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. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) 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
HowardMegdal
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAngels again are stung by Mike Napoli in loss to Red Sox - LA Times
(19 - 3:31am, May 26)
Last: Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class

NewsblogJavier Baez heating up but is there a place for him?
(6 - 3:30am, May 26)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogBrian Matusz of Baltimore Orioles ejected for foreign substance
(21 - 3:08am, May 26)
Last: Drexl Spivey

NewsblogIs switch-hitting a lost art? - Sports - The Boston Globe
(56 - 2:19am, May 26)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - May 2015
(2382 - 1:41am, May 26)
Last: sardonic

NewsblogOT: 2015 NHL Playoff thread
(537 - 12:47am, May 26)
Last: Obo

NewsblogOTP - May 2015: Jeb Bush would like to watch baseball with Teddy Roosevelt and Pitbull
(3886 - 12:25am, May 26)
Last: zenbitz

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 5-25-15
(13 - 12:21am, May 26)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogCollege Seniors Find Little Leverage - BaseballAmerica.com
(8 - 11:50pm, May 25)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogAT&T Ad Showing First Woman In Major League Baseball Draws Strong Reactions
(258 - 10:27pm, May 25)
Last: TerpNats

NewsblogBernie Williams Day reminds us Yankees' glory days are over - Newsday
(7 - 9:55pm, May 25)
Last: Biff, highly-regarded young guy

NewsblogOT: Soccer March 2015
(1086 - 9:07pm, May 25)
Last: JuanGone..except1game

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 5-24-2015
(144 - 9:03pm, May 25)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogAll-Star Game shouldn't stop slumping Reds from firing Price | FOX Sports
(19 - 8:36pm, May 25)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1680 - 3:58pm, May 25)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

Page rendered in 0.1759 seconds
48 querie(s) executed