Moving Them Over

As you all know, I started looking at four (now three) new statistics involving a hitter’s ability to move runners up a base and scoring them. My methods have been constructively criticized quite a bit by my friend Steven for rewarding hitters for successfully moving runners up despite making an out themselves, but I can’t tempt you on the work that I’ve done and then decide that I can’t present it any longer. So here it is, the third thing that I looked at with Twins hitters in 2009: their ability to move runners up a base.

Once again, do you remember how I mentioned Nick Punto scored very well in one of the things I was looking at? This was that thing, as he finished second, right behind Joe Mauer (surprise surprise).

You might ask, “What does this mean?” Well, in the case of Joe Mauer, nearly half of the baserunners that were on base during Mauer’s at-bat were advanced at least one base by him. Once again, we see Michael Cuddyer near the middle of the pack again. I’m not too surprised to see Joe Crede near the bottom, due to his flyball tendencies when he bats, giving him fewer opportunities to advance a runner. However, don’t think that a hitter’s groundout to flyball ratio has anything to do with this, as Mike Redmond had the highest GO/FO at 2.13. I must say though that I’m surprised to see Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young in the middle of the pack, considering that both seem to strike out so often.

Here’s what best correlated with a hitter’s ability to advance a runner.

Once again, I’ve boxed the top three correlations and bolded the best one. Although OBP w/ runners on base is the best, the r-value is not great, so once again we’re lacking in a statistic that would correlate well for this. I checked GO/FO ratio and strikeouts as well (just as hunches), and they both were nowhere close to being as good as the top three above. I’m not too surprised about this, considering that as Steven has complained to me about this, I’m allowing batters to make outs so they can move up runners. If I eliminated that from my data, I bet I’d have better correlations with these statistics.

If you’re REALLY curious about all of my data for this, here you go. Just click on the spreadsheet to expand it to full size:

In a few days, I’ll have my last post up. This final one is sort of like a hitter’s slugging percentage, except it’s looking at the number of bases that the average runner moved up during each hitter’s plate appearance.

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5 Responses to “Moving Them Over”

  1. George Says:

    I like this. It gets at what I think is the ultimate goal of offense metrics in baseball: the probability of scoring.

    It reminds me of a statistic from decades ago that I think is still the best single summary measure of batting prowess possible. It was (is?) called RAR, runner advancement rating, and simply gives a batter a point for each base advanced, by himself or men on base. So a grand slam is worth 10, a bases-empty single or a walk is worth 1, a single moving a runner from first to third is worth 3, and so on. The outfit that promoted it (might have been APBA) just added up everyone’s score. It would be improved if expressed as a percentage, total runners advanced divided by total potential runners advanced (i.e., if the batter homered in every at bat). This controls for variations among players in how many times they come up with runners on.

    Is anything like this out there now? If not, there should be.

  2. TT Says:

    I don’t know what your friend Steve’s problem is. Moving runners over has always been an important part of scoring runs and it has value even if the player makes an out. As any baseball fan can tell you, not all outs are unproductive.

    I think a more valuable measure would include how many bases a runner was advanced. I think you would see Punto drop down in the rankings. I suspect his walks, rather than productive outs, are the reason he is up so high. Some other issues are whether there were significant differences among players where first base was open and a walk would not advance the runner.

    I wonder if the low correlations indicate moving runners over is more conscious skill than random result from other factors.

  3. Heineken-77 Says:

    Punto is starting to look like a possible #2 hitter candidate. I’m not a big Punto fan, but I did think that Punto was having the best at-bats during the playoffs for the Twins. He was working the count and taking walks.

  4. Andrew Says:

    Wow, I really screwed up my 3rd paragraph by leading the readers into the next picture but then backtracking by talking about Young and Gomez. I’ve fixed the error now.

  5. Research Revisions, Pt. 1 « Off The Mark Says:

    […] Twins hitters and their success rates of driving in runners in scoring position and all runners. 3. Moving Them Over: The results for Twins hitters and their success rates of moving runners up at least one base. 4. […]

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