Juan Pierre…is…Clutch??

As I write this, Bill Plaschke’s “Pierre-dar 2008” is informing him something wonderful has just happened. You see, it appears that Juan Pierre has been one of the clutchiest players this season. As of this minute he ranks seventh in the entire MLB with a 0.93 clutch score. Directly ahead of him is teammate Russell Martin and his 0.98.

For his career, Pierre has a clutch score of 4.70. All told, his career WPA of 0.66, WPA/LI of -4.01, and REW of -0.24 are pretty ugly for someone who makes as much as he, but his clutch score is rather impressive. In that same span, 2000-2008, here are the clutch scores of a few others:

David Ortiz: 2.83
Derek Jeter: 1.39
Albert Pujols: -1.13

The usual knocks on Pierre’s game have not dissipated but I never foresaw myself typing the title this post possesses. In case the clutch score confuses, it compares a player to himself, measuring how well he performs in high leverage situations to how well he performs in all situations. If a player has a .333 batting average in important situations but a .333 in all situations, he would not be considered clutch. He would be a good, solid player, but not a clutch one.

In that regard, while Pierre is nowhere near as productive as the aforementioned three, his career has consisted of more productive game-raising results than all three combined. I never thought those words would ever escape my type-mouth.

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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

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Isn’t the clutch score a little screwy, for lack of a better term, if someone can hit .333 in high leverage situations, but not be considered “clutch”? Why isn’t it league relative as compared to player relative? A player shouldn’t be punished just because he is good all of the time.