Biking for Baseball is headed south to Arlington!

Biking for Baseball is headed south to Arlington to catch the defending 2-time AL Champion Texas Rangers take on the Seattle Mariners. The red hot Rangers lead the majors with 276 runs, 73 home runs, .289 batting average, and an .824 OPS. The offensive juggernaut scores runs like crazy and has All-Stars across the diamond.

Adrian Beltre is batting .319 with 9 homers and plays great defense at the hot corner.

Nelson Cruz is a feared power hitter who hit 2 home runs and had 10 RBI last series against the Blue Jays.

Ian Kinsler is 2nd baseman that actually hits; he has an OPS+ of 115 so far this season and 7.1 WAR last season. Elvis Andrus is a SS that hits .302 with .385 OBP. Mike Napoli is a catcher who already has 7 homers.  Michael Young is what is known as a professional hitter. Continue reading

Similarity Scores.

Similarity scores compare the statistics of baseball players with one another to determine how closely related player’s performances are. The formula can be found at Baseball-reference. Basically, the comparison between two players starts at the number 1000, and points are subtracted for discrepancies with the two player’s statistics. For example, for batters one point is subtracted for each difference of 20 games played, for each difference of 75 at bats, for each difference of 10 runs scored, and so on.

For pitchers, one point is subtracted from 1000 for difference of 1 win, for each difference of .02 in ERA, and so on.

The full formula is at the link mentioned above. The closer the number is to 1000, the more similar the statistics are.

Its fun to check out a player’s similarity scores to see how closely related their stats are with other players. The player page on Baseball-reference shows full career comparisons as well as age comparisons. Continue reading

Stay in School!

Within baseball, there is a wide range of philosophy when it comes to drafting players out of high school or college. Some teams prefer to take a player out of high school so the team can develop the player in their own farm system. They don’t really seem to think college programs can train the player the way the team would want them to. Other teams would rather take a more polished college player who is closer to the big leagues than an 18 year old would be.

Many studies have been done examining the success of college players and high school players in the majors. Rany Jazayerli of Baseball Prospectus has even studied how the age of a player drafted out of high school affects long-term success in the major leagues here and here.

The consensus seems to be that college players generally have more success in the major leagues, but just as many of the elite big leaguers were drafted right of out high school.

There’s a term that gets thrown around a lot when analyzing high school players taken in the draft. That’s “high ceiling.” What it really means is risky. Baseball teams really don’t know much about a high school player. Continue reading