Offseason Notes, Featuring a Stat That Doesn’t Exist

Note: there was an error in calculating the very essential RECK leaderboard you’ll find below. It has been fixed, and the changes are minimal. Also, it still looks totally like the Richter Scale.

Yuni Betancourt, in front of a post-apocalyptic hellscape, finished second per a non-extant stat.

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

1. Projecting: ZiPS for Cincinnati
2. Stat That Doesn’t Exist: RECK
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: L.A. Dodgers Television (Home Games)

Projections: ZiPS for Cincinnati
Dan Szymborski has published his ZiPS projections for the Cincinnati Reds. Below are some of the notable ones, accompanied by very rough WAR projections (for the hitters, per 600 plate appearances, at least) calculated by the method outlined here. All numbers assume major league competition. OPS+ and ERA+ are park-adjusted.

Devin Mesoraco, C, 24: .248/.322/.432, 100 OPS+, 3.5 WAR
Mesoraco is likely to become the Reds’ starting catcher this year. So long as he’s something like average defensively, he projects to be above average overall — per plate appearance, that is.

Juan Francisco, 3B, 25: .267/.297/.480, 104 OPS+, 2.6 WAR
Here’s a stat that doesn’t exist: ISO / (OBP – AVG). Let’s call it Reckless Power — or RECK, for short. Francisco’s projection calls for a RECK of 7.1. That figure would have placed him second (to only Adrian Beltre among the league’s 145 qualified batters in 2011. (For 2011’s top-10 RECKers, look below.)

Henry Rodriguez, 2B, 22: .279/.315/.393, 89 OPS+, 1.6 WAR
Who’s Henry Rodriguez? Research suggests that he’s a young middle-infield prospect for the Reds. John Sickels ranks him 10th in the organization; Baseball America omits him from their top-10 list. ZiPS projects him as close to an average major leaguer — or, sort of does that. Rodriguez’s defensive projection is merely Fair.

Stat That Doesn’t Exist: RECK
Above, I submit for the readership’s consideration a stat that doesn’t actually exist, but is nevertheless called Reckless Power — or RECK, for short. It’s calculated by finding the quotient of Isolated Power (or ISO, which is the difference between batting average and slugging percentage) and what is sometimes called Isolated Patience (i.e. OBP – AVG). Here it is in shorter terms: ISO / (OBP – AVG). Essentially, we’re looking at players whose power far outstrips their patience.

Below are the top-10 qualified players per RECK from 2011. It’s a pretty entertaining, if not always “terribly effective,” group.

1 Adrian Beltre Rangers .296 .331 .561 .265 7.6
2 Yuniesky Betancourt Brewers .252 .271 .381 .129 6.8
3 Vernon Wells Angels .218 .248 .412 .194 6.5
4 Mark Trumbo Angels .254 .291 .477 .223 6.0
5 Miguel Olivo Mariners .224 .253 .388 .164 5.7
6 J.J. Hardy Orioles .269 .310 .491 .222 5.4
7 Nelson Cruz Rangers .263 .312 .509 .246 5.0
8 Alfonso Soriano Cubs .244 .289 .469 .225 5.0
9 Josh Hamilton Rangers .298 .346 .536 .238 5.0
10 Robinson Cano Yankees .302 .349 .533 .231 4.9

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: L.A. Dodgers Television (Home)
This offseason, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs. (Click here for more on this project.)

Rate other teams: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago (AL) / Chicago (NL) / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Colorado / Detroit / Miami / Houston / Los Angeles (AL).

Post-apocalyptic image courtesy joseamartinez3d.

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

21 Responses to “Offseason Notes, Featuring a Stat That Doesn’t Exist”

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  1. sgolder06 says:

    This scale needs to go higher.

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  2. RobBob says:

    My confusion lies with the notion that your RECK statistic “doesn’t exist”. Of COURSE it “exists”. There are questions, of course, about the VALUE of the statistic (does it have any predictive and explanatory power) but that’s a different matter completely.

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    • joser says:

      A distinction between “non-existent” and “meaningless”– while valid — isn’t useful in the context of Carson Cistulli.

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  3. jcxy says:

    when is fangraphs audio returning?!?

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  4. Eminor3rd says:

    What is the projected RECK for Dayan Viciedo? BTW, I like the stat.

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  5. Brett says:

    The scale to rank Vin Scully should go up to 11.

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  6. ray says:

    we shouldn’t have to rank Vin. Everyone knows he’s the best ever.

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  7. Allan says:

    Shocked that Edwin Encarnacion isn’t in the top 10 for RECK.

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  8. David says:

    Shouldn’t Michael Morse for the Nats be in the Top 10 with a 4.3?

    (.360 – .303) = .057

    ISO = .247

    .247/.057 = 4.3

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  9. Matthew says:

    Dodgers fans feel bad that the rest of the country doesn’t get the pleasure of Vin Scully. Well, except for Giants fans, or Phillies fans. They’d probably boo him.

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  10. Woodman says:

    Shouldn’t Adam Jones be in the top 10 as well?

    Kinda strange to see Hardy in there, he swung at only 42.5% of the pitches he got, which is below the league average of 46.2%.

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    • James says:

      I was going to add I think a weighting factor that accounts for swing % (O-swing % relative to league average or something) in some way might help conclusively and objectively identify the most RECKless from guys with big power who don’t walk much…

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  11. Travis says:

    By this reckoning (yeah yeah) the AL West is a reckless, impatient place.

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    • James says:

      I’m interested in what a team RECK leaderboard would look like… without running the numbers, I’m guessing Rangers would be the odds on favorites for most reckless?

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  12. Nathaniel Stoltz says:

    I wonder how good of a RECKer Anthony Recker projects to be in 2012.

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  13. So if any team takes the Cubs offer to be rid of Alfonso Soriano for the remainder of his burdensome contract, and the Cubs eat most of the money, then the receiving team can reasonably say they rented a RECK.

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  14. William says:

    Why don’t you assign a fielding value for each player based off zips projections? I was thinking you could do +10 for EX, +5 for VG, 0 for AV, -5 for FR, and -10 for PO. That would be simple enough. Also, it would be interesting to see how well speed score correlates to Bsr, and depending on how well it does calculate the players SPD score and convert it to xBsr or something like that

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