Reconsidering wins above replacement as a metric
This paper analyzes the use and value of the now commonly known baseball metric Wins Above Replacement (WAR). The metric estimates the number of wins a player brings to his team that the average replacement level player wouldn’t. I argue that this widely used statistic is of questionable morality, unnecessary, and frankly irresponsible. The concept that few individuals or organizations consider before using a metric to determine a player’s whole ability and value is that any single number that attempts to show a human being’s entire ability to perform an action will always lose an immense amount of detail. I argue that if a metric is created that will intentionally ignore detail to the extent that WAR does, then using it at all is not necessary or appropriate in any important decision-making situation. To extend the thought process further, one can question how responsible it is to use a statistic like this so often in the public eye. It has the potential to spread misinformation and ill-conceived notions about players and their value. The easy alternative to using WAR is to simply use a range of diverse statistics and metrics to sufficiently display all the quantifiable qualities of a baseball player. Examples of metrics that do not suffer from these defects will be presented.
Weber, Rob, "Reconsidering wins above replacement as a metric" (2018). Undergraduate External Publications. Paper 23.
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