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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SABR MattIf we don't fall out of contention, it will be because Corey Hart and Michael Saunders helped us. Saunders in particular could be a HUGE boost.2 hours 13 min ago
moethedogWe were always going to have a 0-3 or 1-3 stretch. They can't be avoided. Let's hope ours is behind us.2 hours 31 min ago
rick82It does feel that way, but let's see what happens in the next two days. If we steal a game tomorrow, and Felix dominates, we may be feeling different.14 hours 14 min ago
Gordon GrossWe'll see. It's a bad week to have a bad week, but nobody's running away with the 2nd wildcard. We have offensive and pitching reinforcements. We'll see if and how we deploy them, but this is where a manager has to pull the right strings and get a lil lucky. We haven't been lucky the last week. Give it a minute to see if that continues.14 hours 15 min ago
SABR Mattwe are about to swoon out of the race IMHO14 hours 24 min ago
GLSLove to see the M's go after Hammel in the offseason.17 hours 33 min ago
DaddyOThe starting pitching seems to have hit a wall, and except for Ackley's resuscitating 3-run bomb in the final game vs. Washington this offense is again on life support. We are hanging in the Wild Card 2 chase only because our nearest competitors are also struggling. But we are letting more teams creep into the competition. Hope our current struggles are like they've been all year, temporary. What's worrisome is this is the first time the pitching has contributed to the struggles.18 hours 12 min ago
IcebreakerXThe good ship is on fire...19 hours 14 min ago
rick82Grand Slam Quintero should be activated immediately to put fear in the hearts of the Orcs!22 hours 9 min ago
moethedogThe Mariners have placed first baseman Jesus Montero on the suspended list for the remainder of the 2014 season, the team announced. The move comes as no surprise given that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik recently said that Montero wouldn’t play again this year in order to focus on off-the-field issues. Montero’s suspension and Willie Bloomquist being moved to the 60-day DL creates two spots on the team’s 40-man roster that have been filled by catcher Humberto Quintero and right-hander Carson Smith, who had their contracts selected in corresponding moves.22 hours 12 min ago
rick82So nice to see our consolation prize draft pick salvage the weekend of Stasburg, Harper and Rendon.1 day 38 min ago
MtGrizzly‬"I just think he's turned a corner," manager Lloyd McClendon said after Ackley finished 2-for-4 to lift his batting average to .260. "He believes in what he's doing and he's very confident in the type of player he is, and it's showing up in the field."‬1 day 16 hours ago
MtGrizzlyAckley is in a nice zone right now. He's very calm looking in the batter's box, which is nice to see.1 day 16 hours ago
DaddyOWhere would the M's be if the Ackley of July and August was the Ackley we've seen since his rookie year?1 day 17 hours ago
Tacoma RainOh now you have done it... Jinx city... Ackley is about to go zero for thousand1 day 19 hours ago
rick82Ackley is for real. I'm sold. And I didn't think Morales could get even slower. He's an albatross around this offense's neck with his inability to move. He needs more power to justify his spot in this lineup.1 day 19 hours ago
rick82I've taken my grandson to watch 18 innings this week, in which we scored a grand total of 1 run. The problem remains the offense. And last night...James Jones to the rescue? Where's Romero, the guy who's tearing apart AAA? Heck, Ty Kelly, for that matter.1 day 22 hours ago
Tacoma RainAdam Dunn to the A's for minor league relief pitcher.... I wonder how many more moves teams in the playoff hunt will make this year.1 day 23 hours ago
Tacoma RainMaybe our players are tired because of all the travelling and due to the stress of all the close games2 days 13 hours ago
IcebreakerXInteresting that the M's haven't been able to find a way to keep Felix & the starters fresh, even with the extremely awesome bullpen.2 days 15 hours ago