Advanced Baseball: Intro to Advanced Statistics

Via Fangraphs

Everything evolves over time.

Over the years, there are tons advancements in technology, science, medicine, etc. Those who are open minded will be the ones who are able to take advantage of the advancements in life. Those who are close minded often get left behind.

An overwhelming majority of baseball fans are, at the moment, getting left behind.

Among those fans, there is a specific word that is taboo to speak of. When spoken of, disdain and disinterest are splattered across faces.



Okay okay, I’ll try not to use that word again. From here on out I’ll refer to it as “advanced statistics.” Not nearly as scary sounding right? I’m really not trying to scare you away. The point of this post (and series) is to give you a better understanding of what these advanced statistics are all about. The disdain for the these types of stats often purely come from lack of understanding.

I’m actually often called close-minded and stubborn in my thinking with these stats. However, something that needs to be realized is that every “Stat geek” was once like everybody else. They believed in things such as AVG, RBI, Runs, and W-L records at one point. They, at least at one point in time, WERE open-minded to new things and learned about advanced statistics.

I’m not going to ask you to use them on a regular basis. That is entirely up to you. All I ask is for you to read these. They aren’t as bad as they sound and make A TON of sense when broken down adequately.

Among the advanced statistics that I will go over and try to explain are:

  • On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS) and Adjusted OPS (OPS+)
  • Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA)
  • Isolated Power (ISO)
  • Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP)
  • Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) and Expected FIP (xFIP)
  • Adjusted ERA (ERA+)
  • Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR)
  • Value Over Replacement Player (VORP)
  • Wins Above Replacement (WAR)
  • Late Inning Pressure Situations (LIPS)

All of this will be covered as well other % and ratio stats. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be good at math to understand any of these stats. You simply have to understand the stat, and understand what number is considered bad, average, or good. Take batting average (which is overrated when used alone, but that is for another day) for example: Most know that a .230 BA is pretty bad, a .270 BA is average, and a .300 BA is good.

That’s simple and a type of thing I will make sure to cover. Are these advanced statistics perfect? Hell no. Far from it actually. But they are a fair better evaluation tool of a players talent that any traditional statistic. Nobody ever says these statistics tell the whole story, but each tells a chapter of a book as opposed to stats like RBI that are equivalent to less than a paragraph of a book. Not convinced? Read through this. It helps explain why those stats that have been used for years mean very little, and sometimes nothing.

If you are curious and willing to learn, then stay tuned.

If you aren’t, then read these anyway and take my challenge.

I bet I can change your mind slightly. Guaranteed.

(Advanced Baseball: Part 2 Coming Soon)

One Response to “Advanced Baseball: Intro to Advanced Statistics”
  1. essays says:

    Love your site! I’ll definetly be coming more. Look forward to more.

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