Friday, December 2, 2022

Using WAR And The Harmonic Mean To Find The Best Rookie Of The Year Duo

I first thought of just adding up the career WAR of the AL & NL ROY winners for each year. But there could be a pair where one player has a very high WAR and the other a low WAR who might rank high just because of the better player.

The Harmonic Mean prevents extremes from having too much influence. Bill James uses it in his PowerSpeed# based on HRs & SBs. A player has to be balanced to do well.

So my formula here will be

(2*AL*NL)/(AL + NL)

where AL is the career WAR of the AL ROY and NL is the career WAR of the NL Roy. The table below has the top 10.

Year

Name

WAR

NL

WAR

Harmonic

1967

Rod Carew

81.2

Tom Seaver

106

91.96

2001

Ichiro Suzuki

60

Albert Pujols

101.7

75.47

1956

Luis Aparicio

55.9

Frank Robinson

107.2

73.48

1977

Eddie Murray

68.7

Andre Dawson

64.8

66.69

1951

Gil McDougald

40.6

Willie Mays

156.1

64.44

1991

Chuck Knoblauch

44.6

Jeff Bagwell

79.9

57.25

2012

Mike Trout

82.4

Bryce Harper

42.5

56.08

1997

Nomar Garciaparra

44.3

Scott Rolen

70.1

54.29

2006

Justin Verlander

78.1

Hanley Ramirez

38

51.12

1964

Tony Oliva

43

Dick Allen

58.7

49.64

Just missing the top 10 are the 1972 ROYs Carlton Fisk (68.5 WAR) & Jon Matlack (38.9 WAR) with a Harmonic of 49.62 and the 2007 ROYs Dustin Pedroia (51.9 WAR) & Ryan Braun (47.1 WAR) whose Harmonic was 49.38.

It will be interesting to see in the coming years where Harper and Trout finish.

Carew and Seaver, the runaway leaders, of course, both achieved great stardom.

Carew, in addition to being a Hall of Famer, was an 18 time All-Star who won 7 batting titles and was MVP in 1977.

Seaver, also in the Hall, won 3 Cy Young Awards, led the NL in strikeouts 5 times and ERA 3 times. A 12 time All-Star he was the key man on the 1969 miracle Mets.

One more thing, they each achieved a major milestone on Aug. 4, 1985. Carew got his 3,000th hit and Seaver got his 300th win. Steven C. Weiner of SABR has written about this. See See August 4, 1985: Tom Seaver wins his 300th game in New York as Carew reaches 3,000-hit milestone on same day.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Joe DiMaggio Has the Highest Career Home Run to Strikeout Ratio in Road Games and It Is By a Wide Margin

I used Stathead to find all the players who hit at least career 50 HRs in road games and then found their ratios (971 players). Here is the top 25:

Rank

Player

HR

SO

Ratio

1

Joe DiMaggio

213

209

1.02

2

Ernie Lombardi

106

144

0.74

3

Yogi Berra

148

208

0.71

4

Ted Williams

273

388

0.70

5

Sid Gordon

120

180

0.67

6

Stan Musial

223

360

0.62

7

Ted Kluszewski

117

197

0.59

8

Frank McCormick

66

112

0.59

9

Lou Gehrig

242

415

0.58

10

Johnny Mize

147

260

0.57

11

Walker Cooper

102

184

0.55

12

Zeke Bonura

52

99

0.53

13

Babe Ruth

367

717

0.51

14

Henry Aaron

370

729

0.51

15

Goose Goslin

156

311

0.50

16

Eddie Robinson

92

185

0.50

17

Albert Pujols

370

756

0.49

18

Barry Bonds

383

785

0.49

19

Smoky Burgess

59

121

0.49

20

Monte Irvin

56

116

0.48

21

Andy Pafko

115

245

0.47

22

Charlie Gehringer

92

197

0.47

23

Stan Spence

65

140

0.46

24

Mickey Cochrane

57

125

0.46

25

Irish Meusel

50

110

0.45

DiMaggio is about 38% higher than the next highest guy, Lombardi. Now DiMaggio did play in an era without alot of great strikeout pitchers and maybe batters tried alot harder back then just to make contact with two strikes. But to be so far ahead of the second place guys is amazing.

DiMaggio only hit 148 HRs in home games. In his time, left center field in Yankee Stadium was something like 467 feet from home plate. I did a post several years ago that looked at HR/K ratios adjusted for the league average and DiMaggio came in second, with only Ken Williams ahead of him. That did not take park affects into account. Most likely if I could do that, DiMaggio would move up to first (it was only 297 down the line in RF and 344 in the RF power alley in Yankee Stadium, so it helped lefties and DiMaggio batted right handed). See Which Players Had The Best HR-To-Strikeout Ratios?

Just for comparison purposes, Babe Ruth had the highest career slugging percentage which was 8.8% higher than the .634 of second place Ted Williams. Ty Cobb had a .366 career batting average while second place Rogers Hornsby is close behind at .358 (only 2.2% higher). My guess is that there is no other rate stat where the difference between first and second comes close to 38%.

I also looked at all the players with 500+ hits in road games and found their hit to strikeout ratios (1253 players). The highest was Willie Keeler at 14.458 (that only includes games from 1901 on). Joe Sewell is 2nd with 14.131. So Keeler is only 2.3% higher.

Nellie Fox is 3rd with 11.744. If we compare Sewell to Fox so that we have two guys for whom we have all their career data, Sewell is 20% ahead of Fox. Pretty good, but far short of the 38% lead DiMaggio has.