Battery Allowed Baserunning (BAB): What it is and why you need it

Abstract:

Nearly every aspect of baseball has been quantified by a sophisticated modern statistic. I took an underrepresented aspect, the baserunning allowed by the battery (pitcher and catcher), and quantified the performance of each team’s battery in this area. The statistic I created, which I title Battery Allowed Baserunning (BAB), melds the ability of the battery to prevent runners from stealing bases with their ability to prevent runners from advancing on pitches that get by the catcher. I combined these two disciplines by weighting each by their respective run value (the average change in runs scored by the opposition as a result of the given event). I found each team’s resulting BAB value for each season from 2003 to 2014, as well as their values for each of the two disciplines I referenced (preventing stealing and preventing advancement on balls that get by the catcher).

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3 comments

  1. Adam Wechsler

    Oof. I don’t have the background in baseball to understand everything in this article, and I had to look up the definition of several terms, but that was a good read (for what I understood), very thorough. I found it amusing that the scions of the Moneyball Oakland Athletics made a couple Top 5 Best lists. I’m surprised the Pythagorean Expectation got mentioned a few times- I thought it was an antiquated sabermetric.

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    • justthestatsmaam

      I was actually rather surprised that some of Billy Beane’s teams made the list since he always argued that he didn’t value defense–that poor defense cost the team very little in comparison to what could be gained from offense. He would even take the worst defensive players so that he could get cheap offense. Then again, he didn’t like to spill his secrets so who knows what he did or didn’t know. Bill James’ Pythagorean Expectation has somewhat surprisingly stood the test of time. Others have experimented with different exponents but with limited added accuracy.

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  2. justthestatsmaam

    I just received a question on FanGraphs about whether or not balks are truly random and thus able to be included with the other random non-Stolen Base Advancements. The question was whether balks were higher when there were more stolen base attempts. It turned out to not be true, the correlation was just 0.06, but here’s a graph of the relationship: https://sportsquantified.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/effect-of-stolen-base-attempts-on-balks.pdf

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