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  1. Now contrast that with Chase Utley who pulls the same trick and can also mash a baseball.

    Comment by The A Team — February 26, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  2. True, but there is a risk of injury by being hit that reduces the player’s value if taken out of the lineup or physically impaired in some fashion in a way that reduces performance. A few years ago Utley was hit on the wrist by a pitch and was out for months. He should have bailed on that pitch obviously.

    Comment by neuter_your_dogma — February 26, 2010 @ 10:42 am

  3. You forgot to subtract out the wRAA of the expected outcome of the other 12.5 PA’s where he got HBP instead of something else.

    What I’m trying to say is that if he wouldn’t have been HBP then he would have done something else (BB, Out, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, etc.). You have to subtract out his average non-HBP linear weights for the 12.5 PA’s different from the avg. MLB player.

    The value is in the net difference, not the gross.

    Comment by huskyskins — February 26, 2010 @ 10:49 am

  4. Want to hear something incredible?

    As much as we mock Jason Kendall, he’s ranked 317th for position players on Sean Smith’s historical WAR database. Ahead of guys like Kirk Gibson and Harold Baines and guys who we generally consider good players.

    We forget that from 97-00, he was a very good player (and good in 03-04 as well). Of course it’s hard to unforget years of mediocrity when evaluating a career. Just ask Tim Raines (since he spent about 6 seasons as a 4th OF).

    Comment by Joe R — February 26, 2010 @ 11:02 am

  5. I was having a discussion with someone on Twitter yesterday about a draft prospect, Christian Colon, who gets hit by a ton of pitches. I pointed out Carlos Quentin was the same, and years ago, I did a study and found that HBP rates by batters were relatively sustainable, although they do drop a bit as you go up in levels.

    But I wonder: is the advantage in OBP that extra HBPs provide outweigh the injury risk? Quentin is a good posterboy for this question.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — February 26, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  6. Who wants to find every player in the last 20 years who missed significant time due to an HBP?

    Go Go Go Go

    Comment by Joe R — February 26, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  7. It might have cost him the MVP. Of course, he still put up 8 WAR in 132 games.

    Comment by don — February 26, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  8. Perhaps I’m confused about wRAA, but isn’t the average plate appearance exactly zero? So it’s almost true that if you subtract the other outcomes, you’ll get zero anyway.

    I say “almost” because of two factors:
    1) We don’t want HBPs compared to average outcomes, we want HBPs compared to average outcomes that aren’t HBPs. The value of that should be slightly negative, boosting the overall total. But HBPs are rare enough that this effect should be very slight.
    2) We really might want to compare it to the average outcome of one of Kendall’s at-bats currently. That would be a lot more negative, and would boost the value of his HBPs even more. But it might depend on which kind of comparison you’re doing.

    I might be misunderstanding how the linear weights for wRAA work, though.

    I’m also curious whether HBPs tend to occur more in low-leverage situations. Obviously if you’re going to throw at someone’s head, you’re more likely to do it with the bases empty in a blowout than with a runner on first in a tie game. Part of the question here is how many HBPs are semi-intentional (I looked at A.J. Pierzynski’s HBP rate, and it’s high if not as high as Kendall’s; suggesting that maybe semi-intentional HBPs are pretty common).

    Comment by matt w — February 26, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  9. He did bail on that pitch (well a lot more than he usually does). John Lannan just really sucked that day.

    Comment by The A Team — February 26, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

  10. Obviously his defense is the only thing keeping him in the league.

    But I do say, his solid defense (though not amazing anymore) + his 330 OBP > Olivo’s bad defense (Look at him blocking balls), and Olivo’s 290 OBP (If Lucky)

    Comment by Bannister19 — February 26, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  11. Also a Brewer fan that could never figure out why he was flying out all the frickin’ time. When he should have been shooting the gaps (something he used to do), he was trying to put doubles off the wall like Overbay used to. He could have put up another few good offensive years if he hadn’t been doing that.

    Comment by Phillips Ford Brewer — February 26, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  12. That should be Jason Kendall’s campaign slogan one day

    Jason Kendall: Because you could be stuck with Miguel Olivo.

    Comment by JoeR43 — February 26, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

  13. like.

    Comment by David MVP Eckstein — February 27, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

  14. Kendall’s career has to be about at an end… doesn’t it?

    He needs 39 HBP to tie for the all-time lead. He currently sits 5th with 248, but the top four are rather bunched, with Don Baylor in 4th at 267, Tommy Tucker 3rd at 272, Biggio 2nd at 285, and Hughie Jennings on top with 287.

    I wonder if Kid Kendall is aware of this and can spend his remaining year or two with his elbow completely over the plate, looking to get plunked into immortatily…ish-ness.

    Comment by ToddM — February 27, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

  15. Not that this has anything to do with Jason Kendall, but I tried to look and I’m only finding one 30/30 HR/HBP season by Don Baylor. Craig Wilson came the closest since then with a 29 HR/30 HBP season. Chase Utley’s closest was a 33/27.

    Comment by Bill — March 1, 2010 @ 1:28 am

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