FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Super interesting! I look forward to tomorrow’s post.

    Comment by Obligatory Sox Fan — February 11, 2010 @ 11:19 am

  2. Bryan- be very, very careful when comparing MLB and MiLB splits.

    Presumably the MLB splits are from BIS, and the MiLB splits are from elsewhere.
    First, the different data sources might have different definitions of LD, FB, etc. One source might have 15% LDs, another at 20% or 25%. The GB/LD distinction often gets overlooked, but it’s not always clear cut either. BIS has a specific definitions for when a GB becomes a LD, and it might be a different definition from the minor league data. I don’t know how true this is, but you should be careful.

    Secondly, most (if not all?) MiLB data is collected by park-specific stringers. The nice thing about BIS data is how there are 15+ different scorers rotated among different games every night. With park-specific stringers, you will get some stringers who are have specific LD vs. FB tendencies, or to a lesser extent LD vs. GB tendencies. These scorer tendencies would carry over into the player data.

    With these two possibilities, you should be very careful citing splits as you do here.

    Comment by BenJ — February 11, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

  3. Yes. Did you see the note at the end of the article? I tried to never comment on any changes in LD vs. FB, because I knew that going into the article. I do have some faith that GB vs. “elevation”, and that’s where most of my comments were centered. This article also isn’t what I would call hard-hitting analysis … I’m writing to see what comes of it, and to show what we might be able to do in the future with more surefire data.

    Carefulness has been exercised.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — February 11, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

  4. Yes, I saw your note. Since you presented an entire article with charts that compare LD and FB data, I felt that you hadn’t been careful enough. Additionally, I wanted to add some insight to the potential LD% differences you mentioned.

    And as I said, the LD/GB distinction you focused on is more complicated as well. When does a GB become a LD? If it hits the ground “in front of” the fielder, is it automatically a GB? What if the fielder is playing deeper or shallower than usual? Then the definition is dependent on the fielder’s positioning. Or if the ball is hit equidistant between the drawn-in 3B and deep SS? Then you’ve got the scorer guessing. Park-specific scorers could be doing any number of things. Hopefully, this isn’t too big of an issue, but I don’t know. There’s definitely going to be some variation.

    Lastly, I don’t know the Minor League Splits data source, but I don’t think anybody but BIS records “fliners”.

    Comment by BenJ — February 11, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  5. I think your underselling Everth Cabrera by stating “he’ll be this type of player forever”. He jumped straight from A ball to the major leagues, and his LD% increased every month through august. In sep/oct he hit a wall and sort of fell apart. I wouldn’t be suprised to see him develop his offensive game into something more along the lines of Rafael Furcal.

    Comment by tim — February 11, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

  6. I didn’t mean actual fliners, as I meant the distinction is probably different between those in-between flyballs and line drives. That’s not written real clearly. My fault.

    I didn’t give any thought to the LD/GB distinction. That’s a very good point.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — February 11, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  7. He might not always hit 70% of balls into the ground, but it’s not a stretch to say his game will always be rooted in groundballs, no?

    Comment by Bryan Smith — February 11, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  8. He probably will always hit a lot of ground balls. But if he continues to take a walk, and the 7% LD % he posted in sept/oct doesn’t reflect his true ability, then

    “you’re not going to win long-term with this offensive strategy”

    doesn’t seem appropriate.

    Comment by tim — February 11, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

  9. Readers: The follow-up to this won’t be until next week. I apologize, but good news: I’m prepping for my podcast debut!

    Comment by Bryan Smith — February 12, 2010 @ 10:39 am

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