Aaron Judge, Clayton Kershaw, Chicago Cubs: My Best Baseball Writing of 2017

Every year I end on a high note by compiling the best articles I wrote. The following five are the ones I’m most proud of:

  • The Chicago Cubs: A Dynasty in the Making — I computed controlled surplus value for every MLB player for the next five years and showed how, in early 2016, the Cubs were poised to dominate the sport.
  • More Plate Coverage isn’t Always Better — I showed how too little plate coverage is as bad as too much, and where the sweet spot for players generally is. This article got me interviewed on MLB Network Radio!
  • How Many Home Runs will Aaron Judge Hit in 2017? — My first attempt at using Bayesian analysis to predict the future. I predicted Judge would hit 47 HR if given around 650 plate appearances or 49 in the 678 he actually got. He actually hit 52, so I wasn’t that far off.
  • Clayton Kershaw is More Hittable this Year, Statcast Shows — I dug deep into xWOBA, which computes the run value of a batted ball based on its exit velocity and launch angle, to show that Clayton Kershaw was getting knocked around a bit more than in 2015 or 2016.
  • Hitter Aggression, Visualized — I used pitch location and swing data to create a new metric, Aggression Factor, that quantifies plate discipline, and examined how it correlates to batter performance.

Thank you for reading my work! 2017 was a great year and I’ve already got a couple pieces in the works for 2018.