# Leaderboards of Pleasure – 8/29/11

Desmond Jennings just keeps doing this kind of thing.

It’s probably about time, reader, that we had a conversation about Desmond Jennings — on account of, as you’ll notice below, Jennings has claimed the top spot on the Player NERD leaderboard. That is, in the words of someone who unnecessarily repeats adjectives, a “big, big deal.”

Let’s use this edition of Leaderboards of Pleasure to further our understanding of Jennings, hm?

• First of all, here are some numbers that will interest the baseballing nerd. On the season so far, through 153 plate appearances, Jennings has made these stats a thing: .354/.440/.646, .470 wOBA, 205 wRC+, 8 HR, 14-for-19 SB, 2.3 WAR.

• It’s important to note that Jennings UZR is actually -1.8 — which is to say that Jennings’ WAR isn’t inflated artificially by that.

• One thing that is inflating Jennings’ impressive line is his BABIP. It’s currently at .413. ZiPS suggests that something like .333 is more reflective of his his true talent. Slash12’s xBABIP calculator suggests .323.

• Question: What would Jennings’ line look like if normalized for BABIP? Answer: Still quite good. Using the FIB calculator Bradley Woodrum’s introduced last week, we find that (figuring a .330 BABIP) Jennings should hit like this:

• In conclusion, Desmond Jennings is good.

Like the NERD scores you’ll find below, this one represents an attempt to anticipate the “watchability” of each team. The first iteration appears in a heartfelt love letter to America, which anyone is free to read here.

Please note that the “POFF” numbers (playoff-odds adjustments) are not included in the Team NERD scores you see below, but are instead the bonuses/penalties applied to the Game Scores for each respective team — a thing about which you can learn more by reading here.

Teams NERD Age BAT HR/FB Spd BULL UZR Pay Luck POFF
Royals 10 2.53 0.07 -0.54 0.89 -0.43 0.09 1.40 1.45 -1
Yankees 10 0.00 2.39 1.80 1.39 0.99 0.93 0.00 0.00 0
Red Sox 10 0.00 2.23 1.55 0.89 0.64 1.91 0.00 0.16 0
Diamondbacks 9 0.54 -0.41 0.67 0.89 -0.08 2.18 0.97 0.00 0
Marlins 8 1.26 -0.51 0.12 -0.45 0.50 -0.50 0.89 2.00 -1
Rays 8 0.45 0.46 0.18 0.89 -1.85 1.69 1.25 0.82 0
Rangers 7 0.00 1.45 1.31 0.89 -0.12 0.51 0.02 0.00 1
Brewers 7 0.00 0.65 0.93 0.06 1.33 0.17 0.18 0.04 0
Padres 6 0.63 -0.70 -1.13 2.06 0.02 0.44 1.16 0.00 -1
Blue Jays 6 0.36 0.33 0.31 0.89 0.16 -0.51 0.75 0.00 -1
Angels 6 0.00 -0.15 -0.08 0.39 -0.43 1.27 0.00 1.29 4
Rockies 5 0.18 -0.20 0.36 0.56 1.16 -0.26 0.12 0.00 0
Reds 5 0.00 0.28 0.86 -0.78 -0.33 1.46 0.41 0.00 0
Indians 5 0.90 -0.06 0.31 -0.28 -0.33 -0.90 1.08 0.00 1
Nationals 5 0.08 -0.79 0.64 -0.11 -0.36 -0.18 0.72 1.50 -1
Pirates 5 1.44 -1.25 -0.91 -0.11 -0.29 -0.06 1.15 0.00 -1
Dodgers 4 0.00 -0.54 -0.71 0.22 0.19 0.19 0.00 1.78 0
Mets 4 0.63 0.77 -1.48 1.06 -0.08 -1.99 0.00 1.47 -1
Braves 4 0.00 -0.44 1.38 -1.95 2.23 -0.86 0.15 0.20 0
Cubs 4 0.00 -0.55 0.12 -0.28 -0.57 -0.27 0.00 2.00 -1
Astros 4 0.36 -0.56 -1.70 0.22 0.09 -0.92 0.55 1.99 -1
Cardinals 3 0.00 1.22 1.30 -1.78 0.05 -0.96 0.00 0.00 0
Phillies 3 0.00 0.09 0.09 0.72 -0.43 -0.64 0.00 0.00 0
Giants 3 0.00 -1.91 -1.42 -1.11 1.54 0.55 0.00 1.93 2
White Sox 2 0.00 -0.73 -0.58 -1.45 1.54 -0.05 0.00 0.09 1
Orioles 2 0.36 -0.04 0.53 -1.62 0.16 -1.62 0.19 0.34 -1
Tigers 2 0.18 0.76 -0.20 -1.11 -1.40 -0.58 0.00 0.74 1
Athletics 1 0.00 -0.47 -1.37 0.06 -0.57 -0.95 0.65 0.00 -1
Mariners 0 0.00 -1.63 -1.22 -0.28 -0.74 -0.17 0.16 0.53 -1
Twins 0 0.99 -1.22 -1.11 -0.78 -2.61 0.07 0.00 0.00 -1

To determine the most underrated player, we look at each player’s WAR relative to a very fake version of WAR (called FANT, in this case) constructed only by the five most common fantasy categories. (Read more here.)

Name Diff WAR FANT Avg HR R RBI SB
Alex Avila 2.3 5.0 2.7 1.06 0.26 -0.72 0.30 -0.68
Howie Kendrick 2.2 5.3 3.1 0.96 -0.10 0.51 -0.71 0.22
Shane Victorino 2.2 6.1 3.9 1.22 -0.10 1.09 -0.45 0.72
Brendan Ryan 2.1 2.3 0.2 -0.45 -1.54 -1.05 -1.25 -0.08
Placido Polanco 2.1 2.4 0.3 0.30 -1.30 -1.50 -0.98 -0.68
Peter Bourjos 2.1 3.9 1.8 0.17 -0.70 -0.27 -1.41 0.82
Yunel Escobar 1.9 3.9 2.0 0.33 -0.46 0.57 -0.82 -0.68
Dustin Pedroia 1.9 7.2 5.3 1.19 0.26 1.48 0.62 1.41
Kurt Suzuki 1.8 1.8 0.0 -1.18 -0.34 -1.11 -1.30 -0.78
Ben Zobrist 1.8 6.2 4.4 0.27 0.02 1.61 0.78 0.62
Alexei Ramirez 1.8 4.1 2.3 -0.36 -0.22 0.57 -0.23 -0.28
Matt Wieters 1.8 3.2 1.4 -0.22 -0.10 -0.40 -0.50 -0.88
Jamey Carroll 1.8 1.7 -0.1 0.70 -1.78 -1.24 -2.53 0.02
Alberto Callaspo 1.7 2.5 0.8 0.27 -1.18 -1.05 -0.98 -0.38
John Buck 1.7 2.1 0.4 -1.24 0.14 -1.50 -0.39 -0.98
Casey Kotchman 1.7 2.8 1.1 1.68 -0.82 -1.63 -0.98 -0.88
Evan Longoria 1.6 4.0 2.4 -1.18 1.09 -0.34 0.94 -0.88
Brett Gardner 1.6 4.6 3.0 -0.09 -1.18 0.77 -1.46 2.71
Omar Infante 1.5 1.6 0.1 0.20 -1.42 -1.37 -1.25 -0.68
Matt Holliday 1.5 5.2 3.7 1.16 0.49 0.90 0.41 -0.88

Very similar to Pitcher NERD (below), except for position players. (Read more here.)

Name NERD Age WAR xBABIP HR/FB Spd K%
Desmond Jennings 10 1.18 2.76 -0.90 2.70 1.83 -0.20
Ryan Braun 10 0.46 2.01 -0.20 1.48 1.57 0.65
Jacoby Ellsbury 10 0.46 2.17 -0.06 1.16 1.41 0.77
Shane Victorino 10 0.00 2.43 -0.36 0.17 2.03 1.46
Curtis Granderson 10 0.00 1.99 0.04 2.46 2.08 -0.93
Jose Reyes 10 0.23 1.87 0.00 -0.97 2.39 2.02
Jose Bautista 10 0.00 2.69 -0.39 2.56 -0.08 0.27
Justin Upton 10 1.42 1.75 -0.43 1.01 1.21 0.09
Carlos Gonzalez 10 0.94 1.08 -0.32 2.09 1.26 -0.03
Matt Kemp 10 0.70 1.92 -0.23 2.13 1.16 -0.69
Albert Pujols 9 0.00 1.15 0.38 1.86 -0.03 1.55
Robinson Cano 9 0.23 1.13 0.10 1.57 1.05 0.83
Troy Tulowitzki 9 0.70 1.93 -0.21 1.37 -0.03 1.05
Ian Kinsler 9 0.00 1.42 0.43 0.18 1.26 1.41
Dustin Pedroia 9 0.46 2.04 -0.13 0.39 0.59 1.33
Joey Votto 9 0.46 1.87 0.01 2.06 -0.24 0.26
Chase Utley 9 0.00 1.88 -0.26 -0.27 1.52 1.49
Howie Kendrick 9 0.46 1.88 0.03 1.39 0.90 -0.37
Andrew McCutchen 9 1.18 1.41 0.19 0.45 0.85 0.21
Mike Stanton 9 1.90 1.03 -0.25 2.77 0.18 -1.51

The idea with Pitcher NERD — as with the other NERDs — is to express with one number the likelihood that the learned fan might have interest in a certain player. (To read more about Pitcher NERD, click here.)

Name NERD xFIP SwStrk Strk Velo Luck Age KN
Zack Greinke 10 2.72 1.92 0.36 0.73 1.60 0.17 0.00
Clayton Kershaw 10 2.14 1.80 0.57 1.04 0.00 1.16 0.00
Roy Halladay 10 2.52 1.63 2.32 0.54 0.00 0.00 0.00
Michael Pineda 10 0.94 2.25 1.35 1.61 0.21 1.41 0.00
Cliff Lee 10 2.23 0.90 2.33 0.39 0.00 0.00 0.00
Brandon Morrow 10 1.02 2.14 0.57 1.26 1.34 0.42 0.00
Justin Verlander 10 1.74 1.30 1.16 1.68 0.00 0.00 0.00
CC Sabathia 10 1.79 1.63 1.60 1.15 0.00 0.00 0.00
Madison Bumgarner 10 1.41 0.45 1.43 0.50 0.37 1.66 0.00
Matt Garza 10 1.55 1.80 0.64 1.19 0.54 0.17 0.00
Cole Hamels 10 1.85 1.86 1.21 0.50 0.00 0.17 0.00
David Price 10 1.45 0.45 0.39 1.57 0.20 0.67 0.00
Anibal Sanchez 9 1.50 1.58 0.66 0.50 0.84 0.17 0.00
Jonathon Niese 9 1.38 0.17 1.26 0.01 1.16 0.91 0.00
Cory Luebke 9 1.72 1.52 1.16 0.35 0.00 0.42 0.00
Brandon Beachy 9 1.40 2.08 0.42 0.46 0.08 0.91 0.00
Mike Minor 9 1.16 0.34 0.91 0.27 1.00 1.16 0.00
Juan Nicasio 9 1.12 0.34 -0.11 1.34 0.75 0.91 0.00
Felix Hernandez 9 1.50 0.57 0.28 1.07 0.20 0.67 0.00
R.A. Dickey 9 0.22 -0.11 1.56 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.78

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.