Tuesday, July 23, 2024
AnalysisMLB

Introducing a new and improved pwOBAcon+ (Batters)

After introducing four new and improved metrics to evaluate pitchers — pwOBAcon+, pBB%+, pK%+, and pwOBA+ — I will be updating the pwOBAcon+ formula for batters.

There are six variables: barrel percent plus, poorly/under percent plus^2, launch angle standard deviation plus, 90th percentile exit velocity plus, sprint speed plus, and non-bunt wOBAcon plus^2.

“The Barrel classification is assigned to batted-ball events whose comparable hit types (in terms of exit velocity and launch angle) have led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage since Statcast was implemented Major League wide in 2015” (MLB.com).

Here are the lowest single-season barrel percent plus marks since 2015

  1. Ben Revere 2015 (13.6)
  2. David Fletcher 2019 (15.6)
  3. Dee Strange-Gordon 2017 (15.9)
  4. Dee Strange-Gordon 2018 (17.9)
  5. José Iglesias 2015 (18.4)
  6. Dee Strange-Gordon 2019 (20.1)
  7. Ender Inciarte 2017 (20.4)
  8. José Reyes 2015 (20.6)
  9. Tony Wolters 2019 (21.6)
  10. Billy Hamilton 2017 (22.0)

Highest

  1. Aaron Judge 2017 (350.3)
  2. Giancarlo Stanton 2015 (341.1)
  3. Joey Gallo 2017 (290.4)
  4. J.D. Martinez 2015 (286.1)
  5. Joey Gallo 2018 (284.8)
  6. Chris Davis 2015 (283.8)
  7. Miguel Sanó 2015 (282.8)
  8. Mike Trout 2015 (269.7)
  9. J.D. Martinez 2017 (262.1)
  10. Joey Gallo 2019 (260.3)
Clip from Baseball Savant

A batted ball event that is classified as poorly/under has a high launch angle.

Here are the lowest single-season poorly/under percent plus marks since 2015

  1. David Freese 2016 (51.2)
  2. Christian Yelich 2015 (51.3)
  3. Christian Yelich 2016 (52.4)
  4. Christian Yelich 2018 (54.2)
  5. Howie Kendrick 2015 (57.9)
  6. Howie Kendrick 2016 (60.9)
  7. Joe Mauer 2015 (61.3)
  8. Wilson Ramos 2019 (61.8)
  9. Joe Mauer 2016 (62.4)
  10. DJ LeMahieu 2017 (62.4)

Highest

  1. Ryan Schimpf 2016 (146.4)
  2. Stephen Vogt 2016 (142.8)
  3. Matt Carpenter 2017 (141.1)
  4. Jett Bandy 2016 (140.5)
  5. Mike Zunino 2015 (139.2)
  6. Pete Kozma 2015 (139.0)
  7. Rhys Hoskins 2019 (139.0)
  8. Kyle Seager 2017 (138.1)
  9. Clint Barmes 2015 (136.7)
  10. Brian McCann 2018 (136.6)

Here are the lowest single-season launch angle standard deviation plus marks since 2015

  1. Jon Jay 2018 (83.2)
  2. Christian Yelich 2015 (83.6)
  3. Jon Jay 2017 (83.6)
  4. Joey Votto 2018 (83.9)
  5. Nick Castellanos 2018 (84.2)
  6. Matt Carpenter 2015 (84.4)
  7. Matt Carpenter 2018 (84.7)
  8. Joey Votto 2016 (84.8)
  9. Howie Kendrick 2015 (85.2)
  10. Nick Castellanos 2015 (85.5)

Highest

  1. Kevin Kiermaier 2016 (111.9)
  2. Rougned Odor 2015 (111.6)
  3. Peter Bourjos 2017 (111.3)
  4. Carlos Santana 2018 (111.3)
  5. Maikel Franco 2019 (111.3)
  6. Brian Dozier 2016 (111.2)
  7. Gary Sánchez 2018 (111.0)
  8. Austin Hedges 2017 (110.9)
  9. Yuli Gurriel 2016 (110.5)
  10. José Reyes 2018 (110.5)

Here are the lowest single-season 90th percentile exit velocity plus marks since 2015

  1. Billy Hamilton 2018 (91.4)
  2. Billy Hamilton 2019 (91.9)
  3. Dee Strange-Gordon 2017 (92.6)
  4. Ender Inciarte 2020 (92.8)
  5. Billy Hamilton 2017 (92.8)
  6. Billy Hamilton 2015 (93.0)
  7. Dee Strange-Gordon 2020 (93.0)
  8. Dee Strange-Gordon 2018 (93.2)
  9. Billy Burns 2016 (93.2)
  10. Ender Inciarte 2017 (93.2)

Highest

  1. Giancarlo Stanton 2015 (109.4)
  2. Giancarlo Stanton 2016 (109.3)
  3. Giancarlo Stanton 2018 (109.2)
  4. Giancarlo Stanton 2017 (108.9)
  5. Aaron Judge 2017 (108.8)
  6. Aaron Judge 2018 (107.2)
  7. Nelson Cruz 2017 (106.9)
  8. Nelson Cruz 2018 (106.6)
  9. Franchy Cordero 2018 (106.5)
  10. Mark Trumbo 2016 (106.3)

Here are the lowest single-season sprint speed plus marks since 2015

  1. Albert Pujols 2017 (81.6)
  2. Albert Pujols 2018 (83.1)
  3. Brian McCann 2019 (83.3)
  4. Victor Martinez 2015 (83.9)
  5. Albert Pujols 2019 (84.1)
  6. Yadier Molina 2019 (84.2)
  7. Victor Martinez 2016 (84.2)
  8. Albert Pujols 2016 (84.3)
  9. Albert Pujols 2020 (84.5)
  10. Wilson Ramos 2018 (84.6)

Highest

  1. Byron Buxton 2016 (113.2)
  2. Tim Locastro 2019 (112.9)
  3. Delino DeShields 2015 (112.8)
  4. Byron Buxton 2017 (112.5)
  5. Trea Turner 2019 (112.1)
  6. Byron Buxton 2015 (112.0)
  7. Trea Turner 2017 (112.0)
  8. Adam Engel 2017 (112.0)
  9. Byron Buxton 2019 (111.6)
  10. Billy Hamilton 2017 (111.4)

Here are the lowest single-season non-bunt wOBAcon plus marks since 2015

  1. Ben Revere 2016 (80.9)
  2. Ichiro Suzuki 2015 (81.5)
  3. Joe Panik 2019 (82.3)
  4. Alcides Escobar 2018 (83.4)
  5. Jarrod Dyson 2018 (83.7)
  6. Billy Burns 2016 (83.7)
  7. JB Shuck 2016 (83.8)
  8. Zack Cozart 2019 (83.8)
  9. Adeiny Hechavarría 2016 (83.9)
  10. Joe Panik 2018 (84.2)

Highest

  1. Aaron Judge 2017 (134.8)
  2. Bryce Harper 2015 (131.3)
  3. J.D. Martinez 2017 (129.1)
  4. Chris Davis 2015 (128.9)
  5. Mike Trout 2015 (126.3)
  6. J.D. Martinez 2018 (126.1)
  7. Nelson Cruz 2015 (125.9)
  8. Paul Goldschmidt 2015 (125.5)
  9. Christian Yelich 2019 (124.6)
  10. Miguel Sanó 2015 (124.0)

pwOBAcon+ comes from a linear regression where barrel percent plus, poorly/under percent plus^2, launch angle standard deviation plus, 90th percentile exit velocity plus, sprint speed plus, and non-bunt wOBAcon plus^2 in season n were the x-variables and non-bunt wOBAcon+ in season n+1 was the y-variable. A hitter’s pwOBAcon+ value is what one would predict that hitter’s non-bunt wOBAcon to be the following season given that hitter’s barrel percent plus, poorly/under percent plus^2, launch angle standard deviation plus, 90th percentile exit velocity plus, sprint speed plus, and non-bunt wOBAcon plus^2.

In the equation, all the independent variables have a positive coefficient except for launch angle standard deviation plus (a hitter typically wants to maintain a tighter distribution of launch angles [doesn’t want super high popups and super low groundouts]). In regards to the five factors that have positive coefficients, barrels are the best type of quality of contact, poorly/under batted balls could be just-missed extra-base hits, it’s impressive to demonstrate the ability to hit the ball hard, it’s good to be fast, and it’s good to have succeeded in the form of a high non-bunt wOBAcon+. For your information, season n refers to the current season, and season n+1 would be the subsequent season.

Here are the lowest single-season pwOBAcon plus marks since 2015

  1. Billy Burns 2016 (78.6)
  2. Ichiro Suzuki 2015 (79.9)
  3. Ender Inciarte 2020 (80.6)
  4. Brayan Peña 2015 (80.7)
  5. Dee Strange-Gordon 2017 (80.8)
  6. Ben Revere 2016 (81.4)
  7. Ben Revere 2017 (81.8)
  8. Ender Inciarte 2016 (82.1)
  9. Daniel Castro 2016 (82.1)
  10. Ichiro Suzuki 2017 (82.2)

Highest

  1. Aaron Judge 2017 (142.6)
  2. Giancarlo Stanton 2015 (136.7)
  3. Mike Trout 2015 (132.7)
  4. Joey Gallo 2017 (132.1)
  5. Joey Gallo 2018 (130.2)
  6. Chris Davis 2015 (128.1)
  7. Miguel Sanó 2015 (127.4)
  8. Joey Gallo 2019 (127.2)
  9. Giancarlo Stanton 2017 (127.1)
  10. Mike Trout 2019 (126.9)

My model was built off of consecutive player-seasons of at least 300 plate appearances from 2015-2018 (n = 638).

In looking at how predictive 2018 pwOBAcon was of 2019 non-bunt wOBAcon compared to 2018 non-bunt wOBAcon and 2018 non-bunt xwOBAcon, it should be fairly obviously to one that pwOBAcon is far more predictive of future non-bunt wOBAcon than non-bunt wOBAcon and non-bunt xwOBAcon are. The left barplot conveys that pwOBAcon is much more stable year-to-year than non-bunt wOBAcon and non-bunt xwOBAcon are.

If one seeks to best predict performance when hitter makes contact based on stats from a given season, one should definitely look at pwOBAcon over non-bunt xwOBAcon or non-bunt wOBAcon.

Featured image- Creator: Rob Tringali/Sportschrome | Credit: Getty Images