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5/28/10

Ranking Twins hitters based on offensive productivity

Today I am doing a slightly different exercise: I am ranking the Twins' hitters based on offensive productivity. What do I mean with "offensive productivity"? I take the old Runs Scored plus Runs Batted In measure (R+RBI) and divide it by Plate Appearances. This way hitters do get credit for both scoring and driving in runs (which are the 2 things a hitter is supposed to do) normalized by the opportunities (PAs) they had to do that. This numbers is pretty nice, because it comes to a familiar format, close to the Batting Average format that is very familiar to everyone who watches baseball. Here are the rankings (for the 2010 season, including last night's game) :

Justin Morneau: .333
Joe Mauer: .285
Jim Thome: .265
Delmon Young: .262
Jason Kubel: .250
Michael Cuddyer: .239
Denard Span: .232
Orlando Hudson: .230
Alexi Casilla: .191
J.J. Hardy: .185
Nick Punto: .173
Brendan Harris: .144
Drew Butera: .103

probably a few surprises there, mainly Span and Hardy who would appear more productive than what their numbers indicate.

5/27/10

Twins and RISP: The whole story

Recently there has been a lot of frustration about the Twins stranding runners and under-performing as a team in with runners in scoring position. Several places have been trying to look at the phenomenon and even some contributed it to 'bad luck'. All the analyses I have seen have one thing in common: They look at the team as a whole vs the individual players. Here I am looking at the difference of the overall batting average of each individual player from his batting average with RISP. I am looking at batting average, because a single is usually sufficient to score someone in scoring position and a walk does not help. Without further ado:

Casilla: Overall: .257; RISP: .333 (+.076)
Thome: Overall: .241; RISP: .300 (+.059)
Hardy: Overall: .243; RISP: .294 (+.051)
Span: Overall: .287; RISP: .324 (+.047)
Punto: Overall: .218; RISP: .250 (+.032)
Kubel: Overall: .217; RISP: .233 (+.016)

Mauer: Overall: .340; RISP: .341 (+.001)
Young: Overall: .263; RISP: .262 (-.001)

Morneau: Overall: .369; RISP: .306 (-.063)

Cuddyer: Overall: .278; RISP: .213 (-.066)
Hudson: Overall: .293; RISP: .217 (-.076)
Harris: Overall: .176; RISP: .077 (-.089)

So, it is unfair to dump the whole team in a bucket. Six players (Casilla, Thome, Span, Hardy, Kubel, Punto) have been hitting better with RISP than overall. Two others have been consistent (Mauer, Young). Morneau has a big drop with RISP, but he still is batting .306 in this situation, which has him 4th in BA with RISP in the team behind Mauer, Casilla and Span. The major culpits for the Twins' woes in this situation are Orlando Hudson, Michael Cuddyer and Brendan Harris. Three players. Not the whole team. There are enough substitutes (Casilla, Kubel, Punto) to limit the time of these 3 players.

Not luck, not a black cat, not a whole team fault. Just 3 players... who should sit until starting to heat up