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Friday, February 15, 2013


Just so this doesn't get lost at the end of the last thread:

To add some further thought to the walk rate for sub-.100 ISO players, I grabbed all players from data from 2007-2012 with ISO rates below .100.

I then added their walks together and divided by their PA, to get an average walk rate. I figured this was better than just averaging all their percentages.

The average walk rate since 2007 for sub-.100 ISO players has been 7.48%.

For >=.100 ISO players, the average walk rate was 9.0%.

For >=.150 ISO players, the average walk rate was 9.76%.

For >=.200 ISO players, the average walk rate was 10.71%

For >=.250 ISO players, the average walk rate was 12.87%.

The league average walk rate over that period for all players was 8.84%.

So there you go. Definitely a correlation. Revere, though, would look much better with a 7.75% walk rate than what he currently sports.


The real question then becomes, do these players walk more because they swing and miss less, and so therefore have less chances to see enough pitches to walk, or is it because they are pitched differently, or both?

I may try to see if I can do the same analysis looking at Zone% based on ISO.


So quick follow-up, since I already have the data open.

Same analysis as before:

The average Zone% (pitches in the strike zone) since 2007 for sub-.100 ISO players has been 50.12%.

For >=.100 ISO players, the average Zone% was 47.32%.

For >=.150 ISO players, the average Zone% was 46.64%.

For >=.200 ISO players, the average Zone% was 45.72%

For >=.250 ISO players, the average walk rate was 44.26%.

The league average Zone% over that period for all players was 47.67%.

So, mea culpa to Conway Twitty. His thoughts seem to have some legitimate merit. The less power you have, the more strikes you see, the harder it is to walk.

If the league avg walk rate is 8.8%, and >.100 ISO walk rate is 9.0% - then it means that the lg avg ISO must be below .100 - but it isn't - its about .150.

lore, just checked the numbers. They're solid. I don't think what you say necessarily follows. The sub .100 ISO players are just dragging the numbers down that much.

I retract my previous sarcastic remark about Utley's interview likely to be 'rivetting' - he was much more candid and open than normal. Good interview, and great mention of him recognizing his solid LD% and poor BABIP.

I also misread his quote about michael young as "obviously not a great player, but a good guy" hah i was like, wait what?

Just to show my methodology, the sub .100 ISO players had 6,716 walks over that time period in 89,793 PA. The >.100 ISO players had 69,838 BB in 776091 PA.

All players had 76,554 BB in 865,884 PA.

Just divide.

Fat - Great numbers. You have to wonder if the Twins were so willing to trade Revere because they thought he basically he maxed out as player offensively in large part because he isn't a guy who will take that many BBs.

Fatal: are you filtering your initial data in anyway?

It just doesn't make sense. How can the league average ISO be around .150 with a 8.8% walk rate, but all players with >.100 ISO be 9.0%

lorecore, I did the following. I exported Dashboard and Standard data from Fangraphs for time period 2007-2012, and then I had to pull the raw BB numbers from the Standard data into the Dashboard data.

From there, I sorted all players by ISO, and just simple addition from there. I used some formula, but after your post, I checked the numbers manually.

Mathematically, too, if the sub .100 ISO players are dragging the numbers down that much, it can make sense.

lore, feel free to "peer review" my numbers. Maybe I screwed up.

lore, sounds to me like Utley is more sabr oriented then the Phils' FO. :)

I think it's this simple:

It Utley can stay healthy and on the field he'll be a very productive player. He had the 5th highest OPS among 2B in MLB (2nd in NL) in 2012 when he was on the field.

Stay healthy, Chase.

you just showed your problem:

2007-2012 there was a total of 1118310 PA - you only have 865,884 PA for some reason.

lore, ah, only looking at qualified hitters. Should I sample all hitters?

And I think the point is still valid...ISO is correlated with walk rate and Zone%.

I think that your BB% is inflated because you filtered out nonq'd players, who most likely are crappy players/pitchers with bad BB% numbers.

But yes, the correlation is legit. Depending on how much you are interested, I would recommend analyzing more completely and submitting an article to fangraphs or other sites to see if they run it/help expand on it.

that, or refer to qualified players only when figuring out the league avg BB% rate, but you need both numbers to be working off the same data to be able to show together.

Fatti--Interesting stats. Another thing to consider is the fact that Revere has elite speed. Pitchers have no reason to fear Revere driving a pitch right down the middle for a extra base hit. But they do have reason to fear Revere causing havoc on the basepaths after a walk. So a combination of no power plus elite speed would probably be even more likely to see few pitches outside the strike zone compared to a hitter with no power and average/slow speed.
I think we would all like to see Revere walko
more often. However, it may be more difficult than him just being more patient at the plate.

I've never entirely trusted those "line drive percentage" numbers on Fangraphs, as they don't distinguish between a hard line drive that just happens to be right at a defensive player & a weak line drive that is categorized as a line drive only because none of the other categories really fits. I mention this only because, when I think of Chase Utley's prototypical at-bat from the last 2 seasons, I think of a weakly-hit "line drive" to left or center field.

Can't say enough about how Chase and Ryan handle themselves in the media. Both incredibly well-spoken and level-headed guys.

bap, I actually think Utley drove quite a few balls last year. I remember quite a few near miss home runs.

bap-- Actually from the "eye test", I really felt like Chase was hitting the ball a lot harder last year. 2011, I agree with you. ymmv

MG: "You have to wonder if the Twins were so willing to trade Revere because they thought he basically he maxed out as player offensively."

How many players max out at age 24?

lore, I actually took just the group of players I had, and if we imagine that they are the complete set of players (they are a data set unto themselves after all), we can analyze what their average ISO is.

To do this, I compiled total bases for all players in this data (332,260; just qualified, remember), and divided by total PA (865,884) to get an average SLG of .384.

Then I took total hits (207,667) and divided by total PA, to get an average BA of .240.

So average ISO of this group is .144.

So I think the BB% of >=.100 ISO players can be greater than the average of all, just because those sub .100 jerks are mucking up everything by swinging at everything.

lore, just saw your 2:30 post. Yeah, those "league average" numbers were among qualified hitters. I don't have the time right to re-aggregate the data, but I imagine the analysis wouldn't change much, even if I did.

MG: Twins likely wouldn't have traded Revere if they thought that he was a future star, but I doubt they thought he had reached his ceiling. OF was a position of organizational strength while pitching was an organizational weakness.

Just as the reverse was true for the Phillies.

Clout: I would be willing to bet that if you sorted every major league player in history by their WAR (or some other metric of quality) in each season, the percentage who had their best season at age 24 would be higher than you think.

I have no large-scale empiric evidence to back this up, and I have no idea what the number would be. But I do think a lot of players max out earlier than people normally recognize. For instance, I highly doubt Mike Trout will ever top the season he just put up at age 20. To go by recent Phillies, Ryan Howard maxed out at age 26, in his first full season. Pat Burrell's best season was at age 25 in 2002. Randy Wolf's best pitching season by WAR was at age 25. Going back, Mickey Mantle won the triple crown and MVP at age 24, arguably his best (among many) season. Ted Williams' famous 1941 season came at age 22.

Sure, a lot of players get better. Some are already who they are at age 24. Hopefully Revere is one of the players who improves.

KAS, I haven't seen anyone state that they think Revere is a future star.

However, he is capable of being a decent role player on a team.

"MG: "You have to wonder if the Twins were so willing to trade Revere because they thought he basically he maxed out as player offensively."

Actually no, no you don't. It's not hard to wonder why the pitching-starved Twins made a trade like this.

Again, the guy is 24. I think we, as Phillies fans, think every other 24 year-old out there is bound to improve unless he is on our roster.

His skill set is fairly distinct, and in that sense his ceiling is not a ton higher than it is right now. But there is a ceiling there, as you can see from his MiLB numbers, and in 1100 PA, are we really supposed to believe he's hit it?

I mean, feel free to believe it, and you might be right in the end. But it isn't an open and shut case. There's room for improvement and he's got 5+ years to work towards it.

Jack, you question is just begging for a query to be written.

If only had complete access to baseball-reference's database. Their play index is good, but it's limited.

"I think we, as Phillies fans, think every other 24 year-old out there is bound to improve unless he is on our roster."

Iceman, not true. I was in a running battle yesterday with people who tried justify the Worley/Revere trade was justified because Worley couldn't possibly get any better, and he's on teh Twinkies roster now.

The Twins didnt give Revere away. They got well paid for him with two good pieces going the other way.

I wonder if the same poster's here who think Revere and Worley can't get any better would have said the same thing about Mike Schmidt after his age 24 season?

rolo: Nice one!

Point can be made either way. Like I said above, plenty of players never got better from their early-mid 20s. Obviously, plenty did.

We have no idea if Revere will or not. Simple as that.

But we should still speak in absolutes as if we do know. It's the Beerleaguer code.

Jack: Its a pretty widely accepted fact that your average player is peaking around ~28. Congrats on finding some examples of players who don't fit that trend, but I'll take the word/work of much smarter baseball minds than I than 24yr old's are more than likely going to improve.

Jack wrote:
"I would be willing to bet that if you sorted every major league player in history by their WAR (or some other metric of quality) in each season, the percentage who had their best season at age 24 would be higher than you think."

It's probably higher than I think, but that's because I think the number would be no higher than 5%... and I think that's high.

The highest percentage (outside of steroid era) will likely fall between 27 and 28... then be ages 26 and 29... then age 25.

Posted by: Mick O | Friday, February 15, 2013 at 03:30 PM

If you look next to age 20, you see the number 18.

Mike Trout, in his age 20 season last year, had 10 fWAR and 10.7 bWAR.

Mike Trout created more than half as much value in his age 20 season as every position player who ever played at age 20.

Mick O, noce link!

noce = nice.

So did A-Rod, as well.

KAS, actually, if you look at the link Mick posted, ages 30 and 31 had higher WAR than age 25.

I was a bit surprised by that.

Hopefully he'll follow the Andrew Bynum "timetable".

Probably because if you make to Age 30-31 as a player, you're pretty good.

Young will be back around the AS break.

If he's lucky. Putting him in RF after that type of surgery was always a pipedream anyway.

Nepp: exactly

If you did a WAR/age chart for people playing til their age 40 season, you'd get a much higher age'd number.

MG: Thanks for the ST TV schedule last week. Does anyone have the radio schedule? I don't think they do all the games. Also, does anyone know the best way to get their flagship radio station on the internet? I live in a low spot of suburban Reading, and don't get it. The local WEEU, which calls itself "Your Phillies Station", isn't all the time. Thanks.

Is this Delmon Young injury stuff "news"? Didn't we know when he was signed that he would start on the DL and would probably be out for the first few months of the season? Am I imagining that?

I really thought we beat the Delmon Young injury to death a few weeks ago.

Is it just me or does anyone else think Utley is gonna play 140 games and collect at least 5 WAR this year?

Is it just me or does anyone else think Utley is gonna play 140 games and collect at least 5 WAR this year?

Posted by: Nik | Friday, February 15, 2013 at 04:00 PM

I'm banking on it.

It'd be nice to add exactly 5 wins to the Phillies record (hi, BAP!)

Fata: Not only that , but half of that 18 must have been put up by A-Rod in his age 20 season of 1996, when he had 9.2 bWAR and 9.8 fWAR.

So between the two of them, Trout and A-Rod, they have created something like 66% of all the value of age-20 seasons in baseball history.

That's pretty insane.

I don't want to beat this BB% talk to death, but a guy with little power who bats 8th in the NL probably inflates his walk numbers. Something else for you stat guys to sort out.

How many players max out at age 24?
A few ...
I thought of a few off the top of my head, in checking BRef, my memory is quasi-decent. I just OPS+ed it, if that's OK.

Al Kaline had his 2nd best year at 20, had his best year at 32.

Cesar Cedeno had his best two years at 21 and 22. He had injury problems later on, but mostly after age 30.

Jim Finegan had a nice age 25 rookie season, sucked after that. (I always marveled at his baseball card when I was a kid).


B. J. Upton :)

I think Jack's point is that some guys do peak at 24, not that most do. Bill James settled this question 20 years ago and I'm sure Jack isn't challenging that.

"It'd be nice to add exactly 5 wins to the Phillies record (hi, BAP!)"

I've actually come up with my own WAR system (called BAP-WAR), as an alternative to Fangraphs & B-Ref. I won't bother you with the formula as it's enormously complex. I'll just tell you that, in 34 starts last year, Mini-Mart posted a BAP-WAR of negative one zillion. Hence, by my calculations, we can get one zillion wins back just by keeping Mini-Mart at AAA this year. Of course, if Delmon Young ends up on the roster, we'll immediately give back about a half-zillion of those wins.

Clout: Of course. My point is merely that whatever number you think have their best season intuitively, I bet it's actually more than that.

We tend to think that because the median peak age is 27 for all players in the aggregate, most players' careers follow a bell curve of performance. But I don't really think that's the case. I think the bell curve most definitely exists in the aggregate, for all players, but not at the individual level. A whole lot of players have their best seasons early in their careers--or late. I'm saying the variance is a lot higher than people may realize, for individual players.

Fata: Not only that , but half of that 18 must have been put up by A-Rod in his age 20 season of 1996, when he had 9.2 bWAR and 9.8 fWAR.

So between the two of them, Trout and A-Rod, they have created something like 66% of all the value of age-20 seasons in baseball history.

That's pretty insane.

Posted by: Jack | Friday, February 15, 2013 at 04:14 PM

Is it really statistically valid to say xx% of the value? Wouldn't plenty of players have put up negative value at age 20?

The less power you have, the more strikes you see, the harder it is to walk.
Unless you are an Ashburn clone and can foul strikes off forever.Feel free to add to the list.

jr's comment got me curious, so I'm looking at a list of all players with over 4,000 PA as far back as 1871, and I want to look for players with sub .100 ISOs and BB% over 10%.

101 such players.

So we whittle down. ISO < .100, BB% > 15%

8 such players

ISO < .050, BB% > 15%?? Is it possible?

Yes. Yes it is.

Roy Thomas: .043 career ISO, 15.8 BB%

You've got some work to do, Revere. In BOTH categories.

FAtti, was it this Roy Thomas?

That was the deadball era. No one had any power then. :)

SI's Cliff Corcoran has his NL East Preview up:

Big questions?

For the Nats and Braves it's pitching, for the Phils it's HHU, for the Mets it's D'Arnaud, and you'll have to read the one for the Fish! Funny.

Thanks for the link, rolo.

I like the reaction to RAJ saying Delmon Young will be our RF starter: "He wasn't serious, was he?"

Speaking of Chase Utley, has anybody recognized how much he looks like the actor Paul Mcgann, who played the eight incarnation of Doctor Who?

check it out.



I noticed that yesterday when Ryan Howard said this:

“I don’t buy into the old thing. It’s all about how young you feel inside and how well you take care of yourself."

Heather jumped in and made some coment about his fantasy world. But today when Chase Utley said this:

"I feel like we have the talent to do it. We're all a year older, but age is just a number. It's how you treat your body, how you take care of it."


My feeling young right now means I'm not taking care of my body. I'll know in the morning.

Watched the Utley interview on CSN, and came away with two conclusions:
1. Utley was as loose today as Howard was yesterday and is a very patient man when confronted with stupidity.
2. Sportswriters ask the one, same question worded differently , throughout the entire interview. "Chase , why should we believe you when you say you are healthy?"

I believe that Utley may very well be fine. He might have to live like a shark, moving all the time to keep his joints lubricated, but it can be done.

I can believe that Howard will be something approaching his old self, the further he gets from his achilles injury. Not the ROY self, but the lower average, good power bad fielding old self.

The one I am skeptical of is Doc. If he's cutting it loose at some point and topping 90 mph with regularity at some point approaching the season, I'll believe he's back. But I really won't believe it until then. If he's in the high 80s heading into the season, he's still not healthy.

aks- Like to hear you're somewhat upbeat on Howard's future.
I wonder if the achilles ( fear of re-injury, or just the tightness of the post op tendon) hurt Ryan's ability to stretch and scoop throws last year as well as his hitting.
Read a lot opinions about how it hurt his offense , but just looking at him making the stretch at first last year made me want to grab at the back of my calf.

Jack - Not exactly on point, but Joe Posnanski did an analysis of all the great seasons by position players in the history of baseball and found that a high percentage of great seasons were by players 25-years-old and under. I think you can find the article in Posnanski's archives.

Which still wouldn't have anything to do with Jack's original point that revere has a good chance to never improve.

lorecore - Correct. I would expect Revere to improve over the several years. A ball player who hits .300+ with an OBP of .350 or better, lots of steals and strong defense in CF is valuable even with a low ISO and relatively low BB%. It's not much of a stretch to see Revere becoming that player and very soon.

On aging, I have cited previously a two-part article by Mitchel Lichtman over at The Hardball Times. One of his charts shows that position players since 1980 with over 5,000 PAs peak at around 29-30 and do not decline significantly until about age 35.

Lichtman's findings and those of Posnanski are not contradictory.

Fata: "Roy Thomas: .043 career ISO, 15.8 BB%"

Great find. Roy Thomas was Richie Ashburn, Phillies CF, before Ashburn was born. Led league in BBs, great speed, good defense, no power, but a career OPS+ of 124, 13 points higher than Ashbiurn's. Plus he was a Norristown native and Penn grad.

Shouldn't he be on the Phillies Wall of Fame?

Mike G: Heather's a good poster, but he clearly prefers Utley to Howard.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he expects to carry Freddy Galvis on the Opening Day roster. "Does he help us giving us 300 at-bats here, or 500 at-bats in the minor leagues? I say being on our team, getting 300 at-bats."

I disagree with Charlie in terms of Freddy's development BUT he's a big upgrade over Mini-Mart, Betancourt and Frandsen as the utility INF.

Yeah I know clout. I was just pointing out the obvious bias.

I just noticed this on RotoWorld:

T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish of report that Ryan Braun's name is listed in an additional Biogenesis clinic document that "suggests a closer link" to clinic founder Anthony Bosch than Braun has acknowledged.

Galvis is an upgrade over the rest of our internal options, but him getting 300 MLB PA in 2013 isn't good for anyone.

If the Phils want to have the best chance to make the playoffs this year, Galvis is the guy who should be on the Opening Day roster.

I would also like Cholly to use Galvis at least 1-2 times a week and start vs LHP and spell Utley/JRoll on a regular basis starting in April too.

The only players out of options too are Mayberry/Frandsen. Not a big deal since both guys are locks to make the Opening Day roster.

With Young out, the 5 OFs are set (Mayberry, Revere, Nix, Ruf, Brown) and the only positional roster spots up for grabs are the middle utility spot & backup catcher. Quintero has the inside-track to win the backup catcher job & I bet Betancourt the utility infielder spot.

D. Young being unable to play and almost certainly beginning the season on the DL was the best-case scenario. It prevents the Phils and Cholly from doing something really foolish (making him the starting RF and hitting 5th in the lineup).

Now hopefully Betancourt has a terrible spring where he hits below .250 and is a butcher is the field while Galvis looks great defensively and hits enough for the Phils to convince them he should be the utility infielder on Opening Day.

MG: See above. Charlie has said Galvis will be the middle INF utility guy. I'm guessing they carry Frandsen as a corner guy/PH/DH.

Barring injury, Betancourt will not make the team.

Delmon Young is a mid-season acquisition at this point. He is cheap with some incentives if he actually gets to play.
So Brown should be the starting RF with some mix of Ruf or NixBerry is LF, with Delmon a possible option depending on injuries/pitifulness.

I'd still like to keep Galvis in AAA to start the season. He is still a terrible hitter and I think he'd improve with more instruction rather than required production. If necessary Phillies could stick Blanco on the squad as a fielding specialist, though I'd prefer just keep one INF (Frandsen) and getting another hitter on the bench since M. Young also has positional flexibility.

Prediction: Delmon Young sees no action until late June, when he returns to do a 10-day rehab stint in the minors. At the end of the rehab assignment, the Phillies waive him with little fanfare.

Actually, strike the last 3 words of that last post. At least on Beerleaguer, nothing that the Phillies do is "with little fanfare."

I wonder if the Phillies have to pay those weight bonuses to DYoung if he's on the DL. Wouldn't that be an amazing acquisition for the Amaro highlight reel.

My biggest concern is that the news of Demon Young's delayed arrival is the highlight of the Phillies season. It is definitely The event of spring training.

Since Phillies knew they might start Delmon Young on the DL they should have just signed Grady Sizemore unless it is his choice he hasn't signed yet. You never want a player to start the season on the DL but this is a great chance for Ruf to earn a spot. If he is hitting halfway decent there is no reason to just have Young as a bench/DH/pinch hitter. He sure as hell is getting paid like a bench player.

AlexR, yes, they should have looked into Sizemore.

Actually, they may have inquired, but Sizemore is on the record saying he has no intention of signing anywhere until he's ready to play.

It's a good strategy on his part because if his microfracture surgery on the second knee works out he may be an MLB deal. Probably would only get a MiL if he signed now because of his uncertain status.

...may "get" an MLB deal...

Question for the board:

If DYoung does come back and make the 25-man, and they are playing interleague games at an AL park, and Ruf, Howard and Young are in the lineup, who's the DH?

rolo: No doubt you have to have Delmon Young as the DH. I think although he does have more outfield experience than Ruf, he hurts the defense the most. It does make it rough though because that is your best chance to rest Howard but I think Young will get the most DH time. He will also be most recently coming off a surgery.

Might as well give Galvis the AB's. I have a feeling if we flop J-Roll will be back on trading block.

Yo, new thread!

Hello estrela

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