Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 7/15/21 by Dan Szymborski July 15, 2021 12:01 Dan Szymborski: I’ve got bourbon; let’s do this. 12:02 Greg: Your article summed it up well — the Braves are done. So what does a good trade deadline plan look like for them? 12:02 Dan Szymborski: I think you have to shop Morton 12:03 Dan Szymborski: And I’ strongly consider trading Heredia/Almonte if you can get an interesting sorta prospect for either. They’re not young 12:03 Dan Szymborski: Neither should be playing full-time rest of season or Arcia for that matter 12:03 Dan Szymborski: Not sure if there’s Smyly interest, but I’d at least inquire 12:03 Adam: O/U 5 games for Dodgers’ eventual NL West winning margin? 12:03 Dan Szymborski: Under 12:03 Dansby SwanSong: Just wondering if the All Star clown uniforms bothered you? Do you think MLB Marketing is out of touch? 12:04 Dan Szymborski: They were bad, but they weren’t bad as like all the hats from MLB/New Era have released this year 12:04 barney gumble: how much longer are the tigers in rebuild mode for? they have some great pieces and prospects to build around 12:04 Dan Szymborski: I think until they have more offensive depth in the minors beyond the very obvious top few prospects 12:04 Kate: How much would getting traded improve your view of Jon Gray in fantasy? 12:05 Dan Szymborski: Quite a bit! 12:05 Dan Szymborski: I mean Coors 12:05 Adam: You think Scherzer gets moved? What would he fetch in return? 12:05 Dan Szymborski: He will not be moved. 12:05 Derek: There is baseball today! But… why is there exactly one game baseball today? Is this a makeup game or an intentional showcase of Yankees-Red Sox? 12:05 Dan Szymborski: Oh right, i forgot that was tonight 12:05 Dan Szymborski: Ok, ALMOST no baseball 12:06 Adam: Is Gavin Sheets anything special (besides to his loved ones, of course)? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: I am skeptical 12:07 Dave: What’s the reason behind rest of season projections differing from preseason projections for players that have yet to play in 2021? Slightly different spot on the aging curve? Slightly different league environment? Something else? 12:07 Dan Szymborski: League environment is a big part of it 12:07 Jim Leyland Palmer: You expecting a much different Jarred Kelenic this time around? 12:07 Dan Szymborski: Absofrigginglutely 12:07 Braves Or Barves?: The Braves seem like they’re at a crossroads. Their major league roster isn’t especially talented after Acuna and Freeman, and the former is out for potentially a year and the latter is a free agent who will be 32 next season. The AAA team doesn’t have many everyday MLB players (yet) and most older pitching prospects (Wright) haven’t performed. The more intriguing prospects are in the lower levels and need a few more years before they’re viable trade pieces or major league contributors, with the exception of maybe Shewmake. They also don’t spend much in free agency unless it’s one-year deals, which has been hit or miss. Should they do a small rebuild with the goal of getting the best possible team around Acuna in 2023? It’s hard to see a path in 2022. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: I don’t necessarily think a rebuilt 12:07 Dan Szymborski: But I do think they need to retool and be more aggressive at investing in free agency 12:08 Dan Szymborski: Acuña/Albies/Freeman is a really nice core 12:08 Dan Szymborski: Plus Anderson/Fried 12:08 Redbeard: Who headlines the first biggish trade in deadline season? 12:08 Dan Szymborski: Ima gonna say Gallo 12:09 Dan Szymborski: I know Gallo likes Texas, but he makes real sense for like 4 or 5 serious contenders and I think the Rangers will get a generous package 12:09 Dan Szymborski: Jay and I talk about Gallo more on tomorrow’s FanGraphs Audio drop though, so listen to that! 12:09 ALL CAPS ARE BEAUTIFUL: Why is spin rate expressed in RPM instead of RPS? RPM makes zero sense whatsoever. No baseball has ever been in flight for an entire minute (unless dropped from a plane) and even it if were, it wouldn’t maintain its spin rate for a the whole minute. Everyone knows a pitch takes a fraction of a second to reach the plate, so RPS is a much more relatable measure. Make it so! 12:10 Dan Szymborski: I think cause we know rpm in other contexts 12:13 Kate: Underlying numbers (contact rate, swinging strike rate, CSW) on Patrick Sandoval seem to indicate he should be striking out more guys than he is. Does ZiPS see him as a K underperformer? 12:13 Dan Szymborski: It does, but the margin has shrunk since late May 12:14 Dan Szymborski: He just missed the chart in that piece at 7.1, but that’s shrunken to 4.5 12:15 Erik: If there was a prospect who looked like as sure a bet as possible to be the best high-leverage reliever on a contender very quickly but had zero chance of starting, how high would you select him in the draft? 12:16 Dan Szymborski: A definite thing? Probably by 15. Higher than that and you pretty much get non-contending teams that shouldn’t be prioritizing relievers 12:16 Smiling Politely: Hey Dan — What’s up with Gavin Lux? He’s got a double digit walk rate at age 23 and works counts, but the contact quality looks bad. I know he was one of your guys to watch (and one for me, too, lol). Think he’ll start hitting more or should we start lowering the floor/ceiling? 12:16 Dan Szymborski: I do think we should set our sights a bit lower 12:16 Dan Szymborski: There’s a lot of uncertainty. 12:17 Dan Szymborski: I think we’ll find, looking back in 10 years, that the players hurt the most were the ones on the cusp of being major leaguers 12:17 Dan Szymborski: (from COVID layoff) 12:17 Kate: Has Schwarber at least assured himself of an everyday role for 2022 (assuming there is a season) with his strong play so far this year? He seemed to be in danger of falling into more of a platoon role after struggling last year. 12:17 Dan Szymborski: Yes 12:17 ALL CAPS ARE BEAUTIFUL: Solution to the sticky stuff issue: Suede baseballs. 12:17 Dave: I’m a weirdo and am trying to create a projection system for my Out of the Park. I’m struggling on how to figure out the MLE adjustment for each level and also how to calculate the aging curve at each level. Sorry if this is a little too specific of a question but any tips on calculating those adjustments? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: You could theoretically do year 0–>year 1 simulations and run your own 12:17 DJ: Omar Narvaez currently has a 137 wRC+, but his ZiPS rest of season projection is a 113 wRC+. Christian Yelich currently has a 116 wRC+, but his ZiPS rest of season projection is a 136 wRC+. Which player do you think ZiPs is mostly like to be correct on for the ROS projection? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: Probably Narvaez 12:18 Kretin: Is Justin Upton back? Or at least serviceable for the last 1.5 years of his contract? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: I think serviceable is reasonable. I’m not at the point where I’d call him back yet 12:18 Erik: Are you treating Jarred Kelenic’s poor first MLB stretch as anything other than a 23-game blip? He did strike out a lot more than he did in the minors, but it’s not as if a 28.3 K% is awful these days. 12:19 Dan Szymborski: I’m not worried 12:19 Dave: As a heads up, since you probably know who to report this to more than I do, Yoshi Tsutsugo appears to have two different pages, one for his minor league stats and one for his major league stats. Unless he has an identical twin I’m not aware of. 12:19 Dan Szymborski: I’ll let ’em know 12:20 Faz: Do the Indians sell? Should they sell? I’m a fan but I feel as though they should Jose and Bieber to maximize return and turn a quick rebuild. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: No. Yes. 12:20 Sum: okay, the AS unis were bad, but those Giants City Connect unis were tops, amirite? 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Wait, no 12:21 Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure if it was just the pictures they released, but the orange on those pictures is awful 12:21 Dan Szymborski: and the G is terrible. 12:23 Jon: Durran getting the call tonight. Steamer has him hitting 262/315/384. Over or under in your opinion? 12:23 Dan Szymborski: Over. I think Duran’s hurt by us not having much data 12:23 Sum: it’s the same reason we use mph for pitch speed. 12:24 Dan Szymborski: I know what 90 mph means. It’s the fastest I got my old Ford Tempo. I have no instant place marker to peg 40 meters per second 12:24 Dan Szymborski: Or about 90 12:24 Dan Szymborski: The speedometer on that Ford only went up to 85, but I had it pointing to a vague area quite a bit past the 85 12:25 Oddball Herrera: When are the zips projections for my beer league softball team coming out? I want to brag about my predicted .150 OPS 12:25 Dan Szymborski: I’m gonna project that everyone has as fun time 12:25 Dan Szymborski: . 12:25 Babip Roberts: Can they just make the damn ball a few ounces heavier? Fewer dingers, fewer strikeouts, everyone goes home happy! 12:26 Guest: A baseball with 2500 RPM thrown 90 mph will make 16.67 revolutions pitcher to catcher. A baseball with 2750 RPM thrown 90 mph will make 18.33 revolutions. 12:26 Steve O: Hard to grasp that 1.67 revolutions makes that much difference 12:26 Mike: Why was zips so low on the Redsox? 12:26 Dan Szymborski: Super worried what happens if htey lose a couple pitchers 12:26 Dan Szymborski: They’ve gotten a shocking, almost magical amount of health given the pitchers involved 12:26 Quarantino Martinez: Do you think Joey Gallo gets moved when he watches the Lion King? 12:26 Dan Szymborski: MUFASA NO 12:26 Dan: Thoughts on the Orioles draft strategy of taking college bats early and senior pitchers late? 12:27 Dan Szymborski: Seems reasonable. They haven’t developed a lot of bats 12:27 Dave: And yet sprint speed is ft/s for some unknown reason 12:27 Dan Szymborski: I’d do mph! 12:27 Vlad’s Dad: What kind of realistic return could the Blue Jays expect if they were to shop Semien? Also, what kind of contract do you think he will merit this offseason? The MIF market is pretty deep and he’s on the wrong side of 30. Would something at 4-5 years/$110M-$140M get it done? 12:27 Dan Szymborski: I don’t thin khe’s going to get anywhere near that even if you can make an argument that he deserves it 12:27 Dan Szymborski: The uncertainty with CBA is just going to make everyone even more conservative, I think 12:28 Kate: Should the Dodgers look at calling up Josiah Gray for a rotation spot once he’s fully ramped up? Will they? He’s looked dope since coming back from shoulder issues. 12:28 Dan Szymborski: Yes. Probably. 12:29 Dan Szymborski: I think it’s going to be a careful role, like Urias in 2019-2020 12:29 Jim Leyland Palmer: Does Corey Seager take a 1 year deal to re-set value, or his he cashing in big the winter no matter what? 12:29 Dan Szymborski: I think he’s at the level where he can go for the splash 12:29 Farhad Zaidi: What am I going to do? 12:30 Dan Szymborski: I thin kthe Giants acquire one more starting pitchers and maybe a mid-tier reliever 12:31 Greg: Re: the Braves offseason — would you shop Freeman before the contract expires? 12:31 Dan Szymborski: No 12:31 Check Swing: Thoughts on trade targets for the Brewers at the deadline? 12:31 Dan Szymborski: JOEY GALLO 12:31 Dan Szymborski: Again, I talk about this more with jay tomorrow 12:31 Dan Szymborski: But let Keston work on his issues in the minors 12:32 Joe Backson: ZiPS seems to think Ramon Urias is for real. What is it about a 27 year old with practically no MLB experience and decent but not outstanding minor league numbers that leads to a 112 wRC+ projection? 12:33 Dan Szymborski: For a guy who can play short and no good hitters parks in minors, I’d argue that as very good minor league numbers 12:34 Dan Szymborski: (as in he didn’t have one as a home park, not that there aren’t good hitters parks in the minors) 12:34 Dan Szymborski: I’d probably take the under, but not THAT much 12:34 Cat Latos: How do my cat friends do? 12:34 Dan Szymborski: last I saw, Mercutio was asleep in the upstairs hallway and Constantine in the spoon thing in the cat tree in the den 12:35 Dan Szymborski: Cassiopeia was last seen in her preferred guest room in limbless mode in middle of bed 12:36 Dan Szymborski: and Justinian is sleeping on a pillow on my left desk. He was a bit annoyed that he got his collar replaced (he got out of the old one and was without for a week while I was waiting for it to turn up) 12:36 Smiling Politely: What do you think the chances of a non-NL West team making the playoffs are (higher/lower than the FG odds)? And who do you think it would be (PHI or CHC)? 12:36 Dan Szymborski: I think they’re about right 12:36 Dan Szymborski: Probably Philly at this point 12:36 Thomas: Something I learned from the All-Star uniforms: the Blue Jays are the only team whose logo isn’t their team/city initials 12:36 Dan Szymborski: I tried to not look at he uniforms 12:36 Dan in Toronto: Predictions: Will Boston trade for a first baseman? (Santana, Schoop, Freeman?) 12:37 Dan Szymborski: They certainly OUGHT to 12:37 Oddball Herrera: All measurements should be in parsecs, even if it doesn’t make sense. Worked for Han, works for me 12:37 Dan Szymborski: Parsecs *did* make sense 12:37 Dan Szymborski: You assume that the challenge of the Kessel runs is a *time* one rather than an *efficiency* one. 12:37 Dan Szymborski: Think of it in terms of chess moves. 12:38 Dan Szymborski: Han was *efficient*, navigating through the Kessel run with less than 12 parsecs of travel distance 12:39 Ozzie: I was surprised that Giolito didn’t pop in your recent article on the Zip projection misses. 12:40 Dan Szymborski: Just over a run isn’t an impressive error for a half-year! 12:40 Dan Szymborski: Run per game 12:40 Dan Szymborski: not one run 12:40 Appa Yip Yip: I think ZiPS would be a lot more likeable if you put some googly eyes on it. 12:41 Dan Szymborski: 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Kinda funny given what happened to Davis’ career 12:41 Dan: Is Mancini a consolation prize for a team that fails to land Gallo? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: I think so, though the O’s may chicken out 12:41 Uncle Spike: Have you ever done a calculation to see what is the furthest possible a human could hit a baseball? Like, if Stanton hit a 100 MPH pitch at a 120 MPH EV an the optimal launch angle at Coors Field with a steady wind at his back? Is Babe Ruth’s 575 foot home run realistic or just a myth? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: I have not 12:42 Dan Szymborski: I think you need someone with more idea of how the human body works 12:42 Dan Szymborski: Just last night, my mom texted me that my sister’s baby dropped. So I started getting dressed to go to the hospital. Turns out the “baby dropping” doesn’t quite mean what I thought it does 12:42 Erik: How low is Keston Hiura’s trade value right now? Is there a chance he’s shopped at the deadline or is that selling stupidly low on him? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think it would make sense to trade him 12:42 Trey Mancini: Am I on the move or are the O’s afraid of the PR hit? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: Heh, that’s MY quewstion 12:42 Erik: By some form of magic, you’re transported back to 1901 with a fully-functioning ZiPS setup but no memory of the real players who actually played in that era. You’re given the GM role for a team. How much better than the average GM do you do, assuming you avoid getting burned at the stake for witchcraft? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: At the risk of arrogance, I think I would do quite well 12:43 Dan Szymborski: Simply by having knowledge of how things work 12:43 Dan Szymborski: JEFF BRIDICH would dominate the league in 1901. 12:43 Dan Szymborski: I think literally anyone here would do very well 12:43 Dumb question: How accurate is ZiPS overall? How often is it generally in the ballpark of being correct? 12:44 Dan Szymborski: That’s a bit vague! Define the ballpark of being correct! 12:44 Al Gone Quinn: Your SP breakout candidates from March looks pretty good halfways thru the season: Cease, JoMo, Eflin, Means, 12:44 Dan Szymborski: Yeah, I’m very happy wtih both breakout lists 12:44 Dan Szymborski: Montgomery, Elfin, Means, Springs, Tepera, Urias, Musgrove, Case for pitchers 12:45 Dan Szymborski: Vlad, kirilloff, Schwarber, Crawford, Sanchez, NLowe, Urias, McMahon for hitters 12:45 Smiling Politely: (I just remembered the reaction buttons) 12:45 Dan Szymborski: I allow all the options 12:45 Dan Szymborski: so you hav ea reaction 12:45 Dan Szymborski: and I think you can chat among each other somehow 12:47 Dan Szymborski: Yeah, click on the game 12:47 Dan Szymborski: the NAME 12:47 ChuckNChino: I have created my own MLB forecast system and want to thank you for your tidbits of wisdom and encouragement. 12:47 Dan Szymborski: I try and give encouragement, but I don’t remember giving out much wisdom 12:48 Dan Szymborski: that doesn’t SOUND like me 12:48 Dumb question: I don’t really know! Just like.. do you think it’s pretty accurate overall? I don’t know much about ZiPS honestly lol 12:48 Dan Szymborski: Projection systems are very close and tend to be the least inaccurate way to predict 12:48 Dan Szymborski: I say least inaccurate rather than most accurate for a reason 12:49 Dan Szymborski: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-2020-zips-projection-wrap-up-part-i-th… 12:49 Dan Szymborski: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-2020-zips-projection-wrap-up-part-ii-t… 12:49 Dan Szymborski: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-2020-zips-projection-wrap-up-part-iii-… 12:50 Appa Yip Yip: What kind of shenanigans would Tatìs and Vlad get up to if they were in a buddy cop movie? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: LETS NEURAL NETWORK IT 12:50 Dan Szymborski: OK, someone give me a name for the Tatis/Vlad movie. 12:50 Dan Szymborski: And some one give me an actor to play the antagonist. 12:51 Tacoby Bellsbury: The antagonist is Jeff Bridich. 12:51 Dan Szymborski: OK, we got an antagonist 12:51 Derek: Does John Smoltz count as an actor? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Didn’t he play General Zod? 12:51 Al Gone Quinn: title: Next Blood 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Junior II: Next Blood 12:53 Dan Szymborski: OK, we’re starting with this 12:53 Dan Szymborski: Movie: Junior II: Next BloodStarring: Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Jeff BridichSynopsis: In this buddy cop film, Tatis and Guerrero are 12:55 Dan Szymborski: 12:55 Dan Szymborski: It also gave me a sequel! 12:56 Sadman: Onions are the best topping on anything savory 12:56 Al Gone Quinn: There are so many genres that are covered if you put blood in the title 12:56 Dan Szymborski: let’s try this! 12:59 Dan Szymborski: Everythign after blood is generated. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: 12:59 Guest: What do you think the rest of Soroka’s career looks like? Can he get back and be effective? Or is he lower body Matt Harvey? 12:59 Dan Szymborski: I’m crossing my fingers, but it’s a real guest 12:59 Base Ball: Does zips adjust projections for a player who continually outperforms or underperforms his projections in previous years over a large sample in any way, or does it ignore that relationship? For example, Andrew Heaney has a long track record of doing worse than what projections peg him for based on his underlying numbers…does zips account for that? 12:59 Dan Szymborski: What you’re talking about is something ironed out during calibration and testing over the years 1:00 Dan Szymborski: Neither the size of an error or the consistency of errors actually correlates with future errors 1:01 Nathan: So spin rates are down but has offense increased? 1:02 Dan Szymborski: The league was hitting 238/313/398 through June 14th 1:02 Dan Szymborski: It’s been 247/323/415 since 1:03 Baseball guy: OK, a rare prosect for prospect trade: Who says no, Brandon Marsh for one of the Marlins’ starting pitchers? 1:03 Dan Szymborski: I actually think you could theoretically could work something out along these lines 1:03 Oddball Herrera: “238/313/398 through June 14th It’s been 247/323/415 since”. I think the difference is basically single handedly Kyle Schwarber’s hot streak 1:03 Erik: Speaking of projection errors, now that we’re a bit further removed from it, how do you feel about that mid 2010s Royals team’s ability to seemingly consistently outperform their projections? Just some noise that looks like signal or was there something real there that’s changed how you view teams? 1:03 Dan Szymborski: They only did briefly 1:04 Dan Szymborski: Royals 2010-2019 1:05 Dan Szymborski: 755 projected wins 1:05 Dan Szymborski: 758 actual wins 1:08 Erik: Fair. But even two consecutive years of overperforming as dramatically as the Royals did sure felt significant. Might just be humans inventing patterns though. 1:08 Dan Szymborski: It was only really the one year of dramatic overperforming 1:08 Dan Szymborski: the 6 wins in 2014 is basically an average error 1:09 Dan Szymborski: And 14 isn’t even in the top 20 for overperforming projections during ZiPS era 1:10 Este: Do all teams have their own version of Zips, just presumably with more data? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: Oh, this piece talks about team projection errors 1:10 Dan Szymborski: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-zips-projections-midpoint-roundup-of-t… 1:10 Josh R: What is your neural network? I want to play with it so bad! 1:10 Dan Szymborski: It’s one implementation of GPT-3 that I’m good at manipulating with custom generators and such 1:11 Dan Szymborski: https://app.inferkit.com/generate 1:11 Teddyt: Pretty sure it was the Orioles that always over-performed expectations. Winning 90+ with ~75 projections 1:12 Dan Szymborski: Misses since 2005 1:12 Dan Szymborski: 1:16 Dan Szymborski: 1:16 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS per franchise, 2005-2020 1:17 Guest: So Commish is contemplating a shift rule. Isn’t it counterproductive to reward lazy hitting rather than making them figure out a more successful approach? He talks about getting the game back to when he was 12 years old but when I was 12 (I am 51) hitters attempted to move runners along and get them home from 3rd with less than 2 outs. 1:17 Dan Szymborski: I’m of multiple minds of this 1:17 Dan Szymborski: ON a philosophical level, I agree 1:17 Dan Szymborski: But on a practical level, most players are so much worse with a drastically changed approach 1:17 Dan Szymborski: that it’s not worth the time to try to change the approach 1:17 Dan Szymborski: SO I’m torn 1:18 Dan Szymborski: On that note, time for me to head out for another week 1:18 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyone!