guy. He’ll hit more fly balls as he attempts fewer bunts. Bunting has always been encouraged by his managers, but now that his power is emerging and the Brewers have him 7th in the order (an RBI spot), he’ll likely bunt less. The added power will also lead to more walks, as evidenced by his 6 already this spring in only 20 or so AB’s.

    Comment by daveinmp — March 15, 2013 @ 9:19 am

  33. How many more singles per week would he need to hit in order to match league average?

    Comment by oh Hal — March 15, 2013 @ 9:35 am

  34. Haven’t you heard? There is a new magic PED that has no affect on physical size, yet adds huge improvement. You don’t have to go far to find internet posters or even media members who believe that his teammate has been using huge doses for a decade or so yet hasn’t changed his physical appearance.

    Heck, the commissioner of baseball believes that people inject huge doses just before or during a game in order to “amp up.”

    Comment by oh Hal — March 15, 2013 @ 9:44 am

  35. The 1st graph isn’t a false dilemma. The 2nd is an odd sort of agreement.

    Upton is a far more comparable player than the examples used and he signed for longer and about twice the cost.

    Comment by oh Hal — March 15, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  36. Yes it is. There was never a choice between only this deal for Gomez or that deal Upton. Ever. The comparison is useless.

    It is self-evident that they could have done worse than the Gomez deal. That fact establishes nothing.

    The analysis of whether or not Gomez can produce enough value to be worth the money he has been guaranteed does not factor in the opportunity cost of the guarantee itself and is therefore insufficient for determining the merits of this extension.

    Comment by TD — March 15, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

  37. Good analysis then, looks even better now.

    RE: About finding yourself as a player. I recall Mark McGwire after his infamous .201 BA season he told the MLB staff to jump in a lake. The staff was trying to get him to hit it the other way, etc….(so UN Moneyball) obviously worried in a 1975 kind of way about Batting Average. Big Mac said himself, he is a pull hitter and for pete’s sake, that’s exactly what he was going to be. From there his numbers exploded. (I assume Mac was on roids his entire career FYI).

    Comment by LionoftheSenate — May 8, 2013 @ 3:16 am

  38. Well don’t you just look like an idiot now

    Comment by Dustin Rucinski — June 21, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

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