Alan Schwarz talks with The Hardball Times’s Dave Studeman in this Sunday’s Keeping Score column: Gauging the Impact of Acquisitions Is a Slippery Science.
The Hardball Times, a Web site devoted to baseball statistical analysis, tracks Win Shares while adding a pragmatic twist. For example, it assigned Castillo – who last season batted .301 with 4 home runs and 10 stolen bases, with fine range on defense – 17 Win Shares, meaning that his play accounted for about 6 of Florida’s 83 victories. (Each Win Share equals one-third of a team victory.)
But Castillo was still not really worth six victories, because even a mediocre second baseman helps his team win several games over a season. After many clicks and clacks, the Hardball Times assigned Castillo only seven “Win Shares over Bench,” or about two victories more than a typical warm body.
“It isn’t realistic to compare a player to zero – you want to compare him to an easily available player from the Triple-A level,” said Dave Studeman, a 50-year-old former health-care executive from Evanston, Ill., who has all but retired to run the Hardball Times. “This gives you a better idea of the player’s actual incremental value.”
I just got my copy of The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2006, and I did little else but read it over the weekend.