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  1. you write for fangraphs – you know austin jackson is terrible, dont pretend his walk rate will be sustained. his name is kjax for a reason

    Comment by Cloud Computer — April 19, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  2. ….and what happens when you only analyze numbers is that you miss out on other changes. A.Jackson will enter his prime in a year or so, has completely re-vamped his approach at the plate this offseason, and shortened his swing. If you’ve watched him hit, his swing is dead-on with an A.Soriano in his prime(not necessarily good or bad…).

    Obviously his BABIP will come way down, but mentioning his new approach and new swing in an A.Jackson analysis seams like a requirement, not an inconvenience.

    Comment by Ron Paul — April 19, 2012 @ 11:16 am

  3. “or just early clustering in his home run events”

    I like how this is explained.

    Comment by Randy — April 19, 2012 @ 11:34 am

  4. I think analyzing any stats before 150 plate appearances is just rife with small sample size issues. It’s possible to tell much earlier if you break a hitter down scouting-wise if a new playing level has been established.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — April 19, 2012 @ 11:59 am

  5. A DBZ reference in Fangraphs. The mind boggles.

    Comment by NBarnes — April 19, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  6. “I doubt the 25-year-old outfielder finishes the season with 0 home runs, so let’s substitute in his career home run rate, which suggest he would have hit 1.4 homers by now.”

    I like this. …of course if you follow it to its logical conclusion and just substitute career rates for all the other numbers you are using that are affected by small sample size (all of it), you arrive at the career numbers…. …oh, small sample size fun. But what does it all mean?

    Comment by Jason — April 19, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  7. Here we go with another poo-pooing Freese article. The dude is absolutely ripping the cover off the ball. I haven’t seen one bloop hit from him. He’s not getting lucky with home runs, he’s crushing the ball. Maybe you should watch some games and ABs before you do a write up on a player.

    Comment by johnorpheus — April 19, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  8. Super Saiyan 4 is where I’d say Kemp is close to. DBZ FTW!

    Comment by Josh — April 19, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  9. Relax, Mrs. Freese. He really does love your son’s work.

    Comment by chuckb — April 19, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  10. He must be over 9000!!!!!!

    Comment by adohaj — April 19, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  11. So I’ve got you down for 42+ homers for David Freese. How much did you say you wanted to wager?

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — April 19, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  12. If your conclusion is to arrive back at their career numbers, then I am perfectly happy. I agree that it is too early to make many judgments about players.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — April 19, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

  13. You read fangraphs, you should know walk rate very often increases with age.

    Comment by Bip — April 19, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  14. Bradley,

    Of course I agree that it is too early to make judgments about players based upon statistical profiles. I guess I just don’t see the point to articles like this because of it. You write:

    “But now we can say with greater certainty, using Fielding Independent wOBA (or FI wOBA), what a player’s wOBA would actually regress to, given their performance in other areas.”

    But what is the point since all of those other areas are likely to regress as well? None of the numbers you are using are likely to be good estimates of what they are supposed to measure. So how is any of this informative then?

    I guess I’m

    Comment by Jason — April 19, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  15. ….I guess I left the final sentence as a fill in the blank….

    Comment by Jason — April 19, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

  16. That’s a fair objection, Jason. The point is to look at their other process — namely walk-rate and strikeout-rate — and see whether they are pointing in the right direction. It’s like looking at a derivative rather than the whole curve. The information we can learn early in this season is limited, but these players will make for interesting case studies as the season progresses.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — April 19, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  17. I don’t necessarily think Freese is a 40 HR hitter, but he’s showed flashes of power in the minors, and he passes the eye test right now, and has since late in the regular season last year. I do think he’s closer to a 25-30 HR talent if he is fully healthy.

    He ‘is’ striking out quite a bit, so it may be a conscious decision to simply sit on a pitch? Possibly trading contact for harder contact when it happens. Fact remains that we just don’t have a huge sample size to work with, with Freese due to his injury checkered past, and late development.

    ~.370 wOBA (300/350/500?) doesn’t seem entirely unrealistic for Freese, which would be quite the value over a full season – with the huge caveat. His health.

    Comment by Voxx — April 19, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  18. Ron Paul would never support a Socialist wasteland like Detroit!

    Comment by Franco — April 19, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  19. How many people on the planet use FIO? Including the author, does that number reach 10? My guess is no.

    Comment by sprot — April 19, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

  20. Jackson works the count pretty much every PA. True, a good chunk of the strikeout rate is related to his contact skills, but he also tends to see a lot of full counts, which obviously leads to lots of Ks and BBs.

    He has the unfortunate skill combination of being a player who can sustain a high BABIP with great speed and a favorable batted ball profile but his plate approach (and tendency for swinging strikes) makes him a TTO guy.

    Also, yeah. Like Bradley said, he’s pretty close to an average hitter over his career. Not close to terrible.

    Comment by ThePartyBird — April 19, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  21. I like these articles, because i like baseball, talking, reading and watching. I also know enough, like almost every single Fangraphs reader, such that the article and comments don’t need Captain Obvious caveats cluttering flow.

    Comment by Fan — April 19, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  22. Thats interesting, but these new approaches don’t always survive a run of bad results or opponents’ countermeasures (most famously Jeter and Tiger Woods). Humans are dynamic, nonlinear so you never know. I do like the local reports like yours that show up in the comments; who needs newspapers.

    Comment by Fan — April 19, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

  23. I would not be surprised at all if Austin Jackson ende up hitting more homeruns this year. He’s hit about ten a year his first couple years in the bigs. He hit ten in about 250 plate appearances in 2007 in A+ ball. He is also an athletic player as we know by judging his speed and fielding ability. Rickey Henderson was about 25 when he found his power stroke and Jacoby Ellsbury hit 32 homers last year at age 27 after a couple years of 10 and 9 home runs. He is certainly strong enough to hit 20 + homers and players often find their power stroke around 25. We may also see more walks and at least fewer strikeouts as he has perhaps begun to mature as a hitter. I’m going less off the numbers than I am off the track records of players who had similiar skill sets and athleticism. He also has a swing which is closer to speedsters like Henderson and Ellsbury than it is to speedsters like Posednik or Pierre. In other words Jackson does not try to punch the ball to right field. He comes to the plate looking to rake.

    Comment by uh — April 19, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  24. LOL

    Comment by jay — April 19, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

  25. Which is exactly why nobody should write any baseball articles until we reach mid-May.

    Comment by BlackOps — April 19, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

  26. With some guys, like maybe Kemp, Freese, Jackson, etc we should weight recent performance a little more than career norms.

    It’s fairly obvious that Kemp’s true talent has shifted from his total career average. With guys like Freese, I’d even add post-season PAs to his career numbers because it gives us a slightly larger sample, and those PAs did occur against real-life MLB teams.

    In no way am I suggesting that any of these guys will keep up the pace, but we can assume somewhat reliably that their true talent’s have shifted … Sort of like how we did with Bautista with taking into account the end of his 2009 season and 2010 season and ignoring everything that came before.

    Either Freese and Kemp’s talent has shifted or luck really can carry over through the off-season.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 19, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

  27. “Either Freese and Kemp’s talent has shifted or luck really can carry over through the off-season.”

    Only a very small part of BABIP is luck. It seems clear to me, that with all these hitters who have high BABIPs right now, and also elevated homerun rates, thats its not them ‘getting lucky on balls in play’, its that they’re either seeing the ball well right now, or facing shitty pitching.

    Those things may not be completely sustainable, but they’re not luck.

    Comment by RC — April 20, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

  28. With Freese, using his career home run rate or even fly ball rate tells us very little because this is the first time in the past three years he is remotely healthy. He has openly said that he couldn’t turn on pitches in the past due to two ankle injuries and a broken wrist, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a homerun spike based on pulling the ball alone.

    Don’t put me down for 40 home runs, but 26-28 with a high number of doubles is definitely in play if he can stay healthy enough to get 500+ at bats.

    Chipper Jones said this spring that he would take Freese over David Wright or Ryan Zimmerman if given a choice. That’s either a really stupid statement or tells you a lot about Freese’s ceiling.

    Comment by the hottest stove — April 20, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

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