Testing the new sbgAVG stat started today. I put the 2019 Phillies starting line-up through the formula. I discovered the first flaw. I did not account for walks or hit by pitches. This has a pretty dramatic effect. Before adding pitcher-influenced bases, about half the line-up was above 2. After adding walks and HBP’s, every Phillie regular from 2019 is under 2. Now that the formula is marginally functional, the data looks pretty useless.
Of the 2019 Phillies, Maikel Franco had the most productive sbgAVG at a 1.991. This is in spite of only tallying 34 extra base hits, and hitting into 14 double plays (highest among all team starters). He also hit a mild .234/.297/.409 slash. In comparison, Bryce Harper had a 1.448 sgbAVG, a full tenth lower than Scott Kingery’s 1.558. Harper’s .260/.416/.510 is also miles ahead of Franco’s. Harper had as many doubles and as many homeruns as Franco did XBHs, in a shade under 200 more at bats. He also walked significantly more. I mean, do I really have to explain how Bryce Harper is a bigger piece of the Phillies’ offense? The number suggests that the lower the sbgAVG, the more productive a player was. But, comparing Scott Kingery to Andrew McCutchen, we see that McCutchen’s sbgAVG was slightly higher at 1.578, despite having better slash numbers. The difference may be in Kingery’s base stealing. He grabbed 15 bases in 19 attempts and only hit into 3 double plays.
Is this proving the concept of the stat? Andrew McCutchen is seen as a bigger piece of the Phillies’ offense. but if the stat shows anything, Kingery put himself in a better position to score more often than McCutchen, which is the point of the sbgAVG, advancing unassisted into a better scoring position. But, then I looked at both players’ run scoring proficiency, and McCutchen scored runs at a much higher rate than Kingery.
So, it looks like we’ve kicked a can on this one. We (yes, I’m roping you into this) have created a totally useless stat that tells us absolutely nothing.