Archive for November, 2008

Winter League HBP update

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

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

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
Casper Wells Mesa Solar Sox 8 96 0.083
Chris Pettit Scottsdale Scorpions 7 164 0.043
Kevin Frandsen Scottsdale Scorpions 7 152 0.046
Tyler Greene Peoria Saguaros 5 99 0.051
Brian McFall Surprise Rafters 3 73 0.041
Eric Young Phoenix Desert Dogs 3 122 0.025
Emmanuel Burriss Scottsdale Scorpions 3 93 0.032
Kevin Russo Peoria Javelins 3 123 0.024
Michael McKenry Phoenix Desert Dogs 3 98 0.031
Brandon Snyder Surprise Rafters 3 72 0.042
Mike Baxter Peoria Saguaros 3 101 0.03

Dominican Winter League

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
Luis Terrero Aguilas Cibaenas 6 78 0.077
Timo Perez Tigres del Licey 5 142 0.035
Dusty Brown Azucareros del Este 4 90 0.044
Jake Fox Tigres del Licey 4 119 0.034
Amaury Cazana Tigres del Licey 4 155 0.026
Erick Aybar Tigres del Licey 3 127 0.024
Esteban German Azucareros del Este 3 84 0.036

Hawaii Winter League

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
Darin Holcomb Honolulu Sharks 6 110 0.055
Chris Carter North Shore Honu 4 101 0.040
Tommy Giles Waikiki Beach Boys 4 84 0.048
Todd Frazier Waikiki Beach Boys 4 116 0.034
James Skelton West Oahu CaneFires 3 87 0.034
Cyle Hankerd West Oahu CaneFires 3 106 0.028
Matt McBride North Shore Honu 3 151 0.020
Mark Hallberg West Oahu CaneFires 3 136 0.022
Tony Thomas Waikiki Beach Boys 3 136 0.022
Gregory Burns West Oahu CaneFires 3 124 0.024
Adam Loewen West Oahu CaneFires 3 38 0.079

Mexican Pacific League

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
Carlos Gastelum Naranjeros de Hermosillo 6 166 0.036
Todd Jennings Aguilas de Mexicali 6 151 0.040
Brian Myrow Venados de Mazatlan 5 117 0.043
John Lindsey Venados de Mazatlan 4 103 0.039
Jonathan Aceves Tomateros de Culiacan 4 113 0.035
Kit Pellow Algodoneros de Guasave 4 116 0.034
Tike Redman Algodoneros de Guasave 4 166 0.024
Sergio Contreras Yaquis de Obregon 4 119 0.034
Luis Cruz Yaquis de Obregon 4 158 0.025
Cristhian Presichi Algodoneros de Guasave 4 172 0.023

Puerto Rican Winter League

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
John Rodriguez Cangrejeros de Santurce 5 58 0.086
Joe Thurston Leones de Ponce 3 68 0.044
Jose Leon Lobos de Arecibo 3 62 0.048
Luis Matos Criollos de Caguas 2 68 0.029
Jorge Padilla Lobos de Arecibo 2 66 0.030
Wilfredo Quintana Indios de Mayaguez 2 24 0.083
Bryan Anderson Gigantes de Carolina 2 34 0.059
Adam Rosales Lobos de Arecibo 2 64 0.031

Venezuelan Winter League

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
Brendan Katin Aguilas de Zulia 7 100 0.070
Jackson Melian Leones del Caracas 6 116 0.052
Luis Gonzalez Caribes de Anzoategui 5 139 0.036
Luis Hernandez Tiburones de La Guaira 3 111 0.027
Richard Hidalgo Navegantes del Magallanes 3 142 0.021
Jose Castillo Leones del Caracas 3 109 0.028
Eliezer Alfonzo Caribes de Anzoategui 3 126 0.024
Gorkys Hernandez Caribes de Anzoategui 3 61 0.049
Luis Bolivar Aguilas de Zulia 3 70 0.043
Jesus Merchan Navegantes del Magallanes 3 29 0.103
Jesus Guzman Leones del Caracas 3 159 0.019

5 year MVPs

Friday, November 21st, 2008

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

Hits leaders 2004 to 2008

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

Home Run leaders 2004 to 2008

American League National League
Alex Rodriguez – 208 Adam Dunn – 206
David Ortiz – 200 Albert Pujols – 205
Paul Konerko – 169 Ryan Howard – 177
Manny Ramirez – 163 Lance Berkman – 162
Jermaine Dye – 160 Aramis Ramirez – 158
Vladimir Guerrero – 158 Andruw Jones – 150
Mark Teixeira – 140 Pat Burrell – 148
Travis Hafner – 132 Carlos Beltran – 140
Justin Morneau – 129 Jason Bay – 136
Jason Giambi – 127 href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/delgaca01.shtml">Carlos Delgado – 133

RBI leader 2004 to 2008

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

Batting Average leaders 2004 to 2008
(2500 AB minimum)

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

On Base Pct leaders (OBP) 2004 to 2008
(2500 Plate Appearance minimum)

American League National League
David Ortiz – .403 Albert Pujols – .433
Alex Rodriguez – .401 Todd Helton – .433
Travis Hafner – .400 Lance Berkman – .418
Manny Ramirez – .400 Chipper Jones – .416
Vladimir Guerrero – .387 Miguel Cabrera – .396
Mark Teixeira – .382 David Wright – .389
Gary Sheffield – .382 Brian Giles – .386
Derek Jeter – .382 Matt Holliday – .386
Magglio Ordonez – .380 Derrek Lee – .383
Ichiro Suzuki – .379 Pat Burrell – .382

Slugging Pct leaders (SLG) 2004 to 2008
(2500 AB minimum)

American League National League
David Ortiz – .599 Albert Pujols – .632
Manny Ramirez – .573 Chipper Jones – .564
Alex Rodriguez – .573 Lance Berkman – .559
Vladimir Guerrero – .557 Aramis Ramirez – .555
Mark Teixeira – .553 Matt Holliday – .552
Travis Hafner – .545 Miguel Cabrera – .551
Jermaine Dye – .526 Adam Dunn – .534
Paul Konerko – .513 Chase Utley – .534
Magglio Ordonez – .508 David Wright – .534
Justin Morneau – .503 Derrek Lee – .531

OPS (OBP + SLG) leaders 2004 to 2008

American League National League
David Ortiz – 1.002 Albert Pujols – 1.065
Alex Rodriguez – 0.974 Chipper Jones – 0.980
Manny Ramirez – 0.973 Lance Berkman – 0.977
Vladimir Guerrero – 0.945 Miguel Cabrera – 0.947
Travis Hafner – 0.945 Todd Helton – 0.946
Mark Teixeira – 0.936 Matt Holliday – 0.938
Magglio Ordonez – 0.888 David Wright – 0.922
Gary Sheffield – 0.880 Aramis Ramirez – 0.921
Paul Konerko – 0.876 Adam Dunn – 0.915
Hideki Matsui – 0.873 Derrek 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.

Hit 6 batters, win an NL Cy Young award

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

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.

Winter League leaders in hitting batters

Monday, November 10th, 2008

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

Name Team HB Batters Faced HB per BF
Rowdy Hardy Surprise Rafters 5 77 0.065
Gaby Hernandez Peoria Javelins 4 79 0.051
Sergio Perez Scottsdale Scorpions 4 81 0.049
Jeff Sues Scottsdale Scorpions 3 52 0.058
Tommy Hanson Mesa Solar Sox 3 68 0.044
Dan Cortes Surprise Rafters 3 101 0.03
David Patton Phoenix Desert Dogs 2 44 0.045
Joe Woerman Peoria Javelins 2 50 0.04
Zechry Zinicola Peoria Saguaros 2 52 0.038
Doug Fister Peoria Javelins 2 53 0.038
Kelvin Pichardo Scottsdale Scorpions 2 55 0.036
T.J. Large Scottsdale Scorpions 2 57 0.035
Kris Medlen Mesa Solar Sox 2 57 0.035
Andrew Laughter Surprise Rafters 2 57 0.035
Eddie Kunz Peoria Saguaros 2 62 0.032
Carlos Torres Peoria Saguaros 2 62 0.032
Shane Lindsay Phoenix Desert Dogs 2 63 0.032
Bud Norris Scottsdale Scorpions 2 63 0.032
Jared Hughes Scottsdale Scorpions 2 76 0.026
Cory VanAllen Peoria Saguaros 2 78 0.026
Nick Green Scottsdale Scorpions 2 81 0.025
Brooks Brown Phoenix Desert Dogs 2 81 0.025
Phil Hughes Peoria Javelins 2 89 0.022
Kevin Pucetas Scottsdale Scorpions 2 94 0.021
Jeff Manship Phoenix Desert Dogs 2 112 0.018

Dominican Winter League

Name Team HB Batters Faced HB per BF
Jose Acevedo Tigres del Licey 3 32 0.094
Anderson Garcia Estrellas de Oriente 2 18 0.111
Juan Feliciano Aguilas Cibaenas 2 24 0.083
Anastacio Martinez Estrellas de Oriente 2 25 0.08
Randy Choate Aguilas Cibaenas 2 34 0.059
Rafael Garcia Azucareros del Este 2 48 0.042
Matt Wright Tigres del Licey 2 65 0.031
Dustin Nippert Tigres del Licey 2 85 0.024

Hawaii Winter League

Name Team HB Batters Faced HB per BF
Steve Edlefsen Waikiki Beach Boys 6 69 0.087
Chris Salberg West Oahu CaneFires 5 114 0.044
Jason Godin North Shore Honu 5 119 0.042
Rob Harmon Waikiki Beach Boys 4 66 0.061
Scott Shaw Honolulu Sharks 4 108 0.037
Austin Chambliss Honolulu Sharks 3 40 0.075
Johnny Venters Honolulu Sharks 3 114 0.026
Cody Scarpetta West Oahu CaneFires 2 42 0.048
Daiki Kiyohara West Oahu CaneFires 2 64 0.031
Matt Meyer North Shore Honu 2 74 0.027
Moises Robles West Oahu CaneFires 2 77 0.026
Roy Merritt Honolulu Sharks 2 85 0.024
Christopher Kissock Honolulu Sharks 2 85 0.024
Shawn Nottingham North Shore Honu 2 89 0.022
Timothy Bascom West Oahu CaneFires 2 91 0.022
Josh Stinson Honolulu Sharks 2 93 0.022
Fumikazu Kimura West Oahu CaneFires 2 103 0.019
Jose Capellan North Shore Honu 2 109 0.018
Mitsuo Yoshikawa Waikiki Beach Boys 2 120 0.017

Mexican Pacific League

Name Team HB Batters Faced HB per BF
Allan Ramirez Yaquis de Obregon 3 50 0.06
Hugo Castellanos Yaquis de Obregon 3 51 0.059
Federico Castaneda Tomateros de Culiacan 3 59 0.051
Scott Chiasson Mayos de Navojoa 3 76 0.039
Ignacio Montano Algodoneros de Guasave 3 94 0.032
Juan Acevedo Aguilas de Mexicali 3 131 0.023
Pablo Ortega Venados de Mazatlan 3 156 0.019
Miguel Duarte Aguilas de Mexicali 2 24 0.083
Nelson Cruz Tomateros de Culiacan 2 40 0.05
Isidro Marquez Yaquis de Obregon 2 43 0.047
Alan Guerrero Algodoneros de Guasave 2 47 0.043
Jorge Vasquez Caneros de los Mochis 2 59 0.034
Adrian Ramirez Yaquis de Obregon 2 60 0.033
Alejandro Rios Tomateros de Culiacan 2 62 0.032
Sergio Valenzuela Venados de Mazatlan 2 67 0.03
Miguel Ramirez Naranjeros de Hermosillo 2 89 0.022
Hansel Izquierdo Mayos de Navojoa 2 99 0.02
Leonardo Gonzalez Mayos de Navojoa 2 111 0.018
Sergio Lizarraga Tomateros de Culiacan 2 115 0.017
Humberto Montemayor Aguilas de Mexicali 2 135 0.015
Ismael Castillo d> Caneros de los Mochis 2 136 0.015
Brian Mazone Yaquis de Obregon 2 145 0.014

Venezuelan Winter League

Name Team HB Batters Faced HB per BF
Harold Eckert Tiburones de La Guaira 4 75 0.053
Kasey Olenberger Bravos de Margarita 3 62 0.048
Felix Arellan Leones del Caracas 2 13 0.154
Josmir Romero Cardenales de Lara 2 18 0.111
Randy Newsom Leones del Caracas 2 19 0.105
Edgar Gutierrez Bravos de Margarita 2 26 0.077
Darwin Cubillan Leones del Caracas 2 37 0.054
Elio Serrano Navegantes del Magallanes 2 39 0.051
Yorman Bazardo Tigres de Aragua 2 42 0.048
Rosman Garcia Tigres de Aragua 2 50 0.04
Brian Gordon Tiburones de La Guaira 2 56 0.036
Tracy Thorpe Cardenales de Lara 2 80 0.025
Michael Tejera Caribes de Anzoategui 2 85 0.024
J.R. Mathes Leones del Caracas 2 86 0.023
Mike Romano Cardenales de Lara 2 90 0.022

Plunks and Presidential Elections

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

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).