Adjusted Pitching Run Values for the 2010 Season

I got some free time sooner than I thought, and really wanted to hammer out some Runs Above Average numbers for the 2010 season for individual pitcher. You can read a bit about it from my post on Monday. What I’ve done is used the same methodology, however, instead of the raw singles, doubles, triples, homers, sacrifice flies/hits numbers, I substituted league average rates. This gives a Defensive Independent Pitching Statistic-like (DiPS) element to the run valuations.

Basically, it is my attempt to neutralize things like batting average on balls in play and/or defensive impacts.

Below, you will find the top 25 pitchers sorted by my Adjusted BaseRuns Runs Above Average statistic.

Name Team CL Adj BR RAA BR RAA Delta
Rosin, Seth MINN JR 25 29 -4
Bischoff, Matt PUR SR 25 26 -1
Wimmers, Alex OSU JR 22 33 -12
Burgoon, Tyler MICH JR 16 15 1
Matyas, Scott MINN JR 13 11 3
Leininger, Drew IND SO 12 24 -12
Brooke, Francis NW SO 12 17 -5
Morgan, Matt PUR JR 11 10 1
Lutz, David PSU SR* 11 23 -12
Hippen, Jarred IOWA SO 10 20 -11
Robertson, Zach IOWA SR 10 12 -3
Isaksson, Phil MINN JR 9 18 -9
Oakes, TJ MINN FR 9 18 -9
Snieder, Paul NW SO 8 20 -11
Bucciferro, Tony MSU SO 7 14 -6
Oaks, Alan MICH SR 7 19 -12
Achter, AJ MSU JR 7 14 -8
Roberts, Bryan ILL SO 5 11 -5
Gailey, Matt NW JR 5 11 -6
Brosnahan, Bobby MICH FR* 5 10 -5
Simpson, Tim MSU JR 5 10 -5
Wurdack, Drew PUR SR 5 4 0
Havey, Jack NW FR 4 2 3
Wood, Kolby MICH JR 4 -3 7
Jokisch, Eric NW JR 4 10 -6

Adj BR RAA – Adjusted BaseRuns Runs Above Average
BR RAA – Unadjusted BaseRuns Runs Above Average
Delta – Difference between the Adjusted and Unadjusted BR RAA statistics

Note: Any numbers in the Delta column that don’t add up (i.e.: Paul Snieder’s ‘delta’ being -11 when 8-20=-12) are due to rounding. I’ve rounded to the nearest whole number for aesthetic purposes.

What we see here is that once you essentially normalize for BABIP, you have less elite players. While the unadjusted BR RAA had 26 pitchers top the 10 runs and 7 above the 20 runs above average mark, the adjusted BR RAA only has 11 and just 3 above 20 runs.

This knocks Alex Wimmers down quite a bit — difference of 12 runs — but there’s a decent chunk of that due to homers. He surrendered zero long balls last year, and if you substitute league-average rates for his pitching line, he would be expected to give up 4-5.  Wimmers was a great, great pitcher in the Big Ten, however, he’s not likely a “zero HR’s allowed” great (who is?), so it makes sense.

Indiana’s Drew Leininger and Michigan’s David Lutz drop down because of closer-to-average strikeout rates (which were left untouched in my adjustments). Minnesota’s Seth Rosin doesn’t drop far at all because of strong peripherals — great strikeout rates, even better walk rates, and a lot of innings pitched/batters faced — outweighing the adjustment to his low BABIP. The opposite end of the spectrum to Rosin is Paul Snieder. He dropped off from 20 runs above average to just 8. This is due to his .221 BABIP was so low, adjusting it towards the league average increases a lot of hits allowed. His great strikeout rates just couldn’t over come it.

The biggest beneficiary of this statistic is Northwestern’s Joe Muraski. Muraski was at -15 Runs Above Average using the unadjusted method, but once adjusted for league average rates, he clocks in at +4 — a 19 run swing.

Unfortunately, David Lutz, Alex Wimmers, Drew Leininger, and Alan Oakes all were affected the most; each losing 12 runs from their unadjusted RAA totals.

The best way I can describe the difference between these to metrics are this: The Unadjusted BR RAA numbers are descriptive. Paul Snieder’s .221 BABIP actually happened. Alex Wimmers actually didn’t allow a home run.

The Adjusted BR RAA numbers are more informative (I choose this because I hesitate to use “predictive”). They get more towards, in my opinion, a ‘truer’ talent level. I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other and both have very good value to look at. It just depends on what question you’re answering. If you want to know how Player A pitched, Unadjusted BR RAA is probably your better metric to look at. If you want to know if it’s sustainable, I’d venture to guess the Adjusted BR RAA is the better metric to look at.

Either way, both of these have, most likely, large error bars built in. This is good for a quick-look, singular number, but you’re better off looking at strikeout rates, walk/HBP rates, etc etc compared to the league average.

6 Comments on “Adjusted Pitching Run Values for the 2010 Season”

  1. Chris Webb says:

    I think this is an incredible post. To me at least, it highlights more who are the most “valuable” pitchers.

    Look at those who saw a heavy drop… Wimmers, Leininger, Oaks, Hippen were all Friday night guys. For the most part all four staffs (OSU, IN, UM, IA) were very much influx. OSU was in shambles we all know, Indiana not far behind after losing their ace Monar for the season, Michigan while not in shambles didn’t define consistency, with Iowa being very young and as well inconsistence weekend to weekend.

    To me these far performing above league average went a long way to getting their teams in the top 6, or in Ohio State’s case, Wimmers departure dropping them out.

    I’m not sure which I “like” more, as you mentioned they present two different pictures, but I definitely like them together.

    And yeah, it’s amazing to see the change in Muraski’s numbers.

    Not sure if all of that made sense, but I really enjoy the work.

  2. Chris Webb says:

    Just had this thought also… maybe it should not be a surprise to see such a drop.

    In college baseball the talent difference in weekend starter versus midweek/relief is pretty big. Not as big, but the Friday night to Sat/Sun usually is noticeable too, at least in my opinion here in the Big Ten, not as much in SEC land or what not.

    This also to me shows how good Minnesota’s weekend arms were as a whole. 22 runs difference when adjusted to the league average. I wonder if there is a way to quantify x amount of runs to a win?

  3. Mike says:

    Good thought on the talent spread. Thats definitely a part of it. Ohio State really had Alex Wimmers and nothing else on the staff. Michigan may not have had the dominant starter, but they had some solid pitching with Burgoon and Brosnahan and the like.

    I will have team totals for theses methods in a bit, after I finish my team-by-team look at the other stats.

    Your first post all made sense. Glad you like it so much. I enjoy doing it.

  4. […] make for a good read, does it? If you paid attention to the leader boards I posted in both of my RAA posts, you’ll note a lack of OSU pitchers on there not named […]

  5. […] a dominant reliever is if you don’t have one of the top ten starters in the league. Once you adjusted his numbers for BABIP, however, he did drop to just 11 RAA which was good for 9th best among pitchers. Lutz is a huge […]

  6. […] we’ll move on to the Adjusted Runs Above Average (aRAA) at the team […]

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