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Baseball Fever Policy

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This announcement describes the policies pertaining to the operation of Baseball Fever.

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This document was based on a similar policy used by SABR.

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Sincerely,

Sean Holtz, Webmaster of Baseball Almanac & Baseball Fever
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Your single best "catch all" statistic for hitting, pitching, and defense

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  • Your single best "catch all" statistic for hitting, pitching, and defense

    Hitting: wRC+. This one was the easiest for me. Based on wOBA, the second best statistic IMO, it compares how well a player hits compared to league average. wRC+ is also a park and league-adjusted, allowing one to to compare players who played in different years, parks, and leagues. I love rate stats, and I love wOBA and wRC, so I love wRC+.

    Pitching: FIP-. This was an excruciatingly hard one for me, but I went with FIP- over ERA-. Again, it's a rate statistic, so it compares how good a pitcher is compared to league average; the big difference between it and offensive neutralized rate stats is that the lower, the better. I also went with FIP- over FIP because it takes into account league and park factors; in FIP, pitchers in San Diego almost always have lower FIP's than those in Colorado or Yankee Stadium, all other things being equal. It was close between ERA- and FIP-, and though some sabermetrician fans hate ERA, I don't hate it; I accept it for what it is- an indication of what really happened. Still, I like to factor in future performance as well, as I'm all about adding the best players to the Phillies, and I want to strip out defense, luck, and sequencing; and I believe FIP and FIP- does this best.

    Fielding: Def. Also a very hard one for me, and I admit I'm the most ignorant of defensive statistics of any type of statistic, but I like the fact that Def is based on UZR and positional adjustment. For me, this makes it much more useful than UZR/150. Also, because it factors in positional adjustment, you can compare defensive players across all different positions, something you cannot do with just UZR or ever DRS. Lastly, because UZR accounts for league and park adjustment, so does Def, making it even better.

    Of course, the idea of a "catch all" statistic is absurd; this thread is just for fun. One should always survey all the data available, not just one statistic. The best evaluation of a pitcher would be looking at his ERA/FIP/xFIP, K/9, BB/9, WAR, WPA, GB%, etc. The same for hitting and defense. I just wanted to see what you guys would like in a hypothetical situation where you had to evaluate two different MLB players based on only one statistic.

    If anyone has any correlational graphs to different statistics and wins, or something similar, please feel free to post them! I would find that very interesting.

  • #2
    I definitely agree about wRC+. That's not just the best hitting stat, it's arguably one of the best stats ever devised for any sport. With wRC+ values, you can instantly compare two players on different teams and even in different eras, though there are some cautions wrt latter. Offhand, i don't know any other stat in any other team sport that so accurately conveys performance. I say team sport, because of course in some individual sports, like track and field and swimming, time and distance are an even more accurate indicator of performance. But wRC+ reigns supreme in sports where one individual's performance is directly impacted by another's.

    Pitching and defense, as you say, are not as advanced, and probably never will be. This follows from the fact that pitching and defensive performance of one player are affected by multiple other players.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post
      I definitely agree about wRC+. That's not just the best hitting stat, it's arguably one of the best stats ever devised for any sport. With wRC+ values, you can instantly compare two players on different teams and even in different eras, though there are some cautions wrt latter. Offhand, i don't know any other stat in any other team sport that so accurately conveys performance. I say team sport, because of course in some individual sports, like track and field and swimming, time and distance are an even more accurate indicator of performance. But wRC+ reigns supreme in sports where one individual's performance is directly impacted by another's.

      Pitching and defense, as you say, are not as advanced, and probably never will be. This follows from the fact that pitching and defensive performance of one player are affected by multiple other players.
      I do agree, but one could say the same about hitting; it relies on the opposing pitcher, and defense of the opposing team. Still, wRC+ is undoubtedly the best hitting stat of all time, IMO

      Comment


      • #4
        In regards to defense, I have not seen anything better than Defensive Win Shares. I read the book and looked at his math carefully. And considering how bad everything else happens to be...

        Pitching has the best traditional stat going and that is ERA. If you compare that to league numbers and then took into account innings pitched and starting counting "runs prevented" what more could you want? It is a counting stat, sure. But you have to be better than league average as a rate, and in terms of volume available to pitch.

        Is Runs Prevented kept anywhere, maybe under a different name? Is that RAA over at Baseball-Reference?
        Your Second Base Coach
        Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. That’s equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5hCIvMule0

        Comment


        • #5
          Tom Tango reportedly is working with statcast on a stat cast based defensive metric. that could be the definitive breakthrough because it avoids the positioning issue that exists with Zone based Ratings.

          the statcast has the Player positioning at the time of bat contact and can exactly measure how far the Player has to move and how much time he had to get there before the ball. that is a huge data chunk but if they do it right it could be almost as reliable as hitting or pitching stats.
          I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 1phillies fan382 View Post
            I do agree, but one could say the same about hitting; it relies on the opposing pitcher, and defense of the opposing team. Still, wRC+ is undoubtedly the best hitting stat of all time, IMO
            yes, wRC+ is also affected by batted ball luck, if someone has a 380 BABIP his wRC+ will be inflated. it is the best we currently have but in a couple years there could be statcast based metrics that are more accurate. for example statcast can already calculate an adjusted production based on Launch angle and Exit velocity (like the league slugged x on balls with a similar Launch angle and Exit Velo combination).
            I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

            Comment

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