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 Imperial March 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
cardsfanboy
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2016 August 22: Baseball has much to teach us about politics
(921 - 11:14am, Aug 27)
Last: Weekly Journalist_

NewsblogOT: August 2016 Soccer Thread
(357 - 11:12am, Aug 27)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogWhite Sox GM Rick Hahn says talk of trade-deadline discord 'simply untrue'
(25 - 10:59am, Aug 27)
Last: Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest"

NewsblogSanchez-Fueled Yanks Penning Thrilling Script
(1 - 10:51am, Aug 27)
Last: cercopithecus aethiops

Gonfalon CubsDog Days of Summer
(103 - 9:58am, Aug 27)
Last: There's a bustle in Misirlou's hedgerow

NewsblogBaseball’s minor leaguers pursue their dreams below the poverty line - The Washington Post
(11 - 9:41am, Aug 27)
Last: Bote Man makes baseball fun again

NewsblogDodgers land Ruiz from Phillies | dodgers.com
(45 - 9:38am, Aug 27)
Last: Bote Man makes baseball fun again

NewsblogJeff Francoeur is Still Employed by a Major League Team
(24 - 8:25am, Aug 27)
Last: bbmck

Newsblog2016 New York City Softball Game
(442 - 8:24am, Aug 27)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-25-16
(166 - 2:31am, Aug 27)
Last: Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™

NewsblogOT: NBA Offseason Thread, July 2016
(1029 - 2:31am, Aug 27)
Last: maccoach57

Sox TherapyIt Gets Easier...But Not Easy
(9 - 1:26am, Aug 27)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogAstros analysis: Third baseman of the future has to be Alex Bregman - Houston Chronicle
(7 - 12:10am, Aug 27)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT - College Football offseason thread (February - August 2016)
(37 - 11:16pm, Aug 26)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogWhy the Baltimore Orioles' outstanding closer should not win the Cy Young | FOX Sports
(17 - 10:50pm, Aug 26)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

Page rendered in 0.1497 seconds
47 querie(s) executed