Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Tweaking the Advancement Stats

Yesterday, I introduced some statistics which help to determine how good batters were in advancing base runners.  To review, there are five events which can happen when a player bats with runners on base:
  • Other Batted In (OBI) - A base runner is driven in by the batter.  It's the same thing as an RBI except a player does not get credit for driving himself in with a home run.
  • Run Assisted (RAS) - A batter advances a runner to either second or third with a hit, base on balls, hit batsmen, error, sacrifice bunt, or another kind of out.  If that runner then scores either during the same at bat or an ensuing at bat, the batter who advanced him is given a Run Assisted.
  • Unrewarded Advancement (UNR) - A batter advances a runner, but the runner does not score by the end of the inning.
  • Neutral (NEU) - A batter does not advance a runner, but there are no outs on the play. (e.g. a walk with a runner on second).
  • Giveaway (GA) - A batter fails to advance a runner and one or more outs are made either at the plate or on the bases.
A batter gets credit for one of the above for each base runner (BR) on base when he bats.  Yesterday, I grouped the first three bulleted events into the Advancement (ADV) category and the last two into the Non-advancement category.  I then calculated to metrics describing a batters proficiciency in advancing runners:
  • Advancement Percentage (ADV%) = ADV/BR
  • Advances Above Average (ADVAA) = ADV - lg ADV% *  BR
A couple of smart readers pointed out that it's not necessarily fair to include Neutrals among opportunities for advancement.  The reasoning is that Neutrals are often the result of batters not getting an opportunity to advance a runner due to being intentionally walked or pitched around. Thus, I am excluding Neutrals from the total number of opportunities (base runners) and recalculating  ADV% and ADVAA.

With Neutrals included, about 38% of runners on base are advanced.  When Neutrals are removed the success rate increases to 40%.  The result is higher Advancement Percentages for individual batters, but the the names on the leader boards don't change much. Table 1 shows that Reds first baseman Joey Votto is the new ADV% leader (among players with 200+ opportunities) at .550.  Table 2 tells us that his teammate Zack Cozart is still has the worst percentage (.269). 

Table 1: Advance Percentage Leaders, 2012

Player
Team
OPP
ADV
ADV%
Joey Votto
CIN
231
127
.550
Joe Mauer
MIN
375
203
.541
Elvis Andrus
TEX
355
186
.524
Martin Prado
ATL
355
184
.518
John Jaso
SEA
216
111
.514
Jon Jay
SLN
249
127
.510
David Murphy
TEX
291
145
.498
Garrett Jones
PIT
312
155
.497
Alberto Callaspo
ANA
285
141
.495
Jonathan Lucroy
MIL
229
113
.493
  

Table 2: Advance Percentage Trailers, 2012

Player
Team
OPP
ADV
ADV%
Zack Cozart
CIN
242
65
.269
Jemile Weeks
OAK
235
70
.298
Rickie Weeks
MIL
361
114
.316
Josh Reddick
OAK
400
127
.318
Wilin Rosario
COL
242
80
.331
Drew Stubbs
CIN
232
77
.332
Trevor Plouffe
MIN
289
96
.332
Wilson Betemit
BAL
200
67
.335
Ty Wigginton
PHI
229
77
.336
Justin Smoak
SEA
308
104
.338


Joe Mauer of the Twins takes over the ADVAA leadership with 52 (Table 3).  This means that he advanced 52 more base runners than would have been expected by an average player in the same number of opportunities. On the other hand, Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick was -34 advancements below average (Table 4).  

Table 3: Runners Advanced Above Average Leaders, 2012

Player
Team
OPP
ADV
ADVAA
Joe Mauer
MIN
375
203
52
Elvis Andrus
TEX
355
186
43
Martin Prado
ATL
355
184
42
Joey Votto
CIN
231
127
35
Miguel Cabrera
DET
417
199
31
Garrett Jones
PIT
312
155
30
Matt Holliday
SLN
438
204
29
David Murphy
TEX
291
145
28
Torii Hunter
ANA
356
171
28
Prince Fielder
DET
416
195
28
 
 Table 4: Runners Advanced Above Average Trailers, 2012

Player
Team
OPP
ADV
ADVAA
Josh Reddick
OAK
400
127
-34
Zack Cozart
CIN
242
65
-32
Rickie Weeks
MIL
361
114
-30
Delmon Young
DET
408
138
-26
Jemile Weeks
OAK
235
70
-24
Shelley Duncan
CLE
172
45
-24
Nick Hundley
SDN
163
43
-22
Ike Davis
NYN
372
127
-22
Jeff Francoeur
KCA
339
115
-21
Vernon Wells
ANA
155
42
-20

The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet.  Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at Retrosheet.org. 

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