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Articles Tagged OBP 

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05-24

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11

BP Unfiltered: Votto v. Phillips, The People's Case
by
Colin Wyers

05-17

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5

BP Unfiltered: Jeff Keppinger Finally Works a Walk, and a Disar Awards Update
by
Ben Lindbergh

11-19

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5

Baseball Therapy: Defining Change in Player Performance from Year to Year
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-06

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6

Pebble Hunting: The Best Baseball Questions on Yahoo! Answers
by
Sam Miller

07-10

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2

Baseball ProGUESTus: Does the Hit and Run Help?
by
Pete Palmer

05-19

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11

Changing Speeds: Bounceback, Breakthrough, or Balderdash?
by
Ken Funck

10-05

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6

Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Preview : Phillies vs. Reds
by
Christina Kahrl

05-04

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3

Fantasy Beat: Early Season TAv
by
Marc Normandin

04-06

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0

Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Catcher, Second Base, and Shortstop
by
Michael Jong

04-05

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0

Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: First Base, Third Base, and Designated Hitter
by
Michael Street

03-30

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3

Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Catcher, Second Base, and Shortstop
by
Michael Jong

03-23

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0

Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Catcher, Second Base, and Shortstop
by
Michael Jong

03-08

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48

Baseball Therapy: Going Streaking
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-28

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15

Changing Speeds: Smoltz, SOMA, and the Series
by
Ken Funck

09-22

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39

Prospectus Today: The Missing Man
by
Joe Sheehan

09-22

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9

Solving the Rookie Dilemma
by
Dan Malkiel

09-10

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12

Solving the Rookie Dilemma
by
Dan Malkiel

08-03

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46

Ahead in the Count: Runs Per Inning, and Why I Love the Long Ball
by
Matt Swartz

06-21

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36

Prospectus Idol Entry: The Little Big Man Awards
by
Ken Funck

06-14

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49

Prospectus Idol Entry: The Curious Case of Brandon Inge Battin'
by
Ken Funck

05-23

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34

Prospectus Idol Entry: Why is On Base Percentage King?
by
Matthew Knight

04-10

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10

Leading Off
by
Christina Kahrl

08-05

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0

Prospectus Today: Jeter vs. Reyes
by
Joe Sheehan

05-15

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0

Prospectus Today: McCann versus Martin
by
Joe Sheehan

04-03

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0

Prospectus Today: Angel Mayhem
by
Joe Sheehan

03-25

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0

Doctoring The Numbers: Royals and Phillies
by
Rany Jazayerli

09-24

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0

Player Profile: Eric Byrnes
by
Marc Normandin

08-07

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0

Wait 'Til Next Year: Minor League Leadoff Hitters, Ranked
by
Bryan Smith

07-10

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0

Prospectus Toolbox: Small Samples and All-Star Berths
by
Derek Jacques

05-23

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0

Player Profile: John Buck
by
Marc Normandin

04-11

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Player Profile: Geoff Jenkins
by
Marc Normandin

02-09

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0

Prospectus Matchups: The Column Reversers
by
Jim Baker

01-25

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0

Player Profile
by
Marc Normandin

12-15

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0

Prospectus Matchups: The .400 Club
by
Jim Baker

10-09

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0

Completely Random Statistical Trivia
by
Keith Woolner

09-25

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0

Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten-Pack, 9/25/06
by
Kevin Goldstein

09-19

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0

Prospectus Matchups: More Than Their Fair Share
by
Jim Baker

06-07

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Prospectus Today: OBP Is Life
by
Joe Sheehan

05-05

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0

The Prince Is Dead
by
Jonah Keri

04-13

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: The Irreducible Essence of Platoon Splits
by
Dan Fox

03-29

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0

Future Shock: Spring Prospect Report, National League
by
Kevin Goldstein

03-28

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Future Shock: Spring Prospect Report, American League
by
Kevin Goldstein

12-12

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0

The Class of 2006
by
Jay Jaffe

10-27

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0

Prospectus Notebook: White Sox, Reds
by
Baseball Prospectus

10-19

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: Running the Odds
by
Nate Silver

08-18

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: Running down SOB
by
Nate Silver

06-21

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0

Can Of Corn: Running to Stand Still
by
Dayn Perry

05-05

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0

Crooked Numbers: Do Not Pass Go
by
James Click

04-21

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0

Crooked Numbers: April Fools
by
James Click

02-24

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Crooked Numbers: More on the Lineup
by
James Click

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March 8, 2010 11:45 am

Baseball Therapy: Going Streaking

48

Russell A. Carleton

Putting a big chill on the hot-hand theory of player performance at the plate.

Flash forward to July, 2010, as Prince Fielder is being interviewed after a Brewers win. Fielder has just gone 4-for-5 with two home runs, and the announcers tell Fielder that he’s gone 9-for-his-last-12 over the past few days. Fielder says, "Yeah, I’ve been feeling great and seeing the ball really clearly the past few days. Some days, you just see the ball better than others."

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October 28, 2009 11:55 am

Changing Speeds: Smoltz, SOMA, and the Series

15

Ken Funck

Do the Yankees and Phillies stand a better chance of laying into the starting pitchers the third time through the order?

For the first time since 1926, the most powerful offenses in each league will be facing off in this year's Fall Classic, and fans and media have been busy pondering the ability of either pitching staff to hold up. Both the Yankees and Phillies boast deep and powerful lineups that can easily convert a few mistakes into crooked numbers on the scoreboard, and Joe Girardi and Charlie Manuel have surely spent anxious hours trying to determine the optimal way to ensure their best available arms pitch the most and, most important, innings. The countdown to Game One has included speculation on whether the Yankees will stick with a three-man rotation, how much gas Pedro Martinez has in his tank, whether CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee can be effective through three starts in a seven-game series, and whether Manual will continue his careful use of volatile "closer" Brad Lidge.

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September 22, 2009 3:45 pm

Prospectus Today: The Missing Man

39

Joe Sheehan

Despite last night's heroics, Bruce Bochy's misuse of Fred Lewis may be a key reason the Giants will miss the postseason.

Fred Lewis was the lead in the AP game story about the Giants' 5-4 win over the Diamondbacks last night. Pinch-hitting with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, Lewis hit a ground ball to second base that well could have been an inning-ending double play. He beat out the relay throw to first, however, which allowed the go-ahead run to score. The Giants' bullpen held onto the lead over the last six outs, moving the team to four games behind the wild-card leading Rockies with 12 games to play.

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September 22, 2009 1:39 pm

Solving the Rookie Dilemma

9

Dan Malkiel

Popping the hood to dig down into when to let it ride with your rookie hitters, and when to worry.

In my previous article, I modeled the choice between a stable veteran and a promising but unproven rookie as a "multi-armed bandit" problem. To solve it, I devised an algorithm that computes the expected value of each choice and discovered that provisionally starting the rookie usually yields a greater expectation. The intuition behind this result is that it's usually worth investing a few plate appearances in the hopes that a rookie might be highly productive, even if that is improbable according to his PECOTA projection; after all, the veteran can always replace him if the experiment fails. But what constitutes failure? In other words, how long should the rookie be allowed to struggle?

To answer this question, we'll need to go under the hood of the model I described the first time out. In the model, the rookie's productivity is described by a probability distribution on his OBP based on PECOTA's projections. The probability distribution in question is a beta; in order to understand the methodology I am about to describe, we'll need to grasp the basics of this distribution. The beta ranges over the interval [0, 1] and is defined by two positive parameters (α, β). Its mean is α/(α+β); thus, if α goes up, the mean goes up, while if β goes up, the mean goes down. Also, the greater α and β are the more "peaked" the distribution will be around this mean. Let's see how this looks:

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September 10, 2009 4:18 pm

Solving the Rookie Dilemma

12

Dan Malkiel

Exploring when they should start versus when they should head for farm country.

Willie Mays famously started his career 0-for-12 before hitting a home run off of Warren Spahn. This season, Orioles ber-stud catcher Matt Wieters has struggled to live up to expectations, posting a feeble .264/.310/.368 line since being called up in May. Talented rookies such as these present a twofold challenge to their teams: first, how to identify when they're ready for promotion, and second, how to react when they fail to produce. These decisions can be driven by subjective considerations, such as a scout or manager's evaluation of the player's poise and confidence. Such things are certainly important, but it's worth investigating what a purely objective mechanism for making these decisions might look like.

So, today we'll try to answer the first question: How do you decide when a prospect's ready? Let's consider the common scenario in which a rookie player is competing with a veteran for the vet's job. The veteran's productivity is typically well established, while the rookie's productivity is not known as precisely. Thus, we're faced with a choice between a so-called sure thing, and an unknown but possibly superior alternative.

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Have some of us been overlooking the obvious when it comes to scoring runs?

If you have ever tried to explain the concept of Pythagorean Record to a baseball novice, you probably have had to answer the following criticism: "That counts the extra runs at the end of a blowout as much as other runs, even though it does not matter whether you win 10-0 or 15-0." The answer that we give to that criticism is that teams that can take advantage of blowouts have better offenses and those type of teams will be more likely to win close games in the future. That is the reason that we have thousand-run estimators that try to approximate how many runs a team will score on average, and why we evaluate players with statistics like VORP-measured in runs over replacement player. Runs are the building blocks of wins, and you win by scoring more runs than your opponent. We cringe when we hear offenses evaluated by batting average because we know that the goal of offenses is to score runs, not get hits.

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Geoff Young recently used a BP Unfiltered post to come clean about his unrequited man crush on David Eckstein, setting off a wonderful comment thread in which readers described the players that they consider "guilty pleasures" - those that may not be stars, but are fun to watch nonetheless. Reading through the comments, I was struck by the many different types of players that can catch a fan's fancy, but one variety seemed to be particularly popular: The Little Guy. Maybe it's the David vs. Goliath matchup of the smaller batter versus the hulking pitcher that appeals to us; maybe we just identify with a more normal-seeming scale of player; in any case, shorter players seem to have some level of curb appeal that can't be explained by their stats.

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A year removed from one of the most disappointing seasons since, well, pick your least-favorite SNL cast, the Detroit Tigers are back on top in the AL Central. With a middle-of-the-pack offense, the Tigers have been doing it with improved pitching and, just as importantly, stellar defense. Flashing the leather is the latest little black dress of team construction - just take a peak at these defensive rankings for the current front-runners in the AL Central and AL West (all 2009 statistics through June 10th):

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The lesson that many people take away from Michael Lewis's best-selling book Moneyball is that On Base Percentage (OBP) is the only way to build a good baseball team. What is often missed is that the book is really a tale of economics, about finding inefficiencies in the market and exploiting them. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the baseball market was inefficient at judging the value of OBP. Realizing this, the low budget Oakland A's were able to build a successful offense on the cheap.

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April 10, 2009 1:37 pm

Leading Off

10

Christina Kahrl

The changing nature of leadoff hitter performance, and how different teams are adopting different solutions in making their selections.

Thirty years or so on, sabermetrics has been around long enough to have a few canards of its own to live with or live down. Take for example the old assertion from the '80s, that lineup order doesn't matter. That's taken as a literal, absolute truth in some quarters, but lineup optimization does mean the difference of a few extra runs here and there, fueled in no small part by the relentless mathematical fact that any one team's leadoff hitters will collectively get 120 more plate appearances in a season than their ninth-slot batters, and you'd much rather invest that additional playing time in better ballplayers. Operating in an environment where teams pursue fractions of runs' worth of difference in individual matchups or on the bases by running with more and more efficiency, and paying attention to who bats where, makes for another area where clubs can and do help themselves.

There are very few teams that enjoy the benefits of employing an obvious star-quality leadoff hitter, the guy who gets on base, steals bases, and even kicks in some power. Today we have the Orioles' Brian Roberts or the Mets' Jose Reyes, carrying on the game-changing precedents we might identify in Rickey Henderson or Tim Raines or perhaps even Bobby Bonds. Most other teams have to come up with something, because somebody has to lead off. The classic stathead working solution-or Earl Weaver's, or Joe McCarthy's-would be to put a better OBP up top. The Yankees have elected to do this with Derek Jeter, but that's not tied to his declining value as a slugger as much as it has always been something of a fall-back option during his entire career, as The Captain moved down to hitting second when the Yankees added Chuck Knoblauch in the '90s or, more recently, Johnny Damon. Deciding to put Damon's power behind Jeter's OBP is just a worthwhile adaptation to their respective talents at present. American League leadoff hitters generated a collective .347 OBP last season, so Jeter's career leadoff OBP of .389 or our PECOTA-projected season OBP of .360 suggest he's a good choice.

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August 5, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: Jeter vs. Reyes

0

Joe Sheehan

Rethinking the question leads to a better answer than one off the cuff.

I got a great question in my chat session about two weeks ago:

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May 15, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: McCann versus Martin

0

Joe Sheehan

Picking up an argument from last week, the reason to favor one over the other when talking about the NL's great pair of young backstops.

Last Friday on "Fantasy 411," Cory Schwartz and I went back and forth a bit about Brian McCann and Russell Martin. Now, we were talking about fantasy value, and Martin's green light on the bases tends to tip the balance to him in most formats for that game. That's because stolen bases are generally divorced from their costs in fantasy, and so have disproportionate value. Even though McCann is likely to hit for a higher average and more power, Martin is probably a better fantasy catcher.

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