College of Arts and Sciences
Applied Statistics | Statistics and Probability
Detweiler, Heath, "Success in Professional Baseball: The Value of Above Average Position Players" (2014). Senior Honors Theses. 430.
In professional baseball, efficient spending is the key to success. Because modern player contracts are so costly, front offices must seek out the most valuable players. In addition, to reach the playoffs, teams need offensively above average players at some positions. Together, these facts lead to an interesting question of whether or not defensive position impacts the value of offensively above average players. To answer this question, reliable metrics of offensive ability must be employed and appropriately analyzed.
Through an analysis involving on-base percentage, park-adjusted linear weights, and weighted on-base average over the course of the 2010 through 2013 Major League Baseball (MLB) regular seasons, it was determined that above average players are more valuable at certain positions than at others. Ultimately, the specific results of this analysis provide practical financial guidance to baseball franchises by generally identifying the most valuable position players.