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:
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.