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## Monday, December 10, 2012

#### Father Costa: Introducing Baseball’s Cumulative Base Proficiency (CBP)

A World of Old Ideas. A World of Problems!

I just felt like playing with some statistics, so I came up with what I’m calling the Cumulative Base Proficiency (CBP).

I suspect this is not a new metric, but it was fun putting it together.

As you can see, I picked sixteen giants of the game, using the following career statistics: At-bats (AB), walks (W), total bases (TB), stolen bases (SB), caught stealing (CS) and hit-by-pitch (HP). I defined the Cumulative Base Proficiency (CBP) as follows:

Costa CBP equation

Finally, the CS totals for Cobb, Foxx, Hornsby, Ruth and Wagner are simply unknown. However, given the magnitudes of the other terms, the CBP is not greatly impacted. For example, Ruth has a CBP of 0.752, assuming he had 117 CS. If we add 100 more CS, giving a total of 217, his CBP only drops to 0.743.

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2012 at 07:35 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
Tags: sabermetrics

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1. villageidiom Posted: December 10, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4321378)
I think it's worth penalizing for GIDP as well, given they're single-handedly producing the same result as a CS plus a regular out. Depends on whether you're measuring base contributions, or hitting + baserunning. If the latter, reaching on error probably should be included, too... Faster runners cause hurried throws, and all.

The precision police would probably suggest CS should be indexed based on which base was being attempted. Caught stealing 3rd erases two bases, whereas caught stealing 2nd erases just one. The bulk of CS is 2nd base, so this should be fine.
2. smileyy Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4321401)
So, uh, someone figured out OPS, and was really bothered by the double-counting of batting average?
3. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4321421)
This is not a new idea, obviously, and it's not as accurate as some other metrics, but it's not bad for a garbage stat. If a kid or a new baseball fan came up with it, I would applaud.
4. GGC Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4321465)
Holy Total Average!
5. phatj Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4321484)
I came up with something similar to this (though simpler) eight years ago or so, when I was just starting to learn about baseball beyond what you see on telecasts. I didn't consider steals (nor GIDP), though. It was just (TB + W)/PA, which I called Total Base Average.
6. Cabbage Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4321489)
This doesn't hold a candle to the Snow Index.
7. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4321492)
Holy Total Average!

The thing that seems to separate this from the annual rederivation of Total Average is the fact that the author isn't presenting it as something new and revolutionary; he's just messing around and having a little fun, which is all that most of us are doing with this stuff too.
8. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4321523)
Just what we needed, another garbage stat. Hey! Work on pitching and defensive stats instead!
9. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 11, 2012 at 04:02 AM (#4321585)
This doesn't hold a candle to the Snow Index

It certainly doesn't licky boom boom down.
10. kcgard2 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4321631)
Interesting that the creator wanted to ignore sacrifice flies (but still penalize RBI groundouts).
11. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 11, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4321638)
It certainly doesn't licky boom boom down.

####. This may be the best Primer post in 10 years.
12. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4321652)
####. This may be the best Primer post in 10 years.
seconded.

as for the stat, personally, i don't think it's junk. i think that if everyone grew up with this as the predominant stat instead of OPS, we'd probably be noticeably better off. OPS double-counts batting average, yes, but it also combines two numbers with different denominators as if there's nothing wrong with doing it.

OPS is pretty ingrained in our collective psyches, but if both stats were on the main page at B-ref, i'd probably reference this one more often than OPS.
13. Ron J2 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4321746)
#12 If I was the stats man at B-ref I'd test whether Total Average modeled run scoring well enough to merit inclusion. It's an awful lot more work than OPS for a truly trivial gain in accuracy (as measured either by correlation with team runs scored or by RMSE). We're talking a correlation of .926 for Total Average versus .922 for OPS. And the difference in the standard error is .21 runs. (Numbers from an old Clay Davenport study. Different time frames give slight different results but the overall conclusion is basically the same.)

It's not as good as runs created (which is basically the same amount of work) for the simple reason that it over-weights stolen bases.

OPS is "good enough" for in season (particularly since it's not hard to make mental adjustments for all of the know weaknesses in the method) and has the virtue of being easy to calculate from generally available numbers.

14. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4322532)
just for shits and giggles:

by this measure ((TB + BB + HBP + SB - GIDP - CS) / (PA)), jack morris rates at .426, bert blylevin rates at .399, dave stieb at .395, dennis martinez at .424, brett saberhagen at .394, orel hershiser at .395, curt schilling at .404, and roger clemens at .389.

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