More on Wilkerson

February 2, 2008

by Brett

Here’s a few notes on some things I didn’t consider on the first post. Here’s some changes I made to my methodology and some new methods I used that will create a more accurate representation on what we can expect our new Right Fielder to do.
–Many people contest that if I removed Wilkerson’s .200 BABIP month of June that I also have to remove his .424 BABIP month of August. Even with that, his season long BABIP is .274, about 16 points lower than you’d expect given his line drive rate. His average should rise to .240 or so even without my adjustment.

–I took the liberty of removing Wilkerson’s really hot .424 BABIP month like many people were saying I should do. He still manages an OPS over .800 with a .230/.327/.475 line. It’s not as prolific as the one if you just take out his worst month, but it’s still an above average corner outfield bat.

–Wilkerson had 3 “unlucky” BABIP months (.250 or below) one “normal” month (.300) one “below average” (.273) and one really lucky month (.424) So on the whole, he spent more time last year being kind of unlucky. .274 is not the BABIP you’d expect from a guy who hits an average amount of line drives like Wilkerson.

–A more mathematical approach finds that including June and August, his outlier months, he is still unlucky. To find the amount of balls in play he had you his AB’s-K-HR (balls that can’t be fielded) and you’re left with how many balls he put in play. From there, you just change a few outs into hits to regularize for the luck until his BABIP is about .290, where you’d expect based on how hard he hits the ball. That’s good for a .242/.324/.479 line. By adding just 3 hits that he should’ve had. (Note: Graham helped me out here, once again)

So really, my overall point here is that you can’t complain that I’m leaving certain pieces of data out. I heard those complaints and did the rest of the research to see what would happen if I took more time to find more accurate results. Of the three ways you can analyze Wilkerson’s luck (take out the bad month, take out both the bad and good month, or just leave them all there and regress based on balls-in-play data) he still checks out as a better hitter than his stat line showed last year by about 10-20 OPS points, and that was my overall point from the beginning.


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