Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alberto Callaspo vs Wilson Betemit

From May through July 22nd, 2010; Alberto Callaspo was the starting Royals third baseman, and had been one of the most productive bats in 2009 for Kansas City. He was traded to the Angels to help them upgrade at third base and provide some depth. Although in the offseason most fans thought that Callaspo's bat needed to be in the lineup, very few were upset over the trade that sent him packing.

And for the remainder of the season, we get to watch Wilson Betemit handle the duties at Third Base. Wilson Betemit, who is too old to be a real prospect (he is 28 years old), but who started the season at Triple A Omaha. Presumably because no other Major League team wanted him. The reason for this was simple. He wasn't very good. This year, in limited duty, he's been getting the job done. In fact, he's been better than Alberto Callaspo. It's logical to assume that this is because of small sample size. But, looking closely at the data, it appears that he may have figured something out. He's improved in two key areas of plate discipline. He is swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone, and he has been good at making contact on pitches inside the strike zone. The result? 30 hits in 96 plate appearances and 12 walks. He's certainly gotten lucky on some of those batted balls, but he's also a good bet to make solid contact. In the only two seasons where he saw any kind of regular duty at the Major League level he slugged 32 homers in 696 At Bats; and that happened when he was just 24 and 25 years old. He has a history of power.

Using my own baseball sim, which is heavily dependent on Plate Discipline, his batting average should be around .260 - .320 (usually around .290) with solid OBP numbers between .320-.360. He should post a slg in the 475 - 525 range, which is pretty solid. His numbers are very comparable to Alberto Callaspo, but with a touch more power. Wilson Betemit is a good guy to have around. He'll be a solid regular and a fantastic backup who should get to see playing time almost every day. And if you want to give him 600 ABs, he might reward you with 30 homeruns, and is a pretty good bet for 15 homers. He's not a defensive sub though, so he should probably stay in the American League. Hello Betemit, you're our new Callaspo. Let's hope his new found plate discipline isn't a mirage.

Here's the quote I lean on for belief that he actually HAS changed his approach:
"I just wanted to go up there and have quality at-bats," Betemit said. "I didn't want to just go up there and swing. I want to go up there, get a good a good pitch to hit and have a good at-bat." [ Betemit primed...]

My sim's line for Wilson Betemit: .300/.343/.543 (that's avg, obp, and slg) with an OPS of .886 and an iso of .212 in 580 Plate Appearances. that includes 35 walks and 18 homeruns.

My sim is much less friendly to Alberto Callaspo. .284/.308/.515 with an OPS of .823 and an iso of .214 in 516 Plate Appearances. Good for 16 homeruns and 17 walks.

Monday, February 1, 2010

2015, Google Eats World

The Web has taken over. It eats into the lives of just about every American. People pay bills, taxes, search for services, and friends on the Internet. In 2005, it started it's near domination of the media market. New technologies were pushing the envelope and people onto the Web. In 2010, portable Web has become a force, and social media has become a part of our lives. In 2015, we will all be robots, plugged into the matrix and providing battery power to CSS3, HTML 5, Javascript, and the Google Mothership.

The Web has come a long way from where it was in 2005. In 2005, Internet explorer dominated the browser world. Macromedia Flash was the big ticket item in advanced Web sites. Only a few Web sites used Javascript, and only sparingly, because it was so difficult to maintain. Few people cared if their Web site worked outside of Internet Explorer 6. Java Applets were still in use, but were fading. The reigning Web server technology was Classic ASP and Sun's Java on the Tomcat Server. I was just out of College and couldn't grow a beard.

In 2010, the Web has matured as a mixed content medium, challenging traditional media in every aspect. Competition in the browser market is heavy, forcing massive change and improvement to the Web. Adobe Flash has become more on the fringe, primarily used for serving video content. Javascript using advanced frameworks has become the norm in all Web sites, and AJAX has become the big thing. The server side tech has been changed, but not yet matured. ASP.Net is now at version 3 and is largely the same framework in 2005. PHP has been updated and has progressed, but not that much. Web frameworks have become much more popular, either built on PHP or the typical LAMP stack. And I remember 2005 fondly, when I walked up the hill both ways in the lava, and the Sun was bigger than the Beates, and people still had moral character.

The Web in 2015 will see lots of gradual change to it's traditional browser market, but lots of change as new products utilize Web access. Items such as the iPhone and Google's Droid will really push the the future of the Web to new dimensions. Screens will get larger, while mobile devices will create a different platform entirely. The big winner will be the Web frameworks that will handle the browser and device and providing the proper template and appearance for the given medium while maintaining a single place for all Web content. HTML 5, CSS 3, and JavaScript will largely kill 3rd party browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash. Web frameworks will finally mature and truly enable the fast and seamless production of most Web sites, while providing simple mechanisms for large corporations to be able to offer Off the Shelf Web site plug-ins for the most typical of needs (such as credit card processing). Social Media will play a big role in what Web Application framework eventually takes over. Facebook will have at least one major and serious competitor, and that will be a Google + OpenSocial duo-thing driven largely be the Android and iPhone devices of tomorrow. Our phones will have input devices that map to the back of our heads so we can plug-in to the matrix at any time and any place, ready for Google to search our very brains, nay, our souls even. I will fondly remember the good ole days of self thought and self determination, a place where people still believe in love and cherished those who actually are close to them, instead of half a world away.

The Web will change, but slower than we might think. Many traditional Web sites will still be around, but there will be a whole new wave of products that might take over. Mobile browsing will be the norm, and new cutting edge products will propel the mobile, non-traditional Web. It's not unlikely that giant global catastrophes will have largely halted progress on the Web, but barring such contingency, the future is still a place of increased Web usage.