Baseball HQ: Collecting plate appearances - who is on the rise?

by BaseballHQ.com on February 8, 2013 @ 13:27:01 PDT

 

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Analysis 4: Reliability

We also examined the reliability grades for all of the players reaching 650 PA since 2009 (the first season for which REL grades were available), looking at pre-season REL grades for:

  • All players who earned 650 PA
  • Players who reached 650 PA for the first time
  • All MLB batters

The results:

          650     1st     All
Health    PA+    Time     MLB
======   ====    ====    ====
     A    67%     60%     67%
     B    15%     16%     14%
     C     9%     10%      9%
     D     4%      8%      4%
     F     5%      6%      6%

Playing Time and Experience
===========================
     A    57%     10%     14%
     B    21%     26%     13%
     C    13%     32%     14%
     D     6%     20%     19%
     F     3%     12%     39%

Consistency
===========
     A    20%     24%     16%
     B    40%     32%     24%
     C    26%     28%     18%
     D     9%      6%     10%
     F     5%     10%     33%

What is notable is that 650-PA players are more consistent than the general population. Intuitively, this makes sense - inconsistent performance is likely to frustrate MLB managers just as it does fantasy owners.

Certainly a player more prone to cold streaks is at risk of finding himself on the bench - or the minors - as he tries to get past his slump.

Implications

We can use the findings above to identify the batters most likely to post their first 650 PA season in 2013. We filtered for players who:

  • Earned more than 400 PA in 2012
  • Enter 2013 age 27 or younger
  • And enter 2013 with a REL grade of BBB or higher

We found 15 players who met all these criteria:

Name                REL
===============     ===
Alonso,Yonder       ABA
Barney,Darwin       ABB
Beckham,Gordon      ABB
Brantley,Michael    ABB
Cozart,Zack         BBA
Escobar,Alcides     AAB
Freeman,Freddie     ABA
Gonzalez,Carlos     AAB
Jennings,Desmond    ABB
Maybin,Cameron      ABB
Montero,Jesus       ABB
Smoak,Justin        ABB
Stanton,Giancarlo   BBB
Trumbo,Mark         ABB
Wieters,Matt        ABB

Many of these players could be worth going an extra buck in pursuit of playing time upside and the added runs, RBI and HR that come with extra times at the plate.

One caveat, though: Don’t expect it from the two catchers on the list. In all of MLB history, only eight fulltime catchers (caught 90%+ of games) have ever had 650 PA in a season, the last being Russell Martin in 2008.

For definitions and benchmarks of BaseballHQ.com's most-used terms, see our Glossary Primer.

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