The young and the retired

Feeling sick, need sleep, short post…

  • While there has been plenty of talk about prospect rankings, what about the players who broke in last year. Who are the sophomores to watch? Bryan Smith at Baseball Analysts has compiled the top 20 sophomores. Detroit Tiger Curtis Granderson checks in at #12.
    Do the Tigers really appreciate what they have in Granderson? Are they really considering starting Nook Logan at centerfield this season? In 2004, Granderson broke out at one of the minors easiest stadiums to hit a home run in. His numbers were helped by an August that was disproportionate to the rest of his career. He was an anomaly, but this year, showed that his breakout was for real. Granderson might not be the next great Tiger, or even a consistent All-Star. But for a team like Detroit, that has been “rebuilding” for so long, he’s the long-term answer at one position. PECOTA loves him, but I don’t see enough power developing for a superstar to shine through.

  • Does speed kill or does it annoy? I found some research from Cyril Morong about the impacts of base stealing. He used Scott Podsednik as his case study. He found that the value from Podsednik’s stolen base was outweighed by his below average offensive showing. Now there are other elements to speed, such as scoring from first on a wild pitch, but…you guys all know where I’m going with this.
  • It’s old news now, but Troy Percival has retired – sort of. He’s retired in the sense that he’s not playing anymore, but not in the sense that he still isn’t under contract and earning $6 million this year. Fortunately the Tigers will get some insurance relief (I want to say I read $3 million somewhere but I can’t find it now). Brian and Sam have wrapped up Percival’s career pretty thoroughly. I was pretty positive about the Percival signing at the time, as the idiocy in the following paragraph will show:
    The other reason I


  1. Boston Fan in Michigan

    February 28, 2006 at 11:56 pm

    I love how you say you’re tired and sick and then go right ahead and post what would be, for most people, a perfectly excellent entry. You damn overacheiver. 😛

  2. Mike

    March 1, 2006 at 4:32 pm

    Okay, I’m going to make a guess on why Nook has a shot at the starting job in center: it’s the same reason that Leyland won’t name a favorite for the fifth spot.
    Say he gives Granderson the job out right, Nook settles in as the backup and… Leyland doesn’t not want Nook to settle in. He wants him fighting for a job, which means listening to coaches and working his tail off to improve. He may not start (probably not is my guess), but he will still be a better backup.

  3. Cyril Morong

    March 3, 2006 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks for linking my article. Below is an excerpt of something that was printed in the Chicago Sports Review. Basically, the numbers show that when Podsednik was on first last year, other Sox hitters did better than normal. But just about all Sox hitters did better with a runner on first no matter who was on base.

    But what happened when Podsednik got on base for the Sox last year? Did the Sox batters do better with him on first, distracting the pitcher, etc? You bet they did. The two guys most likely to be up with Podsednik on first were Iguchi and Everett. Iguchi last year batted .271 with no runners on base while he batted .326 in situations when there was only a runner on first. Everett went from .197 to .333. Maybe that was due to Podsednik. But, many Sox players hit better with a runner on first as compared with no runners on. The first table below shows how the Sox regulars hit with no runners on base. I listed them in the lineup position that they were in the most. The second table shows how they each hit with a runner on first only.

    POS Player AVG SLG OBP
    1 Podsednik 0.294 0.361 0.359
    2 Iguchi 0.271 0.420 0.354
    3 Everett 0.197 0.357 0.258
    4 Konerko 0.293 0.548 0.380
    5 Rowand 0.238 0.367 0.297
    6 Dye 0.298 0.576 0.352
    7 Pierzynski 0.228 0.365 0.267
    8 Crede 0.217 0.419 0.265
    9 Uribe 0.238 0.408 0.304

    POS Player AVG SLG OBP
    1 Podsednik 0.324 0.366 0.351
    2 Iguchi 0.326 0.511 0.354
    3 Everett 0.333 0.561 0.392
    4 Konerko 0.300 0.542 0.354
    5 Rowand 0.339 0.478 0.339
    6 Dye 0.213 0.416 0.278
    7 Pierzynski 0.336 0.571 0.426
    8 Crede 0.333 0.507 0.352
    9 Uribe 0.296 0.444 0.329

    Notice that Joe Crede saw a huge increase in his stats with a runner on first. Who would have been on for him? Pierzynksi or Dye. Neither was hardly the stealing threat that Podsednik was. Outside of Podsednik, the Sox only stole 78 bases, with no one else having more than 16. Look at how much Rowand improved with a man on first. Who was distracting the pitcher for him, Konerko or Everett? Not likely. So we can