July 7, 2022
FanBuzz recently posted an article featuring insight from Mark T. Williams, Executive-In-Residence and Master Lecturer of Finance, on MLB umpires’ accuracy levels in calling pitches.
Mark and his team of graduate students studied around four million pitches across thousands of MLB games from 2008-2018. His results show that umpires who were older males, with “adequate” experience made poor calls around 14 percent of the time.
“The 10 best MLB umpires in this study averaged 2.7 years of experience, were around 33 years old, and had a bad call rate of only 8.94 percent.”Mark Williams
Though it seems counter-intuitive that those with more experience are more likely to make bad calls, the results of Mark’s analysis suggest our perceptions of what makes a good umpire need to be revised. Major League Baseball would benefit from incorporating his findings into its selection criteria for umpires going forward.