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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Offense Plus Defense (OPD) - NL Through Sept 02, 2008

Oh, goodness.  The races are tightening up and the MVP talks are starting to percolate.  Yes, kids, the New York Yankees will not be participating in the post-season for the first time in well over a decade - but I think their post-season run falls short of the Braves (although the Braves was interrupted in 1994, so they didn’t win the division that year).  The Yankees place was taken by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  What a great country! 

What follows is a discussion of the NL OPD (offense plus defense) leaders and who should be headed for the MVP.  Sometimes the month of September can be enough to move players in this ranking when they are tightly bunched.  So, while these are the leaders, the rankings are not cemented. 

The runs are rated above average at position.  The offense is XR, park-adjusted, and specific to the number of outs a player has used up.  The defense is DRS (Defensive Runs Saved: ZR converted to runs), explained in my previous work.  It is runs, not plays, above average.  The units are the same, so I simply add the numbers together.  The decimal places are for consistency’s sake, not meant to represent accuracy.  There are several runs of give in these (and any) numbers, offense or defense. 

In this data, the catcher defense is properly calculated, including all passed ball, stolen base data, as well as incorporating the ZR data.  This is different from previous datasets, but the complaining about it was enough to get me to make the effort. 

There is some taint in some of the defensive data.  If a player played more than one position, I have summed all of his defensive contributions and using that total number for his DRS at his Primary defensive position.  There are very few players this affects, and none are impacted significantly.  Mark DeRosa and Endy Chavez are two who see some difference, but it more accurately reflects their total contribution to their team’s successes by including all of their defense.  For DeRosa, his 2B defense is 0.8 runs higher than his overall contribution, but it doesn’t change his standing at all.  Endy is possibly the best defensive outfielder in the game, but he plays all three positions, so his total reflects how many runs he has saved the Mets.  I also include Aaron Miles’ pitching runs and Chris Resop’s outfield defense.  All of the NL, plus team totals is shared in a Google Doc here.  The green represents the top mark in a category at a position and the yellow represents the worst mark.

All that done, let’s talk about some players.  Scroll to the bottom if you want to see who the NL MVP is going to be.

Catcher
This isn’t a strong year for catchers - sort of.  there are three catchers having great years at the dish: Brian McCann, Geovany Soto and Ryan Doumit.  However, none is a defensive whiz, and these performances don’t crack the top ten in the league.  Soto is the Cubs position player MVP thusfar, but I don’t know if he will be by season’s end.

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	Xra+AA	OPD
McCann	 Brian	ATL	C	-2.0	28.2	26.2
Soto	 Geo	CHC	C	-0.2	25.8	25.6
Doumit	 Ryan	PIT	C	-3.0	20.6	17.6

The best defensive catcher at this point in the season is Jason Kendall (+9.2).  The worst is Michael Barrett (-5.2), followed by Josh Bard (-4.9).  The Padres simply don’t value defense behind the plate. 

Right Field
Early this season, really early, there was some talk about “getting MVP consideration”.  I don’t recall who the focus was, but it was in May, and I made a crack about including Ryan Ludwick.  Well, here we are in September, and Ryan Ludwick has had a terrific season.  He’s been the best-hitting RF this season, and only Brian Giles’ glove has him in a dead heat with Ludwick for the best overall RF.  He and Giles are 8-9 in the NL OPD rankings.

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	Xra+AA	OPD
Ludwick	 Ryan	STL	RF	-2.3	33.0	30.7
Giles	 Brian	SDP	RF	11.5	18.9	30.4
Werth	 Jayson	PHI	RF	5.6	17.1	22.7

Jayson Werth is a terrific ballplayer, and it is good to see him getting lots of at-bats.  I’d prefer he got them with a team not in the Mets division, but….

Center Field
Some Mets fans purportedly are unhappy with Carlos Beltran’s performance, but he’s the best CF in the league for three years in a row.  He’s a Gold Glove fielder and the best hitter.  That’s a tough crowd that wants to complain about that.  Nate McLouth hit a ton early, but couldn’t field very well.  His fielding, with a larger sample for the entire league, is smoothing out but still bad.  Jody Gerut, who missed a few seasons, has been very good for the Padres.  He’s hitting well and fielding well.  And there’s Cody Ross having a strong season for the Marlins.  He’s not close to Beltran, but he is having a good year.

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	Xra+AA	OPD
Beltran	 Carlos	NYM	CF	7.6	24.4	32.1
Gerut	 Jody	SDP	CF	10.1	18.4	28.5
Ross	 Cody	FLA	CF	6.7	11.5	18.2

Beltran has the seventh best OPD in the NL.

Left Field
Without Barry Bonds, the quality of hitting from left field leaves quite a bit to be desired.  How bad has it been?  In a month, Manny Ramirez has jumped to the second slot.  The Brewers have gotten great play from Ryan Braun, but he doesn’t take enough pitches to dominate the position.  Last year’s MVP candidate, Matt Holliday, has played very well in anonymity.  After last year’s amazing run, I expected to hear all about the Rockies this season.  I haven’t, and Holliday is having a standout year.

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	Xra+AA	OPD
Holliday	 Matt	COL	LF	6.2	29.5	35.7
Ramirez	 Manny	LAD	LF	2.9	19.0	21.8
Braun	 Ryan	MIL	LF	0.1	18.9	19.0
Burrell	 Pat	PHI	LF	3.8	13.8	17.5

Pat Burrell was in the top slot at the AS Break, but his bat and his glove have regressed.  That hasn’t made Charlie Manuel nor Phillies fans too happy.

Third Base
Last year, the best thrid baseman was a near tie between David Wright and Chipper Jones.  Wright compounded the insult by winning a Gold Glove (that should have gone to Pedro Feliz).  Chipper was none to happy, and has been a monster this year, but has also seen his older body a bit more sensitive to pain.  Wright is still in second behind Chipper, but it is a distant second, as Chipper flirted with hitting .400 for the first three months and has played Gold Glove-caliber defense.  Chipper is fourth in the league in OPD.  Wright is 11th.

Player  Name	Team	Primary	DRS	Xra+AA	OPD
Jones	 Chipper	ATL	3B	7.9	42.8	50.7
Wright	 David	NYM	3B	-0.4	29.6	29.2
Wigginton	 Ty	HOU	3B	0.4	16.2	16.6

I know what you are all saying: Really?  Ty Wigginton?  It’s been that kind of year.

Shortstop
Jimmy Rollins won an MVP when he was the third best shortstop…in the division.  Rollins has dropped off a ton since last year, and Hanley Ramirez worked on his defense, and is well out in front of the other NL East shortstops.

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	Xra+AA	OPD
Ramirez	 Hanley	FLA	SS	-0.8	52.0	51.2
Reyes	 Jose	NYM	SS	-8.1	38.3	30.2
Furcal	 Rafael	LAD	SS	1.1	17.2	18.3
Rollins	 Jimmy	PHI	SS	4.0	12.2	16.2

Rollins is forty runs behind Hanley with the bat and nearly thirty behind Reyes.  Offensive seasons can have dramatic year-to-year swings.  Hanley is ranked third in NL OPD runs, while Reyes is 10th.

Second Base
Chase Utley.  Just retire the award already.  His dominance over other NL 2B is just incredible.  He started the season very hot but has cooled off, and he also leads the league in HBPs.

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	Xra+AA	OPD
Utley	 Chase	PHI	2B	9.3	36.8	46.1
DeRosa	 Mark	CHC	2B	2.1	23.0	25.2
Uggla	 Dan	FLA	2B	-5.6	25.6	20.0
Fontenot	 Mike	CHC	2B	4.8	11.5	16.3

However, the Cubs have two guys that compare to Utley - when you add them together.  DeRosa and Fontenot, in addition to being defensively versatile, are both having great seasons at the plate. 

First Base
Lance Berkman is having a great season, but Albert Pujols is having his best ever.  Pujols has certainly felt robbed of MVP awards, losing out to Barry Bonds for half of his career and then a couple of iffy ones to Phillies.  This is going to be Albert’s year.  It has to be.  He’s got a full lap on the league with 22 games to play.  He’s the best defensive first baseman, the best offensive first baseman and the best offensive player in the league.  If he gets hot, he could pass an OPS+ of 200.  That doesn’t happen very often.  Berkman has been the second best player in the league (maybe third behind Lincecum), and he’s just not close to Albert.

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	Xra+AA	OPD
Pujols	 Albert	STL	1B	11.9	58.2	70.1
Berkman	 Lance	HOU	1B	9.1	45.1	54.2
Teixe'ra	 Mark	ATL	1B	11.7	11.5	23.2

The Top Twenty

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	Xra+AA	OPD
Pujols	 Albert	STL	1B	11.9	58.2	70.1
Berkman	 Lance	HOU	1B	9.1	45.1	54.2
Ramirez	 Hanley	FLA	SS	-0.8	52.0	51.2
Jones	 Chipper	ATL	3B	7.9	42.8	50.7
Utley	 Chase	PHI	2B	9.3	36.8	46.1
Holliday	 Matt	COL	LF	6.2	29.5	35.7
Beltran	 Carlos	NYM	CF	7.6	24.4	32.1
Ludwick	 Ryan	STL	RF	-2.3	33.0	30.7
Giles	 Brian	SDP	RF	11.5	18.9	30.4
Reyes	 Jose	NYM	SS	-8.1	38.3	30.2
Wright	 David	NYM	3B	-0.4	29.6	29.2
Gerut	 Jody	SDP	CF	10.1	18.4	28.5
McCann	 Brian	ATL	C	-2.0	28.2	26.2
Soto	 Geo	CHC	C	-0.2	25.8	25.6
DeRosa	 Mark	CHC	2B	2.1	23.0	25.2
Teixeira	 Mark	ATL	1B	11.7	11.5	23.2
Werth	 Jayson	PHI	RF	5.6	17.1	22.7
Ramirez	 Manny	LAD	LF	2.9	19.0	21.8
Uggla	 Dan	FLA	2B	-5.6	25.6	20.0
Braun	 Ryan	MIL	LF	0.1	18.9	19.0

 

Chris Dial Posted: September 03, 2008 at 05:57 PM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: September 03, 2008 at 09:45 PM (#2928108)
Thanks Chris. This is excellent.
   2. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: September 03, 2008 at 09:54 PM (#2928118)
Pujols has more XR than anybody else has XR + DRS. Sheesh.
   3. Sam M. Posted: September 03, 2008 at 10:01 PM (#2928128)
This shows -- pretty clearly -- that the Mets' core strength is Beltran, Wright, and Reyes. Yeah, Delgado's been a force since July, and the starting pitching has been important. But it's the left side of the IF, and Beltran that drives that club, and that core is truly outstanding.

My point? As outstanding as they are . . . you need all three of them to top Pujols. How magnificent is that guy?
   4. Voodoo Posted: September 03, 2008 at 10:15 PM (#2928140)
DeRosa one of the top twenty players, huh? Wow. Even though I don't totally buy that, it's amazing how well that deal turned out for the Cubs. If I recall, reaction around these parts to the Cubs acquiring him ranged somewhere between indifference and mild annoyance...
   5. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 03, 2008 at 11:12 PM (#2928187)
This shows -- pretty clearly -- that the Mets' core strength is Beltran, Wright, and Reyes. Yeah, Delgado's been a force since July, and the starting pitching has been important.

Some idiot on the radio was saying that Delgado might be a contender for MVP. Idiot.
   6. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 04, 2008 at 12:57 AM (#2928255)
I thought Cody Ross would be near Beltran on the list.

Pujols is dreamy.
   7. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 04, 2008 at 05:10 AM (#2928612)
After all these years....please, get a proofreader.
   8. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 04, 2008 at 05:12 AM (#2928615)
The Padres simply don’t value defense behind the plate.

Or maybe their pitchers just don't hold anyone on?
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 04, 2008 at 05:21 AM (#2928618)
Geez, 13.5 of the top 20 players, and 18.5 of the 27 players listed at positions, are American white guys. (I count Jody Gerut as .5 for no particular reason). That seems like a lot. Only shortstop is bucking this trend!
   10. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 04, 2008 at 06:10 AM (#2928648)
uh, can we double check those Manny numbers? he's already in the top 20. that seems kind of insane for a guy who came over at the end of July, even if he's got a 212 OPS+ in that time.
   11. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 04, 2008 at 06:15 AM (#2928649)
This is awesome Chris. It's amazing no one's made this part of the de rigeur stats pages.
   12. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 12:44 PM (#2928728)
After all these years....please, get a proofreader.
Are you volunteering?
   13. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 12:47 PM (#2928730)
uh, can we double check those Manny numbers?
It is calculated right. Manny, in his PAs, has produced 20 more runs than an average NL LF (this season) would in the same number of PAs. This isn't a pure count stat. As he regresses (toward the end of the season), he'll most likely fall out of the top 20.

Interestingly, he's not been bad in the field.
   14. plim Posted: September 04, 2008 at 01:18 PM (#2928738)
chris - i think he was talking about the defensive numbers. this is the same guy who had a -8.6 at the all star break which was the 2nd worst number in the league (worst amongst LF).

even if you give him half credit as you said in your blurb, he goes from -4 to +3 in a matter of 6 weeks (give or take)?
   15. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 01:23 PM (#2928741)
plim,
he switched leagues. His +3 is just what he's done with teh Dodgers. His poor play with the Red Sox doesn't impact his stats now (nor are his hitting stats including his Red Sox time).
   16. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: September 04, 2008 at 01:24 PM (#2928742)
even if you give him half credit as you said in your blurb, he goes from -4 to +3 in a matter of 6 weeks (give or take)?


This only counts his fielding as a Dodger, and small sample sizes make odd things happen.
   17. Dizzypaco Posted: September 04, 2008 at 01:24 PM (#2928743)
As he regresses (toward the end of the season), he'll most likely fall out of the top 20.

That doesn't make any sense, unless you expect him to be a below average left fielder for the rest of the season. His runs above average per game, or per plate appearance will drop off, but as long as he remains an above average left fielder overall, he should remain in the top 20. Unless there's a flaw in the statistic.

Also, I'm not a big believer in that defensive stat for Ramirez.
   18. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 02:16 PM (#2928804)
That doesn't make any sense, unless you expect him to be a below average left fielder for the rest of the season. His runs above average per game, or per plate appearance will drop off, but as long as he remains an above average left fielder overall, he should remain in the top 20.
His rate will decrease. There will be games where he performs significantly worse than an average LF (like an 0-4). That means his performance in his given PAs will not be as great above an average LF.


Unless there's a flaw in the statistic.
there are flaws in EVERY statistic.
   19. plim Posted: September 04, 2008 at 03:01 PM (#2928873)
he switched leagues. His +3 is just what he's done with teh Dodgers. His poor play with the Red Sox doesn't impact his stats now (nor are his hitting stats including his Red Sox time).


that's exactly my point: in his 6 weeks of being a dodger, he's forgotten 7 1/2 years of familiarity of the green monster and historically bad defense and turned it around to adjust to a new stadium, new league, new set of pitchers (if you believe that pitchers can influence where balls are hit), and been above average (i think your stat says he's saved 3 runs above the average left fielder in the given number of plate appearances?)

or is this just a case of small sample size and him getting lucky (or being extra diligent/motivated to be out of boston - which is very possible)?

i just find it hard to believe that virtually every advanced defensive metric (not just yours) for the past 5-10 years has made out manny ramirez to be a statue and all of a sudden, he's above average.
   20. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 03:06 PM (#2928880)
plim,
what your second paragraph says. And he wasn't that bad in Cleveland.
   21. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 04, 2008 at 03:27 PM (#2928919)
Heh, whodathunk that Ryan Howard would be positive defensively and negative offensively?

Unfortunately the defensive stats probably don't capture his bases-loaded, no outs, hesitation on a GB that resulted in a run scored/forced at second rather than the force at home. On the next play, Feliz tried for a DP and only got one out where he would have gone for the force if the bases had been loaded. The next batter grounded out -- so Howard more or less contributed 2 runs to the Nats last night. Howard, with the ball in his hand is dangerous, and he knows it, and hesitates a lot.
   22. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: September 04, 2008 at 03:37 PM (#2928944)
i just find it hard to believe that virtually every advanced defensive metric (not just yours) for the past 5-10 years has made out manny ramirez to be a statue and all of a sudden, he's above average.

You're mis-interpreting the data. It's not that all of a sudden he's above average; it's that he comes out as above average over a month. Awful hitters still hit .300 for a month here or there.

Just like those hitters are likely getting some fat pitches and some balls to fall in during those hot streaks, fielders often get easier distributions of batted balls, etc. It may be as simple as that.
   23. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 03:50 PM (#2928966)
What Harold said. In his given chances, he's performed as well as that. It doesn't mean that he will continue to do so as the type of chances will become more varied.
   24. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 04, 2008 at 09:49 PM (#2929395)
actually, i was talking about offense. then i went to bbref and saw he was hitting .414. and now that i know it's based upon equivalent PA instead of a full year counting type stat, it makes more sense.
   25. Danny Posted: September 04, 2008 at 09:53 PM (#2929399)
Chris, have you decided which player page to sponsor for losing our McCann bet?
   26. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 10:21 PM (#2929414)
Chris, have you decided which player page to sponsor for losing our McCann bet?
Not yet, but there are still 22 games. His OPS+ is down by 15-20 points, and his average is sinking fast.
   27. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 01:17 AM (#2929495)
I can't locate the particulars. What was the start date?
   28. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 05, 2008 at 01:41 AM (#2929503)
he's forgotten 7 1/2 years of familiarity of the green monster and historically bad defense

Or maybe his historically bad defensive statistics were born out of a fenway quirk.
   29. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 05, 2008 at 01:42 AM (#2929504)
I agree, please get a proofreader. I demand higher production values out of freely distributed uber statistics.
   30. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:00 AM (#2929508)
What was the start date?
Located. May 13. Looks like I'll lose. I predict his "pumpkin stage" two weeks too early. He's hitting .270 since May 27. Maybe the last three weeks will be good to me.
   31. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:00 AM (#2929509)
BLB, I tried to clean it up after that. DO you still see errors? (I know you are kidding).
   32. Tricky Dick Posted: September 05, 2008 at 12:27 PM (#2929715)
Ty Wigginton is having a career year (.922 OPS)and he ranks third among third baseman, despite sub-par fielding at the hot corner. Since Carlos Lee was injured, Wigginton has started playing LF (in a productive Erstad-Wigginton-Blum lefty/righty platoon used by Cooper), and after he played at game or so there, he looks surprisingly comfortable...and so far has surprised with his defense in LF. Similar to ManRam, Wiggy's sample size in LF is too small, but it would be interesting to imagine where he might rank as a LFer.
   33. Honkie Kong Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:16 PM (#2929859)
He's hitting .270 since May 27.

Maybe you should see his numbers from Aug 1. This Braves team sucked before July 31, but were trying. They flat out stopped caring after the Tex trade.

Ofcourse pumpkin still has a 900 OPS despite a 740ish ops since the trade. And pumpkin managed to put up a 1145 OPS in July as the clocks were striking 13 on him.
   34. Jack Sommers Posted: September 05, 2008 at 05:52 PM (#2930074)
Interesting how the team that ranks far and away dead last worst in OPD is 3 games over .500 I know the pitching in Arizona is very good, but it's not THAT good.

I don't understand how Arizona catching can be in negative territory. When I look at the spread sheet and look up Snyder and Montero:

Synder 11.4 OPD
Montero 2.0 OPS

But in the Team Page, you have AZ -1.5 in Catching OPD

I don't understand SS either:

Drew 9.8 OPD
Ojeda -2.2 OPD

But you have AZ -6.3 in Team OPD at SS

I didn't look up any other positions. Can you explain what I'm missing here. Thanks
   35. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#2930177)
shoe,
I may have made a mistake in sorting?
   36. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:18 PM (#2930183)
Bah, I think that is defense, not OPD.
   37. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:22 PM (#2930187)
It is. I am updating the sheet to have OPD (and defense only). My apologies.
   38. Honkie Kong Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#2930201)
From the team charts, STL and ATL seem to be major underperformers. I guess having 2 stellar players, but mediocre to crap around them doesn't guarantee success. Makes Bonds run with the Giants more impressive.
   39. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:32 PM (#2930205)
And updated. I hope that's better. Thanks for letting me know it wasn't right.
   40. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#2930226)
From the team charts, STL and ATL seem to be major underperformers.
these teams are victimized by pitching. Completely sabotaged. And by pitching I mean allowing BIP to areas where fielders cannot field them.
   41. Jack Sommers Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:05 PM (#2930274)
And updated. I hope that's better. Thanks for letting me know it wasn't right.

Hey, we are all a team here. You put your work up for "peer review"......you have my utmost respect in this regard. Nobody expects you to be perfect. I thought I might have been missing something.......I have been known to do that too. ;)

Thanks for your work.
   42. Jack Sommers Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:09 PM (#2930286)
Oh...and Arizona still kinda sucks. :(
   43. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:20 PM (#2930306)
You put your work up for "peer review"......you have my utmost respect in this regard. Nobody expects you to be perfect.
I *really* appreciate your understanding.
   44. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 05, 2008 at 10:13 PM (#2930445)
DO you still see errors?

Of the top 20, chipper, holliday and tex are still off in my browser. Any time you use tabs, this can happen.

Don't worry about it. Looks fine to me.
   45. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:10 PM (#2930471)
Oh, out of alignment? That's something I've about given up on. No one has given me good enough advise. EE just isn't good for this.
   46. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 06, 2008 at 01:40 AM (#2930789)
Your alignment solution choices are to make an HTML table, or to use spaces instead of tabs inside a PRE tag.

but who cares. you got enough to work on.

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