Our AL East DiamondView journey comes to a close, and with it, any mystery why the standings turned out the way they did in 2009. With unexpected precision, this method shows that the teams with the better starters in the ON BASE and POWER categories came in the exact same order as they appear in the standings. While the obvious remains obvious, this visual is certainly enlightening:
Can anybody find a correlation in this?
Team composites after the jump.
Notes & Background:
The DiamondView Composite Player Evaluation method/tool is an attempt by the author to visualize the five classic player tools into comparable shapes. The original hypothesis was that one would eventually be able to look at an unlabled DVC and be able to describe which position he probably plays, with speedy/good glove guys probably in center or short, and slower power guys in left and first--just like everybody would think.
The data actually does bear this out, but often has surprising returns, and is rarely perfect. If you review the linked articles above and look for the position average for each, you'll see that 1st points northeast, 2nd points southeast, 3rd and RF are both relatively squarish, catchers are pretty much awful at everything, center points south, and LF is squarish pointing slightly east.
Currently, the data is collected as follows:
On Base: OBP | Power: ISO | Base Running: EQBRR | Fielding: UZR/150
All data is for 2009 and has some minimum number of PA to make the DiamondView cut. The data is neither park adjusted nor position adjusted. The players are picked for these reviews based on a combination of PT and availability of their scores in my DB. The position averages are figured using the average of players that made the DiamondView minimum PA. The team average is the average of the starters listed. The graph is a combination of programs and effects.
Opportunities and Intentions to Improve:
1. As noted above, the data isn't properly adjusted to reflect park effects nor positional value. Both would be needed for a slightly improved review of the time period.
2. Projected data will be needed to make these relevant for the upcoming year. Please advise which data set for each category you believe would be the best fit for this purpose.
3. The fielding stat (UZR/150) leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn't help with catchers at all. I'd like to hear your opinions on the best way to combine available data (Nate Silver style?).
4. An insightful commenter CoachOfEarl suggested rotating the stats to add an additional layer of subtext to the visual: power at home plate to represent scoring, on base at 1st to represent getting on base, fielding at the top to represent the rangy SS, 2Bs, and CFs, and base running at 3rd to represent higher-speed guys that make it that far. Does that make more sense than the current setup to you guys, and if so, do you think it's too late to change? Do you care? I think it's a great idea but don't want to break any subconscious visual commitment that we've already made over the course of this project.
5. Yes, Pitching DiamondView is in the works. I'm currently settling on the proper data sets to best represent every significant factor in evaluating pitching talent as well as a slight tweak to the visual so it won't be mistaken for the batter version.
Please leave your thoughts and further suggestions below.