When Is It Okay To Worry About Triston Casas: An Attempt at the Reverse Jinx

koufax32

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There is no chance he gets ROY, he just started too slowly. But HOUSES is an absolute beast, and I love watching him play the game.
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
 

grimshaw

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Votto, Abreu and Goldschmidt are all recent 1b MVPs as well with indifferent or negative dWAR results.

I guess if Casas has clearly the most dominant offensive season, the fact he is subpar at defense might be overlooked. Especially if the Sox are big winners that season.
Goldschmidt has 4 gold gloves, so I didn't include him.
 

Niastri

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I'm guessing that you're figuring on a bunch of wall ball doubles? I think Casas hits the ball hard enough that some of those balls are fielded very quickly and he has to hold at first.
Yeah, it takes a great year combined with good to great luck to have a 50/50 season. There's a reason there's only been one guy to do it... But he wasn't known for speed, either.

The idea is Casas perfects lofting medium to long fly balls to left that hit the wall slowly enough to gift him a ton of doubles. Combine that with a bunch of rockets that get extra bases...
Goldschmidt has 4 gold gloves, so I didn't include him.
Goldschmidt had negative dWAR his MVP year according to baseball reference.

I don't follow the National League closely enough to comment on Goldschmidt and his actual defensive abilities.

Goldschmidt probably isn't a defensive butcher, but Jeter win a bunch of gold gloves too.
 

BringBackMo

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Casas doesn't look like he'll ever have gaudy batting average numbers,
Well that’s quite an assumption.
EDIT: I suppose it’s all in how we define gaudy. He’s hit something like .320 two months now, and he posted good BAs in the minors, so seasons of .300 seem reasonable to expect. That may actually not qualify as gaudy.
 
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Fishy1

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Well that’s quite an assumption.
EDIT: I suppose it’s all in how we define gaudy. He’s hit something like .320 two months now, and he posted good BAs in the minors, so seasons of .300 seem reasonable to expect. That may actually not qualify as gaudy.
He's hitting .265 on a .320 BABIP. He never hit better than .284 in the minors in any full season. With his speed he's never going to post a really high BABIP, either.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but he'd have to cut down on his K's substantially if he ever wants a chance at hitting .300.

I don't really care if he hits .300, so long as he continues to post BB rates like he has. I think he has a better chance of posting a .400 OBP than a .300 batting average, to be honest. Umps will adjust to his batting eye and start to give more of the benefit of the doubt.
 

Van Everyman

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Well that’s quite an assumption.
EDIT: I suppose it’s all in how we define gaudy. He’s hit something like .320 two months now, and he posted good BAs in the minors, so seasons of .300 seem reasonable to expect. That may actually not qualify as gaudy.
Interestingly, this week Masa was 4th in AL BA race this season at … .295.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Yeah, it takes a great year combined with good to great luck to have a 50/50 season. There's a reason there's only been one guy to do it... But he wasn't known for speed, either.

The idea is Casas perfects lofting medium to long fly balls to left that hit the wall slowly enough to gift him a ton of doubles. Combine that with a bunch of rockets that get extra bases...

Goldschmidt had negative dWAR his MVP year according to baseball reference.

I don't follow the National League closely enough to comment on Goldschmidt and his actual defensive abilities.

Goldschmidt probably isn't a defensive butcher, but Jeter win a bunch of gold gloves too.
Albert Belle may not have been known for speed, but he actually had it. He put up double-digit stolen base totals three times in his career, with a high of 23, plus he was always a good doubles hitter. He was a terrible defender, but he could get from point A to point B quicker than most.

A good way for a 1st baseman to win the MVP award is to put up a good season while a much better player puts up a 50/50 season but is hated by all the media.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Albert Belle may not have been known for speed, but he actually had it. He put up double-digit stolen base totals three times in his career, with a high of 23, plus he was always a good doubles hitter. He was a terrible defender, but he could get from point A to point B quicker than most.

A good way for a 1st baseman to win the MVP award is to put up a good season while a much better player puts up a 50/50 season but is hated by all the media.
The craziest thing about his 50/50 season is that it was a strike shortened season. He did in a 144 game season what no player has done in a 154 or a 162 game season. Despite that, he didn't even have the highest OPS or OPS+ in the league that year. Edgar Martinez did.
 

BringBackMo

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I think everyone pointing out that it doesn’t really matter whether Casas ever eclipses .300 are correct. It’s an arbitrary number. However, I think he’s showing that it’s hardly a pipe dream that he will. JM3’s post points out that he’s basically hit .300 for four months now, not the two that I had said. And

In fairness to Naistri, I think his comment about Casas being unlikely to post gaudy batting averages was less about a belief that it’s important that he does than about how a high BA might help a bat-first 1B attract MVP votes.

Finally, Van Everyman is astute to point out that BA is really down around baseball, and our sense of what’s truly gaudy may need some recalibration.
 

Niastri

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Albert Belle may not have been known for speed, but he actually had it. He put up double-digit stolen base totals three times in his career, with a high of 23, plus he was always a good doubles hitter. He was a terrible defender, but he could get from point A to point B quicker than most.

A good way for a 1st baseman to win the MVP award is to put up a good season while a much better player puts up a 50/50 season but is hated by all the media.
Yeah, I had to laugh that Belle had *that* season and only came in second in MVP voting. Everybody who thought he deserved to win voted for him third, lol. Led the league in a bunch of important categories, the best hitter on a 100-44 team, and still got snubbed.

That guy sucked at life, but boy could he hit.

Interestingly, this week Masa was 4th in AL BA race this season at … .295.
I guess my idea of what constitutes a gaudy batting average needs to change.

The days of Ty Cobb hitting .400 and not winning the batting title, or even Boggs batting .342 and coming in 5th are long gone.
 

Niastri

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I think everyone pointing out that it doesn’t really matter whether Casas ever eclipses .300 are correct. It’s an arbitrary number. However, I think he’s showing that it’s hardly a pipe dream that he will. JM3’s post points out that he’s basically hit .300 for four months now, not the two that I had said. And

In fairness to Naistri, I think his comment about Casas being unlikely to post gaudy batting averages was less about a belief that it’s important that he does than about how a high BA might help a bat-first 1B attract MVP votes.

Finally, Van Everyman is astute to point out that BA is really down around baseball, and our sense of what’s truly gaudy may need some recalibration.
Damn good summary :)
 

shaggydog2000

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Yeah, I had to laugh that Belle had *that* season and only came in second in MVP voting. Everybody who thought he deserved to win voted for him third, lol. Led the league in a bunch of important categories, the best hitter on a 100-44 team, and still got snubbed.

That guy sucked at life, but boy could he hit.



I guess my idea of what constitutes a gaudy batting average needs to change.

The days of Ty Cobb hitting .400 and not winning the batting title, or even Boggs batting .342 and coming in 5th are long gone.
Yeah, the MLB average is .249, .275 would get you in the top 35 among qualified hitters, and only 10 qualified hitters are over .300. Casas has an above average BA already, and if you look at his performance since mid April (the 16th), his BA is actually 20th among qualified hitters at .283.

Hitting .300 isn't what it used to be for sure.
 

BaseballJones

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Casas' MLB rankings among qualified 1b:

AVG: #8 (.265)
OBP: #6 (.368)
SLG: #6 (.495)
OPS: #5 (.863)
HR: #6 (22)
RBI: #18 (55)

He had an absolutely atrocious first month of the season. But even with that taken into account, his 2023 season at the plate is one of the best among all MLB first basemen.
 

JM3

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Casas has a 121 wRC+ against lefties & 132 against righties. Seems like we won't need to worry about platooning him.

He definitely seems to up his patience against lefties. The strikeouts are a bit alarming (32.9%), & the average is low (.217), but he's walking 18.8% of the time against lefties so his OBPs are almost identical.

Against righties those 3 #s are 23%, .276, & 12.5%.
 
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JM3

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Unlike Yoshida, Casas has very similar results in the field (127 wRC+) compared to when playing DH (132).

Where he really shines? As a pinch hitter. He has a 244 wRC+ in those 12 PAs.
 
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JM3

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Casas's wRC+ by where he hits in the order:

8th: 203 (25 PAs)
7th: 194 (77 PAs)
2nd: 152 (5 PAs)
5th: 117 (55 PAs)
6th: 117 (239 PAs)
4th: 96 (39 PAs)
9th: 35 (3 PA)
3rd: 17 (12 PAs)
 
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JM3

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Casas has great walk & k #s at home, but his wRC+ isn't thaaaat much better than on the road.

Home: 17.2% walks, 21.6% k's, 140 wRC+
Road: 10.1% walks, 28.2% k's, 120 wRC+
 
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burstnbloom

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Looking at the ROY numbers, it's pretty clear that Casas will lose out to Henderson. Henderson hasn't been particularly good defensively, his positive defensive WAR is almost entirely made up of positional adjustment. Casas's poor defense + negative positional adjustment really hurts him, unfortunately.

He has Henderson in barrel %, wRC+, wOBA. xwOBA, OBP, SLG, OPS and his offensive fWAR component is higher than Henderson's. Unfortunately the narrative around both players settled in early in the year and while Casas has been amazing, his cumulative numbers aren't lapping Henderson enough to get him there and make up for the total WAR numbers.

I still have hope though since I got him at 85:1 to win the first week in May. Cmon Tristan, scored earth to the end.
 

jon abbey

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Looking at the ROY numbers, it's pretty clear that Casas will lose out to Henderson. Henderson hasn't been particularly good defensively, his positive defensive WAR is almost entirely made up of positional adjustment. Casas's poor defense + negative positional adjustment really hurts him, unfortunately.

He has Henderson in barrel %, wRC+, wOBA. xwOBA, OBP, SLG, OPS and his offensive fWAR component is higher than Henderson's. Unfortunately the narrative around both players settled in early in the year and while Casas has been amazing, his cumulative numbers aren't lapping Henderson enough to get him there and make up for the total WAR numbers.

I still have hope though since I got him at 85:1 to win the first week in May. Cmon Tristan, scored earth to the end.
DRS has Henderson at 11 and Casas at -3, that does not include any positional adjustment.

https://fieldingbible.com/DRSLeaderboard
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'm not going to pretend I understand how Fangraphs calculates its WAR, but the defensive component in Henderson's number doesn't really make much sense at first look. He has a UZR of 4.5 at 3B (10.0 UZR/150) and 4.3 at SS (12.8 UZR/150) this season, but somehow his "Fielding Runs Above Average based on UZR" is -1.4. I assume that's the number that burstnbloom is referencing. By all accounts, Henderson is a good defensive player...except that portion of his fWAR calculation.
 

rodderick

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His contact profile is fine, he's hitting the ball hard and not chasing. I think the last few weeks have been very encouraging and he feels like a guy on the brink of going on a scorcher that makes the numbers closer to the batted balls. His expected wOBA on contact is .387. Not worried.
I say a lot of dumb stuff in this board, so couldn't be happier to have gotten this one right. I think he's already our best hitter.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I’m going to be disappointed if Casas isn’t approached by Bloom about a long term contract this off-season. He can only get better…. 12 year/$160M?
 

mauf

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I’m going to be disappointed if Casas isn’t approached by Bloom about a long term contract this off-season. He can only get better…. 12 year/$160M?
You need cheap guys like Casas, Duran and Bello to free up money to fill holes, such as pitching. A deal that gives Casas an 8-figure AAV the next couple seasons is a nonstarter. It’s obviously different if you can get him on a deal similar to what Evan Longoria and Sal Perez signed early in their careers, but I think players and agents are savvier than that now.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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You need cheap guys like Casas, Duran and Bello to free up money to fill holes, such as pitching. A deal that gives Casas an 8-figure AAV the next couple seasons is a nonstarter. It’s obviously different if you can get him on a deal similar to what Evan Longoria and Sal Perez signed early in their careers, but I think players and agents are savvier than that now.
You are right that their cheap salaries allow the Sox to spend elsewhere. At the same time, the Braves model of locking in young players early is what people want to see. Those things are somewhat incompatible.

I think the healthy middle ground is a contract that buys out a couple years of free agency. Something that locks Casas up through age 30 or so, and enables the team to re-visit and maybe extend that into his mid-30s somewhere around his age 28-29 season. The Rays did that with Longoria (and traded him away right about when the second extension kicked in). The Angels did that with Trout. I think something in the way of 7/75 or 7/80 might do the trick. An AAV of $10-12M is more manageable than one that is $20M+.
 

Pitt the Elder

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The craziest thing about his 50/50 season is that it was a strike shortened season. He did in a 144 game season what no player has done in a 154 or a 162 game season. Despite that, he didn't even have the highest OPS or OPS+ in the league that year. Edgar Martinez did.
He really never had a bad offensive season. He hit 23 hr with 103 rbi and an .817 ops in his final season before a hip condition forced him into retirement at age 34. With 381 career homers and 1239 RBI, he's clearly in the Hall of Very Good but if he could have tacked on another 3-4 decent seasons, he could have made a run at 450 he and 1500 RBI, which would have put him in more rarified territory.
 

YTF

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You are right that their cheap salaries allow the Sox to spend elsewhere. At the same time, the Braves model of locking in young players early is what people want to see. Those things are somewhat incompatible.

I think the healthy middle ground is a contract that buys out a couple years of free agency. Something that locks Casas up through age 30 or so, and enables the team to re-visit and maybe extend that into his mid-30s somewhere around his age 28-29 season. The Rays did that with Longoria (and traded him away right about when the second extension kicked in). The Angels did that with Trout. I think something in the way of 7/75 or 7/80 might do the trick. An AAV of $10-12M is more manageable than one that is $20M+.
Yes. I don't see him signing anything more that 7-8, leaving the possibility for one huge FA deal. 8/100 gives him an AAV of 12.5. A nice pay bump up front, buys out his arb years and guarantees a nice chunk of change. Would be interesting to see how they structure the yearly payments. Edited to add that he really seems to be a student of hitting and if he's putting things together like this now he seems likely to improve once he's become more familiar with MLB pitchers. I love the idea of him sitting around and discussing his approach with his young peers over the next few years. He seems like the kind of guy that would embrace that.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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Yes. I don't see him signing anything more that 7-8, leaving the possibility for one huge FA deal. 8/100 gives him an AAV of 12.5. A nice pay bump up front, buys out his arb years and guarantees a nice chunk of change. Would be interesting to see how they structure the yearly payments. Edited to add that he really seems to be a student of hitting and if he's putting things together like this now he seems likely to improve once he's become more familiar with MLB pitchers. I love the idea of him sitting around and discussing his approach with his young peers over the next few years. He seems like the kind of guy that would embrace that.
My thinking was... 800K, 1M, 6M, 11M, 17M, 20M, 20M with a ~$5M signing bonus. Maybe tack on an 8th year club option for $25M or something. That's 7/75ish or 8/100ish. Takes him to his age 31 or 32 season and, if he continues to be as good as he appears to be, those last 2-3 years will be a significant bargain over what he would likely command in free agency.
 

Max Power

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Yes. I don't see him signing anything more that 7-8, leaving the possibility for one huge FA deal. 8/100 gives him an AAV of 12.5. A nice pay bump up front, buys out his arb years and guarantees a nice chunk of change. Would be interesting to see how they structure the yearly payments. Edited to add that he really seems to be a student of hitting and if he's putting things together like this now he seems likely to improve once he's become more familiar with MLB pitchers. I love the idea of him sitting around and discussing his approach with his young peers over the next few years. He seems like the kind of guy that would embrace that.
How they structure the payments is irrelevant to the tax calculations. That's strictly AAV. Signing these minimum salary guys to long deals can screw things up for a team trying to stay under the cap in the near term.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I think the lesson of this thread overall is that prospects often need hundreds of ABs in the majors to adjust. There's a reason people in the business say preach patience when a prospect is promoted to a new level.

That said, his defense is much less than I thought it would be - hoping it can reach adequate stage in time.

EDIT: As far as ROY, 2nd or 3rd place would still be an extra international pick. If the Red Sox somehow get into the playoffs on the back of Casas, the voters could be swayed, too.
 

JM3

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I think the lesson of this thread overall is that prospects often need hundreds of ABs in the majors to adjust. There's a reason people in the business say preach patience when a prospect is promoted to a new level.

That said, his defense is much less than I thought it would be - hoping it can reach adequate stage in time.

EDIT: As far as ROY, 2nd or 3rd place would still be an extra international pick. If the Red Sox somehow get into the playoffs on the back of Casas, the voters could be swayed, too.
Only if they institute an international draft.
 

Apisith

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How they structure the payments is irrelevant to the tax calculations. That's strictly AAV. Signing these minimum salary guys to long deals can screw things up for a team trying to stay under the cap in the near term.
Are we planning to stay under the cap? Revenues have risen faster than the cap, I think it would be reasonable to be almost always above the cap except for designated reset years. This year was a reset year, it doesn’t make sense that we would be under the cap next year. The Red Sox need to run a top 5 payroll, the fanbase and the media will rightly demand it, but hopefully it’s spent on signing young players like Casas and Bello to slight overpays rather than signing 30-year old FAs who are past their peak.
 

Mantush

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I remember early in the season sitting in the bleachers at Tropicana behind a few Red Sox fans saying sticking with Casas is a mistake and he's just another Chaim mistake. I told them to be patient, and boy do I feel vindicated.
 

grimshaw

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I remember early in the season sitting in the bleachers at Tropicana behind a few Red Sox fans saying sticking with Casas is a mistake and he's just another Chaim mistake. I told them to be patient, and boy do I feel vindicated.
Casas was a Dombrowski guy, but don't tell them that.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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As of yesterday he basically has a full season sample. If we figure in his early season slump and don’t discount it, as he’s likely to have on and off small slumps, he looks like he should be a consistent 30HR guy with a .260BA and a .370 OBP, .870 OPS.
 

tims4wins

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Since May 3:

.302 / .391 / .557 / .947. Insert heart eyes emoji.

Since June 3:

.320 / .411 / .603 / 1.014

We are beyond small samples here folks
 

Dahabenzapple2

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Since May 3:

.302 / .391 / .557 / .947. Insert heart eyes emoji.

Since June 3:

.320 / .411 / .603 / 1.014

We are beyond small samples here folks
The close to 100 points between BA & OBP isn’t going away. The most priceless unlearnable skill.

As with Ortiz the undervaluation of a monster DH/first basemen is apparent in all the popular metrics. Having a total beast or beasts like Manny & Papi in the lineup is a much bigger plus than the defensive or positional metrics imply. I’ve been convinced of this for years.
 

BaseballJones

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To put his .870 ops (in 2023) in some perspective, let's look back 21 years to 2002.

Among qualified hitters, an .870 ops would have ranked #40 in all of MLB, right behind Garrett Anderson's .871.

In 2023, that .870 ops ranks #16 in MLB, right behind Bryce Harper's .871.

(By the way, for the grief that Devers has - IMO rightly - received this year, he's still #19 in all of MLB in ops at .848... doesn't feel like it though, does it?)