Woodrum: The state and future of pitch-framing research

From Bradley Woodrum at The Hardball Times on February 27, 2014:

We need to better understand catcher defense. It is not a matter of small weight. It is not a final flourish on player evaluation. It is a weighty, vital next and present step in baseball analytics.

Over the last decade, our metrics have blossomed, and we can propose with decent comfort: Miguel Cabrera has been worth around seven wins annually; Brandon Crawford has been worth around two wins annually; Mark Buehrle has lately managed an ERA and innings combo worth about 3.5 wins per season.

What we can not say with good comfort and what we should not be saying: Buster Posey was worth around about five wins in 2013, or Jonathan Lucroy was worth 3.6 wins each of his last two seasons. Why? Because a hearty chunk of the catcher’s role is not accounted for in any present form of WAR.

Of course, few good baseball writers make this error–the error of assuming the relative reliability of non-catcher WAR carries any similar weight to catcher WAR. A pitcher estimated at two WAR is nowhere as reliable as a catcher estimated at two WAR.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-state-and-future-of-pitch-framing-research/

Originally published: February 27, 2014. Last Updated: February 27, 2014.