Simon: The outlook for last season’s underachievers and overachievers

From SABR member Mark Simon at ACTA Sports on March 28, 2018:

With the MLB season beginning, there are some things we can count on. Some players will struggle inexplicably. Some will have unexpected remarkable success. But how do we know whether a struggle or success is legitimate?

There are statistical measures that help.

Our defense-independent batting statistics (DIBS) are able to give expected results on every ball in play for a hitter by comparing the ball’s trajectory, direction and velocity to other similar batted balls and assigning value based on those results. We can then compare those to his actual offensive numbers to determine if a player underachieved or overachieved.

In other words, these numbers can tell us if a player may have hit into hard luck, played in an unfriendly ballpark, or been the victim of some really good defense. Or perhaps he hit into good luck, got a few ballpark-friendly hits, or took advantage of some poor defense.

Here’s a look at six players, three in each category, heading into 2018.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 29, 2018. Last Updated: March 29, 2018.