openWAR: An open source system for evaluating overall player performance in major league baseball

Within sports analytics, there is substantial interest in comprehensive statistics intended to capture overall player performance. In baseball, one such measure is wins above replacement (WAR), which aggregates the contributions of a player in each facet of the game: hitting, pitching, baserunning, and fielding. However, current versions of WAR depend upon proprietary data, ad hoc methodology, and opaque calculations. We propose a competitive aggregate measure, openWAR, that is based on public data, a methodology with greater rigor and transparency, and a principled standard for the nebulous concept of a “replacement” player. Finally, we use simulation-based techniques to provide interval estimates for our openWAR measure that are easily portable to other domains.
© Copyright 2015 Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. de Gruyter. All rights reserved.

Subjects: sports game baseball analysis performance athlete competition software theory performance factor
Notations: technical and natural sciences sport games
DOI: 10.1515/jqas-2014-0098
Published in: Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports
Published: 2015
Volume: 11
Issue: 2
Pages: 69-84
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced