WAR Batting Evaluations for PIT and LAN

As shown in this previous post WAR ranked LAN and PIT #2 and #3 in the league for batting even though both scored quite a few runs less than league average.  This is quite an anomaly.  This post will examine WAR player batting evaluations when WAR over rates a team.

This time we took the top 100 ranked players from the WAR and WAA systems and sort players based upon the biggest ranking differences.  Although we can’t directly compare the numbers for the two systems we can certainly compare their ranking.  We want to see the most egregious differences in the below tables.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Zack Greinke is highlight below because WAR rated him +1.3 for his batting as a pitcher.  His 0.328 batting average is quite impressive but he only had 72 plate appearances.   He didn’t generate enough data to indicate that 0.328 batting average isn’t anything more than a statistical anomaly.   WAR rates pitcher Zack Greinke higher for his batting than Matt Holliday and Matt Adams mentioned in the previous postGreinke is ranked #88 amongst all batters in MLB.

Like in the last post, the first table in the below sets lists the ranking differences between WAR and WAA sorted by the highest rank difference.  The next table lists their WAR,  WAA, and other pertinent stats.

Update: The ranking for Zack Geinke is in error and probably much lower due to a bug in the script. 

Update 2/3/2014 Rankings below have been updated.  They didn’t change much but Greinke went from 88th to 184th.  This is still quite a high ranking for a pitcher that only had 74 plate appearances so the original commentary still stands.

Diff WAR WAA Name_tm
1368 94 121 1462 Nick_Punto_LAN_BAT
1327 98 90 1425 Andre_Ethier_LAN_BAT
1265 76 83 1341 Mark_Ellis_LAN_BAT
1178 88 184 1266 Zack_Greinke_LAN_BAT
122 39 50 161 Juan_Uribe_LAN_BAT

Note: The heading for these tables are overloaded which means columns represent different types depending upon PITCHer or BATter.

Update WAR numbers in below player tables were all corrected on 1/30/2014

2.2 -1.8 0.255 0.328 335 21 34 Nick_Punto_LAN BAT
2.7 -1.4 0.272 0.360 553 52 54 Andre_Ethier_LAN BAT
3.0 -1.0 0.270 0.323 480 48 46 Mark_Ellis_LAN BAT
1.3 -0.7 0.328 0.409 72 4 5 Zack_Greinke_LAN BAT
4.1 0.6 0.278 0.331 426 50 47 Juan_Uribe_LAN BAT

Pittsburgh Pirates

Note how WAR ranked Starling Marte #25  24 out of all MLB batters yet he produced only 35 RBIs.

Update 2/3/2014Rankings below have been updated to reflect WAR.  In this case the rankings didn’t change that much which is expected since baseball-reference WAA is highly correlated with their WAR number. 

Diff WAR WAA Name_tm
1137 25 24 1162 Starling_Marte_PIT_BAT
1090 53 59 1143 Neil_Walker_PIT_BAT
1065 40 44 1105 Russell_Martin_PIT_BAT
5.4 -0.4 0.280 0.343 566 35 83 Starling_Marte_PIT BAT
3.9 -0.4 0.251 0.339 551 53 62 Neil_Walker_PIT BAT
4.3 -0.3 0.226 0.327 506 55 51 Russell_Martin_PIT BAT

Under the WAR rating system LAN and PIT won based on their hitting and not their pitching. They were #2 and #3 in MLB for hitting posted here. LAN and PIT ranked #11 and #18 in MLB for pitching.  The next post will explore how WAR ranked pitching at a player level that led to  this evaluation of LAN and PIT.