High Heat Stats: Taking pitchers’ WAR to the next level

“When assessing a pitcher’s value, it’s important to consider the skill set he brings to the mound. Pitchers can be effective in a variety of ways, from striking out a high percentage of batters to limiting walks, controlling balls in play and stranding runners on base.

Like position players, pitchers are evaluated according to the metric Wins Above Replacement (WAR). At FanGraphs.com, pitcher WAR is calculated with a statistic called Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP.

FIP isolates the three outcomes directly within a pitcher’s control: strikeouts, walks and home runs. It does not give a pitcher any responsibility for allowing hits and runs during his outing, because luck and defense can significantly influence those variables. In general, a pitcher with high strikeout totals and few walks and home runs will have a low FIP and, consequently, a high WAR.

However, FIP-based WAR fails to give us the whole picture…”

Full post at USA Today Sports Weekly here.