Adjusted NCAA Statistics: Introduction and Top 100s

The first presentation of adjusted NCAA Division I hitting and pitching statistics that I will make is of the top 100 players. I’ll use this opportunity to explain my methods for adjusting these statistics.

In layman’s terms (and if you’re not particularly interested in methods, just read this paragraph and then skip ahead to the numbers) what my method does is calculate each player’s gross offensive production (defensive production in the case of pitchers) and then adjusts that production for the two primary factors that cause college stats to vary widely; the team’s run environment (including park factors home and away and whether they play in a hitter’s or pitcher’s conference, for example) and the team’s actual strength of schedule.

I use these adjustments to calculate the “baseline” against which the player is compared; that is what the average Division I hitter or pitcher would have compiled against the same competition in the same parks on the same days. I then look at how many runs that player’s production was over or under that average.

Now for the details …

Run Estimation Methods

First, a note on my choice of methods. I’ve been using Jim Furtado’s xRuns (Extrapolated Runs) method to calculate offensive production for hitters (and also for pitchers). The xR coefficients are for MLB over a 50-year time span, and unfortunately do not translate ideally to college numbers. They do mirror, quite closely, the BaseRuns coefficients for MLB over the same period, and for contemporary minor-league ball as well. But they don’t mirror quite as closely the BaseRuns coefficients for the NCAA environment, which is a very high-run environment due to the aluminum bats (NCAA Division I pitchers have allowed 6.52 runs per 9 innings up to May 16).

This means that power matters relatively less, and on-base percentage, particularly singles hitting, matters more. Once the NCAA season is done, I am hoping to redo these calculations with the proper BaseRuns coefficients (and Tangotiger, if you’re reading, can you send me the spreadsheet to calculate these again? I seem to have lost it) since BaseRuns will be a more accurate method. For now, though, 95% of you are reading this article for info on current and future draft prospects, so measuring how their offensive production would “translate” into what is roughly a pro context is not necessarily a bad thing.

I used xRuns Allowed for pitchers as well, though not every player has the data necessary, and using regular runs allowed is also done. The reason for not using ERA is that scoring varies widely at the NCAA level; the reason for using xR is that it can pick out pitchers who are particularly “run lucky”, which can make big differences in samples as small as a single college season.

The “Park Factor”

The “Park Factor” is really a measure of total team offensive context, and I owe it to fellow THT analyst Robert Dudek. Essentially, Robert looked at each team’s home and away games in 2004 and calculated a park factor based on runs scored/runs allowed data for the period 2000-2004. These factors should be quite accurate (especially considering the relatively small number of games played in NCAA competition) and take into account the player’s road environments as well, a big edge over traditional “park factor.” Thanks Robert.

The Park Factor is used to adjust not the player’s own statistics, but instead the average to which he is compared. (In practice this doesn’t matter, as the numbers would be the same.)

The “SOSA” — Strength of Schedule Adjustment

Division I teams play vastly different schedules, with the result that players find themselves facing vastly different levels of competition. The SOSA (or Strength of Schedule Adjustment) takes this into account by again adjusting the average baseline to which a player is compared. The reason for this is that for a team like Arizona State, which plays a very difficult schedule, the average Division I hitter wouldn’t create 6.5 runs a game. That figure would be closer to 5.2 runs a game, because ASU is facing much better pitchers day in and day out. Likewise, a team like Jackson State plays a schedule that isn’t very tough. The average Division I hitter would create about 7.6 runs per game against their opposition.

The SOSA is calculated based on a team’s opponents’ winning percentage, and a team’s opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage. The opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage is used to calculate (via the log5 method) a “true winning percentage” for the team’s opponents. In other words, how well that team’s opponents would have done against a neutral schedule.

How do we get from there, to run factors that will help us look at runs created and runs allowed statistics? Fellow THT analyst Vinay Kumar helped me with that one. I had had the idea to run the winning percentage data through the Pythagorean method, only backwards, to get from a winning percentage (versus the league average) to a ratio of runs scored or (allowed to the league average). It was Vinay who ran the numbers for me, and showed that the SOSA is equal to the fourth root of the ratio of the opponents’ won-lost ratio. That is, (win% / (1-win%)) ^ 0.25. Just trust me, it works.

The Top 100 NCAA Performers

Mental Health and the CBA
A particular bit of language in the latest CBA could have negative consequences for some players.

Now to the data. This is just a list of the Top 100 pitchers and hitters in NCAA Division I, by adjusted xRuns Above Average for hitters and adjusted xRuns Saved Above Average for pitchers. I have also listed those pitchers whose adjusted Runs Saved Above Average would have put them in the Top 100, but didn’t have the data needed to caluculate xR.

This list is not limited to draft-eligible prospects; freshmen, sophomores under 21 and fifth-year draft-and-follow seniors are also listed.

All data is complete to May 16. Starting next week, the data I release should be complete to May 30. I will be releasing the whole database next week.

Pitchers

RA+ measures the pitcher versus the NCAA average; 100 is average. RSAA measures how many runs the pitcher has saved versus the average pitcher. I also in included IP, K/9 and K/BB data for comparison purposes.

Rank Name             School                IP   K/BB    K/9  xRSAA   RSAA   RA+  xRA+
1    Jered Weaver     Long Beach St      113.1   12.2   13.6   78.7   69.1   425   867
2    Jason Windsor    Fullerton          108.2    6.1    7.1   66.1   56.4   271   383
3    Justin Hoyman    Florida            110.0    2.7    6.4   65.1   55.2   238   275
4    J. P Howell      Texas              100.2    3.7   11.3   61.8   59.8   324   359
5    Wade Leblanc     Alabama            106.2    4.0    7.7   57.8   56.6   286   302
6    Michael Rogers   NC State            96.1    5.3    9.0   56.5   49.7   267   344
7    Sam Lecure       Texas               92.0    3.8    8.2   55.7   50.3   275   348
8    Wade Townsend    Rice                98.2    3.3   11.0   54.4   55.8   339   340
9    Vern Sterry      NC State            92.2    6.2    9.0   50.7   48.6   275   295
10   Philip Humber    Rice                92.0    4.5   11.8   50.5   50.4   316   336
11   Mike Pelfrey     Wichita State       91.1    5.1    9.6   50.3   42.4   261   378
12   David Purcey     Oklahoma            98.0    2.5   10.0   50.1   41.9   207   249
13   Stacen Gant      George Mason        96.0    2.8    6.7   49.1   44.9   279   336
14   Cesar Ramos      Long Beach St      104.1    3.3    6.5   48.3   49.6   248   267
15   Ricky Romero     Fullerton          115.1    3.1    7.6   47.4   46.9   198   200
16   C Falkenbach     Florida             92.1    7.8    6.0   46.9   41.6   209   211
17   Rhett James      Florida State       80.1    3.1    8.3   46.1   39.6   229   288
18   Matt Campbell    South Carolina      88.0    5.0   10.2   46.1   36.0   192   273
19   Spencer Grogan   Oklahoma State     116.2    4.6    5.3   45.9   54.3   228   179
20   Shawn Phillips   Delaware State     115.2   10.1    8.6   45.4   37.3   193   242
21   Casey Janssen    UCLA                92.2    3.2    8.1   45.3   33.7   181   249
22   Jeremy Sowers    Vanderbilt          94.2    4.9    8.5   44.7   37.7   193   236
23   Zach Jackson     Texas A&M           92.1    5.2   10.1   44.7   39.2   209   253
24   Kyle Bono        Central Florida     86.2    4.5   10.2   43.4   36.7   228   315
25   Matt Fox         Central Florida     89.0    3.7   10.1   42.8   38.5   234   292
26   Tom Robbins      Texas State        100.1    2.0    6.6   42.7   36.3   182   219
27   Joe Koshansky    Virginia            90.2    2.7    7.3   41.2   36.4   202   231
28   Michael Gardner  Texas-Arlington     93.2    2.3    6.7   40.7   39.6   222   249
29   Jason Meyer      Texas A&M           79.1    2.9   10.1   40.5   48.2   393   275
30   Thomas Diamond   New Orleans         98.0    3.3   11.5   40.3   39.6   209   199
31   Mark Roberts     Oklahoma            97.0    5.7    9.5   40.2   34.4   175   191
32   Cesar Carrillo   Miami, Florida      75.1    1.9    6.7   40.2   38.2   238   237
33   Brett Smith      UC Irvine           93.2    4.1    8.6   39.8   43.1   238   232
34   Mark Holliman    Mississippi         88.2    3.6    8.7   39.7   45.5   249   228
35   Zach Kroenke     Nebraska            89.1    2.9    6.6   39.6   41.1   143   136
36   Eddie Cannon     Florida State       86.0    4.9    7.7   39.6   27.7   158   209
37   Andrew Dobies    Virginia            94.1    3.6    9.3   39.2   37.4   199   208
38   Jordan Thomson   Northeastern        74.2    6.6    8.8   37.9   33.1   273   410
39   Micah Owings     Georgia Tech        83.2    2.5    9.0   37.5   35.7   198   194
40   Ryan Zink        Ill-Chicago         89.1    6.4    9.0   37.2   31.8   218   283
41   Ian Kennedy      Southern Cal        79.2    4.0   12.1   36.4   41.4   250   209
42   Ryan Mullins     Vanderbilt          82.2    4.5    7.4   36.2   35.9   211   216
43   Jarrett Grube    Memphis             88.2    3.8    9.2   36.1   33.3   194   213
44   Carlos Torres    Kansas State       107.1    1.9    5.9   35.8   30.1   154   165
45   Justin Orenduff  VA Commonwealth     89.0    4.2   11.5   35.8   33.3   207   226
46   Jeff Mousser     Arizona State       75.2    1.1    4.2   35.8   32.4   197   203
47   Donnie Smith     Old Dominion        77.2    4.0   10.5   35.7   36.2   269   256
48   M Prendergast    VA Commonwealth     89.2    2.2    5.7   35.7   32.7   202   223
49   Jason Vargas     Long Beach St       88.1    3.4    7.5   35.6   29.0   170   226
50   Andrew Kown      Georgia Tech        88.1    2.7    7.6   35.4   39.8   209   175
51   Kevin Ardoin     LA-Lafayette        94.1    4.3    7.7   35.1   35.1   198   202
52   Trey Taylor      Baylor              78.2    2.5    5.9   35.1   22.6   150   217
53   Jason Urquidez   Arizona State       82.2    2.1    8.7   34.9   44.0   258   180
54   Kevin Slowey     Winthrop           108.0    9.7    7.3   34.8   30.5   161   179
55   Steve Grasley    Creighton          102.0    4.6    8.1   34.6   40.2   216   179
56   Glen Perkins     Minnesota           84.2    3.9    8.7   34.1   29.6   187   222
57   Derek Tharpe     Tennessee           74.0    4.4    9.7   34.0   38.5   274   240
58   Tim Lincecum     Washington          90.2    2.0   13.3   33.9   26.4   156   182
59   Clay Dirks       Louisiana State     77.1    4.3    7.4   33.8   28.3   175   203
60   R. J. Swindle    Charleston So      101.0    4.4    9.9   33.6   33.8   177   168
61   Jon Wilson       Winthrop            59.2    4.9   11.0   33.5   31.1   336   417
62   T Tankersley     Alabama             65.2    2.7    9.6   33.4   39.4   377   270
63   Brian Akin       Davidson            86.0    3.6    8.7   33.2   23.9   163   210
64   Greg Bunn        East Carolina       78.2    3.6   10.2   33.0   28.4   189   236
65   Daniel Bard      North Carolina      81.1    2.9    6.6   33.0   29.5   186   203
66   Koley Kolberg    Arizona            107.2    2.0    7.9   33.0   27.7   144   141
67   John Martinez    UC Riverside       103.1    3.6    5.0   32.3   28.2   157   163
68   Joe Piekarz      No Illinois        100.1    2.4    7.6   32.0   32.8   183   168
69   P. J Walters     South Alabama       93.1    2.8    9.3   32.0   30.4   168   165
70   Aaron Wilson     San Diego          108.1    2.3    5.5   32.0   29.3   158   162
71   Dennis Robinson  Jacksonville       113.0    2.1    5.3   31.9   24.6   140   158
72   G Broshuis       Missouri            83.1    3.6    7.8   31.8   33.5   215   197
73   Matt Scherer     LeMoyne             79.1    9.0    8.2   31.4   29.2   233   259
74   R Rohrbaugh      Clemson             60.0    2.1    5.0   31.1   27.8   212   233
75   William Delage   Lamar               59.1    2.3    8.2   31.0   29.4   297   355
76   Zach Zuercher    Rhode Island        83.2    2.9   12.8   30.9   22.8   165   214
77   Paul Lubrano     Georgia             81.0    1.8    6.1   30.8   26.3   161   189
78   Ryan Heacox      Stetson             77.1    2.3    4.3   30.6   29.4   215   240
79   Justin Pekarek   Nebraska            64.2    4.7    9.2   30.5   29.9   143   147
80   Aaron Rawl       South Carolina      90.2    6.0    7.1   30.4   25.6   149   174
81   Derek Drage      SW Missouri St      98.1    3.1    7.6   30.2   25.0   154   178
82   Justin Simmons   Texas               75.1    1.4    4.3   29.8   29.8   186   190
83   Jeff Samardzija  Notre Dame          57.1    2.2    5.5   29.8   26.9   271   348
84   Zach Kimball     NC-Wilmington       83.1    2.5    6.5   29.5   27.5   176   199
85   Arnold Hughey    Auburn              91.2    3.7    7.6   29.4   23.1   142   171
86   J. D. Cockroft   Miami, Florida      73.2    1.7    6.0   29.4   34.0   211   170
87   John Williams    Middle Tenn St      77.2    4.2    9.7   29.4   26.3   185   205
88   Stephen Head     Mississippi         59.1    3.7    7.3   29.3   33.4   292   257
89   Ryan Falcon      NC-Greensboro       78.0    6.0    9.0   29.3   20.3   157   197
90   Nick Hill        Army                80.1    3.7    8.7   29.1   28.5   219   224
91   Jordan Topal     Campbell            75.0    2.6    5.5   29.1   19.3   148   197
92   J. Brent Cox     Texas               47.0    4.2   10.3   29.0   30.1   394   363
93   Zac Cline        West Virginia       71.0    2.1    5.3   28.8   27.3   200   222
94   Dallas Braden    Texas Tech          79.0    4.2    8.7   28.7   28.1   177   160
95   Jeff Niemann     Rice                59.1    3.5   10.6   28.7   27.4   236   267
96   Chris Bova       Ohio                88.0    2.2    7.3   28.6   19.1   147   177
97   Steven Cook      NC-Asheville       113.2    2.4    6.6   28.5   23.7   138   149
98   Randy Beam       FLA Atlantic       102.2    2.5    5.9   28.5   28.7   158   159
99   Danny Hill       Missouri            90.1    2.8    7.8   28.3   24.2   156   166
100  Clayton Turner   NW State            86.2    2.5    9.7   28.2   18.5   141   188

Hitters

For hitters, for comparison purposes, I included batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. This xR data includes stolen base data, so it’s not strictly “hitting.” Some players move up several spots due to being excellent base thieves. OWP is Offensive Winning Percentage.

Rank  Name             School               AVG    OBP    SLG     xR    OWP   xRAA
1     Jed Lowrie       Stanford            .412   .512   .794    194   .887   45.2
2     Ryan Jones       East Carolina       .406   .507   .891    175   .889   45.0
3     Kurt Suzuki      Fullerton           .439   .537   .709    189   .877   41.4
4     Alex Gordon      Nebraska            .383   .502   .782    193   .869   40.9
5     Chip Cannon      The Citadel         .362   .529   .686    188   .850   39.0
6     Chris Rahl       William & Mary      .391   .463   .797    197   .839   37.1
7     Mike Ferris      Miami, Ohio         .389   .538   .833    180   .844   36.3
8     M Vanderbosch    Oral Roberts        .390   .502   .533    195   .835   35.7
9     Mike Costanzo    Coast Carolina      .359   .470   .769    195   .840   33.8
10    PJ Hiser         Pittsburgh          .365   .444   .785    181   .832   33.3
11    Jon Zeringue     Louisiana State     .417   .475   .686    204   .846   33.2
12    Brad Corley      Miss State          .374   .429   .680    222   .824   33.0
13    Brendan Winn     South Carolina      .342   .437   .705    193   .842   32.9
14    Brian Bixler     East Michigan       .450   .520   .627    209   .819   32.3
15    Danny Putnam     Stanford            .392   .469   .660    209   .827   32.2
16    Matt Macri       Notre Dame          .363   .473   .663    193   .820   31.8
17    Josh Morris      Georgia             .341   .450   .692    182   .835   31.6
18    Richie Robnett   Fresno State        .382   .469   .711    204   .812   31.5
19    Dustin Pedroia   Arizona State       .411   .514   .657    207   .831   31.4
20    Patrick Perry    N Colorado          .469   .538   .808    177   .831   31.3
21    Warner Jones     Vanderbilt          .423   .460   .667    213   .824   31.1
22    Nick Shimer      George Mason        .339   .476   .734    177   .818   30.6
23    Dan Batz         Rhode Island        .405   .500   .746    173   .823   30.5
24    E Martinez-Este  Florida State       .377   .447   .679    212   .823   30.3
25    Jamie Rusco      NC-Charlotte        .377   .493   .697    175   .827   30.2
26    Caleb Moore      East Tenn St        .478   .535   .783    180   .843   30.0
27    Matt Barket      Tulane              .400   .481   .595    200   .805   29.6
28    Landon Powell    South Carolina      .354   .430   .651    209   .813   29.2
29    Jeff Frazier     Rutgers             .385   .459   .662    195   .809   29.2
30    Graig Badger     Rutgers             .368   .510   .497    185   .812   29.0
31    Steve Sherman    NC-Asheville        .363   .475   .678    171   .815   29.0
32    Bryant Lange Jr  Jackson State       .439                  164   .825   28.9
33    Scott Rich       Rider               .381   .457   .730    189   .790   28.4
34    Brad Hayes       Arkansas State      .424   .473   .750    144   .855   28.3
35    Chad Huffman     Texas Christian     .397   .490   .618    204   .810   28.3
36    C Westervelt     Stetson             .378   .485   .643    185   .800   28.2
37    Brad McCann      Clemson             .388   .462   .660    206   .818   28.0
38    Drew Moffitt     Wichita State       .286   .461   .671    161   .804   27.9
39    Josh Brady       Texas Tech          .355   .434   .687    217   .785   27.4
40    Brett Anderson   Coll Charleston     .367   .507   .698    169   .788   27.4
41    Jim Geldhof      C Michigan          .434   .494   .654    205   .772   27.4
42    Ben Zobrist      Dallas Baptist      .389   .460   .597    211   .776   27.2
43    Stephen Drew     Florida State       .338   .472   .669    157   .849   27.2
44    Tim Grogan       W Kentucky          .362   .494   .606    188   .779   26.9
45    Logan Sorensen   Wichita State       .371   .457   .589    202   .782   26.9
46    Anthony Granato  VA Commonwealth     .377   .459   .560    191   .782   26.7
47    Mike Hughes      Ill-Chicago         .372   .457   .683    199   .766   26.5
48    Jeff Fiorentino  FLA Atlantic        .324   .449   .603    179   .787   26.5
49    Steve Pickerell  Cincinnati          .398   .498   .722    176   .809   26.5
50    Stephen Head     Mississippi         .360   .432   .591    203   .801   26.4
51    Jim Burt         Miami, Florida      .370   .469   .672    189   .812   26.3
52    Carl Lipsey      Jackson State       .364                  151   .794   26.3
53    J. C. Holt       Louisiana State     .393   .466   .557    219   .791   26.2
54    Mike Butia       James Madison       .373   .463   .802    177   .795   26.2
55    Matt Gunning     W Kentucky          .400   .445   .695    220   .766   26.2
56    Brandon Morgan   NW State            .391   .493   .529    174   .806   26.1
57    Rob Hosgood      Central Conn St     .383   .487   .596    193   .770   26.1
58    C Anderson       Detroit Mercy       .383   .490   .713    167   .788   26.0
59    Mark Jurich      Louisville          .361   .431   .708    216   .762   25.8
60    Chad Kinyon      Kent State          .375   .475   .655    200   .770   25.3
61    Matt Miller      Texas State         .385   .441   .587    218   .776   25.3
62    Jim Negrych      Pittsburgh          .388   .475   .617    183   .782   25.3
63    Chris Looze      George Mason        .355   .435   .695    197   .771   25.2
64    Clete Thomas     Auburn              .332   .429   .522    205   .780   25.0
65    Tim Burgess      Georgia State       .423   .518   .673    156   .826   24.8
66    Nick Blasi       Wichita State       .358   .445   .590    212   .764   24.8
67    Nathan Purvis    Miss Valley St      .378                  127   .824   24.8
68    Kiel Thibault    Gonzaga             .433   .511   .562    201   .782   24.8
69    Ryan Griffith    Birmingham-So       .371   .456   .576    205   .770   24.7
70    Ryan Norwood     East Carolina       .360   .420   .680    203   .766   24.6
71    Ben Harrison     Florida             .363   .471   .632    193   .794   24.5
72    Seth Bynum       Indiana             .397   .443   .655    194   .766   24.5
73    Eric Nielsen     UNLV                .405   .500   .726    215   .756   24.4
74    Zach Clem        Washington          .358   .460   .620    179   .797   23.9
75    Steve Pearce     South Carolina      .335   .421   .630    200   .775   23.9
76    Brett Gardner    Coll Charleston     .403   .485   .618    191   .751   23.8
77    Jordan Foster    Lamar               .369   .504   .500    176   .780   23.7
78    Hunter Pence     Texas-Arlington     .418   .462   .618    165   .814   23.6
79    Shelby Ford      Texas Christian     .313   .429   .626    198   .769   23.4
80    Eric Patterson   Georgia Tech        .317   .431   .519    208   .769   23.4
81    M Hubbard        North Carolina      .355   .427   .690    200   .767   23.3
82    Clay Timpner     Central Florida     .363   .419   .529    204   .758   23.3
83    Steve Caravati   Ohio State          .394   .449   .616    198   .761   23.3
84    Trevor Lawhorn   East Carolina       .311   .382   .665    212   .745   23.2
85    Jeff Justice     LeMoyne             .405   .460   .716    190   .751   23.0
86    Jim Fasano       Richmond            .313   .437   .637    179   .761   22.9
87    Nolan Reimold    Bowling Green       .400   .484   .719    160   .786   22.9
88    Jared Greenwood  W Carolina          .332   .453   .766    184   .758   22.6
89    John Mayberry    Stanford            .345   .427   .627    177   .780   22.6
90    A Toussaint      LA-Lafayette        .373   .434   .740    150   .796   22.5
92    Anthony Raglani  Geo Washington      .330   .456   .594    197   .733   22.5
93    Brian Hall       Stanford            .364   .429   .605    195   .760   22.2
94    Blake Adkison    Centenary           .392   .471   .731    171   .760   22.1
95    Kyle Larsen      Washington          .346   .453   .585    188   .770   22.1
96    Keith Stegbauer  Central Conn St     .436   .479   .555    218   .736   22.0
97    Travis Buck      Arizona State       .358   .481   .567    187   .777   22.0
98    Juan Figueroa    Bethune-Cookman     .383   .474   .611    175   .758   22.0
99    Cameron Blair    Texas Tech          .368   .440   .609    220   .749   21.9
100   J Merendino      LA-Lafayette        .365   .446   .597    181   .758   21.9

References & Resources
I’d like to thank Boyd Nation, Vinay Kumar, Robert Dudek, and Tangotiger for all their help on this project and the other material you’ll see out of me before the draft. Without them, I am nothting.


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