MSU Baseball Advanced Stats – Week 1

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Baseball is a game surrounded by stats. As if traditional stats such and RBIs, batting average and E.R.A weren’t enough, sabermetrics were created in the 1970s to pour even more stats into the game. SABR stats didn’t gain much steam over the years until the last decade or so with the idea of “moneyball” in professional baseball. Some dismiss advanced stats while others cling to them as the real baseball stats. I believe they are a valuable tool to help understand the game better, but they have their flaws just like traditional stats. Taking them in as a whole, as well as what you see with your own eyes is the best way to have an informed opinion.

With that in mind, I’d like to present our first edition of advanced stats for MSU baseball. While you can pick up all the traditional stats you want via MSU’s website, I thought this area of statistics that is generally neglected by the mainstream should be available to a fanbase as great as Mississippi State.  I do not have every SABR stat, and I do not have some popular ones like WAR or some defensive stats that are frankly too difficult to keep track of and calculate. But I do have some popular ones – five hitting and five pitching – that should be helpful. If there are any advanced stats that you would like to see added in later weeks just let me know.

For this first edition I will offer explanations of each stat, but will not for later posts.

Hitting

BABIP – “batting average of balls in play”. This stat calculates what a player’s average is when they hit the ball within the field of play. All home runs and strikeouts are taken away to determine how they fair in this regard. The goal of this stat is to indicate a hitter’s “luck”. In other words, a really high BABIP may indicate the hitter has a fair amount of luck and has been fortunate to ‘hit it where they ain’t’ more times than most. A really low BABIP may indicate poor luck where the hitter is hitting it right at the defender for an out more times than most. Over time, the stat should even out, but it lets us know if we can predict a player whose production may decrease or increase going forward.

  1. Demarcus Henderson, .500
  2. C.T. Bradford, .444
  3. Wes Rea, .400
  4. Brett Pirtle, .400
  5. Vickerson, Randolph, C. Brown, and Garner – .333
  6. Alex Detz, .286

OPS – “on-base plus slugging”. This represents a player’s ability to get on base and hit for power. Generally anything above .750 is good…and anything above .900 is excellent.

  1. Cody Brown, 1.045
  2. Henderson & Collins, 1.000
  3. Brett Pirtle, .962
  4. C.T. Bradford, .826
  5. Detz & Rea, .629
  6. Armstrong & Garner, .400

RISP – “runners in scoring position”. This is not really a SABR stat but it is one that cannot be found in MSU’s stat book. It’s one that I really like though as it measures the ‘clutch’ gene.

  1. Jake Vickerson, 1.000
  2. Brett Pirtle, .667
  3. Wes Rea, .500 (2 for 4)
  4. Zach Randolph, .500 (1 for 2)
  5. Alex Detz, .333
  6. 8 others at .000

RC – “runs created”. This is a popular stat that seeks to determine how many runs a particular player is responsible for. Hits, walks, total bases and at-bats are used to calculate this stat – it has nothing to do with RBI which is viewed by some as “luck” with regard to coming up with men on base.

  1. Brett Pirtle, 2.5
  2. C.T. Bradford, 1.66
  3. Cody Brown, 1.63
  4. Alex Detz, .86
  5. Demarcus Henderson, .80
  6. Zach Randolph, .75

Batting average -(minus) productive outs. There may be an official name for this stat, but I don’t know what it is and this is one I like to look at. Productive outs meaning a fly ball or grounder that advances the runner with 0 outs but is not counted as a sacrifice. For instance: a groundout to 2nd base that advances the runner to third base with 0 outs is a productive out. It is not a productive out with 1 out because the runner can no longer score from 3rd on a sac fly. For the opening weekend only C.T. Bradford had one of these when he grounded out in the bottom of the 9th Friday night but Kyle Hann was able to reach 2nd base.

  1. C.T. Bradford, .400
  2. everyone else’s average for this category is the same as their regular batting avg

Pitching

BABIP – same idea as the offense, only it goes to measure a pitcher’s luck. I will note that Ross Mitchell is an example of someone who defies this stat, he will likely always have a high BABIP but he’s good plain and simple.

  1. Johnathan Holder, .000
  2. Sexton & P. Brown, .200
  3. Dakota Hudson, .250
  4. Ross Mitchell, .300
  5. Trevor Fitts, .466
  6. Ben Bracewell, .500

WHIP – “walks + hits per inning pitched”. This is a very popular stat that has even made its way to the mainstream. It simply attempts to find out how many base-runners a pitcher has per inning. Anything less than 1.0 is excellent.

  1. Holder & Tatum, 0
  2. Ross Mitchell, .88
  3. Hudson & Sexton, 1.0
  4. Fitts & P. Brown, 1.5
  5. Ben Bracewell, 2.25
  6. Will Cox, 3.00

WHHBPIP – I made this one up for college baseball. There are just so many HBP and it’s a part of the game to such a large degree I think it should be included to make traditional WHIP a more accurate stat.

  1. Holder & Tatum, 0
  2. Ross Mitchell, .88
  3. Austin Sexton, 1.0
  4. Dakota Hudson, 1.25
  5. Fitts & P. Brown, 1.5
  6. Ben Bracewell, 2.25

Percentage of inherited runners who score – this one is pretty self-explanatory, and for a team that relies on its bullpen as heavily as MSU does this is a very important stat.

  1. Mitchell, Bracewell and P. Brown, 0% (2 runners each)
  2. Holder & Tatum, 0% (1 runner each)

Quality Starts – a minimum of six innings pitched with no more than three earned runs given up. For this staff it could probably be adjusted to two runs but I’ll leave the stat as it is.

  1. Trevor Fitts, 1