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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Jim Tracy, Plate Discipline Guru
2006-03-09 12:34
by Jon Weisman

Wow, the rapprochement between Jim Tracy and Paul DePodesta knows no bounds, huh?

From The Associated Press, via Baseball Think Factory:

For the past five years, no team in the National League has been less patient at the plate than the Pittsburgh Pirates.

But manager Jim Tracy is seizing every opportunity to try to change that, and he's getting immediate results. ...

"I'm not advocating we take the first pitch every time we walk up there," Tracy said. "But, if you're going to take a swing at a first pitch, have it be a really good swing. If we keep preaching that, there won't have to be a whole lot said if you make a weak out on a marginally bad first pitch. It's not the way you play winning baseball." ...

Tracy pushed patience at the plate while with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and has made it a priority in the early part of spring training. During batting practice, he applauds when he sees a hitter taking a pitch out of the zone. During games, he is at the top step to congratulate anyone displaying his preferred approach.

Can a trade of Hee Seop Choi to Pittsburgh be far behind?

I really don't mean this to be snide - I know some will take it that way - but I am starting to expect to read that it was Jim Tracy who invented the vaccine for polio.

Comments (187)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-09 12:44:22
1.   Inside Baseball
If only McCourt just fired Depodesta first...then we could have re-signed Tracy long term and I could have killed myself.
2006-03-09 12:47:48
2.   trainwreck
Did I wake up in an alternate time zone.
2006-03-09 13:02:36
3.   FirstMohican
I will never believe that those quotes are Jim Tracy's. Never. How many question marks are there? ZERO.


"During batting practice, he applauds when he sees a hitter taking a pitch out of the zone. Other things Tracy applauds include home runs, stolen bases, and having read Tracy Ball."

2006-03-09 13:23:15
4.   Midwest Blue
Dr. Jonas Tracy, at your service.
2006-03-09 13:30:47
5.   Sam DC
Hey, Frank Robinson is out there on this issue today too (see comment at the end of Gagne thread). It's a mad mad mad world.
2006-03-09 13:33:57
6.   D4P
What's wrong with being snide?
2006-03-09 13:35:16
7.   Jon Weisman
Sam - Just heard Bowden's contract was extended through October. Is that new news?
2006-03-09 13:47:21
8.   Marty
Jim Tracy. The new Gene Mauch
2006-03-09 13:52:55
9.   jasonungar05
It's all about not going up there and not striking yourself out. I agree with #3 if it looked like this, id belive it.

"Am I advocating we take the first pitch every time we walk up there?," Tracy said. "No, But, if you're going to take a swing at a first pitch, have it be a really good swing. If I was to tell you that we will keep preaching that, then could there be a whole lot said if you make a weak out on a marginally bad first pitch. No, there isn't much you can say. It's not the way you play winning baseball, I can tell you that." ...

2006-03-09 14:06:24
10.   Steve
But, if you're going to take a swing at a first pitch, have it be a really good swing.

Thanks, Cap'n Obvious.

2006-03-09 14:07:36
11.   D4P
If only Grittle had said "We make good swings here on 3-0"
2006-03-09 14:22:46
When will this horrible B movie end?
2006-03-09 14:50:38
13.   dzzrtRatt
MLB should send Jim Tracy on a mission to teach plate discipline in South Africa.
2006-03-09 14:57:45
14.   thinkingblue
No, I can actually believe that about Tracy. It really annoyed me so much last year, when batters would take the first pitch right down the middle of the plate.
2006-03-09 15:13:10
15.   Jon Weisman
If you read the article, it's not just about first pitches. It's about walks as well.
2006-03-09 15:31:48
16.   TheRedMenace
Off-topic question for crew here. I notice that most of the users on this site seem to advocate a stats-based analysis of players (SABRmetrics if you will.)

However, at the same time I see tremendous excitement with respect to Mr. Guzman although his minor-league numbers are decidedly pedestrian (never posted a 900 OPS at any level.)

Can anyone explain the statistical basis for all of the Guzman excitement or is this excitement based on something else?

2006-03-09 15:34:52
17.   TheRedMenace
That should read "for the crew here."
2006-03-09 15:40:41
18.   Jon Weisman
16 - Well, for one thing you're splitting hairs, since he had a .899 OPS in A ball at age 19.

Beyond that, an .800-plus OPS at his young age in an environment that favors pitchers (Jacksonville) is cause for excitement.

Biggest concern right now with Guzman is ... wait for it ... plate discipline.

2006-03-09 15:47:21
19.   D4P
Add to that the fact that Guzman was a shortstop...
2006-03-09 15:55:24
20.   TheRedMenace
18 - I don't mean to split hairs, just using a fairly obvious benchmark, which granted he nearly attained two years ago.

However his career numbers are 1600 at bats- 782 OPS. Such numbers do not merit the belief that we are looking at a future star. Granted, most of these numbers were compiled at a very young age but stack them up against another Dodger great, like say Jason Repko (1900 ABS, 749 OPS) and they hardly merit eager anticipation.

I suppose my question is this, from a purely statistical analysis how does one arrive at the conclusion that Guzman will be a star, or even solidly productive, but that Repko is not even a major-league player.

2006-03-09 15:56:35
21.   TheRedMenace
19- Excellent point, but no longer valid. In fact based on Guzman's current position, his numbers might not even be fairly considered pedestrian.
2006-03-09 15:56:40
22.   Steve
Repko is 25 and has played in Las Vegas. That is a spectacularly bad, and I suspect, purposefully loaded, comparison.
2006-03-09 15:58:30
23.   D4P
It is certainly true that one's evaluation of Guzman's offensive stats should include a consideration of his position. A given level of offensive production from an outfielder will likely be relatively less valuable than from a shortstop.
2006-03-09 16:05:06
24.   TheRedMenace
22 - If you remove Repko's Vegas numbers you end up with a comparable number of AB's and an OPS roughly 50 points lower. For a centerfielder versus a corner outfielder, that is a minimal delta.
2006-03-09 16:07:59
25.   Steve
I don't think Guzman is nearly as valuable as a corner outfielder. They should have left him as a shortstop. This is covered ground.
2006-03-09 16:10:48
26.   D4P
He can always move back to shortstop after he's traded.
2006-03-09 16:13:48
27.   thinkblue0
well, with Repko we've seen nothing but the down side so far which is why everyone is probably down on him..heck, I am too. The guy can't hit, his defense is terrible (contrary to popular belief. He does have a great arm and wheels, but if you can't get on base, what good does that do? He doesn't have amazing power essentially, his entire career is going to rely on playing gold glove defense and being able to get on base and cause trouble for the opposing teams. The problem is, he isn't doing that.

With Guzman, the biggest thing is that he's younger. He's also got insane power potential. While he may never hit 40 HR a year, he is in that category that Repko isn't. He's one of those players that just has a higher ceiling than Repko does. I hate to use terms like that, but I think that's the reason everyone prefers Guzman to's not that their numbers are THAT much different, it's that Guzman just seems to have more potential to become a masher while Repko doesn't...

2006-03-09 16:14:42
28.   Nagman
'cuz Guzman's got "Heart and Soul" written all over him...
2006-03-09 16:16:59
29.   PennyJavy
24. You're leaving out the players' age. When Repko was 21, he was playing in Vero beach had this line 272/319/413. Joel Guzman was 19 in Vero Beach and had this line: 307/349/550.
2006-03-09 16:20:13
30.   Jon Weisman
Too often, people say "Granted" to acknowledge an important fact without admitting its importance.

Guzman OPSed .826 at Jacksonville at age 20; Repko OPSed .807 at Jacksonville at age 23. I think it's safe to imagine that if a 23-year-old Guzman were playing at Jacksonville, his OPS would dwarf what Repko did.

Nothing is guaranteed with Guzman, but his advancement at a young age is a huge part of the equation.

2006-03-09 16:28:16
31.   TheRedMenace
27 - I agree with everything you said. What I am still unclear about is how people who claim that baseball decisions should be made on a statistical basis, choose to ignore those statistics when it is convenient to do so.

When I look at Guzman I see a power hitter, but the numbers don't really tell me that. In fact the numbers show 55 taters in 1600 at bats, which is pretty mediocre. Now granted, when I look at Repko I see anger at not sticking with a baseball career but that's another discussion.

My point is not that the two players are copmparable, they are obviously not. My question is- upon what rests the optimism for Guzman, surely it is not statistical. Could it be we are trusting the scouts, not to metnion our own lying eyes, on this one and not the numbers.

2006-03-09 16:35:36
32.   TheRedMenace
Too often, people say "safe to imagine" to assume an important fact without admitting that the stats don't support such an assertion.

Sure Guzman.23 might surpass those numbers, but the stats show that his AA numbers decreased in his second season. This trend may not continue, but is thier any statistical reason to believe that this will be the case.

2006-03-09 16:41:13
33.   Jon Weisman
32 - Touche.

But I don't think we're ignoring statistics, we're just prioritizing, and recognizing trends. There are statistics that support that Guzman will have a good career. The jury's still out on whether it will happen - there is doubt. That's why we play. But I think it's been proven to be pretty unusual for a hitter to peak at age 19.

2006-03-09 16:44:45
34.   Andrew Shimmin
I'd like to retract my comment from the last thread. Evidently, people can't be counted on to consider context. Baseball players are almost always better at 23 than at 20. It's always a fair statistical assumption, even where there isn't any individual reason to suspect that, because Guzman is part of the group (human beings) where this trend has been so widely observed. If he were the first house cat to play pro ball, it would be an assumption without basis. But he isn't.
2006-03-09 16:47:10
35.   natepurcell
guzman vs repko is in fact statistical. its all statistics.

age is a statistic. we can see guzman has played against competition that is very advanced for his age. at age 19, guzman should have been in Low A ball but he was holding his own in AA.

in all honestly, IMO guzman wont become a vlad or a miguel cabrera. BUT, he has a very good chance of becoming a middle of the order bat for a contending team, a richie sexson offensive clone.

2006-03-09 16:49:16
36.   Sam DC
7 It had been noted that his contract was to expire at the end of April and stated that team President Tavares thought he should be extended. Some folks -- foolish optimists who lack appropriate world-weariness about mlb and the expos/nationals -- figured the team would hold off on extending to give the ostensible new owners a clean shot at deciding what to do. That is now not to be. Whether that means no new owners are to be in place by Opening Day or if it was just figured that, having spent $450 million on the team, those owners could buy out a year of Bowden if they didn't like him, I've no clue, but either seems reasonable to me.
2006-03-09 16:53:45
37.   TheRedMenace
34 - Can people be counted on to consider that a player who was not better statistically at 21 then 20, may not continue to improve. Or do we ignore statistics when it makes it easier to make ones point?

33 - I apologize for that remark. Were I a better writer you would have recognized my inappropriate frustration (not with this discussion but with the fact that I have all day to sit at home and ESPN is torturing me with college basketball.) In any case, I appreciate your responses and am most impressed with this site, author and commenters alike.

2006-03-09 16:59:15
38.   natepurcell
guzman did improve from 2004 to 2005.

from his time in AA in 2004, his BA improved by 7 points and his ISOd improved from .45 to .64

his power did drop but it was well known that in the middle of the season guzman suffered a shoulder injury and that zapped his power.

so far, there has been no effects of the shoulder injury and his power is back.

2006-03-09 17:25:17
39.   Andrew Shimmin
37- If one is content to extrapolate a trend from one and a half year's numbers, when considering a 20 year old ball player, one is free to. Of couse, those who don't are filthy hypocrites; them you've got pegged.

If it is your pleasure to project Guzman to be no better than Repko, go ahead an do it. I predict (without any statistical basis) that you won't. That you think you came not to by way of some more highly enlightened process than looking at the players stats, well: you go girl. If you'd like to explain it, feel free to. There's some system, right? Please, share with us your grand wisdom. Wouldn't that be better than calling (by implication) names?

2006-03-09 17:30:29
40.   dsfan

You ask: From a purely statistical analysis how does one arrive at the conclusion that Guzman will be a star, or even solidly productive?

Big difference between "will be a star" and "solidly productive."

I don't think I've seen any pure statistical analysis that concludes Guzman will be a star.

Sorry if I'm splitting hairs; I just think maybe the launching point overstated things a bit.

2006-03-09 17:32:45
41.   Steve
Nobody told me we were counting 600 at-bats Guzman had before he was old enough to vote.
2006-03-09 17:34:35
42.   natepurcell
guzmans month by month totals

april- 80AB 288/387/525

may- 101AB 297/366/614

june- 93AB 301/363/409

july- 77AB 234/244/338

august- 91AB 308/364/462

2006-03-09 17:36:02
43.   natepurcell
his average and OBP was suprisingly consistent.... except for that one crappy month.
2006-03-09 17:44:16
44.   Steve
President Lincoln enjoyed the play, except for that one lousy bullet
2006-03-09 17:46:22
45.   TheRedMenace
39 - If one is not content to extrapolate a trend from one and a half year's numbers then looking at minor league ballplayers is rather pointless. I'm sure, however, that your chief concern is not the small sample size but rather the fact that you can't come up with an answer to the query I presented to the board. I chose to highlight the last year and a half because 1) its the only sample that consists only of AA numbers, 2) it is the players most recent performance, 3) the regression during that time is a cause for concern. If you think a 21 year old whose numbers decrease against his 20 year old performance is nothing to review, then bully for you.

With respect to your other assertions, (hypocrisy charge, Repko better than Guzman,) I would say only that reading comprehension is a very valuable skill and leave it at that.

Finally, I assume your final paragraph was a joke. One manner in which one can determine that player A is better than player B is through observation (in baseball they call it scouting.) However if one has very poor observational skills, or more importantly is not familiar enough with the game to know what to look for, cherry-picking stats that support your beliefs and ignoring stats that do not is probably your best bet.

2006-03-09 17:46:31
46.   sanchez101
43. Those numbers are pretty similar to what he did in winter ball as well.

"Can people be counted on to consider that a player who was not better statistically at 21 then 20, may not continue to improve. Or do we ignore statistics when it makes it easier to make ones point?"

-its pretty safe to assume that a player will get better during his early 20's, the vast majority of players do, even Jason Repko. A player show improvement even if his OPS drops because of luck and batting average. I would say that XBH%, walk rate and contact rate are much more telling of a players abilities than OPS, of course you still have to adjust for league, ball park, level and consider age at the same time.

2006-03-09 17:47:23
47.   Jon Weisman
Okay - just stepping in to make sure that everyone - including me, since I had my bad moment - makes sure that these exchanges don't get too personal or, you know, snide. We can disagree on this stuff without getting too huffy about it.
2006-03-09 17:47:44
48.   TheRedMenace
43 - Is that the month with the shoulder injury?
2006-03-09 17:50:07
49.   natepurcell
culpepper to be traded within the next 24 hours.

the 3 viking jerseys i have- moss, culpepper, and mckinnie, two are now useless basically.

2006-03-09 17:51:14
50.   TheRedMenace
47 - Noted and as a newbie I do apologize and will not let happen again.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-09 17:51:21
51.   sanchez101
45. Joel's slugging percentage did fall from 2004 to 2005, but a .475 slugging percentage from a 20-year old in AA is still a indicator of huge power potential down the road, especially when it comes in a pitchers park in a pitchers league; he hit over .300 and slugged over .500 on the road.
2006-03-09 17:51:37
52.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm sure, however, that your chief concern is not the small sample size but rather the fact that you can't come up with an answer to the query I presented to the board.

Just how sure, ducky? Sort of takes the steam out of your reading comprehension jibe, though, doesn't it? Pity.

2006-03-09 17:53:40
53.   natepurcell
he suffered the shoulder injury sometime in june. you can see that hiw power numbers dropped drastically from the first two months of the season.

the shoulder started acting up a lot in july yes. you can tell by the 77ABs, that he did in fact sit out a couple of games because of the shoulder.

2006-03-09 17:53:44
54.   Monterey Chris

Jon has asked that we back off. You have good points to make. Please do so without the attacks.

2006-03-09 17:54:33
55.   natepurcell
dont worry about it Menance. your questions and this debate has been alot more fun then the rehahs of choi/depo that we have gotten from new posters in the past couple of weeks.
2006-03-09 17:54:59
56.   FirstMohican
Man, this room's getting a little testy. Hey, it's cool, Jon started it.

Re: 38. Apparently it was "well known" to a group other than those posting here, because since you said his power dropped due to injury, I think there are 2-3 posts that mention his power loss and ignore his shoulder injury. Shrug.

2006-03-09 17:55:03
57.   TheRedMenace
52 - Um, sure.
2006-03-09 17:56:07
58.   sanchez101
52. que???
2006-03-09 17:57:09
59.   TheRedMenace
55 - Let's no go there. I've been lurking here for just a couple weeks and I am already bored with that "debate."
2006-03-09 17:57:17
60.   regfairfield
Also consider that 200 PAs is a bit of a small sample size, and Guzman could have over performed. For example, after 200 at bats last year, Eric Chavez was hitting .218/.276/.317 so there still is plenty of room for variance. Consequently, shoulder injury or no, we shouldn't be that concerned that Guzman's power numbers took a hit between 2004 and 2005.
2006-03-09 17:59:11
61.   sanchez101
60. I think 200 PA is a good enough sample size, its just that guzman fell from "very good" to "pretty good", and "pretty good" is just good enough for me.
2006-03-09 17:59:22
62.   Andrew Shimmin
I failed to respond to the half point you did make, regarding minor league numbers. Funny thing about calling some one a liar, it makes the rest of what you say hard to hear.

Nobody seriously believes that minor league numbers can be taken, as is, without regard to context, and super-imposed onto career projections. What is believed is that minor league numbers are a better basis for prediction than the imaginations of unnamed, unaccountable scouts. But accepting that in good faith might get in the way of a convenient narative about triumphalist stat geeks.

2006-03-09 17:59:30
63.   Steve
Can someone discuss the effects that moving from A to AA, and from Vero Beach to Jacksonville, might (or would) have on a 19-20 year old? I am actually agnostic on the issue RedMenace has raised (other than the really bad Repko comparison -- that was box office poison -- but in the sense that he went back and said it was simply for illustrative purposes, I don't see any reason to belabor the point). What I am lacking from anyone is the proper context in which to consider Guzman's "stats."

Also, the "scouts v. stats" point is being unnecessarily labored, for reasons that have been amply discussed before.

2006-03-09 18:01:32
64.   Andrew Shimmin
54- Yes. Didn't see it before I responded to being called a liar.
2006-03-09 18:02:32
65.   FirstMohican
Raise your hand if you've watched many of Guzmans games, and can compare him to other major leaguers who you've also watched extensively during their minor league years.
2006-03-09 18:03:46
66.   dsfan
Rather than making presumptions about what people here think, I'll ask:

What kind of major league career awaits Joel Guzman?

2006-03-09 18:04:23
67.   natepurcell
does watching them on a live webcam count?
2006-03-09 18:04:59
68.   natepurcell
What kind of major league career awaits Joel Guzman?

probably a reggie sanders type career with a sexson like peak.

2006-03-09 18:07:14
69.   rjc41276
16 - "Off-topic question for crew here. I notice that most of the users on this site seem to advocate a stats-based analysis of players (SABRmetrics if you will.)"

I realize I'm coming in late here, but why exactly do people assume that someone who believes in sabermetric principles is the equivalent of some computer robot that completely ignores everything else (scouting, etc.)? Thats not what sabermetrics is about IMO.

2006-03-09 18:07:55
70.   natepurcell
, but why exactly do people assume that someone who believes in sabermetric principles is the equivalent of some computer robot that completely ignores everything else (scouting, etc.)?

because bill plaschke says so. duh.

2006-03-09 18:09:25
71.   Sam DC
A thoughtful organization note from the Dodgers' house blog; don't know if anyone here -- our erstwhile journalist host, most likely, I guess -- ever ran across this fellow: "Back in Los Angeles, the Dodgers would like to wish a speedy recovery to longtime Dodger usher and elevator operator Luis Arevalo, who began his career at Dodger Stadium in 1984 and recently underwent surgery to amputate his leg due to complications from diabetes."
2006-03-09 18:11:19
72.   ToyCannon
Can anyone give me the name of the best resturant that serves "ceviche" in LosAngeles/San Fernando area? TIA
2006-03-09 18:11:22
73.   Jon Weisman
66 - I'll ante up with: A better one than Reggie Abercrombie :)
2006-03-09 18:11:30
74.   Steve
It would be amusing if he turned into Garrett Anderson.
2006-03-09 18:12:41
75.   sanchez101
66. Ive seen him on webcam, never in person. I think Richie Sexson and Derrek Lee are good comps for Guzman, as far as ceiling goes. I think a .270/.335/.500 line in a neutral environment is a pretty good idea of what he'll probably do in his prime seasons.

Most people see the jump from high-A to AA as significant because the opposition is much more polished; you see less raw atheletes. Also you see more career minor leaguers, guys age 26-28 years old. Even though they dont have much major league future, they are more polished and can provide a significant challenge to 20-21 year olds. In the low minors you dont see as many Ty Meadows' and Eric Hull's.

2006-03-09 18:15:18
76.   rjc41276
70 - Why of course, how could I forget?! Shame on me. :)
2006-03-09 18:16:34
77.   natepurcell
sanders career line

sexsons current career line

i think guzman is somewhere in between.

2006-03-09 18:18:49
78.   natepurcell
except for being tall and striking out alot, i dont think lee and guzman are similar type batters. the one biggest reason is that lee's pitch recognition and ability to walk are superior to guzmans
2006-03-09 18:19:02
79.   dsfan
Sanders with a Sexson peak is an interesting comp. Good slugging, painful strikeout ratios.

Reggie didn't reach 30-hr mark until he was 33 years old playing his home games in a hitters park (Az) during what appeared to be a strong offensive year (2001) for MLB. Sexson hit 45 HRS with an .889 OPS, also in 2001 (at age 26). He had a .927 OPS in 2003.

Richie, 31, is with his fourth franchise.
Reggie is with his seventh or eighth, I've lost count.

2006-03-09 18:21:01
80.   dsfan

How does one access webcam? Is that a subscriber site?

2006-03-09 18:22:18
81.   Steve
I am always amazed at Reggie Sanders' career. Why did that many pitchers throw him that many fastballs? But there you have it.
2006-03-09 18:22:27
82.   ToyCannon
Given that he was born on 11/24 he will prove equal to the analysts who have compared him to Juan Gone Gonzales without the steroids.
What he did at the age of 20 in AA shouldn't be so easily discounted. I think last year was a consolidation year given the huge jump from age 19 to age 20 and this year we will see that JtD does indeed have the ability to be a RH masher of the likes DS hasn't seen in the outfield since Pedro. I'm leaving Sheffield out of the conversation because as far as I'm concerned he never played for the Dodgers since I swore them off while he was on the team.
2006-03-09 18:22:57
83.   Marty
72 Los Quenas on Sherman Way and Bellaire in North Hollywood. It's Peruvian style. Not been there, but hear it's good.

For the ones I've had:

Babita in San Gabriel on San Gabriel does a good one. I think it's the best Mexican restaurant in L.A.

Tacos Baja Ensenada in East L.A. on Whittier, east of Atlantic. Just a hole in the wall, but good ceviche and best fish tacos in L.a.

2006-03-09 18:24:01
84.   ToyCannon
Reggie is having a great spring for the Marlins. Hoping he can at least end up having a career as a 4th/5th outfielder.
2006-03-09 18:24:19
85.   natepurcell
well the first time sexson was traded was because indians had thome. second time he was traded was because he was entering his FA year and the brewers would lose him. then he signed a big deal with the mariners.

How does one access webcam? Is that a subscriber site?

ah i guess you werent here over the summer, we had "suns thoughts" practically every day before the dodger game was on.

every suns homegame is televised.

2006-03-09 18:25:20
86.   ToyCannon
Figures the best stuff is on the East side. Thanks Marty
2006-03-09 18:26:00
87.   sanchez101
85. Im looking forward to "suns thoughts" this season as well. Do you know if there is any webcast of 51's games?
2006-03-09 18:26:13
88.   Sam DC
Esteban Loaiza four innings of one-hit ball against Canada. Two walks.


Man, the next time I come back to LA, I think I'm abandoning the family at my mom's house and just following Marty around for a week and eating.

2006-03-09 18:27:03
89.   Steve
since Pedro

When I was thinking of upside comp players, I thought of him.

2006-03-09 18:27:49
90.   dsfan

I think D. Lee is a decent comp for Guzman, although I agree Guzman's profile is less favorable.
Lee's K ratios were pretty horrendous, too. At age 19: 130 ks in 502 ABs at high A; at age 20, 170 ks in 500 ABs in the Southern League (of course, Lee also hit 34 home runs that year and was more likely to draw walks -- 65 that year, 60 in 1997.)

One of the more interesting stories of 2006 was how Lee adjusted at age 29, backing off the plate and going the other way better. Guzman is going to strike out a ton as a young Marlin; it'll be interesting to see if he can make such an adjustment down the road.

2006-03-09 18:28:23
91.   natepurcell
i know all the 51s games are available in audio through their website but i dont think they have a live webcame. I think samDC said earlier today that all AAA games will have gameday this year though. so thats nice.

but the suns should be exciting- kemp, raglani, hu, ruggianno, and by midseason, hopefully dewitt.

2006-03-09 18:30:22
92.   Marty
A young Marlin? You've already traded him?
2006-03-09 18:31:45
93.   natepurcell
A young Marlin? You've already traded him?

dsfan traded him, orenduff and martin for miggy cabrera a couple of days ago. hes just forgot to send in the papers to the commish's office.

2006-03-09 18:31:53
94.   dsfan
Yep, Joel helps the Dodgers get Cabrera within two years.
2006-03-09 18:32:37
95.   dsfan
Thanks for the Suns link, although I don't think my wife will be too happy about it.
2006-03-09 18:35:54
96.   natepurcell
re 95

my girlfriend and friends disowned me last summer because of it.

2006-03-09 18:47:53
97.   sanchez101
91. I think we'll get to see some of Dunlap, Elbert, Orenduff, Miller, Pimentel and Jose Diaz. We could also see Pedroza, Denker, Malone, and maybe even Blake Johnson. I dont think Im forgetting anyone.
2006-03-09 18:48:05
98.   sanchez101
91. I think we'll get to see some of Dunlap, Elbert, Orenduff, Miller, Pimentel and Jose Diaz. We could also see Pedroza, Denker, Malone, and maybe even Blake Johnson. I dont think Im forgetting anyone.
2006-03-09 19:04:42
99.   King of the Hobos
Abreu will also be at Jacksonville. Mark Alexander will also be there, if you're a fan of older middle relief prospects. Edwin Bellorin should man the catcher's spot, if you want to call him a prospect (with the ceiling of a backup catcher). I'm guessing Jarod Plummer will show up at some point
2006-03-09 19:05:40
100.   Gen3Blue
Thank god the NFL got it together! I gave up on basketball several years ago: I give up on hockey after the Bruins got so cheap they completely divorced from any tradition; and now you tell me the Dodgers traded Guzman. Forget it.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-03-09 19:49:18
101.   King of the Hobos
Eric Stults was reassigned to minor league camp yesterday, yet is scheduled to pitch tomorrow. Is there a reason for this that I don't know? What's the point of reassigning him so early if you're going to continue to use him?
2006-03-09 19:55:42
102.   dsfan
That's a common practice. It allows the minor league staff to work with the player. A less important factor: It thins out the overcrowded major league clubhouse and workouts, which is welcomed by the major league players and staff.
2006-03-09 19:55:58
103.   Jon Weisman
101 - His career isn't over just because they know he's not going to be on the 25-man roster. It's still Spring Training.
2006-03-09 19:57:20
104.   natepurcell
dodger notes say ethier might play tomorrow, depending on how his shoulder feels.
2006-03-09 19:58:36
105.   King of the Hobos
103 I know, but why not pitch him in minor league camp? It's not like it's split squad or we're hurting for pitchers
2006-03-09 20:04:05
106.   Jon Weisman
I'm sure if they thought he was taking innings away that someone else needed, then they'd move him.
2006-03-09 20:31:26
107.   Steve
How come nobody managed to say that if Guzman managed to hit .220/.280/.370 in his rookie year, we'd worry about him too?
2006-03-09 20:32:06
108.   gcrl
nate - you should have seen how many people actually held on to their brad johnson jerseys over the years, and then were able to pull them out and wear them last year.

i'm guessing that my friend's corey chavous jersey will soon be out of date...

2006-03-09 20:36:04
109.   Steve
Well, I'd worry about him; then the stat guys would try to convince me that it was a small sample size, and the scouts would try to convince me that his arm alone is worth 75 runs a year.
2006-03-09 20:41:19
110.   OaklandAs
Jumping in a little late into the Guzman discussion, but his numbers are much more impressive than Repko's. When analyzing prospects, it is critical to take age and park effects into consideration. Baseball Prospectus has a projection system called PECOTA, which uses historical comparables (based on a wide range of criteria) to make a probability distribution of future performance.

Anyway, BP recently published their Top 100 Futures list, based entirely on the numerical projections of PECOTA. Joel Guzman ranked #9, just behind Jeremy Hermida and ahead of the Angels' Brandon Wood.

2006-03-09 20:42:05
111.   D4P
To be fair, Repko slugged .384 last year.
2006-03-09 20:43:11
112.   natepurcell
re 108

oh i know what you mean. my dad has a BJ jersey and he was estatic he was able to bust it out last year. The sports bar i go to has tons of vikings fans and i saw a bunch of old BJ jerseys.

2006-03-09 20:44:54
113.   natepurcell
Well, I'd worry about him; then the stat guys would try to convince me that it was a small sample size, and the scouts would try to convince me that his arm alone is worth 75 runs a year.

i would say a lot of top prospects have crappy first years adjusting to big league pitching and with thier minor league numbers and pedigree, they should be able to bounce back in their sophmore year.

but lets hope he doesnt suck that bad in his first year.

2006-03-09 20:46:24
114.   Steve
Today was a good day for Project BROTheR -- 0 for 3 with 4 men left on. But scrappily left on no doubt.

Did you know that Repko hit 1 for 30 at PETCO last year? Neither did I.

2006-03-09 20:47:45
115.   D4P
And yet Repko is still hitting .400 this Spring...
2006-03-09 20:49:32
116.   Icaros
Why can't you wear a jersey with a former player's name and number?

Does this mean I can't wear a Dodgers jersey with "Gibson 23" on it?

2006-03-09 20:51:19
117.   Steve
To bring this thread full circle, did you know that Repko had 127 at-bats batting 2nd? That's like a crime against humanity.
2006-03-09 20:54:26
118.   D4P
In the #2 spot:

Robles: 165 ABs, .255/.303/.315/.619
Repko: 127 ABs, .205/.268/.370/.638

Mystery Player: 158 ABs, .316/.391/.646/1.037

2006-03-09 20:54:40
119.   Steve
Batting second (Note: This is, as Dean Martin once said, for medicinal purposes only):

Choi: .316/.391/.646
Repko: .205/.268/.370

2006-03-09 20:55:23
120.   Steve
We're starting to mindmeld. Scary.
2006-03-09 20:56:57
121.   D4P
I'm Mini-Steve...
2006-03-09 20:59:41
122.   Steve
A pleasant jaunt down memory lane. Oscar Robles had 44 at-bats batting third. Cesar Izturis had a grand total of one at-bat outside of either the first or second slot. Jayson Werth hit 5 for 32 in at-bats when the count was 3-1. Good times.
2006-03-09 20:59:45
123.   Andrew Shimmin
Four twenty year olds had at least 100 ABs in the Southern League, in 2005: Ryan Sweeney, Felix Pie, Delmon Young, and Joel Guzman. Nineteen players, 21 and under, had at least 100 ABs.

Guzman's line: 287/351/475

Average line for the 18 who weren't Guzman: 269/340/402.

AVG. line for the 3 SSs (not including Guzman): 227/302/295

AVG. line for the 8 OFs (not including Guzman): 291/351/473

2006-03-09 21:02:52
124.   D4P
Robles OPSed .383 w/runners in scoring position and 2 outs. It doesn't get any unclutcher than that.

Check that: Edwards OPSed .334.

2006-03-09 21:05:13
125.   thinkblue0

this is what absolutely drove me up the wall about Tracy. That whole "Izturis looks like a lead off hitter therefor he should be" attitude just grinds my gears. Same goes for Repko.

If Lofton becomes an out machine, I sure hope Little moves him down to the 8th spot. If you look at Drew's numbers last year, I believe he had 15 HR with only 36 RBI. Of course, a problem was that he started out the year horrid, but another big problem is that no one was EVER on base when he came up. Yet, he was on pace to score about 100 runs because he was always on base. Go figure.

2006-03-09 21:06:40
126.   Steve
121 -- And to think we almost came to blows over Dave Roberts. But then, one must pass through the fires.
2006-03-09 21:07:55
127.   Steve
this is what absolutely drove me up the wall about Tracy.


2006-03-09 21:08:17
128.   natepurcell
If Lofton becomes an out machine, I sure hope Little moves him down to the 8th spot.

if lofton becomes an outfield, i hope they call up ethier.

2006-03-09 21:10:32
129.   D4P
no one was EVER on base when he came up

Looks like Drew had roughly 190 PAs w/bases empty, and 120 w/runners on. He OPSed 200 points higher w/bases empty.

2006-03-09 21:11:42
130.   sanchez101
119. Ya, but Repko was a better situational hitter. You cant see that in the stats.
2006-03-09 21:12:16
131.   natepurcell
crap, i mean out machine. wow.....
2006-03-09 21:12:54
132.   D4P
Nice use of the reference numbers.
2006-03-09 21:13:41
133.   D4P
The first step is admitting you have a problem.
2006-03-09 21:13:48
134.   Steve
Sure, if you're like Buster Olney, Jim Tracy, Clint Hurdle, and Frank Robinson, and you think that every situation calls for an out.
2006-03-09 21:14:59
135.   Daniel Zappala
He's just as hot as Cody Ross: Paul Bako had 2 home runs for the Royals today. Spring training is funny -- if you rely on it to tell you how good a player is, it can make you think the scrubbiest scrubs and greenest rookies would make your team a lot better.
2006-03-09 21:20:20
136.   Steve
Going back to Guzman, which was far the more interesting of tonight's subjects, PECOTA ranks Guzman ahead of Brandon Wood? Why? And isn't there some question of how strong PECOTA is as a prediction system for minor leaguers? (More so than the obvious question of its usefulness for major leaguers)
2006-03-09 21:20:34
137.   sanchez101
Is Cody Ross aware of project BROtheR
2006-03-09 21:22:19
138.   Steve
Project BROTheR was not funded by evil dictators bent on World Domination for the benefit of the likes of Cody Ross.
2006-03-09 21:23:04
139.   Daniel Zappala
Yes, PECOTA has a weakness in projecting how minor league numbers project to major league numbers. For example, it severely underpredicts how well Casey Kotchman is likely to perform this year. This is fairly well known, I believe.
2006-03-09 21:25:59
140.   Steve
For example, it severely underpredicts how well Casey Kotchman is likely to perform this year.

With the understanding that putting pillars of salt in both first base and centerfield would have improved on last year for the Angels, how is it well known what Kotchman will do? What does PECOTA say and what is the spread from what you believe Kotchman's performance will be and why is PECOTA saying these things?

2006-03-09 21:26:06
141.   natepurcell
what numbers does it predict for kotchman this year?
2006-03-09 21:26:09
142.   sanchez101
Guzman has a longer track record, is the same age but has more than 600 AB's in AA, while Wood has none. Also, the AVERAGE OPS in the California league last year was over 800, which is easily the highest of any minor league; according to BP Wood had a major league EQA of .271 last year, Guzman had a .263 EQA, so theyre werent as far apart last year as it seemed. Also, baseball prospectus likes Guzmanss defense (4 runs above average) better than Woods (5 runs below average). The only thing Wood really has on Guzman is contact rate.
2006-03-09 21:27:06
143.   Steve
Maybe I can get there the short way -- PECOTA doesn't like the Angels because they don't do things the Oakland way.
2006-03-09 21:29:34
144.   sanchez101
140. critics of PECOTA seem to have a hard time answering these kinds of questions. Ive asked them of others before only to hear, "it doenst agree with what I think, or what someone else thinks, so its wrong." Lets hope that Zappala can come up with something concrete, because Im open to the idea that PECOTA can get things wrong, Id just like to see an actual argument.
2006-03-09 21:30:22
145.   Andrew Shimmin
142- They liked Guzman's SS defense better than Wood's?
2006-03-09 21:30:44
146.   sanchez101
141. .275/.340/.412

143. PECOTA likes Howie Kendrick more than Delmon Young

2006-03-09 21:30:52
147.   Steve
Well, I don't think he's being terribly argumentative here. I'm just curious as to what PECOTA is saying and why it's saying it. I have no opinion on PECOTA, except for my natural born skepticism.
2006-03-09 21:33:04
148.   sanchez101
145. Guzman's "problem" defensively was one of projection; scouts think that eventually outgrown the position. According to BA, his overall defensive tools rate as average to above average right now, but they expect his tools to get worse as he ages, not better.

But with defensive stats, who knows, especially in the minors.

2006-03-09 21:33:07
149.   Steve
Anyway, anybody the Angels would bench in favor of Steve Finley or Darin Erstad would have to be pretty good. Adam Kennedy is pretty glad that the Angels missed out on Lucille II.
2006-03-09 21:35:26
150.   natepurcell

those are roughly what i would project for kotchman. i dont see anything wrong with those 1st yr projections.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-03-09 21:37:17
151.   Steve
.278 .352 .484 .836

That's what he hit when the Angels let him out of his cage last year. That's pretty good.

2006-03-09 21:41:16
152.   sanchez101
Kotchman 2005
PCL: 237 EQA/417 AB
MLB: 296 EQA/142 AB
Aybar 2005
PCL: 226 EQA/449 AB
MLB: 330 EQA/105 AB

you can interpit that anyway you want, because I have no idea what either of these players will do this season.

2006-03-09 21:42:05
153.   natepurcell
wow he slugged 484?? i knew he was slugging something like 440 at salt lake, i didnt realize he upped his power in the bigs.
2006-03-09 21:42:31
154.   Steve
Count me as one who thinks the Angels will compete and have a very good chance of beating the A's. They added by subtraction, Weaver at one year somehow became a deal, and I love Ervin Santana. They avoided the Molina trap. They'll suffer a little bit when their middle relief regresses to the mean, and if they start running around the bases like headless chickens against the Dodgers again, I'm going to have to take matters into my own hands. But all in all, the AL West should be fun, as long as you watch it with the sound off.
2006-03-09 21:43:38
155.   Daniel Zappala
Kotchman has never slugged below .500 in the minors. He slugged .484 in 100+ AB last year in the majors. Yet Pecota predicts a .412 slugging for him this year. To use one of Jon's favorite words, "granted", his AAA stats are at Salt Lake, but his stats were just as good in previous stops. He's only 22 and his power is still developing.

I don't know the details of why Pecota makes low predictions on players with little major league service time, but I have seen it repeatedly and it has been mentioned on other blogs.

2006-03-09 21:50:56
156.   Daniel Zappala
I will take exception with BP's "equivalent" stats too. Kotchman slugged .524 in A, and they downgrade this to .450. In AA, it was .544 and they put this at .484. In AAA, .554 down to .427? You're telling me that parks have this much of a factor and he would basically be a non-prospect if taken out of Salt Lake? Then whoops, he gets to the show and slugs .484, which actually turns into a .512 with park factors.

Color me quite skeptical. I don't think their methodology is figured out by a longshot. What they are trying to do is very difficult, and they are just not there yet.

2006-03-09 21:54:47
157.   Daniel Zappala
If McPherson and Kotchman progress, and Anderson regains some of his power, the Angels will be difficult to beat. They have very good pitching. Most predictions have taken them too lightly. Then Brandon Wood, Howie Kendrick, Kendry Morales coming ... they will be good for a while.
2006-03-09 22:00:53
158.   natepurcell
i have more hope for kotchman then McPherson.

Dallas is also a butcher at 3b and will probably be traded to make room for brandon wood.

2006-03-09 22:06:10
159.   OaklandAs
156 BP's EQSLG is not just a park adjusted figure. It is park adjusted, and also adjusted for the offensive environment of the league and the level of competition. So Kotchman's .524 in A ball is equivalent to a .450 SLG in the Majors.
2006-03-09 22:07:34
160.   Steve
I agree.
2006-03-09 22:10:28
161.   sanchez101
155. Kotchman slugged .441 last year in Salt Lake City. I can believe those equilalents, not only is salt lake city in the PCL (where every park is pretty much a hitters park, but it inflates run production by more than 10%. I remember when Joey "ballgame" Thurston slugged .506 in las vegas, which isnt as much of a hitters park as SLC.

Here is a short list of players who slugged over .500 playing for salt lake city:
Adam Riggs
Shane Halter
Chone Figgens
Robb Quilan
Larry Barnes

2006-03-09 22:11:40
162.   Steve
Larry Barnes

Good times.

2006-03-09 22:12:32
163.   OaklandAs
155 Kotchman had a .441 SLG (unadjusted) in AAA last year, over 417 Plate Appearances. Not a good season for him, and much worse than the half season in AAA he had in 2004.
2006-03-09 22:19:07
164.   natepurcell
edwin jackson article

2006-03-09 22:20:20
165.   natepurcell
a lot of good quotes by jackson. i hope he has a great year.
2006-03-09 22:26:33
166.   natepurcell
a Q&A with Mayo. a lot of dodger prospect tidbits in here.

2006-03-09 22:39:17
167.   Andrew Shimmin
So, there were 35 total sub-21 players with at least 100 ABs in AA last year.

Guzman's line: 287/351/475
Average line for the 35: 274/340/412.
AVG. line for the 7 SSs (not including Guzman): 255/317/356
AVG. line for the 14 OFs (not including Guzman): 289/355/448

2006-03-09 22:40:34
168.   regfairfield
165 I'm rooting for him but I don't want our GM to end up on the same list as Steve Phillips, Jim Duquette and Kenny Williams (who are GMs who lost in a trade with the Devil Rays?)
2006-03-09 22:42:25
169.   natepurcell
re 168

if it stops colletti from making future stupid trades, then i dont mind if that happens.

PS: who wants to come with me to PR and help Yuliesky defect? ill bring shovel and rope, you can bring the flashlight!

2006-03-09 22:43:57
170.   natepurcell
so andrew, what you're trying to say is that guzman is pretty good?
2006-03-09 22:59:21
171.   Bob Timmermann
For those watching the Pac-10 tournament, Cal beat USC and Oregon has come back from 14 down to lead Washington by 5 with 1:14 left.
2006-03-09 23:03:11
172.   Andrew Shimmin
170- Sort of. After the position change, he's sort of an average phenom. Nothing to get worked up over, though.
2006-03-09 23:04:35
173.   Steve
How is it that you have thousands of sportswriters in this country, and the only thing written that has made a lick of sense is in The Onion?

2006-03-09 23:04:57
174.   Bob Timmermann
Yea, no Washington basketball fans tomorrow night. They're very annoying. However there will be Arizona fans there. They're worse.
2006-03-09 23:39:40
175.   Andrew Shimmin
Anybody know what position the Juan Velazquez in the Braves' farm system plays? Cube has him as a pitcher, but that can't be his primary position.
2006-03-10 00:04:45
176.   OaklandAs
175 Velazquez played SS for AA Mississippi last season.
2006-03-10 00:47:33
177.   Andrew Shimmin
2006-03-10 00:58:16
178.   Andrew Shimmin
Over the last three years 84 players (including repeats) have played AA while being 21 years old or less.

Guzman's 2005 line: 287/351/475
Average line for the 84: 274/339/406.
AVG. line for the 15 SSs (not including Guzman): 250/313/345
AVG. line for the 27 OFs (not including Guzman): 283/345/427

I'm done, now.

2006-03-10 01:20:17
179.   Andrew Shimmin
Reading back through the thread, I wonder if I completely missed whatshisname's point. He didn't actually make it, so it wouldn't be wholly my fault, if I did, but anyway: it's fair to ask whether Guzman would be better than Repko in 2006. Repko is probably not as bad as he was last year. Repko at 26 could well be better than Guzman at 21. Career projections aren't close, barring the unforeseeable, but the narrow projection of this year could be. There are other good reasons to put Guzman in AAA this year, too.

I'm not a member of the BROTheR movement because there are worse options. I'd still like to see Young get the 5th OF spot, but since that doesn't come up, it probably won't happen. Young would likely be a more productive hitter, and since his long term projection is as a reserve, starting his clock earlier than one might prefer is less of a problem.

Anyway, even if the point above wasn't whatshisname's (his main point seemed to be stat geeks are hypocrites for rejecting his seemingly nonsensical proposition), I shouldn't have lost my cool, before or after seeing Jon's reminder not to. So. There you go.

2006-03-10 01:30:29
180.   dzzrtRatt

What does BROTheR stand for? I get the gist that it's about making Jason Repko go away, but what's the acronym mean?

2006-03-10 01:39:08
181.   Andrew Shimmin
Boot Repko Off THE Roster.
2006-03-10 02:20:40
182.   Sam DC
171 Not to be nitparticular, though I am up at 5 am with a sick wife and two sick kids, but isn't that more of an update for people who are not watching the Pac-10 tournament?

Unless "watching" means something like "interested in".

2006-03-10 07:21:16
183.   D4P
Go Ducks! Huck the Fuskies!
2006-03-10 08:14:49
184.   Marty
But all in all, the AL West should be fun, as long as you watch it with the sound off.

The line of the thread.

2006-03-10 08:30:03
185.   das411
164 - Nate! That's the game I was at!!

McClung threw well yesterday too, 3 scoreless against Atlanta. If those two can line up behind Kazmir then Tampa Bay can definitely make some noise this year, they put up 13 runs total in the two games I saw 'em play.

And Delmon Young is a scary scary kid. Elijah Dukes is even scarier.

2006-03-10 08:37:38
186.   Icaros
Adding to the FAQ in 180:

What's the meaning behind Lucille II for Ramon Martinez II?

2006-03-10 21:32:31
187.   Steve
For the record, The Onion has now been joined by John Brattain at The Hardball Times.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.