Breaking Numbers, Pt. 1

In the midst of this stretch of four days — four days! — between games that count, YFSF presents a series of rival-centric leaderboards from the first half of the season, using statistics slightly off the beaten trail. We hope this will serve as at least a slight tonic for the lack of real baseball this week.

Today: Part 1, the offense.

We'll start with the favorite offense-minded stats of the Big Three stats sites: OPS+ for Baseball-Reference, wOBA for Fangraphs and GPA for The Hardball Times.

OPS+

  1. Kevin Youkilis, 148
  2. Mark Teixeira, 137
  3. Hideki Matsui, 130
  4. Jason Bay, 129
  5. Johnny Damon, 127
  6. Derek Jeter, 125
  7. J.D. Drew, 116
  8. Robinson Cano, 116
  9. Nick Swisher, 115
  10. Jason Varitek, 108

GPA ([OBP*1.8+SLG]/4, ballpark adjusted)

  1. Kevin Youkilis, .317
  2. Mark Teixeira, .304 
  3. Hideki Matsui, .295
  4. Derek Jeter, .294
  5. Jason Bay, .291  
  6. Johnny Damon, .290  
  7. Nick Swisher, .279 
  8. J.D. Drew, .278 
  9. Robinson Cano, .277 
  10. Dustin Pedroia, .264 

wOBA (Linear-weights performance adjusted for league-average OBP)

  1. Kevin Youkilis, .422
  2. Mark Teixeira, .392 
  3. Jason Bay, .389 
  4. Derek Jeter, .385 
  5. Johnny Damon, .383 
  6. Hideki Matsui, .379 
  7. J.D. Drew, .369 
  8. Nick Swisher, .360 
  9. Dustin Pedroia, .357 
  10. Robinson Cano, .356 

The nature of linear wrights — looking at the run value of every specific event — would seem to indicate that Jason Bay in particular has been very clutchy this season, as he shoots way up, while Yankees like Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano slide a bit. In fact, a look at some clutch indicators show that New York's first half has been notable for its poor clutch performances.

Runs Created (THT version)

  1. Jason Bay, 70
  2. Kevin Youkilis, 63 
  3. Derek Jeter, 61
  4. Johnny Damon, 60 
  5. Mark Teixeira, 58 
  6. Dustin Pedroia, 58 
  7. Jacoby Ellsbury, 45 
  8. Alex Rodriguez, 45   
  9. Nick Swisher, 43 
  10. Hideki Matsui, 43 

Bay, Pedroia and Ellsbury vault up the list (A-Rod does, too, but this is because he doesn't qualify for the batting title and is therefore excluded from most of the rate stats).

BA/RISP

  1. Dustin Pedroia, .386 
  2. Kevin Youkilis, .368 
  3. Jason Bay, .329 
  4. Johnny Damon, .322 
  5. Derek Jeter, .302 
  6. Jacoby Ellsbury, .268 
  7. Mike Lowell, .263 
  8. Melky Cabrera, .250
  9. Mark Teixeira, .245 
  10. Hideki Matsui, .238 

Other than Damon and Jeter, no one on the Yankees is even hitting over .250 with runners in scoring position. Wow.

"Clutch" (Bill James/THT)
  1. Jason Bay, 11.0
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 6.3 
  3. Kevin Youkilis, 6.0 
  4. Johnny Damon, 3.0 
  5. David Ortiz, 1.8 
  6. Hideki Matsui, -1.3 
  7. Mike Lowell, -1.5 
  8. Derek Jeter, -1.9 
  9. Melky Cabrera, -2.4 
  10. Nick Swisher, -2.5

Damon is the only Yankee with a positive number here. "Clutch" is THT's adjustment to Runs Created to include batting with RISP and home runs with runners on base (which Bay seemed uncannily to hit all half long).

Before we get away from overall numbers, SecA attempts to derive value apart from batting average. The formula hurts singles hitters while rewarding walks, slugging and speed.

Secondary Average [(TB – H + BB + SB – CS) / AB]

  1. Jason Bay, .479
  2. Kevin Youkilis, .460 
  3. Nick Swisher, .420 
  4. J.D. Drew, .416 
  5. Mark Teixeira, .411 
  6. Hideki Matsui, .406 
  7. Jason Varitek, .400 
  8. Johnny Damon, .391 
  9. David Ortiz, .324 
  10. Derek Jeter, .297 

Of course, as we well know, both these teams are patient to the extreme.

Pitchers per Plate Appearance
  1. Kevin Youkilis, 4.5 
  2. Nick Swisher, 4.3 
  3. Johnny Damon, 4.2 
  4. J.D. Drew, 4.2 
  5. David Ortiz, 4.1 
  6. Melky Cabrera, 4.0 
  7. Jason Bay, 4.0 
  8. Hideki Matsui, 4.0
  9. Mark Teixeira, 3.9 
  10. Jason Varitek/Dustin Pedroia, 3.9 

No wonder the games always go four hours.

One of the constant themes over the course of the first half has been the respective boosts each park has given to the home teams.

Home OPS (min. 125 PA)

  1. Mark Teixeira, 1.004 
  2. Johnny Damon, .985 
  3. Kevin Youkilis, .979 
  4. Derek Jeter, .910 
  5. Jason Varitek, .898 
  6. Jason Bay, .892 
  7. Mike Lowell, .883 
  8. Robinson Cano, .858 
  9. Hideki Matsui, .857
  10. Dustin Pedroia, .852 
Road OPS (min. 125 PA)
  1. Kevin Youkilis, 1.000 
  2. Alex Rodriguez, .989 
  3. Nick Swisher, .936 
  4. Jason Bay, .906 
  5. J.D. Drew, .869 
  6. Mark Teixeira, .840 
  7. Robinson Cano, .814 
  8. Derek Jeter, .811 
  9. Jacoby Ellsbury, .779 
  10. Jason Varitek, .767 
Road-Minus-Home OPS (min. 125 PA) — i.e., how many OPS points a hitter loses on the road
  1. David Ortiz, -.232
  2. Johnny Damon, -.222
  3. Jorge Posada, -.201
  4. Nick Green, -.188
  5. Mike Lowell, -.172
  6. Mark Teixeira, -.164
  7. Jason Varitek, -.131
  8. Dustin Pedroia, -.115
  9. Derek Jeter, -.099
  10. Melky Cabrera, -.053

Youkilis, Bay, Drew, Ellsbury, Matsui and Swisher break the mold by hitting better on the road.

Next up (hopefully), we'll tackle the pitchers.

5 comments… add one
  • Thank you, Paul, you (again) amaze me.

    attackgerbil July 13, 2009, 8:54 pm
  • And that’s with Youkilis and Bay slumping badly the last 2 weeks.
    Not bad. Makes me feel good about the second half.
    Just wait ’til the Sox deal Lugo to Toronto for Doc.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 13, 2009, 9:12 pm
  • Great stuff Paul! Posts like these are what get me through the 4-day break.
    Lugo for Doc, IBM? You’re dreaming! It’s gunna have to be Lugo and Penny for Halladay.

    Atheose July 13, 2009, 9:45 pm
  • Great work, Paul. The Yankees have been amazingly un-clutch in the first half. What I want to know is whether this is due for regression to the mean, or the Yankees are just an unclutchy team and don’t have the ‘clutch’ skill.

    AndrewYF July 14, 2009, 11:57 am
  • pitchers per plate appearance? jesus, no wonder the games take forever! Who even carries that many pitchers these days??
    j/k paul, awesome post. Dropped down for a look after scoping the pitchers post above… need more baseball!

    SFool July 16, 2009, 8:43 pm

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