What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
"I'd like to focus this thread on PitchF/X and HitF/X and what it will mean for the science of baseball."
I only care about PitchF/X data and HitF/X data to the extent that data helps me evaluate a pitcher's ability to suppress runs. In other words, it's great if a pitcher initiates weak contact but that really only matters if the weak contact leads to fewer runs allowed, which in turn leads to more wins for the pitcher's team. Special skill with respect to balls in play, i.e., the ability to initiate weak contact, could allow a pitcher to suppress runs. If a pitcher possesses such skill, then this would be reflected in the new Fangraphs metric BIP wins. This is exactly what that new metric is designed to measure. Here is Dave Cameron's description of the metric:
"BIP-wins . . . can be thought of as the amount of wins a pitcher saved through his hit prevention."
So I care about initating weak contact only if it leads to BIP wins, after all, that's what baseball is about--wins.
Having said that, Dave Cameron concludes that over large samples, BIP wins explains only a small fraction of pitcher results. For most pitchers, BIP wins zeros out over time. Some years the pitcher will have positive BIP wins and some years he will have negative BIP wins. Over time, BIP wins zeros out. Matt Harrison is a perfect example of this. So BIP wins just isn't a very important stat for the vast majority of pitchers. The vast majority of pitchers don't consistently have large positive or negative BIP wins. Its only the rare exception that consistently has either positive or negative BIP wins.
Why place so much emphasis on a stat that's generally of minor importance. I side with Dave Cameron. FIP is the primary stat for evaluating pitchers, which is why Fangraphs continues to use FIP-based WAR for pitchers. BIP wins is a secondary tool in pitcher evaluation that's important for some pitchers but irrelevant for most.
Why should anyone care about Pitch F/X or Hit F/X data unless the data tells us something about a player's influence over wins and losses? Over large samples in which luck evens out, performance on balls in play just doesn't add a whole lot to pitcher analysis. It's a relatively minor component. See Dave Cameron's article on BIP wins for a fuller discussion of this point.
ProfarMVP, what do you know about performance on balls in play that Cameron doesn't? Where specifically does Cameron err when he says that BIP wins is a minor component of pitcher evaluation? What special insight into the importance of balls in play do you possess that a professional sabermetrician like Dave Cameron does not possess? I'm willing to be persuaded. You just have to lay it all out. You might even want to send your analysis to Dave Cameron so that he'll stop writing misguided articles.
NEXTGEN Stat #511
This one isn't a hit/fx stat, but it's something that could (and likely will)be added in the coming decade. Current PitchF/x location data would just need to be triangulated to a sensor in the catcher's glove.
Scaled 0.1 to 100...how precisely did the pitcher hit the catcher's target? This will prove far superior to balls/strikes at gauging just how much command a pitcher is enjoying.
Location is so incredibly important...but location is some-what batter specific, related to scouting reports on each hitter. There is simply no metric in existence today that would rival this to assess pitching command.
Pitching CommandCliff Lee 91.7Matt Harrison 80.4Yu Darvish 74.5
You seem to be obsessed with jargon and throwing around terms like "NEXTGEN."
If you want a serious debate, I'm willing to have one. Tell me why I should place great weight on batted ball data when Dave Cameron has found that over large samples, FIP explains 96% of RA9 wins? Cameron finds that over large samples, BIP wins (which relates to balls in play) and LOB wins (which relates to stranding runners) explain only a small fraction of RA9 wins. So BIP wins and LOB wins are interesting stats that are important in the evaluation of some pitchers who consistently have positive or negative BIP wins and LOB wins over multiple seasons. But BIP wins and LOB wins zero out over time for most pitchers and just aren't relevant to the evaluation of those pitchers.
Take for example Matt Harrison, who you seem to think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He does not have significant positive BIP wins this season or over his career. So contrary to your argument, Matt Harrison's performance on balls in play doesn't explain why he's outperforming his FIP this year.
Data on balls in play is only important if it helps us understand why pitchers supress runs and help their team win. What Cameron shows is that for a very few pitchers performance on balls in play does in fact explain why they are successful over the long term (they consistently have positive BIP wins). So for these pitchers, data on balls in play is important. Unfortunately, Matt Harrison isn't one of these pitchers. He doesn't consistently produce large positive BIP wins.
Moreover, as Cameron points out, even if a pitcher consistently produces positive BIP wins, it's possible that the reason is not pitcher skill but instead the fact that the pitcher has a good defense behind him.
Rfan chirps: "I only care about PitchF/X data and HitF/X data to the extent that data helps me evaluate a pitcher's ability to suppress runs."
Well you should be like a young boy on Christmas eve, then, waiting to open NEXTGEN stat-geek toys!
1. We now know the percentage of hits on various trajectories. (12 degrees is optimal)2. We now know the far more refined percentage of hits when trajectories are combined with hSOB (horizontal Speed of struck ball)3. We can deduce, therefore the run expectancy of pitchers, based on their ability to repress these factors.
Consider! Balls careening off a bat at 100-120mph hSOB fall for hits more than 60% of the time. Balls struck at 60mph or less result in an out about 90% of the time!
The most important pitching stat in baseball 10 years from now (for both hitters and pitchers) could very well be hSOB. Its that revealing.
Instead of using a blunt statistical mechanism that threw out over 80% of baseball data (FIP)...we'll have a metric that will mine all the baseball data...and with pitchFX and hitFX that data will grow 1000-fold.
It's an exciting time for Saber.
RFAn squawks, "Why place so much emphasis on a stat that's generally of minor importance. I side with Dave Cameron."
No you don't side with Cam. At all. When this thread started you didn't even know who Dave Cameron was, LOL. Two scant weeks ago you were such a FIPS fundamentalist that you would have scorned anything like FDP...had it not come from a mecca like FanGraphs.
The whole point of FDP is to address FIPFLOPS....and to begin to harvest the valuable data that FIP was trashing as noise.
When a metric completely whiffs on 5-10% of pitchers...that's a telling indicator of a flawed approach. And that's exactly where FIP sits, and where FWAR sits.
Don't get me wrong. I'd love to gone to Vegas with Voros 10 years ago. But his time has come and gone. He's now working NFL stats btw...hoping once more to catch lightning in a bottle. I do like his blog and sense of humor!
So, if I'm understanding this discussion correctly:
RFan: I side with the proven FIP-based metrics.ProfarMVP: I side with the unproven, primitive version of FDP that I or no one else clearly understands.
Good Gawd Eric, that was lame.
Neither RFan or I are taking aim at FDP. I happened to bring it to the attention of the forum...but now RFan is insisting that he is Cammy's BFF and has mastered the "Idiot's Guide to Fielding Dependent Pitching."
Dude seriously...why bother if this mail-it-in drivel is all you've got to offer! Your week's posting average is suddenly pushing perilously close to Mendoza territory.
Tell me you aren't imbibing bazooka.
You know me, Profar, I'm just another youthful lush.
Profar - I have grown to appreciate your writing style and the substance has vastly improved (now that you have taken an appreciable understanding of SABR); HOWEVER, you lack proper perspective and objective analysis. When RFan states --
"Tell me why I should place great weight on batted ball data when Dave Cameron has found that over large samples, FIP explains 96% of RA9 wins?"
why is that so hard for you to understand the significance of FIP in relations to RA9 wins? Do you understand how significant the metric is to SABRphiles such as Cameron? I don't think you do and I truly don't think you really care. You're trying trying to prolong an argument for
RFan isn't saying anything radical. Quit being a blockhead.
umm... you know that catchers don't hold their mitts motionless in the location they want the pitch to arrive, right?
Lots of chirping and squawking.....
This might be the most mind-numbing thread on here. It's odd to stumble across a troll that is more like a care-bear. Polite, but cocky as hell.
^ what he said ^ and mendoza eric
What RFan, Eric and Scooby said.
Tell me why I should place great weight on batted ball data when Dave Cameron has found that over large samples, FIP explains 96% of RA9 wins?"
Cameron is emphatically *not satisfied* with FIP-based WAR. Why should any of us be?
Comparing one imperfect metric with another imperfect metric and saying they have a 96% correlation value isn't entirely meaningful. It's like saying two ugly prostitutes look pretty much alike, so you should take the first and be damn happy about it.
Cameron confesses at one point that he considered arbitrarily giving pitchers half credit for their BABIP. When one of the brightest minds in statgeekery is even considering such twitchy numeric fudges...it tells you there is a palpable need for better science.
Fangraph's leading minds concede the FIPFLOPS--instances where some pitchers persistently underperform or over-perform WAR or SIERA....by wide margins.
I've found this to be a bright and engaging forum. I've learned a lot from other posters. Frankly it's disappointing that none of you want to talk about hSOB and other new statistical measurements that will soon constitute Saber's EVENT HORIZON.
I will not be dissuaded. I'm going to continue to post observations. Feel free to join in if you wish.
Aaaand ProfarMVP openly admitting he frequents the world's oldest profession when comparing two ugly women as "prostitutes" instead of two ugly women as your "girlfriend". That was subtle, but damning. Not that there is anything wrong with it buddy! But we all agree I'm sure, do not accept ugly prostitutes!
"When this thread started you didn't even know who Dave Cameron was, LOL."
False ad hominen. I've cited many Cameron articles on BBTIA in the past. Fangraphs is a site that I visit daily. How would I not know about Dave Cameron?
"Two scant weeks ago you were such a FIPS fundamentalist that you would have scorned anything like FDP"
False ad hominen. I've never thought that FIP explained everything about pitching. In fact, SIERA is one of my favorite pitching stats. If you've read about SIERA, you know that SIERA (unlike FIP) accounts for the fact that some pitcher's (particularly high strike out pitchers) perform better than others on balls in play. In other words, SIERA doesn't assume a league avg. BABIP (unlike FIP).
"Cameron is emphatically *not satisfied* with FIP-based WAR."
Correct. He thinks that FIP-based WAR can be improved upon. FIP accounts for 96% of pitcher results over large samples. That makes FIP a very good metric. But Cameron wants to improve it by developing a metric that explains 100%. That doesn't mean that FIP isn't a good metric. In fact, Cameron emphasizes just how effective FIP is in evaluating pitching.
Cameron says that FIP-based WAR is appropriate for the vast majority of pitchers. But there are a few pitchers out there who consistly post positive/negative BIP wins and/or LOB wins season after season. FIP doesn't completely explain the success/failure of these pitchers, and Cameron wants to develop a stat that does. Unfortunately for you, Matt Harrison isn't one of those pitchers who has consistently posted positive BIP and/or LOB wins over his career. So there's no statistical reason to believe that Harrison has special skill for suppressing runs through balls in play or stranding runners.
"1. We now know the percentage of hits on various trajectories. (12 degrees is optimal)2. We now know the far more refined percentage of hits when trajectories are combined with hSOB (horizontal Speed of struck ball)"
That's great and all, but I care about this only if it helps me evaluate whether a particular pitcher can supress runs and help his team win. If a pitcher has some special skill in initiating weak contact b/c of how his pitches hit the bat and if that skill supresses runs, then that fact will be reflected in the form of positive BIP wins. That pitcher will have positive BIP wins consistently from season to season. In that case, we could then look at the detailed Pitch F/X data that you cite to determine exactly why he's getting those good results. But if a pitcher doesn't consistently have positive/negative BIP wins, then why should I care to conduct a detailed analysis of how he performs on balls in play. In other words, if the pitcher's performance on balls in play doesn't cause him to consistently perform better/worse than his FIP suggests he'd perform, then why look any farther than FIP?
The fact is that we have a simple, easy to understand metric (FIP) that allows us to explain 96% of pitcher results over large samples. Sabermetricians are looking into ways to help us explain the other 4%. You're making a mountain out of a mole hill. Besides, none of this explains why Matt Harrison is outperforming his FIP this season. The reason he's doing that is LOB wins (stranding runners), not BIP wins (good results on balls in play).
PS: I've tried to take your arguments seriously and address each point that you've made systematically. You've repaid me with ad hominen attacks and by mischaracterizing my arguments. As a result, the discussion has become fruitless and is no longer worth my time. As you can see from the posts above, the other posters on this cite who understand sabermetrics tend to agree with me and understand that you aren't trying to advance the ball but are just grandstanding. So I'm exiting this particular discussion.
Why do I feel like I've wandered into a death cage match at the Calculus Club Sock Hop?
Now imagine this with Hitf/x...and the syngergy that we'll see when both are combined.
Why do I feel like I've wandered into a death cage match at the Calculus Club Sock Hop?
LMAO. I stole RFan's calculator and was slapping him silly with it. He took offense, stole my abacus and walked out in a tizzy.
Well, to be fair, Elvis -- when YOU champion a particular metric -- there's pause given your lack of knowledge in SABR. You exhibit an extreme confirmation bias, as well as a recency bias (being that you're relatively new to understanding the concepts and applications of the metrics) so things are taking out of context. No one here is disputing the relevancy of FDP and new batted ball metrics that are yet to be properly evaluated and ever evolving.
People have an issue with your jargon. There's a reason why some people are going to far as blasting you for making the statements you're making -- it's not because FDP isn't a viable tool, it's because you (opinions) aren't. If you would inject more objective reasoning into your opinion instead of clouded inanities directed at lambasting DIPS metrics, you just might have somewhat of a point.
Right now, you aren't even treading water. The Titanic has nothing on you.
Hit f/x would likely only be useful for trying to predict a hitter's future wOBA. Maybe. I highly doubt that it has any real value for pitchers, and I don't think we should expect it to. Because I think that hitters ultimately have the majority of the control over how the ball is put in play. BABIP even tells us that hitters have more control over this.
Just think of Voros' example: when an old man tries to give up a home run to Jose Bautista in the home run derby, and he pops out to a 12 year old, should we give the old man credit for getting Jose Bautista out?
Txball wrote: "If you would inject more objective reasoning into your opinion instead of clouded inanities directed at lambasting DIPS metrics, you just might have somewhat of a point."
Keystone, two things.
1. Congrats on your amazingly clever, funny "Slow" thread over at Cowboyzone.2 Before I reply to your argument I want to make sure you saw this two-part article at Baseball Prospectus:
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