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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.