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Articles Tagged Analysis 

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06-24

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4

Painting the Black: Birds Song
by
R.J. Anderson

02-24

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9

The Stats Go Marching In: The Art of Handling the Pitching Staff
by
Max Marchi

05-05

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21

Baseball ProGUESTus: A Statistician Rereads Bill James
by
Andrew Gelman

03-30

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5

The BP Wayback Machine: Baseball's Hilbert Problems
by
Keith Woolner

02-25

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17

Baseball ProGUESTus: Home Runs and Humidors: Is There a Connection?
by
Alan M. Nathan

08-29

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2

Between The Numbers: The PITCHf/x Summit Quasi-Liveblog
by
Ben Lindbergh

04-23

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5

Ahead in the Count: Methodology of The New MORP
by
Matt Swartz

03-15

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23

Prospectus Today: Panorama
by
Joe Sheehan

01-04

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6

Prospectus Q&A: Tony Blengino
by
David Laurila

06-15

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Trey Hillman
by
David Laurila

02-24

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Doug Thorburn
by
David Laurila

09-13

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: New Life on Different Fields
by
Nate Silver

09-04

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1

Analyze This: For What You Are About to Receive
by
Gary Huckabay

11-16

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: The Numb3rs Game
by
Dan Fox

08-08

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0

Doctoring The Numbers: Building the Best in Motor City, Part Two
by
Rany Jazayerli

07-20

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: A Plethora of Blunders
by
Dan Fox

06-30

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0

Crooked Numbers: Left Wing Conspiracy
by
James Click

04-11

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0

The Week In Quotes: April 4-10
by
John Erhardt

02-18

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0

Baseball Prospectus Basics: Reshaping the Debate
by
Joe Sheehan

02-10

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0

Baseball's Hilbert Problems
by
Keith Woolner

04-14

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0

Under The Knife: Redbook Redux
by
Will Carroll

09-12

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0

Analyze This: What's Up With the Chief?
by
Derek Zumsteg

05-29

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0

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

07-12

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0

Aim For The Head: Walk Rate Spikes
by
Keith Woolner

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The Blue Jays are on fire. What credit does John Gibbons deserve?

On Sunday afternoon the Blue Jays won their 11th game in a row. The win, which pushed Toronto's record to 38-36, assured them a share of fourth place and another day of an above-.500 record.

What may have seemed like small beans compared to preseason expectations amounts to large beans now. Consider this: the Jays had not spent a night this season with a better-than-.500 record until last weekend. Entering the final week in June, the Blue Jays are within three games of a Wild Card spot and five games of the American League East lead. The burden of responsibility placed on manager John Gibbons has eased. It's a good thing, too, because Gibbons has done a solid job throughout the season.

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Quantifying the most elusive of catcher skills: game-calling.

While evaluating Jose Molina’s defensive skills a couple weeks ago, we were able to assign a run value to four aspects of catcher defense: blocking errant pitches, preventing the opposing team from stealing bases, fielding short batted balls, and inducing the home plate umpire to call a few extra borderline pitches.

However, we acknowledged that something had been left out. We often hear about how some catchers can improve their pitching staffs. Think about the praise Ivan Rodriguez received for handling a young crop of Marlins arms back in 2003, and how he was subsequently considered the perfect batterymate for Stephen Strasburg as the highly-regarded rookie first took to a major-league mound.

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Bill James may claim to study baseball questions, not statistical ones, but what happens when a statistician studies Bill James?

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University. He occasionally blogs on baseball, including here, here, here, and here.


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How many of the last millenium's burning baseball questions remain unanswered over a decade down the road?

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.

Over 11 years after their publication in Baseball Prospectus 2000, how many of Keith's questions for a new millenium have we already set to rest?


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Our latest guest contributor returns from the lab with exciting findings about home runs.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Alan Nathan is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His principal area of research is the physics of baseball. He maintains a web site devoted to this topic at go.illinois.edu/physicsofbaseball. His younger colleagues at Complete Game Consulting have bestowed upon him the exalted title of Chief Scientist.

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A comprehensive recap of a big day for FIELDf/x.

I have seen the future, and its name is FIELDf/x. OK, so we kind of knew that. But today, FIELDf/x started to seem a lot more real, and even more exciting than I’d imagined. You may have noticed that BP had a man on the scene at Sportvision’s PITCHf/x summit whose liveblog was actually live. So why am I doing this, when Colin already did? Well, for one thing, Colin arrived fashionably late, and I was all over those first 14 minutes that he missed. For another, his computer died before a lot of the fun started. And for still another (this is a third reason, now), I thought it might be fun to do a Simmons-style quasi-liveblog (written live, published later) that would free me from worries about frequent updates, and allow me to write at length. Most likely that length turned out to be a good deal longer than anyone has any interest in reading, but if you’re determined to catch up on the day’s intriguing events without sitting through eight hours of archived video, you’re welcome to peruse what lies below. If you’d like to follow along, here’s an agenda, and here’s where you should be able to find downloadable presentations in the near future.

Here we are in sunny California, home of the cutest girls in the world, if the Beach Boys are to be believed (I gather there’s also a more recent chart-topper that expresses a similar view). Okay, so by “we,” I mean the attendees at the 3rd (annual?) Sportvision PITCHf/x summit, held at the Westin San Francisco in—you guessed it—San Francisco. I, on the other hand, am watching from the other end of the continent, via a webcast that dubiously claims to be “hi-res,” despite being blurry enough to make deciphering text an adventure (I guess “hi-res” is relative, in the sense that there are even lower resolutions at which it could’ve been streamed). And sure, maybe the Beach Boys weren’t thinking of this particular gathering when they extolled the virtues of California’s beach bunnies. But never mind that—it’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon here in New York, and how better to spend it than to watch a video of some fellow nerds talk about baseball in a dark room some 3,000 miles away? Well, to describe the experience at the same time, of course. Let’s get this quasi-liveblog started.

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April 23, 2010 12:07 pm

Ahead in the Count: Methodology of The New MORP

5

Matt Swartz

Here is how we're now figuring the monetary value of individual players.

This article will follow up on the new version of MORP that I introduced yesterday with a more thorough description of my methodology and my reasoning for it. Firstly, I will restate that the definition of MORP (Market value Over Replacement Player) is the marginal cost of acquiring a player’s contribution on the free-agent market. The basic structure that I am using includes adjusting for draft-pick compensation, which adds to the value of free agents by 10-20 percent. It also looks at all players with six years or more of major-league service time, all years of their free-agent contracts, and makes valuations of their performance based on actual performance rather than the projections, which are biased. I am also adjusting MORP so it is linear with respect to WARP. The discussion of linearity and of the decision to use actual rather than projected performance to evaluate contracts has been detailed in earlier articles, and I won’t reiterate them here in the interest of space. The basic reason why linearity is a fair assumption is that teams frequently have enough vacancies that they can add the number of wins they choose without filling them all. There are exceptions like the 2009 Yankees, who added three front-of-the-rotation starters and an elite first baseman in one offseason. However, even the Yankees do this infrequently enough that it does not regularly impact the market, and without two teams bidding for several superstars every offseason, this is not a large issue. The reason that using projection is so problematic was detailed last week, when I showed how free agents who reach the open market are a biased sample and regularly underperform their projections. For more details of these results, please see my previous work. Here are links to my three part series as well as my article on free agents underperforming their PECOTA projections. I will introduce some of the newer concepts in this article.

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March 15, 2009 12:52 pm

Prospectus Today: Panorama

23

Joe Sheehan

Offering a choice between "the calculator" or "the straw hat" forces a standard-sized frame around a picture complex enough to require a serious custom treatment.

Recently, a panel on MLB Network's MLB Tonight show had a discussion about the use of statistics in the evaluation of baseball players. The discussion was preceded by a clip that introduced Nate Silver's PECOTA to the audience, explained what it is, and showed how it attempts to project player performance.

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January 4, 2009 11:33 am

Prospectus Q&A: Tony Blengino

6

David Laurila

The head of Seattle's new Department of Statistical Research elaborates on the ins and outs and evolution of baseball analysis.

A new era of Mariners baseball began when Seattle hired Jack Zduriencik as their general manager following the 2008 season, an era that will include an increased emphasis on statistical analysis. Helping to lead that charge will be Tony Blengino, who previously served as Milwaukee's assistant director of amateur scouting under Zduriencik, and now holds the title of special assistant to the general manager, baseball operations. A chief financial officer and author of the book Future Stars, before joining organized baseball in 2003, Blengino will head Seattle's newly created Department of Statistical Research. Blengino talked about his new role, and how the Mariners hope to build a championship-caliber team through a perfect marriage between traditional scouting and statistical analysis.

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The Royals skipper talks about managing on both sides of the Pacific, and his relationship to his players.

Trey Hillman has a world of experience. He was manager of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters from 2003-2007 before taking the helm in Kansas City, and the 45-year-old Hillman has spent better than half his life in the game. Signed by the Indians in 1985, Hillman spent three years as a player, three as a scout and minor league coach, and 12 as minor league manager in the Yankees organization before his five seasons in Japan. A native of Amarillo, Texas, Hillman was named as the 15th full-time manager in Royals history last October.

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An in-depth discussion about mechanics with the motion analysis coordinator and coach of the National Pitching Association.

Pitching is both an art and a science, and from youth leagues to the big leagues, so is the challenge of keeping pitchers healthy. The National Pitching Association (NPA) is on the cutting edge of research and instruction on all three fronts, and many of their concepts are shared in their forthcoming book, Arm Action, Arm Path, and the Perfect Pitch: a Science-Based Guide to Pitching Health and Performance. David talked to the NPA's motion analysis coordinator and coach, Doug Thorburn.

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September 13, 2007 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: New Life on Different Fields

0

Nate Silver

Analysis is dead? Not in every sector of the baseball industry.

This piece was originally intended as a response to Gary Huckabay's column of last week, the idea being to contradict his assertion that baseball analysis is dead by counting down 10 points of decision that at least a significant minority of baseball franchises get wrong. But after reading through my article-I generally write my introductions last-as well as re-reading Gary's piece, I am not so sure it is orthogonal to it at all. I agree with Gary that there is relatively little to be gained from what he describes as "the rigorous review of player performance data." Relatively little does not mean "nothing," however, and I have isolated some of the exceptions below. Most of the items on my list, however, have to do with questions that run outside the scope of the GM or the field manager. They have more to do with the guy sitting in the owner's box, and those places on a baseball team's org chart where the names stop becoming familiar.

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