Friday, March 4, 2016

Did Al Simmons Have The Greatest Clutch Season Ever Recorded In 1930?

The definition of clutch that I am using can be found at Fangraphs-Clutch. Excerpt:

"Clutch measures how well a player performed in high leverage situations. It’s calculated as such:

Clutch = (WPA / pLI) – WPA/LI

In the words of David Appelman, this calculation measures, “…how much better or worse a player does in high leverage situations than he would have done in a context neutral environment.” It also compares a player against himself, so a player who hits .300 in high leverage situations when he’s an overall .300 hitter is not considered clutch."

The WPA stands for "Win Probability Added" and it tells us how much each plate appearance by a batter increased or decreased his team's chance of winning. LI is leverage index. Games that are late and close with runners on have a higher leverage than normal.

pLI: A player’s average LI for all game events.

Play by play data does not exist for all years. That is necessary for this stat.

I looked at all seasons with 300+ PAs and a clutch of 2.5 or higher using the Baseball Reference Play Index. The 3.5 for Simmons means he added 3.5 more wins by hitting better in the clutch than if he had just had his usual numbers.

Player Clutch Year
Al Simmons 3.5 1930
David Ortiz 3.3 2005
Eddie Murray 3.3 1985
Troy O'Leary 3.2 1996
Mickey Stanley 3.2 1968
Nellie Fox 3.2 1959
Arky Vaughan 3.2 1943
Tony Gwynn 3.1 1984
Dave May 2.9 1973
Rickey Henderson 2.8 1988
Tony Gwynn 2.8 1988
Kirby Puckett 2.8 1985

Simmons batted .381 that year with 36 HRs and a 157 RBIs. His OBP was .423 and his SLG was .708. Click here to see his 1930 splits Here is a sample

RISP 0.437 0.449 0.826 1.275
None on 0.379 0.417 0.692 1.109
Men On 0.383 0.411 0.730 1.141

2 outs, RISP 0.402 0.437 0.732 1.168
Late & Close 0.429 0.461 0.857 1.318

High Lvrge 0.469 0.488 0.867 1.355
Medium Lvrge 0.370 0.416 0.648 1.064
Low Lvrge 0.345 0.367 0.706 1.073


Unknown said...

It stands to reason this was a special season when you consider that when you check his situational batting stats on bbref for that season we find that he drove in 28 percent of the runners on base.(134 of 471) That's the highest percentage I've seen anyone have from any of the stats they have on it so far.

Cyril Morong said...

Thanks for reading and commenting. I didn't know he drove in 28 percent of the runners on base or that was a stat you could get at bbref

Jenny said...

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