Sabermetric Overview Series

The Sabermetric Society of Red Reporter, during our quarterly meeting last week, decided to create a brief review of sabermetric concepts for the general public of RR.  Hopefully over the next couple of weeks, through a variety of diaries, we will be able to help those of you who are new to some of the more advanced statistics and "new school" concepts to understand what we are talking about a little better when we get to babbling about OPS+ and Zone Rating.  Since the season is more or less a lost cause, we figured now is as good of a time as any to let this play out.

Before we get started though, I wanted to talk about a couple of great resources for finding statistical information.  Most of these you probably know all about, but even still they are such great sites, full of unbelievable amounts of data that it doesn't hurt to reiterate their greatness every once in a while.

  • Baseball Reference - This site has become the Mecca of baseball statistics.  Not only does it have sesonal information of every known player in baseball history, but it also has splits and gamelogs for every player since 1957.  But even that is just the tip of the iceberg.  You can find information on leagues, teams (including minor league depth charts with up-to-date statistics), leaders, managers, post season games, All Star games, award winners, draft information for every amateur draft, as well as getting statistical previews of all of the upcoming games for that day.  It really is the best baseball statistic site on the web.  I can't emphasize that enough.
  • Fan Graphs - If you prefer pictures more than numbers, Fan Graphs is your site.  This site has graphs on various statistics for pretty much every player ever.  It also has statistics for all those players, including some more advanced numbers and batted ball information (line drives, pop ups, etc.) for recent players.  It's a very solid site in it's own right.
  • The Baseball Cube - If you are looking for historical minor league or college stats, this is the best place to find them.  It's biggest flaw though  is that it does not update with current stats.  For those you have to go to...
  • Minor League Baseball - I believe this site is run by MLB Advanced Media, but it is updated on a daily basis with the most recent game logs and splits.  If you want more information about minor leaguers though, you can try...
  • Minor League Splits - It's not the most attractive site, but it has exactly what the name says.  And it's updated daily, so that's pretty cool.
  • Two sites that are probably known more for there articles than their stats are:

  • The Hardball Times - Probably the best place on the net for free sabermetric work.  They usually post 2 or 3 articles a day on a variety of topics, and they are not always statistically based.  They have a weekly business of baseball report as well as a couple of writers who really avoid math as much as possible but still write about some fairly interesting new ways to think about the game.  This site should be a regular read for anyone wanting to get the gist of the new school way of thinking.  They also have a pretty good set of stats available for free as well, including some things you can only find there like Win Shares.
  • Baseball Prospectus - Baseball Prospectus is an excellent site full of insightful commentary and innovative thinking.  Baseball Prospectus is also not free.  However, if you are a blossoming stathead and you are willing to drop a few dollars, it's a good site to check out.  Some of the authors can be a bit pompous, which is part of the reason that statheads have gotten a bad name in some crowds, but in general the site is a pretty good read.  They post about 5-10 articles a day (some are free), which makes the money spent a little more worth it.  Also, they have an extensive set of proprietary statistics, which is both a good and a bad thing.  It's good because who doesn't want to see more numbers?  It's bad because a lot of what they do is hidden behind a veil of secrecy, so sometimes it's hard to know what a number really means.
  • So those are the primary sites that I visit for statistical analysis.  I'll ask for suggestions of any sites that I may have missed in the comments, but I think you can get a lot out just visiting one or two of these sites a day - especially if one is Baseball Reference. :)

    As for the Sabermetric Overview series, we have several topics already in the works, but let us know if there are any specific questions that you want us to review.  Also, if you are interested in writing about a subject and didn't receive an email from me (to the account that you registered on the site with), please email me at the address found here.  I'm hoping this will be a fun set of diaries for everyone, and maybe we'll all learn a little something too.

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