FanPost

A simple strikeout compensation metric

This is a follow up to the earlier post “A key question: how many strikeouts is too many?”.

After giving it more thought I decided to make a fairly simple calculation in order to gauge offensive production for a player using hits and walks, and accounting for strikeouts as unproductive. In essence each strikeout takes a single (1 base) away from a total bases calculation.

I modified my original formula, mentioned in the earlier posting, by now assigning the usual number of bases to each hit:

HR equals 4, triple equals 3, double equals 2, single equals 1, and a walk (BB) equals ½. I have purposely assigned a BB with less weight than a single since the latter can advance runners by more than one base and score runners when first base is unoccupied. I used this weighting to get my version of total bases and call the result Strikeout Compensation Metric (SCM). I show the calculation for Nationals position players through the game of Sept. 16, 2012.

Player

SCM

Strikeouts (SO)

Difference

Ratio: SCM/SO

Zimmerman

273

103

170

2.65

LaRoche

290

125

165

2.32

Desmond

250

100

150

2.50

Harper

243

107

136

2.27

Werth

117

47

70

2.49

Morse

153

84

69

1.82

Espinosa

242

174

68

1.39

Lombo

98

44

54

2.23

Bernadina

100

53

47

1.89

Moore

80

40

40

2.00

By examining the SCM minus SO value Zimmerman is the most productive followed by LaRoche, Desmond, and Harper. Even with many more at bats Espinosa beats Lombo by only a small amount for the difference between SCM and total SO. The ratio of the two strongly favors Lombo. I assert that ratio values above 2 means that the player is compensating for unproductive strikeouts quite well. Those with a ratio below 2 not so much. No player on the Nats had a ratio below 1, though Espinosa's ratio was a low 1.39. If Espy had about 100 more total bases, equivalent to 25 more HRs, then his ratio would exceed 2 even with his high strikeout total.

Certainly with a whole lot more effort outs could be more properly parsed into those which advanced runners (via ground ball and sacrifice fly) and those, like strikeouts, which do not. My guess is that the relative offensive contribution between players would be very similar to my simple metric to do the same.

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