Julien's Faster than Light Blog

Jump to top
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
science and truth
aaron gleeman made a post today about matt wieters and fernando martinez and as usual he got things backward. it's not his fault. the sabermetric community has used the trappings of science to confuse the public.

he makes the following statement about fernando:

Prior to this season Martinez's raw stats in the minors have been fairly mediocre, but the Mets rushed him up the organizational ladder at an extremely quick pace and he batted .291/.337/.552 with eight homers and 25 total extra-base hits in 42 games at Triple-A as a 20-year-old. However, with a 31/11 K/BB ratio Martinez is still extremely raw and seems likely to struggle before going back to Triple-A.

you cannot say fernando martinez has been fairly mediocre. 25 extra-base hits in 165 at-bats as a 20-year-old is fantastic. the 31/11 k/bb ratio is because he's a little too aggressive. this is common for players of extreme talent because they're used to being able to hit anything.

it's sad, in a way, because it means that the players with the most talent are the least likely to figure out perfect strategy. but sometimes a player gets it. and then you get barry bonds. or albert pujols.

here's hoping fernando gets it.

anyway it's not hard to say a 20-year-old is "likely to struggle" when he gets to the major leagues. but if any 20-year-old kid can make it, this kid can. he can hit major-league pitching. he just has to wait for his pitch, and then kill it.

matt wieters, on the other hand, is more likely to struggle. sabermetric types look at a 30/20 k/bb ratio and really what they're talking about is the walk rate. they see lines like .345/.448/.576 and .365/.460/.625 and they get all excited. but the best indicator of an ability to adjust to the major leagues is the strikeout rate. and here there is reason for worry. not a lot of reason, but he appears to have had a little trouble adjusting to AAA. and the majors will be harder. he just got out of college.

anyway, this is not to say matt wieters is not gonna make it. he does everything right at the plate. and of course the patient approach (which is correct) leads to a higher strikeout rate. taking more pitches means taking more strikes. he will most likely mash, eventually.

but the more talented player is fernando martinez. and the more likely player to succeed immediately is fernando martinez. despite the 3-year difference in age. 2 1/2.
upon further consideration i understand that gleeman means fm's numbers look bad, but really aren't. but i still take issue with the wording.

i don't know why i write about baseball.
you write because you like it.
that's what you say!
obviously it's a small sample size, but martinez has certainly been worth more sneeze points per game or whatever.
Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger