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

Originally Posted by Scrap Irony
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?

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

I am still trying to understand the exact nature of the question, but here is my general take on all baseball stats in terms of what they measure. Hope it helps.

Stats measure talent and skill. When you say a hitter is a .300 hitter, you are saying that he has the talent and skill to get a hit 300 times for every 1000 AB's. He has shown that talent and skill by getting a hit 300 times for every 1000 AB's. If he were to maintain the same talent and skill over the next 1000 AB's then he should get 300 hits (or around there.)

What is important is that he has already done this at least 1000 times, or better, at least 2000 times. You need to have that many AB's to filter out streaks, randomness, and most importantly, to make sure that he has had enough AB's in all types of situations; vs. lhp, vs. rhp, vs. starters, vs. relievers, vs. hard throwers, vs. curveball specialists, vs. changeup specialist, leading off an inning, with every type of men on base, with zero, one and two outs, day games, night games, ...

Until he has had AB's in every situation, his BA won't reflect his true talent and skill. That is why you need a large enough sample size for it to be meaningful. But if he has enough AB's, then it should reflect his true talent and skill and he should be able to repeat that in the next 1000 AB's.

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

Sorry, I guess my question wasn't very clear. Maybe I'm not even clear on what I'm asking and confusing two concepts. I guess what I'm getting at is that average and, I dunno, "success frequency" are two different things...or are they?

In other words, consider this series of ABs:

1. hit
2. out
3. out
4. out
5. out
6. out
7. out
8. hit
9. hit

Now, this is, for this series, a .333 hitter. However, he didn't get a hit every 3 ABs. In fact, he put up an 0-6 in the middle. I realize that at the end of the season, the "average" will say that this hitter did indeed get a hit 1/3rd of the time but the reality is that he probably never did get a hit every (just an example) 3 ABs.

In other words, is there a difference between the above hitter and this hypothetical hitter?

1. hit
2. out
3. out
4. hit
5. out
6. out
7. hit
8. out
9. out

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

Originally Posted by rdiersin
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!

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

Originally Posted by RedsManRick
Read The Drunkard's Walk. It's a great, accessible primer on statistics and probability.
Sounds like my kind of book!

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

Originally Posted by nate
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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