What Will Yu Darvish’s NPB Stats Look Like in the Major Leagues?

Introduction

Yu Darvish’s actual stats are on the very bottom of this page.

As you may know, Yu Darvish, an elite Japanese  pitcher may be coming to the major leagues next year. Teams bid on a posting fee (paid to Darvish’s Japanese team, the Nippon-Ham Fighters) for the 26 year-old and the winning team -  the Texas Rangers  – gets to negotiate a contract with him. If the negotiations are successful by the 4 PM CT deadline on January 18th, Darvish will be pitching for the Rangers next season. The obvious question is how good is he? We have been told that he is really good and his numbers (career 2.00 ERA) make him look good, but how will he perform in the major leagues against the best hitting in the world? Daisuke Matsuzaka was supposed to be good, but he has not performed as well as hoped with the Red Sox. So it all boils down to this: What pitching statistics have historically correlated well between the NPB and MLB?

Method

First, I decided to only use players who began their career in the NPB, which excludes American players like C.J. Nitkwoski and Colby Lewis. According to Japanese Ballplayers, this list comprises of 40 players, 29 of which are pitchers. Then, I found the amazing Data Warehouse at Japan Baseball Daily, where all of the NPB stats in this article originated. Finally, I gathered all of the NPB stats for each of these 30 pitchers (including Darvish) and compared them with major league statistics from Fangraphs. I excluded all statistics from players in the NPB after they appeared in the major leagues. I added Darvish’s calculated major league statistics based on the trend line for each (marked by the red data point).

Results

FIP

(Click to enlarge)

Darvish MLB FIP: 4.36

NPB FIP is calculated according to the formula on the Fangraphs Glossary, excluding intentional walks, since I don’t have that data. There is basically no correlation between NPB FIP and MLB FIP.

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Value Intensity – Who Made the Most of Their Time on the Field?

Introduction

Seven months ago, back when The Process Report was still up and running, R.J. Anderson looked at which Rays player spent the most time on the field. I mulled this over a bit and decided that he was missing the offense part of the equation. I created a metric for time on field in May, but never got around to actually revealing my findings. Since that time, Fangraphs has updated their leaderboards, making this a much easier task. I am looking at how much time each player spent on the field (Time on Field) and how many wins they contributed per ten thousand minutes (Value Intensity).

Method

As far as I can tell, a player can spend time on the field in three ways: playing defense, making a plate appearance and running the bases. I’ll break each of these up and explain how I calculated the amount of time each player spent there.

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Players Who Broke the Country Barrier

If you’re like me, you’re sitting there thinking about the players who were the first to make the major leagues from the country where they were born. Well friend, your search is complete. Below you will find exactly that, along with what year they debuted, what position they primarily played and their total career bWAR. If you click on the name, it will take you to their baseball-reference page. This information comes from b-r’s wonderful place of birth page.

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2012 Free Agent Rankings

I’ve been playing around a little bit with the 2012 free agents. First, I took each player’s past three years of Fangraphs WAR, Baseball-Reference WAR and Baseball Prospectus WARP and averaged them. Then I based a  WAR aging curve off the one from Baseball Analysts to estimate how many wins each player will be worth over the length of the contract. For players over the age of 39, I assumed a linear decline.

In order to rank the players, I assumed each player would be given a four year contract and then sorted by total projected WAR over the length of it.

I did change the average WAR for a few pitchers:

Joe Nathan: I took the average of his 2007-2009 WAR and multiplied by 0.9.

Chris Capuano: Average of 2007, 2010-2011 multiplied by 0.9.

Jeff Francis: Average of 2008, 2010-2011.

Chien-Ming Wang:Average of 2007, 2009 and 2011.

Joel Zumaya:Average of 2008-2010 multiplied by 0.9.

Erik Bedard: Average of 2008-2009 and 2011.

Bartolo Colon: Average of 2008-2009 and 2011.

C.J. Wilson: Average of 2010-2011.

Jose Reyes: Average of 2008, 2010-2011.

Aramis Ramirez: Average of 2008, 2010-2011

Endy Chavez: Average of 2008-2009 and 2011

Results

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