Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter League HBP update

It's about time to take another look at who's getting hit by a lot of pitches in winter ball. Some of these players may be the HBP stars of the future.


Arizona Fall League
NameTeamHBPPlate AppearancesHBP per PA
Casper WellsMesa Solar Sox8960.083
Chris PettitScottsdale Scorpions71640.043
Kevin FrandsenScottsdale Scorpions71520.046
Tyler GreenePeoria Saguaros5990.051
Brian McFallSurprise Rafters3730.041
Eric YoungPhoenix Desert Dogs31220.025
Emmanuel BurrissScottsdale Scorpions3930.032
Kevin RussoPeoria Javelins31230.024
Michael McKenryPhoenix Desert Dogs3980.031
Brandon SnyderSurprise Rafters3720.042
Mike BaxterPeoria Saguaros31010.03



Dominican Winter League
NameTeamHBPPlate AppearancesHBP per PA
Luis TerreroAguilas Cibaenas6780.077
Timo PerezTigres del Licey51420.035
Dusty BrownAzucareros del Este4900.044
Jake FoxTigres del Licey41190.034
Amaury CazanaTigres del Licey41550.026
Erick AybarTigres del Licey31270.024
Esteban GermanAzucareros del Este3840.036



Hawaii Winter League
NameTeamHBPPlate AppearancesHBP per PA
Darin HolcombHonolulu Sharks61100.055
Chris CarterNorth Shore Honu41010.040
Tommy GilesWaikiki Beach Boys4840.048
Todd FrazierWaikiki Beach Boys41160.034
James SkeltonWest Oahu CaneFires3870.034
Cyle HankerdWest Oahu CaneFires31060.028
Matt McBrideNorth Shore Honu31510.020
Mark HallbergWest Oahu CaneFires31360.022
Tony ThomasWaikiki Beach Boys31360.022
Gregory BurnsWest Oahu CaneFires31240.024
Adam LoewenWest Oahu CaneFires3380.079



Mexican Pacific League
NameTeamHBPPlate AppearancesHBP per PA
Carlos GastelumNaranjeros de Hermosillo61660.036
Todd JenningsAguilas de Mexicali61510.040
Brian MyrowVenados de Mazatlan51170.043
John LindseyVenados de Mazatlan41030.039
Jonathan AcevesTomateros de Culiacan41130.035
Kit PellowAlgodoneros de Guasave41160.034
Tike RedmanAlgodoneros de Guasave41660.024
Sergio ContrerasYaquis de Obregon41190.034
Luis CruzYaquis de Obregon41580.025
Cristhian PresichiAlgodoneros de Guasave41720.023



Puerto Rican Winter League
NameTeamHBPPlate AppearancesHBP per PA
John RodriguezCangrejeros de Santurce
5580.086
Joe ThurstonLeones de Ponce
3680.044
Jose LeonLobos de Arecibo3620.048
Luis MatosCriollos de Caguas
2680.029
Jorge PadillaLobos de Arecibo2660.030
Wilfredo QuintanaIndios de Mayaguez
2240.083
Bryan AndersonGigantes de Carolina2340.059
Adam RosalesLobos de Arecibo2640.031



Venezuelan Winter League
NameTeamHBPPlate AppearancesHBP per PA
Brendan KatinAguilas de Zulia71000.070
Jackson MelianLeones del Caracas61160.052
Luis GonzalezCaribes de Anzoategui51390.036
Luis HernandezTiburones de La Guaira31110.027
Richard HidalgoNavegantes del Magallanes31420.021
Jose CastilloLeones del Caracas31090.028
Eliezer AlfonzoCaribes de Anzoategui31260.024
Gorkys HernandezCaribes de Anzoategui3610.049
Luis BolivarAguilas de Zulia3700.043
Jesus MerchanNavegantes del Magallanes3290.103
Jesus GuzmanLeones del Caracas31590.019

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Friday, November 21, 2008

5 year MVPs

Earlier this week, the BBWAA gave out the 2008 MVP awards to Albert Pujols in the National League, and Dustin Pedroia in the American League. Those were some nice choices, but every year we argue about who had the best season and never take a broader look at things. What would happen if they awarded these things based on the last 5 seasons, instead of just the last 1 season? At the least, it might be interesting. 5 years is the approximate length of most players peak production, and it's a pretty popular contract length. Granted, the length of time is arbitrary, and the focus solely on each league will ignore some people who switched leagues but had a great 5 year span, and we're going to ignore pitchers arbitrarily too, but hey, we all know the real MVP voters make up rules as they go along anyway.

So lets take a look at the league leaders in some popular statistical categories, using the combined totals for the past 5 seasons:

HBP leaders - 2004 to 2008
American LeagueNational League
Jason Giambi - 73Chase Utley - 77
Alex Rodriguez - 69Rickie Weeks - 58
Derek Jeter - 60Geoff Jenkins - 52
Reed Johnson - 60Aaron Rowand - 51
David DeJesus - 58Jason LaRue - 50
Grady Sizemore - 53Craig Wilson - 48
Melvin Mora - 49Carlos Delgado - 46
Kevin Millar - 47Matt Holliday - 46
Travis Hafner - 45Craig Biggio - 44
Jose Guillen - 43Brady Clark - 43

Josh Willingham - 43


Hits leaders 2004 to 2008
American LeagueNational League
Ichiro Suzuki - 1143Jimmy Rollins - 943
Michael Young - 1038Albert Pujols - 940
Derek Jeter - 989Juan Pierre - 908
Vladimir Guerrero - 921Matt Holliday - 848
Brian Roberts - 873Jose Reyes - 835
Alex Rodriguez - 869David Wright - 818
Carl Crawford - 867Lance Berkman - 807
Johnny Damon - 867Aramis Ramirez - 804
Raul Ibanez - 852Brian Giles - 798
David Ortiz - 806Chase Utley - 785


Home Run leaders 2004 to 2008
American LeagueNational League
Alex Rodriguez - 208Adam Dunn - 206
David Ortiz - 200Albert Pujols - 205
Paul Konerko - 169Ryan Howard - 177
Manny Ramirez - 163Lance Berkman - 162
Jermaine Dye - 160Aramis Ramirez - 158
Vladimir Guerrero - 158Andruw Jones - 150
Mark Teixeira - 140Pat Burrell - 148
Travis Hafner - 132Carlos Beltran - 140
Justin Morneau - 129Jason Bay - 136
Jason Giambi - 127Carlos Delgado - 133


RBI leader 2004 to 2008
American LeagueNational League
David Ortiz - 626Albert Pujols - 589
Alex Rodriguez - 612Lance Berkman - 530
Vladimir Guerrero - 562Aramis Ramirez - 516
Manny Ramirez - 530Adam Dunn - 500
Justin Morneau - 504Ryan Howard - 488
Raul Ibanez - 483Matt Holliday - 478
Paul Konerko - 479Pat Burrell - 478
Michael Young - 464David Wright - 477
Jermaine Dye - 460Chase Utley - 463
Travis Hafner - 456Carlos Beltran - 461

Miguel Cabrera - 461


Batting Average leaders 2004 to 2008
(2500 AB minimum)
American LeagueNational League
Ichiro Suzuki - .332Albert Pujols - .335
Vladimir Guerrero - .323Matt Holliday - .319
Derek Jeter - .315David Wright - .309
Michael Young - .311Lance Berkman - .305
Johnny Damon - .305Derrek Lee - .304
Alex Rodriguez - .303Aramis Ramirez - .304
Carl Crawford - .299Chase Utley - .301
David Ortiz - .298Juan Pierre - .296
Brian Roberts - .295Jimmy Rollins - .290
Melvin Mora - .292Rafael Furcal - .288



On Base Pct leaders (OBP) 2004 to 2008
(2500 Plate Appearance minimum)
American LeagueNational League
David Ortiz - .403Albert Pujols - .433
Alex Rodriguez - .401Todd Helton - .433
Travis Hafner - .400Lance Berkman - .418
Manny Ramirez - .400Chipper Jones - .416
Vladimir Guerrero - .387Miguel Cabrera - .396
Mark Teixeira - .382David Wright - .389
Gary Sheffield - .382Brian Giles - .386
Derek Jeter - .382Matt Holliday - .386
Magglio Ordonez - .380Derrek Lee - .383
Ichiro Suzuki - .379Pat Burrell - .382



Slugging Pct leaders (SLG) 2004 to 2008
(2500 AB minimum)
American LeagueNational League
David Ortiz - .599Albert Pujols - .632
Manny Ramirez - .573Chipper Jones - .564
Alex Rodriguez - .573Lance Berkman - .559
Vladimir Guerrero - .557Aramis Ramirez - .555
Mark Teixeira - .553Matt Holliday - .552
Travis Hafner - .545Miguel Cabrera - .551
Jermaine Dye - .526Adam Dunn - .534
Paul Konerko - .513Chase Utley - .534
Magglio Ordonez - .508David Wright - .534
Justin Morneau - .503Derrek Lee - .531


OPS (OBP + SLG) leaders 2004 to 2008
American LeagueNational League
David Ortiz - 1.002Albert Pujols - 1.065
Alex Rodriguez - 0.974Chipper Jones - 0.980
Manny Ramirez - 0.973Lance Berkman - 0.977
Vladimir Guerrero - 0.945Miguel Cabrera - 0.947
Travis Hafner - 0.945Todd Helton - 0.946
Mark Teixeira - 0.936Matt Holliday - 0.938
Magglio Ordonez - 0.888David Wright - 0.922
Gary Sheffield - 0.880Aramis Ramirez - 0.921
Paul Konerko - 0.876Adam Dunn - 0.915
Hideki Matsui - 0.873Derrek Lee - 0.914


Taking a look at those numbers, there's a pretty clear choice in the National League - it really jumps off the screen at you, doesn't it? Obviously it has to be - Chase Utley. Sure, Albert Pujols led the 5 year span (pentaseason?) in batting average, OBP, Slugging Pct, OPS, and RBI, and missed the 5 year triple crown by 1 home run, and came in 2nd in total hits for the 5 year span as well, just 3 behind Jimmy Rollins. But Pujols only got hit by 32 pitches. Utley got hit 77 times in 5 years, and that's pretty good, even if it doesn't rank any where near the top 5 year spans in HBP history (Hughie Jennings had 202 in his best 5 years, Ron Hunt had 152, Baylor 123 and Biggio 117). But it was the best in the National League from 2004 to 2008. Aaron Rowand got hit 82 times in that span, but he had 31 of them in the American League. But okay, I can see the argument in favor of Albert Pujols as well. And behind Utley and Pujols, Lance Berkman has had a pretty impressive 5 year run.


In the American League, there are a lot more choices. Jason Giambi led the pentaseason by getting hit by 73 pitches in the AL, but it's not clear if he was still using BALCO brand performance enhancing drugs at that time, which obviously would have inflated his HBP numbers. Also, he hasn't brought much else to the table besides HBPs, unlike Chase Utley in the NL who still made the top 10 in several categories. Then you've got your choice between David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez. I'd pick Ortiz, since he's the only player other than Pujols to but up an OPS above 1.0 for the 5 year span. The 2 World Series rings make his regular seasons seem a little more impressive too. Rodriguez got hit by more pitches, but he also plays for the Yankees and has an annoying nickname, instead of a cool one like Big Papi. Rodriguez had more homers, but Ortiz had more RBI. Rodriguez had more hits and a better average, but not by much, and Ortiz beat him in OBP and Slugging.

The other arguable choice is Ichiro. When people were listing Pedroia's MVP resume this year, many mentioned the he tied Ichiro in hits for 2008. Well nobody tied Ichiro in hits for the span of 2004 to 2008 - nobody in history. The previous record for most hits in a 5 season stretch was 1,142, buy Ichiro from 2003 to 2007. He had one more in 2008 than in 2003, but we seem to forget what he's doing in any season in which he falls short of the single season hits record. Well, he just broke the 5 season hit record this year. Only two other players have ever managed a 5 year stretch with over 1100 hits - Chuck Klein with 1,118 from 1929 to 1933, and Bill Terry with 1103 from 1928 to 1932. Ichiro now has FOUR such pentaseasons, which means the least productive 5 years span of his career was 2002 to 2006 when he only had 1,112 hits. He had 1,130 from 2001 to 2005. That's really just another way to say he's had the best 8 year stretch of hitting ever (by 86 hits). Ichiro is so far ahead of all of his contemporaries in the hits category that if he'd sat out 2004, and had 0 hits instead of setting the single season record with 262, he'd still have 12 more hits than any other player between 2001 and 2008. As it stands, he's 274 hits ahead of Albert Pujols for the most since the beginning of 2001.

So anyway, since Pedroia is the 2008 MVP than the AL must be the small-ball league, it seems like Ichiro would be a good choice for the 2004 to 2008 5 year AL MVP.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hit 6 batters, win an NL Cy Young award

With Tim Lincecum's victory in the National League Cy Young award voting for 2008, we now have three straight years in which the NL Cy winner hit 6 batters that season. Jake Peavy plunked 6 in 2007, and Brandon Web struck 6 batters in 2006. Also, Roger Clemens won the award in 2004 - a season in which he hit 6 batters, so that makes 4 of the past 5 NL Cy Young winners with 6 plunks on the season.

On the other hand though, 13 other pitchers hit 6 batters in the National League in 2008, but did not win the Cy Young Award.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Winter League leaders in hitting batters

You're absolutely right. It is very strange that mlb.com has stats pages for the winter leagues, but doesn't include HBPs for batter or Hit Batters for pitchers, and it is completely unclear why they would leave out such an important stat. It's like they know I've got them covered or something.

Here are the Hit Batters leaders among pitchers in the various winter leagues:


Arizona Fall League
NameTeamHBBatters FacedHB per BF
Rowdy HardySurprise Rafters5770.065
Gaby HernandezPeoria Javelins4790.051
Sergio PerezScottsdale Scorpions4810.049
Jeff SuesScottsdale Scorpions3520.058
Tommy HansonMesa Solar Sox3680.044
Dan CortesSurprise Rafters31010.03
David PattonPhoenix Desert Dogs2440.045
Joe WoermanPeoria Javelins2500.04
Zechry ZinicolaPeoria Saguaros2520.038
Doug FisterPeoria Javelins2530.038
Kelvin PichardoScottsdale Scorpions2550.036
T.J. LargeScottsdale Scorpions2570.035
Kris MedlenMesa Solar Sox2570.035
Andrew LaughterSurprise Rafters2570.035
Eddie KunzPeoria Saguaros2620.032
Carlos TorresPeoria Saguaros2620.032
Shane LindsayPhoenix Desert Dogs2630.032
Bud NorrisScottsdale Scorpions2630.032
Jared HughesScottsdale Scorpions2760.026
Cory VanAllenPeoria Saguaros2780.026
Nick GreenScottsdale Scorpions2810.025
Brooks BrownPhoenix Desert Dogs2810.025
Phil HughesPeoria Javelins2890.022
Kevin PucetasScottsdale Scorpions2940.021
Jeff ManshipPhoenix Desert Dogs21120.018



Dominican Winter League
NameTeamHBBatters FacedHB per BF
Jose AcevedoTigres del Licey3320.094
Anderson GarciaEstrellas de Oriente2180.111
Juan FelicianoAguilas Cibaenas2240.083
Anastacio MartinezEstrellas de Oriente2250.08
Randy ChoateAguilas Cibaenas2340.059
Rafael GarciaAzucareros del Este2480.042
Matt WrightTigres del Licey2650.031
Dustin NippertTigres del Licey2850.024




Hawaii Winter League
NameTeamHBBatters FacedHB per BF
Steve EdlefsenWaikiki Beach Boys6690.087
Chris SalbergWest Oahu CaneFires51140.044
Jason GodinNorth Shore Honu51190.042
Rob HarmonWaikiki Beach Boys4660.061
Scott ShawHonolulu Sharks41080.037
Austin ChamblissHonolulu Sharks3400.075
Johnny VentersHonolulu Sharks31140.026
Cody ScarpettaWest Oahu CaneFires2420.048
Daiki KiyoharaWest Oahu CaneFires2640.031
Matt MeyerNorth Shore Honu2740.027
Moises RoblesWest Oahu CaneFires2770.026
Roy MerrittHonolulu Sharks2850.024
Christopher KissockHonolulu Sharks2850.024
Shawn NottinghamNorth Shore Honu2890.022
Timothy BascomWest Oahu CaneFires2910.022
Josh StinsonHonolulu Sharks2930.022
Fumikazu KimuraWest Oahu CaneFires21030.019
Jose CapellanNorth Shore Honu21090.018
Mitsuo YoshikawaWaikiki Beach Boys21200.017



Mexican Pacific League
NameTeamHBBatters FacedHB per BF
Allan RamirezYaquis de Obregon3500.06
Hugo CastellanosYaquis de Obregon3510.059
Federico CastanedaTomateros de Culiacan3590.051
Scott ChiassonMayos de Navojoa3760.039
Ignacio MontanoAlgodoneros de Guasave3940.032
Juan AcevedoAguilas de Mexicali31310.023
Pablo OrtegaVenados de Mazatlan31560.019
Miguel DuarteAguilas de Mexicali2240.083
Nelson CruzTomateros de Culiacan2400.05
Isidro MarquezYaquis de Obregon2430.047
Alan GuerreroAlgodoneros de Guasave2470.043
Jorge VasquezCaneros de los Mochis2590.034
Adrian RamirezYaquis de Obregon2600.033
Alejandro RiosTomateros de Culiacan2620.032
Sergio ValenzuelaVenados de Mazatlan2670.03
Miguel RamirezNaranjeros de Hermosillo2890.022
Hansel IzquierdoMayos de Navojoa2990.02
Leonardo GonzalezMayos de Navojoa21110.018
Sergio LizarragaTomateros de Culiacan21150.017
Humberto MontemayorAguilas de Mexicali21350.015
Ismael CastilloCaneros de los Mochis21360.015
Brian MazoneYaquis de Obregon21450.014




Venezuelan Winter League
NameTeamHBBatters FacedHB per BF
Harold EckertTiburones de La Guaira4750.053
Kasey OlenbergerBravos de Margarita3620.048
Felix ArellanLeones del Caracas2130.154
Josmir RomeroCardenales de Lara2180.111
Randy NewsomLeones del Caracas2190.105
Edgar GutierrezBravos de Margarita2260.077
Darwin CubillanLeones del Caracas2370.054
Elio SerranoNavegantes del Magallanes2390.051
Yorman BazardoTigres de Aragua2420.048
Rosman GarciaTigres de Aragua2500.04
Brian GordonTiburones de La Guaira2560.036
Tracy ThorpeCardenales de Lara2800.025
Michael TejeraCaribes de Anzoategui2850.024
J.R. MathesLeones del Caracas2860.023
Mike RomanoCardenales de Lara2900.022

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Plunks and Presidential Elections

Much has been written about the historic nature of this years presidential election, because obviously we need to declare right away what's historic or not, rather than leave it for Trigonometry to decide. Or History, if it ever gets around to it. But there's one interesting trend that's being ignored by most of the media, and it actually did NOT hold true for this election.

Prior to this year, when the National League averaged more HBPs per game than the American League in an election year, the Democrats won the white house 71.4% of the time. When the American League got hit more, the Republicans won 63.2% of the time. But this year, the American League got hit by more pitches per game than the National League, 0.36 per game to 0.33 per game, but the Democratic Party's candidate still won the Presidential election.

But it just goes to show you, you can't always use HBP statistics to predict the future. With the American League getting hit by more HBPs per game in 2008, the numbers pointed to a Republican victory in the election, but that's why we vote instead of just picking our president based on plunk statistics (for now).

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