First Pitch Arizona Preview: Why BABS?

On Saturday, November 5, I will be making a presentation about BABS at First Pitch Arizona. It will be a 45-minute look at what BABS is, why we need it, some 2016 successes and an early look at 2017. Here is an excerpt from the “why we need it” section. 

We can’t integrate risk elements into the numbers

Let’s look at this player. Any idea who it is?

Year   AB   HR   RBI  SB    BA
----  ---   ---  ---  --  ----
2012  563   20    73   5  .242
2013  472   12    42   2  .233
2014  457   15    54   1  .212
2015  549   22    82   1  .284
2016  104    7    13   0  .240

This is Mike Moustakas.

How should we project him for 2017? He had a thumb injury at the beginning of last year and then tore his ACL. I’m sure we’ll be following the health reports over the winter and then we’ll mold a projection around those expectations.

A healthy Moustakas will get 550 AB, right? How many AB would you give him next year…

– if all the health reports are positive and he has a solid spring training?

500? 550?

– if all the health reports are positive and he struggles in spring training?

400? 450?

– if the heath reports are cautionary and he only gets into a few spring training games but opens the season in KC?

350? 400?

How are you coming up with these numbers?

Any adjustments that you make to his playing time expectations are completely arbitrary. Nobody – not you, or me or any expert – can tell you how many ABs Moustakas will get next year. But all our information sources have to settle on some number. It’s necessary in order to create statistical projections, dollar values and ADPs. So they are all forced to integrate skill and risk into each player’s projection.

The Broad Assessment Balance Sheet (BABS) says, let’s separate skill from risk. Let’s rate each player based on his underlying skill. Those are his assets. Then let’s look at all the risk factors — the liabilities — separately. Because we don’t know how much impact these liabilities will have on next season’s statistical output. Viewing assets and liabilities separately gives us better control over viewing the potential of each player.


One thought on “First Pitch Arizona Preview: Why BABS?

  1. david hinsdale

    Good luck and a speedy recovery on your upcoming surgery.

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