What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
The theory goes, if you're substantially under .300 then you're "unlucky" but if you're substantially above then you're "lucky". The theory goes, if you're substantially under .300 then you're "unlucky" but if you're substantially above then you're "lucky". I don't really buy that for an individual hitter
The .300 average applies to pitchers, not batters. Pitchers have little control over BABIP deviations from .300. Batters have much more control over their deviations from the league average.
But if you are going to apply the famous Bob Sturm "Eyeball Test" you have to see that guy is freaking awesome and consistent in the outfield.
One of the many problems with "the eyeball test" is that many people who appeal to it simply don't understand how to correctly value the things they are seeing. So even if they do "see" (i.e. see, remember, acknowledge, give credit for, etc.) the things Kinsler does besides pop-up and not run full speed to first, they don't know how to fairly value these things. So they end up focusing disproportionately on his batting average. Just as they do, at the other extreme, with Michael Young.
Kinsler's and Young's 2011 seasons have become a perfect tool for differentiating between the people that understand the game in 2011... and those who still have a mid-20th Century understanding of the game. The difference in Matschulat and Newberg. Sadly, most casual fans (and even many more dedicated fans) fall in the mid-20th Century camp. Ask them to grade each this year, and most - having been raised to believe that batting average is the single best metric for evaluating hitters - will say that Young has had a great year while Kinsler has had a terrible year. Such people not only don't really understand how to value hitting performance but they also usually have no idea how to grade defensive performance (since performance valuing fielding metrics are largely creations within the last decade; long after this crowd came to believe it fully understands how to evaluate the game).
So, we get errors like thinking the best player on the team this year has sucked.
@Rangers100 I was attempting a little sarcasm there. That is also the exact point I was trying to make the negative things that drive people crazy over shadow the facts of what he does well that is why the eyeball test is deeply flawed unless used by a trained observer.
And even then trained observers (coaches and scouts) can be fooled or mislead when personal preferences of what a player should be overshadow objective observations. That is the point of building statistical tools to aid in evaluating a complex set of facts and actions over a longer period of time than just the ad hoc observation of a single play or game or even small stretch of games.
"As far as WAR and UZR and the such why would anyone want to pay attention to stats widely used by GM's across the league to analyze players when you can go by your gut feel?"
This times 1,000...
I hope I made you laugh Caleb.
@Rangers100: just in case no one else says it, I will. Kinsler has not had a terrible year by a long shot (but, Young HAS had a great year). Substitute him for Blanco or Quintanilla or whoever else at 2nd and we probably lose a number of games we won because of him.
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