Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, February 24, 2012

Einfeldt: A Pitcher’s MVS (Most Valuable Stat)

Baseball can be compared to boxing; it is a constant one-on-one slugfest between the pitcher and batter.  They trade jabs, crosses, and then a batter might hook one out to left field.  The constant struggle between these players makes me wonder what the true value of a pitcher is.  He is the one who makes the initial move in this fight.  However, what makes a pitcher great?  How are pitchers valued in MLB?  While consistency is important, what single statistic can explain how teams value a pitcher?

...This data shows that the WHIP is the most important factor in determining a player’s salary.  A player’s ERA is excluded in these models, because it is so highly correlated to WHIP and this creates a problem of almost two identical terms.  I ran the regression with ERA instead of WHIP, because ERA was never as significant as WHIP is in the Full Regression.  One can use these numbers to determine a pitcher’s salary depending how well he does.  All the other statistics are, relatively speaking, considered insignificant, so it does not matter as much about any statistic other than WHIP.  It makes sense, because some of these terms are influential to WHIP (as a strikeout, for example, would help contribute to a lower WHIP).

In conclusion, teams care about the pitcher’s ability to limit base runners.  It is not necessarily the amount of runs, which may seem against common logic.  I was limited in my search due to the lack of information of salaries on certain players.  There are definitely intangibles that a player can offer his team, but a General Manager would best find a pitcher with the lowest WHIP to maximize the efficiency (win percentage) of their ball club.  That is what the data proves.

Thanks to Pete.

Repoz Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Skloot Insurance Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4067877)
I am a proponent of WHIP as a quick-and-dirty measure of pitcher effectiveness. When you think about it, WHIP essentially measures on-base percentage for pitchers -- off-base percentage, if you will. Now, why aren't HBPs factored into WHIP, I've always wondered?
   2. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4068006)
This reads like something out of a proto-sabermetrics website in 2001.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: February 24, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4068033)
Not gonna bother reading the article and I'd guess the regression is not brilliantly specified or interpreted but ...

(a) like #1, I've never had a problem using WHIP as quick and dirty. Obviously the bigger the sample, the more reliable it is (i.e. less susceptible to BABIP fluctuation).
(b) component ERA (or DIPS/FIP) probably does better than ERA and that one advantage WHIP would have over ERA is it is less forgiving of unearned runs, many of which are the pitcher's "fault."
(c) of course what WHIP is mainly missing is HR rate.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
1k5v3L
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogFan Returns Home Run Ball to Ishikawa; Receives World Series tickets
(3 - 9:07am, Oct 20)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogBrisbee: The 5 worst commercials of the MLB postseason
(101 - 9:04am, Oct 20)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogCalcaterra: So, if you’re not a fan of the Royals or Giants, who ya got?
(1 - 9:03am, Oct 20)
Last: Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch)

NewsblogCould the Yankees ever be Royals? Young and athletic K.C. is everything that Bombers are not - NY Daily News
(14 - 9:02am, Oct 20)
Last: Jeltzandini

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(2531 - 8:59am, Oct 20)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

NewsblogDealing or dueling – what’s a manager to do? | MGL on Baseball
(1 - 8:56am, Oct 20)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogWhy Royals great Frank White no longer associates with the team whose stadium he built - Yahoo Sports
(1 - 8:55am, Oct 20)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

NewsblogAngell: Gigantic
(34 - 8:54am, Oct 20)
Last: J. Sosa

NewsblogESPN: Brian Roberts retires
(21 - 6:18am, Oct 20)
Last: vivaelpujols

NewsblogHow long of a season does it take before talent beats chance? - Beyond the Box Score
(32 - 5:42am, Oct 20)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogSielski: A friend fights for ex-Phillie Dick Allen's Hall of Fame induction
(56 - 4:13am, Oct 20)
Last: Sunday silence

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1959 Ballot
(2 - 3:12am, Oct 20)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogOT:  October 2014 - College Football thread
(439 - 2:48am, Oct 20)
Last: AuntBea

NewsblogJosh Byrnes seen as a leader for job under Dodgers president Friedman - CBSSports.com
(4 - 1:54am, Oct 20)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogJAVIER prospect comparison system, now with speed! - Beyond the Box Score
(1 - 1:34am, Oct 20)
Last: Walt Davis

Page rendered in 0.0922 seconds
52 querie(s) executed