Thursday, November 8, 2007

Reached-on-error leaders

I've talked a bit about the high error rate in the IBL already. About how you can't properly analyze the IBL without taking errors into account.

That's partly why I haven't talked much about assessing batter performance levels. The public stats on the IBL's website only give raw figures for errors by fielder. There is no accounting of how many times each batter reached base on error, or how many runners advanced due to errors. Contrary to what you might think, errors are not just a fielding phenomenon; batters do vary greatly in their ability to reach base on errors. But the conventional baseball stats actually record reaches-on-error as an out for the batter. It actually lowers his batting average to reach base on error!

So I've finally gotten around to parsing the IBL game log files, with the play-by-play accounts of each game. I still have work to do to extract all the data, but I've gotten as far as reached-on-error. Here goes...

Out of 396 errors in the IBL season, 261 of them got the batter on base (including two cases of catcher interference). That's more than the season's 238 hit-by-pitches , and it's equivalent to over a quarter of the 1003 walks.

The league's leaders in reaching base on error (click to enlarge):

Doesn't look like much. But wait. Let's look at that as a rate, in terms of reaches per at-bat (minimum 80 plate appearances). That tells you how much the ROEs would be worth in terms of batting average:

The league leaders gain as much as the equivalent of 81 points in batting average just by reaching base on error.

Notice any similarities betweeen the names on that list and the IBL's stolen base leaders? Not surprisingly, baserunning ability is a key factor in the ability to reach base on error.

If baseball statistics were done right, a base reached on "error" would be counted as a hit, since there's no practical difference between the two. If we do that, ranking hitters by "Batting Average with Errors", we get this:

Batting champ Eladio Rodriguez, who was not among the league leaders in reaches-on-error (or stolen bases), loses his batting title to second place Gregg Raymundo. Most of the batting average leaders remain unchanged, with Doane, Lopez and Franco retaining ranks 3-5. Nate Fish shoots up to fifth place from tenth. Meanwhile, Jeff Hastings and Mike Lyons, down at 31st and 32nd in the batting average rankings, are up at 16th and 18th respectively. Hector De Los Santos is promoted from 20th to 12th, and Ryan Forsythe goes from 24th to 15th.

The league batting average goes from .270 to .311 when errors are counted. Amazingly, Gregg Raymundo breaks the .500 mark in batting average with errors!

Now let's do the same for on-base percentage, calculating on-base percentage including reaches on error:

Here, Josh Doane edges Eladio Rodriguez out of second place. Jeff Hastings rises from eighth to fifth place and Nate Fish from 15th to 11th. Perhaps most impressive, Mike Lyons reaches 18th place, all the way up from 31st, while Sam Marthinsen reaches 20th place from lowly 29th.

Overall, the league on-base percentage was .383; errors bump it up to .416.

And yes, Gregg Raymundo reached base one way or another over 64% of the times he came to the plate. Now that's impressive! (Though not to the Yankees, apparently.)

1 comment:

Cowboy_Up said...

This is the most stupid comment i've ever read about baseball stats...