Author Topic: Batting Average is a joke.  (Read 1407 times)

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Offline Potomac Cannons

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Batting Average is a joke.
« Topic Start: July 19, 2010, 12:45:52 PM »
Joe Posnanski showing just how meaningless/empty batting average is by dissecting Kansas City as the MLB batting leaders.

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2010/07/19/diary-of-a-losing-team-batting-champs/

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #1: July 19, 2010, 12:51:01 PM »
It's nice to read about teams more disfunctional than ours. Maybe we can swap the Guzman for Ka’aihue

Offline UMDNats

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #2: July 19, 2010, 01:20:03 PM »
It must really suck to be a Royals fan.

Offline Potomac Cannons

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #3: July 19, 2010, 01:30:31 PM »
It must really suck to be a Royals fan.

They're my adopted AL team after Angelos destroyed the O's.  A competent organizational philosophy would have them contending for the AL Central in 2-3 years at most with guys like Ka'aihue (DH), Gordon,  Moustakas (3B, 21, 1.100 OPS at AA), and Hosmer (1B, 20, .974 OPS at A+) added to Butler and DeJesus to form a solid lineup with good defense.  By the time Hosmer is there, moving Butler and DeJesus for pitching would really make them a good young team.

Sadly they've decided to do things like play Alberto Callaspo at 3B over Gordon and ignore Kila.

Offline Lintyfresh85

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #4: July 19, 2010, 01:47:49 PM »
It's nice to read about teams more disfunctional than ours. Maybe we can swap the Guzman for Ka’aihue

If we trade Dunn, he's the first guy on my list as a replacement. I don't care what the Royals think, the guy can hit major league pitching.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #5: July 19, 2010, 01:55:29 PM »

Offline tomterp

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #6: July 19, 2010, 02:12:09 PM »
Joe Posnanski showing just how meaningless/empty batting average is by dissecting Kansas City as the MLB batting leaders.

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2010/07/19/diary-of-a-losing-team-batting-champs/


An excellent piece.   

Offline Evolution33

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #7: July 19, 2010, 03:19:39 PM »
i think most people now adays know that in order to truly understand batting average you have to look at other things that go into it or that it ignores. I don't think it is a joke and that is a very pejorative thing to say. I think that is why whenever batting average is given these days it is followed by the rest of a players slash line which tells more of a complete story. Only really old people, really young people, or not very smart people would try to use one stat to dimonstrate an entire story of a player.

It is also the same problem Bob Carpenter was seeming to have in understand why we were hitting in the middle of the league but only scoring in the bottom. I guess he doesn't realize the importance of extra base hits and getting on base.

Offline Potomac Cannons

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #8: July 19, 2010, 03:24:24 PM »
Bobby Carp actually said SLG% doesn't mean anything during Saturday's (I think) pre-game.  It really can't be that hard to find people with enough charisma and real baseball knowledge for an announcers booth yet most of the time you get buffoons like Carpenter, McCarver and Millar.

And yes, BA is a joke.  It means almost nothing.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #9: July 19, 2010, 03:32:00 PM »
And yes, BA is a joke.  It means almost nothing.

I wouldn't go that far, all things being equal a higher batting average is better than a lower one, you generally can't have a high OBP without at least a decent average (vintage Dunn being the execption), and you have to get hits for them to be extrabase.

Then again, the triple slash is a lot more informative

Offline Evolution33

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #10: July 19, 2010, 03:32:37 PM »
Bobby Carp actually said SLG% doesn't mean anything during Saturday's (I think) pre-game.  It really can't be that hard to find people with enough charisma and real baseball knowledge for an announcers booth yet most of the time you get buffoons like Carpenter, McCarver and Millar.

And yes, BA is a joke.  It means almost nothing.

See to me a stat that is a joke is something like GWRBI. Something that is just made up to sound cool and sound important. It takes a certain amount of skill to hit for a high average and it has been an important stat in baseball for a very long time. It is a stat that has weight and historical importance. A single player should be proud when they lead the league in batting and win the batting title even if they themselves are a joke like Freddi Sanchez. The year he won the batting title that was a joke, but that stat itself still tells us something important about a player. It shouldn't be the end all be all of stats. And besides jokes are funny like Freddi Sanchez winning the batting title. How many guys were hurt that year? 

Offline Evolution33

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #11: July 19, 2010, 03:33:51 PM »
Also after reading that piece. If the Royals really do think the way they are described in basically writing off plate discipline they might actually be run by a pre-teen.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #12: July 19, 2010, 03:56:12 PM »
Well said Evo and HalfSmokes.  Completely agree :clap:

Offline JMW IV

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #13: July 19, 2010, 04:20:48 PM »
baseball is filled to the brim with useless stats. batting average is not the only one.

and the majority of "knowledgeable" baseball fans quote at least 3 useless stats per baseball conversation.

mindfact.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #14: July 19, 2010, 04:25:09 PM »
Well said Evo and HalfSmokes.  Completely agree :clap:
About this time last year, someone said "BA is crud."  ;)

Personally, I love the triple slash line.  Even though I prefer OBP to BA, I like seeing the BA and SLG to get a good handle on whether the SLG is driven by power or lots of singles (think Guz here). 

There was some research (damn if I remember where I saw it, maybe SoSH or Hardball Times) that showed that for the same OPS, the team with the higher SLG had more evenly distributed run scoring while the team with the higher OBP scored more runs (more big innings).  Makes some sense. The team with the higher SLG needs fewer successful at bats to score, but is less likely to have the longer chain of successful plate appearances that leads to more runs.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #15: July 19, 2010, 04:25:43 PM »
baseball is filled to the brim with useless stats. batting average is not the only one.

and the majority of "knowledgeable" baseball fans quote at least 3 useless stats per baseball conversation.

mindfact.
I just did.  :lmao:

Offline JMW IV

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #16: July 19, 2010, 04:29:32 PM »
I like OPS as a stat.  its great. its simple so us non-sabermetric peons can understand it, and it doesn't require a rocket-science formula. and its pretty good at applying across the board for different "types" of hitters. as far as I can tell.

its my go-to stat when I want to judge offensive performance.

now if only there were an OPS type stat for pitchers.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #17: July 19, 2010, 04:32:44 PM »
I think B-R and ESPN will give opponent OPS for pitchers, but most people don't use it regularly. 

Offline blue911

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #18: July 19, 2010, 04:37:50 PM »
I think B-R and ESPN will give opponent OPS for pitchers, but most people don't use it regularly. 

I use a pitchers OPS as my go-to stat. I like knowing that the opposition has an OPS of .540 against Strasburg.

Offline Nathan

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #19: July 19, 2010, 04:46:56 PM »
Well said Evo and HalfSmokes.  Completely agree :clap:
I don't see any posts from HalfSmokes in the thread.  Time to check the ignore list for accidental adds :roll:

I like ops too.

Offline tomterp

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #20: July 19, 2010, 05:21:13 PM »
About this time last year, someone said "BA is crud."  ;)

Personally, I love the triple slash line. 

I can't remember the last time I quoted a player's average alone.  It's way far down the list of meaningful numbers, as a stand-alone stat.  However, as a component of the triple slash, it's far more meaningful in that larger context. 

Offline blue911

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #21: July 19, 2010, 05:24:47 PM »
I can't remember the last time I quoted a player's average alone.  It's way far down the list of meaningful numbers, as a stand-alone stat.  However, as a component of the triple slash, it's far more meaningful in that larger context. 

I use it derisively, as in Ichiro hits .330.

Offline spidernat

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #22: July 19, 2010, 05:53:59 PM »
Well said Evo and HalfSmokes.  Completely agree :clap:

Exactly.  :clap:  

Offline GMUNat

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #23: July 19, 2010, 06:31:24 PM »
The Royals aren't that bad. They have the best farm system in baseball. I wish Rizzo would have copied their model, but he is too hung up on makeup, not realizing that you can get talent with good makeup which the Braves and Royals have shown.

Offline Coladar

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Re: Batting Average is a joke.
« Reply #24: July 19, 2010, 11:40:48 PM »
I read the first couple paragraphs, then stopped. Here's the problem with this entire point. And don't get me wrong, I've been getting more into using sabermetrics the past couple of years. But the argument here is batting average as evaluating a team. WTF? Batting average is an individual stat. I've personally always ignored it when someone says a team is batting "suchandsuch" for exactly the reasons pointed out. But I don't know how you can possibly argue that, for evaluating an individual player, their batting average is a joke. There might be better, more advanced stats, but batting average for an individual is still a valid evaluation of that player in my opinion. For evaluating a team, it's useless. The player gets on base, their job is done. If the guy batting after him on the team then strikes out, and only gets a hit the next time up when the bases are empty, well, that shows how useless evaluating BA for a team is. But for an individual, if he gets a hit, he did his job. Period. Without going into sabermetrics, perhaps BA with RISP wouldn't be as absurdly useless for evaluating a team as BA. It's still awfully hard to evaluate a team's performance using an individual statistic.