Statistically Significant

Earlier this week, I mentioned the AirHogs’ second baseman, David Espinosa, had dyed his hair and beard and created a FauxHawk just to change things up. Apparently, it’s working, even if the FauxHawk has recently collapsed.

Prior to his video-documented Just for Men treatment, David had hit 2 HRs in 259 at-bats. (He is leading the league in walks, so he tends to get on base without bothering to connect – he draws a walk every fourth plate appearance.) This week, he dyed his beard and hit 3 HRs in his next thirteen at-bats, including two in one game last night. How do we determine if the beard caused the home runs?

Prior to the beard and FauxHawk, David would hit a home run on average once every 130 plate appearances, if you simply divide his at-bats by home runs. After the beard, it is every 54 at-bats. This is the AB/HR rating in Sabermetrics, so I’m not the first one to consider this statistic important enough to calculate.

Sabermetrically, his AB/HR rating was 129.5 before Black Beard, and his new rating is 54.4. (The best current AB/HR rating on the team is 28, the lowest is 227.) While he only passed one person in the team rankings, he is much closer to some of the power hitters (a rather arbitrary term) on the team, at least by this ranking.

Ironically, my degree is in computer science and applied statistics, so I should be able to compute exactly how much of a change this is and how statistically significant this should be considered. Unfortunately, my degree is from 1982, so I don’t remember squat about statistics.

Still, from one home run every 130 plate appearances to one every 54 begs the question – what else is there to dye?

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