History repeats itself;
whether it’s relating to the prepayment habits of an interest
rate sensitive consumer, the behavioral aspects of the stock
market, or individual baseball player statistics
…history repeats itself!
concept to understand: Why does history repeat itself?
If you can answer this question, regardless of what you’re
analyzing, you’ll be one step ahead of everyone else. The key word
here is: Limitations.
Why does history repeat itself when accessing a
baseball player’s ability? Yep you guessed it: Limitations!
There are limitations in a ball player’s ability and they come in
two forms: physical and psychological. Elvis Andrus is never going to hit
50 homeruns in a MLB season, even if he IV’s a direct line of
horse growth hormones for 3 years. It’s just not within his
physical structure. Andrus has a certain range of offensive
abilities that are quantifiable and forecast-able within a certain
degree of accuracy. On the other end of this spectrum was a player
like Jose Reyes who has been able to synergize his mental & physical
attributes enabling himself among the fantasy elite.
Unfortunately, players similar to Reyes body type are also
the type for fade off fast as their body's age. While a player
like Jim Thome can
still mash a ball 500 feet with a wretched back, a player
like Reyes needed 100% of his health.
again within a certain degree of accuracy, that batters do not hit
a peak until their 28th birthday, some sooner, some
later, but within a bell shaped range we know what to reasonably
expect given the limitations of each player...barring an infusion
of steroids of course....BTW: Look for overall offensive numbers
to continue to decline thanks to the new testing in place.
Coming out of
the minors we know that there will be a discrepancy in a
player’s first year stats, verses his minor league stats.
However, based on his past performances we can reasonably access
who has and doesn’t have the potential to post a decent WHIP or
strikeout total. It’s not exact, but it’s reasonable and it
relies on history repeating itself.
as it is to follow history in an up trending pattern during a
player’s career and conversely down trending during their latter
seasons, it’s also important to throw out the anomaly seasons.
This is just part of what our player projections algorithm is
programmed to do.
Armed with a
collection of Baseball data since 1880 (125 years), we use a hybrid non-linear
regression formula to backward integrate the data. From there we basically
use our statistics program (MatLab) to find the most important
variables that have any statistical relevance from year to year.
Using the end result of variables (moving trend analysis being the
most weighed) we are able to produce results that are within
acceptable ranges in predicting a player’s forward season.
point we scrutinize each player's computed projection and make what
I call “subjective injections”.
Factors such as playing time are always subjective, as are
human elements such as incentive, which obviously can not be
factored by a machine, thus we intercede subjective analysis on
at least 25% of the players (100% related to playing time
Below is a
series of charts showing how we stack up against the notion that
projecting Baseball statistics is guess work. It is certainly not,
especially when handled correctly by a statistician. Here's a
graphical look comparing how we've done since our inception in