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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Philadelphia Inquirer: Martino: Stats say bats OK with runners on

I Love You Productive Outs, More and More Every Day…

In any case, batting average is a poor stat to measure success with runners on, because there are so many productive outcomes for a player other than a base hit. And when you look at those outcomes, the Phillies suddenly seem like a more balanced offense.

First, there is a common-sense stat called productive outs. The Elias Sports Bureau and ESPN invented it several years ago and define it as “when a fly ball, grounder or bunt advances a runner with nobody out; when a pitcher bunts to advance a runner with one out (maximizing the effectiveness of the pitcher’s plate appearance), or when a grounder or fly ball scores a run with one out.”

If a player makes a productive out, his batting average with RISP suffers but his team does not. The average major-leaguer makes a productive out in 32 percent of his chances; the Phillies have six players overperforming that number: Jimmy Rollins (50 percent); Eric Bruntlett (50); Pedro Feliz (38); Ryan Howard (34); Shane Victorino (34); and Matt Stairs (33). Utley falls just short at 31 percent.

Repoz Posted: September 06, 2009 at 11:05 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies, sabermetrics

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   1. Downtown Bookie Posted: September 06, 2009 at 11:36 AM (#3315681)
If a player makes a productive out, his batting average with RISP suffers but his team does not.

Nonsense. If the batter makes one of the productive outs described above ("a fly ball, grounder or bunt advances a runner with nobody out") the team's run expectency for that half inning is less after the out than it was prior to the out, i.e., the team has suffered.

   2. Cyril Morong Posted: September 06, 2009 at 02:35 PM (#3315716)
I did a study a few years ago called ""Productive Outs Are Not Productive"

Does anyone know where there is data on team productive outs?

I also did a study called "Productive Outs Don’t Help in Assessing a Hitter’s Value"
   3. BDC Posted: September 06, 2009 at 02:51 PM (#3315723)
the reality of the Phillies' much-publicized, much worried-about struggles with runners in scoring position

Is this really that worrisome? The Phillies are leading the NL in runs scored per game.

Anyway, I thought this was going to be about how they're walking a lot with RISP, or have a high SLG with RISP despite their low BA, or something real. Shoulda known ...

The last time I saw this many meaningless numbers in an article, it was the Wall Street Journal complaining about how Obama's wild spending on Social Security was going to put th US quintillions of dollars in debt if we kept it up through the year 3000.
   4. Bad Doctor Posted: September 06, 2009 at 03:37 PM (#3315756)
Is this really that worrisome? The Phillies are leading the NL in runs scored per game.

I think they had put up 7 runs in their last 6 games going into last night, so yeah. And for all the productive out nonsense, I think it's informative in this area. The Phillies are getting the rep of being useless unless they hit home runs, and even as someone who is generally opposed to that sort of meme, it really rings true. The announcers mentioned last night that about 60% of their runs scored over the last couple of weeks had been on home runs. That's a huge amount, and if you have to go through Lincecum and lefty power-killing Pac Bell (or whatever it is now) in the first round, it's a concern.

Now, this article does a good job of pointing out that the problem isn't the cliche lack of fundamentals or too many strikeouts. Maybe the next article could investigate what I think is a big part of the problem -- a leadoff hitter who, even in his second half "resurgence," is barely putting up a .300 OBP.
   5. Cyril Morong Posted: September 06, 2009 at 04:18 PM (#3315776)
The Phillies have the highest OPS with RISP in the NL. They are tied for the 2nd hightest SLG and they are 6th in OBP (at .356 while the league average is .351). So they get on base at an above average rate with RISP and have great power with RISP. Sounds good. Here is the link to the NL RISP hitting data
   6. Cyril Morong Posted: September 06, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3315777)
The Phillies have an overall team hitting OPS of .780 while their pitchers have allowed an OPS overall of .757. So their differential overall is .023. Using my regression formula of

pct = 1.21*OPSDIFF + .5

I estimate they should have about a .528 pct. Yet it is actually .579. Their hitters have an OPS of .800 with RISP while their pitchers have allowed just .726. So their overall RISP performance is really good. I wonder what kind of training or drills they do to pull that off? Or maybe they know how to scout clutch players.:)
   7. Cyril Morong Posted: September 06, 2009 at 04:28 PM (#3315781)
The Phillies hitters have a team OPS of .792 in close and late situations while their pitchers allow an OPS of .684. So that is a differential of .108. And as mentioned above their RISP differential is .074 while their overall differential is just .023. So they really know how to ramp up their performance when it counts.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2009 at 07:52 PM (#3315875)
I just like the idea of Ryan Howard, King of Productive Outs

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