White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

March 26, 2010

mgl: Do players who age well tend to continue to age well?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 26, 2010 3:09 pm
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mgl:

In the early years, if a player aged well very early on, he did not gain much toward his peak.  If a player did not age well very early on, he gained a lot toward his peak.  From the peak to around age 31, both groups aged at about the same rate, although the “good aging” group aged ever so slightly better.  After age 31 though, the group that aged well continued to age better than the group that did not age well.  I hope that makes some sense. …

March 14, 2010

Kenny Williams loves him “some of these new-age stats”

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 14, 2010 7:23 pm
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Miller @ whitesox.com:

White Sox general manager Ken Williams … and his director of baseball operations, Dan Fabian, are interested in some of these new-age stats, too, and UZR, or Ultimate Zone Rating, ranked Chicago as the fourth-worst team defense in the Major Leagues in 2009.

Developed by statistician Mitchel Lichtman, UZR, as described on FanGraphs.com, where the statistics are available for free, quantifies “the number of runs above or below average a fielder is, determined by how the fielder is able to get to balls hit in his vicinity.”

UZR gets to this number by combining “range runs,” which are “the number of runs above or below average a fielder is, determined by how the fielder is able to get to balls hit in his vicinity,” and “error runs,” defined as “the number of runs above or below average a fielder is, determined by the number of errors he makes as compared to an average fielder at that position given the same distribution of balls in play.” Added to standard UZRs are the UZR/150 numbers, or “the number of runs above or below average a fielder is, per 150 defensive games.” …

“Don’t use UZR/150 … if at all possible. It’s way too misleading.”

Suntimes discovers UZR

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 14, 2010 12:29 am
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Suntimes:

The new sexy stat is run prevention, and the Mariners are the model. Simple philosophy: an opponent can’t win if an opponent can’t score. The Mariners were last in the American League in runs scored in 2009 but still won 85 games thanks largely to their solid pitching staff and a defense that helped hold opponents to an AL-low 625 earned runs. That same defense also was off the charts in ultimate zone rating, or UZR — a plus-minus stat that measures defensive ability by the number of runs above or below average a fielder is in range runs, outfield-arm runs, double-play runs and error runs combined. …

March 5, 2010

How to get the Pitch F/X data

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 5, 2010 9:08 pm
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Allen:

I often get emails from my readers here and at fangraphs asking how they can access the Pitchf/x and batted-ball location data I use in my posts. In the past couple months a host of new tools have become available online that make the data much more accessible. So in this post I thought I would highlight these new, and the longstanding, online tools for accessing the data. …

March 4, 2010

Matt Thornton has a petty good fastball

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 4, 2010 11:55 am
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Greenhouse:

The goal is to measure a pitch’s quality using only the inputs provided by pitchf/x. I’ve decided to use the same five parameters as Moore, also opting against adjusting for release point, and instead simply excluding all pitchers I classified as sidearm. I’ve tried to control for count and handedness as well. I’m calling the metric fxRV, as its units are in terms of run value.

Player Type Pitches Usage rv100 fxRV100 Velocity
Matt Thornton F4 857 75.04% -1.42 -1.27 95.74

March 3, 2010

3 doubles and 1 triple Jake Peavy allowed in Petco would be HRs in the Cell?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 3, 2010 10:12 pm
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From Sean @ katron.org (h/t Tango). This is the hits Jake Peavy allowed in Petco park displayed on the Cell (US Cellular Field). I think there are 2 doubles and 1 triple between the ’372′ and ’400′ signs, and 1 double to the right of the ’400′ sign that would be home runs on the Cell. I also see 1 single and 1 double and 2 fly-outs, in front of the ’377′ sign, that would be warning track signs on the Cell. I assume this is for 2009. BTW, I unchecked the home run box. Home runs in Petco are home runs in the Cell too!

Very cool site. Excellent work.

February 25, 2010

Sabermetrics 101: Positional Adjustment

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 25, 2010 8:32 pm
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Graham @ LL. Per 600 PAs:

C: +12.5 runs
SS: +7.5 runs
2B, 3B, CF: 2.5 runs
LF, RF: -7.5 runs
1B: -12.5 runs
DH: -17.5 runs

More sabermetric concept explanations here.

February 24, 2010

February 24 links

- BDD’s Top Prospects Compilation: Update #15:

Spreadsheet: 2009-2010-Top-Prospect-Lists.xls [210 KB]

- Opening Day (1985 and on) and Year-end (1999 and on) payroll information for all MLB teams from Biz of Baseball. Also some, not all, player salaries for years before 1985.

- MLBTR’s White Sox Offseason Review.

- Final draft order.

- Mark Gonzales tells us the areas the Sox will be focusing on in their Spring Training workouts.

- Golebiewski @ BDD: “Can Chris B. Young Be Salvaged?”

- Players improve in the second year of a 2-yr contract.

- Wrist Injuries and Power: A Quick Glance.

February 23, 2010

colin’s excellent wOBA primer

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 23, 2010 12:52 pm
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colintj:

Why begin with wOBA?  I use it a lot, for one, so this will hopefully lead to readers understanding what I’m going on about.  But, second, it’s not really that complicated.  wOBA, essentially, is runs/PA.  The rate at which the batter produced runs for his team.  What else matters?  Runs are the bottom line in baseball.

But before we get to wOBA, it’s worth justifying the necessity of a new stat.  So let’s look at what folks have typically used to evaluate hitters.  I’m going to ignore runs and RBI, but Scott covered them too. …

The Sabermetrics Library @ saberlibrary.com has links to several sabermetric concept primers.

February 16, 2010

The two types of pitchers (and hitters)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 16, 2010 12:20 pm
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Andrecheck:

A principle component analysis depends greatly on the variables fed into it. For hitters, I used the singles, doubles, triples, homers, walks, and strikeouts per plate appearance as the input variables. While I could do that here, I thought I would use variables over which the pitcher had more direct control. Using Fangraphs pitch data, I used the following: % of Fastballs Thrown (including cutters), % of Sliders, % of Changeups, Velocity of Fastball, Ground Ball%, Walks per PA, and Strikeouts per PA. I thought about using Hits per PA, and HR per PA, but since those are largely a function of luck and I didn’t want to measure that, I decided to leave them out. Like before, each variable was normalized before putting it into the model.

For hitters I was uncertain of what to expect, however for pitchers I had a fairly good idea. I expected that the two groupings of pitchers would be between power pitchers and control pitchers. However, I wasn’t exactly sure how it would break it down. Running the analysis, the factor loadings for the first principle component were as follows: …

and here’s the two types of hitters post:

For those unfamiliar with the type analysis, the point of it is to reduce a large number of potentially correlated variables down to a few key underlying factors that explain the variables. The researcher feeds the computer a bunch of records (in the this case, players) and several key variables (in this case, their statistics), The computer, blind to what those variables actually mean, spits out a set of underlying factors which explain the “true” underlying causes for the variables in question. It does this by maximizing the variability between the players. It’s then up to the researcher to interpret what each factor represents. In this case, I’m looking for the one underlying factor that best describes a player.

In the baseball world, I wondered what one underlying factor best determined a player’s statistics. Normally, this type of analysis would be done on many more variables, but I wanted to see what it would pick out from players’ basic, non-team influenced statistics: 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, K.

February 10, 2010

February 10 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 10, 2010 11:16 am
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- Jermaine Dye is open to playing 1B or LF. Jon Heyman says “he might be the most under-rated player in this market.” If he’s willing to play DH, Kenny should pick him up.

- SABR is offering a free PDF download of its Emerald Guide 2010 (2007-2009 editions too). You don’t need to be a member.

- BDD’s Top Prospects Compilation: Update #15:

Spreadsheet: 2009-2010-Top-Prospect-Lists.xls [202 KB]

- Opening Day (1985 and on) and Year-end (1999 and on) payroll information for all MLB teams from Biz of Baseball. Also some, not all, player salaries for years before 1985.

- BDD on the “dying DH.”

- tRA is tERA now.

- Evaluating the 2009 forecasts.

- Rickwood Field, the Birmingham Barons, and the Black Barons.

- Who needs Orlando Hudson?

- The piranhas are turning into sharks.

January 23, 2010

Sox and baseball statistics

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 23, 2010 9:34 pm
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Mooney:

The Royals (116) were the only American League team to commit more errors than the 113 charged to the White Sox last season. The new-wave statistics weren’t kind either.

The White Sox finished fourth-worst in the majors with an ultimate zone rating (UZR) of -35.6, as judged by FanGraphs. The Web site defines UZR as the number of runs above or below average a team is in both range runs and error runs combined.

“There’s a handful of different ways to go about it,” assistant general manager Rick Hahn said. “Ranging from just the experience and what you see with your eyes from pure scouting, to the other extreme of getting into the advanced defensive metrics that are out there.”

In making judgments, the front office will blend statistical analysis with individual reports. An objective calculation might trigger a conversation with a scout: Have you noticed this about a defender’s range when he is going to his left? In particular Williams, who played football at Stanford, likes to break down videotape.

“We look at everything. It’s an amalgamation,” Hahn said. “At the end of the day, Kenny has his roots in playing the game. (It’s) what he sees with his eyes that’s really going to make that decision.” …

Hopefully Hahn is the next Sox GM…

December 31, 2009

Pitch Counts and Pitch-F/X

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 31, 2009 12:33 pm
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Greenhouse:

I remember Randy Johnson throwing 99 to finish a complete game. Back in their day, Nolan Ryan and Bob Feller probably did that on a regular basis (if you were to ask them). There’s a lengthy list of early 20th century pitchers who pitched complete games in both ends of a doubleheader. So what’s the driving force behind the pitch count craze? Are we going soft? …

December 30, 2009

Tango looks into the future

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 30, 2009 1:09 pm
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all the way to the year 3000:

Wait until PITCHf/x, FIELDf/x, and HITf/x take shape.  You will wish and pray to get back to the simpler times of 2000s.  The 2010s will bring an avalanche of data.  It will absolutely be a major part of the front office.  …

Tango looks at a lot more.

December 29, 2009

Carlos Quentin was #1 in xBABIP-BABIP in 2009

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 29, 2009 11:52 am
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Golebiewski:

Today, let’s turn out attention to the hitters. I compiled a list of the batters (minimum 350 plate appearances) with the biggest gap between their batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and their expected batting average on balls in play (xBABIP). …

Carlos Quentin: BABIP 0.223, xBABIP: .295, xBABIP-BABIP: 0.072

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