FAQ About Pure Baseball Ratings

Only a very few PURE BASEBALL ratings are actually used in the game simulation. The ratings are included in the game to help managers quickly and easily identify a player's strengths and weaknesses. The actual statistics are what drives the game in most cases. Example: A pitcher may have a 7.3 pitching rating, but his actual statistics versus the type of batter (RH or LH hitter) he is facing, the batter's statistics, the park effects, and other pertinent factors determine the outcomes.

Exceptions: range rating, arm rating, and running speed rating are used directly in determining the outcome of plays.

PURE BASEBALL awards ratings used in the game from a mostly statistical point of view. Some ratings such as arm rating, running speed and catcher's subjective rating will be arrived at with the use of subjective judgments by the PURE BASEBALL staff. But for the most part we will rely on statistical analysis to determine ratings. There are times when this approach will fly in the face of conventional beliefs about specific player's abilities.

There are two reasons why a PURE BASEBALL rating does not agree with the player's reputation for the baseball skill being considered:

  1. The player had a season that was out of the ordinary, or in the case of the REAL TIME game, he is in a slump relative to that rating.
  2. The statistical analysis for the rating does not agree with the player's reputation. It would be easy for us to yield to the temptation of subjectively altering player's ratings based on hearsay. Most baseball simulation games do this, to our knowledge. Besides being based on subjective judgment, the ratings used in most simulation baseball games rarely change from year to year unless the evidence suggesting a change is overwhelming. PURE BASEBALL prefers to stick to our statistical analysis methods. The formulas we use will be continuously updated and improved as STATS INC., our statistical data provider, comes up with new and better ways to gather data. 

Over All Defensive Rating (ODR) is a rating that attempts to give the gamer a snapshot of a player's defensive prowess. The rating is not used in the game and is included as a guideline to help managers make decisions on the relative talents of players. The formula for arriving at ODR weighs several defensive skills for each position. The skills considered are different for every position, just as the weighted values vary from position to position. Example: Arm strength is more important and has a higher weighted value for RF than for the other outfield positions.

Some Notes on specific ratings:

  1. Catcher's ratings. The toughest position to rate in a simulation. So much depends on the pitching staff he is catching! PURE BASEBALL has taken the position that it will take passed ball statistics and stolen base statistics at face value. If in the future, new statistical observations by STATS Inc. or new statistical analysis tools are available, we will alter our approach to rating catchers. We have used the subjective catcher's rating to alter some play results. Keep in mind that the catcher's arm rating takes into account stolen base percentage against and extra bases allowed on wild throws on steal attempts.
  2. First basemen's defensive ratings. This is another nightmare as far as statistical analysis is concerned. STATS, Inc. gives us ZONE ratings and we factor in assists per inning adjusted by pitching staff factors (gb/fb rating and staff strike outs), but there is no way to judge their ability to dig out bad throws. We hope to have more statistical tools to work with in the future. Some first basemen like JT Snow, Mark Grace and Wally Joyner are fairly ordinary fielders, if their ability to help their fellow infielders by digging out low throws is ignored.
  3. Hit and Run rating. Rather than resort to subjective ratings, we used a unique formula to arrive at the hit and run rating. There will be some players who don't often get used to hit and run, who will have high ratings. The statistical analysis shows that their specific talents would make them successful. Others who seemingly "overcome" their inability to make contact when the play is not on, will not be treated kindly by the formula. It would require an even handily applied subjective analysis of all major league players in this regard. PURE BASEBALL has chosen to avoid this course of action.
  4. Sacrifice Bunt rating: A great deal of weight is given to the frequency with which the player sacrificed in MLB. Some players known for their bunting ability will have lower than expected ratings for this reason. This is a simulation and such must follow fairly directly the actual MLB statistics. A player known for his power may have an off season in the home run department. The simulation will not increase his power output to reflect his potential. The PB simulation will not award a player a high Sacrifice Bunt rating on the basis of subjective knowledge of his ability to bunt.
  5. PB Value: Refers to the relative value of players according to criteria set by PureBaseball staff. Offensive players are rated by their OPS (sum of on base plus slugging percentage) relative to their actual home park and the position they play. In addition to OPS, the players GIDP, SB/CS, and other pertinent offensive measures are factored in. Pitchers contributions are measured using OPS versus opposing batters factored by park effects, ERA, SAVES, percentage of inherited runners scored and many other factors. Defensive contributions are added to both pitchers and position players.  
  6. Pitching grade, Clutch grade: Pitching rating is a pitcher's ability to limit hits, walks, total bases--relative to his ballpark and league. Clutch rating factors in "results" like ERA, Save percentage and Inherited runners scored.
    Therefore a pitcher with high grade and low clutch may have great hits allowed, hr allowed and walks allowed stats but pitches better with no one on base.
    Conversely, a pitcher with high clutch and low grade does better with runners on base.

It should be noted that PURE BASEBALL will have two basic kinds of leagues. The first is the traditional simulation league that uses the previous season's stats on which to base outcomes. The other is the REAL TIME leagues concept that uses current statistics updated weekly from STATS, INC. The fact that we have both kinds of leagues impacts on our rating system. We do not want to have a different rating system for both kinds of leagues. It would be confusing and impractical. The REAL TIME concept demands current and ever changing ratings. This could not be accomplished if the system depended on extensive subjective judgments.