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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The 2008 Fans' Scouting Report

Tom Tango has opened polling once again for the Fans' Scouting Report. Here's his pitch.

This project essentially polls baseball fans and asks them to submit basic scouting information on the fielding of players that they saw in action more than 10 times this season.

The result is a composite indication of a fielder's individual skills. Historically, these data correlate very well to the most sophisticated fielding measures available, such as UZR and PMR--better, in fact, than some other statistics such as Baseball Prospectus's FAA statistics. Furthermore, they provide unique insights into the skills that govern a fielder's performance, which makes them useful for answering questions that you simply cannot answer with more traditional fielding stats (ZR, PMR, etc). One of my favorite applications is asking what position a player should be playing, given his particular skillset.

Finally, for those of you that dislike or distrust some of the modern fielding statistics in favor of what your own eyes are telling you, this has to be an appealing project. Your own ratings of a fielder's skills, combined with those of your peers, are the basis for this statistic. It's invaluable data, and we need your assistance in collecting it.

Therefore, I'd like to ask each of you who has watched more than 10 Reds games this year to head over to Tom Tango's site and rate some Reds players. The more participation we have, the more reliable our data on Reds' players will be.

Three basic guidelines:
  • Do not consider a player's position when rating his skills. Rate him against all other players.
  • If you're not sure about a particular skill, leave it as "not sure." That's fine!
  • Avoid looking at any fielding numbers. We're trying to get a measure that is independent of what other fielding statistics are telling us, and one that is based purely on what you have personally witnessed a player doing on the field.