Tag Archives: win shares

2023 NPB win share awards

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

That time again

I began filling out my postseason award ballot on Wednesday, and drew some interested responses, and after reflection, I have to think that Yoshinobu Yamamoto is going to win the PL MVP award because people infer that the player whose season is the biggest outlier in the league MUST be the MVP.

I was asked why Yamamoto was absent from my Pacific League MVP votes, and why Lotte’s Shogo Nakamura was there at all.

Although I think it’s exceedingly hard to argue that Yamamoto was more valuable than Mastaka Yoshida, there are things players do and don’t do that aren’t measured except in anecdote.

For the first time in a few years, I’ve relied on my own work to cast my postseason award ballots. This allowed me to do without wins above replacement, which I kind of understand but philosophically can’t get behind for two reasons:

  1. WAR allows elite pitchers working seven-plus innings a week to be considered on a par with elite hitters who also have some defensive value.
  2. WAR credits or debits hitters with a “positional adjustment” based on the contribution of the players at their position. But batters don’t contribute offensively as catchers or first basemen, they contribute as hitters, period.

That’s why I’m partial to Bill James‘ Win Shares, and for the further reason that the individual players on a team cannot receive more credit for wins than their team actually wins.

Continue reading That time again