Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sea Dogs 2004 Batting Leaders

At long last, an update! It's probably a moot point at this point, but here's a year-end review of the Sea Dogs statistical leaders for 2004. There will be an entry for the batters followed by one for the pitchers. For our purposes here, I have only looked at batters with a minimum of 100 plate appearances. Stats are from the Baseball America web site. Here are the leaders:

Plate appearances: Roneberg 542, O'Keefe 541, Perez 437, Fulse 412, Bailey 359.
Despite a two week stint in Athens with the Australian Olympic team, Bret Roneberg led the team in plate appearances. In addition to being health, Roneberg was consistently productive, yet never in any real danger of a promotion. O'Keefe started off slowly with the bat, yet his versatility kept him in the lineup long enough to start hitting a little. Perez' season was halfway between Roneberg and O'Keefe's, while Fulse and Bailey were regulars who missed time with injuries and, in Jeff Bailey's case, a brief promotion to Pawtucket.

Batting Average, RBI: We don't really talk about these two stats here, because there are much more meaningful stats to look at. But for the record, Hanley Ramirez (.310) and Stefan Bailey (.309), both of whom came to Portland after the all star break, were the only Dogs to hit over .300. Roneberg led Portland with 77 RBI on the year.

Runs, SB: Two other stats that I don't think reveal a lot in analysis. Roneberg led the team with 67 runs, followed by Sheldon Fulse with 58. Fulse and Ramirez were probably the two best baserunners on the team. Fulse led the team with 29 steals in 40. Attempts. Ramirez stole 12 in just 32 games, tying him for second with Perez and Medrano (who only appeared in 57 games himself).

HR: O'Keefe 19, Roneberg 17, Bailey 13, Hattig 12, Lockwood & Fulse 9.
Only a little more meaningful than RBI, but lots more fun to talk about. Most of these guys had never really shown any power before this year. John Hattig missed some time with injury, then was traded to the Blue Jays in the Terry Adams trade. Hattig had a couple more blasts in Hadlock when he returned with the NH Fischer Cats.

OBP: Hattig .411, Bailey .404, Bailie .364, Roneberg, Lockwood & Ramirez .360.
Hattig and Bailey were #3 and #4 on the team in total walks despite playing in only 75 and 91 games, respectively. Stefan Bailie and Hanley Ramirez, on the other hand, were a lot more about batting average. Hattig and Bailey, not surprisingly, were #1 and #2 in BB/PA, Followed by Fulse, Campo and O'Keefe. The Sea Dogs overall were pretty disciplined at the plate this year.

SLG: Bailie .590, Bailey .522, Hattig .519, Ramirez .512, Roneberg .462
Stephan Bailie just missed making the top 5 in homers, hitting 8 in only 37 games. He really enjoyed that big wall in left field at Hadlock. Jeff Bailey had a great year with the bat. If he was at all proficient at catcher (his primary position this year), he'd be a pretty good prospect. Ramirez is a surprise here, as he didn't show any power at Sarasota, though the Sox have always expected his power to develop. And there's mister steady-not-spectacular, Bret Roneberg, in the #5 spot.

OPS: Bailie .954, Hattig .930, Bailey .926, Ramirez .872, Roneberg .822.
If you read the previous two paragraphs, you probably don't need me to elaborate here.

GPA: Hattig .315, Bailey .312, Bailie .311, Ramirez .290, Roneberg .278
This metric, which was popularized by Aaron Gleeman at The Hardball Times, combines the utility of the Runs Created metric, in that it values OBP over SLG, with a friendly, batting average-style presentation. This is just a reshuffling of the OPS list, with Hattig and Bailey's OBP moving them to the top of the list.

Is everybody keeping their Bailieys' straight to this point? Jeff Bailey, steady minor league veteran 1B/OF type pushed back into catching duties due to a lack of depth in the Red Sox system. Sephan Bailey, slugging 1B/DH type who regained prospect status this year after several injury-riddled seasons. Everybody got that?

GPA*PA: Roneberg 150, O'Keefe 141, Bailey 112, Perez 109, Fulse 104
This is my own creation (I think), which basically measures which players made up the biggest percentage of the team's total offensive output for the season. It attempts to take into consideration both quality and quantity of play. It's no surprise that Roneberg tops this list, while O'Keefe's playing time moves him into second. Other than Roneberg, however, this list underscores the fact that Portland's best hitters weren't on the roster for most of the season.

Runs Created: Roneberg 75, O'Keefe 69, Bailey 65, Hattig 56, Perez 53
A somewhat more comprehensive look at total offensive contribution, which more closely approximates the total runs that the team generated during the season. (Portland's 664 actual runs scored this year were 17 below the total generated by the "Runs Created" Formula. The GPA*PA totals are about double the runs created.) Here Hattig moves past Perez and Fulse, which basically shows that the RC formula acknowledges that there is some level of positive offensive production that does not result in runs scored - e.g. .200 OBP and .200 SLG aren't likely to result in a lot of runs, whereas the GPA computation starts the positive contribution at anything above .000. It should be noted that this is a reflection of my own shortcomings as a statistician rather than an indictment of the GPA stat in its own right. Anywho, this list again gives Roneberg and (especially) O'Keefe a lot of credit for playing time.

RC/27 Outs: Bailie 8.3, Bailey 8.0, Hattig 7.6, Ramirez 7.4, Lockwood 5.8
Ho-hum - the same guys as the OPS and GP - hey, wait a minute! Wha's Mike Lockwood doing in there? He edged Roneberg, who came in at 5.5. In this case Roneberg gets knocked back because he hit into a lot of DP's this year - their rate stats were otherwise remarkably similar. Because Roneberg hit toward the top of the order, he likely had a higher percentage of chances with runners on than Lockwood did. Nobody said that all stats are fair. Oh, what this means is that a lineup with, say, nine John Hattigs would score an average of 7.6 runs per game. That's pretty good.

Offensive MVP: Well, if you look at the counting stats, you'd have to say that Bret Roneberg was the Sea Dogs' offensive MVP this year. If you look at the rate stats, Bailie and Hattig are contenders, but neither has the playing time to justify their selection. I'm going to split the difference and say that my vote for Portland's offensive MVP this year is Jeff Bailey, who's 294/404/522-13-58 line put him second on the team in both OBP and SLG and reflected enough playing time to warrant serious consideration.

Coming soon: the pitchers.