Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 8/27/20

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And welcome to the last SzymChat of August and the first-half of the season?

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: “half” lol

12:04
RMR: White Sox second in BaseRuns.  Are they actually like really good?

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they’re a good team! The highs are very good. There’s a lot to like in the starting lineup except for RF

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: EE still could get going

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And Danny Medwick has made things interesting!

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (I know that’s not his name, it’s an inside joke)

12:06
RMR: Kyle Tucker going nuts over the last week or so and now seems to have full PT locked up.  Feels like it’s all coming together for him.  What do you think the stat line looks like going forward?

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve certainly been watching his line given how much ZiPS has liked him over the years!

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My physiological need to look smart tends to overwhelm all my other needs in life.

12:08
Big Joey: Please make me feel better about benching Ian Anderson yesterday  🙁

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Debuts are always risky!

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You still have a good three seasons until Aqualung.

12:09
RMR: What do you make of Jake Cronenworth?  Obviously the underlying data looks good, but he’s not going to keep up this level of hitting.  How do you think he settles in?  Could he be a 120+ wRC+ guy with a strong OBP, like 15-20 HR and double digit steals?

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 120 is still a little spicy for me, but I do think there’s a Zobristian upside.

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS thinks he “should” have a .344 BABIP based on his advanced data in 2020, which is good

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I like Profar, but it’s hard to wait for him with the Crone sprinkling deadly nightshade

12:11
OddBall Herrera: The only thing I’m missing to complete a row on my 2020 Disaster Bingo card is Yellowstone erupting.  Fingers crossed!

12:11
OddBall Herrera: (Full disclosure – I am in the “You will be vaporized before it even makes the news” radius of Yellowstone so the joke’s on me)

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yellowstone is a good “classic” disaster that would fit well into 2020.

12:13
RMR: Can Aaron Civale go full Kluber?  The FB is very blah, but the offspeed stuff is beautiful.

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There’s an argument he already has.

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: His control this year’s been unreal. ZiPS has shifted a whole half-run in his outlook already

12:14
Big Joey: Do you think Clevdog gets traded?

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No.

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think Plesac’s more likely to be traded than Clevinger. Maybe after 2021

12:16
RMR: Are JD Mart’s struggles as simple as not having access to video?  Or is this an age related decline taking hold?  Or both?

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I doubt it’s that big a deal. I think there’s a combo of aging and just havin ga bad month.

12:16
RMR: Can Tim Anderson keep up the kind of contact quality that we’re seeing this year?  He made a jump last year to decent, but he’s taken it up another notch so far this year.

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not quite at this level, but Hurricane Tim has taken a trajectory that sent him over hotter water.

12:18
RMR: Good lord Hiura is whiffing a ton.  I seem to recall he was more hit power coming up.  Obviously seems like he started trading some contact for power last year, but this is extreme.  Do you think he can find some kind of equilibrium?

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The drop in contact is highly worrying. He’s not even swinging at more pitches more a higher percentage of out of zone pitches.

12:21
RMR: How will ZiPS handle a guy like Kopech who is skipping the season for non-injury reasons?  Does it have the ability to differentiate between a season lost to injury and one for non-injury reasons?

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes, ZiPS treats non-injury layoffs differently than injury layoffs (and TJ diffrent than shoulders, etc)

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This year is creating interesting challenges.

12:21
OddBall Herrera: If the Yankees succeed in trading their spare parts (Andujar/Frazier) for Clevenger I’m flipping the table and switching over to following professional Kabbadi instead.

12:21
v2micca: Thus far, all of the Braves celebrated pitching prospects have managed to produce only 2 major league rotation players and one is out for the year.  Par for the course with pitching, or issues with Atlanta scouting and player development?

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It takes a while for it all to sort out.

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I don’t think it’s fair to qualify Soroka being out of rthe year. He *is* a major league player and it’s not the player development fault that he’s out given the nature of his injury!

12:23
Sonny: Kyle Tucker seems to be solidifying his place in the Astros core. How much of a sample does ZiPS need to see before it believes some of the hard edges have been sanded off his early issues?

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS has been all for him the whole time!

12:23
Dane Dunning: All of his minor league stats look awesome is this guy the real deal for dynasty.

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m very optimistic

12:24
RMR: Can Story hold these contact gains?  I knew he was a good player, but I didn’t see him cutting the Ks like this.

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Even his contact gains aren’t *that* extreme – he’s also been more selective.

12:24
Stevil: Would Gabriel Moreno be a fair return for Taijuan Walker? Toronto has catching depth; Seattle lacks catching depth.

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it is

12:25
Sonny: is Javy Baez LouBob’s ceiling? Is there any other precedent for that approach/profile being successful? Obviously a multiple all-star and fringe MVP candidate is an amazing outcome but without changing the approach the floor remains…bad Byron Buxton?

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think that’s a bad ceiling at all

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I’m higher on his floor than you.

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think his upside could be GG CF Vlad

12:28
Nolan: The Reds have the worst BABIP for any team for any year in which the statistic is available, and it’s not even close (.224 for the 2020 Reds, .241 for the 1968 Yankees). A fluke?  The result of the shift?  Is there hope for the Reds offense?

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: hold up, I can pull up the zBABIP for the Reds as a team.

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Golly, ZiPS thinks the Reds should be at .286

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So there’s definitely room

12:29
bb: Dan, have you ever employed a poolboy?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t own a pool.

12:29
Another Dan Szymborski: Greetings, from a parallel universe!

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ILL KILL YOU

12:29
LFC Mike: Hi Dan. How can the Reds best handle the demise of Joey Votto? Numbers this year are very poor..but his babip this year is under .200 that counts for something right?… but the decline seems to be accelerating and he is owed quite a bit of money in the near future.

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: THey do have enough outfielders to shift one to 1B long term.

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS thinks Votto should have a .292 BABIP BTW

12:30
Jonathan: At this point, Pete Alonso looks completely lost at the plate. Was 2019 a mirage?

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not worried yet

12:30
Appa Yip Yip: Broadcasters say a lot of things that make me go all old man yelich at clouds like “home runs are rally killers” and “the stolen base is a lost art” but nothing drives me crazier than when they’re talking about a player and go, “and you know what? He’s a ball player.” But you know what? Cavan Biggio is a ball player.

12:30
ZiPS’ conscience: Dear Dan, When will you learn to trust me? My long-term projections told you Soto would be better than Trout in a couple of years, yet you dared to question me. Thank you, your acquaintance, ZiPS The Lovable Projection System

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ILL KILL YOU

12:31
Chris: Kyle Lewis Dan, Kyle lewis

12:33
Jason: Two Matt Olson questions: 1) He has a .153 BABIP. What’s his zBABIP and how much regression should be expected vs the heavy shifting. 2) Does ZIPS Defense take into account Scoops? If not, what’s your best estimate as to how much WAR value being really good at scooping provides?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Number one is answered an article that’s in the queue. Number two, DRS is part of the ZiPS estimate, so it’s in there since BIS does (*unless I’m mistaken, which has happened)

12:33
Bob: I love inside jokes. I’d love to be part of one someday.

12:34
Dan: I know it’s late but I kept missing chats.  Who are the most irreplaceable players on the teams like the dodgers and Yankees who didn’t have anyone who made a top 25 play chances swing?

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hang on

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Buehler for Dodgers, Cole for Yankees, Castillo for Reds, Chapman for A’s, Acuña Braves, Robert White Sox, K-Mart DBax, Bichette Jays

12:37
Sonny: Pitchers were ahead of hitters, but at higher injury risk. Many bad teams have been bad, few “good” teams have been bad. Am I wrong to think 2020 is more representative of what a full, non COVID season would have looked like?

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure I undestand the question. 2020 is hard to take as representative over other seasons because, well, 60 games combined with the wierdness

12:37
Sonny: Holy Cats! gold glove CF Vlad sounds like a guy you’d create in a video game

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: MAKE YOUR TIME

12:38
FBI: ZiPS has become sentient. I repeat, ZiPS has become sentient. We need to evacuate.

12:38
v2micca: My fantasy team is last in every offense category but first in every pitching category.  At this point, am I obligated to rename my team to The DeGroms?

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: or The Mets

12:38
Nathan: Heard a rumor the dodgers and rangers were talking about Lance Lynn. What do you think it’d take the dodgers to get him?

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t actually have a great feeling on how the Rangers are valuing him as I do in a lot of situations. Considering the team’s record and the decreased importance of winning the division, I don’t think the Dodgers would be willing to go hog wild

12:39
Chris: I know you generally try to avoid politics in these chats but the boycotts don’t really how allow that, thoughts on the boycott? And what you think the medias role should be when politics and sports intersect

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ugghg, I hate answering politics stuff.

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Especially since answering politics stuff is guaranteed to make everyone hate me.

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think a brief protest is fine, but it’s hard to argue efficacy if it becomes a long-term thing, since the boycott isn’t really targeted at people who could change the behavior you want.

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And there’s a risk in a long-term boycott; NBA players have great influence because they are NBA players. You risk diluting your social capital.

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they make sense as a short-term making the point thing.

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (That’s the only politics Q I’m going to answer, since a variation of this has been asked several times)

12:42
Dan’s Mom: Danny! What’s for lunch today?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You can get your own food mom.

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I ate my leftover pizza from Wheat Penny: red chorizo, calabrian peppers, and lamb

12:43
GoPadres: How much statcast data will it take for ZiPS to ever like Eric Hosmer, or has the Hosmer boat set sail for ZiPS?

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS has no feelings! He keeps up this power as his BABIP improves and it could change his outlook considerably

12:44
Guest: Could you explain to Dusty Baker that no matter how fast Myles Straw is, leading off a hitter with a .271 OBP is a bad idea

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Has anyone ever explained that to Dusty Baker?

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s one of the things you have to accept as a tradeoff for having Baker as manager

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Baker’s the cleanup crew. Someone’s barfed on all the walls of the museum and you need a specialist who can clean that up without destroying the precious art already there.

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But you don’t add Baker’s paintings to any of the exhibits.

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Baker’s just there to clean up the crap and keep the team together after the controversy

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s not there because he’s a good tactician or strategist or, let’s be honest, really grasps modern baseball.

12:47
Trevor: Most projection systems use a 60/30/10% split in valuing the last 3 years for a player. Will this change next year since the 2020 season is so short (and might not deserve a 60% weight)?

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS will certainly weight 2020 less (I use variable weightings for different things) and other projection systems will amost certainly do the same

12:47
Politics Dan Szymborski: Ask me political questions! The more the better!

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ILL KILL YOU TOO!

12:47
Numpty: Chili on hot dogs, Dan? We need to know.

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Actual chili, yhes

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: yes

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If I see beans on my hot dog, I’m going to get you.

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and you can live in my backyard oubliette under the shed like the ZiPS creator

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And don’t think just because I’d be doubling the inmates, I’m doubling the gruel and water too.

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:49
Guest: What does ZIPS project for peak Messi in the MLS? The equivalent of Trout playing AA?

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Don’t even ask me to project association football

12:49
Numpty: But, chili CHEESE dogs, Dan?

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: As long as it’s recognized that it’s cheese *and* chili and that the cheese on the dog is not part of the chili on the dog

12:50
Character Piece: Dan you’re a comedy fan right? Are any of Mark Normand, Andrew Schulz, Andrew Santino, Joe List, or Chris Distefano on your radar?

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Normand I know as I heard some 2020 stuff. I’m usually a few years behind on comedy stuff though

12:53
Guest: Gabriel Moreno seems steep for a guy with a FIP and xFIP of close to 5 and with only 1 month of control

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Have to consider that low-level catchers have a massive flameout rate

12:54
Appa Yip Yip: Moreno is in the 60 man pool and the PTBNL is not so it’s not Moreno.

12:54
OddBall Herrera: You have to have an appreciation for comedy if you follow the Orioles.  *bwaaabwaaaaahhh*

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hey, they’re almost a t.500!

12:54
ZiPS Master: Can ZiPS backwards project or fill-in the first-half career of a late bloomer? Like what would a player’s early 20s have to look like to project Randy Johnson or Nelson Cruz’s 30s (even as, say, a 75th percentile outcome)?

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yeah, I did that for the Ted Williams Time Warp

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: One of the things I’ve done during pandemic downtime is making that easy in ZiPS

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can now tell ZiPS a target projection for a year and ask it to find the most likely seasonal lines to lead up to that.

12:56
Frank Costanza: Serenity Now Dan..Serenity Now……..no more talk of killing…just force feeding of Skyline Chili..like waterboarding..but with food..

12:56
Guest: picturing a slum dog millionaire situation where Dan was reflecting on his past job as a museum custodian before answering that question

12:56
Fluffy-Uranus: Szymborski you left wing hack

12:56
Fluffy-Uranus: Szymborski you fascist Trumper

12:57
Sarah: Jon Tayler disagrees

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Lots of people disagree with me on things. It’s OK, I’m wrong plenty.

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I’d be bored as hell if everyone agreed with me.

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A world in which I have nobody to argue with is a bleak kafkaesque nightmarescape

12:57
John: Did you take any prop or RSW bets?

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I shied away from betting this year.

12:58
Guest: If everyone agreed on everything there’d be no cause for jousting, and then where would we be as a society?

12:59
Guest: harmony?

12:59
Fluffy-Uranus: Happy?

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sounds boring!

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There’s some simple and elegant about right and wrong being determined just by who is better with a pointing a large stick while riding a horse.

12:59
Slapshot: Darn, I thought today’s chat was at 12 PM Central, not 12 PM Eastern.

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I got by Eastern Awesome Time

1:01
Elliot: I disagree with you on chili dogs, should I go get my jousting pole?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We don’t have the jousting society yet.

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Can I name a jousting champion? I don’t want to cripple the poor horse trying to carry

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I CALL BRONN

1:01
Guest: I’m chewing Big League Chew (grape) while in a baseball chat, avoiding real work and responsibilities. Do I have a baseball problem?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They still make Big League Chew?

1:02
Guest: ohhhh they still make big league chew, Dan

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I would have assumed some busybody group protested whoever makes it that it normalized tobacco chewing or something by now

1:04
Elliot: I’ve never even seen Big League Chew in a store for years now that I think about it, how are they still going?

1:04
Numpty: How else can we get kids to simulate chewing tobacco?!

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That was my reaction Elliott!

1:04
Fluffy-Uranus: Bronn of the Blackwater?

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure where we are in the timeline

1:05
Sonny: Better record next 3 years, Baltimore or Boston?

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Still Boston

1:05
Guest: or maybe it’s just leftover packs from 1980s, who knows

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Old gum kinda just shatters in your mouth.

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (Yes, I’ve tried old gum from Topps packs)

1:05
Sonny: I’ve seen Big League Chew more often that I’ve seen like, raw chaw style chew that BLC replicates

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I haven’t seen anyone I know use chewing tobacco since high school.

1:06
Fluffy-Uranus: Bronn of Highgarden

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: WE DON’T KNOW IF THAT’S MARTIN-CANON

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (lol, like Martin’s going to finish)

1:06
Appa Yip Yip: More importantly, why are you the chili expert? For all we know your chili is dry and flavourless.

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My chili is like a supernova in your mouth of flavor.

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ON that note, it is time for me to head out for another week. Thanks for joining me guys and I’ll see you all at this Szym-Place at the same Szym-Time

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, except Numpty who is going in the oubliette





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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Stevil
Member
Stevil

I don’t know why anybody would be so upset over my question about Moreno being the possible return for Walker, but he is in fact not in the player pool. That doesn’t mean he is going to be the PTBNL, but he remains a possibility.

Have a nice day.