My Value is Better Than Your Value


Turkey Playing FootballI hope everyone enjoyed their Thursday football. I’ve been in a tryptophan induced coma for the last 48 hours and I still haven’t finished all the leftovers. I guess I’ll head back into the coma tonight.

Earlier this week Perich posted his article about the value of Major League baseball players. Well, that got me thinking about some things I’ve read (and you can read too: Baseball Between the Numbers, Player Value: Last Piece of the Puzzle, Dollar Value of a Player: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and the Hardball Times MVPs), and that there has to be a better different way to figure out a players value. Plus, Perich said “If you have a more objective standard of value, let me hear it.” Maybe my way isn’t “more objective,” but I hope it’s a different enough view of the numbers to see some differences. It’s still not a vote, and that’s what counts. I know I want to take into account a players salary, a players performance, and the teams overall performance. The teams performance is where I vary from Perich.

Baseball Math TextbookI believe that if you perform well on a good team, you have more of a value. Why? Because a team that makes the playoffs makes more money. And like any other business the goal of the business is to make money. The hard part is to quantify this difference.

I started my calculations the same way, by downloading all the 2007 salaries from USA Today. Then I downloaded the 2007 stats for Total Bases and VORP for 2007. According to VORP Alex Rodriguz is the clear AL winner with a 96.6. Or almost 10 wins more than a replacement 3b, or 9 more wins then if the Yankees had Ty Wigginton. In the NL, Hanley Ramirez had a great year with a VORP of 89.5. Compare that to the actual MVP, Jimmy Rollins, who had 66.1. Lower than other NL powerhouses: David Wright, Matt Holliday, and Albert Pujols among others. Read More

Nerds on Sports University: VORP


Welcome to Nerds on Sports University, class is in session. I am professor Willis, and though I may not be a Notorious Ph.D. professor of critical studies, I have read some books. Today’s topic is VORP which means Value Over Replacement Player. VORP was created by Keith Woolner of Baseball Prospectus to find a way to value a player’s contribution that factored in playing time and position (and park factors).

Step one to deciphering this stat is to figure out the RP or Replacement Player. Replacement level is a complicated calculation that can be summed up easily. Say a team gets hit with an injury to an everyday player, then the team may be stuck playing a utility bench player, bringing up a AAA player, or finding some other journeyman to fill the gap because of a foot injury, . That player is basically the replacement level and here are the Factors Why You Should Go To A Foot Surgeon.

Baseball Bell CurveThat’s the idea of Replacement Level, now the hard part: how do we calculate that level so we can compare it to all players? First off Major League baseball players don’t fall into a pretty bell curve, they fall more into the front half of a bell curve (see picture) where there are very few players with the most baseball skill (right side of chart) and a ton of players that play in softball leagues across the world (democratic side).

Before I go more into the calculation of “RP” Replacement Player, let me cover the “V” Value used. No matter where you look to read about VORP, one of the first things they remind you of is that baseball is a zero-sum game. Meaning that every game (except the All-Star game) has a winner and a loser. And as you know, runs are what determine the winner of a baseball game. So the V in VORP is measured in Runs. Now back to calculations. Read More