Aneez Kanji evalutates the IMPACT that a Major League Baseball batter has while at the plate.

Read the original 'Methodology' post to see how the IMPACT STAT is calculated

Friday, March 28, 2008

Run Production: IMPACT STAT vs Batting Average 2007

Since the point of baseball is to score runs, I've taken a look at how the number of runs per team in 2007 measures against the IMPACT STAT and Batting Average.

The following table shows all teams ranked by number of Runs for 2007 (R-Runs).
'R-IMPACT' is the numbered ranking of the Impact Stat.
'R-BA' is the numbered ranking of Batting Average.
'I-BA' is the difference of Impact minus Batting Average.
'R' is total number of Runs Scored in 2007.

- Of the Top 10 run producing teams, 9 are in the Top 10 for Impact Stat, 8 are in the Top 10 for Batting Average. Seattle ranks 3rd for Batting Average, however only 12 for Runs Scored, and 17th for Impact!

- The Top 10 Impact Teams scored an average of 844 runs in 2007, where the Top 10 teams in Batting Average scored 833 runs.

- The average increase from Batting Average to IMPACT was 0.088 (88 points). The Top 10 Teams in Impact had an average of 92 points, while the Bottom 10 had an average of 86 points. This may not seem like a big margin, however, considering that the Top 10 Teams already have a higher batting average, not only are they doing more at the plate with hits, but they are also doing more at the plate with walks, sac flies. etc!

Click the table to enlarge:
You may say, "Batting average and Impact are quite close, so what's the point of all this?". In creating this statistic, I was looking for a way to measure a batter in a team setting. Given the following scenario:

Batter 1: Double
Batter 2: Sacrifice Hit - runner to 3rd
Batter 3: Sacrifice Fly - runner scores
Batter 4: Strike Out

In Scenario 2, Batters 1,2, and 3 would all get 'high-fived' upon returning to he dugout. Batter 2 did just as much to produce the run, as Batters 1 and 3. The IMPACT STAT gives credit for this.


Monday, March 24, 2008

2007 Impact Stat by Team!

This posting will examine the IMPACT STAT by team during the 2007 MLB season.

(click on tables to enlarge them)

It has been suggested that the NL would have more Intentional Walks (IBB) and more Sacrifice Hits (SH) because of the pitcher being in the batting line-up. It has also been suggested that because of this the number of runs scored in the AL would be much higher. I've crunched some numbers and here's what I have found:

This suggests that the difference in the way the game is played over a 162 game schedule does not have a major difference in the total number of runs scored.

Examining the two teams that played in the 2007 World Series also shows that according to the Impact Stat and number of RBI, the 2 teams were quite evenly matched. (Note: BOS swept the Series in 4 games outscoring COL 29-10!)

The next table shows each team's IMPACT STAT for 2007. The data to the right of each team name shows the ranked position of each batting stat (ie Boston ranked 6th in Batting Average, 2nd in On Base Percentage, 6th in Slugging, 3rd in On Base+Slugging, 2nd in Impact)

Those extra National League IBB and Sac Hits seem to make quite an impact as, both the NL and AL batters had an overall IMPACT STAT of .356!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Quick Blue Jays IMPACT Summary

This is in response to a few queries on what the Jays IMPACT was during 2007.

Since the original posting only examines batters with at least 502 at bats, the amount needed to qualify for the batting title (ie highest batting average), Matt Stairs did not qualify as he only had 357 at bats.

The Jays overall IMPACT for 2007 was .343, compared to the Yankees .383 and Boston .382.

The Jays ranked 26th in the MLB while NY and Boston were 1,2. I'll be posting more on each MLB team after Easter.

Here is the 'IMPACT' for some Blue Jays batters:

F Thomas .389
M Stairs .385
T Glaus .382
G Zuan .379
A Rios .368
A Hill .346
L Overbay .330
V Wells .319
R Johnson .316
J MacDonald .309
A Lind .289

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Impact Stat - Methodology

As a baseball fan, and close follower of the game I have always been puzzled by the statistics highlighting an individual batter's offensive production. Baseball is a team game, where each batter's ultimate success of circling the bases and crossing home-plate is intrinsically linked to the batters before or after them in the lineup.

The goal of every batter should be to keep the lineup moving. This has been cited as one of the reasons of the Boston Red Sox success in 2007.

Here are the four most popular calculations along with my critique of each, followed by my idea for a new method of calculating production:

Batting Average (BA): Total Hits/Total at-bats
The BA is the oldest, most 'pure', and most simple of the calculations. It weighs all hits equally. A single is just as valuable as double or a homerun. The BA however excludes Walks which can be just as producitve as a single, and in the right situation (which is explained futher on this page) a walk is even more valuable than a single.

On Base Percentage (OBP):
(Total Hits + Walks + Hit by pitch) / (At bats + Walks + hit by pitch + sacrifice flies)
The OBP is a better calcuation than the BA as it takes into account walks, and hit by a pitch. However Sacrifice Flies is added into denominator which penalizes a batter. I feel that a sacrifice fly is just as strategic as a sacrifice bunt and should be excluded from this calculation.

Slugging (S): (singles + (2x doubles) + (3x triples) + (4x homeruns) / At bats
Slugging factors for the number of bases achived during each at bat. The more bases achieved per at bat, the better. The closer the runner is home plate, the better the chances of scoring a run. I agree that when comparing to singles to homeruns, there is no contest - homeruns are much more valuable than singles. However it can be argued that depending on the situation, there is no real difference between a double and a triple. I'll explain my view further on this page.

OBP+S: This is simply straight addition of the above two statistics. This statistic does not really tell me much more new information of a batters plate performance, it just seems to serve as 'eye-candy' for fans looking for a number close to 1.000

As I mentioned earlier, these stats are mainly individual, and have limitations.

I've looked over other statistics which take into account other factors such as runners on base, runners in scoring position, facing lefties or righties, taking into account the feild, pitch count and others. These stats breakdown the situations too much, and an overall picture of performance cannot be taken.

The Impact Stat takes into account everything a batter does at home plate to move along the batting line up, even if it includes an out. As a fan watching the game each of the following events keeps the inning alive and leads to the chance of a run being scored.

The Impact Stat is calucated by adding the below factors divided by Total Plate Appearances:

Hits: Whether a single/double/triple/homerun each hit weighed the same, similar to calcualting batting average. As an observer of the game, I tend to find very little overall difference when a batter hits a double or a triple. If someone was on base ahead of them, generally that runner will score. If the next batter gets a hit, even a single, generally runner on 2nd or 3rd (scoring position) will score.

Walks: Walks are weighed the same as a hit. The batter has done their job by keeping the lineup moving and in most cases a walk will increase the pitch count, and reduce the number of batters a pithcer faces. During the later innings of a game when the starting pitcher is nearing the maximum pitch count of normally 100 pitches forcing a walk could end the pitchers game early.

Sacrifice Flies/Hits: This is viewed in a negative manner in the OBP calculation. A Sacrifice Fly /Hit / Bunt generally results in runner moving to a better scoring position, or scoring a run.

Hit By a Pitch: Getting hit by a 90+ mph pitch does a bit more than tickle. Like a walk it gets a runner on base, and moves along the lineup.

Intentional Walks: Intentional walks are already counted by MLB under 'walks', however I thought it would be important to essentianly give 'extra credit' for an intentional walk as the batter moves along the line up twice as fast than any other at bat. Basically you get two batters for the price of one. USA today had an insightful article about intentional walks to Barry Bonds a few years ago.

Here is how the Impact Stat compared to the Batting Average | OBP | SLG | OBP+S in 2007 for the American League (click to enlarge):

- Battters displayed have at least 502 total plate appearances
- Pitches Faced At Bat (PFAB) for my own personal interest. I rate 4.0 or higher as excellent as you are actually wearing the pitchers down and facing good pitches
-The leader in each category is highlighted in dark green, and the next best 9 or 10 in light green.

Highlights of The IMPACT STAT:
5th - J Posada ranks within the Top 10 of each of the categories, showing him as a consistent threat at the plate

4th - A Rodriguez, the AL's MVP was first in SLG, and was ahead of Ortiz by just .001 in OPS, however his batting average is not within the top 10 and his overall Impact is behind Ortiz by .017 points.

3rd - Batting Title holder M Ordonez had a league leading batting average of .363 and falls 3rd in the Impact Category

2nd - V Guerrero falls within the top 10 in each category, and although he doesn't lead any specific one, he places 2nd for Impact.

1st - D Ortiz, contender for AL MVP, and batting title shows that he posed the biggest threat of any player at the plate causing an IMPACT .468 of the time!

Other Noteables:
- C Granderson fell within the Top 10 of Slugging and OPS (lots of triples), however his overall Impact ranked 40th.

- M Ramirez didn't place in the Top 10 for any of the traditional batting statistics, however he places in spot 8 for IMPACT, showing he is a bigger threat at the plate that what his batting average and other stats show.

- Boston have an incredible 7 players in the Top 40, NYY and DET have 5 each, LAA and CLE have 4 each.

I will expanding my research in the coming days and weeks so stay tuned!

Please send any feedback to

Thanks - Aneez Kanji