Baseball Judgments

Baseball Judgments |
Variation in play over the course of a season


By Roger Weber


It is often assumed than an end of the season average or total is a total indicator of that player’s performance. In reality, though, the end of the season is simply a point at which a varying graph stops. Statistics could be very different if the end of the season occurred at a different time. In addition, it is a conception that a player who hits .300 more or less steadily hits .300, or at least that any fluctuation in his average occurs at the beginning of the season when he is rusty. That, however, is untrue. The fluctuation is consistent throughout the season, but shows less effect because there is a greater sample size resulting in the average. Ichiro Suzuki’s 2004 season was noted as a very successful, at least as far as his production in terms of hits. But even that season was affected by fluctuation in streaks. This downloadable graph takes 11-game averages over the course of the season to measure Suzuki’s production during those 11 games. Graphed, we can see that there was a great deal of variation.


Click here to download graph.


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