More BACON – with plunks

August 25th, 2009 by pbr

Some number of years ago, baseball stats people decided that they liked On-Base Percentage and they liked Slugging Percentage, and that they’d like them even better if they just added the two of them together. And that’s why we have something called OPS now which is the sum of two averages, those being the average total bases per at-bat, and the average times a batter didn’t make an out per times he was trying not to make an out. (Sacrifice bunts aren’t included in the On-Base Percentage calculation because presumably the batter wasn’t trying to not make an out).

So I figure if I can accomplish a similar goal (confusing matters) by combining the all-important HBP stat, and the recently-made-up batting consistency stat named BACON. But, since one is a counting stat and the other is a percentage, we can’t really just add them, so we’ll be multiplying them together. Because… well, why not. This will give us a relative measure of which players are both good at getting hit by pitches, and good at being consistent batters. Of course the hard part is coming up with a good name, and I’m not sure I really want to call it “BACON & Beans”. Lets just call that a work in progress.

Here are the top players in 2009 BACON times plunks:

Player HBP BACON HBP x BACON
Chase Utley (Phillies) 18 0.716 12.89
Kelly Shoppach (Indians) 18 0.539 9.70
Ryan Garko (Giants) 13 0.741 9.63
Brandon Inge (Tigers) 14 0.662 9.27
Shin-Soo Choo (Indians) 13 0.709 9.22
Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox) 12 0.728 8.74
Josh Willingham (Nationals) 12 0.688 8.26
Ryan Braun (Brewers) 10 0.765 7.65
Miguel Tejada (Astros) 10 0.735 7.35
Marlon Byrd (Rangers) 9 0.785 7.07
Andre Ethier (Dodgers) 10 0.700 7.00
Jason Kendall (Brewers) 11 0.632 6.95
Mark Teixeira (Yankees) 9 0.761 6.85
Carlos Quentin (White Sox) 11 0.608 6.69
Nyjer Morgan (Nationals) 9 0.719 6.47
Paul Konerko (White Sox) 9 0.702 6.32
Russell Branyan (Mariners) 9 0.687 6.18
Clint Barmes (Rockies) 10 0.608 6.08
Aaron Rowand (Giants) 9 0.674 6.07
Yunel Escobar (Braves) 8 0.757 6.06
Matt Holliday (Cardinals) 8 0.751 6.01
Placido Polanco (Tigers) 8 0.749 5.99
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) 7 0.836 5.85
Carlos Pena (Rays) 9 0.649 5.84
Juan Pierre (Dodgers) 8 0.729 5.83
Nick Johnson (Marlins) 8 0.724 5.79
Prince Fielder (Brewers) 8 0.722 5.78
David Eckstein (Padres) 8 0.714 5.71
Kevin Kouzmanoff (Padres) 9 0.633 5.70
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) 8 0.702 5.62

As you can see, this looks a lot like the list of league leaders in HBPs with just a few variations, but that’s okay. After all, we need to keep focused on what’s important here. Chase Utley has a pretty commanding lead in this category, with Kelly Shoppach in dang
er of drifting into third place even though he’s tied with Utley in HBPs. He has a little more trouble when he actually has to use his bat.

Shoppach is the only one on the list with a really bad score on the BACON (sub .600), and that could have something to do with a general connection between HBPs and BACON (for people not named Kelly Shoppach). BACON measures the ratio between a players total batting average, and his batting average excluding games in which he has no hits. And, 58.4% of HBPs occur in games in which the batter who is plunked also has at least one hit. So, batters with high BACON will have more games in which they have at least one hit, and therefor more games in which they’re likely to get hit by a pitch. Either that or batters who have been hit by a lot of pitches have faced a good variety of pitchers who aren’t very good, which gives them a chance to drive up their batting average along with their BACON. Or, none of this really makes any sense and just looks like it does because it has a nice chart with a list of numbers. If I threw in a pie chart it would be totally and completely clear, but the mixture of BACON and pie sounds dangerous.

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3 Responses to “More BACON – with plunks”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I really like BACON as a stat. To the point that I think you should keep a spreadsheet or leaderboard or something similar linked to this.

  2. pbr says:

    Thanks, I'll work on that. I should be able to do it – maybe on a new page since the bruise board doesn't offer a lot space to list out the BACON components.

  3. Anonymous says:

    BACON & egg(-shaped welt)s!

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