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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Miklasz: Kozma confounds those who study statistics

Unfortunately, The Gagarin Computer Rating does not divulge the methodology behind their system.

The Kozmanaut’s performance continues to cause considerable consternation among the sabermetric sons and daughters of Bill James.

To some, what Kozma is doing really is unbelievable.

And let me say that I usually march with the sabes. I crunch so many advanced statistics, I’ve knowingly violated several bylaws of the Baseball Writers Association of America. (Rule: for the love of Max Mercy, son _ stick to Triple Crown stats.) 

My favorite books include the old Baseball Abstracts; I prefer them to the Brothers Grimm – yes, even if Kozma is looking a lot like the Frog Prince.

So I’m not slamming stat heads. I feel their confusion. The dude batted .236 with a .308 onbase percentage and a .344 slugging percentage in 2,752 minor-league at-bats, and that isn’t supposed to translate into Robin Yount.

That said, I’m enjoying watching Kozma shred the sabermetric spread sheets and make paper airplanes out of the reports that suggest his bat carries traces of Mario Mendoza DNA.

...The Kozmanaut’s performance continues to cause considerable consternation among the sabermetric sons and daughters of Bill James.

To some, what Kozma is doing really is unbelievable.

And let me say that I usually march with the sabes. I crunch so many advanced statistics, I’ve knowingly violated several bylaws of the Baseball Writers Association of America. (Rule: for the love of Max Mercy, son _ stick to Triple Crown stats.) 

My favorite books include the old Baseball Abstracts; I prefer them to the Brothers Grimm – yes, even if Kozma is looking a lot like the Frog Prince.

So I’m not slamming stat heads. I feel their confusion. The dude batted .236 with a .308 onbase percentage and a .344 slugging percentage in 2,752 minor-league at-bats, and that isn’t supposed to translate into Robin Yount.

That said, I’m enjoying watching Kozma shred the sabermetric spread sheets and make paper airplanes out of the reports that suggest his bat carries traces of Mario Mendoza DNA.

Repoz Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:10 AM | 106 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cards, history, sabermetrics

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   101. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4405752)
hat said, I’m enjoying watching Kozma shred the sabermetric spread sheets and make paper airplanes out of the reports that suggest his bat carries traces of Mario Mendoza DNA.

I actually really enjoy it when players achieve things the underlying stats say they shouldn't. It's fun. I would wager 95% of stat heads share my enthusiasm for freaks like this.


Yup. It's great to see. Why this confutes sabermetrics, though, is entirely beyond me.

He's not. He specifically points out in TFA that it's a small sample size and that it's usually true to see regression to the mean over larger samples. He does give some counterpoints based upon visual evidence that Kozma might be different, however. It's overall a fair piece.

The guy has a .378 BABIP and 118 PAs. It's not even worth discussing what might have changed until we have a more reasonable sample.


snapper--by any chance have you come across any articles on the degree to which we can use BABIP to predict future performance? I use it as a ballpark way of tweaking projections, but don't have anything beyond that.

So I’m not slamming stat heads. I feel their confusion.


How can anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of statistics say something like this? No one who knows much about stats is remotely confused. Indeed what would be extremely odd is if no one who hit poorly in the minors ever hit well over 100 or so PAs in the majors.

   102. JoeC Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4405770)

Yup. It's great to see. Why this confutes sabermetrics, though, is entirely beyond me.


Usage question, if you don't mind: I'd never come across "confute." Is it the same as "refute" or does it have its own connotations?

Thanks...
   103. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:35 PM (#4405900)
Huh--good question. I guess I've always taken it to be synonymous with "proven to be wrong". Having an English teacher for a dad left me with a few of these odds and ends. My sense is that confute is more decisive than refute. "To refute, decisively" is how I'd put it.

I make no guarantees to accuracy, unfortunately. In fact, before using it here I'd largely forgotten I'd ever known the word.
   104. JoeC Posted: April 06, 2013 at 02:38 AM (#4406035)
Thanks. On first reading I thought it was some "refudiate"-like portmanteau! The nice thing about the Internet is that you can Google before you respond and avoid looking stupid :)
   105. It's a shame about Athletic Supporter Posted: April 06, 2013 at 03:59 AM (#4406038)
Others will know more than I do about whether Mora was really a top prospect in his youth or not …


As I remember it, Mora was a prospect in the Mets' system for his fielding; nobody ever thought he could hit at all, but he was a good-glove SS. Making it extremely confounding when he emerged as a power-hitting 3B for the Orioles.
   106. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 06, 2013 at 04:26 AM (#4406040)
@104: I actually heard "prefudiate" recently. It stopped the conversation and the speaker said, "What? I'm just anticipating his objection!"
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