With the deadline to file my 2023 Pacific and Central league award and Golden Glove ballots fast approaching, I’ve spent much of the past two weeks in my annual number-crunching excursion into NPB’s team and individual performances.
As some of you know, I calculate Bill James’ Win Shares for NPB players, which in general agree with Wins Above Replacement except that pitching in WAR contributes roughly 60 percent of the value, with offense and defense sharing the rest. In Win Shares, offense is set at 42 percent, with pitchers and fielders splitting the remainder, with the size of the split largely determined by the quality of each team’s defensive and pitching stats.
To my thinking, the differences in these relative splits can be attributed to two things, that WAR assigns value based on the principle of scarcity an individual’s performance represents, while Win Shares assigns value on the principle that wins result from the contributions of each team’s pitchers, fielders and hitters, and examines individual results to assign the share each player contributes to team success with his batting, pitching and fielding.
The win share awards are results of calculations using complex algorithms, but are calculations producing estimates, not knowledge, and come with their own biases. These influence my own award voting, but do not represent my eventual decisions.
Each leader comes with his relative Win Shares total, and the score of the player with the next highest total. Although it lacks game-by-game observational accounts that result in the Ultimate Zone Rating used by WAR, and more detailed individual play metrics, Win Shares defense scores mesh well with WAR over a period of seasons, but individual years can provide some interesting results.
For the Golden Glove awards, I ranked players by their number of win shares at their position per 1,000 innings played. For both Best Nines and Win Shares, I limited the players ranked to those who spent at least half the season at that position.Continue reading 2023 NPB win share awards