Thursday, March 29, 2007

Statheads on Kearns

Baseball Prospectus has a profile of Austin Kearns that starts out strong, but quickly descends into statistical mumbo-jumbo. As we've started to collect more and more information about the game, especially in terms of how batted balls are hit, just categorizing and grouping things seems to have turned into analysis. I'm not smart enough to figure out how to do it better, but I'm not completely sure that much of it is helping anything anyway. What does this mean?
He should have been better than he was in 2005, and even though his 2004 was well below expectations as far as BABIP is concerned, his 13.7 percent line drive rate is abnormally low, and clearly the outlier amongst the group, meaning he most likely should have been better. Let's say that Kearns' line drive rate in 2007 should be 20.4, the average of his five years in the majors; given that, his BABIP should be around .324, which isn't unrealistic considering his past.

It's not hard to see why his 2006 was most in line with his eBABIP; his groundball rate was at its lowest, and he did not pop out weakly all that much either. His high rate of grounders and pop-ups is part of the reason he underperformed his 2005 BABIP so much.

This isn't meant to pick on this particular writer, who has done a number of articles I've enjoyed.

I just think that at a certain point, too many stats isn't necessarily a good thing, especially if they're not making things more clear.


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