FanDuel - WFBC

July 03, 2006

Good hitters are few and far between.: Biggio is my favorite player, great career, certain Hall of Famer, about to reach 3000 hits next season, congrats. Why is there only a few active players that make it to that number? It doesn't look like anyone will hit 3000 for about 8 years(Jeter), what an intersting gap....

posted by sauceysays to baseball at 05:49 PM - 20 comments

Kirby Puckett was THE MAN.

posted by ggermanctl@sbcglobal at 06:13 PM on July 03

I have enjoyed watching Biggio play since I can remember getting interested in baseball. I can't wait to see him get to 3000, lets hope he stays healthy long enough to do so. He desreves it. Plus they don't call him scrappy, right grum!

posted by jojomfd1 at 06:30 PM on July 03

Bigs'll get there and he's earned it. A-Rod and Jeter will probably get there, too. If the Tige's are smart, they'll have Pudge play more at 1B and DH to cut down on the wear and tear. Vance Wilson has been a great back up and Pudge has played like a golden glover at first. If that allows Pudge to be productive and play until he's 40 or so, he should make it without too much trouble. The younger guys that were mentioned all have a shot, but it sure is a lot of guesswork at this point.

posted by ctal1999 at 06:50 PM on July 03

Bill James created a neat formula that he calls his "Favorite Toy". It's used to give a rough probability that a player will reach a statistical milestone. It's based on previous production and age. For kicks, I slapped it into a spreadsheet and ran some calculations. I used numbers based on the start of this season, so anything they've done in 2006 isn't counted (as the season isn't finished yet). Here are the results for reaching the 3000 hit plateau, using the names in the articles: Biggio - 70.73% Arod - 50.73% Jeter - 35.56% Pujols - 32.49% Damon - 24.98% Renteria - 24.45% Guerrero - 23.34% Irod - 18.22% Jones - 13.91% Ichiro - 7.93% (based on MLB stats only) There were a bunch of players who are in the top 20 among active hit leaders, but they ended up with negative probability because of low season totals or too much distance to cover (like Bonds, Sheffield, Griffey, etc).

posted by grum@work at 08:14 PM on July 03

Edgar Renteria makes that list higher than Guerrero?!? I also would have thought that Jeter would have a greater than 50% shot at it. 3000 hits is a sexy number - but I think it's becoming less and less important, as accumulated hit totals become less and less of a measure of a hitter's true worth. OBP and OPS are the new gods.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:43 AM on July 04

Maybe it's cause more pitchers are juicing now too? I just read an interesting article in ESPN magazine. Makes perfect sense to me.

posted by topjimmy13 at 12:17 PM on July 04

Edgar Renteria makes that list higher than Guerrero?!? Guerrero's injury a couple of seasons ago throw his projection off a bit.

posted by grum@work at 12:24 PM on July 04

Just to clarify some math that bothered me.... Biggio is on pace to break it in a year. Jeter is on pace to break it in 5-6 years. So the gap is 4-5 years. (I don't know how you came up with 8.)

posted by charlatan at 02:47 PM on July 04

it might be a little off, if he stays off the DL and averages 200 hits a year could be 4-5 yrs, but staying healthy is critical, and he is lucky to play in the DH league, he gets more at bats then the national league hitters because of that lame-ass rule of the DH, step in the diamond and pick up a bat!!!!!

posted by sauceysays at 06:49 PM on July 04

No Manny Ramirez? He just hit his 2000th last week, he's 34 this year.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:57 PM on July 04

Yeah, he's not the longest shot to make it, but he's, y'know ... completely insane.

posted by chicobangs at 07:02 PM on July 04

No Manny Ramirez? He just hit his 2000th last week, he's 34 this year. Before the season started, Manny Ramirez had a 6.77% chance of reaching 3000 hits. What's hurting him is that his hit totals have declined from 185 to 175 to 162 over the last 3 seasons.

posted by grum@work at 07:04 PM on July 04

he is lucky to play in the DH league, he gets more at bats then the national league hitters posted by sauceysays at 6:49 PM CDT on July 4 I guess I don't understand how he gets more at bats in the AL. He isn't a pitcher so it really shouldn't matter what league he plays in. Maybe someone could enlighten me in this area.

posted by skydivemom at 08:42 PM on July 04

I guess I don't understand how he gets more at bats in the AL. He isn't a pitcher so it really shouldn't matter what league he plays in. Maybe someone could enlighten me in this area. I think the idea is that since the pitcher doesn't have to bat, there are less outs in the batting order. Less outs = more at-bats in general, and therefore the occassional extra at-bat for a player in the lineup. In reality, it only counts if the batter in quesiton is in the top 3 or 4 spots (the number of at-bats the pitching position (sans pinch-hitter) would have in a single game).

posted by grum@work at 10:07 PM on July 04

I think the idea is that since the pitcher doesn't have to bat, there are less outs in the batting order. yeah, but some days they have kelly stinnett, miguel cairo and the ghost of bernie williams in the line up at the same time. so it's a wash really.

posted by goddam at 10:40 PM on July 04

Biggio made the transition from catcher to outfielder to second base seamlessly, has never put himself above the team, has always been dependable and a hard playing, hustling, do-whatever-it-takes-to-win-kind-of-guy. His yearly statistics, while never never mind boggling, are always good, and when added up, are HOF worthy. He is a ballplayers ballplayer, has never been associated with trouble or 'roids, and is an asset to the community. MLB and Houston are fortunate that Craig has been with them.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:27 AM on July 05

I took a crude look at the numbers from the last six seasons -- using (AB+BB)/G for each league I discovered that the AL has not had more than .46 plate appearance per game than the NL (again, crude, does not include HBP or the odd catcher's interference and such -- I couldn't find true league PA's quickly). The NL ranged from 37.20 PA per game to 37.97, and the AL from 37.48 to 38.43. I think this means that the AL only effects the number of plate appearances by the #2 and occasionally the #3 hitter. This would definitely benefit Jeter, who has been a #2 hitter more often than not through his career. It's a pretty lame way to discredit the achievement of 3000 hits, though -- it's not like ALers are getting there in droves. I'm amazed at how close the leagues are -- my guess is that the number of times the #8 guy is walked and the effectiveness of pinch hitters somehow balances the number of automatic outs generated in the #9 slot. The AL is better positioned to have sustained rallies with no automatic outs, but since they don't have to worry about the pitcher's spot in the batting order, perhaps they are quicker to go to the bullpen to stop a rally. Plus, what goddam said. On topic: that 3000 mark for Biggio snuck up on me. I was on the fence about him as a Hall of Famer (from a practical standpoint -- emotionally, he is a no-brainer). Considering that he's already crossed it if you add his record number of HBP's, he's probably already a lock, even if he doesn't get there. I am amazed at how low his percentage chance is by James' stat, given that he is so close and has performed so well late in his career. I'd put him at 87%, at least.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:32 AM on July 05

Biggio, whether due to style of play, personality or small market, a revelation when you look at the numbers. It wasn't until I saw him #2 (I think) in Bill James All-Time list of second baseman that I stopped and noticed.

posted by yerfatma at 12:14 PM on July 05

I am amazed at how low his percentage chance is by James' stat, given that he is so close and has performed so well late in his career. Age (he's 40), deteriorating skills (he's barely league average now) and injury potential (he didn't get 600 AB last year) are probably the biggest factors against Biggio. The problem with the "Favorite Toy" is that it doesn't factor in "I'm so damn close that I'm going to hang in there until I get it." If I were to modify the toy, I'd try to factor in some sort of "persistance" factor for players that are within a certain percentage points of a milestone (say 3-5%). Of course, being within 5% of the 3000 hit mark would be a good reason to hang in there. Being within 5% of 2000 hits might not, and therefore the "toy" would need to know which milestones are worth hanging on for, otherwise you probably skew the percentages too much to be realistic.

posted by grum@work at 12:15 PM on July 05

BullpenPro, I am not discrediting Jeter's accomplishments, he has been a very steady hitter throughout his career, and also on probably the best team over the last decade, I thought there would be a bigger gap between the 1-2-3 hitters in the AL than the NL. There is some gap, but it is not that big. I guess the NL pitchers probably only average 2.5 at-bats a game, then pinch hitters and double switches probably take the bat out of their hands in the late innings. Giving the 1-2-3 hitters in the NL a good number of at-bats. A question: Do post season hits count in this category?? Jeter probably has a few of those..... Oh well,you learn something new every day..Go Astros!!!!

posted by sauceysays at 12:54 PM on July 05

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