Sabermetrics is a baseball statistic that measures in-game activity. Bill James is one of the first pioneers to coin this idea.
As recently as 1995, former Oakland Athletics general manager and current New York Mets GM, Sandy Alderson started to use sabermetrics in determining long-term contracts for baseball players. This phenomenon has become increasing popular in the classroom.
There are currently four universities who have a course in studying Sabermetrics.
What statistics do they use to judge a players’ performance you ask? Well there is WAR, Runs created, VORP and wBOA. WAR is the acronym for Wins Above Replacement. WAR is the sabermetric statistic that is used to show how many more wins a player would give a team as opposed to a replacement level or minor league/bench player at that position. Runs created is used to determine the estimate number of runs a hitter contributes to the team. VORP or Value over replacement player is used to demonstrate how a regular player or pitcher contributes to the team success over a bench or minor league player.
Weighted on-base average or wBOA is a statistic the measures a player’s offensive contribution per plate appearance. This is an important statistic mostly for the leadoff hitters.
Let’s use the WAR statistic to determine a potential trade candidate such as Mets shortstop, Jose Reyes.
Reyes who is due for a big pay-day this off-season is a trade candidate if the Mets fall out of the playoff race by the trading deadline in July.
According to fangraphs.com, the website who determines the sabermetric projected statistics for baseball players, estimated before the season that Reyes would have a WAR of 4 games. What this means is that if Reyes would to be traded, the team receiving him would potentially add four wins to that team.
Will a team take a chance on Reyes or will the Mets hold on to him and hope they can re-sign him in the off-season?