Relievers compared to Strasburg

Not too long ago on The Book Blog, Tango Tiger posed the question of whether you can use closers as statistical comps for Stephen Strasburg. There just haven’t been many starting pitchers who threw as hard, had such a variety of dominant pitches, and control to boot. The few who are statistical comps in the […]

Evaluating Defensive Projections

I’ve started a project to evaluate the various defensive ratings based on how well they project future defensive efficiency. For more background, read part one here if you want, or feel free to skip ahead to the results. Since part one I’ve upgraded the projection program, it now uses position adjustments to allow for players […]

Mike Moustakas and some cold water

The Kansas City Royals have some time ago given up on Alex Gordon becoming the next George Brett. After moving to the outfield and going back to Triple-A, Gordon is now just trying to re-establish himself as an everyday player five years after being the No. 2 pick in the draft. The Royals have a […]

Defensive Projections: How Do They Look So Far?

When I did my preseason team projections, I included a spreadsheet that has, among other things, defensive projection totals by team. The spreadsheet can be found at the bottom of this page. I didn’t have any team projected better than +38, or worse than -24. I took some heat for that, most notably from TangoTiger, […]

Total Zone Defense on Baseball Reference

Sean Forman has added yet another great feature to Total Zone defense for the 2010 season is now updated daily. I’m the inventor of the stat, but even I can’t do that. I wait until the season ends and retrosheet provides the play by play files. Sean has the data, and I worked with […]

Updated CHONE projections for hitters

I’ve done them on, though it was quite a chore, more than I expected. It takes enough effort to get the data from the MLBAM gameday files into a form that I can use for projections, plus time to try and make sure I’ve got players with their new teams. I doubt I’ll be […]

Jason Heyward, the J-Hey kid

I’ve noticed that my projection system, available at, has the lowest forecast for the new right fielder in Atlanta. I have him projected to hit a pedestrian 258/324/416. First of all, it doesn’t bother me after having the lowest 2009 projection for Matt Wieters (274/352/439) when other projection systems were filling out his HOF […]

Getting Pitch FX using Microsoft Tools

Since Joe Adler’s Baseball Hacks was published and people started scraping data from the MLB gameday site, the language of choice has been Perl. Before I got that book I had never used Perl before. I’m not a programmer by trade, and am most familiar with Visual Basic, which I use to do most of […]

Center Field Defense: A Closer Look

Last year my TotalZone ratings gave Torii Hunter an excellent +12 rating. Due to an injury Torii only played 115 games in center, most of the other starts went to Gary Matthews Jr., who TotalZone absolutely hated out there for a -18 rating in only 435 innings. If both of their ratings were prorated to […]

Andre Dawson and two contemporaries

Andre Dawson is in the Hall of Fame. I’m glad for him, he deserves it, even though a few superior players fell short and will have to wait to get in. Dawson debuted in 1976, the same year as Dale Murphy, and two years after Fred Lynn. All three were at times great players, gold […]

Ichiro’s Speed Compared to Right Fielders

Another month, another discussion on the Hall of Fame worthiness of Ichiro Suzuki on Baseballthinkfactory. I skimmed through and didn’t see much said that hasn’t been said before, though this quote by Colin Wyers made me think: Because, let’s be honest – the question of if Ichiro belongs in the HoF is basically a question […]

Mr. November

This will be the second time the World Series stretches into November. I could be wrong if for some reason an early World Series started that late, but I was thinking only in the current 3 round playoff format could a series go this long. The latest dates for a final world series game: 11/04/2001 […]

Worst Fielders of 2009

That is, relative to position, and with the warning that these are imprecise ratings, not the final word, and that multi-year data, if available, must be used to determine who really is a good or bad fielder, preferably supplemented with scouting information. These ratings measure range and reliability only, and do not include an outfielder’s […]

Top Fielders of 2009

At least according to TotalZone. I ran these ratings from a different datasource than usual. Specifically, someone sent me files with data from MLBAM. Later in the offseason I’ll compare it to the results from the source of all the other TotalZone ratings, the retrosheet files. Anyway, the top 15 runs saved for 2009: 1. […]

Bobby Abreu and Working the Count

Bobby Abreu is getting credit for setting an example for his teammates. Here’s how many pitches per plate appearance the Angel regulars have seen in 2008 and 2009: Mike Napoli: 4.14, 4.15 Kendry Morales: 3.47, 4.02 Maicer Izturis: 3.76, 3.82 Howie Kendrick: 3.44, 3.81 Erick Aybar: 3.26, 3.47 Chone Figgins: 4.08, 4.21 Torii Hunter: 3.53, […]