Lost in translation

Some Japanese stars shine in America while others spectacularly fail

Originally Published: June 25, 2013
By Peter Keating | ESPN The Magazine

SABERMETRICIANS ARE TRANSLATORS. They don't just collect numbers, add them up and make lists. They figure out ways to convert data from one environment to another so that we can try to understand how Kevin Gausman will fare when jumping to the big leagues, or how much David Ortiz gains from hitting in Fenway, or what Willie Mays' stats would have looked like if he had played in the 1990s instead of the 1960s (hint: a lot better).