The Strikeout Kings play songs of love for fans of the unhappy third of the three true outcomes.
Rob Deer, Jose Hernandez, and Pete Incaviglia walk into a bar… Stop me if you've heard this one before. On our tour of the non-contact batter/pitcher confrontations, we've looked solely at the pitcher's contributions, and at strikeouts. It's time to widen our focus a little bit, and look at the hurlers' dance partners-the hitters:
The effects of pitcher pacing and ballparks on players getting punched out at home plate.
If you remember, last time out we looked at that sabermetric darling, the strikeout, noting the steady increase in strikeout rate that we've seen over the past four decades. In part two, we'll look at a couple of factors that affect pitcher's strikeout rates.
Measuring the rate at which a pitcher strikes batters out is an important part of the toolbox.
Statheads and strikeouts…it's an age-old romance. For pitchers, we'll tell you that strikeouts are the biggest predictor of a hurler's future success. When batters go down, though, while we acknowledge that the whiff is an out--a negative result--it's an out we put on a pedestal as one of theThree True Outcomes (along with the walk and the homer). A noble out, I guess.
Look, you've got even more homework, but it's the kind you're going to like.
One of my favorite parts of putting together the Toolbox every week has been assembling the 'Further Reading' sections at the end of the columns, which are a starting point for anyone who wants to look for more in-depth examinations of the week's topic. Over the past couple of months, a number of readers have written in to suggest additions to the further reading lists, and I've stumbled on to a few worthy additions of my own. What this means is that from time to time I'm going to update the old columns by adding some additional research options, under the heading of "Even Further Reading," with a bit of analysis and reader mail mixed in.
If you want fame, acclamation, and All-Star recognition, maybe playing time--more playing time--is the best way to judge.
Welcome to the latest edition of Prospectus Toolbox. We're back to conceptual topics this week-we're not going to talk about a specific statistic or report, but rather the factor that effects how statistics and performance are perceived. That factor is time, specifically playing time.
Applying statistical tools to defensive performance is often the quickest way to a fight between traditional baseball minds and performance analysts. At the team level, however, you can learn a lot.
This week, we're going to take a look at a controversial issue from its least controversial angle. The topic? Defense--a subject that, when we approach it statistically, tends to cause fistfights and sour feelings.
Explaining where we're at with DIPS, BABIP, and how much you can blame the pitcher for anything in particular.
"Twenty-five hits a year in 500 at-bats is fifty points. Okay? There's six months in a season, that's about 25 weeks. You get one extra flare a week-just one, a gork, a ground ball with eyes, a dying quail-just one more dying quail a week and you're in Yankee Stadium!"
--Ron Shelton, Bull Durham
All you need to know but might have been reluctant to ask about BP's Support-Neutral stats
Last time out, we discussed reliever evaluation tools that used the run-expectancy and win-expectancy frameworks as the basis for judging relief pitchers' performances, based on the change in game situation between the beginning and end of their outings. This time around, we're going to introduce the Support-Neutral method of evaluating starting pitcher performance, and then dip a toe into some reader mail.
If you're unfamiliar with how BP evaluates relievers, Derek's ready to make an introduction or two.
Welcome back to Prospectus Toolbox. I spent the first two editions talking about the replacement level, focusing on two stats-VORP and WARP-primarily as they apply to position players. Both statistics can be and are also used to measure pitching performance, and while this time out we're going to focus on pitching metrics, we'll be particularly looking at the ones that deal with relief pitchers.
Derek responds to reader mail on the subject of "why VORP and WARP?"
The first edition of Prospectus Toolbox generated a lot of feedback, so today's column is going to be in a mailbag format. First of all, I'd like to apologize for one bit of confusion raised by last week's post. Some of the sample VORP sortables I provided used an all-years search function that I wasn't aware was unavailable to our users. On the bright side, the next upgrade to our statistics page should be coming soon, and the emails on this topic have given me the chance to stress to the powers-that-be that this search function is something our readers really want. Hopefully, this is a toy we'll all be able to play with soon.
Our latest offering, Prospectus Toolbox will cover a BP metric each week, explaining the methods behind the numbers, and how you can best use our tools to enhance your understanding of the game.
Welcome to Prospectus Toolbox, your weekly tour through the shadowy world of performance analysis, where we try to answer questions like "what the heck is that supposed to mean?" and "how on earth do I make this work?" This space is dedicated to the reader who might not know his VORP from his WARP, who thinks WXRL is a country music station and PECOTA a utility infielder-turned-competitive bass fisher.