Today at Wahoo’s on First, we unveiled our new Simple WAR Calculator. Here’s a little information about what it is and what it does.
One of the greatest achievements of sabermetric research is the development of statistics that can quantify (to some extent, at least) exactly how much a player’s production contributes to his team’s record. But many casual fans are turned off by the esoteric concepts and complex formulas. It’s not a matter of intelligence, it’s just about understanding where things come from. Even for those who consider themselves to be sabermetrically hip, the act of manually crunching the numbers to estimate value (as is necessary when dealing with projections and the like) is a chore.
The Simple WAR Calculator is my attempt to make these value stats more accessible. By inputting just a few numbers you can get a reasonable estimate of how much a player is worth. It is my hope that it will save my fellow stat nerds some trouble calculating WAR from projections as well as helping non-sabermetrically inclined fans to understand where value comes from and how much each facet of a player’s game helps his team win.
This isn’t a replacement for calculations provided by sites like FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference, or Baseball Prospectus, and you shouldn’t use this calculator if there are already-calculated value stats available elsewhere. Nor is this your best option if you’re trying to determine how value as accurately as possible—you’d be better off doing the full calculations. It’s like SparkNotes: it’s not the real thing, but it’s a lot faster and easier and if you just want a sense of how valuable a player would be it’s good enough.
Note that the calculator’s outputs will not necessarily match up with those calculated the unabridged way, as some of variable conversion rates have been substituted with approximate contents for simplicity (for more information, read the FAQ page).