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The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Chris Taylor Los Angeles Dodgers

Is DRC+, BP's new toy, catching on?

I dunno, but in case you missed it, here's a good chunk of Bryan Grosnick's explanation back in December:

Simply put, DRC+ measures all of a player’s contributions at the plate. The model digs beneath play outcomes to isolate how much of the outcome should be credited to the hitter, then weighs those contributions on the value he provided to the team. Then, the DRC+ model adjusts for context, which include factors like which park the hitter played in and how good the opposing pitcher is. Lastly, DRC+ is scaled so a score of 100 equals league-average performance.

This means DRC+ tells you quickly how valuable a hitter’s overall offensive performance is.

What makes DRC+ different from other offensive metrics is breadth and scope. Without getting too deep into the details (that’s the job of a different article), this metric has to carefully weight the events that take place as the result of any given plate appearance. A single is more valuable than a walk, but less valuable than a triple. Strikeouts are bad, but grounding into a double play is worse. But players may hit more triples than average if they play in Kansas City, and hitters who have to face Jacob deGrom regularly deserve more credit for their successes against him than they might when facing Andrew Cashner.

DRC+ uses a mixed-model approach to deal with several contextual variables that affect the hitter’s performance, and assign an expected value to the player’s performance that neutralizes those factors. All of this calculation takes place “behind the scenes”—though the process and the different DRC+ components are publicly available—and leaves us with a number of Deserved Runs Created (DRC). The final step is to scale that DRC number to league average, where 100 is average … at least for non-pitchers.

How Do I Use DRC+?

Dodgers super-utility man Chris Taylor had a DRC+ of 100 last season, which means he was a league-average hitter. Taylor’s teammate, Max Muncy, had a DRC+ of 150 during the same season; his performance was 50 percent better than league average. That makes him one of the best hitters of the 2018 season on a rate basis. (Only a handful of hitters posted better marks, and all of them played in the American League.)

Alex Patton Alex
Cesar Hernandez Philadelphia Phillies

Another player who Rob Silver at BP thinks is going too late in mixed-league drafts.

I don’t understand the argument for Cesar Hernandez’s (181.17, 112) ADP. He was the 66th-best hitter in fantasy last year. Yes, much of that was volume based – he hit leadoff every single day. But he’s going to hit leadoff every day this year in what should be a better lineup so even if his playing time is down a bit, there is a big cushion built into his price. He also played most of the second half of last year with a broken foot. Now, I’ve never played professional baseball with a broken foot before but my sense is I’d play better with a non-broken foot than with a broken foot. He stole 14 bases the first half with a non-broken foot and then five with that broken foot. He’s too cheap if he does what he did in 2018 but there are reasons to think he will do a lot better than that.

baseballprospectus.com

Alex Patton Alex
Scooter Gennett Cincinnati Reds

Rob Silver today at BP, in "Early ADP Analysis: Second Basemen" --

The Interesting Players

If I’m being honest, I hadn’t given Scooter Gennett (104.63, 63) more than a minute thought this winter until BP rolled out DRC+. Suddenly, “fluky Scooter Gennett” became “121 DRC+ Scooter Gennett“, which flummoxed me. So I started giving Gennett a bit more thought.

Here’s a Scooter fun fact: over the last two years, there are only seven hitters who have hit 20+ HRs with a .290+ batting average: Mike Trout, J.D. Martinez, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Charlie Blackmon, Anthony Rendon and…Scooter Gennett.

Maybe it’s just me but while I knew Gennett broke out in power in 2017, I really didn’t realize he also had an elite batting average. But that’s a fluke, right? Must be lucky BABIP driven noise?

Not according to BP’s new dAVP. In 2018, Gennett had a .297 dAVP – 8th-best amongst regular players.

Alex Patton Alex

Picked it up at the Brooklyn Heights' B&N.  It surprises me how much better the Heights' B&N is curated than the Park Slope branch, and not just with baseball magazines.  There's an opportunity for some young, enterprising nerd to suggest an upgrade and take a percentage of increased sales!  

Thomas Rosenthal TommyR
Jose Ramirez Cleveland Indians

The three-year scan of his Pull%:

2016: 39.0

2017: 46.3

2018: 50.0

His Pull% last year tied for the highest in baseball (minimum 400 PA).

Ramirez hit 33 of his homers batting left (406 AB).

He hit .301 with runners in scoring position (133 AB).

He slugged .720 with two outs and RISP (50 AB).

He hit .307 in High Leverage situations (88 AB).

He almost doubled his Walk%. Only Mike Trout in the AL walked more.

He was in the running with Trout and Betts for MVP until Sept/Oct, when he slashed .174/.322/.315.

He slashed .155/.301/.345 when he played second base (58 AB); worse, for his owners, he fell four games short of qualifying at second (in most leagues).

He had 158 chances to ground into a double play; did so twice.

He was as aggressive on the bases as just about anyone (24 Bases Taken) and was thrown out twice.

His Net Gain on the bases (+48: BR Gain +26, SB Gain +22) was the best in the majors.

Alex Patton Alex
Wilson Ramos New York Mets

Unlike Yangervis Solarte, Wilson Ramos earns his low marks as a baserunner without benefit of attempting to steal a base.

Ramos had 23 chances to go first to third on a single and did so four times.

He had 13 chances to score from second on a single and did so three times.

He was on first three times when the batter hit a double and stopped at third three times.

That is, assuming he didn't attempt to score; Ramos was thrown out on the bases seven times and doubled off twice. It all adds up to -32 BR Gain, meaning he clogged the bases a little bit more, even, than Solarte (-29).

Both were rally-killers with a runner on first and less than two outs.

Solarte had 95 GDP Opps and GDPed 21 times.

Ramos had 93 GDP Opps and GDPed 20 times.

For comparison, Trea Turner had 120 GDP Opps and GDPed seven times.

The surprising Eddie Rosario had 133 GDP Opps and GDPed four times.

Alex Patton Alex
Yangervis Solarte Toronto Blue Jays

The Not Eddie Rosario on the basepaths.

Twenty-three chances to go first-to-third on a single; did so twice.

Nine opportunities to make it home from second on a single; did so four times.

Eight times could have gone first to home on a doube; did so twice.

Caution was the better part of valor; he was thrown out on the bases only four times.

On the bases not counting his ill-advised attempts to steal.

It all adds up to -29 BR Gain, -5 SB Gain, and Net Gain -34. The worst baserunner in baseball last year was almost as bad as the best baserunner, Jose Ramirez (+48), was good.

Alex Patton Alex
Eddie Rosario Minnesota Twins

The best baserunner in baseball last year when steals aren't factored in?

Seemingly, Eddie Rosario.

He had 26 chances to advance from first to third on a single and did so 16 times.

He had 18 chances to scoot home from second on a single and did so 16 times.

He had 16 chances to make it home from first on a double and did so ten times.

He was thrown out five times advancing on the bases.

Altogether, in the accounting of the Handbook (and BIS), this adds up to +27 in BR Gain. Right behind him is Jose Ramirez with +26.

Do they have close to the same running speed? Surely not. Ramirez would win a 60-yard dash with yards to spare.

All singles, and all doubles, are not created equal. Obviously.

Do teams even use the hit-and-run anymore? That would be a factor.

But clearly Eddie Rosario excelled at taking the extra base. The MLB average for going from second to home on a single, the Handbook tells us, was "just under 60 percent." Billy Hamilton had 19 chances to do this and took the chance 11 times.

Rosario's success rate on going first to third was "approximately double the MLB average." Hamilton had 26 such opportunities and declined to go for it 16 times.

If I had a calculator handy I would be more specific.

Alex Patton Alex
Lorenzo Cain Milwaukee Brewers

RBIs? So yesterday. In just about every other way that you can measure a player -- and there are so many now -- Lorenzo Cain excelled.

At bat: an oWAR of 4.9 from Baseball-Reference. 116 DRC+ from Baseball Prospectus. 124 wRC+ from Fangraphs. All slightly better than 2017.

In the field: 2.4 dWAR from Baseball-Reference. 14.7 DRAA from Baseball Prospectus. 10.7 Def from Fangraphs. All much better than 2017.

On the bases: second in all of baseball in Net Baserunning Gain, according to the Bill James Handbook. Plus 40: +16 on stealing bases, +24 on taking the extra base (going from first to third on a single, for example).   

And it really wasn't his fault he had so few ribbies. He hit .313 with runners in scoring position.

Alex Patton Alex
Trevor May Minnesota Twins

Three picks, no pans in the Guide. Four, counting RNB's profile.

Alex Patton Alex
Rougned Odor Texas Rangers

In the Guide:

TRACHTMAN PICK: Got the struggles out of his system, and he's just entering his age 25 season.

I'm surprised there's only one.

Alex Patton Alex
Franmil Reyes San Diego Padres

Five picks in the Guide. No pans.

Alex Patton Alex
Pat Corbin Washington Nationals

Two pans, no picks in the Guide. The Cooks' is shorter.

"You already know this, but write it on the back of your hand going into your drat: Don't pick guys coming off career years."

Alex Patton Alex
Hernan Perez Milwaukee Brewers

Three picks, no pans in the Guide.

Speaking for one of the pickers, I was trying to pick someone no one else would even think about.

Alex Patton Alex

The Dartmouth Bookstore, which used to stock a dozen copies, is no more (it wasn't subsidized by Dartmouth, because how could you subsidize a local bookstore on a piddly $5 billion endowment?) and I tried the CVS trick mentioned here but...CVS stocks no magazines.  This world is not recognizable to me.

Mike Landau ML-
Evan Longoria San Francisco Giants

So Longoria posted an Instagram rant about FAs not getting their due and said fans should not care what their teams spend.

Meanwhile, after one year and 0.4 WAR for the mega deal SFO signed with him last offseason, the fans get a team burdened by what now looks like HIS albatross deal.  SFO would like to move him but his deal is worth $74.5 million over the next 4 years, including $2 million if they can manage to trade him.

Maybe before posting he should have thought about the hypocrisy of his statement?

So many players seem frustrated because teams have restored some sanity to contracts.  Meanwhile Longoria argues for teams to ignore advanced metrics and return to insanity.

The next CBA negotiation is gonna be UGLY.

@LVW:  if you were advising the players what would the strategy be?

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Dansby Swanson Atlanta Braves

Dansby Swanson (SS) ATL - Jan. 19

Swanson hit off a tee for the first time Wednesday since undergoing offseason wrist surgery, although he's expected to take it slow at the beginning of spring training, Gabe Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: He had surgery to eradicate a loose body in his left wrist at the beginning of November. While Swanson is expected to be ready to go for Opening Day, the Braves will take it easy with their starting shortstop this spring to prevent further issue.

Alex Patton Alex

not at the B&N in Park Slope (only Lindy's); just moved to the area, so don't know the history of this location.  It always has been available at the B&N in Brooklyn Heights.

Thomas Rosenthal TommyR

Picked up mine at the local ShurSave in NE PA.  Great reading while the snow flies fast and furious.

Congratulations on 20 years and even though I wasn't playing fantasy baseball for the full Score, I'm proud to say that I have the last 14, and they remain the only 14 fantasy baseball magazines I have ever purchased.

I really enjoyed the article by Bruce Buschel on his 15 ways to make baseball more watchable on TV.  Reading the column makes you realize all that we have become used to and all that we are missing. Just because we expect to see The Devil's Triangle (#1) doesn't make it right.  Some of his suggestions are clearly tongue-in-cheek (#12, Buy the magazine and read for yourself!) but the overall take-away that "it's time to shake up the same-old same-old" hits the mark for me.  You know...say goodbye to the landlord for me, the son of a bitch has always bored me. I think many of his ideas have potential if done right, especially "The Close Up".  I wonder who would make the best Angel Eyes??

Keep up the good work, Rotoman.

Gary Cruciani Megary
Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox

The exit velocity of the 419 balls he put in play was only 85.8, the average distance of his home runs only 383 feet, both well below average.

He hit seven homers and stole five bases Post All-Star.

Alex Patton Alex

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