Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 10, 2005
BASEBALL: Patience, Young Jedi

One of the key issues with projecting Carlos Beltran, as I've noted in comparing him to similar players from the past, is whether he can sustain his improved plate discipline over the past two years. A similar issue arises in the Mariners' signing of Adrian Beltre; as I've noted before, Beltre's decline in 2001-03 was accompanied by a regression in his plate discipline, a trend that was reversed with his great leap forward in 2004. (As I've also noted in the past, improved plate discipline has benefitted sluggers far better than Beltran or Beltre). Take a look at both players' BB and K rates, prorated to 600 at bats*:

YearBeltran BBKBeltre BBK

Obviously, Beltran is a better bet than Beltre to hold onto his gains in this area because he's shown consistent improvement over a three year period, rather than a 1-year recovery from a 3-year slump. (Not that Beltre is a bad gamble, given his apparent youth and tremendous power).

* - Yes, prorating per at bat rather than per plate appearance does magnify the changes in walk rate.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:05 PM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Yes, a few more walks are nice, but for $119 million, I'd want someone who is going to to hit .300, not someone who is going to hit .260.

Posted by: Al at January 10, 2005 1:21 PM

I forget whether I'm misquoting Bill James or Rob Neyer here, but if you want to look at one stat, don't look at batting average. Look at runs scored, runs batted in, runs created, runs anything. The point of the game is to score runs, and there are much better ways to see how good a player is at that than batting average.

Posted by: Devin McCullen at January 10, 2005 5:57 PM

Don't know how good a player he'll be after signing a big contract, but the guy has been a fantasy stud for several years.
I agree with Devin....BA is vastly overrated.

Posted by: Ricky at January 10, 2005 8:36 PM

Speaking of young Jedi... have you seen the back page from today's NY Post?

Posted by: James3AE at January 11, 2005 7:53 AM
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