Sports Reference Blog

WAR 2.01: Renaming ndWAR to afWAR

Posted by admin on May 4, 2012

The change from oWAR and dWAR to ndWAR and dWAR is confusing folks, so I'm making an additional change.

afWAR => Average-Fielding-WAR. The player's WAR if they were a league average fielder, or what you should use if you trust no fielding metrics.
dWAR => Defensive WAR thanks to fielding and position.

afWAR = batting + baserunning + DP's + replacement + position
dWAR = fielding + position


afWAR + dWAR does not equal WAR as you'll be double counting the position adjustment. And on a team level you shouldn't be using WAR anyway to determine what your team is good or bad at.

I'll start adding version numbers as I make tweaks to the system. This one changes no numbers, so it really is just a naming convention.

11 Responses to “WAR 2.01: Renaming ndWAR to afWAR”

  1. Fuori.tempo Says:

    Longtime bbref reader, sparse commenter here, though no saber metrics expert, with a suggestion.

    This new move is even more confusing. "Average fielding WAR," and I am supposed to know that accounts for offense? Why not just leave it at "offensive WAR," "defensive WAR," but leave the new mathematical adjustment. I do get that the new WAR are no longer simplistic additions when looking at a player page.

    Better yet, break down each major component of the game, i.e., batting, pitching, catching, base running defense, fielding, throwing, and base running, into separate WAR figures.

    That way, we could know if all along the managers and general managers knew better than us fans about the Juan Pierre and Omar Morenos of the major leagues.

    I never understood why this site didn't break down the components of the game this simplistically anyway.

    Just a thought. :)

  2. Chuck Says:

    I'm with fuori. By calling it "average fielding WAR", that makes me believe that it reflects fielding, rather than excludes fielding. I was wondering why Jeter led the league in "average fielding WAR"! It would take great effort to remember that it excludes fielding. Which leads me suggest renaming it to "Fielding Excluded WAR", or fxWAR.

  3. Tim Says:

    It's certainly does no harm to have these stats, but it all seems kind of subjective to me. Just the fact that you just changed the way it's computed says it's subjective. I don't think people should view it as the only stat to look at, which seems to be what they're doing in recent years. I still prefer the old fashioned, simple stats that don't need a definition or explanation, like RBI or runs scored or home runs. And I think you'll never have one stat that tells the whole story. You'll always have to look at a bunch of stats to gauge a player's value.

  4. MetsMaven Says:

    Score this one "E-2.01". As soon as I saw it, I went scrambling to find out how Matt Kemp became the best fielder in the NL. Call it oWAR or ooWAR (only offense), but don't label it by what it isn't.

  5. SocraticGadfly Says:

    Since dWAR is already subjective (note the big diffs between B-R and Fangraphs, I'd agree with commenters above. I think we're going into the rabbit hole of subjectivity squared.

  6. SocraticGadfly Says:

    Oh, the other changes, as explained in the other post about WAR, reaffirm to me that Drysdale isn't a HOFer and that Johnson is the greatest pitcher of all time.

  7. Jeff Allen Says:

    Question: Will afWAR and dWAR soon by available in the Play Index? As one of those who doesn't fully trust any fielding metric (yet), I've always been curious why oWAR was never available. I usually make my adjustments with the formula WAR-(rfield/10), which is close but not exact.

  8. Fuori.tempo Says:

    WAR seems too silly to take seriously.

    I agree with Socratic that WAR discussions are really a trip down a rabbit hole. However, I originally saw it for amusement purposes, but it's just not amusing when it's all confusing.

    The gaminess behind the game aside, it might be easier to take with more weight if there was some kind of flow chart displayed for us visual types. That can better explain in two dimensions what truly is a quantum, seemingly random game.

    So far, all I have seen are one-dimensional, convoluted verbal summaries of complex mathematical and physical equations

  9. Fuori.tempo Says:

    I must add, even if a flow was made available, it might not clarify anything. But at least I could know that I am clearly confused.

  10. birtelcom Says:

    A simpler fix than complex WAR adjustments: on the Full Standings page, you are still putting in bold the three division leading teams and one, only one, wild card leader. You might want to put a second wild card leader in bold from now on.

  11. Sky Says:

    This is great, thanks Sean.