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 9), 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 10 — May 28th through June 3rd)
- All regular season data up to and including June 3rd 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 10)
Scherzer and Taillon make this list for the second time each this week. Two Mets make the top 10 this week. The RPM gap tightens to hardly a difference of 3 this week, making for tight competition.
The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -38 RPMs.
The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 10)
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 Avilan and Cishek. The RPM range and highest RPM are fairly consistent with last week. Two relievers from Chicago are neck and neck at 4th and 5th.
For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -62.3.
The Top 10 Batters (week 10)
Only one returning top 10 batter this week with Story, who along with Suarez and Smoak all grace the top 25 best players this week.
The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -50.6.
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 4th 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 4th
Five weeks of dominance for Mike Trout and after two weeks at second Betts drops to 4th. Judge has made his climb to 2nd and Ramirez has snuck up with him as well. Trout’s rating still gives him a monstrous lead compared to the next highest player: Judge, who is neck and neck with Ramirez.
The player composition this week is mostly similar to last week. Story cut his rank in half from 22 to 11 and Benintendi jumped up 11 spots as well. Blackmon appears in the top 25 at 17, while Cole disappears, replaced by 2 other pitchers: deGrom and Kluber, bringing the pitcher count back up to 3.
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 10 players (ranks highlighted in yellow) are still in the top 25! The rankings will change as the season moves forward.
After weeks of climbing from way behind, Blackmon finally remakes the top 25 list at rank 17. Votto nearly slips out and Kluber has slipped back in. Schoops gains from the previous week seemed to have slipped away, while Ozuna made up that difference. Cruz is making good progress, knocking 240 off his rank. Yelich’s massive gains have slowed, but he still jumped 34 spots since last week.
This week we are at 10 players back in the top 25, up from 9 last week.
Team Rankings as of June 4th
Week 10 has brought up some interesting information with the both the top 2 spots and bottom five cemented as the same as week 9. The top 5 overall isn’t changing much, but there are a few teams starting to leap frog up the charts, like the Dodgers, Cleveland, Seattle, Arizona and the Sans Diego and Francisco.
On the other hand, some big slips from Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Toronto, Cincinnati and the Mets.
The Most Overpaid To June 4th
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 23.08% of Cincinnati entire yearly payroll, and despite how good he is, his overall performance only accounts for 4.73% of the team’s total success! This is still a pretty high number when the median % for Cincinnati is 2.67%.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
You can learn more about the RunPlusMinus™️ statistic at RunPlusMinus.com