Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat
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Dave Cameron
12:00
Happy Wednesday, everyone.
12:01
Spring Training sort of starts next week, so I guess this is the last official chat of the off-season.
Monsignor Martinez
12:01
Hello Dave. Is there a way we can look at past Fans projections? I want to do a post-analysis.
Dave Cameron
12:02
I don't believe we have those archived anywhere. They are probably in the database though, so if you use the contact form to send in your request, David Appelman might be able to provide them.
Erik
12:02
Your article on new ideas yesterday had a bit of an "end of history" feel to it. Don't we always feel, in the moment, like we've reached the end of innovation, only to realize afterwards, when we have some perspective, that things have been changing the whole time and will continue to change? Why should today be different than any other point in baseball history?
Dave Cameron
12:04
That wasn't my intention. I definitely think there are still a lot of things to learn about the game, and it's going to continue to evolve as the players and the skills change. But I think we're reaching a point of diminishing returns for organizations based on how much value they get from these new ideas. I think of them kind of like scoops for reporters; the lasting impact of being first is minimal.
That isn't to say that there isn't any value, only that the value has been diminished, and teams looking for a sustained advantage probably can get a better ROI by focusing on implementation rather than chasing the next breakthrough.
Dave
12:05
Do the Rangers just enjoy stunting the development of their top young talent? It seems like what Mike Napoli did last year is kinda what Joey Gallo could do this year? And lets not even get into them not using Profar to either player or in a trade to improve their MLB team now.
Dave Cameron
12:06
How is Gallo's development stunted by spending more time in the minors, given how poorly his 2016 went? If he shows real improvement, there's plenty of room for him to play. If he doesn't, good thing they weren't counting on him.
Eric
12:06
What sort of line do you think Carter can put up in Yankee stadium?
Dave Cameron
12:06
Well, Yankee Stadium doesn't help RH hitters all that much, so probably a similar one to what he'd do anywhere else. Will be interesting to see how much he plays, considering Holliday is slated for most of the DH at-bats and is also RH.
Erik
12:07
How many teams are there right now for whom you would say that the amount of lucky breaks they'd have to receive to make the postseason is just too large for you to even really consider it? I feel like the dividing line is right around the Phillies--are they on the good or bad side of that line?
Dave Cameron
12:08
Padres, Reds, White Sox, Phillies, Braves... I'd probably throw the Twins in there if they played in a better division. I think the Brewers are probably the line; there is enough young talent there to squint and see an 85 win run if everything goes their way, but it's super unlikely.
Tim
12:09
Are there any teams that you personally think are severely underrated by the projections and preseason consensus? Any teams overrated?
Dave Cameron
12:11
I think we're selling the Blue Jays a little short at 83-79. I'd probably have them in the mid-80s. Like a lot of people, I don't buy the Angels 84-78 projection.
Hannah Hochevar
12:11
Do you think there's a correlation between being a good framer and having a good batting eye? (And does would that help explain why framing isn't as teachable as I want it to be?)
Dave Cameron
12:11
If anything, I would bet there's an inverse relationship. The good framers almost universally can't hit.
baby bull
12:12
Any chance Phillies sign Wieters to backup Rupp and Joseph, also allowing Phillies to trade Rupp when Alfaro is ready ideally around trade deadline? Squinting to hard?
Dave Cameron
12:12
Wieters isn't going to take a backup job.
Jerry DiPoto
12:12
Wouldn't it make some sense for me to sign Pedro Alvarez if he is cheap like Cris Carter? That way I can start Dan Vogelbach at AAA and it provides more depth. If Vogey tears it up at AAA I can simply release Alvarez, or trade him for bullpen arm to a team that has an injury
Dave Cameron
12:12
Yep.
John
12:13
Most people are saying the Rangers are not going to be that good. Do they have a realistic chance of winning the division in your opinion?
Dave Cameron
12:14
Sure. The gap between teams in the AL West is small enough that everyone besides OAK probably has a 10% chance of winning the division.
Lance
12:14
How much do you trust the park adjustment used in wRC+? It makes a huge difference in player valuation, but I have less of a handle on it than other (like positional) adjustments. Is it based on yearly data or historical? For example, the Safeco Field adjustment still seems pretty large, but if feels like home runs have been way up since fence move. Thanks!
Dave Cameron
12:15
The park factors we use on the site are five year regressed numbers, so they're necessarily going to be slower to react to single-year differences. Eventually, I think Statcast will help us build better park factors that can help us identify the fluctuations in how parks play from year to year, but right now, you're better off with more data than less.
Hannah Hochevar
12:15
Why doesn't a team with a weak farm system and $ give Blanton the $ on a 1-year deal, then flip him at the deadline for a prospect? Seems like he'll be a commodity at that point, even if it's not a stud coming back.
Dave Cameron
12:16
Wouldn't be that surprised if this is what happens. Maybe Philly still has some money laying around?
Mike Rizzo
12:16
I've apparently been asleep since the winter meetings because I've missed out on closers, set up men, bench help, etc. So what do the Nationals do now? How do I fill these holes? And am I an idiot for not going "all in" while I have Harper, Murphy, and Rendon, plus Mad Max still in his prime?
Dave Cameron
12:16
Your username should actually be "Ted Lerner"
Erik
12:17
Speaking of "new ideas", it would seem like one of the next problems to be solved would be which pitches actually carry the highest injury risk. I've seen just about every single pitch (except maybe changeups?) listed as high risk. Don't we have so much data out there that this could be solved by now? Do you think a team has already solved it?
Dave Cameron
12:18
I think player health is absolutely one of the areas where a team could get a big boost in the short-term before everyone copies them. I don't know how much health is going to come down to pitch selection, though. I would guess that we'll eventually figure out that it's more about genetics than anything else.
Pete Wheeler
12:20
What is the biggest way the Fangraphs projections can improve in the future?
Dave Cameron
12:22
I think there's some weakness in the way we convert each team's individual events into team runs scored/allowed totals, especially for teams with exceptionally good or bad baserunners or high/low contact rates. These aren't going to be massive adjustments, but there is evidence that a team can steal an extra few wins out of runner advancement.
Rickey O'Sunnyvale
12:22
If you had the choice, Springer or Pederson going forward?
Dave Cameron
12:22
Springer
Kiermaier's Piercing Green Eyes
12:22
Where do the Rays go for a RH bat now? Claiming Park seems to make more and more sense given their emphasis on assets in the present and future.
Dave Cameron
12:23
Agreed, but I don't think he should get to TB on waivers. OAK and CHW should both claim.
Phil
12:23
When do you expect the ZiPS projections to be incorporated into the Depth Charts projections?
Dave Cameron
12:23
It's usually around the end of February.
Ryan
12:24
How do you see the Indians saves breakdown between Allen and Miller? 60/40 Allen?
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