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2015 Payroll Estimates Added

14th November 2014

Thanks to Matt Swartz at MLB Trade Rumors, we have 2015 arbitration estimates to flesh out our projected team payrolls for 2015. MLBTR's list can be found at this link. We have incorporated these estimates into our 2015 team payroll estimates, which can be found on table form on our front page (as seen below). The "#" column is for the number of players signed, while "Pyrl" represents the committed payroll on players signed for 2015. Finally, "Est" is an estimate of the team's final payroll for the season:

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 11.51.14 AM

 

Any team can be clicked on to find a fuller table with information on individual players. There is also a mouseover for each team showing their most recent payrolls for perspective on their past spending habits.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data | Comments Off on 2015 Payroll Estimates Added

Offseason Updates

12th November 2014

We just wanted to share a few recent site updates as we head into baseball's offseason:

We have updated things like rookie status, service time and contract status for 2015. Here's the updated data for Joe Panik, for instance:

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 3.07.57 PM

As you can see, we've pointed out that his rookie status has now been exhausted and updated the other items, as well.

Additionally, our free agency page is now live and contains the signings thus far, as well as a list of remaining available free agents. This information can be found here. You can also follow free agent signings via our transactions page.

And finally, any new signings will be reflected on team payroll pages, which can be found as a tab on main team pages:

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 3.22.49 PM

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data | Comments Off on Offseason Updates

2014 Added to Neutralized Stats Tables

8th October 2014

Just a quick announcement that the 2014 season has been added as an option to our Neutralized Stats tables. As a reminder, these tables can be found by clicking on "More Stats" on player pages and then scrolling down to the neutralized section.

This feature allows us to compare players across eras. For instance, the image below shows how each of Pedro Martinez's seasons would have looked if pitching in the environment of the 2014 Dodgers:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 2.46.41 PMThe same adjustments can be applied to batting numbers, as well. For instance, check out Mike Trout's statistics translated to the batting environment of the 2000 Rockies:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 2.58.31 PM

 

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features | 3 Comments »

Birth Country Flags added to Team Rosters | Baseball-Reference.com

8th October 2014

Not a big thing, but we now have birth country flags on the 40-man and historical roster pages.

Screenshot 2014-10-08 11.12.53

Example here: 2014 Kansas City Royals Roster (40-man) | Baseball-Reference.com.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | 1 Comment »

Baseball Similarity Scores Updated for 2014

30th September 2014

After the season ends we update the similarity scores for all players. One special feature we have is similarity scores for career stats and also through each year of the player's career. So when we show that Mike Trout's most similar player through age 22 is Mickey Mantle you get a bit more feel for the path he is on.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | 1 Comment »

Super Detailed Post Season Game Previews

30th September 2014

Game Previews - Baseball-Reference.com

Every possible pitcher batter matchup is detailed along with a host of other details.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | 2 Comments »

Span of Games Searches Enhanced in Play Index Game Finders

12th September 2014

Just a quick post to announce that we've rolled out an enhancement to the Play Index Game Finders (comprised of Player Batting, Playing Pitching, Team Batting & Team Pitching Game Finders).

Previously, subscribers could customize their searches by a team's first "x" games. Now, you can also select a player's first "x" career games or a span of career games from "x" to "y." Additionally, team games can also be searched using any span from "x" to "y" within a season.

If the above made little sense, here's a few concrete examples of searches that can now be completed:

We hope you enjoy these new tools as much as we do. If you're not already a subscriber, but are interested in the Play Index, you can subscribe here for less than a dime per day.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, Play Index, Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

Postseason Success Criteria Added to Play Index Split Finder

11th September 2014

As we enter the final weeks of the MLB regular season, we've made a small (but useful) addition to the Play Index Team Batting & Team Pitching Split Finders. You can now refine your searches to include only non-playoff teams, playoff teams, division winners, Pennant winners or World Series winners.

With this feature, you can now find:

The above represents just a small fraction of what this new search is capable of doing. We encourage current Play Index subscribers to play around with this feature and share any interesting information.

If you're not a Play Index subscriber, but are interested in generating this sort of information, please read more about the Play Index or subscribe.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Play Index | Comments Off on Postseason Success Criteria Added to Play Index Split Finder

The Real Problem with Baseball’s Defensive Stats

8th September 2014

After reading Jeff Passan's article about WAR and his view of its failings, I got a little hot under the collar and intemperate in my discussion of the issue on twitter.

The defensive metrics are constantly critiqued. I agree that there may be issues with the defensive stats, but my issues aren't the ones brought up by the critics. I believe that the metrics do a decent job of measuring the percent of time a particular ball with a particular hang time has been caught in the past. All you need for that is a stopwatch and a way to mark the play's location on the field. Sure there may be biases in this, but there are biases in who batters and pitchers face or even what umpire they appear against. So this isn't the biggest issue with fielding stats.

It's also true that fielding stats don't correlate quite as strongly year to year as the batting stats do (see chart after break), but there is also a lot more variability in opportunity for fielders than for batters (and more variability in batting stats than people perceive). A batter is going to get 3-6 PA's per game every game. The distribution of balls hit to fielders is much more random. But even this isn't the big issue with fielding stats.
Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | 20 Comments »

The Complicated History of RBI

6th August 2014

If you have spent an extended amount of time on Baseball-Reference, you have likely noticed that some of our RBI totals do not match what you will see on some other sites. A notable example would be none other than George Herman Ruth. We list him with 2,214 career RBI, with a career high of 168 in 1921. Many sources, however, credit him with 2,213 career RBI and a season high of 171 in 1921.

How can there be any dispute over how many runs the most iconic player in the history of baseball drove in?

We're glad you asked.

It might come as a surprise to some, but RBI was not an official statistic until 1920, which was Ruth's first season with the Yankees. And even then, Rule 86, Section 8 was remarkably vague from 1920-30, instructing official scorers only that:

"The summary shall contain: The number of runs batted in by each batsman."

That left plenty of room for interpretation of the scoring rule. In the absence of a strict definition, official scorers across the league were inconsistent in what they considered an RBI. This inconsistency polluted numbers for a decade, despite the fact that the statistic was finally "official."

It wasn't until 1931, when Rule 70, Section 13 made the definition more explicit, that a uniform policy for counting RBI existed:

"Runs Batted In are runs scored on safe hits (including home runs), sacrifice hits, outfield put-outs, infield put-outs, and when the run is forced over by reason of the batsman becoming a base-runner. With less than two outs, if an error is made on a play on which a runner from third would ordinarily score, credit the batsman with a Run Batted In."

While this definition has seen some tweaks over time, for the first time official scorers had a clear definition of what should count as an RBI (though tabulation errors were still an issue in a pre-computerized era).

With RBI not tracked by official scorers, where do the pre-1920 RBI numbers come from? Here is a breakdown of the history of various RBI sources.

These RBI numbers have been used in various encyclopedias over the years and have served as the basis for further research done by SABR members. This research, where 5-7 newspaper accounts are looked at for each game in order to deduce RBI, often proves earlier reconstructions (and official totals) wrong. This leads to the volatile nature of early RBI numbers. A well-detailed account of this process by SABR's Herm Krabbenhoft can be found here, showing how he meticulously worked through Ruth's career RBI totals.

These thoroughly researched corrections eventually make their way to Baseball-Reference via Pete Palmer's data after they have been sufficiently vetted, which is why you will see discrepancies between our numbers and what you see in some other places. We have full confidence that when such alterations are made, that we are putting forward the best possible data generated by countless hours of expert research.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, History, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »