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Red Reporter Sabermetric Saturday

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Launch Angle + Speed Off the Bat = Trajectory | THE BOOK--Playing The Percentages In Baseball

Vla_vs_sob_plot_medium

via www.insidethebook.com

This terrific graphic is from Greg R of hittrackeronline.com, showing how angle and speed off the bat determine batted ball type. Mike Fast followed up with actual hitf/x data showing these same effects. Note in Mike's figures the overlap between line drives and fly balls (and to a lesser degree line drives and ground balls).

 

SaberCards: A (concept of a) Baseball Card for Stat Geeks - Beyond the Box Score

What would a stat geek's ideal baseball card look like?  This is just awesome.  I want to collect them all!

 

The Baseball Analysts: WAR Aging Curves

Jeremy Greenhouse revisits aging curves, this time using WAR. There's some selection bias in his methods, but what's really interesting are the attempts to break down how aging differs among different types of players.  This is a lot like what Nate Silver did with PECOTA a few years back, but here we get to see the graphics/data.

 

The Baseball Analysts: 90>95?

Jeremy Greenhouse takes a look at what might allow a pitcher who throws 90-mph to have equivalent results to a pitcher who throws 95 mph. Basically, if you throw slower, you need to keep the ball down, and have good tail, cut, and/or sink to the ball. I'd probably also add that you need to have better complementary pitches to set it up. I still sometimes wonder about these studies that use pitch run values to determine pitch quality, because pitch run value can be massively effected by pitch selection (e.g. Tim Wakefield's fastball is a plus pitch!). But looking at the same pitchers' pitches thrown in different locations seems like a valid thing to do.

 

Custom Dashboards (Beta) | FanGraphs Baseball

The newest enhancement at FanGraphs are custom player dashboards. Now, when you look up a player page, you can customize it to show exactly those statistics that you'd most like to show. This is wonderful!

 

Relief Appearances Per Game - Beyond the Box Score

Short and sweet: which teams use their pen the most? The Reds rank 9th overall in MLB (and 7th in the NL).

Historical WAR & WAR Graphs | FanGraphs Baseball

I did a small piece here using this new toy the day it came out, but David Appleman has also recently added Sky Kalkman's (plus other contributers) WAR graphs to FanGraphs!  Here's a fun group.  I had no idea that Perez and Larkin were so similar--at least in terms of value!

 

Poll: My education background | THE BOOK--Playing The Percentages In Baseball

I thought this was interesting. In a poll at Tango's blog, he found that 80% of readers at his site have a BS/BA or greater. Another 10% were working on it. A crazy 30% have a MS/MD/PhD/similar (i.e. a terminal degree), with 12% more in graduate school. I think this is part of why we're seeing such high-end stuff done in sabermetrics these days--lots of people with lots of analytical training are applying their skills to baseball.  That said, as ever, it's clearly still the case that one CAN make significant contributions to the field without advanced degrees.