Friday, February 09, 2007

The Scouting Report, By the Fans, For the Fans

Baseball writer TangoTiger does an annual survey of fans, asking them to rate major leaguers on their defensive ability in a number of categories (strength, first step speed, etc.) The numbers for 2006 are out, and they're fun to look at. You can click on any player and see a list of players with the most similar scores. For example, here's Coco Crisp and Melky Cabrera.

One thing these numbers are good for is that studies have shown that these ratings, when combined with defensive statistics, do a better job of predicting future defense than defensive statistics alone. That shows that these numbers are capturing abilities that the defensive statistics (even the more complicated ones) do not.

This is likely the kind of thing that many organizations are already doing with minor leaguers - combining statistics with scouting information in a way that's more effective than either one alone.

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