Essay about Sabermetrics: Advanced Statistics in Baseball

Essay about Sabermetrics: Advanced Statistics in Baseball

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Advanced Statistics in Baseball

Baseball statistics are meant to be a representation of a player’s talent. Since baseball’s inception around the mid-19th century, statistics have been used to interpret the talent level of any given player, however, the statistics that have been traditionally used to define talent are often times misleading. At a fundamental level, baseball, like any game, is about winning. To win games, teams have to score runs; to score runs, players have to get on base any way they can. All the while, the pitcher and the defense are supposed to prevent runs from scoring. As simplistic as this view sounds, the statistics being used to evaluate individual players were extremely flawed. In an attempt to develop more specific, objective forms of statistical analysis, the idea of Sabermetrics was born. Bill James, a man who never played or coached professional baseball, is often credited as a pioneer in the field and for coining the name as homage to the Society of American Baseball Research, or SABR. Eventually, the use of Sabermetrics became widespread in the Major Leagues, the first team being the Oakland Athletics, as depicted in Moneyball. Bill James and other baseball statisticians have developed various methods of evaluating a player performance that allow for a more objective view of the game, broadly defined as Sabermetrics.
The game of baseball can be divided into three broad categories: hitting, pitching, and defense. No other facet of the game gets as much attention as hitting. For example, every year the MLB puts on a home run derby. No other part of the game draws as much attention. The traditional statistic that measure hitting ability is batting average (BA or AVG). To find a players batting averag...


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...Reds at Colts Box Score and Play by Play,” accessed April 26, 2014.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU196404230.shtml.
Moneyball, Film, directed by Bennett Miller (2011; Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures Studios).
“David Justice,” Baseball-Reference, accessed April 26, 2014, http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/justida01.shtml.
“Johnny Damon,” Baseball-Reference, accessed April 26, 2014, http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/damonjo01.shtml.
“Runs Created,” Baseball-Reference, accessed April 26, 2014, http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Runs_created.
“FIP,” FanGraphs, accessed April 36, 2014, http://www.fangraphs.com/library/pitching/fip/.
Ibid.
“DRS,” FanGraphs, accessed April 26, 2014, http://www.fangraphs.com/library/defense/drs/.
“UZR,” FanGraphs, accessed April 26, 2014, http://www.fangraphs.com/library/defense/uzr/.

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