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Sabermetrics beginner

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Re: Sabermetrics beginner

Postby Neato Torpedo » Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:04 pm

Also, I'm not sure if these things count as saber stats but they're also pretty important. ... position=P

Batted ball and plate discipline are often cited when evaluating players (and also pitch type for pitchers and some batters that can't hit breaking balls). The batted ball profile for hitters is how often they hit line drives, grounders, and fly balls. You want all hitters to have a high LD% (19% is average), speedy hitters to have a high GB% (above 45%), and power hitters to have a high FB% (above 45%). For pitchers, generally you want a high GB% against, unless they're pitching in a cavernous, HR-suppressing ballpark like Petco or Oakland, in which case high FB% is probably better (fly balls have a significantly lower chance of falling in for a hit than grounders not counting home runs).

In the plate discipline section, just click the "show glossary" button, they're really self explanatory. For pitchers, you want a higher O-Swing, F-Strike, Zone%, and SwStr, and a lower Z-Swing, and all Contact%. For hitters, you want the opposite. There's also a handy "show averages" button to see how your player stacks up against the MLB averages.

For pitch type, there's really not much you can derive from one year of data, just how it stacks up against career numbers. The table lets you see the velocity and how often they use the pitch. Often, if a pitcher loses velocity compared to his career, he starts losing ground in strikeout rate and gives up more contact. For example, Johan Santana's fastball velocity has dipped 4 mph in the last 4 years, and we've seen his strikeout rate drop from 9.66 per nine innings to 5.69. %-6 This isn't universally the case though (Lincecum has intentionally given up 3 mph off his fastball to gain some control) so don't put so much stock in it if they don't lose ground in other stats. There's plenty of good pitchers who sit at 88-90.
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