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Jim Furtado
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War Newsbeat

Friday, March 09, 2018

SABR Analytics: Wins Above Replacement or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love deGrom

My talk on how we formulate WAR on

Sean Forman Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:12 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, stats, war, wins above replacement

Monday, January 08, 2018

A Different Sort of Debate on WAR - ADAM KAUFMAN

If you are looking to the future tie your system to a projection system. If you are looking to the past, include context. The current WAR systems end up being jack of all trades and masters of none.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2018 at 06:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: war

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tangotiger Blog

I agree 100% with Tangotiger. The quest for one true number is foolhardy. Let’s try to get the best answers for the different questions with metrics specifically designed to answer those questions.

The true answer is ENTIRELY dependent on YOUR question.  You ask the question, then a solution will present itself.  But very few people think like that.

They want “the” number. And so, that’s what we are left with.  We are left with choosing the number.  And once we choose the number, meaning we’ve chosen a solution, a path, then we have to give the user the starting point, the question, and then we can add a provision to our WAR pages to say “only use the WAR on this page if you accept these assumptions as fact”.

And if you use it to answer a different question, then this solution, while it may give you close to the correct answer, might be wildly off in a few cases.

And that’s what Aaron Judge is.  He’s the exception to whatever question you ask.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2017 at 07:02 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, war

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Aaron Judge, José Altuve, and the Next Battle in the War Over WAR - The Ringer

Maybe we should stop calling different systems by the same name. We have different abbreviations for BABIP and AVG because, although they are both measuring a player’s ability to get on base by hitting the ball, they are calculated differently and are different metrics. Fangraph’s WAR and Baseball Reference’s WAR are two different calculations. At least Baseball Prospectus calls their version WARP to differentiate their version.

James’ Win Shares is/was a decent concept but its construction was fatally flawed. As Rany mentioned in his article, we now have the ability to make a more nuanced assessment of individual player’s contributions, related to the timing of their performance.

But I think it’s time to do away with half measures, and decide fully what WAR is supposed to represent. If it’s supposed to represent value, then it needs to evolve to account for the fact that all players, not just relievers, can perform in ways that alter the relationship between runs and wins. WAR should reward a hitter who bats .400 with runners in scoring position and penalize one who hits .136 in high-leverage situations. If the day comes when we can evaluate for how a player performs defensively in high-leverage situations, we can account for that too.

Why not develop new metrics which project performance without needing to be tied to the WAR name? In scouting teams often use terms like Overall Future Potential (OFP) and Future Value (FV). Why not tie our statistical assessment to the common scouting lexicon?

We can, and should, have a “predictive” version of WAR that evaluates a player’s performance based on skills that will carry forward into the future. This would not only strip away “clutch” and situational hitting that doesn’t carry over much from one year to the next and strip away luck on batted balls in play, but as our data set improves would also account for Statcast data like launch angle and exit velocity, so that the player who hit a ton of at-’em balls or the pitcher who gave up a lot of windswept home runs into the first row would have a statistic that says, look, this guy might have sucked last year, but if a butterfly had flapped its wings last April he would have been really good. As Nate Silver suggested, maybe we can call it predictive WAR, or pWAR.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, war

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Prospectus Feature: Bill James vs. The Noise - Baseball Prospectus

I am a big fan of WAR and even have my own WAR system. Although I don’t agree that we *need* a better value system for use during MVP discussions, I also believe having alternative statistical views helps us find better answers to very complex questions.

Having said that, if Votto was placed on the Astros the outcome of his performance would actually help the Astros get more wins than his production buys with the Reds. That’s because the Astros overall offense would be more efficient in converting his production into runs/wins. This outcome can be easily simulated.

Ultimately, baseball is a team game. Players don’t perform in isolation. The context in which players operate does, then, change their impact on wins. In this I agree with Bill James. That difference, however, is only important for a narrow range of questions, the MVP question being one of them.

For people preoccupied with what happened, the context is very important. For those of us more preoccupied with what’s going to happen, stripping away as much context as possible from past performance is more important because it helps us better project a range of players in a range of contexts.

Virtually all run-scoring events require timely assistance from other teammates. Why should the inherent value of a player depend almost entirely on the contributions of other players, with the sheer randomness of those contributions often amounting to an undeserved out? If Votto’s on-base skills were plopped onto the Astros, under James’ system, his “value” would skyrocket, as the remaining Astros sprayed hits all over the place, uniquely rewarding his on-base skills. While this might true up the ultimate “results” of any team, a player whose value depends heavily on his teammates is not being given his inherent “value” at any time. If this is truly what you prefer, that of course is fine, and it is fine for James to prefer it for his own purposes. But most people, I suspect, would find it highly problematic.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 21, 2017 at 11:13 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: war




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