Visual Baseball: Relative rankings of the 2009 World Series Teams

My last post explored ways to use typeface (word clouds) to illustrate differences in performance and salary. Continuing the theme of comparisons, I’ve been experimenting with lists as a visual way to rank players and teams. Here are some graphics from the World Series, showing how the Yankees and Phillies ranked across a range of measures, relative to the other teams in their leagues. The goal was to communicate at a glance the relative strengths (and balance) these teams had. Are these 5 measures the right ones? Probably not. For example, we all know errors aren’t a great way to measure defensive prowess. But I’m not trying to explore new statistical measures – I’m trying to take ones that people already understand and share them visually.



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  1. Adam B. said...

    I like these, though when comparing against leagues it may not be of the most help. Because you have to adjust for one league being better plus you only really know where teams are relative to each other. But the Visual Baseball thing is pretty cool

  2. Mitch Brannon said...

    Very cool. It would be interesting to see this type of graph over ten years or so, maybe even some sort of combined average along those categories. It might just confirm what many already know, but by this snapshot it sure seems to indicate that power is king.

  3. Nick Steiner said...

    I like this, sorta. 

    First off, using ERA and Errors for pitching and defense is awful.  ERA is pitching + defense, and errors are actually negatively correlated to DER.  For pitching you should use either FIP or tRA (or ERA adjusted to quality of defense if you want), and for fielding you should use Defensive Efficiency Rating (found at THT I believe) or UZR (found at Fangraphs).  You should also substitute batting average for OBP. 

    Other than that, I like the presentation and the idea.

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