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Span vs. Revere OPS

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#1 Shane Wahl

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:17 AM

.750 to .676 right now. I understand that there is a 21 stolen base differential that mildly offsets the slugging difference, but still a .74 OPS difference does NOT mean replacement to me. I still do not like the idea of trading Span before Aaron Hicks is fully ready to step into Span's role.

#2 old nurse

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:25 AM

.750 to .676 right now. I understand that there is a 21 stolen base differential that mildly offsets the slugging difference, but still a .74 OPS difference does NOT mean replacement to me. I still do not like the idea of trading Span before Aaron Hicks is fully ready to step into Span's role.


The hope would be by midseason Hicks can step in. A trade deadline deal might bring a better return for Span than an off season deal. However, if a good deal can be made during the off season, do it. If the Mets want to give up Zach Wheeler for Span and a decent prospect not named Hicks, Arcia, Rosario or Sano, well bring on Revere as CF. The Phillies also have decent pitching prospects to trade for.

Edited by old nurse, 19 September 2012 - 12:31 AM.


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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:34 AM

.750 to .676 right now. I understand that there is a 21 stolen base differential that mildly offsets the slugging difference, but still a .74 OPS difference does NOT mean replacement to me. I still do not like the idea of trading Span before Aaron Hicks is fully ready to step into Span's role.


And yet if I recall correctly you love the idea of dumping Morneau (.802) for Parmelee (.699).

#4 70charger

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:51 AM

.750 to .676 right now. I understand that there is a 21 stolen base differential that mildly offsets the slugging difference, but still a .74 OPS difference does NOT mean replacement to me. I still do not like the idea of trading Span before Aaron Hicks is fully ready to step into Span's role.


Doesn't seem like it's really the point.

It's comparative advantage. Is it worth it to give up .74 OPS in exchange for the potentially far more impactful starting pitching we could get in return for Span? Yup. Don't compare the wrong things. We're not talking about giving up Span because we don't like him.

#5 Riverbrian

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:07 AM

.750 to .676 right now. I understand that there is a 21 stolen base differential that mildly offsets the slugging difference, but still a .74 OPS difference does NOT mean replacement to me. I still do not like the idea of trading Span before Aaron Hicks is fully ready to step into Span's role.


Doesn't seem like it's really the point.

It's comparative advantage. Is it worth it to give up .74 OPS in exchange for the potentially far more impactful starting pitching we could get in return for Span? Yup. Don't compare the wrong things. We're not talking about giving up Span because we don't like him.


Im just quoting your post Charger... cuz I thought it was great.

Shane... I'd love to have both Revere and Span. I like them both going forward. It's pitching... We need pitching. If Revere gets the better pitcher in return. Say goodbye to the little guy. If none of them bring back pitching or a decent middle infielder. Keep them both. We need depth as well.

#6 Shane Wahl

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:26 AM

.750 to .676 right now. I understand that there is a 21 stolen base differential that mildly offsets the slugging difference, but still a .74 OPS difference does NOT mean replacement to me. I still do not like the idea of trading Span before Aaron Hicks is fully ready to step into Span's role.


And yet if I recall correctly you love the idea of dumping Morneau (.802) for Parmelee (.699).


I think that the .886 OPS post all-star game for Parmelee is more telling than his season numbers, a season that the Twins tried to ruin for him initially. The analogy does not hold.

#7 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:34 AM

In a trade, it's all about net gain. Let's throw out some hypotheticals. Span is a 5 WAR player this season. Revere is a 2 WAR player. If Revere progresses at all and moves to CF next season, let's say he becomes a 3 WAR player due to positional scarcity. That's a difference of -2 WAR, not including any +/- we'll see from Parmelee (which I think would be at least a 2 WAR player over the course of a season in RF). That's also not factoring in any advancement from the likes of Hicks or Arcia in 2013.

So, we need to cover a 2 WAR loss.

Well, it just so happens that PJ Walters is almost a -1 WAR pitcher in less than 10 starts. Let's say the Twins can get a decent, though unspectacular, 3 WAR pitcher for Span. That's brings the total to...

Outfield:
Revere (3 WAR) - Span (5 WAR) = -2 WAR

Pitching:
Pitcher X (3 WAR) - PJ Walters (-1 WAR in a quarter of a season) = 4 WAR.

Net gain? 2 WAR. That makes the Twins a better team and those estimates are very conservative. I think the swing could be as much as 5-6 WAR if Parmelee/Hicks/Arcia pan out and the acquired pitcher is decent.

#8 Shane Wahl

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:34 AM

[quote name='Riverbrian'][quote name='70charger'][quote name='Shane Wahl'].750 to .676 right now. I understand that there is a 21 stolen base differential that mildly offsets the slugging difference, but still a .74 OPS difference does NOT mean replacement to me. I still do not like the idea of trading Span before Aaron Hicks is fully ready to step into Span's role.[/QUOTE]

Doesn't seem like it's really the point.

It's comparative advantage. Is it worth it to give up .74 OPS in exchange for the potentially far more impactful starting pitching we could get in return for Span? Yup. Don't compare the wrong things. We're not talking about giving up Span because we don't like him.[/QUOTE]

Im just quoting your post Charger... cuz I thought it was great.

Shane... I'd love to have both Revere and Span. I like them both going forward. It's pitching... We need pitching. If Revere gets the better pitcher in return. Say goodbye to the little guy. If none of them bring back pitching or a decent middle infielder. Keep them both. We need depth as well.[/QUOTE]

Yes, the Twins do need pitching. It seems foolish for them to first think trade-for-pitching, though. Anyway, I see Revere as playing himself out of the top of the order. Trading Span as well leaves a big hole at the top.

#9 Rosterman

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:07 AM

Revere has to prove an able Span replacement. He steals bases, but so does Casilla,,so does Mastro. Span has shown consistency. Revere has yet to do so and if he doesn't finish the season above .300, he is just another cog in the system. Revere does have a smile, coves ground and is enthusiastic. But with Hicks, Arcia (and still Benson) in the wings...do you stay with two more years of Span (who is only tradable during the season) or the exciting basepath promise of Revere. Revere is exciting, but he has to learn to bunt or chop, And take more pitches (shades of Carlos Gomez).
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#10 LimestoneBaggy

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:22 AM

In a trade, it's all about net gain. Let's throw out some hypotheticals. Span is a 5 WAR player this season. Revere is a 2 WAR player. If Revere progresses at all and moves to CF next season, let's say he becomes a 3 WAR player due to positional scarcity. That's a difference of -2 WAR, not including any +/- we'll see from Parmelee (which I think would be at least a 2 WAR player over the course of a season in RF). That's also not factoring in any advancement from the likes of Hicks or Arcia in 2013.

So, we need to cover a 2 WAR loss.

Well, it just so happens that PJ Walters is almost a -1 WAR pitcher in less than 10 starts. Let's say the Twins can get a decent, though unspectacular, 3 WAR pitcher for Span. That's brings the total to...

Outfield:
Revere (3 WAR) - Span (5 WAR) = -2 WAR

Pitching:
Pitcher X (3 WAR) - PJ Walters (-1 WAR in a quarter of a season) = 4 WAR.

Net gain? 2 WAR. That makes the Twins a better team and those estimates are very conservative. I think the swing could be as much as 5-6 WAR if Parmelee/Hicks/Arcia pan out and the acquired pitcher is decent.


I agree. Primarily, making this team better is a big "it depends". If you are not going to pay for a few free agent pitchers, you have to trade someone to get pitching. Span seems to be the asset we can potentially live without (maybe moving Morneau).

#11 Twins Twerp

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:02 AM

Don't quote WAR, it is such a scam. Put this into your stupid I-pad/computer/I-phone, Our pitching is downright terrible. The differnce between Span and Revere is small. What you lose with Revere in OPS and arm strength, you gain in baserunning and taking hits away. Revere is faster than Span, and is especially better at baserunning. Span does not get the whole baserunning thing. I have never seen someone so good at getting picked off at first. Where do you put that into WAR? What part of WAR measures how a guy hits away from his home field, or how a guy can't hit because he is worried about being traded around the trade deadline.

Let's just stop playing games, and start putting numbers into a computer and name the Oakland A's the Wolrd series champs, because they get on base alot and made a movie with Brad Pitt about it.

#12 mike wants wins

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:13 AM

Um, um

#13 kab21

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:32 AM

I'm not hung up on whether or not Revere can directly replace span. Revere is pretty much guaranteed to be in the starting lineup next season regardless. My biggest concern is that the Twins have basically made their decision and they will sell span low for a crappy MLB ready starter.

#14 Shane Wahl

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:33 AM

Aha, so Twins Twerp is the TT known on various Twins sites. The Granny Baseball guy?

If not, the coincidence is astounding.

#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:44 AM

Don't quote WAR, it is such a scam. Put this into your stupid I-pad/computer/I-phone, Our pitching is downright terrible. The differnce between Span and Revere is small. What you lose with Revere in OPS and arm strength, you gain in baserunning and taking hits away. Revere is faster than Span, and is especially better at baserunning. Span does not get the whole baserunning thing. I have never seen someone so good at getting picked off at first. Where do you put that into WAR? What part of WAR measures how a guy hits away from his home field, or how a guy can't hit because he is worried about being traded around the trade deadline.

Let's just stop playing games, and start putting numbers into a computer and name the Oakland A's the Wolrd series champs, because they get on base alot and made a movie with Brad Pitt about it.


Yes, god forbid that a GM use advanced metrics to supplement an eyeball test. Good GMs just wing it and hope for the best. It's the only way to run a billion dollar operation, really.

#16 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:50 AM

Yes, god forbid that a GM use advanced metrics to supplement an eyeball test. Good GMs just wing it and hope for the best. It's the only way to run a billion dollar operation, really.


"WAR" and "advanced metric" are not necessarily the same thing.

#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:52 AM



Yes, god forbid that a GM use advanced metrics to supplement an eyeball test. Good GMs just wing it and hope for the best. It's the only way to run a billion dollar operation, really.


"WAR" and "advanced metric" are not necessarily the same thing.


Read TT's post again. It wasn't solely an attack on WAR. He did everything except yell "get out of your parents' basements and learn something".

#18 Nick Nelson

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:53 AM

Outfield:
Revere (3 WAR) - Span (5 WAR) = -2 WAR

Pitching:
Pitcher X (3 WAR) - PJ Walters (-1 WAR in a quarter of a season) = 4 WAR.

Net gain? 2 WAR. That makes the Twins a better team and those estimates are very conservative. I think the swing could be as much as 5-6 WAR if Parmelee/Hicks/Arcia pan out and the acquired pitcher is decent.

Honest question, Brock: Why do you put so much stock into WAR as an assessment of value when you've clearly demonstrated in the past that you have little faith in UZR and other defensive metrics? I agree with what you're saying but the way you've presented this argument isn't very compelling to me.

Anyway, like others have pointed out, no one is claiming that Revere is going to be able to replace Span without the offense missing a beat. But the Twins have outfield depth that is only likely to grow going forward, and they have significant needs elsewhere. At this point, Span is probably their most valuable trading chip (outside of maybe Willingham but he's just not going anywhere). Revere is, at worst, a decent placeholder.

Also, Shane, why you assuming that Revere is what he is at this point? He's 24, in his second big-league season, and he showed significant improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. When Span was his age, he was just finally figuring things out in Triple-A.

#19 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:04 AM

Read TT's post again.


No thanks. :D

It does seem rather inconsistent of you, though, to cite WAR in this thread and then pooh-pooh it in another--when it shows data you discount--all within the space of a few hours.

#20 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:12 AM

[quote name='Shane Wahl'][quote name='USAFChief'][quote name='Shane Wahl'].750 to .676 right now. I understand that there is a 21 stolen base differential that mildly offsets the slugging difference, but still a .74 OPS difference does NOT mean replacement to me. I still do not like the idea of trading Span before Aaron Hicks is fully ready to step into Span's role.[/QUOTE]

And yet if I recall correctly you love the idea of dumping Morneau (.802) for Parmelee (.699).[/QUOTE]

I think that the .886 OPS post all-star game for Parmelee is more telling than his season numbers, a season that the Twins tried to ruin for him initially. The analogy does not hold.[/QUOTE]

The 60 PAs "post all-star game for Parmelee" you mean?

OK, tell me what Morneau's second half numbers look like.

#21 CDog

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:27 AM

I have never seen someone so good at getting picked off at first. Where do you put that into WAR? What part of WAR measures how a guy hits away from his home field, or how a guy can't hit because he is worried about being traded around the trade deadline.


Things I find amazing: That the analytical folks who come up with formulas for things like WAR somehow decided to only count home games (or is it only away games? Or is it that one should count differently than the other?). That those same folks think they should measure results of plate appearances rather than the alleged thought processes and worries in a player's mind while at the plate. That despite the constant attention and coverage and devotion to recording virtually every single thing that happens in every single baseball game that nobody has thought to record players getting picked off on the base paths.

OR

That someone can apparently think those things are actually true.

#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:29 AM



Read TT's post again.


No thanks. :D

It does seem rather inconsistent of you, though, to cite WAR in this thread and then pooh-pooh it in another--when it shows data you discount--all within the space of a few hours.


I was using it purely as a hypothetical in that post. Showing that if you subtract from one position and add more at another, you see a net improvement in team play. WAR is a nice easy way to compare pitchers and positional players, even if it's not terribly accurate in partial seasons.

#23 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:34 AM


Outfield:
Revere (3 WAR) - Span (5 WAR) = -2 WAR

Pitching:
Pitcher X (3 WAR) - PJ Walters (-1 WAR in a quarter of a season) = 4 WAR.

Net gain? 2 WAR. That makes the Twins a better team and those estimates are very conservative. I think the swing could be as much as 5-6 WAR if Parmelee/Hicks/Arcia pan out and the acquired pitcher is decent.

Honest question, Brock: Why do you put so much stock into WAR as an assessment of value when you've clearly demonstrated in the past that you have little faith in UZR and other defensive metrics? I agree with what you're saying but the way you've presented this argument isn't very compelling to me.

Anyway, like others have pointed out, no one is claiming that Revere is going to be able to replace Span without the offense missing a beat. But the Twins have outfield depth that is only likely to grow going forward, and they have significant needs elsewhere. At this point, Span is probably their most valuable trading chip (outside of maybe Willingham but he's just not going anywhere). Revere is, at worst, a decent placeholder.

Also, Shane, why you assuming that Revere is what he is at this point? He's 24, in his second big-league season, and he showed significant improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. When Span was his age, he was just finally figuring things out in Triple-A.


As I mentioned to USAChief, I used WAR because it's an easy way to compare pitchers and positional players and gauge their value, even if it isn't perfect over partial seasons (if at all). When putting together that hypothetical situation, I was demonstrating how bigger gains can be had by replacing a guy like Walters with Pitcher X than the drop-off you'd see from Revere replacing Span. WAR was the easiest way to do that without going into complex math and confusing the hell out of everyone (including myself).

In the end, all I was saying is "Pitcher X - Walters >> Revere - Span".

FWIW, I think WAR is overrating Span this season and underrating Revere so the net loss is even lower than the numbers I used in my original post.

#24 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:45 AM

[quote name='Brock Beauchamp'][quote name='USAFChief'][quote name='Brock Beauchamp']

Read TT's post again.[/QUOTE]

No thanks. :D

It does seem rather inconsistent of you, though, to cite WAR in this thread and then pooh-pooh it in another--when it shows data you discount--all within the space of a few hours.[/QUOTE]

I was using it purely as a hypothetical in that post. Showing that if you subtract from one position and add more at another, you see a net improvement in team play. WAR is a nice easy way to compare pitchers and positional players, even if it's not terribly accurate in partial seasons.[/QUOTE]

Can you tell us why--if it's not terribly accurate in partial seasons--we should believe its accurate in full seasons?

When someone hits .400 for a month, everyone understands the player most likely isn't going to keep that up. Nobody, however, says "but he didn't really hit .400 for that month...that's not what happened."

Yet with WAR, that's exactly what people say. "Well, yeah, I know WAR says Denard Span is the 13th best player in the AL, but that's not accurate. What we need to do is take lots of these innacurate chunks and add them together, and presto change, they become accurate."

Thats like saying "I'm pretty sure one plus one doesn't equal three, but if I add together enough one plus one equals three samples, it becomes good math."

#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:16 PM

Can you tell us why--if it's not terribly accurate in partial seasons--we should believe its accurate in full seasons?

When someone hits .400 for a month, everyone understands the player most likely isn't going to keep that up. Nobody, however, says "but he didn't really hit .400 for that month...that's not what happened."

Yet with WAR, that's exactly what people say. "Well, yeah, I know WAR says Denard Span is the 13th best player in the AL, but that's not accurate. What we need to do is take lots of these innacurate chunks and add them together, and presto change, they become accurate."

Thats like saying "I'm pretty sure one plus one doesn't equal three, but if I add together enough one plus one equals three samples, it becomes good math."


I have two issues with your assumption of WAR. First, that people say "that didn't happen" regarding a defensive metric. I think it's more "I don't believe that player is good defensively" is more the case. Even Delmon Young has had good weeks in the field, just as Drew Butera has had weeks where he posted an OPS over .800.

Second, I believe the problem lies in the absolute versus the abstract. At the plate, we deal with far more absolutes than we do in fielding. A homer, a strikeout, a walk. Those are absolutes that are not very open to interpretation. But even in batting, we see the weak double where the batter got lucky. We see a squibber the fielder should have scooped up but didn't and it resulted in the scorer calling it a "hit". That weak double counts just like a true gapper but no one would argue that it is just as indicative of a player's talent as a liner off the left-centerfield wall. That's where WAR suffers a bit. The defensive side of the metric is open to interpretation instead of hard results that are tracked by stat sheets. There will be aberrations that make a player look better than he should over a short period of time. An unusual number of balls may be hit into part of his "zone" that are difficult to reach. An unusual number of balls may be hit into part of his "zone" that are easy to reach. Over time and repetition, these anomalies should even out. It's not that the math is bad, it's that it's more easily influenced by statistical anomalies. Add in the fact that while a batter gets 4-5 chances at the plate every night, he may only have the chance at 2-3 putouts in a night. Other nights it might be 5-6. In the end, all of that combines into a metric that is unreliable in the short-term but fairly decent in the long-term.

And I haven't met anyone who argues that WAR is perfect... Far from it. People usually say that it's a good guideline to use for a player's performance but should never be used as the sole indicator of his play.

#26 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:27 PM

I think you can count coup Chief.
Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.

#27 70charger

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:04 PM

[quote name='USAFChief'][quote name='Brock Beauchamp'][quote name='USAFChief'][quote name='Brock Beauchamp']

Read TT's post again.[/QUOTE]

No thanks. :D

It does seem rather inconsistent of you, though, to cite WAR in this thread and then pooh-pooh it in another--when it shows data you discount--all within the space of a few hours.[/QUOTE]

I was using it purely as a hypothetical in that post. Showing that if you subtract from one position and add more at another, you see a net improvement in team play. WAR is a nice easy way to compare pitchers and positional players, even if it's not terribly accurate in partial seasons.[/QUOTE]

Can you tell us why--if it's not terribly accurate in partial seasons--we should believe its accurate in full seasons?

When someone hits .400 for a month, everyone understands the player most likely isn't going to keep that up. Nobody, however, says "but he didn't really hit .400 for that month...that's not what happened."

Yet with WAR, that's exactly what people say. "Well, yeah, I know WAR says Denard Span is the 13th best player in the AL, but that's not accurate. What we need to do is take lots of these innacurate chunks and add them together, and presto change, they become accurate."

Thats like saying "I'm pretty sure one plus one doesn't equal three, but if I add together enough one plus one equals three samples, it becomes good math."[/QUOTE]

Logically, the sum is quite often more than the mathematical total of its parts.

Fallacy of composition = assuming that what is true of the parts must therefore be true of the whole. In this case, the parts do not encompass the total picture; putting them together does.

#28 Riverbrian

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:40 PM

Someone Cue Edwin Starr... I feel a song coming on...

#29 70charger

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:53 PM

Someone Cue Edwin Starr... I feel a song coming on...


I see what you did there.jpg

#30 CDog

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:43 PM

Can you tell us why--if it's not terribly accurate in partial seasons--we should believe its accurate in full seasons?

When someone hits .400 for a month, everyone understands the player most likely isn't going to keep that up. Nobody, however, says "but he didn't really hit .400 for that month...that's not what happened."

Yet with WAR, that's exactly what people say. "Well, yeah, I know WAR says Denard Span is the 13th best player in the AL, but that's not accurate. What we need to do is take lots of these innacurate chunks and add them together, and presto change, they become accurate."

Thats like saying "I'm pretty sure one plus one doesn't equal three, but if I add together enough one plus one equals three samples, it becomes good math."


Because of variance and the fact that not everything that is measured has the same amount of it. What we are trying to measure with a defensive metric is essentially "how likely is a player to make a certain type of play." Is it 70%, 90%, 99.4%...? Well the recorded measurements are only "Did he make a given play or didn't he?" He never makes 70% of the play. There is variance in the observed measurement. Throw in that on the defensive side, most plays are "routine" and the number of games needed to get a reliable estimate is large. Nobody (reasonable) claims that the data accumulated in smaller samples isn't true. They simply say/know/claim that the amount of data to get a reliable estimate is larger than the amount of data that they have.

As an analogy that may make more sense, if we are trying to find the average height of men in St. Paul and we measure one fellow at 6'1". We don't discount that he is actually 6'3", but we also don't know yet if the average height of men in St. Paul is 6'1". We will keep measuring other men to deal with the fact that there is variation. The more measurements we gather, the more accurate our estimate can become. None of our men have the "wrong" height, but none of their individual heights is the answer we are looking for.

I don't know if that explanation makes things more clear or less.