Michael Young’s Historic GIDP Pace

Michael Young grounded into two more double plays last night against the Marlins, bringing his Major League-leading total to nine. He finished second in baseball with 26 of them last year, finishing two shy of Miguel Cabrera‘s 28. That Young is grounding into so many double plays is not surprising. What is surprising is his pace.

The Phillies third baseman has logged 23  plate appearances in which a runner is on first base with less than two outs, meaning that Young is grounding into a double play once for every 2.5 opportunities. Additionally, he has logged 114 PA, giving him a pace of 12.7 PA per double play.

A player has crossed the 30+ GIDP plateau just 16 times in baseball history. None of them have had such a high rate of GIDP on a PA basis and few have even come close as you can see in this table:

Player Year GIDP PA PA/GIDP
Billy Hitchcock 1950 30 447 14.9
Brad Ausmus 2002 30 496 16.5
Jim Rice 1985 35 608 17.4
Ernie Lombardi 1938 30 529 17.6
Jim Rice 1984 36 708 19.7
Tony Armas 1983 31 613 19.8
Bobby Doerr 1949 31 622 20.1
Ivan Rodriguez 1999 31 630 20.3
Miguel Tejada 2008 32 666 20.8
Jackie Jensen 1954 32 674 21.1
Ben Grieve 2000 32 675 21.1
Billy Butler 2010 32 678 21.2
Carl Yastrzemski 1964 30 646 21.5
Dave Winfield 1983 30 664 22.1
Jim Rice 1983 31 689 22.2
Cal Ripken 1985 32 718 22.4

Looking at the specific GIDP opportunities, only Billy Hitchcock in 1950 matched Young’s pace.

Player Year GIDP 1st, < 2 out PA rate
Billy Hitchcock 1950 30 76 2.5
Brad Ausmus 2002 30 107 3.6
Billy Butler 2010 32 135 4.2
Tony Armas 1983 31 134 4.3
Bobby Doerr 1949 31 142 4.6
Miguel Tejada 2008 32 150 4.7
Cal Ripken 1985 32 150 4.7
Carl Yastrzemski 1964 30 144 4.8
Jim Rice 1985 35 171 4.9
Ivan Rodriguez 1999 31 159 5.1
Dave Winfield 1983 30 157 5.2
Ben Grieve 2000 32 176 5.5
Jackie Jensen 1954 32 179 5.6
Jim Rice 1984 36 202 5.6
Jim Rice 1983 31 201 6.5
Ernie Lombardi 1938 30 ? ?

 

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26 comments

  1. JLA

    May 04, 2013 12:04 PM

    Wow, it looks like there are a number of people up there in the Hall of Fame.

  2. Miguel

    May 04, 2013 02:02 PM

    Ok, but then, we should expect this number to increase, don’t we?

    I mean, I’ve read many times things like “KK era is unsustainable, and he is going to regress”. This is the flip side of the coin…this pace is unsustainable…or hope so

  3. Bill Baer

    May 04, 2013 05:04 PM

    I wouldn’t imagine it’s sustainable. His ground ball rate is 62%, which is 15% above his career average and 9% above last year’s rate. If Young has made some kind of mechanical adjustment or change in approach at the plate, then perhaps it could be.

    Ground ball rate tends to stabilize after 80 balls in play. Young has put 52 grounders in play through 30 games, so maybe we’ll know more in a couple weeks.

  4. Richard

    May 05, 2013 12:54 PM

    from the comments to that BP article:

    kuma32478: Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly do we mean when we say that “GB rates stabilize…”?

    I’m thinking Justin Upton here:
    2008: 37.2%
    2009: 45.5%
    2010: 41.4%
    2011: 36.9%
    2012: 46.0%

    His FB rates have been just as sporadic.

    So what does it mean that those rates stabilize at 80 BIP?

    Russell A. Carleton: I’ll talk about that in next week’s article. The short version is that you can be fairly certain that a player’s GB rate over those 80 PA was reflective of his true talent _over that period of time_. But true talent unto itself can change and does so more rapidly than we’d like to think.

    back to me:
    I assume this is ‘next week’s article':

    www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17742

    Unfortunately, this one is sub req’d, and mine lapsed. But I seem to recall reading it last summer, and my take away is that we simply cannot use this notion that rates stabilize over certain numbers of PAs as casually as people often do.

  5. hk

    May 05, 2013 06:55 PM

    We are ~20% of the way through the season and RAJ’s off-season acquisitions (Revere, 2 Youngs, Lannan, Durbin and Adams) have combined to total 0.0 WAR. Does management even realize that the GM gave up Worley, May, Lindblom, Bonilla and have paid ~$3.8M so far for 32 games of replacement level production? How does this guy keep his job. Meanwhile, Anibal Sanchez, a player that some on these comments sections thought the Phils should target, has accumulated 2.0 WAR and Nate Schierholtz, a player the Phils could have kept for ~$1.4M, has accumulated 0.6 WAR. I know 32 games is a small sample size, but that small sample size also came in what was supposed to be the easy part of the schedule.

  6. Richard

    May 05, 2013 08:07 PM

    I’m not one to defend Amaro’s moves much, but combining all of those acquisitions into one pile and then calling it replacement level is a bit silly. Adams has been good. Michael Young has been better than expected (so far; it could easily change). Lannan was good in his first two starts, then had a poor outing because of injury. Durbin is terrible. Delmon Young is terrible. Revere has been terrible, though I strongly doubt he remains so bad.

  7. hk

    May 06, 2013 05:08 AM

    Richard,

    Other than maybe giving him a pass because Lannan got hurt, why – other than the small sample size issue that I referenced – is it silly to look at them in the aggregate? If one guy (M. Young) provides 0.7 WAR and another (B. Revere) provide -0.7 WAR, can we not say that his two regular player acquisitions have added nothing so far. And, while I doubt that Revere will stay terrible, I also doubt that M. Young’s BABIP will stay at .384.

    Let me pose this as a question to you. If you were RAJ’s superior and you reviewed his performance after every 32 games, how would you rate his off-season acquisitions after 20% of the season?

  8. mike-west coast philly fan

    May 06, 2013 09:22 AM

    When I see M. Young come up to the plate with a runner on it seems like a foregone conclusion that a DP will result. Why doesn’t he just stand there and take three pitches and strike out to save the extra out?

  9. Phillie697

    May 06, 2013 11:19 AM

    You guys DID read that part about who led the majors in DP last year right? Miguel Cabrera. Miguel Fing I Won The MVP Last Year Cabrera. Why is this somehow a concern with Michael Young if not for the sinking feeling that his overall production to this point isn’t sustainable?

  10. Phillie697

    May 06, 2013 01:12 PM

    @hk,

    You forgot to mention that Swisher, after his market price went down drastically to the point that I was saying why didn’t we sign him at the price the Indians paid, has also produced 1 WAR so far while playing good defense in right field and has a .367 OBP, which is only second to Michael Young, who by the way everyone is still bashing. Not to mention his wife is way hotter than Cole Hamels’ wife.

    No one is advocating the Phillies to become cheap. I just want them to be smart about spending money. RAJ has been less responsible with this team’s money than MC Hammer had with his.

  11. hk

    May 06, 2013 01:37 PM

    Phillie,

    I only mentioned Anibal and Nate in my post because I argued that they should sign Anibal, who I claimed would provide insurance in 2013 if Halladay is not up to par and would be a good #3 for 2014 and beyond, and that it was stupid to non-tender Nate. I was not as strongly in the Swisher camp because I did not want to see the team relinquish their 1st round pick in this June’s draft.

  12. Phillie697

    May 06, 2013 01:45 PM

    hk,

    A little frugality on RAJ’s part, we could have signed/kept all three :) Heck, if we don’t sign Papelbon and re-signed Hamels on a cheaper deal, even with The Worst Contract In MLB Ever on this team, we could have Swisher, Sanchez, AND Bourn. For those of you STILL defending RAJ, how would this team look today with those three players on this team instead of Revere, Douchbag Young, and Lannan?

  13. hk

    May 06, 2013 02:03 PM

    Well, if you want to turn the clock back to last year’s Papelbon signing (again), you are really opening up the list of missed opportunities. As I just mentioned in the comments section on Halladay’s mortality, how would Yoenis Cespedes have looked on this roster last year instead of Papelbon? How about Carlos Beltran on a two-year deal at a lower AAV than Papelbon? How about Josh Willingham, someone I know that many on this site suggested that they should sign, for $21M over 3 years?

  14. Phillie697

    May 06, 2013 02:11 PM

    Papelbon is only last year. I don’t feel it’s too late to turn back the clock on that one :)

  15. Richard

    May 06, 2013 02:24 PM

    “re-signed Hamels on a cheaper deal”? not likely

    but, your other ideas make sense, and some combination of them could have still been possible even with the Papelbon signing

    frugality or no frugality, Amaro is guilty too of an almost total lack of imagination (unless one thinks of signing Delmon Young as ‘imaginative’)

  16. Phillie697

    May 06, 2013 02:26 PM

    @Richard,

    Not likely? I’m pretty sure it would have happened if RAJ wasn’t so busy getting Hunter Pence, Jonathan Papelbon, and traded Cliff Lee for no reason.

  17. Richard

    May 06, 2013 02:54 PM

    Based on what do you think it would have happened? What makes you think Hamels would have gone for an earlier, cheaper extension? You’re really just guessing.

    It’s important to remember that the players have agency, too, and Hamels in particular has been very savvy, throughout his career, about maximizing his earning potential.

  18. Phillie697

    May 06, 2013 03:00 PM

    Even if Hamels doesn’t give the team a hometown discount like Jered Weaver did at 5/85, you don’t think for a moment that Hamels wouldn’t have hedged his chances of risking injury at that time for, say, 5/100? Agents are GREAT at maximizing value yes, but they aren’t dumb enough to not realize that the earlier you sign, the less risk you take, plus the earlier you can invest that money to make even more money. I’m sorry, RAJ waited too long, end of story.

  19. Richard

    May 06, 2013 03:13 PM

    “I’m sorry, RAJ waited too long, end of story.”

    This is just dumb. You have no idea what kinds of deals were being proposed, or what kind of negotiating was going on.

  20. Phillie697

    May 06, 2013 03:14 PM

    @Richard,

    BTW, I agree with you I don’t for a second care about the whole “stablizing” crap. In the end, to me, career aggregates will ALWAYS still matter more than any anomalies, “stablized” or not. This is why I expected Michael Young to bounce back nicely to be at least useful, not the utter cesspool that he was last year. Let’s hope he continues to do well enough for me to brag by All-Stars break, LOL.

  21. Phillie697

    May 06, 2013 03:25 PM

    @Richard,

    Basic economic theory would have taught RAJ that the earlier you sign someone, the cheaper it is, if only because present value of money today is greater than the present value of money tomorrow. Of course, expecting RAJ to understand modern economic theory is like expecting a monkey to do math. Plus, when you sign a long-term deal like this, any GM who has a clue would realize that you’re paying for those great years up front by giving the player money he will NOT deserve at the end of the contract, hence you want to do that as early as possible to minimize the decline you get for the length of that contract, something else Mr. I-Only-Care-About-Players-In-Their-Thirties not only do not understand, but probably thinks it’s hogwash. Therefore, one can only assume that RAJ did NOT understand these concepts, and perhaps tried to play “hardball” with Hamels until such a time he realized, “fuck me, I’ve ran out of time to play hardball.”

    If you want to suggest that Hamels’ agent and/or Hamels himself had said to the Phillies, “yeah, we’re waiting until 2012 before we’ll talk any deal, period,” then the dumb ones were Hamels and his agent, which I’m willing to bet money didn’t happen. Trust me, RAJ waited too long, because any logical person would not have. Not only is 6/144 insane, it would not have been 6/144 two years ago even IF Hamels wanted to maximize his value.

  22. william eib

    May 07, 2013 04:27 PM

    We tend to pay much more attention to our own, and we get to see them more than any other team. Albert Puljos would get hammered in Philly.

    I say let’s play ball and see what happens.

    I watched “trouble With the Curve” for the second time. Old time scouting vs the computer. Money-ball is not the end all and be all of baseball theories. Baseball is an unpredictable game. Everything is resting on a razors edge. Slumps, injuries,. If I remember correctly 2008 was a season that started out with people demanding someone be fired and players had to be traded.

    “Mother F**king World Series Champions.” …Chase Utley.

    Simply put: “shit happens.”

  23. Max

    May 07, 2013 06:04 PM

    what the christ just happened. shit, dude, at least get the fucking quote right

  24. BobP

    May 08, 2013 12:23 PM

    Rubin deals crappy cards and Charlie plays the hand he was dealt poorly.

    That said .. Phils’ players are incrementally improving and in baseball that is enough – just make the playoffs with a team that is getting better and not resting on laurels. – see Cardinals and Giants. I realize this sounds like wishful thinking, but Phils do possess some good basic players. The key is to get them to strive to get better and the battle will be won.

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