If Jose Bautista continues hitting as he has thus far in 2011, he will create a cottage industry of Jose Bautista Stats Porn. Desperate souls shuffle into isolated booths, insert their toonies and Bautista’s isolated slugging and weighted on base average rolls across a fuzzy screen. Their souls lifted and lives affirmed, these downtrodden serfs re-enter the world with a spring in their step and a purpose in their being. The magic of Bautista knows no bounds.
The man himself recently dipped his toe into the stats nerd pool in conversation with Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, introducing a “new” stat which attempts to quantify offensive production. The results are…mixed.
During spring training, Morosi asked Jose Bautista which player he thought to be baseball’s best. As it was still spring training, Bautista offered Albert Pujols, unaware of his own ability to transcend the mortal plane. Then, in a discussion on the ways to measure a player’s production, Bautista attacked sanity like it was a fastball thrown on the inside half.
“The proper way is adding RBIs and runs scored and subtracting the home runs, because you’d get double credit for that,” the player explained. “Then you divide that by the number of games played.
“If your index is over 1, or close to 1, that’s amazing. If you had nine players like that on your team, then you’re scoring nine runs per game, and that’s never happened, ever, in the history of baseball.”
Like all great artists, Jose Bautista doesn’t just want to act, he wants to direct. With a still-developing eye for the “mother’s basement” aspects of the game, Bautista remains prone to junk stats and disinformation sullying the good name of Bautista Stats Porn. The inertia of the Bautista Industrial Complex comes at a price, it seems.
Jose. Love ya brother. Your exploits already made my summer and it’s only May. I applaud your willingness to look beyond batting average and quantify things in a unique way. But the index you just created is batshit crazy.
I recognize you’ve created a measurement that values one of your greatest attributes (getting on base) above all else and I salute it. We simply cannot place enough value on not making outs. It’s pretty much the best thing you can do.
Which is pretty much all you learn from your index, unfortunately. It’s a more or less a list of guys who are able to be in the right place at the right time. Rewarding players for RBIs has a lot to do with who gets on ahead of them, runs scored (minus home runs) says a lot more about the guys who hit behind them.
The good people at Bluebird Banter ran your numbers for all Blue Jays and they came out as you see below. Beside you see that player’s team rank in wOBA as it includes base running, (sort of) like the Bautista Index.
|Name||Bautista Index||wOBA Rank|
Without getting nerdy at all, I can see one problem with your index: Chris Woodward has a non-zero (0.2) Bautista Index, despite not reaching base a single time all season. He pinch ran and scored on Johnnie Mac’s walkoff homer back on April 22.
That might be a flaw in using games played versus plate appearances, or something else where the player is asked to “produce” rather than “rapturously jog and beat John McDonald about the ribs”.
I really don’t know what else to say, Jose. If shooting the breeze with national columnists while thinking up oddly esoteric offensive indexes clears your head for hitting, please do not stop doing so. Deep thinking is a great way to exercise the mind.
Let me suggest some other mental gymnastics to keep you occupied and in the zone. Perhaps a unified field theory on pizza evaluation or explaining, once and for all, how a ball is fair when it strikes the foul pole?