Editors note: Sorry for the delay in publishing this report, I was on vacation! The next two reports will be out within the next few days.
Hi all, I’m Ivan Lukianchuk, the CTO and co-founder of RunPlusMinus™️and this is our weekly report about performances of Major League Baseball players and teams.
For last week’s report (week 10), click here.
The RPM Report gives you a unique insight into on-field performances based on the new RunPlusMinus™️ statistic. For more information about this statistic, please go here.
Wondering how we differ from WAR? Read this.
TL;DR — We’ve built a new baseball statistic that allows us to rate all of the players (pitchers, batters, runners, fielders) on the same scale: performance.
This report has two parts:
- The previous week’s best performers (week 11 — June 4th through June 10th)
- All regular season data up to and including June 10th 2018.
The Best Players of the Week
We’ve reported the top 10 best pitchers and batters of the week. There are separate rankings for starting and relief pitchers.
Players are ranked on the RPM statistic. A total above zero means above average performance for the pitcher or batter. The RPMs in the report have been multiplied by 100 to make it easier to read and compare. The higher the number, the more value and impact that player brought to their team in their role as a pitcher or batter.
In each top 10 list we show how many times a player has made it into a weekly top 10 list, with 1 meaning this is their first.
The Top 10 Starting Pitchers (week 11)
Lugo and Quintana make this list for the second time each this week, keeping the trend of 2 returning players per week alive! Two Mets and two Cubs make the top 10 this week. The RPM gap lets up a bit to a difference of nearly 5.
The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -60.8 RPMs.
The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 11)
Not all relief pitcher situations (outs and bases-occupied) are equal threats. Furthermore, relief pitchers generally face fewer batters that starters. Relief pitcher ratings exclude pitchers with fewer than 3 batters faced.
We’ve got two returning best relievers this week with Santana and Treinen, also keeping up a trend of two returning relievers a week. The RPM range is similar to last week, except that the best reliever has a huge lead over the second best, and the range from ranks two to ten is only 5. This week we see 3 relievers all from Miami and two from Pittsburgh.
For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -64.1.
The Top 10 Batters (week 11)
The top three batters this week are all making their second appearance with Goldschmidt quadrupling the RPMs of 10th rank Cruz. Second place is 3/4 of first, third is 1/2 and the rest are all withing a tight 1.31 RPMs of each other. We see three Dodgers all tightly coupled from 6th through 8th place.
Only Crawford graces the top 25 overall this week.
The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -49.1.
The State of the Game so Far
We’ve looked at last week, but let’s take a look at the entire season so far up to the 11th of June.
We’ve got a number of interesting charts ranging from top players, team rankings and most overpaid players.
Top 25 Players to June 11th
Six weeks of dominance for Mike Trout, who still holds the crown with a monstrous lead. The difference in Rating from first to second place is approximately the same as the difference between second place and 25th! Betts keeps falling now that he’s been shoehorned out of second place and J.D. Martinez pops up to spot number two, just barely ahead of Freeman who was 9th last week.
Kluber leaps ahead of deGrom to become the 2nd best pitcher and Cole makes a reappearance, bringing the pitcher count back up to 4 players of the top 25.
Things to note: a “rating of 0” is always the average over all active players, with positive values representing above average performance and negative values below average performance. Earned salary is how much of the team’s total salary did that player’s performance justify. Bolded payroll earned means a player is worth more than they are paid (in the context of their own team), and italicized and red means they aren’t. Blank ratings mean the player did not meet a minimum level of participation to be ranked on a specific component.
Where Are They Now? 2017 Top 25 to 2018
2017 brought us over 48 million data points and from that we derived the top 25 player list. How do those players rate in 2018? Below is a chart showing where each player stands today. Note that only 9 players (ranks highlighted in yellow) are still in the top 25! The rankings will change as the season moves forward.
Not too many big changes since last week, Schoop continues to slide a bit, Gordon cut’s a quarter of his rank, Bryant just barely slips out of the top 25, Ozuna jumps 260 spots, Yelich doesn’t move at all, and Kluber cuts a 3rd off his rank.
This week we are at 9 players back in the top 25, down from 10 last week.
Team Rankings as of June 11th
Week 11 is even more interesting than week 10 as we start to see huge solidification with the top 5 teams not moving and the bottom 7 teams stuck in place as well! Nearly every other team has only slipped or gained one position with the highest gain of 3 by Arizona, whose been ping-ponging up and down each week. Philadelphia and San Diego slip two, while Toronto climbs two spots, and that’s it!
The gap separating position 30 and 29 has gone from 23 to 0.5 this week, so I expect a change is possible next week.
The Most Overpaid To June 11th
Professional sports are famously known for over paying people for what they bring to the table and that’s not likely to stop anytime soon, so let’s take a look at who the top 25 overpaid players are in terms of what their performance brings to the table.
When determining if a player is overpaid, we are strictly taking into account only their performance within their own team! Some top players have low salaries and still appear to be overpaid, but this is only within the context of their team’s total payroll. For example, Joey Votto’s salary accounts for 22.89% of Cincinnati entire yearly payroll, and despite how good he is, his overall performance only accounts for 4.39% of the team’s total success! This is still a pretty high number when the median % for Cincinnati is 2.41%.
This chart remains fairly consistent week to week. We can see a few players improving slightly in what their earned salaries are worth as they continue to contribute more to their teams, while others slide as their teams pick up the slack.
One thing to think about when looking at this is that some teams have much larger payrolls then the next meaning that the teams on the lower end who still pay large salaries are risking much more of their capital on a single player.
Until next time…
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