What Is The FanGraphs Library?

After Dave Cameron’s introduction yesterday, I wanted to take a brief minute to explain the purpose and goal of the Library for those that haven’t seen it before. And before I begin, thanks to everyone for the kind words yesterday about the Library.

The Saber Library was initially created around a year ago, in response to some criticism we’d received at DRaysBay. Many (most) of our columns there deal with advanced stats, like the work done here on FanGraphs, yet many readers were having a tough time accessing the information and learning about sabermetrics. We’d tried running a saber primer or two, yet those could never be comprehensive enough to cover everything that needed to be said. Readers wanted to learn, but didn’t have a place to go to do so.

And so, being naive and stupid, I decided to spend the time putting together a comprehensive learning resource where saber newbies could learn practical knowledge about the statistics and concepts that undergird sabermetrics. It was an ambitious project, but I received help from a couple of my fellow writers at DRaysBay and input from living legend Graham MacAree. I made the pages easily linkable, so writers wouldn’t need to re-explain a statistic every time they used it in an article, but could link to the Library and direct their readers there for more information (like, say, wOBA).

FanGraphs has long needed an updated glossary, so moving the Library here was a no-brainer. I made a number of changes when moving it over – updating content, adding percentile charts, and incorporating more content from elsewhere in the saber-sphere – but its general purpose is still the same: the FanGraphs Library is meant to be used as a learning tool. I provide a concise description of every statistic, document the most important facts to know about each stat, and link to resources to expand your knowledge even further. I hope to continue expanding the Library in the future, and to update pages continuously as need be.

Some links may have gone on the fritz as we transferred everything, but all old links to the Library should still work. The old saberlibrary.com address is now being redirected to the new site, so if you are a writer and want to continue (or start) linking to the Library in your articles, you can still use our old URLs to make it easier for you. I think they’re pretty intuitive, but you can decide for yourself:

wOBA
FIP
UZR
WAR

You can access the FanGraphs Library by clicking on the “Glossary” button above. When you arrive at the Library main page, you’ll see the biggest new feature of the site: a blog! I’ll be writing content over at the FanGraphs Library page, focusing primarily on saber education. I plan to highlight work done around the saber-sphere (so pass along any links if you find something good), while also writing original pieces geared toward helping people understand sabermetrics better. It’s a new space and I want the content to best help you readers, so please send me feedback along the way.

In short, if you want to learn about sabermetrics, make your articles more accessible for new readers, or teach a friend why batting average isn’t the be-all-end-all, come check out the FanGraphs Library. No Dewey Decimal system required.




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Steve is the editor-in-chief of DRaysBay and the keeper of the FanGraphs Library. You can follow him on Twitter at @steveslow.


9 Responses to “What Is The FanGraphs Library?”

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  1. Rob says:

    This is awesome, thank you!

    How about adding RE24 to the library? Or what’s the thought on this stat?

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    • To be honest, the main reason I haven’t added RE24 yet is because I’m pretty ignorant about what it is or how to use it. I know vaguely, but I definitely need to do more reading and research before feeling comfortable enough with it to put a page together.

      Great thought, though. It’s available here, and so there should be a page on it. That’ll be one of the coming updates.

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  2. Ken says:

    This is a great addition to the site. Will there be a permanent link to the library from the home page or at least from the blogs page?

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  3. Not David says:

    ZOMG you’re my new hero……after David of course.

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  4. Newcomer says:

    I have one suggestion, which might turn into a bit of work, so use your discretion. I noticed that you have quite a few external links in the library. I would suggest copying the content of those pages as an archive in case the sites you link go down. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried following links from old discussions at the book blog etc., and the linked sites no longer exist. I’m sure most authors wouldn’t mind if you saved an archival copy, so you can resurrect the content if their sites disappear at a later date.

    Thanks for your work! Glad to see you on Fangraphs.

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  5. fang2415 says:

    Jeez, this rules. Just looked at the percentile charts, which are a fantastic idea. I will now be way less fearful of recommending fangraphs to non-statheads…

    Now what would be really handy is if links to the stat description showed up in blog text the same way links to players do…

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    • bcp33bosox says:

      I think that is part of the plan:

      “I made the pages easily linkable, so writers wouldn’t need to re-explain a statistic every time they used it in an article, but could link to the Library and direct their readers there for more information (like, say, wOBA).”

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