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Fun with FanGraphs

Posted By Bill Baer On April 17, 2012 @ 9:13 am In MLB,Philadelphia Phillies,Sabermetrics | 12 Comments

The Phillies have scored 13 runs in their last two games, both wins. Runs are a welcome sight for Phillies fans, who have been worrying that the offense would be the team’s Achilles heel all season long. They’re not wrong: without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, two of their most productive hitters in recent years, and with subpar replacements, runs will be at a premium throughout the first half of the regular season.

To illustrate how weak the Phillies’ offense has been through ten games, here are some depressing lists, courtesy FanGraphs.

Team ISO
16. Pirates .075
15. Phillies .085
14. Nationals .099
3. Diamondbacks .177
2. Brewers .191
1. Cardinals .206

ISO stands for Isolated Power and is calculated by subtracting batting average from slugging percentage. It is a measure of power hitting, with a higher number indicating more power. The only team weaker than the Phillies has been the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies have hit five home runs as a team with no player hitting more than one himself. Freddy Galvis leads the team with a whopping three doubles.

Team BB%
16. Pirates 4.6%
15. Phillies 4.9%
14. Marlins 5.7%
3. Dodgers 10.9%
2. Nationals 11.0%
1. Padres 11.9%

This is just a simple walk rate, total walks divided by plate appearances. Only two Phillies — Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence — have drawn more than two walks. Juan Pierre and John Mayberry, Jr. have taken a combined 53 trips to the plate and have drawn exactly zero walks. Placido Polanco and Freddy Galvis have drawn one walk each with a combined 70 PA. Even if the Phillies were hitting for power, it wouldn’t matter all that much because no one’s getting on base.

Team BsR
16. Padres -2.1
15. Astros -1.5
14. Nationals -1.3
13. Marlins -1.1
12. Phillies -0.8
3. Giants 0.9
2. Rockies 1.2
1. Diamondbacks 1.2

The above shows the amount of runs created or lost on the bases. The Phillies lead the National League with 10 stolen bases and have only been thrown out once, but have still managed to rank among the worst in the league when it comes to moving around the bases. The biggest offenders have been Mayberry (-0.6), Carlos Ruiz (-0.4), and Laynce Nix (-0.3). The only meaningful positive contributor has been Jimmy Rollins (0.5).

Team wOBA
16. Pirates .224
15. Reds .253
14. Cubs .285
14. Phillies .285
3. Diamondbacks .326
2. Rockies .331
1. Cardinals .372

wOBA, weighted on-base average, is a single number that tells you how good or bad a player or team has been offensively. The league average last year was .316. Obviously, the Phillies haven’t earned high marks at the dish. Pence (.373) and Victorino (.370) have been the only hitters to post a significantly above-average mark, but their 85 combined PA represent only 23 percent of the team’s total PA. The rest have been average to significantly below-average.

The Phillies are hitting for average well. They are tied with the Washington Nationals for the third-highest batting average in the league and have the fourth-highest BABIP as well. That is not a good thing, considering the above. Matt Swartz, friend of the blog, put it best:

twitter.com/Matt_Swa/status/191259650077900800


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