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Attention: Don’t Break the Bank for Pitching

Attention: Don’t Break the Bank for Pitching | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

This article is directed towards the Yankees, but really should be shown to every MLB team. Included in the column is a chart that goes back 6 years to show the largest contracts given out to starting pitchers and compares their salary to their performance's dollar value. The performance dollar value is based on fWAR dollar values, a calculation that isn't perfect, but does give a decent estimation. What the chart shows is that more often than not pitchers do not perform to their salary. This is the nature of the open market in this era, though. It's becoming harder and harder to sign players for a reasonable amount through free agency. That's why teams are increasingly looking to sign their best players many years prior to free agency in hopes of receiving a bit of a discount. 

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2013 Official Hall of Fame Ballot - Baseball-Reference.com

2013 Official Hall of Fame Ballot - Baseball-Reference.com | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

In looking at the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot, one thing stands out to me. Look at the career WAR totals for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in comparison to everyone else. Bonds had an astounding career WAR of 158.1 and Clemens was right behind at 133.9. Those are insane numbers. On a list with Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Craig Biggio, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly, and many other great ballplayers, the next in line in terms of WAR is Jeff Bagwell at 76.7! That's how fantastic Bonds and Clemens were. Discount them all you want because of their alleged steroid use, but keep in mind how above and beyond they were in comparison to their peers. I'm not sure if I'd vote for either player, but they certainly deserve strong consideration. I don't expect either player to get inducted this year; it might take some time for either to get the required 75% approval.

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David Murphy: Rangers lose a key to winning ways if Michael Young is traded

David Murphy: Rangers lose a key to winning ways if Michael Young is traded | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Sabermetricians hate intangible because there is no way to calculate them. If a strongly minded sabermetrician read this article, they'd think that this idea of team chemistry is baloney. Part of me believes in the importance of team chemistry, but part of me doesn't. I guess that last sentence epitomizes my views on player evaluation. I'm fairly central on the spectrum of baseball beliefs. Growing up, I seemed to play better when I was with people I liked. But the sabermetrician in me thinks that could be a coincidence or a misguided feeling since I have no stats to back that up. David Murphy's desire to keep Michael Young on the Rangers is a little too strong. The clubhouse won't go down the tubes as a result of this trade because one person can't make a team's chemistry amazing.

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Don't ignore Lofton's Hall of Fame case

Don't ignore Lofton's Hall of Fame case | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Add this to the list of articles that I didn't expect to read. Maybe it's because my opinion of Kenny Lofton is mainly based on his one year as a Phillie in 2004 when he was well passed his prime. Even though that is the case, I now do believe Lofton is at least worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. Lofton was one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, and putting that together with his great baserunning and surprisingly impressive offensive metrics, he was one of the most underrated players in the game -- largely due to the era in which he played in. If you compare his 64.9 career WAR to outfielders in the Hall of Fame, he would have the 21st-highest WAR of the 56 in Cooperstown. Lofton was a different type of productive in the steroid era, and got severely overlooked by the media because he didn't hit close to 50-60 homers. Instead, he stole 50 or more bases 6 times. I doubt Lofton will make the Hall this year, but it will be interesting to see what percentage of the vote he gets.

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Why Mark McGwire Doesn't Deserve to Be in HOF

Why Mark McGwire Doesn't Deserve to Be in HOF | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Lots of voters won't vote for Mark McGwire because of his admitted steroid use. This article takes a deeper look as to why he shouldn't be admitted based on his stats. McGwire ranks only 21st in fWAR among all time first basemen. In rWAR he ranks higher, but is barely in front of John Olerud, a player who only went to two All-Star games and got kicked off the ballot after getting only 0.7% of the vote his first year. McGwire was a one-dimensional player. Since that one dimension was power, he got a lot of publicity, but others failed to noticed his average ability to field his position. He was a product of the steroid era, but shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame simply because he used PEDs.

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Samuel McCue's curator insight, March 14, 2014 1:15 AM

As baseball attempts to move on from its "Steroid Era," many are left wondering where those very players' legacies will stand in comparison to the rest of history.  For me personally, I grew up wanting to hit home runs like Big Mac, and I feel as though baseball would not be where it is today without his efforts and the year of the home run race.

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Carlos Ruiz's Curious Power Surge and Declining Walk Rate

Carlos Ruiz's Curious Power Surge and Declining Walk Rate | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

It's really unfortunate that Carlos Ruiz, one of the most beloved Phillies, was using amphetamines in his breakout 2012 season. Fans loved him. Sabermetricians loved him. Traditional statistics loved him. But drug tests didn't. So, after testing positive, his charmed 2012 season makes a little more sense. His slugging % increased from .417 from 2009-2011 to .540 in 2012. That is a huge increase. Since he was suspended for Adderall, a drug that makes you focus better, it might be surprising to see that his walk rate dropped from an average of 11.78% from 2008-2011 to 6.9% in 2012. Maybe the drug made him less patient at the plate, but there's got to be a correlation. 

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Jack Zduriencik on Catching Value in Seattle

With their offensive stuggles in recent years, the Seattle Mariners probably need offensive production more than they need to upgrade defense at the catcher position. They have former Yankees top prospect Jesus Montero penciled in to start at catcher with John Jaso as his backup. However, both do not play good defense behind the plate. This has led Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik to debate whether or not a defensively-minded catcher as Montero's backup would be more valuable for his team.

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Value to be found in non-tendered players

Value to be found in non-tendered players | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

This is what sabermetricians dream of. Finding guys dumped from one team who are now able to be signed cheaply. Non-tendering a player essentially makes than player a free agent. This article lists 6 players who got non-tendered and can provide value to a team if signed to the right deal. Brian Wilson is the most notable member on the list. He was non-tendered because he's still recovering from Tommy John surgery, and even though he might not be ready for the start of the season, he was still the 4th-best reliever in the game over a three year span from 2009-2011 based on fWAR, so teams will be interested. Nate Schierholtz has a career OPS of .728, but with about half of his at bats in AT&T Park, it's reasonable to think his production could improve in a more hitter-friendly park.

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The Detroit Tigers’ Case For Signing Josh Hamilton

The Detroit Tigers’ Case For Signing Josh Hamilton | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Oh what a lineup the Tigers would have if this happens. Illitch wants to win, but is it smart to do sign Josh Hamilton to a long term deal? Probably not, but it would certainly help in the short term. Hamilton was a 3.5-4.5 win player last year depending on which version of WAR you look at. Since he wouldn't be playing center field in Detroit (which he was much worse at in comparison to the left field), his value might actually increase. His value could also increase because his WAR was hurt by playing in the hitter-friendly Ballpark in Arlington, and switching to Comerica would help improve his ballpark factors. Either way, he's going to cost a pretty penny. It's up to Mike Ilitch to decide if he wants to break the bank on a bat again this offseason.

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Dreaming About Zack Greinke

Dreaming About Zack Greinke | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

According to Michael Eder, no other pitcher over the last 8 years has ever gotten close to touching Zack Greinke's 2009 season. I was skeptical when reading this, but Eder compares Greinke's fWAR to the best recent seasons of Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, and Cliff Lee (all of which Greinke's 2009 season tops). That season also marks the second best FIP and ERA over that time. Since this is from a Yankees blog, Eder explains why, despite these stats, the Yankees aren't targeting him. They don't feel as if he's a good fit for New York City's spotlight, so they're letting Greinke go elsewhere.

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What Mainstream Baseball Analysis Looked Like in 1984

What Mainstream Baseball Analysis Looked Like in 1984 | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

How did people evaluate players back in 1984? Much differently than they do now. The eye test was the main way to decide how good a player was. Stats were less important then than they are now. Don't even start about sabermetrics. Bill James was just barely relevant then. People wrote about players in much more general terms: He's a good hitter. He can't play the outfield. Stuff like that. Pretty amazing how the times have changed.

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Sabermetrics Set to Help These 11 MLB Free Agents

Sabermetrics Set to Help These 11 MLB Free Agents | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it
Here we see which free agents may benefit the most as a result of the use of sabermetrics in front offices. Brandon McCarthy, before his injury, was known for being the pitcher who openly embraced advanced statistics and tried to make himself better by evaluating himself with these new stats. Now he's going to be thanking the prevalence of fielding independent stats when he gets a new, multi-million dollar contract. Some of the other players on the list would be considered good players without sabermetrics but particular advanced stats make them stand out. Take Michael Bourn. Without UZR, we'd just think he's a speedy center fielder. Instead we see that he's one of the best defensive center fielders in the game.
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The Value of Good Coaching

The Value of Good Coaching | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Some in the Sabr world don't see the value of coaches. They think they are merely there to put out a roster and make pitching changes. However, just because you can't calculate the performance of a manager doesn't mean that there isn't value in good coaching. Players know the difference between a good coach and a bad one. Bad ones can't help; good ones get them out of their funk. Eric Chavez raves about Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long saying he's always available to help. Also, if coaches weren't important, then teams wouldn't be adding second hitting coaches. 

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Would today's debates change past awards?

Would today's debates change past awards? | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Using today's methods of valuing players, how many past MVP and Cy Young Awards might be redistributed? Much like the article listing the top 10 MVP snubs, this one looks back on past award races to see which MVP awards could have changed hands had advanced statistics been created by then. There are a bunch, but one that stood out was the 1960 NL MVP race where Dick Groat won over Willie Mays and Ernie Banks even though both of the latter had far superior numbers. Groat benefitted by being on a pennant-winning team and actually admitted in 1963 that he felt he was aided in the voting by being on the Pirates during his MVP winning year. Another that stood out was the 1990 AL Cy Young race where Bob Welch won over Roger Clemens largely due to his 27 wins and despite a mere 2.7 WAR (that they didn't know about at the time). Check out the list. There are some more good ones on there.

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Anibal Sanchez vs. Zack Greinke: Closer than you think

Anibal Sanchez vs. Zack Greinke: Closer than you think | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Zack Greinke just got the largest contract ever for a right handed pitcher from the Los Angeles Dodgers: 6/$147M. But maybe teams should have been targeting Anibal Sanchez instead. Over the last three seasons, Sanchez has had the higher WAR and lower ERA and ERA+. Yet, Sanchez will likely receive about half of the money that Greinke just got. Greinke is certainly the preference of scouts since he throws harder and has a deeper repertoire, so that likely helped him (along with his 2009 Cy Young award season). I don't believe Sanchez is a better pitcher than Greinke, but some of the stats are surprisingly closer than anticipated. In all likelihood, both pitchers are going to be paid more than they're worth, but that's the nature of the free agency beast.

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Michael Young » Statistics » Batting | FanGraphs Baseball

The belief that Michael Young will bounce back in 2013 from a rough 2012 season is fairly split. Even with his tremendous track record prior to 2012, some don't believe he'll ever have a productive season again. So what is a Phillies fan to do in a time of uncertainty? Go to Michael Young's Fangraphs stats page. In the standard hitting section, you'll see that Bill James' predictions are listed for the 2013 season. If Young can produce like Bill James' model predicts, the Phillies will be happy with the trade they made. A slash line of .294/.343/.416 isn't outstanding, but it is certainly better than the production they'd receive from Kevin Frandsen or Freddy Galvis. Young is a downgrade defensively from Galvis, but about equal to Frandsen, so I wouldn't be surprised if Galvis gets used as a defensive replacement late in games. Predictions are nice, but only time will tell if Young can bounce back from his worst year as a professional.

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Perceived Highly Analytical Teams and Pitch Type Linear Weights

Perceived Highly Analytical Teams and Pitch Type Linear Weights | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Since the arrival of Jim Hickey, the Tampa Bay Rays have drastically improved their pitching. Part of this is due to having better talent, but one would have to think that Hickey's pitching philosophy may be better than the rest of the league. The chart displaying pitch type usage relative to the rest of the league shows that Hickey's pitchers are moving away from using the slider and prefer to throw curve balls and change ups instead. Using this information in conjuction with a study from 2002 that said throwing a slider led to an 86% increased risk of elbow soreness. Another chart shows that Tampa Bay, perceived as one of the most analytical teams in the game, and other teams perceived as being highly analytic throw less sliders on average than the teams perceived as being old school in their approach to talent evaluation. Are these highly analytical teams onto something about the slider? Maybe. The rest of the article is fairly inconclusive towards anything. 

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Phillies Overpay for Ben Revere

Phillies Overpay for Ben Revere | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

In dealing for Ben Revere, the Phillies filled their hole in CF. They also added the player with the least power in the majors. His ISO of .044 is the worst of any player with 1000 plate appearances. That's even lower than Cliff Lee, A PITCHER! His defense, however, is what makes him a 2-3 WAR player, and should keep him on the field. The Phillies are hoping his offensive production improves in a better ballpark for hitters.

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Smelly Bloggers Admitted to BBWAA

Smelly Bloggers Admitted to BBWAA | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

The Baseball Writers' Association of America just admitted 4 new members to its club. All four are internet writers. Why is this important? Because everntually those four internet writers will be able to vote for MVP and Cy Young awards. Since the top internet bloggers admitted are well versed in sabermetrics, this could lead to a shift in the voting in future years. More players helped by advanced statistics will win the top awards over players favored by tradtitional statistics. The statistical revolution is progressing, and this was a big step forward.

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What Can We Learn From The Interview Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington Did Five Years Ago?

What Can We Learn From The Interview Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington Did Five Years Ago? | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

In 2007 Neal Huntington gave an interview with David Laurila of Baseball Prospectus. It's interesting to look back today and see how his plan as GM of the Pittsbugh Pirates has worked since then. There's one section that stood out for me here: Metrics. Even back in 2007 Huntington said "as an organization I want us to go to the next level of metrics." Since then, he's hired Dan Fox, a writer from Baseball Prospectus, to lead the statistical charge in 2008. Fox has created a system called "MITT" (standing for "Managing, Information, Tools, and Talent") that has helped make the Pirates' decision-making more cerebral.

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How To Suck The Fun Out Of The Mariners' Offseason

How To Suck The Fun Out Of The Mariners' Offseason | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

How should the Mariners view players this offseason? Don't look at the free agents' names; just look at their numbers. Get a 4 WAR outfielder, a 1-2 WAR pitcher, and call it a day. Or go for a 2-3 WAR outfielder, a 2 WAR pitcher, and a 1 WAR bench player. Don't worry about names; look at production only. This is a very bland way to look at the offseason, but it may be the best way to do so. The difference between looking at names and looking at numbers is that one excites the fanbase during the offseason, but the other excites the fanbase when the team is winning during the regular season.

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eBay Item of the Day: Sabermetrics and Reality

eBay Item of the Day: Sabermetrics and Reality | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

This is merely a brief, yet interesting comparison of the Sabermetric revolution in baseball to the early 20th Century car vs. horse debate. The people who dismiss sabermetrics now are like the people who would yell "get a horse" whenever they saw a person having car trouble. The difference is that all people eventually agreed that cars were the way to go, but I'm not sure I see that happening with Sabermetrics. There will always be a group strongly in favor of evaluation by scouting.

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The Jurickson Profar Situation Brewing in Texas

The Jurickson Profar Situation Brewing in Texas | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

With an already crowded infield in Texas, Rangers top prospect Jurickson Profar may not have a starting role going into 2013. This is not due to talent, but instead two great middle infielders in SS Elvis Andrus and 2B Ian Kinsler. According to WAR, Andrus was the 5th most valuable player in 2012. He could be trade bait in order to make room for Profar and bring in a top outfielder. However, Kinsler could also move to the outfield, leaving 2B open for Profar. Kinsler's value is highest at 2B, having a 7.2 WAR season just one year ago at the position, and moving to the outfield may see his WAR never hit that number again. The Rangers have plenty of options.

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MLB FAs Hurt by Sabermetrics

MLB FAs Hurt by Sabermetrics | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Some free agents have hit the market with high hopes for a major contract. Unfortunately for five players, teams looking at certain advanced statistics may take pause in giving them that deal. The best example is Dan Haren, a pitcher with a good track record who had a poor 2012 season based on ERA. Maybe if we look deeper we'll see his poor season was a fluke largely influenced by bad luck. Unfortunately for him, his results were only partially caused by bad luck. His FIP was lower than his ERA, but still higher than average on a stat that you want to be as low as possible. If his FIP wasaround 3.50, we might think he just had a some bad fielding around him, but since it is still fairly high, teams will not be as eager to hand out a multi-year deal.

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Tigers scouts try to win WAR on player evaluations

Tigers scouts try to win WAR on player evaluations | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

Dave Dombrowski has always placed greater importance on scouting than sabermetrics. He doesn't buy into evaluating simply by WAR. He recalls one day in August where Darwin Barney was ahead of Miguel Cabrera in WAR and felt like any argument in favor of WAR was invalid at that point. The Tigers do, however, have Mike Smith, director of baseball operations, to evaluate players statistically. The Tigers do use sabermetrics, but their focus is on scouting, and as long as Dombrowski is in charge, it's going to stay that way.

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Why the RBI Is Obsolete and How We Can Do Better

Why the RBI Is Obsolete and How We Can Do Better | Sabermetric Baseball Statistics | Scoop.it

I didn't think the Bleacher Report had an article like this in them. Pretty good read explaining how valuing a player based on his RBI production is silly because it is so dependent on the lineup the player is in and the spot of the lineup the player bats. Miguel Cabrera led the league in RBIs because he hit with men on base more often than all but three players in the MLB. Josh Hamilton came in second because he had 40 less at bats with runners on base than Cabrera did. Calculating an RBI total is like calculating hits. Both are just silly because it clearly is dependent on how many situations (at bats) you get. Instead, look at "Others Batted In," a stat that tracks the percentage of all runners on base batted in -- much like an RBI batting average and RE24, a stat that calculates the difference in run expectancy between the start of the play and the end of the play over the length of the season. 

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