August 10, 2006, 1:58 pm
Animations, Small Multiples and Alex Rodriguez
By Henry Woodbury
Baseball fans may be interested in this analysis of Alex Rodriguez’s current power dropoff.
Visual explanation fans may be interested in swing instructor Jeff Albert’s use of video clips (in the form of animated gifs) and small multiples to support his analysis. The video clip discussion, focused on subtle differences in hip rotation, is fairly technical. More interesting, visually, is Albert’s use of spray charts as small multiples. A spray chart is a scale diagram of a ballpark with a player’s hitting denoted by location and outcome (g for groundout, f for flyout, s for single, h for home run, etc.). Presenting spray charts from 2002 to 2006 (2004-2006 reproduced below), Albert shows that Rodriguez’s home run sprays look different when he is hitting better.
How would we like our own job performances evaluated like this?
Posted by louiskim on August 16, 2006 at 12:20 am
Baseball statisticians can be ruthless. There’s a formula called “VORP” (Value Over Replacement Player) that calculates your worth compared to a replacement player at your position. Negative VORP means your team would be better off replacing you with a minor leaguer (more or less).
Posted by Henry Woodbury on August 18, 2006 at 9:25 am