Tagged: wOBA

All-Star Voting (Updated)

I use a weighted ballot system thingy for the All-Star Game.  I start voting at the beginning of May, casting 2 ballots the first week of May, 3 the next week, 4 the next week, and so on, until I max out my votes.  Anyway, this week my ballot looks like this (for the All-Star game, I tend to vote on the basis of wOBA, except at short and second where obvious defensive incompetence makes me vote for a guy who at least looks like he should be a middle infielder):

NATIONAL LEAGUE
C Ryan Doumit
1B Joey Votto (sorry, Albert, but Votto’s just better than you right now)
2B Chase Utley (but I was voting for Kelly Johnson for a while there)
SS Stephen Drew (and I’ve cast a number of ballots for Tulowitzki)
3B Ryan Zimmerman (Casey McGehee has gotten some of my votes, too)
OF Andre Ethier
OF Jayson Werth
OF Alfonso Soriano (but I’ve voted for Heyward and Ryan Braun, too, though Soriano has slipped in here for this week)
AMERICAN LEAGUE
C Joe Mauer (okay, so I’d vote for this stud anyway)
1B Justin Morneau (he’s so ridiculous; more ridiculousness documented here)
2B Robinson Cano (ugh, a Yankee, and I really like Alberto Callaspo, but I obey the numbers)
SS Alex Gonzalez (which is painful, and I think I may defy the numbers for Elvis Andrus, because Elvis is to shortstop defense what Beethoven is to composers: sweeeeet)
3B Evan Longoria
OF Alex Rios (huh?!  Alex freakin’ Rios?)
OF Vernon Wells (he’s been great this season)
OF Nick Swisher (oh, come on! Another Yankee, and Nick the Swish at that?!  Damn you, numbers!)
DH Vlad Guerrero (jeez, oh jeez, does this guy ever love hitting at the Ballpark, doesn’t he?)
Calcaterra’s take on the actual vote totals for the NL All Stars (that’s the way to call out lameness, Craig).
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Win Probability Added: More Stuff (Updated)

Win Probability Added (WPA) is a very useful tool for evaluating the relative contribution of players in achieving their ends: winning games.  

Tom Tango, mathematical genius and co-author of The Book, provides us some useful insight into WPA as it relates to starting pitchers and what constitutes either a good or bad start for a pitcher.
I’ve also linked to the Win Probability Chart that Tango,Michael Lichtman (who developed UZR), and Andrew Dophin calculated by evaluating all play-by-play data from Major League Baseball games dating back to the start of the Divisional Era, 1969.
It was on the basis of their evaluation of this data that they were able to generate the formula for the most accurate measure of offensive performance, wOBA (weighted on base average), a statistical measure to which I am quite attached (a member of the cult of wOBA).  wOBA is so useful for two reasons: (1) it is scaled like On-Base Percentage, so it falls within a familiar range and can be easily read and interpreted, and (2) it directly correlates to run production, so much so that one can take a player’s wOBA, subtract the league’s wOBA (usually around .330) and divide the result by 1.15 to determine how many runs above average a player produces per plate appearance.  (Spreadsheets are really good for performing this sort of mathematical drudgery.)
Sweet stuff.  

Mike Stanton Comes Around in Double-A

Whomever has Mike Stanton as a prospect should get a handerkerchief/napkin/dropcloth ready to catch all the drool.

Click here to see his AA stats.  No, your eyes do not deceive you.  Yes, his slash line stats ARE indeed .338/.482/.800, which makes his OPS 1.282, his GPA .417 (read as though it’s a batting average) and his wOBA a jaw-dropping .518 (read like it’s an OBP).
He started slowly, but has obviously picked it up, with two homers a double and a single in his last game, which means he now leads the Southern League in HR with 6.
Now wipe up your drool, plaster a smile on your face dreaming of how that will translate for the Marlins, and make sure you don’t look too smug the next time the league talks about how to value prospects because, yes, you PWND the rest of us in making Stanton your prospect.
Huh.
UPDATE:
For more on Stanton (and this time from a professional), see this entry over at Hardball Talk.  The money shot quote:

[I]f Stanton can keep making adjustments, then the sky is the limit. We still need to see how he handles quality breaking balls from more experienced pitchers, but that he’s already doing a better job of waiting for his pitch is a very good sign. Maybe he won’t be a legitimate .300 hitter, but it’s possible he could be Ryan Howard with a plus glove in right field, making him extremely valuable.

At this rate, it may not be much longer before everyone gets a first-hand look. The Marlins have plenty of financial incentive to keep Stanton on the farm until the Super-Two threshold passes late next month, but if he’s still tearing the cover off the ball at that time, he’ll have to get a shot. Cody Ross isn’t a long-term piece of the puzzle in Florida, and the Marlins will have the option of sending Chris Coghlan back to Triple-A if he continues to struggle.

The Marlins promoted Miguel Cabrera right from Double-A to the majors in June 2003. Something very similar could happen this year.

On Ryan Howard’s Big Money

Rob Neyer says it all here, the last paragraph noting the ignorance behind the Phillies’ move.

Howard isn’t even in the same building as Joe Mauer, who, by the standards of the Howard’s extension, should be getting $30 million a year since: (a) he’s a better hitter, and (b) he plays CATCHER for God’s sake, which is a far sight harder than First Base.  The fielding spectrum covers this point.
RBIs, while a cool fantasy category, are overrated as an indicator of player value.  (Then again, I’m a firm member in the cult of wOBA.)  By the way, Howard’s 2009 wOBA was a very good .393, while Mauer weighed in at .444, and Pujols generated .449.  
However, while Pujols looks better than Mauer, the difference is marginal, and Pujols plays first, while Mauer is a CATCHER for God’s sake.
Joe Mauer: Best Player In Baseball.