WPA Checkup


Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Earlier in the season, I had posts for both hitters and pitchers comparing their WPA to their context-neutral metrics (wRC+ and FIP).  Here are the updated values:

Name WPA RE24 REW pLI WPA/LI Clutch
Martin Prado 2.45 22.43 2.49 0.91 1.89 0.82
Jason Heyward 2.43 22.72 2.43 0.94 2.84 -0.24
Michael Bourn 2.15 21.6 2.34 0.9 1.61 0.79
Dan Uggla 1.73 12.79 1.55 0.98 0.44 1.32
Chipper Jones 1.54 18.33 2.06 1.01 1.64 -0.13
Freddie Freeman 1.47 23.25 2.56 0.98 2.17 -0.67
Brian McCann 1.45 7.47 1 0.94 1.1 0.44
Andrelton Simmons 0.6 4.58 0.51 1.01 0.52 0.07
Juan Francisco -0.11 6.59 0.73 0.82 0.56 -0.7
David Ross -0.17 3.97 0.5 0.95 0.63 -0.81
Matt Diaz -0.21 -2.14 -0.16 0.97 -0.37 0.15
Tyler Pastornicky -0.21 -5.71 -0.56 0.87 -0.36 0.11
Paul Janish -0.26 -6.23 -0.71 0.75 -0.74 0.39
Eric Hinske -0.65 -2.41 -0.32 1.02 -0.46 -0.19

 

Despite his poor last couple months, Prado, by the slimmest of margins, still leads the team in WPA.  Heyward is just behind him, with Bourn also north of two wins.  Uggla has been the most clutch hitter this year, while Prado and Bourn have also stepped up in big situations.  Freeman has been the only regular who has been worse in high-leverage situations.

RE24 is on the middle ground between wRC+ and WPA, as it uses an inning run expectancy table to calculate how many expected runs a hitter adds in his plate appearances.  As you can see, Freeman has “added” the most runs on the team, again emphasizing his .219/.349/.283 line in high-leverage chances.

Name WPA RE24 pLI WPA/LI Clutch SD MD
Craig Kimbrel 2.56 12.87 1.75 1.23 0.23 21 3
Eric O’Flaherty 1.41 9.42 1.58 0.46 0.43 18 5
Kris Medlen 1.05 10.28 0.76 1.41 -0.03 12 4
Brandon Beachy 0.92 14.49 0.88 1.71 -0.66 0 0
Chad Durbin 0.69 1 0.89 -0.08 0.86 14 5
Ben Sheets 0.56 4.8 0.9 0.27 0.35 0 0
Cristhian Martinez 0.1 2.61 0.47 -0.02 0.23 6 3
Tim Hudson -0.07 -2.93 0.96 0.51 -0.58 0 0
Tommy Hanson -0.23 -7.95 1.12 -0.37 0.17 0 0
Jonny Venters -0.59 -3.68 1.28 -0.89 0.43 13 9
Livan Hernandez -0.71 -6.45 0.76 -0.58 -0.36 3 3
Randall Delgado -0.97 -8.2 1.03 -0.88 -0.07 0 0
Jair Jurrjens -1.7 -18.54 0.96 -2.13 0.35 0 0
Mike Minor -1.76 -12.79 0.9 -1.22 -0.73 0 0

As expected, relievers are on top of this list.  Kimbrel has a top 15 WPA in the league, but when you have a FIP around 1.00, it’s really hard to have a high clutch number.  Durbin has been the lucky man this year, providing results much better than his 5.36 FIP would suggest.

Starting pitchers are very hard to evaluate this way, since they can’t positively impact their team’s win expectancy unless they go into the 8th or 9th, but they can lose a game pretty easily.  However, no matter what metric you use, it’s easy to tell Jurrjens has been horrible.

Clutchness is one of the most volatile statistics in the game, which is why situational stats are not highly used in the sabermetric world. It tells the story about what happened, but it has very little predictive value, so don’t expect Durbin to get out of every situation and Freeman to stay terrible in clutch spots.

Topics: Braves, FanSided

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