Finally, my last post on the four statistics that I studied on the Twins’ 2009 season to see how good they were at moving runners around the bases (which I call advanced bases percentage). I’ve mentioned several times how my friend Steven didn’t completely agree with my methods, but this one is about as close as I think I’ll ever get to satisfying him without changing my data. I said before that this one is similar to slugging percentage, and now I’ll explain why.
Archive for January, 2010
At least 40 times in 2010, usually during night games, there will be a tall but skinny college student wearing a familiar uniform. He will greet you with a genuine smile and a friendly, “Hi, how may I help you?” like the guy is doing here. But don’t be afraid; it’s his job. If you get the chance, he would love if you stop and chat with him.
Say hello to one of your many ushers at Target Field in 2010. That’s right, as of yesterday, yours truly will be working in Major League Baseball’s newest stadium this summer. :-D
Well, what else can I say that I didn’t say here? Amazingly, my $1 million or more guess wasn’t too far off, as Thome signed for $1.5 million with up to $750,000 in incentives ($100K for 250, 300, and 350 plate appearances and $150K for 400, 450, and 500). It’s rumored that the Tampa Bay Rays offered more money to Thome, but it sounded like he wants to win and he felt that the Twins would give him a better chance of making the playoffs than the Rays.
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.
No, not the album from Minnesota-made music artist Semisonic, although I do suppose their hit single “Closing Time” is very appropriate right now. As my neighbors in my on-campus apartment raged in the parking lot and my roommate explained to me that his claims of rampant drinking to forget the night was actually only a joke, I had a strange feeling of contentment. Don’t get me wrong, I was vastly upset at the turnovers, especially at the end of the 4th quarter, but now I feel dazed.
Those of you that have read Moneyball should like this one. But if it sucks…well you can blame me, because to my knowledge, no one else has said this yet.
In case you haven’t heard, Oakland Athletics minor-league outfielder Grant Desme has decided to retire in order to enter the priesthood, despite hitting .288 with 31 HR, 89 RBI, and 40 steals last year at the Single-A level. He said that although he was playing well in the minors, he wasn’t completely at peace with his life, and he had been considering this decision for about a year and a half. My question is…how come Billy Beane didn’t see this kid had The Good Face?
I apologize that I’ve been a bit slow with discussing Twins news over the past few weeks. All the stuff that allowed me to type up my last three posts has been consuming quite a bit of my time. So, I’ve decided to go back and offer my opinion on some of the recent happenings.
141, 141, 135.
Those were the top three RBI totals from 2009, courtesy of Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Albert Pujols. The top three for the ’09 Minnesota Twins is much less impressive (103, 100, 96, from Jason Kubel, Justin Morneau, and Joe Mauer), but that doesn’t mean that we don’t care about them. Morneau compiled his 100 from a strong first half and a rather weak second half, complete with missing the last three weeks of the season. Joe Mauer missed all of April, yet he nearly broke the 100 mark. Kubel played the whole season, but just barely had more RBI than the other two. Surely Morneau and Mauer were more efficient in driving in runners…right?
Yesterday, I took the delight in releasing the hard work that had consumed my life for the past week. Of course, I learned afterwards that Baseball Reference was already keeping track of one of the things I thought I had discovered, which I admit was a little heartbreaking. It’s ok though, I’ll live. Creating three things from scratch was still pretty fun to do, even if I complain every now and then about how soul-crushing it occasionally was for me. Today’s post is looking at a player’s ability to drive in runners in situations with runners in scoring position and (the existing statistic) the ability to drive in any runner.
It’s no secret that the Twins get credited with “doing the little things right.” Moving runners over, stealing bases, hitting sacrifice flies, playing “small ball,” it’s the MO of professional baseball in the Twin Cities. After all, why wouldn’t the Twins try this? They were in a domed stadium that didn’t give up as many home runs as was originally predicted and it provided only a thin layer of AstroTurf to give any additional friction than what you would get from playing on bare concrete, so turning the field into a pinball machine couldn’t have been a bad idea. Injecting a manager like Tom Kelly only encouraged this style of play even more. Pretty soon, the Minnesota Twins became synonymous with hitting the ball to the opposite field or bunting to move runners up a base (not to mention good defensive teams as well).