The Greatest Game

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Random, Daily Stats 

As you may have noticed, I've been posting some stats that I've gleaned from Lee Sinins wonderful Sabermetric Encyclopedia. Today's stat is Outs/Plate Appearance. As a batter, an out is the worst thing in baseball. A team only has 27 of them, and if you commit an out, then your team is one step closer to the end of the game. So I decided to see who commits the most outs per plate appearance. Just take a look to the right and you'll see the worst culprits over the past 3 years. If you take a closer look at them, you'll notice that most of them have switched teams at least once over the past 3 years. I guess one team figures out that they have an out machine and dumps the player on a less suspecting team. There are a some players over there that have survived with the same team for 3 years: Barrett, Wilson, Molina, Rivas. The other thing is that most of them play SS or C. Of course there is Vinny Castilla who, at 3B, plays a position typically associated with offense, but somehow he's been allowed to commit out after out - he's riding the coattails of his good seasons at Coors Field where he hit 40 HR 3 years in a row. And don't forget Luis Rivas, who plays mainly, as Aaron often laments, a very poor 2B.

I know most, if not all, of these names are familiar to everyone, but it's just nice to see them in a nice, neat list over there to the right.

Tomorrow night I'll post the same stat, but in reverse order.

Oh yeah, I'm going to be gone for a week for a trip to London, so posting will be sparse starting on Monday. If anyone wants to write a guest column, let me know. I'll try and post a couple times while I'm over there, but I'm not going to have the best access.

- Addendum -
Scott from Yankees, Mets and the Rest has pointed out that 3B has not historically been an offensive position, but more of a combination position with a leaning towards defense. That made me wonder why I instinctively thought that it was an offensive position? Could I have a soft spot for third basemen? Could I have been a third baseman in a past life? So I hopped on over to Baseball Graphs' Win Shares Page and added up all the players last year with more than 10 Offensive Win Shares, and with more than 8 Offensive Win Shares (infielders only). Why did I pick those numbers? Totally arbitrary. I added the two leagues together and this is what I got:
    OWS(10+)    OWS(8+)
C 8 13
1B 22 26
2B 13 20
3B 17 20
SS 12 14
As would be expected, catchers have the least amount of offense-oriented players (using this crude metric), at least partly due to the number of games played by catchers. Shortstops also had a low amount. And like we'd all expect, first basemen had the highest number of offense-oriented players. Third basemen had the 2nd highest number of players with more than 10 Win Shares, but when I lowered the standard to 8 Offensive Win Shares, third basemen are tied with second basemen. I was a bit surprised here, but when you think about players like Soriano and Todd Walker, well, maybe teams are putting more offense-minded players at 2B and hoping the other players around him in the infield will help pick up for his defensive shortcomings.

Keep in mind that my numbers were purely arbitrary, but I think that they give some basic sense of which positions are more offense-oriented than others. I also found it interesting that the National League had a large majority of the better hitting third basemen. They had 11 players with at least 10 OWS, compared to 6 for the AL. In every (infield) position, the NL had more players than the AL at both cut-off points. I wasn't going to post this, but what the heck:
   AL(10+)   AL(8+)  NL(10+)   NL(8+)
C 4 6 4 7
1B 11 12 11 14
2B 5 9 8 11
3B 6 8 11 12
SS 6 7 6 7

- Addendum 2-
Since I'm changing the Random Stat this morning, I thought that I'd display the Outs/PA leader right here in the blog entry:

Top 10 Outs/PA - 1000 PA min (2000-2003)

Vinny Castilla
Deivi Cruz
Royce Clayton
Luis Rivas
Neifi Perez
Einar Diaz
Alex Gonzalez
Michael Barrett
Jack Wilson
Bengie Molina
# posted by shawn : 2/12/2004 07:24:00 PM -
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