Question about samples and populations, with regard to baseball players and stats.

I should qualify this by saying I'm no expert here, and I'm hoping to get some insight. Perhaps there is a statistician here who can address the question. I'm no statistician, but I am fascinated by the numbers behind baseball, and always looking to learn.

Someone pointed out that a certain player was batting .500-ish in the big leagues after a promotion. I forget the exact numbers, but the player was batting 8-for-16 or something to that effect. I noted that yes, it's nice, but you can't draw many conclusions from that because it's a small sample size. This person came back and said no, it's

This seemed squirrelly to me, and while I understand what this person is trying to say, I feel like like the "population" of data is the 100+ years of pitcher and batter data that we have recorded, and looking at an 8-for-16 stretch for one player is just a small sample size from millions of data points recorded for the sport. I feel like this person has arbitrarily narrowed their definition of "population" to just this particular player in this particular stretch of 16 at-bats.

What's the deal here? Is it wrong to say this is a "small sample size" or is this person misusing the idea of a population?

I should qualify this by saying I'm no expert here, and I'm hoping to get some insight. Perhaps there is a statistician here who can address the question. I'm no statistician, but I am fascinated by the numbers behind baseball, and always looking to learn.

Someone pointed out that a certain player was batting .500-ish in the big leagues after a promotion. I forget the exact numbers, but the player was batting 8-for-16 or something to that effect. I noted that yes, it's nice, but you can't draw many conclusions from that because it's a small sample size. This person came back and said no, it's

*not*a small sample size, that they had used a*ll the possible data for this player*that was available -- that they had effectively used all the data available in the population.This seemed squirrelly to me, and while I understand what this person is trying to say, I feel like like the "population" of data is the 100+ years of pitcher and batter data that we have recorded, and looking at an 8-for-16 stretch for one player is just a small sample size from millions of data points recorded for the sport. I feel like this person has arbitrarily narrowed their definition of "population" to just this particular player in this particular stretch of 16 at-bats.

What's the deal here? Is it wrong to say this is a "small sample size" or is this person misusing the idea of a population?

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