Monday, June 15, 2009

Explaining PEVA - #4 Independent Production

Just what is INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION in the terms of a baseball player? Well, it is those categories or stats that rely predominantly on the player's own abilities, and are less dependent on team fortunes. Baseball is one of the few sports, due to the unique nature of the pitcher versus batter dynamics that has categories of production that are nearly independent of their teammates, while still being in a team game. For a pitcher, we're using Earned Run Average and Walks Plus Hits Over 9 Innings, WHIP9. Yes, this is the traditional WHIP category extended to a value over 9 innings pitched. For a position player, we're using On Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage.

The pitching categories are simple standard categories in the PEVA index, measuring their factor values from the relationship between the MAX/AVE/MIN for the season.

For the batting categories of OBP and SLG, it is not so simple, due to their relationship to the average and how some very special players (very few players reach this level in a decade) who rise above a multiple of the average. These players are given special factors above the normal scale when utilizing the OBP or SLG PEVA factor in the calculation of the overall PEVA Player Rating Grade. How special can a player be on that scale? Up to 50% higher than the max.

In a previous installment of Explaining PEVA, you said that OBP and SLG factors could also be modified by a stellar Run Production Factor, isn't that true? Absolutely. For players that produce runs, above and beyond the logic of their OBP or SLG factors, the factors for those categories are adjusted in the calculation to account for that ability. For example, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins rarely gets on base for a leadoff hitter and really doesn't slug as high as most people think (with some exception for his MVP season of 2006), but he scores and produces runs. This nets him a contract above what most traditional believers in pure OPS think warranted, and while this is an extension of his DEPENDENT production stats and not his INDEPENDENT ones, it is how he has extra values. Now one could argue whether his value would be this high on a team without run producers such as Chase Utley and Ryan Howard batting behind him, but the point is moot when considering Payroll or even Player Rating values, although a player with his statistical profile will likely not be valued as high in an index such as PEVA as some would think, despite the adjustment given for Run Production.

So OBP and SLG factors become very important for the stellar player, especially ones such as Babe Ruth, or even Barry Bonds during those questionable years, when their OBP and SLG went off the scale compared to the average for the season. It is also important to all other players, including those with profiles such as Rollins or other run producers who benefit from good players around them.

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