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Old 09-13-2019, 10:50 PM   #501
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Brewers promote Frank Rojas from AAA Chester

With center fielder Joe McPhillips, some think the MVP of the team thus far in 1974, heading to the 10-day IL, the Brewers added Frank Rojas to the 40-man roster and promoted him from AAA Chester to the big league club.

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Rojas was acquired in a trade a little over a month ago with the Oklahoma City Diamond Kings that sent first baseman Jacob Kieft to OKC. He has done very well in his time with the Big Stick and all indications from the scouting staff are that he be a capable short-term fill-in for McPhillips and brings another right-handed power bat to the club.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:56 PM   #502
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Steve Green extended through 1979!

On June 1st it was announced that the Brewers had signed starting pitcher Steve Green to a 5-year contract extension.
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Green got off to a tremendous start this season after having a disappointing 1973, though he has come back to earth a bit of late. Still, the Brewers scouting staff remains convinced of Green's middle-of-the-rotation talent and with not much in the way of starting pitching prospects in the system, it was felt it was wise to lock him up through his age 33 season. Green is also very popular among the Denver faithful and his extension was met with an enthusiastic response.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:27 PM   #503
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June 3-5, 1974, versus Baltimore

The Brewers return home and start the home stand with a 3-game series against the Baltimore Lords.

Steve Green, in his first start since signing a 5-year contract extension, pitched well in game 1, giving up 4 runs- but only 2 of them earned- on 7 hits in 6 innings pitched while striking out 8 and walking 3, and gets plenty of run support as the Brewers win 10-7. Green improves to 6-3 with a 4.11 ERA. Liann-wei Hua (2.45 ERA) struggled a bit in his 2 innings pitched to let the Lords get back in the game. Hua gave up 3 runs on 5 hits. But Jaden Francis pitched a flawless 9th for his 6th save of 1974 (0.60 ERA.) Right fielder Josh Schaeffer (.314/.430/.424), quietly putting together a fine season, went 2 for 4 in the win, driving in 4 runs and hitting his 3rd HR of 1974. Schaeffer also threw a runner out at 3rd base.
Jonathan Koch (.289/.316/.411) has been slumping for the past several weeks but he got hot in this one and went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 2 RBI, hit his 10th double and 4th HR of the season.
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Justin Peacock gave the Brewers another fine start in game 2, as he lasted 6 2/3rds innings, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits, and the Brewers got a narrow victory, 4-3. Peacock improves to 2-0 with a 3.04 ERA. Sam Pruiett pitches the last inning and 2/3rds for his 1st save of the year and improves his ERA to 1.40. (It should probably be noted that while the Brewers starting staff is pretty much middle of the pack thus far in the MGL in ERA, the bullpen leads the league in this category.) Another fine game for Josh Schaeffer (.320/.432/.434) who seems to picking up the slack while his long-time compatriot (they were drafted in the same class and essentially rose through the minor leagues together) Joe McPhillips is on the IL. Schaeffer went 2 for 4 again this time with 2 runs scored and hit his 5th double of the year.
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The Brewers get the series sweep with a 9-3 win in game 3. After Harry Lyerly gave up 3 1st inning runs, saw his team plate 4 in the bottom of the frame to give him an early lead, he then was looking like he was settling in a bit in the 2nd inning before having to leave with an injury that later was revealed to be abdominal soreness that shouldn't keep him from being able to make his next scheduled start. It was at that point that Eric Johnson took to center stage. And boy did he dazzle. Johnson gave the Brewers 6 1/3rd innings of nearly perfect relief- giving up just 1 hit while striking out 1 and walking none. For his heroic performance the young finesse pitcher got his first victory of the 1974 season to go along with a 2.70 ERA. Jonathan Koch (.298/.323/.431) continues his resurgence at the plate, going 2 for 4 for the 3rd time in the series, scoring twice, driving in 3 runs, and hitting his 5th HR of the season. And once again he was joined by Josh Schaeffer (.333/.440/.452) in leading the team offensively as Schaeffer was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and hit his 6th double.
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With the series sweep the Brewers are 4 1/2 games ahead of Charlotte, 6 ahead of the L.A. Spinners, and have a 7 game lead on Phoenix.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #504
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1974 WPK Amateur Player Draft

We have reached that magical day, one of the most anticipated of the WPK annual schedule: Draft Day!

Early indications are that this year's draft class might be one of the weaker we have seen thus far.

The early rounds were heavy on second baseman, with 3 of the first 6 players chosen having that as their primary position. It looked to be a particularly weak year for pitching but perhaps because of that there was an early run on starting pitchers and teams tried to at least grab up those handful who might have a chance at the the WPK level. Eight of the first round draft picks were starting pitchers with one reliever chosen at #18.

A look at the 5 top picks will give some idea of the weakness of this class:

Number 1 overall was 18-year old prep star Nick Johnson. While Johnson was primarily a second baseman in his prep career it appears that the Pittsburgh Roadrunners are committed to having him learn first base. Johnson has great contact hitting potential and could be a dangerous gap hitter with his line drive heavy approach. He is very speedy and a smart base runner who can pick up a handful of stolen bases a year as well. But his defense is pretty average which is likely why Pittsburgh is looking to transition him to first. The only problem with that is that he certainly doesn't profile with the type of power that would ordinarily be expected out of a corner infield position. On the other hand, Johnson is believed to have advanced character traits- he's smart, hard working, adaptable- and the feeling is that the young man has a very good chance to reach his potential as a #1 overall pick.
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Next, the Portland Wild Things chose second baseman Chance Moore out of Las Vegas College (his name is Chance and he went to Las Vegas College- how good is that?). Moore is comparable to Johnson in terms of speed (and a better base stealer), is quite a bit better defensively and likely to stay at second base, and while he doesn't have the sheer contact skill potential of Johnson he should hit for more over-the-fence power. While Moore is something of an introvert and a leader by example only, he does possess, like Johnson, great smarts and a strong work ethic.
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With the 3rd pick of the draft the San Francisco Velocity grabbed prep outfielder Brian Paul. Although Paul came into the draft as a center fielder, it appears that his future in professional baseball, at least while he is in the S.F. system, is in right field. This makes sense as his range is good but not great while he has a very strong arm. He has natural speed but is not very skilled on the bases. He is unlikely to hit for a very high batting average but could develop advanced power in time. He is a strong leader and hard worker, so even though he is far from a finished product he should have a decent chance of living up to his raw potential.
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The Milwaukee Cadets then chose the first pitcher of the draft with the 4th pick as they went with 18-year old right hander Sean Camille out of the University of Washington. While there was general consensus that Camille was the best pitcher available in the draft, this should give you some idea of how weak the position was this year. Camille could develop elite stuff over time and almost surely will have above average movement, but his control is suspect, his third pitch- a change up- is likely to never develop to the point of usefulness, and his stamina is sub-par. To many observers he looks ultimately like a capable bullpen arm, but not much more.
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Different, but equally compelling, concerns surround the 5th pick of the draft: starting pitcher Adam Gonzalez out of the University of Miami. Like Camille, Gonzalez is an 18-year old righty, but unlike Camille Gonzalez could have 4 quality pitches and possesses good stamina. On the other hand, while his movement should be the equal of Camille's, his stuff is thought to be marginal and he will also likely struggle with control. Most concerning though is the perception that Gonzalez is likely to be very injury prone and though he seems to have solid makeup there is a very good chance he will never reach his full potential.
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Overall in the first round (out of 20 players), 8 starting pitchers were chosen, 4 second baseman, 3 outfielders, 2 shortstops, 1 first baseman, 1 third baseman, and 1 relief pitcher. No catchers were selected in the first round.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:03 PM   #505
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I kinda like Chance Moore here - he would’ve been my #1 out of these five. Is Pittsburgh pretty well stocked at second?
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:19 PM   #506
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The Denver Brewers and the 1974 Draft

The Denver Brewers had the 18th pick in the first round of the 1974 draft and with that pick they chose third baseman Andy Oleson. Oleson, a 21-year old out of El Paso College, profiles as a very good contact hitter with a decent amount of power and good eye at the plate, more in terms of avoiding the strikeout though than drawing bases on balls. He is a slow runner and almost sure never to win any Gold Gloves at third, but he does have a cannon arm so he should be capable at the position. He doesn't standout as having the kind of intangibles the Brewers often seem to value highly, but he has a reputation of being a good teammate.
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The Brewers had a pick in the supplemental first round as well due to the signing of free agent reliever Jose de los Santos in the offseason. The Brewers believe they may have pulled off the steal of the draft with their selection of two-way player Adrian Darby with this pick. While Darby came into the draft as a third baseman, and was a solid prospect at that position, the Brewers see in him the potential to be a reliever of the caliber de los Santos was in his prime. Which is to say a dominant stopper. He has a cutter that is already fairly developed and profiles as dominant and a curve ball that is less polished but has the same devastating potential. At his peak the Brewers see Darby as having plus stuff, plus movement, and at least average, if not a bit above average, control. He is a hard-throwing ground ball pitcher who pitches with confidence and poise. And like current Brewer Jordan Stephens, Darby can also play third base and gives the team another power bat off the bench. Darby could end up being the real bright spot of this draft.
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With their 2nd round pick the Brewers drafted 18-year old outfielder Darian Burdzy out of Coastal Carolina University. Burdzy is the cousin of Phoenix Speed Devils center fielder Kenny White and is believed to have good baseball smarts. Burdzy is a fast runner with very good defensive range. He profiles with decent contact skills (thought be already pretty advanced) and a patient approach at the plate, but very little power.
(A note about this pick: I usually shy away from drafting players who were created through my relative player creation process. Just because I feel like I know a bit too much about them and it might not be fair. But in this case, I don't feel like Burdzy is that fantastic a prospect and it just made sense that the team would choose him at this juncture. So there it is.)
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In the 3rd round the Brewers drafted 21-year old outfielder Jon Williams out of St. Louis College. Williams had a great season for the Blue Hens in 1973 but struggled a bit this Spring and this might have led him to drop a bit in the draft. He is a tremendous fielder with a spectacular arm and possesses top of the line speed and good base running skills. He may never hit for a high average but could become a plus power hitter. And all reports are that he is a likable teammate.
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At the urging of head scout Nick Meskill, the Brewers chose their first pitcher with their 4th round pick. They took 18-year old right hander Josh Roberts out of Burley High School (Burley, Idaho). Josh has the reputation of having a very strong work ethic and good makeup, has good stamina (he is a finesse pitcher), but likely will never develop his third pitch (change up) and his fastball and slider both profile as just a bit above average. He should develop decent control but will likely underwhelm in terms of stuff and movement and likely projects as a mediocre relief pitcher at best. Still, he is young and hard working and with his funky sidearm delivery he may still develop into at least a good middle inning option to fool a dangerous right handed hitter or two.
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Last edited by BirdWatcher; 09-15-2019 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:33 PM   #507
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauwoo View Post
I kinda like Chance Moore here - he would’ve been my #1 out of these five. Is Pittsburgh pretty well stocked at second?
The Roadrunners current second baseman, Bill Craig, is young and pretty good but not great and also fragile. They have two other second baseman on their current active roster. One of them- Tim Ayala- is a good hitter but a mediocre fielder. And the other- Matt Harrington- is a great field, no hit kind of guy.
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But they have a pair of pretty good prospects down at single A.
Emiliano Centeno, a scouting discovery out of Venezuela, who profiles as a bat first second baseman.
And Brad Sherman, a first round draft pick in 1970, who is, well, pretty much the same.
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So they are pretty deep at this position even if they don't really have anyone who is the full superstar package.

BTW- this is the kind of question I LOVE !
Thank you for asking.
If nothing else, it leads me to look more closely at something I might not have thought to look at otherwise. And it really adds to the immersion of this baseball universe.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:09 PM   #508
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1974 Brewers Draft, continued.

A few other notes and highlights from the Brewers 1974 draft:

Probably the most advanced prospect the Brewers got was 21-year old left fielder Joe McCain out of Austin College. McCain does not profile as a great WPK player but he already basically has the skills to play at the big league level and he has been assigned to debut his professional career as a member of the single A Bainbridge Brawlers. The 6' 4", 220 pound big man is a slow runner and a sub-par fielder, but his hit tool is decent and well-rounded and he has the reputation of being a fine clubhouse leader. There is certainly every possibility that in the next few years McCain might find himself in a big league role as a pinch-hitter. Though in the Brewers crowded outfield it might be a tough road ahead for young Mr. McCain.
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For very different reasons, 18-year old outfield Rich Gusciora also bears watching. Gusciora may struggle with his approach at the plate in spite of decent gap power potential and an average contact and home run power potential profile. But he possesses very good speed and should be a great fielder with a plus plus arm. He appears to have good intangibles and is still quite young so it is certainly possible he will develop beyond his current hit tool projection and become a valuable player, at least in a bench role.
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And finally, lets look at Matt Thompson, the Brewers 26th round pick and one of the last players taken in this year's draft. Thompson, a 21-year old relief pitcher out of Dallas College, is unlikely to ever make it to the bigs, mostly due to his very poor movement and abysmal control. Then again, he has an already WPK-ready fastball which should develop into excellence, and an undeveloped slider that could become devastating. His future stuff profiles as near elite. He's also very smart and a hard worker. It will take a near miracle for Thompson to develop into a big league reliever, but it isn't impossible to imagine. For the #527th guy picked, the hard throwing and hard working right hander doesn't look entirely hopeless.
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Overall, the Brewers chose 7 starting pitchers, 7 outfielders, 3 third baseman (or 5 perhaps, if you include a pair of two-way players who likely will mostly be relief pitchers), 2 shortstops, 2 catchers, 2 first baseman, 2 relief pitchers (both of whom can also play third base), and 1 second baseman.
While the 7 starting pitchers are all unlikely to ever make it to the Brewers rotation, many of them do profile as having the ability to rise to the higher levels of the minors. One of the great weaknesses of the Brewers farm system is the dearth of good starting pitching and it is hoped that this draft will help remedy that a bit, even if it might never impact the big league club directly.
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:48 AM   #509
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Reply to Bird's player analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post

It will take a near miracle for Thompson to develop into a big league reliever, but it isn't impossible to imagine. For the #527th guy picked, the hard throwing and hard working right hander doesn't look entirely hopeless.
Say WHAT?!?!?

You fellas think Bird's been suckin back on grandpas old cough medicine?
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:06 AM   #510
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Say WHAT?!?!?

You fellas think Bird's been suckin back on grandpas old cough medicine?


I just meant to say that it is rare that the very last player I choose in the draft actually has any ratings that have potential to be elite (in this case his stuff rating and 2 possible plus pitches.) And the character traits to make development more likely.
The fact that he is already 21 means there won't be much time for some random talent change to kick in and make him a borderline prospect. I'm talking a guy who might be good enough for a September call-up/cup of coffee. Almost surely no more than that. But stranger things have happened. Not much stranger perhaps, admittedly.
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:02 PM   #511
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post


I just meant to say that it is rare that the very last player I choose in the draft actually has any ratings that have potential to be elite (in this case his stuff rating and 2 possible plus pitches.) And the character traits to make development more likely.
The fact that he is already 21 means there won't be much time for some random talent change to kick in and make him a borderline prospect. I'm talking a guy who might be good enough for a September call-up/cup of coffee. Almost surely no more than that. But stranger things have happened. Not much stranger perhaps, admittedly.
Hopefully he can develop some movement, and not kill anybody with his Nuke LaLoosh control.
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:41 PM   #512
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Hopefully he can develop some movement, and not kill anybody with his Nuke LaLoosh control.
Exactly!
And trust me, I know this is almost surely not going to happen.
But at the very least he actually looks like he will be competent at the lower levels of the organization and possibly even dominant with his wicked fastball.

Plus, there is always the chance, however distant, that he gets boosts in both movement and control, even just to not abysmal (say, 4 or so on both) and the fact that now that he is in our organization it is also possible that in time our scout will see him as even better than first thought (getting a more accurate reading than when he was still a collegiate player.) That one cuts both ways though- he might decide he is even more of a dog than he originally believed.

But just to re-iterate my intention in sharing this (as I perhaps didn't explain this very well before): there were only a few players in the draft chosen after this guy, in what appeared to be a very weak draft. He's horrible yes. But if our scout is right about any of this, he isn't nearly as horrible as a player should be taken at the last minute of the draft.
That was my point.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:47 PM   #513
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Bird,

I never meant for you or anyone else to take my post serious in any way. .

I just thought what you had written about that player sounded...just...hilariously out there! LOL
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:13 PM   #514
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Hopefully he can develop some movement, and not kill anybody with his Nuke LaLoosh control.
Can he hit? Looking forward to the develop report on this guy.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:15 PM   #515
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Can he hit? Looking forward to the develop report on this guy.
Right? I’d have taken a flier out on the kid for sure. I think he eventually makes the big club - setting the table for the closer. Zacarias Martell will be back there doing his best Crash Davis impression - “I wouldn’t dig in if I were you. Next one might be at your head. I don’t know where it’s gonna go. Swear to God.”
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:12 PM   #516
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Well, I'll tell you what- this kid has gotten so much attention now that I guess I better feature a regular report on his minor league path.

He's not much of a hitter but he could develop a little bit of power and a decent eye at the plate. And he should be a slightly above average runner.

Interestingly, I also just noticed that the OSA rates his potential higher than our head scout and sees him as having 2 star potential. Not that I trust the OSA over our head scout Nick Meskill, but it does make me wonder even more why he lasted until almost the exact end of the draft without someone selecting him. I'm sure that far worse players were chosen ahead of him.

When you look at how he currently projects at each level it is clear that control will be his greatest challenge. Anything above the Rookie league level and his control is pretty much bottom of the barrel. Movement rates as pretty average up to the AA level.

I'll keep you all posted. I do like this bit from his scouting report: "His lack of command combined with stuff that can be overwhelming can make his outings an adventure." And hey, who doesn't like an adventure?

Edit: I also just noticed that he played a little middle infield in college and while his infield range is poor (3), otherwise his infield ratings are pretty good, with a 6 error rating, and 7's for infield arm and turn dp. So, in a pinch, he could play a little second base.

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Old 09-17-2019, 06:47 PM   #517
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***The View from Outside the Park***

As I mentioned recently, I've been thinking a lot lately about the future WPK Hall of Fame. And that has led me to re-read (well, I'm in the midst of this) the Bill James book about the Hall ("Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame"), and it has been quite some time since I last read this.

And this has gotten me to thinking about a few other things too, among them similarity scores as measured by Bill James.

Partly as a result I have started putting together a WPK Encyclopedia in Excel spreadsheet form in which I only add players once they are retired and just the basic cumulative stats that are used to measure the Jamesian Similarity Scores. I know this is kind of silly as the game already does this in more detail, but I find it helpful for me to enter these manually as I catch things I likely missed before. (As the old Poi Dog Pondering song says, "you get to know things better when they go by slow.") And I find that this way I can eyeball the players a bit better and start to get a feel for which ones are the best candidates for putting through the similarity score test together.

I also got to thinking about some of the players I mentioned earlier who are likely HOF'ers from the WPK, and in particular Denver outfielder Ryan Rodgers.
Now of course, James points out that the greatest players are often the ones hardest to find comparable careers for. It is their unusual skills that set them apart as HOF'ers and the stats tend to reflect that.
Still, I got to wondering how similar Ryan Rodgers and fellow outfielder, and likely future WPK HOF'er, Travis Johnson are using James method.

I probably got this idea because they have careers that have spanned the exact same years thus far, are near the same age, have achieved many of the same accomplishments in terms of post-season awards, in-season All-Star appearances, championship rings, etc. Then add to that the fact that they currently have almost identical batting averages and are pretty close in terms of career WAR. (Rodgers and Johnson both have career BA's that round to .334 but Johnson is slightly ahead at .3334 while Rodgers sits at .3339.)

Now had I just taken a closer look at some of their other stats before starting to crunch these similarity score numbers I would have realized they aren't actually that similar. Johnson has hit 152 career home runs, Rodgers only 14. Johnson has stolen 311 bases, Rodgers only 47. So though their batting averages are nearly identical, and their triples and doubles totals are quite close, they really aren't the same type baseball players at all.
In most offensive categories Johnson is clearly superior, and this likely is also why his HOF Monitor score is much higher. The only offensive category where Rodgers has a clear edge is walks (890 to 665.)
Their Similarity Score is 775. Which, if I understand correctly, would qualify them as vaguely similar at best.
And looking beyond the stats for this test, even more differences emerge. While both have primarily been outfielders in their careers, Rodgers was a center fielder for most of his prime playing years, and won Gold Gloves at the position. Even now, at age 35, he is a very excellent fielder, though his slight loss of foot speed makes him more valuable on the corners. Johnson, on the other hand, was primarily a left fielder earlier in his career, and while not defensive liability, he certainly did not possess Rodgers gifts in the field. As he has aged, he finds himself primarily playing first base.


So I started wondering what MLB players might profile as more similar to Ryan Rodgers. When you look at HOF outfielders in MLB, it's hard to find many who hit as few HR's as Rodgers. I thought maybe Richie Ashburn might be a decent fit. So looking just at a comparable period of Ashburn's career, which ended at the age Rodgers currently is, I found that their similarity score was 881. That's a decent match, if not a great one. But it does remove some of Ashburn's better early years. And Ashburn at 35 was not Ryan Rodgers at 35. Rodgers looks like he has several good seasons ahead of him and is having one of the better seasons of his career this year. Ashburn's batting average for the period in question (for Ashburn this was 1953-1962) was quite a bit lower than Rodgers. Though depending upon how long Rodgers plays his career average is likely to drop a bit (although this season so far is actually lifting it higher, as he leads the league with an average over .400.) Ashburn stole more bases but also struck out more often. He also hit fewer doubles than Rodgers, drove in fewer runs, and had much lower SLG.

I started to think that maybe I needed to look to middle infielders to find a better match. I settled on Rod Carew- again just looking at a comparable stretch of his career in terms of age (1972-1981.) Even before making the adjustment for position (though this wasn't quite as large since Carew moved from second to first in the middle of this stretch, so I averaged the two), it was a less strong match than with Ashburn, with a score of 873, which dropped to 849 adjusting for position. Carew's batting average was closer- though also better than Rodgers. He stole way more bases. And hit quite a few more homers. But they were a pretty good match for doubles and triples.

Anyway, not quite sure what the point of all of this is. Except that if I don't move terribly quickly here for a few days this is probably why.
And you can expect to see more data like this in the future.

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Old 09-17-2019, 11:52 PM   #518
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WPK Encyclopedia Trivia

Danny Fontes, 1965 Columbus Whalers: 2 games played, 1 plate appearance, 1 home run.

I guess if you only ever get one big league plate appearance, hitting one out of the park and trotting around the bases victoriously isn't the worst outcome.

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Old 09-18-2019, 01:57 AM   #519
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Hall of Fame

Bird,

I have been slowly putting together a dynasty franchise that I will be posting here in the forums when things are ready. I love what you are doing with Bill James's hall of fame book and similarity scores. Kudos with spreadsheeting the players' stats after they retire.

Something that I have decided to do (just deciding on how many years to wait) is to sort of follow RL mlb history and delay the hall of fame (and by nature the first hall of fame vote) by a sizable number of years. I am also torn on whether to allow the AI to have a say in the vote or just take it over myself after I have everything set up and am satisfied with the system I will have in place. I am strongly leaning toward taking over initially and over time let the AI back in about 10 to 15 years after the opening of the HOF and follow it closely with the spreadsheet. If it is reliable then let the AI do the heavy lifting and check every 5 years to see if anyone was missed.

I had the same idea about setting up a spreadsheet and keeping track of retired players and seeing how each player at each position compared to each other. Start doing this at the first 10 year mark and decide how long you wish to delay the initial vote (if you want to go that way). My reasoning for doing so is too many times in the game we see sub par players inducted early on because there is no other players enshrined at their position with which to compare them to and it can be very difficult to get all positions represented early on because it takes some time. Then we start with a weak HOF and the AI compares future possible inductees to the already HOFers and the hall is potentially further diluted. By delaying the vote by 20, 25, even 30 years you can get a good spreadsheet loaded with HOF potentials at all positions and decide on how many to induct initially, whether all or just the top 5 or 6 maybe, and then keep working through them each year after until you get caught up and you can hopefully have a good solid base of all or at least most positions. I am leaning towards 30 years myself.

Now during the "freeze" time what I would suggest especially since you are like me and play each game (which of course takes some time) keep good notes on each player in the spreadsheet (I will probably just keep those notes on a Word file) because we want to remember all about those old players and why they may have value beyond just the straight numbers. You know what I mean. That value can be the tipping point for induction into the Hall of Fame or the hall of the very good.

I need to go for now, I probably missed something I wanted to say so if so I will send another post later. If you have any questions let me know. . If you are not interested in using this, no problem. I understand there is quite a time delay when you play out your games.

Once you have the similarity score ironed out for your spreadsheet please let me know. If you don't mind I would like to utilize that. Thanks bro, gotta go! Have a good night!
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:54 AM   #520
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Similarity Score: Cheol-han Lee and Jake Harris

As I've mentioned here many times, almost surely the two best starting pitchers of the first generation of WPK players are the Brewers own Cheol-han Lee and the Columbus Whaler's Jake Harris.

Like I earlier did with outfielders Ryan Rodgers and Travis Johnson, I thought it would be interesting to look at Lee and Harris in terms of their similarity scoring using the Bill James method.

Also like Rodgers and Johnson, there were some amazing likenesses in core stats for Lee and Harris. For instance, at this stage of their careers they have nearly identical career ERA's- with Cheol-han at 2.37 and Jake at 2.38. Their win-loss records are also quite close. Cheol-han currently stands at 159-82 while Jake Harris is a bit better at 162-78. (Harris has started 6 more games than Lee.)

But unlike Rodgers and Johnson, these similar stats did not mask deeper differences. In fact, Lee and Harris score at 960 on the James Similarity Score. Which means they are remarkably similar. And the biggest difference that counted against them on James' scale was handedness- Cheol-han is a rigthy while Harris is a southpaw.
Cheol-han's great stamina has led to him having quite a few more innings pitched (101 more) in spite of pitching six fewer games and also led to him having 115 complete games to Harris' 74 and 38 shutouts compared to Harris' 25. The two are nearly identical in walks allowed but Harris is the better strikeout pitcher (1823 to 1664.) Neither has ever pitched even an inning in relief. Harris will turn 36 before the end of this season while Lee turned 33 in January, so by the time their respective careers are over their numbers might be less similar and Cheol-han has a good chance to exceed Harris in many categories. Cheol-han still profiles as durable while Harris, who has experienced more injuries in his career but none keeping him out of action more than a week (Cheol-han has had exactly one injury in his career, experiencing back spasms that sidelined him for a week this current season), is thought to be in the normal range of injury propensity. Thus far in 1974 Cheol-han is having far more success with his 6-2 record and 2.43 ERA compared to Harris' 5-6, 3.81. The biggest difference for Harris in 1974 seems to be that his walk rate is up while his strikeout rate is down. His BABIP is pretty close to his career average but both his WHIP and FIP are quite a bit worse than his career norms.
As for Cheol-han in 1974, his BABIP is slightly lower than his norm and might indicate some luckiness on his part this season (though the reality is that the Brewers defense is particularly good this year, especially with Joe McPhillips manning center field and Ryan Rodgers moving to the corners of the outfield for most of his starts). Cheol-han's WHIP is very good and a bit below his career average but his FIP and FIP- are uncharacteristically high. Like Harris his strikeout rate is lower than usual but his BB/9 is even better than his career average, though he is giving up HR's at a slightly higher rate.
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All in all, though, Cheol-han Lee and Jake Harris not only look like clearly the best right-handed starter and best left-handed starter of their time, but their careers at this point have been remarkably similar.
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