parrothead

The Domonic Brown Effect

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One of the interesting evaluation pieces when putting lists together etc, is when you look at these really hot week or two streaks of home runs by certain players which results in their season totals appearing to be breakout like and as you assess that next season, wondering how many of you take those ridiculous HR hot streak zones into your evaluation?  In 2013 Domonic Brown had a breakout, hit 27 home runs but when you looked at that season a little closer, he had a ridiculous 12-15 game stretch where he hit like 12 homers in 15 games or something to that effect.   Over the next two seasons he hit 15HR total and has not been in the majors since 2015. 

 

Matt Carpenter had two little hot streaks in 2018 - one where he hit 8HR in 6 games and then another hot week where he hit 6HR in 7 games.  

Bregman had two real streaky HR weeks as well one where he went 5 HR in 6 games and another where he went 5 in 7 games. 

 

Not to suggest these guys will be out of the league in 2 years like ol Dom, but just had HR breakouts, although I caution to mention this for Bregman until we see more of what his career will look like HR wise, but just being a little cautious.  

 

 

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I get where this is coming from, but I don't think the lesson to be learned from Dom Brown's success in a small sample is to look at players with a much larger sample and zoom in on a small subset of that where they were out of their minds.  Take away Bregman and Carpenter's binges and look at their career numbers and  they're still excellent fantasy starters, while Dom Brown was Dom Brown.  Obviuosly Bregman's arrow is pointing upward while Carpenter's at an age where things could fall off, and both are probably overpriced based on their success last season, but that falls more into the general axiom of "don't pay for a career year" for me rather than having anything to do with the fact that their career years were mostly the result of some unsustainable hot streaks.  I'd be just as concerned about buying them if their weekly/monthly production had been consistent instead of streaky.

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Better example than Bregman and carpenter to me would be gleybar Torres.  His power surge when he first came upndidnt line up with anything he did in the minors and while he always projected to find more power down the road it was definitely unexpected.  

 

Two guys who fit this bill in 2017 were Bellinger as Olson who both had significant regression in their 2018 seasons.  That being said both showed thebperipherals that justifies their streaky starts so it’s safe to say both could do it again

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1 hour ago, tonycpsu said:

I get where this is coming from, but I don't think the lesson to be learned from Dom Brown's success in a small sample is to look at players with a much larger sample and zoom in on a small subset of that where they were out of their minds.  Take away Bregman and Carpenter's binges and look at their career numbers and  they're still excellent fantasy starters, while Dom Brown was Dom Brown.  Obviuosly Bregman's arrow is pointing upward while Carpenter's at an age where things could fall off, and both are probably overpriced based on their success last season, but that falls more into the general axiom of "don't pay for a career year" for me rather than having anything to do with the fact that their career years were mostly the result of some unsustainable hot streaks.  I'd be just as concerned about buying them if their weekly/monthly production had been consistent instead of streaky.

Agree this is kind of a branch of the "dont pay for career year" approach.  I guess its perhaps wanting to get a better understanding for the career year, was there some explanation for the career year that we think might be sustainable like some sort of adjustment or something else, which is why I was kind of reluctant to mention Bregman being a younger player although his HR production looks to be very streaky, as Ive noted in the last two years he has 1 total HR in both April's combined. 

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Interesting angle. I like the thought process, but I think there are a couple of differences. First, Dom was at a point in his career where he saw the league, made adjustments, went on a binge, then the league adjusted to him and he couldn't counter the counter. I am a very firm believer that the league figures out every single player within 500-800 at-bats. The only exception might be Pujols. After that, the only players that maintain a presence in the league are the ones that can counter a pitcher's attack within a game or an at-bat. If a player can't do that they phase out. Dom got a taste, figured out an approach, got countered and couldn't make adjustments. 

Bregman is still young in his career and I understand the comparison to Dom. Main difference I look at is extra base hits and the ratio of doubles to home runs. I think that ratio shows the "luck" of a hard hit ball going over a fence. Bregman's 2B:HR ratio was 2.05 in 2017 and 1.65 in 2018. Not absurd, especially since it is really tough to keep the ratio high with the amount of doubles Bregman hits. Dom on the other hand was at 0.77 in his spike year. The years book ending that had a ratio above 2. That is a huge red flag. The last 4 years Carp has been at 1.57, 1.71, 1.35, and then 1.16 last year. I am sure the focus to lift the ball sways things, but I would be really concerned with Carp maintaining his HR output from last year. If 6 of those balls are doubles the ratio goes to 1.6, which is more in line with his past. And he becomes a 30 HR 32 year old that is much less hyped. 

Obviously, you have to nerd out and analyze where each HR landed and how much "luck" was involved. But quick analysis is I would be worried about Carp and not really worried about Bregman. 

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10 hours ago, BackyardBaseball said:

Better example than Bregman and carpenter to me would be gleybar Torres.  His power surge when he first came upndidnt line up with anything he did in the minors and while he always projected to find more power down the road it was definitely unexpected.  

 

Two guys who fit this bill in 2017 were Bellinger as Olson who both had significant regression in their 2018 seasons.  That being said both showed thebperipherals that justifies their streaky starts so it’s safe to say both could do it again

You have to allow time for the league to adjust to hitters. It isn't wise to assume early starts to a career can continue or improve before the adjustment period takes place. The league figures everyone out. Olson and Bellinger are in the phase of needing to learn to counter quickly. If you look at a career of a 10+ year starter, a sample set of 200-500 at bats is very small. 

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1 hour ago, thezing1 said:

Interesting angle. I like the thought process, but I think there are a couple of differences. First, Dom was at a point in his career where he saw the league, made adjustments, went on a binge, then the league adjusted to him and he couldn't counter the counter. I am a very firm believer that the league figures out every single player within 500-800 at-bats. The only exception might be Pujols. After that, the only players that maintain a presence in the league are the ones that can counter a pitcher's attack within a game or an at-bat. If a player can't do that they phase out. Dom got a taste, figured out an approach, got countered and couldn't make adjustments. 

Bregman is still young in his career and I understand the comparison to Dom. Main difference I look at is extra base hits and the ratio of doubles to home runs. I think that ratio shows the "luck" of a hard hit ball going over a fence. Bregman's 2B:HR ratio was 2.05 in 2017 and 1.65 in 2018. Not absurd, especially since it is really tough to keep the ratio high with the amount of doubles Bregman hits. Dom on the other hand was at 0.77 in his spike year. The years book ending that had a ratio above 2. That is a huge red flag. The last 4 years Carp has been at 1.57, 1.71, 1.35, and then 1.16 last year. I am sure the focus to lift the ball sways things, but I would be really concerned with Carp maintaining his HR output from last year. If 6 of those balls are doubles the ratio goes to 1.6, which is more in line with his past. And he becomes a 30 HR 32 year old that is much less hyped. 

Obviously, you have to nerd out and analyze where each HR landed and how much "luck" was involved. But quick analysis is I would be worried about Carp and not really worried about Bregman. 

ESPN used to have an overlay HR tracker but I dont think they have it anymore.  

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This kind of post leads into all kinds of fantasy baseball lessons so i'll touch on a few that stand out:

Just because a player's production comes all at once doesn't mean the production is any less telling of whether that player has a real skill improvement or not.  This is also why it's very important during fantasy baseball season to be patient. I don't know how many times i've had established stars on my team who produce average/below average stats for 3-4 months and then get white hot and produce a half a season worth of stats in a couple of hot weeks. Production isn't linear; it comes in spurts/bursts. If a player's production was visualized on a line graph it would have huge peaks and valleys. Having a 7 HR week squeezed in between 2 months of batting .200 with 0 HR is just baseball. 

 

Also, there are a lot of questions like this that fall into the "answered with projection systems" category. 

Projection systems look at a player's statistical profile (over the last several years) way more comprehensively than any human can and then reveal a player's true talent level based purely on the data. There are a number of complex factors that go into it but this is the most simple way of explaining how they work. They are also good at looking deep into a player's profile and revealing whether they think the player's season was a breakout or if he's more or less likely to regress. 

 

 

Edited by EmbargoLifted
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10 hours ago, thezing1 said:

Interesting angle. I like the thought process, but I think there are a couple of differences. First, Dom was at a point in his career where he saw the league, made adjustments, went on a binge, then the league adjusted to him and he couldn't counter the counter. I am a very firm believer that the league figures out every single player within 500-800 at-bats. The only exception might be Pujols. After that, the only players that maintain a presence in the league are the ones that can counter a pitcher's attack within a game or an at-bat. If a player can't do that they phase out. Dom got a taste, figured out an approach, got countered and couldn't make adjustments. 

Bregman is still young in his career and I understand the comparison to Dom. Main difference I look at is extra base hits and the ratio of doubles to home runs. I think that ratio shows the "luck" of a hard hit ball going over a fence. Bregman's 2B:HR ratio was 2.05 in 2017 and 1.65 in 2018. Not absurd, especially since it is really tough to keep the ratio high with the amount of doubles Bregman hits. Dom on the other hand was at 0.77 in his spike year. The years book ending that had a ratio above 2. That is a huge red flag. The last 4 years Carp has been at 1.57, 1.71, 1.35, and then 1.16 last year. I am sure the focus to lift the ball sways things, but I would be really concerned with Carp maintaining his HR output from last year. If 6 of those balls are doubles the ratio goes to 1.6, which is more in line with his past. And he becomes a 30 HR 32 year old that is much less hyped. 

Obviously, you have to nerd out and analyze where each HR landed and how much "luck" was involved. But quick analysis is I would be worried about Carp and not really worried about Bregman. 

Its not really about Dom and his age, its more just that player who has some ridiculous hot stretch, once in a lifetime like zone that produces a breakout season - and then how the fantasy world evaluates that.  You are absolutely right regarding adjustment, we have seen it before where a guy comes up and just kills it, then the league gets a little more look and scouting on him and things settle back in.   Jesus Aguilar this year had a couple of out of his gourd stretches, I think one was like 8HR in 11 game stretch and had another like 7HR in 10 games.  But a lot of guys have little stretches, its just whether or not its something that the player likely wont see again OR their accumulation of stats is done with a lot of peaks and valleys - yes Im looking at you Wil Myers.  

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2 hours ago, parrothead said:

Its not really about Dom and his age, its more just that player who has some ridiculous hot stretch, once in a lifetime like zone that produces a breakout season - and then how the fantasy world evaluates that.  You are absolutely right regarding adjustment, we have seen it before where a guy comes up and just kills it, then the league gets a little more look and scouting on him and things settle back in.   Jesus Aguilar this year had a couple of out of his gourd stretches, I think one was like 8HR in 11 game stretch and had another like 7HR in 10 games.  But a lot of guys have little stretches, its just whether or not its something that the player likely wont see again OR their accumulation of stats is done with a lot of peaks and valleys - yes Im looking at you Wil Myers.  

Let's just call the Dom Brown thing a false breakout. Baseball is a weird sport. You can destroy 10 balls in a row and go 0-fer and vise versa. I tend to focus on larger sample sizes and figuring out the mean that players will revert to given a large enough sample size. For all we know Dom might have been served 12 mistakes on a platter during his binge and he didn't hit one of the home runs on an average to above average pitch and location. He then could have gone 45 straight days without getting a mistake to hit and blah, blah blah and you lose the context or consistency of your analysis. The double:HR or xbh:HR ratios should quickly identify an outlier given a players track record. It will probably show you exactly when Bonds and others started juicing with no conscience. 

 

In terms of streaks I definitely think players are streaky. The 10-18 HR hitters that hit them by accident are probably more consistent across a season. The power hitters that only focus on lift with every swing are probably less so. I feel like stolen bases also come in bunches almost more than HRs, but that could be correlated to obp for super small sample sizes or minor injury.  

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3 hours ago, parrothead said:

Its not really about Dom and his age, its more just that player who has some ridiculous hot stretch, once in a lifetime like zone that produces a breakout season - and then how the fantasy world evaluates that.  You are absolutely right regarding adjustment, we have seen it before where a guy comes up and just kills it, then the league gets a little more look and scouting on him and things settle back in.   Jesus Aguilar this year had a couple of out of his gourd stretches, I think one was like 8HR in 11 game stretch and had another like 7HR in 10 games.  But a lot of guys have little stretches, its just whether or not its something that the player likely wont see again OR their accumulation of stats is done with a lot of peaks and valleys - yes Im looking at you Wil Myers.  

 

Aguilar had multiple stretches where his power was on display. I wouldn't count that against him. He had a 4HR-in-3Gm stretch in May, 8-in-11 stretch in June, 4-in-4 in July. The closest I could find to a 7-in-10 was a 6-in-9 stretch in May that would include his 4-in-3. Such is the life of a streaky power hitter. We'll see this year if his 2018 breakout was for real, but his 2017 would seem to indicate that a .260-30-100 season from Aguilar is perfectly reasonable to expect. 

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I think it's poor analysis to pick out an insane hot streak from a season's worth of production and sort of discount it.

 

Perhaps if you also picked out that player's worst cold streak and equally discounted that, it'd make a bit more sense. In the case of Carpenter, you'd probably end up right where you started anyway.

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Justin Upton does this every year.  He’ll go on an insane heater for one week then his stats will be a vast wasteland for the next 3.  His hot and cold streaks are nearly impossible to predict

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Dom Brown. The latest juicy tease in MLB.

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9 hours ago, kidtwentytwo said:

Justin Upton does this every year.  He’ll go on an insane heater for one week then his stats will be a vast wasteland for the next 3.  His hot and cold streaks are nearly impossible to predict

 

The good thing is you know when to start him and when to bench him.  Once he hits that HR, get him in that lineup.

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On 1/24/2019 at 8:37 AM, kidtwentytwo said:

Justin Upton does this every year.  He’ll go on an insane heater for one week then his stats will be a vast wasteland for the next 3.  His hot and cold streaks are nearly impossible to predict

One thing we know...you never walk away from a heater. 

 

Wil Myers has kind of done the same thing and there is sort of another type of player, lots of players go through streaks and cold spells, its the nature of the game and some get red hot and ice cold (like Upton, Myers and others) but at the end of the year, their accumulation ends up back kind of where you expected it to be.  Upton has put up pretty reliable numbers year in and year out when all is said and done.  The Brown effect, really ties in or a is a branch of trying to decipher if a breakout/career year is the new norm or if there was some uber hot zone that comes along maybe once or twice in a players career and in the fantasy evaluation for the next year, we dont want to necessarily get burned by overvaluing it.  

 

When I think of these hot streaks where a guys value rode the coat-tails for years of that stretch, that was likely a once in a career zone, Dom Brown, for better or for worse is what comes to mind.  

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Remember Jeff Francouer?  Guy was in the zone when he was called up.  On the cover of SI.  Then something happened. 

 

Correa came up on a heater.  He’s been an asset, but hasn’t duplicated that first stretch since.  

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2 hours ago, kidtwentytwo said:

Remember Jeff Francouer?  Guy was in the zone when he was called up.  On the cover of SI.  Then something happened. 

 

Correa came up on a heater.  He’s been an asset, but hasn’t duplicated that first stretch since.  

Thats another good discussion piece is that trend we are also seeing where rookies come up and hit HR way over their minor league pace and then leave us to evaluate whats real, whats not.  Francouer hung around the game until only a couple years ago, he was with the Pads for a brief stint recently. 

 

Some recent:

Gary Sanchez rookie had 201AB hit 20HR

Correa 387AB hit 22HR - in all other seasons best has been 24HR

Buster Posey 18HR in 108 games as rookie - has only topped that 3 times and all of those were 145+ games played seasons and no more than 25HR

Trea Turner 13HR in 73 games - best season is 19HR and that was last year in 162 games

Olson and Bellinger from recent years...

 

I think Zing mentioned this earlier in the thread and its a good point which is that when they come up, its a little more of a blank slate, probalby get a few more pitches in the "HR zone" - then the league adjusts.  

 

 

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One item of note for me here is how the difference between H2H and roto impacts this analysis.  In roto it doesn't really matter if a guy has a couple hot streaks or consistently produces, the end result is the same.  In H2H, on the other hand, this can be a free ride or a death sentence week by week (and depending on whether you have the guy on a tear or you're facing a team who has him).  So Justin Upton/Carp/Bregman (streaky hitters) seem comparatively more valuable is roto than in H2H. 

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When i think of guys like this,  i think more LaHair flash in the pan stuff than i do a Correa type guy.  Brandon Inge that one crazy year he went to,  and laid an egg in,  the Derby lol.  

 

Predicting baseball is hard.  That's why fantasy bb rules

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I still remember beating the drum heavily that Francisco Lindor was a glove only prospect when the Indians brought him up. His minor league numbers did little to foretell that he would be this good. He's probably the poster child for unexpected play (based on minor league numbers) that ended up being right.

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18 hours ago, oswald737 said:

I still remember beating the drum heavily that Francisco Lindor was a glove only prospect when the Indians brought him up. His minor league numbers did little to foretell that he would be this good. He's probably the poster child for unexpected play (based on minor league numbers) that ended up being right.

I was right there with you.   Even the best player in the game right now Mike Trout, his numbers in the minors did not suggest the HR breakout we have seen, his two full seasons in the minors he hit 10HR and 11HR.  He was gonna be that .300+ avg guy with 15ish HR and 30+ steals go back and read articles and projections, nobody was talking 30+ HR player

 

From Pads perspective, hoping Urias is that next guy who looks to be more of high avg better real player than fantasy who puts up HR numbers in the bigs.  

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Definitely something to consider, its all about perspective. Dom Brown did nothing productive in his MLB career outside of that 3 week stretch.

 

 

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On 1/25/2019 at 12:18 PM, kidtwentytwo said:

Correa came up on a heater.  He’s been an asset, but hasn’t duplicated that first stretch since.  

 

Correa was on his way to an MVP award when he got hurt in 2017. But, yes, it's far too call him a disappoinment thus far. 

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On 1/24/2019 at 8:57 PM, mehtavg2000 said:

 

The good thing is you know when to start him and when to bench him.  Once he hits that HR, get him in that lineup.

 

Then you get to play everyone's favorite game of "Hot Streak or Random Good Game." 

 

There are far more losers than winners in that game. 

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