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  1. This is a great idea for getting a snapshot of players. I went back and reread your column on Prado and then tried applying the stat to several others who are sell-high and buy-low candidates. Please continue this series. It makes good sense and good reading.

    Comment by Mark — July 12, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

  2. Why POW over ISO?

    Comment by Jeffrey Gross — July 12, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  3. Is the K% the one that Fangraphs carries or the better K/PA?

    Comment by Mike Rogers — July 12, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

  4. why does fangraphs hate Boesch so much?!!!

    Comment by Defensive Tiger Fan — July 12, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

  5. Fangraphs doesn’t hate Brennan Boesch. They’re just playing the odds; if somebody hasn’t shown the skill or potential in the minors, rarely do they bust out in the big leagues. If you’ve never been good at organic or inorganic chemistry, for example, its highly unlikely that you will get a PhD in Chemistry in the future. Same way in baseball. What percent (not number; rate stats are more demostrative) of major league stars never hit very well in the minors?

    Oh, and I’m a Tigers fan.

    Comment by no hatters here — July 12, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

  6. It may be presumptuous to claim that there are “no hatters here”. Fangraphs could be quite popular among milliners.

    Comment by 3rd Period Points — July 12, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

  7. From your piece it would seem that when statistic stabilizes, it reaches true talent level. Actually, it means that that statistic needs to be regressed 50% towards the league average. So, if somebody hit for 30% better power than league average over 550 PA, you should regress him to 15% better for future projections.

    Comment by Davor — July 13, 2010 @ 2:15 am

  8. Well played, sir.

    Comment by Joe — July 13, 2010 @ 8:06 am

  9. This is the rare article here that has used sound logic and maths against Boesch. There have been some really questionable things written, but this article is well-reasoned and logically sound.

    Comment by RPS — July 13, 2010 @ 9:26 am

  10. because of teh EAST COAST BIAS!
    and Seattle bias.
    and sabermetric bias.

    Comment by Chet — July 13, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  11. This makes a lot of sense! Boesch is over performing but he is hitting between Guillen and Cabrera. Of course he isn’t going to keep hitting like this, he isn’t Pujols or Cabrera. But he is actually hitting for less power (the raw POW), according to your stats, then he did in the minors. So he may not be in line for an across the board regression.

    Comment by PJ — July 13, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  12. The article is well reasoned but the conclusion sets up the same straw man as the rest of the articles written on Fangraphs about Boesch. That conclusion is that he isn’t an MVP-type hitter so therefore won’t perform like an MVP-type hitter. The Fangraphs community certainly knows this and one would hope Tiger brass does too. The question no one seems to be able to answer is what he WILL hit like. One article on this site that was based exclusively on numbers suggested Jeff Francouer. I’m skeptical. He sure as hell isn’t Miguel Cabrera, but continually forwarding the argument that he’ll regress to his A-level numbers I still think is kind of lazy.

    Comment by Andrew Stein — July 13, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

  13. I’m not sure if it’s been said already but Boesch reminds me a lot of Matt Holliday. If you look at Holliday’s minor league numbers, they don’t project to MVP caliber numbers either. Granted much of Holliday’s major league career numbers were inflated by Coors Field. Regardless, he never had a full season in the minors with a batting average above .280 or SLG above .450. His career minor triple slash was .276/.353/.427. Also he showed about a 9.8% BB rate and a 16.7% K rate in the minors, neither of which are far off from his major league career rates. Boesch’s rates are not as stable as Holliday’s but the comparision hopefully does illustrate that it’s possible for players to break out in the majors beyond their minor league track record.

    Comment by Starkiller — July 13, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  14. And the “they don’t think exactly like *I* do” bias.

    Comment by joser — July 13, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  15. So which is it: (1) be careful about drawing conclusions from small samples; or (2) confidently draw conclusions from small sample sizes, but draw conclusions that contradict the actual small sample?

    Boesch has a gorgeous swing and great physical tools. He also performed much better last year than any year before, and much better this year than last. I respect small sample sizes and high BABIP enough to agree that he likely will not sustain his current level of production, but there is better evidence that over time he will be a very good player than a below average one.

    Comment by sklein11 — July 13, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

  16. His BABIP will obviously take a dive, but the power is unlikely to shrink to Ichiro-levels as CHONE predicts. His last full season in the minors was AA, in which he ISO’ed .235. His BB rate has improved noticeably since then (and stabilized at an adequate, if not really good level), but the power has been there for well over 550 PA. You noted all of this, but I’m wondering why you choose to assume that Boesch is suddenly going to be a below average hitter when given this data. The only thing likely to regress significantly is his BABIP. A .280/.330/.510 line going forward isn’t really that unreasonable given his track record of power hitting. That is definitely better than average, even in LF.

    He’s no Cabrera and never will be, but it’s a bit reactionary to say that Boesch is a scrub, when the data can only definitively project a regression in his BABIP.

    Comment by Jeff — July 13, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  17. As a Tigers fan I have no problem with this article because of the way it was written, particularly the final quote “It’s certainly not impossible that this is just a breakout year for Boesch, but the Tigers shouldn’t act as if Boesch is another Miguel Cabrera in their lineup as they plan for the second half.”

    I think that’s what has bothered most Tigers fans about all the Boesch articles is that the writers don’t say things like “it’s certainly not impossible” they basically say “He will collapse”, so it does make you a little more defensive as a fan when you say your player or team is going to suck and not even give them a chance of doing well. Atleast this one offers a glimmer of hope and isn’t an all out end of the world article about him.

    And for the record I do think he’s going to fall off but I still think he’ll be productive and useful, which is more than what alot of “experts” have been predicting.

    Comment by Dwight S. — July 13, 2010 @ 11:10 pm

  18. Guy’s a ballplayer. Wish I had him on my club.

    Comment by Michael Lorri Scioscia — July 14, 2010 @ 1:08 am

  19. I posted this in the What the Tigers Should Do thread re: Boesch –

    As for the Boesch analysis, it’s been beaten to death a bit, but it illustrates how stats-only analysis can be a bit misleading or at least lead to an obvious conclusion. If I didn’t see Boesch every single day, I’m sure I would come to the same conclusions, but watching him play makes it hard to believe he will fall off the table & hit sub-.250 the rest of way.

    I do believe there will be some regression from a .340 batting average, but not 90 points worth. And the power is legitimate. And though his composite minor league numbers aren’t overwhelming, there was clearly a development step from 2008 to 2009 that CHONE figures *seem* to wholly discount based on the analysis.

    Of course it’s easier and safer to project that someone riding high without the minor league pedigree to do so will fade because if you say he will remain very productive and he doesn’t, the naysayers come back with, “well his minor league number said this fade was coming, you idiot!” so I understand going the safe route, but it isn’t without flaws, either.

    Comment by Paul — July 14, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  20. These sites try to install made up, non-traditional, computer geek silliness to baseball. The game is played between the lines…”you throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball,” it’s that simple.

    Brennan Boesch isn’t perfect, no such ball player exists.

    When you watch this kid you see a young ballplayer trying to live out his dream. He hustles out every ground ball, every fly ball, every base hit.

    Baseball is a game to be enjoyed, to be savored for it’s singular beauty. I don’t care if Brennan K’s 140 times this year, because that’s what free swinging power hitters do. They also hit HRs, and drive in runs, and when Brennan has 25+ HRs and over 90+ RBIs and has hit .330, all the rest of the numbers, including scoring runs, and slugging %, all legitimate baseball numbers, is all that I, as a baseball fan, care about.

    Comment by John Sharp — July 14, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

  21. This. No offense to Jack, as I love the articles, but the saberblogging community is going crazy with these stabilizing PA numbers. It means they have reached a certain threshold of significance, but it doesn’t mean that they are true talent numbers. A 106 K%+ regressed to 103 is not what I’d describe as “above-average ability to avoid the strikeout.” Particularly if his minor league numbers were less than stellar.

    Comment by Newcomer — July 15, 2010 @ 1:04 am

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