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August 2012 - Baseball

We provide agents with powerful statistical analysis and research for arbitration, baseball free agency and long-term deal negotiations. Call Steve Fall at 512-852-8193 for more information.

Building Value with Team Achievements

Telling a free agent’s story requires more than analyzing their individual statistics. While a player’s analytics comprise the majority of our free agency packages, we also address key factors that relate to their specific circumstances, such as the strength of their division or league. Highlighting pertinent team level achievements is another great way to demonstrate player value.

The Braves’ outfield defense makes a great example. Their starting group – which includes two arbitration eligibles in Jason Heyward and Martin Prado and potential free agent Michael Bourn – has shined this year. The Atlanta outfield dominates team defensive statistics, especially advanced metrics like Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved.

The Braves had allowed the fewest triples (13) and second-fewest doubles (183) in the NL (through August 16), which shows their outfielders’ range and skill. When all three starters play, they have a huge impact on opponent scoring (see chart).

Contact us at or 512-852-8193 to hear what our high-performance analytics can do for your free agents and arbitration-eligible players.

Free Agency Challenges and Solutions

In recent years, analytics have helped change things for the better. In free agency and even the arbitration process – where core numbers have considerable impact – pitchers can now land great contracts without high win totals.

Starters with both a low win total and high ERA face a greater challenge. Potential free agent Francisco Liriano, for example, had a 5.22 ERA through August 16. But all that matters to clubs is what Liriano will achieve going forward. Some key 2012 trends provide insight into his future.

1) Tough Competition. Liriano had faced elite opponents far more often than the average pitcher this season: 82.1 of his 120.2 innings pitched had come against teams with winning records. He owned an excellent 3.76 ERA against clubs under .500.

2) Hitter’s Parks. An incredible 84 percent of Liriano’s innings pitched had come in ballparks that increase run production. He had thrown 101.1 innings in hitter’s parks vs. just 19.1 in parks that decrease run scoring.

3) Likely to Bounce Back. Liriano had an impressive 4.02 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) figure. Developed by, FIP measures what a pitcher’s ERA should be assuming league average performance on balls put in play. Pitchers with a high ERA and much lower FIP will usually see their ERA improve significantly. Brandon Morrow’s 2011 and 2012 seasons make a great example.

Although Liriano struggled with his control this season, he had struck out an outstanding 9.85 batters per nine innings. How have pitchers with similar statistics performed in subsequent seasons? To find out, we identified all pitchers age 26-to-30 in the past 25 seasons with 20+ starts, 4.5+ unintentional walks and 8.5+ strikeouts per nine innings. Then we combined stats in their “comp” season and each of the next three years.

The pitchers dramatically improved their control in the next season, and continued this trend while pitching better overall.


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Note: All players used in this newsletter and our sample charts are selected at random. None of the information comes from actual projects for agents. All projects and conversations are confidential.

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