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Thread: Braves trade Mallex and Simmons to M's for Gohara and Burrows

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southcack77 View Post
    Depends on how you define disproportionate. I agree the Braves have acquired more pitching prospects than hitting prospects, but I don't think they've focused exclusively on pitching and I don't think their focus has actually been inordinately directed at pitching.

    I think its likely the market has dictated to some degree what they've acquired. I think that the Braves have been asking after high upside hitters and probably have made many attempts to acquire it, but I think it very likely they've found that they didn't have the talent to acquire one for the assets they've had to trade in a deal that they can pull the trigger on.
    Except the Braves could have had Kyle Lewis instead of Ian Anderson. They could have not packaged BJ with Kimbrel and had Manny Margot. Other teams are extracting position players in these trades. Other teams are drafting position players...the Braves used their first 3 picks on pitchers.

    They have outright stated they are trying to build around pitching. To deny that they are spending the majority of their talent acquisition resources on pitching is to deny facts in favor of your opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southcack77 View Post
    I don't really think the front office is winning every deal or maximizing value every time they make a trade, but I do object to the idea that they don't understand what they are doing, don't have any sort of plan, or aren't capable of understanding basic level analysis that you can find on a website frequented by a million people who own fantasy teams. That's just not a realistic point of view.
    Again with the constant bashing of sites like FG, almost as if MLB teams aren't actively hiring analysts directly from the site. They are hiring these guys because they do better work than the team was doing, not the other way around.

    No baseball analyst thinks the Braves are right to be building around pitching like they are. Analysis of surplus value shows position prospects are clearly and significantly more valuable, on average, than pitching prospects.

    Quite literally the only group of people who think it's a good idea to invest so heavily in pitching is the Braves, their mouthpiece beat writers, and fans suffering from a case of homerism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rico43 View Post
    Feel free to cite any world champion this side of the '27 Yankees that did not have an element of luck in their equation.
    Right. So why do the Braves allow their luck in acquiring 3 HOF pitchers determine the overall organizational strategy for the last 3 years, and likely the next decade?

  3. #463
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enscheff View Post
    Right. So why do the Braves allow their luck in acquiring 3 HOF pitchers determine the overall organizational strategy for the last 3 years, and likely the next decade?
    It may have been luck that Glavine, Maddux, and Smoltz all ended up being HOF quality, but it was anything but luck that the Braves ended up with a dominant pitching staff. The focus on pitching came first, the successful rotations came as a result of the organizational focus.

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    Take a look at the table provided in this article:

    http://www.thepointofpittsburgh.com/...dated-edition/

    We can conclude 3 points:

    1. Equivalently ranked pitchers are worth less surplus value than their position player counterparts. Anywhere from 5%-25% less, but always less.

    2. All position prospects outside of the Top 25 bust almost half the time.

    3. All pitching prospects outside of the Top 10 bust almost half the time.

    Knowing that, why in the world would any team logically conclude that the best talent to acquire is pitching talent?

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    Quote Originally Posted by striker42 View Post
    It may have been luck that Glavine, Maddux, and Smoltz all ended up being HOF quality, but it was anything but luck that the Braves ended up with a dominant pitching staff. The focus on pitching came first, the successful rotations came as a result of the organizational focus.
    So the Braves focused ~75% of their player acquisition resources in gathering pitchers in the 1980s? Where is the evidence supporting this assertion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enscheff View Post
    So the Braves focused ~75% of their player acquisition resources in gathering pitchers in the 1980s? Where is the evidence of this assertion?
    I don't know what the percentage was. But they did put an organizational focus on pitching. They gathered quite a stable of young arms.

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    It's apples and oranges guys. You have to have some luck, but going at it in numbers (whichever way you go), greatly helps your chances. Our pitching depth could get hurt, flame out in the minors, etc. OR in a few years we could have 4 aces and two HOF'ers out of the bunch. If that happens...we win. If it doesn't...we fail.

    One thing a few have mentioned. Lower level talent brings back LESS (where many of our guys are). The only way we blow this, is trading away lower level pitching depth for MLB talent. We pay a HEFTY cost.

    Let these guys mature and see what happens. It's going to be 2019. We will slowly get better, but we won't contend probably before then unless we are VERY lucky.

    I hope Coppy doesn't get impatient. I hope he doesn't trade 4 strong young horses for one older horse because it's prettier. The greatest chance for failure, would be to trade half our pitching away before we even know what we have.

    Think of ALL trades in which we traded for a MLB great/star player. Three years later, the star has signed with someone like the Yankees and we are left with nothing. MOST of the time, when we have given up high prospects for a MLB player ...we have regretted it. You don't do that unless you are one player away...we aren't.

    So, set back...enjoy the ride. There will be some exciting things and some frustration in the next two years. Hopefully more of one than the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smootness View Post
    That's all fair. We'll have to wait and see on Anderson/Wentz vs. Lewis, I preferred Lewis at the time as well.

    Margot or Wisler/Riley/Touki? I'm actually happy with our package.
    You could argue that Minter could be part of that as taking on Cahill's sunk salary netted us the pick that became Minter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enscheff View Post
    So the Braves focused ~75% of their player acquisition resources in gathering pitchers in the 1980s? Where is the evidence supporting this assertion?
    In my top 30 I have 14 position players and 16 pitchers. That's not counting Ender and Freeman who are signed long term. If you include Swanson and Albies that's 4/8 of our starters we should have for the next 4-5 years. Position players are more reliable, which is why you don't need as many.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enscheff View Post
    Except the Braves could have had Kyle Lewis instead of Ian Anderson. They could have not packaged BJ with Kimbrel and had Manny Margot. Other teams are extracting position players in these trades. Other teams are drafting position players...the Braves used their first 3 picks on pitchers.

    They have outright stated they are trying to build around pitching. To deny that they are spending the majority of their talent acquisition resources on pitching is to deny facts in favor of your opinion.



    Again with the constant bashing of sites like FG, almost as if MLB teams aren't actively hiring analysts directly from the site. They are hiring these guys because they do better work than the team was doing, not the other way around.

    No baseball analyst thinks the Braves are right to be building around pitching like they are. Analysis of surplus value shows position prospects are clearly and significantly more valuable, on average, than pitching prospects.

    Quite literally the only group of people who think it's a good idea to invest so heavily in pitching is the Braves, their mouthpiece beat writers, and fans suffering from a case of homerism.
    Not bashing fan graphs. We've already been through that but you struggle sometimes.

    Quite literally, you made up the last statement.

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    And who gives a damn about Kyle Lewis anyhow?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enscheff View Post
    Take a look at the table provided in this article:

    http://www.thepointofpittsburgh.com/...dated-edition/

    We can conclude 3 points:

    1. Equivalently ranked pitchers are worth less surplus value than their position player counterparts. Anywhere from 5%-25% less, but always less.

    2. All position prospects outside of the Top 25 bust almost half the time.

    3. All pitching prospects outside of the Top 10 bust almost half the time.

    Knowing that, why in the world would any team logically conclude that the best talent to acquire is pitching talent?
    A team on a limited payroll that sees pitching as the key ingredient and that finds high upside pitching to be easier to acquire than position players might acquire more pitching particularly when it had few prospects and few mlb answers long term.

    Regardless, atlanta has spent a lot of time looking for position prospects, but wanting an elite position prospect doesn't make it so. Those players weren't being moved.

    Also braves would have taken a hitter if the first two picks had fallen. They weren't sold on the rest obviously. And it wasn't a high upside positional draft.

    Personal preference for a particular dude is pretty cool though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southcack77 View Post
    A team on a limited payroll that sees pitching as the key ingredient and that finds high upside pitching to be easier to acquire than position players might acquire more pitching particularly when it had few prospects and few mlb answers long term.

    Regardless, atlanta has spent a lot of time looking for position prospects, but wanting an elite position prospect doesn't make it so. Those players weren't being moved.

    Also braves would have taken a hitter if the first two picks had fallen. They weren't sold on the rest obviously. And it wasn't a high upside positional draft.

    Personal preference for a particular dude is pretty cool though.
    This is basically my thought. Pitchers may not be as valuable on the open market as hitters, and they may bust slightly more frequently than hitters (which is probably the reason for the disparity in surplus value), but the Braves obviously believe you have to have pitching, and preferably young, cheap pitching, to compete. They made the calculation that based on the assets they had with which to acquire talent, their options of pitching prospects were preferable to their options of hitting prospects, or at least that that was the case more often, since they did acquire hitting prospects.

    Plus, the data used to determine the surplus value and bust rates comes from 1994-2006. It is the best data we have, but it is also outdated by definition. The Braves may have data that suggests this is no longer the case. We don't know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smootness View Post
    This is basically my thought. Pitchers may not be as valuable on the open market as hitters, and they may bust slightly more frequently than hitters (which is probably the reason for the disparity in surplus value), but the Braves obviously believe you have to have pitching, and preferably young, cheap pitching, to compete. They made the calculation that based on the assets they had with which to acquire talent, their options of pitching prospects were preferable to their options of hitting prospects, or at least that that was the case more often, since they did acquire hitting prospects.

    Plus, the data used to determine the surplus value and bust rates comes from 1994-2006. It is the best data we have, but it is also outdated by definition. The Braves may have data that suggests this is no longer the case. We don't know.

    I doubt the data on minor leaguers has changed that much. TINSTAAPP was created for a reason. Pitchers just have more of a bust rate at that level than hitters do. So hitting prospects are going to be more valuable than pitching prospects. That's not really much of a surprise.

    However once they do reach the show pitchers are just as valuable as hitters are. To me the Braves model is to have a constant flow of high end pitching talent and use a Rays model to when pitchers start to get expensive they can trade them to fill in the major league roster. Hopefully it works out that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enscheff View Post
    No baseball analyst thinks the Braves are right to be building around pitching like they are.
    You're just making this up. Law has ranked our system #1 in baseball the last 2 years because of our pitching depth. He specifically cited our pitching and up-the-middle prospects as the reasons he put us ahead of Chicago despite their better hitters.

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    The idea that there's one right way to rebuild and be successful and that it's through a focus on position players is ridiculous. You can with with a great lineup or a great pitching staff or a mixture of the two.

    Pitching has its benefits. Pitchers have a much larger impact on the individual games they're in than position players do. A position player will be involved in 5-6 ABs a game. A pitcher will be involved in dozens. Also, when you have a dominant pitching staff you can usually avoid long, season killing losing streaks as one of your stud pitchers will dominate a game and stop the slide. Dominant pitching also tends to help more in the playoffs, especially the short divisional round.

    But there are of course drawbacks. Pitching prospects are much more volatile and there's a higher risk of injury.

    But some people prefer position players. Star hitters can be individually more valuable and they contribute 150+ games a year as opposed to 35.

    Arguing that one method of rebuilding is better than the other is like arguing that a classic Mustang is better than a classic Charger. It's more a matter of preference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by striker42 View Post
    The idea that there's one right way to rebuild and be successful and that it's through a focus on position players is ridiculous. You can with with a great lineup or a great pitching staff or a mixture of the two.

    Pitching has its benefits. Pitchers have a much larger impact on the individual games they're in than position players do. A position player will be involved in 5-6 ABs a game. A pitcher will be involved in dozens. Also, when you have a dominant pitching staff you can usually avoid long, season killing losing streaks as one of your stud pitchers will dominate a game and stop the slide. Dominant pitching also tends to help more in the playoffs, especially the short divisional round.

    But there are of course drawbacks. Pitching prospects are much more volatile and there's a higher risk of injury.

    But some people prefer position players. Star hitters can be individually more valuable and they contribute 150+ games a year as opposed to 35.

    Arguing that one method of rebuilding is better than the other is like arguing that a classic Mustang is better than a classic Charger. It's more a matter of preference.

    It's just a matter of recency bias coupled with the current flavor of the serious baseball blogs. I think that what is missed is that all of this is a moving target. As soon as the money flows one place and everyone follows, the math shifts.

    If everyone is hoarding position players then the value proposition eventually shifts elsewhere. I'd suggest when every smart baseball blogger is talking about the value play of position players and the value play of pitch framing, its pretty likely that the market has already priced it in and value is drying up. Thus Jason Castro getting paid like a quality starter on a long term deal. Whatever his "hidden value" at pitch framing might be, he's being amply paid for it now.

    Position players are more valued because they are easier to predict, not because they are more essential to the ultimate goal. And if it gets to the point where you can acquire three or more high upside pitchers easier than you can acquire one high upside position prospect the hidden value may not be what you think it is anymore.

    We'll see how it goes. A lot of different ways to get there.

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    Do the numbers regarding surplus value and bust rate account for the fact that these lists change over time, meaning that some of the prospects in the 75-100 range end up in the 11-25 range, for example? Because all top 100 prospects are not created equally. As an example, Stephen Gonsalves right now is a top 100 prospect, but I don't think anyone in baseball would take him over Max Fried, who is not currently in the top 100. There is a chance Fried gets his value back up this year and is due for a big jump in prospect rankings, but is called up before the end of the year and never sees himself on a year-end top 100 list following his TJ surgery. If I am choosing between someone in the 75-100 range who is 24 years old, or one who is 18, I'll take the 18-year-old every time. And my guess is that the 18-year-old, on average, will end up with more WAR and a higher surplus value.

    I'm assuming this is taken into account in some way, but I haven't seen it. So I would be interested in a more nuanced analysis of this. Just saying 'guys in this range have this value' is way too general, IMO.

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    Keith Law said in his chat today that Gohara will be in his top 100 and was his #2 in Seattle.

    "No-brainer for Atlanta, even with the very high risk Gohara brings. Huge LHP with ++ fastball and the chance for a plus breaking ball."

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    Quote Originally Posted by smootness View Post
    Do the numbers regarding surplus value and bust rate account for the fact that these lists change over time, meaning that some of the prospects in the 75-100 range end up in the 11-25 range, for example? Because all top 100 prospects are not created equally. As an example, Stephen Gonsalves right now is a top 100 prospect, but I don't think anyone in baseball would take him over Max Fried, who is not currently in the top 100. There is a chance Fried gets his value back up this year and is due for a big jump in prospect rankings, but is called up before the end of the year and never sees himself on a year-end top 100 list following his TJ surgery. If I am choosing between someone in the 75-100 range who is 24 years old, or one who is 18, I'll take the 18-year-old every time. And my guess is that the 18-year-old, on average, will end up with more WAR and a higher surplus value.

    I'm assuming this is taken into account in some way, but I haven't seen it. So I would be interested in a more nuanced analysis of this. Just saying 'guys in this range have this value' is way too general, IMO.
    Excellent point. There are generally 2 types of prospects in the 75-100 range: young high ceiling guys whose FV is lowered due to risk, and AA/AAA guys that just project to be average-ish MLB players. On average they probably produce about the same WAR. The 2 old guys each produce 2 WAR while the 2 young guys produce 0 and 4 WAR.

    As far as I know, there haven't been any public analysis done to see how valuable those different sets of prospects are though.

    I agree completely, give me the young guys with a chance to be impact players (3+ WAR per year) over the "sure thing" 1-2 WAR guy. Those 1-2 WAR guys can be picked up any offseason for cheap (example: Colon and Dickey). Impact players are rarely available, and if they are, are prohibitively expensive for teams like the Braves.
    Last edited by Enscheff; Yesterday at 04:15 PM.

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