September 17, 2003
Aim For The Head
Reader Mail, and More New Stat Reports
Keith: love your work, but I'm sure I won't be the only one to point out a slight oversight in this column. John Olerud, omitted from your list of batters to hit two cycles, is the only player to hit for the cycle in both leagues, once for the Mets on 9/11/1997 in Montreal, and once for the Mariners. However his cycle for the Mariners came at a national league park--Qualcomm, on 6/16/2001. So he hasn't cycled in parks in both leagues.
You (and several other astute readers) are absolutely right. I inadvertently left off 2001 and 2002 when compiling the list of supercycles and pedicycles, and missed Olerud as a result.
I also missed two pedicycles (cycle + walk): Jeff Bagwell on July 18, 2001, and Craig Biggio on April 8. 2002. There have been four cycles so far in 2003, but no pedicycles. I also need to add Barry Bonds to the list of players with five supercycles (at least four hits, with at least one HR, two hits that are HR or 3B, and at least three hits that are HR, 3B, or 2B), as well as adding Vinny Castilla and Larry Walker to the list of players with four supercycles. My apologies to AFTH readers for the error.
Ryan Smith writes:
I'm a Cubs fan, and one of the more interesting stats that I remember about their promising 2001 campaign was Eric Young's 43 doubles and 42 RBI. I thought it would be near impossible for a player to have as many as 25 doubles and fewer RBI than doubles. However, after a bit of research (nothing extensive), I learned that there had been a few guys to do it.Indeed, it is rare. Since 1901, there have been only 45 players with 300+ AB who had more doubles than RBI. The record for most RBI with more doubles is held by Mark Grudzielanek, who had 54 doubles, but just 51 RBI in 1997. Grudzielanek also holds the record for most AB in such a season with 649. Three other players have had 600+ AB and more doubles than RBI: Don Blasingame for the 1959 Cardinals (615 AB, 26 2B, 24 RBI), Sparky Adams for the 1931 Cardinals (608 AB, 46 2B, 40 RBI), and the aforementioned Eric Young. The fewest doubles that exceeded a player's RBI total was done by Dick Howser playing for the 1965 Indians. In 307 AB, he hit just eight doubles, but had just six runs batted in (one of them on a home run).
Interesting new statistical reports. I'm piqued by Pitchers Counterpart Profile. Why should I care how the opposing pitcher has pitched all season when looking at my pitcher's record? All that matters is how opposing pitchers performed on the particular day they "faced" my pitcher. Unlike PQBF and BQPF, the two pitchers do not really "face" one another, therefore the results need not be filtered by considering their average performances.
Counterpart quality is interesting to investigate questions like whether teams juggle their rotations to get their aces facing each other, or whether good run support came from a pitcher's teammates having an unusually good day (better than you'd expect given who they are facing), or if a team was beating up on weak pitching. It may not have predictive value, but it has some explanatory power.
Just a question about the Opposing Pitchers and Batter's Averages: When you calculate these BA/OBP/SLG/OPS, are you including the work that the pitcher or batter did against their opponent? Example: Let's say Mike Mussina pitched against guys who have 20,000 PA. Are you taking this total amount of PA and figuring the BA/OBP/SLG/OPS, or are you removing the 500 PA that these hitters have against Mussina and then calculating the true BA/OBP/SLG/OPS that these hitters have against the rest of MLB?
I am not currently removing the pitcher's own PA in his opponent's totals, though I might revise the report in the future.
More New Stat Reports:
Once again, we are introducing several new statistical reports that will be updated approximately daily during the baseball season. All of them are available as a free preview now at our Statistics Page. Some of these will later be offered as part of Baseball Prospectus Premium.