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  1. So your point seems to be, “Heyward had a sophomore slump, and there’s regression, and there’s BABIP, and things”. I feel like the point you were trying to make is that neither regression to the mean nor a steadfast reliance on BABIP as a luck indicator can explain Heyward’s 2011 season. I’ll make the point that as Fangraphs readers, that’s a somewhat shallow point to make, and that you probably need another round or two of proofreading for this particular article.

    Comment by GTStD — May 18, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

  2. Not sure why I kept reading this. My early ESTIMATION that this would be insightful by the end of the piece was wrong.

    Comment by MmmmmmK — May 18, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  3. Im glad it wasnt just me who was completely lost

    Comment by Micah — May 18, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

  4. This has little to do with the article, but I simply don’t think Heyward’s upside is as great as was promised by his amazing rookie campaign. He still possesses great strike zone judgment, but he does not take advantage of that skill like the other players who have it, such as Votto. He can be overpowered by fastballs and a definite scouting report has been developed on his swing by other teams. Teams have also gotten much better at using the shift against him on the ground.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — May 18, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

  5. His ISO and walk rates are pretty good. He’s also stolen bases at a much higher rate than before. When I watch him, and yea this is going to be subject to a viewer bias because I don’t get a pen and paper out and track things, he rarely seems to have a bad at bat. I’ll watch Dan Uggla look ridiculous swinging at all sorts of garbage. Then Heyward works the count and fouls off a ton of balls. His 3rd inning at bat in St. Louis against Lance Lynn is a great example of how advanced I feel he is at the plate.

    I think once he gets stronger (not bulky like he was last year, but just stronger as his body matures) he’ll be a monster. Right now he’s pretty good. Walks a lot, hits the ball hard a lot, has speed.

    You didn’t do a very good job at explaining his slump. I know this is fangraphs and LOL@emotions but I think a lot of it last year was mental. He had the physical problems, but also the weight of the expectations and a new hitting coach who most agree was bad at his job. Plus a manager with a learning disability. I think maybe under other circumstances he’s not as bad in 2011.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — May 18, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  6. Yeah, not to call undue attention to process over content, but this article was a baffling read. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure what the content was. I know, I know–you get what you pay for; but once the Budweiser and Expedia ads go up, I think some form of editing process (hell, one quick read was enough for 4 of the first 5 commenters) is in order. This is well below par for a professional site.

    Comment by Icebox — May 18, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

  7. I actually assumed that English is not this author’s native tongue, and for that reason gave it a free pass. Even so, there are so many caveats here that what is left over adds little to no value.

    The real statistic relevant to Heyward’s slump is his GB%. I’ve also watched every game this year and my eye at least tells me he falls behind early in the count often because he is not great yet at jumping on fat first pitch strikes. That inspires me to dig up statistical evidence to back that assertion up.

    Comment by manusevil — May 18, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  8. Fangraphs is the best baseball site I have found and I am a huge Braves fan but I even found myself wondering why I finished reading this article. One of the only articles I have read on this site that I found to be a waste of my time.

    Comment by Sean Pittman — May 18, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

  9. I think I understand the objective, which I assume to be BABIP alone should not be a judge of what is or is not sustainable.

    I am unfamiliar with anyone who has used Heywards 2010 babip as proof that he was going to decline. I do remember people using xbabip as a reason for suggestion that he could support such a line and even improve upon it with increased power.

    Heyward had a bad year, but I suspect most competent people understand that injuries played a significant part of that. Even if he played over his head in 2010, I do not see a world where people would legitimately expect what he did in 2011.

    Comment by Dr.Rockzo — May 19, 2012 @ 5:14 am

  10. I feel sorry for Fangraphs writers.

    They have to give caveats to everything, or people yell “small sample size”. And when they do, people yell “you said nothing except ‘small sample size'”.

    The article is just a reminder: Heyward is a good player. He’s probably not as good as he was his first year. He’s probably better than he was his second year. This just serves as a parable that that we can’t neatly divide stats into “rock solid” and “certain to regress”. I’m not a Braves fan, so I’m not sure how good Heyward was as an example.

    Comment by CJ — May 19, 2012 @ 6:54 am

  11. I’d consider going through and regressing Heyward’s 2012 stats using Pizza Cutter’s methodology, but then I remembered that people smarter than me invented ZiPS.

    Comment by CJ — May 19, 2012 @ 7:15 am

  12. He was hurt in 2011. 2010 BAIP can’t predict such a thing.

    Comment by Jab — May 19, 2012 @ 10:56 am

  13. Yeah not sure what the thesis was here. And i agree that once ads go up and there are pay aspects to the site it must be edited. If someone came to fg and read this first they would not bookmark the url I promise

    Comment by bpdelia — May 19, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

  14. Well, I liked the article, but I am not the type of reader that needs a road map for articles.

    Comment by Bill but not Ted — May 19, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

  15. Even in an illustration of pitfalls of statistical arguments and reasoning, such as this, statistically inclined readers still say: I would never have statistics in this way.

    Something I find interesting.

    Comment by Bill but not Ted — May 19, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

  16. “he is striking out more in this (still young) season than in in the past, probably as a consequence of making contact less frequently.”

    Ya think?

    Comment by Slurve — May 20, 2012 @ 2:52 am

  17. Dear Fangraphs,

    Please hire an editor to proof read each article before publication.

    All Your Confused Readers

    Comment by cs3 — May 20, 2012 @ 2:53 am

  18. That would be my biggest complaint about this website. It often seems like no one proofreads these articles before posting them.

    Comment by Chomp — May 20, 2012 @ 11:19 am

  19. I ordinarily like Matt’s writing but I don’t think I understand what the argument here is.

    Comment by BurleighGrimes — May 21, 2012 @ 3:50 am

  20. How old was Votto when he started taking advantage of it?

    Comment by Norm — May 21, 2012 @ 10:42 am

  21. It’s worth noting that not only have his contact rates declines, but he’s swinging a LOT more often now, including on pitches out of the zone.

    Comment by Adam — May 31, 2012 @ 11:57 am

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