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Arm Strength


Arm Strength

Has there ever been talk on arm strength being a 10 point scale in PC like speed? I feel it would add a lot more depth to speed/baserunning. Instead of binary good/bad where bad arm catchers are still playable as starters, a 1 arm catcher would not be usable as they could be ran all over. Conversely, a 10 arm catcher could gun down anyone and seriously reduce the success of even 10 speed runners. Outfield arms same thing. These are just my thoughts I'm curious for others

Re: Arm Strength

I like this idea. The current binary system basically results in all owners using the same off switch for strong arm catchers.

Re: Arm Strength

really great idea for modern leagues where we could use statcast metrics to figure out accurate ranges for that....could do the same for outfield arm effectiveness...would love to see sprint speed incorporated into position players as well...could get some of the more conservative base stealers who are very fast a more accurate measure too.

Re: Re: Arm Strength

Strat-O-Matic (sorry Guy) rates arms for both OF and Catcher and Hold ratings for pitchers. I seen to remember that APBA has an adjustment system too. One of the charms of PC to me is that it's not as complicated as some other simulations, but delivers accurate results (in the context).

- The Sheik

Re: Arm Strength

I agree with Sheik. In order to have an arm rating like speed, it would need to be based on easily available stats at baseball reference that are available for all players in history. Otherwise, it takes away from the simplicity that makes PC unique.

Some options: you could come up with one based just on outfield assists. Imperfect because sometimes a guy with a bad arm gets lots of assists because runners test him all the time. But, slower guys also hit a lot of triples in the dead ball era because parks were huge. Imperfect is often better than nothing. It also has the advantage of already being in the PC database.

A potentially better option- under advanced fielding on baseball reference, they have Kill% (i.e. thrown out)

For instance- Ichiro's 2004 season was 3.3%, while Bonds 1992 was 1.8%, and 1969 Clemente is 7.4%

I don't know how hard it would be to get kill% into the PC database and use it for outfield assists, though.

Re: Re: Arm Strength

I have seen Mickey Rivers get a + Arm rating on PC. Now I watched Mickey Rivers play, he had one of the absolute WORST throwing arms I ever saw for an Outfielder, only Johnny Damon may have been worse.

That being said Rivers was SO fast that he would run down balls that base runners felt he had no chance to get to and end up getting themselves doubled off - resulted in a lot of assists, but certainly not because he had a good arm.

Re: Arm Strength

Some things can't be quantified. In pc Ichiro does not have one season with a plus arm but anyone who ever watched him knows he had a cannon.

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That’s called Dwight Evans syndrome - no one ever hardly ran on him either - and Ichiro had a rocket arm, I still remember a highlight of him throwing an absolute laser from the deepest part of the park to nail someone at the plate and the runner was shocked - never thought he even had a chance to be thrown out

Re: Arm Strength

I'll have to look up kill% - not sure I understand what that is... nowadays there is more and more becoming available. But as Josh said, the effort is in getting it into the PC database.

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Clemente and Parker both had absolute cannons for arms.

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Guy, my understanding is that kill% is the number of runners thrown out divided by the number who tried to advance. So a 7 kill% means that the guy threw out 7% of baserunners trying to advance. Seems low, but baserunners usually only go if they think they can make it.

They also have held%- the number of runners who did not try to advance divided by total number of runners that could have advanced on a ball to the player.

the problem with held% is it is really different for LF vs RF. Bonds held% was always in the high 70s while Clemente's was around 50%- that's because no one is going to third on a hit to LF, while a hit to RF they will try. For that reason, kill% might be best

Re: Arm Strength

I will say this thread ended up much more on OF arms than C arms like I had intended. It would be great for both, but understanding how few opportunities most OF get season to season (because these stats would be necessary for ALL players) I had thought catchers were much more feasible. You have caught stealing percentage and league wide CS% for that season, it’s be fairly easy to make a 10 point scale off CS% and if you wanted to standardize it per season I can’t imagine it being that much harder. OF would require much more thought and probably use of advanced stats, but catchers arms would at least add depth to the position and would be much easier to implement comparatively to OF arms

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Some of us have brought up Base Stealing being more realistic or at least a bigger part of the Game - guys who had 16-20 SB in a Season get a 6 Speed rating some time because they didn't hit many triples, which are a component of Speed Rating - even though base stealing and base running are 2 very different skills

I believe Guy set catchers Arm strength based on a set % that catchers threw out, would be base stealers - which is also flawed because pitchers with a good move can cause the Runner to be caught in no man's land and it's a caught Stealing when in many cases the catcher had nothing to do with it.

Nothing is perfect, but when you add in the fact that attempting to steal only has 3 possible outcomes, and 2 are bad, then I only run against non-strong arm catchers - The catcher or Fielder can't make an error either so consider the downside of stealing in PC - It doesn't even effect the Pitcher who is now throwing from the Stretch and having to pay attention to the runner.

you could use attempts and caught stealing, but I'm not sure if that includes Pick offs because not all pick offs are Steal attempts, and some caught stealing are missed Hit and Runs as well


Re: Re: Arm Strength

I agree with METSROCK here, that arm strength for position players is not really feasible to accurately incorporate historically (although it wouldn't be terrible to have available for leagues that use fictional players).

However, catcher and pitcher CS% is a stat readily available on baseball reference that could lead to an interesting system upgrade.

"Arm strength" could be kept the same to be used on balls in play, but add a new catcher only stat and a new pitcher only stat to be used in stolen base calculations.


As a side note - when COVID hit and NY went into lockdown, I set out to explore the "greatests of all-time" question by analyzing players not just on raw stats, but by comparing with the average stats of their peers. For example, Hank Greenberg homered in 5.43% of his PA, while an average player having equal PA partitioned identically across 1930-1947 would've expected to HR 1.43% of the time, resulting in an r-value of 3.9. Alternatively, a player like Pujols hit a HR in 5.36% of his PA, but his expected value was 2.77%, leading to a much lower r-value of 1.9. Now, this method isn't without flaws, but sometimes you are limited by the data that is available and how easy it is to dissect. Ultimately, it morphed into creating my own dice sim game using the calculations.

The point of me sharing that there was one aspect I could not iron out, despite a variety of different strategies, and that thing was stolen bases/baserunning. Within the structure of my game, I was unsuccessful in coming up with a system that could take into account both volume and success rate of stolen bases because historically you have guy like Mike Stanley who was a career 13/17 = 76% on SB, but known to be slow. But given choice in a sim game, the manager is going to steal all the time with a 76% rate, when in reality he just found himself on the back end of a double steal several times throughout his career. Creating this stuff to be even semi-accurate and not "game-able" is no small feat!!

Guy, I discovered PC this past February trying to fill a void left by baseball's lock-out. I know there have been surprisingly many negative posts popping up lately, but I absolutely love the site and think you've done an incredible job!

Re: Arm Strength

Yeah I don't think any idea is perfect, but at least using catchers CS% to give a 1-10 scale would make stealing more than just "shut down run against strong arm catcher" like many have said before. Anything beyond that would be great but probably much harder to implement.

Either way I will also note I love this site and my suggestion is no indictment of it in any way. I also see the negative comments and want to say I will be here regardless of any future improvements, I think Guy has already done an incredible job. This is just a thought I had had and being someone who isn't on the boards often, I wasn't sure if it had ever been brought up. I appreciate the conversation it's driven