High Heat Stats Podcast: Episode 2 WAR–What is it Good For?

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8 Comments on "High Heat Stats Podcast: Episode 2 WAR–What is it Good For?"

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brp
Guest
The segment about Puckett was really interesting in total. Regarding the fielding I was trying to think of a similar outfielder and I came up with Tony Gwynn- I believe generally regarded as a good (or at least average) fielder when young, and then gained just a ton of weight. But again the Gwynn data are strange: he went from a -23 in 1989 to +28 in 1991. There is some explanation in that he split RF/CF in 1989 and was presumably a poor CF and by 1991 was full-time in RF. However, after a +19 in 1992, it drops… Read more »
Adam Darowski
Admin
brp—you do raise some very interesting points. It’s a good catch about Gwynn playing center field in 1989. That means his Total Zone is compared to a whole different class of outfielder. And he probably just didn’t stack up. The other outlier I see is 1996. That year he had an excellent fielding percentage (as aways), but a pretty lousy range factor. I guess for some reason Total Zone doesn’t feel it was that bad. Could be some batted ball data influencing that (perhaps his range factor is low because of more ground ball pitchers or something). That said, there… Read more »
brp
Guest

The larger year samples definitely do make more sense, and that 22-32/33-41 table matches up both with what you’d expect given Gwynn’s age and waistline.

Surprised Gwynn ever had such low batting runs as he did in 90-92; and there again is my difficulty accepting fielding variance as readily as batting.

Anyway, looking forward to finishing out the podcast today.

RJ
Guest
“I think Total Zone just isn’t as steady from year to year as we’d hope. It is much more prone to streakiness as there are far fewer samples to work from.” I’ve noticed this too when looking at a player’s Rfield totals. I suppose the question is, is this variability a demonstration of a flaw in the statistic (like a low sample size as you say) or a true representation of fluctuation in a player’s performance? Somebody around here brought to my attention the fact that one of the reasons Mike Trout’s defensive numbers are down this year is because… Read more »
RJ
Guest

Re-reading that penultimate paragraph, I seem to be implying that Trout is getting negative Rfield by not making stupendous plays, which I’m sure isn’t the case. I guess my point is, how valuable are those plays? If the answer is “really valuable” then the year-to-year variation makes sense. It does make it all *appear* unsatisfyingly random though.

Adam Darowski
Admin
Mark Simon had an excellent post about this topic: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/36800/why-are-trouts-defensive-numbers-so-bad This is a spot on observation: He’s probably not had those opportunities though. I wonder (and somebody please stop me if I’m talking rubbish) if that’s not like marking a player down for not having any bases-loaded hits, even though he never batted with the bases loaded. Whilst making a HR-saving catch shows defensive skill, the circumstances that allow you to make that catch, ie the location of the ball being just over the fence, are largely beyond your control. Now, this doesn’t explain why he’s negative. But it does… Read more »
bstar
Guest

RJ, ’twas me who originally put that nonsense in your head.

Here’s the comment:

http://www.highheatstats.com/2013/06/sunday-game-notes-5/#comment-59749

RJ
Guest

@bstar Haha, the bit that Adam quoted above as a “spot on observation” by me is basically a rewording of the key points in your post. As always, you guys are making me smarter about these things.

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