What makes a pitcher great? How are pitchers valued in MLB? While consistency is important, what single statistic can explain how teams value a pitcher?
It was the mid-1980s. I’ll never forget the feeling of “Eureka!”
Justin Verlander was the clear choice to win the 2011 AL MVP Award and was boosted by new-age statistics along with the usual criteria needed to capture the award.
Instead of arguing whether the Gold Glove Award is still relevant or if the Fielding Bible Award should be accepted the standard, how about combining the best aspects of both awards?
With a nod to H. G. Wells, I suspect the only real way to compare a team from one era with a club from another time is to build a Time Machine. Since we don’t seem to have the necessary parts (yet?) for time travel, we have to appeal to other approaches.
A few months ago, former Mets ballplayer, Rico Brogna, graciously agreed to address students taking my course on sabermetrics.
Team LOB positively correlates only very-weakly to the amount of runs a team scores, and not at all to winning or losing.
Ted Williams knew a thing or two about hitting. He loved a statistic called Production (PROD), also known as On Base Plus Slugging (OPS). That said, what exactly is SLOB?
Let’s not forget a great slugger from the past – who coincidentally wore number 3, the same number as The Bambino – Harmon Clayton Killebrew.
I still remember how the squatty catcher, who wore Number 15, would waddle while coming up to the plate… the nervous twitches… the walrus-like moustache… the re-adjusting of the batting gloves… and the feeling that I had… just knowing that Thurman Munson would get a clutch hit.
With pitchers and catchers set to report in just a few short weeks, I found myself contemplating the upcoming spring training season. Do the results of spring training games have any effect on regular season success or failure?
From the humble beginnings of baseball in 1839, reporters and statisticians have tried to “tell the story of baseball”. What “happens” at a baseball game can be expressed in words, and yet must be explained in numbers.
There is no time in baseball; a baseball game is measured by outs. It would seem that to purposely give up an out makes no sense. Hence, we ask the question: “Is the bunt viable?”
What players best “combine” sheer power with blazing speed? Is there a way to measure the meshing of these talents? One metric that can be used is called the “Power-Speed Number” (PSN).
Mathematicians love to tweak formulas, and baseball fans love to see sluggers. So for this episode of By The Numbers, we will look at the well known slugging formula of Slugging Percentage (SLG).
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