A few errors (games missing in games table) existed in the Retrosheet download, but they are fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience. -Jeff and Darrell
Over at tangotiger.com, MGL asks if the following statement is true.
“Of all of the skills to sign up for past a players prime, however, plate discipline is probably the best one.”
I decided to create an wRC+ aging curve of high walk players. I know the quote is for high plate discipline, but I am not sure how exactly plate discipline should be defined. The article focused on Shin-Soo Choo, so I waned to players with similar walk rates. Over the past three seasons (age 28 to 30 seasons), Choo has walked (NIBB) 12% of the time. So for the curve, I used players since 1980 who had less than or greater than a 10% walk rate between their age 28 and 30 seaons (min 300 PA).
While the high walk players plateau sooner, they begin to decline at the same rate around age 28. High walk players don’t really age any better than lower walk players.
The Texas Rangers gave a contract of seven years and $130M to Shin-Soo Choo. Here is a quick look at the probably production from Choo over the contract’s life.
Just a quick take here. Cano has 19 fWAR over the past 3 seasons. Since 1970, 16 players have had between 17 and 21 WAR. Three are still playing, Zobrist, A-Rod and Matt Holliday. Here is how the rest of them performed.
|Name||Total WAR||PA||Last Seaon||Total Seasons|
Using 10 years, $240M, $6.5M/WAR, 5% inflation in my contract calculator, I have Cano needing to produce 30 WAR for the Mariners to break even on the contract. Here are the possible chances of the contract vs his possible results:
|Contract vs Results||Success Rate|
|75% to 100%||15.4%|
|50% to 75%||30.8%|
Truthfully, I expected worse.
David Laurila stated the following about the Doug Fister to the Nationals trade.
Have to believe Tigers know something about Fister the rest of us don’t. Dombrowski isn’t dumb.
— David Laurila (@DavidLaurilaQA) December 3, 2013
I responded to his tweet with any possible injury factors, but I wanted to go into more detail here. I examined as many factors I have seen with other injured pitchers (declining velocity) and I could only find two possible indicators, inconsistent release points and low Zone%. Both of them are relatively small and shouldn’t be a deterrent to trading for Fister.
Over two months ago Alyson Footer wrote and article titled “Healthy diet now a staple of ballplayers’ regimen” at MLB.com. I finally got to reading it and couple quotes really stood out.
For the most part, the players are on board with the fried-free meal plan, especially as the summer months continue and a contending team’s endurance is tested in August and September.
“If you can save a percent here or a percent there in a season on your body and keep the muscle you worked hard to gain in the offseason … they add up to 15 or 20 percent in September,” [Chad] Tracy said. “You’re coming down the stretch, maybe 20 percent stronger than maybe the guy who isn’t.”
While most of the general population that eats healthy does so as to not put on weight, professional athletes are different. They have to maintain certain eating habits so they don’t lose too much weight, an issue that can become a problem for a lot of them as the season wears on. Not enough of the right foods just exacerbates the issue.
“Their pants are starting to fall off of them, and they’re wondering what they can do to try to keep some of that weight on,” Tracy said. “The biggest thing is eating and eating the right stuff.”
In a recent New Yorker article, Malcom Gladwell reported on eye sight in baseball:
The ophthalmologist Louis Rosenbaum tested close to four hundred major- and minor-league baseball players over four years and found an average visual acuity of about 20/13; that is, the typical professional baseball player can see at twenty feet what the rest of us can see at thirteen feet. When Rosenbaum looked at the Los Angeles Dodgers, he found that half had 20/10 vision and a small number fell below 20/9, “flirting with the theoretical limit of the human eye,” as Epstein points out. The ability to consistently hit a baseball thrown at speeds approaching a hundred miles an hour, with a baffling array of spins and curves, requires the kind of eyesight commonly found in only a tiny fraction of the general population.
Eyesight can be improved—in some cases dramatically—through laser surgery or implantable lenses. Should a promising young baseball player cursed with normal vision be allowed to get that kind of corrective surgery?
I found a good precise article looking at stress and sports titled Stress Appraisal: Challenge vs Threat By Phin Naughton. It is only 650 words in length, but goes over some great academic findings with stress. While these concepts can’t be easily quantified, they just can’t be ignored. Here are some of points I found the most interesting.