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August 10, 2005

Premium Article An Objective Hall of Fame: Part Two, 1937-1940

by Clay Davenport

Clay fills out classes from 1937 to 1940 as he continues to build an Objective Hall of Fame.

August 8, 2005

Premium Article An Objective Hall of Fame: Part One

by Clay Davenport

With recent inductees into the Real Hall of Fame still in mind, Clay proposes an Objective Hall of Fame. In Part One, Clay details his methodology and presents the opening class.

May 19, 2005

Premium Article Postseason Odds: The History

by Clay Davenport

Clay Davenport takes BP's Postseason Odds report for a historical test drive.

April 18, 2005

Premium Article Minor League Batting Averages on Balls in Play: Does Voros' Theory Work on the Farm?

by Clay Davenport

Clay Davenport looks into minor league batting averages on balls in play, and finds some surprising results.

March 2, 2005

Premium Article Translating Cuban Performance: The Surprising Result

by Clay Davenport

Most Cuban players coming to the major leagues have been disappointments. Now, we may know why.

November 4, 2004

National League Gold Glove Awards: What the Numbers Say

by Clay Davenport

Defense is about keeping runs off the board, no matter how many highlight reels you make or miss.

November 3, 2004

American League Gold Glove Awards: What the Numbers Say

by Clay Davenport

Reputation and highlights, or data and analysis? The Rawlings' Gold Glove Awards reflect the former. Now we bring the latter into the discussion.

October 8, 2004

Playoff Probabilities: What Are Your Team's Chances to Win It All?

by Clay Davenport

Clay Davenport emerges from the Baseball Prospectus lab with a brand-new stat report, this one assessing every playoff team's chances to win it all.

September 23, 2004

Playoff Odds Report, Redux: Reworking the System

by Clay Davenport

Using the feedback he received upon his re-launch of the Playoff Odds Report, Clay Davenport had made some changes to the system.

September 2, 2004

Return of the Playoff Odds Report: Even the Rockies Can Dream

by Clay Davenport

One of 2003's most popular features comes back with a new and improved methodology. Clay Davenport explains.

August 28, 2004

Evaluating the Olympians: How Good Was the Baseball in Athens?

by Clay Davenport

As Cuba celebrates their return to the top of the heap, Clay Davenport takes a look at the field they conquered and comes away less than impressed.

July 30, 2004

Park Factor Review: A Look at All Parks, Majors to A-Ball

by Clay Davenport

Now that we've gotten to the 100-game mark on the season, I decided to take a look at how the park factors were shaking out so far in '04. Park factors are noisy pieces of data--that's the reason why we use three-year averages in the first place--and I expect that some of these 100-game factors will change significantly between now and the end of the season. That caveat aside, let's take a look at how pro baseball's parks--from the majors down to A-ball--are playing.

July 8, 2004

Making Changes: A New Look at Minor League EqA

by Clay Davenport

As some of you may have noticed, there have been some changes in the Minor League EqA page. Let's start with the simple. When you go there now, you'll get a short, simple, fast download, with what is essentially a page of links. The long list of every player in the minors? Not gone, but moved under its own link--so that only the people who really want it have to wait for it to download. The main feature on the page is a list of all the leagues, along with their stats, sorted by offensive level. I'm always trying to remind people of the context of minor league statistics, and this is one more heavy-handed way to remind people that some leagues (near the top) favor the hitters, while others (near the bottom) favor the pitchers. Click on the league, and you'll get the information that was on the old minor league page: a top-10 list for each league, a breakdown of league statistics by position (approximated by games played at each position), and a list of all players in that league, sorted by team.

February 24, 2004

Baseball Prospectus Basics: About EqA

by Clay Davenport

Dayn Perry explained why various statistics--like batting average (AVG) and runs batted in (RBI)--were not as reliable as you've always been told, and why we at Baseball Prospectus don't use them in our analysis terribly often. Today, we're going to look into one of the statistics we do use: Equivalent Average, or EqA. In its rawest state, EqA is a simple combination of batting numbers, not so very different from OPS. Compared to OPS, it counts walks and HBP a little higher (at 1.5 instead of 1), it has stolen bases, and hits and extra bases are counted a little less (since they are divided by plate appearances, not just walks). What, then, makes EqA different from the other statistics? Simply put, its more accurate, its unbiased, and it models the scale of batting average, so it's easy for a new fan understand.

February 5, 2004

Winter Leagues, Redux: What Can We Learn About Players' Futures?

by Clay Davenport

In the first part of our winter leagues study, we looked at what the player performances said about each league's level of quality. In Part II, we'll look at what player performance in these leagues say about a player's future.

January 27, 2004

Winter and Fall League Translations: Just How Good Are These Leagues, Anyway?

by Clay Davenport

The regular seasons for the various winter leagues are over now, although the various league playoffs leading to the Caribbean World Series are still ongoing--a process that runs almost as long as their regular season, kind of like the NBA. The Caribbean World Series is a contest between the winners of the four regional leagues: the Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Venezuelan winter leagues, plus the Mexican Pacific League. What I'm going to do here is to give an overview of those four leagues, plus the Arizona Fall League, with an emphasis on how to make sense of winter league statistics. The process for working out the talent level of a league depends on, number one, having a large number of players in the circuit who have played in other leagues; and number two, knowledge of how good those other leagues are. Every player who has played here and elsewhere becomes a data point: You rate the player's hitting (or pitching) level, relative to league average, with park adjustments when you have them, in both leagues. If his relative offensive level gets worse, that is a (slight) argument that the new league is tougher than the old. If it gets better, that's an argument that the new league was easier.

November 26, 2003

Something for the Holidays: The New 2003 BP Player Cards

by Clay Davenport

Vowing not to take a bite of turkey until he's done, Clay Davenport rolls out the new 2003 BP player cards just in time for the holiday weekend. Adjusted translations, tweaked fielding metrics, plus plenty of other fixins. Dig in.

July 16, 2003

Premium Article Dodgers Tap Henderson: They Didn't Lose Rickey's Number

by Chaim Bloom and Clay Davenport

Rickey's back. The Dodgers are 49-44, three and a half games out of the Wild Card, but if their pitching were as bad as their offense they'd be the worst team in the majors. Paul Lo Duca (.307/.374/.438, .285 EqA) is having a good year, but when the All-Star catcher looks out at the rest of his team, he sees an offensive wasteland. At first base, Fred McGriff (.249/.318/.430, .261 EqA) was unimpressive before going on the DL. Up the middle, Alex Cora (.240/.281/.319, .213 EqA) and Cesar Izturis (.255/.290/.302, .210 EqA), who have gotten most of the playing time, are a combined black hole. Third baseman Adrian Beltre (.225/.286/.356, .227 EqA) has seen his star come crashing to earth after having once been one of the hottest prospects in the game. In the outfield, Shawn Green (.255/.317/.429, .262 EqA) is underachieving, and none of the combination of Mike Kinkade, Dave Roberts, Jolbert Cabrera, Chad Hermansen and Wilkin Ruan has been exceptional. Brian Jordan (.299/.372/.420, .282 EqA) had been the bets of the bunch, but a severe injury means his season and Dodger career are over. Faced with the option of buying or selling for the stretch run, the Dodgers made their move, trading for Jeromy Burnitz and plucking Rickey Henderson from Newark.

May 1, 2003

Premium Article Adjusting for Context: Pythagenport Standings Through May 1st

by Clay Davenport

The standings present multiple realities. At the top, of course, there is the genuine reality, the bottom line, the real deal, terra firma: the actual wins and losses of each team. To a statistician, the actual results are just a little boring: they don't necessarily reflect the likelihoods that this particular result would happen. The Indians, for instance, are 7-20, as of this morning. Ho-hum. So the second reality, or the first alternate reality, is found by looking at how many games the team should have won, given how many runs they scored and allowed. There are plenty of ways to make that estimate--Rob Neyer, for one, regularly tracks the standings using Bill James' "Pythagorean" theorem (in fact, Rob recently wrote an article on pretty much exactly what I'm doing here--and believe it or not, I didn't read that article until after I'd finished drafting this. It must have been in the air). We'll be just a little different.

April 21, 2003

Premium Article WWII Difficulty: How Much Does Wartime Affect Quality of Play?

by Clay Davenport

Sixty years ago, America was at war. That one was very different, and one of those differences was the way baseball reacted. This time around, no one from the major leagues was going to take any part in the fighting, and certainly won't now that it's winding down. It is unlikely that anyone from the minor leagues will take any part (if there are any minor league players who are in the Guard and have been called up, I haven't been able to find any mention of it.) There are a number of ways to look at how much difference the military service of ballplayers made on the quality of the league at a given time. One of the simpler ways is to compare the aggregate statistics of players coming into the major leagues to the aggregate of the players who were going out.

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