Earlier this year, Justin Bopp over at Beyond the Box Score showcased a unique illustrative method termed DiamondView (it was Bopp’s creation), in order to evaluate team capabilities with regards to fielding (UZR/150), getting on base (OBP), base-running (EQBRR), and power (ISO). Last time, he provided us with the following review of the American League East using DiamondView (you can read about his methodology here). Now, for our viewing pleasure, he has created individual visuals for pitchers and the results are, once again, a lot of fun to look at.
Bopp’s personalized DiamondView evaluations for pitchers are based on command (i.e., collecting strike outs), control (i.e., preventing walks), durability (i.e., in-game and throughout the season), and batted-ball (i.e., ground ball versus fly ball) statistics. The figures are predicated upon a 0-100 scale, with 100 being the greatest and 0, of course, being the worst. The individual diamond, specific to the featured pitcher, then stretches accordingly within the fixed diamond.
With that said, here is Bopp’s DiamondView illustration for Yankees starter, A.J. Burnett:
Notice that Burnett, in 2009, was a durable pitcher as his diamond stretches towards 89 on the 0-100 scale, meaning that he went deep into games and logged a lot of innings. His strikeouts, as always, were up there at 71, however, his control was well below average at 21. He also generated, roughly, the same amount of ground balls and fly balls.
Now, here is Bopp’s DiamondView of closer, Mariano Rivera, based on his 2009 numbers:
As anticipated, Rivera’s visual is remarkable, as he inches close to 100 in every category outside of durability, which is obviously not his fault, rather, it is the result of his role. Notice how impeccable his control was last season, leading Bopp to quip, “The last time [Rivera] walked somebody was probably some grandma while crossing the street.”
In the end, Bopp’s visuals don’t tell us stuff we don’t already know. I think that much is clear (we know A.J. Burnett can be wild, we know Mariano Rivera is the epitome of control). Nonetheless, DiamondView provides an interesting and simple way to visualize meaningful statistics so as to evaluate pitcher performance. In a world where stats are sometimes shunned for their inaccessibility, the unimposing and straightforward visuals help to lessen that perception.
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