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Tigers Acquire Aubrey Huff

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100 RBI doesn't mean anything either without context. The main question I have is how many opportunities did he have to knock in runs? Player A has 400 opportunities to get an RBI and had 100 RBI. Player B had 300 opportunities to get an RBI and had 300 RBI. Which player was the better RBI man? Just knowing they had 100 RBI does not tell you that. A player can have 100 RBI and have a great season. Another player with 100 RBI could have had just an OK season.

If you want a statistic that includes playing time, the Runs Created stat works better than RBI. The simple version is

RC = Total Bases x OBP.

Even just Total Bases is better than RBI. That's probably my favorite trad stat:

=1&orderBy=tb&direction=DESC&page=1"]http://www.hardballtimes.com/thtstats/main/index.php?view=basic_batting&league_filter[0]=1&orderBy=tb&direction=DESC&page=1

What do you think of the Runs Created stat at The Hardball Times in comparison to the one used at FanGraphs?

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Interesting article...it certainly seems to suggest there wasn't a difference in the types and locations of the pitches Ethier got pre- and post-Manny. Maybe his hitting got better because of the self-fulfilling prophecy: If he thought he was getting better pitches to hit because Manny was on deck, perhaps his confidence level was raised.

By the way, on a completely different subject: I read somewhere that MLB has left umpires' names off their pitch f/x database, and has threatened SABR that if anyone tries to use Retrosheet data to post studies showing umpires' ball/strike performances, and whether they show bias depending on who is at bat, MLB would stop publishing the pitch f/x from the web. It's just a rumor I read and I wonder if there's anything to it.

That's interesting. I'm sure the umps union doesn't really want the folks at home having easy access to see which umps are good and which ones suck. However, I think someone at some point will put that info together eventually.

And yeah, that Ethier study is what got me to shed the lineup protection idea in the first place. I follow the Dodgers quite a bit, and I was convinced that he was mashing last year because of Manny. But then, he continued to mash this year after Manny got suspended, and I ran across that study and the other Tango study, and now we're here.

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Ok, Tyrus:

The "Leading" line in the first table of the study is essentially a control (team is leading by 2 or more runs, team is probably not pitching around or especially different towards the hitter), and the wOBA is about .380. So, good hitter is being defined as having a wOBA of around .380. For comparison, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Johnny Damon are doing that currently. Since the study includes anyone who has 200 PA or more in the 5 year span, it will include guys somewhat above and below that mark.

HOWEVER, protection shouldn't be related to how good the batter at the plate is. If the idea of protection is that a guy batting ahead of a better hitter (i.e. protected) gets easier pitches to hit, you would logically expect him to hit better than he normally does, regardless of how good he usually is, since the baseline for this group is already established in the "leading" row. This is not the case.

Have you ever read The Book by Tom Tango? You would like it.

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What do you think of the Runs Created stat at The Hardball Times in comparison to the one used at FanGraphs?

I prefer the fangraphs version because it is based on linear weights which I trust. The version that I think THT uses is very complicated and not based on any real theory. I think it works ok but it's messy.

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Ok, Tyrus:

The "Leading" line in the first table of the study is essentially a control (team is leading by 2 or more runs, team is probably not pitching around or especially different towards the hitter), and the wOBA is about .380. So, good hitter is being defined as having a wOBA of around .380. For comparison, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Johnny Damon are doing that currently. Since the study includes anyone who has 200 PA or more in the 5 year span, it will include guys somewhat above and below that mark.

Okay...that isn't spelled out in the article...it still lumps all these hitters into one group and assumes they'll all perform equally, doesn't it?

HOWEVER, protection shouldn't be related to how good the batter at the plate is. If the idea of protection is that a guy batting ahead of a better hitter (i.e. protected) gets easier pitches to hit, you would logically expect him to hit better than he normally does, regardless of how good he usually is, since the baseline for this group is already established in the "leading" row. This is not the case.

But there are just so many variables to consider. To me, that's where it gets tricky and muddled. Sure, if you lump everyone with similar stats into a control group and crunch their numbers as a whole, the outcome certainly suggests that protection doesn't matter.

But I just don't see how this can account for so many different things: Who's the batter? Is he a good hitter who can't quite hit the curveball (Marcus)? Does the pitcher have a good curve? Who's on deck? What's the game situation? What inning? Who's in the bullpen? Who's on the other player's bench?

There are so many variables, I don't think you can say proof exists one way or another, although there's no question that the data suggests a trend.

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I don't think it does give you more information as a stand alone statistic. To use RBI as a statistic, you have to know more about the guy's lineup, relative playing time, BA w/ RISP, etc., to even determine if the guy is actually a good hitter. As history has shown, you don't have to be a good hitter to have good RBI seasons (case in point, Brogna's 100 RBIs in 98 and 99).

OPS relies much less on context, which is why it tells you more information. A guy who has a .900 OPS is a good hitter, a guy with a .950 OPS is a better hitter, and a guy with a 1.000 OPS is even better than the other guys. However, a 100 RBI guy might be better than a 115 RBI guy, who might be better than even a 124 RBI guy (Tony Batista is the poster child for that).

The more context-dependent a stat is, the less usefulness it has.

But if a .920 OPs guy bats .257 w RISP (or vanishes during important intervels of the season) he has a huge flaw that OPS itself does not reflect.

If the end result of OPS is not RBI or runs scored who gives a ****?

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It depends. If you know absolutely nothing else about a player other than his OPS, then OPS is not very useful because it says nothing about playing time. We usually know something about the players we discuss though. If we know that a player is a regular player, then OPS tells us a lot about about his production. If I could only have one batting stat to desrcribe a player and I knew nothing else about that player, I would probably go with total bases.

I always wondered whether OPS was redundant, since total bases has long been a stat which pretty much tells you the same thing.

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I don't think it does give you more information as a stand alone statistic. To use RBI as a statistic, you have to know more about the guy's lineup, relative playing time, BA w/ RISP, etc., to even determine if the guy is actually a good hitter. As history has shown, you don't have to be a good hitter to have good RBI seasons (case in point, Brogna's 100 RBIs in 98 and 99).

OPS relies much less on context, which is why it tells you more information. A guy who has a .900 OPS is a good hitter, a guy with a .950 OPS is a better hitter, and a guy with a 1.000 OPS is even better than the other guys. However, a 100 RBI guy might be better than a 115 RBI guy, who might be better than even a 124 RBI guy (Tony Batista is the poster child for that).

The more context-dependent a stat is, the less usefulness it has.

How many pa's does the guy have? 100 RBI's tells me he had alot and he was productive.

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There is a debate called saber/traddy

Same folks they argue on

Been the ruin of many a poor thread

And God I know this is one

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I always wondered whether OPS was redundant, since total bases has long been a stat which pretty much tells you the same thing.

Total Bases--excellent stat. OPS- not so much.

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Total Bases--excellent stat. OPS- not so much.

To me, they seem to be pretty much the same thing.

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But if a .920 OPs guy bats .257 w RISP (or vanishes during important intervels of the season) he has a huge flaw that OPS itself does not reflect.

If the end result of OPS is not RBI or runs scored who gives a ****?

Or runs scored. Alot of high OBP guys can't run so that stat isn't as meaningful.

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To me, they seem to be pretty much the same thing.

A guy with an .800 OPS could have had 200 total bases or 20 total bases.

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But if a .920 OPs guy bats .257 w RISP (or vanishes during important intervels of the season) he has a huge flaw that OPS itself does not reflect.

If the end result of OPS is not RBI or runs scored who gives a ****?

Well, the poor BA with RISP may or may not continue. A good OPS is a better predictive stat than RBI or how a guy bats with RISP.

With that said, there are better stats than OPS. I'm glad we are starting to use OPS more, but there are bigger and better stats available.

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There is a debate called saber/traddy

Same folks they argue on

Been the ruin of many a poor thread

And God I know this is one

I dunno...although things got a little heated earlier, I think there have been a lot of interesting insights posted in this thread. Besides, it was destined to turn into a trad/saber debate the minute folks started saying Huff's 70 RBI were meaningless.

Personally, I think Huff's acquisition is the perfect time to have a trad/saber debate, because his stats so far this year represent a pretty strong demarcation line: lots of RBI, low OPS.

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A guy with an .800 OPS could have had 200 total bases or 20 total bases.

That could go for any percentage-based stat. Someone could have a K/BB rate of 50 percent -- one walk and one strikeout.

I think we all agree that statistics should always be taken in context.

Edited by Tyrus

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Total Bases--excellent stat. OPS- not so much.

Total Bases is better than OPS, because it's a counting stat rather than rate stat, so if you didn't know how many ABs the guy had, total bases says more.

If you do know how many ABs the guy had, OPS is better because total bases doesn't count walks (unless I don't know total bases, in which case, total bases is then better again).

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EDIT OF A MISGUIDED POST:

Total bases are to SLG what hits are to batting average.

Edited by Tyrus

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I prefer the fangraphs version because it is based on linear weights which I trust. The version that I think THT uses is very complicated and not based on any real theory. I think it works ok but it's messy.

I like their GPA stat more than OPS. I also think xFIP could have some promise, and I like DER. For the most part, though, I like the stats at FanGraphs better.

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Total bases are to OPS what hits are to batting average.

Yes, except TBs don't include walks, so, really, TBs are to SLG what hits are to batting average.

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Total Bases is better than OPS, because it's a counting stat rather than rate stat, so if you didn't know how many ABs the guy had, total bases says more.

If you do know how many ABs the guy had, OPS is better because total bases doesn't count walks (unless I don't know total bases, in which case, total bases is then better again).

Oops. I didn't know walks didn't count toward total bases. My bad.

That's kind of dumb. Why woudln't walks be included in a stat called "total bases"?

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I dunno...although things got a little heated earlier, I think there have been a lot of interesting insights posted in this thread. Besides, it was destined to turn into a trad/saber debate the minute folks started saying Huff's 70 RBI were meaningless.

Personally, I think Huff's acquisition is the perfect time to have a trad/saber debate, because his stats so far this year represent a pretty strong demarcation line: lots of RBI, low OPS.

Lots of RBI's, low OPS. That'll get the calculator's buzzing.

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14 pages? In like 10 hours? Really?

And you'll be happy to know I haven't gotten anybody pissed off at me.

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14 pages? In like 10 hours? Really?

No work, no school, college friends not moved in at their apartments yet, crappy weather and nothing else to do= A saber debate for me.

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