Neil Weinberg FanGraphs Q&A – 8/27/14

2:34
Neil Weinberg: Hey all. We’ll get started at 3pm.

Remember, this chat prioritizes question about our stats and our site, but I’m happy to take whatever other questions you have. Fantasy and prospect questions will get lower quality answers, though, sorry!

I’m @NeilWeinberg44 on Twitter if you want to chat some other time.

3:01
Neil Weinberg: Alright, let’s chat

3:01
Neil Weinberg: I’ll go an hour for sure, but maybe two if you ask many questions. So more questions = more chat.

3:01
Comment From Andrew
Hey Neil, what are the best metrics to use to predict a power breakout for younger players?

3:03
Neil Weinberg: To predict a coming breakout or to determine if it’s real? Really some mix of plate discipline numbers and something like ISO. You really want quality of contact data, but that’s not publicly available

3:03
Comment From CS
Do you guys have a full list of players some where that can be extrapolated into excel? I would like to utilize the spreadsheet / hyper link abilities to better conduct an offline draft

3:03
Neil Weinberg: If you go into the leaderboards and drop the PA minimum to 0, you can export that list.

3:04
Comment From A. Lane
I couldn’t find confirmation of this anywhere but the wOBA and associated wRC+ numbers for minor league players on Fangraphs are based on weights of their individual leagues, correct?

3:05
Neil Weinberg: Right. wOBA’s are only going to be off a little, but wRC+ could be substantially different for those crazy PCL parks.

3:06
Neil Weinberg: PS: Looks like we’re off to a slow start with questions coming in, if you want to get something answered now is definitely the time!

3:06
Comment From Dolemite
Doing a machine learning project and have a question. what single stat is best predictor of who will win the game? like if i predict home teams wRC vs away team wRC I assume the higher wRC will win. Is wRC the best stat to do this with? (wOBA, other linear run estimators better?)

3:10
Neil Weinberg: You want to use something like that. Depends on exactly what you want to do, but anything in the wOBA, wRC+, wRC, wRAA family is going to get the job done. Just want to make sure you’re appropriately accounting for park and league however you do it.

So if the Rockies have a .330 wOBA and the A’s have a .330 wOBA, the A’s are the better hitters. You also want to account for their pitching staffs in the same way.

Really you want projected runs scored and runs allowed for each. I’d recommend you run some tests on all of them and see what works!

3:10
Comment From Mount St. Keller
Drew Smyly turning into an elite pitcher with the rays? He’s sure looking good so far. How do you think he’ll do in his start today against the orioles who seem to be smashing a few home runs every game here.

3:11
Neil Weinberg: Smyly is an average-ish starter who seems to have gotten some good advice from the Rays about using his cutter more against RHH. Maybe that means he can be more like a 3.5 WAR guy instead of a 2.5 WAR guy, but I wouldn’t expect elite performance unless he can develop a changeup of some kind.

Of course, rumor has it Cobb taught Odorizzi his splitter-ish thing last offseason…so…maybe!

3:11
Comment From Binky
Do you guys have a different version of wOBA that includes intentional walks?

3:13
Neil Weinberg: We do not. Although, two things.

1) You could calculate it yourself pretty easily if you want to
2) IBB are essentially treated like an average PA for every hitter. So when you actually go to convert their wOBA to runs, better hitters get more credit for their IBB, which is nice!

3:13
Comment From Dolemite
Thanks for the response… wOBA of each team’s batters and wOBA vs for both pitchers are both inputs…. what else would i input to magnify that the COL 330 wOBA and OAK 330 wOBA are not identical? some sort of weighted park factor this wOBA was attained in ie % of time in each park multiplied by that parks park factor?

3:14
Neil Weinberg: Just a nice park correction would do the trick. Park adjust wOBA…or just use wRC+ across the board.

3:14
Comment From Guest
Hi, any chance we see batted ball f/x within the next couple of year? What do you think will be the next big stat/data point?

3:16
Neil Weinberg: Going to have StatCast next year. Only question is how much data gets release and how easy it is to use. MLB says it will be ready, but we’ll have to wait and see.

I think we’re a couple years away from assigning run values to exit velocity and direction. Something that can tell us how real a BABIP is. I know teams have some stuff like this. If the data is good, we should be able to make it work too

3:16
Comment From Joe
Lucas Duda is showing a fairly negative defensive rating on fangraphs, but on the other site, he is showing a fairly positive rating, can you elaborate on how these two systems may be looking at things differently?

3:18
Neil Weinberg: Duda has +1 DRS and +1.3 UZR. You’re looking at our DEF stat, which is UZR + positional adjustment. B-Ref uses a positional adjustment in WAR as well, they just present the data a bit differently than we do is all.

3:19
Comment From Manzanillos Cup
Are there plans to expand the custom leaderboards to include minor league players? It would be really handy for tracking prospects along with MLers, even if the data isn’t as robust.

3:19
Neil Weinberg: Someone asked about this last week. Will look into this!

3:20
Comment From Mount St. Keller
Alcantara has some nice tools, but struggling mightily so far, he seems like he could be junior lake 2.0. Poor plate discipline and doesn’t hit for average, although his defense seems like he oculd hack it almost at any position out there. In your mind what do you forsee for him in the cubs future?

3:22
Neil Weinberg: I’m not a scout, but I think he might just have been promoted too soon. He was never going to be a high walk guy, but his strikeouts went up and the quality of his contact went down when he got to MLB. I think a little more development time is needed, so I wouldn’t worry much. I imagine he’ll end up in the OF or traded. But too soon to say!

3:22
Comment From Pale Hose
Neil – the FIP constant is designed to match league average ERA. Is the a purpose behind this other than aesthetics/convenience? It implies that a pitcher that allows all balls in play to produce a league average ERA on average. I am curious, if we compile all MLB innings in which a none of a HR, K, BB, or HBP are recorded and calculate ERA, what would it come out to.

3:24
Neil Weinberg: Don’t know the answer to the last part, but it’s for convenience. With FIP we care about the run value of a K, BB, HBP, HR, and regular balls in play. We could invent a stat that told us the exact same info without the ERA scaling, but then people would have to learn a new scale. Adding the constant doesn’t change anything about how you would rank players using the underlying data.

3:24
Comment From Andrew
Thanks for the response. If a player has a high ISO, what would make it appear sustainable vs. not sustainable?

3:26
Neil Weinberg: ISO stabilizes faster than SLG or HR rate, so it’s going to be the first stat to look toward. But there’s always going to be an inherent uncertainty about how their performance will translate

3:26
Comment From Rex Quan Do
any data deceleration rates of pitches? which guys really are pulling the string the hardest?

3:27
Neil Weinberg: If I understand this question, you want to know about the difference between arm speed and velocity, yes? In which case, we don’t have that data. But there is work being done to create a biomechanics tracker, which might create this data

3:27
Comment From Matt
If you were to start a roto fantasy league using only advanced stats, what would the categories be for your league?

3:29
Neil Weinberg: wRC+, UZR, BsR, RE24 for batters. FIP-, GB%, RE24, and SD/(SD+MD) for pitchers?

3:29
Comment From TomBrunansky
is there a quick stat that’s the diff between true avg and BABIP?

3:29
Neil Weinberg: What do you mean exactly?

3:29
Comment From Andrew
Why did MLBAM make Pitch F/X available to the public but not Hit F/X? Why might they hold back Statcast from the public?

3:31
Neil Weinberg: PITCHf/x was never supposed to be public. As I understand it, someone discovered where they were keeping the data to generate the stuff on Gameday and then it was too late to go back. They haven’t released HITf/x because they were ready for that type of thing. They might hold statcast back if 1) the teams want to keep it secret for some profit driven reason 2) it becomes to difficult to release due to the size of the data

3:31
Comment From TomBrunansky
any chance framing and other periphery C skills eventually translates into a stat?

3:32
Neil Weinberg: BP and StatCorner both have catcher framing numbers. We don’t yet, but they’re out there. Other skills are harder to quantify, but people are always working on it. We have stolen base prevention and blocking so far, but game calling and such is still a ways off

3:32
Comment From Brad
Why do guys like Harold Reynolds and Matt vasgerian continue to say war what is it good for or why do they continue to say shifts don’t work? Why does MLB network tolerate their close minded attitudes!

3:35
Neil Weinberg: They don’t like WAR because 1) it’s not how they grew up analyzing the game and changing your mind is hard for people 2) they aren’t statistically minded in the textbook sense. Meaning they don’t understand modeling and regression and such. They want multiplication, division, and addition. Nothing more or it seems like it’s made up.

The shift thing is really silly because there is tangible evidence they could choose to look at. But Harold especially comes up with what he thinks is right and then searches for evidence in favor of his point. He always points out when the shift doesn’t work but never mentions it when it works.

As for why they’re on the air, they’re charismatic and networks cater to who they think the audience will like.

3:35
Comment From Hieronymous
You’ve said that you don’t like using SIERA because it’s too complicated compared to xFIP, but isn’t it quite a bit better in some situations, specifically for pitchers with extreme batted ball stats (like Zach Britton and his 77% GB rate)?

3:38
Neil Weinberg: There will always be guys who don’t line up with a certain stat for legitimate reasons. I prefer xFIP to SIERA on average, because I’m not sure the SIERA assumptions are useful in most cases when xFIP is so much more straightforward. I’m not against SIERA as a concept, I just think it’s not a significant leap forward for analytical purposes. This is why I always tell people to start with FIP and work outward to other stats. Britton is a nice example of where GB% is going to be a hugely important compliment stat

3:38
Comment From Guest
Hi Neil. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the traditional “Save” statistic. And more specifically do you believe in the “closer mentality”?

3:40
Neil Weinberg: The save statistic is the single most detrimental statistic in baseball. It does not tell you anything useful and managers manage to the save at the cost of managing to actual wins.

I do not believe in the closer mentality. I do believe that handling pressure is a skill, but I do not believe that handling pressure in the 9th inning is different at all from pressure in the 8th inning or 3rd inning

3:40
Comment From Joe
What do you think of Javier Baez… the power is obviously real but with his huge strikeout numbers can he ever really be a superstar?

3:41
Neil Weinberg: I expect something just short of superstar. All-Star, not MVP. I’m not a scout, but based on the skills he has, I can’t see him ever being that good, even if he’s plenty good.

3:41
Comment From Dolemite
I hate the pfx classification of slider curve etc… what (horiz break, spin rate, etc) would be the best few metrics to use to bucket pitches

3:43
Neil Weinberg: The classifications are the best we have. Dave is fond of saying their are bendy pitches and not bendy pitches. Really a pitch has several features (h-break, v-break, velocity). You want to clump pitches together that behave similarly, but pitchers are jerks and take a little off here and there to mess with us. You always want to do a sanity check on the classifications.

3:43
Comment From Dave M.
What is the conversion factor between slugging percentage and on-base percentage, as far as overall offensive value? If it’s some neutral run environment.

3:43
Neil Weinberg: If I understand this right, OBP is 1.8x as valuable as SLG.

3:43
Comment From Mount St. Keller
who’s your favorite team and player? Which teams do you follow the closest?

3:44
Neil Weinberg: I’m a Tigers fan. My favorite players are Don Kelly and Rick Porcello. I follow most teams pretty evenly because of my jobs, but the ALC gets a lot of attention and also the Orioles because I go on a Baltimore radio show pretty often

3:44
Comment From Binky
Thanks for the response! I don’t know if I understand converting wOBA to runs. For some reason I was under the impression that Barry Bonds’ wOBA’s in 2001-2004 were “articifically” low since IBB’s weren’t included.

3:46
Neil Weinberg: So his wOBA are “low” but his WAR won’t be.

To go from wOBA to runs above average, you take (wOBA – lgwOBA)/wOBA scale and then you multiply by PA. So in other words, Bonds’ wOBA doesn’t know he got IBB’d, but you multiple his wOBA by all of his PA, so his IBB are more valuable than the average player’s IBB!

If that makes sense!

3:47
Comment From A. Lane
How should one treat/utilize defensive numbers, DRS/UZR, for utility players when they have sporadic innings like 200-400 innings at 2B another 400 at 3B over multiple seasons? Should 1300 innings over multiple years be regressed more heavily than 1300 innings from a starter in one season?

3:48
Neil Weinberg: Yeah, so the basic response here is that data from two years ago is less useful than data from this year if you care about how good a player is right now or next year. There’s not perfect way to account for this other than to be less certain of the estimates.

So if you care about a player’s defensive ability at 2B but you have 200 innings from 2012 and 150 innings from 2013, and a UZR/150 of +4, you’re just going to widen the error bars.

3:49
Comment From Gabes
Any chance of having righty/lefty splits on Minor Leaguers’ player pages

3:49
Neil Weinberg: I’ll mention it, but for now check our minorleaguecentral.com

3:49
Comment From Dave M.
Is there a way to find a per-AB or per-PA context neutral run value for a particular hitter or pitcher? This is kind of useless but may be fun to look at.

3:50
Neil Weinberg: This is the opposite of useless. This is basically all of sabermetrics!

3:52
Neil Weinberg: For hitters, find Batting in our value tab and divide by PA. That’s Runs Above Average / PA adjusted for park and league (and add in .108 if you don’t want the above average part). For pitchers, we don’t have this exactly, but you can create it yourself in a few ways without too much trouble

3:52
Comment From Joe
What is the expected BABIP for grounders? Is it safe to assume that a player like Travis D’arnaud is just very unlucky with his extremely low BABIP on grounders (.147) or is it inherent in data that is not yet available (hitter f/x). I would assume that for grounders there is an island between hard hit and very soft that leads to a lot of outs.

3:54
Neil Weinberg: League average BABIP on GB is .238 this year
http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

Couple notes: 1) Lefties are higher with men on base because of the 1B holding the runner 2) hitters will vary around that level just like they do for normal BABIP. I would guess that .147 is unlucky, but I don’t know by how much without diving into his numbers.

3:54
Comment From Guest
Should the Jays sell in the off season? Seems like the best possible time to shop Bautista. Coming off a good healthy year.

3:55
Neil Weinberg: I suggested they trade Bautista last offseason, but no one would listen to me! I think the Jays have to decide what they want. They either need to spend more money or rebuild. They’re stuck in between and that’s the absolute worst place to be.

3:55
Comment From Gabes
Are there any teams you know of that are installing tracking systems in their minor league parks? It seems to me these things would have a much greater value in helping to quantify the skills of minor leaguers, where statistics are so much less trustworthy than at the Majors.

3:56
Neil Weinberg: There aren’t any I know for certain, but it’s only about $30K I believe to get something up and running, so I’d be surprised if some teams didn’t already have them. If you see a big black squarish thing behind the plate at press box level, that’s trackman!

3:56
Comment From Mount St. Keller
Don kelly, really? Fair enough, I expected to here miguel after I saw you’re a tigers fan. Man is miguel ever struggling here, is the power coming back, or is this basically who he is as he enters the decline years?

3:57
Neil Weinberg: I like utility guys. Always been my thing. Cabrera is hurt. Both recovering from his hernia and dealing with an ankle injury. I think this is 10% decline, 20% basic regression from a career year, and 70% injury.

3:57
Comment From Dolemite
is there anyway to generate any kind of defensive metrics (other than garbage like errors and fielding %) from pitchfx data?

3:59
Neil Weinberg: Yes. I can’t give you all the details because I don’t know how to actually do it, but what you want to do is this:

1) Find the average run value of each batted ball based on hit location, and battted ball type (so whats the run value of fly balls hit to this quadrant of the field).
2) Then find out how often they are fielded (ie 50% of the time)
3) Then multiple the run value times the odds the play isn’t made.

that’s basically how it works, with some other nuance worked in

3:59
Comment From Guest
if the Tigers don’t make it to the WS, which teams would you prefer?

4:00
Neil Weinberg: Nats, or Pirates if they make it.

4:00
Neil Weinberg: Two minute break. Throw more questions!

4:04
Comment From Guest
Who is Kyle Lobstein? And would the Tigers be better off rolling with four starters for the last month?

4:06
Neil Weinberg: Lobstein is a not-terrible prospect from the left side. He could be someone who succeeds as a 4/5 starter or reliever. Probably not a good option, but all they need is a little luck and he’ll be okay.

I’ve thought about the 4 man thing and I think it’s probably too costly to execute over a full month with a potentially injured Verlander and only two off days because pitchers do worse on short rest and only Price has ever done it (has price even done it?).

4:06
Comment From Batted ball data question
Is there any hard-and-fast way FBs and LDs are differentiated? Like is there a trajectory cutoff mark, or is that data somewhat arbitrary? I find it hard to tell the difference sometimes and wonder how the data measures borderline calls on balls hit to the outfield

4:07
Neil Weinberg: This is basically why batted ball data is only a rough guide. There’s no perfect way to do it.

4:07
Comment From Andrew
ed on BeerGraphs?

4:07
Neil Weinberg: I do not know what this means?

4:08
Neil Weinberg: Ask more questions, if you want more chatting! We’re running painfully low!

4:10
Comment From Andrew
Looks like that question got cut off. Do you know how Beers Above Replacement is calculated on BeerGraphs?

4:11
Neil Weinberg: Here’s what I know about BeerGraphs.

Eno is in charge.

There is beer stuff.

The web address.

However, http://beergraphs.com/bg/10…

I don’t know anything about beer! At all!

4:11
Comment From Mike Leake
What’s my trade value?

4:12
Neil Weinberg: Not that high. You’re a solid MLB starter, but you’ve yet to show greatness at 26 and are going to get two more arb years. Not cheap, not amazing. Someone who pay for you, but not a huge sum….I think. But I haven’t done a deep dive into Leake in quite some time

4:12
Comment From austin
alex meyer in september?

4:13
Neil Weinberg: I think so.

4:13
Comment From Danny Duffy
Is my current performance the best I’ll be, or do I have room for growth. Peripheral numbers don’t love me, but could I be a front-half-of-the-rotation guy?

4:15
Neil Weinberg: ERA will go up, but could see FIP coming down a bit at his peak. Stay healthy and a 3.5 WAR type year is possible.

4:15
Comment From Andrew
Jake Lamb…legit home run hitter in the major leagues? perhaps 25+ with a strong OBP?

4:15
Neil Weinberg: Not sure. I honestly haven’t seen enough of him to comment with any authority.

4:16
Comment From Bill
Okay, I know you said no fantasy stuff, so my question would be, what are some metrics that we can look at which will even out next year (and give us a good chance at finding some fantasy sleepers).

4:16
Neil Weinberg: BABIP is your friend in fantasy. Also, look for pitchers who are moving to a better defensive team or who have new, better fielders.

4:16
Comment From Jim
Do you see the Twins competitive in 2016. They should have a lineup similar to CF: Buxton, 2B: Dozier, 1B: Mauer, 3B: Sano, DH: Vargas, RF: Arcia, LF: Plouffe, C: Suzuki, SS: Santana…with a rotation of Hughes, Gibson, Meyer, Milone, Berrios.

4:17
Neil Weinberg: That’s not enough to be anything more serious than a fringe WC team. But, if those young guys develop and you add in a nice FA or two, you might have something really nice.

4:17
Comment From Ryan
Alex Gordon said recently that he’s planning on honoring his 2016 player option. If he has a 4ish win season next year, how much $ would he be giving up?

4:17
Neil Weinberg: Let’s run this quickly, one sec.

4:21
Neil Weinberg: I’d say $7+ million in 2016, plus the added risk of not signing a long term deal. If he comes out after 2015 with five straight great years going into age 32, he’s getting *at least* 4 years and $70 million. That’s the floor. If he gets hurt in 2016, that can fall fast. I don’t know why he’s doing this. Even if he wants to stay in KC, there’s no value to exercising the option in my opinion

4:21
Comment From Carlos
Who busts out of Baez, Bryant, Russell, Soler?

4:21
Neil Weinberg: Baez/Soler toss up. Think Bryant is the safest of the group

4:21
Comment From austin
is a BJ Upton for Edwin Jackson trade actually a possibility? and who would, er, “win” that trade?

4:22
Neil Weinberg: Don’t think so. And I’m not sure anyone wins. You’re trading one mess for another. Odds of each turning around seem similar. I think I want Jackson, because maybe he can be a reliever? oof

4:22
Comment From Dave M.
Do you think making there be less time between pitches would alter overall run scoring?

4:23
Neil Weinberg: Interesting question. I think it would increase run scoring slightly, but just a guy feeling about which player would be bothered more

4:23
Comment From Chris Carter
Am I a trade candidate in the offseason? If I finish strong, what do I fetch?

4:24
Neil Weinberg: Astros should trade Carter. Dangle his HR power in front of the right GM and get a nice little prospect back. No one amazing, but something good I bet.

4:24
Comment From Dolemite
Top row are 4 of the worst righties in terms of changeup value throwing to left hand batters
Bottom row are 4 of best RHP throwing changeups to LHB
Is there any information based on location alone as to why the top 4 are much better than the bottom 4 or is velocity movement and sequencing just as much if not more of a factor

4:26
Neil Weinberg: Every RHP wants their CH down and away to lefties. I’m not sure location alone explains it because a good changeup is about the difference between the time and place the batter expects and the time and place it ends up.

4:26
Comment From austin
prediction for world series MVP. go.

4:26
Neil Weinberg: Rendon

4:27
Comment From Mets fan
When should the Mets look to lock Juan Lagares up? I think they should do so soon before he starts to hit and drives his value through the roof, kind of like the Cards did with Yadier

4:28
Neil Weinberg: After 2015. His skills are underpaid in arb and he doesn’t hit HR. Plus the fact that defense peaks early, so you might not want him in five years anyway, could definitely wait. But if you want to do it, wait a year

4:28
Comment From Doctor Doom
Hey Neil! Been waiting all week to ask this question! How can you determine whether a pitcher is really experiencing bad luck as opposed to drop in skill level? For example, if a player has a sharp increase in BABIP and no obvious loss of velocity paired with decrease performance.

4:30
Neil Weinberg: you can never know for sure, but I like to look at all of their peripherals. Bad luck shows up in BABIP and HR rate. If K’s, walks, ground ball rate are pretty similar you bet on bad luck. Velocity is also a good indicator, and if you really want to get into it, look at how they’re doing on certain types of batted balls etc.

Basically, really try to isolate exactly what’s different and then decide if that seems like luck or skill

4:30
Comment From frfr
Seems like there’s been a weirdly fantastic number of 3Bs lately. Who would you take if you were a GM: Donaldson, Seager, Rendon, Beltre, or… Frazier, maybe?

4:30
Neil Weinberg: Donaldson/Rendon, then Seager. Beltre only below them because at some point he will stop being ageless

4:31
Comment From RetireNutting
My eyes tell me that, with his arm, Andrew McCutchen should play RF at PNC once Polanco is up for good. Marte in CF and Polanco in LF. Can you confirm or deny with stats?

4:32
Neil Weinberg: Cutch’s arm doesn’t rate well based on the numbers. I’m not sure if you’re talking about the big left field in PNC as a factor, but the Pirates have a nice problem in basically having three guys who could handle each spot. I’d really go by who is comfortable where for now

4:32
Comment From Doctor Doom
What’s with Zach “All or nothing” Walters? Clearly his current power numbers aren’t sustainable. Do you see him ever balancing out to become a more well rounded hitter?

4:33
Neil Weinberg: Yeah, I actually think he might be pretty decent.

4:33
Comment From Jeremy
The Jays have a few young pitchers in Stroman, Norris, Sanchez and Hutchison, as well as a bunch of other pitchers in the lower levels, could the rotation actually be a streng in a few years?

4:33
Neil Weinberg: Could be? Sure. But it’s pretty rare to hit on a bunch of pitching prospects at one time. I’d bet the under, but it’s not crazy

4:35
Comment From RetireNutting
Bryant the safest with 40% k rate?!

4:35
Neil Weinberg: Bryant has a 27.5% K rate?

4:35
Neil Weinberg: This year. Was 27.4% in 2013. Never higher than that

4:35
Comment From CuriousGeorge
i just read that pitch f/x at different stadiums can be different. for example a pitcher’s fastball at home may be 1-2 mph slower than on the road. is this sample large enough to create discrepancies in the data?

4:36
Neil Weinberg: Yes. Brooks Baseball adjusts for this. Our raw data does not. Use with caution.

4:36
Comment From Dave
Who should Nats focus on resigning after 2016? Also what contrct do you think Stras gets in the open market?

4:36
Neil Weinberg: Let me see who they have due up really quick

4:38
Neil Weinberg: Stras is their only big name due up after 2016, right? And I would imagine he’s get something like 7/$200M at that point. Which is an estimate based on many assumptions about him and the market. So grain of salt

4:39
Comment From Jheff
Does Aaron Sanchez results in the bullpen signal that maybe he is actually better than some people thoght?

4:39
Neil Weinberg: Pitchers do better in the bullpen. I think he’s a guy who is going to be better in the pen than the rotation. Not saying they should move him yet, but I haven’t changed my view of him based on this stint

4:39
Comment From Fool of a Took
Zach Walters: The 24 year old Javy Baez nobody is talking about? Walters: .207/.266/.529, 9 HR in 94 PAs, Baez: .198/.233/.465 with 7 HR in 90 PA

4:40
Neil Weinberg: From what I understand, the Baez bat speed relative to Walters is much different. Although, scouts can be wrong and Walters has made some adjustments. 90 PA is too small to adjust your beliefs much

4:40
Comment From Doctor Doom
Given his struggles this year, do you see Masterson signing a one year deal to establish some of his value? Thoughts on likely landing spots?

4:41
Neil Weinberg: Yeah. One year makes sense. Cubs seem like a good fit. Twins? Good question

4:41
Comment From Carlos
Can you explain why Baez struggles so much to make contact?

4:42
Neil Weinberg: I assume pitch recognition is a big factor, but I do not know for sure

4:42
Comment From frfr
You worried about Brandon Moss’s weird power outage at all? He hasn’t’ hit a home run in over a month, and Brandon Moss’s game is like 90% dingers. But tiny sample size, too.

4:43
Neil Weinberg: Probably better to think of this as too little power and the previous months as too much. Not super worried, but I wasn’t buying him as a star

4:43
Comment From captrvp
why no love for corey dickerson

4:43
Neil Weinberg: He is good! I voted for him as my NL LF in the BTBS ballot.

4:44
Comment From Doctor Doom
Okay….let’s try that one more time…NEIL. Can you clarify this point you made above ” ISO stabilizes faster than SLG or HR rate, so it’s going to be the first stat to look toward.”

4:44
Neil Weinberg: If you want to tell how good a player’s power numbers are going to be, ISO will be a better indicator because you can get the necessary sample size faster

4:44
Comment From Carlos
Does Kyle Schwarber have any trade value?

4:45
Neil Weinberg: Oh, certainly yes.

4:45
Comment From Dolemite
speaking to your time and place about changeup…. is that why felix hernandez’s is soooo good is because it is the same speed as his fastball but just falls like 6 inches off the table and they swing on top of it?

4:46
Neil Weinberg: that is one reason. You can ruin a hitter with movement they aren’t expecting, speed they aren’t expecting, or both. Felix throws two pitches at 90 mph that do totally separate things. How do you hit that?

4:46
Comment From Chris
Forgetting for a moment all the failings of RBI as a stat…isn’t it kind of strange that hitters don’t get an RBI for knocking in a run if they hit into a double play? Making one out to score a run is acceptable, but making two? No way! That’s up there with running on a dropped 3rd strike, and bunting foul after strike 2 as rules that I think were made up in the driveway. How often does the negative impact of making those two outs outweigh the positive impact of scoring that run?

4:46
Neil Weinberg: Point one, the rule has no logical foundation. It’s just a made up scoring thing. Let’s play a game through and use RE24!

4:48
Neil Weinberg: Runners on 1 and 3, no outs. RE of 1.798

Empty, two outs is .095 RE

So actually it is a net negative! Shoot!

4:48
Comment From Fool of a Took
Evan Gattis for Mookie?

4:48
Neil Weinberg: In a HR Derby, this is a good idea for the Red Sox. Otherwise no.

4:48
Comment From Josh
Buxton or Bryant, who has a better career?

4:49
Neil Weinberg: Bryant but I think both are All-Stars

4:49
Comment From Grant
There’s a deli in my town called Weinberg’s. No question, just wanted to say thanks for the killer Reubens.

4:49
Neil Weinberg: Where do you live? There’s one in Raleigh that I though was just okay :(

4:49
Comment From Doctor Doom
Just read that the Indians have 47 sac bunts this year (The league average is 37!) As an Indians fan, how should I feel about this?

4:50
Neil Weinberg: Not worried. Sac bunts are hard to classify because we don’t know how many are true sacs and how many are failed bunts for a hit.

I talked to someone in the game about their team’s bunting habits and he told me he thinks a portion of theirs were guys going on their own

4:50
Comment From Syed
Any comps for Bryant? Troy Glaus? Mike Schmidt?

4:50
Neil Weinberg: Glaus is one people use a lot. Makes sense

4:50
Comment From TJ House
Is there anyway to calculate the league average numbers for a 5th starter? I suspect that a decent (and consistent) 5th starter is one of the more under appreciated types of player in baseball. (Ask the Tigers!)

4:51
Neil Weinberg: Sure. Grab every starter and take the average numbers for the fifth best guy in each rotation!

4:51
Comment From Jheff
What do you think Melky Cabrera could get in free agency?

4:51
Neil Weinberg: 4/50?

4:51
Comment From Josh
Your answer got me excited… Could Schwarber headline a package for a top player? For example could Schwarber now have been traded for a guy like David Price

4:52
Neil Weinberg: Always depends on contracts, but he’s a very good prospect

4:52
Comment From Fool of a Took
does the slash line and plate discipline of mike trout this year seem like an appropriate projection of kris bryant next year? or am i getting too excited

4:52
Neil Weinberg: This seems like a plausible peak for Bryant. Give him three years

4:54
Neil Weinberg: Alright, let’s finish this one up. Thanks for the questions. Sorry if I didn’t get to yours. I’m @NeilWeinberg44 on Twitter if you need me.

4:55
Neil Weinberg: Also look for new content in the Library on Fridays!

4:55
Comment From CuriousGeorge
remind everyone schwarber is in high A

4:55
Neil Weinberg: Done. Take care!




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Neil Weinberg is the Site Educator at FanGraphs. He is also the Associate Managing Editor at Beyond The Box Score and can be found writing enthusiastically about the Detroit Tigers at New English D. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @NeilWeinberg44.


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