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Friday, March 19, 2004

Review of the Preview: The Hardball Times Mets Preview 

The Hardball Times is a new website created by an All Star cast of bloggers and a few others. It's a great site with interesting baseball articles, interviews and fantasy information. The folks over at THT have weighed in with their 2004 Mets Preview, in Five Questions: New York Mets. The author of the piece, who is also THT co Editor-in-Chief, has one of the most bizarre names I have ever seen. His name is Matthew Namee (Bill James' Research Assistant) (see a few examples here and here). Who has parentheticals as part of their name? What am I supposed to call this guy? Matthew? Mr. Assistant? Mr. Namee (Bill James' Research Assistant)? Is (BJRA) okay? I have seen hyphens; but parentheticals? Oh well, to each his own I guess. Anyway, so Mr. Namee (Bill James' Research Assistant) does a great job in answering five questions facing the Mets in 2004: 1) Kazuo Matsui -- All-Star or mediocrity? 2) Now that Mike Cameron is out of Safeco Field, how will he hit? 3) What's the future for Jose Reyes? 4) Will a move to first base rejuvenate Mike Piazza's offense? And 5) Are Tom Glavine's days as a quality starter over? I don't have parentheticals as part of my name and I'm just some schmuck that figured out how to use Blogger, but I take issue with one answer given by Mr. Namee (Bill James' Research Assistant).

1. Kazuo Matsui -- All-Star or Mediocrity?

Namee (BJRA) reviews three projections for Matsui: Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA, Baseball Primer's ZiPS, and Aaron Gleeman's prediction.

Gleeman: .275/.325/.445
PECOTA: .281/.339 /.456
ZiPS: .284/.349/.445

Namee (BJRA) concludes, based on these numbers, that Matsui will be slightly above average at best and win an All Star spot due to the Japanese voting block. However, Namee (BJRA) neglects to include the most accurate projection system known to man or stat geek: NPNOohAP ("Norm Pulls Numbers Out of his Ass Projections"). Under NPNOohAP, you take the average gain or loss from the three Japanese position players who have made the transition from Japanese baseball to MLB, and you apply that to Matsui's most recent three year statistical averages from Japan (see NL East Table Setter Showdown for an extended discussion of this issue). Between Hideki Matsui, Ichiro Suzuki, and Tsuyoshi Shinjo, there has been about a 3% loss in AVG, a 9% loss in OBP, and a 13% loss in SLG. Applying these numbers to an approximation of Kazuo Matsui's latest three year statistical averages from the Pacific League (.315/.373/.554), we can expect the following: .306/.340/.482. I like the NPNOohAP AVG and SLG numbers better than Pegota's, Zippidy Doo Da's or Gleeman's but I like ZiPYs OBP better than mine, which gives Matsui: .306/.349/.482. These numbers clearly make Matsui an All Star.
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