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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misterjonezThat does seem to have become a 'must' at this point, Griz. Before, they could have theoretically punted and been ~ok, but now without their most productive OF from 2014 (on a per-AB basis, anyway) they're really going to need to solidify one of the corners. I suppose Melky could do.3 hours 8 min ago
MtGrizzlyJack had better land an OF now.4 hours 41 min ago
misterjonezAgreed on trading Walker andpicking up one of the three aces (I'd be ok with Shields) but that would work well. Still, it's a little more aggressive than even the FO seemed to signal they were willing to be this offseason. If it netted us Kemp+Shields/Lester/Scherzer, though...nah, that's probably too much money. Not sure I see an MLB-ready COF that could make an impact this year that's available. Souza, maybe, but he's no sure thing...I dunno. Happ for Saunders is interesting, but it really does call a few things into question.5 hours 3 min ago
IcebreakerXGo Blue Jays.5 hours 15 min ago
SilentpadnaDoc, site is all out of whack today....Originally tried to put the shout below into the "paradox" post comment section. No luck. Logging in is tough.... navigation not responding....just an FYI - as if you needed it.6 hours 2 min ago
SilentpadnaGet Lester or Sherzer. The offense ain't a juggernaut of course. If you can't give in to the con artists who want your aces, you always have alternatives. There are two sitting out there right now. They have the cash earmarked, which is useless until they deploy it. So deploy it. Get me some Scherzer or Lester. Cool by me. Then, if you have to trade Walker, you make THEM add the sweeteners.6 hours 4 min ago
GrumpyBlarg.6 hours 19 min ago
moethedogIf we trade Walker for one year of Upton and we don't win a World Series I'm going to cry out loud. One year of Upton? Justin Upton is very nice. Not THAT nice.6 hours 35 min ago
moethedogMe thinks he dith protest too much. Well..."dith" probably isn't a word. It's as close to the past tense of "doth" as I can come up with. I just get the sense he and the Skipper had it out in private one time.6 hours 46 min ago
mojicianI don't get what the Mariners had against Saunders. He was a 1. Fan Favorite, with 2. The coolest nickname on the team, 3. He was worth the arbitration money that he was owed next year, even if he only played 70 games, he slotted as a fourth outfielder like peas and carrots. I also don't get why he complained about playing time when he had an advanced injury history. Maybe behind closed doors, the Condor squawked too much. Or something.8 hours 10 min ago
Tacoma RainThe $7 to 10 million in this market probably buys you one whale of a pitcher... be it Masterson or Liriano or ....8 hours 14 min ago
Tacoma RainLast point... with the winter meetings happening in a couple days, why not wait to see if you could get more? Was Jack actually worried that Happ was the best he could do for Saunders? in this offense starved market?8 hours 17 min ago
mojicianGood point Tacoma. Condor had better not dive for anything in Toronto.8 hours 18 min ago
moethedogI would like to dislike this move, as Daddy does, but I can't bring myself to. I don't like it, mind you. But moving Saunders for something not-terrific was a fait accompli a while back. If we move Taijuan for Kemp now, well....I won't know what to say. With guys available for lesser things, I think I would dislike that move. To tell you the truth....you could probably get Craig for a very affordable amount. Now that I would be WAY in for! Will take Souza, BTW....and grin ear-to-ear. Gordon is probably right about Kivlehan, he's not ready "now." The question is whether he would be ready by June 1st? On that, I will not bet against him. In fact, I would bet a fair sum on him.8 hours 19 min ago
Tacoma RainBy the way, if Saunders and his $3.5M salary are worth Happ and his $6.7M salary... then Jack should be able to trade Erasmo for Allen Craig or Victorino & cash.8 hours 26 min ago
Tacoma RainHow much does Jack hate Saunders to send his beaten up body to the astro-turf in Toronto. There is no way Saunders will survive 50 games per year actually played in Toronto.8 hours 27 min ago
DaddyOBy itself I do NOT like this move. My only hope is that other larger but related moves make how I feel about this one irrelevant. Say, for example, that we get Kemp at a greatly reduced cost in exchange for Walker. I don't want to give up Walker...if we do Kemp should come with some very serious salary offset.8 hours 38 min ago
Bat571I've really wanted Kemp, but not if it costs Taijuan or any of the other "core" guys (Taijuan, Paxton, Miller, Zunino). D.J. I'm less attached to, especially now that Seager has been extended. But if the Ms could get Souza for Ackley (to play 2B for the Nats), and they could sign Melky for ~4/$60M, it probably is better now than getting Kemp at the price they're talking. And "scrap-heap" is what Happ is - once a prized prospect, now likely Noesi redux. Bleeeccchh!!! Go get Melky, Z, and lets get the Dominican dancing going in the 'Pen.8 hours 39 min ago
Gordon GrossI swear, if they trade Taijuan because they got a scrap-heap #5 pitcher and we don't get a juggernaut, I'm gonna be... upset. Yes, Safeco will help Happ with his flyball problem. That's not a good enough reason for trading the baby wunderkind. Especially not if it's in this ludicrous Walker + DJ + other stuff deal for Kemp. Kemp had better cost us about a buck-forty-seven in salary if that's the case.8 hours 49 min ago