Statcast: RC; wRC+; wRAA; wOBA; WAR

General Baseball

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In this post, I’m going to dig even deeper into some of the Statcast metrics. While these metrics use more complicated math than the old ones, they are much better at reflecting a hitter’s value.

Runs Created (RC)

Runs Created estimates a player’s effect on the game based on how many runs he manufactures. RC is a useful stat because at the core of baseball, the goal of the game is to create runs. Because RC measures that exact action, it is a useful stat.

The formula is TB x (H + BB) / (AB + BB). Basically it takes the total bases multiplies it by hits and walks, then divides that number by total opportunities.

Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+)

Just like OPS+, wRC+ takes a stat (in this case RC) and adjusts if for external factors such as ballpark and era, making league average for one year 100. Once again, as with OPS+, a wRC+ of 150 is 50% better than league average.

The formula for wRC+ is (((wRAA per PA + league runs per PA) + (league runs per PA – ballpark factor x league runs per PA) / league WRC per plate appearance, not including pitchers)) x 100.

I’m not even going to try to explain what all of this nonsense means. Practically, what it does is attempts to value a player who hits well in a pitcher friendly park, in a pitcher friendly era, more than a hitter who hits well in a hitter friendly park in a hitter friendly era.

Weighted Runs Above Average (wRAA)

wRAA measures how many runs a hitter contributes in comparison to an average player. While in other stats 100 is league average, in wRAA, a player with a wRAA of 0 would be considered average. The formula is ((wOBA – wOBA of the entire league) / annual wOBA scale) x PA.

Once again, this is a lot of nonsense that I’m not going to take the time to explain. Here’s what I will explain: a player with a high + wRAA is good, while a player with a – wRAA is bad.

Weighted On Base Average (wOBA)

wOBA is a stat that is used frequently. Mike Petriello and Matt Meyers of the MLB.com Statcast Podcast use wOBA constantly when they’re evaluating players. wOBA is a version of OBP that takes how a player reaches base into consideration instead of simply the fact that he reached.

Here’s the fomula: (unintentional BB factor x unintentional BB + HBP factor x HBP + 1B factor x 1B + 2B factor x 2B + 3B factor x 3B + HR factor x HR)/(AB + unintentional BB + SF + HBP).

Once again, this is a complicated formula and instead of trying to calculate it on your own, I would just recommend looking it up.

Wins Above Replacement (WAR)

WAR measures a player’s worth in wins, relative to a replacement character. For example, if a player’s WAR was 1.00, he is worth 1.00 more wins than a replacement level player coming off the bench.

The formula for WAR isn’t as set in stone as other formulas. Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, the top two baseball analytics sites, each have a different way of calculating WAR. Unfortunately, I don’t know how each one does it, but I do know that one takes defense into consideration, while the other doesn’t. The formula I found on MLB.com is
(The number of runs above average a player is worth in his batting, baserunning and fielding + adjustment for position + adjustment for league + the number of runs provided by a replacement-level player) / runs per win.

Even though this is a very complicated stat, it makes comparing players really easy. In order to decide whether a player belongs as a starter or replacement player, just take a look at his WAR. Afterall, it is wins above a replacement player.

That’s all for today. I know this is a lot of strange data, but it truly will help you when you’re evaluating a player. I’d encourage you to log on to Baseball-Reference.com or FanGraphs.com and check out these stats.

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