Recent Comments

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Corbin Burnes Milwaukee Brewers

Percentiles --

FB Spin 100

CB Spin 92

The 192 total is second in all of baseball.

I would say, Guess who first is? But I'm posting that next and most people read the comments as they appear in Recent.

Alex Patton Alex

Easy yes:  Rolen, Kent, Andruw Jones.

Other yes:  Wagner, Helton.

Easy no:  all the steroids guys we know about

Tough no:  Ortiz.  I don't buy those who argue his stats are borderline.  The HOF sniff test says you always thought of him as a HOFer when you watched him hit.'s not *just* the 2003 steroid test, it's the 2016 batting line.  I see him as baseball's Lance Armstrong, who used to say he was 'tested and tested and tested'.  Just because Papi was clearly one step ahead of the testing doesn't mean he wasn't using.  His career arc alone suggests he was.  Unless in 2016 (or 2011-16) he took up yoga or launch angle or was just in the best shape of his life thanks to a diet consisting solely of blueberries and Evian.

That plus the positive (and maybe a dash of roid rage) and I don't think I could check the box.

Mike Landau ML-
Sammy Sosa Chicago Cubs

It's too bad we don't have a two-year Statcast scan for 1997-1998.

Alex Patton Alex

I consider peak to be best 7 year non-consecutive seasons.  He had a very concentrated 5-6 seasons.  His top 7 seasons make up 3/4 of his total value.  I see that as problematic for a HOF candidacy. 

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed

Sponsored by Nike ...

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
J.P. Crawford Seattle Mariners

His profits over the last couple years balance out the money wasted on him in auctions in 2018-19.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Jake Cronenworth San Diego Padres

Third in the Fielding Bible voting at multi-position and qualifying at three is a definite plus. His 10 HBP were welcome if you play in an OBP league, not if you don't. Slugged .563 in 25 games as the cleanup hitter.

Alex Patton Alex
J.P. Crawford Seattle Mariners

Very steady all  year with a nice little finishing kick (.313/.374/.477 in September). Expect more of the same, hoping for more.

Alex Patton Alex
Franchy Cordero Boston Red Sox

He started going the opposite way but... didn't work.

Alex Patton Alex
Todd Helton Colorado Rockies

Our winter masochists say close but no cigar.

HOF Candidate Spotlight

Todd Helton 1B | 1997 - 2013 | COL
 5x All-Star   3x Gold Glove   4x Silver Slugger   Batting Title 
Todd Helton
WAR: 61.8
Better than 48.2% of HOFers
Black Ink: 16
Better than 40.1% of HOFers
Gray Ink: 143
Better than 39.3% of HOFers
HOF Monitor: 175.0
Better than 67.6% of HOFers
JAWS: 54.16
Better than 54.5% of HOFers at 1B

Todd Helton is in his 4th year of eligibility, and has steadily gained traction, receiving almost 45% of the vote last year. His 2000 season has the most black ink of any year in his career, when he led the majors in batting average, OPS, RBI and doubles. There are only 5 other players who hit 40 home runs with a .370 BA in a season: Barry Bonds and 4 HOFers. He also provided good defensive contributions during his career, leading the NL in double plays turned at first base in 6 different seasons and finishing his career at 3rd place all-time in that department.

Some people point to Helton's offensive prowess being aided by playing in the hitter's heaven of Coors Field, but it's worth noting that during his peak years of 1998 to 2007, his adjusted OPS+, which takes park factor into account, comes out to 144, 14th among players with 3000 PA in that span but keeping pace with big names like Carlos Delgado and Gary Sheffield.

See player page on

See Glossary of terms. 

Alex Patton Alex
Jon Lester St. Louis Cardinals

Great career. Belongs in two team HOFs.

Retirement Spotlight

Jon Lester P | 2006 - 2021 | BOS, OAK, CHC, STL, WSN
 5x All-Star   3x World Series   NLCS MVP 
Jon Lester
WAR: 44.2
Better than 15.8% of HOFers
Black Ink: 8
Better than 23.1% of HOFers
Gray Ink: 148
Better than 43.7% of HOFers
HOF Monitor: 98.0
Better than 25.9% of HOFers
JAWS: 39.42
Better than 11.3% of HOFers at P

It was announced this morning that 16-year veteran starter Jon Lester has decided to retire. Lester's rookie season with the Red Sox was cut short by a diagnosis of lymphoma that required offseason chemotherapy to treat. He would recover and go on to be a key piece in two of Boston's World Series victories, and later winning a NLCS MVP and World Series with the 2016 Chicago Cubs. Lester currently has the 5th most playoff Win Probability Added among pitchers, only trailing Mariano Rivera, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz and Andy Pettitte. Lester retires with exactly 200 wins, only behind Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke for most pitcher wins since 2006.

See player page on

See Glossary of terms.

Alex Patton Alex

re: Sosa ... "nothing else" ... I'm not a big Sosa fan, but 2 30/30 seasons prior to his "great peak" seem like more than "nothing" ...

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Jan 12
Jack Mayfield Los Angeles Angels

The stats on the Angels are doubled. This has happened before. I'll fix it tomorrow.

Alex Patton Alex
Jan 12

Mine mix playing career and certain factors that I find disqualifying.  My disqualifying factors, like everyone else's are subjective.

Easy Yes

1 Bonds

2 Rolen

Borderline Yes Hitters

3 Andruw Jones

4 Big Papi

5 Sheffield

6 Abreu

7 Kent

I think Starters of this era need to be reconsidered:

8 Buehlre

9 Hudson

10 Pettitte

Nos, but considered strongly

Clemens - b/c of statutory rape

Schilling - b/c of suggestions to hang journalists; desire not to be consdired

ARod - suspension for PEDs

Manny - multiple suspensions for PEDs

Sosa - great peak, nothing else

Helton - too many on my list, behind the other corner hitters/DH in my rankings, went with Kent over Helton for my last hitter, otherwise he's a yes for me

Wagner - too few innings

Rollins - I'd like more chances to evaluate his career, but he's no better than 12-15 on my list

Nathan - see Wagner

Not considered based on performance alone









Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 12
Carlos Correa Houston Astros

Speculation: the Dodgers after they send Trea Turner to the Yankees who need little more than a one year rental at SS.

John Thomas Roll2
Jan 12
Casey Mize Detroit Tigers

Statcast xERA: 4.89

Forecaster xERA: 4.17

SIERA: 4.45

ERC: 3.59

As with Luis Garcia, ERC, the Bill James metric, is the outlier. Mize's actual ERA could well have been lower.

The Forecaster's xERA is explained on page 39 with the formula given; there are no Statcast measurements in the mix.

The Handbook's ERC is explained on pp. 615-616 with the formula given; there are no Statcast measurement in the mix.

SIERA is explained in the Fangraphs glossary by Piper Slowinski in July 2011. 

"Interested in calculating SIERA yourself?" he writes. "Good luck. But if you want to try, here’s Matt Swartz’s formula."

I didn't bother to pursue this, because anything devised that long ago doesn't have  Statcast measurements in the mix. It has to be looking at the same things, albeit in different ways, as the Forecaster and the Handbook.

And then, of course, there's FIP.

And beyond that, xFIP (4.37).

As we contemplate this mind-numbing array of choices, really all we want to know is, Which one is the most predictive?

Then again, it's not that complicated. They fall into two groups. Theres ERC and there's all the others. I go with all the others.

Alex Patton Alex
Jan 11

Bonds, Clemens, ManRam, Wagner.  OK, Schilling too.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Jan 11
Luis Garcia Houston Astros

Statcast xERA: 3.98

Forecaster xERA: 3.89

Why do both formulas think Garcia's ERA should have been higher? More than half a run higher? I would think Statcast, especially, would lean the other way. Seriously fast FBv, more than a ten mph slower EV (on all his pitches).

SIERA (yet another "should be": 3.91

ERC (the Handbook's version): 3.26.

I vote for ERC.

Alex Patton Alex
Jan 11

Who would you have voted for (up to 10) on the HOF ballot.

Here's mine: Bonds, Rollins, Clemons, Ortiz, Andruw Jones, and Schilling.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Jan 11

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