Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stats, Statistics, And More Damn Lies!

I've finally decided to do a number crunching thing, not my forte mind you, to answer the pin heads out there that point to Soriano performing so much better out of the leadoff spot than further down in the order.

Since Soriano's career numbers are heavily skewed by the preponderance of stats accumulated batting leadoff, his numbers vary only slightly batting in a different part of the order. What I'd like to point out however, is his effectiveness to the teams total offensive production, or the total runs the team scores when Soriano hits in different spots in the lineup.

Soriano's greatest number of plate appearances other than leadoff come from the 5 hole in the order.

2227PA, 138DB, 9TP, 121HR, 281RBI, 117SB, 38CS

5 Hole
618PA, 37DB, 3TP, 34HR, 107RBI, 31SB, 3CS

When we look at Soriano's effectiveness hitting from these two positions in the lineup, we see some alarming variables.

As a leadoff man Soriano gets an extra base hit 12% of the time.
Out of the 5 hole he gets an extra base hit 11.9% of the time.

As a leadoff man Soriano attempts a stolen base 6.9% of the time and is caught stealing 24.5% of the time.
Out of the 5 hole he attempts a stolen base 5.5% of the time and is caught stealing a base 8.8% of the time.

As a leadoff man Soriano hits a HR 5.4% of the time.
Out of the 5 hole he hits a HR 5.5% of the time.

As a leadoff man Soriano has an RBI 12.6% of the time.
Out of the 5 hole he has an RBI 17.3% of the time.

There are two interesting facts to point out when looking over these numbers.

One, Soriano creates an out at a rate of almost 3 times the frequency attempting a steal when batting leadoff compared to hitting in the 5 hole. Negatively effecting the heart of the order's ability to score runs.

Two, Soriano drives in a run 37% more frequently out of the 5 hole in the order than he does hitting leadoff. Positively effecting the heart of the order's ability to score runs.

Throw in 150+ strikeouts and suspect defense in CF, and the team suffers mightily from the misuse of this wonderfully gifted athlete.


Anonymous said...


You need to put more numbers into this explanation.

How do you explain your steal attempt comparison when you don't include total hits?

You have to determine total times he gets on base (first or second base) before you determine his steal attempt percentage. I see no indication as to his total number of steal attempts as compared to how many times he reaches first or second base (I assume he doesn't attempt to steal home often, nor should that be included in this analysis).

CLUTE said...


I think you're missing the point but he has a total of 597 hits, which 260 are xtra base hits batting leadoff and 94 hits, which 74 are xtra base hits batting in the 5 hole.

The issue is not the the stolen bases anyway. The issue is how much more productive the lineup would be with Soriano hitting in the 5 hole than leadoff.

As I said before, Soriano's speed is just an added plus to his offensive skills. His value as a leadoff hitter pales by comparison to his value as a run producer. After all, it's all about how many runs the team can score, not how many stolen bases the team has.

If the Cubs produce more runs more consistently with Soriano hitting down in the order, it's a no brainer where he should bat.

Anonymous said...

Lineup construction doesn't matter. Of course, Soriano is going to drive in more runs in the 5-hole than he would leading off, but he'll score more runs leading off than hitting in the 5-hole. He'll have a higher runs created per 27 outs hitting leadoff than he'll have hitting lower in the lineup.

Darren said...


Please explain your assertion:

He'll have a higher runs created per 27 outs hitting leadoff than he'll have hitting lower in the lineup.

I understand your issue with Clute's numbers and calculations that it should be runs created not RBIs or runs scored, and agree that both sides of the equation need to be addressed. But you need numbers to back up your assertion.

CLUTE said...

Let me put it this way guys.

We have players on the roster than will get on base more frequently that have decent speed. When you take Soriano out of the middle of the order, we lose much more out of the lineups production than we do taking him out of the leadoff spot. Plus his likelyhood of being walked with first base open if we have a runner in scorring position goes up significantly with the 2 hitter following him instead of say Jones or Barrett.

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