Measuring "Plate Skills"

One last funky stat: "Hitter's +/-"

Once again, to recap our overall philosophy:  PRODUCTION + PLATE SKILLS + AGE-ARC

We got a new stat to measure "Production," which is called "Plausibility Index," which is covered via the "Allegory of the Window."  I felt there needed to be a stat that incorporated both walks and extra-base hits, but also recognized that strikeouts impact Production by reducing the number of balls in play, and, thereby, increasing the necessary conversion rate (the rate of conversion of balls in play to "random-y singles") to a level that may (if it's very high) make offensive success "implausible."

So what about "Plate Skills," the other part of the formula?

Plate Skills can be measured by on-base percentage, or by "eye ratio" (BB / K), or by separate calculations of K% (K / PA) and BB% (BB / PA).  But, here again, I didn't think we were getting the whole picture.  Just like I view strikeouts as a non-trivial part of Production, I view "hitting the ball with authority" as an integral part of Plate Skills.

In other words, it's not just a matter of distinguishing balls from strikes, it's distinguishing a "hitter's pitch" from a "pitcher's pitch."  The latter two may be balls or strikes, so "just" strike-zone judgment is not enough.  When the hitter gets a "hitter's pitch," what is he supposed to do with it?  Hit it!  So, except as it demonstrates the relative ability to avoid strikeouts (by connecting with the ball), "eye ratio" doesn't really cover that part of Plate Skills.

OBP, then, might be better ... except, (1) it doesn't tell you anything about strikeouts, and (2) it can be  mightily affected by our old friend the "random-y single."  As we've noted, the "random-y single" represents a ball hit without authority, and our system treats "random-y singles" as no better than "random-y ball-in-play outs."  Our theory is that the ability to hit "random-y singles" against minor-league pitching doesn't really tell us anything about a prospects likelihood of major-league success.

So, once again, we devised our own stat, which we dubbed "Hitter's +/-

Without going into excruciating detail (well, maybe we already have), we took what appeared to be a reasonable "average" distribution of our six measurable "plate outcomes" from a bunch of major and minor leagues.  [Again -- going back to the Manifesto -- we weren't looking for a "perfect" model, just something "reasonable."]  [The six are walks, strikeouts, home runs, balls hit with authority (2b + 3b), singles (assumed "random-y" per our assumption), and ball-in-play outs (also assumed "random-y").]

Once we had this "normal distribution" of plate outcomes, there is an "expected" OBP resulting therefrom.  It was .295.  If a hitter's results reflected that "normal distribution," he would have a "Hitters +/-" of 0.00, because he would have neither increased nor decreased his "expected" OBP.

OK (maybe?) ...

We then take each plate appearance and measure the difference between that particular plate outcome and the "expected" OBP.  A strikeout drops that PA's expected OBP from .295 to .000, so each strikeout is weighted at -.295.  A home run or a walk increases the "expected" OBP from .295 to 1.000, so they are weighted at +.705.  Balls in play hit with authority (measured as doubles and triples) we calculated (somewhat arbitrarily) to be worth +.225.

Singles and balls in play hit without authority we assume are neither positive nor negative (but "random-y").  Therefore, they neither increase nor decrease the "expected" OBP.  In other words, they don't count in this equation at all.

So ... for a hitter to achieve a positive "+/-" the value of his weighted XBH + BB must exceed the value of his weighted K.  Singles and ball-in-play outs are assumed out of the equation.  If a hitter achieves that positive value, then he is turning the plate appearance to his advantage vis-a-vis the pitcher. 

That last thing, ultimately, is what we are driving at.  The hitter must "play defense" against the pitcher's attack in order to "play offense" against the other team.  The ability to do that is what this stat is driving at.

 

 

Klat Categories: 

Comments

Tacoma Rain's picture

Tacoma Rain

You have not lost me so far... and I do think it makes baseball sense so far from my point of view.

1

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <ul> <ol> <li> <i> <b> <img> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <div> <strong> <p> <br> <u>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Shoutbox

Please log in or create an account to post shouts.
SpectatorSo dead Daddyo that no one's even using the shoutbox. Well here's some news: with the final signing of a player with a qualifying offer, the 2015 draft order is now set. Due to signing Nelson Cruz the M's have no 1st round pick & won't pick until No. 60. Pretty much a crap shoot there, though last time we lacked a true 1st round pick we ended up with Taijuan.10 hours 21 min ago
DaddyOFebruary. The deadest sports month. Since Sonics left, Pro basketball means nothing to me. UW hasn't had a significant men's BB team in years, so the NCAA's don't interest me. The three hardest parts of late winter are when pitchers and catchers report...but there's nothing really going on, and the full squad report date...but there's still nothing really going on, and the start of spring training games...but there's STILL nothing really going on until the Spring Equinox..1 day 19 hours ago
mojicianCaptain America is the king of strategy, but I thought that might be Kuma.3 days 13 hours ago
SABR MattPaxton is clearly thor. Felix is more like a matter of deception...who would qualify Asia that on the avengers?3 days 13 hours ago
mojicianAlso, Felix is like Thor because he has long absences in other dimensions, and only appears every fifth episode or so, but when he does show up he takes over. Of course, you could say that Paxton is Thor, because his trademark is an unstoppable hammer that he smashes guys with.3 days 13 hours ago
mojicianThere is a strong case to be made for Wilhelmson as Hulk. He's the strongest Avenger but he doesn't deal well with everyday pressure, and they don't call him into battle except for the most serious jams. This is probably because the plot would be broken if he were used all the time. Also, Wilhelmson is a nice guy, but you wouldn't like him when he's angry. Plus, he doesn't believe in elaborate pitch sequence strategy. He only knows SMASH.3 days 13 hours ago
mojicianI think Felix should be Thor because his changeup seems to warp space time like one of Thor's Asgaardian artifacts. Not Avengers, but I think Medina should be Superman. This is because the battles are a lot closer of a call than you would guess by looking at his scouting report. Joe Beimel would be Batman, as he packs a lot of swagger for only having a grappling hook and a right cross.3 days 14 hours ago
jemanjiAvengers … Farquhar is more muscle than brain, so Hulk maybe?, though he doesn't physically look it, it's probably the Hulk who'd run his peripherals. Furbush as that guy who fires arrows from rooftops? Sort of an assassin-sling guy who stands out there rather detached from retribution, hard to see from where you stand, and whose pitches are rather pointy and stingy as they come in. Bullpen Taijuan as Thor? Leone as Black Widow, a character of reasonable effectiveness you don't see coming? :: shrug :: y' got me. No idea :- ) Mojo could take this stuff into hyperspace ...3 days 14 hours ago
jemanjiMatt, we pray that your career (and Gordon's, and Jonez') will be blessed up to and including NYT bestseller list. Go get 'em bro'. … Gordon, if and when SSI hits your priority / spare time bar we'll be looking' forward to it. Here's to your return from the netherworld. :: daps ::3 days 14 hours ago
MtGrizzlyGood luck, Matt! Kindle?3 days 15 hours ago
SABR MattI just completed the second novella-length story going into my first ever self-published novel...throwing myself into the writing junket full time and feeling quite inspired...wish me luck!3 days 16 hours ago
Gordon GrossUpdate from beyond: remember when I said my hours were coming back down and I would be posting a lot more. Yeah... moved to a different department thanks to someone quitting abruptly, so my hours are back up to 65+ a week. That said, we've convinced them to hire another person so I'm still trying to get down to Spring Training next month, and my work schedule should be lightening the load in a couple weeks. Fingers crossed. Pitchers and catchers report soon!3 days 22 hours ago
SABR MattHelp me out here, guys - I'm not a Marvel expert, but I want to take Doc up on his challenge to match Mariner relievers to their best-fit Avengers. I already placed Rodney as Hawkeye (shoot that arrow into the sky), Wilhelmson as Iron Man (off-color lifestyle as the bartender, self-made comeback story), and Dominic Leone as Captain America (kind of a golden boy - unassuming figure, but a ton of unexpected power). what else you folks got?4 days 47 min ago
SABR MattI see Olivera as a HUGE piece for us...if we get him...he replaces Zobrist as the guy who play around the diamond...i want that4 days 15 hours ago
jemanjiBaseball America comes out with its Handbook and Dr. D scanned the list to see if there were any major tweaks he'd make. None jumped out until he hit the #30 slot.4 days 16 hours ago
jemanjiGuys - there's a chat thread up for yer. :: tight smile that doesn't reach the eyes ::4 days 16 hours ago
SpectatorBA ranked Ibanez as the No. 6 Cuban player and Olivera as the No. 8. Olivera is 6-2, 220 and has "above-average power" -- http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/hector-olivera-showcase-report/ Ibanez is 5-10, 183 and is a "promising young hitter" -- http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/dont-sleep-andy-ibanez-next-cuban-bonus-pool-buster/4 days 16 hours ago
SpectatorBaseball America via MLBTR ... both Jack Z AND Kevin Mather fly to Dominican to watch Cubans Hector Olivera and Andy Ibanez work out. Both primarily play second. Olivera is 29 and could play third or corner OF (per BA). Ibanez is 21 and BA sez he's likely to fit best at 2b. So they wonder why Mather and Z are there after signing Cano and Seager to long-term deals. Gotta wonder if they had other business there. http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/mariners-president-gm-scout-hector-olivera-andy-ibanez/4 days 16 hours ago
GLSIs it the third world poor you're concerned about? What to do about third world development in the era of climate change is a sinkhole of muddy, unclear policy prescriptions. The problems in those countries are often a mixture of social/political and economic and adding increased resource scarcity to the mix is like adding gasoline to a fire. As an example, there's a strong case to be made that the problems in Syria started because of drought.4 days 17 hours ago
SABR MattDoc - it's alright. Terry was just trying to tick me off and I said everything I needed to say in reply. :) If y'all want to have a larger discussion about Catholicism, I'd be happy to chime in, but I don't feel a particular need to start said discussion. :)4 days 17 hours ago