Thursday, November 23, 2006

PMR and Carlos Guillen

David Pinto at Baseball Musings has started posting his Probabilistic Model of Range (PMR) tables for 2006. PMR may be the most sophisticated freely available fielding statistic you can find on the internet. It is based on detailed play by play data collected by Baseball Info Solutions.

Here is how it works: The difficulty of turning a ball in play into an out is determine by several parameters: location of ball, how hard the ball is hit (soft, medium, hard), type of ball hit (e.g. ground ball, fly ball, line drive), handedness of batter and pitcher and ballpark. The expectation that a particular ball in play is turned into an out is determined by aggregation of this data for all games played in 2006.

Pinto then determined, for each fielder, how may balls were in play when he was on the field, how many he should have been expected to turn into outs and how many he actually turned into outs. The idea is that good fielders will record more outs than expected and poor fielders will record fewer outs than expected. David Pinto, himself, explains the whole PMR system in more detail on YouTube.

For example, 3808 balls were in play when Carlos Guillen was on the field. Based on all the parameters and data for all fielders, it was determined that Guillen should have turned approximatelly 455 balls into outs. In actuality, he turned 465 balls into outs. So he made 10 more plays than would be expected by the typical shortstop.

The other stats you'll see on Table 1 below are DER or Defensive Efficiency Ratio which is the proportion of balls in play turned into outs (465/3808 = .122), predicted or expected DER (455.45/3808) and the difference between actual and expected DER (.00251 in this example). The players are ranked on the difference.

Among 30 Major League shortstops with 2,000 or more balls in play in 2006, Guillen ranked 12th. Your first reaction might be: "but he made so many throwing errors so that negates his range". However, PMR takes care of that because he does not get credit for making a play if he throws the ball away. Instead, he gets penalized as he should.

The best shortstops according to PMR were Adam Everett (who made 35 more plays than expected), Billy Hall (+28) and Yuniesky Betancourt (+27). Two interesting names near the bottom of the list were Derek Jeter (who made 14 fewer plays than expected) and Miguel Tejada (-12). This will anger Jeter fans no doubt but it's not the first time he has found himself near the bottom of a statistical fielding list.

Table 1: PMR for Shortstops in 2006

Player In Play Actual Outs Predicted Outs DER Predicted DER Difference
Adam Everett 3801 500 464.88 0.132 0.122 0.00924
Bill Hall 3311 404 375.73 0.122 0.113 0.00854
Craig Counsell 2274 310 290.98 0.136 0.128 0.00836
Yuniesky Betancourt 4225 501 474.18 0.119 0.112 0.00635
Jason A Bartlett 2570 348 333.97 0.135 0.130 0.00546
Julio Lugo 2103 253 241.59 0.120 0.115 0.00542
Ben T Zobrist 1395 173 165.55 0.124 0.119 0.00534
Khalil Greene 3007 352 335.93 0.117 0.112 0.00534
Clint Barmes 3411 404 386.61 0.118 0.113 0.00510
Juan Castro 1743 205 197.03 0.118 0.113 0.00457
Jhonny Peralta 4086 533 516.35 0.130 0.126 0.00408
Rafael Furcal 4257 538 525.08 0.126 0.123 0.00304
Omar Vizquel 3974 441 430.32 0.111 0.108 0.00269
Carlos Guillen 3808 465 455.45 0.122 0.120 0.00251
Jack Wilson 3485 454 447.27 0.130 0.128 0.00193
Juan Uribe 3553 429 424.28 0.121 0.119 0.00133
John McDonald 2024 237 235.34 0.117 0.116 0.00082
Bobby Crosby 2595 307 304.87 0.118 0.117 0.00082
Alex Gonzalez 2991 350 347.62 0.117 0.116 0.00080
David Eckstein 3222 385 383.63 0.119 0.119 0.00043
Orlando Cabrera 3903 433 432.08 0.111 0.111 0.00024
Edgar Renteria 3958 446 445.44 0.113 0.113 0.00014
Michael Young 4307 536 536.41 0.124 0.125 -0.00009
Jimmy Rollins 4206 499 500.05 0.119 0.119 -0.00025
Ronny Cedeno 3258 398 400.25 0.122 0.123 -0.00069
Hanley Ramirez 4016 466 470.25 0.116 0.117 -0.00106
Alex Cora 1338 163 164.76 0.122 0.123 -0.00131
Geoff Blum 1168 149 150.75 0.128 0.129 -0.00150
Royce Clayton 3338 400 405.01 0.120 0.121 -0.00150
Jose Reyes 3887 443 451.38 0.114 0.116 -0.00215
Angel Berroa 3670 412 420.32 0.112 0.115 -0.00227
Miguel Tejada 4027 465 477.25 0.115 0.119 -0.00304
Derek Jeter 4009 450 464.37 0.112 0.116 -0.00358
Stephen Drew 1475 161 170.45 0.109 0.116 -0.00640
Marco Scutaro 1773 207 218.44 0.117 0.123 -0.00645
Felipe Lopez 4245 438 469.73 0.103 0.111 -0.00747
Aaron W Hill 1273 140 152.71 0.110 0.120 -0.00999

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