Last year I reintroduced VOL, a custom metric that attempts to measure the relative volatility of a hitter’s day to day performance. It is far from a perfect metric, but at the moment it’s what we have.
If you recall, a lower VOL value is better in the sense that it indicates a hitter has been more consistent offensively. However, both good and bad hitters can be consistent, so a lower VOL always needs to be viewed in the proper context. The other thing to keep in my mind is that (as a reader pointed out) there is a strong correlation between VOL and PA/G, as we can see by looking at VOL and batting order position (for 2013):
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Tigers’ fans should be happy to see their team at number two on the list, as they have the second-highest team wOBA and do the second best job of replicating that performance on a game-to-game basis. Combine a consistently great offense with that rotation and it’s easy to see why Detroit should make another deep run this post-season.
The Braves offense turns out to be the most inconsistent — slightly better than average, but inconsistent. Now, given their pitching this may not be as big of an issue were they more of an average- to below-average run prevention team. However, it makes you wonder how they will perform in the different context of the postseason.
That’s all for now. Like the velocity loss leader boards, I will be updating VOL throughout the season, hopefully on a monthly basis.
For a more complete list of hitters in 2013, see here.
Bill leads Predictive Modeling and Data Science consulting at Gallup. In his free time, he writes for The Hardball Times, speaks about baseball research and analytics, has consulted for a Major League Baseball team, and has appeared on MLB Network's Clubhouse Confidential as well as several MLB-produced documentaries. He is also the creator of the baseballr package for the R programming language. Along with Jeff Zimmerman, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @BillPetti.