I’ll be presenting some research on the consistency of pitcher performance at the annual SABR Analytics Conference. Here’s a summary of the research:
Talent evaluators and fans alike have long thought that there are differences in how players distribute their performances over the course of a season. Even if two players have identical statistics at the end of the year, how and when that production came about could be very different. It’s the basis for claiming that a player is good, but “streaky”. Or that you “never knew which player you are going to get” on a given day. While most tend to believe that such differences exist there have been few attempts to quantify this phenomena and better understand its causes, if any. The questions this research will seek to answer are: To what extent do pitchers differ in how consistent their daily performances are with their seasonal averages? And, if there are differences among pitchers in how their performances are distributed, what are the causes of consistency and volatility? Are certain types of pitchers more or less prone to being consistent?