What is leading indicators

what is leading indicators

2012

Using Leading Indicators

Ron Shandler

These days, everybody has access to the same news. Thanks to the internet, there's very little "insider information" that escapes public consumption. So we all go along assembling our player rankings and making trades and putting in FAAB bids, knowing full well that the other GMs in our leagues have a pretty good handle on what we're doing, and why.

And so we end up losing our edge.

As an HQ subscriber, you should know that there's more to life than just the news. For draft day and beyond, you have access to some powerful tools that can restore your edge.

There's no question that our statistical charts are daunting. But just a little education can open up a treasure chest of secrets that can give you the power to control your league standings. It's true. Baseball HQ's charts include leading indicators that can.

project ERA swings for many players with over 80% accuracy.

identify batters due for a surge or decline in their BA.

project which pitchers will fade down the stretch.

uncover hidden power hitters to tuck away on your reserve list.

If you've got a few minutes, we can give you the power. Print out this essay. Bring up the player projections charts. And refer to the following as you unlock the secrets.

BATTING

- The first place to look is at a batter's on base average. This is an important gauge that is rarely used to its full potential. OB% will tell you which players are valuable to their teams. Look for levels over .350, especially for batters who you need to get on base.

OB% will also tell you which stolen base threats will maximize their speed potential. A lead-off hitter with a .310 OB% could be in danger of losing his job. If he's your speed stud, better start looking for other sources.

- Expected Batting Average (xBA) will tell you how real a player's batting average is. Pay close attention to any variances of 20 points or more.

- Another indicator that provides a reality check for batting average is a batter's Batting Eye ratio (Eye). Ratios under 0.50 are bad; over 1.00 are very good. If a hitter has a BA over .300 and a low eye ratio, he's hacking away and will likely be a streaky hitter, experiencing many streaks and slumps. Conversely, if his BA is struggling but his ratio is strong, there's a recovery ahead.

- The components of batting eye are also revealing. A batter's walk rate (bb%) is the true gauge of plate patience. Double-digit levels are good; levels under 5% are bad. Hackers can also be described by their contact rate (ct%). Levels over 90% are great; levels under 75% are not.

- In the in-season charts, %BA is Batting Average Potential, the probability that a batter will improve his ERA over the balance of the season, based on an evaluation of the leading indicators of contact rate, xBA and walk rate.

%BA is expressed as a percentage, in 5% increments ranging from 10% to 90%, though most will be centered closer to the mean, especially further along in the season. If a batter's %BA says 60%, for instance, it means that he has a 60% chance of improving his BA during the rest of the season. It also means that he has a 40%

chance of seeing no change, or a drop-off.

So, if your star hitter is struggling but has an %BA of 70%, sit tight. By the same token, if one of the other GMs is getting itchy with a batter who has an %BA rating over 65%, make him a trade offer. But lowball; he probably will bite. The flipside is true too. If your hitter is posting exemplary numbers but has an %BA in 25% territory, or worse, he's doing the "smoke and mirrors" game. This is particularly true for those hitters who do not have a history of good performance. While his value is high, it's time to deal. And do it quickly.

- Next look at his Power Index (PX). Here, 100 is par, representing league average power skills. The power elite will have levels over 175; Barry Bonds might even surpass 200 again. If you need to take a chance on a late-round draft pick or FAAB flyer who might provide some hidden pop, search out those players who have PX ratings over 150.

- Finally, the actual statistical projections for each player (Balance of Year Baseline in the in-season charts) will give you a sense of future productivity for your player. Remember that this is just a baseline and might be further impacted by the other leading indicators here.

PITCHING

- The first place to look is the pitcher's BPI levels. Does he have a command ratio (Cmd) over 2.0, a strikeout rate (Dom) over 5.6, a HR rate under 1.0? Is his opposition batting average under .275? Is his base performance value (BPV) over 50? If he's a closer, is his BPV over 90?

- In the in-season charts, XE +/- is our Expected ERA variance. This tells us whether a pitcher is performing at a level above or below his current ERA. Half run variations are the minimum level to take note of; variations of a run or greater are more likely to indicate ERA movement. An XERA variance of -1.00 indicates a strong probability for ERA improvement; a variance of +1.00 indicates a strong probability for a pitcher's ERA to climb.

- S% is our strand rate, which is one of the best leading indicators of future ERA. Pitchers who are stranding 65% or fewer of their baserunners have over an 80% likelihood of improving their ERA. Pitchers who are stranding over 80% of their baserunners have an over 80% likelihood of seeing their ERA rise.

- In the in-season charts, EP is ERA Potential, the probability that a pitcher will improve his ERA over the balance of the season, based on an evaluation of the leading indicators of BPV, xERA Variance, Hit Rate and Strand Rate. The use of this gauge is similar to %BA above.

- Finally, the actual statistical projections for each player (Balance of Year Baseline in the in-season charts) will give you a sense of future productivity for your player. Remember that this is just a baseline and might be further impacted by the other leading indicators here.

A lot to take in? You bet. But definitely worth an hour investment to gain a working knowledge. When you start planning for your draft, enter into trade negotiations or start prospecting in the free agent pool, you'll want to make sure you're targeting players who have future upside. The news will give you foundation information. The numbers will give you the edge.

Source: www.baseballhq.com

Category: Forex

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