Friday, November 11, 2005

A Trip Through the Leaderboards

Yesterday I received my copy of The Bill James Handbook 2006. One of my favorite sections of the book is the Leaderboards because they include a lot of oddball stat categories, like BPS on OutZ (Batting Average plus Slugging Percentage on pitches outside the strike zone -- an Ichiro favorite) and Shortest Average Home Run.

Here are some Nats-related appearances that I found interesting:

  • Nick Johnson (9th) and Brad Wilkerson (4th) were in the top ten on Pitches per Plate Appearance.

  • Preston Wilson was 7th in Highest GB/FB ratio, which seems odd for a guy hitting fifth. Brad Wilkerson was 4th in Lowest GB/FB ratio, which seems odd for a guy hitting first.

  • Nick Johnson was 5th on the Best BPS on OutZ. Vinny Castilla (3rd), Brad Wilkerson (7th) and Preston Wilson (9th) all made the Worst BPS on OutZ. So it wasn't our imagination.

  • Ryan Church was fourth in batting average with bases loaded, his only appearance on the leaderboards.

  • Which Nats player was highest on the OPS by Position leaderboards? No suprise, it was Livan, fifth on the pitchers list.

  • There is a Longest Home Run board, but I think it is misleading, because Bonds HR in RFK isn't on it, and I'd heard the Nats never prepared a distance chart for RFK, so they weren't measured. Brad Schneider was 9th on the Shortest Average Home Run list (371 feet).

  • Jamey Carroll makes only two appearances, fifth in Sacrifice Hits and third in lowest GIDP percentage. Don't get me started on the whole bunting thing.

  • Livan has the top three slots for Most Pitches per Game (150, 145, 136)

  • John Patterson was second in Stolen Bases Allowed, but tied for first in Caught Stealing Off.

  • New guy Brian Lawrence was third in Pitches per Batter (3.45). I think this is good, given that Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, and Mark Mulder are on this list.

  • Esteban Loaiza was first in Percentage of Pitches in Strike Zone (or the "How to Keep Frank Off Your Back" list). I assume this is good too, given that Pedro Martinez, Dontrelle Willis and Roy Oswalt are on this list. So is Tomo Ohka, oddly enough.

  • Gary Majewski lead the league in Opp BPS vs Fastballs (Opponents Batting Average plus Slugging on fastballs). Patterson was third in the same stat versus curveballs.

  • Luis Ayala was second in Viciousness Index, or HBP/BB. Todd Coffey of Cincinnati was the most vicious.

  • Frank Robinson lead NL managers in ordering Sacrifice Bunt attemps with 115, just one ahead of Clint Hurdle of the Rockies (?). He also lead the league in ordering intentional walks with 77.

  • Finally, this is not Nats-related, but I found it interesting. Of the hundreds of thousands of pitches thrown in the 2005 NL season, only 46 were over 100 MPH. Billy Wagner (18) and A.J. Burnett (17) had 35 of those to lead. The AL had 87 pitches over 100 MPH, with Daniel Cabrera of the Orioles throwing 37 of them.


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