Friday, July 3, 2015

What If The Triple Crown Were HRs, RBIs And Hits?

Some players would be added to the list and others would drop off. First, here are the guys who led in HRs, RBIs and AVG and also led in hits:

Player Year  HR RBI AVG Hits
Nap Lajoie 1901 14 125 0.426 232
Ty Cobb 1909 9 107 0.377 216
Heinie Zimmerman 1912 14 104 0.372 207
Rogers Hornsby 1922 42 152 0.401 250
Chuck Klein 1933 28 120 0.368 223
Joe Medwick 1937 31 154 0.374 237
Carl Yastrzemski 1967 44 121 0.326 189

Now the guys who led in HRs, RBIs and hits but not AVG. I also list their average, where it ranked and the average of the guy who led the league. For example, Cravath was 2nd in AVG in the NL in 1913. The leader had .350

Player Year  HR RBI Hits AVG, Rk. Leader
Gavvy Cravath 1913 19 128 179 0.341, 2 0.350
Lou Gehrig 1931 46 185 211 0.341, 5 0.390
Jim Rice 1978 46 139 213 0.315, 3 0.333
Dante Bichette 1995 40 128 197 0.340, 3 0.368

Now the guys who did win the real triple crown but failed to lead the league in hits. I also list their hit total, where it ranked and the hit total of the guy who led the league.

Player Year  HR RBI AVG Hits, Rk. Leader
Rogers Hornsby 1925 39 143 0.403 203, 4 227
Jimmie Foxx 1933 48 163 0.356 204, 2 221
Lou Gehrig 1934 49 166 0.363 210, 2 214
Ted Williams 1942 36 137 0.356 186, 3 205
Ted Williams 1947 32 114 0.343 181, 3 204
Mickey Mantle 1956 52 130 0.353 188, 4 196
Frank Robinson 1966 49 122 0.316 182, 2 191
Miguel Cabrera 2012 44 139 0.330 205, 2 216

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Carlos Correa's WAR Is In Top 10 Already For Shortstops Aged 20 And Younger

From the Baseball Reference Play Index

For single seasons, From 1901 to 2015, Younger than 20, Played 50% of games at SS, (requiring WAR_bat>=1), sorted by greatest WAR Position Players. Player ages are computed as their age on June 30th. Correa has 1.1 offensive WAR and 0.7 defensive WAR (there must be a rounding issue).


Rk Player WAR Year Age PA
1Alex Rodriguez 9.4 1996 20 677
2 Travis Jackson 4 1924 20 633
3 Arky Vaughan 3.8 1932 20 555
4 Elvis Andrus 3.6 2009 20 541
5Edgar Renteria 3.2 1996 19 471
6 Alan Trammell 2.8 1978 20 504
7 Jose Reyes 2.3 2003 20 292
8 Travis Jackson 2.1 1923 19 350
9 Carlos Correa 1.7 2015 20 93
10 Starlin Castro 1.6 2010 20 506

Friday, June 26, 2015

SABR Names Dan Levitt As Winner Of This Year's Bob Davids Award

Click here to read about his achievements at the official SABR site. This seems well deserved. Dan excels at both history and sabermetrics.

Here is an excerpt from the announcement:
"Levitt is the author of four fine books: Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way (with Mark Armour; winner of the 2004 Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award); Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees' First Dynasty (a 2009 Seymour Medal finalist); The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy (which won the 2013 Larry Ritter Award); and In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball, published this spring with Mark Armour."
This was a good article by Dan: The Batter/Pitcher Match Up. Using the Bill James Log5 formula, Dan found that good hitters do about as well as we would expect against good pitchers. I think it is from the late 1990s.

Click here to go to Dan's Amazon page.

Here is part of what the award is about:
"The Bob Davids Award honors SABR members whose contributions to SABR and baseball reflect the ingenuity, integrity, and self-sacrifice of the founder and past president of SABR, L. Robert "Bob" Davids. Voluntary activities in the area of administration and research are among those contributions considered."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Where Does "The Sandberg Game" Rank In WPA?

On this date in 1984, Ryne Sandberg was 5 for 6 and hit game tying HRs in the bottom of the 9th and the bottom of the 10th (the latter with two outs and 1 on). The Cubs beat the Cardinals 12-11 in 11 innings.

But the big deal is that both of those HRs were off of Hall of Fame reliever Bruce Sutter. The game was televised nationally, I think on NBC. It was, if I recall correctly, a warm sunny day at Wrigley Field (I saw this game on TV).

Sandberg was not a big star yet, although he did win the MVP award that year. It was only his third full season and he had not yet played in an All-Star game. His career average entering the season was .261 with just 15 HRs in 327 games (all statistics used here are from Baseball Reference).

He did enter this game with a .321 average but just 7 HRs in 66 games (a pace of only 17 for a full season).

But how hard was it to homer against Sutter? He gave up 9 in 1984 while facing 477 batters. He faced Sandberg 6 times that year and gave up those 2 HRs. So when not facing Sandberg, Sutter gave up 7 HRs in 471 PAs. The year before he gave up 8 in 384 PAs. When not facing Sandberg over those two years, his HR per batter faced rate was 1.76%. This sounds about average.  The NL HR per batter faced rate over those two years was 1.81% (again, without IBBs removed).

He also issued 18 IBBs, so that HR rate might be higher than average. Sutter had a higher IBB rate than average, which was only about 1% (Sutter's was about 2%).

So yes, it was a big deal to hit those HRs. But at this point in his career, Sutter was about average in allowing HRs. In fact, not counting Sandberg, he allowed a higher HR% vs. righties (2.4%) than lefties (1.6%) over those two years.

Sandberg has said "It was one of those wild games, wind blowing out a little bit so it was going to be an offensive game from the get-go." See Wrigley 100 June 23: The Sandberg Game. There was, however, only one other HR in the game.

So what was Sandberg's WPA in that game? 1.063. It is the 35th highest since 1941, according to the Baseball Reference Play Index. Here are the top 40:


Rk Player Date WPA
1Art Shamsky8/12/1966 1.503
2 Dolph Camilli1941-09-01 (1) 1.398
3Jim Pagliaroni9/21/1965 1.287
4Brian Daubach8/21/2000 1.253
5Nelson Cruz9/7/2014 1.22
6Bobby Grich7/15/1979 1.211
7Mel Hall6/27/1984 1.206
8 Carlos May1973-09-03 (1) 1.204
9Willie Mays5/26/1962 1.204
10 Del Ennis4/26/1949 1.197
11Jim Hickman5/28/1970 1.181
12Hank Aaron9/10/1971 1.159
13 Dwight Evans6/23/1990 1.145
14Dante Bichette6/10/1998 1.141
15 Ken Boyer1961-09-14 (2) 1.14
16 Cody Ross6/7/2008 1.139
17 Will Clark6/22/1988 1.133
18 George Brett5/28/1979 1.126
19 Bobby Bonds4/29/1969 1.126
20 Ryan Langerhans9/7/2005 1.119
21 Barry Bonds8/12/1991 1.119
22Brandon Inge8/24/2003 1.113
23Hank Aaron8/18/1959 1.112
24Bill Melton1970-08-02 (2) 1.107
25Tim Harkness6/26/1963 1.107
26Wilin Rosario9/18/2014 1.087
27Mike Young5/28/1987 1.087
28 Fred McGriff8/24/1996 1.084
29Roy Sievers7/16/1958 1.083
30 Bob Allison4/16/1963 1.082
31Josh Hamilton7/9/2011 1.081
32 Ted Williams1946-07-14 (1) 1.072
33 Kevin Mitchell8/13/1987 1.064
34 Willie Montanez7/11/1976 1.064
35Ryne Sandberg6/23/1984 1.063
36 Jerry Buchek1967-09-22 (2) 1.063
37 Jose Bautista5/22/2013 1.062
38 Eric Soderholm5/13/1972 1.059
39Raul Mondesi4/5/1999 1.056
40 Steve Finley9/10/1996 1.056

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Top 10 Average Game Scores This Year, 8 Start Minimum

After Saturday's no-hitter (June 20), which was a 97, Scherzer is at 70.29. That would be 7th since 1938 for guys with 30+ starts.


Max Scherzer 68.2
Chris Sale 65.3
Dallas Keuchel 64.9
Zack Greinke 64.3
Sonny Gray 64.1
Chris Archer 63.6
Francisco Liriano 63.1
Gerrit Cole 63
Jacob deGrom 62.7
Johnny Cueto 61.8

Here is that top 10


Bob Gibson 76.1 1968
Luis Tiant 72.4 1968
Sandy Koufax 71.8 1965
Tom Seaver 70.9 1971
Pedro Martinez 70.8 1997
Dwight Gooden 70.4 1985
Vida Blue 69.9 1971
Sandy Koufax 69.8 1963
Steve Carlton 69.3 1972
Hal Newhouser 69.3 1946

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SB% Lower So Far This Year

Here are the AL %'s in recent years

2003 70.04%
2004 68.62%
2005 70.49%
2006 71.46%
2007 73.19%
2008 72.96%
2009 73.98%
2010 73.59%
2011 72.10%
2012 74.98%
2013 73.57%
2014 73.91%
2015 69.37%

The AL has had at least 73% ever year since 2007 except 2008 which was very close at 72.96%. But for some reason this year is below 70%.

Now the NL

2003 68.87%
2004 71.71%
2005 70.67%
2006 71.29%
2007 75.56%
2008 73.04%
2009 70.74%
2010 71.20%
2011 72.34%
2012 73.13%
2013 71.92%
2014 71.62%
2015 70.10%

Maybe not as dramatic as the AL, but the NL had 75.56% in 2007 and this year could be the lowest since 2003.

Monday, June 15, 2015

For Pitchers That Change Teams, What Affects Their BABIP More? Their Own BABIP From The Year Before Or The BABIP For The Rest Of Their New Team?

This is related to the previous post Year to year correlation of BABIP for pitchers that changed teams and those that did not.

I ran another regression for the guys who changed teams. The dependent variable was their BABIP in year 2 and the independent variables were their BABIP in year 1 and the BABIP for the rest of their new team in year 2 (so that each guy's BABIP was removed from the team total). Here is the equation

BABIP2 = 0.232*OtherBABIP2 + 0.123*BABIP1 + 0.189

OtherBABIP2 means the BABIP for the rest of their new team in year 2

The r-squared is .022. Standard error is .02004. T-values are

OtherBABIP2 1.18
BAbip1 1.25

So neither is significant. But .232/.123 is 1.88. So the effect from the BABIP from the rest of the team (the guy's new team) is almost double from his previous year's BABIP.

The correlation between BABIP2 and OtherBABIP2 is .086, almost as high as .094, correlation between BABIP2 and BABIP1 for this same group of guys who changed teams (all the guys who had 150+ IP in the years 2003-14).

If we suppose that fielders have no influence on BABIP, then it means that the contribution from "the rest of the team" is due solely to the other pitchers. Then why is the effect  from other pitchers so much stronger than the pitcher himself (or at least what he did the year before)?

That would not make any sense. So it seems like there would have to be a big role for the fielders. If you think it is a "small" role, but not zero, the previous paragraph still applies.

The previous post showed that for guys who stayed on the same team, the impact of last year's BABIP on this year's BABIP was 2.5 times higher than it was for guys who changed teams.

And what is the big change when you switch teams? The fielders. The parks, too. The pitchers have a whole new set of fielders behind them and they pitched half their games (or around that) in a completely different park than the year before.

I don't know how much the makeup of a team's fielders change from year to year. My guess is that it is less than 50%. So guys who stay on the same team don't see much change in fielders and most of the time no change in park.

So it looks like the big difference between guys who change teams and guys who don't is the fielding. You could say guys staying on the same team see a change in fielding. But that is probably small compared to the guys who change teams.

And you could say that for guys who change teams the change in parks is a big deal. But you only pitch about half the time in one park, whereas it probably the same mix of fielders behind you all the time. So again, that points to the fielders.