Posts Tagged ‘spamstat’

Would people like RBI better if they worked like this?

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Stats people and sabrmetric followers have a long history of not really like the RBI stat. Most people probably realize now that getting big numbers in RBIs has as much to do with being in the right spot in the batting order, and getting lots of opportunities with runners on base as it has to do with any particular skill at hitting. At least that’s how the theory goes. But what if we really wanted to know which players are best at driving in runs? You could look at splits like OPS with runners in scoring position, but OPS doesn’t consider a sacrifice fly to be a positive contribution, even though there are most likely some cases where batters step to the plate trying to hit a long fly ball, that will at worst be a sacrifice fly. I like the idea of trying to measure how successful the batter is at the thing the batter is trying to do, and I think driving in runs is one of those things a batter is trying to do more often than not. OBP measures what batters are trying to do some of the time. Slugging percentage usually doesn’t, or more batters would be trying to stretch hits into doubles and triples.
So how can we measure how well batters drive in runs after we already know some batters get a lot more opportunities than others? It’s not that big a mystery – measure the success against the opportunities. For example, Buster Posey had 20 plate appearances with no outs and a runner on third. The runner on third scored as a result of 16 of those plate appearances. That’s the most in both those categories. Obviously he never would have driven in 16 runners from 3rd base if he hadn’t had 20 opportunities, but how often does a runner on third score league wide? 53.9% of the time. There were 2709 plate appearances in 2012 with a runner on 3rd and no outs, and the runner on 3rd scored on 1459 times. So if average batters had been in those positions 20 times, instead of Buster Posey, only 10.78 runs would have been driven in from 3rd. So Posey was 48% better at driving in runners from third than the league average.
Using that same method, we can put an expected RBI value on each runner on base for every plate appearance for every batter. Add up the RBIs, add up the expected RBIs and divide actual by expected to see which batters are the best at driving in runs. (Ignoring the scoring decisions where the runner scored with no rbi awarded, because that just confuses things)
Here are the weights for each runner, based on what actually happened in 2012:

Outs Batter Runner on 1st Runner on 2nd Runner on 3rd
0 0.029 0.050 0.133 0.539
1 0.026 0.048 0.147 0.484
2 0.026 0.052 0.170 0.221

As you can see, batters scored on about 3% of plate appearance regardless of how many outs there were in the inning, and the number of outs don’t matter much to how often runners on 1st score. But runners on 2nd base have a slight advantage with 2 outs, and runners on 3rd obviously score less often with 2 outs because the sacrifice is no longer an option.  To get the expected RBI for each plate appearance, just got to the right number of outs, and add up the value in the chart based on what bases have runners.  Batting with 1 out and none on base gives a value of .026.  Batting with no outs and runners on 1st and 3rd gives an expected RBI value of .618.  If we add those all up for a player’s entire season, we can see who had the most opportunities to drive in runs.

You probably won’t be shocked to hear that Miguel Cabrera finished first in expected RBI in the American League – the situations he batted in this year add up to 88.38 from the base runner values above.  Basically, if an average batter hit in all the situations Cabrera hit in this year, the average batter would have driven in about 88 runs.  But Cabrera drove in 139 runs, so he was about 57% better at driving in runs.  His RBI/eRBI is 1.572.

On the other hand, Hunter Pence finished first in expected RBI in the nation league, with 94.1.  Pence batted with 541 runners on base during his plate appearances, and 281 of them were in scoring position.  Cabrera only had 248 runners in scoring position when he batted.  And the results for Pence were only 105 actual RBI.  His RBI/eRBI is 1.116, telling us he’s only 11.6% better than average for driving in runs.  But he’s still above average.  Pence’s world series teammate and playoff hero Marco Scutaro wasn’t quite so effective in the regular season.  His plate appearances add up to 80.5 expected RBI, but he only drove in 74 runs.  That puts his RBI/eRBI at only 0.920.  But he made up for it in the postseason.

RBI/eRBI is kind of a weird thing to write – and since I already have home-made stats named Bacon, SPAM, HAM, and PORK, it’s only logical that this stat be name Spare Rib to fit into the suite of sabermeatrics.

Anyway, here’s this 2012 Spare Rib leaders for players with over 500 plate appearances:

Batter Actual RBI Expected RBI Spare Rib
Josh Hamilton 128 79.246 1.615
Edwin Encarnacion 110 69.16 1.591
Miguel Cabrera 139 88.385 1.573
Garrett Jones 86 58.042 1.482
Ryan Braun 112 75.817 1.477
Alfonso Soriano 108 73.623 1.467
Chris Davis 85 58.368 1.456
Giancarlo Stanton 86 59.86 1.437
Mark Trumbo 95 67.5 1.407
Allen Craig 91 64.852 1.403
Curtis Granderson 106 77.257 1.372
Mike Trout 83 61.122 1.358
Yoennis Cespedes 82 60.409 1.357
Adrian Gonzalez 108 80.093 1.348
Prince Fielder 108 80.531 1.341
Chase Headley 115 85.829 1.34
Adam Dunn 96 71.821 1.337
Aramis Ramirez 105 78.732 1.334
Billy Butler 107 80.565 1.328
Miguel Montero 88 66.551 1.322
Andrew McCutchen 96 73.317 1.309
Torii Hunter 92 70.426 1.306
Matt Wieters 83 64.251 1.292
A.J. Pierzynski 77 59.683 1.29
Cody Ross 81 62.833 1.289
Dayan Viciedo 78 60.8 1.283
Jason Kubel 90 70.269 1.281
Adrian Beltre 103 81.057 1.271
Yadier Molina 76 60.128 1.264
Josh Willingham 110 87.182 1.262
Alex Rios 91 72.16 1.261
Albert Pujols 104 82.937 1.254
Ryan Zimmerman 95 75.888 1.252
Ike Davis 90 72.038 1.249
Carlos Beltran 97 77.675 1.249
Ian Desmond 73 58.537 1.247
Kendry Morales 73 58.78 1.242
Pedro Alvarez 85 68.849 1.235
Adam LaRoche 100 81.282 1.23
Andre Ethier 89 72.722 1.224
Chris Johnson 76 62.111 1.224
Nelson Cruz 90 73.625 1.222
David Wright 93 76.335 1.218
Matt Holliday 102 83.995 1.214
Buster Posey 103 85.041 1.211
Kyle Seager 86 71.294 1.206
Jay Bruce 99 82.123 1.206
Nick Swisher 93 77.231 1.204
Kevin Youkilis 60 50.034 1.199
Adam Jones 82 68.461 1.198
Corey Hart 83 69.645 1.192
Mark Reynolds 69 58.989 1.17
Carlos Gonzalez 85 72.715 1.169
Aaron Hill 85 72.874 1.166
Paul Goldschmidt 82 70.688 1.16
Mark Teixeira 84 72.887 1.152
Neil Walker 69 59.902 1.152
Colby Rasmus 75 65.386 1.147
Frederick Freeman 93 81.712 1.138
Robinson Cano 93 81.858 1.136
Jason Heyward 82 72.658 1.129
B.J. Upton 78 69.316 1.125
Jimmy Rollins 68 60.597 1.122
David Freese 79 70.492 1.121
David Murphy 61 54.522 1.119
Paul Konerko 75 67.155 1.117
Hunter Pence 105 94.099 1.116
Coco Crisp 46 41.692 1.103
Mike Moustakas 73 66.18 1.103
Hanley Ramirez 91 82.563 1.102
Ben Zobrist 74 67.306 1.099
Josh Reddick 85 78.802 1.079
Mike Aviles 60 56.568 1.061
Michael Saunders 57 53.931 1.057
Dan Uggla 79 75.047 1.053
Alexei Ramirez 73 69.646 1.048
Ryan Doumit 75 72.213 1.039
Austin Jackson 66 64.214 1.028
Brandon Phillips 77 74.931 1.028
Joe Mauer 85 82.774 1.027
Delmon Young 74 72.594 1.019
Martin Prado 72 70.816 1.017
Howie Kendrick 67 65.913 1.016
Melky Cabrera 60 59.215 1.013
Bryce Harper 59 58.454 1.009
Gordon Beckham 60 59.78 1.004
Starlin Castro 78 77.791 1.003
Brett Lawrie 48 47.925 1.002
Jason Kipnis 77 77.006 1
Dexter Fowler 53 53.327 0.994
Justin Morneau 77 77.818 0.989
Carlos Santana 76 76.835 0.989
Dustin Pedroia 65 65.971 0.985
Asdrubal Cabrera 66 67.064 0.984
Carlos Lee 77 79.143 0.973
Alberto Callaspo 53 54.493 0.973
Dan Murphy 65 66.874 0.972
Ian Kinsler 72 74.416 0.968
Jhonny Peralta 63 65.334 0.964
J.J. Hardy 68 70.579 0.963
Brennan Boesch 54 56.135 0.962
Kelly Johnson 55 58.356 0.942
Alejandro De Aza 50 53.206 0.94
Jordan Pacheco 54 57.767 0.935
Shin-Soo Choo 67 71.905 0.932
Jesus Montero 62 66.984 0.926
Justin Upton 67 72.44 0.925
Eric Hosmer 61 66.001 0.924
Carlos Pena 61 66.299 0.92
Marco Scutaro 74 80.46 0.92
Alex Gordon 72 78.988 0.912
Casey Kotchman 55 60.498 0.909
A.J. Ellis 52 58.018 0.896
Drew Stubbs 40 44.925 0.89
Michael Young 67 75.903 0.883
Alex Rodriguez 57 64.64 0.882
Justin Smoak 51 57.89 0.881
David DeJesus 50 56.999 0.877
Omar Infante 53 60.518 0.876
Michael Bourn 57 65.847 0.866
Norichika Aoki 50 58.624 0.853
Yonder Alonso 62 72.926 0.85
Desmond Jennings 47 55.983 0.84
Danny Espinosa 56 67.105 0.835
Michael Brantley 60 72.563 0.827
Elvis Andrus 62 75.18 0.825
Derek Jeter 58 70.73 0.82
Rafael Furcal 48 58.907 0.815
Angel Pagan 56 69.607 0.805
Ichiro Suzuki 55 68.397 0.804
Jose Reyes 57 70.958 0.803
Jeff Francoeur 49 61.4 0.798
Denard Span 41 51.44 0.797
Rickie Weeks 63 79.094 0.797
Yunel Escobar 51 64.601 0.789
Jon Jay 40 51.324 0.779
Shane Victorino 55 70.878 0.776
Dustin Ackley 50 64.597 0.774
Darwin Barney 44 58.258 0.755
Erick Aybar 45 60.046 0.749
Alcides Escobar 52 72.829 0.714
Jose Altuve 37 52.522 0.704
Zack Cozart 35 49.957 0.701
Cameron Maybin 45 64.896 0.693
Jamey Carroll 40 60.084 0.666
Ben Revere 32 55.833 0.573
Ruben Tejada 25 45.109 0.554
Jemile Weeks 20 47.026 0.425

You can see right in the middle there, it turns out Jason Kipnis is that average batter I was talking about above. The runners on base when he batted scored at pretty much exactly the same rate as the major league average.

It turns out managers are pretty good at getting their players who are best at driving in runs into the middle of the order – here’s what the Spare Rib totals look like by batting order position:
4th – 1.154
3rd – 1.138
5th – 1.114
6th – 1.002
7th – 0.969
2nd – 0.931
8th – 0.837
1st – 0.831
9th – 0.652

Team SPAM update

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

The Astros have are remarkably consistent hitters, as a group, for a team with a record that bad.
Here’s the current standings for SPAM (the stat) for all 30 teams:

Team SPAM 15 PA
hitless streaks
longest hitless streak
Padres 3.81 31 26
Nationals 3.79 24 42
Mariners 3.75 26 25
Indians 3.69 19 36
Phillies 3.65 21 38
Marlins 3.65 19 37
Rays 3.61 17 27
Braves 3.57 25 26
Pirates 3.56 20 30
A’s 3.52 20 32
Giants 3.51 26 34
Dodgers 3.49 21 33
Angels 3.49 20 29
Rockies 3.47 17 31
Blue Jays 3.45 23 30
White Sox 3.38 16 31
Diamondbacks 3.36 14 30
Orioles 3.36 18 28
Yankees 3.35 21 24
Twins 3.35 17 24
Cubs 3.29 16 33
Reds 3.28 20 23
Cardinals 3.26 16 37
Red Sox 3.23 18 33
Brewers 3.16 11 29
Mets 3.09 18 22
Royals 3.08 17 22
Tigers 3.07 15 26
Rangers 3.02 14 28
Astros 2.99 9 19

2011 SPAM

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

It seems like it’s about time to update everyone on how the league’s batters are doing in SPAM – my sabermeatric stat used to measure which batters are prone to slump (Slump Proneness Analytic Metric). Basically the way this is calculated is that we take every plate appearance for each batter, excluding intentional walks, and calculate how many consecutive plate appearances they’ve had at that point without a hit. Then we take the average of all of them. So if you imagine that your favorite play by play announcer said every time your favorite batter came to bat “he’s gone hitless in his last {some number} plate appearances”, and you took all of those throughout the year and averaged them, that’s how we get SPAM. I high number is bad… like Raul Ibanez, who managed to go 40 consecutive plate appearances without a hit earlier this year has a SPAM of 5.90 – so on average, Ibanez has been on a 5.90 plate appearance hit-less slump. Wilson Betemit, on the other hand, hasn’t gone longer than 7 plate appearances without a hit all year. His SPAM is 1.93.

Here are this years SPAM scores through May 30, 2011:

Batter SPAM Plate
Appearances
15PA
Slumps
Longest
Slump
Adam LaRoche – WSH 6.67 177 2 32
Raul Ibanez – PHI 5.90 207 1 40
Chris Iannetta – COL 5.37 165 3 26
Mark Reynolds – BAL 5.33 203 2 26
Chone Figgins – SEA 5.31 208 2 27
Carlos Santana – CLE 5.24 195 2 26
Brian Roberts – BAL 5.16 178 1 32
Adam Dunn – CWS 5.10 203 4 16
Miguel Olivo – SEA 5.01 175 1 28
Nick Swisher – NYY 4.71 200 2 24
Danny Espinosa – WSH 4.56 207 4 17
Ian Kinsler – TEX 4.52 233 2 23
Hanley Ramirez – FLA 4.49 206 3 20
Carlos Pena – CHC 4.44 184 1 22
John Buck – FLA 4.38 180 3 16
Alex Rios – CWS 4.30 220 1 26
Ryan Howard – PHI 4.29 227 2 26
Mark Ellis – OAK 4.24 200 1 18
Sam Fuld – TB 4.23 201 1 23
Ryan Ludwick – SD 4.18 215 2 24
Ian Desmond – WSH 4.12 201 2 19
Ben Francisco – PHI 4.10 180 1 23
Carlos Gonzalez – COL 4.09 216 1 29
Daric Barton – OAK 4.07 222 2 19
Peter Bourjos – LAA 4.02 212 1 25
Aubrey Huff – SF 4.01 213 1 21
Dan Uggla – ATL 4.00 227 1 17
Juan Rivera – TOR 3.99 197 2 19
Austin Jackson – DET 3.93 229 1 21
Torii Hunter – LAA 3.93 240 2 19
Ryan Raburn – DET 3.90 166 2 16
David Wright – NYM 3.88 171 1 23
Colby Rasmus – STL 3.86 224 1 26
Gordon Beckham – CWS 3.83 190 1 16
Nate McLouth – ATL 3.78 194 1 23
Kevin Youkilis – BOS 3.76 211 1 24
Chris Getz – KC 3.71 173 0 13
Brendan Ryan – SEA 3.71 169 1 24
Dustin Pedroia – BOS 3.70 241 2 19
Andrew McCutchen – PIT 3.69 226 2 17
Carl Crawford – BOS 3.66 219 1 16
Chris Young – ARI 3.66 238 1 22
Shin-Soo Choo – CLE 3.62 214 2 21
Danny Valencia – MIN 3.60 207 1 21
Russell Martin – NYY 3.59 171 1 19
Brett Gardner – NYY 3.58 173 2 16
B.J. Upton – TB 3.56 204 2 17
Alcides Escobar – KC 3.53 203 1 16
Frederick Freeman – ATL 3.50 206 3 17
Miguel Tejada – SF 3.50 193 1 16
Michael Stanton – FLA 3.48 194 2 17
Kelly Johnson – ARI 3.48 220 1 20
Jose Tabata – PIT 3.46 197 0 14
David Murphy – TEX 3.45 182 1 18
Mark Trumbo – LAA 3.44 189 1 21
Ben Zobrist – TB 3.44 220 1 19
Brandon Inge – DET 3.41 174 1 15
Bobby Abreu – LAA 3.38 240 1 18
Chris Coghlan – FLA 3.37 225 1 18
Mark Teixeira – NYY 3.37 230 1 21
Brennan Boesch – DET 3.35 191 2 16
Omar Infante – FLA 3.33 216 1 15
Derrek Lee – BAL 3.33 175 0 12
Chris Johnson – HOU 3.31 183 0 14
Chase Headley – SD 3.31 196 1 19
Jack Cust – SEA 3.30 185 1 16
Troy Tulowitzki – COL 3.29 218 1 16
David DeJesus – OAK 3.29 200 1 15
Carlos Quentin – CWS 3.29 219 0 14
Nick Markakis – BAL 3.27 230 0 14
Lance Berkman – STL 3.26 183 1 19
Prince Fielder – MIL 3.24 225 1 19
Jayson Werth – WSH 3.23 221 0 13
Lyle Overbay – PIT 3.23 197 1 16
Justin Smoak – SEA 3.20 194 1 15
Yunel Escobar – TOR 3.20 231 1 18
Carlos Gomez – MIL 3.19 191 0 14
Dexter Fowler – COL 3.18 235 1 15
Matt Wieters – BAL 3.17 175 2 17
Jason Bartlett – SD 3.16 205 1 17
Neil Walker – PIT 3.12 218 2 19
Justin Upton – ARI 3.10 229 1 17
Adrian Beltre – TEX 3.10 225 0 14
Justin Morneau – MIN 3.08 196 0 12
Maicer Izturis – LAA 3.07 200 2 17
Albert Pujols – STL 3.06 239 1 15
Chipper Jones – ATL 3.05 206 0 14
Andre Ethier – LAD 3.04 214 1 25
Derek Jeter – NYY 3.04 237 1 17
Ronny Cedeno – PIT 3.04 169 0 13
Hideki Matsui – OAK 3.03 175 0 10
Matt LaPorta – CLE 3.02 168 0 11
Adam Jones – BAL 3.01 209 1 15
Jack Hannahan – CLE 2.99 169 0 11
Orlando Cabrera – CLE 2.98 193 1 16
Yuniesky Betancourt – MIL 2.97 189 0 12
Carlos Lee – HOU 2.97 209 1 17
Cameron Maybin – SD 2.96 198 0 11
Curtis Granderson – NYY 2.92 225 0 12
Elvis Andrus – TEX 2.88 224 1 16
Paul Konerko – CWS 2.88 236 0 13
A.J. Pierzynski – CWS 2.88 187 0 13
Corey Patterson – TOR 2.87 192 1 19
Buster Posey – SF 2.86 182 1 16
James Loney – LAD 2.86 203 0 13
Stephen Drew – ARI 2.86 187 1 15
Juan Pierre – CWS 2.84 249 0 14
Drew Stubbs – CIN 2.84 248 1 15
Aramis Ramirez – CHC 2.84 200 0 14
Jhonny Peralta – DET 2.84 184 1 19
Miguel Montero – ARI 2.83 183 0 14
Michael Cuddyer – MIN 2.82 193 0 14
Gaby Sanchez – FLA 2.81 226 0 12
Jamey Carroll – LAD 2.81 208 1 18
Alexei Ramirez – CWS 2.80 234 0 14
Erick Aybar – LAA 2.77 187 1 21
Michael Brantley – CLE 2.76 206 0 14
Josh Willingham – OAK 2.76 195 0 13
Brett Wallace – HOU 2.74 193 0 13
Johnny Damon – TB 2.67 210 0 13
Cliff Pennington – OAK 2.66 192 0 11
Casey McGehee – MIL 2.66 221 0 11
Jimmy Rollins – PHI 2.61 244 0 13
Jay Bruce – CIN 2.61 224 0 10
Miguel Cabrera – DET 2.59 217 1 17
Alex Gordon – KC 2.58 238 0 12
Coco Crisp – OAK 2.58 197 0 10
Ichiro Suzuki – SEA 2.58 237 0 13
Martin Prado – ATL 2.55 252 1 15
Michael Bourn – HOU 2.55 234 0 11
Alex Rodriguez – NYY 2.54 208 0 14
Yadier Molina – STL 2.52 180 0 12
Matt Kemp – LAD 2.52 223 0 12
Carlos Beltran – NYM 2.51 203 0 11
Kurt Suzuki – OAK 2.50 191 0 10
Brian McCann – ATL 2.49 197 0 13
Jonathan Herrera – COL 2.48 178 0 9
Placido Polanco – PHI 2.48 232 0 13
Mitchell Moreland – TEX 2.47 176 0 14
Dan Murphy – NYM 2.47 172 0 12
Alex Gonzalez – ATL 2.46 214 0 11
Matt Holliday – STL 2.42 177 1 17
Marlon Byrd – CHC 2.41 182 1 16
David Ortiz – BOS 2.40 217 0 12
Alfonso Soriano – CHC 2.39 184 0 11
Melky Cabrera – KC 2.38 235 0 10
Ryan Theriot – STL 2.38 205 0 10
Jeff Francoeur – KC 2.38 222 0 10
Alberto Callaspo – LAA 2.37 212 0 12
Asdrubal Cabrera – CLE 2.37 231 0 12
Hunter Pence – HOU 2.36 238 0 13
Darwin Barney – CHC 2.34 206 1 15
Billy Butler – KC 2.32 219 0 10
Jacoby Ellsbury – BOS 2.32 236 1 15
Starlin Castro – CHC 2.30 229 0 13
Denard Span – MIN 2.29 231 0 11
Howie Kendrick – LAA 2.29 196 0 11
Rickie Weeks – MIL 2.29 242 0 9
Brandon Phillips – CIN 2.28 230 0 10
Shane Victorino – PHI 2.27 172 0 11
Jed Lowrie – BOS 2.25 173 0 10
Freddy Sanchez – SF 2.23 213 0 11
Joey Votto – CIN 2.22 237 0 10
Seth Smith – COL 2.20 165 0 10
Robinson Cano – NYY 2.17 214 0 12
Vladimir Guerrero – BAL 2.17 215 0 10
Jose Bautista – TOR 2.16 204 0 10
Ryan Braun – MIL 2.16 230 0 11
Adrian Gonzalez – BOS 2.11 239 0 11
Matthew Joyce – TB 2.11 179 0 11
Michael Young – TEX 2.00 227 0 9
Todd Helton – COL 1.99 169 0 11
Wilson Betemit – KC 1.93 172 0 7
Jason Kubel – MIN 1.86 216 0 8
Jose Reyes – NYM 1.79 241 0 8

NOTE: This stat named SPAM is not affiliated with the fine canned meat products made by the Hormel corporation. But if you’re ever in Austin Minnesota, you should visit the SPAM museum. Also, this stat will not be emailed to you without your consent, as far as I know.

SPAM update – with HAM

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

It’s been a while since I posted a huge mass of data here, so below is the full list of SPAM data for everyone over 400 plate appearances this year. And then below that, there’s the full list of HAM data for everyone over 400 PAs this year. HAM, which I just made up, is what happens if you use the same technique we use for SPAM, but measure consecutive plate appearance hitting streaks, instead of hitless streaks. So, it stands for Hitstreak Analysis Metric, or Hitstreak Average Metric – or just for Josh Hamilton who is leading the league in it. Basically you take every plate appearance, assign it a number for how long a hitting streak the player is on (0 for a non hit), add all those up and divide by the total plate appearances. Big numbers are good for HAM, but bad for SPAM. Also, from here on I’m excluding intentional walks any time I use the term “plate appearances”, just because I like it better that way for this calculation, and I don’t want to keep saying “PA minus IBB” or anything like that.

Anyway, Troy Tulowitzki is showing the most outstanding SPAM this season at 2.004. He’s never had a hitless streak longer than 11 plate appearances. He doesn’t really go on big consecutive PA hitting streaks, but he’s really good at not falling into a slump and going hitless for any significant length of time. He’s gone 10 consecutive plate appearances just twice all season, so if the Rockies make the playoffs, he’s a guy who’s probably not going to go 0 for a series.

On the other end of the scale is Carlos Pena, with a SPAM over 5. He seems very prone to falling into long slumps, though it might just be that he’s been a .203 batter this year, and those aren’t slumps so much as the regular hitless gaps of a .203 hitter.

Albert Pujols has been the most slumpy of the batters who are still batting over .300 with a 2.89 SPAM. Lastings Milledge is half a SPAM better than that with a 2.39 and a .280 batting average. He’s the least slump prone of the under-.300 batters. The major league total batting average in 2010 has been about .258, and Alfonso Soriano has been the least slump prone of the below average hitters with a 2.79 SPAM and a .256 average.

On the HAM side, Josh Hamilton has been hamtastic with a .498 HAM, with Carlos Gonzalez following him at .485. Gonzalez and Matt Holliday have both had 3 different streaks of hitting safely in 5 or more plate appearances. Casey McGehee needs to be mentioned here as well for getting a hit in 9 straight plate appearances – that’s the longest streak this year.

2010 SPAM
(400 PA minimum – excluding IBBs)

Batter SPAM 15+ PA
hitless
streaks
Longest hitless
streak (PAs)
Batting Average
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) 2.004 0 11 .325
Adrian Beltre (BOS) 2.143 0 12 .328
Josh Hamilton (TEX) 2.152 1 16 .361
Miguel Cabrera (DET) 2.164 1 17 .333
Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) 2.203 0 13 .310
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) 2.227 1 17 .341
Omar Infante (ATL) 2.233 1 15 .340
Joe Mauer (MIN) 2.260 0 12 .330
Vladimir Guerrero (TEX) 2.280 0 13 .305
Billy Butler (KC) 2.285 0 11 .312
Scott Podsednik (KC) 2.376 0 13 .310
Lastings Milledge (PIT) 2.391 1 15 .280
Paul Konerko (CWS) 2.428 0 14 .323
Starlin Castro (CHC) 2.430 1 17 .312
Robinson Cano (NYY) 2.435 0 14 .322
Hunter Pence (HOU) 2.467 0 13 .285
Austin Jackson (DET) 2.477 0 14 .301
Matt Holliday (STL) 2.481 2 18 .307
Ryan Zimmerman (WSH) 2.483 0 12 .302
Alexei Ramirez (CWS) 2.484 0 12 .283
Skip Schumaker (STL) 2.501 0 11 .271
Ryan Braun (MIL) 2.504 1 19 .306
Michael Young (TEX) 2.520 1 15 .290
Marlon Byrd (CHC) 2.527 0 13 .300
Placido Polanco (PHI) 2.533 0 14 .300
Hanley Ramirez (FLA) 2.539 0 12 .301
Nick Markakis (BAL) 2.559 3 17 .292
Corey Hart (MIL) 2.565 0 13 .279
Martin Prado (ATL) 2.575 2 16 .314
Michael Cuddyer (MIN) 2.586 1 15 .272
Angel Pagan (NYM) 2.605 1 15 .292
Alex Rios (CWS) 2.607 0 14 .288
Julio Borbon (TEX) 2.622 1 17 .274
Casey McGehee (MIL) 2.626 1 16 .283
Adrian Gonzalez (SD) 2.635 2 18 .308
Torii Hunter (LAA) 2.654 1 15 .291
Joey Votto (CIN) 2.660 1 18 .320
Victor Martinez (BOS) 2.674 1 20 .290
Kevin Youkilis (BOS) 2.678 0 13 .307
Jose Reyes (NYM) 2.680 1 21 .287
Delmon Young (MIN) 2.685 2 16 .297
Carl Crawford (TB) 2.686 2 16 .302
Howie Kendrick (LAA) 2.697 1 16 .273
Ryan Theriot (CHC) 2.736 1 15 .284
Andres Torres (SF) 2.762 1 15 .269
David Murphy (TEX) 2.763 1 17 .287
Gaby Sanchez (FLA) 2.773 1 17 .279
Cody Ross (FLA) 2.781 2 19 .265
Alfonso Soriano (CHC) 2.787 1 17 .256
Jerry HairstonJr. (SD) 2.791 1 17 .246
Jeff Keppinger (HOU) 2.792 2 15 .291
Ryan Howard (PHI) 2.804 1 16 .279
David Eckstein (SD) 2.812 1 17 .270
Roger Bernadina (WSH) 2.818 0 11 .259
James Loney (LAD) 2.830 1 15 .278
Ian Desmond (WSH) 2.831 1 21 .279
Miguel Tejada (BAL) 2.845 1 17 .269
Trevor Crowe (CLE) 2.863 0 13 .247
Marco Scutaro (BOS) 2.864 1 24 .274
Albert Pujols (STL) 2.889 2 20 .307
Evan Longoria (TB) 2.892 2 24 .294
Ian Stewart (COL) 2.894 1 15 .264
Jose Lopez (SEA) 2.896 0 12 .237
Nick Swisher (NYY) 2.902 2 18 .289
Orlando Cabrera (CIN) 2.902 2 19 .271
Pablo Sandoval (SF) 2.905 2 16 .263
Brandon Phillips (CIN) 2.933 2 18 .275
Nyjer Morgan (WSH) 2.943 0 14 .258
Adam LaRoche (ARI) 2.946 2 19 .263
Carlos Lee (HOU) 2.949 1 20 .245
A.J. Pierzynski (CWS) 2.959 2 16 .270
Shane Victorino (PHI) 2.967 2 18 .265
Jason Heyward (ATL) 2.987 2 16 .287
Rajai Davis (OAK) 2.990 1 20 .267
Shin-Soo Choo (CLE) 2.996 3 19 .286
Orlando Hudson (MIN) 3.008 2 17 .275
Yuniesky Betancourt (KC) 3.010 1 22 .258
Adam Jones (BAL) 3.016 4 22 .283
Alex Rodriguez (NYY) 3.019 3 21 .270
Luke Scott (BAL) 3.021 1 17 .281
Scott Rolen (CIN) 3.026 1 21 .292
Chase Utley (PHI) 3.027 1 16 .274
Freddy Sanchez (SF) 3.033 1 15 .288
Jorge Posada (NYY) 3.049 1 18 .256
Matt Kemp (LAD) 3.050 2 19 .250
Aubrey Huff (SF) 3.055 3 19 .292
David Ortiz (BOS) 3.056 2 23 .262
Derek Jeter (NYY) 3.057 3 18 .262
Fred Lewis (TOR) 3.058 1 18 .260
Ike Davis (NYM) 3.060 1 20 .261
Mark Ellis (OAK) 3.070 2 19 .276
Prince Fielder (MIL) 3.073 2 19 .271
Andre Ethier (LAD) 3.079 4 19 .288
Andrew McCutchen (PIT) 3.079 2 15 .277
Melky Cabrera (ATL) 3.089 2 17 .258
Josh Willingham (WSH) 3.094 0 14 .268
Juan Pierre (CWS) 3.095 4 18 .275
Ty Wigginton (BAL) 3.096 2 19 .252
Jason Kubel (MIN) 3.104 3 19 .254
Gordon Beckham (CWS) 3.124 2 17 .252
Jayson Werth (PHI) 3.139 2 23 .288
Ryan Doumit (PIT) 3.142 1 15 .257
Jay Bruce (CIN) 3.150 2 18 .275
Mike Napoli (LAA) 3.158 1 16 .244
Chase Headley (SD) 3.158 2 27 .263
Johnny Damon (DET) 3.166 2 16 .272
Alcides Escobar (MIL) 3.204 1 22 .242
Dan Uggla (FLA) 3.211 3 20 .283
Raul Ibanez (PHI) 3.214 3 18 .266
Denard Span (MIN) 3.243 2 23 .267
Vernon Wells (TOR) 3.247 3 23 .272
J.D. Drew (BOS) 3.255 2 16 .257
David Wright (NYM) 3.261 4 17 .288
Rickie Weeks (MIL) 3.265 2 20 .262
Jason Kendall (KC) 3.270 2 23 .256
Brian McCann (ATL) 3.274 2 19 .275
Stephen Drew (ARI) 3.282 2 25 .275
Matt Wieters (BAL) 3.286 3 20 .260
Jonny Gomes (CIN) 3.294 1 21 .260
Yadier Molina (STL) 3.312 2 20 .258
Michael Bourn (HOU) 3.326 6 18 .261
Derrek Lee (CHC) 3.327 1 15 .251
Chris Young (ARI) 3.359 2 24 .260
Adam Dunn (WSH) 3.379 2 20 .266
Hideki Matsui (LAA) 3.384 3 21 .271
Brett Gardner (NYY) 3.398 3 18 .280
Kelly Johnson (ARI) 3.410 3 25 .272
Erick Aybar (LAA) 3.417 5 16 .254
Daric Barton (OAK) 3.430 3 24 .277
Curtis Granderson (NYY) 3.433 2 21 .247
Bobby Abreu (LAA) 3.441 3 18 .249
Juan Uribe (SF) 3.444 2 26 .254
Casey Blake (LAD) 3.461 4 18 .253
Clint Barmes (COL) 3.465 2 20 .233
Juan Rivera (LAA) 3.468 2 24 .250
B.J. Upton (TB) 3.472 3 18 .237
Kurt Suzuki (OAK) 3.482 2 25 .242
Todd Helton (COL) 3.489 3 16 .253
Franklin Gutierrez (SEA) 3.510 4 24 .247
Elvis Andrus (TEX) 3.550 5 30 .276
Kevin Kouzmanoff (OAK) 3.574 3 32 .256
Aramis Ramirez (CHC) 3.576 3 21 .245
Jose Bautista (TOR) 3.585 2 28 .262
Garrett Jones (PIT) 3.589 4 22 .249
Lyle Overbay (TOR) 3.594 4 18 .245
Troy Glaus (ATL) 3.597 3 18 .240
Jorge Cantu (FLA) 3.614 3 26 .262
Cesar Izturis (BAL) 3.618 3 21 .237
Brennan Boesch (DET) 3.621 3 18 .260
Felipe Lopez (STL) 3.624 2 19 .232
Travis Hafner (CLE) 3.635 2 26 .270
Brandon Inge (DET) 3.650 4 22 .250
Chone Figgins (SEA) 3.668 2 30 .258
Ronny Cedeno (PIT) 3.685 5 22 .244
Adam Lind (TOR) 3.702 4 22 .228
Cliff Pennington (OAK) 3.725 2 30 .244
Casey Kotchman (SEA) 3.734 4 20 .221
Justin Upton (ARI) 3.784 5 24 .273
Jason Bartlett (TB) 3.803 2 30 .246
Mark Teixeira (NYY) 3.825 4 23 .261
Carlos Quentin (CWS) 3.868 2 27 .239
Colby Rasmus (STL) 3.886 4 22 .274
Ben Zobrist (TB) 3.889 4 23 .245
Jose Guillen (KC) 3.918 4 25 .255
Aaron Hill (TOR) 4.011 4 24 .211
Drew Stubbs (CIN) 4.069 4 27 .249
Brendan Ryan (STL) 4.405 5 23 .226
Jeff Francoeur (NYM) 4.560 5 26 .237
Dexter Fowler (COL) 4.755 5 36 .252
Mark Reynolds (ARI) 4.851 8 27 .207
Carlos Pena (TB) 5.015 3 29 .203

2010 HAM
(400 PA minimum – excluding IBBs)

Batter HAM 5+ PA hit
streaks
Longest hit
streak (PAs)
Batting Average
Josh Hamilton (TEX) 0.498 1 5 .361
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) 0.485 3 5 .341
Omar Infante (ATL) 0.476 0 4 .340
Joe Mauer (MIN) 0.447 2 6 .330
Adrian Beltre (BOS) 0.430 1 5 .328
Robinson Cano (NYY) 0.414 1 5 .322
Adrian Gonzalez (SD) 0.414 2 6 .308
Carl Crawford (TB) 0.402 1 5 .302
Vladimir Guerrero (TEX) 0.401 0 4 .305
Delmon Young (MIN) 0.400 1 5 .297
Austin Jackson (DET) 0.397 2 6 .301
Scott Podsednik (KC) 0.396 0 4 .310
Albert Pujols (STL) 0.390 1 5 .307
Matt Holliday (STL) 0.388 3 6 .307
Paul Konerko (CWS) 0.388 1 5 .323
Billy Butler (KC) 0.382 1 5 .312
Casey McGehee (MIL) 0.382 1 9 .283
Ryan Theriot (CHC) 0.381 0 4 .284
Martin Prado (ATL) 0.381 0 3 .314
Miguel Cabrera (DET) 0.380 0 4 .333
Evan Longoria (TB) 0.376 0 4 .294
Ryan Braun (MIL) 0.375 1 5 .306
Victor Martinez (BOS) 0.374 1 6 .290
Starlin Castro (CHC) 0.373 0 4 .312
Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) 0.372 0 3 .310
Angel Pagan (NYM) 0.368 0 4 .292
Placido Polanco (PHI) 0.367 0 4 .300
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) 0.366 0 3 .325
Joey Votto (CIN) 0.365 1 5 .320
Freddy Sanchez (SF) 0.362 0 4 .288
Marlon Byrd (CHC) 0.361 0 3 .300
Alex Rios (CWS) 0.360 1 5 .288
Alexei Ramirez (CWS) 0.357 0 4 .283
Hunter Pence (HOU) 0.357 0 4 .285
Hanley Ramirez (FLA) 0.355 0 3 .301
David Wright (NYM) 0.355 0 4 .288
Adam Jones (BAL) 0.354 1 5 .283
Jose Reyes (NYM) 0.352 0 4 .287
Ryan Zimmerman (WSH) 0.350 0 4 .302
Scott Rolen (CIN) 0.348 0 4 .292
A.J. Pierzynski (CWS) 0.348 1 5 .270
Andre Ethier (LAD) 0.347 0 4 .288
Ian Desmond (WSH) 0.345 0 4 .279
Michael Young (TEX) 0.345 0 4 .290
James Loney (LAD) 0.344 0 4 .278
Jeff Keppinger (HOU) 0.344 0 4 .291
David Murphy (TEX) 0.344 0 4 .287
Rajai Davis (OAK) 0.343 0 4 .267
Howie Kendrick (LAA) 0.342 1 5 .273
Dan Uggla (FLA) 0.342 1 5 .283
Torii Hunter (LAA) 0.340 1 5 .291
Julio Borbon (TEX) 0.339 0 3 .274
Orlando Cabrera (CIN) 0.338 0 4 .271
Colby Rasmus (STL) 0.338 0 4 .274
Brandon Phillips (CIN) 0.337 0 4 .275
Vernon Wells (TOR) 0.336 0 4 .272
Andrew McCutchen (PIT) 0.336 0 4 .277
Jay Bruce (CIN) 0.335 0 4 .275
Miguel Tejada (BAL) 0.334 0 4 .269
Kelly Johnson (ARI) 0.334 2 5 .272
Travis Hafner (CLE) 0.333 1 5 .270
Lastings Milledge (PIT) 0.330 0 4 .280
Gaby Sanchez (FLA) 0.330 0 4 .279
Nick Markakis (BAL) 0.330 0 3 .292
Nick Swisher (NYY) 0.329 0 4 .289
Ryan Howard (PHI) 0.328 1 5 .279
Corey Hart (MIL) 0.326 0 3 .279
Marco Scutaro (BOS) 0.326 1 5 .274
Cody Ross (FLA) 0.325 0 4 .265
Aubrey Huff (SF) 0.325 0 4 .292
Pablo Sandoval (SF) 0.325 0 4 .263
Luke Scott (BAL) 0.324 0 4 .281
Johnny Damon (DET) 0.324 1 5 .272
Stephen Drew (ARI) 0.323 0 4 .275
Garrett Jones (PIT) 0.321 1 5 .249
Jason Heyward (ATL) 0.321 1 6 .287
Shin-Soo Choo (CLE) 0.319 0 3 .286
Hideki Matsui (LAA) 0.319 1 5 .271
Brian McCann (ATL) 0.318 0 4 .275
Kevin Youkilis (BOS) 0.317 0 3 .307
Alfonso Soriano (CHC) 0.317 0 4 .256
Yuniesky Betancourt (KC) 0.317 0 4 .258
Kevin Kouzmanoff (OAK) 0.317 0 4 .256
Fred Lewis (TOR) 0.316 1 5 .260
Elvis Andrus (TEX) 0.313 1 5 .276
Brennan Boesch (DET) 0.313 0 4 .260
Shane Victorino (PHI) 0.312 0 3 .265
Mark Teixeira (NYY) 0.311 0 4 .261
Skip Schumaker (STL) 0.311 0 4 .271
Juan Pierre (CWS) 0.311 0 4 .275
David Eckstein (SD) 0.311 0 3 .270
Jayson Werth (PHI) 0.310 0 3 .288
Mark Ellis (OAK) 0.310 0 4 .276
Erick Aybar (LAA) 0.310 1 6 .254
Ike Davis (NYM) 0.308 1 5 .261
Adam LaRoche (ARI) 0.308 0 3 .263
Chase Headley (SD) 0.308 0 4 .263
Brendan Ryan (STL) 0.307 1 5 .226
Melky Cabrera (ATL) 0.306 0 3 .258
Jonny Gomes (CIN) 0.306 0 3 .260
Brett Gardner (NYY) 0.306 0 4 .280
Derrek Lee (CHC) 0.306 1 5 .251
Michael Cuddyer (MIN) 0.305 0 3 .272
Matt Wieters (BAL) 0.304 0 4 .260
J.D. Drew (BOS) 0.303 1 5 .257
Andres Torres (SF) 0.303 0 4 .269
Ryan Doumit (PIT) 0.303 0 4 .257
Juan Uribe (SF) 0.303 0 4 .254
Derek Jeter (NYY) 0.302 1 5 .262
Orlando Hudson (MIN) 0.301 0 3 .275
Justin Upton (ARI) 0.300 0 4 .273
Adam Dunn (WSH) 0.300 0 4 .266
Ronny Cedeno (PIT) 0.299 0 4 .244
Jorge Cantu (FLA) 0.298 0 3 .262
Denard Span (MIN) 0.298 0 4 .267
Yadier Molina (STL) 0.298 1 5 .258
Kurt Suzuki (OAK) 0.297 0 4 .242
Raul Ibanez (PHI) 0.297 0 4 .266
Nyjer Morgan (WSH) 0.295 0 4 .258
Chris Young (ARI) 0.294 0 4 .260
Jeff Francoeur (NYM) 0.294 1 5 .237
Michael Bourn (HOU) 0.294 0 4 .261
Rickie Weeks (MIL) 0.294 0 4 .262
Gordon Beckham (CWS) 0.293 1 5 .252
Trevor Crowe (CLE) 0.293 0 4 .247
Daric Barton (OAK) 0.289 1 5 .277
Drew Stubbs (CIN) 0.289 0 4 .249
Jose Guillen (KC) 0.288 0 3 .255
Roger Bernadina (WSH) 0.288 0 3 .259
Matt Kemp (LAD) 0.287 1 5 .250
Ty Wigginton (BAL) 0.287 0 4 .252
Mike Napoli (LAA) 0.287 0 4 .244
Alcides Escobar (MIL) 0.287 0 4 .242
Chase Utley (PHI) 0.286 0 3 .274
Alex Rodriguez (NYY) 0.285 0 3 .270
Lyle Overbay (TOR) 0.284 0 4 .245
Jason Bartlett (TB) 0.284 1 5 .246
Josh Willingham (WSH) 0.283 0 3 .268
Jason Kendall (KC) 0.283 0 3 .256
Ian Stewart (COL) 0.282 0 3 .264
Casey Blake (LAD) 0.282 0 3 .253
Chone Figgins (SEA) 0.282 0 4 .258
Juan Rivera (LAA) 0.282 0 3 .250
Prince Fielder (MIL) 0.281 1 5 .271
Aramis Ramirez (CHC) 0.280 0 3 .245
Cesar Izturis (BAL) 0.279 0 4 .237
Todd Helton (COL) 0.278 0 4 .253
Bobby Abreu (LAA) 0.278 0 4 .249
Franklin Gutierrez (SEA) 0.278 0 3 .247
Brandon Inge (DET) 0.277 0 3 .250
Carlos Lee (HOU) 0.276 0 3 .245
Jose Lopez (SEA) 0.275 0 3 .237
Felipe Lopez (STL) 0.274 1 5 .232
Jose Bautista (TOR) 0.274 0 3 .262
Cliff Pennington (OAK) 0.273 0 3 .244
David Ortiz (BOS) 0.272 0 3 .262
Dexter Fowler (COL) 0.270 0 3 .252
Jerry HairstonJr. (SD) 0.270 0 4 .246
Jorge Posada (NYY) 0.268 0 4 .256
Adam Lind (TOR) 0.268 0 4 .228
Jason Kubel (MIN) 0.268 0 3 .254
Clint Barmes (COL) 0.266 0 3 .233
Curtis Granderson (NYY) 0.264 0 3 .247
Ben Zobrist (TB) 0.257 0 3 .245
Troy Glaus (ATL) 0.256 1 5 .240
Carlos Quentin (CWS) 0.253 0 3 .239
B.J. Upton (TB) 0.250 0 3 .237
Casey Kotchman (SEA) 0.243 0 3 .221
Aaron Hill (TOR) 0.228 0 3 .211
Mark Reynolds (ARI) 0.219 0 4 .207
Carlos Pena (TB) 0.213 0 4 .203

SPAM update

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Aside from being a type of meat credited with winning the 2nd world war, and a nickname for annoying forms of internet advertising, SPAM is also a baseball stat. It was invented last month to measure how apt batters are to get into a prolonged hitless slump, which is why it’s called the Slump Proneness Analytic Metric, or SPAM for short. It’s calculated by assigning a number to each plate appearance (not including intentional walks) which equals how long a hitless streak the batter was on after that plate appearance, and then taking the average of them. If there are two players with the same number of hits and plate appearances, the player who has spaced those hits out more evenly will have a better (lower) SPAM than a player who got all his hits in bunches (as though, perhaps, he had a big series against a bad team, but then was held hitless by a couple of good pitching staffs).
Anyway, here’s an update on the top 25 worst SPAM scores this year, with a minimum of 275 plate appearances (excluding intentional walks). These have been the most slump-prone full time players:

Batter SPAM 15+ PA
hitless streaks
Longest streak HBP
Carlos Pena 4.74 2 29 4
Mark Reynolds 4.72 6 17 8
Drew Stubbs 4.32 4 25 3
Jason Bartlett 4.31 2 30 4
Carlos Quentin 4.21 1 27 13
Chone Figgins 4.18 2 30 1
Jeff Francoeur 4.18 3 26 6
Tony Gwynn 4.13 2 24 1
Aaron Hill 4.12 3 20 5
Adam Lind 4.07 4 22 1
Travis Hafner 4.07 2 26 11
Colby Rasmus 3.95 3 19 1
Aramis Ramirez 3.92 3 21 1
Elvis Andrus 3.88 5 30 1
Yadier Molina 3.88 2 20 4
Stephen Drew 3.77 2 25 3
Mark Teixeira 3.76 3 23 8
Cliff Pennington 3.76 1 30 0
Chris Coghlan 3.75 4 20 4
Dustin Pedroia 3.74 4 21 4
Lance Berkman 3.74 2 15 0
Pedro Feliz 3.72 1 16 1
Hideki Matsui 3.72 3 21 1
Jose Bautista 3.7 1 28 6
Jorge Cantu 3.68 3 26 6

And here are the players who have been the best at avoiding slumps:

Batter SPAM 15+ PA
hitless streaks
Longest streak HBP
Rafael Furcal 2.15 0 12 1
Josh Hamilton 2.17 1 16 1
Miguel Cabrera 2.19 1 17 1
Justin Morneau 2.21 0 14 0
Adrian Beltre 2.25 0 12 2
Robinson Cano 2.27 0 14 5
Michael Young 2.27 0 11 1
Vladimir Guerrero 2.28 0 13 6
Billy Butler 2.29 0 10 3
Corey Hart 2.30 0 11 2
Ichiro Suzuki 2.32 0 13 3
Delmon Young 2.32 0 13 3
Austin Jackson 2.37 0 14 3
Joe Mauer 2.38 0 12 1
Angel Pagan 2.39 0 13 0
Placido Polanco 2.39 0 13 3
Scott Podsednik 2.40 0 13 0
Alberto Callaspo 2.40 0 11 0
Carlos Gonzalez 2.43 1 17 2
Ronny Paulino 2.44 0 13 0
Gaby Sanchez 2.45 0 14 2
Lastings Milledge 2.46 1 15 2
Ryan Howard 2.49 0 13 7
Marco Scutaro 2.53 0 10 3
Michael Cuddyer 2.54 0 13 1

Measuring slumps – let’s make up a stat

Friday, June 18th, 2010

One of my on-going interests in baseball stats, aside from HBPs – which is, and will always be the one true measure of baseball greatness – is trying to look at player’s batting stats in a way that doesn’t exclusively focus on season totals or season long averages.  Like the old joke about the 6 foot tall statistician who drowned crossing the river with an average depth of 4.78 feet.  (The funny part was that he went to 2 decimal places).  So last year I came up with the measure of batting consistency called BACON, which attempts to get a handle on day to day batting consistency.  You can read about that here.  Or just look at this years numbers here.  Or you can keep reading this.

Well, recently I’ve seen a couple of articles on streakiness, and the statistical view of it is that streakiness doesn’t exist.  Like this article, except you need a subscription to read it.  The general point of it is that hot streaks don’t really mean anything because the outcome of any give plate appearance is more correlated with the player’s long term results than his short term results (his current hot or cold streak).  But, that doesn’t really show that hot streaks don’t exist, just that there’s no reason to assume that they’d continue.  It goes back to the basic problem of whether you think stats are telling you what has already happened or if they’re telling you what’s going to happen.   (My general rule was the only thing I trust to tell me what is going to happen is the TV Guide – before it crossed me).

So, the fact of the matter is that Dustin Pedroia and Mark Reynolds have had 4 different streaks of at least 15 consecutive plate appearances without a hit this year.  That seems to imply a general tendency toward slumpiness this season.   On the other hand, Troy Tulowitzki, Billy Butler, Michael Young and Marco Scutaro have over 250 plate appearances this year, but haven’t gone more than 10 straight without getting a hit.  They’ve been good at staying out of slumps.  And I want to measure that.

(Note: for purposes of the rest of this, I’m excluding intentional walks from plate appearances, just because an intentional pass shouldn’t count toward how many consecutive plate appearances you’ve gone without a hit, and I don’t want to keep saying “plate appearances excluding intentional walks” a million times, and it made my query run a lot faster to take those out.)

So here’s how we do it – take every plate appearance for each batter this season, in order.  Assign each plate appearance a number equal to how many plate appearances they’ve gone without a hit at that point.  Add up all those numbers, and divide by the number of plate appearances.  Low numbers mean the batter is good at staying out of prolonged hitless slumps, high numbers mean they’ve been prone to forgetting how to hit the ball for relatively long stretches.  Longer hitless streaks hurt worse.  For example, if two batters go 3 for 10, but one’s plate appearance look like this: 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and the other’s look like this: 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0; the first one looks worse because he had a 7 PA hitless streak.  That gets calculated as (1+2+3+4+5+6+7)/10 = 2.8 for the first one and (1+2+1+2+1+2+3)/10 = 1.2 for the 2nd one.  For lack of a better word, I’m calling that result the Slump Proneness Analyis Metric – or SPAM.  In keeping with the cured meat theme. And, with all respect to the canned Hormel miracle from Austin Minnesota.  If you haven’t been to their museum, you should go.

Now that we’ve defined and named it, lets try it on the whole league, and try not to worry when it comes out with Ronny Paulino as the best player with over 125 PAs.

Here are the 30 best players this year at avoiding hitless streaks (125 PA minimum):

Batter SPAM 15+ PA hitless streaks Longest Hitless Streak Total PAs (without IBBs)
Ronny Paulino (FLA) 1.83 0 8 172
Vladimir Guerrero (TEX) 2.03 0 13 259
Reid Brignac (TB) 2.07 0 8 166
Eric Hinske (ATL) 2.07 0 9 138
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) 2.08 0 10 265
Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) 2.17 0 13 291
Billy Butler (KC) 2.18 0 10 285
Andre Ethier (LAD) 2.19 1 15 209
Robinson Cano (NYY) 2.23 0 14 282
Ivan Rodriguez (WSH) 2.24 0 12 157
Adrian Beltre (BOS) 2.25 0 12 270
Joe Mauer (MIN) 2.26 0 12 238
Michael Young (TEX) 2.26 0 10 298
Mike Fontenot (CHC) 2.28 0 12 134
Carlos Guillen (DET) 2.28 0 14 141
Brandon Phillips (CIN) 2.29 0 12 296
Ryan Braun (MIL) 2.29 0 14 289
Mike Aviles (KC) 2.34 1 15 147
Justin Morneau (MIN) 2.35 0 14 266
Kevin Kouzmanoff (OAK) 2.35 1 16 274
Ben Zobrist (TB) 2.37 0 11 283
Rafael Furcal (LAD) 2.39 0 12 181
Miguel Cabrera (DET) 2.42 1 17 268
Brennan Boesch (DET) 2.43 1 16 176
Manny Ramirez (LAD) 2.43 0 10 169
David DeJesus (KC) 2.45 0 12 283
Angel Pagan (NYM) 2.45 0 13 259
Cristian Guzman (WSH) 2.46 0 12 235
Rod Barajas (NYM) 2.48 0 11 191
Evan Longoria (TB) 2.48 1 16 284

And, here are the 30 most slump-prone batters this year (125 non IBB PAs minimum):

Batter SPAM 15+ PA hitless streaks Longest Hitless Streak Total PAs (without IBBs)
Akinori Iwamura (PIT) 7.62 3 40 193
Dexter Fowler (COL) 6.35 2 36 167
Luis Valbuena (CLE) 5.54 2 20 166
Jeff Clement (PIT) 5.45 2 21 134
Carlos Pena (TB) 5.37 2 29 267
Gerald Laird (DET) 5.23 3 18 150
Lou Marson (CLE) 5.09 1 23 159
Aramis Ramirez (CHC) 5 3 21 197
Brandon Wood (LAA) 4.97 2 17 134
Brendan Ryan (STL) 4.88 3 19 186
Mark Reynolds (ARI) 4.82 4 17 269
Rob Johnson (SEA) 4.8 1 24 128
Chone Figgins (SEA) 4.73 2 30 285
Carlos Ruiz (PHI) 4.61 2 25 177
Tony Gwynn (SD) 4.6 2 24 180
Carlos Quentin (CWS) 4.6 1 27 230
Mark Teixeira (NYY) 4.58 3 23 297
Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) 4.55 1 17 130
Adam Lind (TOR) 4.53 3 22 271
Casey Kotchman (SEA) 4.5 2 20 198
Garrett Atkins (BAL) 4.49 2 20 149
Cliff Pennington (OAK) 4.38 1 30 254
Travis Hafner (CLE) 4.29 2 26 236
Aaron Hill (TOR) 4.23 2 20 234
Nate McLouth (ATL) 4.23 2 16 204
Jeff Francoeur (NYM) 4.22 2 26 245
Brad Hawpe (COL) 4.21 2 21 185
Andy LaRoche (PIT) 4.18 2 17 196
Drew Stubbs (CIN) 4.16 2 25 250
Mark Kotsay (CWS) 4.14 1 15 150

It seems to work pretty well, but may benefit from some refinements at some point. The same method could be easily applied to teams, or we could look at on-basing instead of just hitting.