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 12), 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 13 — June 18th through June 24th)
- All regular season data up to and including June 24th 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 13)
3 Returning starters this week, keeping above the trend of two. Slightly bigger RPM gap this week of 4.2. Arizona and Cleveland each have two starters in the top 10.
The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -45.3 RPMs.
The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 13)
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.
Another week with only one returner with Ottavino. Detroit and the Dodgers each have two players in the top 10. We’ve gone back from a huge RPM range to one around 11.5.
For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -89.2.
The Top 10 Batters (week 13)
Another three returning batters this week, with all 3 currently sitting the top 25 alongside Arenado. Another week with a tight RPM rating range of just under 3.
The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -59.2.
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 25th 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 25th
Eight weeks of dominance for Mike Trout, but we finally see his huge lead starting to drop down quite a bit. Judge’s place in 2nd is short lived as he falls to sixth while Ramirez inches up one spot and Martinez leaf frogs into 3rd. Betts tumbles down 5 spots while Verlander falls 6 ranks. Arenado leaps up 5 spots and Votto reappears on the list at rank 11. Jed Lowrie was at 8th last week and now he sits at 15th. A lot of shakeups in the list.
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 11 players (ranks highlighted in yellow) are still in the top 25! The rankings will change as the season moves forward.
A very interesting picture starting to appear this week with 8 out of the top 9 players last year back in the top 25 and 7 of them in the top 14!
Votto is back in the top 25 this week, while Blackmon almost slips out. Stanton jumps 25% closer to the top from last week and Altuve leaps into 4th from 22nd. Bryant slips a ways down while Cruz jumps 290 ranks to almost make the top 25. Andrus doubles his rank from last week, Abreu cuts his rank in half and Sale is just a touch out of reach from the top 25, up from 67 last week.
This week we are at 11 players back in the top 25, up from 10 last week.
Team Rankings as of June 25th
The top 3 teams hold their positions, with Houston holding roughly the same lead as last week against Boston, while Atlanta slips a tad, but still holds 3rd. Cleveland starts to jump up 3 spots while other minor shifts occur in the top 12. Washington drops 4 ranks, Cincinnati jumps 6, Pittsburgh falls 3 spots and Colorado jumps up 3. Detroit tumbles 4 places, Toronto, sinks 2 spots and the bottom stays mostly the same.
The Most Overpaid To June 25th
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 22.87% of Cincinnati entire yearly payroll, and despite how good he is, his overall performance only accounts for 5.41% 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…
Stay tuned for our future reports due out every week this season. If you want to be reminded whenever we release new content, please subscribe to our mailing list to be kept up to date!
If you have any questions, comments, requests or complaints, please feel free to add them in the comments below or to email us at email@example.com
You can learn more about the RunPlusMinus™️ statistic at RunPlusMinus.com