Monday, October 21, 2013

Beginning Sabermetrics

On this blog, I intend to use some statistics used by sabermetricians. To the common baseball fan, they will not be familiar with some of these terms so in this post I will try my best to explain some of the most common stats used in sabermetrics.

WAR (Wins Above Replacement): I touched on this in my most recent post, but I am going to dive a little bit deeper into it. As stated in my last post I got a definition from and on that website regarding WAR it says, "(WAR)is an attempt by the sabermetric baseball community to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic." For example, last season Chase Utley had a WAR of 3.9. According to this stat if you take Chase Utley off of the Phillies then they lose about 4 more games. 

OPS: This stat is On Base Percentage plus Slugging Percentage equals OPS. On Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage are both stats on their own but together they make OPS. The stat OPS attempts to  account a players abilities for all aspects of the game when hitting. On Base Percentage takes into account the players hitting and patience at the plate and Slugging Percentage takes into account the players hitting for power. OPS take into account patience at the plate, hitting (singles, doubles, etc.) and power (home runs). After some research I learned that sabermetricians are not a huge fan of this particular stat due to the fact that OBP and SLG% are counted as equals when in reality OBP is really 1.8 times more important than SLG%. 

FIP: Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is what a player's ERA should have been had everything he was going against or working with was league average. Pitchers have very little control on what happens when a ball is put into play. If a hitter breaks his bat but gets a hit the pitcher technically did his job by making such a good pitch that the hitters bat broke but sometimes the hitter finds a spot in the field where nobody is or a spot in the field where a fielder might be below average. Cole Hamels ERA from 2013 was 3.60, however, his FIP was 3.26. Since FIP takes more things into account than ERA, Cole Hamels had a better year than his ERA indicated. 

This is my break down of a couple of the most popular stats used in sabermetrics. If you have any questions, comments or corrections then leave a comment. I am not a professional by any means and if you think you can do a better job at explaining something then me, please leave a friendly comment below and let me know.

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