ESPN Ratings: A "Game Score" for Hitters

by 2:24 PM 0 comments
Each season, some of the best individual performances are recorded and highlighted by the WIS engine...but they get erased at the end of the year so I figured this would be a good place to keep a longer term record of those. Also, I have recently determined a way in which we can figure out once and for all who had the best individual performance of the season. Keeping records here also allows us to make cross-season references (starting in Season 49, since that's when this idea occurred to me.)

To evaluate each hitting performance, I am going to use a slightly modified version of the "ESPN Rating" which is essentially a Game Score for hitters that ESPN came up with. It is traditionally scored in the following manner:
  • Baseline score of 59
  • +1 point per hit
  • +1 point per run scored
  • +0.25 points per walk
  • +1 point for each Total Base
  • +0.25 points per steal
  • -0.25 points per caught stealing attempt
  • +0.25 points per Sac Fly
  • +0.25 points per Sac Hit 
  • +1 point per RBI
  • -0.25 points per strikeout
  • -0.25 point per non-productive out
This doesn't account for defense whatsoever, and in my humble opinion having a great game in the field on top of a great day at the plate is what really identifies the best of the best. At the same time, having a great day at the plate can be somewhat dampened by a miscue or two in the field. To that end, I've decided to add a defensive portion to the ESPN rating, which will consist of the following categories and point values: 
  • +0.25 points per putout
  • +0.25 points per infield assist
  • +0.50 points per outfield assist
  • -1 point per error
  • -0.25 points per passed ball
  • +0.25 points per runner caught stealing (by catcher)
  • +1 point per "plus" play
  • -1 point per "minus" play
For pitchers, I'm going to use Bill James' Game Score, which is calculated using the following criteria:
  • Baseline score of 50
  • +1 point per out recorded
  • +2 points per inning pitched after the 4th 
  • +1 point per strikeout
  • -2 points per hit allowed
  • -4 points per earned run allowed
  • -2 points per unearned run allowed
  • -1 point per walk allowed
Looking at this season's Noteworthy Games, all but one are hitting performances through the first 121 games of the regular season. Here's a quick breakdown of each of them (for reference, the best score-batting only-in MLB so far this season is 86.5 by Josh Bell in his 3 HR game on July 1st):

Stretch Kramer drives in 7 runs 
  • At the plate: 3-for-4, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI = 81 batting total
  • In the field: no contributions = 81 overall total
Dickie Moore drives in 7 runs 
  • At the plate: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI = 79 batting total 
  • In the field: 6 putouts, 1 assist, 1 runner caught stealing = +2 fielding points = 81 overall total 
Nipsey Henley drives in 7 runs
  • At the plate: 5-for-6, 2 R, 2B, HR, 7 RBI = 81 batting total
  • In the field: no contributions = 81 overall total
Trevor Tatis drives in 7 runs 
  • At the plate: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, Sac Fly = 77.25 batting total
  • In the field: 3 putouts & 4 assists = +1.75 fielding points = 80 overall total
Al Gonzales drives in 7 runs 
  • At the plate: 4-for-6, R, HR, 7 RBI = 76 batting total
  • In the field: 7 putouts = +1.75 fielding points = 77.75 overall total
Osvaldo Lee drives in 8 runs 
  • At the plate: 5-for-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI = 86 batting total
  • In the field: 7 putouts = +1.75 fielding points = 87.75 overall total 
Pedro Villafuerte drives in 8 runs
  • At the plate: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 8 RBI, BB = 75.25 batting total
  • In the field: 9 putouts = +2.25 fielding points = 77.5 overall total
Danny Hatfield drives in 7 runs
  • At the plate: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, BB, K = 79 batting total
  • In the field: 3 putouts = +0.75 fielding points = 79.75 overall total
Christopher Perry drives in 7 runs
  • At the plate: 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI = 81 batting total
  • In the field: 2 putouts, 4 assists = +1.5 fielding points = 82.5 overall total

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