Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A new toy

I have spent a decent amount of time over the past few months building up a list of season-by-season player performance that ties to salary cap numbers. Due to this (and laziness, and having and wanting to keep my job) I have not produced as many posts this fall as I normally do. In the next few weeks I will start extracting (hopefully) interesting posts from it while also continuing to refine the data as errors become clear.

The data set is neither perfect nor comprehensive. It covers the key players for a period in which I could find good data on salaries via the USA Today database. The relatively manual nature of matching individuals who fail out of the automated linking led me to prioritize matching those with significant playing time over some who may have drifted into the league for a game or two.

Out of 44,866 “units” of Approximate Value from 2003 through 2009, all but 488 are tied to players who have a salary linked. On the salary side $18,017,691,274 in cap numbers are accounted for out of a total of $19,144,980,923. Finally, all but 29 of the 5442 player seasons as a starter have a matching salary.

Within the “matched” data there are sure to be errors at the individual player level – the USA Today salary database is only so accurate – but the data will provide opportunities for a wide variety of analyses along dimensions of age, position and tenure in the league.

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