Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 Season's Best

            The numbers are in, and crunched. Analysis done and reviewed. So what do the numbers tell us?

            Well, before we go into the numbers, let's look at a few things that have come up in the past couple of weeks involving players value to their teams. namely, Yoenis Cespedes, David Price and Cole Hamels, and the impact they made on the playoff runs for their new teams.
            None of these players had enough time spent with their new teams to qualify for statistical titles, but if I remove that parameter, and crunch the numbers, I get a good feel for their impact on their teams.
            Hamels won 7 games for the Rangers, including their clincher, in just 12 games. He had a respectable 3.66 ERA, and had a season rating of 1.7061. A nice number, and his overall rating comes in at a 1.4954, which is another nice number. That ranked him the highest among the Ranger pitchers for the year.
            Price won 9 for the Jays, in 11 games, had a 2.30 ERA with them, on his way to leading the league with a 2.45and a season rating of 2.5406, which puts his overall rating at 1.9346. If we compare his Tiger season numbers, which are 1.7705 and 1.6583 overall, we can see that his very good season with the Tigers (9 wins for them also) became stellar after his trade.
            And lastly, Cespedes, whom many believe pumped up the Mets offens upon his arrival from Detroit, earning a season rating of 2.1054 and an overall rating of 1.6095. There is no denying the impact that his presence in the Mets lineup had...but what of his value.
            There is an over reliance to look at statistics to analyze player performances. That's what this project is all about in fact. But sometimes, there are things that cannot be reduced to raw numbers. Some things just have to be watched to see what impact that players really have.
            The three mentioned above all had an impact on their teams with their additions, but what impact does subtractions have?
            Justin Verlander and Giancarlo Stanton both lost a lot of time this year to injuries, and no doubt would have changed the course of their team's respective destiny's. It is not a stretch to say that a full year from Verlander means that Detroit is in a better position, and doesn't have to shop and/or trade David Price or Yoenis Cespedes. Or that the Marlins would have made a playoff run to challenge the Mets and the Nationals throughout the spring.
            But, that's why they play the games. Anything can happen
            Yadier Molina's thumb injury should be a concern to Cardinals fans, as it will definitely impact his performance on the field. But it won't affect his presence in the dugout and clubhouse. So their playoff campaign will be intersting to watch. As I said in yesterday's column, I think that his injury will hurt the Cardinals chances, as it slowed them down at season's end.

            OK, we're almost to the big reveal. I will first divulge the top 10 offensive players in the season rating, bottom to top, in each league:
            (for hitters, I used 400 plate appearances as a minimum)

            NL                                                                               AL
10. Ryan Braun, MIL                                                 Eric Hosmer, KC
9. Kris Bryant, CHI                                                    Brian McCann, NY
8. Joey Votto, CIN                                                     Mike Trout, LA
7. Anthony Rizzo, CHI                                              Lorenzo Cain, KC
6. A.J. Pollock, ARI                                                   Russell Martin, TOR
5. Andrew McCutcheon, PIT                                     Chris Davis, BAL
4. Buster Posey, SF                                                     Miguel Cabrera, DET
3. Nelson Arrenado, COL                                          Edwin Encarnacion, TOR
2. Paul Goldschmitt, ARI                                           Jose Bautista, TOR
1. Bryce Harper, WAS                                                Josh Donaldson, TOR

            And in pitching, we'll do the top 7. (For pitchers, I used a 150 IP minimum, or 50 Games pitched for relievers)

7. Jacob deGrom, NY                                                 Zach Britton, BAL
6. Hector Rondon, CHI                                              Andrew Miller, NY
5. Madison Bumgarner, SF                                         Felix Hernandez, SEA
4. Clayton Kershaw, LA                                             Sonny Gray, OK
3. Gerrit Cole, PIT                                                      Wade Davis, KC
2. Zack Grienke, LA                                                   David Price, DET & TOR
1. Jake Arrieta, CHI                                                    Dallas Keuchel, HOU

            So then looking at the overall numbers, and acting as if I have a vote, this would be my ballot for each league, bottom to top

10. Joey Votto                                                             Jose Bautista
9. Buster Posey                                                           Lorenzo Cain
8. Nelson Arrenado                                                     Nelson Cruz
7. Max Scherzer                                                          Dallas Keuchel
6. Michael Wacha                                                       Jose Abreu
5. Paul Goldschmitt                                                    Miguel Cabrera
4. Gerrit Cole                                                              Chris Davis
3. Zack Grienke                                                          Josh Donaldson
2. Bryce Harper                                                           Mike Trout
1. Jake Arrieta                                                             David Price

            There are some that don't believe a pitcher should win the MVP award, so if you're one of them, flip the 1st and 2nd picks.

            But this is my list, in my opinion, based on my numerical formulas, of the best performances that we have just witnessed in 2015.


  1. I agree with you on Verlander. An earlier return to form by him would have effected the playoff chances of two teams, the Tigers and by extension the Blue Jays as the Tigers would have probably kept him for their own playoff run. Stanton on the other hand is a different story. Given their record and position when he went down I don't think he would have led a playoff drive in Miami.
    How does Wacha rate being #6 when he is not even in the top 7 pitchers?
    Miguel Bautista #10? Are we flashbacking? I presume that should be Jose?
    Also, we would be interested in reading your reasons for digressing from your numbers. An example would be Cain being #7 among AL hitters and Bautista #2 but Cain outpolling Bautista on your ballot. They both played on winning teams so what were your subjective criteria on your ballot?

  2. Bautista was playing for an offensive powerhouse, the Jays were all over the top of the list at raw numbers, I think they had 5 players in the top 10 of raw numbers. But, when I compare the player's numbers to the rest of his team, their ratings change. It's easier for a guy to have a very productive season when he's surrounded in the lineup by Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin, as Bautista was. Not so easy when you're playing for the Royals, whose offense was good, but nowhere near the potency of the Jays.
    Then I compare each player's ratings against their team's average, measured against how they do against their league's average, and that is where I get my final numbers.

    The same theory is used for pitching evaluations.

    Hope that clarifies the theories...