It seems to me that the core question in the Howard debate is this: how many RBIs would other players have if they got to hit behind players who got on base as frequently as Howard's teammates do?
Well, a quick and dirty way to answer that is to look at how many RBIs a player has relative to the number of baserunners (BR) aboard when he's at the plate. Based on their 2011 rates of RBI per BR (and min. 350 PA), here are players who would also have 95 RBI if afforded Howard's 375 BR:
I have to admit that I find it very hard to follow all of the great research that people people are producing every day on the web. Just for baseball, culling through the good stuff on Baseball Prospectus, Hardball Times and FanGraphs is hard enough, but when you add in team blogs, other stathead blogs and everything else, it becomes impossible. This doesn't even include trying to locate recent research in hockey, basketball, football and soccer.
So we've decided to do something about it. Every weekday, the Stathead blog will summarize the best research-related studies, news, conferences, and resources for baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer.
The blog will primarily be edited by Neil Paine and will typically feature 20-30 links to analytic content around the internet. We've been working out the format over the last two weeks, and we think you'll soon appreciate our concise summaries for all of the articles we write about.
It linked to a very cool mathematical method for determining the probability that any team was the "true" best team in a season. Unfortunately, though, webpages sometimes have a tendency to disappear over the course of 7 years. That's just what happened here -- the original link is now dead.
However, I contacted the creator of the methodology, Dr. Jesse Frey (Professor of Mathematical Science at Villanova), and he was gracious enough to re-upload the original study to his current site:
"Sabermetrics, Scouting, and the Science of Baseball is a 2 day baseball-centric seminar at Harvard's Pfizer Lecture Hall on May 21 and 22. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Jimmy Fund. Speakers include Jared Porter, Dan Brooks, Tom Tippett, Andy Andres, Dr. Alan Nathan, Jeremy Greenhouse, David Gassko, Mitchel Lichtman, David Sheinberg, Michael Richmond, and Chuck Korb. ESPN writer Jonah Keri will be MC'ing one of the days, and there may be one or two others folks added, as well.
Planned seminars include an explanation of linear weights and WPI/LI, a discussion of pitch f/x, the bio-mechanics of a baseball swing, the visuomotor aspects of the game - getting information into your brain, how fast players make decisions, the psychophysics of hitting, etc., what the most advanced defensive stats entail and where they are going, forecasting player performance, modern technologies for tracking the baseball, how the spin of a ball affects its flight (i.e., why a ball curves), and question and answer sessions with Tom Tippett and Jared Porter."
Sounds like a great way to learn more about baseball research, and to contribute to an extremely worthy cause in the process. All of the money from the seminar will go to the Jimmy Fund, since the speakers have donated their time and Harvard is letting them use their facilities gratis.
Posted in Bloops, Sabermetrics | Comments Off on Bloops: A Saber Seminar to Benefit the Jimmy Fund
Over at Basketball-Reference.com, the Player Elo Rater has been up and running for several weeks, and I'm now pleased that we have it up and running on Baseball-Reference.com as well.
Justin Kubatko put together the guts for the system and I don't have much to add beyond his introduction to the method. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
I have also just added the player's current rank to their player pages where they appear just below the player newsfeed. I'll be rolling out rankings to franchise, year and the front page, next week probably.
In an annual tradition for the Replacement-Level Yankees Weblog, they plugged their CAIRO projections into depth charts from the terrific MLBDepthCharts.com, and came up with some early expectations for the upcoming season: