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 Post subject: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:50 am 
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The initial two paragraphs here are from memory, so feel free to correct me if I recall incorrectly:

"Signature Significance"

In one of the early Baseball Abstracts, Bill James introduced the concept of "signature significance." The idea was that while you normally need a significant sample size to make a judgment about a player (or something else in life more broadly), sometimes something happens that is so extreme and so outside the norm that you can predict future performance / behavior from just that one data point.

The example I recall was Roger Clemens striking out 15 and walking 0 in a game as a rookie. James claimed that that performance was so striking, pun intended, that you could already predict Clemens would be a great pitcher. Whereas, a rookie performance of 14 Ks and 2 BBs, while also fantastic, wouldn't necessarily have any predictive value because it wasn't extreme enough.

I think you can sometimes use this concept in day-to-day life, too. You date someone and they are really rude to the wait staff on your first date? You can date for months thereafter but all the data you need to predict he/she won't be a nice person is right there in front of you (barring some exceptionally unusual circumstance).

Lucas Duda, Mets Nation Turns It's Lonely Eyes to You

Dom Smith's 3/14 with an OPS of .429 in 14 ABs isn't such an extreme outlier. Statistically, it's pretty meaningless. We don't even have close to enough data, particularly given what he's done in the minors, to justify making any judgments of his performance at the major league level at this time.

So why am I making this horrible analogy?

Because c'mon! Look, I laughed at the the old school scouts in Moneyball, too. And I'm a believer in sample sizes, sabermetrics, etc.

But I also have eyes. And, sorry, no matter how hard I've squinted in the past few games, I don't see a major league first baseman. It's like what someone said of Oakland once: "there's no there there." Or how Casey Stengel reportedly graded some players "KP" (Kan't Play).

If you put me at 1B and I went 0 for 10 could you predict I'm not a major league 1B? Not just on the basis of the stats but of course you could. Movie star, action hero? Maybe. First baseman? Uh, that would be a no.

Obviously I'm aware of the reception this post will likely receive so all I can tell you is that I'm almost always in favor of not making snap judgments, in making sure the sample size is significant, etc. But what I've seen is like "signature significance" if applied to the "eye test." If Dom goes 5 for 5 tonight, I still don't think I'll see our first baseman of the future. If Amed goes 0 for next 20 with 5 errors, I still see a cornerstone of the future (with Conforto, maybe Flores). Were that it wasn't so.

P.S. To Dom, if you are reading this: I'm just some jerk on the internet (ask anyone). Please use this as motivation to prove me wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:53 am 
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M'kay.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:02 am 
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Dom Smith is going to struggle for a while. He has historically started slowly every time he moves up a level, before adjusting and ultimately mastering the league. I would expect that to continue.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:04 am 
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As someone who's also a skeptic of Dom I do think it's too soon to apply the instascrub judgement. But if he's not literally Keith Hernandez then he's probably going to top out at James Loney. Which is a decent player but not a cornerstone.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:10 am 
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but the Travis d'Arnuad era isn't?


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:12 am 
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I'm not going to give up on him quite just yet after 4 games but color me unimpressed from what i've seen so far at the plate and on the field.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:13 am 
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dragonfly wrote:
but the Travis d'Arnuad era isn't?


Touche. But just calling it as I see it. TDA is the same guy with an OPS+ of 126 in 2015 (268 PAs) minus the confidence (as i see it).


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:14 am 
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one thing I noticed about Smith last night was him panting like a dog in the desert heat when he legged out that infield hit.

Guy really needs to get himself in better shape.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:15 am 
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I'm never surprised anymore the degree to which some people need to jump the crowd to be the first with a hot take or forecast, so that they can later pat themselves on the back for their uncanny sage wisdom. Even if I agree that Dom doesn't "look like" a potential "1st division" 1Bman (or just MLer), why the heck did you wait so long to drop this sage nugget on us??

I think we can all now gear up to move the talking point from the Scooter/TDA/Collins psycho-drama to the Dom show for the next year. I know I will eagerly look forward to these daily updates.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:16 am 
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AllWrightNow wrote:
As someone who's also a skeptic of Dom I do think it's too soon to apply the instascrub judgement. But if he's not literally Keith Hernandez then he's probably going to top out at James Loney. Which is a decent player but not a cornerstone.



James Loney was NOT a decent player. He was league average or better in terms of fWAR 2 times (2.1 in one of those 2 seasons). I'm not saying Dom is James Loney but if that's who he is then Dom Smith will prove to be a non-factor/bad MLB 1b.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:22 am 
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HeyNowHK wrote:
I'm never surprised anymore the degree to which some people need to jump the crowd to be the first with a hot take or forecast, so that they can later pat themselves on the back for their uncanny sage wisdom. Even if I agree that Dom doesn't "look like" a potential "1st division" 1Bman (or just MLer), why the heck did you wait so long to drop this sage nugget on us??


Further to your point, I actually said it before he was called up. But now that I've seen him (a bit), seems silly to ignore what appears obvious b/c I'm going to face some wrath.

I've seen a lot of people in the 2018 roster thread including Dom in the future plans. And most people here are more concerned with winning than I am (I'd like to win, of course, but don't want to tank games and would prefer to lose with good guys than win with a team of Barry Bonds').

Anyhow, I think if you are concerned enough with winning in 2018 than you are willing to tank games in 2017 (not referring to "you" necessarily) then you have to start to think about who your 2018 1B is going to be sooner rather than later, if it early returns indicate it may not be the person you groomed for the position.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dom Smith Era is Over
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:22 am 
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HeyNowHK wrote:
I'm never surprised anymore the degree to which some people need to jump the crowd to be the first with a hot take or forecast, so that they can later pat themselves on the back for their uncanny sage wisdom. Even if I agree that Dom doesn't "look like" a potential "1st division" 1Bman (or just MLer), why the heck did you wait so long to drop this sage nugget on us??

I think we can all now gear up to move the talking point from the Scooter/TDA/Collins psycho-drama to the Dom show for the next year. I know I will eagerly look forward to these daily updates.


I think there were many people not really on the Dom bandwagon. Me for certain. I would have rather traded him and kept Duda. But i'm still going to give him a chance at least.


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