Tuesday, February 7, 2017

BB to SO ratio, HR >= 493.

Matrix of the 29 batters who hit at least 493 Home Runs. In addition to BB/SO there are several other columns with somewhat related data.

Why look at BB/SO for batters, in this case for the top career HR hitters? It's the reverse of SO/BB for pitchers, which seems to resonate with many. The positive stat is used first to generate a positive number; here, more BB than SO for batters.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/

Strikeouts / Base On Balls

For pitchers, but nothing like it for batters. Why not? Here are the pitchers with the most career SO, sorted by SO/W (BB):
Rk Player SO/W SO BB IP ERA+ From To Age G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV H R ER ERA FIP HR BF IBB HBP BK WP Tm
1 Greg Maddux 3.37 3371 999 5008.1 132 1986 2008 20-42 744 740 109 35 3 355 227 .610 0 4726 1981 1756 3.16 3.26 353 20421 177 137 28 70 CHC-ATL-LAD-SDP
2 Randy Johnson 3.26 4875 1497 4135.1 135 1988 2009 24-45 618 603 100 37 7 303 166 .646 2 3346 1703 1513 3.29 3.19 411 17067 37 190 33 109 MON-SEA-HOU-ARI-NYY-SFG
3 Roger Clemens 2.96 4672 1580 4916.2 143 1984 2007 21-44 709 707 118 46 0 354 184 .658 0 4185 1885 1707 3.12 3.09 363 20240 63 159 20 143 BOS-TOR-NYY-HOU
4 Bert Blyleven 2.80 3701 1322 4970.0 118 1970 1992 19-41 692 685 242 60 3 287 250 .534 0 4632 2029 1830 3.31 3.19 430 20491 71 155 19 114 MIN-TEX-PIT-CLE-CAL
5 Don Sutton 2.66 3574 1343 5282.1 108 1966 1988 21-43 774 756 178 58 12 324 256 .559 5 4692 2104 1914 3.26 3.24 472 21631 102 82 21 112 LAD-HOU-MIL-OAK-CAL
6 Tom Seaver 2.62 3640 1390 4783.0 127 1967 1986 22-41 656 647 231 61 6 311 205 .603 1 3971 1674 1521 2.86 3.04 380 19369 116 76 8 126 NYM-CIN-CHW-BOS
7 Walter Johnson 2.57 3509 1363 5914.1 147 1907 1927 19-39 802 666 531 110 127 417 279 .599 34 4913 1902 1424 2.17 2.42 97 23405 205 4 154 WSH
8 Gaylord Perry 2.56 3534 1379 5350.0 117 1962 1983 23-44 777 690 303 53 33 314 265 .542 10 4938 2128 1846 3.11 3.06 399 21953 164 108 6 160 SFG-CLE-TEX-SDP-NYY-ATL-SEA-KCR
9 Steve Carlton 2.26 4136 1833 5217.2 115 1965 1988 20-43 741 709 254 55 13 329 244 .574 2 4672 2130 1864 3.22 3.15 414 21683 150 53 90 183 STL-PHI-SFG-CHW-MIN-CLE
10 Nolan Ryan 2.04 5714 2795 5386.0 112 1966 1993 19-46 807 773 222 61 13 324 292 .526 3 3923 2178 1911 3.19 2.97 321 22575 78 158 33 277 NYM-CAL-HOU-TEX
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/7/2017.

What, if anything, does that tell you about them? If something, flip it and apply it to batters.

This post is also another attempt to point out the silliness of distorting batting categories and putting into a less accurate pitching context. Two examples:
- hits per nine innings: Batting Average
- WHIP: Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched: On Base Average.

If the relationship between BB and SO has meaning for pitchers, shouldn't it have as much for batters? In this case we're taking something that's been used for pitchers and applying it to batters.

The matrix is below and this link also contains the data and more.


RkPlayerHROPS+BBSOPAABBB/SOBB/PASO/PA(BB+SO)/PAAB/HRPA/HRSO/OutsSO/HR
1Barry Bonds7621822,5581,53912,6069,8471.662120.29%12.21%32.50%12.916.521.96%2.02
2Hank Aaron7551551,4021,38313,94112,3641.013710.06%9.92%19.98%16.418.515.83%1.83
3Babe Ruth7142062,0621,33010,6238,3991.550419.41%12.52%31.93%11.814.923.59%1.86
4Alex Rodriguez6961401,3382,28712,20710,566.585010.96%18.74%29.70%15.217.530.18%3.29
5Willie Mays6601561,4641,52612,49610,881.959411.72%12.21%23.93%16.518.919.81%2.31
6Ken Griffey6301361,3121,77911,3049,801.737511.61%15.74%27.34%15.617.924.95%2.82
7Jim Thome6121471,7472,54810,3138,422.685616.94%24.71%41.65%13.816.941.30%4.16
8Sammy Sosa6091289292,3069,8968,813.40299.39%23.30%32.69%14.516.235.48%3.79
9Albert Pujols5911571,2141,05310,5529,1381.152911.50%9.98%21.48%15.517.916.42%1.78
10Frank Robinson5861541,4201,53211,74210,006.926912.09%13.05%25.14%17.120.021.33%2.61
11Mark McGwire5831631,3171,5967,6606,187.825217.19%20.84%38.03%10.613.134.38%2.74
12Harmon Killebrew5731431,5591,6999,8338,147.917615.85%17.28%33.13%14.217.227.68%2.97
13Rafael Palmeiro5691321,3531,34812,04610,4721.003711.23%11.19%22.42%18.421.217.77%2.37
14Reggie Jackson5631391,3752,59711,4189,864.529512.04%22.74%34.79%17.520.335.28%4.61
15Manny Ramirez5551541,3291,8139,7748,244.733013.60%18.55%32.15%14.917.631.46%3.27
16Mike Schmidt5481471,5071,88310,0628,352.800314.98%18.71%33.69%15.218.430.17%3.44
17David Ortiz5411411,3191,75010,0918,640.753713.07%17.34%30.41%16.018.727.95%3.23
18Mickey Mantle5361721,7331,7109,9078,1021.013517.49%17.26%34.75%15.118.529.75%3.19
19Jimmie Foxx5341631,4521,3119,6768,1341.107615.01%13.55%28.56%15.218.123.58%2.46
20Frank Thomas5211561,6671,39710,0758,1991.193316.55%13.87%30.41%15.719.323.87%2.68
21Willie McCovey5211471,3451,5509,6928,197.867713.88%15.99%29.87%15.718.625.57%2.98
22Ted Williams5211902,0217099,7887,7062.850520.65%7.24%27.89%14.818.813.96%1.36
23Ernie Banks5121227631,23610,3949,421.61737.34%11.89%19.23%18.420.317.71%2.41
24Eddie Mathews5121431,4441,48710,1008,537.971114.30%14.72%29.02%16.719.723.54%2.90
25Mel Ott5111551,70889611,3489,4561.906315.05%7.90%22.95%18.522.213.40%1.75
26Gary Sheffield5091401,4751,17110,9479,2171.259613.47%10.70%24.17%18.121.517.61%2.30
27Eddie Murray5041291,3331,51612,81711,336.879310.40%11.83%22.23%22.525.418.46%3.01
28Fred McGriff4931341,3051,88210,1748,757.693412.83%18.50%31.32%17.820.629.68%3.82
29Lou Gehrig4931791,5087909,6638,0011.908915.61%8.18%23.78%16.219.614.67%1.60
RkPlayerHROPS+BBSOPAABBB/SOBB/PASO/PA(BB+SO)/PAAB/HRPA/HRSO/OutsSO/HR
Min4931227637097,6606,187.40297.34%7.24%19.23%10.613.113.40%1.36
Max7622062,5582,59713,94112,3642.850520.65%24.71%41.65%22.525.441.30%4.61
Average5761521,4811,57310,7299,0761.052013.95%14.85%28.80%15.918.824.39%2.74

Somewhat surprising is that Ted Williams has the best BB/SO ratio. Barry Bonds might have seemed likely because of all the BB he drew late in his career. But Williams has the astonishing 2.85 ratio: 2,021 BB and only 709 SO. If you're OK with best, then you should be OK with worst: Sammy Sosa .4029. As mentioned in the previous post, Mantle and Aaron are almost dead even; each had just a few more BB than SO.

In 1928 Babe Ruth became the career leader in SO, finishing the season with 919. Ruth retired in 1935 with 1,330, the record through 1963. The 1964 season increased the total for Mickey Mantle to 1,348; Mantle retired in 1968 with 1,770 SO. Mantle was the career SO leader through 1977 when Willie Stargell passed him. Stargell was the leader through 1981 when he had 1,912. Stargell played in 1982 and had 24 more SO but he was passed by Reggie Jackson, who finished 1982 with 1,966. Jackson retired after 1987 with 2,597 SO, which is still the record.

In 1930 Ruth passed Eddie Collins (1,499) for most career BB; Ruth had 1,566. Ruth retired with 2,062. Rickey Henderson passed Ruth in 2001 with 2,141 and retired in 2003 with 2,190. In 2004 Barry Bonds reached 2,302 and retired in 2007 with 2,558.

So Ruth had the career records:
SO: 1928-1963
BB: 1930-2000.

Ruth's BB/SO ratio was 1.55, about 1.5 BB for every SO.

Mickey Mantle passed Ruth in SO and had just a few more BB than SO, almost the exact same ratio as Hank Aaron: 1.037.

Let's consider those three batters.

Despite having many more SO than Aaron in many fewer AB, Mantle's lead in BB gives him the edge.

BB/PA:
Aaron 10.06%
Mantle 17.49%
Ruth 19.41%

          SO/PA    SO/Outs:
Aaron 9.92%    15.83%
Mantle 17.76% 29.75%
Ruth 12.25%    23.59%

So, Aaron's SO rate is better than Mantle or Ruth. However, his 10% BB rate hurts him. Aaron and Mantle have BA that are pretty close to each other but Ruth is well ahead of them. Here's how their BB impact their overall On Base Average:

            BA    OBA:
Aaron  .305    .374
Mantle .298    .421
Ruth    .342    .474

So, Aaron having fewer SO and a better SO rate does not make up for the sheer number of BB that Mantle and Ruth have. And Ruth also has a BB/SO rate of about 1.5 compared to about 1 for both Aaron and Mantle.

Comments on some other stats (bold = maximum, red = minimum):

Ernie Banks is Mr. Cub but Ernie takes a pounding in these numbers. Banks has minimum: OPS+, BB, BB/PA, (BB+SO)/PA. Being minimum in (BB+SO)/PA is a positive. It means that Banks put the ball in play a high percentage of the time.

Conversely, Jim Thome has max for negative stats: SO, SO/PA, (BB+SO)/PA, SO/Outs (41.30%), SO/HR.

The best SO/Outs: Mel Ott 13.40%.

Barry Bonds has the most HR and BB but does not lead in any rates.

Mark McGwire has good minimums: PA, AB, AB/HR, PA/HR.

Ted Williams has good minimums BB, SO/PA, SO/HR; and good maximums BB/SO and SO/PA.

The only maximum for Ruth is OPS+, which is the best to have among these stats.

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