Long gone are the days of simplistic baseball stats. The number of baseball fans and analysts concerned with Batting Average or Runs Batted In is dwindling. The stat-heavy fan is now concerned with wOBA, OBP, and wRC+. So I pose this question: with all of the advanced stats coming out almost yearly, will baseball teams eventually be ranked according to a revolutionary advanced metric thereby eliminating the necessity of the win/loss column?
On-Base Percentage, Weighted On-Base Average, and Weighted Runs Created-Plus are just a few of the advanced stats that baseball fans are consulting in order to decide who is going to win a fantasy baseball match-up, or a bar-room argument. But what if a new stat was created to rank teams after each game to determine the true winner based on the actions of the players during that game? Would this make the game better, and influence its reach, or would it become a deterrent?
Where Did This Idea Come From?
These thoughts occurred to me today when I was listening to the Effectively Wild Podcast, Episode 1304, in which Ben Lindberg was talking to Jonathan Judge from Baseball Prospectus. Judge was a guest on the show to talk about their newest stat, Deserved Runs Created-Plus, or abbreviated as DRC+. I’m not going to get into what DRC+ is, or how it derived, but you can find Judge’s article here. Judge was explaining on what DRC+ is and how it is a better predictor as to the ability of the player, not just what happened when that player was at the plate or while he was pitching. Now, DRC+does not include any Statcast data, because they don’t have the permission yet to use it. However, I feel that this data is already complex enough, and therefore does not require any further analysis.
Now, I am not going to come in and give some complex formula and tell you how this is going to happen. Trust me, I’m not that guy. I am merely posing the hypothetical question to gauge reaction in order to see how true baseball fans would feel about this. I personally don’t want to see the wins and losses go away, but I imagine that’s how people felt when they were basing players solely on average, home runs, and runs batted in. So what if, when the playoffs started, the teams were not ranked according to win/loss percentage, but rather on a specific stat? Would you, the analytical baseball fan, be okay with this or is this something that you hope never comes to fruition?