Questions that Prompted Baseball Evaluation's Development
What are your team's players really worth?
Was a favorite player from the 1950s actually better than one from today?
Does waning statistical performance, whether due to injury or not, indicate a continuing trend, or should this be discounted when accounting for salary and payroll?
Who deserves to make the Baseball Hall of Fame?
Where do we start? This is the basic question when trying to explain absolutely anything, of course, whether baseball statistics or another endeavor far off the sports path. A second question quickly follows about this particular project.
What is Baseball Evaluation or Stat Geek Baseball and how does it add, or detract, from the topic of baseball statistics?
Does it really answer the question, "What are Your Favorite Players Really Worth?" over the history of the game. And when you say worth, are you talking about baseball player performance on the field or salary or a bit of both? We'll answer the last question first, ... it attempts to answer both.
Let's begin with the title. Baseball Evaluation: From Doubleday to Eternity. It is an evaluation of baseball statistics from the beginning of its pro leagues until the present day. Yes, we know that Abner Doubleday was not the only person that should be credited with its birth, but the title including others, Alexander Cartwright for one, would just be too long. So please bear with us and the title for the sake of brevity.
The Baseball Evaluation economic decision model and statistical evaluation tool provides one method for evaluating professional baseball players, both pitchers and position players, over the history of the various Major Leagues. And it does so in a unique way, and with a control that has not been used by those who've come before. Yes, all players are rated on a PEVA scale that coordinates to the control of how players are paid.
Of course, it is not the first stat rating system, or the only one out there today, and we make no illusion that it is the best. Others can have an opinion on that. This is just one take on the subject, and we hope a comprehensive and accurate one. In the following webpages, Baseball Evaluation will explain the methodology of the system, definitions of new statistics created, and include yearly Player Ratings (PEVA) for each pitcher and batter.
The short explanation of the method used: it is a comparison of players on a peer to peer basis, thus allowing for valid comparisons across the various decades of play, whether dead ball, live ball, or steroid ball. Beyond the yearly PEVA Values of each player, Baseball Evaluation, through the data set files of Stat Geek Baseball, will include data for career numbers and Salary Projections over their careers as if that player were playing in today's era. You can see an example of that under the Baseball Career or Stat Geek Baseball sections.
All of this provides us with unique statistics that can rate players over all of those era and come up with lists for a variety of categories, including the best players and pitchers ever by season, career, and even best players ever by each franchise and team in history. That's what our Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book is all about. And we think you just, whether you're a true stat geek or just a general baseball fan, that you might find it interesting. Buy a copy below if you think you might be.
Although individual playing statistics will be included on this site in a modest way beside the new statistics of our system, this is not intended as competition to the fine work done by Sean Foreman at Baseball-Reference.com and the Baseballdatabank or Sean Lahman at the Baseball Archive and the Baseball Database. Check out their sites for raw historic statistics and so much more. A debt of gratitude goes out to them for their work on the statistics of baseball, as well as many others who have gone before and come after in the study of the game. It has allowed us mere mortals to add our small measure to the subject.
What will Baseball Evaluation do? What questions will it answer, or prompt into further debate? The Baseball Evaluation System is not intended to be the end result, however, it is meant to provide one tool in the ongoing debate of how to evaluate players against each other over different eras, as well as how to value their individual statistical performance into the true value to their team in the present and following years. Over ten years and 5,000 hours of study of the current way teams value its players, the Baseball Evaluation system was developed to mirror, in most ways, the way a team today rates its players as it relates to salary. So if a player who seems only 10% better than another gets paid 50% more, that his how the Baseball Evaluation system performs as well. Of course, there are some differences, even though it was our goal to minimize them. One such deviation is the way teams value players whose performance is waning, either due to injury or age. The Baseball Evaluation system treats those players in a harsher manner, as in many, if not most, cases, those waning performances indicate future performance with sliding stats.
The Baseball Evaluation system was developed to provide a comparative tool that could value position players and pitchers with an index (PEVA and RAVE) that could be used to grade and compare players of different years and eras. It was developed with an eye toward how players were valued over the past fifteen years when comparing salary data to performance and experience level. Baseball Evaluation and Stat Geek Baseball also allows for salary projections (SPRO) for not only players of the present, but the historical past.
The questions have always been many among the fan community, whether it is when a player on their team is given a new contract or allowed to go the way of free agency. It is the main question in every debate about the merits of a past player to one of the present day. The Baseball Evaluation system allows for those comparisons, as well as new debates, on Player Evaluations and their relationships to other players and the salaries they are paid.
The model was developed without attempting to deviate from current norms within the baseball community, although certain deviations were inevitable. One fact emerged right from the start. It was an expected fact. Anyone with an eye toward baseball statistics knows that a player's value per salary and public perception is an exponential quantity compared to their actual statistics. Therefore, statistics are used in the Baseball Evaluation system in a comparative fashion with peer to peer yearly reviews that maintain that exponential relationship. This comparative peer system takes away the vagaries of comparing players of different eras, whether those of the dead ball, the live ball, or the steroid ball.
Statistics are also not viewed in static terms, with, for example, a home run worth the same in 1870 as 1970. For a list of the comparative statistics used, see Baseball Evaluation: Methodology. In essense, the Baseball Evaluation System was developed to answer questions and provide new comparative statistics, although we realize that as many questions as it may answer, it likely raises even more.
Scope of Baseball Evaluation Study and System
Players Under Study - Player Years
Position Players - Over 88,000
Pitchers - Over 37,000
Fielders - Over 128,000
Statistics Reviewed - 4.4 million
Statistics Used to Formulate New Baseball Evaluation Stats (PEVA, RAVE, SPRO, Field Value) - 2.5 million
New Baseball Evaluation Stats Created - 1.9 million
PEVA Player Ratings Boxscore
Fantastic - 32.000 (MVP, Cy Young Candidate)
Great - 20.000
Very Good - 15.000 (All-Star Caliber)
Good - 10.000
Average - 3.500
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