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Which Player Benefited Most from Triple-Crown Stats?

Posted By CSJ On September 16, 2011 @ 3:00 pm In Research | 4 Comments

This post was born out of a conversation randomly started by Ronit Shah on Twitter. He asked me:

“Is there a more interesting player page than this one? #CoorsEffect”

The page links to Dante Bichette and I did a little research, eventually concluding that Bichette’s slash line was .360/.397/.642 at home and .268/.303/.431 away from 1993 to 1999. He also had a HR/PA of 0.06 at home versus only 0.03 away and hit 1.5 times more extra base hits at home than he did on the road.

Satchel Price decided to chime in, asking the question I asked in the title: “Has any player ever benefited more from triple crown stats? Bad defense, rarely walked, played in Coors during the steroid era.”

I was interested to see what I could find on this, so I made up an analytical tool. I downloaded all player careers for all qualified batters from Fangraphs. Then I found the average and standard deviation for home runs, runs batted in and batting average for all of these players.

Finally, I used the formula (player HR – avg HR)/(SD HR) to find some sort of variance (I use a similar method for fantasy baseball rankings). Then, I added up all of these variances for each player and graphed them versus fWAR. I have basically no idea what this is measuring, but it’s measuring…something. I deleted all players who have a variance below negative 4, leaving me with this:

Finally, based on the linear relationship, I found which players have the greatest discrepancy between expected fWAR based on triple-crown stats and actual fWAR. Here are the top-10 players whose fWAR is much lower than it should be based on their triple crown stats:

Turns out Satchel was right. Obviously, this methodology is severely flawed; however, it worked out pretty well and was a fun exercise to do.

This post originally appeared at Steal of Home.