All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > SimLeague Baseball > The curse of high BB + High HR hitters
9/25/2012 12:34 PM
Let's start with the fact that I have a good working knowledge of normalization.  In the league I use for an example, a 1916/96 progressive, I would expect to see hitters on pace for about 65-75% of their RL HR totals. 

I know that modern HR hitters are not going to hit as many HR's as in real life.  My issue is that the high BB sluggers (let's say Frank Thomas or Garry Sheffield) don't homer at the same rate as sluggers from the same year with lower walk rates.

In a progressive league, facing pitchers from 1996 and 1916, at the halfway point, we have
1996 Garry Sheffiled (RL . 465 OBP, 42 HR)  - League play: .472 OBP 6 HR
1996 Frank Thomas (RL .459 OBP, 40 HR) - League play:.425 OBP, 6HR)
1996 Barry Bonds (RL: 461 OBP, 40 HR) - League Play: .458 OBP, 10 HR)

Yet hitters who don't have many BB are closer to being on pace to a reasonable HR Total  For example
1996 Ken Griffey JR (RL: .398 OBP, 49 HR)  - League Play .380OBP, 19HR
1996 Tim Salmon (RL: .386, 30 HR) - League Play  .389 OBP, 16 HR
1996  Ryne Sandberg (RL .316 OBP, 24 HR) - League Play (.356 OBP, 14 HR) - He's overachieving on all fronts....Outlier
1996 Vinny Castilla (RL .343 OBP, 40 HR) - League Play (.348 OBP, 13 HR). 

Someone please explain to me why elite BB/HR players drastically underperform in HR totals, while the more normal BB hitters approach an expected HR total. 

It's not related to home stadium, I pulled examples for each from hitters and pitchers parks.

I've seen this pattern in many leagues, enough that I generally avoid paying the price for high BB / high HR guys.

Other comments?
9/25/2012 12:43 PM
Johngpf proved this  a long time ago.  

I think, and I can't check right now, "doesthe batter walk" is determined before "does the batter hit a HR".

In theory, high walk guys get less chances to hit HR's because they get less AT BATS (as opposed to Plate appearances).


9/25/2012 12:49 PM (edited)

Absolutely true as to the tree.  Walks come first.

But I can't get WIS to take a look at this.  I'm trying to get additional viewpoints to help provide information that this is true.  They're re-designing the site, they should fix this.

Where I think the problem is is that the use an XBH/PA figure in the calculation, and they should use a XBH/AB (since we already took out BB from the equation first) figure.  
 



 

9/25/2012 1:00 PM
That's why these guys are all good....

    Player Team B PA
/162
HR AVG HR/
100#
BB/
100
SLG SO/
100
SPD SALARY C 1B 2B 3B SS OF
1 York, Rudy 1937 Detroit Tigers R 439 35 .307 9 9.83 .651 13.87 51 $4,255,009 D/D/C- -- -- D/C -- --
2 Williams, Cy 1923 Philadelphia Phillies L 636 41 .293 9 9.77 .576 10.65 85 $6,204,406 -- -- -- -- -- B/B
3 Mize, Johnny 1950 New York Yankees L 321 25 .277 8 9.51 .595 8.76 50 $2,285,045 -- A/D- -- -- -- --
4 Kingman, Dave 1976 New York Mets R 510 37 .238 8 5.49 .506 28.48 71 $2,945,106 -- D-/D- -- -- -- D/D+
9/26/2012 2:56 PM
I also like 79 Dave Kingman - he performs again and again for me - as well as 1913 Gavvy cravath
9/27/2012 2:14 PM
I would definitely say that the high walk guys HRs are down precisely because of their ability to draw walks.  It's like using a high walk hitter in a place like Hilltop, where he is likely not going to put up the type of inflated hitting numbers you might expect.
10/6/2012 3:22 PM
Your data is telling you that the same pitchers that are giving up walks are also giving up homeruns. I imagine it has to do with a bimodal selection of pitchers by experienced owners.
10/8/2012 5:18 PM
Prog league... '75 Al Oliver, 18 RL homeruns (25 BB), total.  In the SIM, 24 homeruns  by the all-star break. 

A lot of that can probably be contributed to the small sample size and Cleveland Stadium (HR LF/RF:1/1 1B:1 2B:-1 3B:-2), but regardless of both, he's a perfect example of what we are discussing here.
10/9/2012 9:28 AM
Yep, works for me.

Quick summary -
- If a player has high OBP and a high HR rate, do not count on him hitting many HR's.  
- No reason to pay for HR's if all you are getting is OBP out of a guy like Frank Thomas or Carlos Delgado
- If you want HR's, look for players with decent batting averages, low walk totals, and high HR rates.

This is in progressive leagues, but I suspect the same conclusions can be drawn in all leagues ($100m or lower)
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10/9/2012 12:33 PM
Posted by contrarian23 on 10/9/2012 12:19:00 PM (view original):
Well...I'll offer  slightly "contrarian" perspective.  I think the above guidelines are absolutely true in an OL, or OL-type league.  For progs, I'm not sure.

In the 15 years of the NWP (covering 1961-75), there have been 22 instances of a player hitting 50+ homers (in virtually every case, exceeding their RL total).  Just about all of these guys walked 80+ times (only 4 exceptions).  Ten of them walked 100+ times.

Examples: 1964 Mays (70 HR, 85 BB).  1965 Mays (70 HR, 110 BB).  1961 Mantle (64 HR, 138 BB).  71 Stargell (61 HR, 100 BB).  73 Da. Evans (57 HR, 142 BB).  70 McCovey (52 HR, 131 BB). 

In single season progs where you're facing pitching that's pretty close to RL, I expect high HR high BB guys to put up pretty realistic numbers, and even to exceed them, unless they are in significant -HR park.  In OLs, where every pitching staff is using low WHIP, low walk, low HR guys, it's a different story.
Similar story in the Jimmy Carter prog (1980-98).  7 players have hit 70 or more HR in a single season, and they've all walked a lot (avg. of 133 walks each).  Two examples: 1994 Frank Thomas walked 170 times (70 HR) and 1998 Mark McGwire walked 185 times (75 HR). 

10/9/2012 1:34 PM (edited)
I think the difference might be the single season progressive leagues, where the dregs of pitching staffs are used, and even then some teams will be short on IP.

EDIT... Actually, now I'm wondering if the problem is with the normalization logic... Perhaps they use PA to normalize walks and HR?
10/9/2012 5:24 PM
One possible reason for these exceptions, as noted by contrarian and crazy might be intentional walks. If I draft HR hitters, I go by their normalization ratios, and whether or not dead ball era pitchers are going to be in the league. Gavvy Cravath (1915? the 24 HR version) always is among the league leaders, 1899 Buck Freeman is more of a hit or miss. 1981 Jason Thompson usually bats around the Mendoza line for me, but his OBP and HRs are what one might expect. Players who have good normalization ratios across the board seem to do better for me.
10/10/2012 5:01 AM
In a 16-team single-season prog Barry Bonds is 100 HR over his RL total through 1991 for me.  We do play home games in Wrigley, but still...
10/10/2012 3:30 PM
Posted by biglenr on 10/9/2012 9:28:00 AM (view original):
Yep, works for me.

Quick summary -
- If a player has high OBP and a high HR rate, do not count on him hitting many HR's.  
- No reason to pay for HR's if all you are getting is OBP out of a guy like Frank Thomas or Carlos Delgado
- If you want HR's, look for players with decent batting averages, low walk totals, and high HR rates.

This is in progressive leagues, but I suspect the same conclusions can be drawn in all leagues ($100m or lower)
15 Cravath is a great example.  However, 19 Cravath blows the theory away because despite having a normalized .450 obp. he ALWAYS clubs lots of HRs!!!  I happen to think he's probably the most dangerous hitter in OLs because he can do damage in practically any park because he hits for avg, power, doubles, triples and HRs. Put simply, he's a beast which is why I always make every attempt to fit him in on most of my teams.
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