What the Three Numbers Mean

An attempt to make things more intuitive

After putting all the stats together for this series, I realized that (though they made sense for me to calculate) they weren't necessarily "user-friendly."  The toughest thing was that -- for the stats based on the "necessary conversion rate" of "random-y" balls-in-play to "random-y" singles -- "low" was good for hitters and "high" was good for pitchers, which is completely counterintuitive to what we are used to.

That, plus the "Plate Skills" metric (indicator of OBP) was on a completely different scale from the "Production" metric (indicator of SLG).

So, what I have done is converted both those key stats to a scale that is intended to be similar to OPS+, which which most folks are familiar.

The key difference, however, is that for OPS+ the score of "100" is league average.  For prospects, the "100" score is what I have found to be roughly the minimum score for guys with a shot at the majors.

Therefore, for Plate Skills ("Hitter's +/-"), instead of "0" = "100" (which would indicate minor-league average), I set "+1.5" = "100" since that is "roughly genuine prospect minimum."

For Production ("Plausibility Index"), the average was more in the .360 range (higher some years), but I set "100" at .330, which is, again, about as high as one can get and be a reasonable year for an MLB prospect.

The third number is not initially as intuitive, but it is the composite of the two other numbers.  It is determined the same way that OPS+ can be determined from OBP+ and SLG+.

For example, Ichiro's career OBP+ (his OBP/leage avg. OBP) is 112 (.365/.325).  His career SLG+ is 101 (.419/.414).  Those two numbers contribute to his career OPS+ of 113.  It is "+12" plus "+1" that gets you the "+13."   The "100s" don't really matter ... it is the "plus" or the "minus" that matters.

Another example:  Brendon Ryan ... OBP+ of 95 (.306/.323) and SLG+ of 80 (.327/.407).  So that's "-5" and "-20" for a total of "-25", which produces an OPS+ of 75.

So you can always get the third number from the first two, but not by adding or averaging, but by combining the differences from 100 and then taking that combination as a difference from 100.

***

That gives us a series of three numbers: For MLB players ... OBP+, SLG+, OPS+.  For prospects ... Plate Skills, Production, Composite.

***

How to interpret, using examples from MLB vets:

Excellent at everything:  Prince Fielder ... 117-127-144

Not quite as excellent at everything:  David Wright ... 114-120-134

Plate skills, less power:  John Olerud ... 118-111-129

Fewer plate skills, more power:  Giancarlo Stanton ... 106-134-140

Fewer plate skills, not as much power:  Mark Reynolds ... 98-111-109

***

Here are the career scores from the 2012 Mariners veterans:

Miguel Olivo ... 83-100-83 (terrible plate skills, decent power, but not enough to make up for it)

Brendan Ryan ... 95-80-75 (tolerable plate skills, no power, better have a good glove)

Ichiro ... 112-101-113 (his career SLG is a point higher than Olivo's)

Chone Figgins ... 105-87-92 (career totals reflect a classic middle-infielder/leadoff profile, but it didn't happen in Seattle)

Franklin Gutierrez ... 95-94-89 (not bad for a gold-glove CF, really ... if he can stay on the field)

***

OK, I hope that gives you a sense of how the series of numbers works.  If one of the numbers is below 100, then the other number ought to make up for it ... or you'd better have a really good glove.

And for prospects, the 100 is set at the minimal for a guy with a real shot, so 102-100-102 (Kevin Rivers, at age 23 in Low-A) only indicates that he's on the fringe, even if he weren't old for his level (and I'm a Rivers fan).

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Illustration adapted from Creative Commons

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rick82I don't even want a LOOGY, if that LOOGY's name is Furbush.31 sec ago
rick82It's Farquhar, and Leone. Demote those other losers and make them earn their way back.1 min 48 sec ago
GLSWe really need that guy that can build a bridge to the closer late in the game when the score is close. Maybe that's Farquhar, I don't know really. But it sure seems like it isn't Wilhelmsen.4 min 4 sec ago
rick82These are the times that try my patience.7 min 45 sec ago
Gordon GrossLloyd for some reason thinks Wilhelmsen is better than Farquhar.14 min 14 sec ago
Gordon GrossYeah, we don't have to worry about late-season heartbreak with the M's of the last half-decade. They take care of that nonsense early.31 min 19 sec ago
GLSWhy did Lloyd put TW in for the 8th?36 min 49 sec ago
SilentpadnaYour 2011...er 2012...er 2013...er 2014 M's. In a game of inches, we give them all away in April and May. Song remains the same doesn't it? We will squash your hope as early as possible. NFL draft in three weeks.....38 min 54 sec ago
Gordon GrossYour 2014 Ms. In a game of inches we keep coming up a foot short.44 min 25 sec ago
Gordon GrossAnd now, not a strike to be found in all of Marinerland.1 hour 1 min ago
phxterryWhat happened to TW's hot fastball? Now he's throwing 90-94 instead of 94-97. And he still can't throw it for a strike.1 hour 4 min ago
Gordon GrossTom throw 4 strikes and a ball and somehow a runner walks to first. Then he gets a groundball for a double-play or force but we screw that up. If it weren't for bad luck we'd have no luck at all these days.1 hour 5 min ago
moethedogphxterry, it was McClendon who made the Morrison over Saunders call.1 hour 6 min ago
moethedogMatt, I would complain about Gillespie over Saunders, either. but I think the "overmatched" definition is way premature. 6 starts is hardly time to figure that out. What I see in Romero is an aggressive bat, see his ST success, who has become a bit passive in this role. I believe the last three AB's I've seen him have (maybe 3 of 4) he's taken 1st pitch FB's right down the pike. That was the pitch he creamed in ST. I wonder if he's heard the "slow down, kid" line a few times. And with the irregular starts it would be natural for him to press. He's never going to walk much, but I want him to just hit the ball hard. When he's played regularly (MiLB/ST), he's done that. He's in the line of a Viciedo (w/o the huge platoon split: Romero actually hit righties better in AAA) or a Tabata with power. McClendon actually spoke (once) of using him in CF in ST, but it didn't happen. I wouldn't mind seeing if he's got that position in him (he's certainly athletic enough), too.1 hour 10 min ago
moethedogLet's see what we have in Romero. Give him a bunch of games. Just two years ago he destroyed AA and last year, an "injury" year, he held his own in AAA. If it doesn't work out then roll Blash (or Gillespie) into the role. What was it that John Fogerty wrote: "Put him in coach, he's ready to play today?" Well, close. Hey, I know Romero isn't (Stanton or Trout-lite) but I want to see what he is. 20 PA's isn't doing that. He bopped his way onto the Opening Day Roster, let's see him get some reps.1 hour 10 min ago
phxterryGordon - one way to look at Seager's at bat was that it was an improvement over yesterday's strikeout, when he looked at all 3 strikes. At least today he managed to swing at the third strike.1 hour 18 min ago
Gordon GrossSeager, that was abominable. The pitcher could have done better.1 hour 44 min ago
Gordon GrossYep, Leone and Farquhar are the bullpenners I have faith in. Maurer showed his stuff and improved approach - just gotta work him up. It's good that our #8-or-whatever starter has #2 stuff. We just need some of these young arms to stay healthy and help us out. Please?1 hour 59 min ago
SABR MattOh goodie. Joe Beimel.2 hours 7 min ago
SABR MattLord Farquhar being the second.2 hours 16 min ago