Fangraphs’ leaderboard for Wins Above Replacement this season as of this morning — basically a list of the most valuable position players in baseball. Reyes is a few games away from catching Jose Bautista for the major league lead. Bautista has better offensive numbers, but Reyes has done more fielding work as a shortstop.
Also, the Mets have played 80 games this season and Reyes already has 119 hits, 15 triples, and 65 runs scored. He’s on pace for 241 hits, 30 triples, and 132 runs scored this season.
Opening Day 2011 will be the 50th Opening Day in Mets history. To honor that, around here we’ll be counting down the top 50 Mets in team history, one every weekday from now until we’ve done ‘em all. Today, #37, Bret Saberhagen: Continue reading
Opening Day 2011 will be the 50th Opening Day in Mets history. To honor that, around here we’ll be counting down the top 50 Mets in team history, one every weekday from now until we’ve done ‘em all. Today, #46, Bernard Gilkey: Continue reading
Opening Day 2011 will be the 50th Opening Day in Mets history. To honor that, around here we’ll be counting down the top 50 Mets in team history, one every weekday from now until we’ve done ‘em all. Today, #48, Steve Trachsel: Continue reading
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Runs Created is a statistic invented by Bill James that estimates how many runs a player contributed to his team on offense (that is, how many runs he created with his bat). The basic formula is:
Hits plus Walks
times Total Bases
divided by At Bats plus Walks
Or times on base, multiplied by power, divided by opportunities. Other writers have created more accurate versions of Runs Created since James, but this thirty year old formula is 95% accurate for predicting a team’s runs scored. If you apply the formula to a player, you can estimate how many runs he created for his team just using his hits, walks, total bases, and at bats.
David Wright passed Darryl Stawberry in 2010 as the Mets’ franchise leader in runs created. The top ten Mets in runs created, all time (the top three are easily guessed):
Adjusted ERA+, as seen on Baseball-Reference, is earned run average, adjusted for the ballpark, compared to the league average. It is scaled like an IQ score — over 100 is better than average, 100 is exactly average, and under 100 is below average. A pitcher with an ERA of 4.00, pitching in a ballpark that favors neither hitters nor pitchers, in a league where the average ERA is 4.00, will have an ERA+ of 100. He is the definition of average. If his ERA was better, say 3.50, his ERA+ would be above 100; if his ERA was worse, say 4.50, his ERA+ would be below the average of 100. BUT, if our mystery pitcher had an ERA of 4.00 and was pitching his home games in Coors Field, his ERA+ would be better than 100, to reflect of the difficultly of pitching in Denver. Verse-vicea for someone pitching in Dodgers Stadium.
ERA+ is particularly useful for comparing pitchers across time periods. For example, in 1968, when run scoring was dramatically low, the National League average ERA was 2.99. That season, Tom Seaver posted a 2.20 ERA, good for an ERA+ of 137. In 2008, Johan Santana pitched to a 2.53 ERA in a league where the average ERA was 4.29. This gave Santana an ERA+ of 166. Tom Seaver’s ERA was better than Johan Santana’s (2.20 to 2.53), but Santana’s adjusted ERA+ was better (166 to 137) because he pitched in a league that scored 43% more runs (4.29 to 2.99). This meant that, relative to each one’s league, Johan Santana was better at preventing runs than Tom Seaver was forty years earlier. ERA+ is built to reflect things like that.
These are the Mets all time ERA+ leaders, minimum of 500 innings pitched:
Santana has a lead on Seaver for the moment, but Santana’s ERA+ will presumably drop as his performance declines with age. By the time Santana’s Mets career is done, Seaver will probably have regained his position on top of this list. But until then, there is an argument to be made that, inning for inning, Johan Santana is the most effective pitcher to put on a Mets uniform.
For no reason at all: Pitchers with the highest batting averages against on balls in play — that is, batting average against, minus home runs and strikeouts — over the past five years (minimum 600 IP):
Just four of the fifteen pitchers have an ERA+ better than 100.
As is sometimes misstated, a lot of a pitcher’s batting average on balls in play is luck and defense, but some is his own skill. Johan Santana’s batting averages against on balls in play — .278 BAbip for his career — are routinely lower than his team’s defense would imply. Mike Pelfrey’s BAbip are routinely higher (.314 career), and thus he is #13 on this list. There’s A LOT of randomness at work, but it’s not ENTIRELY randomness. Johan Santana is actually better at preventing hits on balls in play than Mike Pelfrey. You can see that the list above is populated with the sort of pitchers you might imagine get hit pretty hard, and I don’t think that’s just a function of chance.
That said, as this chart shows, a lot of BAbip is a pitcher’s defensive help. Good defenses will turn more balls into outs than bad defenses, and bad defenses will turn more outs into hits than good ones. The Pirates have been a bad defensive club for five years. The top three pitchers on that list have spent a lot of time pitching for those Pirates. This is probably not a coincidence.