What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Elvis, to be fair - RFan is right.
-Harrison won't maintain a HR/FB% of less than 9% for his career.-I don't necessarily think his ERA is a fluke, but I think it is altogether unsustainable for the duration of his prime (he needs to put up more than one year of a 78% LOB in order for that to be a trend - right now, it's an outlier).-Honestly, you probably do need to see his next 3 years in order to really define him as a player.-I would be ECSTATIC if he became one of the 6-8 best pitchers in the AL. Right now, he isn't in that class and I can't honestly say I expect him to approach that class.
That being said, I would love for Harrison to become that pitcher - but, we're better off hoping Darvish becomes THE best pitcher in the AL (that's entirely more likely than this Harrison scenario).
Thank you, Braves.
And to be fair, with only 580 IP, nobody can say which datapoints are outliers. We'll know in a few years.
Guy, you're not good at this.
Thanks Tx. I look to you for validation.
My performance here is an outlier. I'm very good at everything else in my life. ;0)
Well, being that you believe in "trends" being predictive - then, I would have to say "no" on your assertion that you're good at everything else in life. ;)
All joking aside, he may very well show that 78% LOB% is in his abilities (that would be Halladay-esque btw), but right now - outlier.
TxBall, To be fair, Guy is right. At a certain point you can't pass things off as "luck"
In the past two seasons Matt Harrison has been on the mound during 1,489 at bats, and has consistently enjoyed a park adjusted ERA of UNDER 3.0. It's been eerily consistent between road and home. It's been eerily consistent between 2011 and 2012.
Read and repeat...and get back to me about any "luck" hypothesis. Myself? I'd be embarrassed to roll out "luck" when we are boring in on 1,500 sample points.
1,500 At-Bats! and some of you boys still are so hung up on his looks, his personality and his strike-out rate that you JUST. DON'T. GET. IT.
Matt Harrison dominates his critics.
78% LOB in comparison to league averages and his career averages are luck.
His BABIP isn't entirely "luck", IMO.
Elvis, I gave you some a good site to read up. That site will also give you acceptable basis points for Sample Size. Please follow through.
Some of you are confusing arguments.
BTW, Elvis - what are you saying? Who is calling what "luck"? Your last statement was disjointed. Please elaborate.
I concede that the 78% LOB might very well prove unsustainable. That's why I peg his park adjusted ERA between 3 and 3.4 for coming seasons.
BABIP and HR/FB rate = sustainable.
No, Elvis. His HR/FB rate is not sustainable. That is a volatile metric. In fact, I will predict he has a 7% one year and a 14% the next. What does this mean? This means that's how much variance he will have throughout his career - and he will not have a career HR/FB% below 9%.
However, I truly believe he can sustain his BABIP during his prime years around the .280 mark.
BTW, Elvis - what are you saying? Who is calling what "luck"? Your last statement was disjointed. Please elaborate. Txball
I refer to RFan's insistence that Harry's ERA is luck...and that it will assuredly be >4 in future seasons. RFan has repeatedly spoken of Harrison's success being largely attributed to--in his language-- "the luck dragon"
I find that absurd when you look at the consistency of road/home results over 2 full seasons with 1,500 data points.
RFan is hung up over two things: Harrys strike-out rate as well as some personal prejudice of the player....because it is inconceivable to him--RFan is "100% certain" than Harrison simply could never be a great pitcher.
Well guess what? For two seasons, during the course of 1,500 opposing at-bats: Matt Harrison has absolutely been a great pitcher!
Harrison keeps busting the critics balls. At least David Laurila at FanGraphs could man up and admit he was dead wrong for underestimating Matt.
Well, I won't go as far as RFan and definitively state that Harrison will be a 4.00 ERA pitcher. I will, however, go as far to say that Harrison will probably maintain a SIERA around 4.00 if he doesn't improve on his K/BB rate and swstr% without relying on a 78% LOB%. If he can reduce his walks and stays with the Rangers - he could easily have more seasons of ERAs in the lower 3.00s.
However, we're talking true talent here. In terms of true talent, I wouldn't put Harrison in the top 10 in the AL based on talent and expected future results. He has exceeded expectations this year and is top 10, IMO. That being said, I don't expect him to be our best pitcher in years to come.
I understand that HR/FB rate is historically very volatile. And I'm also acutely aware of the home park that Harrison plays in.
But if Harry was able to live through SummerShrine '11 and sustain a 7% HR/FB rate...and is marching forward again this year at 8%.....I'm a big believer in his ability to smother the long ball.
Fair enough, then that's a bet. I'll give you my email information and let's make this one a long-term bet.
HaHa...You funny boy. No I won't bet on a volatile stat like HR/FB.
But clearly we have enough data to know that Harry has the stuff to induce lots of weak contact with a high ground ball rate. That's the big picture. He's ideal for our park and our team.
Hey, can't fault me for trying.
Actually, I would say it's ideal he pitches for the Rangers. He would be even more effective in, say, Seattle.
Hell, anybody can pitch well in Seattle. How many guys can pitch as well in Arlington as Harry?
If Felix Hernandez is a kingThen Matt Harrison is at least a Prince
All Hail Prince Harry!
Okay, I'll chime in for a 2nd time. This is a four-horse race divided between the SABR-based (RFan & Txball) and the perception-based (ElvisMVP & Guy). Allow me to arbitrate.
Elvis, a 78.5% strand rate isn't sustainable, especially for a pitcher that only strikes out a hair north of 6 batters/9 innings. As such, Matt Harrison greatly relies on BABIP, which is, in fact, luck. Average BABIP usually levels off around .320. That's just a basic fact of pitching in the Major Leagues. Matt Harrison is not exempt to historical averages.
Guy, in his age-27 season, Harrison is beyond the realm of a "young pitcher". He's been a member of the Rangers big league club in some capacity since 2008 (whether in the bullpen or rotation), and last year was the first season he figured "it" out on his way to becoming a 4+ fWAR pitcher. The arc of his career, in all likelihood, has already plateaued into what he is now. I would bet that we will not see him pitch better than he has this year.
This is Harrison's best season from an ERA standpoint, even though his xFIP and SIERA were each better last year. But because his ERA has been almost a half run lower to this point despite those metrics being higher, that should be a clear indicator that his BABIP and LOB% have produced a healthy amount of luck.
Lastly, Elvis, I don't buy your weak contact argument. I say again: Matt Harrison does not get a pass from the BABIP gods. And a 78.5% strand rate doesn't hold up. When you raise Matt's .280 BABIP even into the .295-.305 territory and lower his LOB% down closer to 66-70%, it's going to turn into enough runs to raise his ERA at least a half point.
Aces don't rely on statistical anomalies. They have higher strikeout rates and go HAM for longer than a year and a half.
Eric...you are hardly qualified to arbitrate. You didn't even use an appropriate term to describe Guy and I. We aren't "perception based." . Neither of us have made appeal to the "eye-ball test" and we won't. Your label is both wrong and offensive.
Guy and I are holistic empiricists. RFan and TxBall are adherents of partisan data modeling approaches.
Additionally...1. I already said Harry's strand rate likely isn't sustainable.
2. You are an utter fool if you think BABIP = luck. BABIP can include a ton of luck, but tends to normalize to the pitcher or hitters talent over time. After 1,500 sample points with Harrison...we are getting a pretty good idea that he will sustain well-under average BABIP for the course of his career.
3. You don't "buy" the weak contact argument...then you have painted yourself into the tiniest corner in the history of BBTIA. You are fundamentally saying that aside from strike-out rates...all pitchers are identical.
There is a great article on FanGraphs about why Harrison merits allstar status:
Despite RFan scoffing at the idea, several writers on FanGraphs describe Harrison as an "extreme ground ball pitcher"
These writers also elaborate why Harrison has trended higher and higher in that GB%. They seem to have diametrically opposite opinions than those RFan proposed in this thread and in the other "Harrison thread.
This doesn't prove RFan wrong...but it shows that a lot of Saber thinkers have completely opposing views to what Rfan and TxBall have articulated.
Again I highly recommend the Duronio article.
ElvisMVP, despite some of your over-the-top, way-off-the-mark characterizations of my position, you're not really gaining much ground in this debate. It takes more than ad hominen attacks.
And characterizing Harrison as "an extreme GB pitcher" doesn't get you to where you're trying to go for 2 reasons: (1) Harrison isn't really an extreme GB pitcher. He's gotten his GB rate up this year, but he's still 19th in GB rate among MLB starters. Trevor Cahill is a consistent, extreme GB pitcher. Harrison is a guy with an above avg. GB rate over less than 1 season. (2) Take a look at the top 20 starting pitcher's in terms of GB rate in MLB this year. If you do that, you'll see that as a group, those guys have roughly league avg. BABIPs, strand rates, and HR/FB rates. Apparently, being an extreme GB pitcher doesn't mean that you're going to have a BABIP and strand rate like Sandy Koufax and a HR/FB rate like Jered Weaver. You need something else to reach that level, e.g., swing and miss stuff.
In fact, Trevor Cahill has a GB rate over 10 percentage points higher than Matt Harrison. If being an extreme GB pitcher was so great, than Cahill would be the second coming of Sandy Koufax. But the reality is that Cahill's BABIP is .288 (roughly league avg.), his strand rate is 72% (league avg.), and his HR/FB rate is 14.2% (above league avg). Cahill is the most extreme GB pitcher out there this year, yet his luck dragon metrics are well within the normal range. And guess what, Cahill has a 3.86 ERA. Not very Sandy Koufax like.
Elvis, if you are in denial of saber metrics then you are the one who's putting yourself in a corner. Calling yourself an empiricist is the same as saying you don't believe in proven historical proof, and instead taking the route of meandering through recycled opinions that agree with your gut instincts. You know, it's okay to admit you are wrong from time to time. In fact, it gives added credence to some of your ridiculous arguments.
Time to utterly crush the remnants of resistance.
I just found a fabulous article that validates statistically everything I've said in this thread.Everything.
What this article communicates is that RFan, TxBall and Eric R have been stuck in a legacy era of saber metrics...with notions that are being completely dismantled by emerging data.
My logic is validated by new era Sabermetrics. Here are the numbers:
Are all struck balls equal? Hardly.-Line drives result in hits most frequently, about 71% of the time. -Ground balls follow with around 24% becoming hits. -Fly balls bring up the rear, landing safely only 15% or so.
But the latest research is started to include batted-ball-speed:Types of stuck ball All Hard Week2011 Line Drive 0.714 0.730 0.6832011 Ground Ball 0.238 0.576 0.1852011 Fly Ball 0.139 0.404 0.0452010 Line Drive 0.708 0.723 0.6912010 Ground Ball 0.239 0.552 0.1872010 Fly Ball 0.158 0.426 0.062
This represents two full seasons of MLB data. The article is here:http://www.mastersball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1926:taking-babip-to-the-next-level&catid=957:chance-favors-the-prepared-mind&Itemid=70
I don't get where you're going with this. I've never argued that all pitchers must have the same BABIP. Pitchers who initiate weak contact have a lower BABIP. The pitchers who initiate weak contact tend to be strike out pitchers. GB, pitch-to-contact pitchers like Matt Harrison don't typically have a combination of low BABIP, v. high strand rate, and v. low HR/FB rate.
It's been fun, but this debate seems to have lost steam.
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