Final BABS Ratings
The final BABS ratings for 2017 have been posted to the database. Site members have access to that now.
While I am working on the Baseball Forecaster (order now!), things will continue to be quiet here. However, if you have any insights about the 2017 season – and BABS in particular – feel free to post in the Forums. I will be contributing my own insights during the off-season as time allows.
Based on the feedback I’ve been receiving, BABS seems to be working well. It is starting to carve out a place among the more valuable draft preparation tools. Here is a peek at how the Injury risk indicators worked this year for the top ranked 300 players:
BABS Healthy DL %DL ----- ------- --- --- None 93 78 46% inj- 26 54 68% INJ 17 32 65%
So, if you had heeded the ratings and avoided players who BABS tagged as injury liabilities – regardless of major or minor – you would have cut your risk by potentially over 20%. In a season where we set all sorts of records for DL stays, this was significant.
There will be more like this.
I will be announcing 2018 plans for RonShandler.com and BABS soon. If you are not already a member, make sure you are at least on the mailing list (RON’S HITS & ERRORS in the right column).
And for those who won this year, remember my Three Cardinal Rules for Winners:
1. Revel in your success; fame is fleeting.
2. Exercise excruciating humility.
3. 100% of all winnings must be spent on significant others.
Live by them; die by them.
I won my league title in ’16 and took 2nd place in ’17. BABS is my favorite. She’s the best. Truly – thank you for all you have done for fantasy baseball and for my bragging rights!
I’ve won 5 league titles under your guidance between BaseballHQ and BABS.
I owe you a beer or a hug or something.
Um… a beer is good.
Let me say, first, that I hope that you and yours have coped with the devastation visited on Florida by the last hurricane. I’ve wondered how you have been doing, and hoped for the best.
With that said, and in the context of my fandom for BABS, I want (again) to make a couple of conceptual points about injury. As your statistics demonstrate, there is (nearly) a 50/50 chance that even players with no injury history whatsoever will spend time on the DL. This is a large, uncontrolled variable that compromises the efficacy of BABS in assisting our draft preparation. So large, in fact, that one begins to feel this can’t go on without some attempt to establish parameters.
We have so many observational tools to evaluate performance: pitching velocity, spin rate, WHIP, exit velocity of the batted ball, percentile of hard contact, and on and on. Why not apply the same creative scrutiny to potential variables contributing to injury?
For example, a point I’ve raised before, are there differences in the kinds of injuries that lead to predictions of further risk. A torn hamstring, even when healed, leaves scar tissue that renders the muscle more vulnerable to further injury. That’s bad bad bad. A back injury caused by herniated disks remains forever weakened: surgeries won’t bring the player back to ground zero. A torn rotator cuff appears to be worse that a torn elbow ligament.
And what if we covary the injuries with the player’s age? Or perhaps add the position played into our regression equation? So Nelson Cruz, Edwin Encarnacion, the departed David Ortiz remain(ed) offensive forces because they are protected from injury by the position they have on their respective teams: DH. It’s a measurable hypothesis.
I smell math. I see words like covary and regression, and BABS starts to panic. BABS hates math.
I do agree that chronic injury could be handled differently from a random injury. Maybe DH’s get injured less (but then there’s Victor Martinez). Beyond that, there is too much variability in how players handle and heal from injuries, as well as team medical staff proficiency (*cough* Mets *cough*). Add in the skyrocketing DL days and the fact that the 10-day DL is often being used for reasons other than injury management, and I don’t think we’d find any more projective precision in this exercise than with performance data. There is too much noise, and too many reasons for teams to conceal injury information.
You’re probably right. Certainly the team concealment is a huge problem. I’m thinking of M. Cabrera and M. Carpenter here. But I am beginning to keep my own book regarding individual information. Dexter Fowler has chronic bone spurs, and therefore he steals no bases, even though, from the asset side, BABS identifies him as SB. Conversely, Goldschmidt is unranked in the speed department, but routinely steals more bases than Fowler. And overall team vulnerabilities—i.e. The Mets—are also a variable I want to add into the mix.
We are (almost) back to the point that plate appearances is the singlemost important stat. I can argue that Realmuto is the superior player to Cespedes, though BABS finds the two wildly disparate in assets. Yet Realmuto exceeds in all counting stats—hits, runs, RBI’s, stolen bases, and homeruns (they tied at 17). Cespedes has the edge only in batting average.