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Thread: "Average" vs. rate

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  1. #1
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    "Average" vs. rate

    Perhaps some of the more math inclined peeps can set me straight here. Apologies if this seems like another one of my "streak" threads; I'm not intending it to be!

    What I wonder, what does one think of when they hear "batting average?" I know stats like BA, OBP and whatnot are sometimes referred to as "rate stats" but do they really measure rate or do they just measure average after the fact?

    For example:
    If a player has a .300 average and comes to the plate 10 times does that mean he'll get 3 hits?

    OR

    If a player has a .300 average and comes to the plate 10 times does that mean he has a 30% chance of getting a hit in each plate appearance?

    AND

    Is there a difference?
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  2. #2
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    It measures what has already happened and has no predictive measure.
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  3. #3
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    It measures what has already happened and has no predictive measure.
    I'm not asking if it does.
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  4. #4
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    It measures what has already happened and has no predictive measure.
    I don't ask this to be smart-alec, just looking for a explanation...

    Doesn't it predict the odds of a batter getting a basehit vs. recording an out to some extent (I know it does not take into consideration walks,etc.)

    And doesn't every statistic measure what has already happened?

  5. #5
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Perhaps some of the more math inclined peeps can set me straight here. Apologies if this seems like another one of my "streak" threads; I'm not intending it to be!

    What I wonder, what does one think of when they hear "batting average?" I know stats like BA, OBP and whatnot are sometimes referred to as "rate stats" but do they really measure rate or do they just measure average after the fact?

    For example:
    If a player has a .300 average and comes to the plate 10 times does that mean he'll get 3 hits?

    OR

    If a player has a .300 average and comes to the plate 10 times does that mean he has a 30% chance of getting a hit in each plate appearance?

    AND

    Is there a difference?
    A .300 hitter has gotten a hit 30% of the time.
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  6. #6
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    I suppose that raises the question of whether there are any predictive stats. You'd rather have Joey Votto at the plate than Juan Castro, but what predicts what either will do in this one next instance?

  7. #7
    Time is the Revelator. LvJ's Avatar
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    I don't see any difference in a guy who is 1-2 in the game already. Doesn't really mean he's going to go 1-2 in his next two ABs.

    Would you rather have someone who is 3-10 off a certain pitcher over a guy who is 0-7? On one hand you say, okay... he's had some success. But then you can say, but this other guy is due for a hit. The game of baseball is all about progressing, changing, learning and getting better which is why I hate those batter vs. pitcher stats, or team vs. team stats. I don't believe them to be predictive atall.
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  8. #8
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    A 30 percent chance each time up would tend to have some predictive power, but it's not a weather report. Does he have a 100 percent chance this time up and zero percent the next two times up? But what are all these stats for if not to give you an idea of who you want in a certain situation? Adjusting of course for small sample sizes and the enemy, whose stats get a vote too. Joey Votto's performance, over time, measured in stats, shows we want him instead of Juan Castro.

  9. #9
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Statistics never ASSURE performance in the future, but certain statistics in certain sample sizes can predict the LIKELIHOOD of performance in the future.

    Batting average is a type of rate stat. It measures the "rate" of hits per at bat. By contrast, RBIs an HRs are "counting stats."

    This guy likes "counting stats" because you don't have to measure them against anything, you can just "count" them:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Wd-Q3F8KM
    Last edited by cincinnati chili; 05-24-2009 at 01:01 PM.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    do they really measure rate or do they just measure average after the fact?

    Batting average measures the rate at which a player got a hit?
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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  11. #11
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Batting average measures the rate at which a player got a hit?
    Does it?

    That's what I'm asking. I don't think it does.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  12. #12
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Does it?

    That's what I'm asking. I don't think it does.
    What exactly are you looking for? Are you trying to differentiate between two players: one who gets say 9 hits in 10 abs and then 0 hits in the next 20 from the player who truly averages say 3 hits every 10 abs? If so look at say the standard deviation instead of the mean (average). Otherwise, average is a rate. It is based upon something, in this case 1.0000.

  13. #13
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Good to see you posting again rdiersin.

  14. #14
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Quote Originally Posted by rdiersin View Post
    What exactly are you looking for? Are you trying to differentiate between two players: one who gets say 9 hits in 10 abs and then 0 hits in the next 20 from the player who truly averages say 3 hits every 10 abs? If so look at say the standard deviation instead of the mean (average). Otherwise, average is a rate. It is based upon something, in this case 1.0000.
    Yes, that's what I'm getting at. Thanks!
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  15. #15
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    Re: "Average" vs. rate

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Yes, that's what I'm getting at. Thanks!
    One thing you can do, and I have had some fun doing it, is look at retrosheet.org and they have game logs for several seasons. Then you can look at whatever you want (RC, avg, ...) and find say the average of all games, standard deviation and see about consistency. It isn't the best measure in some ways of a player's performance because some players may be taken out for defensive reasons or what have you, but it is interesting.


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