Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Stat of the Week
Posted on: March 31, 2010 4:01 pm
 

John Dewan Stat of the Week

Reposting the John Dewan Stat of the Week by permission:

Which players are poised for a breakout based on their Spring Training statistics?
March 31, 2010

This is our sixth annual list of possible breakout players based on Spring Training statistics. We researched the value of Spring Training stats a few years back and it was quite revealing. For the most part, we agree with the common perception that they don't have value. A bad spring training means nothing. An average spring training tells us nothing. Nevertheless, we did find that when a player has an exceptional spring, it does suggest a better than 60% chance they will take their game up a notch. It applies to teams as well.

We define "exceptional spring" as a positive difference between a hitter's spring training slugging percentage and their lifetime slugging percentage of 200 points or more.

We analyzed hitters with both a minimum of 200 career regular season at bats and with a minimum of 40 spring training at bats (through spring training games of Tuesday, March 30) and found the following 18 players.

Possible Breakout Players
Slugging Percentage 200+ points better in Spring Training
Hitter, Team  Difference  Spring  Career
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays  .484  .884  .400
Mitch Maier, Royals  .436  .760  .324
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals  .345  .824  .478
Colby Rasmus, Cardinals  .316  .723  .407
Jerry Hairston, Padres  .302  .675  .373
Delwyn Young, Pirates  .288  .673  .385
Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks  .283  .714  .431
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies  .282  .756  .474
Hunter Pence, Astros  .272  .760  .488
Gregg Zaun, Brewers  .262  .650  .388
Aaron Rowand, Giants  .260  .708  .448
Nelson Cruz, Rangers  .259  .732  .473
Justin Upton, Diamondbacks  .254  .739  .485
Will Venable, Padres  .252  .679  .427
Alberto Callaspo, Royals  .242  .646  .404
John Bowker, Giants  .229  .631  .402
Mike Aviles, Royals  .223  .651  .429
Mark Kotsay, White Sox  .204  .617  .413
___________________________________
____
Copyright © 2010 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

Posted on: March 21, 2009 9:30 am
 

John Dewan's Stat of the Week

 The latest from the John Dewan Stat of the Week, reprinted with permission:

Who are the Most Valuable Half-and-Half Players?

March 20, 2009

The Bill James Gold Mine 2009 began shipping last Tuesday. Bill did another fantastic job. I wanted to share with you one of the nuggets he wrote:

***

Four of the very best players in baseball in 2008 weren’t serious contenders for the MVP Award or the Cy Young Award, because they split their seasons between the two leagues.

CC Sabathia, 17-10 with 251 strikeouts and a 2.70 ERA, didn’t win the Cy Young Award in either league because he made 18 starts in one league and 17 in the other.

Mark Teixeira hit .308 with 33 homers, 97 walks, 121 RBI, 41 doubles and eye-popping glove work at first base, but wasn’t a serious MVP candidate in either league because he split his time between the leagues.

Manny Ramirez hit .332 with 37 homers, 121 RBI (same as Teixeira), 87 walks and a .600 slugging percentage, but he, too, had one foot in each league.

And Jason Bay, while no one seems to have anything to say about him except that he is no Manny Ramirez, hit .286 with 35 doubles, 31 homers, 101 RBI, 111 runs scored, 81 walks, and 10-for-10 base stealing. A lot of guys have won MVP Awards doing less, but Bay, again, was a half-and-half.

Here’s a question for you: In all of baseball history up to 2007, are there four players that good who were out of the awards picture for either league because they split their duty between the leagues? I’m not sure there are. I know for certain that if you took all of baseball history up until about 1990, you couldn’t find four guys like that.

These split seasons have become more common in recent years, of course, because cross-league deadline trades have come into the game. Carlos Beltran in 2004 had a monster two-league season (38 homers, 42 stolen bases), and Randy Johnson in 1998 struck out 329 batters in the two leagues. Still. . .four in one season is, I am pretty sure, unprecedented.

Do we need an award for these guys? They’re MVP candidates, after all; they merely need legal standing. Are there going to be four of these guys every year, from now on, or was it a one-year aberration?

I don’t know. I just hadn’t heard anybody talk about it, so I thought I would.

***

Reprinted with permission from The Bill James Gold Mine 2009.

-----------------------------------
-----------------------------------
----------

Copyright © 2009 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

Posted on: March 13, 2009 10:48 am
 

John Dewan's Stat of the Week

The latest from the John Dewan Stat of the Week, reprinted with permission:

The most significant discovery of my career

March 12, 2009

About two weeks ago The Fielding Bible—Volume II went to print. Since then, as I've been studying some of the data in the book preparing for interviews, I came upon a discovery that was truly amazing to me. The most amazing, and significant, discovery of my 25 years in the baseball analysis business.

The key mission of the second volume of The Fielding Bible was to translate all of our new defensive methods into one common number that would be understandable by everyone. That number is Defensive Runs Saved. How many runs does a player save for his team defensively?

We look at each player individually. We then do a team summary by adding up all the individual players. How many runs does an above-average defense save compared to an average team? The team with the best defense in baseball in 2008 was the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. By combining all of our defensive methods, eight different methods across the nine positions in baseball, we estimate that the Phillies defense saved 78 runs. Using the rule of thumb that 10 runs is equivalent to one win, that's eight wins. With an average defense, the Phillies wouldn't have had even a sniff of the playoffs.

The worst defensive team in baseball in 2008? The Kansas City Royals. Their defense cost them about 48 runs relative to the average team. Comparing the Phillies and the Royals, the difference between the best and worst defensive teams in baseball was about 130 runs.

Now, remember that number. 130.

The best run-scoring team in baseball was the Texas Rangers with 901 runs in 2008. The San Diego Padres were the worst with 637 runs. That's a difference of about 260 runs.

Here's the discovery, and I found it because the numbers just jumped out. The 130 difference in runs saved on defense is exactly half of the 260 difference in runs scored. That's exactly half. The implication is that defense is worth about half as much as offense.

That's a lot higher than I would have guessed, and a lot higher than I think most people would guess. But the numbers are remarkably consistent from one year to the next:

Year  Best to Worst Offensive Difference  Best to Worst Defensive Difference  Defensive Spread
as Percentage of Offensive Spread 
2008  264  126  48%
2007  295  141  48%
2006  241  114  47%

Everyone realizes that defense is important, but it's never been quantified. Now we have the first way to quantify it. It's not necessarily the best way, and there will be more to come on this issue. The 50% figure is more of an indicator than an exact number, but it just jumped out at me and I wanted to share it with you.

-----------------------------------
-----------------------------------
----------

Copyright © 2009 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

Little Fantasy significance, but it is an interesting note on baseball. Defense is so underrated, it means almost half as much offense.

Emack. 

Posted on: March 6, 2009 3:50 pm
 

Stat of the Week

The John Dewan Stat of the Week, reprinted by permission:

Who are the top 10 projected hitters for the 2009 season?

March 6, 2009

Twice a year we project the upcoming season for the most important hitters and pitchers. First, we run the earliest projections in The Bill James Handbook. Then we run them again around this time of year, updating them for the latest transactions and playing time estimates. We do it because it's fun and we learn something from it. Below we show the highlights from The Bill James Handbook: Projections Update 2009 Excel spreadsheet available at BaseballInfoSolutions.com.

Hitter  Age  2009 Team  Runs Created 
Albert Pujols  29  Cardinals  159 
Miguel Cabrera  26  Tigers  135 
Ryan Braun  25  Brewers  134 
David Wright  26  Mets  134 
Josh Hamilton  28  Rangers  131 
Hanley Ramirez  25  Marlins  131 
Ryan Howard  29  Phillies  130
Mark Teixeira  29  Yankees  130 
Alex Rodriguez  33  Yankees  128 
Lance Berkman  33  Astros  127 

Note: Age is seasonal as of June 30, 2009.
 
Copyright © 2009 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

Posted on: March 2, 2009 11:32 am
 

John Dewan's Stat of the Week


The latest Stat of the Week, reprinted with permission:

Who has the best outfield defense?

February 27, 2009

In 2008, it wasn't close.  The New York Mets clearly had the best defense, based on Defensive Runs Saved from The Fielding Bible—Volume II.  Outfielders saved 56 runs for the Mets last year.  Using the rule of thumb that the value of a win is about 10 runs, that's five to six extra victories based on outfield defense alone for the Metropolitans in 2008.  Fielding Bible Award and Gold Glove winner, Carlos Beltran, led the way in center field. He was flanked most often, on either side, by defensive stalwart, Endy Chavez. Beltran saved 21 runs, but Chavez saved eight runs in left field and eight more in right, for a total of 16 runs. That's just a few runs less than Beltran in over 100 fewer games started in the outfield. That's defense.

The Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians were the American League leaders. Baltimore outfielders saved about 45 runs and Cleveland's saved about 37, both well short of the Mets total of 56. The leading American League outfielder in defensive runs saved was the Fielding Bible Award winner in right field, Franklin Gutierrez of the Tribe. He didn't start as few games as Chavez, but his runs saved total was equally remarkable. He saved 22 runs in 85 starts in right field in 2008.

For those of you following the transactions, you may know where this is going.  Endy Chavez is no longer with the Mets and Franklin Gutierrez is no longer with the Indians.  Where are they?  Both of them are now members of the Seattle Mariners.  Add Ichiro to the mix and you have a pretty good idea of where the best defensive outfield in 2009 is going to be.  Gutierrez is moving to center field where his right-field-class arm will be a tremendous asset and his pure athletic ability will serve him, and the Mariners, well.

The Fielding Bible—Volume II is all about runs, just like the game itself.  We've taken our defensive methods that we've developed and converted them into Defensive Runs Saved.  For outfielders we measure range with the Plus/Minus System and use baserunner kills along with the frequency of baserunner advancement to up come with runs saved based on arm strength.  We've done the same sort of thing for other positions factoring in defensive ability fielding bunts, turning double plays, preventing stolen bases on the part of both the pitcher and the catcher, and the catcher's ability to hold down his pitcher's ERA by calling a good game.  The top defenders based on runs saved at each position in 2008 were:

              Pitcher - Kenny Rogers, 15 runs saved
              Catcher - Jason Kendall/Jose Molina, 12
              First Base - Mark Teixeira, 17
              Second Base - Chase Utley, 33
              Third Base - Adrian Beltre, 24
              Shortstop - Jimmy Rollins,15
              Left Field - Carl Crawford/Willie Harris, 13
              Center Field - Carlos Beltran, 21
              Right Field - Franklin Gutierrez, 22

Source: The Fielding Bible—Volume II (now shipping).
 
-----------------------------------
-----------------------------------
----------

Copyright © 2009 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

<hr>

I found this one very interesting. Outfield defense has a huge correlation with pitchers' ERAs. I think you will be surprised by the teams with the best outfield play, including the Orioles, Mets, Indians, Mariners. There are some sleeper pitchers on those teams to pick up in Fantasy.

Emack.

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 19, 2009 5:14 pm
 

John Dewan's Stat of the Week

The latest John Dewan's Stat of the Week, reprinted with permission:

How often does a leadoff man come up with no one on base?

February 19, 2009

How often does a leadoff man come up with no one on base? 67% of the time. Or conversely, 33% of the time with at least one man on base. Overall, MLB hitters come up with at least one man on base about 45% of the time. Here's the breakdown by lineup position:

Batting
Order Slot  Percentage of Time
At Least One Man on Base 
1  33% 
2  43 
3  48 
4  50 
5  48 
6  46 
7  46 
8  46 
9  45 

In the forthcoming Bill James Gold Mine 2009, we take the Florida Marlins' star shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, and ask how many runs he would have driven in last year if he hadn’t been hitting leadoff.

The answer? About 112. The number of runs a player can be expected to drive in can be estimated by dividing his total bases by four, and adding his home runs. The majority of major league regulars last year were within 10% of the RBI estimated by that formula, and more than 80% were within 20%.

Hanley was the majors' #1 “RBI under-achiever”, by far, driving in 67 against an expectation of 112.5 (-45.5). No other major league player was off his estimate, high or low, by more than 31 runs.

Ramirez had over 400 at-bats with the bases empty.

Copyright © 2009 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

Posted on: July 24, 2008 9:57 am
Edited on: July 24, 2008 10:01 am
 

Baserunner stat factoid

Here is the latest installment of the John Dewan Stat of the Week, reprinted with permission:

Who are baseball's best baserunners this year?

July 23, 2008

In the last three editions of The Bill James Handbook, we introduced a new statistic to measure baserunning.  It's called Net Baserunning Gain and it's simply how many extra bases beyond average a player gains.  For example, a runner goes first to third on a single about 30 percent of the time.  The average is three out of ten.  If a given player goes five out of ten, he is plus two.  We look at all the situations like this, scoring from first on a double, scoring from second on a single, and so on and so forth. If a player is thrown out on the bases, he receives a triple penalty (-3).  And we count stolen bases, but it's only a plus if it's better than a success rate of two out of three (67 percent).

It makes a difference.  The top ten baserunning teams are a collective 58 games over .500 and the bottom ten are 51 games under .500.

Here are the best (and worst) baserunning teams so far this year.

Team
 Net Gain
 
Mets
 +77
 
Phillies
 +76
 
Rangers
 +74
 
Marlins
 +61
 
Rockies
 +58
 

 
Cardinals
 -22
 
Yankees
 -27
 
Padres
 -32
 
Orioles
 -36
 
Nationals
 -47
 

Here are the best and worst baserunners.

Runner
 Net Gain
 
Willy Taveras, Rockies
 +44
 
Ian Kinsler, Rangers
 +40
 
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
 +40
 
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
 +31
 
Randy Winn, Giants
 +31
 

 
Jose Bautista, Pirates
 -19
 
Edgar V. Gonzalez, Padres
 -19
 
Ramon Hernandez, Orioles
 -20
 
Yorvit Torrealba, Rockies
 -20
 
Billy Butler, Royals
 -24
 
Yunel Escobar, Braves
 -26


For a complete discussion of this new statistic, The Bill James Handbook 2008 has an essay by Bill James that goes into detail.

Source: BillJamesOnline.com (through the games of Tuesday, July 22, 2008)
-----------------------------------
-----------------------------------
----------

Copyright © 2008 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com." 

Posted on: June 30, 2008 10:30 am
Edited on: June 30, 2008 10:31 am
 

John Dewan's Stat of the Week

Here is another John Dewan Stat of the Week, reprinted with permission:

Is it harder to steal on lefties?

June 27, 2008

If you ask my son Jason, it's not just harder, it's impossible.

I coached my son in little league throughout his grammar school years, eight years in all. I wouldn't trade a minute of it. Here's my favorite story:

Jason was about 11 years old. He was never a power hitter, but he was always one of my best baserunners. He stole bases pretty much at will, but on this occasion, he was on first base with a left-handed pitcher looking right at him from the mound. This was the first lefty he ever faced; it had always been right-handed pitchers on the mound who had to turn their heads to see him on first base. The pitcher made a couple of tosses over to first, and Jason shortened his normal lead to about three and a half inches off the bag. Nevertheless, I gave Jason the steal sign from the coach’s box at third base. I also gave the take sign to the batter so that Jason could steal second. Jason never missed my signs before, but this time he didn't steal. Prior to the next pitch, I gave the sign again and, because the first pitch was a ball, I gave the take again to the batter. Once again Jason didn't go. I called time out and waived my first base coach to talk to Jason. In the meantime, I told the batter that since the count was 2-0, to go ahead and take the next pitch so Jason could steal second.

The pitcher was oblivious to what was happening, but he made another token throw over to first to hold Jason close to the bag. I looked over to Jason at first, and I swear, I could see fear in his eyes. But I gave him the steal sign again. The pitch came in; the batter took the pitch again, but this time for a strike. And Jason was standing at first base.

Now I was flabbergasted and I decided to make my sign real clear. At the top of my lungs, I yelled across the diamond, "Jason, steal second! Jason, steal second!", and I gave the take sign again to the batter. The pitcher looked over at me with a very surprised look on his face. And he started throwing to first over and over again. And after each throw, I yelled, "Jason, steal second!". After about five throws to first, the pitcher finally delivered to home. The batter took the pitch, and Jason was off to the races. He slid in to second, easily beating the throw.

And the coach on the other team yelled over to me, "Hey coach, I think we know your signs!"

So, is it harder to steal on lefties in the majors? Yes. Here's the data for the last six and a half years:

2002-2008 Stolen Base Success Rate
 Attempts  Percentage 
vs. Left-Handers  10,675  66%
vs. Right-Handers  25,720  72%

Here is the success rate for each year:

 2002 2003 2004 2005  2006  2007 2008
vs. Left-Handers  63% 66%  64%  65%  67%  69% 72% 
vs. Right-Handers  70%  71%  72%  72%  73%  76% 74% 

Source: Baseball Info Solutions (through games of Thursday, June 26, 2008)
-----------------------------------
-----------------------------------
----------
Copyright © 2008 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."


 

Not much Fantasy significance here, although, if you are playing in a Rotisserie league and looking for steals, you might want to load up on basestealers more if they are facing righties over lefties. Seems pretty obvious to me.

Emack.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com