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Sunday, August 21, 2016

FANGRAPHS elitism on steroids: xHR.

I was minding my own business checking fangraphs.com for something that might be worth reading. I spotted this:


xHR: A Speedy and Mandatory Revision
by Jackson Mejia - August 19, 2016

Annoying does not even begin to describe it. Insufferably elitist is kind.

I'm not a statistician and I don't expect to understand a lot of the more involved stuff but fangraphs.com has the practice of not defining term, which makes much of its stuff really difficult to understand.

For the article above I opened another tab in my browser (Chrome) for the fangraphs.com glossary, figuring that I might be able to get through the article by looking up pretty much everything. Even that didn't help.

I eventually found my way to:

Complete List (Offense)


I then used my browser find menu item to look for stuff. I started with the subject of the article written by the insufferable humanoid: xHR. Not found. Nice touch.

I then tried the first stat mentioned: xHR/BBE. BBE was not found. Then the next: FBLDEV. Not found.

Then there was wFB/C. Putting x or w in front of a stat is supposed to mean something but I don't know what. I searched for xFB. Found: Weighted Fastball Runs. I had figured that FB was fly balls. Silly me.

I even found wFB/C in the glossary. Are you ready? C is per 100 pitches. Of course. Roman numeral C (100) and the the number of pitches. Who wouldn't know that?

It goes on, oh, and with FB%, which stands for Fly Ball percentage, which the glossary defines as FB/BIP. I happened to know that BIP stands for Balls In Play.

The writer condescendingly concluded by actually showing his equation for xHR. Please sit down and secure your seat belt.

As always, the formula:

xHR= (.170102188*FB% -.014640853*K% + .0000269758*AVGDST + .005672306*FBLDEV -.541845681)*BBE

Search of the glossary for the stuff mentioned in the definition of xHR:

FB% (Fly Ball Percentage): The percentage of a batter’s balls in play that are fly balls, calculated as FB/BIP.

K% (Strikeout Percentage): Frequency with which the batter has struck out, calculated as strikeouts divided by plate appearances.

AVGDST: not found

FBLDEV: not found

BBE: not found

And, of course, a nice mix of constants, which make some point. Is there any possible explanation or defense for such elitism?

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