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Daily Notes, Featuring Expected wRC+ for Cape Cod

Posted By Carson Cistulli On August 6, 2012 @ 10:00 am In Daily Notes | 6 Comments

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Expected wRC+ for the Cape Cod League
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Expected wRC+ for the Cape Cod League
Regarding What This Is
What follows is a so-called Expected wRC+ Leaderboard for the very prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League of Cape Cod, a summer wood-bat league that, generally speaking, features the country’s best college prospects.

Regarding Expected wRC+, What That Could Possibly Be
One assumes that Expected wRC+ could be any number of things. In this particular case, however, it’s an attempt to represent in one number — a number a lot like wRC+, that is — something close to the “true talent” production of a player.

Regarding Expected wRC+, How the Author Calculated It
To calculate Expected wRC+, I found the home-run, walk, and strikeout rates for all the batters in the very prestigious Cape Cod League. After that, I attempted to find “expected” versions of those three rates by weighting each of them against league average until they reached their sample threshold for reliability.

For example, Phil Ervin of the Harwich Mariners has a home-run rate of 7.3% in 150 plate appearances — but, per work by Russell Carleton, home-run rate becomes reliable only after 300 plate appearances. So, to find Ervin’s “expected” home-run rate, I weighted his 150 plate appearances’ worth of 7.3% with 150 plate appearances of league-average (2.2%) home-run rate. The result is Ervin’s 4.8% expected home-run rate.

After finding the expected versions of the aforementioned rate stats, I calculated what is essentially a FIP for offense with them, multiplying home-run rate by 12, walk rate by three, and strikeout rate by two. From there, I finished by adjusting the results such that 100 equaled league average.

Regarding a Thing That’s Possible
It’s entirely possible that the plate-appearance sample thresholds for reliability — like for home-run rate and walk rate and strikeout rate — are different for the Cape Cod League than they are for the majors.

Regarding What the Author Has Done About That Thing
As he’s done for many other problems in his life, the author has opted to ignore this potential issue concerning sample sizes and reliability with the Cape Cod League.

Results: Expected wRC+ Leaders
Below are the top-ten leaders in Expected wRC+ (xRC+) for the Cape Cod League at the moment. (Click here for numbers of every player.)


Player Team POS PA xHR% xBB% xK% xRC+
Phil Ervin Harwich OF 150 4.8% 10.7% 18.7% 147
Conrad Gregor Orleans IF 186 3.2% 18.6% 21.0% 147
Tyler Horan Wareham 3B 163 6.3% 6.6% 24.5% 142
Brian Ragira Harwich 1B 155 4.1% 14.0% 21.9% 142
Kyle Schwarber Wareham OF 189 3.5% 12.0% 15.9% 141
Tony Kemp Cotuit OF 131 1.9% 14.5% 13.0% 136
Zak Blair Y-D SS 169 1.6% 12.9% 8.9% 136
Eric Jagielo Harwich OF 174 5.3% 10.6% 28.2% 134
Mike Ford Cotuit P 127 1.9% 14.7% 16.3% 130
Austin Anderson Falmouth SS 127 2.9% 10.2% 15.7% 130

A Note on Phil Ervin, Who He Is
Phil Ervin just finished his sophomore season at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He finished third on the team, behind a pair of seniors, in home runs (10) and led the team in stolen bases (16-for-21). Regarding Ervin, Baseball America’s Peter Wardell wrote last month:

While it’s his offensive outburst that has garnered the attention of scouts thus far, Ervin’s performance in center field has been notable as well. He is an above-average runner with good instincts and a strong, accurate arm. He’s displayed adequate route running and good range, giving him the potential for five average to above-average tools.

Video of Phil Ervin
Here’s video of Phil Ervin hitting a grand slam, like, a month and a half ago:

Note: stats from the official site of the Cape Cod League.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
San Francisco at St. Louis | 20:15 ET
The Cardinals continue — according to NERD, at least, our infallible watchability metric — continue to be the league’s Most Interesting Team. They remain atop the leaderboard for Team wRC+ (113) and, according to WAR, have lost about six more games than they should’ve (while the first-place Reds have won about six more games than WAR would suggest makes sense). Of note: with a 162 wRC+, Matt Holliday is in the midst of the best offensive season of his career.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: San Francisco Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 4.2.

Note: the following Game Scores include the poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment discussed in a recent edition of Daily Notes. Also note: the following table is entirely sortable.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Wade Miley AZ 7 7 6 5 5 PIT Erik Bedard 19:05
Ben Sheets ATL 7 7 5 5 5 PHI Vance Worley 19:05
Scott Diamond MIN 6 4 4 3 7 CLE Zach McAllister 19:05
Ivan Nova NYA 7 7 7 5 9 DET Jus. Verlander 19:05
Jason Vargas SEA 3 4 2 0 5 BAL Chris Tillman 19:05
Yu Darvish TEX 7 8 4 5 2 BOS Aaron Cook 19:10
Edwin Jackson WAS 6 7 2 4 0 HOU Dallas Keuchel 20:05
Bronson Arroyo CIN 4 4 3 8 6 MIL Yo. Gallardo 20:10
Luis Mendoza KC 2 7 4 4 10 CHA Chris Sale 20:10
Matt Cain SF 7 3 7 10 5 STL Jake Westbrook 20:15
Jered Weaver LAA 4 7 6 5 6 OAK Jarrod Parker 22:05
Travis Wood CHN 2 0 0 6 2 SD Eric Stults 22:05
Drew Pomeranz COL 4 8 5 1 6 LAN Chris Capuano 22:10

To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.


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