Dan Szymborski Fangraphs Chat – 6/10/21

11:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: dangit

12:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There we go, third time’s the charm!

12:00
Jon G: Has Kris Bryant played himself back into $200M+ on the open market?

12:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Doing a piece on the Cubs Big Three FA for tomorrow!

12:01
Max: How are you (and zips) feeling about Jared Walsh? Is the sample size and eye test large enough to say “all-star first basemen for many years for the angels?”

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS is *almost* there, but not quite. the ROS wRC+ projection is up to 126 (preseason 103!). Gains tend to be a little stickier in season.

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I think he’s bent the curve enough that he’s probably an above-average 1B in his prime years

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The power improvement certainly plays

12:03
Ben Cherington: Hudson Head has been off to a slow start at the plate, but is taking a lot of walks and getting on base. What do you view him long term for the Pirates?

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Still a bit early for me, but feels a bit Rich Beckery to me maybe? That’s not necessarily a bad thing

12:05
James: Kyle Tucker’s Baseball Savant page shows him having an MVP level season brought down by bad luck. Is that a realistic picture of his potential?

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Luck is such a word fraught with hidden terrors!

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Let’s just say that there’s evidence that he’s a secret superstar having a regular star season

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s a superstar in a superstar machine, taking it to the staaaaaars. Emotion lotion!

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:07
Gil: Dan, a recent Defector article laments lightning’s (yes, the actual natural thing) slow descent from Ace pitcher to ‘back end of career innings eater’. Even with this knowledge of its diminished capabilities, where does lightning rank in your “please keep this natural occurance far away from me” list?

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, what?

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I dunno, I still wouldn’t want to be hit by lightning

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I guess a combination of people working outside less, increased awareness of lightning safety, and better medical triage to deal with people hit by lightning would all servce to diminish it as a thread somewhat?

12:09
Ernesto: Andujar looks to be back to pulling the ball.  If he regains 70% of his 2018, is he a lock to play nearly every day with the Yankees?

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Meh-minus

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s only really interesting at 100% of his 2018

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and even then he’ll be overrated

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The lack of a position obviously hurts

12:11
Jefferson: Has Zips ever used spider tack?

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: THATS A COMPLICATED QUESTION AND I DO NOT KNOW WHY YOU’RE ASKING SOME THINGS HAPPEN AT TIMES BUT I DO NOT KNOW AND I HATE TO SPECULATE ON THINGS I DID NOT OR DID NOT DO HOW AM I TO KNOW TRULY WHETHER I DID SOMETHING OR NOT IN THE METAPHYSICAL SENSE, I AM OFFENDED YOU WOULD EVEN ASK

12:12
Pirates fan: I’ve seen a few things out there that the asking price for Adam Frazier is high, which it should be. What is high? You think the pirates could get a say, top 5-10 prospect? Or is that to high? Also what is the likelihood Bryan Reynolds is traded?

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If you mean around *baseball* I don’t think so. On a farm system, I could definitely see an average farm system team’s #5 prospect going to Pittsburgh.

12:14
Gil: re: David Peterson

How does a guy strike out more people but walk mostly the same amount and ALSO become more hittable? That doesn’t seem to track for me and frustrates me to no end watching him.

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: More grounders does tend to result in a higher BABIP and more hits

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though I think there’s a lot of noise involved in the stats still

12:15
Jefferson: Give me some Bobby Witt Jr hype! I need to know what the computer overlords think

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That he’s htiting well in Double-A is a pretty big deal

12:15
Kyle: Rank the types of cheating in order of actual impact on a baseball game: sticky stuff, steroids/PEDs, sign stealing

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 1, 3, 2

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though you can define impact a number of ways

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: altering baseballs is obviously number – the effect is direct

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and I’m still completely unconvinced, from the data that PED/steroids isn’t a *safety* issue rather than a performance once

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve spent a decade looking at groups of players found positive vs. the rest and there’s *zero* unusual aging patterns in projections either before or after, as you would expect with a significant issue

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: no matter the angle, no matter how I use a dummy variable, I can’t *ever* get it not rejected in any method of dimensionality reduction

12:19
Dan Szymborsnowboard: Have you read Thinking, Fast and Slow? Law said it’s been required reading in all of MLB front offices. Im three chapters in and I can see why. Follow up question, should Thinking, Fast and Slow replace the Bible?

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I am familiar with it, but I have not personally read it

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It would certainly seem to be more useful to a front office than the bible

12:21
Guest: Is Ke’Bryan Hayes already a top 3 third baseman in baseball?

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Too long a bridge for me. I think he’s top 10.

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But the competition is steep there

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ramirez, Chapman, Bregman, Rendon, Machado, Moncada. OK, now eliminatee *four*

12:22
Jefferson: Taylor walls is great and I don’t ever remember any other Tampa Bay SS prospects any more

12:23
Del Martin: Do Hosmer’s intangibles and/or maybe the actual bump he’d get from being DH give him any trade value or are the Padres 100% stuck with him?

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He still has negative trade value.

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s basically back to being slow Willie Mays Hayes.

12:26
Gomber: Zips had me at 1.2 WAR for season which I’ve already equaled. FG projects me to finish with 2.5. Let’s say I finish with 2 WAR.

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s been very solid!

12:26
Jim Leyland Palmer: If your Seattle do you go hard for Corey Seager this winter? Have the brother connection of course, and are an emerging team, but they look to be extremely stacked in the OF going forward with very little actual promise for the infield in the system & on the roster. Star young outfielders + Corey Seager would make a lot of noise in a seemingly weak AL West for next few years

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I ahdn’t really thought about it, but I actually like it.

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: a Seager/Crawford middle infield could be fun

12:28
Duchess: What on earth happened to DJLM?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not like he’s been AWFUL, but he has been disappointing

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Some significant regrerssion was probably inevitable

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s not young

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The ball change is probably not helping him as he wasn’t a Stanton pitch crusher dude

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and he’s underperforming where his BABIP should be a bit

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Last I checked (last week) ZiPS thought he should have about 25 more points of BABIP and about 40 more points of ISO from his stats

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That would put him what, somewhere around 270/360/400? That’s not horribly below his preaseason projs

12:31
Dan: What hitters or type of hitter (if any) do you think will benefit the most from the new “sticky stuff” enforcement?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I would think some of the more aggressive swingers

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but given MLB’s history of blustering and nothing happening, I’m wait-and-see if naything really changes

12:32
LFC Mike: Chili sans beans chat greetings Dan. Will you be updating the Zips 100 Prospect List come mid season? Interested to see how much Vidal Brujan and Jarren Durran have moved up the rankings.

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yup

12:32
Moog Powell: Please rank the following Chilis:
1.) The country of Chile
2.) The restraunt Chili’s
3.) The means of describing temperature as Chilly
4.) The food dish Chili

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 4, 3, 1, 2

12:33
Bill: Does FG have data that shows players batting stats when defenses shift versus no shift?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You can see it in the splits tool!

12:33
John: Hey Dan – After your piece on the twins last week, they look like they are clearly going to sell. What do you think the return on Berrios would be? What if Buxton comes back and returns to the level he was at before, how does that change the market??

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they’ll get quite a bit for both

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though neither have enough time left that they would be franchise-altering hauls

12:34
Deckard Cain: Who would you rather have the rest of the season: Judge or Trea?

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Depends what I need!

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But very generically, I’m gonna go with teh shrotstop

12:34
Evan C: Think Dylan Bundy’s gonna turn it around? Or is his velocity just not enough to keep up with today’s game?

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I ceratinly hope so. ZiPS sees him as a significant underperformer based on periphs

12:35
Lark: Are the Angels sellers this year? They seem to be improving, but it’s not like they’re gaining a ton of ground in the division…

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’re sit-around-and-wait-fruitlesslyers

12:35
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: So Dan’s chat probably knows that Macho Man Randy Savage was a minor leaguer. But what’s much more amazing is that he was billed at 6’1″, 195 pounds. That’s only 10 pounds more than not-large-man Brandon Lowe, who’s 5’10”.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=poffo-001ra…

12:36
Who’s Fabio?: Hey Dan – serious question, lots of folks are commenting on Robbie Ray’s tight fitting uniform.  Do you think this is helping with his mechanics?  Helping with command and control?

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t even know how to approach that!

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Maybe if he were particularly uncomfortable in a tight fitting uni

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: errr loose

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Right now, I see it more as a meme than something

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I wonder if there’s an objective way to measure uniform fittage

12:38
brad penny for your thoughts: how good would Mr Burns baseball team have been?

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not very, his right fielder has been dead for 160 years!

12:39
Guest: What does a realistic return for Scherzer look like? Could he still pull multiple top-100 prospects? Is anyone willing to give up enough to make Rizzo REALLY think about it?

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think that’s tough

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: teams will pay a lot, but he’s also a rental

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Teams just aren’t giving many huge packages for *any* two month superstar anymore

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They want the two month and then the final year kicker

12:42
Eric the Red: Am I crazy to not care literally at all about the sticky “cheating” scandal? Seems like if A. everybody in baseball is doing it and B. everybody in baseball knows about it then we shouldn’t be making a big deal about it.

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think the issue is enforcement is kind of arbitrary

12:42
Toledo Brad: Brendan Rodgers. Is the “breakout” coming?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I still think so, but I think odds improve in a new organization.

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Rockies are a giant dumpster full of smaller dumpsters on fire that are full of individual tire fires, and that whole giant dumpster is also on fire

12:43
brad penny for your thoughts: did alonso’s opinion on free agent class and type of ball in use seem overly conspiratorial to you?

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think baseball’s that competent enough to think of such a conspiracy, figure out how to make it work, pull the trigger, and successfully implement it *and* cover it up

12:44
Dan Fan Man: Is there any inkling yet on how many RPMs is a statistically significant enough loss to actually either deduce a pitcher was using something beyond the rosin/pine tar/sunscreen mix or impact their performance?

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think you need to have more data on guys actually *caught*

12:45
Wanderlusting: Dan.. Please tell us the exact date and time Wander Franco is called up. Thank You

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 21st century, between the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox

12:45
Lee Bum-Ho: Another fascinating splitter is Chapman’s… Dude threw one this weekend that (by my observation) danced like a knuck and was clocked at a downright unfair 89 mph (think the spin rate was something like 650, too. Checked out Chapman’s observed movement chart on savant, and sure enough, his splitter has registered movement in like 75-80% of the possible directions a ball can move. Did he somehow unlock another God-mode pitch?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: His splitter has always been amazing. He’s an artist with it

12:47
Sharps: Is the Jake Bauers trade the beginning of Cleveland throwing in the towel?

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: At this point, one could argue that *acquiring and playing* Jake Bauers is throwing in the towel

12:49
Derek: Is this counterprogramming to the Twitch stream?

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh shoot, I probably should have run this at a different time

12:50
Go yankees!!!!!!: What do you think of the theory that for early romantic composers the metronome markings were doubled, and that to play them properly, the tempi need to be halved? Obviously it makes no sense for Beethoven (nobody was ever performing a 2.5 hour Ninth), but for other things like the chopin etudes or anything by alkan, it seems to make a lot of sense.

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t buy it.

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The thing is, there’s a performing tradition that’s handed down, composer/conductor to other composer/conductors

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: conductors like Walter or Pfitzner would have had ample experience working with and hearing people that were students of early romantics

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Carl Reinecke was a student of Mendelssohn and was teaching into the 20th century. If the Saltarello of Mendelssohn’s 4th was supposed to be a gentle stroll, we’d know, I think

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We have a *lot* of recordings of Liszt’s students

12:57
Druidiful: I’m glad to see that your post’s subtitle finally accurately reflects what this chat is about.

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I answer a billion questsion and we go off-topic a lot

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We’ve been doing this for a decade!

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: At this point, it’s a bit like complaining about ref bumps in wrestling

12:57
sam: Padres go all in with a trade for Buxton + Berrios.. slide Grisham to RF. Whats the cost though?

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The team DOES like to think big

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and the fact that they’d have ’em for 2022 is a big deal

12:58
Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: In your definition of chili, are you pepper discriminant? Meaning, do you only accept peppers of a savory flavor profile, or are you open to all entries?

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m opn to peppers

12:58
Bobby Chili w/ Beans Flay: Myself , Emeril and Martha all use beans in our award winning chili recipes. BOOM goes the ladle……

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Good for them.

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A good meal doesn’t necessarily have to be 100% in the category it’s described as

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve had a lot of delicious bean-and-chili stews

1:00
Magnetic Forehead: How do you decide to answer the questions in the queue? I’ve shot over some great, pressing ones and they’ve fallen on deaf ears.

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They scroll pretty quickly

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I try to do a variety

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and questions that I can actually answer within the timeframe

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Questions that require a lot of deliberation aren’t great in this format.

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I also tend to shy away from questions about very specific fantasy questions that are only really relevant to the person asking them

1:01
Kent: hey there.  do you cover sports other than baseball?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have not

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve covered esports for ESPN though

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do miss writing about Hearthstone and Overwatch!

1:02
Magnetic Forehead: You’re taking a 2 hour road trip…what 3 podcasts are you listening to along the way?

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t usually listen to baseball podcasts on road trips

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: because then I want to dive in an argue something

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and I can’t do that in a care

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I guess in car I’ve listend to the most How Did This Get Made?, Axe of the Blood God, and the Greatest Generation

1:05
Bill: Assume that deGrom wins his third Cy this season with an amazing but not greatest ever type season (think 1.6 ERA). How much more would he have to do going forward to get your HOF vote?

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think he’s already got mine on peak.

1:06
RHG: What’s your opinion on positional adjustment? Fangraphs hasn’t updated the positional adjustment numbers in over a decade and from what I’ve read from Tom Tango and even the Fangraphs article about positional adjustment, this numbers might be outdated based on how the game has changed and the increase in shifts. Is it time for an update?

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I tend to think that positional adjustment should be continually recalculated based on the last 15 years or so

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have a disagreement with DH adjustment

1:06
Cynthia: What’s the most surprising projection you’ve seen from ZiPS since it was created?

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Shane Bieber, 2019

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: not counting ones that are obvious mistakes

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: like Jose Molina coming out with a .900 SLG that was caused by me accidentally hitting a stray key

1:07
Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: Oh man, based on the Scherzer question earlier, could this be the most muted trade deadline ever, outside of rental? Owners not wanting to commit to multi-year contracts without knowing where the CBA is going and such.

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think this is going to be a dull deadline

1:08
THE Burger King: Have you ever gotten a major bag alert from Wendy’s? If so was it a good or bad experience…and should we who haven’t,  want one or not?

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, what?

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Believe it or not, I eat very little fast food

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That’s right, I actually have to eat half-sensibly to maintain THIS figure

1:09
Data Nerd: Do stats based predictors take into account the concentration of positive events. i.e. are homeruns in blow out games weighed less than others.

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I haven’t found much value in these

1:09
Druidiful: My earlier comment was not a complaint. Yours is my favorite chat.

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Someone was very grumpy last week!

1:09
snid: Why can batters use grip improving goo, but pitchers can’t?

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: their grippy stuff doesn’t modify the ball itself

1:10
Ethan: Big question, what are the cats up to?

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Mercutio and Cassiopeia were asleep upstairs last I saw

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: the catlets are watching cicadas dive bomb the windows

1:11
Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: If you accept sweet peppers as an ingredient in chili, are you open to the idea of sweet-ish herbs and spices? Such as basil, sumac, saffron, sugar, et al?

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sugar not so much

1:12
Mr Thompson: Which current player do you think would be most likely to whittle their own bat out of a tree that was struck by lightning like Homer did?

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cespedes

1:12
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: What’s your favorite baseball movie and what’s the best baseball movie and why is Major League both?

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For me it’s the sandlot

1:13
Heel Nunington: Why is spin measured in RPM when a pitch is only a second or two? Wouldn’t it be better to do revolutions per second.

1:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: same reason we use miles per hour

1:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: it’s a familiar context

1:14
Appa Yip Yip: Major League …. did not age well. It is bad. Extremely bad.

1:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I will disagree with that.

1:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I figured I’d end this before a hundred people dogpile!

1:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming all, I’ll see ya next time!





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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Lee
Member
Lee

RE “It would be more useful to a front office than a bible.”- Are you trying to tell me Jesus Christ couldn’t hit a curveball?
RE: Major League -Still holds up

OddBall Herrera
Member
OddBall Herrera

Yep, so many sports movies have come and gone and Major League is still standing with the best of em