Hi all, I’m Ivan Lukianchuk, the CTO and co-founder of RunPlusMinus™️and this is the second of our now weekly reports about performances of Major League Baseball players and teams.
For last week’s report (week 4), 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.
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 5 — April 23 through 29th)
- All regular season data up to and including April 29th 2018.
Table of Contents
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 5)
This week we have a whole new crop of starting pitchers in our weekly top 10. It just goes to show that one week can be wildly different to the next for each pitcher. Last week’s RPMs ranged from 12 — 16 and now we see a narrower range with higher RPM values!
The Cubs and Rockies have 2 pitchers in the top 10. Pitchers from the Twins and Astros continue to have top 10 performers. The least effective starting pitcher in week 5 had -48.5 RPMs.
The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 5)
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.
This week brings Matt Barnes back into the top 10 for his 2nd appearance. Apart from Barnes, only the Yankees have had a relief pitcher appear 2 weeks in a row in the top 10. The top RPMs this week are much lower than last week with 28.57 vs 41.42. For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -71.48.
The Top 10 Batters (week 5)
This week brings in a new bunch of top batters with the RPM range staying mostly the same. The lowest RPM for a batter in week 5 was -62.06. J.D. Martinez is currently in the top 25 overall players so far this season!
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 30th of April.
We’ve got a number of interesting charts ranging from top players, team rankings and most overpaid players.
Top 25 Players to April 30th
This week we can see that the chart is showing some early signs of solidification as the majority of players near the top have stayed there. We can see as well that Jed Lowrie is still at the top and the bottom rating is 10 higher than last week. A few players have fallen off the top 25: Dansby Swanson, DJ LeMahieu, Kris Bryant, C. Villanueva, Patrick Corbin, Johnny Cueto, and Javier Baez.
We’ve updated the chart this week to include what percentage of a team’s payroll belongs to each player as well as what percentage their performance is worth. We’ve bolded earned percentages where the player is worth more than they are paid, and italicized and made red those that aren’t.
Things to note: a “rating of 0” is average, 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. 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 7 players (ranks highlighted in yellow) are still in the top 25! The rankings will change as the season moves forward.
Kris Bryant has fallen out of the top 25 this week, but not by too much. Joey Votto made a heroic leap from 598th to 36th since last week! I imagine he’ll break into the top 25 again soon, but time will tell.
Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge and Corey Kluber are climbing back up the ladder, improving from last week and bringing both Mookie and Aaron to their same rankings from 2017. Altuve and Trout haven’t moved since last week.
Team Rankings as of April 30th
Week 5 brings a bit of shifting to the team rankings and we’ve simplified the chart from last week so it’s easier to follow. The Yankees, Dodgers, Pirates and Rays made some strong strides upwards while the Angels and Indians made the biggest falls. Baltimore has moved up from the bottom, one step at a time!
The Most Overpaid To April 30th
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.
This week we’ve added some columns in the same vein as the top 25 players to show what percentage of a team’s payroll belongs to each player and to show what their performance so far is earning them.
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!
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You can learn more about the RunPlusMinus™️ statistic at RunPlusMinus.com