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March 29, 2011

BP Unfiltered

Comparables and Upside

by Dave Pease

We've just rolled out some updates to the player cards:

  • We've added Top N Comparables to the player cards. Any player who has a PECOTA projection should have comparables. We generated 100 and then dropped the ones who didn't play the next year. The Similarity Score is back, and Similarity Index returns as well.

    We've had a lot of questions about comparables this year beyond "When will they be here?" Many of the comparables in Baseball Prospectus 2011 that look a little different than they have historically can be traced to our decision to use only major-league comps for players. There are only so many 21-year-old catchers in the major leagues, for example, and they often turn out to be pretty good players, hence the problem in generating comps with this strategy. We'll be reviewing this policy going forward.

    The comparables are presented similarly to last year's, except that we've made them clickable. This feature is available to Premium subscribers only (except for San Francisco Giants player cards—see Freddy Sanchez and Tim Lincecum for examples)
  • We've added Upside By Year to the player cards. Anyone who has a PECOTA projection should have an UPSIDE score listed. We computed UPSIDE by adhering closely to the glossary definition, but we broke it out per year, as we started doing in 2010. UPSIDE is based on major league runs above average for each comparable player, and this year we were able to run it over a player's top 200 comparables. This feature is available to Premium subscribers only (except for San Francisco Giants player cards—see Pat Burrell and Barry Zito for examples)

We've also made some progress on the remaining components of the projections:

  • The ten-year projections were supposed to be released last week; apologies again for the delay. We saw the opportunity to release the comparables and Upside first. I'm going to try to refrain from forward-looking statements of any specificity, but they are our top priority.
  • We are planning on releasing revised MORP in a few days.

While we're on the subject of the Fantasy product, I wanted to clear up something we've been seeing in comment threads and email and plainly haven't been doing a good job of communicating. We have not released a PECOTA Weighted Means Spreadsheet since the the initial release. In previous seasons, we'd run PECOTA updates during the preseason either to add players whom we hadn't projected originally (such as a fringe minor leaguer going bananas in spring training and pushing his way into the picture on the major-league team) or because we were tinkering with the settings. The former was a requirement only when we were running in Excel—in the last couple of seasons, we've simply generated projections for everyone (roughly 6000 projections per year). As for the latter, we haven't touched PECOTA's inner workings since we released the original WMS.

We decided not to include the projected playing time in the WMS this year for a couple of reasons. First, it wasn't there originally, and we heard from people who were confused when we added it. Second, we had a lot of higher-priority issues to work on, so we decided to add a button in the PFM that subscribers could click to download all of the data in CSV or TAB format. Our intention was that users who wanted the playing-time-projected numbers could download them there at any time.

We've changed around virtually all of the other statistical processes on the site, and we've been squashing some bugs as we've found them in some of the fantasy products. For example, we recently had too many wins listed for Seattle pitchers on the depth charts and in the PFM. We've resolved most of those issues, and we've also added checks to ensure that they don't re-occur wherever we've been able to do so. We're aware of the issue with Trevor Hoffman's 2007 WARP scores not matching in the "Standard" and "Recent Performance" tables on his player card, and we'll be addressing that shortly.

Thanks again for your continued patience. More is coming soon.

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

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Future Shock: Monday M... (03/28)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: Unfamil... (03/29)
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BP Unfiltered: For Amu... (03/30)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (03/29)

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