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December 12, 2007 12:00 am

Predictatron Post-Hoc


Jason Paré

Way back in the spring, many of you participated in the Predictatron contest. So how did you do?

The Wrapup

With the closing of the Winter Meetings and the igniting of the yearly hot stove, it's once again time to examine the results from BP's Predictatron contest. Roughly equivalent to an overgrown fantasy football pick'em, Predictatron asks BP readers and staff alike to forecast the individual records of each MLB team, along with a bracket-like prediction of playoff results and the eventual World Series winner. First prize in the contest is $500 and a framed picture of Commissioner Bud Selig. With swag like that, who needs the money? Full rules can be found here.

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November 11, 2007 12:00 am

Dropping In


Jason Paré

Getting a better read on a player's hitting profile to determine his true level.

In mid-August I was reading an article on a friend's blog, in which he was reflecting on his preseason MLB award predictions and lamenting his pick of Chris B. Young for NL Rookie of the Year. Since I had hyped Young to him prior to the season, I felt it necessary to reply and defend my prognostication. Young was hitting just .235 at the time, but had 25 or so home runs, and had already built a reputation as a premier baserunner. In defense of my pick, I hastily replied, "He's had bad luck. If you gave him even a league-average batting average on balls in play, he'd be hitting .270 and have All-Star overall numbers."

Something about my statement, however, did not seem intuitively correct. I knew that multiplying a player's balls in play total by a league-average BABIP and adding in the home runs was, at best, a brute force measure of what the player "should" be hitting, only slightly less variable than a player's batting average itself. Still, I thought that with Young's combination of power and speed, he should ideally be hitting with at least average luck on balls in play.

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