The Baseball Graphs Blog

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Win Shares and Free Agents

Here’s an analysis of this year’s free agent class, using Win Shares from this site as its basis.  Thanks to Julien:

Julien’s Baseball Blog

Posted by Studes on 11/30 at 12:59 PM

Another take on Wins and Salaries

Alan Jordan, over at Baseball Primer, has made some excellent comments about my “Money for Nothing” series, including a detailed description of regression analysis and his own resulsts for a regression, by team, of wins and salaries.

You can read his comments at:

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/30 at 05:26 AM
Friday, November 28, 2003

The Third Money for Nothing

Let’s start with an economic statement.  The marginal value of a player increases at a slower rate than his salary in the open market.  This is the conclusion we came to in the first two “Money for Nothing” articles, and it’s something I’d like to explore further.

Remembering a couple of formulas: Net Win Shares Value is defined roughly as (WS*$300,000 minus salary).  This is driven by our finding that the total major league salaries divided by total major league Win Shares equals about $300,000.  When we applied that formula to all ballplayers in 2003, we found that the average Net Win Shares Value per player declined with salary according to this second formula: ($1,000,000 minus 2/3*Salary).  In other words, the marginal value of every player’s salary dollar over $1 million was $333,333, on average.  This relationship pretty much held true across all salary levels.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/28 at 08:55 AM
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Does Win Shares overvalue relievers?

I’ve read a lot of opinions about Win Shares and pitchers.  Win Shares overvalues relievers, undervalues starters, undervalues pitching in general, etc. etc.  So I thought it would make sense to start to examine this a little more closely.

So let’s look at two teams that had plenty of good starters and relievers: the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/26 at 08:06 AM
Saturday, November 22, 2003

Money for Nothing, Part Two

John Konstantino has done some more great work with Win Shares and salary, based on the previous article.  He sent me an e-mail with his comments, and I’m posting them here.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/22 at 04:17 PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Is WSAA Valid?

I’ve explored a new concept (at least, new to me) on this site: Win Shares Above Average (or WSAA).  The question I haven’t answered directly, yet, is whether this approach passes our validity test.  In this article, I suggested that the key criterion for any modification to Win Shares should be its fit with the Marginal Runs concept.  So how does WSAA do?

To answer the question, I first computed average Marginal Runs per out made for all batters in the National League (if you’re curious, it was 0.09 marginal runs per out).  I then calculated each batter’s marginal runs per out, and compared it to the league average.  For WSAA to pass the validity test, the correlation between this figure (Marginal Runs/Out Above Average) and WSAA should be very high.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/19 at 09:01 PM

Money for Nothing

A number of folks have e-mailed me asking for some value analysis, as in “which player delivered the most Win Shares for the money?  John Konstantino analyzed the data in Pete’s spreadsheet (available on the home page) and sent me a table of best and worst value in the majors last year.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/19 at 07:38 PM
Monday, November 17, 2003

Baseball Primer thread

In case you haven’t seen it, there is a great thread at Baseball Primer about these subjects.

Posted by Studes on 11/17 at 10:01 PM
Saturday, November 15, 2003

NL Batting WSAA Rankings

And here is a list of the top ten NL batting Win Shares Above Average leaders:

Player Team Win Shares Game Shares WSAA
A Pujols STL 40.3 17.7 31.4
B Bonds SF 39.1 15.9 31.2
G Sheffield ATL 32.4 17.4 23.7
T Helton COL 33.2 23.0 21.7
J Thome PHI 28.5 16.8 20.1
J Lopez ATL 25.2 13.4 18.5
B Abreu PHI 26.0 17.6 17.2
C Jones ATL 24.4 19.2 14.8
R Sexson MIL 25.5 24.2 13.4
L Berkman HOU 22.6 19.4 12.8

Dang that MVP race!

Here's a link to all NL batters ranked by batting WSAA, by team.
Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/15 at 08:42 AM

AL Batting WSAA Rankings

Doh! I made a mistake, so here's a list of the top ten AL Batting Win Shares Above Average leaders (updated as of the 18th):

Name Team Win Shares Game Shares WSAA
C Delgado TOR 30.9 21.5 20.2
M Ramirez BOS 25.5 19.9 15.6
J Giambi NYY 26.1 22.3 14.9
A Rodriguez TEX 27.0 25.5 14.2
F Thomas CWS 22.7 19.7 12.8
E Martinez SEA 19.6 16.1 11.6
C Beltran KC 22.2 21.3 11.5
B Boone SEA 21.5 21.4 10.9
G Anderson ANA 22.6 23.7 10.8
J Posada NYY 20.4 19.7 10.6

And here's a link to all AL batting WSAA holders, ranked within team. Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/15 at 08:32 AM
Friday, November 14, 2003

Batting Game Shares

Thanks to comments from Tango, Patriot, Charlie Saeger and others, I’ve developed a methodology for determining Game Shares and assigning them to batters.  As explained in the previous article, I feel that these are important to add vital context to the Win Shares totals.  Without them, player Win Shares can be misleading.

Here’s what I did, and here’s why I decided to focus on Game Shares instead of Loss Shares.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/14 at 05:43 PM
Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Loss Shares

I’m treading gingerly here.  James spent a couple of pages describing how complicated the concept of Loss Shares is.  On the one hand, he acknowledged their importance.  On the other, he said that they are so complicated—particularly in their ramifications—that he couldn’t figure them out in the four years he spent working on them.  Charlie Saeger, in a comment under the Bonds article, says that he feels they are unworkable.

Still, I can’t resist.  I’ve come to realize that the Win Shares story isn’t complete without them.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/12 at 08:44 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Extreme Teams

I just want to point out that 2003 was a fascinating year—a year of extremes.  Consider the following Win Share facts:

- The Atlanta Braves were the 12th best offensive team of all time
- The Dodgers were the ninth best pitching and fielding team of all time.  The Dodgers were also the ninth best pure pitching team of all time.
- One more Dodger note: 70.1% of their Win Shares were contributed by pitching and fielding, the fifth highest total since 1920.
- The Detroit Tigers were really, really bad.

But you knew that, didn’t you.

Posted by Studes on 11/11 at 09:54 PM
Monday, November 10, 2003

Of Runs Created

When contemplating batting Win Shares, many observers seem to forget that the Win Shares version of Runs Created includes “clutch” batting statistics.  In particular, it includes at bats and BA (relative to overall BA) with runners in scoring position, and proportion of home runs with runners on base.  This makes a big difference, and it increases the accuracy of Runs Created.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/10 at 06:25 PM
Thursday, November 06, 2003

Clutch Hits - Baseball Primer (November 5, 2003)

In case we have some people come by who haven’t seen it, here is a link to a great discussion of fielding stats, and fielding Win Shares, at Baseball Primer.

Posted by Studes on 11/06 at 07:51 PM

Bonds held back by own pitchers!

Sorry about the tabloid headline.  I guess I’m getting giddy with this whole blogging thing.  Originally, I had a very academic-sounding title for this research article, but the results so surprised me that I thought a different type of headline would be in order.

One of the most frequent criticisms I hear about Win Shares is that there are no “loss shares.”  Now, I have a feeling that everybody means something a little different when they mention loss shares, and I’m not quite ready to go there.  But if we talk about the simpler concept of negative Win Shares, well I can do that.  In fact, it turns out that the concept of negative Win Shares has an impact on Barry Bonds’ total Win Shares.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/06 at 02:37 PM

Historical Gold Glove/Win Share Comparison

I ran a quick comparison of the Gold Glove winners with the defensive win share leaders.  Since 1961, 237 of the 689 Gold Glove winners were the leaders their position in defensive win shares.

(Why 1961?  Before then, individual Gold Gloves were given to each of the three outfield positions, LF, CF, and RF.  Starting in 1961, the outfield Gold Gloves were given to any three outfielders, regardless of position.)

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/06 at 02:05 PM
Wednesday, November 05, 2003

NL Gold Gloves

The Win Shares system was less successful in picking the NL Gold Glove team, agreeing on only 3 of the 8 non-pitcher winners.  The main problem was the voters’ choice of four Cardinals (the fourth-worst defensive team in the NL, according to win shares) and no Dodgers (the best defensive team in the NL, worthy of 3 individual win shares).

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/05 at 04:00 PM
Tuesday, November 04, 2003

AL Gold Gloves

The AL Gold Glove team was announced today.  The win shares system predicted 4 (or 5, or 6) of the 8 non-pitcher winners.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/04 at 05:30 PM
Sunday, November 02, 2003

Win Share Age by Team

I did something that Bill James also did in Win Shares: I computed the average Win Share age of each team by multiplying each player’s age by his Win Shares, adding them up per team, then dividing by total team Win Shares.  Results are attached.

Click for more...
Posted by Studes on 11/02 at 05:10 PM
Saturday, November 01, 2003

Dodger Thoughts

Over at Dodger Thoughts, Jon has created a neat review of the future of the Dodgers, using Win Shares.  It’s at:

Dodger Thoughts: Share Cropping

Posted by Studes on 11/01 at 09:46 AM