Ben and Sam answer emails about what it would look like if a hitter got the yips, what Starlin Castro could turn into, errors in sabermetric research, and more.
- Contact and power value
- Hitter yips hypothetical
- Starlin Castro
- Reaction to errors in sabermetrics
Sam just returned from seeing Prince in concert and "can't hear anything".
- Joe (Rancho Cucamonga, CA): "Do you think a grade 60 hitter with grade 40 power will hit more homers in the big leagues than a grade 40 hitter with grade 60 power? Some may think the grade 60 hitter will hit more bombs based solely on their ability allowing them to run into more balls, is this trackable?"
- Chris: "The DFAing of Rick Ankiel led me to remember how he completely forgot how to pitch while with the Cardinals in the early 2000s. This caused me to consider how a team would react if one of their established hitting stars were to have a similar drop off. Josh Hamilton has been pretty terrible this year, but I'm thinking of something more extreme, like what if Miguel Cabrera suddenly lost the ability to make contact and went 0 for his next 60 or 80? What would the Tigers do, how long would something like this have to go on before the Tigers benched him or just released him?"
- Matt: "I'm wondering what you each make of Starlin Castro. Tuesday marks the three year anniversary of his major league debut which was a resounding success and of course he has flashed star potential in each of his three (more or less) big league seasons. The only thing is is it's three years later and he hasn't become a star. He is useful, don't get me wrong. Average to average-plus defense at shortstop, average to average-plus bat, but the MVP candidate people occasionally mention hasn't show up yet. His intentional walk rate has been static, his contact rate has degraded, his power has ticked up but not exploded. He's a hacker who can absolutely bash breaking balls but doesn't catch up to really good fastballs. He's 23. This is technically the first age appropriate season of his life. We know historically even guys who are average regulars at 20 as he was end up being stars more than half the time. Does it worry you that he's stalled out this way? Do you think batters who fundamentally lack the ability to do more than programmed pitch taking face certain obstacles in reaching that top echelon that other's don't? He's had just over 2,000 MLB plate appearances and owns a career .263 TAv. What do you think his true average will be for his next 2,000 plate appearances?"
- Ryan (Tampa, FL): "I don't know if you've been following the media coverage of the Reinhart/Rogoff study, how do you think the mainstream media would react if a few sabermetric publications suffered similar credibility issues? Would casual baseball fans revert to adopting a Mitch Albom-like outlook on the game, putting more emphasis on heart and grit?"
- Sam thought of Placido Polanco as a 60-hitter with 40-power and Dan Uggla as a 40-hitter with 60-power. Dan Uggla has many more home runs.
- If there were no mechanical red flags, Ben & Sam agree that Miguel Cabrera could strike out in every at-bat for four straight games without being benched.
- The Reinhart/Rogoff study was major economic study about national economies and debt that turned out to draw incorrect conclusions based on a spreadsheet error.