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Joe is the founder of Project COBB, under which he serves as Stats and Research Manager for the GB National Team and chairs the British Baseball Hall of Fame. Joe's writing has been published in book form by Fineleaf.

2009 update: batting dominance, pitching dominance, league health, and league quality

Earlier this year I published a series of articles offering between-season comparisons of batters, pitchers, league quality, and league health in the British top tier. With the National Baseball League’s regular season now completed, it is possible to see where 2009 fits in.

Batting dominance
To see results for 2001-2008 and the methods read the full article.
There is one new entry in the top-ten list of most dominant batting seasons. Ryan Bird’s gross production average of .426 gives him a z-score of 1.831 when assessed against all other hitters, and this puts him fifth on the list (this moves his 2008 performance of 1.694 down to sixth). Simon Pole’s z-score of 2.444 from 2005 is safe at the top for at least another season.

Pitching dominance
To see results for 2001-2008 and the methods read the full article.
The 2009 season was unremarkable for pitching, with Michael Osborn’s z-score of  1.091 leading the way among players who pitched at least 40 innings. The top-ten list ranges from Simon Pole’s 2.308 from 2003 to Adam Lemke’s 1.553 from 2006.

League quality
To see the methods, as well as a comparison between European leagues, read the full article.
Since the seasons are compared on a relative scale, the addition of stats for 2009 requires a full update of the results. Data from 2006 and 2007 are not included since the stats for those seasons include a large chunk of games between top-tier and second-tier teams. The updated quality scores out of 100 are ranked as follows: 2003 – 98.1; 2004 – 77.5; 2008 – 71.5; 2005 – 43.3; 2009 – 24.0. Given the demise of Croydon it is perhaps unsurprising to see the 2009 quality score at the bottom of the pile. Nevertheless, it is still very disappointing, as 2008 had offered much promise for a return to consistently high-quality baseball.

League health
To see results for 2003-2008 and the methods read the full article.
With Croydon’s five forfeits and numerous other capitulations, 2009 was never going to challenge the healthiness score of 90.3 from the 2003 season, but the other four teams had enough competitive balance to still elevate 2009 above 2008’s forfeit-free but blowout-rich schedule, the respective scores being 73.6 and 72.6.

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3 Responses to “2009 update: batting dominance, pitching dominance, league health, and league quality”

  1. Matt Smith #

    It is a shame how Croydon’s fortunes have plummeted, but as you wrote, the other four teams were very competitive. Hopefully the Pirates can bounce back and make it a true five-way battle next season. Maybe the Essex Arrows will even make it a six-way battle as well?

    August 22, 2009 at 12:02 pm Reply

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