Old school stats vs. new school stats

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Old school stats vs. new school stats

    I love baseball stats but man, do they create a lot of confusion and controversy.  The old school vs. new school battle rages on.  Some people think stats like a pitcher's won-lost record and a hitter's RBI total are meaningless.  New school stats like WAR and UZR, of course, are mocked viciously by the old school people.

    I try to take in all the stats and make sense of them.  I grew up with baseball cards and Yaz's Triple Crown in 1967 and Denny McLain's 31 wins and Gibson's 1.12 ERA in 1968.  I thought those numbers were spectacular at the time and I still do.  Nolan Ryan's 383 strikeouts in 1973-insane!

    And I still relate heavily to the standard numbers.  When we signed Manny Ramirez you bet I was juiced to get a guy who had 165 RBI in 147 games in 1999.

    As for the new ones, I sort of understand what numbers like WAR and UZR are trying to measure.  Then there are the ones like FIP % and ones that look like hieroglyphics that I have no clue about.

    Now what I really wanna know is: is Derek Jeter really a terrible shortstop?  That still surprises me and seems to be one of the classic conundrums of old vs. new. 

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    I love baseball stats but man, do they create a lot of confusion and controversy.  The old school vs. new school battle rages on.  Some people think stats like a pitcher's won-lost record and a hitter's RBI total are meaningless.  New school stats like WAR and UZR, of course, are mocked viciously by the old school people.

    I try to take in all the stats and make sense of them.  I grew up with baseball cards and Yaz's Triple Crown in 1967 and Denny McLain's 31 wins and Gibson's 1.12 ERA in 1968.  I thought those numbers were spectacular at the time and I still do.  Nolan Ryan's 383 strikeouts in 1973-insane!

    And I still relate heavily to the standard numbers.  When we signed Manny Ramirez you bet I was juiced to get a guy who had 165 RBI in 147 games in 1999.

    As for the new ones, I sort of understand what numbers like WAR and UZR are trying to measure.  Then there are the ones like FIP % and ones that look like hieroglyphics that I have no clue about.

    Now what I really wanna know is: is Derek Jeter really a terrible shortstop?  That still surprises me and seems to be one of the classic conundrums of old vs. new. 



    In a stat centric sport. Sometimes the eye test is the best measure...Jeter is not Ozzie but he's also not a butcher either. Fielding metrics are flawed in that they place to much weight on range...vs simply making a play. in a game where your team is up by 3 late in the game and the opponent hits a ball up the middle that an above average SS turns into a routine play, while Jeter might not get to it does it really matter if the base runner never scores. 

    I'm not a big sabre metric guys either and while I too apriciate the new aged stats. I also think the school stats still have merit...Perhaps the most under rated old school stat that has since been replaced by OBP is batting average. While I get the value of on base, there are times when an out that produces a run is a better result than a walk. 

    My son plays select baseball and his coach is a former bing leaguer who before the season tells his player that the goal for us on defense is to make the routine play look routine and if we do that. We'll win our share of close games. He also spoke to the need to sometimes simply hit the ball and when there's a runner in scoring position that he wants the guys in the middle of the order looking to elevate the ball and be aggresive, not up there looking to walk. 

    Old school or new school my guess is that if you looat back at the best teams of alltime and did a statistical analysis of them...my guess is the numbers would be strikingly similar...the formula for success is timeless....they way it's measured is all that's really changed...

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from notin. Show notin's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    RBI are not meaningless.  They are great for looking at a player's season, All Star, MVP stuff.  But you really cannot look at RBI total and assume it is so easily transferable.

     

    Take Manny and his 165 RBI in 147 games.  Did you honestly expect that in Boston?  He was hitting behind Kenny Lofton, Om,ar Vizquel and Roberto Alomar.  Omar Vizquel was the weak OBP player of the 3 that year, with a .397!   Alomar had an OBP of .422!  And even Lofton had a .405.

     

    Manny certainly did deliver, but he had more than his share of opportunities to drive in runs.  When he came to bat that year, he came up with 507 runners already on base (304 of whom were in scoring position).  And he drive in 121 of them, for a ridiculous 24%.  But in Boston, no one should have expected that many people on base in front of him; our OBP guys outside of Nomar were simply not in that league.

     

    Fans like to overlook opportunities.  JD Drew was loathed for his low RBI totals, but the guy averaged about 350 runners on base per season when he came to the plate.  He certainly did not come through as often as he should plating about 14% of them.  A good RBI hitter usually drives in about 18%. of the runners on base.  Drew was not good in this respect, but he was not bad as his critics claimed either.  He was about 14RBI per year away from the pace of productive hitters, given the opportunties.

     

    So if you want to use RBI when looking at a player on another team, it does help to see what the opportunities were.  You cannot single home a guy from second if no one is there... 

     

     

     
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  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to notin's comment:

    RBI are not meaningless.  They are great for looking at a player's season, All Star, MVP stuff.  But you really cannot look at RBI total and assume it is so easily transferable.

     

    Take Manny and his 165 RBI in 147 games.  Did you honestly expect that in Boston?  He was hitting behind Kenny Lofton, Om,ar Vizquel and Roberto Alomar.  Omar Vizquel was the weak OBP player of the 3 that year, with a .397!   Alomar had an OBP of .422!  And even Lofton had a .405.

     

    Manny certainly did deliver, but he had more than his share of opportunities to drive in runs.  When he came to bat that year, he came up with 507 runners already on base (304 of whom were in scoring position).  And he drive in 121 of them, for a ridiculous 24%.  But in Boston, no one should have expected that many people on base in front of him; our OBP guys outside of Nomar were simply not in that league.

     

    Fans like to overlook opportunities.  JD Drew was loathed for his low RBI totals, but the guy averaged about 350 runners on base per season when he came to the plate.  He certainly did not come through as often as he should plating about 14% of them.  A good RBI hitter usually drives in about 18%. of the runners on base.  Drew was not good in this respect, but he was not bad as his critics claimed either.  He was about 14RBI per year away from the pace of productive hitters, given the opportunties.

     

    So if you want to use RBI when looking at a player on another team, it does help to see what the opportunities were.  You cannot single home a guy from second if no one is there... 

     

     




    I understand exactly what you're saying.  RBI is a stat that has to be looked at in context to other numbers.

     
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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    1-The new stats are better than the old ones.  I grew up like you, basially looking at triple rown stats, and maybe runs scored.  My first awakening was when someone said strikeouts aren't that bad.  So, being old shool, I argued against it, saying Ks don't advance baserunners, and the counter was that Ks also don't result in DPs.  Like so many in here, I tried to pretend that ouldn't be right, but I knew deep-down, they were right.  That opened the door to K/W ratios, and the rest was history.  I am no longer able to keep up, but I keep an open mind.

    2-IRT Jeter, I've seen enough of his games.  He doesn't make a lot of mistakes, but judging range is very difficult.  And UZR for one year, imo, is very unreliable.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from notin. Show notin's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    The thing about UZR is that players can have a great defensive season just like they can have one great offensive season.   Defense may be a more reliable skill but it is not immune to outlier seasons...

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to pinstripezac's comment:

    I'm suggesting pitching today for a team

    with a good offense hurts a pitchers era

    I'm under the impression in the old days

    the starters stayed in the game much longer

    no matter what the score was

    today a tired pitcher with a lot of runs to work with

    will stay in the game and be allowed to give up a few more

    while the pitcher with no lead to work with

    will be pulled B4 he gives up the few more runs

     

    even today how  fair is it  to compare a starters era

    with a great  BP vs  one with a bad BP



    All good points zac.  A starter's ERA can be greatly impacted by how his innings are managed and the bullpen behind him.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to notin's comment:

    RBI are not meaningless.  They are great for looking at a player's season, All Star, MVP stuff.  But you really cannot look at RBI total and assume it is so easily transferable.

     

    Take Manny and his 165 RBI in 147 games.  Did you honestly expect that in Boston?  He was hitting behind Kenny Lofton, Om,ar Vizquel and Roberto Alomar.  Omar Vizquel was the weak OBP player of the 3 that year, with a .397!   Alomar had an OBP of .422!  And even Lofton had a .405.

     

    Manny certainly did deliver, but he had more than his share of opportunities to drive in runs.  When he came to bat that year, he came up with 507 runners already on base (304 of whom were in scoring position).  And he drive in 121 of them, for a ridiculous 24%.  But in Boston, no one should have expected that many people on base in front of him; our OBP guys outside of Nomar were simply not in that league.

     

    Fans like to overlook opportunities.  JD Drew was loathed for his low RBI totals, but the guy averaged about 350 runners on base per season when he came to the plate.  He certainly did not come through as often as he should plating about 14% of them.  A good RBI hitter usually drives in about 18%. of the runners on base.  Drew was not good in this respect, but he was not bad as his critics claimed either.  He was about 14RBI per year away from the pace of productive hitters, given the opportunties.

     

    So if you want to use RBI when looking at a player on another team, it does help to see what the opportunities were.  You cannot single home a guy from second if no one is there... 

     

     



    Notin,

    Drew is exactly the type of hitter I referred to in my original post to hlfx. There were a number of occasions where had he expanded the zone and simply hit a fly ball or rolled over on one and hit to the right side. We'd have plated a run and his RBI totals would likely have increased by a few more pct points. Which is why IMHO he profiled better as a two hole guy vs a five hole guy where you want a guy that elevates the ball with a little pop. Don't misconstrue this as a criticism of Drew, because I did value what he brought to the club...

     
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  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    In response to pinstripezac's comment:

     

    I'm suggesting pitching today for a team

    with a good offense hurts a pitchers era

    I'm under the impression in the old days

    the starters stayed in the game much longer

    no matter what the score was

    today a tired pitcher with a lot of runs to work with

    will stay in the game and be allowed to give up a few more

    while the pitcher with no lead to work with

    will be pulled B4 he gives up the few more runs

     

    even today how  fair is it  to compare a starters era

    with a great  BP vs  one with a bad BP

     



    All good points zac.  A starter's ERA can be greatly impacted by how his innings are managed and the bullpen behind him.

     



    ERA is relevant when compared to the norm as means to reach a conclusion...Although there're are many factors that have to be weighed...the park being the chief among them...and the weighted difference in pitching to NL vs. AL lineups. As a historical measure the size of the parks today vs days gone by are a factor that can't be dismissed...

    My greatest issue with ERA is that it is based on 9 innings...Back in the old days when pitchers were expected to go nine. ERA was in fact a great measure for expected results...if A guy had a 4.5 ERA back in 1970 it 's a good bet that your team would score at least four...Today if a starter has 4.5 ERA it means your team s likely to score 3 heading into the 7th. 

    For bullpen guys I'd prefer they used the runs allow per appearance. ERA for relievers is perhaps the single least relevant stat...

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from dgalehouse. Show dgalehouse's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    Some of the new stats are kind of redundant. If a shortstop has a lot of assists, he probably has good range. Either that or he knows how to position himself for the situation. Some outfielders never seem to change position from batter to batter, while others move around according to the situation . A pitcher's won/loss record in conjunction with his ERA is more telling than a stat like WHIP , which ignores extra base hits, as well as a pitcher's ability to pitch out of a jam.  All in all the new stats are okay , but you really can evaluate a player from the old stats. That and watching the games. I think to some fans , fantasy baseball has replaced actual baseball.

     
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  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from proftom2. Show proftom2's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    Stats make good reading and enhance guessing. The one stat non of us know is how the player feels on the day they play. Or, how a coaches relationship to the player translates into on the field performance. 

    Numbers track what once was feelings predict what will be. 

     

     

     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    Great post for a conversation starter.

    Great all baseball thread so far.

    My 2 cents:

    On Jeter: while it is very important to "make the play" when you need it, not making plays is just as essential to the outcome of close games. I realize RF/9 is flawed, since some SSs play on teams with high K-rate or FB pitchers, byt teh range portion of UZR/150 confirms that Jeter has been the worst-ranged SS over the past decade. Perhaps before 2003, he was decent, but to me Jeter is clearly one of the worst 3 FT SSs over the last decade. I'd put him worst, but wouldn't argue with 3rd from worst (out of 23 qualifying SS the last decade). I think his Flg% has also been inflated a bit by an abnormally friendly home field scorer, but that is not the basis for my placement of him as "the worst".

    On RBI: notin hit the nail on the head using the Manny and Drew examples. RBI has a lot to do with opportunity or lack of opportunity, but it goes beyond that. A high RBI rate is something that is very hard to sustain from year to year, as there are few if any players who can do it for multiple seasons over a career. Clutch RBIs is even harder to sustain over a career. Papi was perhaps the best I have ever watched personally, and he sustained it for several seasons in a row, but he has dropped off greatly over the last 4-5 seasons (due to loss of protection? Another topic for debate?) Back to Manny, His 2005 season with Boston he had 144 RBI in 650 PAs (pretty close the amount of RBI in his 165 RBI season). However, he had 313 PAs with nobody on base, 133 with just a man on 1st. He ended up coming to bat with 494 runners on base (only 14 fewer than his 165 RBI season), of which only 246 were in scoring position (an astounding 48 less than his 165 RBI season). He drove in 99 runs not counting himself (45 HRs) in 2005. I will add one thing: in 2005 the Sox line-up did not match the Indians line-up notin mentioned, but they did get on base a lot: 1st (.363) with Damon at .367, 2nd (.352) with Renteria at .337 and Nixon at .423, 3rd (.393) with Papi at .405. Manny had 142 batting 3rd in 2005 with 30 RBIs.

    ERA is a highly flawed stat as is WHIP, since a teams fielding greatly effects the results of earned runs allowed or not allowed. Then there are park factors, strength of opponent's line-ups, and much more. When arguins with softy about Wake's high ERA numbers, I did a detailed analysis of every one of his ERs allowed one season (I believe it was 2011). I was astounded to find that the pen allowed about the same amount of his inherited runners to score than all the other starters combined. Many were from 1st base with 1 or 2 outs. I also found an incredible amount of ERs allowed due to infield hits, particularly to 3B and the hobbled Youk. WPs caused a few more, and one might be able to imagine that had we had Mirabelli or the like as a catcher, he'd have had less there. Many PBs allowed unearned runs to score as well as batter reaching 1B on a PB. More sac flies than normal, many as a result of SBs allowed, which can be mostly blamed on Wake's slow pitches, but the fact was a huge portion of his ERs allowed that year were not the result of being hit hard and often as the perception appeared to be. I don't have the exact numbers from that study, but one could have easily adjusted his ERA to an eye-popping number. He also had an incredible stretch of GS'd from 2008 to his injury mid 2009 of about 50 starts that showed an very low WHIP rate, a huge percent of games started with 3 or less ERs allowed, 4 or less ERs allowed, but way too few wins to show for it. (The win stat is one of the worst to judge a pitcher by- even the team wins per start, although better, is flawed as well, but not without some weight.)

    I tend to think most fans over-value Ks, RBI, BA, ERA, Wins, and Error%. They undervalue WHIP, OBP, RF/9 and UZR/150.

     
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  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    For the average fan I think one of the issues with UZR stats is the evidence factor.  If a fielder is charged with an error, it's easy to track down and watch the specific play he made the error on.  But if there's a ball he didn't get to that he should have, it's much harder to find the evidence.

    One thing that suggested to me that UZR ratings had merit was watching the Red Sox in 2009 for a stretch when they had what might have been the least mobile left side of the infield in history.  Lowell was at third and Lugo at short, and both of them had injuries that affected their lateral movement.  I remember some balls getting by Lowell and him showing his frustration because it was usually a play he should have made.

    FanGraphs UZR/150 for Lugo for 2009 was -50.4 and for Lowell it was -14.4.  

     
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  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from notin. Show notin's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to dgalehouse's comment:

    Some of the new stats are kind of redundant. If a shortstop has a lot of assists, he probably has good range. Either that or he knows how to position himself for the situation. Some outfielders never seem to change position from batter to batter, while others move around according to the situation . A pitcher's won/loss record in conjunction with his ERA is more telling than a stat like WHIP , which ignores extra base hits, as well as a pitcher's ability to pitch out of a jam.  All in all the new stats are okay , but you really can evaluate a player from the old stats. That and watching the games. I think to some fans , fantasy baseball has replaced actual baseball.



    Not necessarily true.

     

    He could get a lot of assists because the pitching staff gives ua lot of ground balls.

    Much like with RBI, it can be about opportunity.

     

    Not to mention,  a SS playing on turf would probably have fewer assists than an equivalent counterpart playing on grass.   Does that make the grass SS a better defender?

     
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