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Chat: Dan Turkenkopf

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday July 24, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Dan Turkenkopf.


BP research expert Dan Turkenkopf stops answering the staff's questions for an afternoon so he can take a crack at yours.

Dan Turkenkopf: Welcome everyone, and thanks for coming. Feel free to ask me anything - from programming questions, to my thoughts on the trading deadline, to what exactly happened to Colin's toe.

Alex (Anaheim): Are the Yankees going to eventually miss Gardner a lot, or can guys like Ibanez keep this up?

Dan Turkenkopf: I think they'll probably miss Gardner's combination of OBP and defense. My guess is the Jonbanez combo 's slugging drops some, but they should be passable on offense considering the rest of the lineup.

I think Ichiro will probably be better at the plate than he was in Seattle, but not by a lot. The real reason for being excited about getting him is that once Swisher returns, Ibanez should never step foot in LF again.

Nick (Wisconsin): Dan, First off, thanks for doing this chat. What would you say to someone who wants to get more into sabermetrics but is unfamiliar with the programming aspect of it? Are there any resources out there you recommend? Are there any places or languages that would be best to start in?

Dan Turkenkopf: Glad to be here!

Probably the best way to get started on the programming side is by trying to learn SQL. Our very own Colin Wyers has written some introductory material (part one is at http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/databases-for-sabermetricians-part-one/). With SQL and the Lahman Database (http://www.seanlahman.com/2012/03/sql-version-now-available/) you'll be able to do all sorts of interesting things.

Once you feel comfortable there, you've got lots of possibilities with the Retrosheet and Pitch FX data. I suggest checking out Baseball on a Stick to get started with those.

Finally, for more advanced topics that involve coding, Joseph Adler's Baseball Hacks book is a great resource.

Richard (Los Angeles): Do you like the fact that the Padres are apparently holding onto (and extending!) some of their best trade chips? Trading Quentin or Street wouldn't necessary guarantee prospects of equal quality anyway ...

Dan Turkenkopf: I really don't get these deals (or non-deals I suppose in the case of Street). It's not like either are special players - the kind that San Diego needs to build around. I think with the relative lack of sellers out there (and Justin Upton setting a high anchor price), the Padres might have been able to get something interesting. And even if there aren't top prospects included, getting someone cheap with upside potential probably would have been worth the risk.

dianagram (VORGville): OK ... I'll bite ... what happened to Colin's toe?

Dan Turkenkopf: Fine, you caught me. I have no idea what happened to Colin's toe. But I hear it was the talk of SABR.

This was my attempt to stay cool and relevant among the baseball crowd. And you ruined it.

Excuse me a minute...

Finley (Ontario): Just wondering: 1> Which CC would you rather have for the rest of this year? Coco Crisp or Carl Crawford and 2> Could Jared Burton be the Twins closer next year? Thanks!

Dan Turkenkopf: If you're talking fantasy, probably Carl - although I wouldn't expect much beyond steals out of either of them. In real life, depends on how Crawford looks in the field I guess. At cost, definitely Coco though.

I suppose Burton could be the closer next year. He's having a pretty good season, but he looks to be a pretty normal reliever in general. I don't follow the Twins enough to know who their other options are.

D'Arcy (Toronto): What is the most likely destination for Hanley?

Dan Turkenkopf: I'm going to stick with Miami - at least until the offseason.

Francisco (Toronto): Just wondering if there's any hope for Ryan Raburn or Sean Rodriguez now. I thought they were great MI sleepers in April.

Dan Turkenkopf: Raburn's BABIP is only .225 where's he's been comfortably over .300 in previous seasons. He appears to be walking and striking out at about the same rate as last season, but he wasn't really that valuable last season. I'd want to check out his approach a little bit more closely to see what's changed, but unless his bat speed is totally gone, he'll probably be better in the second half. But he won't be so much better that the Tigers will regret getting Omar Infante.

Sean Rodirguez just isn't that good a hitter. The problem this year is he's walking less than last season (and his BABIP in 2010 hasn't been repeated), but he could still be useful as super-sub reserve in real life. In fantasy, I don't see it.

19braves77 (Pensacola,FL): What kind of career numbers would we probably have seen from Bo Jackson with out the injuries and a full focus on baseball ?

Dan Turkenkopf: Now that's an interesting question. From 88-90, he went from 2.1 WARP to 3.5 to 4.5. Now, you can't assume the upward trend will continue, but as you imply, Bo was not your typical case. Best case, a Sammy Sosa type career (with many fewer homers due to a later start and the overall environment). More likely case, a slightly faster, slightly better defending version of Kevin McReynolds (stat-wise, not excitement)

Brandon (Connecticut): Can keep three guys for next year..who do you take: Trout, Harper, Kemp, Stanton, Verlander?

Dan Turkenkopf: How the heck did you get all of them on your team?

I'm definitely not a fantasy guy, so take this with a grain of salt, but I'd probably go Trout, Kemp and Verlander because of the multi-category value. Of course, there's a reason I didn't win much when I did play.

Richard (Los Angeles): Who do you think is quietly having an outstanding season this year? Anyone flying under the radar with great numbers or significant improvement from last year?

Dan Turkenkopf: Despite the All Star bid, I don't think Carlos Ruiz is being talked up as much as I would expect. Josh Reddick has been phenomenal lately. Jason Kubel is another player outperforming at least my expectations.

For pitchers, definitely Johnny Cueto.

Michael S. (Athens): With these Chriz Perez to SF rumors, how realistic is it that the contending Indians would sell him?

Dan Turkenkopf: Cleveland is contending in that they're winning more than they'd expect to, and are in the AL Central. Our playoff odds have them at 14.5% today, which I suppose I'd say is the fringes of contending.

But keeping Perez as closer over someone like Pestano isn't really going to move things one way or the other too much. If they could get talent from the Giants, I'd have to assume Antonetti would consider it.

conjoinedtwins (Vancouver): What do the Royals do about Frenchy's blocking of Myers now? With Cain lights out he seems blocked until next year right?

Dan Turkenkopf: Yeah, Myers is probably ready (understatement).

But the ball's really in the Royals court. Frenchy's not playing well enough that he should "block" anyone, and Moore and Yost need to decide how important it is to get Myers big-league playing time. I'd defer to Kevin, but I wouldn't think a little more time in AAA is going to HURT him (although it probably won't help him either).

Dan Turkenkopf: Thanks for the great questions everyone! Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the trading season, and we'll do this again soon.

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