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FanGraphs: Occam's Razor and Jackson Holliday's Demotion


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#1 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 03:37 PM

FanGraphs: Occam's Razor and Jackson Holliday's Demotion



#2 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 04:17 PM

Excellent article and I encourage y'all to read it in total. Bottom line is that in the authors opinion not having Holliday on the roster right now is a mistake. The cost - benefit of keeping him down long enough to gain the extra year just isn't there.

 

Article convinced my feeble brain anyway. 



#3 hallas

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 04:47 PM

I think the *only* plausible strategy here that really maximizes Holliday's value to the team is if the plan was to send him down for less than 15 days, and call him up if he's raking so he can be eligible for a PPI pick.  If he scuffled in AAA it would be easy to say, "ok he needed some more seasoning."  But if he still has a 1.000+ OPS on 4/10 we should be looking to call him up so he's still eligible for the PPI pick.  The extra 12-13 games of AAA performances could in theory affect the Orioles' projections for him, since a lot of people think spring games aren't all that useful because it's the same kind of competitive environment.

 

The idea that we wouldn't call him up to preserve an extra year of team control just doesn't pass the sniff test to me given the likelihood that he will finish top-2 in ROY, and the fact that his performance now, when the O's are definitely going to be good, should be placed at a premium.



#4 Slidemaster

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 04:56 PM

He deserves to be playing big league baseball, and he is very obviously better than what we have. For once prioritize wins.

...also, I paid 12 bucks for him in an auction in fantasy, so as soon as they bring him up, the better for me.
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#5 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 05:10 PM

Urias is at least doing his part of the heavy lifting to make it an easy decision.


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#6 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 05:28 PM

As it stands right now I think the first one to go should be Kemp.


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#7 hallas

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 05:33 PM

As it stands right now I think the first one to go should be Kemp.

 

Oh, 100%.  Urias at least has a MLB track record, and he can ride Kemp's spot on the pine.



#8 mweb08

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 05:45 PM

Teams have responded to this new model by starting their best prospects in the majors. If things click right away, hey, draft pick city! If they don’t, the odds are high that the team will send them down at some point.

 

I think there's a rather large range between clicking right away and finishing in the top 2 in the ROY vs being poor enough to earn a demotion. 

 

The issue here is that if Holliday is as good as our projections think, holding him down longer doesn’t accomplish what you might expect. It makes him less likely to win the award, sure, but he’s still fairly likely to finish in the top two if he has a good season. 

 

Semantics alert: I wouldn't say his projections of between 36% and 43% are what I'd call fairly likely. That seems to be a biased way to spin that. 

 

If Holliday struggled out of the gate, the O’s would probably send him down anyway; they’re in a tight divisional race, after all, so they can’t afford to keep giving a struggling prospect important at-bats.

 

So they clearly should call up the #1 prospect in the game to help them win, but send him down if he struggles out of the gate? That's a good way to treat the best prospect in the game? That small sample determines he wasn't ready as he later suggests? 

 

I guess I've reached the quote box limit so here's another: 

Messing with his compensation in a ham-handed way isn’t free; he’ll remember it in his future dealings with the team. What’s more, this doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Everyone else on the Orioles will see what the team does with their top prospect. If you’re a fellow high performer, seeing the O’s play service games with your compatriot might make you think twice about signing a contract extension.

 

 

I think this is overstated and that in general if the team is playing well and most importantly, the money talks, this issue will largely be mute. Additionally, if they can reasonably extend Holliday now and/or various others, then do that. As we've talked about a ton, it's probably not the most realistic though with Jackson. 

 

And another:                                                                                                                                                                            Even if they think there’s only a 20% chance that he’s ready, the relative costs and benefits of finding out at the major league level suggest to me that he should be up already. We’ll never know exactly what the Orioles front office is thinking, but I’m perplexed by their decision here.


 

Well I'm perplexed by this thinking. In this hypothetical, I think it would overwhelmingly make more sense to let him develop further in AAA. 

 

Btw, this article ignores Mayo and his role in this whole equation, which I think is a mistake.  



#9 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 06:02 PM

As it stands right now I think the first one to go should be Kemp.

 

Oh he will. That was always the plan, I'm certain. My point above is that Urias playing regularly is not producing the sort of results that should give any hesitation to bringing Holliday up within the next week.



#10 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 07:18 PM

Mweb went over why some if this article is nonsense. These guys are all pro labor guys. You cant talk any logically sense into them. Not that being pro labor in general is a bad thing but there is obviously nuance involved here. Particularly with being able to gain 1 full year vs 3 weeks. Now, if the Os didnt approach Holliday or Boras about an extension before the season that is a mistake. But Boras is just not ever going to let you lock up a 20 yr old top prospect early in his career unless you want to blow the record for one of these early extensions completely out of the water. Then maybe you have some small chance. Its 3 damn weeks and Holliday is not guaranteed to hit the ground running.

#11 mweb08

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 07:37 PM

Mweb went over why some if this article is nonsense. These guys are all pro labor guys. You cant talk any logically sense into them. Not that being pro labor in general is a bad thing but there is obviously nuance involved here. Particularly with being able to gain 1 full year vs 3 weeks. Now, if the Os didnt approach Holliday or Boras about an extension before the season that is a mistake. But Boras is just not ever going to let you lock up a 20 yr old top prospect early in his career unless you want to blow the record for one of these early extensions completely out of the water. Then maybe you have some small chance. Its 3 damn weeks and Holliday is not guaranteed to hit the ground running.

 

I'm also pro labor. I wish the system was dramatically different for that reason. Also, and feel free to attack the lack of consistency (saying this to whoever not specifically 2035), I am less concerned about Jackson Holliday when it comes to being pro labor than I am about other people. 



#12 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 07:52 PM


I'm also pro labor. I wish the system was dramatically different for that reason. Also, and feel free to attack the lack of consistency (saying this to whoever not specifically 2035), I am less concerned about Jackson Holliday when it comes to being pro labor than I am about other people.

Yes that last part too. Actually, I dont know if youre saying that more because of his family or because you know hes gonna make a lot of money regardless in baseball. Im more towards the latter. This isnt the avg citizen working a 9-5. So yeah, Im totally good with being pro labor, even in pro sports , but these baseball writers always go so far to be pro player and either dont acknowledge or downplay the nuances of the situation.

#13 hallas

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 08:54 PM

I think there's a rather large range between clicking right away and finishing in the top 2 in the ROY vs being poor enough to earn a demotion. 

 

 

Semantics alert: I wouldn't say his projections of between 36% and 43% are what I'd call fairly likely. That seems to be a biased way to spin that. 

 

 

So they clearly should call up the #1 prospect in the game to help them win, but send him down if he struggles out of the gate? That's a good way to treat the best prospect in the game? That small sample determines he wasn't ready as he later suggests? 

 

I guess I've reached the quote box limit so here's another: 

Messing with his compensation in a ham-handed way isn’t free; he’ll remember it in his future dealings with the team. What’s more, this doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Everyone else on the Orioles will see what the team does with their top prospect. If you’re a fellow high performer, seeing the O’s play service games with your compatriot might make you think twice about signing a contract extension.

 

 

I think this is overstated and that in general if the team is playing well and most importantly, the money talks, this issue will largely be mute. Additionally, if they can reasonably extend Holliday now and/or various others, then do that. As we've talked about a ton, it's probably not the most realistic though with Jackson. 

 

And another:                                                                                                                                                                            Even if they think there’s only a 20% chance that he’s ready, the relative costs and benefits of finding out at the major league level suggest to me that he should be up already. We’ll never know exactly what the Orioles front office is thinking, but I’m perplexed by their decision here.


 

Well I'm perplexed by this thinking. In this hypothetical, I think it would overwhelmingly make more sense to let him develop further in AAA. 

 

Btw, this article ignores Mayo and his role in this whole equation, which I think is a mistake.  

 

The 36-43% chance of him getting 1/2 in ROY voting is based on all outcomes, including outcomes where he plays badly enough that he earns a demotion.  I'd say that if he matches or exceeds expectations then his chances for a 1/2 vote in ROY is closer to 80%.

 

I'm sure that the FO is aware that statcast stats like EV and xSLG and hard hit rate are statistically significant at 15-30 games.  So I think it's perfectly plausible to give him 15 or so games and if he's like Colton Cowser struggling then we send him down.



#14 mweb08

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 09:00 PM

Yes that last part too. Actually, I dont know if youre saying that more because of his family or because you know hes gonna make a lot of money regardless in baseball. Im more towards the latter. This isnt the avg citizen working a 9-5. So yeah, Im totally good with being pro labor, even in pro sports , but these baseball writers always go so far to be pro player and either dont acknowledge or downplay the nuances of the situation.

 

More because the money he is slated to make (and already has made) and also because he's incredibly young unlike certain guys that have had their opportunity stifled at later ages. The family part is not irrelevant though either.

 

Way more about that average citizen line though. Like I'm pro labor in sports with a prime example being that I don't think these players should be controlled for their first 6-7 major league years. However, I also wish pro athletes (and owners) made less in general. Then have that savings passed onto us fans (plus non fans that pay for some sports with TV/streaming and tax dollars) with cheaper tickets and rights fees as well as a decreased tax payer burden. 



#15 mweb08

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 09:02 PM

The 36-43% chance of him getting 1/2 in ROY voting is based on all outcomes, including outcomes where he plays badly enough that he earns a demotion.  I'd say that if he matches or exceeds expectations then his chances for a 1/2 vote in ROY is closer to 80%.

 

I'm sure that the FO is aware that statcast stats like EV and xSLG and hard hit rate are statistically significant at 15-30 games.  So I think it's perfectly plausible to give him 15 or so games and if he's like Colton Cowser struggling then we send him down.

 

It is based on all outcomes?

 

I gave each of the top three players a 2.5 WAR/600 projection, as well as two other contenders a 1.8 WAR/600 projection. I asked the computer to simulate 1,000,000 seasons with randomness injected into each of those projections, so that we didn’t get an exact tie every time. Specifically, I bumped each projection using a normal curve with a standard deviation of 1.5 WAR per 600 PA.

 

This suggests otherwise to me.



#16 hallas

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 09:19 PM

It is based on all outcomes?

 

 

This suggests otherwise to me.

 

That sounds like he has a 35% chance of having a 1.0 WAR or less.  It does imply that there are 2 other contenders that are going to perform equally as well.  I don't know if that actually exists.  It's tough to know at this point who might be a ROY contender.



#17 mweb08

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 09:30 PM

That sounds like he has a 35% chance of having a 1.0 WAR or less.  It does imply that there are 2 other contenders that are going to perform equally as well.  I don't know if that actually exists.  It's tough to know at this point who might be a ROY contender.

 

To me it suggests he gave the top 3 betting favorites the same projection (with some randomness injected to prevent ties as he said) and then a lower projection for the next two (1.8 WAR). It doesn't even seem like he accounts for anyone outside of that top 5. Anyway, unless that randomness injected is substantial which is not implied imo, I am not reading it the same way at all. This looks to be a very rudimentary equation where he just says the top 3 guys are equal (with some randomness injected) and the next two guys are a step or two below again with some randomness injected, and then he just ran a bunch of sims at different plate appearance intervals with zero other players ever finishing in the top two.

 

Maybe I'm missing something here? Help me out if I am because if that's all it is, it's not worth much consideration and is likely greatly overstating Holliday's chances. 



#18 hallas

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 09:39 PM

To me it suggests he gave the top 3 betting favorites the same projection (with some randomness injected to prevent ties as he said) and then a lower projection for the next two (1.8 WAR). It doesn't even seem like he accounts for anyone outside of that top 5. Anyway, unless that randomness injected is substantial which is not implied imo, I am not reading it the same way at all. This looks to be a very rudimentary equation where he just says the top 3 guys are equal (with some randomness injected) and the next two guys are a step or two below again with some randomness injected, and then he just ran a bunch of sims at different plate appearance intervals with zero other players ever finishing in the top two.

 

Maybe I'm missing something here? Help me out if I am because if that's all it is, it's not worth much consideration and is likely greatly overstating Holliday's chances. 

 

It is implied, he said the stdev is 1.5 WAR, which implies that 32% of the simulated seasons would have him at 1 WAR or less.  I think he's actually understating the odds, because I don't think there are 2 other prospects in the AL that are worthy of a 2.5+ WAR projection right now.



#19 mweb08

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 09:50 PM

It is implied, he said the stdev is 1.5 WAR, which implies that 32% of the simulated seasons would have him at 1 WAR or less.

 

I'm not a statistician, so forgive me for being obtuse, but I'm reading that as a 1 WAR would be the minimum and as such would be a relatively low % outcome in the formula rather than 32%.

 

 

Even if I'm wrong, if he's just considering 5 players in this (and doing the same standard deviation for each), then it's likely wildly overstating each player's potential of finishing in the top 2, unless players out of the top 5 betting odds rarely get into that top 2, but I am dubious of that.



#20 hallas

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 10:15 PM

I'm not a statistician, so forgive me for being obtuse, but I'm reading that as a 1 WAR would be the minimum and as such would be a relatively low % outcome in the formula rather than 32%.

 

 

Even if I'm wrong, if he's just considering 5 players in this (and doing the same standard deviation for each), then it's likely wildly overstating each player's potential of finishing in the top 2, unless players out of the top 5 betting odds rarely get into that top 2, but I am dubious of that.

 

He posted a link to the code so I took a look; he's using a random number generation function that produces a normal distribution.  So the randomizer will give Holliday -1.5 or worse in 32% of cases, resulting in 1 WAR or less in those cases.






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