In his post about Jeff Francouer, David Pinto does an outstanding job explaining what a batter’s value really boils down to:
…. Outs are the currency of baseball. Players who can buy more runs per out, or conversely, spend fewer outs per run, are richer hitters. An easy way to look at this, something you can do off any stat sheet or the back of a baseball card, is to use batting outs per run…
…. Since 2005, Francoeur’s first season, 163 players accumulated at least 2000 plate appearances. Among those, Albert Pujols spends the fewest outs per run, 3.14. Jason Kendall spends the most, 7.34. J.D. Drew ranks 26th, a run costing him 4.12 outs. Francoeur ranks 107th, a run costing him 5.33 outs. In other words, it costs Francoeur 121 more outs than Drew to produce 100 runs. That’s four and a half games of outs.
I’d say the majority of Giants hitter during that time land closer to Francouer than they do to Pujols. ;-)
I’d also like to see where Bonds ended up during his historic 2000-2004 run.
I’ll send him an email and ask him where the Giants hitters rank in his analysis.
UPDATE: David sent me the info. As I suspected, several Giants (and ex-Giants) rank among the very worst everyday players using David’s runs per outs standard.
Randy Winn ranks 145th (6.04 outs/run) out of the 164 players in the study (good luck, Yankee fans), just ahead of Double Play AJ (6.13). Juan Uribe ranks 139th (5.84), just behind our old friend Pedro Feliz (5.83). Freddie Sanchez ranks 136th (5.80), Bengie Molina 121st (5.57). Aaron Rowand 116th (5.48), and Edgar Renteria ranks 112th (5.42).
Interestingly enough, Aubrey Huff sits in 88th place (5.11), just 4 places behind new Yankee Curtis Granderson (5.08), while Mark DeRosa has the best ranking of any Giants player listed, 55th best (4.64), so maybe, just maybe, DeRosa and Huff will improve the offense as much as some people seem to think they will.
I will highlight, of course, that my personal pet peeve player, the one proverbial “One that got away” Adam Dunn, ranks 29th, using just 4.15 outs for every run he produces.
Using David’s spread sheet and formula, (yes, my friends, I, too, am not an idiot), I calculate that Pablo Sandoval uses 4.40 outs/run produced, which would rank him 40th on this list. Travis Ishikawa and Fred Lewis both come out poorly using this method, at 5.45 and 5.38 outs/run, respectively.
The overall list shows a fairly constant correlation between OBP and outs/runs produced, not exact, but close.
However, as much as it pains me to admit it, I may be wrong about the two newest guys, or at least I’ll say that I hope I’m wrong. Notwithstanding their potential declines and injury issues, over the last several years, Huff and DeRosa have managed to be modestly efficient offensive players. Freddie Sanchez has not. Pinto’s study demonstrates with brutal clarity exactly what we’ve been saying here all along, he is an empty batting average, and certainly not worth the money and prospects the Giants gave up to get him.
As I wrote at the time of the trade, he’s essentially the same as Juan Uribe:
Sanchez, 31 years old, is a career .300 hitter, but he’s never walked more than 32 times in a season, his career high in home runs is 11, and his career OBP is just .336. He’s ranked fifth among NL second basemen in just about every category, which is to say, we traded our top draft pick from 2007 for a league average second baseman. For an easy comparison, let’s look at Juan Uribe.
J. Uribe 72 G 222 AB 17 2B 4 HR 21 RBI 10 BB 47 SO .284/.313/.432 .745 OPS
Sanchez 86 G 355 AB 28 2B 6 HR 34 RBI 20 BB 60 SO .296/.334/.442 .776 OPS
I can’t for the life of me imagine how that kind of minimal upgrade would be worth one of the top forty prospects in all of baseball. Trading Alderson is fine, but WE NEEDED HOME RUNS AND WALKS!!!! Instead, we get two more 30-year old guys who are league average hitters. Can you see? This is systemic, because Brain Sabean does not know how to evaluate hitters, player value, or how to build a team.
Now we can add outs/runs produced:
J. Uribe 5.85 outs/runs produced
Sanchez 5.80 outs/runs produced
Yeah, that looks pretty good. ;-)
I also ran Bonds’ historic 2000-2004 run using David’s formula (outs per run is (AB-hits)/((Runs Scored + RBI)/2)). During that period of time, 5 years, Bonds had 2122 at bats, and, well, let’s just side by side him with Pujols:
Barry 2122 AB 1402 outs 1142 runs produced 2.24 outs/runs produced
Albert 3354 AB 1853 outs 1179 runs produced 3.14 outs/runs produced
Wow! Bonds, at his peak, was 70% more efficient than the best player alive today.
Hat tip, and then some, to my good friend, David Pinto.