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Using sabermetrics in a very different run scoring environment with little data, UK
Posted: 24 January 2010 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]

Hi everyone, I’m a member of a new team this year in UK baseball, the Chelmsford Clippers.

We’ll be playing at the lowest level, where scores averaged 17-17 last season, and inevitably the defence will be quite poor in a lot of games, 10 errors a game won’t be that unusual, and there will be loads of stolen bases because most of the catchers arms aren’t up to it, just to give you a quick flavour of the level.

We’ll probably play less than 15 competitive games a year, until promotion, but even the top level teams of UK baseball play less than 30 games, and that’s 3 divisions above us, so the amount of data generated will be minimal.

Our scoring could be at a reasonable level using Turbo-Stats software.

But for the long term we want to include scientific principles through out the club, we are sick of old school baseball coaches pushing really dubious concepts which was a major problem at our previous club, and one of the main reasons we started our club.

So bearing all this in mind, from the sabermetric side, we are really looking to work on our walk rates, in an environment where an out is so expensive, and aiming for 80% plus in our SB success rate (total guesstimate of what is the required rate).
Although we have a lot of saber interest at the club to varying degrees none of us are really saber competent at the moment.
But we really aren’t sure where to go from here.

My only other thought would be to start compiling a database from the sketchy scoring that operates at our level from other clubs/years. at least start trying to generate some linear weights. ie run values re bases/outs, if that’s even feasible.

Any input gratefully received, for we surely don’t want to go down the rbi’s, run scored, batting ave, ERA route as our focus.

Posted: 25 January 2010 03:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]

It takes a long time to get the sample size to do appreciable linear weights.  I play amateur rec baseball, and one of the keys to my team’s successes (we’re an over 40 team that competes with 25 yo teams) is the discipline to take a walk, and to minimize errors.


You’re not qualified to talk about this topic.  Sure, you can say whatever you want, but you’re not qualified.  Please stop pretending you have any idea what you’re talking about.  You’re ####### clueless on this topic.

Posted: 23 February 2010 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]

Since starting this thread I’ve came across a brilliant online tool for amateur baseball clubs, a Linear Weights Generator made by the well known sabermetrician, Tom Tango/Tango Tiger.

It is exactly the kind of improvement we were looking for to bring an increased sabermetric influence into the Club.

Using our batting/offensive stats from our 7 games last autumn, which inccidentally was pretty damned accurate in measuring how many runs we should have scored, I was able to work out what our SB success rate should have been just to break even. It certainly surprized everyone at the club on how high it should be. We all made guesstimates beforehand and were well under the actual required figure. That applied to when we trird to guess the cost of an out at the plate. Everyone divided the number of runs by the outs, and added on a bit, but no-one realized just how large the effects would be be because of the numbers of runners on base we get in our run environment.

We also now have a pretty good guesstimate, depending on the strength of our opposition, on the cost of walks/wild pitches. We are also able to work out the net gains run wise of keeping the oppositions running game to slightly lower than the figures we are aiming for.

Now I’m not saying that this is true sabermetrics, after all there will be fluctuations in the outputs as we go through the season with different batting/offensive stats that we are inputting for each game, but compared to using traditional stats as our guideline, a big improvement.

Also Chris, like your team, we were looking to work at plate discipline a lot, a walk is as good as a hit,  and to minimize errors. But we had no idea just how much the obp weighting was at our level, or just how much errors were costing us run wise.

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