We have moved to our new permanent home at HighHeatStats.com!

All existing content will remain, but all new content is posted at our new location.

Comparing the 2011 Freshman Class by League

Posted by John Autin
Here's a quick numerical look at the 2011 freshman class.

2011 Part-time All-Stars

Posted by Andy
Josh Harrison, part-time 2011 NL All-Star third baseman
Icon SMI
Here are the players who played part-time in 2011 (maximum of 100 games) and had the highest WAR per plate appearance by position:

Random game: Sept. 3, 1950

Posted by John Autin
Pittsburgh 12, St. Louis 11 (10 innings)
 
I've never met a box score I didn't like. I happened upon this one by searching for games in which both teams hit at least 3 triples; this was the last time that happened. Let's see what other nuggets lie within....

Why did Andrew Bailey's ERA double in 2011?

Posted by Andy
Andrew Bailey / Icon SMI
The Red Sox's new closer, Andrew Bailey, has some interesting numbers in the last couple of years. He pitched 49 innings in 2010 and 41.2 last year. His BB/9 IP was similar both years (2.4 vs 2.6). His hit rate got a little worse (6.2 to 7.3) and his strikeout rate got a little better (7.7 to 8.9). So, why did his ERA climb from 1.47 to 3.24?


Giving up more triples than homers

Posted by Andy
Jamey Carroll tripling against the Phillies,
while wearing a retro uni, no less
Icon SMI
These days, triples are pretty rare while homers are fairly common. For example, in 2011, teams averaged 0.18 triples and 0.94 homers per game, or about 5 homers for every triple hit.

It follows, then that most pitchers give up more homers than triples, and that has been the case for many, many years.

However, it used to be the case that about once per year, a pitcher would give up at least 10 triples, but fewer homers than triples. It hasn't been done in a long time now, but click through for the list of guys to do it since 1950.

John Paciorek & the career stats for the Houston Colt 45s from 9/29/1963

Posted by Andy
By doing a two-tiered search, we can put up the career stats for the starting 9 players for the Houston Colt 45s in their September 29, 1963 game against the Mets.

Looking for a fantasy baseball expert

Posted by Andy
We're looking for a fantasy baseball expert to partner with us on something. The ideal person has a lot of experience playing in fantasy baseball leagues and hopefully a lot of success too. Email us:

Trivia time #10: 10 triples

Posted by Andy
Question: Who is the only player in the last 60 years to have one season with at least 10 triples but no other seasons with at least 4 triples?

The answer is after the jump.

Single-season WAR leaders for players appearing for 2 teams

Posted by Andy
Keith Hernandez
Icon SMI
In 2011, Hunter Pence put up a memorable third of a season with the Phillies after coming over in a trade. After a good 2.7 WAR with the Astros in the first two-third of the season, he posted an amazing 2.5 with Philadelphia.

Nobody did better in a season involvement movement than Rickey Henderson in 1989, who accumulated 3.3 in 65 games with the Yankees and then 5.3 more in 85 games with the Athletics before leading Oakland to a World Series title.

Here are the season-by-season leaders in WAR among players (batters only) to appear for at least two different teams in the same season.

Most career PITCHING WAR by number of franchises played for

Posted by Raphy
Earlier today, Andy took a look at the batting/fielding leaders in WAR categorized by number of franchises played for.  Here are the Pitching WAR leaders by franchises played for. All leaders are since 1901.

Most triples allowed in a season since 1950

Posted by Andy
At list he didn't make this this while
with the Dodgers, right? / Icon SMI
Player 3B Year Tm IP
Larry Christenson 17 1976 PHI 168.2
Jim Perry 17 1971 MIN 270.0
Tony Cloninger 17 1964 MLN 242.2
Robin Roberts 17 1956 PHI 297.1
Bret Saberhagen 16 1988 KCR 260.2
Paul Thormodsgard 16 1977 MIN 218.0
Chris Short 16 1963 PHI 198.0
Art Ditmar 16 1956 KCA 254.1
Jason Schmidt 15 1999 PIT 212.2
Bob Friend 15 1960 PIT 275.2
Robin Roberts 15 1955 PHI 305.0
Sid Hudson 15 1950 WSH 237.2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: Generated 12/25/2011.

Most career WAR by number of franchises played for

Posted by Andy
All totals are 1901-present and for batters only

Here is the most career WAR for players who played for the given number of franchises:

The best and worst value among batters in 1998 using $WAR

Posted by Andy
Matt Stairs, one of the most productive
batters of 1998 / Icon SMI
Here are the players who produced the most and least value relative to their salaries in 1998. I have followed the same methodology used in my 2011 post, so please read that one for some detail.

The essential details for 1998 are:

  • 562.4 total WAR was accumulated among batters.
  • They had a total payroll of $715,940,318.
  • That's $1.27 million per Win Above Replacement.
  • I used a cutoff of 94 plate appearances to eliminate pitchers.

The most valuable batters of 2011

Posted by Andy
The most valuable batter of 2011
Icon SMI
Following on from the top pitchers post, here are the top batters of 2011 using the same $WAR method I described in the previous post.

In 2011 there were 377 batters with at least 100 plate appearances and a salary appearing on Baseball-Reference's batting player values page. Those guys had a total of 527.5 WAR and a total salary of $1,533,803,248. That works out to $2.91 million per WAR.

The Dodgers make it a clean sweep with both the top pitcher and top batter in $WAR. Read through for the details.







Do-over: The most valuable pitchers of 2011

Posted by Andy
(Thanks very much to Sky Kalkman who provided extremely useful feedback to improve my approach to this analysis.)

Yesterday, I took a stab at rating the value of each pitcher in 2011 by looking at how their WAR compared to their salary. I have revised the approach, which I think gives much more sensible results.

The most valuable pitchers in 2011

Posted by Andy
The most valuable pitcher of 2011
Icon SMI
Here's a look at the pitchers who provided the most value relative to their salaries in 2011.

We'll use Wins Above Replacement as a measure of the value provided. Baseball-Reference.com's replacement level is a W-L% of .320. The estimated total payroll of all teams in 2011 was $2,784,091,291 (yeah, nearly 3 billion dollars...)

In 2011, teams actually won 2,429 games. If all teams had won at a .320 clip, the total number of wins in baseball would have been 1,555. That means that the nearly $2.8 billion payroll bought 874 extra wins. That works out to $3.19 million for each win above replacement registered by teams this year.

For our analysis, it's easier to look at the reciprocal of this number--namely how many Wins Above Replacement each million dollars spent earned. That number (874 wins divided by $2784M) is 0.312 wins per million dollars.

So, we can use this figure--about a third of a win per million spent--to evaluate individual player contributions in terms of their WAR vs. salary.

This is what happens when @robneyer retweets you

Posted by Andy

The worst pitcher contracts in history

Posted by Andy
With the recent record posting fee paid by the Rangers for the right to negotiate with Yu Darvish, my mind keeps turning to Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kei Igawa, two other Japanese players to have been posted to Major League Baseball who haven't performed up to expectations.

In fact, both of Darvish's predecessors have among the worst contracts in history.

Average WAR by Age, 1980s

Posted by John Autin

Here's my second pass at this study, using a different and larger time span (1980s), a lower threshold of inclusion (min. 140 PAs), and excluding first-year players. Once again, this is for position players only.

2012 Career milestones

Posted by Andy
Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com's milestones page, we can see which players have a shot at major career milestones in 2012.

Ivan Rodriguez and Omar Vizquel both need about 150 hits to reach 3,000. It seems unlikely that either will get it, in 2012 or beyond.

Paul Konerko needs just 4 homers for 400. Vladimir Guerrero is 1 homer from 450 and Albert Pujols is 5 from the same mark. Unless one of those guys puts up a monster season, nobody will reach 500 homers in 2012.

Manny Ramirez needs 174 total bases to be the 20th player to reach 5000. I'll go ahead and bet against this happening.

If Alex Rodriguez can get 103 RBI, he'll pass Barry Bonds for 4th all-time behind just Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Cap Anson.

Jose Reyes' next triple will give him 100. The only 3 active players with that many are Jimmy Rollins, Johnny Damon, and Carl Crawford.

Jim Thome is 110 strikeouts behind Reggie Jackson for 1st all-time. I bet that he will never pass Jackson, though.

Roy Halladay needs 12 wins for 200. Tim Wakefield is the winningest active pitcher and he has 200 exactly. We aren't going to see another 300-game winner for a long time--at least 5 years, probably at least 7 or 8.

Livan Hernandez has the most starts of any active pitcher and needs 26 more starts for 500.

Why the heck did the Nationals sign Mike Cameron?

Posted by Andy
Mike Cameron / Icon SMI
The Nationals made a bizarre move by signing Mike Cameron. Granted, it's a minor league deal so there's very little risk, but they can't have very high hopes for him.

Here are the players who, over their Age 37 and 38 seasons, had between 400 and 500 total plate appearances with an OPS+ of 77 to 87:

Only 10 players have played at least 50 games in LF, CF, and RF from 2009-2011

Posted by Andy
Raphy figured out how to get this answer, and here it is:

Rk Player OPS+ G PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BA OBP SLG Tm
1 Carlos Gonzalez 132 361 1495 1346 418 75 19 73 238 62 17 .311 .366 .557 COL
2 Andres Torres 109 326 1138 1007 254 73 17 26 105 51 14 .252 .332 .436 SFG
3 Chris Denorfia 108 214 659 593 162 28 4 14 56 19 10 .273 .335 .405 OAK-SDP
4 Melky Cabrera 101 456 1755 1601 451 99 9 35 197 37 13 .282 .332 .420 NYY-ATL-KCR
5 Cody Ross 101 425 1634 1489 389 90 4 52 207 19 6 .261 .323 .432 FLA-TOT-SFG
6 Reed Johnson 99 278 667 613 171 43 5 11 65 6 4 .279 .325 .419 CHC-LAD
7 Darnell McDonald 96 243 649 581 151 30 5 17 68 12 4 .260 .322 .417 CIN-BOS
8 Gerardo Parra 94 394 1377 1264 357 60 22 16 136 21 8 .282 .331 .403 ARI
9 Willie Harris 90 395 938 787 176 35 8 19 82 21 10 .224 .340 .361 WSN-NYM
10 Roger Bernadina 85 228 803 727 178 31 5 18 74 34 5 .245 .305 .376 WSN
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/19/2011.

Average WAR by Age for 2007-11

Posted by John Autin
The following chart shows the average Wins Above Replacement (B-R method) by age, for the years 2007-11 combined. Only position players with at least 200 PAs in a season were included.

I grouped the ages at the low and high ends in order to have at least 100 players in each group.

Who's got a theory on the 26-year-olds? I double-checked the data; there's no mistake.


P.S. Sorry if anyone can't see the graph. I wish I could include a data table, but I drafted this in one place and I'm finishing it somewhere else, where I don't have access to the data any more.

Trivia Time #9

Posted by John Autin

("Number nine ... number nine ... number nine ...")

These are the only qualifying hitters to achieve a certain statistical combination last year.
Can you name that combination?

(I'd rate this a 4/5 on the difficulty scale, though I generally end up surprised at how quickly my trivia questions get solved.)



(There's no significance to the opening line; I was just having a little flashback fun.)

AND THE ANSWER IS....
As solved by Andrew Nadig, these are the 9 qualified hitters with OPS+ over 100 and WPA less than 0.

Stalled production line

Posted by Andy
The most hits by a team that was shut out in a 9-inning game:

Rk Date Tm Opp PA AB H 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH
1 1928-07-10 (2) CLE WSH 41 38 14 2 1 2 2 0 1
2 2008-08-25 LAD PHI 41 38 13 2 0 3 10 0 0
3 2005-08-31 MIN KCR 37 33 13 2 0 2 5 1 1
4 2005-08-13 COL WSN 42 36 13 1 0 5 7 0 1
5 1993-07-18 PIT ATL 37 37 13 1 0 0 4 0 0
6 1991-06-07 SDP PIT 37 34 13 0 0 1 7 0 2
7 1989-08-15 TEX SEA 41 39 13 1 0 2 7 0 0
8 1973-09-09 MON NYM 40 39 13 1 0 1 3 0 0
9 1968-07-25 PIT CIN 40 37 13 0 0 3 3 0 0
10 1964-07-15 WSA MIN 39 38 13 0 0 1 6 0 0
11 1938-09-17 (1) NYG CHC 38 36 13 1 0 1 6 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/18/2011.

The most runners left on base by a team that was shut out in a 9-inning game:

Rk Date Tm Opp PA AB H 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH LOB
1 1998-05-07 SEA TOR 43 39 11 5 0 3 10 1 0 16
2 1994-05-24 STL PHI 43 35 9 2 0 8 8 0 0 16
3 2011-08-22 CHC ATL 42 35 9 2 0 7 5 0 0 15
4 2008-05-12 (1) ATL PIT 42 36 8 1 0 6 7 0 0 15
5 2005-08-13 COL WSN 42 36 13 1 0 5 7 0 1 15
6 1993-04-09 BAL SEA 42 37 9 5 0 5 10 0 0 15
7 1975-05-12 KCR DET 42 36 9 2 0 5 3 0 1 15
8 1941-08-01 SLB NYY 42 31 5 0 0 11 4 0 0 15
9 1931-07-29 WSH CLE 42 37 10 1 0 5 1 0 0 15
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/18/2011.