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New Stats and an old dog... (BABIP)


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Stinky Pete

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:50 AM

So I am trying to embrace the new stats. It can be a bit dizzying at times. First question, are there any sites that help explain these stats that cater to crusty old dogs like myself? Trying to read up on Wiki and it's not enough.
This is what I understand so far,
If a player's BABIP swings way out of career norm it should come back. It will typically be between .275 and .300. If a batter has a career year, but his BABIP is .350, he probably had a lucky year.
So what if a pitcher has a BABIP of about .340 for his minor league career? Does that mean he's just a bad pitcher or that he has had bad d behind him his whole career?
I can see using peripherals to predict stats, but I'm not sure how Bill James predicts BABIP. How does that work?

#2 T C

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:13 PM

NEW STATS: I make this suggestion to everyone I know: read fangraphs.com. (also, check out their SABR Library http://www.fangraphs.com/library/ which does a fantastic job of describing how each stat is derived and why it is useful) They deal almost exclusively in discussing baseball with newer stats, and reading how such stats are used on a day to day basis really helps you become familiar and comfortable with them. Also, the writing is really solid.

Anyway, main points:

Minor League BABIP is generally taken very lightly, both because of the defensive issues you mentioned but also because of the nature of prospects. Brett Jackson put up something near a .400 BABIP in AAA last year. Is that because he was lucky, or because he was mashing inferior pitching? It's really tough to make that distinction. However, on the other side of the spectrum, a guy posting a .200 BABIP is probably awful, but he probably also got lucky. Which raises the big problem of where guys in the middle are. Are they really good and unlucky, or really bad and unlucky. It's nigh impossible to get a feel for such things using stats, and that is where scouting comes in.

Predictions:
I think Bill James' predictions are based off of a weighted average of a players' last 4 or 5 years, but that might be ZIPS or tangotiger's...
Also, Beyond the Boxscore has a pretty nifty xBABIP write up (http://www.hardballt...ters-and-babip/)(expected BABIP. 'x' before a stat signifies expected, or predicted, values for a player, while a 'w' signifies a weighted version of a stat (usually weighted against league averages and such)). The formula is written as such:

xBABIP = 0.392 + (LD% x 0.287709436) + ((GB% – (GB% * IFH%)) x -0.152 ) + ((FB% – (FB% x HR/FB%) – (FB% x IFFB%)) x -0.188) + ((IFFB% * FB%) x -0.835) + ((IFH% * GB%) x 0.500)

so, yea, peripherals can be used fairly accurately to predict a hitter's BABIP. I'd imagine the same process can be applied to find a pitcher's, but then the issue of each pitcher having the same defense behind them at all times comes up.

SORRY FOR THE ESSAY hope some of it was intelligible

#3 Brett

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 06:51 PM

It might be worth putting together a little series on some of the sabermetric concepts I use on the blog. I think I'll look into doing that.

#4 MightyBear

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:05 PM

That would be very helpful. I know some of the newer sabermetrics but not all. Thanks to Bleacher Bum for the fangraphs link. It's awesome.

#5 MichiganGoat

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 06:52 AM

Yuck Fu Math! Y U Make Me Think and Count.

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#6 MichiganGoat

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 06:56 AM

In all seriousness the local community college offers a class on baseball saber metrics and I'm think I take it next summer, since I required to take 10 credit hours by 2015 to keep my teaching license and I hope that qualifies.

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#7 LARRY

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:03 AM

Thanks for the link TC.

#8 Fishin Phil

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:38 AM

In all seriousness the local community college offers a class on baseball saber metrics and I'm think I take it next summer, since I required to take 10 credit hours by 2015 to keep my teaching license and I hope that qualifies.


Damn! Wish the Continuing Ed requirements for insurance license included sabremetrics! I actually have to take insurance related crap.
Please don't feed the psychos.

#9 MichiganGoat

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:48 AM


In all seriousness the local community college offers a class on baseball saber metrics and I'm think I take it next summer, since I required to take 10 credit hours by 2015 to keep my teaching license and I hope that qualifies.


Damn! Wish the Continuing Ed requirements for insurance license included sabremetrics! I actually have to take insurance related crap.

All I have to do is get my principal to sign off and write a couple pages on how I could use it in the classroom. Lots of words like differentiation and interdisciplinary and I'm golden, not to mention my principal is a huge Cub fan.

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#10 hansman1982

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:40 AM

It might be worth putting together a little series on some of the sabermetric concepts I use on the blog. I think I'll look into doing that.


Good writing for slow news days.

#11 Brett

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 11:15 AM

It might be worth putting together a little series on some of the sabermetric concepts I use on the blog. I think I'll look into doing that.


Good writing for slow news days.

Indeed. I've been waiting for a slow stretch to dig into my "long-term" ideas pile, but it's been relatively busy - which is surprising, given how little the Cubs have actually done.

#12 TWC

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:10 PM


It might be worth putting together a little series on some of the sabermetric concepts I use on the blog. I think I'll look into doing that.


Good writing for slow news days.

Indeed. I've been waiting for a slow stretch to dig into my "long-term" ideas pile, but it's been relatively busy - which is surprising, given how little the Cubs have actually done.

Well, if you get really bored, you could finally drop that Bartman essay on us. You know, the one you threatened us with, then quietly bailed on?! AHEM!

#13 hansman1982

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:22 PM


It might be worth putting together a little series on some of the sabermetric concepts I use on the blog. I think I'll look into doing that.


Good writing for slow news days.

Indeed. I've been waiting for a slow stretch to dig into my "long-term" ideas pile, but it's been relatively busy - which is surprising, given how little the Cubs have actually done.

Oh, ya, I have two long-term series' that are currently on the side burner and your idea was in the microwave defrosting waiting for January but as it seems the entire league is moving slowly, who knows. Maybe off day fodder during the season.




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