Photo Credit: digital.bu.edu
Long gone are the days of measuring a starting pitcher’s performance based on things completely out of his control (see: Win-Loss). Now, thanks to computers and Ivy League grads entering the field of sports instead of wasting time in trivial fields like law and banking, we have statistics that more accurately portray our favorite players’ performance.
We call these, sabermetrics.
They’re awesome, here’s a few everyone should know.
WAR (Wins Above Replacement)
This is a pretty basic one to understand, and most people do already. Basically, WAR measures the amount of wins that a player is responsible for over the replacement player that could come up and take his position (The higher the WAR, the better).
DRS (Defensive Runs Saved)
“He’s a great defensive shortstop! Look at how few errors he made last year!”
Sure man, but that doesn’t paint the whole picture.
DRS does a much better job focusing on the expected run value on balls that are batted, rather than just a counting number that’s determined by a scorer’s ruling on what an “error” is.
WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched)
Another very common one here, but a good snapshot of measuring a pitcher’s effectiveness. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but seeing a guy who allows multiple base runners per inning on average paints a fuller picture of the pitcher’s average performance.
ISO (Isolated Power)
My favorite advanced stat and it’s not difficult to understand. Take Slugging percentage and get rid of all those pesky singles and BOOM, you get ISO. Extra base hits get the crowd on their feet, and ISO is the perfect stat to measure who’s putting people (and baseballs) in the seats.
There’s plenty of deep dive stats to really nerd out on, but I would say these are a good gateway into the world of advanced stats or, sabermetrics.
P.S. If you really want to get down a rabbit hole of statistics, baseball-reference.com is the best.