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July 3, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Brandon Phillips and Context

by R.J. Anderson

Sam Miller and I were talking about baseball analysis oddities on Sunday. One such weird thing is context, especially with stats like on-base percentage. Since then I have searched for a player whose OBP remained steady in the face of the league-wide decrease. The idea being that the perception about this player’s OBP shifted without the values necessarily increasing (relative to themselves). Luckily, I found my player in Brandon Phillips:

Create “OBP+” and the difference league-wide is more glaring:

Season: OBP/OBP+
2007: .331/99
2008: .312/94
2009: .329/99
2010: .332/102
2011: .353/110
2012: .327/103

The lessons here: context is vital, and being consistent when everyone else is declining is almost as good as improving when everyone else is being consistent.

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

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