Monday, December 22, 2008

Huh? Part 2: MLV

Well VORP was fun, yes? In getting some feedback, I've decided to knock off the math involved to finding these statistics, and boil it down to a gist. Because I feel like we'll all let someone else do the math, we just want to know what it means. Am I wrong? E-mail me.

Today we're getting into MLV. MLV stands for Marginal Lineup Value - and like VORP, deals with comparing a player to a fictional "average" player in the lineup. Since runs are good in baseball (there's a point, this isn't the gist) and outs are bad, MLV is, according to Baseball Prospectus: "an estimate of the additional number of runs a given player will contribute to a lineup that otherwise consists of average offensive performers."

So with MLV, there are a number of calculations - and assumptions - needed to get close, but it has to do with the runs a team scores and the team's offensive statistics. The player's contribution is found by the effect he has on the team's offensive statistics (BA, OBP, SLG, etc...), based on a proportionate number of plate appearances.

Like VORP, the higher the MLV the better, but MLV projects how a player affects his team. VORP projects how much better (or worse) a player is over a Scrub.

On to the Astros. The players with the three highest MLVs in '08 were:
Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Ty Wigginton (same as VORP)

And once again, Michael Bourn rounded out the worst MLV on the team, though it's worth noting that Miguel Tejada, Geoff Blum and Darin Erstad all had negative MLVs, as well.