Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 2/24/17
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harmony
10:52
FanGraphs Depth Charts, Steamer and ZiPS project 2017 wRC+ of 105, 104 and 106 for Boston rookie Andrew Benintendi and 104, 105 and 103 for Seattle rookie Daniel Vogelbach. Each hitter is known for controlling the zone but who should post the better numbers this year?
Jeff Sullivan
10:52
Benintendi
JRuby
10:53
This morning on Mike and Mike, Rob Manfred was asked if he would consider using K-Zone technology to call balls and strikes in the future. Although he vacillated a bit, the answer was essentially "WHEN the technology gets there, we will have a very interesting business decision to make about whether to take the human element out of the game."

So, two questions:

1. Is the technology there right now?
2. Do you think we will see electronically called balls and strikes at some point under Manfred's tenure?
Jeff Sullivan
10:54
It's not there right now -- there are still too many errors. The precision isn't where the league wants it to be. But I'd say it's more likely than not that, at some point under Manfred, the zone is regulated automatically, and a signal is sent to a HP umpire on what to call
JKD
10:54
Trea Turner *probably* won't slug .567 again, but: he did that because pitchers threw him a lot of strikes, because they didn't want to walk him and quite probably give up an automatic double. So do pitchers start throwing him more balls, and walking him, or does he keep punishing strikes?
Jeff Sullivan
10:55
They're going to work him out of the zone more often, allowing him to post a higher walk rate than Salvador Perez
Raindog
10:55
With the number of wins tied up in a single player (Trout) and the who knows what you're gonna get pitching (Richards, Shoemaker, Skaggs, Meyer), are the Angels the team with the highest variance in their projection?
Jeff Sullivan
10:56
I doubt it. You could make a similar argument for any number of teams. *Every* team has a million question marks, and you could worry about any individual pitcher, on account of being a pitcher
Zonk
10:57
Do the Cubs have the best infield in baseball on both sides of the ball? If so, by how much?
Jeff Sullivan
10:57
Let's see. I think convention says the infield excludes the catcher, so let's look at it like that
10:58
(If you counted the catcher, the Giants give them a run for their money)
Here are the top infield WAR projections:

1. Cubs, 17.3
2. Astros, 14.7
3. Indians, 14.0
I can't...easily...think of a better defensive unit
10:59
And although the Astros present an interesting offensive profile, I don't yet know what to make of Gurriel
So, what the hell. Sure!
Lance
11:01
If you had to bet on a current, non-Trout, major leaguer to join the 300/300 club, who would it be? Probably no-one, but at a glance, I feel like Paul Goldschmidt is the only long-shot (and it's very long), if last years 32 stolen bases was the sign of a mid-career renaissance. Anyone going to come close?
Jeff Sullivan
11:01
Betts could have *some* kind of opportunity. Marte could get there if he taps into more of his raw power. Trea Turner could become a fascinating challenger if he keeps the ball off the ground long-term
Zonk
11:02
Who will write more articles between now and the end of the season? You, or Sawchik? The two of you seem to be the Fangraphs volume leaders!
Jeff Sullivan
11:02
Travis has been such an awesome hire
Gest
11:02
Darvish is planning on bringing his splitter back. Was it a good pitch for him before TJ?
Jeff Sullivan
11:02
Barely used it, so probably not
Raindog
11:02
Has the Pirates window basically closed? It doesn't seem like they've done anything wrong - they've continued to develop good to great players while making smart signings and trades. Is 3 years of contention while having an MVP candidate the best a small-market team can hope for?
Jeff Sullivan
11:03
They're still a competitive team today. Plenty of youth on the roster or in the high minors. Window's not closed
Alou's Golden Hands
11:03
What is the first game you'll see this year and how many do you think you'll attend?
Jeff Sullivan
11:03
I don't go to very many games because the closest MLB product is three hours away, and that drive sucks
Alex
11:03
What kind of bread do you like, Jeff?
Jeff Sullivan
11:03
warm
Mike
11:03
Does Glasnow have more appearances as a starter or as a reliever this year?
Jeff Sullivan
11:03
Starter
John
11:04
What do you expect out of Matt Holliday this season? Career low BABIP last year despite hitting the ball harder. Yankee stadium could also add a few ding dongs...
Jeff Sullivan
11:04
I'm looking for a wRC+ around 120 - 125. Not close to being finished
James
11:04
Why don't the Marlins trade Giancarlo Stanton? Who would be the best fit and what would he bring in return?
Jeff Sullivan
11:04
That contract right now is virtually untradeable
Golden Streamers
11:04
Is Mike Zunino going to pbe the primary catcher this year? or is he going to split time with Tuffy?
Jeff Sullivan
11:04
Carlos Ruiz is also on that team
Robin
11:05
How do you think a team in Portland affect your M's fandom? You've previously mentioned it has already wavered a bit
Jeff Sullivan
11:05
Wouldn't change it. My own personal loyalties are fairly well cemented. I wouldn't abandon the Ottawa Senators if Portland got a hockey team
Dread Pirate Roberts
11:05
When you blend projection systems how do you do it? Just a matter of taking the time to manually do it in Excel? Or is there some sort of program. I have found blended projections on the net, but they always include ones I am not interested in.
Jeff Sullivan
11:06
You should probably just do it manually if there are systems you don't want to include. FanGraphs makes it easy for me because it blends ZiPS and Steamer all by itself!
bucs_lose_again
11:06
Please tell me you've never used "sneaky" to describe a baseball player. Are we evaluating ninjas or something?
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