Player WPAs are here!

The art of deception, by Josh Beckett
Mike Plugh, buy me a lotto ticket

Many thanks to David Appelman at FanGraphs for allowing me to use their WPA data on this site. As I mentioned Monday night, the WPA spreadsheet I used last year doesn’t work on a Mac, so I thought I was SOL regarding individual players’ WPAs. But, thanks to David and his wonderfully comprehensive website, we’re all back in the know when it comes to WPA.

Using this system has also opened a new area of analysis: Leverage Index. What this shows is how critical each situation was in which a player appeared. The stat shown on the table below, pLI, is the average Leverage Index per player plate appearance. The average LI is 1.00, and obviously increases as game situations become more critical.

So, without further ado, here’s is Monday’s WPA chart:

Player WPA pLI Pitcher WPA pLI
Giambi .225 1.04 Farnsworth .127 2.18
Jeter .130 1.68 Vizcaino .092 1.17
Posada .099 1.12 Henn .042 0.72
Alex .065 1.33 Rivera .017 0.21
Damon .048 1.09 Bruney -.066 1.05
Phelps .039 0.54 Pavano -.238 1.23
Cano .030 1.13
Melky .015 1.69
Minky .006 1.83
Matsui -.041 0.69
Abreu -.089 1.47

Even though Jeter’s WPA was nearly 10 percent lower than Giambi’s, we can put that into a better perspective by noting that Jeter hit in higher pressure situations. We can see that Minky didn’t add or take away, which is mitigated by his 1.83 pLI. Had he been in the negatives, we could have fumed a bit. Matsui had a bad day, but he was up in situations that were less pressured than average. So at least he didn’t kill the team with his bad day.

Of course, none of those caught your eye first. As Yankees fans (or even if you’re not), your eye likely went straight to Mr. Alex Rodriguez. Yes, his WPA is a modest .065, but his pLI was just 1.33. However, maybe it’s not best to only compare and contrast pLI and WPA.

Here’s the deal: I’m going to log each and every one of Alex’s plate appearances this season. It will be very simple: Leverage Index and the outcome of the at bat. Maybe this, combined with his WPA, will allow us to understand the whole “he doesn’t come through in the clutch” argument.

Otherwise, enjoy the numbers. Once again, if anyone has any questions about WPA, please e-mail me at RABJosephP (at) gmail (dot) com.

The art of deception, by Josh Beckett
Mike Plugh, buy me a lotto ticket
  • b/c

    I am watching Matsuzaka’s start today and truth be told, he looks good, but hardly the ace we were told of. His command is pretty good but hardly legendary, although he does seem to be throwing a wide array of pitches as advertized.

    Be aware of small sample size and the fact that he is facing KC.

    Rock On

  • b/c

    BTW, very funky delivery from Matsuzaka. I wonder how long it will take before hitters begin picking up on that and making adjustments.

    Mike’s thoughts on Usi Petit got me thinking about this.

    As well, he is sitting at 91-93 not in the 95 mph range we were told of.

  • b/c

    Location is getting better as he goes along, but the FB is still only hitting 92.

    Matsuzaka will be a good pitcher, but not to the levels projected for him.

    BTW the Redsocks TV crew is really good. Or amybe I am just so tired of Miller and Morgan that they soung good.

    Matsuzaka just k’d the side, and is showing very good pitchability.

  • Ben

    Because of this table, I’m booing Bobby Abreu tonight. Bum.

  • Mike A.

    Dice-K never threw 95, not in the last few years at least. Ask Mike Plugh. The 95 mph fastballs were another product of the Peter Gammons hype machine. He usually throws 90-92.

    He doesn’t throw 6 breaking balls either, it’s your basic change, slider and 2-seamer, he just changes speeds with them so much that it looks like 6 different pitches.

    He’s looking good so far, but he isn’t exactly pitching in Yankee Stadium in late Sept. either.

  • b/c

    Yah, before we go crazy, remember that jaret wright had 10 k’s agains tampa last year.

    Also notice that Dice K got most of his k’s agains Buck, Shealy, Teahen, and Gload.

    And, if anyone would notice, Grienke pitched BETTER than Dice K today, despite his D letting him down.

    The fact that Alex gordon didn’t get 2 errors today is remarkable. Two plays clearly went off his glove and they were both playable.

  • b/c

    The point being that having a good day agains KC does not by any means make Matsuzaka into what Peter Gammons thinks he is.

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