Thread: Stage Four

It doesn’t exist. But we keep hoping.

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It used to be starting pitchers, Kent. In the last few years, closers increasingly have appeared out of the blue, which is why the price of closers has plummeted.

Another change that I've noticed (but can't say I've investigated systematically) is that the top-notch set-up guys aren't burning out quite as frequently as they used to. I wonder if the way they are used has become a little less abusive? More respect, for instance, for the times they are warmed up but not brought into the game.

Alex Patton Alex
Mar 28 '15

Alex -- do you have any idea of where most of the "free loot" in pitching comes from?

Is it people who become starters, people who become relievers, or the middle guys that just put up lucky wins and good decimal ratings?

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Mar 28 '15

I'm not knocking Tristan for the Scherzer call, btw. It was brilliant. The owners who were likely to say $31 on Max were the kind of people who were going to wait on Kershaw or Stras and to the owners in Tout who don't pay for pitching (and there are a lot of those owners). If he wanted Max, that was the play.

Regarding the bargains, it obviously depends on how you have guys ranked. Stage Three makes it harder to get those bargains, but honestly the room was a little less Stage Three yesterday than it has been in years, which I think played to my strengths. Part of the reason I dove into the cheap seats so early is because I had (by my values) $2 or greater bargains for every player I purchased. 

The culture of "can't" often pervades Tout Wars, and this year it was more pervasive than ever. "I can't spend over $30 for a player" "I can't buy a closer" "I can't spend for two bad OBP guys". This was good news for me.

Mike Gianella MikeG
Mar 24 '15

What MikeG says happened happened. I had, on my sheet, 29 for Scherzer, 38 for Kershaw, 27 for Strasburg. I feel like Chapman went out here. My price was 23, I bid 24, he went for 25. My price for Young was 8, gone for 8.  I had Kimbrel for 22 and bought him for 21. Stage 3 to the max.

But we saw the $1 underbuys adding up. There were a few bargains. Cueto and Zimmermann were $21 cheap. Lucas Duda was $21 cheap to Mike G, too. 

Here were my prices on the Top 10 Catchers:

27, 20, 16, 15, 13, 12, 12, 12, 12, 11, 7.

27, 20, 17, 14, 13, 13, 13, 12, 11, 12, 11.

Number 11 was Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I had him down for 4, he went for 11.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 24 '15

Kershaw was the 2nd player called out. By me.

My plan going in was either to buy Kershaw or stick someone else with him for $40. 

The rules in Tout say that last year's champ - who has been Tristan Cockcroft since the beginning of time it would seem - makes the first throw. But it doesn't go from first to last; it goes clockwise. I told Tristan I'd be sitting next to him yesterday morning at Foley's and he thought I was joking. I sure as hell wasn't.

Tristan did me a favor by calling out Scherzer and getting him at $30. The price was fair, but I think Tristan froze the room up a little bit with that call. So when the price got to $37 on Kershaw I thought people would keep going and going but nobody did.

Then Stephen Strasburg got called out and the room bid like they regretted the Kersh/Max prices. He went for $27.

Then Phil Hertz called Eric Young Jr. out trying to sneak him cheap or make someone pay double digits. But Stage III prevailed and Young went for $8.

Then Goldy came up. He was the first big hitter and I thought that since he went for $38 in LABR he surely would have went for about the same in Tout if not more, since Tout is an OBP league and Goldy earned $46 in OBP in 2013. 

The bidding went to $37. I thought for sure someone would say $38. But nobody did.

Mike Gianella MikeG
Mar 24 '15
This one is for MikeG's benefit. We keep track of our prodigal sons.
Alex Patton Alex
Mar 23 '15

Frankly, the heck with Podhorzer. Much more interesting is the chart that MikeG put together at BP, comparing actual salaries in the first round of LABR to his bid limits, and so on through the first eight rounds. (The chart is on the second page here.)

I don't know the round-by-rounds in the Tout war that is going on now, but I can guess.

The two most expensive players bought so far:

Paul Goldschmidt $37

Clayton Kershaw $37

Both by MikeG.

Alex Patton Alex
Mar 22 '15

I just read the third part of Podhorzer's piece, where he compares the systems on different types of players. Alas, in addition to amos's quibble about whether hitter or pitcher valuations are in agreement, it becomes increasingly clear that what starts out as an apple to apples comparison ends up comparing apples to broccoli. 

I just commented on this in the comments at Fangraphs. Looking at the price differences between the Razzball 0% ADJ and Razzball 100% ADJ, where Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Santana have big jumps in value in the 100% ADJ even though both lists are valuing catchers, the 100% list has to be valuing 5x5 OBP rather than 5x5 BA. Right?

By the time Mike gets to the end, he's realizing that it would have meant more if each system was budgeting the same amount. But in fact they weren't. 

This was a big and interesting swing, but mostly weak contact. 

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 19 '15

Here's the link to my page, which has the link to Tango's page:

There were many things learned in the contests, and I was glad I participated. If you read Tango's story about it, his goal was to show that our projection systems aren't much better than his super simple monkey named Marcel.

Of course, his super simple monkey named Marcel isn't a monkey, and actually uses a formula that is quite a bit like the formulas that we all use. What Marcel does, or rather Tom's formula masquerading as a monkey does, is heavily regress everything. In fact, players with no major league experience all get exactly the same projection. 

The effect is to make some bigger errors on the outside, but to lay down a big fat track of blacktop through the middle of the player pool. Marcel is engineered not to win, but not to fail.

The two takeaways I had from the three years of contests were, that human mediated projections are better than formulas, and that building position scarcity into the projection or values increases the error. And I would have liked to see the tests run on hitters and pitchers separately, and also on the Top 100 or 200 players only. But that didn't interest Tom, I think because Marcel would have a much rougher time on the second test, at least.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 18 '15

The opening paragraph under the Process:

"From the beginning, we quickly agreed that it was only worth testing hitters. It made things much easier that way, plus I am operating under the assumption that the valuation systems are in more agreement over pitcher values than hitters."


Amos Heatrhrow amos
Mar 18 '15