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05-04

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Aim For The Head: Aim For the Front Office
by
Keith Woolner

06-21

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Aim For The Head: Customized Stat Reports
by
Keith Woolner

04-10

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Aim For The Head: Lengthening Pitch Counts
by
Keith Woolner

03-24

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Aim For The Head: New Relief Categories
by
Keith Woolner

03-08

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Aim For The Head: Quick-n-Dirty Base-Out Expected Runs Matrix
by
Keith Woolner

03-02

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Aim For The Head: Mailbag: Outcomes and Outrages
by
Keith Woolner

02-02

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Aim For The Head: Five More Reasons to Hate the Hold
by
Keith Woolner

01-24

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Aim For The Head: Three True Outcomes, 2005
by
Keith Woolner

03-04

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Aim For The Head: Three True Outcomes, 2004
by
Keith Woolner

10-08

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Aim For The Head: Rookies, RBI and Revamped Reliever Reports
by
Keith Woolner

09-13

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Aim For The Head: Support-Neutral Pitching Reports, Revamped
by
Keith Woolner

05-26

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Aim For The Head: Hidden Perfect Games Mailbag
by
Keith Woolner

04-27

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Aim For The Head: Hidden Perfect Games
by
Keith Woolner

04-01

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Aim For The Head: Discovering True Clutch Hitters
by
Keith Woolner

02-11

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Aim For The Head: Memory Lane
by
Keith Woolner

01-21

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Aim For The Head: Three True Outcomes, 2003
by
Keith Woolner

09-17

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Aim For The Head: Reader Mail, and More New Stat Reports
by
Keith Woolner

08-15

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Aim For The Head: New Stat Reports
by
Keith Woolner

08-13

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Aim For The Head: Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame
by
Keith Woolner

08-04

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Aim For The Head: Supercycles
by
Keith Woolner

05-15

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Aim For The Head: Understanding MLVr
by
Keith Woolner

04-01

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Aim For The Head: A Big Change for OBP
by
Keith Woolner

03-25

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Aim For The Head: Opening Day Starters
by
Keith Woolner

11-21

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Aim For The Head: Are Balanced Lineups Better?
by
Keith Woolner and Rodger A. Payne

08-30

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Aim For The Head: Quality Starts
by
Keith Woolner

07-18

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Aim For The Head: Scoring Early and Often
by
Keith Woolner

07-12

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Aim For The Head: Long Plate Appearances Mailbag
by
Keith Woolner

06-26

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Aim For The Head: More on Lengthy Plate Appearances
by
Keith Woolner

06-26

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Aim For The Head: More on Lengthy Plate Appearances
by
Keith Woolner

06-11

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Aim For The Head: OPS by Length of Plate Appearance
by
Keith Woolner

06-11

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Aim For The Head: OPS by Length of Plate Appearance
by
Keith Woolner

06-06

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Aim For The Head: PAP^3 FAQ
by
Keith Woolner

06-05

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Aim For The Head: PAP^3 FAQ
by
Keith Woolner

05-29

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Aim For The Head: Simulating Catcher's ERA
by
Keith Woolner

05-07

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Aim For The Head: Batters' ball-in-play rates
by
Keith Woolner

05-07

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Aim For The Head: Batters' ball-in-play rates
by
Keith Woolner

05-03

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Aim For The Head: Dropping the Worst Starts
by
Keith Woolner

04-01

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Aim For The Head: Innings Pitched to Wins
by
Keith Woolner

04-01

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Aim For The Head: Innings Pitched to Wins
by
Keith Woolner

02-12

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Aim For The Head: Set Lineups
by
Keith Woolner

01-15

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Aim For The Head: Kicking Off the New Year
by
Keith Woolner

10-24

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Aim For The Head: They Cringed
by
Keith Woolner

10-16

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Aim For The Head: The Mariners
by
Keith Woolner

09-29

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Aim For The Head: Making Statheads Cringe
by
Keith Woolner

09-19

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Aim For The Head: Hit-by-Pitch Rates
by
Keith Woolner

09-07

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Aim For The Head: Quality of Opposition
by
Keith Woolner

08-30

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Aim For The Head: The Men In Black
by
Keith Woolner

08-16

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Aim For The Head: More Reaching on Errors
by
Keith Woolner

08-02

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Aim For The Head: Reaching on Errors
by
Keith Woolner

07-27

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Aim For The Head: Feedback
by
Keith Woolner

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A good front office just got better.

Baseball Prospectus has, since its inception, been dedicated to the concept that that there are better ways for major league baseball teams to make decisions. Augmenting conventional, scouting-based reports with objective evidence gathered through analysis of the statistical record can help a team gain a competitive edge. This philosophy, long advocated by BP, reached a critical mass of awareness through Michael Lewis' bestseller Moneyball, and initiated a wave of change that has swept across the ranks of professional baseball. It has even carried some BPers into positions with major league teams. That trend continues today.

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Keith explains our new stat features, and how you can put them to good use

For those of you who haven't played around with the new reporting system, I highly recommend it. Almost all of the currently available standard stat reports are, in fact, using the new system.

Read the full article...

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April 10, 2006 12:00 am

Aim For The Head: Lengthening Pitch Counts

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Keith Woolner

Keith sees what he can learn from a database of pitch data, wondering if plate appearances today require more pitches than they did in "the good old days."

I was recently wondering about the how the game has changed, even over that relatively short span of time. One of the things you commonly hear about "the old days" is how pitchers threw so many more innings, presumably because they were tougher, less coddled, or generated more testoserone. From a sabermetric perspective, the arguments against that usually include how selective memory focuses on the exceptional pitchers, not the dozens or hundreds of pitchers who were forced to quit early due to a dead arm, or how pitchers nowadays have to expend a full effort on every pitch, unlike in Christy Mathewson's day where pitchers could coast until crucial moments of the game, or how even the greats of a generation ago were pitching significantly fewer innings than their predecessors, and how this trend has been almost constant since the inception of professional baseball. While there is truth in all of these arguments, I was interested in a different tack. What if plate appearances themselves require more pitches in the modern game than in years past? If batters have gotten more selective, or better at fouling off pitches, then 30 batters faced in 1950 may have taken less pitcher's work than 30 batters in 2005 would have.

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March 24, 2006 12:00 am

Aim For The Head: New Relief Categories

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Keith Woolner

Keith revisits relief pitcher stat categories armed with some new information from our play-by-play database.

Interestingly, only 19 pitchers had a "choke" during 2005, and only one pitcher had more than one--Chad Bradford, with just two chokes. On July 26th, he came into a 5-1 game with two runners on base, and lost the lead on an Aubrey Huff grand slam. Then on August 9th, he came in with the bases loaded and a 7-3 lead, and gave up two hits, an intentional walk, and two run-scoring groundouts, and left with the game 7-7 and runners still on second and third.

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Ever need a simple expected runs matrix on the fly? Keith has one for you.

Baseball Prospectus to the rescue. Here's a quick and dirty way you can approximate the expected number of runs given the bases that are occupied and the number of outs. We'll use an example to demonstrate--runners on first and third with one out:

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March 2, 2006 12:00 am

Aim For The Head: Mailbag: Outcomes and Outrages

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Keith Woolner

Keith catches up with reader mail from his two most recent columns.

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February 2, 2006 12:00 am

Aim For The Head: Five More Reasons to Hate the Hold

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Keith Woolner

Keith returns for some venting about an often meaningless reliever statistic.

I've been working behind the scenes to make our stat reports reconcile better with sources such as ESPN, particularly in less official categories such as holds and blown saves.

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January 24, 2006 12:00 am

Aim For The Head: Three True Outcomes, 2005

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Keith Woolner

We salute those players who most resembled Rob Deer in 2005.

In more mundane terms, the Three True Outcomes (TTO) are those plate appearances that end without the defense getting a chance to touch the ball, plate appearances that end in a home run, a walk, or a strikeout. What started as a tongue-in-cheek tribute to a unique player (Deer) has, ironically, turned out to have useful applications not for batters, but for pitchers, in the form of Voros McCracken's work into defense-independent pitching statistics.

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March 4, 2005 12:00 am

Aim For The Head: Three True Outcomes, 2004

0

Keith Woolner

Which player best evoked the spirit of Rob Deer to win the 2004 Three True Outcomes title? Keith Woolner takes a look.

The Three True Outcomes are, at their core, a celebration of hitters, epitomized by the patron saint of the TTO, and the prototype for early BP book covers, Rob Deer. Last year, we introduced a more formal method for balancing the contribution from each True Outcome to a hitter's overall rating. To summarize that method, we compute each hitter's HR/PA, BB/PA, and SO/PA and divide it by the MLB average to normalize the rate. We then look at the lowest value for each hitter (i.e. determining which category he performed worst in compared to league average), and use that value as the hitter's overall score. This ensures that those who rise to the top of the rankings truly embrace and produce all three True Outcomes in abundance.

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Continuing to add to Baseball Prospectus' stable of stat reports, Keith Woolner unveils new entries for rookies and RBI opportunities. Plus all-new, fully-updated reliever reports, with some new twists.

As with the revisions to SNWL, I've broken down the new reliever statistics into three reports. The first looks specifically at inherited and bequeathed runners, to determine what a reliever's "fair" RA would have been, taking into account the runners on base and the number of outs both when he entered the game, and when he left.

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After successful surgery, the Support-Neutral pitching statistics return, bigger and better than ever. Keith Woolner takes a look at the changes.

The Support Neutral Win-Loss pitching report has been an integral part of Baseball Prospectus since our inception in the mid 1990s. In fact, Michael Wolverton invented SNWL way back in 1993, when it was presented in a paper published by SABR's "By The Numbers" statistical newsletter. The concept behind Support Neutral pitching statistics is a simple one: determine what a pitcher's W/L record "should" have been, if he had gotten average performances from his teammates, adjusted for park, and looking at each start individually.

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Leave it to Randy Johnson to ruin a perfectly good trivia question. At the end of my previous article on "Hidden Perfect Games," I included a trivia question on the remaining pitcher who tossed two perfect games (hidden or not), having already named Pedro Martinez and Tom Browning. In the meantime, Randy Johnson threw an "official" perfect game on May 18th, to go along with a hidden perfect game in 1998, to add his name to list of those attaining multiple perfection. In response to the original question, many people sent in their guesses...

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