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The outfield offence


Muppet
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After scratching welts in my head trying to figure out how Taylor and Gallo are supposed to make this team better with their terrible offence as potential replacements for Kepler, I figured that I'd look into the numbers to see if I could sort anything out. I'm apparently of the minority opinion that offence was a larger problem than pitching last year. Yes the pitching was terrible, but what does it matter if the bullpen gives up 5 runs if your team can only manage to score 2 or 3?  In that sense, imagining that Taylor and Gallo will be Kepler replacements in the event of a trade, I thought I'd see if they actually can add a bit more offence. Here's what I find from their 2022 splits (RG is runs generated, or R + RBI - HR; and : ab/rg is the average number of at bats per run generated... e.g. Taylor averaged 8.4 at bats per run). 

  ab h r hr rbi rg ab/rg obp w 2o ba/risp
Michael A Taylor 414 105 49 9 43 83 8.449 0.294 0.234
Joey Gallo 350 56 48 19 47 76 7.292 0.360 0.165
Max Kepler 388 88 54 9 43 88 7.185 0.339 0.196
Byron Buxton 340 76 61 28 51 84 5.574 0.277 0.145

A couple of things stand out. It is probably not surprising that Kepler was slightly better in generating runs than Gallo and Taylor (but not by much). What IS interesting is that despite Gallo's terrible numbers, he WAS effective in getting on base with two outs. This is important as, although he might not hit well, he WAS able to effectively prevent the inning from ending when it was on the line. Kepler wasn't that bad in that area either. 

Though not great numbers, Taylor was better than terrible with batting average with runners in scoring position, good enough that it is probably a significant difference. This is a great improvement over all the other OFs (that I listed). 

Also notable is that all OFs were better than Buxton with 2 outs or RISP.

I've been wondering why the Twins would trade off Kepler and replace him with OFs that were good at defense but even worse hitters. These numbers put me a little more at ease if we do deal off the Kepler. I still think the offense stinks. But so did the offense of the 1988 Dodgers. There's no denying that great defense makes pitching (numbers) better. 

Onward to 2023.

 

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So. Welcome to my first post. I screwed up the spreadsheet. Here's the real deal. (And I added runs generated by plate appearance too). The above numbers show runs by at bat instead of also incorporating RBIs. 

  ab pa h r hr rbi rg ab/rg pa/rg obp w 2o ba/risp
Michael Taylor 414 456 105 49 9 43 83 4.988 5.494 0.294 0.234
Joey Gallo 350 410 56 48 19 47 76 4.605 5.395 0.360 0.165
Max Kepler 388 446 88 54 9 43 88 4.409 5.068 0.339 0.196
Byron Buxton 340 382 76 61 28 51 84 4.048 4.548 0.277 0.145

Looks like Kepler was a little bit better at generating runs than the other weak hitters, but not by much. Both Gallo and Taylor are still probably comparable replacements for Kepler with a little upside with 2 outs or RISP... both of which are needed upgrades. 

 

 

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I guess I'm puzzled at your new metric here. Are you saying that each of our outfielders will generate nearly 1 run every game? That seems pretty sweet to me. Bat Gallo leadoff so he gets 5.5 PA per game and boom.  I'm wondering if this run generated stat is double counting the RBI and run that a player creates when hitting a home run.  

Also it seems like it *might* not be the best way to measure actual productivity, since outside HRs, run generation requires outside participation. 

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I don't think the Twins expect Taylor to be any sort of improvement on Kepler's offense. I think they hope Gallo gets back to being the guy he was in Texas. In which case he's a pretty significant improvement on Kepler. But I don't know that Kepler is getting traded. He certainly might, but I think Taylor is here as a bench player that allows Buxton some DH days without the defense taking a major hit. I wouldn't be surprised if Kepler is in RF in KC on opening day. 

I do agree that the offense needs to improve, though. I think that largely comes down to the kids, though. Need to get them healthy and producing. Team is doomed if a couple of Miranda, Kirilloff, Larnach, Lee, Lewis, etc. don't step into the heart of the order and produce.

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1 hour ago, August J Gloop said:

I guess I'm puzzled at your new metric here. Are you saying that each of our outfielders will generate nearly 1 run every game? That seems pretty sweet to me. Bat Gallo leadoff so he gets 5.5 PA per game and boom.  I'm wondering if this run generated stat is double counting the RBI and run that a player creates when hitting a home run.  

Also it seems like it *might* not be the best way to measure actual productivity, since outside HRs, run generation requires outside participation. 

I'm looking for a way to estimate how many runs a player is part of creating. There might be a better stat, but I can easily calculate this, so I did it. It doesn't double count HRs (those are subtracted from R and RBI) but it does double count players' runs. Buxton on second when Kepler hits a HR counts as a run for Buxton and 2 runs for Kepler. Also, not saying that is what will happen in the future, just what has happened in the past. Hopefully everyone does better in the future. 

I'm also concerned about players ending innings. So OBP when there are 2 outs keeps an inning going. 

With the Twins terrible at RISP hits, I'm looking at the RISP avg. And Taylor is the only one of the four above the Mendoza line. That his RISP avg is only .234 but is the highest of the four tells a little something about how much trouble this can be over the season. 

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50 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

I don't think the Twins expect Taylor to be any sort of improvement on Kepler's offense. I think they hope Gallo gets back to being the guy he was in Texas. In which case he's a pretty significant improvement on Kepler. But I don't know that Kepler is getting traded. He certainly might, but I think Taylor is here as a bench player that allows Buxton some DH days without the defense taking a major hit. I wouldn't be surprised if Kepler is in RF in KC on opening day. 

I do agree that the offense needs to improve, though. I think that largely comes down to the kids, though. Need to get them healthy and producing. Team is doomed if a couple of Miranda, Kirilloff, Larnach, Lee, Lewis, etc. don't step into the heart of the order and produce.

I agree. I see Kepler staying with the team now. They have a rock solid OF and it is Buxton injury proof now. I understand that the younger squad is supposed to take over the hitting, but I'm always of the mind that younger players are only potential until they are proven. A good deal of prospects don't pan out, as exciting as they are in their first year or two. And sophomore slumps are real. If the young squad does meet their potential, this team will actually be pretty good. 

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1 hour ago, Muppet said:

I'm looking for a way to estimate how many runs a player is part of creating. There might be a better stat, but I can easily calculate this, so I did it. It doesn't double count HRs (those are subtracted from R and RBI) but it does double count players' runs. Buxton on second when Kepler hits a HR counts as a run for Buxton and 2 runs for Kepler. Also, not saying that is what will happen in the future, just what has happened in the past. Hopefully everyone does better in the future. 

I'm also concerned about players ending innings. So OBP when there are 2 outs keeps an inning going. 

With the Twins terrible at RISP hits, I'm looking at the RISP avg. And Taylor is the only one of the four above the Mendoza line. That his RISP avg is only .234 but is the highest of the four tells a little something about how much trouble this can be over the season. 

wrc is literally that stat. https://library.fangraphs.com/offense/wrc/

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