Yes, we all know that batting average, as a value stat, is a terrible indicator of a player’s worth, but I think it’s still one of the first things that we glance at when we look at a player’s Baseball Reference or Fangraphs page.  One thing that makes BA fun is its day-to-day fluctuations and how that influences the season’s-end BA.  No season’s-end .312 hitter hit .312 every single day.  It’s a random distribution of 0/3 days and 4/4 days and 2/5 days that creates a .312 hitter. That’s what I wanted to take a look at.

For today’s graph, I took Pujols’ individual day BA’s from his Game Log over at Sports Illustrated and his season-to-date BA from his Batting Game Log at Baseball Reference, and constructed a simple line graph in Excel.
Warning: This picture is biggggggg.  It’ll stretch the screen a little bit, and I apologize, but there’s a lot of data

Click to enlarge

What does this tell us?  Well… not a whole lot.  The scale of the Y-axis is something I fought myself for awhile on; While I wanted to capture the entire spread of the individual day BA (So, from 0.00 to 1.00), that minimizes the visual impact on how much the season-to-date BA fluctuates.  For example, during a two week stretch in late July, Pujols’ batting average fell from .310 to .295, which is pretty significant.  The graph shows it only as a slight, innocuous drop.

Just looking at the graph, and knowing Albert as a hitter, I’m guessing that Albert’s BA stabilizes more quickly than other hitters.  Anecdotally, Colby Rasmus seems like a player who has rather large fluctuations in BA in relatively short periods of time, so I’ll be sure to look at him in a future post and compare him to Albert.  For now, though, enjoy this graph!

With the UCB publishing their Cardinal teams of the decade (for the record mine would have looked like Erik’s) I felt the need to get a little nostalgic myself.  What better way to do that than graphically re-live the MV3.  First the standard career chart sorted best to worst seasons.

  • So that Pujols guy is pretty good eh?
  • Edmonds (Erik Covered him here and here) and Rolen (I gave a comp here) both hover in the HOF zone and will probably be borderline candidates in the eyes of most

Now the same chart, but whittled down to only the years they spent in St. Louis (with the exception of Rolen’s first year which combines pre and post trade numbers)

  • Rolen’s time with the Cardinals is underwhelming compared to the other two, which speaks to the excellence of the other two.  4-5 WAR seasons are nothing to sneeze at (i.e. Rolen’s 3rd and 4th best)

And finally a chronological view

  • No wonder they got the MV3 nickname, 3 guys with >8 WAR
  • Also no wonder why that team was so good
  • This chart also provides insight into the plight in 2007

WAR data from Rally’s WAR database

Quick takeoff on Danup’s post earlier in the week at VEB.  Here’s the stock HOF chart pitting the two against each other.

Seems like Rolen’s bad years were better while Santo’s good years were better.  In the end I’d expect Rolen to overtake Santo on the career totals as he probably can put together a couple more 2-3 WAR seasons.

Just wanted to put a couple of charts up that give a pretty decent view of Albert’s offense through the years.  First, his wOBA by components graph (note these were computed with each year’s coefficients)

That’s pretty consistent, with only one year that tickles .400 or below.  And for another look, the same chart from a percentage view

This gives a better view into the relative way he’s amassed his offensive production.  Wow he got a lot of his value from the HR in 2006…  anyway, just thought these graphs were interesting given the occasion of his 3rd MVP.


My plan is to get my simulation back out now that I have my defensive projections to input in there, so look for some comparisons of different potential roster constructions.  If you have any you’d specifically like to see drop them in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

If you caught my previews of the first two NLDS games you saw that I did a couple of heat graphs (aka heat maps).  I had what I thought was a decent idea for another version of that graph.  The attempt is to capture a pitches effectiveness by movement.  Without further ado, we have Carp’s curveball’s whiff rate.

The vertical axis is vertical movement in inches, and the horizontal axis is horizontal movement.  The picture is from the catcher’s perspective.  The basic takeaway is the more straight down the pitch broke, the higher percentage of whiffs he got.  The chart doesn’t break out for batter handedness, and I also removed some periphery data points where the sample size skewed the chart.  Anyway, what do ya’ll think?  is there some value here, or is it simply a pretty picture for the sake of pretty pictures.

Over in the comments of my fanshot at BtB I put some alternate looks at breakdowns of wOBA.  Below I’ll reproduce those within the context of the Cardinals.  The first is a re-post of the stacked bar graph; however it added a league average stack and line across for comparison sake.  It also has Holliday’s full season stats instead of just his time in St. Louis.  Graphs after the jump

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Inspired by all of the quality new graphs coming out of BtB, I thought I’d keep up my trend of putting some new charts out there.  There seems to be many graphs dealing with offense and overall value, but not many defense specific graphs.  That being said, here’s my feeble attempt at displaying two of the better defensive shortstops out there.

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Jumping off of the work I did earlier today I thought I’d put together the same chart just for the Cardinals.  Here it is, the top Cardinal hitters (in terms of PAs) broken down by wOBA

A Couple of Notes:

  • This is only from Holliday’s time with the Cardinals
  • Holliday, Skip, Ryan, Ankiel, and Thurston all have slightly (~0.001) negative SB components that don’t show well on the chart.
  • NIBB is non intentional BBs

I put a graph in the comments over at BtB breaking down the top wOBAs by component.  Here it is

Pujols has built his wOBA lead via the long ball and the walk (Duh and Duh).

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