HomeTrending MLB NewsBen Clemens FanGraphs Chat - 5/13/24

Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 5/13/24

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1:59
Ben Clemens: One minute early start to the chat, let’s get going
2:00
Cube Jockey: How likely are we to see separate arbitration/free agency timelines in the next CBA for position players vs pitchers?
2:00
Ben Clemens: I think it’s incredibly unlikely
2:00
Ben Clemens: I’m just struggling to see who’s going to push for this
2:00
Ben Clemens: Doesn’t feel like something the union could get behind given that it’s a divisive issue just naturally, and it’s not like owners are going to get behind it
2:02
Swingslow: Why do the Cubs keep a guy like Hendricks on the roster? Feels like they have so much pitching depth and its a shame to move all these guys to the bullpen or AAA
2:02
Ben Clemens: Loyalty, right?
2:02
Ben Clemens: this is his first start off the IL, and they basically put him on the IL with a case of badness
2:03
Ben Clemens: it really hurts to get rid of a franchise legend when it’s not on their own terms, and I think Hendricks qualifies for that now
2:03
Ben Clemens: I’m definitely worried that he’ll give them no choice, though
2:03
Shota Imanaga: SHOTA.IMANAGA.
2:04
Talfred: Looking at the newly released Bat Tracking data, the Squared-up Rate is derived from a formula combining swing speed and pitch speed to arrive at a maximum possible exit velocity. The actual exit velocity is then compared to that maximum. Wouldn’t this maximum exit velocity assume consistent baseballs? It seems to me that  variations in baseball liveliness would skew these figures.
2:05
Ben Clemens: I don’t have access to the exact details that go into the formula, but just from a physics perspective, a lot of things matter. The weight of the bat matters, the coefficient of restitution of the ball matters. A lot of the other factors that make the ball lively or not (carry for the same exit velo is one of the prime ways the ball seems to change year to year) don’t matter
2:05
Ben Clemens: so like, we’ve seen that balls are traveling less far for the same EV/L A combos this year. That makes the ball less lively. But obviously since we’re measuring that for a given EV, we’re not talking about any effect on EV
2:06
Who’s Fabio?: Hey Ben, Davis Schneider is the top searched player right now at FG.  Do you think he can sustain 280/375/450ish as a hitter?
2:06
Ben Clemens: I do not think he can sustain the .375 part of that
2:07
Ben Clemens: he’s gonna be a high strikeout guy, and even though he’s run very high BABIPs so far in the bigs, I don’t see a great reason to expect that to continue. Push that back down to roughly average, which is incidentally what all our projection systems are doing, and you get an OBP in the .340-.350 range
2:07
Ben Clemens: I buy the power, though
2:07
Maddoning: Can you explain how the Brewers have stayed good, despite replacing Burnes and Woodruff with a couple retreads, and otherwise just kind of bringing the same group back?  What is this wizardry?
2:09
Ben Clemens: It doesn’t seem that crazy to me, to be honest. They haven’t had Woodruff for a while now! They got a new star in William Contreras for Josh Hader (via Esteury Ruiz and the A’s inexplicably not wanting Contreras), they’ve brought up some solid contributors on the hitting side from the minors, and they’re hitting well right now. The pitching staff took a step back without Burnes, just like you’d expect
2:10
Ben Clemens: I don’t think they’re going to keep hitting like they have, but Contreras has been outrageously good this year and that’s doing a lot of work
2:10
The guy WHo makes Trades: CHC/HOU      CHC trade: CF Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF Owen Cassie, OF Mike Tauchman, and a PTBNL for HOU Trade: 3B Alex Bregman, and 1B Jon Singleton
2:10
Ben Clemens: why would anyone involved want to do this, haha?
2:10
Nate: Which of the new bat speed metrics that we now have access to do you think is most predictive of long-term success? Probably blasts, right (seems fairly well correlated to barrels)? Like you mentioned in your article, you can have a fast swing and still not make that much contact, and you can square it up but not hit it that hard because you don’t have a fast swing.
2:11
Ben Clemens: I’m still digging into this question, naturally
2:11
Ben Clemens: I think it’ll probably be blasts? But I’m definitely not confident
2:11
Ben Clemens: I’m pretty sure that ‘average swing speed’ is more of a trinket statistic than a great thing to predict how good a hitter will be
2:11
Jeremy: There are some puzzling discrepancies between the bat speed data and exit velocity data. Presumably, a lot of that is down to some players swinging heavier bats than others? Phillies fan that I am, the one I noticed is that JT Realmuto actually has slightly faster bat speed than Bryce Harper, but Harper’s average and max exit velocities are much higher than Realmuto’s.
2:11
Ben Clemens: heavier bats, purer contact
2:12
Didace: So far this year, the Washington Nationals pitching staff has been a) Really good, 2nd in WAR, b) So-so, 13th in ERA, c) Bad, 24th in Strikeouts, d) Lucky, 1st in HR allowed, e) Unlucky, 30th in BABIP ?
2:13
Ben Clemens: I think so-so does a pretty good job in the end. you’ve got some great correlations in there, but I’d basically say that d and e offset a little bit, and the Nats are middle of the pack in K-BB%
2:13
Ben Clemens: so they’re doing unsustainably well at allowing very few homers per fly ball, but they’re also doing what I’d consider to be unsustainably poorly in terms of BABIP
2:14
Ben Clemens: One potential counterpoint here: soem of that babip is b/c the team is not good at fielding
2:14
Ben Clemens: -10 OAA so far, 26th in baseball
2:14
Ben Clemens: and that OAA is largely a range issue; the nats are middle of the pack in errors committed
2:15
Ben Clemens: so it’s gonna go straight into BABIP
2:15
Ben from DC: What do I make of the first month of Dylan Crews in AA. Not a complete disaster but a high K% and not the level of production I think many expected. Anything to worry about or just SSS?
2:15
Ben Clemens: Yeah it’s 87 PA, and he’s hitting the crap out of the ball, too early to say much imo
2:16
teeth grinder: If you’re starting a franchise today and were given two options who would you pick and why: Gunnar Henderson or Bobby Witt (contract/salary are irrelevant)
2:16
Ben Clemens: Wow, this is a really tough one
2:17
Ben Clemens: I think I’d take Witt
2:18
Ben Clemens: I’ve been too low on him, and I’m consciously trying to correct for that
2:18
Ben Clemens: It’s a great problem to have, obviously. Henderson has been even better than advertised. But so has Witt and in the end I think I trust him to be a defensive difference maker more. But there are no wrong answers here
2:18
Dan’l: Shouldn’t the Cards make Helsley & Romero available now? Do those two have comparable value (upside with H., longer control with JJ)?
2:21
Ben Clemens: uhhhh, they definitely do not have comparable value. Romero has never topped 40 innings in a season and Helsley has a much lower ERA/FIP/whatever rate you care about, with more strikeouts and stuff that grades out better by pretty much any  model, over meaningfully more innings
2:21
Ben Clemens: no one’s gonna pay for an extra year of a maybe good reliever in 2026
2:21
Ben Clemens: so I’d say Helsley would fetch far more in trade. Also I don’t think the Cards are going to trade him, if they’re a disaster this year the odds of a regime change are pretty high and that doesn’t lineup very well
2:22
The guy WHo makes Trades: OAK/STL    OAK trade: Esteury Ruiz, Hogan Harris, and a PTBNL for  STL trade: Victor Scott II, Jordan Walker, P Tink Hence, and RP Andrew Kitteridge
2:22
Ben Clemens: I mean, STL says no to this so fast
2:23
Ben Clemens: and why is Oakland trading for an RP?
2:23
Mary Kate Olsen: MARY. KATE. OLSEN.
2:23
George: Very interesting thing that I would be interested in someone doing some work into is how park factors influence player development. I’m not sure how you’d isolate it, but its been a big discussion with Crews and other Nats hitting prospects this year. Both Wilmington and Harrisburg are difficult parks to hit in. A ton of Nats prospects have struggled to hit for power in Wilmington and have had a K rate spike in Harrisburg, reportedly due to the weird batters eye there. Is that meaningfully impacting development?
2:23
Ben Clemens: Yeah anecdotally this seems like a thing. Empirically I have never seen data to that effect, and honestly it sounds like too heavy of a lift for someone like me writing 4-5 articles a week
2:24
Ben Clemens: gotta be a pain to collect enough data to say anything at all meaningful about this
2:24
dave: do you ever worry that too much of baseball is being quantified? both from a taking away the mystery perspective but also a distilling players down to solely numbers perspective and forgetting they’re humans too?
2:24
Ben Clemens: Oh yeah 100%
2:25
Ben Clemens: That’s a large reason I started writing 5 things in the first place, to be honest. I feel like baseball analysis can get too mathy at times these days and man, it’s a fun sport! The fun is the reason we like it
2:25
Guest: It’s my birthday, could you say something to make a Mets fan feel optimistic?
2:25
Ben Clemens: Christian Scott looks like a plus major league starter already
2:25
Tacoby Bellsbury: If you’re the Giants, snakebit with injuries and struggling, what do you do from here?
2:26
Ben Clemens: I think in the short term you just keep playing, but man they’ve been unlucky with injuries and a lot of their offseason acquisitions have been bad to boot. If you’re doing a selloff type thing this year as the Giants, I think it has to be a short-term one where you flip vets with expiring contracts for small returns
2:27
Ben Clemens: I don’t think they have any exciting pieces to sell off for big returns aside from Webb and Bailey, who are untouchable
2:27
Colton: I challenge you to a speed typing competition, it took me all of 5 seconds to type this message!
2:27
Ben Clemens: Competition is only open to FG staff because I would definitely not win if we opened it to the broader public. Also, I think I have typing force more so than speed, I hit my keys harder than I need to
2:28
RH: How has your thinking on who will make the playoffs out of the NL changed since Opening Day?
2:29
Ben Clemens: Okay so my initial NL predictions were: ATL/MIL/LAD win the divisions, PHI/SFG/STL take the wild cards. I think I wrote that the STL pick was a placeholder and that one of my hot takes was that the NLC was going to put two teams in the playoffs
2:30
Ben Clemens: Feeling pretty good about the division winners, though I suppose they weren’t particularly hard to predict. The Giants pick looks bad in retrospect, and yeah, I think I overvalued their FA pickups
2:31
Ben Clemens: I guess the main thing that has changed for me is that I thought the NLC was a wide open race where pretty much any team could win the division. and now it’s a two team race b/c the other three have been pretty bad of late. i think that any of those other three could still challenge for a wild card, but the division gap is really big and hard to make up
2:31
bosoxforlife: Do you see any way to increase balls in play as long as the distance between the rubber and the plate remains at 60’6″?
2:31
Ben Clemens: yeah, basically no
2:31
Victoria: So would you replace SFG/STL with SDP/CHC?
2:32
Ben Clemens: I was a little worried I’d made the homer pick of Cards over Brewers even though I was quite high on the Brewers heading into the year
2:32
Ben Clemens: glad I didn’t!
2:32
Elias: cowser and kjerstad need to start getting more playing time than mullins. It’s the move at this point to make, or am I crazy?
2:33
Ben Clemens: I think you’re crazy, but only b/c Mullins remains such an excellent defender
2:34
Ripken Fan: What should the Orioles do at the deadline?
2:35
Ben Clemens: I think they should do one of two things: trade for a very interesting semi-rental player, or do some 4th of/bullpen shore ups
2:35
Joe: Kjerstad just got sent down
2:35
Ben Clemens: yeah I mean, they weren’t using him! Makes sense
2:35
Ben Clemens: I’m trying to think of who these semi-rental players are
2:36
Ben Clemens: it’s not obvious to me offhand, maybe Garrett Crochet?
2:37
Princess Leia: Help us Obi-wan Clemonobi… you’re our only hope!
2:37
The curse of Cano: It appears the curse of Cano for the M’s continues at 2nd. Is there hope for Polanco or he is cooked?
2:37
Ben Clemens: honestly? I think he’s cooked
2:37
Ben Clemens: like, not that he’ll keep being as bad as he’s been
2:38
Ben Clemens: but I’ve been thinking ‘surely this is the season things stop working for Jorge Polanco’ for six straight years now
2:38
Not the Lunch Guy: Did I miss something or did FG hire a third prospect writer in Travis Ice (60 name btw)?
2:38
Ben Clemens: I have a 65 on it
2:39
Ben Clemens: And let me paste in his bio from the Giants prospect list, his first with the site
2:39
Ben Clemens: We’d also like to take the opportunity to introduce Travis Ice, who will be joining FanGraphs as a prospect contributor. Travis was a junior college and Division II second baseman. After college, he served as an assistant coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (a junior college in Miami, OK), then worked as an MLB video scout at Baseball Info Solutions before being hired as an Angels minor league video coordinator. He was a member of the Angels pro scouting department from 2014-2020 and has spent the last few years doing freelance scouting work for area scouts in the midwest, while also maintaining his own blog focused on player evaluation. Travis is a big believer in blending modern data and technology with “traditional” scouting. His time as a FanGraphs community member predates his scouting career, and he’s extremely excited to have the opportunity to contribute to all things prospect related at the site moving forward.
2:39
Lockard Links: Do you know where to find milb chase rates?
2:40
Ben Clemens: You can manufacture them for stadiums that have statcast data using the milb search on baseball savant
2:40
Princess Leia: Also, I lost my h2H matchup this week solely on the basis of Logan Gilbert’s implosion. Good Process, bad results!
2:40
Ben Clemens: You hate to see it
2:40
Ross: Do u think the Mariners offense turns it around? Julio, Polanco, Garver, Crawford, France, Haniger have all been god awful.
2:41
Ben Clemens: I think Julio’s gonna turn it around, he’s a good adjustment maker. I don’t have a lot of hope that Mitch Haniger is good again for no reason after being bad for a few years. Like I said, Polanco not feeling amazing. Um…. I think Garver will be okay, France probably okay. but yeah it’s been rough
2:41
Phil: Do teams control bat weight these days? I feel like it’s always been a very personal thing to players.
2:42
Ben Clemens: still personal to players
2:42
Andy: NYY second in wrc+ but yet there offense still seems a tad jekyl and hyde with the amount of low scoring games they have had. Are we just looking at early season variance or do you think there is any reason behind this?
2:43
Ben Clemens: I think it’s largely early season variance, but I haven’t put THAT much thought into it so take that with a grain of salt
2:43
KC Pain: Is Brent Rooker a better hitter than people gave credit for?  Is he another overmarinated prospect?  Maybe a .250ish hitter w 35+ pop instead of a .220ish hitter?
2:44
Ben Clemens: yeah, I think that’s basically what his 2023 performance said, it’s weird to me that people were down on him after he did a passable boom or bust power bat impersonation in the Coliseum
2:45
Ben Clemens: i don’t think he’s remotely as good as his numbers this year, but that guy can absolutely crush the ball, and he’s always been a lift and pull type, so I think he’ll continue to deliver real above average value
2:45
big mike: i’d argue part of the fun of baseball is the ability to quantify it to such a large extent, especially when compared to other sports
2:45
Ben Clemens: I think that it’s the fact that you can quantify it but that it’s still a bunch of great athletes
2:45
Ben Clemens: i used to trade government bonds, they’re incredibly quantifiable and yet you don’t have a ton of fans (or any fans)
2:46
Ben Clemens: ‘you can quantify it’ only matters if it’s still fun
2:46
Kevin: If a player has great statcast metrics but their performance keeps declining year over year, are they still good? Thinking of Matt Chapman in particular.
2:46
Ben Clemens: Matt Chapman has great statcast metrics??
2:46
Ben Clemens: we must be talking about a different Matt Chapman, or perhaps different statcast metrics
2:47
Ben Clemens: he is a man capable of hitting a baseball very hard. I don’t think that any of his other statcast numbers jump off the page
2:47
bigtimetimmyjim: I thought it was a little interesting how chapman is near the top of the swing speed leaderboard, do you think thats any reason to be optimistic about him producing more slg going forward?
2:48
Ben Clemens: like, this isn’t a new thing
2:48
Ben Clemens: he’s always had a fierce swing, and if you look at some of his max exit velo numbers and so on, the guy can absolutely tattoo the ball when he connects
2:48
Ben Clemens: but he is REALLY bad at hte connecting part
2:48
Sanford: All 13 qualified catchers have a wRC+ > 100. Obviously some selection bias here, but pretty cool!
2:48
Phil: Didn’t there used to be an audience at the Chicago Board of Trade? I vaguely remember reading that. But yeah, I’d rather watch baseball.
2:49
Ben Clemens: Haha, if there was that’s pretty amazing
2:49
Guest: Read your article (great!) but it’s unclear to me what the difference is between “squared up” and “barrels” on statcast?
2:49
Ben Clemens: So, those are definitely confusing terms
2:49
Ben Clemens: it’s especially confusing because ‘squared up’ basically means ‘hit the ball on the barrel of the bat’
2:49
Ben Clemens: but barrel is just a mathematical construct of swing speed and launch angle, it refers to balls that are hit hard and in the air. The implication of the name is that to do something like that, you probably had to get the barrel on the ball
2:50
Ben Clemens: Meanwhile, squared up measures if you hit it about as hard as you could, given how hard you swung
2:50
Ben Clemens: I am sympathetic to the ‘barrel’ name b/c I have to tell you, when Luis Arraez loops a liner over the second baseman I don’t say ‘wow he really crushed that one on the barrel’
2:50
Ben Clemens: even if he did technically barrel it up
2:51
Ben Clemens: I particularly like the ‘blast’ statistic, which is when you square the ball up and also swing hard
2:51
Ben Clemens: that’s closer to what we fans usually mean when we think of ‘getting all of it’
2:51
Farhandrew Zaidman: For everyone else playing with bat speed today: nothing is ever one thing. Yes, swinging hard generally means more damage, but just like you can throw 91 and be successful, you can have below average bat speed and be successful!
2:51
Ben Clemens: Tomorrow’s FanGraphs today: I’m writing an article about the dead ends and pitfalls I’ve had looking at swing speed data
2:52
Ben Clemens: here’s one takeaway from it: swing speed correlates better with xwOBA than wOBA
2:52
Ben Clemens: on contact, that is
2:52
Ben Clemens: and it doesnt’ correlate with wRC+ at all
2:52
Tigers fan: Do Julio Rodriguez and Ronald Acuna Jr. turn it around this year?  Baseball can be very frustrating to predict players performance from year to year.
2:52
Ben Clemens: I think they both will, but I’m more confident in Acuna
2:52
Blake: Does Jose Abreu being tied for 3rd among the Astros in swing speed surprise you? (at 72.6 mph tied with Yainer Diax, behind Pena and Alvarez)
2:52
Ben Clemens: Hm…. I mean, maybe a little? but when I watch Abreu swing, I’ve always been like ‘wow that’s a violent swing’
2:52
Ben Clemens: so I’m guessing that is what we’re talking about here
2:53
Colton: Katie Woo said on the STL morning radio show that the players have all told her, on and off the record, that they fully support Oli and the rest of the coaching staffs processes and it’s on them as players to execute. That’s great that they seem to support him, but at some point that has to change, right? Over 200 bad games at this point and it’s been the same process, they have to make some changes at some point right? At least start to question whether it’s correct or not
2:53
Ben Clemens: Questioning process, and doing that questioning responsibly, is one of the hardest things to do
2:53
Ben Clemens: like, obviously they should be doing this
2:53
Ben Clemens: but it’s easier said than done
2:53
Derek: At what point should the Orioles start playing Ryan O’Hearn against lefties? He was quite good last year, and this year has consistently been in 98th-100th percentile for xWOBA… Relatedly, how is literally Ryan O’Hearn now this good of a hitter??
2:54
Ben Clemens: It’s amazing, right?
2:55
Ben Clemens: I don’t have a great answer for you about letting him face more lefties without looking into it more. I’d say that his superpower is really good plate discipline plus above average thump, which is a great mix. I do wonder if the O’s are worried that the plate discipline particularly is what would change against lefties, and that if you made him more of an average plate discipline guy the whole profile would play down
2:55
Ben Clemens: but you can’t figure that out without trying
2:56
Oaktown Blues: Would there be any value in looking at “blasts” that were also in an ideal launch angle range? Or would that end up just being “barrels” by a different name?
2:56
Ben Clemens: yeah barrels by a different name, I think
2:56
Ben Clemens: one thing that I’m not fully sure about is whether hitters who are hitting the ball on the nose with hard swings, but at low angles, can change their swing plane
2:56
Ben Clemens: b/c if they can’t, I don’t really care if you square one up at -5 degrees
2:56
Kwah: Steven Kwan’s newly revealed batting data is very satisfying.  One of my favorite players, strictly based on the eyeball test the last couple years — hustles, seems to make lots of contact and operates in a 1970s-80s kinda style — and now the math nerds have confirmed to me that he is That Guy and it’s good.  I wish this metric existed for Willians Astudillo.
2:57
Ben Clemens: Yeah he’s a guy I wish we had this data for
2:57
Ben Clemens: I wish we had swing speed for Bartolo’s homer
2:57
Ben Clemens: I particularly wish A Rod was on the cameras
2:57
Bat Speed: Do you think the new bat speed metrics will provide any actionable information to players/teams? Like maybe the combo of a long Swing Length and slow Bat Speed (looking at you, Nolan Arenado) could be the impetus for a swing change to maximize results?
2:57
Ben Clemens: So, teams already had this data
2:57
Ben Clemens: so I’m gonna say no
2:58
Dan: How invested are you in the Hall of Fame? I feel like I started to lose interest around the time of the Harold Baines induction unfortunately
2:58
Ben Clemens: I’m decreasingly interested in gatekeeping it or arguing who should be in or out
2:58
Ben Clemens: I’m still incredibly interested in it as a museum, and as a reminder of great baseball players from years past
2:58
Ben Clemens: I’ve absolutely loved Cooperstown both times I’ve been there, extremely glad it exists
2:58
Farhandrew Zaidman: If bat speed existed for Wily Mo Pena, 1) you’d expect him to be like top 5 in his prime, and 2) would said data have given him more chances at the end of his career?
2:58
Ben Clemens: 1)yes 2)honestly probably not
2:59
Ben Clemens: there might not have been a quantitative measure of it but you could just watch him and know
2:59
Ben Clemens: fun fact: I was in Tokyo in 2017 and went to go see the Chiba Lotte Marines b/c they were playing Ohtani’s Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
2:59
Ben Clemens: the point was to see Ohtani, obviously. He didn’t pitch but he DH’ed and it was awesome, he was so clearly great
3:00
Ben Clemens: but that’s not the point of this story: Wily Mo was on the Marines, and people there LOVED him
3:00
Ben Clemens: they had a bunch of different coordinated chants for him, which is more or less par for the course in Japan, but he had more than your average player and also responded to the chants with some dance moves
3:00
Ben Clemens: there was a very memorable play where he gestured to the dugout that he was gonna try to score from first before one play, and then he actually did it
3:01
Ben Clemens: now, it was b/c of two defensive miscues and he should have been out by 30 feet, but he was FLYING around the stadium, crowd and dugout going wild
3:01
Ben Clemens: is this about his bat speed? def not. But it was great and I can still here the crowd going ‘wiiiii mo peeeeeena’ if I think about it
3:01
Tigers fan: Would it be possible for MLB to make baseballs with a better grip/seems that pitchers are comfortable with that also travel farther than the current balls?  Seems like this would be a solution everyone would like.  As a fan its hard watching my favorite all star players hitting below MLB regulars.
3:02
Ben Clemens: right? i mean, empirically it seems like they can’t even figure out how to make the same baseball for two straight months, so this sounds like a lot to ask
3:02
Ben Clemens: but they should really do this
3:02
Ben Clemens: the way things are going right now is not good
3:02
Danny Dan Dan: who has been the biggest prospect you were high on but flopped?
3:03
Ben Clemens: Colby Rasmus maybe?
3:03
Ben Clemens: but I was just a big Cards homer then and didn’t do my own research
3:04
Ben Clemens: since I’ve been a baseball analyst, it’s maybe Carter Kieboom
3:04
Ben Clemens: I just kept thinking he’d be at least an average regular long after that seemed like an unlikely outcome
3:04
Street Cred: How come every time a guy hits a HR, it is always referred to as a mistake by the pitcher?  Time and time again…. if Burnes goes 7 innings and allows just a 2-run HR, it will be described as “Burnes pitched a gem today with the just the one mistake to Soto in the 5th.”  Maybe Soto just hit a great pitch?  These batters are amazing but it seems like anytime they do well its just a pitching mistake.  Why is that?
3:04
Ben Clemens: Yeah it’s just an announcing tic, I agree with you that it is not usually correct
3:05
Ben Clemens: I watch a lot of Giants games and I’ve noticed that Jon Miller understands this implicitly, he’ll mention mistakes not punished or great swings at tough pitches all the time
3:05
Ben Clemens: it’s easier to say ‘oh homers are pitcher mistakes’ but I think that recognizing that the other guy lives in a big house too is important
3:06
Justin: Things like the Jo Adell breakout are fun. I feel like we usually point to reasons why a player will breakout, like he previously had a low babip, or low fip/high era in previous years, but sometimes there’s nothing in the obvious data to point to a breakout and then it just happens which is cool. Your article on Reed Garrett changing pitches/pitch mix is another example off the top of my head
3:06
Ben Clemens: Oh man, I like inexplicable moves FAR more than explicable moves in general
3:06
Ben Clemens: ‘this guy si better than last year b/c last year he had a .220 babip and nothing changed’ is not an article that I want to write or that you want to read
3:07
Funny Baseball: What are your thoughts on Jazz this year? He looks…solid (he’s been hot lately). Obviously will be traded come the deadline, feel like he could be a difference maker for a contender like Cleveland or…San Diego?
3:07
Ben Clemens: Cleveland makes a lot of sense to me
3:10
Tigers fan: Would you say its true in general that the average pitcher and hitter today is better than any other time in baseball and yet….these players will never put up the statistics of the former greats of the game due to how tough the modern game is?
3:10
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I was looking up the Stephen Jay Gould argument that this is why no one is gonna hit .400 again
3:10
Ben Clemens: b/c the variation in population is declining b/c the very very best make the bigs now
3:11
Ben Clemens: Okay everyone, this chat has been fun but I gotta run and eat lunch before I get going on the rest of my day. I’m doing some more bat tracking investigations and a bit of home improvement, should be a fun week. Have a great day everyone, and let’s do this again next week.
3:12
Justin: What book is the link you just posted from?
3:12
Ben Clemens: Okay last one
3:12
Ben Clemens: I dunno, but it’s been reprinted a ton of times

 

Ben is a writer at FanGraphs. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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