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

Thursday, February 19, 2009

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

Or conversely, how often did Roger Mantle come up with men on base…if Bobby Richardson was your leadoff man?

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.

Repoz Posted: February 19, 2009 at 09:59 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 19, 2009 at 10:33 PM (#3081541)
Or conversely, how often did Roger Mantle come up with men on base...if Bobby Richardson was your leadoff man

you JUST can't leave it alone, can you, Repoz
   2. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 19, 2009 at 10:39 PM (#3081545)
How often does a leadoff man come up with no one on base?
My first answer: Every half-inning.
   3. Repoz Posted: February 19, 2009 at 10:43 PM (#3081547)
you JUST can't leave it alone, can you, Repoz

No...he killed my Challenge the Yankees team...he destroyed my scribble-in Strat-O-Matic team...and he ruined my thoughts on how an athlete's body should look.

Kubek sucked too.

F the N.L.

Post Out.
   4. 3Com Park Posted: February 19, 2009 at 11:00 PM (#3081559)
Looks like Hanley is going to be batting third this year.
   5. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2009 at 11:10 PM (#3081564)
Come on, Richardson "only" batted first 117 times in 1961.

Anyway, I wonder if there's a significant difference between leagues, since NL leadoff hitters are batting behind the pitcher once their first PA is out of the way.
   6. jwb Posted: February 19, 2009 at 11:13 PM (#3081566)
I don't think anybody has too much room to complain about Ramirez's RBIs as long as he scores 120 runs.
   7. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 19, 2009 at 11:20 PM (#3081571)
Come on, Richardson "only" batted first 117 times in 1961

"only" 117 times

706 PAs

for a team that set a new record in HRs

and he scored a grand total of (drum roll please) 80 runs

(that's eight-zero)

I've always thought that's one of the more astonishing "records" in the history of MLB
   8. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2009 at 11:28 PM (#3081578)
Well, that's why only was in quotes in the first place. But it is still a fact that 160 of those PA came in the eight hole, for whatever that's worth. He'd have probably scored 85 or 86 runs if he'd hit first every game.

134 of the 240 HRs were solo shots. I don't really know how unusual that is/was.
   9. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 19, 2009 at 11:30 PM (#3081582)
If you swap out Richardson for Rickey!, what sort of numbers, individual and team, emerge from that?
   10. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 20, 2009 at 12:07 AM (#3081598)
If you swap out Richardson for Rickey!, what sort of numbers, individual and team, emerge from that?


Second base defense would get worse.
   11. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: February 20, 2009 at 12:28 AM (#3081611)
If you swap out Richardson for Rickey!, what sort of numbers, individual and team, emerge from that?


I think Bobby Richardson is faster than Branch Rickey.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2009 at 12:37 AM (#3081619)
When did Rickey Henderson start getting the exclamation point here? I consider that an Ichiro joke that is almost ten years old now, and thus disrespectful. Rickey deserves something better.
   13. Dan Evensen Posted: February 20, 2009 at 12:48 AM (#3081625)
If you swap out Richardson for Rickey!, what sort of numbers, individual and team, emerge from that?

Sounds like a Diamond Mind project. OMG I COULD DO THATT!!!1

Primey for #3.
   14. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 20, 2009 at 12:52 AM (#3081628)
When did Rickey Henderson start getting the exclamation point here? I consider that an Ichiro joke that is almost ten years old now, and thus disrespectful. Rickey deserves something better.
How about, Rickey!!?
   15. GEB4000 Posted: February 20, 2009 at 01:07 AM (#3081641)
BR had 117 games at the leadoff spot. Scoring a wopping 65 runs. Rickey would of scored at least a hundred.
   16. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 20, 2009 at 01:28 AM (#3081651)
According to the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis, the best 1961 Yankee lineup would have been Howard-Mantle-Skowron-Maris-Berra-Boyer-Richardson-Kubek-pitcher. That would have scored 5.258 runs per game, compared to the 5.105 they did score.

Replacing Richardson with Rickey's career OBA and slugging would give them 5.596 runs per game for a lineup of Henderson-Mantle-Berra-Howard-Maris-Kubek-Boyer-Skowron-pitcher. 1990 Rickey would make it 5.846.
   17. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: February 20, 2009 at 01:42 AM (#3081658)
How about, Rickey!!?
I'm not following you. Is that Rickey!!??, or Rickey!!?
   18. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 20, 2009 at 01:43 AM (#3081661)
Scoring a wopping 65 runs.

"What did I just say about ethnic slurs?"
   19. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 20, 2009 at 01:48 AM (#3081666)
According to the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis, the best 1961 Yankee lineup would have been Howard-Mantle-Skowron-Maris-Berra-Boyer-Richardson-Kubek-pitcher. That would have scored 5.258 runs per game, compared to the 5.105 they did score.

Replacing Richardson with Rickey's career OBA and slugging would give them 5.596 runs per game for a lineup of Henderson-Mantle-Berra-Howard-Maris-Kubek-Boyer-Skowron-pitcher. 1990 Rickey would make it 5.846.


So, that gives us, per 162-game season:
1990 Rickey vs. real Yankees: +120 runs
1990 Rickey vs. optimal Yankees: +95.3 runs
Career Rickey vs. real Yankees: +79.5 runs
Career Rickey vs. optimal Yankees: +54.8 runs
   20. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 20, 2009 at 01:51 AM (#3081668)
Also, Optimal Yankees vs. real Yankees: +24.8 runs.
   21. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:12 AM (#3081677)
So, that gives us, per 162-game season:
1990 Rickey vs. real Yankees: +120 runs
1990 Rickey vs. optimal Yankees: +95.3 runs
Career Rickey vs. real Yankees: +79.5 runs
Career Rickey vs. optimal Yankees: +54.8 runs


What plays second?
   22. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:20 AM (#3081682)
What plays second?


If Rickey can time travel, he should be able to play second. If you want to replace Yogi with Rickey and leave Richardson in, it's:
1990 Rickey vs. real Yankees: +84.7 runs
Career Rickey vs. real Yankees: +44.2 runs
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:22 AM (#3081684)
What plays second?

I don't think Rickey is 100 runs worse than Richardson.
   24. The District Attorney Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:24 AM (#3081686)
Scoring a wopping 65 runs.
No, that was the DiMaggio-Berra-Rizzuto teams.

When did Rickey Henderson start getting the exclamation point here? I consider that an Ichiro joke that is almost ten years old now, and thus disrespectful. Rickey deserves something better.
RICKEY~!

What plays second?
I don't know.
   25. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3081691)
In evaluating career leadoff hitters, you really ought to change the weighting of the on-base vs. slugging aspects of offence in the usual formulas used.
   26. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 20, 2009 at 03:06 AM (#3081707)
134 of the 240 HRs were solo shots. I don't really know how unusual that is/was.


Not very. That's actually a little below the typical range. Normally, between 56 and 58% of HRs are solo shots; the Yankees were at 55.8%.

-- MWE
   27. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: February 20, 2009 at 03:39 AM (#3081714)
Not very. That's actually a little below the typical range. Normally, between 56 and 58% of HRs are solo shots; the Yankees were at 55.8%.
It would not surprise me in the least to learn you already had this knowledge in your head. You're a scary man, Mike. I mean that in a good way.
   28. jwb Posted: February 20, 2009 at 04:43 AM (#3081735)
The '61 Yankees were first in league in HRs but were middle of the pack in OBP. So you would expect that they would be a little above average in solo HRs.
   29. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 20, 2009 at 01:28 PM (#3081831)
I don't think Rickey is 100 runs worse than Richardson.

You do realize that Rickey Henderson threw with his left hand? I'd say it's quite possible that Richardson was 100 runs better than giving away 90% of your double plays.
   30. BDC Posted: February 20, 2009 at 01:34 PM (#3081836)
Rickey plays left field, Yogi catches, and Elston Howard plays second base. If you're scoring 5.846 runs per game, you can live with that.
   31. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 20, 2009 at 01:51 PM (#3081850)
Elston Howard playing second base would be pretty entertaining, if you're a sadist. At least Rickey would beat the baserunners to the bag for the forceouts.
   32. Repoz Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:15 PM (#3081878)
Come on, Richardson "only" batted first 117 times in 1961

"only" 117 times

706 PAs

for a team that set a new record in HRs

and he scored a grand total of (drum roll please) 80 runs

(that's eight-zero)

I've always thought that's one of the more astonishing "records" in the history of MLB


Possibly even more astonishing is the fact that Richardson and Kubek were on base together just ONE MOFO time for a '61 Mantle/Maris HR.

That was a 3-run Maris HR.

They were nevah on base together for a Mantle HR.

Richardson and Kubek cost Mantle over 6,000 RBI's and cost me a busted nose from a violent pro-Mays gang beating.

Thanks.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:25 PM (#3081888)
You do realize that Rickey Henderson threw with his left hand? I'd say it's quite possible that Richardson was 100 runs better than giving away 90% of your double plays.

You're not giving away the ones Rickey starts.

Or, Rickey can just throw righty. Since he hit righty, I wouldn't be suprised if he was close to ambidexterous. He'd still net out to a better player than Richardson.
   34. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:40 PM (#3081904)
It would not surprise me in the least to learn you already had this knowledge in your head.


Nope. In my Retrosheet DB. Baseball-Reference's Play Index is a wonderful thing, but nothing beats access to the raw data.

-- MWE
   35. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3081924)
Richardson and Kubek cost Mantle over 6,000 RBI's and cost me a busted nose from a violent pro-Mays gang beating.

Police believe alcohol was involved. And alcohol bottles.
   36. wjones Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:57 PM (#3081928)
What if you move Boyer to second, and see who, between Berra, Howard, and Skowron, handles third better? If it's Skowron, alternate Howard/ Berra at catcher/first base. Late inning defense,move Skowron to first, Boyer to third, Richardson to second. Maybe Blanchard also works out at third? Had a pretty good year, too. Hector Lopez is better option at third, even second, than any of the others, but had maybe a crappier year with the bat than Bobby did.
   37. BDC Posted: February 20, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3081935)
Elston Howard playing second base would be pretty entertaining, if you're a sadist

Howard was a gifted (multi-sport) athlete, though I agree nobody's idea of a second baseman, and by 1961 the catching had worn him down somewhat. In his youth he would have been a decent player at any position; he wasn't a born-to-catch kind of guy. Anyway I will take him at second over Yogi or Mickey or Roger :)
   38. Mike Green Posted: February 20, 2009 at 03:11 PM (#3081947)
"Police believe alcohol was involved. And alcohol bottles."

And over-the-shoulder catches of said bottles. When you're a Jet...
   39. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 20, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3081997)
He'd still net out to a better player than Richardson.

Yeah, and if I had eight Babe Ruth's I'd go with an all left-handed defense. But if I'm managing the 1961 Yankees plus Henderson, I think I'd start by giving Rickey Hector Lopez' 273 PA, seeing as Lopez was actually a worse hitter than Richardson. Although Bob Cerv hit well in limited time, he'd also be superfluous with Rickey on the roster, so that's another 131 PA for Henderson. And although I'm not sure that Skowron could have handled third, I'd certainly think about some of the other options in #36 before I played a left-handed second baseman.

Howard was a gifted (multi-sport) athlete...

Yes, despite the fact that he really never could run. But I'm not so sure he was worn down from catching by 1961, since he wasn't the primary catcher until 1960.
   40. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 20, 2009 at 04:03 PM (#3082014)
I don't know.

Third base!
   41. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 20, 2009 at 05:06 PM (#3082081)
Yeah, and if I had eight Babe Ruth's


Only eight? I'd have nine in the NL and ten in the AL. No, I'll take 200 Ruths so I can stock the minor leagues too.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2009 at 05:20 PM (#3082088)
and ten in the AL.

You're going to have Ruth DH for Ruth????

With 9 Ruths, you really only need maybe 1 guys on the bench in case of injury, and 1 RP for mid-inning pitching changes. Otherwise, when one Ruth gets tired on the mound, cycle in another. Of course, your stadium needs to have the dimensions of the old Yankee Stadium.
   43. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 20, 2009 at 05:25 PM (#3082089)
You're going to have Ruth DH for Ruth????

Well, if Ruth the pitcher gets knocked out, you don't want to lose Ruth the hitter too... Of course, if you have an entire bullpen of Ruth, that's not an issue.

I wonder if pitching is detrimental to hitting performance. (That is, would Ruth the DH be a better hitter than Ruth the pitcher?) Too bad there haven't been enough dual-use players in the Retrosheet era to compare hitting-when-pitching to hitting-when-fielding. It'd be a cool research idea if someone didn't mind digging though 100-year-old-boxscores, though.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2009 at 05:33 PM (#3082092)
Well, if Ruth the pitcher gets knocked out, you don't want to lose Ruth the hitter too...

Ruth (SP) just goes to LF (e.g.) and Ruth LF comes in to pitch. It's only a problem with mid-inning changes. So, if we have only 9 Ruth's we need 1 RP, who can pitch every day, so Hoyt Wilhelm.
   45. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2009 at 05:48 PM (#3082105)
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


anyone know these stats broken down by league? Seems very strange to lump them together given the pitcher hitting...
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2009 at 05:52 PM (#3082108)
better not let Ed Barrow manage this team of Ruth clones, he would pinch-hit for him with a lefty pitcher every time a southpaw faced them...
   47. OCF Posted: February 20, 2009 at 06:49 PM (#3082161)
I wonder if pitching is detrimental to hitting performance.

This came up in some old Hall of Merit discussions. We did see a number of players who started out as pitchers and switched to the field later in their careers. I didn't see enough such cases to make any kind of valid study, but I did get at least a tentative impression.

Before 1893 (the 60'6" pitching distance), it didn't seem to make much difference - guys like Bob Caruthers and Monte Ward hit just about as well either way. But after 1893, it seemed to make a large difference - the dual-use players were better hitters when they didn't pitch and worse hitters when they did. Understand that this is at the level of whole seasons, not single games.

And it even applies to Babe Ruth.

As a full-time pitcher in 1915-1917, his OPS+ was 189, 121, 162. Outstanding, of course, but ...

As his pitching usage gradually ramped down in 1918 and 1919, his offensive output ramped up - 194, 219.

And then when he stopped pitching altogether in 1920, his OPS+ topped out in the neighborhood of 250.

Of course, that's confounded by his age - you'd expect a power hitter to be better at 25 than at 22 - but it's consistent with what I see from several other players.
   48. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 20, 2009 at 07:09 PM (#3082187)
anyone know these stats broken down by league?


Yes, thanks to the aforementioned Retrosheet DB. I think Dewan was counting ABs; I counted PAs and my numbers are a little different.

AL PAs with runners on base by BOP, 2008:
BOP     Pct
1       35.9
%
2       45.1%
3       48.1%
4       50.4%
5       46.8%
6       45.2%
7       46.7%
8       45.9%
9       45.2


And for the NL:
BOP     Pct
1       33.7
%
2       42.6%
3       47.1%
4       51.2%
5       47.3%
6       44.8%
7       46.2%
8       46.6%
9       47.1


-- MWE
   49. galaxieboi Posted: February 20, 2009 at 07:12 PM (#3082191)
I thought we'd agreed that Ichiro! stays that way and Rickey!! gets 2 '!!'.
   50. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 20, 2009 at 07:13 PM (#3082192)
OCF, thanks for the info.

I would expect the single-game effects, if there are any, to be different from full-season effects. A full-time position player focuses much more effort into hitting than a pitcher (full or part time) does. Within the same season, that would be controlled for pretty well.
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2009 at 07:30 PM (#3082213)
better not let Ed Barrow manage this team of Ruth clones, he would pinch-hit for him with a lefty pitcher every time a southpaw faced them...

Son, it's called playing the percentages. It's what smart managers do to win ballgames.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Don Malcolm
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogRoger Maris Jr. blasts MLB, says Aaron Judge’s potential 62nd home run should be single-season record
(54 - 9:19am, Sep 30)
Last: SoSH U at work

Newsblog2022-23 Preseason NBA thread
(323 - 9:06am, Sep 30)
Last: spivey

NewsblogMets to call up No. 1 prospect in baseball
(7 - 8:37am, Sep 30)
Last: KronicFatigue

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the week of September 26 - October 5, 2022
(107 - 12:48am, Sep 30)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(2534 - 11:28pm, Sep 29)
Last: 57i66135 is a hard word for me.

NewsblogWhy Major League Baseball needs to do a better job of appreciating regular season greatness
(40 - 10:40pm, Sep 29)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogNew York Yankees star Aaron Judge hits 61st home run of season, tying Roger Maris' mark
(29 - 9:06pm, Sep 29)
Last: Cooper Nielson

NewsblogMiami Marlins' Richard Bleier only pitcher since 1900 with 3 balks in same at-bat, gets tossed vs. Mets
(39 - 7:32pm, Sep 29)
Last: shoelesjoe

NewsblogJapan's affinity for Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani examined in 'Searching for Ohtani'
(7 - 4:58pm, Sep 29)
Last: You can keep your massive haul

NewsblogBill James: How Reliable are Won-Lost Records, Part I
(33 - 4:58pm, Sep 29)
Last: Moeball

NewsblogThe Official Mets Fan Self-Immolation Thread
(988 - 4:24pm, Sep 29)
Last: KronicFatigue

NewsblogSoto, Shmoto: Joey Meneses Is Washington’s Pleasant Surprise
(4 - 3:30pm, Sep 29)
Last: Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight

NewsblogThe difficult postseason decision Mets face
(24 - 1:11pm, Sep 29)
Last: Srul Itza

NewsblogPirates add Miguel Andújar after Yankees designate former Rookie of the Year runner-up for assignment
(14 - 12:49pm, Sep 29)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - European Leages Return
(266 - 8:07am, Sep 29)
Last: Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful

Page rendered in 0.7343 seconds
45 querie(s) executed