Zimmerman: A new way to look at college players’ stats

From SABR member Jeff Zimmerman at The Hardball Times on June 29, 2016:

With the College World Series upon us this month, I wanted to examine college baseball analytics. People like Chris Long and Chris Mitchell (with his KATOH Projections) have calculated which players are more likely to make the transition from college to the majors. For this article, I will mainly look at just the college game, though I will use draft data to compare conference quality. I will show how players at NCAA Division I and Junior College Division I age and the expected regression factor for some stats. Additionally, I did a small sample study on how players perform as they move from the JUCO ranks to Division I. And as with all good data dives, I will leave with more questions for both you and to ponder in future studies.

College stats are not the easiest to collect. For Division I, I used data from the NCAA’s website. The data at times were missing: the players didn’t have a grade associated with them, and had new stats added or rearranged columns from season to season. In the end, I eliminated about two percent of the data for various reasons. I had to make the call of spending days aiming for a 100 percent clean data set or having this study done in a semi-timely fashion. The amount of lost data is around six team’s worth. Since I was originally dealing with 281 teams, the new data set has ~275 teams worth of data. I see no reason to be suspicious of the data’s results because of this, as there is still a huge sample remaining.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/a-new-way-to-look-at-college-players-stats/

Originally published: June 30, 2016. Last Updated: June 30, 2016.