Graphics Primer

Second base is the first position we’ve covered that features variability in individual skill sets. There are some hitters who can hit 20-25 home runs, some players who can steal 30-plus bases, and some players who can provide a substantial amount of everything in standard 5×5 leagues. It creates for a variety of different shapes. Take these for example:


There was a recent comment about how these are harder to read now, referencing these as globs. The commenter did add that he will get used to looking at them, but let’s take a step back and think about the information being conveyed here. The charts attempt to visualize where each individual player projects to provide value. After a quick glance, the hope is that you’ll be able to pick up where a player can help and hurt you relative to the position. Radar charts tend to convey that quickly because you can see where the shape is fuller and where it is lacking. Hopefully that explanation illuminates the aim a bit better.

Now, let’s talk about Jurickson Profar who has a tiny graph. His small output is due to PECOTA not liking his playing-time projections in 2015. We still like him moderately, as you’ll see in the bid chart below.

Dee Gordon and Brian Dozier are interesting to me as polar opposites in the four-star category, and for that reason I like their charts the most.

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Mau, this continues to be a nice feature. Still doesn't capture the volatility / STDEV of these forecasts though. Have to think Alcantara could be +/-
$10 or more from his bid at least. In contrast a guy like Utley probably has a much more modest range (ie high floor low ceiling). Maybe radar charts aren't the answer for that. But the bottom chart (don't know what it's called) could easily have a confidence interval around the bid or forecast.
How did you decide on the organization of the vertices for the radar plot? Personally, I would have put AVG at the top, SB in the bottom left, HR in the bottom right, R in the top-left, and RBI in the top-right. So your typical slugger would have a triangle heavy to the bottom-right, your pure hitter would have a blob at the top, your speedy guy would have a blob to the left, your Dee Gordon would have a triangle to the bottom-left. That's just a guess at what would be more readable, though, so I was wondering if you had tried out different layouts and discovered this one was better? I guess the default way to do the layout would be to maximize the correlation between adjacent categories, but I'm not sure that's the best way in this case, where there are distinct player profiles. In other words, you'd ideally cluster all the players first, then make sure to set up the vertices so that each cluster had a unique shape.

I like having the lines there to show where you're at on the scale as a plot grows or shrinks, so I guess at the high level of "big shape = more value" the plots are useful.
I second the call for a graph that captures variability of expected 2015 production. STDEV would be fine, but I'd love to see area (posterior density?) graphs depicting predicted performances in standard categories on the player profile pages. That way, we can see skews in predicted performance.
I might have missed this- but is the '2015 bid' data meant to be a gauge of expected performance in 2015? Or is it an estimate of what players are expected to cost in an auction? In other words, is it measuring estimated production or estimated draft cost?

BTW- this is great and unique work
It's based on Mike Gianella's 2015 bid limits. He'll write about them at some point in the future, when his work is complete, but the infographic is based on the figures we have currently.