Old school stats vs. new school stats

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to mef429's comment:

    In response to HelloItsMeAgain1's comment:

     

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

     

    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 problem I have with UZR is there is no way to know if the two defenders would have been positioned the same for that particular play.

     

    It is like when a star player goes down, and people blame the loss on having the back up in.

    Even is the star player is a .325 hitter, there's no way to tell if he would have gotten a hit when the back up didn't.

    The player with the better UZR may have been leaning the other way on a certain play, might have been positioned differently due to the capabilities of players around him, etc.

    Too many variables.

     




    Don't quote me on this, but i am farily certain that UZR not only takes into account the positioning of a player but also the distance traveled to make the play

     



    I believe it does not. I think each position defnds an overlaid zone, and the player is credited for all plays in zone, penalized for every in zone play with no play made. And awarded bonuz for plays outside the zone.

     

    The lack of accomodation for playeposition is a criticism I have heard about using UZR for outfielders...si

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    Great thread.  Like OBP and WHIP and still like BA as telling measures, but don't care for UZR much as a measure or WAR, dubious concerning the value of those two.  Excuse my ignorance, but would appreciate an explanation of RF/9.  Anyone?

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to notin's comment:

    In response to mef429's comment:

     

    In response to HelloItsMeAgain1's comment:

     

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

     

    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 problem I have with UZR is there is no way to know if the two defenders would have been positioned the same for that particular play.

     

    It is like when a star player goes down, and people blame the loss on having the back up in.

    Even is the star player is a .325 hitter, there's no way to tell if he would have gotten a hit when the back up didn't.

    The player with the better UZR may have been leaning the other way on a certain play, might have been positioned differently due to the capabilities of players around him, etc.

    Too many variables.

     




    Don't quote me on this, but i am farily certain that UZR not only takes into account the positioning of a player but also the distance traveled to make the play

     

     



    I believe it does not. I think each position defnds an overlaid zone, and the player is credited for all plays in zone, penalized for every in zone play with no play made. And awarded bonuz for plays outside the zone.

     

     

    The lack of accomodation for playeposition is a criticism I have heard about using UZR for outfielders...si




    thanks for setting me straight notin!

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to pinstripezac's comment:

    so moon

    did you just debunk the theory

    about how important defense  up the middle is



    No. Where did I come close to doing that?

    To me, range at SS is one of the most undervalued aspects of many fan's view on what wins baseball games. I have consistently held and defended that view with numbers and observations.

     
  5. This post has been removed.

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    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.  



    Exactly, but if you looked at how many errors they made it was not horrible.

    Total Errors:

    SS  24  (.963 Fldg%)

    3B  15  (.966 Fldg%)

    Looking closer...

    Rtot/yr (Total Zone Fielding Runs as compared to the average)

    SS: -14

    Green  644 inn  -5

    Gonzo  361 inn  -1

    J Lugo  243 inn -9

    Lowrie 164 inn  +3

    3B: -4

    Lowell  895   -9

    Youk   494    +1

     

    RF/9:

    Green  4.22, Gonzo  3.94, Lugo 3.33, Lowrie 4.07

    Lowell  2.57, Youk 2.75

     

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to soxnewmex's comment:

    Great thread.  Like OBP and WHIP and still like BA as telling measures, but don't care for UZR much as a measure or WAR, dubious concerning the value of those two.  Excuse my ignorance, but would appreciate an explanation of RF/9.  Anyone?



    It is simple: PO + A/inn x 9.

    It is how many plays a fielder makes per 9 innings.

    It is flawed due to several factors (some SSs play on teams where they get more of less chances due to the staff's K and Fb rates, or grass vs turf surfaces, a 3Bman who has great range, etc...). However, it is still one useful tool to use as part of an overall evaluation.

    UZR/150 takes out some of those factors, since it only judges on the plays made and not made in the zone, and does not penalize a SS for having less balls hit to him.

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    Great post.

    Being a stats nut I love both the old and new numbers, but honestly there is now and has always been only one stat that matters - WINS.  All old and new stats are essentially independent of the game situation.  How many times have the Sox crushed a team one game then lost 2 close ones.  The individual stats look great, but the series is lost.

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    the best stat is this one....wins. never fails if you don't have enough, you suck, if you have 95 or more, you got a good shot of making the playoffs.

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to HelloItsMeAgain1's comment:

    In response to notin's comment:

     

    I believe it does not. I think each position defnds an overlaid zone, and the player is credited for all plays in zone, penalized for every in zone play with no play made. And awarded bonuz for plays outside the zone.

    The lack of accomodation for playeposition is a criticism I have heard about using UZR for outfielders...si

     



    That's what I thought.

     

     

    Let's say we have an outfield where the left fielder is considered average and the right fielder is horrible.

    The centerfielder is going to shade a touch towards RF (also depends on L/R hitter, pitchers, etc) so if he doesn't get to a ball hit on the LF side of his zone, he will then be penalized.

    Same could be said with a SS that has a 3B with limited range, he will shade towards the hole thus allowing more balls up the middle.

     

    Too many variables. I'm not saying it's horrible, but it needs to be viewed in conjunction with other tools we have at our disposal.

     



    A lot of fly balls can be caught by either of two outfielders. Some center fielders will take charge more than others. Some will tend to defer to the corner outfielder on lazy fly balls. Like you said , there are so many variables. 

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from SonicsMonksLyresVicars. Show SonicsMonksLyresVicars's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to HelloItsMeAgain1's comment:

    In response to notin's comment:

     

    I believe it does not. I think each position defnds an overlaid zone, and the player is credited for all plays in zone, penalized for every in zone play with no play made. And awarded bonuz for plays outside the zone.

    The lack of accomodation for playeposition is a criticism I have heard about using UZR for outfielders...si



    That's what I thought.

     

    Let's say we have an outfield where the left fielder is considered average and the right fielder is horrible.

    The centerfielder is going to shade a touch towards RF (also depends on L/R hitter, pitchers, etc) so if he doesn't get to a ball hit on the LF side of his zone, he will then be penalized.

    Same could be said with a SS that has a 3B with limited range, he will shade towards the hole thus allowing more balls up the middle.

     

    Too many variables. I'm not saying it's horrible, but it needs to be viewed in conjunction with other tools we have at our disposal.

     



    That's exactly right.  What I can't bear is people refusing to use "new" stats....either because the "old" stats are good enough (they are not), or because the "new" ones are imperfect (of course they are, all stats are).

    They are just additional tools to augment existing stats and observation.  It's shocking that someone would dismiss them out of hand, especially as those dismissing them probably don't understand them.

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to dannycater's comment:

    the best stat is this one....wins. never fails if you don't have enough, you suck, if you have 95 or more, you got a good shot of making the playoffs.




    Yep, TEAM wins are the most important stat in baseball.  A pitcher's wins?  Not so much.

    TEAM runs are also very important....a batter's runs (or RBIs)?  Not so much.

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    In response to soxnewmex's comment:

     

    Great thread.  Like OBP and WHIP and still like BA as telling measures, but don't care for UZR much as a measure or WAR, dubious concerning the value of those two.  Excuse my ignorance, but would appreciate an explanation of RF/9.  Anyone?

     



    It is simple: PO + A/inn x 9.

     

    It is how many plays a fielder makes per 9 innings.

    It is flawed due to several factors (some SSs play on teams where they get more of less chances due to the staff's K and Fb rates, or grass vs turf surfaces, a 3Bman who has great range, etc...). However, it is still one useful tool to use as part of an overall evaluation.

    UZR/150 takes out some of those factors, since it only judges on the plays made and not made in the zone, and does not penalize a SS for having less balls hit to him.





    Thank you Moon.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from bald-predictions. Show bald-predictions's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    The thing about statistics on the internet is that 52% of them are made up.

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    John Dewan, who initially developed UZR and subsequently the Plus/Minus system, did an interview on SOSH in 2009 detailing some of what goes into computing UZR and Plus/Minus ratings.  Here are a few quotes from that interview:

    "Both Plus/Minus and UZR factor in defensive positioning and give credit for it. Both systems account for both components of good defense – having good range and positioning well."

    "UZR has several minute adjustments, such as batter hand, pitcher hand, base/out state, and pitcher groundball/flyball tendencies. We remain focused on the value contributed to the team in the player’s specific context."

    "Plus/Minus accommodates plays where the first baseman holds the runner and middle infielders are covering second on hit-and-run plays. UZR adjusts for all base/out states."

    UZR does make adjustments for player positioning, along with several other factors.  As I mentioned in another thread, UZR and Plus/Minus are more comprehensive than most people realize.  This interview was almost 4 years ago.  I imagine even more advancements have been made.

    UZR and Plus/Minus are not perfect, but IMO, they are far better than any other defensive rating available, like fielding percentage.  There is no way that all variables will ever be accounted for, but UZR and other advanced stats do a pretty good job of adjusting for as many of them as possible.

    Anyone who wants some information on how the data is collected, read up on the BIS data tracking system.  Good stuff.

     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from georom4. Show georom4's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    UZR <flush>

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxKimmi. Show RedSoxKimmi's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    "They are just additional tools to augment existing stats and observation. It's shocking that someone would dismiss them out of hand, especially as those dismissing them probably don't understand them."

    +1

    I don't think anyone has ever said that these stats take the place of scouting and actually watching the games.  Not even Bill James has said that.   Nor has anyone ever said to do away with stats like RBIs, ERA, etc. (although I would be perfectly happy without W/L for pitchers).

    These tools are available to help better assess a player's value.  They give a much better evaluation of a player's talent than the old stats alone did.  Why not use them if they are available?

     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to phxvlsoxfan's comment:

    Great post.

    Being a stats nut I love both the old and new numbers, but honestly there is now and has always been only one stat that matters - WINS.  All old and new stats are essentially independent of the game situation.  How many times have the Sox crushed a team one game then lost 2 close ones.  The individual stats look great, but the series is lost.



    Of course WINS are the bottom line. I think the purpose of this thread was to dissect how wins were achieved, to analyze what factors are most important in achieving wins and how player value leads to wins. For me, ERA+ is probably the most important single stat for a pitcher (a bit better than ERA); WHIP, K/9, and K/BB are also useful. WAR is down the road a ways because pitchers with good ERA+ and WHIP generally are going to have a high WAR, so thats a secondary stat. Wins by a pitcher is way down the list. For a batter its  modified OPS (I cannot remember what they call it, but it weighs OBP higher than SLG). Less important but also useful are BA, K's/9, HRs, and pitches seen per AB. I do not have much faith in UZR as a defensive measure; I think its too subjective. Its hard to really measure objectively a player's defensive prowess.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from tom-uk. Show tom-uk's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

     

    It is simple: PO + A/inn x 9.

     

    It is how many plays a fielder makes per 9 innings.

    It is flawed due to several factors (some SSs play on teams where they get more of less chances due to the staff's K and Fb rates, or grass vs turf surfaces, a 3Bman who has great range, etc...). However, it is still one useful tool to use as part of an overall evaluation.

    UZR/150 takes out some of those factors, since it only judges on the plays made and not made in the zone, and does not penalize a SS for having less balls hit to him.

    [/QUOTE]

    I think the reason Jeter is considered an awful fielder is because the 2B and 3B playing along side him got to "normal" numbers of balls, and he was way lower almost every year.

    IMO the new stat which is the most interesting has not been mentioned on this thread, BABIP.  Cashman hired stat geeks because of cases like Swisher's down year with Chicago.  His BABIP with Chi was .249 (career .292) but his peripheral stats were good meaning he was unlucky.  The Yanks got the right kind of buy low player.

    The new stats were right in saying DiceK '08 and Clay '10 were getting lucky and let's hope the new stats that say Lester was unucky are right.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from nhsteven. Show nhsteven's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    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".

     

    While Jeter''s defensive proficiency is certainly a topic for debate, so are these new fangled defensive metrics. Not that they aren't revealing; Jeter's range was always his biggest limitation; but holes have been shot through UZR & RF since they've become part of the vernacular. There's still a long way to go on measuring "this" side of the ball. If I recall correctly, Roberto Alomar had some lousy RF years (early in his career too, when players of his ilk are gazelles); at best, that's a suspect issue right there; at worst, QED. I'll opt for somewhere in between; they're defective.

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to phxvlsoxfan's comment:

    Great post.

    Being a stats nut I love both the old and new numbers, but honestly there is now and has always been only one stat that matters - WINS.  All old and new stats are essentially independent of the game situation.  How many times have the Sox crushed a team one game then lost 2 close ones.  The individual stats look great, but the series is lost.



    This seems to happen more to us than other teams, but I have never done a study on it.

    Timely hitting is one reason, but that is something very hard to plan for. Unstable starting rotations will also lend itself to this phenomena.

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    While Jeter''s defensive proficiency is certainly a topic for debate...

    Actually, I think it is beyond debate, but I know many feel otherwise, including the insane GG voters.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to RedSoxKimmi's comment:

    John Dewan, who initially developed UZR and subsequently the Plus/Minus system, did an interview on SOSH in 2009 detailing some of what goes into computing UZR and Plus/Minus ratings.  Here are a few quotes from that interview:

    "Both Plus/Minus and UZR factor in defensive positioning and give credit for it. Both systems account for both components of good defense – having good range and positioning well."

    "UZR has several minute adjustments, such as batter hand, pitcher hand, base/out state, and pitcher groundball/flyball tendencies. We remain focused on the value contributed to the team in the player’s specific context."

    "Plus/Minus accommodates plays where the first baseman holds the runner and middle infielders are covering second on hit-and-run plays. UZR adjusts for all base/out states."

    UZR does make adjustments for player positioning, along with several other factors.  As I mentioned in another thread, UZR and Plus/Minus are more comprehensive than most people realize.  This interview was almost 4 years ago.  I imagine even more advancements have been made.

    UZR and Plus/Minus are not perfect, but IMO, they are far better than any other defensive rating available, like fielding percentage.  There is no way that all variables will ever be accounted for, but UZR and other advanced stats do a pretty good job of adjusting for as many of them as possible.

    Anyone who wants some information on how the data is collected, read up on the BIS data tracking system.  Good stuff.

     




    thanks for the info Kimmi. BTW, can you post a link to that article?

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from nhsteven. Show nhsteven's posts

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

     

    While Jeter''s defensive proficiency is certainly a topic for debate...

    Actually, I think it is beyond debate, but I know many feel otherwise, including the insane GG voters.

     



    It appears it's debateable whether it's a debate. While I agree his 5th GG was not deserved, (i.e, a sure handed SS with intangibles and postage stamp range does not merit a GG) the guys who vote on this likely see him day in day out far more than you do. However, as in life, reputations, good or bad, create a lag which adversely impacts proper assessment when things change.  

     

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

    Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats

    I find almost every stat useful and at least somewhat informative. But some are better then others. I probably use the junior school stats[WHIP and OPS] more then any other stats, even though others may be more accurate[OPS+].

     

    As for UZR, the one concern I have with that stat is potential bias. How many people who judge UZR are Yankee or Red Sox haters?  Or what part does reputation play in the results? Manny sucked, so he should have made that play. Tulo is great so others probably would not have made that play. Etc. Still use the stat though.

    However, I probably trust RF-9 more then UZR. Its a meat and potato stat you can see with your own eyes. I especially like to compare RF-9 with every player at that position on the same team. Which is why I have some doubts about the greatness of Jose Iglesias's defense. He often has come up short in comparison to his SS team mates.Let alone dominate like he should have.

    I also am a huge believer in park factors and prefer looking at road OPS for players that play in extreme parks.

    I am a big user of WAR. However, I tend to reduce the numbers for extreme defensive guys, especially in the OF's. Basically cut about a half point for great defenders in the infield, .75 point for CF, and 1.25 for corner OF. Maybe Theo could have used my advice on that one. :)

     

     

     

     
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