Should Someone Take A Chance On Tim Hudson?

With the news that Tim Hudson will opt out of his contract with Atlanta, many teams looking for a starting pitching bargain will most likely look into Tim Hudson.

Giants Braves Baseball

He had to undergo Tommy John Surgery towards the end of 2008, and in 2009 had to wait until the end of the year, getting just seven starts, going 2-1, and striking out 6.38 batter per nine innings, and walking 2.76 per nine, right on line with his career average. He gets a lot of ground balls, as 62.2 of the balls put into play against him were on the ground, and a ground ball can never go over the wall, so he can pitch effectively anywhere, and has.

He is a quality arm, that teams like the Mets, Giants, Red Sox, and Yankees could all consider, and Boston and the Yankees play in hitters  parks, and could use a quality ground ball/strike out pitcher like Hudson.

He could sign for a contract like John Smoltz last season.

Is Trading In-efficient?

Many teams around the trade deadline will offer a crop of supposed “future stars”, for a Roy Halladay, or a Manny Ramirez, but why?

HALLADAY

Lets take a look at the rumored Roy Halladay swap between Toronto and Philadelphia that fell through because Toronto wanted more. The Phillies offered Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown, and two minor prospects, who we will call future replacement level major leaguers. Kyle Drabek was supposed to end up being an ace pitcher, in the top echelon of starting pitchers in baseball, which would give him an expected WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 8, so he would be fourth among all MLB starting pitchers right now if that was his WAR.

Dominic Brown projects as an upper echelon outfielder, so his WAR would be somewhere around 6.02, which among outfielders would make him second in all of baseball, so what is Roy Halladay’s WAR? If it is not somewhere around 14, than this trade would end up hurting Philadelphia according to their player projections. Roy Halladay’s WAR is 7.5, so Kyle Drabek alone should be better than Halladay, no?

Now I can not just assume this will be true without evidence so I am going to look at a trade between the Florida Marlins and the Boston Red Sox, and see if my theory is right. The Red Sox traded Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, and Harvey Garcia and acquired Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, and Guilmero Mota (who they proceeded to trade along with Andy Marte and Kelly Shopach for Coco Crisp, David Riske, and Josh Bard, but we will not factor that in).  Hanley Ramirez has posted a total of 25.5 WAR for the Florida Marlins, Sanchez has posted a 2.4 WAR, and Garcia has put up a -.1, combined that is 27.8 WAR that Florida got out of the trade. Boston got Mike Lowell, who posted a 13.1 WAR and Beckett a 19.1, added together is 32.2, so Boston got about five wins out of that trade, which helps, but is not going to take away or add a World Series, so its a wash there.

Now lets look at the deal that sent Carlos Delgado to the Mets, they sent Yusmero Petit and Mike Jacobs to Florida. Delgado has posted a combined WAR of  8.1 for the Mets, which has not done that much as they have missed the playoffs the last three seasons. Jacobs since leaving the Mets has posted a WAR of .9, which is awful. So the Mets ended up adding 7.2 wins in that trade.

This shows that maybe trading is not as in-efficient as prospect evaluation is, and I am sure there are many cases that support and do not support my hypothesis, but it appears it was wrong.

When Does Slugging Percentage Overrule On-Base Percentage?

In the book Moneyball Paul Depodesta looked at OPS, and said it is not a good stat because it implies that On-Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage are of them same value, when they are not, so when does Slugging Percentage overrule On-Base Percentage?

DEPODESTA

A team can get three singles in one inning, and then hit into a triple play, making your On-Base Percentage .750, and your Slugging Percentage is 1.333, but you have not scored, but let’s put Triple Plays aside.

How many ways can you score one run in one inning without making an out? (Using station to station baserunning)

  • four singles
  • one home run
  • two doubles
  • a triple and a single
  • a single and a triple

So all of these are On-Base Percentages of 1.000, and assorted Slugging Percentages of 1.000, 4.000, 2.000, and the final two are also 2.000.  So what is the minimum?

After some research, I found that the minimum was somewhere below .250, meaning that OBP will ALWAYS overrule Slugging Percentage. The closest man to the magic number is Jason Kendall, who is Slugging .304.

KENDALL

Which Breakouts Will Continue Next Season

Josh Hamilton had what you would call a “breakout” season in 2008, becoming one of the better outfielders in the game, but this season has been a let-down, also Carlos Quentin, has a breakout season, but not so much this year, which leads into the topic of who is the Josh Hamilton or Carlos Quentin of 09-10?

The candidates are Mark Reynolds, Aaron Hill, Jayson Werth,  and Kendry Morales.

REYNOLDS

Mark Reynolds has had a monster season by all standards smashing 44 home runs, when his previous career high was just 28, and has hit for a raw line of .253/.353/.550, and is tied for 15th in all of baseball with Kevin Youkilis in that stat. In the field he has been his usual self, posting a UZR/150 of -4.3, which is actually a career low by 1.1 over -3.2 from 2008. He has made just 19 errors to last year’s 34, nearly cutting that in half.  This season he has posted a VORP (hitting and fielding VORPs combined) of 21.6, to last year’s 20.4.

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Aaron Hill who was a first round draft pick all the way back in 2003, and has been good when healthy, but never this goHe has blossomed into what appears to be a lot like Jeff Kent, with 36 home runs this year, his previous career high you ask? 17.  He has put up an OBP of just .331, but never has had a high OBP,  and Cito Gaston’s hit your pitch mentality has worked wonders on him, as he is raking the ball and hitting home runs at a rate unprecedented for second baseman. Although he has all those home runs, the low OBP hurts his VORP as it is just 24.0. His defense is average at best, as his UZR/150 is -.8.

WERTHJayson Werth was a 4th outfielder for most of his career, at the end of last season Philadelphia handed him the right field job and he got hot, this year he has slugged 35 home runs.  His raw line is…268/.374/.503, which is a large improvement which has most certainly been fueled by that bandbox known as Citizens Bank Park, so it would not be the same in say Fenway Park, because a lot of his home runs are doubles, or outs in other places, but he will do this for as long as he is in a Phillies uni.

MORALES

Kendry Morales had big shoes to fill, as when they lost K-Rod and Mark Texiera, they were in trouble, but boy has Morales come through. He has hit 34 home runs in his first year in the majors, while Texiera has hit 39, so Morales has been a huge lift for this team, which is going to the playoffs mostly on him. His raw line is .304/.353/.571, and is doing it at Angel Stadium…

So the question was” who is the next Josh Hamilton/Carlos Quentin? Well one thing we have to be able to say are home runs tend to correlate from season to season, unless a park is changed, like if you go from hitting in the New Yankee Stadium, to hitting in Citifield, you will see a drop off in home runs, but other than that, it will stay the same.  After some research I found that players who do not first see a rise in AVG the season before there SLUG improves, it will likely be a fluke, so looking at it, Werth, Hill, and Reynolds are all due for some “letdowns” next season, so do not draft them high in your fantasy leagues!