Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tigers sabermetric Leaders

First, I'll point you to a two part series at Trumble and Michigan where Sean Heyboer compiled the pre-season predictions of 25 bloggers.

Now, on my stuff. In case, you have not seen them yet, FanGraphs has a set of new offensive statistics which are being used by many analysts around the net. First, there is Weighted On Base Average (wOBA). Invented by Tom Tango, wOBA is like OPS but it has more appropriate weights for different events and is thus a more accurate rate stat. It is called wOBA because it is scaled to look like an OBP. According to Tango, that means that .340 is about average, over .400 is outstanding and under .300 is very bad. It is calculated as follows:

wOBA = (.71 x BB + .74 x HBP + .89 * 1B + 1.26 * 2B + 1.58 x 3B + 2.02 x HR + .24 x SB -.51 x CS)/PA

The Tigers wOBA leaders in 2008 are shown below:

Cabrera .376
Granderson .374
Ordonez .374
Guillen .359
Polanco .339
Thames .339

A statistic which is based wOBA is weighted Runs Above Average (wRAA). It is the number of offensive runs above average contributed by a player. These were the Tigers leaders in 2008:

Cabrera 26.9
Granderson 23.6
Ordonez 23.1
Guillen 12.3
Polanco 5.8

The third statistic is weighted Runs Created (wRC). It is the absolute runs contributed by a player. It is considered by most analysts to be more accurate than the old runs created which overestimated the performance of great hitters. The top Tigers were:

Cabrera 109.2
Granderson 99.3
Ordonez 98.1
Polanco 81.5
Guillen 71.1


  1. Lee, if you could add the league leaders for each of these stats, that would give a nice comparison. That is, I'm having a hard time gauging the significance of Cabrera's stats.

  2. Adam, They are all listed at FanGraphs:

  3. Hi Lee:

    I really like your blog. Quick question: in wOBA I'm wondering why BB is weighted .71 while HBP is .74 ?

    I would expect them to be equal or maybe BB to have a higher weight since the batter is making the pitcher work more.


  4. Kevin, the weights are based on play by play results of all the games from the 2008 season. The computer looked at each walk and each HBP and determined their impacts on scoring runs. The reason why HBP is slightly higher is because they tend to happen in situations which are advantageous to run scoring.

    A lot of walks happen because first base is open and the pitcher is pitching around a batter. They are somewhat less likely to happen with runners on first and second or the bases loaded where they would be more damaging. On the other hand, a pitcher does not usually hit batters on purpose. He can hit a batter at any time. Thus, you'll get more HBPs coming at bad times than walks. Not a lot more but enough to make a small difference in the weights.

    And actually, some analysts just give them the same weight.



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