A number of people have asked me about Wins Above Replacement figures for Nippon Professional Baseball. NPB’s stats agency calculates UZRs and defensive data needed to calculate WAR and supplies those numbers to teams as part of its subscription service, but does not make them public.
Without UZRs I have not attempted to calculate WARs yet for players in Japan, but that may change in the near future. Until that time, I will give you Bill James Win Shares for the years I currently have them. Having said that, I was able to sneak a peak at NPB’s WAR data for 2013… Below are the links to the pdf files currently on this site. Enjoy!
(The park effects given are the three adjustments needed to calculate Win Shares, and represent how much each team’s collection of home parks increases or decreases runs overall, home runs and non-home run offense. The calculations reflect not just that year’s effects but to a lesser degree the park effects for the previous and subsequent two seasons — unless something significantly changed those parks characteristics. In this case the 2011 and 2012 figures do not include any data from 2010 since a new standard ball was used from 2011. Another change in the ball, in 2013, drastically changed the run environment again.)
For those of you curious about Takashi Toritani, I offer the following: a translated excerpt from a column by Japan BIS analyst Kei Kanazawa on Toritani, whose fielding range was the worst last season among the Central League’s regular shortstops:
For our topic among shortstops, I have chosen Takashi Toritani, a Golden Glove winner who is now attracting attention in his bid to play abroad this offseason. However, if you look at the table, it is plain to see that the 14th-year shortstop’s range was extremely poor this season. For the third straight season, Toritani played every inning at short, but his UZR this year was the worst it’s been since before 2009.
Toritani’s range was above the league average in ’09 and ’10. While he was a tad below average in ‘11, he led the Central League by a huge margin in ’11 and ’12. Still with Toritani playing every inning at short, Hanshin posted the league’s highest Defensive Efficiency Rating for the first time since 1992 – when the Tigers had breakout seasons from Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Tsutomu Kameyama and rookie-of-the-year at Teruyoshi Kuji.
The sudden drop in Toritani’s defensive numbers could likely have been caused by right knee trouble. Looking at his figures, one would have to think he’d make a pretty good major league second baseman.
If one looked only at his errors, Toritani made the fewest in the league (He made five, while every other NPB team made 11). The balls that did come within his range, he turned into outs, so one has to give him high marks for reliability.
The entire original is here: baseball-lab