Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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Sunday, May 30, 2004

ISO Watch, Part 1 

I've been playing around learning a little more about sabremetrics on the web. Hardball Times keeps track of a lot of interesting stats. (I mention them to the detriment of no other - I have limited amounts of time, so I only read so much.) One stat they keep track of really interested me: Isolated Power (ISO).

Isolated Power is a really good way to measure the team's production of extrabase hits. ISO works by subtracting a team's slugging average from its batting average, thus counting the team's doubles, triples and home runs. Expressed as a formula:

(SLG) - (BA) = (ISO)

e.g.: let's consider catcher Todd Pratt:
BA: .308
SLG: .385
ISO: .077
(stats as of May 27, 2004)

(Pratt has the lowest ISO on the Phils but as anyone who follows the Phils will tell you, he is a terrific backup to Lieberthal, and his OBP is a phenomenal .424, higher than even Abreu, the Phils OBP machine. Pratt's 26 AB's is a pretty small sample: his '03 ISO was .192 ... So true, ISO isn't a terrific measure of a player's skill.)

I think that it is a really interesting stat for the reason that it gives you a really good idea about how explosive a team's offense really is: you don't win games by hitting single after single after single. You could get three consecutive singles and still fail to score even one run. A team needs power, and ISO is a good way of keeping track of that: you can clear the bases on a double. It is a run-producing hit. A home run is the ultimate weapon.

So I've decided to keep track of the Phils ISO stats. Here are the Phils starting eight, plus Chase Utley:

Utley, .334
Thome, .333
Abreu, .287
Burrell, .225
Lieberthal, .177

Bell, .175
Byrd, .094
Polanco, .090
Rollins, .085

Little surprise how well Thome (for whom 50% of his hits are for extrabases) is doing, and fan-bloggers are well versed on what a terrific talent Chase Utley is. Overall, the Phils are doing quite well: the league average ISO is .160, and the Phils are batting a .180 ISO. The NL average ISO is .160 (as of May 28, 2004). The Braves: .160; the Marlins: .161 ...

I was really interested in the stats concerning the Phils reserves...

Ledee, .306
Perez, .265

Glanville, .081
Pratt, .077

I was thinking about Perez home run on Friday night against the Braves (see, above) and I am struck by the fact that Perez doesn't really have a reputation as a power guy, yet there are the facts of the matter.

Ledee, in particular, is hitting with a lot of power, chiefly away from Citizens. He looks like a good guy to bring in off the bench. Plus, he's leading the team in OBP (.442)

Anyway, I'll be keeping track of the Phils ISO stats for a bit and see if they bear fruit. Looking at Perez ISO stats and his walkoff shot against the Braves isn't such a surprise.

Oh, and ISO is yet another powerful argument for the Phillies to keep Doug Glanville on the bench and off the field.

A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.
Stewart Alsop- Posters.
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