The 2011 release of the movie Moneyball has sparked renewed interest in the impact the book left on the game of baseball. It is now claimed that Major League Baseball teams have embraced new methods of evaluating the performance of baseball players, shirking “old school” statistics such as batting average and fielding percentage in favor of “new school” statistics such as value over a replacement player and defensive runs saved. My project attempts to determine whether or not this claim has merit. This is done by estimating two salary models, one using “old school” statistics and the other using “new school” statistics, for recent cohorts of free agents. The estimated models are used to predict a player’s salary in the free agent market. The predicted salary is then compared to the player’s actual salary to determine if the athlete is overpaid, underpaid, or paid according to the market. Preliminary findings suggest the claim that Major League Baseball teams have embraced new methods of evaluating the performance of baseball players does not hold up.
Andrew Kinn, ’12
South Milwaukee, WI
Majors: Spanish, Economics and Business
Sponsor: Jerome Savitsky