Getting Dirty with StatsIntro | Batting 1 – Linear Weights | Batting 2 – wOBA and wRC+

Lets continue Getting Dirty With Stats! We’ve already covered an introduction, which is important as I lay out my goals for the series. We’ve also talked about hitters, so now we move on to pitchers.

As with hitters, we’ll start by figuring out what things pitchers are and aren’t responsible for. These include the home park a pitcher plays in, which can vary in size and conditions, as well as his league, which varies in talent level. Both are important variables we accounted for when looking at hitters and we’ll do the same for pitchers.

Another thing we’ll need to think about is the defense behind them. Pitchers spend long periods of time with the same or a similar defense. Since defenses vary in skill levels and shouldn’t affect the way we evaluate pitchers, we’ll need to consider that.

Another key difference between hitters and pitchers is the role of luck on what happens to balls put into play.

Here’s one of the greatest and most controversial discoveries of the recent statistical revolution: pitchers have much less control over balls in play than hitters.

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Getting Dirty with Stats

Intro | Batting 1 – Linear Weights

Who’s ready to get dirty with some more stats?! Whooo! Today we’ll be putting on our Ice Cream Gloves and finish our discussion on evaluating hitters.

When we last spoke, we settled arguments on message boards across the Internet using linear weights to figure out the run value of all the things batters can do. Remember that? Those were good times.

For the next 20,000 words, I’ll be painstakingly calculating the run value of every unintentional walk, hit-by-pitch, single, double, triple, and home run, for every player in Padres history LOL JK. That’s been done for us already by Tom Tango, a guy whose name you’ll hear a lot the more you read into baseball analytics.

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Getting Dirty with StatsIntro | Batting 1 – Linear Weights | Batting 2 – wOBA and wRC+

Respeck. We’re back to our chat about stats and our first real topic: linear weights. As a refresher, I finished up the intro post with the some goals:

  • Figure out which baseball player is responsible for which baseball thing
  • Figure out how much that baseball thing helps that baseball player’s team win more baseball games

Lets focus first on batters, as they will be easier to deal with the first issue above.

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Yo! Stats. What is it all about? Technology. What is that all about? Is it good? Or is it wack?

-Ali G (sort of)

Getting Dirty with StatsFor the next however many posts in however much time I’ll decide on later, I’d like to have a chat about the hows and whys of the stats I use here at Padres Public.

But before we dive into individual metrics, it’s important to go through the seemingly esoteric–yet important task of goal setting. What is our ultimate purpose for using stats? Here are two potential answers to this question:

  • We use stats to quantify how much a player (or players) helped his team win baseball games
  • We use stats to quantify how much a player (or players) will help his team win baseball games

This distinction is a lot more than figuring out what the definition of “is” is. These are two fundamentally different questions, and we need to decide on where we’re going before we actually get anywhere.

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I’m excited to announce a new feature at Padres Public, the Prospect Stalker!

Cory Spangenberg and Luis Domoromo

Because the farm system is the lifeblood of the Padres organization (cue flashbacks to fraternity rush), many of us enjoy following/crushing on our favorite team’s young talent as they develop skills before reaching the majors. And because these promising young players all play in different leagues, it becomes too much work keeping up with their progress throughout a long season as often as we’d like.

Thanks to the hard work of David Marver, the Prospect Stalker will make keeping up with an integral part of the Padres’ future easier and more enjoyable. Expect weekly updated stats from all Each of Jeff’s 25 top prospects in one place, without having to wade through non-prospects or stats that aren’t all that useful (pitcher W-L record says hello!).

Details are still being worked out regarding the best way to publish this data, but check out the current iteration of the Prospect Stalker and feel free to make any suggestions.