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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Monday, May 30, 2005

The Numbers Game 

Here are some interesting numbers for the Phillies ...

Abreu: .353
Burrell: .311
Bell: .225
Utley: .302
Polanco: .247
Lieberthal: .257
Lofton: .317
Thome: .248
Michaels: .274

Runs Created (as of May 28, 2005):
Abreu: 50.7
Burrell: 32.6
Rollins: 26.2
Utley: 21.3
Bell: 17.2
Polanco: 16.7
Lieberthal: 15.3
Michaels: 13.9
Lofton: 13.8
Thome: 12.3
Perez: 5.1
Pratt: 4.8
Offerman: 3.9
Howard: 2.3

Mind you that Utley got those 21 Runs Created on half of the plate appearances of Jimmy Rollins. Check out Runs Created per 27 Outs*:

Abreu: 11.55
Lofton: 8.46
Burrell: 7.88
Utley: 6.09
Michaels: 5.62
Polanco: 4.66
Rollins: 4.54
Lieberthal: 4.30
Thome: 4.07
Bell: 3.68

* This is a fun stat meant to measure how many runs a hypothetical nine man team of this player would score.

There are three Phillies hitting over .200 in ISO:
Abreu: .253
Utley: .240
Burrell: .215

Phillies who should be hitting .200 or better: Thome: .107 ... note that Thome had a .307 ISO in 2004.

David Bell is having a rough season compared to last year: .081 ISO, .321 OBP vs. .167 ISO & .363 OBP in 2004.

On to the pitching staff ... it's been two months since the start of the season for the Phillies and I was curious about how much stingier the Phillies new pitching staff is with home runs compared to Eric Milton, et al., in 2004. Well ... turns out not very:

Home Runs per 9 Innings:
2004: 1.32
2005: 1.32

Well that's mildly discouraging. Some Phillies have made tremendous strides on this front. Brett Myers surrendered 1.58 home runs per 9 in '04. This year it's 0.97 per 9. Not too shabby.

What has surprised me has been Jon Lieber: 1.81 home runs per 9. One of the reasons why the Phillies picked up Lieber in free agency has been his ability to avoid surrendering walks and home runs. Already this season Lieber has surrendered nearly as many walks (17) as he did in 2004 with the Yankees (18). Lieber also gave up nearly a home run fewer per 9 innings: 1.02 in 2004. Good news is that his groundball/flyball ratio is consistent: 1.43 in '04 v. 1.42 in '05.

Fielding ... Bell might be having an awful year at the plate, but he's been quite the glove for the Phillies: second in the NL in Zone Rating amongst 3B's, and first in Range Factor. Bell's performance is a great reason why bloggers don't pay attention to flawed stats like fielding percentage and errors, both of which Bell leads NL 3B's in.

Confused about what I’m talking about? Stats Defined:
ISO (Isolated Power): .SLG - .BA = .ISO. Measures a player’s raw power by subtracting singles from their slugging percentage.
OBP (On-Base Percentage): How often a player gets on base. (H + BB + HBP) / (Plate Appearances)
GPA (Gross Productive Average): (1.8 * .OBP + .SLG) / 4 = .GPA. Invented by The Hardball Times Aaron Gleeman, GPA measures a players production by weighing his ability to get on base and hit with power. This is my preferred all-around stat.

I suspect that David Bell's high Range Factor is largely an artifact of his leading the league in total chances. Now he could be responsible for having such a high number of chances due to a large range, but it seems just as plausible that he's simply had more balls hit at him more frequently than other third baseman.

Still, his high ZR is pretty compelling.
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