Statistics Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

10-2012

Publication Source

Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports

Volume

8

Issue

3

DOI

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.

Copyright/Permission Statement

The final publication is available at www.degruyter.com.

Keywords

fielding, hierarchical Bayesian models, time series

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.