Yesterday I tweeted out a mercurial link about my “nerd-project”, but today I wanted to share it with you all more formally.
Before that, a warning: this has almost nothing to do with Cleveland Sports, so turn back now if that’s the particular tunnel you like looking though.
Basically, this thing started when I was writing a piece a few weeks back. I got tired of looking up stats on several different sites to get all the data I wanted. More often than not, I was toggling between a player’s Baseball-Reference page and his corresponding Fangraphs page. Sometimes, I was even averaging the two sites’ similar (though slightly different) version of wins above replacement (WAR) to get a fuller picture of the player’s value. This became tiresome.
So I decided to create a tool that would average the two versions of WAR for me. I’d rip down a bunch of data and combine it on a locally installed version of MySQL, and I could have the tool to give me a quick and dirty version of a combined wins above replacement. Since Fangraphs’ version is called fWAR and B-R’s version is called rWAR, I decided to call mine “jWAR”. Get it? The “j” stands, quite obviously, for “judicious and well-informed decision to combine other previously discussed versions”. Or “Jon”. Either way.
But of course I couldn’t stop there. Baseball-Reference had cool stats like OPS+ and ERA+, which Fangraphs didn’t house. And Fangraphs has one of my all-time favorite hitting stats called “weighted on-base average” (wOBA) that Baseball-Reference doesn’t have. If I was going to combine all this data, why not go all the way?
And if you’re going to go all the way, why not throw some pretty graphs and tables to help you easily visualize it all? A no-brainer, right? At least that’s what I told my wife as I buried myself in my databases last weekend.
Anyway, that led me to create a fun little dashboard. And since I did all that work, I thought I might as well share it with you guys. Partially because I’ll be using this tool going forward, and partially in case any of you would ever find something like this to be useful in your own research. There’s really nothing new here, but I really enjoyed having all this data in one place. Maybe you will too.
Some ground rules:
1) Both fWAR and rWAR include a player’s “position player” component as well as his “pitching component”. For non-pitchers, this doesn’t matter (unless you count Dandy Marte as a “non-pitcher”). For pitchers, it means they get their oWAR from their at bats (which will be tiny, but still, I wanted it this way) as well as their normal pitching component. Please keep this in mind.
2) I included only the years 2008-2012. Why? Because that seemed like how far back I’d regularly want to look at this stuff. You want me to go back further? I want a unicorn farm.
3) That means that ANY PLAYER who had an at bat or threw a pitch during that timeframe should be in this file.
4) I’ve locked the structure of the workbook with a password.
5) You’ll need Excel 2007 or later to use the file; it’s about 5.5 MB download.
6) We’ve stored it (for right now at least) at the bottom of the “ABOUT” section of the website, in case you ever need to get back to it.
7) Feel free to do some QA. I’ve yet to find any big problems, but I’m not suggesting it is perfect by any means. When you find mistakes, shoot them to me at jon (at) waitingfornextyear (dot) com and I’ll check it out.
So have fun and let me know what you think.