15 February 2009

Weekend Links . . . Money and Stats

Typical weekend post . . . somewhat lazy and waiting for the day to begin.

Evil Oriole Empire
The Orioles outspent the Red Sox by about 16% on free agents this off season. Southies are gnashing their teeth and screaming about the injustice of it all. In other news, the Yanks outspent the Orioles by 1600%. The end play of it all suggests that the BoSox had few holes to fill and are keeping some sense of payroll control in anticipation of the trade deadline this year when other teams may be dealing out big contacts on a short end cost in order to evacuate some expenditures and be able to make payroll. Perchance, the O's might do the same.

OK, we just need a sample size of 3500 ball in play.
Esteemed statistician Pizza Cutter has determined that you can determine with general certainty a pitcher's personal BABIP after about 3500 BIP. Mt. Cutter found an r-squared of 0.696, which is pretty good. So, you only need to wait for seven years of 180 inning per year ball before you strip the uncertainty from the statistic. Of course, this statement assumes that a pitcher's BABIP is a static skill over the course of his early career and maybe his lifetime. I think we all can assume that to be false. So . . . why did I link this again?

Actually it leads to this: Weighted BABIP, essentially.
What the previous link lacked was any sense of the components of BABIP, which are the types of a hits a pitcher produces with his repertoire. This method needs some more tweaking as the r-squared is a mere 0.26, but I think it is a fine step in the right direction. Basically, they broke down the types of hit balls that resulted for each pitcher and related that to expected BABIP. They found that certain pitchers do have a tendency to procure poorly hit balls, while others get mashed. On his list of pitchers who produce the hardest balls to field we find: CC Sabathia and Garrett Olson. It might be the only list that will ever have these two, just a name apart from each other. Turkenkopf's next work will supposedly include park factors, handedness, and pitch f/x data. Looking forward to that.

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