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03-02

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2

BP Unfiltered: Sloan Q&A: Harry Pavlidis On f/x Tracking Data
by
Zachary Levine and Harry Pavlidis

11-13

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37

Bizball: Ranking 10 MLB Relocation and Expansion Markets Shows Why Either is Difficult
by
Maury Brown

01-31

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9

Baseball ProGUESTus: The Knuckleball Mystique: Using PITCHf/x to Distinguish Perception from Reality
by
Alan M. Nathan

01-09

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7

Resident Fantasy Genius: Contact Types
by
Derek Carty

01-03

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7

BP Unfiltered: Cot Tierney in the house
by
Dave Pease

12-21

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36

Spinning Yarn: Hit-and-Run Success is No Accident
by
Mike Fast

11-22

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30

Spinning Yarn: How Does Quality of Contact Relate to BABIP?
by
Mike Fast

10-26

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16

Spinning Yarn: Can We Predict Hot and Cold Zones for Hitters?
by
Mike Fast

08-27

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2

BP Unfiltered: Live Blog PITCHf/x Summit 2011
by
Mike Fast

07-25

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193

Manufactured Runs: Lost in the SIERA Madre
by
Colin Wyers

07-20

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14

Spinning Yarn: A Zone of Their Own
by
Mike Fast

06-20

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9

Resident Fantasy Genius: When Pitchers' Stats Stabilize
by
Derek Carty

06-13

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18

Resident Fantasy Genius: When Hitters' Stats Stabilize
by
Derek Carty

06-01

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6

Spinning Yarn: The Real Strike Zone, Part 2
by
Mike Fast

05-23

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24

The BP Broadside: The Annotated WARP Leaders
by
Steven Goldman

05-10

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12

Manufactured Runs: The Deconstruction of Falling Stars
by
Colin Wyers

03-30

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5

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

03-02

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12

Spinning Yarn: How Accurate is PitchTrax?
by
Mike Fast

11-11

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7

Spinning Yarn: Pitcher Release Points
by
Mike Fast

10-26

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8

Spinning Yarn: Interpreting Pitch Classifications
by
Mike Fast

10-14

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8

Manufactured Runs: Just a Bit Outside
by
Colin Wyers

10-09

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24

Playoff Prospectus: The Mystery of the Inside Pitch
by
Colin Wyers

07-28

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21

Manufactured Runs: Looking Farther Afield
by
Colin Wyers

07-16

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33

Indefensible
by
Colin Wyers

04-13

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19

Manufactured Runs: Thawing Out Frozen Ropes
by
Colin Wyers

03-28

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7

Prospectus Q&A: Logan White, Part 1
by
David Laurila

03-23

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26

Ahead in the Count: Predicting BABIP, Part 1
by
Matt Swartz

01-10

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19

Prospectus Roundtable: BABIP and Line Drives
by
Baseball Prospectus

06-21

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62

Prospectus Idol Entry: Are Offensive Shortstops Becoming Toxic Sub-Prime Mortgages and Other Evolutionary Trends in Baseball Positions
by
Tim Kniker

04-23

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31

Checking the Numbers: Inside Pitch-f/x
by
Eric Seidman

04-10

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Defense and Pitch Classification
by
Dan Fox

03-13

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0

Prospectus Hit and Run: Running Afoul
by
Jay Jaffe

02-24

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Doug Thorburn
by
David Laurila

02-21

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Flashing Leather Down on the Farm
by
Dan Fox

02-17

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Joe Bohringer
by
David Laurila

01-27

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Mike Pagliarulo
by
David Laurila

01-24

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Simple Fielding Runs Version 1.0
by
Dan Fox

10-24

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0

The Ledger Domain: The Impact of the Fantasy Stats Ruling
by
Maury Brown

10-02

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0

Prospectus Toolbox: The Umpires, Part I
by
Derek Jacques

08-30

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Tilting the Playing Field
by
Dan Fox

06-07

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Gameday Triple Play
by
Dan Fox

05-24

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Batter Versus Pitcher, Gameday Style
by
Dan Fox

12-14

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Questions, Questions
by
Dan Fox

10-26

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: The Information Revolution
by
Dan Fox

10-16

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0

Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten-Pack
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-16

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Six
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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0

Future Shock: Where Did the Tigers and the Athletics Come From?
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-14

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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0

Playoff Prospectus: The Best and Worst of Mets and Cardinals Postseason Pitching
by
Jim Baker

10-13

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Three
by
Joe Sheehan

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Our own director of data analysis discusses the past and present of the PITCHf/x, HITf/x and FIELDf/x technology and how it can lead to future breakthroughs.

Our own Harry Pavlidis, Baseball Prospectus’ director of data analysis, has been among the most groundbreaking voices when it comes to using the PITCHf/x, HITf/x and FIELDf/x data that Sportvision tracks in major-league and minor-league parks.

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A look at the ten most likely places for a new MLB club

It seems that nearly every week, articles surrounding the potential relocation of the A’s and Rays surface. A panel looking into a potential San Jose relocation for the A’s has been gridlocked since 2009 (and remember, the A’s have been looking to move to San Jose for a heck of a lot longer than that). The Rays haven’t been far behind in their efforts to get out of Tropicana Field. Whether it’s the commute for fans to get to the domed stadium, the aesthetics, or the need to be closer to an urban core, it seems that Tampa Bay has been seeking a new ballpark for just as long. Relocation for these two clubs is crucial.

Another thing that comes up less frequently but has extra meaning going into 2013 is expansion. With the Astros moving into the AL West, the American League and National League will now be balanced at 15 clubs a piece. The problem is that 15 is an odd number, and as a result, interleague will become a daily affair. It’s unlikely that’s something that the league wanted, so getting to 32 clubs would take care of that matter. That would mean revenues spread thinner with two extra mouths to feed. Additionally, it’s no given that one or both wouldn’t be revenue-sharing takers, and trying to get ballparks built is no easy feat in this economy. So, 30 is a number that seems to suit the “Big Four” sports leagues in North America. The NBA has it. Ditto for the NHL. Currently, only the NFL—which has the advantage of being highly centralized (revenues are shared more evenly across the franchises) and exceptionally popular—is the exception at 32 clubs.

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Finding out whether knuckleballs actually flutter, with the help of our friendly neighborhood physicist.

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. After a long career doing experimental nuclear/particle physics, he now spends his time doing research in the physics of baseball. He maintains a web site devoted to this topic at http://webusers.npl.illinois.edu/~a-nathan/pob/His younger colleagues at Complete Game Consulting have bestowed upon him the exalted title of Chief Scientist.
 


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January 9, 2012 12:53 am

Resident Fantasy Genius: Contact Types

7

Derek Carty

What information can we glean about a player based on "soft" and "hard" contact classifications?

In the fantasy and analytics community, we often tend to talk about players in terms of components of their production. We don’t talk about ERA; we talk about strikeouts and walks and ground balls. We don’t talk about batting average; we talk about strikeout rate and BABIP. Those who have read my work or talked with me know that I also like to blend stats and scouting. I tend to say that stats tell us the “what” and scouting tells us the “why.” Stats tell us that a player hits for power, while scouting tells us that he does so because he has strong wrists, good bat speed, loft in his swing, etc. In other words, the component stats can get broken down into component abilities via scouting.

In recent years, some of these scouting components have been quantified, much to the delight of analysts and fans of the game. PITCHf/x has been particularly influential in the analysis of pitchers, capturing things like pitch type, velocity, movement, spin, location, and release point. Unfortunately, its hitting counterpart, HITf/x, is not publicly available. Still, there is some publicly available data that can be useful for batters, such as HitTracker. MLBAM—one of the creators of PITCHf/x—also provides something interesting that will serve as today’s topic: quality of contact data.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

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BP is now directly hosting the Cots Baseball Contracts pages.

Back when we announced the new Compensation pages, Jeff Euston mentioned that Cot's would be moving--and now the move is just about complete.

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The hit-and-run is much maligned as a small-ball tactic, but it's a surprisingly successful strategy.

In this game you never know enough.”—Dale Mitchell

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Mike continues his investigation of HITf/x data to glean more insights into whether pitchers can prevent hits on balls in play.

In the first part of this study, I used detailed batted ball speed information from HITf/x to examine the degree of skill that batters and pitchers had in quality of contact made or allowed. Here, I will look deeper into the question of why some batted balls fall for hits and others do not.

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When is hot truly hot, and when is it not?

A few weeks ago, during the division series, Brandon McCarthy remarked on Twitter that it would be more interesting for TBS to show a diagram of the batter hot and cold zones for every batter than to show the PitchTrax strike zone and pitch location graphic. He argued that knowledge of the hot and cold zones would give viewers additional insight into the battle between the pitcher and the batter.

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A live blog from the Sportvision 2011 PITCHf/x Summit, held in San Francisco

Mike Fast here. The summit has started. The webcast is available here for those who want to follow along online like I am.

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We're retiring SIERA. Here's why.

Recently, there has been a lot of digital ink spilled about ERA estimators—statistics that take a variety of inputs and come up with a pitcher’s expected ERA given those inputs. Swing a cat around a room, and you’ll find yourself with a dozen of the things, as well as a very agitated cat. Among those is SIERA, which has lately migrated from here to Fangraphs.com in a new form, one more complex but not necessarily more accurate. We have offered SIERA for roughly 18 months, but have had a difficult time convincing anyone, be they our readers, other practitioners of sabermetrics, or our own authors, that SIERA was a significant improvement on other ERA estimators.

The logical question was whether or not we were failing to do the job of explaining why SIERA was more useful than other stats, or if we were simply being stubborn in continuing to offer it instead of simpler, more widely adopted stats. The answer depends on knowing what the purpose of an ERA estimator is. When evaluating a pitcher’s performance, there are three questions we can ask that can be addressed by statistics: How well he has pitched, how he accomplished what he’s done, and how he will do in the future. The first can be answered by Fair RA (FRA), the third by rest-of-season PECOTA. The second can be addressed by an ERA estimator like SIERA, but not necessarily SIERA itself, which boasts greater complexity than more established ERA estimators such as FIP but can only claim incremental gains in accuracy.

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As Jose Bautista can attest, the percentage of pitches a batter sees in the strike zone tells us a good deal about his capabilities.

The pitcher begins each confrontation with a batter with the initiative. He alone controls when the baseball is thrown, how it moves, and where it is located. Thus, the batter is by nature placed in a reactive position. However, the batter, too, has a measure of control over how the plate appearance proceeds. He stands at the plate with a club, and it is within his discretion to swing his weapon or not.

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What does it take for assorted pitching stats to stabilize?

Last week in this space, I updated a study originally run four years ago by former BPer Russell Carleton (then monikered “Pizza Cutter”) at the now-defunct MVN’s StatSpeak blog. The study examined how long it takes for different stats to “stabilize.” Since I looked at hitting last week, I’ll be looking at pitching this week.

Before I get started, I wanted to make one quick announcement. After my first chat was such a success, I’ll be holding my second-ever live BP chat tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. EST to answer all of your fantasy questions.

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