Siberian Baseball

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What? Wednesday - PECOTA

It's one of those certainties of the new millennium that if you can dream it, they can build it. By "it" I mean a baseball statistic and by "build it" I mean publish it and get someone to swear that it's gospel truth by the end of the week.

In the most recent round of nerd-bashing that's blown around the Internet, the core of the argument is beginning to show. Essentially, the stat rats are taking a stand and pointing out that with more information available, it makes for better analysis. Oh, and people are still free to ignore the new stats as they've always been able to do.

It's really not that big a deal - I've never had someone shove a stat sheet in my face at a ballgame and I have yet to bother my seatmates by demanding they check out a few numbers I find interesting as the batter is approaching the plate.

Today's What? Wednesday is pretty simple - for anyone who has begun to poke around Baseball Stats 2.0, they've certainly seen PECOTA being mentioned on message boards and blogs posts.

So what the hell is it?

Simply put, it's a proprietary system developed by Baseball Prospectus to try and predict how Player X with perform this season, next and through the remainder of his career. This is based on how similar players have performed, using numbers going back to World War II.

You'll need to pay to gain access to see the numbers on their site, but many are widely available once they've been out for a while and are used to spur discussions and incite fights on message boards.

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