If you head to FanGraphs and click on an individual player page, you might notice a new stat under the Advanced section, where wOBA once resided. Fret not: wOBA is still there, just a column to the left. Occupying the far right slot is wRC+, which FanGraphs proprietor David Appelman explains here. It’s essentially a weighted Runs Created stat, but scaled to the league like OPS+.
The idea actually came from Tom Tango, who criticized the composition of OPS+. The idea behind OPS+ is to weigh on base and slugging averages on a scale where 100 is the league average. The stat takes into consideration park effects, which is nice, but it ignores stolen bases and, more importantly, it doesn’t give OBP enough credence. It weighs OPB to SLG 1.2 to 1. Tango, among others, notes that it should be more like 1.7 or 1.8 to 1.
So, in sum, the differences between wRC+ and OPS+:
1) wRC+ puts a more realistic weight on OBP
2) wRC+ includes stolen bases
Some will bemoan the introduction of a new stat. I never understood why. The point of new stats is to more accurately portray a player’s contribution. Sometimes you can find that in old stats. But, especially for more dynamic players, a stat like wRC+ can be a huge help. In this specific case, it credits players who steal bases and get on base, whereas OPS+ favors power hitters. In other words, I think it’s a bit more balanced take.
You can discuss this, or any other topic you choose in tonight’s open thread. But I really am interested in the reaction to another stat.