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).

Credits: 

Illustration adapted from Creative Commons

Klat Categories: 

Shoutbox

Please log in or create an account to post shouts.
bsr@StoneLarry: Remember yesterday when #Mariners were on pace to score 5 more runs than last year? Now they're on identical 624-run pace.2 hours 41 min ago
MtGrizzly@RyanDivish: The #Mariners have scored just three runs in their last 37 innings of baseball.2 hours 49 min ago
bsrFor example in today's game, I would absolutely take 2010 Figgy over Endy, PH Hart, JJ, P"H" Romero, Lomo, or Miller. Ackley is hard to decide, but his season line is certainly a lot worse than 2010 Figgy. This is kind of blowing my mind...2 hours 56 min ago
bsrYou know, 2010 Chone Figgins would be a substantial upgrade to this team. A utility guy hitting 260-340-305 with 40+ steals? That is better than most of our daily lineup!3 hours 1 min ago
bsrM's are back to their familiar comfort zone: distant last place in AL team OPS. Last in average, last in OBP - the only team with an OBP <300 - and last in slugging for good measure. 244-298-371. Can't blame it on the park anymore - take out Safeco games and our road OPS would still be 2nd to last in the AL (maybe last after tonight). Year after year after year after year of this...when is it going to improve? So incredibly frustrating.3 hours 6 min ago
bsrAs an addendum / positive note, I was extremely impressed with Seager. He is starting to carry himself like a star and a leader, and playing like one at the plate and in the field. Someday there will be someone else to get on base for those ripped doubles he smacks in brass knuckle pennant fights like we're in. Someday.3 hours 25 min ago
bsrM's fans needed to throw those Oriole home run balls back on the field. Bush league and bad baseball karma, not knowing to do that. Five Seattle people in that stadium came to play pennant race baseball - Seager, Cano, Fat Ichiro, the Arrow, and of course Felix. Everyone else basically came out for a nice night at the ballpark. This is the same Mariners as every year under Jack Z, with one extra star player who never has anyone to drive in, so his batting title performance is wasted. Count me out of watching any more of this torture until we have a real MLB lineup out there.3 hours 29 min ago
bsrA pinch swinger coming in for another pinch swinger! Amazing. Only in Seattle.3 hours 46 min ago
SABR Mattcall me when the Mariners do something relevant...I'm just done with it.3 hours 50 min ago
mojicianAw Crud.3 hours 56 min ago
mojicianSlices are some of my favorite hits. I prefer just fair on the left field line.3 hours 59 min ago
mojicianEngineering. I can see that. Useful science. Like RBIs.4 hours 59 sec ago
bsrMorrison's swing seems engineered for hitting popups to third base. He looks like a golfer hitting slices.4 hours 7 min ago
bsrEven the M's ballgirls are bad. LOL.4 hours 10 min ago
Bat571C'mon JAckZ - engineer us a winner!4 hours 14 min ago
Bat571theory meeting practice is engineering.4 hours 16 min ago
bsrAckley!!! Strikes out in the clutch. Who would have thought.4 hours 18 min ago
Bat571Condor is reportedly throwing balls into a net, so he's a ways away - I doubt we see him before September.4 hours 25 min ago
Bat571If we brought in Castillo, I'd move JJ to 1B (which he played in college and some in the minors) if he gets his OPS ahead of LoMo's or Ackley's. Play the best hand you can!4 hours 28 min ago
mojicianDarn right. What do you call it when theory meets practice? More importantly, when does Condor get back?4 hours 30 min ago