Comments on: WAR without the defense (oWAR) & WAR with just the defense (dWAR) http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: kds http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-50814 Sun, 19 Sep 2010 06:49:06 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-50814 Jeff, Mostly because enough players play both positions within a season or in consecutive seasons that this has been measured, and the average is about 10 runs per full season. In economic decisions one should never expect complete efficiency, because information is often lacking or misinterpreted, but you will find in general that most free agent signings line up well with WAR, (actually with the predicted WAR of the future years under contract). Specifically including the position adjustment. And of course while the position adjustment comes from the defensive difference between positions, it can usually be approximated by
the difference in offense, so the markets are very roughly efficient. But only very roughly.

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By: Jeff http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-50783 Sun, 19 Sep 2010 04:04:43 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-50783 Yeah, left field, sorry, must have been upside-down when I typed that. Anyways, my point is fairly well summed up by your statement "If you switched an average CF with the average LF we would expect the new LF to be about +10 runs/season and the new CF about -10 runs/season." And that's what I don't get. WHY would we expect that? How did we arrive at that number? In my mind, that's penalizing guys twice. Once for being a bad fielder, and once because you expect them to be a bad fielder. And the guys who actually are GOOD fielders, it's as if they're average, because they're expected to be bad. It just seems like a superfluous and spurious adjustment. I'm probably wrong, but that's how it comes across to me.

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By: Saturday Links (18 Sep 10) – Ducksnorts http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-50590 Sat, 18 Sep 2010 14:56:31 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-50590 [...] WAR without the defense (oWAR) & WAR with just the defense (dWAR) (Baseball-Reference). Sean talks about everyone’s favorite new controversial stat. He also explains replacement level (fascinating discussion ensues in the comments). [...]

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-50272 Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:08:40 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-50272 Yeah, BA, he ranks 79th offensively when adjusted for position.

If you just rank players by WAR batting, disregarding position, he's around 50th. He is 36th in OPS+, so that's not very different. OPS+ overrates him slightly because it undervalues OBP a bit, which WAR batting corrects for.

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By: Sean Forman http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-50266 Fri, 17 Sep 2010 19:56:44 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-50266 The oWAR I am showing here includes the positional adjustment.

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By: BA http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-50215 Fri, 17 Sep 2010 17:56:11 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-50215 I am not sure I understand how WAR works, I thought I did but after looking "Taken from our 2010 MLB Batting Value Page" and sorting by oWAR it seems to be telling me Ryan Howard (.279/30/100 .862 OPS) is only the 79th best offensive player in baseball behind the like of Posada and Stephen Drew?

1. Please tell me I am going about this the wrong way.
2. Please tell me how to understand this tool/stat better.

P.S. Love this site!

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By: kds http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-50046 Fri, 17 Sep 2010 07:13:21 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-50046 Jeff, Manny plays left field not right but that number sounds correct. We have lots and lots of data of players spending some time at center and some time at left. If you switched an average CF with the average LF we would expect the new LF to be about +10 runs/season and the new CF about -10 runs/season. So the positional difference between center and left is about 10 runs. Compare every position to every other in this way and we get the defensive spectrum. This puts the average CF at about +2 so that is his position adjustment. The average LF comes in 10 runs worse or -8. Give Manny 15 years worth of games at -8, (and when he is not in left he is DH, with an even bigger PA.) and he gets docked 12 wins. Manny is a horrible defender at an easy, and therefore less valuable position. If he were just as bad but at an average defensive position he would be worth 12 wins more to his teams.

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By: Jeff http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-50010 Fri, 17 Sep 2010 04:37:25 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-50010 I just thought I would mention, as one of the commenters that expressed doubt over the defensive metrics, I jut finished reading the very long article in the SABR Baseball Research Journal regarding just this idea, and I just kept coming back to the same conclusion: nothing is certain, nothing can be shown over a long period of time (since so much is based on info we only have from 2006 on, and most of the rest dates from 1989 on), and a lot seemed to be based on adjustments that never seemed to be fully explained. As in, we've penalized 1st basemen because 1st base is traditionally an offensive position.

Anyways, I'm really hoping to see a defensive metric that truly seems to capture everything come up in the next few years, and I'm sure that between all the amazing researchers at terrific organizations out there, we will have one. I love the idea of WAR, and I love the execution for the most part. The turning point for me was the Kenny Lofton vs Manny Ramirez blog post, where I realized that Manny had been penalized TWELVE WINS over his career for the simple fact that he plays right field. Not HOW he plays, but THAT he plays.

I really wanted to go the the PitchFX Summit this year, but I just didn't get a chance to, maybe that would have helped me have a better appreciation for fielding metrics. I think it's a super important area that has never gotten the recognition that it deserves over the history of baseball. I really appreciate the new numbers. And one of these days, I'll gain a fuller understanding of fielding metrics and learn to accept them more.

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By: Toffer http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-49975 Fri, 17 Sep 2010 01:03:15 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-49975 DavidRF Says:

"A good chunk of oWAR for non-star players is just "rRep" which you just get for showing up. Its ostensibly a durability bonus."

Nope, rRep is not earned by just showing up. rRep is earned by playing better than a replacement player. Since the fielding and batting components of WAR are compared to average you need to add the amount of runs added by the player for playing better than a replacement player.

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By: kds http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8219/comment-page-1#comment-49739 Thu, 16 Sep 2010 07:08:24 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8219#comment-49739 Sean,

One issue that might be contributing to your thought that the position adjustment should be included with offense and not defense is how you think the position adjustment is, (or should be), computed. Some of your comments lead me to believe that you think they are properly figured from the average differences of offensive performance between different positions. This is incorrect. They are properly figured by looking at players who have played multiple positions and seeing how well they defended at each. Tom Tango has done a lot of work on this, shown and discussed at insidethebook.com. The offensive differences are due to positional scarcity, as others have noted. For some years in the 1950's center fielders hit better than right fielders. (Willie, Mickey and the Duke). This would not make it correct to give right fielders the bigger position adjustment because they hit worse. They still were worse fielders, and that is all that matters here. One expects players at the harder defensive position to hit worse, but it is because there are fewer players who can defend well enough at the harder position. If you took 1000 players who were good enough at defense to play 1st, probably less than 100 of them would be competent at short. You would obviously expect the top and the average to be much higher in the 1000 than in the 100 drawn from that for their defense. Yes, the average differences in offense are about the same as the defensive differences between positions. This just shows that there are no huge market inefficiencies. You may reasonably use the offensive differences to approximate the position adjustment, but that is not the cause of the differences and it is technically the wrong way to measure it.

I think that if you took a reasonably long career, say 12000 defensive innings, that you would have to conclude that the worst defensive shortstop, who was good enough obviously to last at short, provided more defensive value than the best first sacker. Putting the position adjustment with the offense hides this, as most of the additional defensive value is measured in the position adjustment, not in wins above or below average.

Just about the only times you might really prefer to do it the way you have is when you are comparing players at the same position. But then the positional adjustment would only differ when playing time differed. You already have the replacement wins to do this on the offensive side, so even here you want to have the PA added to the defense above average to get the total defensive value. You don't want to say that a SS who was average in 100 innings provided as much value to his team as one who was average in 1000 innings. People have already commented on how very much smaller dWAR is compared to oWAR. Since offense is equivalent to pitching plus defense one expects it to be bigger than defense alone. There is much value in being average. If it takes 93 wins to have a good chance to make the playoffs, then average is 70% of the way from replacement to playoff. The replacement wins added in the oWAR take us to average for offense, but without the PA in dWAR we are missing much of the value, especially for average or below players. (It is true that the way I want to do this an above average player at an easy position such as LF or 1B will come out negative in total dWAR, but that is just a result of the empirical fact that defensive replacement at a position is essentially average and that the PA's are set up to zero out for a NL team. (The DH unbalances the equation for AL teams)).

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