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

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rob Neyer: Explaining some new math

As you know, I’ve been wrestling with this notion of positional adjustments, which on Thursday led to the following e-mail exchange with FanGraphs’ Eric Seidman …

Eric: Rob, I thought I would try to see if I could clarify the adjustments for you. Basically, it is all due to defense. Tom Tango likes to refer to the adjustments as “Runs Over Willie” (in honor of Willie Bloomquist, who can play everywhere). Essentially, the idea is that if you took Willie Bloomquist and put him anywhere on the field, what would an average fielder produce, runs-wise, compared to his production?

So, if you put Willie at 1B, the average 1B would cost his team 12.5 runs more than Willie. If you put Willie at shortstop, the average SS would save 7.5 runs more than Willie.

It’s really just a quantifiable way of showing which positions are the toughest to play. Catcher gets +12.5 runs because not everyone can play there. Shortstop gets +7.5 runs because it is the toughest non-catching position. Then comes 2B/3B/CF, at +2.5 runs apiece. LF/RF are docked -7.5 runs, and 1B docked -12.5 runs. Using these adjustments allows us to compare Carl Crawford in LF to Chase Utley at 2B.

If Crawford is +15 runs via UZR and Utley is +19 runs, it really isn’t as close as it seems, given that LF are docked -7.5 runs and 2B gain +2.5 runs. Before even factoring in offensive contribution or adding two wins (20 runs) to be above replacement level, Utley would be a +21.5 run defender, Crawford a +7.5 run defender.

Hope that makes some more sense. It is a very confusing concept, but basically it just allows us to make cross-positional comparisons so someone like Crawford doesn’t have an overstated defensive value.

Me: Is this a new thing? I don’t recall seeing any discussion of positional adjustments before the last couple of weeks. I’m just wondering if everything we thought we knew about player valuations have been wrong. Is Dave Concepcion worth more than we thought? Tony Perez less?

Eric: I wouldn’t necessarily call it two weeks new, but definitely new in the last year or two, as far as I know. Granted, I didn’t really “come onto the scene” until May 2007, but I can recall as far back as June 2007 reading Tango’s positional adjustment work.

I don’t think it means that everything we have already done is wrong, per se, because defensive stats weren’t really ever taken into account outside of Fielding Percentage for the longest time.

Huh, I didn’t realize that positional adjustments is considered so ‘new’.

Tripon Posted: December 20, 2008 at 05:01 AM | 301 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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.

Page 4 of 4 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4
   301. JoeD has the Flash Gordon theme stuck in his head Posted: December 22, 2008 at 10:18 PM (#3036203)
Yeah, that's basically right . . . Longoria assuming no injury would go $1-2008, $3-2009, $5-2010, and then vault to $24 from 2011-2014 or $29 from 2011-2015. That would be the typical career path.

But there is still 'irrational' overbidding for stars in every league I've ever been in. The highest end players get more than they are actually worth, and I've been in some pretty good leagues.

I cannot think of a season where the top handful of players didn't get more than the Benson software I use (which adjusts for inflation) says they should, for example.

Part of that is probably paying the 'certainty' of performance.
Page 4 of 4 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Brian
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogThe Indians want a new minority owner — but the price isn’t right | New York Post
(29 - 12:18pm, Sep 01)
Last: Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee)

NewsblogBraves’ record, attendance both in decline since 42-42 | www.ajc.com
(8 - 12:18pm, Sep 01)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogOTP - September 2015: Making Sense Of The Republican Presidential Race: It's Like Major League Baseball In August
(43 - 12:18pm, Sep 01)
Last: Guapo

NewsblogSchoenfield: Williams' time running short with Nationals after loss - SweetSpot - ESPN
(1 - 12:17pm, Sep 01)
Last: Bourbon Samurai

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-1-2015
(6 - 12:15pm, Sep 01)
Last: Batman

NewsblogAlex Anthopoulos accuses infielder Steve Tolleson of quitting on team
(58 - 12:13pm, Sep 01)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogForbes: Maury Brown: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Rejects Reinstatement Of 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson
(9 - 12:06pm, Sep 01)
Last: wjones

NewsblogFan dies in fall from upper deck at Turner Field | www.ajc.com
(171 - 12:01pm, Sep 01)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-1-2015
(11 - 11:46am, Sep 01)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee

NewsblogMiller's Hard-Luck Streak Reaches 19 Starts Without a Win - The New York Times
(13 - 11:27am, Sep 01)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogBabe Ruth’s Former New York Apartment Can Be Bought For Just $1.6M (Photos) | MLB | NESN.com
(4 - 11:23am, Sep 01)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogOT: Soccer August 2015
(618 - 11:20am, Sep 01)
Last: Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine

NewsblogDon’t let Bird’s bad night jump-start terrible A-Rod experiment | New York Post
(4 - 10:45am, Sep 01)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogWhat’s wrong with the Nationals? It’s the starting pitching, stupid. - The Washington Post
(25 - 10:39am, Sep 01)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogAppellate court sides with MLB in minimum wage lawsuit
(4 - 10:32am, Sep 01)
Last: theboyqueen

Page rendered in 0.1665 seconds
44 querie(s) executed