Saturday, January 16, 2010
Yankees’ Top Prospects: 1-5
First, I guess I should introduce myself. As should be obvious, my name is Kyle, I’m currently stuck in Arizona until I finish college, and—as is appropriate for this site—I am a stat-geek. SG and I had talked about me contributing some minor league stuff to the site, but it took a while for it to actually happen—and I’ve been procrastinating during my break between semesters.
I figured I’d start off with a completely unoriginal top prospect list, because I don’t think you are allowed to blog about prospects in the offseason without doing one. I’m going to focus on stats a lot more than publications like Baseball America, Pinstripes Plus, etc., but that’s because they already do far better work than I could with scouting. I do try to use a mix of both scouting and statistics when judging a prospect, and tend to agree with Theo Epstein’s view:
“For players in the rookie leagues and the lower levels, we focus more on traditional scoutings and tools. As the player rises through the minors, we shift our emphasis towards performance and statistical evaluation. When a player reaches AA, we balance these two schools of evaluation 50-50… and it more or less remains that way.”
CAIRO Projected 2010 AL East Standings as of January 16Obviously it's way too early to make much of these, but here's how I have the AL East projected with CAIRO given current rosters and my estimated playing times.
W: Average projected win total
L: Average projected loss total
RS: Projected runs scored
RA: Projected runs allowed
Div%: Percentage of times team won division
WC%: Percentage of times team won wild card
PL%: Percentage of times team made the playoffs (Div% + WC%)
Although it looks like Boston's offense is on par with the Yankees superficially, it's not once you consider the park factors. The Yankees are probably about forty runs better than Boston offensively in a neutral park right now, although the converse applies to the pitching staffs.
Interestingly enough, for all the talk about Boston's great defense, they're not even the best defense in the division, with Tampa Bay projecting close to 20 runs better than Boston.
Anyway, expect lots to change before we can really have useful projected standings, so please don't take these too seriously.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Javier Vazquez’s Pitch Selection, 2007 - 2009I was thinking about the likeilhood of Javier Vazquez's 2009 being indicative of a possible change in approach that may mean he's more likely to sustain the gains made, so I pulled his Pitch FX data from 2007 through 2009 to see if it showed anything interesting. Keep in mind that Pitch FX data is not complete from 2007-2009.
First, here's a look at his pitch selection, broken down by season and type.
This breakdown screams for pie charts, so here they are.
In 2009 Vazquez threw fewer fastballs, while increasing his slider and curveball usage according to these numbers.
This next table just looks at the wOBA against each of the pitches. This only applies when a pitch is the decisive pitch of a plate apearance.
The +/- column is just the difference between the wOBA for the specific pitch compared to the overall wOBA hea llowed in that season. So we see in 2009, for example, that he his changeup was his most effective pitch. as batters had a wOBA of .240 against it, compared to his overall wOBA against of .287. A difference of .010 in wOBA is worth about five runs over 650 PAs.
Lastly, here's a more detailed breakdown of his pitch selection.
|Type (2007)||#||max||min||avg||ball %||stkS%||foul%||stkC%||In play, out(s)%||In play, no out %||HBP %||break_y||break_angle||break_length|
|Type (2008)||#||max||min||avg||ball %||stkS%||foul%||stkC%||In play, out(s)%||In play, no out %||HBP %||break_y||break_angle||break_length|
|Type (2009)||#||max||min||avg||ball %||stkS%||foul%||stkC%||In play, out(s)%||In play, no out %||HBP %||break_y||break_angle||break_length|
#: number of times pitch was thrown as recorded in Pitch F/X
max: highest recorded starting velocity
min: lowest recorded starting velocity
avg: average recorded starting velocity
ball %: percentage of time pitch was taken for a ball
stkS%: percentage of time pitch was swung on and missed
foul%: percentage of time pitch was fouled off
stkC%: percentage of time pitch was taken for a called strike
In play, out(s)%: percentage of time pitch was hit into play for an out(s)
In play, no out%: percentage of time pitch was hit into play and not converted into an out
HBP%: percentage of time batter was hit by pitch
break_y: the y-distance from home plate where the maximum deviation occurs(definition taken from this site
break_angle: the direction of the deviation, with the convention that a pitch that breaks away from or toward a RHH has a negative or positive angle, respectively;
break_length: the largest deviation, in inches, of the actual from the straight-line trajectory.
Because of the league switch, I don't know how much I'd read into some of the peripheral improvements we see in his 2009 line.
Anyway, I'm not sure how much this tells us, but I figured it beats talking about signing Reed Johnson.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The Yanks have plenty of personnel by this point but there still remains the chance that Damon could return to the team but now it's looking the Yankees might only offer him one year and $6 million or $7 million. Damon probably doesn't love the idea of taking such a huge pay cut.
While I have made the case that the Yankees can survive with a LF platoon of TSBG + a right-handed complement, at a certain point Damon's price may drop to the point where it's a no-brainer to bring him back. What's that price? Let's assume a one-year deal is the only thing worth considering given Damon's age. Here's what CAIRO sees as Damon's percentile forecasts as a LF for the Yankees in 2010.
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: Park and position-adjusted batting runs above replacement level
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
aRS: Projected runs saved defensively compared to average, using an average of zone rating and UZR
WAR: Wins above replacement (BRAR + aRS divided by 10)
$$ Value assuming a marginal win cost of $4,500,000
Seems to me that any one year deal in the $5-7 is likely to be a good value for the Yankees. It would also hedge against the risk that any one of Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher or Nick Johnson miss time in 2010.
Monday, January 11, 2010
The Yankees Spring Training schedule is up at MLB.com. Looks like a few games will air on ESPN in addition to a bunch of YES games.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
After months of speculation that the Yankees’ hunk and his sexy steady Minka Kelly are headed to the altar, The Post has learned that the super couple may have settled on a wedding date—Nov. 5.
And while it may bring little solace to Jeter’s legion of female admirers, fretful Yankees fans will be glad to note the date is at least two days after the World Series ends.
Plenty of time to get ready for the big day, especially since they’ll sweep the Series.
Friday, January 8, 2010
NEW YORK—While the rest of baseball clings to its last weeks of Hot Stove hibernation, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long has already rolled into the new season, logging frequent-flyer miles to put in batting cage hours with several players.
Long is spending this week overseeing Alex Rodriguez’s first swings of 2010 and has already spent a good chunk of the winter helping Nick Swisher. A visit with Curtis Granderson is also ahead, as Long sacrifices his down time in the hopes that New York’s offense will be a dominant force as they defend the World Series title.
When I saw this headline I had a Terrence Long flashback. Thankfully it’s not him that they’re talking about.