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2018 WAR Update

15th March 2018

As you browse Baseball Reference, you might notice some subtle changes to WAR figures on the site. There are four main reasons for this:

  1. Park factors for recent seasons have been re-computed to be three-year rolling averages. For instance, 2016 Park Factors now encompass 2015-2017. This is something that needs to be done when seasons end.
  2. We've incorporated restated and expanded fielding statistics from Sports Info Solutions. SIS's Defensive Runs Saved forms the basis for our Defensive WAR calculations since 2003. From 2011 on they recalibrated data using their timer measures to measure ball hang time. There was also some recalculation based on changing shift methodology. Though we're now publishing their catcher framing stat (Strike Zone Runs Saved), we have not incorporated it into WAR at this time.
  3. Pitchers who received time as position players (whether PH or in the field) are now being treated as part-time pitchers and part-time position players. Previously we treated them as full-time pitchers. Some pitchers like Red Ruffing, Bob Lemon and Jim Kaat appeared in many games as a position player, pinch hitter or pinch runner. We used to credit these PAs as pitchers, which overvalued their offensive contributions. To handle this, we compute a percentage of time as a non-pitcher and make an adjustment.
  4. Also, we have incorporated a good deal more Retrosheet data which has affected the years we can compute more advanced fielding and baserunning measures. We're now able to roll these measures back to 1953. Another important change is that with Retrosheet gamelogs back to 1908, we can now use their IP data back to that year to get starter/relief IP splits. Some pitcher WAR changes for 1908-12 are due to WAR now being calculated using gamelog IP rather than the "official" total listed on the player's stat line. The biggest difference here was the appropriately named Bugs Raymond. The "official" record credits him with 324.1 IP that season, but the gamelogs come out to 304.1, which significantly impacted his WAR calculation (see below). For further reading on discrepancies between "official" records and more recently produced gamelogs, please read this excellent explainer by Retrosheet's Dave Smith.

For further details on WAR and its calculation, please see this WAR explainer.

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Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Statgeekery, Uncategorized, WAR | 3 Comments »

Pitch Framing Measures Added to Baseball Reference

8th March 2018

Our friends at Sports Info Solutions (formerly known as Baseball Info Solutions) have provided us with a pitch framing measure back to 2011, which we have added to Baseball Reference. Before I explain any further, if you're unfamiliar with the concept of pitch framing please read Mike Fast's 2011 article on the topic and Ben Lindbergh's 2013 follow up.

The stat that we have added is called Strike Zone Runs Saved. It represents the runs saved by catcher framing. In our tables, it's labeled RszC and it's available from 2011 to the present. While this statistic is a potential component of Defensive Runs Saved (and therefore WAR), please note that we have elected to not integrate this number into DRS (or WAR) at this time. We may elect to do so in the future, but for now we agree with Bill James's stance that waiting for further research is a good idea.

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Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, Statgeekery, WAR | 3 Comments »

Alex Bonilla Joins Sports Reference

7th March 2018

I'm pleased to welcome Alex Bonilla to Sports Reference as a User Affairs Coordinator. He'll be answering user questions, working on our new Stathead.com newsletter and much more. He's on twitter at @AlexChacon_OVA. This hire brings us to ten full-time employees.

In other news, Mike Lynch has been promoted from Users Affairs Coordinator and is now Product Manager for Sports Reference.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Statgeekery | No Comments »

Spring Training Stats on Baseball Reference

2nd March 2018

You may have noticed that our homepage has upcoming Spring Training games listed in the MLB Probable Pitchers section. If you click on a team's name in that section, it will bring up their 2018 Spring Training stats. For instance, here's the 2018 Yankees Spring Training stats. We'll be updating the stats daily.

We also have this register of all 2018 Spring Training stats. If you're looking to access that page via the site, it can be found in the 2018 season menu under the batting or pitching dropdown.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data | 5 Comments »

Box Scores Back to 1908 & Play-by-Play Back to 1925 Added to Baseball Reference

16th February 2018

Thanks to the efforts of our friends at Retrosheet, we have added box scores back to the 1908 season to Baseball Reference (previously, our coverage went back to 1913). Additionally, we have added play-by-play coverage for games games as far back as 1925. Previously, our oldest play-by-plays were from 1930. In addition to the boxes and PBPs themselves, this update allows for a variety of new information searchable in the play index, as well as new rows of information in team/player/league statistics tables.

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Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Play Index | 2 Comments »

We’ve Hired Two Data Developers — Jaclyn Mahoney and Jay Hutchinson

1st February 2018

I'm pleased to welcome Jaclyn Mahoney and Jay Hutchinson to Sports Reference in the roles of Data Developer. They'll be working behind the scenes to make sure our data is accurate and updated in a timely manner. Their main focus, for now, will be helping us push FBref.com out the door this spring.

I've written a bit about them on our About Page.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, FBref, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com | 1 Comment »

2018 Player Projections on Baseball Reference

17th January 2018

You may have noticed that we added projections for 2018 to player and team pages last month. We have now added a register with all 2018 projections. See the batting projections here and the pitching projections here. These projections are very simple and are done in an automated way using Tom Tango's Marcels forecasting system, which you can read about here.

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

Player Comparison Finders Added to Baseball Reference

20th December 2017

Users, your voices have been heard! After much clamoring, we have added a Player Batting Comparison Finder and a Player Pitching Comparison Finder to the Baseball Reference Play Index. With these new tools, you can compare the statistics for any season or set of seasons for up to six players at a time. For instance, here's the top six vote getters in the 2017 AL MVP race.

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Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Play Index | Comments Off on Player Comparison Finders Added to Baseball Reference

2017 Independent Leagues Added to Baseball Reference

20th December 2017

We just wanted to quickly announce that we have added 2017 stats for the Pecos League and the Pacific Association. You can see all 35 leagues we have 2017 coverage for here.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data | Comments Off on 2017 Independent Leagues Added to Baseball Reference

Team Season Finders Added to Baseball Reference

19th December 2017

We are thrilled to announce the addition of two incredible new tools to the Baseball Reference Play Index:

The Team Batting Season Finder and the Team Season Pitching Finder.

These new tools will allow Play Index subscribers to create customized leaderboards for all team pitching/batting stats in Major League history.  In addition to standard team stats, we've also opened up searches for value stats, advanced stats, win probability stats, ratio stats, baserunning stats, situational stats, and stats in various pitch counts.

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Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, Play Index | Comments Off on Team Season Finders Added to Baseball Reference