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  1. why didn’t you write this 10 days ago? oh because he was hitting .250 and had a sub .800 OPS.

    there has been a ton of this going on around here lately.

    Comment by big baby — May 13, 2009 @ 10:40 am

  2. I didn’t write this 10 days ago because Werth didn’t steal four bases, including home, in a game the night before. Baseball is a streaky game. The same people that claim his numbers were supremely inflated last year are the ones who think his .250 BA and sub-.800 OPS are better indicators than his numbers right now. If you take issue with “a ton of this going on around here lately” then go somewhere else. If you would like to engage in intellectual discourse regarding this post, please stick around.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — May 13, 2009 @ 10:49 am

  3. Of course Werth did all that in an inning in which the WE was already 89%+ in favor of the Phillies. I’ve sometimes wondered about the relative value of a steal that opens up first base when a good hitter is at the plate. I know work has been done by Tango and other on the run value of a walk, particularly in leveraged situations (with two men on, letting Ibanez get a hit is a lot worse than if the bases were empty). But I’m going back a step: I’m curious about the decision to order the steal (if you assume the manager is making the decision) — factoring in the odds of the player getting caught (and the cost of the out, which in this case would end the inning) as well as the hitting abilities of the next guy in the order if the open base does cause the defending team to IBB. Of course this was a double steal, which makes it even more interesting. How good does the guy after Ibanez have to be for it to be worth it, vs taking your chances and letting Ibanez hit (especially with a fast guy on 2nd already).

    Comment by joser — May 13, 2009 @ 11:18 am

  4. A ton of what exactly? Not using arbitrary twenty game samples to draw definitive conclusions about a player’s ability?

    Now that you mention it, I have been seeing too much of that going on around here. Shame on you, Mr. Seidman. I expected better.

    Comment by Mr. Heckles — May 13, 2009 @ 11:18 am

  5. I think he meant highlighting a player immediately after a week long hot streak pushes up their numbers.

    Or maybe he meant Phillies articles from Seidman, hehe.

    Comment by Ryan B — May 13, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  6. I agree. This is ridiculous. Someone needs to start a website where every morning I can wake up and know that they wrote about exactly what I want to read about on that day, and it only involves players on my favorite team or my fantasy team. If someone is willing to do this, I would gladly pay zero dollars.

    Comment by Teej — May 13, 2009 @ 11:32 am

  7. This isn’t an arbitrary 20-game sample. This is what he has done this season coupled with the talent on display last season to show that Werth is going to easily earn his money. His projections the rest of the year and year-end updated total confirm this. And what definitive conclusions? Saying that his +5 win season wasn’t a fluke? The only thing anywhere near a definitive claim is this:

    “A well above average fielder in a corner outfield spot who can also play average or better defense in centerfield, who mangles southpaws and is improving against righties, with the power and speed to easily go 20/20 in a season is a beast of a player.”

    And that happens to be true. If Werth fits this bill, which he has over the last 2 years or so, then he is a beast of a player here to stay. I’m not judging him over a small sample – I’m judging him over his Phillies tenure, and especially last season into now, when he has improved against righties/

    Comment by Eric Seidman — May 13, 2009 @ 11:34 am

  8. Eric, I think Heckles was defending you, with the “arbitrary twenty game sample” being Werth’s slow start this season that big baby referenced.

    Comment by Teej — May 13, 2009 @ 11:50 am

  9. ryan b. nailed it.

    “some people doubted player X, well i’m here to say there doubts were mislaid.”

    that article works a lot better when it isn’t written every time somebody goes on a hot streak to make their numbers look good.

    i don’t really understand the point of the article. “i wrote he would be good. he is good. i am writing again to say he is good. i only chose to write this article after he went on a massive hot streak. i like pie.”

    Comment by big baby — May 13, 2009 @ 11:56 am

  10. If your issue is with the timing of the post then there is no issue. Eric is telling you he’s good based on the the last three years, not the last three weeks.

    Comment by Mr. Heckles — May 13, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

  11. P.S. Nice shot the other day, but did you have to push that kid?

    Comment by Mr. Heckles — May 13, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

  12. I don’t get it. Are the authors supposed to pick a player’s name out of hat and write about him? I can’t believe the level of critisism leveled around here for something that is not only free, but the greatest source of baseball stats on the internet with awesome writing to boot.

    If you don’t like the writing, quit f***ing reading it. You’ll stop polluting the discussion for the rest of us.

    Comment by Jason T — May 13, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

  13. I don’t think the Fangraphs authors write about guys like Werth because the numbers happen to favor their opinion. I think they write about guys like Werth because they’re anticipating the questions that Fangraphs readers will have.

    Jayson Werth stole four bases in a game, including a steal of home. As I am flipping through the box scores and analysis for the day, it sticks out and I remember his name. I wonder to myself, “This Jayson Werth cat, is he for real?” And the very next day, because Mr. Seidman knows I’m not the only one asking this question, there is a post about Werth that goes into detail about his improving skill set.

    Comment by McExpos — May 13, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

  14. I think that after the hot streak or a big game is the perfect time to write an article like this. If I’m a Fangraphs reader who primarily follows an AL team, I probably know who Jayson Werth is, but not too much about him. I watch Sportscenter and see the highlight of him stealing home and I’m thinking, “Wow, who is this guy?” and then I read Fangraphs and get a little more info about him.

    This ain’t groundbreaking stuff, but I like the fact that there are 5 or 6 of these random little mini-profiles of players. I’m a Phillies fan, so I know all about Werth, but I really had no idea who Alex Lind was until I read the mini-profile of him that DC wrote the other day.

    Eric, keep up the good work and keep writing about the Phillies!

    Comment by Joe Trinsey — May 13, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

  15. Beat me to it by a couple minutes there. My thoughts exactly.

    Comment by Joe Trinsey — May 13, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  16. Great minds and all that jazz.

    Comment by McExpos — May 13, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

  17. Gee, what a stretch it is to write about a guy who pulls off the rare stealing-around-the-bases feat.

    Also, I thought that the fangraphs guys had been on the Werth bandwagon for a while (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/werth-the-extension).

    Comment by Bill — May 13, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

  18. Small nitpick: Adam, not Alex, Lind.

    Comment by anon — May 13, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

  19. Big Baby is a big baby after all. Thanks for spewing a totally worthless opinion whose sole purpose was to inflame and agitate people…Oh please shower me with some more mean-spirited, counter-constructive comments, can’t wait for you to join us again!

    No seriously i want to punch you in the face.

    Comment by Dick — May 13, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

  20. Hey Eric…. In the next-to-last paragraph, I think what you’re saying is that if you were to go back to Werth’s 2006 & 2007 seasons and mix-adjust his splits, in order to see what his numbers would have been (hypothetically) if he had faced a more normal proportion of RHP, then his wOBA would have only dropped by about 10 points. Is that in fact that you were trying to say in that paragraph?

    Comment by Rowen — May 13, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

  21. Rowen, yeah, pretty much. The ten points was just an arbitrary number but what I meant is that the inflation occurring with Werth isn’t to the tune of a .385 wOBA player vs. a .335 wOBA player but rather something like .385 to .365-.375, still very very solid.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — May 13, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

  22. I’ve been rooting for Werth since his Dodger days. Anyone pause to think how strange of a career this guy had? What would he look like if he had been able to stay at catcher and hit as he has? Most people know how weird it was for Brandon Inge to be able play both catcher and centerfield. Anyone think about Werth doing the same type of thing (minus the faking it at short part)

    Comment by Ryan M — May 13, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  23. Nice analysis on Werth. Now could you do one on Moyer too? Is he totally cooked? Is it retirement time? Or is that HR rate just a fluky stat right now?

    Comment by BS — May 13, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

  24. Doesn’t this site often work by highlighting players or teams on hot or cold streaks and try to figure out if those streaks are sustainable? Yet it seems like every time, no matter the conclusion, the authors get bashed.

    Comment by Marlowe — May 13, 2009 @ 10:15 pm

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