Barry Bonds and RISP

In recent baseball current events, Barry Bonds didn’t make the Hall of Fame which caused me to peruse his career. Errors are frequently discovered by continuously perusing this site albeit less so now than a year ago.

Each hitter has an Extended Stats table for end of year look ups. Extended Stats include a RISP column which shows standard deviations above or below league average driving in runs in RISP situations. I happened upon Bonds’ year 2003 records and noticed Bonds with a -1.24 RISP even though he was ranked #1 by WAR and #16 by this model. This made no sense.

Bonds is an anomaly when it comes to intentional walks as he holds the MLB record for them with 688 far exceeding second place Albert Pujols at 315.

Intentional walks (IBBs) are not considered plate appearances under any circumstances according to official baseball stats and this model follows that rule to be consistent. Since IBBs represent only 0.7% of all plate appearances including them or not including them hardly makes a difference for the vast majority of players.

This needs to be fixed and the end of year RISP table will be rebuilt for all years and all players. This might affect the Runs Created calculation as well. This bug does not affect any WAA calculations — thankfully.

This post will be updated when this bug is fixed in the model.

Update: The bug has been fixed in the script that makes the RISP table and Barry Bonds went from -1.25 RISP in 2003 to a respectable +0.62. For a player like Barry Bonds only being 0.62 standard deviations above league average in any category is low.

WAR ranked Bonds #1 and this model ranked him #16 for 2003. The Extended Stats table attempts to explain the differences between the two models. The difference between #1 player and #16 isn’t that much but the low (for Bonds) RISP number would explain this slight difference in opinion.

More on this later in subsequent posts.

Addendum: Albert Pujols was ranked #1 in 2003 by this model, #2 by WAR. He had a RISP 2.23 standard deviations above league average. Pujols’ RBI and Runs were much greater than Bonds’. Bonds had a higher OPS.