Wednesday, November 30, 2005

White Sox Sign Konerko

Congratulations to the White Sox.

They beat us in the ALCS, which made me sad, and beat us to Konerko, which makes me happy.

As I've posted before, getting Konerko improves the team by about 1 win, and while Konerko may be better than my projection, you can see I'm not being overly optimistic on Kotchman.

If Kotch hits .259 with 14 homers and 73 RBI, that only looks good to someone who's watched too much of Erstad at first. Hopefully Erstad is going back to center for Kotchman, as he would have for Konerko, but you never know with this team.

Now, Manny Ramirez. He's overpriced for sure, but if the Angels do trade for him, he does improve the team on the field, assuming the Angels don't give up something they can't replace from their own farm system or bench. In other words, as long as they don't trade Vlad or Chone on the position player side.

Man Ram projects as +36 over replacement ( he was +50 last year, and I use a much higher replacement level than sites like Baseball Prospectus). As long as he's not allowed to wear a glove, and his playing time comes at the expense of DaVanon and Rivera, that should improve the Angels by 30 runs or 3 wins.

It remains to be seen if Ramirez is the type of personality that the Angels can put up with, if the Red Sox are desperate enough to trade him, and the Mets don't offer more. If not, no big deal. Spend the money on pitching instead, go after Burnett.

Santana was mentioned in early Manny trade rumors, I don't think Mr. Stoneman wants any part of that. Ervin should be untouchable. Replacing one starting spot this offseason may be hard enough. No need to open 2 holes.

Giles resigned with San Diego for 3/30 or 4/36. Real good bargain for the Padres, retaing the REAL best free agent hitter on the market.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

5th starter

Angels need another starter. Washburn will probably be expensive. Paul Byrd is a perfect fit for a one year contract, just like he was last year. Problem is, Byrd will probably get a 3 year deal from someone.

I think I've found the guy. You want someone who is not getting much attention, would probably take a one year deal, and can pitch. I don't know if he's looking for a deal, or plans on retiring. He's a bit of an A-hole, at least to reporters, but he's also a certified Angel killer, and it would be nice not to have to face him anymore.

I speak of Kenny Rogers.

His projection in Angeltown:
201 IP 216H 56 BB 105K 19HR 4.24 ERA

I think that projection is reasonable. He's pitched as well or better for the last 2 years, and with David Wells and Jamie Moyer still around, he's young for a lefty.

Come on, Mr. Stoneman, take a gamble.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Last time I ever change my template

Tried changing it, just to see something different. Didn't like it, so I switched back. All my links were deleted. Last time I ever try that. I suppose once I customize I should save everything to word.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Congrats to Pujols

Yes, Derrek Lee had ever so slightly better stats. The difference between him and Pujols for 2005 was almost negligible, but Pujols has earned this award, he's put in 4 years of playing second fiddle to Bonds. Because of his superior track record and other details of the projection system, Pujols should do the same thing again.

2006: .329/.426/.632

While Lee should return to earth: .282/.377/.534

And the return of Bonds? Perhaps the toughest to project. Will 2006 be the year baseball catches him for you-know-what? 50 games if they do. W-A-G for Bonds: 400 PA of .306/.436/.599. A statistical projection, the only tweaking I did was remove a lot of the intentionals. Pitchers should test him out in 2006, unless he proves that age, injury, and tough steroid testing is no match for a man from Krypton.

Seeing into the future

I've got a projection system I've been working on for awhile. I have no idea how accurate it is compared to others out there. Dan Szymborski of Baseball Think Factory has his ZIPS projections out now, for about half the teams. Its pretty early, he usually has put this out closer to the spring. I"ll post mine somewhere and link to them before the season starts, but I'm not ready yet for a few reasons.

1) I'm lazy and haven't done so much since the season ended

2) There are a lot of errors in my data. I get major league stats from one place, minor league from another, and past year stats don't always match up. The biggest problem is making sure you've got the right player. It wrecks havoc on the excel lookups needed to process so many players when I might have to match Bobby Abreau to Bob Abreau (and keep him straight from Bob Abuee of my APBA league. Howard Stern fans, say that one out loud.) Plus all the guys who share names. I always change Alex Gonzalez to Sea Bass Gonzalez to keep him straight from BDPASB Gonzalez (Botched-double-play-after-Steve-Bartman). Give me a winter and I hope I can make sense of all that, because I project the minor leaguers too.

3) How the hell do I know how he's gonna hit or pitch if I don't even know where he's playing?

I'll put some previews out here though, because despite being a lazy bum who's done nothing to publicize this site yet, I have readers. Thanks to LA Blackhawk of Waterloo, Shredder, and Matt Welch who have already found me and posted a link on their blogs. Thanks to any others doing the same things, in case I haven't found you yet.

Brian Giles:

Park Neutral:
 BA  HR Run RBI AB  H  K  BB 2B 3B  OBP SA

.277 21 96 90 557 154 75 101 33 4 .392 .460

San Diego: .265/.383/.430
Yankees: .274/.390/.453
Angels: .277/.392/.454
Boston: .285/.399/.468
Colorado .299/.410/.510 (just for kicks)

Brandon Wood: .261/.310/.479 - won't play in bigs other than possible september call up. Probably a bit too optimistic, at least for now.

Jeff Mathis: .242/.302/.396 - looks about right. Biggest question is who gets more time, him or Jose Molina.

Howie Kendrick .279/.310/.424 - If his glove is good (don't know either way) he's about an equal for Home Run Kennedy right now. Most likely takes over in 2006 after getting 200 hits in the PCL.

Kendry Morales .258/.298/.420 Needs to improve, and there's no reason he shouldn't. I've already made a wild-assed guess that by 2008 he'll be a better hitter than Manny Ramirez. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Draft for APBA 2006

The Hollywood B's take HS lefty RD Phillips, right after Chicago takes 1B Luke Ford.

Bay Area is up next.....

Erstad's replacement

I'm hoping the White Sox resign Paul Konerko, because he's not likely to be worth the kind of money he's supposed to get over the next 4-5 years. The big A is not as friendly to homers as Chicago either. Here's what my almighty computer projects for Konerko next year if he plays for the Angels:

AB H BA HR RBI OBP SLG LWruns (vs average at position)
537 141 .262 27 89 .352 .459 +6

And if Casey Kotchman gets the job?
522 135 .259 14 73 .327 .403 -11

17 runs. Throw in defense (Konerko is below average, Kotchman at least average) and the gap narrows to about 10 runs, or one win. Is one win worth 12 million dollars? Not yet, though Ben Bernanke may have something to say about that in the future.

I'm pretty confidant in the Konerko projection, he's been around long enough to know what kind of player he is. Put him into a tougher park and add age and there should be a homerun dropoff. For Kotchman, that projection is low end, based partially on a tough start at AAA Salt Lake. I think he could esaily hit .290 and with more power, but a a good projection is a 50/50 over/under. I'm happy sticking with a 14 homer estimate.

Beyond 2006, Konerko gets worse and Kotchman gets better. For 2006, that one win might be the difference between Anaheim and Oakland, as in 2004. For 10-12 million (40-50 over the life of the deal) I'm willing to bet it won't be.

In praise of and a critique of APBA baseball

I've played APBA baseball since the 1997 season. Before that, the same players and franchises were played using Microleague baseball which goes back to the 1987 season. Before that, the games were played using a system that I created pretty much on my own, starting in 1982. Not completely on my own, at one point I incorporated some charts from a strat o matic tapletop game, but the batter-pitcher interaction was mine. Its quite remarkable what a 12 year old can do with a high aptitude in math and a set of dungeons and dragons dice.

We (myself, my brother, and a few friends) play one season per year. We used to play more, but as we got a little older we needed some more breaks. Time to run a draft, sign free agents, and update the stats for next year.

I love the graphics. There's no animation like microleague had, but a picture of a park with player labels on the field is satisfying enough. I may have switched to Diamond Mind, but last I looked there were no graphics at all. I don't need much but I need something.

I am 100% pleased with the hitters in APBA. Its not too complex, but basically handles everything it needs to. The fielding has some problems. Fielders get a grade, which determines how much range they have, how many hits they help prevent, and also how many errors they make. Why not 2 ratings? I'd like to have a player be able to have little to no range, but at least good enough hands to catch what he wants. Outfielders are 1,2, or 3. They do have a separate arm rating, which goes from 21 to 40. There's more than enough room to rate Bernie Williams, Roberto Clemente, and everyone in between on that scale. For the main fielder rating, 1,2, and 3 just isn't enough. A "1" is going to make about 19 errors per year, so I have to rate most people as a 2 or better. a "3" is your good centerfielder. Out of 30 teams, we have maybe 20 outfielders with a 3 rating, almost all in center, with just about everyone else a 2, except for some minor leaguers and people who spend most of their time as a DH anyway.

Then there's pitching. I'll save that for another day.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wood needs to make more contact

Its hard to complain about a 20 year old shortstop who hits 43 homers in a season, and follows it up with 13 in the Arizona fall league. I am concerned about his whiffs, though. 102 at bats, 28 strikeouts vs 7 walks. After an incredible start that included a 4 homer game, he's struggled some in a league known for offense.

He doesn't have to be Rod Carew, I just hope his strikeouts don't hurt his development.

Don't have too much to say, I just created this blog and am at a loss for words right now, but I need to get something up there and see how this all works.