THE MIKE NUMBER 2014 in review
Let me begin by saying that I am in no way scientifically minded. Nor am I anything close to a mathematician. In fact, if it weren't for spreadsheet formulas, I doubt that I would have even devised any of these formulaic solutions.
That being said, and with the proliferation of SABRmetricians around the interwebs, both professional and amateur, numbers have gotten to be more imprtant than the players and games themselves. And that bothers me.
I have been a baseball fan since the early 1970's, and I get the statistical aspect of the game. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I never did get into the fantasy/rotisserie baseball craze. I know the allure of it, and see the numerous annual reviews and statistical compilations that appear every winter on your bookselves. There are statistics for everyone and everything. Some are basic, some extremely advanced. And they all tell you the same thing. Exactly nothing.
Sure, one could project what a player is supposed to do, depending on their past performance their age, their home ballpark, what their diet consists of, who they sit next to on the charter, etc. But they don't account for them turning their ankle getting off the team bus. Or the spoiled mayo an their pre-game sandwich. It's all subjective.
That being said, I have devised a statistic that I think (in my own egotistical way) gives a truer measure of a player's performance.
I thought about the basic baseball statistics that we all grew up with...Batting Average, Slugging Percentage, On Base Percentage. That was where I started. Then I started to think...what wins games? Runs. Score more runs than the other guys and you will win. That's what it's all about. So I weighted in an old statistic that I don't think ever truly caught on...runs created. A basic runs created statistic (runs + Runs batted in - homeruns) gives a good measure of a players contribution to the day to day progress of his team.
So, how does one create runs? By getting on base, and getting key hits to drive in runs. So I weighted a factor involving stolen bases (which generally gets a runner into a better scoring position) and sacrifices. Adding them back in to the aforementioned basic numbers, gives a pretty good reflection on a player's performance. I tinkered with the number formula, adjusting for a few other variables, not adding as much to the stolen bases as the sacrifices, until I got a more comfortable number to use as a guide.
I am still trying to come up with a similar blanket formula for pitching, and one that might hopefully line up numerically with these numbers for an ever truer feel for outstanding performances. So as of right now, the formula is only for offensive production.
Then, before the big unveil, I tried to come up with a catchy name for this new statistic, some sort of fancy acronym or something of that ilk. But I stayed with the MIKE number. If it makes you feel better, we can pretend it stands for Magical Integer with Knowledgeable Experience.
Okay, you've made it this far. I will give you now my top 10 players in the American League for 2014. For the sake of fun, I will include those with 300 or more plate appearances. I ran their individual numbers, and then ran a league average. These are the players with the highest number over the league average:
11. Danny Santana MIN 1.3935% to lg
10. Yeonis Cespedes BOS/OAK 1.3953% to lg
9. Alexei Ramirez CHW 1.42% to lg
8. Torii Hunter DET 1.44% to lg
7. Edwin Encarnacion TOR 1.496% to lg
6. Michael Brantley CLE 1.499% to lg
5. Jose Abreu CHW 1.51% to lg
4. Jose Bautista TOR 1.523% to lg
3. Victor Martinez DET 1.524% to lg
2. Miguel Cabrera DET 1.55% to lg
1 Mike Trout LAA 1.62% to lg.
Interesting to note that Yeonis Cespedes' numbers with
Oakland would have placed him tenth on this list, but his
performance with Boston
lowered his overall performance. With the A's, he was at 1.41% to the league
average, but was only 1.36% with the Red Sox.
Revisiting the numbers (as this is a work in progress), and coming up with a formula that I think accurately measures the impact based on at bats spent with each team, and pro-rating that, Yeonis Cespedes' combined number for both teams does in fact place him tenth on the list...
How much does the runs created factor into the final numbers, you might ask? Well, here are the top ten in the
AL for runs created:
(If I were to be playing fantasy baseball, I would probably pick up Brian Dozier or Danny Santana if they were available and reasonably priced)
Now, for the National League numbers:
1.503% to lg Dickerson COL
9. Adrian Gonzalez LAD 1.509% to lg
8. Anthony Rendon WAS 1.513% to lg
7. Russell Martin PIT 1.53%
6. Andrew McCutcheon PIT 1.56%
5. Buster Posey SF 1.57%
4. Giancarlo Stanton MIA 1.612%
3. Devin Morosco CIN 1.614%
2. Paul Goldschmitt ARI 1.66%
1.71% Tulowitzki COL
If we only use the qualifiers (500 plate appearances) the
Stanton is in the top spot. The league's MVP
was pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Stanton's
number was actually 2.03% to the rest of his team, whereas Trout was only 1.42%
to the Angels.
And the top run producers in the National League were:
Another good variety of players, showing that my MIKE formula doesn't necessarily rely on the players with the highest batting averages, the most homers, the most stolen bases. It encompasses many ingredients that make up a season.
For the fantasy players out there, I will make a list of the top overall offensive players, those who had the highest overall MIKE number, which may vary slightly from the list above. This is the raw number that I initially calculate. The list above compares that number to the constant league number, and I have also calculated a constant team number as well.
When I say constant, I mean in regards to that particular team's overall season's performance. So that 'constant' number can vary from team to team, and from season to season.
For grins and giggles*, here are each league's top 10 qualifiers in overall individual offensive performance:
Mike Trout 2.1553
Miguel Cabrera 2.0642
Victor Martinez 2.0242
Jose Bautista 2.0229
Jose Abreu 2.0077
Michael Brantley 1.9909
Edwin Encarnacion 1.9882
Torii Hunter 1.9079
Alexei Ramirez 1.8874
Yoenis Cespedes 1.8835
Paul Goldschmitt 2.0881
Giancarlo Stanton 2.0347
Buster Posey 1.9844
Andrew McCutcheon 1.9645
Anthony Rendon 1.9089
Adrian Gonzalez 1.9046
Corey Dickerson 1.8963
Anthony Rizzo 1.8874
Jayson Werth 1.8792
Jonathan Lucroy 1.8503
More of a departure in the National League performances...