Philadelphia Phillies (MLB): 2012 Regular Season (Finding New Ways to Lose Part 1)
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05-05-2012, 06:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South Jersey
Originally Posted by
WAR is generally a good stat, but the problem with it is the people that created it didn't mean for it to be the be all and end all stat that it's used as by a lot of people. All it is is a combination of offensive and defensive numbers. The WAR itself isn't actually a stat, it's a framework of combing stats and producing a single number that attempts to quantify a player's value. You could change the input stats if you wanted, and you'd wind up with a different number.
There are a couple issues with the way WAR is constructed that lead to there being errors in the final number that is produced. The first is more minor, and that's the positional adjustment. Certain players benefit because of the position they play, which makes sense because a good defensive SS putting up numbers you'd see from a corner outfielder is definitely more impressive than the below average fielding corner outfielder putting up the same numbers. The problem is how much more are they actually worth, and how do you quantify it? That is where some of the errors start to creep in, in my opinion,
The major problem with WAR though is the defensive side. There is no stat that accurately depicts a player's defensive ability, and the one used in WAR, UZR, definitely has it's faults. It's better than fielding % or errors, I suppose, but it is still not close to being a good stat. The general consensus is you need 3 years worth of data to determine a reliable UZR, however only a year's worth is used in calculating WAR. Even using a 3 year sample, UZR doesn't tell you much other than if someone was a really good fielder, or a really bad fielder. You could see an outfielder, who's defense should be rather consistent from year to year due to the time they usually have to make defensive plays, have a UZR that goes from -2 to 20 to 1.4 to 19. Depending on what 3 year period you take, you could get a totally different fielder. UZR can also be influenced by the type of pitcher on the mound. Outfielders on a team with a staff of fly ball pitchers have higher UZR's.
Furthermore, (holy crap this got long quick) UZR doesn't have an effective way of rating 1B, or C due to the nature of the position. I believe someone on Fangraphs recently came up with a revised way of doing UZR for catchers that's being worked on, and Bill James is looking at a way to rate defense for 1B. Until something more reliable comes along those positions will always be somewhat skewed...I also believe Fangraphs has a base running stat that they include in WAR which is even less reliable than UZR.
So, um sorry for that long ass post, I don't even now where that came from. All I wanted to say was don't look at just WAR, look at OBP, OPS, wOBA, ISO, and WAR. And don't let someone tell you player X with a 6.5 WAR is clearly better than player Y at another position with a 5.8 WAR.
Great post first off. There are two types of WAR, Fangraphs and Baseball reference. And depending on which one you use, the results be different. For the Fangraphs one is based of wOBA, UZR, How many plate appearances you had, and the position you play. Baseball references is a bit more complicated, as for the Fangraphs one is anybody could calculate it if they understand the formula.
The biggest difference I see about WAR is when it comes to the pitching formula. On fangraphs it is codependent on FIP, a formula that takes into account strikeouts, walks, hit batters, and home runs allowed. On Basebal reference it is all depends on how many runs you give up and then they calculate the defense behind you. Im not exactly a huge fan of either formula
When I look at a position player I mainly look at OPS, wOBA, BB%, K%, and WAR.
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