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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.

Num Name Team AVG OBP SLG ISO RECK
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.