Sunday, September 25, 2016

Seasons When Two Players Under Age 25 Had 9+ WAR

Data from the Baseball Reference Play Index. This has only happened 7 times, including 2015 & 2016 (an only once between 1912 and 2014 with Mays and Mantle in 1955). If Betts can make it to 10, then we would have only the second time 2 guys made it that high. That won't be easy and, of course, the season is longer than it used to be, so maybe we should use 9.5 for 154 game seasons. That would still be rare.


Player WAR Year Age
Ty Cobb 9.8 1909 22
Eddie Collins 9.7 1909 22
Ty Cobb 10.5 1910 23
Eddie Collins 10.5 1910 23
Ty Cobb 10.7 1911 24
Shoeless Joe Jackson 9.2 1911 23
Tris Speaker 10.1 1912 24
Shoeless Joe Jackson 9.6 1912 24
Mickey Mantle 9.5 1955 23
Willie Mays 9 1955 24
Bryce Harper 9.9 2015 22
Mike Trout 9.4 2015 23
Mike Trout 10.3 2016 24
Mookie Betts 9.5 2016 23

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cubs have allowed an historically low BAbip

Data from the Baseball Reference Play Index. Here are the lowest 25 since 1913


Team Year BAbip
CLE 1968 0.244
BAL 1968 0.245
BAL 1969 0.246
BRO 1941 0.249
BAL 1972 0.249
DET 1981 0.249
CHW 1967 0.249
DET 1968 0.250
CLE 1954 0.250
LAD 1975 0.250
NYY 1955 0.251
BRO 1942 0.251
CHW 1966 0.252
CHW 1964 0.252
OAK 1972 0.252
STL 1942 0.252
NYY 1960 0.253
CIN 1942 0.253
MIN 1965 0.254
CIN 1944 0.254
CHC 2016 0.254
CAL 1968 0.254
BAL 1961 0.254
OAK 1970 0.255
BOS 1917 0.255

They are the only team in the top 25 since 1981 (also the only team in the top 50 since 1981). This is probably due to their fielding (they lead the NL in DER with .732). Top 3 teams since 2006 in defensive efficiency rating are the 2016 Cubs .732, 2011 Rays .724, 2013 Reds .715. Cubs might be highest going even farther back but I stopped checking at 2006.

There is usually a pretty high correlation between BAbip allowed and DER for all MLB teams. Here is the correlation in some years

2015) -.97
1960) -.97
1920) -.98

But it was only -.73 in 1913. It was -.89 in 1914. I don't know why it was so low in 1913.

It might be worthwhile to do BAbip relative to the league average. It looks like the other teams on the list are from years that will have a relatively low league BAbip. The 2016 NL is 16th highest since 1913.

Update 9-20-2016: The Cubs are .046 below the league average and that appears to be the best ever (although I was having a bit of a problem for some years in finding the league average using the Excel VLOOKUP tool-if anyone is good at that, please comment here or email me)

Here are the best teams (I think I solved the VLOOKUP issue). Let me know if this formatting does not work. The third number is that team's BAbip allowed, then the league average and then the difference.

Why are the Cubs doing so well? Fielding? Something about their pitchers? Park effects? Just luck?

CHC    2016    0.254    0.300    -0.046
NYY    1939    0.256    0.293    -0.037
SEA    2001    0.262    0.297    -0.035
LAD    1975    0.25    0.284    -0.034
CIN    1999    0.267    0.300    -0.033
OAK    1980    0.258    0.288    -0.03
OAK    1990    0.258    0.287    -0.029
BRO    1941    0.249    0.277    -0.028
BAL    1979    0.258    0.286    -0.028
CHW    1991    0.26    0.288    -0.028
DET    1983    0.258    0.286    -0.028
NYY    1919    0.261    0.289    -0.028

Here is a comment someone left at Fangraphs. See The Most Extraordinary Team Statistic by Jeff Sullivan

"When I saw this headline, I was hoping you’d land on the Cubs’ ability to squash balls in play. But how about these other options for ways to quantify it?

BIP-Wins. Cubs are #1 all-time (since 1871):
http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=6&season=2016&month=0&season1=1871&ind=1&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=4,d

…and they have derived 9.5 more wins from this ability than the #2 team this season:

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=6&season=2016&month=0&season1=2016&ind=1&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=4,d

BP’s Park-Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. The 2016 Cubs are #1 by a wide margin, but this stat only goes back to 1950:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1960231

OPS+ allowed. B-R only has solid data going back to 1923 for this stat. During that period, the 2016 Cubs are #1 by three percentage points:

http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/HKbXG"

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Trout Now Leads In WAR Through Age 24

Here is the top 10


Rk Player WAR
1 Mike Trout 46.9
2 Ty Cobb 46.7
3 Mickey Mantle 40.9
4 Alex Rodriguez 38
5 Ken Griffey 37
6 Mel Ott 36.8
7 Rogers Hornsby 36.1
8 Jimmie Foxx 36
9 Arky Vaughan 34.3
10 Ted Williams 34.2

Now the leaders in WAR per 648 plate appearances for everyone with 20+ WAR through age 24. It looks like the WAR for Ruth does not include pitching.


Rk Player WAR PA Per 648PA
1 Babe Ruth 20.2 1332 9.83
2 Mike Trout 46.9 3441 8.83
3 Ted Williams 34.2 2613 8.48
4 Willie Mays 24.8 1978 8.12
5 Ty Cobb 46.7 3730 8.11
6 Rogers Hornsby 36.1 2902 8.06
7 Stan Musial 24 1953 7.96
8 Eddie Collins 28.1 2312 7.88
9 Mickey Mantle 40.9 3491 7.59
10 Tris Speaker 30.1 2623 7.44
11 Lou Gehrig 22.3 1952 7.40
12 Dick Allen 22.7 2040 7.21
13 Jimmie Foxx 36 3270 7.13
14 Alex Rodriguez 38 3515 7.01
15 Arky Vaughan 34.3 3180 6.99
16 Albert Pujols 29.2 2728 6.94
17 Joe DiMaggio 26.3 2545 6.70
18 Ken Griffey 37 3606 6.65
19 Eddie Mathews 31.5 3141 6.50
20 Barry Bonds 23.4 2388 6.35
21 Cal Ripken 27.9 2855 6.33
22 Rickey Henderson 28.1 2891 6.30
23 Johnny Bench 30.7 3229 6.16
24 Hank Aaron 29.9 3173 6.11
25 Frank Robinson 29.7 3155 6.10

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cubs OPS differential of .147 would be highest since 1939 if they finish with it

They have a team hitting OPS of .778 while their pitchers have allowed .631. In their last 32 games of 2015, the differential was .186 (.757 - .571). They have played 131 games this year (through Tuesday). Their differential over the last 163 games (including the last 32 from 2015), is .155, weighted by number of games played. That is almost as good as the 1939 Yankees, who have the second highest OPS differential since 1914.

Here is the top 25. Compiled from the Baseball Reference Play Index and Retrosheet

Team Year OPS OPSA DIFF
NYY 1927 0.872 0.676 0.196
NYY 1939 0.825 0.667 0.158
ATL 1998 0.795 0.656 0.139
BAL 1969 0.756 0.620 0.136
NYY 1936 0.864 0.733 0.131
STL 1944 0.745 0.615 0.130
STL 1942 0.717 0.590 0.127
CLE 1948 0.792 0.665 0.127
NYY 1998 0.825 0.699 0.126
SEA 2001 0.805 0.679 0.126
PHA 1929 0.816 0.692 0.124
NYY 1937 0.825 0.704 0.121
CLE 1995 0.839 0.718 0.121
BRO 1953 0.840 0.722 0.118
CLE 1954 0.744 0.626 0.118
NYY 1932 0.830 0.714 0.116
NYY 1931 0.840 0.726 0.114
PHA 1928 0.799 0.685 0.114
ATL 1997 0.769 0.655 0.114
STL 1943 0.725 0.611 0.114
NYY 1921 0.838 0.725 0.113
BRO 1941 0.752 0.641 0.111
LAD 1974 0.743 0.633 0.110
PHA 1931 0.789 0.680 0.109
BOS 2003 0.851 0.742 0.109

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cubs OPS differential of .141 would be 3rd best since 1914 if they finish with it

They have a team hitting OPS of .772 while their pitchers have allowed .631.

Here is the top 25. Compiled from the Baseball Reference Play Index and Retrosheet

Team Year OPS OPSA DIFF
NYY 1927 0.872 0.676 0.196
NYY 1939 0.825 0.667 0.158
ATL 1998 0.795 0.656 0.139
BAL 1969 0.756 0.620 0.136
NYY 1936 0.864 0.733 0.131
STL 1944 0.745 0.615 0.130
STL 1942 0.717 0.590 0.127
CLE 1948 0.792 0.665 0.127
NYY 1998 0.825 0.699 0.126
SEA 2001 0.805 0.679 0.126
PHA 1929 0.816 0.692 0.124
NYY 1937 0.825 0.704 0.121
CLE 1995 0.839 0.718 0.121
BRO 1953 0.840 0.722 0.118
CLE 1954 0.744 0.626 0.118
NYY 1932 0.830 0.714 0.116
NYY 1931 0.840 0.726 0.114
PHA 1928 0.799 0.685 0.114
ATL 1997 0.769 0.655 0.114
STL 1943 0.725 0.611 0.114
NYY 1921 0.838 0.725 0.113
BRO 1941 0.752 0.641 0.111
LAD 1974 0.743 0.633 0.110
PHA 1931 0.789 0.680 0.109
BOS 2003 0.851 0.742 0.109

Monday, August 8, 2016

When Carl Reynolds Hit A HR In Each Of The First Three Innings

It was in game 2 of a double header against the Yankees in New York on July 2, 1930. No one did it again until Manny Machado did it yesterday.

Before looking at Reynolds's game, I want to mention that George Kelly hit a HR in three consecutive innings (4th, 5th, 6th) in a game in 1923 and that Mike Cameron had three HRs in the first three innings of a game in 2002, with two in the first inning and one in the third (he hit 4 HRs in the game).

Click here to see the box score of the Kelly game from Baseball Reference

Click here to see the box score & play-by-play of the Cameron game

Click here to see the box score & play-by-play of the Reynolds game

Here is what The Baseball Page says about his feat
"On July 2, 1930, in the second game of a doubleheader against New York in Yankee Stadium, Reynolds smashed three homers. Hundreds of players have hit three homers in one game, but the amazing thing about Reynolds' trifecta was that they came in the first three innings. Reynolds hit homers in each of the first three innings, including two of the inside -the-park variety. According to newspaper accounts, Reynolds lined two balls over the head of Yankees' center fielder Earl Combs and circled the bases before the relay throws made it back to the plate. His other homer was a blast off Red Ruffing into the left field seats. Reynolds' White Sox defeated the Yanks 15-4."
I will put the link to that page at the end since the link was not working and I had to use the cached page. Another website says the non-inside the park HR was to RF. It is from the book '30: Major League Baseball's Year of the Batter by Ray Zardeito.

Two of the HRs were off of Hall of Famer Red Ruffing. Ruffing was a righty as was Reynolds, so he had no platoon advantage. Ruffing did not give up alot of HRs. In 1929, pitching for the Red Sox, he allowed 17 HRs in 244 IP. In 1930, it was 11 in 221 IP (with 1 in 24 IP with Boston) and in 1931 it was 11 in 237 IP. The other HR Reynolds hit was off of Ken Holloway, another righty. 

Reynolds was 5 for 6 in the game, adding two singles later and he had 8 RBIs.

Here is the cached page from The Baseball Page

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hitting And Scoring Down In July

Data from Baseball Reference


AL BA OBP SLG OPS R/G
April 0.245 0.312 0.399 0.711 3.97
May 0.260 0.324 0.427 0.751 4.74
June 0.270 0.332 0.446 0.779 4.91
July 0.254 0.318 0.416 0.734 4.41












NL BA OBP SLG OPS R/G
April 0.253 0.327 0.410 0.737 4.50
May 0.249 0.315 0.401 0.715 4.16
June 0.256 0.323 0.418 0.741 4.52
July 0.250 0.317 0.409 0.727 4.29