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Activity Number: 327
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics in Sports
Abstract - #307208
Title: Openwar: An Open Source System for Overall Player Performance in Major League Baseball
Author(s): Benjamin S. Baumer*+ and Shane T. Jensen and Gregory Matthews
Companies: Smith College and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and University of Massachusetts
Keywords: analytics ; baseball ; WAR ; R ; sports ; simulation

Within baseball analytics, there is substantial interest in comprehensive statistics intended to capture overall player performance. One such measure is Wins Above Replacement (WAR), which aggregates the contributions of a player in each facet of the game: hitting, pitching, baserunning and fielding. However, current versions of WAR depend upon proprietary data, ad hoc methodology, and opaque calculations. We propose a competitive aggregate measure, openWAR, using public data, more rigorous methodology, and transparent calculations. We discuss a principled baseline compared to the nebulous concept of a "replacement" player. Finally, we use simulation-based techniques to provide variance estimates for our openWAR measure.

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