Dan Szymborski Fangraphs Chat – 6/10/21 by Dan Szymborski June 10, 2021 11:59 Dan Szymborski: dangit 12:00 Dan Szymborski: 12:00 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 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 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 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 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 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 Dan Szymborski: Luck is such a word fraught with hidden terrors! 12:06 Dan Szymborski: Let’s just say that there’s evidence that he’s a secret superstar having a regular star season 12:07 Dan Szymborski: He’s a superstar in a superstar machine, taking it to the staaaaaars. Emotion lotion! 12:07 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 Dan Szymborski: Wait, what? 12:08 Dan Szymborski: I dunno, I still wouldn’t want to be hit by lightning 12:09 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 Dan Szymborski: Meh-minus 12:10 Dan Szymborski: He’s only really interesting at 100% of his 2018 12:10 Dan Szymborski: and even then he’ll be overrated 12:10 Dan Szymborski: The lack of a position obviously hurts 12:11 Jefferson: Has Zips ever used spider tack? 12:12 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 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 Dan Szymborski: More grounders does tend to result in a higher BABIP and more hits 12:14 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 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 Dan Szymborski: 1, 3, 2 12:15 Dan Szymborski: Though you can define impact a number of ways 12:16 Dan Szymborski: altering baseballs is obviously number – the effect is direct 12:17 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 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 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 Dan Szymborski: I am familiar with it, but I have not personally read it 12:19 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 Dan Szymborski: Too long a bridge for me. I think he’s top 10. 12:21 Dan Szymborski: But the competition is steep there 12:22 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 Dan Szymborski: He still has negative trade value. 12:25 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 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 Dan Szymborski: I ahdn’t really thought about it, but I actually like it. 12:27 Dan Szymborski: a Seager/Crawford middle infield could be fun 12:28 Duchess: What on earth happened to DJLM? 12:29 Dan Szymborski: It’s not like he’s been AWFUL, but he has been disappointing 12:29 Dan Szymborski: Some significant regrerssion was probably inevitable 12:29 Dan Szymborski: He’s not young 12:30 Dan Szymborski: The ball change is probably not helping him as he wasn’t a Stanton pitch crusher dude 12:30 Dan Szymborski: and he’s underperforming where his BABIP should be a bit 12:30 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 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 Dan Szymborski: I would think some of the more aggressive swingers 12:32 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 Dan Szymborski: Yup 12:32 Moog Powell: Please rank the following Chilis:1.) The country of Chile2.) The restraunt Chili’s3.) The means of describing temperature as Chilly4.) The food dish Chili 12:33 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 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 Dan Szymborski: I think they’ll get quite a bit for both 12:34 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 Dan Szymborski: Depends what I need! 12:34 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 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 Dan Szymborski: They’re sit-around-and-wait-fruitlesslyers 12:35 Gil: Ha. Here: https://defector.com/is-lightning-a-fraud-sadly-yes/ 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 Dan Szymborski: I don’t even know how to approach that! 12:37 Dan Szymborski: Maybe if he were particularly uncomfortable in a tight fitting uni 12:37 Dan Szymborski: errr loose 12:37 Dan Szymborski: Right now, I see it more as a meme than something 12:37 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 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 Dan Szymborski: I think that’s tough 12:39 Dan Szymborski: teams will pay a lot, but he’s also a rental 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Teams just aren’t giving many huge packages for *any* two month superstar anymore 12:42 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 Dan Szymborski: I think the issue is enforcement is kind of arbitrary 12:42 Toledo Brad: Brendan Rodgers. Is the “breakout” coming? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: I still think so, but I think odds improve in a new organization. 12:43 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 Dan Szymborski: Yes 12:44 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 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 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 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 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 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 Dan Szymborski: I don’t buy it. 12:50 Dan Szymborski: The thing is, there’s a performing tradition that’s handed down, composer/conductor to other composer/conductors 12:53 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 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 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 Dan Szymborski: I answer a billion questsion and we go off-topic a lot 12:57 Dan Szymborski: We’ve been doing this for a decade! 12:57 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 Dan Szymborski: The team DOES like to think big 12:58 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 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 Dan Szymborski: Good for them. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: A good meal doesn’t necessarily have to be 100% in the category it’s described as 12:59 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 Dan Szymborski: They scroll pretty quickly 1:00 Dan Szymborski: I try to do a variety 1:00 Dan Szymborski: and questions that I can actually answer within the timeframe 1:01 Dan Szymborski: Questions that require a lot of deliberation aren’t great in this format. 1:01 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 Dan Szymborski: I have not 1:01 Dan Szymborski: I’ve covered esports for ESPN though 1:01 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 Dan Szymborski: I don’t usually listen to baseball podcasts on road trips 1:04 Dan Szymborski: because then I want to dive in an argue something 1:04 Dan Szymborski: and I can’t do that in a care 1:04 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 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 Dan Szymborski: I tend to think that positional adjustment should be continually recalculated based on the last 15 years or so 1:06 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 Dan Szymborski: Shane Bieber, 2019 1:06 Dan Szymborski: not counting ones that are obvious mistakes 1:07 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 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 Dan Szymborski: Wait, what? 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Believe it or not, I eat very little fast food 1:09 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 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 Dan Szymborski: Someone was very grumpy last week! 1:09 snid: Why can batters use grip improving goo, but pitchers can’t? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: their grippy stuff doesn’t modify the ball itself 1:10 Ethan: Big question, what are the cats up to? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: Mercutio and Cassiopeia were asleep upstairs last I saw 1:11 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 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 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 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 Dan Szymborski: same reason we use miles per hour 1:13 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 Dan Szymborski: I will disagree with that. 1:14 Dan Szymborski: But I figured I’d end this before a hundred people dogpile! 1:14 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming all, I’ll see ya next time!