Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats
posted at 1/26/2013 4:17 PM EST
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.