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Thursday, March 28, 2019

2019 SABR Analytics Conference research presentations | Society for American Baseball Research

Missed the event? Here’s a chance to catch up with the presentations.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2019 at 05:56 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: analytics, sabr

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   1. villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2019 at 08:58 AM (#5825984)
...plays within three feet of the wall are converted into outs much less frequently than similar flyballs that are further from the wall. Correspondingly, it was found that the expected out rates on those plays were being overestimated in the company’s Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) metrics. As a result, outfielders tended to be penalized too much for not making plays at the wall and not be rewarded enough when they did.
Anyone who was around this site in the mid-2000s is probably not shocked to learn that two of the five outfielders who had been penalized the most in 2016-18 for this were the two who defended the green monster.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: March 28, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5825996)
I clicked on one powerpoint deck: Optimal Fielder Positioning Model. "We decided to do this optimization process for three subjects of interest: Mike Trout, Brian Dozier, and Christian Yelich. Our results are the contribution-maximizing seven fielder coordinates which the model would prescribe the defense for each hitter."

The results are hilarious.

For Brian Dozier, the model suggests four left fielders, three of whom are positioned on the foul line, one behind the other. A fifth outfielder plays with his back against the wall deep in the RF gap. Then you have a SS and a 1B.

For Christian Yelich, the model suggests fairly traditional SS, 2B and 1B. Then it has two LFs and two CFs, in each case with one outfielder standing almost directly behind the other.

Mike Trout is best of all. How to defend against Mike Trout? First consider adding a "pitcher's helper." That's right, put an infielder next to the pitcher's mound. Is Mike Trout known for hitting a lot of dribblers? Then add two shortstops. One 3B, and another 3B/LF standing directly behind him. Finally, you only have one proper outfielder, so put him in deep leftfield. You'll have only one defender on the entire right side of the field, the 1B. For some insane reason, you'll have him guard the line.

"Such information would contribute greatly to the field of baseball analytics from the perspective of defensive management."
   3. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 28, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5826039)
Azuming ze horse is spherical ...
   4. DL from MN Posted: March 28, 2019 at 11:53 AM (#5826095)
Twins RF have traditionally performed poorly in outfield stats too
   5. villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5826229)
Twins RF have traditionally performed poorly in outfield stats too
Traditionally, sure, back in the days of the Metrodome. But the SABR study cited in TFA gave a list of players whose defensive stats were hurt the most in 2016-18, which is post-Metrodome. It's available in the slides, but this was the change in runs saved:

+7 Bradley, Jr.
+7 Trout
+6 Bautista
+5 CarGo
+4 Benintendi
+4 Polanco
+4 Heyward
+4 Herrera
+4 Souza, Jr.
+4 Mancini

Can you imagine that we've been under-rating Mike Trout all this time?
   6. Sean Forman Posted: March 28, 2019 at 05:53 PM (#5826429)
I clicked on one powerpoint deck: Optimal Fielder Positioning Model. "We decided to do this optimization process for three subjects of interest: Mike Trout, Brian Dozier, and Christian Yelich. Our results are the contribution-maximizing seven fielder coordinates which the model would prescribe the defense for each hitter."


That was not a good talk.
   7. villageidiom Posted: March 29, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5826581)
That was not a good talk.
Not even in the sense of unintentional comedy?
   8. PreservedFish Posted: March 29, 2019 at 09:26 AM (#5826584)
I don't understand why they would present something with such obvious flaws. The deck has a slide where it talks about shortcomings and they don't even note the clearest ones, like that they forgot that a pitcher already exists and that players with overlapping territories nullify each other's contributions.

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