Posted by Sean Forman on April 1, 2011
At B-R we are always trying to acquire new data to give you a fuller picture of the players and of team personnel. For example, a recent deal we signed with team equipment personnel will allow us to soon add shoe size, hat size, and glove and bat models for all current major league players (still working on the minor leagues).
One other area I'm excited about is the new projection system we are working on. Obviously, the system will start with the stats, but from there we are incorporating the whole range of player info: height, weight, comps, HS/College, etc and one additional item that is unique to our particular system.
It is well known that more attractive people earn more money in many fields, but recent research has shown that this may be not because of bias, but because better looking people perform at a higher level (they have more confidence due to their beauty).
In order to add this important and previously unused data point to our player projection system, we are now in the process of accumulating player appearance data, what we call a player's Attractiveness Quotient (AQ). Our initial research shows that 40 points of AQ correlates to 1 point of OPS for hitters (the effect is somewhat lessened for pitchers as hitters are often intimidated by homely pitchers).
This is where you come in. A few tweaks to our recently launched EloRater, and we now have an AqRater (Attractiveness Quotient Rater). Your rankings will drive the final, vital piece of our new Pujols™ projection system (that's its codename as it really will be that much better than systems like Pecota, Cairo, Chone, Zips and Marcel--whoever those last two marginal players are).
In case you were wondering about the implementation details for the AqRater, I can give you a small peek at the proprietary details. We have the same basic universe of players as the EloRater, and I've added some really good looking and not so good looking marginal players as controls.
We did do some initial ratings before launch to test the system. I made my wife (thanks, Honey!) and my mom (thanks, Mom!) spend about 12 hours each rating players. My wife has a thing for glasses, in case you were wondering why Kent Tekulve and Specs Torporcer were rated so high at the start. I expect those to wash out in the months ahead. Dave Davis provided the images. The link to the AqRater is below, have at it.