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Article: Year in Review: Twins Hitters In The Clutch

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:13 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...ins-Hitters-WPA

#2 Curt

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:04 AM

Thanks for posting this. Though I have seen this referenced occasionally I've never delved into it. Doumit is most surprising to me (aside from Thomas which is SSS). Not that he is negative but that he is worse than Span, Revere and Carroll. I would have expected him to be in that group.

Clearly this is a function of opportunity so a rate might be in order. Here are the values pro-rated to 600 plate appearances:

[TABLE]
[TR]
[TD="width: 120"][FONT=Times New Roman]Player[/FONT][/TD]
[TD="width: 56"][FONT=Times New Roman]PA[/FONT][/TD]
[TD="width: 56"][FONT=Times New Roman]WPA[/FONT][/TD]
[TD="width: 63"][FONT=Times New Roman]WPA/600 PA[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Josh Willingham[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]615[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]5.04[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]4.92[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Joe Mauer[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]606[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]3.88[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]3.84[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Clete Thomas[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]29[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]0.05[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]1.03[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Justin Morneau[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]553[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]0.87[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]0.94[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Darin Mastroianni[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]186[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]0.11[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]0.35[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Chris Parmelee[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]181[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]0.09[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]0.30[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Matt Carson[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]48[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.05[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.63[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Trevor Plouffe[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]439[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.48[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.66[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Denard Span[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]537[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-1.04[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-1.16[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Jamey Carroll[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]521[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-1.01[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-1.16[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Ben Revere[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]518[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-1.11[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-1.29[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Erik Komatsu[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]37[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.12[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-1.95[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Alexi Casilla[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]313[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-1.05[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-2.01[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Ryan Doumit[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]508[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-2.13[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-2.52[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Tsuyoshi Nishioka[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]14[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.06[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-2.57[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Danny Valencia[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]132[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.60[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-2.73[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Pedro Florimon[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]125[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.75[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-3.60[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Brian Dozier[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]340[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-2.16[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-3.81[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Drew Butera[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]114[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.74[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-3.89[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Eduardo Escobar[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]39[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.44[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-6.77[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Chris Herrmann[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]10[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.13[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-7.80[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Luke Hughes[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]11[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.22[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-12.00[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]Sean Burroughs[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]18[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-0.59[/FONT][/TD]
[TD][FONT=Times New Roman]-19.67[/FONT][/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

#3 snepp

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:25 AM

I like WPA, it's a fun tool, and nice to look at when you don't feel like digging into the depths of a player's situational numbers.

#4 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:34 AM

Doumit is quite the surprise there, as is Span. The rest, not so much.

#5 70charger

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:20 AM

[COLOR=#3E3E3E]On the other hand, I suspect some folks are going to have trouble accepting that Ryan Doumit and Ben Revere have, offensively at least, cost the Twins several wins. Statistically, both have been fairly strong, but overall, they’ve had a lot more negative impacts on games than positive impacts so far this year. Because of that, they rank lower than subs that aren’t even with the team any more like …. well, Erik Komatsu.[/COLOR]


Eyes lie and data don't. If people can't accept that this is what happened, then they're creating a narrative that doesn't fit the data.

What I think people probably have a hard time understanding is why "good" baseball players end up lower than "bad" ones. Ultimately, it isn't a function of whether they're good or bad, it's a function of how they performed in certain situations. It's an ex post measurement.

But ex ante, I'm absolutely running Ryan Doumit out there as a pinch hitter before Erik Komatsu. After all, past performance is no indicator of future results.

#6 70charger

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:23 AM

One final thing, apropos of nothing here. Since this is a measurement of how well the hitters have done in the clutch, should the Mauer haters really be complaining about Joe taking a ninth inning walk when the guy who comes up next is Willingham?

#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:05 PM

It likely means that Revere or Span are the guy on 3B or 1B in those situations where Mauer or Willingham came through. Doumit may have come up after Willingham already came up with the big hit.

It's a fun little state, but there are about 25 stats I would use first.

#8 ashburyjohn

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:36 PM

Am I right that WPA is defined in a way such that 0.0 is league-average? And it's not in any way positionally adjusted? Then it's not a surprise if both Span and Revere show up with slightly negative numbers per PA - their offense is good for defensively gifted players (as they indeed are), but they would be quite disappointing at bat (and wasted on defense) if stationed at first base.

As Seth points out, what's probably missing from WPA is an "opportunity" adjustment, if for instance a decent hitter like Doumit comes to bat with fewer opportunities for large-leverage results due to someone ahead of him in the lineup doing his own job well.

I took a look at Fangraphs, and there they say: "Cumulatively, season-long WPA is not predictive, making it an ineffective number for projections of a player’s talent. ... A fun way to think of WPA is as a storytelling statistic." I guess I can go with their judgement on that.

#9 Willihammer

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:30 PM

Speaking of stories, here are a few from Posnanski. The 10 clutchest performances of all time, as defined by WPA

http://joeposnanski....nd-stories.html

#10 Jeff P

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:06 PM

Nice article, it was interesting to read. A few thoughts/questions:

1) Does it take into account stolen bases?

2) I wonder how much SSS impacts this calculation, even for players with 600 PA. In other words, do the results of the 10-20 PA (or whatever the number is) in the 8th-9th innings with runners on in a close game make a huge impact on the calculation? Not saying they do, just curious.

3) Intuitively this is a good indicator of how clutch the hitter is, but I don't think that is a complete overlap with how good the hitter is overall so personally I still like the main BA/OBP/SLG stats better along with stats like WAR which I know encompases defense and by position offense.

Jeff

#11 Willihammer

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:33 PM

Willingham's top 3 clutchest games.

3. Apr 20 @ TBR. Top 7, 2 out, bases loaded, 1-2 count. Joel Peralta pitching. Twins down 2-4. Willingham doubles to clear the bases. His only hit of the day. + WPA .42

2. June 24, @ Cin. Top 7, 0 out, Mauer on 1st. Score 1-1. Willingham doubles Mauer to 3rd. +WPA .17 on the play. Then in the ninth, against Chapman, Twins down 2-3, Span on 2nd, 3-1 count. Willingham hits a home run. +WPA .59 for the play and +.71 on the day.

1. May 29 vs. Oak. Bottom of 9th, 2 out, Carrol on 3rd, Mauer on 1st, Twins down 0-2. Willingham homers off a 1-0 Fuentes pitch to win the game. +.91 WPA on the play, and .91 for the day.

#12 snepp

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:59 PM

1) Does it take into account stolen bases?

2) I wonder how much SSS impacts this calculation, even for players with 600 PA. In other words, do the results of the 10-20 PA (or whatever the number is) in the 8th-9th innings with runners on in a close game make a huge impact on the calculation? Not saying they do, just curious.

3) Intuitively this is a good indicator of how clutch the hitter is, but I don't think that is a complete overlap with how good the hitter is overall so personally I still like the main BA/OBP/SLG stats better along with stats like WAR which I know encompases defense and by position offense.


1. No, it's strictly the results of the batter/pitcher matchup.

2. Yes, small samples can potentially make a huge difference.

3. It's not intended for any kind of talent evaluation. Per its creator, "WPA is not a way to evaluate the talent of a player."

#13 John Bonnes

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:07 PM

It likely means that Revere or Span are the guy on 3B or 1B in those situations where Mauer or Willingham came through. Doumit may have come up after Willingham already came up with the big hit.

It's a fun little state, but there are about 25 stats I would use first.


Seth, that's not true. Revere and Span get credit for getting themselves to 3B.

#14 CDog

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:36 PM

WPA/LI (also on fangraphs) tries to get at what people are looking for with an attempt to "rate" the stat by opportunity.

#15 Oxtung

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:43 AM

It likely means that Revere or Span are the guy on 3B or 1B in those situations where Mauer or Willingham came through. Doumit may have come up after Willingham already came up with the big hit.

It's a fun little state, but there are about 25 stats I would use first.


Seth, that's not true. Revere and Span get credit for getting themselves to 3B.


I tried to look up the formula or even a good explanation of this stat but couldn't find one. Anyone have a link?

#16 lightfoot789

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:23 PM

How about a couple of Twins Farm Hands- DJ Hicks for hitting a Grand Slam to win the Appy Championship on 3-2 count in bottom of 12th inning or Adam Walker for tying the game on a 3 run HR with 2 outs in bottom of 9th inning of the Final game of championship series. Win or Go Home!!! That's CLUTCH :)
How Bout them Elizabethton Twins