SABER GLOSSARY

A little while back in 2015, Neil Weinberg wrote an article over at The Hardball Times about the lack of middle ground between traditional baseball fans and those who subscribe to a more mathematically analytical view of the game. In it, he wondered if it would help if we all had “a liberal arts, general education curriculum for sabermetrics, if you will.” This sort of thinking is very central to the mission of this site. The SABER GLOSSARY section is an attempt to represent just such a “liberal arts education” in Sabermetrics in a way that is practical for fans. You can find links to explanations of these concepts that are more technical and in depth by expanding the different summaries. Most of this section is based on work from FANGRAPHS.

Background on Sabermetrics: It has been said that baseball has nothing to do prehistoric tigers, nor with laser swords in Very Important films. I cannot argue with this. That said, sabermetrics refers to an approach to baseball that involves statistical analysis of often big ole sets of data. It’s not that new, but only recently have these ideas peaked their way in to the mainstream. Expand…

WAR: Who was a better baseball player, Frank Thomas or Ozzie Smith? I can imagine many different viewpoints arising that one. You might suggest that the players are apples and oranges; not easily compared and maybe not worth comparing. WAR was designed to take players of all different positions and all different skill types, and compare their overall outputs in a clean, practical way. Expand…

BABIP: Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) is an important stat to look at. It can also be a bit contentious to many baseball fans, mostly because of how it represents the role of dumb luck in our game. Not that we as baseball fans are unfamiliar with the bloop single that beats our team in an extra innings walk-off. Nope, we’ve all had our hardballs stomped on by lady luck, and likely all called her names unbefitting of a lady. But I digress. Let’s lay it on out there what BABIP is, and then explore why this oddly-fun-to-say acronym should matter to all of us heartbroken baseball geeks. Expand…

wRC+: How to value the production of a hitter has long been clear, dating back years and years and years. I used ‘years’ three times, so you know I’m serious about this. The reigning metrics have for decades been Batting Average, RBIs and Home Runs. To a lesser extent, On Base Percentage (OBP) has had it’s role, but typically as a way to describe the worth of a leadoff-type. The exception to the rule if you will…  and I hope that you will.  Challenging the worth of these stats doesn’t seem necessary to many fans, and understandably so. I mean, we crown BATTING CHAMPIONS and decide who has a shot a the MVP based on these suckers, for cripes sake. However, these numbers alone don’t really tell us what we need to know. Enter Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+). This stat manages to give us much more information about what type of output we are getting out of a hitter, while packaging itself in a tidy, easy to use form. Let’s get into it! Expand… 

FIP/SIERRA coming soon…

UZR/DRS coming soon…

ISO coming soon…

[Note: we are currently updating the site, GrizzlyBear.jpg with us!]

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