Phillies Stat Notes -- MythBusters edition, June 5, 2011

Myth Busters

1) "Placido Polanco is the Phillies' best hitter"
Often heard on WIP, this can be interpreted any number of ways.  If you mean...
a) our best hitter so far this year -- this was true for the first few weeks of the season, but with a .587 OPS since the end of April, he's been overtaken by both Victorino and Howard.  The Phillies' best hitter so far, in both OPS and (more importantly) wOBA, has been Victorino.  See full list ranked by wOBA linked below.
-- PLAUSIBLE
b) the hitter who is likely to be the best hitter for the year ... the best hitter on the team in recent years has been Chase Utley:
2010 Werth .397, Utley .373, Howard .367, Ruiz .366
2009 Utley .402, Howard .393, Werth .382, Ibanez .379
2008 Utley .391, Werth .382, Burrell .374, Howard .366
2007 Utley .420, Howard .396, Burrell .391, Werth .385
-- BUSTED

Phillies 2011 wOBA leaders are here.  Notable:

- Sardinha is 2nd on the team, thanks to his 22.2% BB% while hitting 8th.
- Wilson Valdez pulled just ahead of Cole Hamels after his game last night, but Hamels is still ahead of Pete Orr, Ross Gload, Brian Schneider, and Michael Martinez.
- There are actually THREE pitchers ahead of Martinez, as he's also behind Cliff Lee and Vance Worley.
- Roy Halladay's wOBA is woeful due to his 1 hit in 28 ABs, but it doesn't account for the bases advanced with his 7 sacrifices.

2) "Jimmy Rollins hits a lot of popups"
There are a couple ways to measure this.  One is infield popups as a % of fly balls -- this is how it's presented in FanGraphs, for example.  To me the somewhat better measure is popups as % of all balls in play.  Both are shown below, and since 2006, Rollins have been slightly above the league average in both categories.  Shane Victorino though is about 50% above the league average.
-- BUSTED

2006-2011 2010-2011
IFFB/FB IFFB/BIP IFFB/FB IFFB/BIP
MLB Average 9.8% 3.6% 9.6% 3.6%
Phils Average 9.7% 3.7% 8.4% 3.1%
Rollins 10.1% 3.9% 8.2% 3.1%
Victorino 15.5% 5.5% 13.7% 5.2%

- as an aside regarding popups, with 3 infield popups already this year, Howard's career popups (18) have now surpassed his career triples (17).

3) "As Jimmy Rollins goes so go the Phillies"
The Phillies are 18-7 (.720) when Rollins scores a run.  That's pretty good until you look at the same stat for the rest of the regulars and realize that the .720 is the lowest on the team.
-- BUSTED

  hitting a HR getting an RBI getting 2+ RBIs getting a Walk scoring a Run getting a Hit getting 2+ Hits
  W L Pct W L Pct W L Pct W L Pct W L Pct W L Pct W L Pct
Rollins 3 0 1.000 10 1 .909 4 0 1.000 12 8 .600 18 7 .720 27 15 .643 15 5 .750
Polanco 3 0 1.000 13 7 .650 5 1 .833 11 8 .579 17 4 .810 27 18 .600 15 7 .682
Utley 1 0 1.000 2 1 .667 0 0   3 1 .750 3 0 1.000 3 4 .429 1 0 1.000
Howard 9 2 .818 20 8 .714 8 0 1.000 14 7 .667 19 5 .792 23 9 .719 14 3 .824
Francisco 5 1 .833 14 4 .778 6 1 .857 13 8 .619 10 2 .833 18 7 .720 6 3 .667
Ibanez 7 1 .875 15 5 .750 6 1 .857 8 5 .615 14 4 .778 19 13 .594 9 7 .563
Victorino 6 0 1.000 14 2 .875 3 0 1.000 9 1 .900 15 5 .750 22 9 .710 8 3 .727
Ruiz 2 0 1.000 5 1 .833 1 0 1.000 10 6 .625 9 2 .818 13 7 .650 5 3 .625
Starter 0 0 4 0 1.000 2 0 1.000 1 1 .500 5 0 1.000 14 2 .875 3 1 .750
Team 25 6 .806 34 19 .642 34 19 .642 32 22 .593 34 20 .630 34 24 .586 34 24 .586


Marquee Stats

Advanced stats have been a boon to our understanding of the game.  However it's still useful at times to look at the traditional marquee stats, to a) show how a casual, non-sabre-savvy fan might view a player, and b) put past seasons in a new light (how many times have we seen seasons like Ibanez' and Francisco's and thought "hmm, the average is low, but otherwise that's not bad")

Below are the Phils' stats to date, extrapolated to 700 plate appearances.

AVG     HR RBI    other
Rollins .268            8  49     38 SB
Polanco .319            8  84     201 hits
Utley .195         15  45     30 SB
Howard .243         34  120     39 doubles
Francisco .223         22  94     82 walks
Ibanez .246         25  90     146 Ks
Victorino .274         23  73     19 triples, 31 SB
Ruiz .242         10  50     35 doubles
Valdez .244            0  46     36 doubles
Brown .293         15  91     61 doubles

Walks

With a 8.1% BB% the Phillies are 10th in the NL just below the league average of 8.4%.  The team leaders in BBs are Howard (25), and Rollins (24), and they are projected to finish the year with 68 and 66, respectively (assuming 95% playing time for both).  The last time the Phillies' team leader in walks had less than 70 was in the mid-1990s:

1996  1) Todd Zeile 67, 2) Benito Santiago and Mickey Morandini 49
1995  1) Darren Daulton 55, 2) Dave Hollins 53, 3) Charlie Hayes 50

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