World Major Leagues

Quietly one of the best HBD worlds hosted by WIS (What if Sports).

Should the Portland Mavericks replace the Nashville Sounds when the opportunity arises?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

This just posted a few days ago on the HBD Updates thread...does this give us a real reason to put $$ in Advanced Scouting?

"Now that most worlds have rolled to the next season where the new logic from the May 26th release is in place, I wanted to provide a general overview of how the new scouting system is working since we've been receiving some customer support tickets from folks after their Amateur Draft.
'In the old system, the accuracy of all the scouting departments was the same (driven by budget amounts, of course).  A high school scout (with a budget of $10M) would be about as accurate as an advanced scout (with a budget of $10M).  If you had $10M budget for both your high school scouting and your advanced scouting and you drafted a high school prospect, his projected ratings would not change much when you signed him.
'In the new system, the accuracy of the high school, college and international scouting departments is now different and less accurate than the advanced scouting department. And because current ratings are no longer visible for prospects, scouts can now under project a prospect's ratings. This means the shift in projected ratings once a player enters your advanced scouting department can be potentially larger in the past.
'This also means the Amateur Draft will be less formulaic.  Budgets still matter very much, but there is more variability.  Can you occasionally have a scout be way off on a player with a $15 budget? Sure, but it'll be less likely than if you had a $10M or $5M budget. But it also means your scout may be wrong in a favorable way as well.
'Hope this helps explain what you may have experienced (or what may lie ahead)."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pitchers with Poor Control

The recent post in World Chat regarding Allen Haynes got me wondering about pitchers with really poor control.  I have a pitcher in Robinzon Neruda who has been quite good with control of 45, but just how bad can a pitcher's control be and he still be a useful MLB player?

The following table shows the players who have pitched at least 10 innings in a season with the worst ratings for Control in that season.  I don't see any seasons under a value of 30 for Control that I would want on my team, and most of the ones above 30 are still less than ideal.

1525Allen Haynes24.22.1106.570
211Joey Reid59.11.8908.040
221Harry Iorg27.12.4909.550
222Harry Iorg39.03.18013.150
221Donaldo Uribe81.02.3809.560
232Donaldo Uribe86.01.9107.430
2410Dante Klassen91.02.1108.310
241Stubby Stoops127.22.2209.520
251Del Yosida15.02.6008.400
259Gerald Bennett53.21.8806.040
2523Tsubasa Martin85.11.8606.750
262Ricky Westbrook50.12.1706.620
272Stubby Stoops160.22.1708.740
273Stubby Stoops128.12.30010.100
281Bailey Damon17.01.4704.760
282Flip Matthews63.02.57012.570
2825P.T. Hampton38.12.19011.030
293Flip Matthews59.01.9207.780
303Rick Becker35.02.3708.490
301Rip Ford58.01.8605.280
301Dustin Boudreau90.01.8104.400
302Dustin Boudreau80.11.7905.830
311Ronn Lesher45.11.9004.570
3118Andy Hull72.01.8207.130
3119Andy Hull112.01.8806.670
322Luis Martinez82.21.9808.380
322Cody Dunwoody86.01.9906.700
321Dennys Little183.01.6806.100
322Dennys Little173.11.9307.790
324Taylor Dean70.11.8605.760
3220Andy Hull58.02.0005.740
3219Alcides Hernandez55.21.7206.310
3220Alcides Hernandez39.21.8207.030
331Morgan Cepeda48.21.3803.510
332Morgan Cepeda30.11.6506.230
331Rico Zapata10.12.2306.970
332Phil Daniels169.01.6305.800
3315Stone Mercker118.01.2802.520
3316Stone Mercker91.11.7606.010
3313Yuniesky Brito19.01.8403.790
3315Cesar Andrus125.21.7305.590
3320Cesar Andrus130.11.7706.490
3321Don Shibata196.11.8106.560
3322Don Shibata85.21.7406.200
344C.J. Little110.12.1107.910
342Tomas Saenz100.21.7606.530
343Tomas Saenz106.11.5805.250
341Omar Castro116.11.7405.490
349Joel Gallagher14.13.07014.440
341Phil Daniels106.21.6405.650
343Phil Daniels18.11.9108.840
344Phil Daniels105.11.8406.070
3417Stone Mercker77.02.2109.000
3418Stone Mercker50.11.4103.040
3419Stone Mercker135.11.5704.590
3420Stone Mercker95.21.5203.860
3421Stone Mercker101.21.4804.430
3417Cesar Andrus173.21.3903.630
3418Cesar Andrus21.02.6206.430
3419Cesar Andrus19.12.0709.780
3418Peter Wood74.12.1306.300
3419Peter Wood25.12.1304.620
3419Danny Benton69.21.9505.430
351B.C. Carey16.11.5306.060
351Carson Butler83.21.5904.200
351Carson Butler51.21.7205.400
352Carson Butler120.01.8006.000
351Mike Stock24.11.9709.250
352Taylor Dean151.11.3903.630
353Taylor Dean50.01.5004.860
351Dan Quinn18.12.4009.820
3514Sam Moseley162.21.7604.980
3520Bubbles Spehr65.11.8106.890
3521Bubbles Spehr73.22.31010.140
3521Barney Lincoln63.12.0407.250
3523P.T. Melian35.12.4308.920
3524J.R. Voigt32.21.4103.310
361Ken Sauveur64.22.1008.630
363Carson Butler60.01.5505.850
364Carson Butler14.01.2101.290
361Taylor Dean108.11.5004.820
362Omar Castro100.21.8005.630
369Allen Mulder44.01.5004.700
3619P.J. Colangelo119.01.4803.930
3624P.T. Melian41.11.6505.230
3624Clarence Alexander97.02.1308.910
3625Clarence Alexander54.01.7203.670
371Greg Strange53.01.8907.640
371Kiko Thompson66.22.0907.700
372Kiko Thompson52.12.0308.250
371Wally Lincoln126.01.4704.500
371Eduardo Cairo46.12.0106.990
371Eduardo Cairo36.21.7705.150
372Eduardo Cairo164.01.7605.540
371Gene Decker181.11.4704.620
372Gene Decker196.01.5804.270
373Gene Decker82.21.7906.420
371Mitch Giles194.11.6705.840
372Mitch Giles172.01.4805.080
373Omar Castro64.01.8907.030

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Where Do Players Come From (Part 2)

As I've gained experience playing this game I've developed my own ideas as to the value of draft picks such as how they compare in value to international signings and when a pick should be forfeited to sign Type A free agents.  I've also enjoyed reading the ideas of others on the message board, but until now I've never attempted to aggregate the data and look at any actual numbers or trends.

And although I love the newer "sabermetric" statistics and to read about new ideas and theories in the world of baseball statistics, I am most certainly not a statistician.  So I'm not putting forth any grand conclusions here.  I'm simply sharing the data in the hope that others might be interested in discussing what they mean and suggesting other things to investigate.

From the beginning of this world through the end of season 25, there have been 4228 players to appear on a major league roster.  Of those, 1741 were created during world creation, 595 were signed as international free agents and 1888 were drafted.  It is these 1888 drafted players we are looking at here.

First, if we simply group these 1888 players by the round they were drafted in we will see that it is extremely top heavy as expected.

Now realistically, we are looking at maybe 21 years of draft data since even the most advanced college players typically need a couple of years in the minors to develop and haven't yet made it on an MLB roster. So the 6th round has given us about one player per year to make an appearance on a MLB roster and it quickly drops to a half player and less beyond that.  And this is simply making an appearance on a MLB roster, not being a real contributor by any means.

If you set very minimum career requirements of achieving 600 at bats, pitching 200 innings or appearing in 40 games as a pitcher, the numbers change to the following.

So from this, it appears your chances of drafting a player who ever plays a meaningful role on your MLB team beyond the 3rd round is very unlikely.  And as we all know, the depth of each draft varies significantly so some years you can get a decent player in the supplemental or 2nd round and some years even the players at the bottom of the 1st round are garbage.

The one player drafted in the 25th round stuck out to me so I had to look him up.  He was Ethan Wyatt, a relief pitcher drafted in season 16 by the Cubs who was a Diamond in the Rough and became just good enough to have a couple of decent seasons in MLB bullpens.  

The other players taken after the 10th round were mostly relief pitchers and defensive catchers.  Other notables include Cliff Jones who has a high power/eye player that managed to have a couple of decent seasons and Ellis Higginson who is still active and currently has a career .391 OBP.  Both of these players were also Diamonds in the Rough.  And Jared Boone was a pretty solid back of the rotation SP for several seasons.

In the next post, we will focus on the 1st round picks and look at those players by draft position.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Where Do Players Come From? (Part 1)

I've been doing some research on the origin of players in our league that I would like to share.  My main purpose in doing this is to evaluate the various draft rounds and draft picks in the first round to get a better idea of what I'm giving up when I sign a Type A free agent.

This first post is just for fun though as I look at what state and country players in our MLB universe have come from.  I was mainly just curious if it was completely random or not.

The chart below shows the number of players from each state/country who have appeared on an MLB roster in our league along with the number of players who meet a minimum set of qualifications I came up with.  Those qualifications are 600 at bats for position players and either 200 innings or 40 games for pitchers.  This is just to eliminate the players who never really contributed anything at all to their MLB team.

The results show that our league has been dominated by Dominican players.  I was a little surprised to see it tilt that heavily.  It also appears I should be sending more of my scouts to the upper midwest.

Over the next few weeks I will try to get a few more posts ready looking at players by draft position and then international signings.  Hopefully it will be interesting to some of you and I would love to hear your feedback, ideas and theories from the data I present.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Season 22 and 23 Records Updates

With their Season 22 and Season 23 World Series wins, the Pirates and Mets stretched the NL's championship streak to 7 seasons (and 6 of 7 for the NL East).  Overall, the NL leads, 16-7.

Batting Records
In this pitching-dominant era, we have just witnessed perhaps the best 2-season run by a hitter in the history of World Major Leagues.  The Cubs' Rico Uribe had almost certainly THE best hitting season in the world's history in Season 22:  OPS - 1.191, #1 all-time...#2 all-time in runs created (180.13)...#3 all-time in RC/27  (12.55)...#4 all-time Slugging % (.740).  ALL the other top-5 performances in all those categories came in the (pre-Season 13) steroid era.  Then, he followed it up with an 1.128 OPS last year (#5 all-time runs created with 167.83).

Question:  Is Uribe the best hitter in the history of Major Leagues?  He's the career leader in OPS at 1.035.  His career RC/27 of 9.52 (compiled entirely post-steroid era), is 8.4% better than the 8.78 of # Luis Escobar (compiled entirely IN the steroid era).  Answer: He is.

Jae Nakano retired after Season 22 as the all-time Batting Average (.342) and hits (3,274) leader.

Roosevelt Thomas reached the top 5 in career runs created (1872.56).

Pittsburgh's Walker Sobolewski cracked the top 5 in all-time Batting Average at .325.

Pitching Records
The last couple of seasons haven't seen similarly-dominant (as Uribe's) single-season performances on the pitching side, but there were some notables.  Benito Acosta's Season 22 with the Padres was the #3 WHIP year of all-time (.84) and the #4 OBP-against ever (.236).  Florida's Grover Thames logged 277.3 innings in Season 23, good for #3 all-time.

In the career records department, 4 future Hall-Of-Famers made (or extended) their marks.

Luis Contreras took over sole leadership of the career complete games record with 60, stretched his career Quality Starts lead to 424, passed Cesar Carrasquel for #1 in career strikeouts with 3672, and pushed his career wins mark up to 285.

Contreras' longtime Mets rotation-mate Byron Watson quietly got to #2 in Complete Games (380) and #5 in wins with 236.

Cincinnati's Miguel Rojas and Pittsburgh's Keith Caldwell deepened their rivalry.  They're now 1/2 in career ERA (2.04 to 2.32), career OBP Allowed (.262 to .264), career Slugging % Allowed (.273 to .279); and they're tied for the career WHIP lead at 1.01.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Should coach34 be allowed to relocate the Nashville franchise to San Juan?

Faced with the question of whether coach34 should be allowed to relocate the Nashville franchise to San Juan, World Major Leagues took to the polls to determine the answer.

Twenty "yes" votes were needed in order to sanction the bolt out of town move. Close throughout, the decision was called at 10:46 AM by coach34 himself. With 87% of the precincts coaches (26 votes) reporting, the vote stands at 11 Yes and 15 No.

As coach34 summed up - "motion denied- Nashville stays put. Thanks for voting guys."

On to the next poll -

Should the Colorado Springs Rockies be moved back to Coors Field to be the Colorado Rockies?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Talent Flow, Part 3

Prior to Season 20, I played a little game to see if I could come up with a simple number to summarize preseason talent movement among the 8 divisions (See "Talent Flow Update" way back on Aug 12).

I just assigned a value of 1 to Type B FA's, 2 to Type A's, and 4 to "Super A's" (just a term I made up to describe the highest-quality free agents); and then just applied the values to each Type A and B free agent move (if a team lost a Type A free agent, that was -2 for that division, etc.).  Then I applied the values to trades involving Type A and B-caliber players.  Finally, I just totaled up the scores of the divisions.

Then I wondered if this simple metric had any predictive value...could it predict which divisions would win more games than in the previous year (knowing, of course, that this simple number didn't capture most of the free agent moves, none of the prospect promotions, etc.).

For Season 20, the Talent Flow predicted the direction of win-loss changes for 6 of 8 divisions.  75%.  It didn't do nearly as well predicting the magnitude of W-L changes, so for Season 20, I'd have to say the predictive value of my number was mixed at best.

How'd it do last year

It only predicted the direction of W-L changes for 4 divisions correctly...if my dog could throw darts she'd likely do that well.  Only 2 divisions had pretty big talent moves (+ or - 5 or more) - AL East and NL South lost a lot of talent, but both divisions had big win improvements.  So Talent Flow predicted neither direction or magnitude right in those cases.

The verdict is in:  my Talent Flow Number sucks as a predictive tool.  Maybe all the other talent moves unaccounted for by my number overwhelm preseason trades and A and B free agent moves.  Maybe the usual performance variations from year to year render it meaningless.  Maybe (??), because my number is mostly based on the bigger-name FA moves, we're overpaying for those free agents.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A HOF Case Comparison (Republished from last preseason)

Here are the stats for two players, as independent as we can easily get them. 

No Wins, no Losses - too dependent on team.

No Saves, GS, or GP - too dependent on coach usage.

These are the stats that I think best represent the effectiveness of the pitcher. Ideally, we could control for the defense behind the pitcher and the home park, among other things, but the quick-and-dirty is perhaps the best we can easily do given the stats provided by WhatIf.

Color Code
Red = Average or Worse
Orange = Good/Very Good, but not Great and/or under 145IP.
Green = Great Season with 145IP+

Player A had 7 "Great" seasons.
Player B had 6 "Great" seasons.

Player A had 5 "Good/Very Good" seasons of significant (100+) IP, plus 1 "Good/Very Good" lower-IP season.
Player B had 8 "Good/Very Good" seasons of significant (100+) IP, plus 1 "Good/Very Good" lower-IP season.

Player A had 1 "Average or Worse" season of significant (100+) IP, plus 2 "Average or Worse" lower-IP seasons.
Player B had 0 "Average or Worse" seasons of significant (100+) IP, plus 2 "Average or Worse" lower-IP seasons.

Let's focus on those "Great" seasons, but not on the W/L from them. Instead, we're going to judge effectiveness on the mound by ranking ERA, WHIP, OAV, OBP, and SLG against. A top 3 finish is in bold.

In the 13 "Great" seasons, here are the ERA rankings:
Player A - #3, #4, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10
Player B - #1, #2, #5, #11, #12, #13

In the 13 "Great" seasons, here are the WHIP rankings:
Player A - #1, #2, #4, T-#5, #8, T-#9, T-#9
Player B - #3, T-#5, T-#5, T-#9, T-#9, #13

In the 13 "Great" seasons, here are the OAV rankings:
Player A - #3, #6, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13
Player B - #1, #2, #4, #5, #7, #8

In the 13 "Great" seasons, here are the OBP rankings:
Player A - #1, #2, #6, #7, #9, #10, #13
Player B - #3, #4, #5, #8, #11, #12

In the 13 "Great" seasons, here are the SLG against rankings:
Player A - #4, #6, #7, #9, #10, #11, #12
Player B - #1, #2, #3, #5, #8, #13

In case you were unsure, Player A is a 4-time Cy Young winner and perhaps a lock for the HOF - Bartolo Escobar.
Player B is a 1-time Cy Young winner and probably not going to make it - Zack Damon. This is not because he was any less effective as a pitcher over his career, or any less dominant at his peak, but instead because he had the misfortune of being a middle reliever rather than a starter and so did not accumulate enough wins or awards. I feel some responsibility for this as his owner for 3 seasons.

During those 3 years he was 46-14, but it was the third season - which was not the best of the 3 (his Cy Young and best season was the first of the 3) - where I used him in such a fashion as to allow his W/L to reflect his abilities at the expense of saves. He went 26-4 that season and it was his only ML season without a save or save opportunity. It was decried as a gimmick, and the Cy Young instead went to Escobar. Granted, Escobar was more effective that season, but the voting was close as I recall, and Damon had the better W/L record.

A difference of 2-3 votes for Escobar in Season 9 going to Damon's 26-4 record, and suddenly Escobar has only 3 Cy Youngs and Damon has 2 Cy Youngs.

Had I successfully traded for Damon a few years earlier (and still used him in such a way to let him accumulate wins) or not let him walk in FA where he went back to part-time closer costing him wins, and Damon is easily (by his effectiveness) a 200-90 W/L pitcher, at least.

This whole thing is evidence of a very simple (to me) point - these two pitchers were basically the same player in World Major Leagues when they were on the mound.

That one was a SP and the other was used/misused as a MR/sometimes closer is a silly reason to draw distinctions between them for purposes of HOF voting, just like it was for purposes of Cy Young voting.

I'm not sure if I am voting for either of them yet, but I am pretty sure I won't be picking just one and leaving the other out.

For me, they may as well be joined at the hip in HOF voting - just as they are in statistical effectiveness.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Individual Records Updates From Season 21

We had lots of action on the individual records from last year, and as you can imagine most came in the pitching arena.

Luis Contreras continued his records assault with a number of new marks.  He threw 4 complete games to move into a tie for 1st on career list with 57.  He took over the career Quality Starts lead with 382.  He upped his career shutouts record to 28 (2nd place has 17).    And he became the new career wins leader with 265.  Next up:  career strikeouts (this year).

Keith Caldwell
had one of the best seasons in Major Leagues history and entered the career lists in a big way.  He posted the 5th-best single season ERA (1.57), the 3rd-best OBP allowed (.234), the 2nd-best WHIP (.84), and the best slugging % allowed (.232).
On the career lists, he tied Miguel Rojas for best career OBP (.262) and became the new career WHIP leader at 0.98.

Miguel Rojas lowered his career-best ERA mark to 2.02, and kept his career OBP-allowed lead at .262 (tied with Caldwell).

Norm Long, Mike DeJean and Garry Brinkley all passed former leader Cesar Carrasquel on the all-time innings-pitched list.  Long currently leads with 3664.

Philip Herndon upped his career saves to 473, but doesn't look like he'll get to 500.

On the hitting side, I don't know if we'll ever see single-season records again, but there are still impressive career marks going up.

Jae Nakano
hit.231, and his lifetime average slipped to .342.  But as it appears he is not going to get a contract this year, he will retire as the career batting average leader.  He'll also go out with 3274 hits, the only player in Major Leagues' history with 3000+.

Rico Uribe had a bit of an off year (.950 OPS), but maintained his lifetime OPS  lead with an incredible 1.000.  His RC/27 dropped to 8.85 but is still the career leader there as well.  I may be wrong, but I believe Uribe is the only active player on any of the top 5 career batting lists.                

Friday, February 22, 2013

Interview with zbrent716

1. Tell us a little about yourself in real life.

I'm an over-educated (and arguably under-employed) nearly middle-aged, single guy from NY state currently living in northern FL and wishing to move back to the northeast.

2. What do you like best about HBD, and what do you like least?

I think I like negotiating trades with other owners the best about HBD. Related to that is one of the things I probably like least, and that is a deal negotiated at arms length and agreed upon by two (presumably) adults is subject to approval by those not involved with or privy to what back-and-forth went into making the deal.

3. What's the most under-appreciated player rating and why?

Patience. Most owners don't look at it at all, and I look at it too rarely, but for the true studs it can make a world of difference because it helps determine (once the initial 5-year contract is up) whether you're likely to re-sign then below market value or whether they're gonna command a max (or near-max) deal and you'll be left with only the FA compensation picks (which almost never yield the same sort of talent).

4. Which common appliance would you most like to remove from your home?

Dishwasher, but mainly because the one I have is atrocious. It's the first one I've ever had and it doesn't effectively "wash" shit, but I feel obligated to use it since I finally have one.

5. Hottest actress ever?

Can I call Kathy Ireland an actress based solely on Necessary Roughness? ( Yea, I didn't think so either. I'll say Salma Hayek.

6. What popular song past/present do you most identify with?

When I'm optimistic (which is most of the time) - What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)

7. If you ever write a book (song, screenplay, etc.) what will it be about?

Foreign/International Legal Research. It's more exciting than it sounds.

8. You can have dinner with any 3 people - past or present, alive or dead, fictional or real Who’s sitting around the table?

This is a tough one, and my answer would change often. For now, I'll say my best friend John (someone to help tell the story and remember the one-liners), Mae West, and George Carlin.

9. (optional - your own question & answer)

What's the best thing about WhatIfSports right now? Hoops Dynasty.