Archive for February, 2007

Batted Ball Splits

There was an excellent study done by Dave Studeman in the 2007 Hardball Times: Annual that looked at the run value of each event in baseball using linear weights. I thought it might be fun to look at your typical splits by batted ball type instead of by run value:

Type     AB      H     2B    3B     HR    RBI   AVG   SLG    OPS 
FB    43439  11512   3434   483   5127  11734  .265  .720  0.978 
GB    59246  13996   1212    67      0   4300  .236  .259  0.495 
IFFB   5083     15      4     0      0      1  .003  .004  0.007 
LD    26447  19005   4485   402    259   6028  .719  .948  1.663

And a few more stats:

Type      ISO  BABIP   HR/Type      RC   RC/G 
FB       .455   .167    11.47%    8227   6.70 
GB       .023   .236     0.00%    2614   1.44 
IFFB     .001   .003     0.00%       0   0.00 
LD       .229   .716     0.97%   17947  63.62

Clearly line-drives are the cream of the crop. Oddly enough, about 1% of line drives turn out being home runs, which means about 10.5% of all fly balls (including infield fly balls) end up being home runs.

Fly balls are a tricky one because as long as you’re hitting 11.5% of them out of the park, you’re better off hitting them than groundballs. But if you’re hitting them in the park, then it’s a completely different story. Fly-balls that aren’t home runs have a mere .167 batting average compared to groundballs that have a .236 batting average.

Infield fly-balls or pop-ups are completely worthless. Of all 5000 of them in 2006, only 15 landed for hits. Pretty amazing 4 of them were doubles. I’m not sure how that’s even possible. If you’re going to hit pop-ups all day long you’re better of just not swinging the bat and hope for a walk.

Anyway, that’s just a quick look at the aggregates. Not all players hit line-drives, fly balls, and ground balls the same as you’ll soon see. Let’s look at the best and worst fly ball batters first.

Name             AVG    SLG    OPS    ISO  BABIP     RC  HR/FB  RC/27    FB% 
Ryan Howard     .507  1.824  2.309  1.316   .173    122  38.7%   45.1  36.2% 
Travis Hafner   .448  1.425  1.873  0.978   .237     86  27.6%   31.2  40.3% 
Chris Duncan    .418  1.463  1.868  1.045   .133     40  31.9%   26.5  35.2% 
Lance Berkman   .435  1.367  1.780  0.932   .210     85  27.1%   25.1  41.8% 
Jim Thome       .415  1.400  1.803  0.985   .160     77  29.5%   25.0  43.1% 
Manny Ramirez   .406  1.256  1.639  0.850   .194     66  24.8%   20.3  42.0% 
Wilson Betemit  .404  1.096  1.500  0.691   .273     42  18.1%   20.1  36.6% 
Adam LaRoche    .396  1.245  1.624  0.849   .215     67  22.1%   20.0  40.9% 
Preston Wilson  .414  1.103  1.503  0.690   .282     39  17.8%   19.5  26.7% 
Jacque Jones    .388  1.155  1.540  0.767   .213     46  22.1%   19.4  25.5% 
David Ortiz     .366  1.274  1.632  0.909   .119     86  27.4%   18.9  46.8% 
Alex Rodriguez  .385  1.142  1.517  0.757   .202     64  22.4%   18.2  39.6% 
Carlos Beltran  .376  1.194  1.554  0.818   .183     72  22.7%   17.8  46.6% 
Jermaine Dye    .376  1.178  1.540  0.803   .176     68  23.3%   17.7  40.4% 
Derek Jeter     .393  1.056  1.433  0.663   .280     36  15.1%   16.8  18.3% 
Richie Sexson   .366  1.131  1.487  0.765   .192     62  21.0%   16.7  39.9% 
Andruw Jones    .356  1.228  1.564  0.872   .111     63  26.0%   16.2  41.6% 
Nick Johnson    .372  1.047  1.410  0.674   .243     50  16.7%   16.0  35.6% 
Vlad. Guerrero  .377  1.017  1.386  0.640   .243     66  17.3%   15.9  37.2% 
Jason Bay       .371  1.106  1.458  0.735   .219     68  18.4%   15.8  44.0%

On this list, four names really stand out to me: Preston Wilson, Jacque Jones and Derek Jeter. Even though Jeter hit fly-balls an extremely low 18.3% of the time, he really did make the most of them. I’ve written several times about Jacque Jones’ “hidden power”, and clearly when he gets the ball in the air he’s really quite successful. Same goes for Preston Wilson. Let’s have a look at the worst fly-ball batters.

Name             AVG    SLG    OPS    ISO  BABIP     RC  HR/FB  RC/27    FB% 
D. Eckstein     .123  0.211  0.331  0.088   .107      3   1.7%    0.8  29.1% 
P. Polanco      .119  0.284  0.402  0.165   .086      4   3.6%    1.0  27.9% 
Joey Gathright  .114  0.314  0.417  0.200   .088      1   2.6%    1.0  16.9% 
Jason Kendall   .148  0.235  0.376  0.087   .140      4   0.8%    1.1  25.9% 
Neifi Perez     .133  0.267  0.396  0.133   .114      3   2.2%    1.1  41.0% 
Abraham Nunez   .130  0.296  0.426  0.167   .096      2   3.7%    1.2  23.1% 
So Taguchi      .145  0.303  0.444  0.158   .122      3   2.6%    1.4  30.5% 
Kenny Lofton    .152  0.333  0.483  0.182   .132      7   2.2%    1.6  33.4% 
Nick Punto      .168  0.307  0.467  0.139   .160      5   0.9%    1.6  30.1% 
Jack Wilson     .139  0.391  0.525  0.252   .083      6   5.8%    1.7  30.3% 
Mark Loretta    .167  0.312  0.475  0.145   .144     10   2.6%    1.7  37.6% 
Juan Pierre     .153  0.343  0.496  0.190   .134      7   2.2%    1.7  23.8% 
Alf. Amezaga    .156  0.377  0.530  0.221   .122      5   3.9%    1.9  32.6% 
Yadier Molina   .159  0.373  0.530  0.214   .117      7   4.7%    1.9  39.1% 
Luis Castillo   .163  0.370  0.531  0.207   .135      6   3.2%    1.9  20.8% 
Y. Betancourt   .162  0.372  0.533  0.209   .121      9   4.7%    1.9  35.7% 
Clint Barmes    .173  0.358  0.524  0.185   .141     10   3.6%    2.0  47.9% 
Brian Roberts   .155  0.423  0.573  0.268   .101     11   5.8%    2.0  35.5% 
Aaron Miles     .177  0.367  0.538  0.190   .156      5   2.4%    2.1  24.5% 
Brad Ausmus     .179  0.358  0.533  0.179   .161      6   2.1%    2.1  28.1%

No surprises here really. These guys are not your power hitters and as mentioned before, if you’re not a power hitter, you’re better off hitting groundballs. Maybe Clint Barmes and Neifi Perez are trying to be something they’re not. Moving on to groundballs, here are the best groundball batters:

Name             AVG    SLG    OPS    ISO  BABIP     RC   IFH%  RC/27    GB% 
Rocco Baldelli  .342  0.389  0.732  0.047   .342     19  10.1%    5.2  50.5% 
Carl Crawford   .321  0.366  0.687  0.045   .321     28  10.6%    4.1  52.2% 
Hanley Ramirez  .303  0.376  0.679  0.073   .303     23  10.6%    3.9  43.8% 
Esteban German  .338  0.369  0.708  0.031   .338     13   7.7%    3.8  58.0% 
S. Victorino    .316  0.354  0.671  0.038   .316     16   8.2%    3.8  44.5% 
Wily Mo Pena    .355  0.382  0.737  0.026   .355      8  11.8%    3.7  39.8% 
Ichiro Suzuki   .307  0.316  0.623  0.009   .307     30  13.0%    3.7  50.7% 
Ryan Freel      .312  0.351  0.662  0.039   .312     15  12.3%    3.7  43.9% 
Daniel Uggla    .310  0.330  0.640  0.020   .310     19   9.5%    3.6  41.0% 
Rickie Weeks    .320  0.352  0.672  0.033   .320     12   9.8%    3.5  46.2% 
Ben Broussard   .328  0.351  0.679  0.022   .328     13   3.7%    3.5  40.2% 
Chris Burke     .324  0.353  0.676  0.029   .324     10   5.9%    3.4  36.0% 
Marcus Thames   .273  0.333  0.606  0.061   .273      6   7.6%    3.4  25.7% 
Mike Lamb       .328  0.351  0.679  0.022   .328     12   3.7%    3.2  40.5% 
Y. Betancourt   .303  0.333  0.637  0.030   .303     20   6.8%    3.2  46.4% 
Chris Duffy     .284  0.306  0.590  0.022   .284     11  10.5%    3.2  58.0% 
Alf. Amezaga    .298  0.319  0.617  0.021   .298     12  11.4%    3.1  50.5% 
Mike Cameron    .299  0.344  0.643  0.045   .299     13  12.3%    3.0  37.6% 
G. Matthews     .284  0.321  0.604  0.037   .284     22   7.1%    3.0  51.0% 
Rafael Furcal   .285  0.311  0.596  0.026   .285     21   6.4%    2.9  49.9%

The one name that really stands out for me here is Wily Mo Pena. He just hits the ball hard, so chances are it makes his groundballs just that much more difficult to field. The rest of these guys are pretty much groundball batters, many of them quite fast. And now the worst groundball batters:

Name             AVG    SLG    OPS    ISO  BABIP     RC   IFH%  RC/27    GB% 
Barry Bonds     .135  0.135  0.271  0.000   .135      1   1.0%    0.2  30.3% 
Adam Dunn       .136  0.146  0.282  0.010   .136      1   1.0%    0.2  27.8% 
Bengie Molina   .153  0.153  0.307  0.000   .153      1   2.0%    0.3  38.7% 
Adam Kennedy    .161  0.168  0.329  0.006   .161      2   2.6%    0.3  40.7% 
Yadier Molina   .156  0.181  0.338  0.025   .156      2   3.7%    0.3  42.5% 
Gregg Zaun      .168  0.189  0.358  0.021   .168      1   2.1%    0.3  37.6% 
Phil Nevin      .168  0.192  0.360  0.024   .168      2   4.8%    0.4  42.7% 
Alex Cintron    .157  0.165  0.322  0.009   .157      1   3.5%    0.4  46.0% 
Damian Miller   .173  0.182  0.355  0.009   .173      1   5.5%    0.4  44.2% 
Dd. Navarro     .171  0.184  0.355  0.013   .171      1   4.0%    0.4  35.0% 
B. Schneider    .172  0.172  0.344  0.000   .172      2   3.1%    0.4  47.3% 
Brad Ausmus     .183  0.198  0.381  0.015   .183      3   4.1%    0.4  53.2% 
Jason Giambi    .171  0.200  0.371  0.029   .171      2   2.9%    0.5  30.3% 
Adr. Gonzalez   .194  0.219  0.413  0.025   .194      3   1.0%    0.5  43.8% 
Khalil Greene   .204  0.239  0.442  0.035   .204      2   0.9%    0.5  34.6% 
Kevin Millar    .189  0.220  0.409  0.031   .189      2   3.9%    0.5  35.5% 
Russell Martin  .187  0.192  0.379  0.005   .187      3   2.2%    0.5  50.4% 
Mike Lowell     .194  0.230  0.423  0.036   .194      4   5.6%    0.6  37.8% 
Brian Giles     .183  0.188  0.372  0.005   .183      4   4.1%    0.6  39.8% 
Eric Chavez     .212  0.232  0.444  0.020   .212      3   2.7%    0.6  38.6%

It’s not often you find out that Barry Bonds is the worst at something. All in all, I find this a rather bizarre mix of players and I’m really not sure what to make of it. Let’s look at the best line-drive batters:

Name             AVG    SLG    OPS    ISO  BABIP     RC  HR/LD  RC/27    LD% 
Eric Hinske     .875  1.188  2.063  0.313   .875     33   0.0%  224.4  16.2% 
J.D. Drew       .865  1.216  2.081  0.351   .865     78   0.0%  210.2  18.8% 
Wily Mo Pena    .872  1.179  2.029  0.308   .868     40   2.5%  177.9  20.9% 
Mig. Cabrera    .842  1.123  1.965  0.281   .841    108   0.9%  161.7  24.2% 
Jason Bay       .848  1.045  1.894  0.197   .844     59   3.0%  158.1  15.6% 
Austin Kearns   .833  1.154  1.987  0.321   .831     75   1.3%  155.8  19.2% 
Brad Hawpe      .829  1.134  1.963  0.305   .829     77   0.0%  148.7  21.7% 
G. Sizemore     .810  1.170  1.980  0.360   .806     95   2.0%  134.7  19.8% 
Scott Spiezio   .805  1.171  1.976  0.366   .800     39   2.4%  130.4  19.9% 
Russ. Martin    .817  1.169  1.975  0.352   .814     67   1.4%  129.8  19.9% 
Matt Stairs     .826  1.000  1.826  0.174   .826     38   0.0%  128.3  17.4% 
Jay Gibbons     .809  1.085  1.894  0.277   .809     41   0.0%  123.7  15.9% 
Reed Johnson    .808  1.055  1.863  0.247   .808     62   0.0%  120.0  19.7% 
G. Matthews     .788  1.192  1.980  0.404   .781     93   3.0%  119.5  18.8% 
Jose Valentin   .796  1.122  1.918  0.327   .796     44   0.0%  118.2  15.6% 
Chase Utley     .804  1.118  1.914  0.314   .798     91   2.9%  117.2  19.5% 
Todd Helton     .807  1.088  1.888  0.281   .805    100   0.9%  116.9  23.6% 
Matt Holliday   .788  1.144  1.933  0.356   .780     94   3.9%  115.2  21.0% 
David Wright    .824  1.033  1.839  0.209   .822     77   1.1%  115.0  19.5% 
Bill Hall       .789  1.225  2.003  0.437   .783     68   2.8%  114.9  19.2%

Obviously there are a lot of solid to excellent players on this list, but nothing especially noteworthy. And last but not least, the worst line-drive batters:

Name             AVG    SLG    OPS    ISO  BABIP     RC  HR/LD  RC/27    LD% 
Cliff Floyd     .540  0.740  1.280  0.200   .540     20   0.0%   23.5  18.1% 
David Bell      .600  0.730  1.313  0.130   .596     43   1.0%   27.3  23.4% 
Endy Chavez     .593  0.780  1.373  0.186   .593     27   0.0%   28.6  20.1% 
Juan Uribe      .585  0.862  1.437  0.277   .578     32   1.5%   29.5  17.2% 
Rondell White   .600  0.767  1.357  0.167   .593     27   1.6%   29.7  21.3% 
Alf. Amezaga    .617  0.702  1.319  0.085   .617     20   0.0%   30.5  16.9% 
Ronny Cedeno    .594  0.841  1.435  0.246   .594     34   0.0%   33.2  16.4% 
Chone Figgins   .627  0.745  1.373  0.118   .627     48   0.0%   33.9  20.7% 
Carl Crawford   .609  0.848  1.450  0.239   .609     47   0.0%   34.5  18.3% 
Moises Alou     .594  0.906  1.500  0.313   .587     34   1.6%   35.8  20.1% 
Damon Hollins   .600  0.940  1.528  0.340   .583     28   3.9%   35.9  19.0% 
Willy Taveras   .620  0.817  1.437  0.197   .620     36   0.0%   35.9  17.5% 
B. Phillips     .635  0.800  1.428  0.165   .635     43   0.0%   36.3  19.2% 
Chris Duncan    .622  0.822  1.444  0.200   .622     23   0.0%   36.6  21.1% 
Jason Kendall   .642  0.758  1.400  0.117   .642     58   0.0%   36.7  23.9% 
Aaron Boone     .639  0.778  1.417  0.139   .639     36   0.0%   37.2  24.7% 
W. Betemit      .643  0.857  1.478  0.214   .636     30   1.7%   37.4  21.3% 
Cory Sullivan   .651  0.831  1.459  0.181   .651     44   0.0%   37.4  31.5% 
Joey Gathright  .622  0.844  1.467  0.222   .622     24   0.0%   37.6  16.2% 
S.Hatteberg     .651  0.779  1.423  0.128   .651     43   0.0%   37.9  20.8%

Line-drive percentage will fluctuate from year to year, but I wonder if how a player hits line-drives changes much from year to year. I suppose you could ask that question for any of the batted ball types. When I get the data I’ll be sure to take a look at that, but just thinking off the top of my head, I’ll bet the fly-balls and groundballs remain fairly constant, while line-drives do not.

Furthermore, at some point this season, we’re hoping to have batted ball splits available for all players for 2002 onward.


SI.com – Behind The Numbers

Just thought some of you might be interested in an article I did for SI.com about the four different projection systems available on FanGraphs.

It looks at which players the systems are in agreement with and which one’s they’re at odds on using OPS and ERA.

“Everyone expects [Ryan Howard] to be very good, but there’s certainly some question about how great he’ll actually be. At least CHONE and ZiPS seem to think Carlos Delgado is in for a rather steep decline next year, while the other two think he’ll keep chugging along at his .900+ OPS.”

Anyway, take a look if you get a chance; I thought some of the differences and similarities were quite interesting. You can find the article here.


Carlos Zambrano?

There’s been a ton of news about Carlos Zambrano’s contract recently, and how the Cubs may or may not give him a five year deal and how he deserves more money than Barry Zito, etc…. Now it’s true that Zambrano has been a rock in the ERA department the past 4 years, never posting an ERA above 3.50, not to mention he’s thrown 861 innings; the 5th most in baseball since 2003. So it seems that everything has gone swimmingly for Zambrano the past 4 years, with no cause for concern, right?

Well, his walks per 9 innings (BB/9) hasn’t exactly been the model of consistency that his ERA has been. Actually, it shot through the roof last year to a poor 4.84. You know who has a 4.84 BB/9? Daniel Cabrera in 2005. Oddly enough, they had similar strikeout rates (if you compare 2005 and 2006). Now, I’m not saying Carlos Zambrano is Daniel Cabrera because, well, Daniel Cabrera’s BB/9 hasn’t seen been on the right side of “4”, ever.

305_p_season_blog_2_20061001.png

But doesn’t it make you wonder where his control went and if this is something that’s going to rear it’s ugly head again in 2007? It’s not like he had an isolated spot in 2006 where he was completely awful and then returned to his usual 3-something BB/9. He was not so wonderful all season long.

305_p_daily_blog_2_20061001.png

I guess the question is, was it just an off season for walks, or is there something else going on? Perhaps he’s wearing down from his rather crazy workload? He has thrown over 14,000 pitches (the third most in baseball) since the 2003 season. He also has the second most 100 pitch games with 107 during that same time period. Only Barry Zito had more.

So, we have a sky-rocketing walk rate and a pretty incredible workload to tag to Carlos Zambrano going into the 2007 season. Maybe it’s nothing and he’ll post another sub-4 ERA with workhorse numbers, but I’d say these are two warning signs of a potentially disappointing 2007.


Minor League Leaders

As promised, the Minor League Leaderboards are up! It’s worth noting that instead of the actual minor league team, the leaderboards show the affiliated team in their respective league. Also, qualified batters are 2.7 plate appearances per game and pitchers 0.8 innings per game. Other than that, just pick a league and sort/filter away!

If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to make these better, just send us a note and we’ll throw it on the to-do list.


2006 Minor League Stats

After some painfully annoying work, we’ve managed to integrate the full set of 2006 Minor League stats into FanGraphs. Our plan is to eventually backfill minor league stats for all major league and minor league players. We’ll also have nightly updates for Minor League stats during the 2007 season.

Our plan is to have Minor League leaderboards (in the usual FanGraphs style) up and running by the end of the week. Additionally, we’ll be figuring out the best way to include the Minor League stats in the season graphs.

As always, please let us know if you have any problems, comments, or suggestions!