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Daily Notes: A Possibly Sufficient WBC Status Update

Posted By Carson Cistulli On March 13, 2013 @ 9:53 am In Daily Notes | 13 Comments

Table of Contents
Today’s edition of the Daily Notes has no table of contents, it appears.

A WBC Status Update of Reasonable Quality
By the end of this past weekend, the first round of this year’s World Baseball Classic had produced eight qualifiers: Cuba, Japan, the Netherlands, and Taipei from Pools A and B, and the Dominican Republic, Italy, Puerto Rico, and the United States (from Pools C and D).

Second-round play among the first set four qualifiers (called Pool 1, in this case) has now already produced two teams for the four-team final: Japan and the Netherlands. Pool 2 (composed of the second set of four qualifiers) began on Tuesday afternoon.

What follows is more — perhaps even possibly sufficient — information on theme of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Standings
In the first round, each team plays the other three teams in its pool once. The two teams with the highest winning percentages — or, in case of a three-way tie, the two teams that qualify via this set of tie-breaking rules — advance to Round Two.

The eight qualifiers from the first round progress to Round Two. Pool 1 features the four qualifiers from first-round Pools A and B; Pool 2, from Pools C and D. Both Pool 1 and 2 are played as a four-team double-elimination tournament. The top two teams in each qualify for the four-team final round.

Here is the bracket for Pool 1 of second-round play — from which Japan and the Netherlands have qualified for the four-team final — copy-and-pasted from Wikipedia, but then cropped and colored differently to suggest nothing of the sort. (Click on the bracket to embiggen.)

Pool 1

And here is the bracket for Pool 2, scheduled to begin on Tuesday (click to embiggen):

Pool 2

Stats
Here is a slightly absurd, but not entirely usesless, leaderboard of the top-10 hitting performances of the World Baseball Classic so far. SCOUT+ an offensive measure (about which you can read more here) calculated with regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates, where 100 is average and above 100 is above average.


Player Team Pos PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Alfredo Despaigne CUB OF 21 2.8% 10.0% 16.4% 116
Adrian Gonzalez MEX 1B 13 2.1% 11.9% 17.3% 112
Hanley Ramirez DOM SS 16 2.1% 11.2% 16.3% 112
Frederich Cepeda CUB OF 26 2.1% 11.8% 17.1% 111
Yoshio Itoi JPN OF 24 2.1% 10.9% 16.0% 111
David Wright USA 3B 19 2.1% 10.1% 15.9% 109
Andrelton Simmons NED SS 28 2.4% 8.7% 15.5% 109
Shinnosuke Abe JPN C 20 2.4% 9.0% 16.5% 109
Carlos Santana DOM C 17 2.1% 11.7% 18.8% 108
Takashi Toritani JPN IF 15 2.1% 10.8% 17.8% 108

And here are the top-10 pitching performances thus far — in this case by SCOUT-, a metric calculated with regressed strikeout and walk rates where 100 is average and below 100 is above average.


Player Team G GS IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Kenta Maeda JPN 2 2 10.0 33 23.6% 8.7% 84
Masahiro Tanaka JPN 4 1 7.0 31 21.9% 8.6% 88
Tadashi Settsu JPN 2 0 5.1 20 20.5% 8.8% 92
Seunghwan Oh KOR 3 0 2.2 8 20.5% 9.0% 92
Oscar Nakaoshi BRA 2 1 5.1 22 20.2% 8.7% 92
Danny Betancourt CUB 2 2 10.2 39 20.3% 9.0% 93
Kenji Otonari JPN 2 2 6.0 22 19.6% 8.9% 94
Jose De La Torre PUR 2 0 2.2 12 19.4% 9.1% 95
Kazuhisa Makita JPN 3 0 3.0 14 19.2% 9.0% 96
Samuel Deduno DOM 1 1 4.0 16 18.9% 8.8% 96

Notable Performance: Basically Every Japanese Pitcher
Because they’ve played more games than every team but the Dutch and Cubans, the stats for the Japanese pitchers — by the likely flawed measure being used above, at least — will naturally be less subject to the influence of regression. By extension, their expected rates will more closely resemble their actual rates. If those actual rates are quite high, that will be reflected in a strong SCOUT figure.

That caveat noted, the Japanese pitchers have been excellent as an entire unit, as well, having posted a 68:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in just 52.0 innings. Below are the team pitching stats for all 16 teams in this year’s Classic — including kwERA, which is an ERA estimate based just on strikeouts and walks (which makes sense as opposed to FIP, probably, given the sample sizes with which we’re dealing). Note that batters faced (TBF) is estimated as follows: IP*3 + BB + H + HBP.


Team G IP TBF* K% BB% kwERA
JPN 6 52.0 219 31.1% 5.0% 2.65
KOR 3 26.0 114 22.8% 7.9% 3.98
USA 4 36.0 149 19.5% 5.4% 4.08
PUR 4 35.0 157 19.1% 7.0% 4.32
MEX 3 27.0 129 19.4% 7.8% 4.37
CUB 6 49.2 217 19.8% 8.8% 4.44
DOM 4 36.0 154 20.1% 11.0% 4.68
VEN 3 26.0 120 17.5% 10.0% 4.87
ITA 4 34.0 160 16.3% 10.0% 5.02
CAN 3 25.0 126 13.5% 9.5% 5.29
TAI 5 42.0 185 11.9% 8.6% 5.38
NED 7 59.0 274 10.6% 8.0% 5.46
BRA 3 26.0 120 15.8% 14.2% 5.57
ESP 3 25.0 126 14.3% 13.5% 5.67
CHN 3 23.0 110 10.0% 10.9% 5.88
AUS 3 25.0 119 8.4% 10.1% 5.97

Here is nearly relevant video — of right-hander Kazuhisa Makita finishing Japan’s most recent victory.

Schedule
The Classic is available on the MLB Network — and streaming online for customers of Bright House, DIRECTV, and Time Warner Cable. Spanish coverage (relevant to many of the games in Pools C and D) is available on ESPN Deportes.

Furthermore, MLBAM has released a dedicated app for the WBC, as well, which includes Gameday coverage and video highlights.

Here are the games scheduled between now and Thursday morning (all times ET):

07:00 PM Italy vs. Puerto Rico (2nd Rd, Pool 2)


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