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Sox expecting to open '18 with both Avi and Abreu

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QUOTE (turnin' two @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 09:06 AM)
Avi could win the MVP, Triple Crown, cure cancer, dress in tights and fight crime by night and control the movement of the heavens and there would still be people that hate him and think he should do more.

This “hate” narrative around here is beyond absurd. The dude was a career negative WAR player up until last year. People can keep ignoring that and the .392 BABIP he had last year all they like, but let’s not act like this guy is a proven superstar or something. There are legitimate red flags with him that have been pointed repeatedly. I have no idea why that offends so many people but it’s getting ridiculous. I’m all for optimism, but there’s nothing wrong with being objective at the same time.

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QUOTE (Chicago White Sox @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 10:05 AM)
This “hate” narrative around here is beyond absurd. The dude was a career negative WAR player up until last year. People can keep ignoring that and the .392 BABIP he had last year all they like, but let’s not act like this guy is a proven superstar or something. There are legitimate red flags with him that have been pointed repeatedly. I have no idea why that offends so many people but it’s getting ridiculous. I’m all for optimism, but there’s nothing wrong with being objective at the same time.

 

Projection systems are not objective. They are conservative and prone to missing talent breakouts by nature because they use past data on a weighted basis to predict future results. It is objective to say that there are a wide range of possible outcomes for Avi's 2018 and the rest of his career, and that based on last year's data, some of the more positive possible outcomes have become much more likely than we would've expected even a year ago. I don't think anyone here is saying anything more than that.

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QUOTE (Dam8610 @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 10:57 AM)
Projection systems are not objective. They are conservative and prone to missing talent breakouts by nature because they use past data on a weighted basis to predict future results. It is objective to say that there are a wide range of possible outcomes for Avi's 2018 and the rest of his career, and that based on last year's data, some of the more positive possible outcomes have become much more likely than we would've expected even a year ago. I don't think anyone here is saying anything more than that.

What? Projection systems are the definition of objective. They may not be smart enough to identify potential breakouts with any level of precision and are most definitely conservative, but they are 100% fact based and don’t rely on personal feelings or biases like all of us here do at times including myself.

 

As for Avi, of course there are a wide range of outcomes and generally speaking they’re moving in a positive direction from his career norm. I’ve said that multiple times in this thread. All I’ve been arguing this entire time is that there is far more certainty that his BABIP will regress next year than his power will develop. I’ve made it clear that I think he can be a 2 WARish player next year even with that batting average regression (which is a huge improvement from what he was) and to remain a 4 WAR player he must find a way to generate more power. For some reason, when people like me make these statements, there is a small subset of posters here that get butt-hurt.

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QUOTE (Chicago White Sox @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 11:19 AM)
What? Projection systems are the definition of objective. They may not be smart enough to identify potential breakouts with any level of precision and are most definitely conservative, but they are 100% fact based and don’t rely on personal feelings or biases like all of us here do at times including myself.

 

As for Avi, of course there are a wide range of outcomes and generally speaking they’re moving in a positive direction from his career norm. I’ve said that multiple times in this thread. All I’ve been arguing this entire time is that there is far more certainty that his BABIP will regress next year than his power will develop. I’ve made it clear that I think he can be a 2 WARish player next year even with that batting average regression (which is a huge improvement from what he was) and to remain a 4 WAR player he must find a way to generate more power. For some reason, when people like me make these statements, there is a small subset of posters here that get butt-hurt.

 

Well then you and I are in agreement other than perhaps our opinions of projection systems and the likelihood we each attribute to Avi increasing his power numbers.

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QUOTE (Dam8610 @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 11:26 AM)
Well then you and I are in agreement other than perhaps our opinions of projection systems and the likelihood we each attribute to Avi increasing his power numbers.

I think we’re just arguing over what the word “objective” means as I generally agree with you on projection systems. I do think I’m less optimistic on Avi’s power improving but I’d love to be wrong on that. Obviously the raw power & bar speed is there if he can find the right amount of loft.

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QUOTE (Dam8610 @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 09:44 AM)
His BB% increased and K% declined throughout the year, his BB% last year was below his career average, O-swing% was below career average, Z-swing% was well above career average, Z-contact% was well above career average, contact% was the highest it's been since his partial seasons, swstr% was career low. All of those things point to improved plate discipline or the potential for it.

 

His pull rate was well above career average, hard contact rate was well above career average, soft contact rate was well below career average, FB% above career average, IFFB% below career average, he had one of the highest average exit velocities in MLB, and he had some sort of arm injury in July, after which he didn't hit a HR for a month and a half. All of those things point to improved power numbers or the potential for it.

 

I don't understand the argument. Prior to last year he was a .695 hitter and the numbers you mention are negligible improvements. For example his OSWING improved by 2 percent. His zone contact improved by 2 percent. While his OPS last year was 127% more then his previous career numbers.

 

I'd also point out those OSWING numbers aren't good. So when you improve from not good to still not good you are still well not good. 39.8% OSWING is not a good number. 84.3% Zone contact is below average.

 

Stat Average

O-Swing 30%

Z-Swing 65%

Swing 46%

O-Contact 66%

Z-Contact 87%

Contact 80%

Zone 45%

F-Strike 59%

SwStr 9.5%

 

With that being said not all players are equal. For example the contact rate and plate discipline of Abreu is less important then Garcia because he has a career ISO of .224. He can afford to have a career OBP of .360 because he slugs .524.

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QUOTE (Chicago White Sox @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 11:19 AM)
What? Projection systems are the definition of objective. They may not be smart enough to identify potential breakouts with any level of precision and are most definitely conservative, but they are 100% fact based and don't rely on personal feelings or biases like all of us here do at times including myself.

As for Avi, of course there are a wide range of outcomes and generally speaking they're moving in a positive direction from his career norm. I've said that multiple times in this thread. All I've been arguing this entire time is that there is far more certainty that his BABIP will regress next year than his power will develop. I've made it clear that I think he can be a 2 WARish player next year even with that batting average regression (which is a huge improvement from what he was) and to remain a 4 WAR player he must find a way to generate more power. For some reason, when people like me make these statements, there is a small subset of posters here that get butt-hurt.

 

Well that isn't really true. Unless they have become sentient beings, they were programmed by humans who at some point decided which things were important and which things weren't. They are essentially an excel spreadsheet spitting out answers based on their programmed formulas. Even the choice of facts put into these projections systems is opinion based to some extent. They might be well educated and test opinions, but they are still opinions.

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QUOTE (wrathofhahn @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 12:23 PM)
I don't understand the argument. Prior to last year he was a .695 hitter and the numbers you mention are negligible improvements. For example his OSWING improved by 2 percent. His zone contact improved by 2 percent. While his OPS last year was 127% more then his previous career numbers.

 

I'd also point out those OSWING numbers aren't good. So when you improve from not good to still not good you are still well not good. 39.8% OSWING is not a good number. 84.3% Zone contact is below average.

 

Stat Average

O-Swing 30%

Z-Swing 65%

Swing 46%

O-Contact 66%

Z-Contact 87%

Contact 80%

Zone 45%

F-Strike 59%

SwStr 9.5%

 

With that being said not all players are equal. For example the contact rate and plate discipline of Abreu is less important then Garcia because he has a career ISO of .224. He can afford to have a career OBP of .360 because he slugs .524.

 

What I think your post shows is that the swing data is more useful to measure his performance against his past performance than it is to measure him against the average player in terms of finding reasons for his success in 2017 and indicators that said success may or may not repeat, and that small changes in things like swing data, contact profile, etc. can lead to larger changes in things like OPS. Something has to explain his success for the full 2017 season, and it isn't just BABIP, because that went down by 50 points over the course of the season while he ended up maintaining a .330 average for the whole season. So if it isn't those numbers, what is it?

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FWIW xStats had Avi at a .295/.347/.493 line, a .333 xBABIP and a .356 wOBA, which still would have put him as the 7th best RF offensively last year, basically even with Reddick. xStats is claiming he got quite unlucky on the HR front, saying he "should have" hit 25 homeruns instead of just 18. Eyeballing his batted ball profile I'm not exactly sure why he supposedly lost so many homeruns but maybe the significantly increased Pull% should have had more of an effect than it did.

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QUOTE (OmarComing25 @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 01:17 PM)
FWIW xStats had Avi at a .295/.347/.493 line, a .333 xBABIP and a .356 wOBA, which still would have put him as the 7th best RF offensively last year, basically even with Reddick. xStats is claiming he got quite unlucky on the HR front, saying he "should have" hit 25 homeruns instead of just 18. Eyeballing his batted ball profile I'm not exactly sure why he supposedly lost so many homeruns but maybe the significantly increased Pull% should have had more of an effect than it did.

 

For me, that's where the arm injury comes in. He got hurt at the beginning of July, and after that point, did not hit another HR until September.

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QUOTE (Dam8610 @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 01:47 PM)
What I think your post shows is that the swing data is more useful to measure his performance against his past performance than it is to measure him against the average player in terms of finding reasons for his success in 2017 and indicators that said success may or may not repeat, and that small changes in things like swing data, contact profile, etc. can lead to larger changes in things like OPS. Something has to explain his success for the full 2017 season, and it isn't just BABIP, because that went down by 50 points over the course of the season while he ended up maintaining a .330 average for the whole season. So if it isn't those numbers, what is it?

 

We need to stop pretending that these things don't happen they do. It's uncommon but it happens. I named five players in my other post who had magical Avi like seasons. Then completely fell off a cliff.

 

Thats not to say I don't think it has to happen in Avi case because the talent is there but he can't build off last season. He needs to work getting under the ball and driving it. He needs to be more selective at the plate. If he wants to have a really good season again.

 

If he wants to hit with a .750 ish OPS he can do what he's already doing and if a couple things go right instead of everything like last year he can have an ok year. Prior to last year he had an BABIP of somewhere around .320. To give you some perspective of the difference BABIP makes had his BABIP been his normal averages after crunching the numbers he'd be batting .253 last season which would have dropped his OPS 77 points.

 

 

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QUOTE (wrathofhahn @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 01:33 PM)
We need to stop pretending that these things don't happen they do. It's uncommon but it happens. I named five players in my other post who had magical Avi like seasons. Then completely fell off a cliff.

 

Thats not to say I don't think it has to happen in Avi case because the talent is there but he can't build off last season. He needs to work getting under the ball and driving it. He needs to be more selective at the plate. If he wants to have a really good season again.

 

If he wants to hit with a .750 ish OPS he can do what he's already doing and if a couple things go right instead of everything like last year he can have an ok year. Prior to last year he had an BABIP of somewhere around .320. To give you some perspective of the difference BABIP makes had his BABIP been his normal averages after crunching the numbers he'd be batting .253 last season which would have dropped his OPS 77 points.

 

So he'd still have an .800 OPS in that scenario? That's still a useful player, is it not? Also, his contact profile makes him more likely to have a higher BABIP than most, so if his BABIP suffers a precipitous fall, a good chunk of that could be finding the loft you're looking for, though Zimmerman and Cano display 30 HR power without it.

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QUOTE (wrathofhahn @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 11:33 AM)
We need to stop pretending that these things don't happen they do. It's uncommon but it happens. I named five players in my other post who had magical Avi like seasons. Then completely fell off a cliff.

 

Thats not to say I don't think it has to happen in Avi case because the talent is there but he can't build off last season. He needs to work getting under the ball and driving it. He needs to be more selective at the plate. If he wants to have a really good season again.

 

If he wants to hit with a .750 ish OPS he can do what he's already doing and if a couple things go right instead of everything like last year he can have an ok year. Prior to last year he had an BABIP of somewhere around .320. To give you some perspective of the difference BABIP makes had his BABIP been his normal averages after crunching the numbers he'd be batting .253 last season which would have dropped his OPS 77 points.

All these arguments were going on when Avi sucked and everyone thought and wanted him to be non tendered only now he has a few more supporters because hitters constantly break out and hitters also fall off a cliff after supposedly breaking out, Avi did what he had to do in order to break out. He put in the work. He will stay in shape and we will see how he plays. One thing we know for sure. no one can predict the future no matter what the stats or the eye test tells us. but some of us will be right and claiming victory and I'd much rather be right or wrong predicting success rather than failure.

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QUOTE (Chicago White Sox @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 10:05 AM)
This “hate” narrative around here is beyond absurd. The dude was a career negative WAR player up until last year. People can keep ignoring that and the .392 BABIP he had last year all they like, but let’s not act like this guy is a proven superstar or something. There are legitimate red flags with him that have been pointed repeatedly. I have no idea why that offends so many people but it’s getting ridiculous. I’m all for optimism, but there’s nothing wrong with being objective at the same time.

 

OK maybe hate is too strong a word. But the point is, what do you expect of Avi? It seems for many people, if he is not a superstar, he is a failure. He can be a very good productive player with out hitting .330.

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QUOTE (CaliSoxFanViaSWside @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 07:55 AM)
Baseball Common Sense 101 tells me when you hit .330 you did a lot right and just didn't get lucky. There's a lot to be said for actually watching/studying baseball.

Not to the stat lovers (tell me if I'm not allowed to use term statniks; I prefer that one). It's all about advanced stats and Avi doesn't stack up.

 

QUOTE (wrathofhahn @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 12:44 PM)
He mainly just got lucky.

I watched a lot of White Sox baseball and he got lucky on a lot of the nights I was watching. He was a pleasure to watch hit. He had a clue, folks.

 

QUOTE (CaliSoxFanViaSWside @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 02:33 PM)
Maybe because he was in better shape his swing loosened up , maybe it got a touch quicker. Maybe his knowledge of how pitchers were approaching him got better . Maybe it was all of the above. These are things you cannot measure .The best hitters are smart hitters to go along with their physical gifts.

I like this post.

 

QUOTE (turnin' two @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 03:06 PM)
Avi could win the MVP, Triple Crown, cure cancer, dress in tights and fight crime by night and control the movement of the heavens and there would still be people that hate him and think he should do more.

This is all I've been trying to say. I just want to feel Avi love on here and I don't. No love for his 2017, just saying he got lucky and he can't do it again and he should be traded. If Avi is a bum this season you can pile on me all you want, but I thought he had a great 2017 with no using the word "but. ...." Now if he reports fat and out of shape, fine, I was wrong about him.

 

QUOTE (CaliSoxFanViaSWside @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 07:49 PM)
some of us will be right and claiming victory and I'd much rather be right or wrong predicting success rather than failure.

I won't claim victory; I just want him to succeed and for the Sox to win big.

 

QUOTE (Tony @ Jan 31, 2018 -> 08:27 PM)
We’re all rooting for him.

I hope so. I don't feel very much Avi support on here. I think Sox fans on message boards follow the cliche. They are much more excited about unknown prospects even though Avi is in his age 26 season. He turns 27 in mid June. It's like nobody is taking into consideration what he did in his age 25 season as being a huge progression. The same people will make excuses for youngsters struggling in the minors like some of our pitchers and make excuse after excuse for them about how they are developing fine. Well, Avi developed on the big league stage last year. If you watched him, you saw a professional smart hitter who hit a lot of lazers. Instead of laying off the inevitable advanced stat "he can't sustain this!" and just flat out support him, there's too much negativity IMO surrounding the guy. Again I take it all back if he gets fat again. I feel the same way about Abreu. Four incredibly consistent seasons and there would have been more joy than angst had we traded him this winter.

By the way I will NOT be rubbing it in if Avi remains excellent this season and I'd appreciate if you all resist the temptations to blast him if he sucks. (Unless he's a fat slob; if he's in great shape like last year, please lay off).

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I really want Avi to be good. It solves a whole host of problems and there's no reason not to root for him. Fact is that he still needs to prove himself and there's no reason, after looking at the numbers, to want to see him prove it again without the peripherals suggesting that its a career year.

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