Beane's moved on from "Moneyball"
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| By deajay on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 09:03 pm:|
Very interesting column by Gammons on baserunning and defense.
"Judging defense becoming key"
A small excerpt:
"While others are dissecting the "Moneyball" theories, the A's, Red sox, Dodgers, Mets, Indians and other are off trying to find the next new thing, which in this case is quantifying what heretofore was considered incalculatable - defense.
Why do you think Mark Ellis is so important to the A's? The only other AL second baseman who grades out higher than Ellis is Pokey Reese. Oh, yes, Oakland is second only to Tampa Bay in Baseball Prospectus' defensive efficiency ratings."
Also talks about Epstein & Beane in quantifying defensive stats, each using different methodology ... and they are not revealing their respective methods. "But we usually come out with the same conclusions," said Beane. For example, last winter, both he and Epstein agreed that Cameron and Kotsay were the best defensive center fielders and that Rolen and Chavez, the best defensive third basemen.
Good and very interesting read.
| By pachyderm on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 09:20 pm:|
Joe Morgan should also move on from "Moneyball".
| By yc2578 on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 09:20 pm:|
He's hardly moved on at all. At the heart of Moneyball is about seeking out what is undervalued by the market. It's always been a fallacy to say Moneyball was simply about OBP.
| By deajay on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 09:23 pm:|
Well, it's pretty tough for him to move on ... he has to read it first.
| By whoknows77 on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 10:13 pm:|
Exactly YC, it's amazing how many people completely miss the point of the book. It's an economics text about succeeding in an imbalanced marketplace based on taking advantage of what the marketplace undervalues.
At the time of writing, the market undervalued OBP and, to a lesser extent, SLG, as well as fat catchers and relief pitchers who don't throw 90+.
While I suspect that fat catchers and slowballers still probably won't command huge deals, most teams are coming to realize the value of getting baserunners by any means necessary and of not making outs. "Moneyball" is based on constant innovation, not any specific statistic. It's based on staying ahead of the curve and using any tool available to beat an unfair market.
We should all thank BB's lucky stars that folks like Joe Morgan repeatedly tell everyone that BB is all about BBs (that parallel just occurred to me), it's far easier to stay ahead of the curve when others can't figure out where you're going and follow.
| By bigthree17 on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 10:27 am:|
This is why WK77 and I, among others, are big proponents of defensive stats like Zone Rating and UZR, and always argue that they cannot and should not be dismissed. Because of his defense and plate patience, I really think that Ellis will be the starting 2B next year, and Scutaro will have more of a utility role.
I wonder what the next step in the evolution is...
| By whoknows77 on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 10:45 am:|
and don't forget Range Factor ... lol
as Petey mentioned in the article, baserunning is the most likely next frontier. I'd imagine a formula, similar to UZR could be applied to baserunning to determine which runners have a tendency to get the extra base more often on balls that generally hold a runner at second/third. I'd also have to think there's more innovation to be done with pitchers, we just haven't felt the need to innovate it yet, (or borrow it from the statistical fan community) since we've done so well drafting pitchers in recent years.
| By deajay on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 01:18 pm:|
Well, it's apparent that the A's are in BIG NEED of baserunning skills. Hope Billy gets it figured out.
| By goldtymer on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 03:26 pm:|
Financially, when the league realizes (as more of it has) what it is that they undervalue and we thrive with, they will make an adjustment.
The real issue is prioritizing. If we don't have the funds for all the tools we want, what tools become most important when the Yanks, Sox, Angels & Rangers Quantify defense and push OBP?
The game is being innovated almost annually now statistically, where will it overkill and cause paralysis by anaysis?
| By whoknows77 on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 04:03 pm:|
You never know, at some time in the future we may find the rest of the league too statistically driven and BB could find that guys with the baseball player's jaw are being undervalued.
| By garyn on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 07:08 pm:|
I can't help but think Billy & Co may be having some fun with Gammons again. Of course defense is important, but an undervalued commodity? If defense were that important, Marcus McBeth would probably be playing in Oakland by now instead of spending his 4th year in pro ball at Modesto.
Kotsay, Cabrerra, Chavez, Mienkiewicz - their defense is a plus, but they wouldn't be starters if they couldn't hit. So all we are really saying is that good ballclubs are well balanced, which is hardly a revelation.
And for all the talk about OBP and defensive range, the consistent key to the A's success has been the pitching.