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

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Sheer Tim Foli
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - 2017 NFL thread
(2129 - 9:00pm, Apr 26)
Last: Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb

NewsblogRonald Acuna hits first homer | MLB.com
(8 - 8:45pm, Apr 26)
Last: flournoy

NewsblogThat's my secret, Captain. I'm always OMNICHATTER, for April 26, 2018
(106 - 8:27pm, Apr 26)
Last: TomH

NewsblogOT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)
(2810 - 7:55pm, Apr 26)
Last: If on a winter's night a baserunner

NewsblogTampa Bay Rays promote LHP Jonny Venters
(14 - 7:49pm, Apr 26)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogOTP 2018 Apr 23: The Dominant-Sport Theory of American Politics
(1002 - 7:34pm, Apr 26)
Last: Spahn Insane

NewsblogKyle Schwarber hits 2 homers in Cubs' win
(62 - 7:31pm, Apr 26)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April - June 2018)
(462 - 7:22pm, Apr 26)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogJung Ho Kang Receives Visa, Set To Rejoin Pirates
(4 - 7:18pm, Apr 26)
Last: This is going to be state of the art wall

NewsblogBrewers first baseman Eric Thames goes on DL with torn thumb ligament
(18 - 5:57pm, Apr 26)
Last: Hank G.

NewsblogRaissman: Mike Francesa returning to WFAN in the 3 pm - 7 pm time slot, sources tell News
(113 - 5:52pm, Apr 26)
Last: Swoboda is freedom

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(1649 - 5:51pm, Apr 26)
Last: J. Sosa

NewsblogTaking Back the Ballparks - Marlins voting thread
(19 - 4:56pm, Apr 26)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogRonald Acuna being called up by Braves | MLB.com
(56 - 4:43pm, Apr 26)
Last: Hank G.

NewsblogPujols' Age Revisted
(90 - 4:17pm, Apr 26)
Last: bunyon

Page rendered in 0.1217 seconds
47 querie(s) executed