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Friday, January 21, 2005
i love mail!
more from alec:

"the point is you can look at expected batting average and see how much
a player exceeded that expectation and you can call that speed. unless
it comes from too many line drives. but speed only comes into play on
weak contact."

Hmmm... I guess I'm not totally sold on that last point. Obviously
speed has no role in a home run, and I'll grant that it must make the
MOST difference in singles, but surely it makes a difference in doubles
and triples, too! And heck, I suppose there are in-field home runs too,
but I can't imagine they're very significant statistically.

Not to mention that there must be some kind of correlation between this
"speed factor" and bases stolen, but I guess that's getting overly
complicated for what you're trying to do. Plus it must be a pretty weak
correlation if I had to guess. Hmmm...

right. when i said "speed only comes into play on weak contact," i was talking about as it relates to batting average. because a double is the same as a single as far as batting average is concerned.

but yeah fast guys hit more doubles. and lots more triples. and inside-the-park home runs happen once or twice a season.

as the system is now, those things are included in pow. that's fine, as far as i'm concerned. we could call pow "the ability to hit for extra bases," but it's a lot easier to say "power percentage." and a double hit with speed has just as much predictive value as a double hit with power. so the speed to first thing is really a measure of the ability to get to first beyond that which is suggested by extra-base hits.

getting to your last point, there certainly is a correlation between speed to first and stolen bases. the problem is stolen bases are only regularly attempted by the very fastest players, so they don't help when trying to get a reed on average to above-average players.

i'm taking this spelling of reed to its logical extremes. it's getting pretty ridiculous, isn't it?
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