Author Topic: Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre  (Read 4308 times)

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Offline The Chief

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Topic Start: September 12, 2005, 09:08:09 AM »
What do you guys think?  Was his 32 homer year in Montreal a fluke?  Is he just having a hard time getting adjusted to RFK?  Has his arm been nagging him all season like they say?

I'm just curious to see what everyone thinks.  Wilkerson has never been that much better than he is this year, but he was better.  Better slugging, more homers, marginally better average.

*edited by JMadisonIV* This thread has turned into a Wilky Vs. Pierre Debate, so I renamed it thusly.  :D

Offline Dave B

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #1: September 12, 2005, 09:42:06 AM »
I think he could find himself the odd man out. Guillen has a spot, I think you have to see what Church can do.  Are you content to have Wilkerson, Church and Guillen? as your outfield. That would probably leave Wilkerson leading off again.  I dont know where you can insert a leadoff man into that lineup. Church? Guzman if he can be his old self. He did lead off in Minnesota.

Are the Nats going to try to get Juan Pierre or do something with Brandon Watson? I wouldnt be opposed to either of those moves.

I dont know if I would give up on Wilkerson, seeing as he can play 1B too.  But I would definitely try to upgrade his position.

Offline Kenz aFan

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #2: September 12, 2005, 11:32:33 AM »
Have you all forgotten about Terrmel Sledge? I've seen both he and Church play and excuse me for being blunt, but Terrmel Sledge is twice the player Ryan Church is.

Offline Nationalzfanatic88

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #3: September 12, 2005, 11:33:08 AM »
I personally dont believe in flukes, thats a bunch of bs to me. If Wilky hit 32 homers last year is because he has the potentail to. I believe this eyar he was injured and will be much better next year, but I dont think he should lead off!!

Offline Kenz aFan

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #4: September 12, 2005, 11:36:05 AM »
the only places Wilkerson will ever hit 30 or more home runs will be Colorado or Texas. Wilkerson at his best is a 20 HR per year player, last season was an anomaly.

Offline Dave B

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #5: September 12, 2005, 12:20:29 PM »
Actually, yes  I did forget about Terrmel.  What do you think his deal is gonna be? His injury was serious and I think career threatening.  To go from career threatening to 100% in a year seems like a tall order.

Offline The Chief

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #6: September 12, 2005, 03:18:25 PM »
Quote from: "Kenz aFan"
Have you all forgotten about Terrmel Sledge? I've seen both he and Church play and excuse me for being blunt, but Terrmel Sledge is twice the player Ryan Church is.


To be honest, yes.  Yes I did.  And I didn't get a chance to see him play at all before he was injured, so I have no basis by which to compare him to anyone. :(

Offline Ryan Zimmerman

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #7: September 12, 2005, 04:05:38 PM »
Wilkerson won't/didn't hit 30 hr's because of RFK.

End of discussion.

natslive

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #8: September 12, 2005, 04:10:10 PM »
Quote from: "Kenz aFan"
Have you all forgotten about Terrmel Sledge? I've seen both he and Church play and excuse me for being blunt, but Terrmel Sledge is twice the player Ryan Church is.


having seen both players a fair amount (thru the minors) and in the majors....if Sledge is healthy then he should start in the outfield....he is better than Church and given the chance believe he's better than Wilky....think the 32 homers were a fluke - if he's healthy etc I see Wilky as a 15-20 HR guy no more.....

Offline rileyn

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #9: September 12, 2005, 08:43:20 PM »
I will jump in.

To answer the original question - I don't see how Wilkerson could be worse than he was this year, so I will say he will be better.  However, I don't want to see him playing every day.  We need a true leadoff hitter and space eater in center field.  Juan Pierre will be available, but another guy that will be out there for the taking on the cheap is Corey Patterson.  Stop laughing.  I know he had a disastrous year in Chicago, but if ever a a guy needed a change in scenery to jump start his career this is it.  

As far as Termel Sledge - I totally forgot him and have not seen enough of him to make a judgement.  I'm inclined to trust Kenzafan's opinion so I look forward to having him in the fold next year.  What is his status?

Offline hillnat

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #10: September 13, 2005, 08:39:27 AM »
Once again mlb .com gets it right.

Wilkerson riding up and down season
Injuries, struggles at plate cool catcher's hot start

Scot

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #11: September 13, 2005, 11:12:39 AM »
I think Wilkerson will be better next year. And frankly, he hasn't been as bad this year as a lot of people seem to think - a .351 OBP out of the leadoff spot while playing half your games in an extreme pitchers park is pretty good. Corey Patterson? Career OBP below .300, career high OBP of 0.329 - he's a clear downgrade from Wilkerson. Juan Pierre? .322 OBP this year, career OBP of .354.

Wilkerson, 2005: .251/.351/.416
Patterson, 2005: .218/.255/.355
Pierre, 2005: .270/.322/.345

Wilkerson, career: .257/.366/.456
Patterson, career: .254/.294/.416
Pierre, career: .304/.354/.374

the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence. Wilkerson has been better in 2005 than either Pierre or Patterson. He's been better for his career to date than either Pierre or Patterson.

The OF shouldn't be a problem for the 2006 Nationals, with Guillen, Wilkerson, Sledge and Church available. Keep Wilkerson, play him eeryday, bat him leadoff. If the front office wastes any time worrying about the OF, it'll be a bad sign.

Scot.

Offline Dave B

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #12: September 13, 2005, 11:45:04 AM »
cant leave out...

juan pierre: 40 strikeouts 49/64 stolen bases
brad wilkerson : 137 SO, 7/17  SB

juan pierre's range is much more than wilkerson's.

i cringe when juan pierre gets on base.  the pitchers cringe when juan pierre is on base.  you dont think this helps out the batter?

i cant find double play stats. funny, i cant say i recall wilkerson hitting into a lot of dp's, but i'd imagine pierre doesnt hit into mayb of them and his speed on the bases prevents some.

if you cant tell, i love speed, and by consequence, juan pierre. and if he is on the nats, he wont have schneider to throw him out

Scot

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #13: September 13, 2005, 11:59:01 AM »
Strikeouts and stolen bases really aren't all that important when evaluating a player's offense. If you have 2 players with comparable OBPs and SLGS, then the player who strikes out less and steals more is slightly more valuable. But the strikeouts and SBs don't even come remotely close to making up for Wilkerson's 100 point OPS advantage over Pierre.

And for all of Pierre's speed, he's never really been all that good a defensive CF. Poor arm, bad jumps, bad instincts. Pierre and Wilkerson have vastly different styles in CF, but they're about equally valuable defensively - right around average.

Replacing Wilkerson with Pierre would hurt the Nats offense and defense, not help it. It'd be a step backwards.

Scot.

Offline tomterp

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #14: September 13, 2005, 02:15:40 PM »
Guys, this is a great discussion regarding Pierre vs. Wilkerson.  It would be great to find a Bill James type comparison between the two for this season, to see who is more overall productive.

The baseball cybermetricians generally assert that speed is overrated, that if your base stealing % is below 75% you are hurting your team, above you are helping, albeit marginally.  This is a generalization, however, because the situation can vary widely.

Pierre has stolen 46 bases, but been thrown out 15 times.  Have the extra bases been worth the cost?

As Dave B has pointed out, is there a beneficial dimension to Pierre's basepath aggravation, ie does he improve the average of batters behind him?

Notice I am asking lots of questions, but providing no answers.  I just don't have the data or in many cases ability to do that.  Most believers in cybermetrics believe in the holy grail of OBP, and to a lesser extent slugging, as being the primary drivers of offensive production.  Speed and sacrificing are generally not considered valuable, as the objective is to NOT make outs.

Thus I would tend to agree for now with Scot, that Wilkerson's offensive contribution is better than Juan Pierre's this year at least, but am open to hearing arguments to the contrary.

Just think what an offensive juggernaut the Nats will be next year with Rick Short batting 2nd, and Nick Johnson batting 3rd.  OBP here we come!!!

Offline Dave B

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #15: September 13, 2005, 03:25:08 PM »
Pierre's stats do not measure up even if you substitute doubles for stolen bases and consider caught stealing outs. Pierre'smodified OPS is about .700, Wilkerson's is about .750 (if you account for caught stealing).

Wilkerson has 137 SO in 574 appearances
Pierre has 40 in 623.
If Wilkerson had as many appearances as Pierre, he would have 149 SO. Over a season wilkerson would have about 120 strikeouts more than Pierre.

A dispartity that large in SO has to count for something as runners are not moved or scored from third.  Couple that with pierre's 76.5% steal percentage, I think that makes up for .050 Ops points.  In a stadium like RFK, pierre's game is not affected, he might get more triples.

Offline tomterp

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #16: September 13, 2005, 03:34:15 PM »
Good post.

Somebody else mentioned, but the fact Wilkerson strikes out so much, has a small positive benefit in that he rarely grounds into double plays.  

RFK is a triples paradise, n'est pas?

Scot

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #17: September 13, 2005, 04:03:14 PM »
Sabrmetric stats on Wilkerson/Pierre in 2005 (stats from baseball prospectus)

Wilkerson:
.271 EQA, 74 EQR
502 AB, 386 outs made
7 BRAA, 0 FRAA (-2 FRAA at CF)

Pierre:
.253 EQA, 72 EQR
586 AB, 443 outs made
-5 BRAA
-2 FRAA

All statistics are park-adjusted, which means that they take into account that both players hit in pitcher's parks.

EQA is an attempt to summarize a player's complete offensive production in a single number. It takes into account just about everything a hitter can do offensively: hits, power, walks, HBP, sacrifices, SB, CS, etc. A .260 EQA is average; anything above .300 is all-star level. Anything above .330-.340 is a superstar.

BRAA is the number of  runs above average a player is while hitting, and takes into account everything (hits, power, walks, HBP, SB, CS, etc).

FRAA is the number of runs above average a player is at his position defensively.

Dave, a number of studies have looked at trying to quantify how negative batter strikeouts are, and the end conclusion is that they're just not all that damaging - 100 strikeouts has the value of about -3 runs. As Tom pointed out, the negative of Ks is that they don't help advance runners - but the majority of all ABs come with the bases empty, in which case a K is no worse than any other kind of out. And when there are runners on, a K helps avoid a GIDP. In the end, a K is slightly worse than any other kind of out, but it's pretty insignificant. (example: 104 of Wilkerson's Ks came with the bases empty so far in 2005; he's got 33 Ks in 175 PAs with runners on. Pierre has 15 Ks in 206 PAs with runners on. The difference between the 2 is only ~18-19 Ks with runners on if you correct for playing time. And not all of those non-K outs advanced runners - a fielder's choice, or a groundout or flyball that doesn't advance the runner is no better than a K. in terms of GIDP, Wilkerson has 6; Pierre has 9. So Wilkerson's "extra" 100 Ks boils down to ~18-19 Ks with runners on, maybe 4-6 of which might have advanced a runner, but also 3 fewer GIDP. Looks pretty negligible to me)

And Pierre's SB totals are also pretty negligible - the break-even point for stealing bases is ~75% (ie, succeed less than 75% of the time and you hurt the team; break even at 75%, help the team if you're above 75%).

factoring in ks and SB, if you give each player 500 AB, Wilkerson will "create" about 74 runs for his team, while Pierre will create 61 (based on 2005 statistics). That's a substantial difference.

Scot.

Offline tomterp

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« Reply #18: September 13, 2005, 04:16:24 PM »
Scot,

Thanks for the post, I eat this stuff up, but can't get enough of it.

Are there baseball prospectus stats on minor league players, ie. Rick Short?

Be interesting if you could estimate # of runs scored with Short at 2nd instead of what we had this year.

Offline JMW IV

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #19: September 13, 2005, 04:29:17 PM »
I will say this.

I think Juan Pierres 2005 season was an aberration in terms of BA/OBP.

look at the rest of his career, and then look at 2005.

He's not quite old yet, so I don't think he is starting to decline.

I think he'll come back to form next season, and perform closer to his career averages.

keep that in mind.

Scot

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #20: September 13, 2005, 04:42:14 PM »
Tom,

BP used to do EQA numbers for minor leaguers, but their stat source changed this year and they don't have the data anymore.

Looking at the guys who did get playing time at 2B:

Vidro: 320 PA, .266 EQA, 11.7 RARP
Carroll: 293 PA, .227 EQA, -0.4 RARP
Spivey: 90 PA, .265 EQA, 3.1 RARP
Cruz: 35 PA, .223 EQA, -0.1 RARP
Harris: 10 PA, .367 EQA, 1.6 RARP
Mateo: 2 PA, .295 EQA, 0.1 RARP

(all stats park adjusted. RARP is runs above replacement player, and only takes into account offense). The Nats 2B have combined for ~16 RARP, which is poor. But not terrible.

BP didn't do a projection on Short for 2005, but if they had it wouldn't have been all that impressive, especially after factoring in how strong a pitcher's park RFK is, and how hitter-friendly hort's parks have been.

Short doesn't project all that well for next year, either (~.280/.330/.400 in a neutral park, which would probably look something like ~.260/.300/.370 in RFK). He's got a couple of strikes against him:

1. he's old. Players his age usually decline.

2. He's played in pretty good hitting environments in the minors, so his numbers are park-assisted, and don't look nearly as good when you factor in the park

3. his 2005 season is way out of line with his previous career, which means that it's far more likely that it's a fluke and that he'll regress

4. RFK is a strong pitcher's park, which will deflate his numbers.

Count me among those not expecting much from Short in 2005. He'll be better offensively than Carroll was this year, but nowhere near as good defensively. I see Short as fitting into the Baerga role, and being an upgrade (but only a slight one) on what Baerga gave this year. I'm down on Vidro, but he's still clearly a better option than Short for 2006.

Scot.

Scot

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #21: September 13, 2005, 04:46:34 PM »
JM:

You can say the same things about Wilkerson, IMHO. Wilkerson has been pretty consistently ~.265/.375/.470 prior to this year's ~.250/.350/.420.

And Peirre has hardly been consistently better than he is this year. .327/.378/.415 in colorado in 2001 isn't far off what he's doing this year in Florida; his 2002 line of .287/.332/.337 in Colorado is even worse than this year. Looking at his career as a whole, it's the 2003-04 seasons that are out of line, not the 2005 season.

Scot.

Offline tomterp

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« Reply #22: September 13, 2005, 07:09:29 PM »
Scot, I agree pretty much with your points 1-3 on Short, but am not convinced of the merits of #4, that is, that RFK is a pitchers' park.

I know, it's become gospel around here, and I have repeated it myself on occasion when the purpose suits me.  We know it's not a great home run park, but it seems a very good doubles and triples park.  Lots of room out there.

If you put a weak hitting team, with good pitching, in an average park, won't that park appear to be a pitchers park?  (I am thinking RFK and Houston as possible examples)

I guess, tell me how the park adjustments are derived.  If they are based on how well teams hit in them, then they may be biased.  That is, a team may just have poor hitters or be facing good pitchers when in that park.  If you had the Yankees or Red Sox hitting in RFK for a season, in theory the park adjustment should be identical, but I'm suspicious it wouldn't be....

I don't expect Short to have lots of homers at RFK (though he's off to a nice start) but I would expect lots of line drives, so I'm not sure why the park would disadvantage his game.  Please expand on park bias please!!!!

(and I DO appreciate the already lots of time you've spent responding so far)

Scot

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Brad Wilkerson vs. Juan Pierre
« Reply #23: September 14, 2005, 10:01:18 AM »
Tom:

Park factors are computed by looking at the offensive levels put up in those parks (by the home team and the visitors), and comparing them to the offensive levels put up by the same team on the road (and the teams that are hosting them). For RFK, that means that they look at all the runs scored in games played at RFK, and compare that to the total number of runs scored in Nats road games.

Basically, the end result of doing that is that it doesn't matter how strong or weak the offense is, or how strong or weak the pitching is - since it's the same offense and pitching in both the home games and the road games.

So, a quick and dirty park factor for Washington can be calculated by looking at the total runs scored per game in RFK (264 RS by the Nats and 274 RS by their opponents in 72 games, for an average of 7.47 R/g) and the total runs scored per game in nats road games (301 runs scored bt the Nats and 326 by Nats opponents in 73 games, for an average of 8.59), and taking the ratio: 7.47 divided by 8.59 = 0.87, which means that RFK strongly deflates scoring. Since a team only plays half its games at home, you'll usually see park factors reported as half of the deviation from neutral (since half the games are on the road, which presumably averages out to a neutral park factor of 1. The average of 1 and 0.87 is 0.93, which is the value you'd normally see for the RFK park factor. Baseball Prospectus uses a more complicated method to determine park factor, and has RFK listed as 940, or 0.940.

If you've got the time and inclination and data, you can do more specific park factors - instead of just an overall park factor for runs, you can do park factors for hits, doubles, triples, HR, etc. But the calculation is basically the same.

Scot.

Offline tomterp

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« Reply #24: September 15, 2005, 11:06:23 AM »
Okay, that makes sense.  

For some reason I just have an inkling that Short would perform better than your projection, so am probing for a weakness in the stats.  Nonetheless, I do place a lot of credence in the use of stats generally, after reading a couple of Bill James' statistical abstracts back in the early 80's.  

I have barely seen Short at all, but have the impression that he can hit to all fields and generally would have no problem hitting for high average in RFK's spacious dimensions.  I hope we can revisit this conversation a year from how, after Rick has 300+ at bats for the 2006 season.....

Was checking out the Baseball Prospectus site, but haven't yet subscribed, though I'm sorely tempted.
Assuming you are a subscriber, could you tell me what the odds are of the Nats making the playoffs?  I recall seeing a feature on playoff probabilities.

Thanks again!