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bradwatson

Rafael Devers 2019 Outlook

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Hit 21 homers in what many considered a sophomore slump season. Does he make the leap to stud level this year or is he JAG?

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2 minutes ago, bradwatson said:

Hit 21 homers in what many considered a sophomore slump season. Does he make the leap to stud level this year or is he JAG?

Here's hoping so!!

 

I see no reason why he can't progress.

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43 minutes ago, dkrocka said:

Price is Right to buy in

Absolutely it is.

 

1. Right Team

2. Position in the Lineup

3. Offensive potential

4. Young age

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1 hour ago, bradwatson said:

Hit 21 homers in what many considered a sophomore slump season. Does he make the leap to stud level this year or is he JAG?

 

I mean do I have to choose? Those are such extreme options. 

 

Because in frankness, Devers is simply too young to be referred to as a JAG... but personally I am more concerned than anything in regards to Devers. 

 

I dont really believe in sophomore slumps, on the surface. Something generally happens, whether it be more fortune based, or based on a league adjustment. 

 

I think you could easily broadstroke three categories: Not very concerned, possibly concerned, or genuinely concerned.

 

I am genuinely concerned about Devers. I’m concerned about what he’s shown to date. I’m specifically concerned about performance v Heat and High-Heat and I think last year you saw pitchers realize they could have success targeting him up in the zone with heat. And up in the zone with heat, if you can’t handle it, is practically the easiest scouting report you can hand a pitcher. 

 

Im out on Devers this year. Think he’s young enough that I believe he can turn it around. Think it *could* be this year, but more likely I see more struggles around the corner. 

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Devers is likely the 18th (!) 3B off the board, meaning that in very few leagues will he be the starting 3B on a team.  He also happens to form the very clear beginning of a new tier after Myers and Profar in the 115s and Devers and Moose at 150.  Personally, I'm not that interested in him as a bench bat so will likely have few shares of him this year.  I'd rather have a guy who can slot in at multiple positions and gamble on upside later. 

 

I mean, if he doesn't break out and merely improves, you get .260, 25 HR, 90 RBI, 75 R, 8 SB.  Sano can give you those numbers, without the handful of SBs, at pick 226.  Seager is going at 241 and will give you that power but sap your AVG in the process.  I'm just saying that you're paying for the breakout because a modest improvement on 2018 doesn't looking *that* good.

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I hope people in my dynasty leagues are as down on him as some of you are.  I'd make a trade any day to have him on one of my dynasty teams.

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29 minutes ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

I hope people in my dynasty leagues are as down on him as some of you are.  I'd make a trade any day to have him on one of my dynasty teams.

 

And I'd gladly be on the opposite end of that trade right now. He's got a lot of talent, and just because he's struggling doesn't mean he continues to do so. But I'm legitimately concerned about his performance to date in his career.

 

He can NOT hit MLB heat right now. I hesitate to call that a "fact", but IMO the numbers justify that opinion very strongly. His inability to hit / generate contact against high-outside fastballs is very concerning to me. Maybe he makes a large improvement, but I think he needs a bit more of an adjustment than that to fix this issue.

 

Devers had 147 ABs end in a 4SFB. He had Ks in 53 of those ABs. He made worse Contact/Swing on 4SFBs than any other pitch. I'm encouraged in the fact that I think if he improves v. high-level heat, he could make a step forward. But right now I'm not willing to chalk up a weakness that large to either sample or age.

 

I'll be keeping an eye on it. Right now I'd be willing to sell even if it were perceived as "low" in a dynasty format, because the flaw he's displaying is not only a fairly large one to me, but it's one that is both easily exposed by opposing pitchers and one that is not necessarily going to just rub away with age. I think reinvention or fixing may be more necessary than simply improving. 

 

Talented, but if he can't hit big league heat consistently... it doesn't mean s---. 

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Doesn’t Devers hold the MLB record for a homer off the fastest pitch.  Chapman at 102.8.  So I mean he can hit heat, and it was high.  Maybe he just kept trying to do that every high fastball after, and will fix the problem.

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34 minutes ago, SoxNation16 said:

Doesn’t Devers hold the MLB record for a homer off the fastest pitch.  Chapman at 102.8.  So I mean he can hit heat, and it was high.  Maybe he just kept trying to do that every high fastball after, and will fix the problem.

 

There's a difference between capability and your swing/wrists not being consistent when making contact. 

 

He had 6 HRs v. 4SFB. So yes, 6 times during the year he made HR-contact with a 4SFB.

 

But I consider a 4SFB Whiff% to be a concern when it hits 10%. Devers is at 15%. He just misses them a lot. Yes, he will line up a fastball every now and then, but statistically it still makes sense for every pitcher to target him high with their best fastballs and watch him miss. If he can be exploited this way, this is a simple scouting report to exploit.

 

Your last sentence helps structure the argument for me:

 

"will fix the problem." If we're saying "FIX" the "PROBLEM" then we're at a similar area. I don't like to see fixes. Fixes are difficult. Improvements are easy. So I think he COULD fix the problem, but I don't think he necessarily WILL.

 

And, in terms of problems, this is one of the two biggest problems I have with hitters. 

Edited by taobball

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3 hours ago, taobball said:

Fixes are difficult.

Improvements are easy.

 

 

First, you have to identify what is a fix and what is an improvement.
Fix is when you already have something established and it needs to change. That is not really a case with 20 year old players.
Let's say you have a problem hitting high fastballs. Is it a Fix or an Improvement if you learn to identify and lay off those?

Is it a Fix or an Improvement if you adjust, cause you have the talent to be able to do that?

 

Improvements are not easy, when you already close to the point where your talent level maximizes what you can do.
It is rather difficult.
And improvements can be difficult when your coaching does not know how to improve you, even if there would be plenty of room for improvement in you.

Wiff rate vs 4SFS in 2017
http://www.brooksbaseball.net/h_profile.php?player=646240&time=year&minmax=ci&var=whiff&s_type=2&startDate=02/28/2017&endDate=10/30/2017&gFilt=&pFilt=FA

Wiff rate vs 4SFS in 2018
http://www.brooksbaseball.net/h_profile.php?player=646240&time=year&minmax=ci&var=whiff&s_type=2&startDate=02/28/2018&endDate=10/30/2018&gFilt=&pFilt=FA
 

Seems like he got worse.
But it makes me think, if a player whiffed in an area 1/18 in 2017 then 10/33 the next season, or 7/14 in 2017 and 9/35 in 2018, is that data reliable enough to jump to conclusions.
And I would think it is rather difficult to analyze hitting while sitting on a couch, looking at numbers, instead of swings.
All in all, it seems to me he is a work in progress.
In a redraft I would rather take someone more established as my starting 3b.

Edited by JCD
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46 minutes ago, JCD said:

 

First, you have to identify what is a fix and what is an improvement.
Fix is when you already have something established and it needs to change. That is not really a case with 20 year old players.
Let's say you have a problem hitting high fastballs. Is it a Fix or an Improvement if you learn to identify and lay off those?

Is it a Fix or an Improvement if you adjust, cause you have the talent to be able to do that?

 

Improvements are not easy, when you already close to the point where your talent level maximizes what you can do.
It is rather difficult.
And improvements can be difficult when your coaching does not know how to improve you, even if there would be plenty of room for improvement in you.

Wiff rate vs 4SFS in 2017
http://www.brooksbaseball.net/h_profile.php?player=646240&time=year&minmax=ci&var=whiff&s_type=2&startDate=02/28/2017&endDate=10/30/2017&gFilt=&pFilt=FA

Wiff rate vs 4SFS in 2018
http://www.brooksbaseball.net/h_profile.php?player=646240&time=year&minmax=ci&var=whiff&s_type=2&startDate=02/28/2018&endDate=10/30/2018&gFilt=&pFilt=FA
 

Seems like he got worse.
But it makes me think, if a player whiffed in an area 1/18 in 2017 then 10/33 the next season, or 7/14 in 2017 and 9/35 in 2018, is that data reliable enough to jump to conclusions.
And I would think it is rather difficult to analyze hitting while sitting on a couch, looking at numbers, instead of swings.
All in all, it seems to me he is a work in progress.
In a redraft I would rather take someone more established as my starting 3b.

 

Ultimately we arrive at the same conclusion. And truly, by my interpretation, the only real difference here is that I've been more negative in my characterizations. But that's because I came in here with the unpopular opinion and felt that I needed to push/stress that I wasn't just being flippant-- this is something genuinely concerning. 

 

I don't want to go into fix/improvement and shouldn't have brought it up. There's too many semantical distinctions. What I believe in the most basic sense is that it will take more than simply "general progress" for Rafael Devers to be a league-average hitter v. Fastballs. That doesn't *necessarily* mean mechanical adjustment, but what it does mean is that I would be greatly surprised if he simply "did better" with no real mechanical change in his swing.

 

In terms of the couch, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take that, but I assure you as I've said multiple times-- I use the argument that I find to be the most concrete. That does not mean it is the only one I'm looking at. I watch as much baseball as I can possibly consume, so my opinions, whether BASED in the realm of statistic or not, are never purely statistical. I am a huge proponent of studying a symbiotic-type relationship between how metrics work and what we can see on the field. For Devers, it is very easy to drop a Whiff Number on the issue.

 

I am critiqued for using Pitch-Type data by both fantasy owners and contemporary fantasy analysts. But I've done it a lot, and I believe I'm good at sorting fact from fiction. If you disagree with my assessments, I have nothing but respect for you, but they are what they are. If you believe that my Fastball sample is insufficient, I absolutely understand where that's coming from. I, however, do not. I think it is a sufficient sample to tell me that Rafael Devers struggles v. Fastballs, particularly rising fastballs, in a way that concerns me. It doesn't mean he wno't be a successful baseball player, but it could make him a player that at PEAK might be a 126 Overall player, which is his current ADP via Fantasypros, and leaves little room for ROI. 

 

Going to that 126, that's another reason I just find myself very far off of consensus when it comes to Devers. The positive Devers consensus is like "He's practically free, he's so affordable, so inexpensive." 126 is not practically free in anyting but a very shallow league. Rafael Devers still takes investment, and as you say I'm just not interested in redraft. 

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4 hours ago, taobball said:

Ultimately we arrive at the same conclusion.
... this is something genuinely concerning.

 

I agree, it is concerning, but you see him as a difficult case, and I see him as still every possibility is on the table equally case.
Yes same conclusion, but there is a but.
 

4 hours ago, taobball said:

I don't want to go into fix/improvement and shouldn't have brought it up. There's too many semantical distinctions.

What I believe in the most basic sense is that it will take more than simply "general progress" for Rafael Devers to be a league-average hitter v. Fastballs.
That doesn't *necessarily* mean mechanical adjustment, but what it does mean is that I would be greatly surprised if he simply "did better" with no real mechanical change in his swing.

 

 

Ok, but  it seemed to me it was the focal point of your agrument, and it carries a lot of weight.

In my experience, when you are young and still learning, things can change from one day to another. Literally. One day you can't do the thing to save your life, and the next day it is there, and you wonder how on earth did you struggle with something this easy for so long.
 

4 hours ago, taobball said:

In terms of the couch, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take that

 

It wasn't personal, merely a general observation.
 

4 hours ago, taobball said:

I watch as much baseball as I can possibly consume, so my opinions, whether BASED in the realm of statistic or not, are never purely statistical.

I am a huge proponent of studying a symbiotic-type relationship between how metrics work and what we can see on the field.

 

And that makes you one of the brightest people around here.
But even the brightest tend to lose their perspective from time to time, when focusing on something. And there is the very important thing that people do not realize. The approach of things.
My approach is from the athlete side and I try to see if I can see something in statistics that can help me to understand better.
It seems to me your approach is from the statistical side, and from there it is easier to lose prospective I beleive.
Here is an example where statistical analyzis can lose sight of real life.
 

Quote

Isolated Power (ISO) is a measure of a hitter’s raw power

(Quote is from Fangraphs)
And the formula is:
ISO = ((2B) + (2*3B) + (3*HR)) / AB
which is just wrong from my athlete perspective, cause if you want to measure the player's ability to hit for power, you have to take into account that no batter can control the contact as much, that he can hit the ball to a predetermined spot, instead of a larger area. But there is where the difference between Doubles and Triples actually happens probably most of the times. And there is the element of the player's speed, that has nothing to do with Power, yet it can also effect the outcome.
So from this point of view, there is no Power Difference between the Doubles and Triples, yet statistically it seems like people think there is.

 

4 hours ago, taobball said:

I am critiqued ...


Life of smart people. ;)
Keep up the good work, I really enjoy reading your stuff.

Edited by JCD
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3 hours ago, JCD said:

 

I agree, it is concerning, but you see him as a difficult case, and I see him as still every possibility is on the table equally case.
Yes same conclusion, but there is a but.

It wasn't personal, merely a general observation.

 

Yeah I didn't necessarily take it as personal. But once again here I think you're doing a lot more argument characterizing than you think you are. And to be clear I'm not offended by it, but there are numerous things in this argument that make me go... "Hmmm... does he really at all understand where I'm coming from?" Like no, I don't see a positive outcome for Devers as being necessarily "equal" to a less than positive effort, but failing to see POSSIBILITY, as you somewhat insinuate, is far from my error. Once again, we're not talking about treating him like scrap metal. Pick 120-130 is fairly expensive in a redraft league. The issues he showed in 2018 don't mean he will fail, or is going to fail, but to me they do mean he's more likely to fail/repeat, and so I can't justify a pick as high as 129. 

 

3 hours ago, JCD said:

In my experience, when you are young and still learning, things can change from one day to another. Literally. One day you can't do the thing to save your life, and the next day it is there, and you wonder how on earth did you struggle with something this easy for so long.

 

I haven't had this experience as often, to be completely honest. Like don't get me wrong, hitters make advancements all the time. But I think modest adjustments are a more realistic outcome for this level of deficiency, personally. Could it happen? Of course. But there's plenty of "Coulds" in a draft room, and most of them have less gaping flaws in their 2018 sample, IMO. 

 

But let's also stop painting an argument as purely statistical. The reason I use stat more is because it is way easier to translate to text. What the hell do you want me to say? He misses a lot? 

 

Via Brooks, he misses at 15% of his 4SFBs whether he swings or not, and roughly 30.61% of the ones he swings at. So when he swings at a fastball it comes up air 1/3 of the time. That's too much for me on a full season sample to justify taking a player at 129. But this isn't a statistical argument, like all my arguments it is a logical baseball argument. You can say that you don't trust the metric, but ultimately the metric is just giving me an easier route to showcasing frequency. I've watched him play. He misses fastballs a s--- ton. But that doesn't further my argument. And then you can also say this can improve, but once again, I'm looking into the entire realm of possibilities. And in that realm of possibilities, one of the possibilities that is always going to stick out a lot is "This was a problem this year, and it may continue to be a problem." And if missing on fastballs IS your problem, that is a big problem. Again, going into a baseball argument, pitcher's typically have their best command with their fastballs. If you miss at 1/3 of the high heat fastballs you swing at, and can only hit 6 HRs seasonally, teams are going to pepper you up in the zone with fastballs that blow by you. It isn't just that the flaw exists, it is that it is the easiest flaw a baseball player can possibly have that can be exploited. And that doesn't come from "statistic" so much as watching baseball and seeing how scouting reports and flaws that I see are applied by opposing pitchers as seasons progress.

 

3 hours ago, JCD said:

And that makes you one of the brightest people around here.
But even the brightest tend to lose their perspective from time to time, when focusing on something. And there is the very important thing that people do not realize. The approach of things.
My approach is from the athlete side and I try to see if I can see something in statistics that can help me to understand better.
It seems to me your approach is from the statistical side, and from there it is easier to lose prospective I beleive.

 

You seem to think my error is having a narrow scope. I actually genuinely think that is a poor interpretation on your behalf. Because from my perspective what is actually happening here is my scope is larger and seeing MORE outcomes, it is just the additional outcomes that I'm taking in that others do not that create the difference in belief. 

 

I believe Rafael Devers has the Power/Eye and talent to be a perennial talent at 3B.

I believe Rafael Devers has enough talent to bounceback from last year and put up modest improvements. 

I believe Rafael Devers' struggles v. 4SFB could cause a repeat of last year.

I believe Rafael Devers' struggles v. 4SFB could become potentially exploited even further. 

 

I see the spectrum, I see it clearly. But the latter two options aren't nearly as present for other players to me at the 126 ADP evaluation. Which is why he doesn't get an evaluation near that ADP from me. 
 

Quote

 

Here is an example where statistical analyzis can lose sight of real life.

 

 

 

 

No see-- that's why we may be so far off. Yes, you found a definition of what ISO is trying to represent, but when using baseball statistics it is better to treat something as what it is and not necessarily what it is trying to represent.

 

I get what you're saying aobut ISO. But that's not what ISO is.

 

ISO is SLG-BA.

Plain.

And.

Simple.

 

Just like BA is Hits / ABs, SIERRA and xFIP and FIP aren't "what your ERA should be" but rather compilations of various metrics, and etcetera. 

 

In your argument here, you treat statistic with more definitive nature than I ever have in my entire career of doing this. Because you imply that I or anyone would use ISO strictly to place one example of power over the other. If ANYONE, EVER, tried to make the argument to be that simply because an ISO looked better, the player had clearly more power, I wouldn't listen to it. Because that's NOT what that means.

 

You're right in your interpretation that hitting a double or a triple doesn't necessarily mean you have power, and that that effects your ISO. But why on earth do you not think that this is a perspective that I understand? Of course I undersatnd this perspective. I would genuinely include a conversation about the relevant problems with using ISO and factors like Speed if I ever included it in as a heavy part of an analysis. You're simplifying my argument to make it sound... lazier? Simplistic? It isn't. 

 

Whiffing a lot on 4SFBs doesn't mean anything necessarily. But it does mean you whiffed a lot of 4SFBs. And I don't like that. 

 

That doesn't mean I'm treating it as a plague or thinking Devers is a washed out future failure. But it does mean he did something that I didn't like, and until he SHOWS me that that isn't him, I'm not interested in redraft anywhere near his price. 

 

I'm not saying what Devers is or will be. I'm saying that he needs to show me improvement in order to get a buyback. Because improving v. Big League Heat when youre this bad against it is simply not something I'm going to take for granted. That doesn't mean I'm ignoring other possibilities, it just means that i'm not interested in this particular set of skills as it currently displays itself in the top 150. 

 

You may not completely get this because I know you don't know me personally, but saying "this is an example where statistical analysis can lose sight of real life" could not represent what is further from the truth of how I actually view the relationship between statistic and baseball. Its an insinuation that I'm diving on a statistic with no additional background. I have and never will do that. I assure you, that is NOT what is happening. I do my due diligence as much as anyone does in this industry and that extends from statistical tables to being a full time MLB.tv subscriber who even during the offseason watches multiple games a day. My purview isn't limited in statistic, but statistic is the palatable way to absorb content. 

 

anyway I think this issue has been exhausted enough. 

 

cheers

Edited by taobball
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Agree with his ADP being a little too rich.   It seems a lot of owners are anticipating a breakout which is probably valid but there isn't much value with where he is being picked.  There is a slew of players with a lower ADP I would much rather have.

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His projections look awfully similar to Chapman and that’s without taking into consideration his pedigree, age, and ADP about 50 picks later. 

 

What’s the opportunity cost? A high upside arm with better prospects for a breakout? 

 

Sounds worth it to me if I hit pitching early.

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32 minutes ago, Magoo said:

His projections look awfully similar to Chapman and that’s without taking into consideration his pedigree, age, and ADP about 50 picks later. 

 

What’s the opportunity cost? A high upside arm with better prospects for a breakout? 

 

Sounds worth it to me if I hit pitching early.

 

“His projections” is a blanket statement. He was much worse than Chapman last year, and my projections certainly don’t have them anywhere close. 

 

Like if you want to dismiss last year fine, but you completely just dismissed last year. 

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18 minutes ago, taobball said:

 

“His projections” is a blanket statement. He was much worse than Chapman last year, and my projections certainly don’t have them anywhere close. 

 

Like if you want to dismiss last year fine, but you completely just dismissed last year. 

You are correct. 

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22 minutes ago, taobball said:

 

“His projections” is a blanket statement. He was much worse than Chapman last year, and my projections certainly don’t have them anywhere close. 

 

Like if you want to dismiss last year fine, but you completely just dismissed last year. 

To give you a starting point, let’s go with The BAT projections. I’m not making this stuff up.

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I'm giving him one year to see if he will hit his 'potential'.  He's young and has a high ceiling.

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His Fantrax ADP is 138. Not high at all considering the opportunity cost around that range. Really will probably be the cheapest you will ever get him. 

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