FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Dustin Pedroia tripping over himself while running to third count?

    Comment by m123 — May 24, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

  2. For your second point, couldn’t you use something similar to UZR (almost the inverse actually) to assign a base running value for taking the extra base on hits? As in, if the batter hits the ball to location X, there is an average number of bases the batter will advance when the ball is hit to that location. The difference between expected and the outcome should be their base running value. Maybe I’m being too simplistic about it, and there might be a very good reason why this would not work, but my small brain is having trouble figuring out why it wouldn’t at the moment.

    Comment by Michael — May 24, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

  3. MGL is always soooooo awesome that he is now attempting to estimate a player’s clubhouse chemistry.

    The question is, when will it appear in Our FanGraphs?

    Comment by gradygradychase — May 24, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  4. Is it possible to look at baserunning like they are now looking at putting on the PGA tour. Once someone is faced with a putt, they compare the number of strokes it takes him to get down to the tour average from that position…he’s better then average, equal to or worse. If we look at all the situations where a baserunner is on first with no outs and a ground ball single to right…what are avg number of bases advanced, then compare baserunner A’s chances to all those avg chances…

    Comment by MBH — May 24, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  5. Very cool. Is it possible to turn this into a rate state, like UZR/150?

    Would probably need to be tied to hits/times on base rather than PA though, to avoid penalizing good baserunners who never get on base.

    Comment by Ted — May 24, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  6. Braves rate 29th in BP’s EQBRR, but are midpack in UBR. Is this explained mostly by the fact that SB/CS are omitted from UBR, or by the fact that Chipper Jones is a pretty substantial outlier when you compare UBR to EQBRR (as show by Chris St. John here: ). I’m not sure I understand how there could be such a big difference in overall rankings unless the SB/CS are weighted heavily in EQBRR? Could someone help me out?

    Comment by whatzitmather — May 24, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  7. So if I understand this correctly, you are going to give credit to the baserunner when he advances because the outfielder throws to the wrong base?

    Comment by longgandhi — May 24, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  8. Nothing Pedroia does is allowed to effect him negatively

    it just adds to his grit

    Comment by Jon — May 24, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  9. How big a sample does this need to have before it can be conclusive?

    Comment by T — May 24, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  10. I agree with this. There’s got to be a way to account for this, right?

    I was also wondering if it was possible to deduct bases for double plays batted into when the average player would have beaten out the throw to first. In other words, shouldn’t a player lose credit if he’s unable to beat out a double play ball that the average batter would have beaten out.

    Comment by chuckb — May 24, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  11. Yes, that is in the plan for future versions of UBR. Maybe not so many buckets, since sample size is definitely going to be an issue.

    Comment by MGL — May 24, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

  12. As far as I can tell from your post, that is exactly what UBR is doing now. It just does it one play at a time, which will yield exactly the same results as what you are proposing.

    Comment by MGL — May 24, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

  13. Don’t know. I’m sure there are a few minor differences between the two systems. Minor differences will always show up as a major difference for a few players…

    Comment by MGL — May 24, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

  14. Well, if you have some way of telling me what base an OF throws the ball to (I don’t), I’ll be glad to incorporate that into the metric. Why don’t you email me or post it on FG every time that happens and then compile it at the end of the year and send me the data? While you’re at it, maybe you can do my taxes for me.

    What a moronic comment…

    Comment by MGL — May 24, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

  15. A million games? An infinite number of games? Define “conclusive?”

    Comment by MGL — May 24, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

  16. Not sure if they (FG) are posting “base running games”. If they are, then it is done. If not, you can use their actual games played to figure the rate…

    Comment by MGL — May 24, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

  17. Draw judgments upon it that are indicative of true talent. No need to get snarky.

    Comment by T — May 24, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

  18. *from it, not upon it.

    Comment by T — May 24, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  19. You can draw judgments at any point – seriously. How much certainty there is in those judgments is another story. I’ll look at the year to year correlations and let you know what the 50% regression point is…

    Comment by MGL — May 24, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

  20. Is MGL having a bad day or what? What’s with all his pissy attacks in the comments section?

    By the way, I love your new stat, can you please punch me in the face now, too?

    Comment by sleepingcobra — May 24, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

  21. I think he’s upset that people are asking honest questions as opposed to just dropping to their knees and thanking him breathlessly.

    Comment by Jim — May 24, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

  22. Looks like the year to year correlation for full time players is around .5, which means that one year of full time UZR requires around a 50% regression. Two years 33% regression, 3 years, 25%, etc.

    I really don’t give a crap whether anyone likes any of these stats or not. Use them at your pleasure or displeasure.

    When you spend more than 1 minute on a piddling post as opposed to hundreds of hours coming up with these metrics, then you can talk. It’s not rocket science but it does take time…

    Comment by MGL — May 24, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

  23. If you’d rather I not answer any questions with or without snark, then don’t ask any. If not, take them as they come and filter them as you like…

    Comment by MGL — May 24, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  24. Assume you meant UBR?

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — May 24, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  25. I’m going to call my system Awesome Base Running.

    Comment by Chris Long — May 24, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

  26. I disagree that the question is moronic. I was at a game two weeks ago, men on 2nd and 3rd, none out. Hitter hits a sinking line drive to left, LF charges, makes a diving catch, gets up and airmails the cut off man. While the man on 3rd scores standing up, the other runner takes 3rd when he never would have if the ouytfielder threw to third which was the proper play since he had no shot at home. The question is if the runner gets credit for the fielder screwing up. As for knowing which base was thrown to, I assumed this was being done by stringers since you talk about whether a runner would have taken a base on average. only way to know that is to see the play. Did the SS go hard to his left to field a dribbler up the middle or was it a one hopper hit up the middle? Was it a hit and run?

    I am afraid to ask why runners on 3rd get no credit for coming home on a ground ball or whether the system incorporates non batted ball plays like PO, SB or CS.

    We have a right to judge the accuracy of metrics used and the only way we can do that is if we understand the methods. Any good researcher knows that the first section you read of any paper is the methods so you can spot fundamental errors. besides, belittleing an audience that is trying to understand your post only chases people away.

    Comment by MikeS — May 24, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  27. Dude, calm down. You introduce a brand new stat and people want to know how it works, what it can do, what the limitations are, etc. These people are showing interest in your work, not criticizing it. They want to understand it and use it. I haven’t seen anybody here saying it’s a load of crap, we are just trying to learn more about what you have done. What’s wrong with that?

    Comment by MikeS — May 24, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  28. As far as I can tell, only one person in this entire thread is criticizing anything about this stat at all, and he was also clearly assuming you were using a database that indicated something that it obviously doesn’t indicate. Everyone else was asking how to use it.

    Comment by T — May 24, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

  29. I’m going to assume you’re having a bad day, because your attitude here has been abhorrent.

    Comment by T — May 24, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

  30. Agreed.

    Comment by Andre — May 24, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

  31. Great work MGL. I’m looking forward to tracking this stat. I’ve been using EqBRR a lot, but I find the FanGraphs database to be easier to use than the BP database. So, I’m glad that there is now going to be a baserunning stat here.

    Comment by Lee Panas — May 24, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

  32. It’s moronic to ask if your metric properly accounts for defense?

    Comment by J-Doug — May 25, 2011 @ 1:54 am

  33. Having been on the book blog before, this isn’t remotely surprising.

    Comment by Anon — May 25, 2011 @ 1:54 am

  34. It occurs to me that players who play on teams that win or lose big more often league average may be less aggressive on the bases and be penalized to some extent, but it probably does not add up to much.

    In 2010, the spread between the best runners and worst was 16.6 runs. This seems about right if SB are excluded

    “Runners on third base advancing, not advancing, or getting thrown out at home on a ground ball are not considered (on air balls they are).”

    Seems it should be considered, but then again, there are many cases where the defense concedes the run due to the game situation, so maybe not.

    I also think players who stay out of GIDP due to their speed should be credited (eg Carl Crawford GIDP only 2 times in 2010, or a sickly 2% of GIDP opportunities. And players who hit into an extraordinary amount of DP due to their slow speed or high GB rate should be penalized.

    Did a bit of a double take when I saw Ichiro was minus in 2010, but I suppose this might have something to do with the quality of the offense hitting behind him.

    While I do like having a single number, it would be nice to see the components, 1st to home, 2nd to home, 1st to 3rd, thrown out, picked off, tagged up, etc.

    Players who play for teams with awful 3B coaches are probably unfairly penalized. Bogar with the Red Sox is a good example, so I can’t help but wonder if the 2011 Red Sox are last in the AL in UBR is due to plays at home or 3B.

    Comment by pft — May 25, 2011 @ 1:59 am

  35. Yup, missed a 4-foot putt on the 18th hole today for a 10-skin carry. Threw my putter across the water (tried to throw it IN the water) and then threw my bag into the woods. My son thought I was acting like a child. I told him that I ran out of my Lexapro for a couple of days.

    Anyway, I always try and answer all questions as best as I can, either on the blog or emailed to me…

    Comment by MGL — May 25, 2011 @ 2:02 am

  36. This is common for him. You should read one of his non sports (plus comments) posts over at his blog. Oh boy! Great baseball mind though.

    Comment by xeifrank — May 25, 2011 @ 2:24 am

  37. “What a moronic comment…” is no way to “answer all questions as best as I can.”

    You could have just as easily said to him, “It is impossible to statistically determine where the outfielder is throwing the ball on each play, because box scores do not denote where the ball is thrown when there is no assist made. Because of that, the metric gives credit to runners who advanced on suboptimal throws.”

    But you didn’t. You didn’t answer the question. Instead, you ripped the person for trying to understand what you had presented.

    How can you expect to get respect for your work when you’re unwilling to give it to anyone else, especially those eager to understand what you’ve presented?

    Comment by thehemogoblin — May 25, 2011 @ 2:30 am

  38. It’s Mitchel, he’s the sabermetric version of the old man who yells at you to get off his lawn and who keeps any balls or frisbees that fall into his yard. He calls it as he sees it, and he makes me look nice in comparison, so leave him alone. :)

    Will you be swinging through San Diego this season, mgl?

    Comment by Chris Long — May 25, 2011 @ 3:24 am

  39. Great stuff MGL as always. I’m glad to see there’s an alternative to EqBRR, which I use from time to time. It’s also nice to see Fangraphs will be incorporating it into their version of WAR. What are your thoughts about adjusting for ballparks that can have a large affect on baserunning trends? For instance, balls hit to Fenway’s LF tend to minimize the number of times runners can take an extra base.

    By the way…while I’m sure I’m in the minority, I rather enjoy the snarky responses. At the very least it’s been entertaining.

    Comment by Chip Buck — May 25, 2011 @ 7:16 am

  40. longgandhi’s comment reads snarky and sarcastic. Perhaps that’s not how he intended it, but if MGL read it sarcastically, he’s not alone. Reading it again, I still think it was meant sarcastically and, if I was MGL, wouldn’t appreciate it very much either.

    Comment by chuckb — May 25, 2011 @ 8:08 am

  41. Pablo Sandoval was leading the league in UBR until this happened:

    Comment by Kel — May 25, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  42. Mitch, do you ever work with statisticians when creating these metrics?

    Comment by PaulScarfo — May 25, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  43. There are 5 additive parts of EqBRR: EqGAR (Ground Advancement), EqSBR (Stolen Base), EqAAR (Air Advancement), EqHAR (Hit Advancement) and EqOAR (Other Advancement).

    On average, these account for this percentage of EqBRR:
    GAR: 52%
    SBR: 4.7%
    AAR: 7.5%
    HAR: 35%
    OAR: 0.27%

    Comment by CSJ — May 25, 2011 @ 11:50 am

  44. It’s nothing new. I first discovered sabermetrics when I was 14 years old. I approached the subject ingenuously and with unbridled enthusiasm. I made the mistake of stumbling upon the fanhome – sabermetrics forums and posted a couple of questions and ideas there; after being insulted multiple times by MGL, I left the site and nearly lost my enthusiasm for the subject.

    The discussions that are generated from new ideas and statistics are often just as valuable as the ideas themselves, and help contribute to a deeper understanding of the game. It’s a shame such a bright mind can’t appreciate that.

    Comment by Rodion — May 25, 2011 @ 11:53 am

  45. Chris, I probably won’t. I’m in NY for the summer. Next time I’m in SD, I’ll give you a holler.

    “How can you expect to get respect for your work when you’re unwilling to give it to anyone else, especially those eager to understand what you’ve presented?”

    Not looking for respect for baseball work.

    That person who wrote about throwing to the wrong base, was not asking a question. They were being sarcastic as far as I can tell. In any case, I did answer his question quite explicitly. I clearly stated that I don’t have that information. As far as my tone, that is his problem, not mine.

    Comment by MGL — May 25, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  46. Actually, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I was a stringer for for 5 years and I was noting a misplay I would see with some frequency, and the way you described it, your metric appeared to give credit to the wrong player. I have no idea what data is available to you but given the preponderance of video, it doesn’t seem far fetched that someone could provide that data if requested. Through my contacts with two teams and BIS I know that teams request unusual data occasionally and your profile states that you worked for a team. If I made a mistake it was in thinking you were privy to such data. Telling me to compile and send you that data (for free, I’m assuming) and then suggesting I do your taxes contradicts your assertion that the tone problem is solely mine. No worries – no harm, no foul.

    Comment by longgandhi — May 25, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  47. There’s no problem. Mitchel doesn’t care what you think.

    Comment by PaulScarfo — May 25, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  48. It’s all good. I did think you were being sarcastic. No problem.

    Obviously errors in the data (or incomplete information) are not going to make much difference overall. Other than the randomness involved in any sample metric, this is one of the purer ones. The fact that there are not that many opportunities per season yet the y-t-y correlation is at least .5 suggests that there is not much noise in this metric, compared to other metrics.

    Comment by MGL — May 25, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

  49. If a can of corn is lost in the lights, the hitter gets a double and his WAR goes up. If the runner advances on a dumb throw, the runner gets credit and his WAR goes up. It happens with most stats, not just the new ones. Fielders make bad throws, Aubrey Huff plays the outfield, balls take bad hops or hit the bases, the wind blows out at Wrigley when the Rockies are there and the wind blows in at Wrigley when the Giants are there. The signal is a larger magnitude than the noise in this case.

    Comment by glassSheets — May 25, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

  50. For what it’s worth, I second the idea of incorporating run differential and inning into a future iteration of the stat. I’m sure that’s a whole lot more work, too.

    Comment by reillocity — May 26, 2011 @ 2:16 am

  51. Are we seriously still doing this meme with Pedroia? He’s a legit superstar for god’s sake, not David Eckstein.

    Comment by Jim — May 30, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

  52. i want to fight you

    Comment by Sensitive RAB Guy — December 4, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  53. Example: classic Daryl Strawberry play. Runner on 2B. Single to RF. Strawberry charges, throws a perfect line to catcher. Gary Garter takes it belt-high, but the runner has scored standing and the batter took second. Impressive throw but bad baseball.

    The hitter probably should get some credit for taking second if he saw that Strawberry had ignored the cutoff man. Or maybe the 1B coach waved the hitter to second? Or maybe the hitter intended to go for second to draw a throw and allow the runner to score more easily? It’s hard to decide.

    Comment by Welch — April 18, 2015 @ 5:50 pm

  54. Is there an actual formula for this?

    Comment by Payton Kienle — August 20, 2015 @ 7:14 pm

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