Cleat Geeks

Baseball 101: Metrics

Back again for another baseball 101. Author’s Note here, I am not a metrics expert. It is becoming extremely important part of the game of baseball. While I do not understand the advance metrics I am comfortable in explaining the basics with you.

SABR43-logo-300px-e1375722978856Metrics or Sabermetics is any mathematical or statistical study of baseball. I know you say is it just like on Moneyball, well that’s like saying baseball is just like the movie Major League. While very entertaining not a true measure of the game. I am not going to lie to you. If you are new to baseball or even to metrics this is a very complicated subject. But once you understand the basics (which is all were are going to go over today.) it really starts to make sense.  For a more comprehensive overview you need to go to SABR ( Society for American Baseball Research) the site has all this information I am giving you now and more also ways to connect with others who study metrics. Fan Graphs has a great and easy site. Baseball Prospectus has great books and articles and a wonderful site, its not for the light hearted so join when you are ready to be serious about metrics. Also get the book which I own a copy as well. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. You need to know that Bill James is the father of metrics and in the metric’s world is revered.

Basic Metrics stats:

WAR: What is it good for? Figuring out how valuable the current player is to a possible replacement. WAR is Wins above Replacement. in general terms, how many more wins are you going to get with an all star than your bench player.

WAR = (Batting Runs + Base Running Runs +Fielding Runs + Positional Adjustment + League Adjustment +Replacement Runs) / (Runs Per Win)


FIP (fielding independent pitching): The way I would like to explain FIP is you know how some pitchers are great in “Pitcher’s parks” or we are more forgiving as a fan when the pitcher is in a “Hitter’s park” well FIP takes that out of the stats and shows the true earn run average and now another scary formula.SABRbook

FIP = ((13*HR)+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K))/IP + constant

FIP Constant = lgERA – (((13*lgHR)+(3*(lgBB+lgHBP))-(2*lgK))/lgIP)


wOBA(Weighted On Base Average): This is a better measure of a hitter, usually baseball hits were just that a hit and it didn’t matter if it was a home run or a single it was a hit. We all know that a home run is worth more than a single, so there is a measurement for that.

The wOBA formula for the 2013 season was:

wOBA = (0.690×uBB + 0.722×HBP + 0.888×1B + 1.271×2B + 1.616×3B +
2.101×HR) / (AB + BB – IBB + SF + HBP)

There is a great explanation of this on the FanGraphs site:

To calculate wOBA, find the weights for the year you are interested in and multiply each weight by the player’s corresponding statistics. For example, in 2013 Mike Trout had 100 unintentional walks, 9 HBP, 115 singles, 39 doubles, 9 triples, and 27 home runs. If you multiple each by it’s corresponding weight and then divide that number by the sum of his at bats, walks (excluding IBB), hit by pitches, and sacrifice flies, you get .423, or his wOBA for the season.

This is just a small preview of metrics. Metrics are used in so many ways to determine the not only value but a measurement of performance. Metrics have become a powerhouse of information and their useful in the game of baseball is here to stay.

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