Oct 3, 2006

Real Total Bases

You may have noticed I've been using RTB to calculate player's offensive values in the previous posts. This is a simple equation I created: TB+BB+HBP+SB-CS-GDP=RTB. It certainly has flaws, 1. it doesn't take into account a hitter's 'clutchiness'/BA with RISP; 2. it probably gives too much value to the HR; 3. it does not account for good contact hitters - there's no penalty for Ks; 4. it does not correct for any park adjustments; 5. it's tough to compare hitters of different eras - the best way would be to compare a hitters RTB to the league average that year, but there's no way I'm calculating the league average for entire seasons.

Basically it's a decent (and simple) overall way to judge a hitter's season.
Some examples:

Ruth 1921 (154 gm season) (No GDP for that year, so I guesstimated at 5)
457 TB+145 BB+4 HBP+17 SB-13 CS-GDP (5)=605

Bonds 2001 (162 gm season)

This seems about right to me, that Ruth's and Bonds' best seasons are so similar.

For a speedster:
Rickey Henderson 1982
1990 (MVP)

Mantle 1956 (154 gm season)

Howard 2006

This also seems about right. Mantle's 1956 year is very similar to Ryan Howard's this year. But again, Howard played in 159 games, Mantle 150. And I'm sure the league average was much lower in 1956 than it was in 2006. The #2 guy in 1956 RTB looks to be Al Kaline, with 416, so Mantle is 79 ahead. The #2 guy in 2006 is Ortiz, with 471, so Howard is only 22 ahead.

Let's take another look at Ruth '21 vs. Bonds '01. The #2 RTB in 1921 was Rogers Hornsby at 440, so Ruth (605) was 165 ahead. The #2 RTB in 2001 was Sammy Sosa (remember him?) with 539, so Bonds (602) was only 63 ahead.

For comparison, in the AL in 2001, Ichiro won the MVP, with Giambi finishing 2nd. 2001 RTB - Ichiro 393, Giambi 470. My system seems to lean too heavily on power hitters and not enough on table-setters. But alas, most baseball equations do. Again, RTB is supposed to be a simple, overall offensive equation.

I hope y'all like it.

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