Zone Rating on The Hardball Times

I did an article for The Hardball Times comparing the Zone Rating published by STATS for the last 20 years with a newer version, first published in John Dewan’s The Fielding Bible and now available on The Hardball Times.
I used the play by play data from Retrosheet to reconcile the data, checking out all the plays (assists and putouts) that Orlando Cabrera was involved in last year.† I learned some new things, like that on one putout, 2 fielders can be awarded an assist (like an outfielder hitting the cutoff man, who throws the runner out at the plate.)
I’m not as confident about the new zone rating data at other positions (more on this later), but for shortstops it looks like a step forward.
Also, here is an excellent blog post about the new zone rating.

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4 Responses to Zone Rating on The Hardball Times

  1. Pizza Cutter says:

    Sean, did you run a Spearman correlation on the rank orders for each system to see whether they were comparable?

  2. Sean Smith says:

    No. If I were to do that, step 1 would be to find my college statistics book and look up Spearman correlation.
    If you think it would be worthwhile, the data I used is all available in the THT article.

  3. Sean Smith says:

    With step 1 completed (didn’t remember Spearman – I’m old and its been a long time since I used this stuff in college), I tried the rank correlation and got r = .79, vs r = .83 for the data correlation. Not much difference, but I don’t think the rank correlation is appropriate since this is quantitative, not qualitative data.

  4. Pizza Cutter says:

    After I wrote that comment, I re-read your original article and saw that you had already reported the data correlation. I need to not stay up so late and attempt to do heavy lifting in stats! Also, the rank order correlation is the Spearman… at least I assume that’s what you used… it does the same thing either way.

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