Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 1/7/19

12:03
Dan Szymborski: A wild Szym approaches!

12:03
Dan Szymborski: A Szym draws near!

12:03
Dan Szymborski: Command?

12:04
Dan Szymborski: The Szym attacks!

12:04
Dan Szymborski: Thy hits decreased to 45.

12:04
Dan Szymborski: (I’m just going to do this for an hour)

12:05
ChiSox2020: Why is Machado getting < $250M offers? Seems … low.

12:05
Dan Szymborski: I’m skeptical of any offer that isn’t the offer the player accepts.

12:05
Dan Szymborski: If he’s actually getting offers that light, they’re almost certainly for few years.

12:05
kotter: So, uh…. when are you continuing the ZiPS releases?

12:06
Dan Szymborski: Finishing last elegy and then it’s full-bore ZiPS. Remember, I’m a full-time employee of FanGraphs now, so I’m not limited to the 2-3 a week we did with Carson.

12:06
Dan Szymborski: Since this winter looked to be as slow as last year, it seemed like a later schedule would make smore sense anyway

12:06
kevin: Please give a suffering Pirates fan a glimmer of hope. I beg you.

12:06
Dan Szymborski: Well, Archer does have upside remaining

12:07
Dan Szymborski: And there’s still Keller

12:07
CT: Joey Chestnut has weighed in: A hot dog is not a sandwich. Settled science.

12:08
syracuse451: Was poking around the leaderboards and only one 1B was in the top-15 of wRC+ last year. Weird blip or trend?

12:08
Dan Szymborski: Probably a blip

12:08
Casual fan: Will the Angels be runner up to Wilson?

12:09
Dan Szymborski: Do they ever *really* name an official runner-up?

12:09
Dan Szymborski: NOw, Angels were interesting in Ramos, but I’m not sure if they ever said they were the runner-up to th eMets

12:09
Swordless Mimetown: How do expansion drafts work? How is it determined what players are eligible or not?

12:09
Dan Szymborski: I don’t believe there’s one official rule for them, but I could be wrong.

12:10
Dan Szymborski: IIRC, it’s usually been players that would theoretically be eligible for Rule 5 drafts if they weren’t on the 40-man

12:10
Dan Szymborski: And then a certain amount of protected players, more being protected after each pick.

12:10
Jim Leyland Palmer: Do you think we’ll see Harper or Machado have one of those nifty new “swellopt” deals? Or are they still in a position to demand straight player options

12:10
Dan Szymborski: I’d be surprised if neither had a very friendly opt-out

12:11
Dan Szymborski: Player opt-outs are expensive for the team, but they put off the day of reckoning for the GM

12:12
Austin Markakis: Zips has Austin Riley at 19 home runs for 2019.  At this point is a platoon of Austin Riley and Nick Markakis better than anything else the Braves can get, assuming Haniger is really not an option?

12:12
Dan Szymborski: I want Riley playing full-time in the minors, not as a platooner in the majors

12:13
Dan Szymborski: And honestly, I’d rather see an OF of Camargo-Inciarte-Acuña first, with Camargo coming into fill other positions.

12:13
Dan Szymborski: Unless they get a better option in the OF

12:13
The Decadent Moose: I mentioned to Eno I’ve been thinking about Mazara for no good reason.  What’s the likelihood of a trade/change-of-scenery to jump start him?  Seems like Atlanta could use him if they can improve him.

12:13
Dan Szymborski: I dunno, he’s a very frustrating player.

12:13
Dan Szymborski: I put him on my breakout list every year along with Danny Salazar.

12:14
Dan Szymborski: At least Salazar has the decency to keep being injured and leave how wrong I am up in the air!

12:14
Troy McClure: Hi, I’m Troy McClure. You may remember me from such chats questions as “So I traded for an axe murderer.

12:14
Mark: Do you think Dexter Fowler can rebound to at least league average production this year?

12:14
Dan Szymborski: Not sure about league-average, he was *really* horrible.

12:14
Dan Szymborski: that’s more ethan a deda cat counce

12:14
Bort: Who gets more PAs in Baltimore this year: Rio Ruiz or Renato Nunez?

12:15
Dan Szymborski: Renato

12:15
Troy McClure: You may also remember from “the chatter with stubby fingers accidentally pressed send”. But today I come to you as a spokesperson for the good people at the Cubs

12:15
Whitty: How would you rank these five 3rd baseman first to last in order of who you would take for the rest of their careers, not taking contracts into account? Bryant, Chapman, Ramirez, Arenado, and Bregman

12:16
Dan Szymborski: Bregman, Ramirez, Arenado, Chapman, Bryant. But any of the five could be #1, this is like making me rank Michelin three-star restaurants

12:16
D: This is going to sound like fanboy whining, but it’s not. (It’s not!)
In the midseason trade value series, ZIPS had Betts projected for 7.2 WAR in 2019, 7.1 in 2020. It also mentions that he’s projected for 9.5 total for 2018. He outproduced that for the remainder of 2018, and now ZIPS has him putting up 6.7 in 2019.

Any idea what’s going on there? (Not whining)

12:16
Dan Szymborski: Most likely model changes – would have to look at it specifically

12:17
Dan Szymborski: FOr the in-season, in-season is stickier

12:17
Dan Szymborski: I also more closely matched ZiPS to FG WAR

12:17
Mark: What kind of player to you think Manny Margot ends up being?

12:17
Dan Szymborski: Devon White?

12:17
Take your Chili off the stove: Will we last an hour with only 45 hits?

12:17
Dan Szymborski: Took Elvis decades for 45 hits

12:17
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Is it really a text adventure game if you don’t simply respond that you don’t know how to do that to all of our questions?

12:17
Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:25
Dan Szymborski: Sorry, technical difficulties

12:25
Troy McClure: how much negative trade value does heyward have? God my fingers are stubby. Probably why I’ll never be successful sax player.

12:25
Dan Szymborski: Quite a bit of course, but it’s not a total loss like the rest of Pujols and probaby the back end of Cabrera

12:26
RotoLando: Szym-kata, as a martial art, would closely resemble what?

12:26
Dan Szymborski: sumo with punching

12:26
Eric: Do you think Verdugo gets fulltime playing time in LA this year, assuming they don’t sign Harper? Are you bullish on his chances of being a solid contributer?

12:26
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think he gets full-time this year.

12:27
KD: LOL Mets.  They are really giving away their farm…for what?  Eric’s articles yesterday and the one he and Kiley wrote today are damning.   By the time their GM gets fired, they’ll have a large payroll, a mediocre team and no farm system.

12:27
Dan Szymborski: They did give up a significant chunk of their upside in the trade.

12:27
Dan Szymborski: BUt I think it’s wait and see

12:27
chet: Pomeranz is going back to oakland right? Makes too much sense on both sides?

12:27
Dan Szymborski: Seems to make sense.

12:27
Hello: Is Jeff McNeil the real deal?

12:27
Dan Szymborski: I think he’s at least a solid player

12:28
Dan Szymborski: Now, if you’re asking me if he’s really a 140 OPS+ player, the answer is no

12:29
Dan Szymborski: The volatile young woman who is sitting next to me, said her martial art is a combination of dance-punching, poking, psychological warfare, and gentle, tender, eye-stabbing.

12:29
Take your Chili off the stove: Do you think Marcus Stroman returns to being a 3 WAR player?

12:29
Dan Szymborski: I thikn there’s a reasonable shot at that.

12:30
GSon: If you’re Mike Chernoff, which team do you want to make your Identifying Trade deal with? Braves/Reds/Dodgers more likely than Padres?.

12:30
Dan Szymborski: Generally speaking, it depends on the player

12:30
Dan Szymborski: if we’re adding or moving win-now plyaers

12:30
Bigfoot Erotica: Are you going to do an anti-elegy for the Red Sox? A Hosanna? A paean?

12:30
Brad: Who would you rather have as a corner OF moving forward? Renfroe, Reyes, or Naylor?

12:31
Dan Szymborski: Renfroe if I’m a contender, Reyes if I’m not, Naylor if I’m down in the tanking/rebuilding phase

12:31
Puckett: Would Puckett have been suspended or blackballed if we knew what we know now when he was playing? Or was he too beloved?

12:31
Dan Szymborski: I think the allegations would have been enough to change how he would be perceived

12:31
BigChief: I keep hearing Keuchel will age better because he’s a command guy… Is there any actual evidence of this? Or is it just perception since velocity decreases are much easier to see than command decreases (also, I still feel like a command guy guy from 91 to say 89 is just as bad as a power pitcher going from 95-92/93, unless it’s being implied command guys don’t lose velo like power pitchers as they age).

12:32
Dan Szymborski: Really really good command guys age decently

12:32
Dan Szymborski: But an average command guy will age worse than an average power guy – there’s simply less room for error

12:32
Rod Becks Handlebar Mustache: Rosenthal’s article today about how brokeass the Cubs are has me quite sad 🙁

12:32
Dan Szymborski: Half of what you see from teams is posturing

12:32
greg: Cat update please

12:32
Dan Szymborski: They’re not really doing much at the moment

12:33
Casual fan: Why is it OK for Boras (someone hired by a player to act in their best interest) to bypass the GM (someone hired by the owner to act in their best interest) and go straight to the owner, but not the other way around?

12:33
Dan Szymborski: Well, what do you mean by OK?

12:34
Dan Szymborski: And GMs aren’t legal representatives of the ownership’s interests in the same way, technically speaking, as agents are for players

12:34
Bort: Tanner Scott should be better. Why isn’t he better?

12:34
Dan Szymborski: Raw

12:34
CrankDatGarage: What is Kendrys Morales trade value? He was a great hitter for most of 2018. What players should the BJs prioritize trading away? I dont see a good reason to keep Smoak unless the market is just comically bad for him.

12:34
Dan Szymborski: It’s fairly limited

12:35
Dan Szymborski: He’ll be a 36-year-old DH by midseason and “June-August” is a bad projection system

12:36
Dan Szymborski: Look at how uninterested baseball was in Trumbo after a 47-homer 122 OPS+ year

12:36
Bread Gardner: My wife has started drinking coffee and now she is _aggressively kinetic_, what do I do

12:37
Dan Szymborski: Cyanide has some calming properties.

12:37
Dan Szymborski: DISCLAIMER: DO NOT POISON PEOPLE UNLESS THEY ARE BABY HITLER

12:37
Kurt: Any hope for Willie Calhoun moving forward or has he lost most of his shine over the past calendar year?

12:37
Dan Szymborski: The shine is off, but he can still be rebuffed. 2018 was a mess

12:37
SouthSide Sox fan: What kind of season should we expect from Moncada?  Fewer K’s and more power – I sure hope so.

12:37
Dan Szymborski: THat’s about what I keep hoping for

12:37
Kurt: Any hope for a rebound from Cody Bellinger back to his rookie season statline?

12:38
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, though his rookie was probably higher than his baseline

12:38
Dan: I got up early today, and caught your chat somehow, so in lieu of wrestling hypotheticals: ZIPS ZIPS ZIPS ZIPS ZIPS ZIPS. Haammm-burger.

12:38
Duke: Does Syndergaards declining k/9 worry you? Velocity seemed on par with norms, and the breaking stuff also seemed sharp. Could it be pitch selection/gameplan? How he approaches an at bat? thanks

12:39
Dan Szymborski: Not concerned yet, 2017 was essentially a lost season. Thor has 200 innings and no K-rate bounce then I’ll be mildly concerned

12:39
Kurt: How does ZIPS come up with plauing time projections it is that something with which you have to do a lot of manual tweaking?

12:39
Dan Szymborski: There is no manual tweaking until I get to actually doing team projections

12:39
Dan Szymborski: Though we will set it up this year that the projections on the team pages will be pro-rated to depth chart playing time

12:40
Dan Szymborski: ZiPS using past history, very generalized injury information, age, position, etc. for playing time. It’s designed and intended to be an agnostic projection for team decisions

12:40
Dan Szymborski: I don’t want a projection system to tell me when it thinks the Dodgers will give Verdugo playing time, I want a projection system to tell me the performance that is “available” for the Dodgers to use, whether it’s in MLB or AAA or whatever

12:41
Dan: Also, any idea why it seems Zips has become more bullish on minor league relievers? And, can I take credit as the person who made you project like every reliever above high A ever?

12:41
Dan Szymborski: No particular reason! I do have a better model for minor league BABIP that uses some play-by-play data.

12:42
Dan Szymborski: Seriously, I have the R^2 at a little over 0.6 for minor league BABIP versus expected, using only play-by-play data (no BABIP in there)

12:43
Tim: Dan, I have to say, you have one strange (in a good way!) mind. Your Twitter is genius. Back to baseball. I’ve seen projections for two trendy 2Bs, Garrett Hampson and Jeff McNeil, all over the place, from 250 ABs-500 ABs. What are your Zip-py thoughts on each as you prepare to project them? Thanks!

12:43
Dan Szymborski: Secret to getting questions answered is no doubt playing to my vanity

12:43
Dan Szymborski: I haven’t released projections fro either, I expect McNeil’s to be better.

12:43
Dan Szymborski: BUt Hampson more than usual

12:43
BigChief: Getting a dog and my old lady is letting me pick the name, can you help me decide between Justin Furlander, Wade Doggs, Justin Furlander, or Jeff Begwell. (I’m an astros fan if that helps)

12:44
Dan Szymborski: Too bad you’re nto a Padres fan – Eric Pawsmer

12:44
Dan Szymborski: Lance Barkman

12:45
CamdenWarehouse: I’m disappointed that the tab header no longer says Baseball Statistics and Anal

12:45
Jsto: Rumor is the Brewers are seriously interested in Bumgarner. Who would you predict would go to the Giants?

12:45
Dan Szymborski: I don’t honestly think the GIants will in fact do it

12:45
Chris: Is the, I guess revelation, at the end of the Mets prospect article about the Mets refusal to scout players below full season ball THE dumbest practice the team is currently engaging in, or is it merely very dumb?

12:45
Dan Szymborski: The Mets have deep wells of light, sweet, dumb that we can only imagine

12:48
PM: On the expansion question with the larger amount of knowledge that teams have no of other systems in theory do you think this would make it easier for an expansion team to compete extremely quickly?

12:48
Dan Szymborski: Not sure it would be the case – teams would also do a better job projecting their own players

12:49
Blue Morpho: Did you watch Wrestle Kingdom? If so what did you think?

12:49
Dan Szymborski: I have not yet sadly

12:49
randplaty: Do you like the Padres pitching prospects better or the Braves pitching prospects better as a group?

12:49
Dan Szymborski: Braves but it’s really close. It may depend on the day you ask me! Padres may have more ace potential.

12:49
Brad: Is Nick Senzel more valuable as a 3B trade chip or as a Red at a new position?

12:49
Dan Szymborski: I think a Red

12:50
Gub Gub: You’re on the city bus?

12:50
Dan Szymborski: heh

12:50
Chris: How different is gentle, tender, eye stabbing from the practice of putting in and taking out contacts?

12:50
Dan Szymborski: I’m told that the stabbing involves eyeball puncturing

12:50
Dan Szymborski: but gently done

12:50
Kasvot Vaxt: There’s no way the Braves go into 2019 with Adam Duvall as their RF, right?

12:51
Dan Szymborski: I would be surprised if Duvall was a starter

12:51
Kristen: Will Joey Gallo ever be able to hit .240+ without sacrificing power, or have we already seen the best of him?

12:51
Dan Szymborski: I would be surprised if he is ever a decent BA guy. It’s just not his skillset

12:51
Mandy is 92% Fresh: As Bruce Lee was to karate, who is equivalent for Szym-kata?

12:51
Dan Szymborski: E. Honda

12:51
Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: Technical difficulties with a lady sitting next to you? Is that like “flu like symptoms”? Hmm….go get it Szymborski!!

12:52
Dan Szymborski: No, I closed my laptop to go outside so she could smoke, but this is the laptop that the power button sometimes gets a little stuck

12:52
Dan Szymborski: and fixing it, I held it too long and it rebooted

12:52
Dan Szymborski: and the other laptop was not on

12:53
Dan Szymborski: well, it was in sleep, but it was in sleep with crusader kings ii on pause, so it might have taken longer than rebooting and getting back into jotcast

12:53
Adam M: Who finishes third in the AL West next year? Mariners went tear down but still have ML talent. Angels perpetually seem to live at 77-82 wins and haven’t done much this offseason to change that. Rangers have talented youngsters in the lineup but a patchwork pitching staff.

12:53
Dan Szymborski: A’s or Angels. Rangers will be more interesting in 2020

12:54
Dan Szymborski: M’sprobably worse than A’s/Angels even though I think they’re nowhere near as bad as some are making them out to be

12:54
Pete: If you were forced to bet your entire personal fortune right this second on which team Harper signs with, who do you got?

12:54
Dan Szymborski: Nationals. BUt please note that this is not a bet.

12:54
Fuzzy Dunlop: Braves would be nuts to give up one of their top 3 prospects and then some for Realmuto, right?  I feel like a catcher in the NL is only more of a risk, and it might work just as well just to platoon like they have been?

12:54
Dan Szymborski: I think it depends on who the then some is

12:54
sportznut: How dumb are NL to consider Nick Castellanos a Plan B to Bryce Harper when he can’t play in the field, and will Avila be able to unload him for halfway decent value?

12:54
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, Castellanos is a very poor Harper Plan B

12:54
Dan Szymborski: He’s just not a super-valuable all-around player

12:55
Dan Szymborski: That came off as meaner than I intended

12:55
Dan Szymborski: He’s likely averageish, I just don’t think he has that extra J.D. Martinez gear in there

12:55
D: Are the Red Sox just completely wrong about their catching situation? That was their #1 need, right? And they went out and got a SP and an platoon 1B.

12:56
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think they’ve done anything that prevents them from doing stuff at catcher that they would have done without the other moves

12:56
Bort Sampson: For a while, the KBO has been considered somewhere in the Single-A to Double-A talent range. With Kang, Thames, and Ryu making solid waves in the MLB, do you think that range has moved at all?

12:56
Dan Szymborski: I’ve had them around AA the whole time

12:57
sportznut: The Tigers have a number of high profile pitching specs coming up in the next year or two.  Give us a hitter other than Cameron or Paredes that we can look forward to.

12:57
Dan Szymborski: Well, they do have Austin Meadows’ kid brother

12:58
CamdenWarehouse: Is David Fletcher a little intriguing?

12:58
Dan Szymborski: A little

12:59
Dan Szymborski: He won’t maintain +20 defense in all likelihood, but he hit very well at AAA last year]]

12:59
tom: dogs > cats. fight me.

12:59
Dan Szymborski: I’ve got nothing against cats

12:59
Dan Szymborski: err dogs

12:59
Dan Szymborski: I just don’t want to wake up at 6 AM and walk a dog

1:00
Dan Szymborski: and my dumb cat would probably be terrified of one since he’s terrified of everything

1:02
Pizza Face: Dan are using ARIMA to project the players stats for the 2019 season?

1:02
Dan Szymborski: I don’t explicitly use an ARIMA model

1:03
Joe: As an Orioles fan, I am feeling a weird feeling. I think it’s…hope?

1:03
Dan Szymborski: It is a very weird feeling

1:03
Mandy is 92% Fresh: Will you be doing any more Fangraphs podcasts?   You are quite polished from your radio appearances and surprisingly jovial.

1:03
Dan Szymborski: That’s the plan!

1:03
Dan Szymborski: I haven’t done much radio for a few weeks other than Gennaro in SiriusXM because my voice was really awful while I was sick

1:04
Joe: I know the consensus position on opt outs is that they are always bad for the team, but I have some trouble getting fully on board. If you’re talking about a year 5 opt out for Harper, say, in a 10 year deal, wouldn’t you almost hope he takes it? Not only that, given the amount of emphasis players put on opt outs, couldn’t you potentially get a guy for less money overall?

1:04
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, but you’d potentially get a guy for less money overall in situations where you want to *not* get him for less money overall

1:05
Dan Szymborski: Take Hosmer. It’ll usually be an eight-year deal when the Padres would want a five-year deal and usually a five-year deal when the Padres would want eight.

1:05
Dan Szymborski: It essentially lops off a whole bunch of success results for the Padres without lopping off a similar bunch of failure results

1:06
Dan Szymborski: If Hosmer is worth 5/105 *and* is in a situation in which he can do better than 3/39, it would usually be in a situation in whichthe Padres would prefer him at 3/39 than 0/0

1:07
Irrational Man: Could Jung Ho Kang be worth the risk at SS to see if he has anything left there?

1:07
Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:07
A question: does honda make electric cars?  e-honda would be a great name for that line

1:07
RIck Hahn: please tell me Giolito doesn’t suck.

1:07
Dan Szymborski: He might, but we’re not SURE

1:07
aka22: What does ZIPS stand for?

1:07
Dan Szymborski: Szymborski Projection system

1:07
Joe: Right, but even if you lose three productive seasons, you still got 5 presumably great ones. And once guys get into their thirties, what are the odds they’ll even have 3-5  more good years?

1:08
Dan Szymborski: BUt the point is that you lose those seasons

1:08
Dan Szymborski: You lose UPSIDE without also losing a similar amount of DOWNSIDE

1:09
Dan Szymborski: 8/144 is objectively better for the Padres than 5/105 with a 3/39 opt-in for the player because you’ve likely eliminated the scenarios in which Hosmer is a star for eight years

1:09
Dan Szymborski: REalistically, the Padres can get eight awful years but only five great years

1:09
Dan Szymborski: And on that note, time for me to depart for another week!

1:10
Dan Szymborski: Thanks for joining me everyone!

1:10
tbone steak: Realmuto has been about 0.8 wins better than Grandal over the past 3 years.  Wouldn’t a bit of an overpay – say, 2 years for $38M – make a lot more sense for the Dodgers than using the prospect capital to get Realmuto?

1:10
Dan Szymborski: YEs

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Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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CousinNicky
Member
CousinNicky

FYI there were 2 – 1B that were top 15 WRC+ last year (Goldschmidt at 8 and Freeman at 14).