Figure It Out One Way or Another, Award for Exec, When Stats Stabilize, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Figure It Out One Way or Another, Award for Exec, When Stats Stabilize, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It would be a lie to suggest that I care even a tiny bit about today’s U.S.-Netherlands soccer match, but I know lots of people do, so: Go USA!

  • The Rangers had to give up their second round pick to sign Jacob deGrom. Since they finished with a worse record than the Cubs, and since the second round doesn’t reorder based on the lottery, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?!?!? The Cubs’ second round pick just moved up one spot. PARRTTTAAAAAYYYY!!! THIS IS WHAT WE’VE GOT RIGHT NOW!!!
  • In all seriousness, the deGrom signing does give me one broader market thought that relates to the Cubs, specifically:
  • I’ll add that if the Cubs were to use escalating price tags this offseason as an explicit reason not to spend, I will be very angry. That is something that should be anticipated by successful front offices, and the market reality is the market reality. Either you figure out a way to still have a good offseason and put together a competitive on-paper roster for March, or you’ve failed.
  • The Winter Meetings start tomorrow. It would be pretty sweet if the Cubs had a key signing already in their back pocket by the end of today. I’m not asking for a shortstop TODAY, but how about a catcher? A mid-rotation arm? A center fielder? Some other bat?
  • Congrats to Kristin Call and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on quite an honor:
  • A great read at FanGraphs on Steamer’s projection for Alek Manoah (4.09 ERA, 2.6 WAR), and why it looks so bad compared to what he’s done so far in his young career. Some of it is natural regression that does seem likely for Manoah, but also there’s a lot that goes into the projection systems and how/why the land at a median projection. One of the big takeaways from the read for me was the reminder about how many innings or plate appearances or batted balls or whatever it takes for a given statistic to stabilize into something that can accurately describe true talent.
  • Speaking of which, there was a link in the article to some very rough baselines for when a stat might be seen as starting to stabilize – it’s a FanGraphs piece I hadn’t seen before. Among the stabilization points:

“Stabilization” Points for Offense Statistics:

60 PA: Strikeout rate
120 PA: Walk rate
240 PA: HBP rate
290 PA: Single rate
1610 PA: XBH rate
170 PA: HR rate
910 AB: AVG
460 PA: OBP
320 AB: SLG
160 AB: ISO
80 BIP: GB rate
80 BIP: FB rate
600 BIP: LD rate
50 FBs: HR per FB
820 BIP: BABIP

“Stabilization” Points for Pitching Statistics:

70 BF: Strikeout rate
170 BF: Walk rate
640 BF: HBP rate
670 BF: Single rate
1450 BF: XBH rate
1320 BF: HR rate
630 BF: AVG
540 BF: OBP
550 AB: SLG
630 AB: ISO
70 BIP: GB rate
70 BIP: FB rate
650 BIP: LD rate
400 FB: HR per FB
2000 BIP: BABIP

  • Note that these numbers don’t mean “a guy is who he is at this cutoff point” – players can of course improve underlying performance. It just means these are the points at which, within a sample of data, we can more confidently say that the results weren’t just random small sample stuff. If a guy is striking out a ton after 60 plate appearances, that probably isn’t just a fluke. Conversely, if a pitcher has a huge home run rate after even a 1000 batters, we still might say that’s too noisy to actually tell us about his true talent.
  • On that home-run-rate one, 1320 batters is like two FULL seasons of a starting pitcher’s work – so, yeah, home run rate takes a REALLY FREAKING LONG time to stabilize. The BABIP ones are like almost two seasons worth of batted balls for a hitter, and almost FOUR seasons worth of batted balls for a starting pitcher. Yowsa. Given aging curves, we might NEVER be able to say a relief pitcher’s BABIP has reliably stabilized!
  • Yeah, these teams are juuuuuust a little loaded:
  • Nico nocks:
  • Not baseball, but incredible:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.