Runs and Bases 2019 - after July

SWC75

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I’ll continue this season to make monthly reports on the top ten batters in each league in “bases produced” and “runs produced”.

The first stat is something I invented in preference to “OPS” or “production”. I like the idea of combining the two basic percentages: on base percentage and slugging percentage, (both of which are better measures of a player’s offense than batting average), but I have a few problems with it. You are adding together two percentages with different divisors: total plate appearances and “official” at bats. You are counting hits on both sides of the equation and thus counting them twice. You are including something the hitter is not actually trying to do: get hit by a pitch. And you are excluding something he is trying to do, something that turns singles into doubles and doubles into triples: steal a base. Also, you wind up with a stat that, while it serves as a ranking isn’t directly translatable into something you can understand. It looks like a percentage but it isn’t. Mike Trout as of May 1st has an OPS of 1.052. That’s better than Bryce Harper 0.878) but not as good as Ryon Healy (1.082). But what does it mean? Trout didn’t do something 1,052 times. He didn’t do something 1.052 percent of the time. Finally, I like gross numbers more than percentages. Gross numbers are what actually happened. Percentages are a rate of production, which will produce higher gross numbers if they are better unless there are fewer games played or at bats. And, in that case you don’t know that the rate of production would have continued had there been more games and at bats. It’s only the bases and runs that were actually produced that show up on the scoreboard and determine the outcome of actual games.

My solution is to add the batting bases a hitter produced, (1 for a single, 2 for a double, 3 for a triple and 4 for a home run), to the walks to the stolen bases and call that “bases produced”. It would be the leading contributory statistic to the production of runs. If you want to turn it into a percentage, you could divide it by total plate appearances. But I prefer an average per game statistic: the top players in the league tend to play whole games. You’ll find that great offensive player will produce around 3 bases per game. That’s easy to comprehend. And you can watch a game and just count the bases the players accumulate. If your favorite player is in the race for MVP and he walks twice, hits a double and steals a base, he’s increased his base production by 5 bases. What did the other guy do?

The obvious sister stat for bases production is “runs produced”, which has been around for decades: runs scored plus runs batted in minus home runs, (so you don’t count them twice: they are the same run, scored and driven in by the same guy). A top offensive player will produce about 1 run per game. 3 bases and 1 run per game. That’s easy to remember. If all nine guys in the line-up did that, you’d be pretty tough to beat.

This year I’ve decided to add a few other stats, one of which will allow me to evaluate pitchers, too. The first one I’m calling “clutch percentage”. I’m aware that many people in baseball don’t think there is such a thing as clutch hitting. I don’t agree: I watch the games and it is completely apparent that it’s not just what you do but when you do it that counts. I’m a Mets fan and noticed that Wilson Ramos was, by most measures, having a poor season:.247 batting average, .313 on base percentage, .303 slugging percentage. But he had 17 RBIs compared to 27 total bases. Divide the RBIs by total bases and his bat is driving in 63% as many runs as it’s procuring based. Mike Trout has 16 RBIs on 48 batting bases, 33%. It’s very early and the numbers can change greatly but so far Ramos would seem to be a better clutch hitter than Trout.

I’ve always wanted to do something to evaluate pitchers. When I look at a box score, (and I’ve had occasion lately to look at Mets box scores to try to figure out the pitching), I look at the ‘BF’ (batters faced) on Baseball Reference.com. Then I look at hits, walks and hit batsmen to get the number of baserunners that were the pitcher’s fault. I divide that by the BF to get the percentage of batters that get on base off the pitcher. Then I look at earned runs and compare that to the number of these ‘earned’ baserunners. What percentage of them scored? Last year Jacob DeGrom faced 835 batters, 203 of whom reached base from hits, walks or being plunked. That’s 24.3%, or .243. That was best in the national league and second best in the majors to Justin Verlander of the Astros who had .241. Jake allowed 421 earned runs from those 203 earned baserunners, or .202, the best in the majors, (Blake Snell and Trevor Bauer led the AL .215.

My data base is the top 50 players in each league in runs scored and runs batted in and the top 50 pitchers in innings pitched. For the batters, ties are broken first by games played, the n by plate appearances, (the fewer of each you have, the more impressive your gross bases and runs produced are. The more you have the more impressive a clutch percentage is: you’ve maintained it longer). Pitching ties are broken by innings pitched, (the more innings you’ve pitched, the more impressive a low rate of giving up baserunners and runs is.) If there is a tie for 10th place all those tied will be listed.


AFTER JULY

AL

Bases Produced
Mike Trout, Angels 330 in 103 games (3.20) and 463 plate appearances (.713)
Mookie Betts, Red Sox 301 in 107 games (2.81) and 509 plate appearances (.591)
Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox 295 in 105 games (2.81) and 477 plate appearances (.618)
Rafael Devers, Red Sox 290 in 106 games (2.74) and 468 plate appearances (.620)
Alex Bregman, Astros 279 in 105 games (2.66) and 468 plate appearances (.596)
Carlos Santana, Indians 275 in 104 games (2.64) and 452 plate appearances (.608)
Whit Merrifield, Royals 273 in 110 games (2.48) and 503 plate appearances (.543)
Marcus Siemen, Athletics 271 in 110 games (2.46) and 505 plate appearances (.537)
J. D. Martinez, Red Sox 259 in 98 games (2.64) and 446 plate appearances (.581)
Max Kepler Twins 259 in 99 games (2.62) and 445 plate appearances (.582)

Comments: Mike trout seems like an obvious MVP but the Red Sox still have the best line-up in baseball.


Runs Produced
Rafael Devers, Red Sox 171 in 106 games (1.61) and 468 plate appearances (.365)
Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox 143 in 105 games (1.36) and 477 plate appearances (.300)
Mookie Betts, Red Sox 137 in 107 games (1.28) and 509 plate appearances (.269)
Mike Trout, Angels 134 in 103 games (1.30) and 463 plate appearances (.289)
DJ LeMahieu, Yankees 130 in 95 games (1.37) and 428 plate appearances (.304)
Whit Merrifield, Royals 118 in 110 games (1.07) and 503 plate appearances (.235)
Edwin Encarnacion, SEA/NY 117 in 99 games (1.18) and 442 plate appearances (.265)
Marcus Siemen, Athletics 115 in 110 games (1.05) and 505 plate appearances (.228)
Max Kepler Twins 114 in 99 games (1.15) and 445 plate appearances (.256)
Alex Bregman, Astros 114 in 105 games (1.09) and 468 plate appearances (.244)

Comments: When you get a lot of good hitters together they can produce a lot of runs.


Clutch Percentage
Albert Pujols, Angels 62 RBI from 141 batting bases = .440
Rougned Odor, Rangers 62 RBI from 146 batting bases = .425
Asdrubal Cabrera, Rangers 51 RBI from 127 batting bases = .402
Khris Davis, Athletics 53 RBI from 137 batting bases = .387
Daniel Vogelbach, Seattle 64 RBI from 166 batting bases = .386
Gary Sanchez, Yankees 58 RBI from 151 batting bases = .3841059
Michael Chavis, Red Sox 56 RBI from 146 batting bases = .3835616
Hunter Pence Rangers 51 RBI from 133 batting bases = .3834586
Jose Abreu, White Sox 73 RBI from 197 batting bases = .371
Eddie Rosario, Twins 70 RBI from 189 batting bases = .370

Comments: By the way, Roughned Odor is pronounced as it’s spelled: Roog-Ned O-Dor. So is his brother’s name, which is the same name- and he just signed with the Ranger, too! Cabrera is now hitting in the Clutch for the Nationals. He refused to return to the Mets, who could have used him because he was angry that they didn’t get him back in the off-season.


Pitcher’s On Base Percentage
Justin Verlander, Astros 127 baserunners of 581 batters faced = .219
Gerrit Cole, Astros 146 baserunners of 568 batters faced = .257
Shane Bieber, Indians 148 baserunners of 560 batters faced = .264
Yonny Chirinos, Rays 134 baserunners of 486 batters faced = .2757201
Domingo German, Yankees 111 baserunners of 402 batters faced = .2761194
Charlie Morton, Rays 152 baserunners of 548 batters faced = .2773722
Lucas Golito, White Sox 141 baserunners of 502 batters faced = .2808764
Matthew Boyd, Tigers 154 baserunners of 548 batters faced = .2810218
Jose Berrios, Twins 164 baserunners of 583 batters faced = .2813036
Wade Miley, Astros 146 baserunners of 518 batters faced = .2818532

Comments: Just as the Red Sox have an All-Star line-up of hitters, the Astros have a starting rotation my Mets wish they had, especially since they got Zach Greinke, who appears on the National league list below. And they can hit some, too.


Pitcher’s Scoring Percentage
Frankie Montas, Athletics 27 earned runs from 105 baserunners = .257
Trevor Bauer, Indians 66 earned runs from 251 baserunners = .263
Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays 41 earned runs from 153 baserunners = .2679738
Jose Berrios, Twins 44 earned runs from 164 baserunners = .2682926
Charlie Morton, Rays 42 earned runs from 152 baserunners = .276
Spencer Turnbull, Tigers 40 earned runs from 143 baserunners = .280
Mike Minor, Rangers 50 earned runs from 176 baserunners = .284
John Means, Orioles 34 earned runs from 117 baserunners = .291
Wade Miley, Astros 43 earned runs from 146 baserunners = .295
Brad Keller, Royals 62 earned runs from 197 baserunners = .315

Comments: Montas didn’t play in August or July and won’t for the rest of the season due to PED suspension. He’s still on the list because it’s based on the top 50 in inning pitched, (I should probably use batters faced since its part of my comp and will next time). He’s currently #49 and will drop form the list in the next post. Stroman will also eventually drop off as he’s now a Met. Justin Verlander, who leads the OBP list, didn’t come close to making this list at .362, (46 earned runs from 127 baserunners). If he doesn’t get you at the plate, he has a much harder time preventing you from scoring.


NL

Bases Produced
Christian Yelich, Brewers 343 in 99 games (3.46) and 449 plate appearances (.764)
Cody Bellinger, Dodgers 328 in 105 games (3.12) and 453 plate appearances (.724)
Freddie Freeman, Braves 300 in 108 games (2.78) and 486 plate appearances (.617)
Ronald Acuna, Braves 294 in 108 games (2.72) and 500 plate appearances (.588)
Josh Bell, Pirates 285 in 106 games (2.69) and 459 plate appearances (.621)
Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks 280 in 105 games (2.67) and 462 plate appearances (.606)
Pete Alonso, Mets 279 in 106 games (2.63) and 454 plate appearances (.615)
Rhys Hoskins, Phillies 276 in 106 games (2.60) and 467 plate appearances (.591)
Eduardo Escobar, D-backs 264 in 107 games (2.47) and 471 plate appearances (.561)
Kris Bryant, Cubs 263 in 102 games (2.58) and 449 plate appearances (.586)

Comments: Yelich seems to be putting a bit of distance between himself and Bellinger. Nobody else is on their level.


Runs Produced
Freddie Freeman, Braves 139 in 108 games (1.29) and 486 plate appearances (.286)
Josh Bell, Pirates 135 in 106 games (1.27) and 459 plate appearances (.294)
Anthony Rendon, Nationals 134 in 94 games (1.43) and 411 plate appearances (.326)
Cody Bellinger, Dodgers 132 in 105 games (1.26) and 453 plate appearances (.291)
Nolan Arenado, Rockies 127 in 108 games (1.18) and 460 plate appearances (.276)
Eduardo Escobar, D-Backs 126 in 107 games (1.18) and 471 plate appearances (.268)
Ronald Acuna, Braves 124 in 108 games (1.15) and 500 plate appearances (.248)
Christian Yelich, Brewers 123 in 99 games (1.24) and 443 plate appearances (.278)
Charlie Blackmon, Rockies 118 in 90 games (1.31) and 413 plate appearances (.286)
Starling Marte, Pirates 117 in 97 games (1.21) and 440 plate appearances (.266)
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs 117 in 103 games (1.14) and 446 plate appearances (.262)
Javier Baez, Cubs 117 in 105 games (1.11) and 450 plate appearances (.260)

Comments: Rendon is having quite a season. I wonder if anyone is noticing. The race here is much closer than the “bases” race. There’s 15 bases between Yelich and Bellinger and 15 runs between freeman and Acuna with Yelich right behind.


Clutch Percentage
Colin Moran, Pirates 60 RBI from 141 batting bases = .426
Daniel Murphy, Rockies 59 RBI from 140 batting bases = .421
Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals 62 RBI from 151 batting bases = .411
Bryce Harper, Phillies 72 RBI from 182 batting bases = .396
Enrique Hernandez, Dodgers 52 RBI from 138 batting bases = .377
Josh Bell, Pirates 88 RBI from 234 batting bases = .376
Yuan Soto, Nationals 70 RBI from 187 batting bases = .374
Eric Hosmer, Padres 69 RBI from 185 batting bases = .373
Max Muncy, Dodgers 70 RBI from 188 batting bases = .3723404
Anthony Rendon, Nationals 80 RBI from 215 batting bases = .3722093

Comments: Wilson Ramos disappeared from these standings because my data base is the top 50 in RBIs and in runs scored and the cut-off for RBIs at the end of July was 50 and Wilson had just 46. He’s bene a tear since and has 13 RBIs in August so he should be back in this ranking when I make my next post in this series. At the end of July he had 46 RBI from 116 total bases, (.397). He now has 59 from 142 (.415).


Pitcher’s On Base Percentage
Chris Paddack, Padres 95 baserunners of 397 batters faced = .239
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers 130 baserunners of 525 batters faced = .248
Zach Greinke, D-Backs 141 baserunners of 562 batters faced = .251
Caleb Smith, Marlins 99 baserunners of 382 batters faced = .2591623
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers 120 baserunners of 462 batters faced = .2597402
Walker Buehler, Dodgers 128 baserunners of 492 batters faced = .2601626
Max Scherzer, Nationals 140 baserunners of 535 batters faced = .262
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals 154 baserunners of 568 batters faced = .271
Jacob DeGrom, Mets 151 baserunners of 551 batters faced = .274
Kenta Maeda, Dodgers 128 baserunners of 462 batters faced = .277

Comments: Everybody talks about Cody Bellinger but that starting rotation is why the Dodgers are in first place.


Pitcher’s Scoring Percentage
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers 25 earned runs from 130 baserunners = .192
Mike Soroka, Braves 30 earned runs from 134 baserunners = .224
Luis Castillo, Reds 38 earned runs from 154 baserunners = .247
Max Scherzer, Nationals 36 earned runs from 140 baserunners = .257
Cole Hamels, Cubs 33 earned runs from 123 baserunners = .268
Dakota Hudson, Cardinals 49 earned runs from 181 baserunners = .271
Julio Teheran, Braves 47 earned runs from 170 baserunners = .276
Jacob DeGrom, Mets 42 earned runs from 151 baserunners = .278
Zach Davis, Brewers 47 earned runs from 164 baserunners = .287
Jon Lester, Cubs 46 earned runs from 155 baserunners = .297

Comments: Ryu faced 129 batters in July. 36 of them got on base: 27.9% - above his season average. But only four of those guys scored – a microscopic 11.1%.
 

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