Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Best hitting season ever? Here’s the case for Judge

Judge’s OPS+ is 213. It makes him more than twice as good as a league average 2022 batter. It is one of the 25 best seasons in Major League history;...

But it’s more than that, too. Just look at the 22 seasons superior to Judge’s on the OPS+ list. Realize there’s a “yeah-but” attached to almost all of them, a reason to raise at least an eyebrow or two. ...

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2022 at 07:31 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: aaron judge, home runs

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 20, 2022 at 05:55 PM (#6097146)
The TL:DR version: Judge’s 2022 is especially noteworthy because it is a full-length season, without any PED taint, in a fully-integrated MLB that draws from an international talent pool, unlike the seasons of many other players with an OPS+ of 200 or more. I suppose there is something to be said for that claim, but I prefer to just enjoy the present rather than quibble about exactly where it ranks. It’s up there.

Every Aaron Judge PA for the rest of the season will be ‘must-see TV’ for many.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: September 20, 2022 at 06:03 PM (#6097150)
Judge’s OPS+ is 213. It makes him more than twice as good as a league average 2022 batter.

Leaving aside whatever we might mean by "twice as good", no it doesn't. It means, give or take, that he has a OPS 56.5% greater than the league average OPS+. Or, even more precisely, his OBP and SLG are, on average, 56.5% better than the league average OBP and SLG respectively.

I will never understand why the folks who created OPS+ didn't average OBP+ and SLG+ instead of adding them then subtracting 1.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: September 20, 2022 at 06:45 PM (#6097159)
For completeness, Judge's OBP+ is 135; his SLG+ is 178. That latter number is extra double impressive. His OPS/lgOPS is 159.

His Rbat is 75 ... another very, very big number. Of course the league average batter's Rbat is 0 by definition so we can't express that in percentage/relative/ratio terms. His oWAR is 9.6 but that (roughly) comps him to the average RF/CF ... that's a very good number but not unprecedented really.

B-R has something called Rbat+ but it's description makes no sense to me -- it's Rbat as calculated for WAR but "indexed to the environment the player played in" (I thought it already was) "where 100 is league average." But what's in the denominator? Whatever it is if his Rbat is 75, "it" must be about 35 ... but the league average player would not produce an Rbat of 35 (by definition). It could be "relative to Rbat of a replacement-level hitter" which would be about -22 relative to average which would put Judge at 97 and league average at 22 but that would produce an Rbat+ of nearly 450. (Judge's Rbat+ is 212.) Anyway, Rbat+ suggest Judge is producing twice as many somethings as the average player where the average player is producing 35 somethimgs.

Now it could be, essentially, RC/G. Judge is credited with 11. Given average scoring is 4.22 (AL) or 4.30 (NL), I assume that's lgRC/G ... which would put Judge over 250 in RC/G+.

In terms of all-time ... by RC not even close (105th currently, probably about 50th by season's end). Base-out runs added is similar. I think neither of those adjusts for scoring context though. Now by adjusted batting wins, he's 35th and might crack the top 20. But by offensive win% (I'm not sure this is expected to change), he's way down at #135 on par with Dick Allen's 1972.

I neither support nor disdain any of those stats I just quoted, don't know enough about them.

By oWAR he's tied for 44th and again might crack the top 20 by season's end. Given most everybody ahead of him is a 1B/LF/RF, if anything Judge's time in CF slightly "inflates" his oWAR relative to the folks ahead of him. That said, Bonds (a few times) is the only post-expansion player in the top 20. Trout has a season tied at 24 and one tied at 31. That's extremely impressive company.
   4. TomH Posted: September 20, 2022 at 09:22 PM (#6097182)
- If you use OWP instead of OPS+, Judge does not look as good. Of course OWP includes things like stealing bases and avoiding GIDPs. Whether you call that "hitting", I call it "offense" or "helping to score runs".
- the season isn't over yet. His rate stats could go up or down. The article dings Bagwell for 1994 strike, because it is more likely his rate stats go down the longer he plays. Well we will see how the last 15-ish games go.
- Between 1973 and 2020, 49 years, the AL batting champ always hit .326 or better. This year the NL has three guys over .320. But Judge may sneak in a batting title in the high 310s.

The article makes a case. It's ... a stretch. I guess if we say no season ever before 1960 counts.. Babe Ruth was not the one of the best players ever.
   5. Moeball Posted: September 20, 2022 at 10:23 PM (#6097192)
I think I'm more impressed with how Judge is hitting right now re: how hard he's hitting the ball and the Statcast measured exit velocities. That last game with the single, double and 2 HRs in 5 ABs, apparently every single ball was smoked, even the one out was hit right on the nose. I believe Statcast indicated it was the best game they've ever recorded. I've always been fascinated by what a hitter sees and feels when really in the zone as compared to when they aren't. Judge must be seeing the ball exceptionally well right now, it must be a ton of fun to experience that!
   6. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: September 21, 2022 at 10:47 AM (#6097283)
2022 Judge is currently tied for 16th all-time with 1924 Babe Ruth.

1. 2002 Bonds (244)
2. 1920 Ruth (239)
3. 2001 Bonds (235)
4. 2004 Bonds (233)
5. 1923 Ruth (231)
6. 1921 Ruth (224)
7. 1957 Ted Williams (223)
8. 1924 Hornsby (221)
9. 1941 Ted Williams (221)
10. 1957 Mantle (217)
11. 1926 Ruth (216)
12. 1946 Ted Williams (215)
13. 1884 Fred Dunlap (214)
14. 2003 Bonds (212)
15. 1927 Ruth (212)
16. 2022 Judge (210)
17. 1924 Ruth (210)
   7. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 21, 2022 at 11:07 AM (#6097287)
Judge's HR gap was brought up in another thread and it's worth noting here. He has a 23 HR lead at the moment, which is truly a massive gap. He has another huge lead in Runs (123 to 92) and a comfortable lead in RBI (128 to 115). He has a giant lead in Total Bases (372 to 287) while also leading the league in BB. Heck, he even has a one-point lead in AVG now. Truly a magnificent season.

if you use OWP instead of OPS+, Judge does not look as good. Of course OWP includes things like stealing bases and avoiding GIDPs. Whether you call that "hitting", I call it "offense" or "helping to score runs".

One of the junk stats I've always enjoyed is the base-out runs/wins added, which looks at the outs/baserunner situation without factoring leverage. So it would account for GIDPs but not steals. Judge almost doubles the runner up (Jose Ramirez) in those.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 21, 2022 at 11:19 AM (#6097290)
I still think the most amazing batting stat of all time is that in 1920 Ruth out-homered ever other team except one.
   9. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: September 21, 2022 at 12:35 PM (#6097303)
He out homered every other team. The highest team total was the Browns with 50

edit: Oh, I supposed you mean across both leagues. Then yes. Only the Phillies with 64.

Trivia: When was the last time a player out homered any team? In his league? In either league?
   10. BDC Posted: September 21, 2022 at 12:42 PM (#6097306)
Yes - as I was wondering in some other thread, great sports achievements are relative – they are more remarkable and enjoyable if somebody stands out from a crowd. Jim Brown, Wilt Chamberlain, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky … and so with Ruth and Williams and Bonds, and now Judge this season.

Obviously you can't plan for that aesthetic; it's serendipitous. If you simply make it easier to hit home runs or score goals, a lot of people will do it and it's not as interesting. It's the cases where one player does it and others (for whatever reason) can't, that is marvelous.
   11. TomH Posted: September 21, 2022 at 12:46 PM (#6097308)
other notes
1) Judge has 30 HR at home, and 30 away
2) Judge hit 161 home runs before his 30th birthday. With 57 so far since he turned 30, he's a good bet to hit more in his 30s than 20s :)
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 21, 2022 at 07:33 PM (#6097412)
Trivia: When was the last time a player out homered any team? In his league? In either league?

This is just based on putzing around on Baseball Reference for a few minutes, so it may not be right:

Either league: 1949, when Ralph Kiner hit 54 HRs while the White Sox only hit 43 as a team. (Ted Williams tied the White Sox with 43 that season.)

Same league: 1948, when the Senators only hit 31 HR and DiMaggio hit 39 and Joe Gordon hit 32. (Ken Keltner tied the Senators with 31.)

Worth noting: Dave Kingman was only one behind the 1979 Houston Astros - he hit 48, they hit 49.
   13. Booey Posted: September 21, 2022 at 07:56 PM (#6097415)
#8 - I've always thought that stat says as much about the overall quality of the league as it does about Ruth's dominance. MLB was in a transitional period; Ruth was the first to take full advantage of it, but by the end of his career there were several players who were out-homering early 1920's teams.

Note: I'm not dissing The Babe! He's still probably the GOAT; that specific factoid just doesn't do it for me. Seems more like an accident of timing, similar to George Mikan's dominance in the 1950's nba.
   14. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: September 21, 2022 at 08:30 PM (#6097422)
Trivia: When was the last time a player out homered any team? In his league? In either league?

This is just based on putzing around on Baseball Reference for a few minutes, so it may not be right:

Either league: 1949, when Ralph Kiner hit 54 HRs while the White Sox only hit 43 as a team. (Ted Williams tied the White Sox with 43 that season.)

Same league: 1948, when the Senators only hit 31 HR and DiMaggio hit 39 and Joe Gordon hit 32. (Ken Keltner tied the Senators with 31.)

Worth noting: Dave Kingman was only one behind the 1979 Houston Astros - he hit 48, they hit 49.


That's correct. Schmidt in 1981 also missed by one, homering 31 times and the Padres hit 32.
   15. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2022 at 07:35 AM (#6097462)
Trivia: When was the last time a player out homered any team? In his league? In either league?

Here's another related question: In what year did what visiting slugger hit more home runs in a park than the entire home team hit in its own home park?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogHow the Guardians turned the AL Central race into a one-team sprint
(7 - 12:11am, Sep 25)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogRangers’ quest for pitching could lead them to Jacob deGrom
(8 - 11:21pm, Sep 24)
Last: You can keep your massive haul

NewsblogOT - August/September 2022 College Football thread
(394 - 11:15pm, Sep 24)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

Newsblog2022-23 Preseason NBA thread
(271 - 11:06pm, Sep 24)
Last: Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the week of September 19-26, 2022
(199 - 10:54pm, Sep 24)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogMLB home run record: 15 current sluggers who could be next to make push for a 60-homer season
(38 - 8:40pm, Sep 24)
Last: Ron J

NewsblogCanada reportedly set to lift vaccine requirements for people entering country, a move that would impact unvaccinated professional athletes
(62 - 6:32pm, Sep 24)
Last: Hombre Brotani

NewsblogThe 2022 Regular Season Has Lacked Intensity
(19 - 4:48pm, Sep 24)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogOrioles hired Goldman to assess sale, source says, but litigation likely to keep team with Angelos for now [$]
(5 - 3:47pm, Sep 24)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogGreat Britain qualifies for first World Baseball Classic
(15 - 3:17pm, Sep 24)
Last: Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc

NewsblogRoyals fire Dayton Moore as president of baseball operations
(49 - 3:15pm, Sep 24)
Last: donlock

Sox TherapyPredictions of Ridiculousness
(133 - 11:10am, Sep 24)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

Newsblog'Electric' Strider breaks Big Unit's strikeout record
(28 - 3:08am, Sep 24)
Last: Mike A

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(2528 - 7:54pm, Sep 23)
Last: 57i66135 is a hard word for me.

NewsblogHow Guardians catcher Hedges hacked PitchCom to pump up his pitchers
(7 - 12:33pm, Sep 23)
Last: Cris E

Page rendered in 0.7422 seconds
45 querie(s) executed