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Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports

An official journal of the American Statistical Association

Editor-in-Chief: Steve Rigdon, PhD

4 Issues per year


CiteScore 2016: 0.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.288
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.358

Online
ISSN
1559-0410
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Estimating Fielding Ability in Baseball Players Over Time

James Piette / Shane T. Jensen
Published Online: 2012-10-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1559-0410.1463

Abstract

Quantitative evaluation of fielding ability in baseball has been an ongoing challenge for statisticians. Detailed recording of ball-in-play data in recent years has spurred the development of sophisticated fielding models. Foremost among these approaches, Jensen et al. (2009) used a hierarchical Bayesian model to estimate spatial fielding curves for individual players. These previous efforts have not addressed evolution in a player’s fielding ability over time. We expand the work of Jensen et al. (2009) to model the fielding ability of individual players over multiple seasons. Several different models are implemented and compared via posterior predictive validation on hold-out data. Among our choices, we find that a model which imposes shrinkage towards an age-specific average gives the best performance. Our temporal models allow us to delineate the performance of a fielder on a season-to-season basis versus their entire career.

Keywords: fielding; hierarchical Bayesian models; time series

About the article

Published Online: 2012-10-09


Citation Information: Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, ISSN (Online) 1559-0410, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1559-0410.1463.

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©2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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