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May 27, 2013

BP Unfiltered

Productive and Unproductive Outs, TAv Edition

by Colin Wyers

Occasionally I get asked why such-and-such a player has a True Average that seems out of line with what their OPS (or some other offensive rate) would suggest. There's a lot of potential answers to that -- TAv is a bit more precise in how it weights various events, and it has park and league quality adjustments. But I find that most people understand those answers pretty intuitively. There's one that seems to confuse people a bit more often.

True Average includes situational outs in a batter's production. That means that hitting into a lot of double plays reduces one's TAv, and hitting an above-average amount of sacrifices increases your TAv. We recognize that these events are situational -- some players have more chances to do these things than others, even if plate appearances are even. So we look at the various base-out states each hitter gets a chance to bat in, and use that to compute our baseline of average to compare to. That way, we don't penalize hitters who came up with runners on and less than two outs for hitting into more double plays than someone who frequently bats with the bases empty.

To illustrate, I went into our database and recomputed TAv for everybody with situational outs runs excluded, and looked at the difference between that an actual TAv. With a minimum of 100 PA, here are the 20 hitters who saw the biggest boost to their TAv from situational outs:

FULLNAME PA SIT_RAA TAV TAV_NOSIT DIFF
Mark Ellis 107 1.9 0.272 0.253 0.019
Alberto Callaspo 126 2.1 0.277 0.259 0.018
Gaby Sanchez 109 1.8 0.312 0.295 0.017
Jonny Gomes 117 2 0.246 0.23 0.016
Adrian Gonzalez 181 2.3 0.336 0.322 0.013
Zack Cozart 200 2.8 0.218 0.205 0.013
Leonys Martin 111 1 0.263 0.252 0.012
Yoenis Cespedes 164 1.9 0.299 0.287 0.012
Erick Aybar 122 1.2 0.225 0.215 0.01
Nick Hundley 145 1.3 0.261 0.251 0.01
Drew Stubbs 173 1.7 0.255 0.245 0.01
Pete Kozma 177 1.7 0.261 0.251 0.01
Marwin Gonzalez 136 1.3 0.25 0.24 0.01
Garrett Jones 152 1.6 0.296 0.286 0.01
Jayson Nix 148 1.4 0.233 0.224 0.009
Ian Desmond 199 1.7 0.266 0.257 0.009
Daniel Nava 178 1.5 0.319 0.31 0.009
Troy Tulowitzki 178 1.6 0.317 0.308 0.009
Justin Morneau 202 1.8 0.269 0.26 0.009
Emilio Bonifacio 131 1.2 0.204 0.195 0.009

And here are the 20 hitters who have seen their TAv dropped the most by situational outs, again minimum of 100 PA:

FULLNAME PA SIT_RAA TAV TAV_NOSIT DIFF
Michael Young 192 -4.5 0.236 0.261 -0.024
Adeiny Hechavarria 138 -2.8 0.189 0.211 -0.022
Jayson Werth 107 -1.6 0.241 0.256 -0.015
Matt Holliday 199 -2.7 0.255 0.268 -0.013
David Ortiz 137 -1.9 0.327 0.339 -0.012
Chris Denorfia 168 -1.7 0.273 0.283 -0.011
Kendrys Morales 203 -2 0.319 0.33 -0.011
Matt Dominguez 180 -1.8 0.239 0.25 -0.011
Chris Iannetta 149 -1.3 0.272 0.282 -0.01
Justin Smoak 179 -1.5 0.265 0.275 -0.01
Neil Walker 147 -1.4 0.252 0.262 -0.01
Manny Machado 232 -2.3 0.298 0.308 -0.01
Chris Getz 116 -1.1 0.195 0.204 -0.01
A.J. Pierzynski 118 -0.8 0.269 0.278 -0.009
Rob Brantly 119 -1.1 0.214 0.224 -0.009
Jonathan Lucroy 152 -1.3 0.215 0.224 -0.009
Jose Altuve 204 -1.4 0.266 0.274 -0.008
Maicer Izturis 134 -1.3 0.194 0.202 -0.008
Donovan Solano 118 -0.8 0.235 0.243 -0.008
Placido Polanco 186 -1.3 0.206 0.214 -0.008

It's not necessarily a shocking list -- Michael Young leads all of MLB in double plays, for instance (and he hit into another one during tonight's game). But it does illustrate how some things not typically recorded in OPS can have a significant impact on a player's production. Admittedly, for most players, SIT_RAA is going to have little impact, but for a handful it will be important, and in looking at a particular player's offense it could mean the difference between a slightly above-average TAv and a shockingly low one.

Colin Wyers is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Colin's other articles. You can contact Colin by clicking here

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Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (05/26)
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BP Unfiltered: Chris S... (05/24)
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