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Ryan Wilkins – Stathead Trivia & Esoterica: #2

Posted by Sean Forman on May 20, 2010

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 1:19 pm and is filed under Announcements, Bloops, Media Mentions, Stats. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Ryan Wilkins – Stathead Trivia & Esoterica: #2”

  1. woah! talk about a good write up!

    by the way, (about) how many people read this blog regularly? you mentioned the recent high readership in a previous post... i've always liked it and felt comfortable posting because it's always felt like only a few people talking about things not a huge number of people.

  2. I'm still waiting for the SSP6 stat to come out (times spitting a sunflower seed divided by times doing a prank in the dugout with your team ahead in the 6th inning...).
    Is Bill "I ruined baseball with silly stats" James gonna come out with that one too?

    These guys have to cut back on coming up with these new and outrageous stats

  3. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    Yes, Ryan, I also believe the availability of player "WAR" data to the public, via this site, is an enormous and groundbreaking step forward, but I do have a slightly different viewpoint: OFFENSIVE value has been vastly easier to determine than DEFENSIVE value, and combining the two has been even harder. Players at the easier defensive positions (DH/1B/LF/RF) will dominate any listing of the best offensive players. Serious baseball fans, whether stat-oriented or not, know this intuitively when evaluating players, and try to credit defensive contributions.

    The big problem is how to COMBINE offense/defense to give value both for difficulty OF a position, and also defensive value AT a position. Many people tend to wildly inflate defensive value for their favorite players: "I know he's a below-average hitter, but he saves a run every game at shortstop!" The reality is that an MLB player can contribute far more value with the bat than the glove. Nonetheless, a defensive superstar (Ozzie Smith) can contribute great value. By considering all aspects of play:
    -hitting for average
    -hitting for power
    -drawing walks/HBP
    (all of the above adjusted for era and also home ballpark)
    -defensive performance
    -defensive postional value
    -baserunning,not JUST advancement but also reaching on errors and staying out of Double Plays
    -base stealing and success rates

    We can get a quick glance at a players TOTAL value, instead of making an educated guess of (the)components of defense and baserunning. Best of all is the possibility for endless player/player comparisons, and I didn't even mention postion player-versus-pitcher comparisons. Let the fun begin!!!!

  4. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I don't understand your point. You seem to be advocating the development of a stat which is....sort of like WAR.

  5. I've never understood the argument of "we can't accurately take into account defense/baserunning so all stats are bad until we get that figured out." It seems to me it would be like saying "science hasn't cured cancer yet, so all advancements up until that's figured out are worthless."

  6. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    Johnny Twisto: No, I am saying that having WAR data available on baseballreference.com is a great thing. My first sentence:
    "Yes, Ryan, I also believe the availability of player "WAR" data to the public, via this site, is an enormous and groundbreaking step forward..."

    Thomas: I am N_O_T saying "all stats are bad"; I am saying WAR is an IMPROVED method of player evaluation, because it accurately values defense and baserunning.

    WAR isn't the last word in player evaluation, but having it freely available on this site is a huge advancement.