Archive for J.J. Hardy

Orioles Still Have a Problem Getting On Base

Posted in Offense with tags , , , , , , on April 11, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Over the last 2 off seasons, one of the main issues the Orioles have needed to address was their lineup’s ability to get on base.  That issue wasn’t addressed before the 2013 season, as the team finished towards the bottom of the league in OBP, and was ranked dead last in BB% in the American League (ok, they weren’t DEAD last, they were tied for dead last).  While they made some newsworthy acquisitions during this past offseason, it wasn’t clear that they did anything to improve their on base skills, and two weeks into the season, it’s starting to look pretty obvious that they didn’t.  It’s very early in the season though, so do they have a chance to be a better OBP team?  I take a look at it today over on ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot.

Direct Link to Article –> Orioles Still Have a Problem Getting On Base

Projecting the 2014 Orioles: Offense

Posted in Offense, Offseason, Projections with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Following a surprise playoff appearance in 2012, the Baltimore Orioles finished the 2013 season with an 85-77 record, 12 games out of first place in the American League East and 7 games out of the wild card spot.  Despite not making the playoffs, the 2013 team was arguably more talented than the 2012 team, due to reasons that we’ve discussed before. This offseason was relatively quiet until around the start of spring training when the team made several moves to improve roster holes leftover from 2013 (starting rotation and designated hitter). Despite what looks to be an upgraded team, the Zips Projection System at Fangraphs currently sees them finishing the 2014 season at the bottom of the AL East with a record of 78-84. Let’s take a closer look at how Zips came to that conclusion.*  This is more informative than actual analysis, but I think it is still be a worthwhile exercise.

*Note: this post as written before Zips made its final projections for the season, so things will probably change slightly in the next week.

Catcher

2014 Zips Projection

2014 Zips Projection

In 2013, Baltimore catchers produced a total of 1.9 fWAR, which placed them 18th in all of baseball. The bulk of that production came from Matt Wieters (2.4 fWAR), but the backups added -0.5 wins in only 101 plate appearances.  Offensively, Zips sees Wieters improving on his disappointing 2013 season, while once again playing a lot at the position.*  I personally believe that the projection for Wieters is slightly on the low side, and that he has a decent chance to exceed it.

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Making the Orioles a Champion in 2014: Shortstop

Posted in Offseason with tags , , , on November 1, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

The “Making the Orioles a Champion in 2014” series at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog, Camden Depot rolls on.  This time I take a look at the shortstop position, which has been occupied by J.J. Hardy since 2011.  Hardy has been solid as a rock since joining Baltimore, but should the team look to trade him in the offseason and allow Manny Machado to move back to his natural position?  Check out my post on Camden Depot and find out.

Direct Link to Article –> Making the Orioles a Champion in 2014: Shortstop

Who is the Most Clutch Oriole?

Posted in Offense with tags , , , , , , , on August 23, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

The following post was written by Doug Nickerson as a guest post for Orioles Proving Ground.  Nickerson grew up as a Red Sox fan on Cape Cod, MA and is looking forward to writing about the Orioles with his knowledge of the AL East from a non-emotional perspective.  He moved to the DC area last August, and while he loves the city, he hates humidity and traffic.

In watching so many games this year with the purpose of evaluating the players instead of solely enjoying the beauty of the game, many ideas have percolated from the frustrations of watching teams struggle to score, while others seem to score with ease.  Now obviously some matchups are lopsided causing teams to either easily run up the score or look helpless at the dish.  But the real question I ask myself is, what is the relationship between being good and being able to perform under pressure?

On the surface, the Orioles haven’t been able to turn it on when it counts this year compared to last year, especially when considering their record in 1 run games has gone from 29-9 in 2012 to 14-22 this year.  What’s the cause of this? Is it purely luck? Did last year’s team have nerves of steel compared to this year or is it just the law of averages taking its course?

To compare this year and last year, I needed to look at clutch stats.  The easiest to compare is baseball-reference.com’s “clutch” stat, which is based on its win probability stat and average leverage index.  The clutch stat normalizes these numbers so that a player with a clutch rating of 0 is an average player and a positive or negative rating is more or less clutch, respectively.  Let’s take a look at the offensive numbers (I included guys with at least 45 ABs for the season).

2013 Clutch Rating

2012 Clutch Rating

Chris Davis

1.7

Adam Jones

1

Chris Dickerson

1.1

Taylor Teagarden

0.7

Adam Jones

1.1

Nate McLouth

0.6

Nick Markakis

0.7

Jim Thome

0.6

Steve Pearce

0.7

Mark Reynolds

0.4

Brian Roberts

0.6

Steven Tolleson

0.4

Alexi Casilla

0.5

Chris Davis

0.2

Manny Machado

0.4

Manny Machado

0.2

Danny Valencia

0.4

Matt Wieters

0.1

Yamaico Navarro

0.1

Steve Pearce

0.1

Travis Ishikawa

0

Nolan Reimold

0.1

Taylor Teagarden

0

J.J. Hardy

0

Henry Urrutia

0

Nick Markakis

0

Chris Snyder

-0.1

Endy Chavez

0

Nolan Reimold

-0.2

Brian Roberts

0

Nate McLouth

-0.3

Ryan Flaherty

-0.1

Matt Wieters

-0.4

Ronny Paulino

-0.1

J.J. Hardy

-0.5

Xavier Avery

-0.2

Ryan Flaherty

-0.8

Nick Johnson

-0.2

Omar Quintanilla

-0.3

Lew Ford

-0.4

Robert Andino

-0.7

Wilson Betemit

-0.9

Now, as expected, Chris Davis is the most clutch player on the 2013 team and that’s a reason why he is rightfully in the MVP race.  The surprising results of this stat is that 3 regulars are considered the most clutch hitters on the team (Davis, Jones, Markakis) and 3 regulars are considered to wilt during the big moments (McLouth, Wieters, Hardy) for the 2013 season.  When compared to last year’s team, only 2 players that got regular starts (Andino and Betemit with over 350 ABs each) had a negative rating.  This could be a potential reason for the drastic change in their record in 1 run games.  However, now the question arises as to how much are they affected by the big situation?  How much does 0.1 clutch point reflect into a player’s OBP in high leverage situations? Is it substantial, where all hope is lost if there are two outs, man on third, and the game is tied in the late innings? I find the clutch stat to be interesting but it leads me to more questions.

Now let’s take a look at each players OBP in different leverage situations to see if there is anything substantial.  I used OBP as a comparison, to measure the ability to keep the inning alive as critical to increasing your opportunity to score runs.  It is also a clean stat that is taken directly from the field and not manipulated in any way, unlike win probability, runs created, etc.

OBP Clutch Graph

From the chart, it can be seen that Nick Markakis is the most clutch batter on the team in getting on base in high pressure situations this year.  He also has nerves of steel as his OBP rises almost 100 points from his average when he is in a high leverage situation.  Matt Wieters appears to be deserving of his low clutch rating due to his drastically low OBP in high leverage situations.  However, the same can’t be said for J.J. Hardy or Nate McLouth.  Both are roughly the same or above their 2013 OBP average in high leverage situations, making them fairly clutch relative to themselves in low-pressure situations.  Five of six regular Orioles perform better when the pressure is on them to succeed.  This causes me to believe that the clutch rating stat has to be taken with a grain of salt when looking for it to translate onto the field.

With this in mind, I’ll look into the team’s clutch pitching numbers with my next post to see how the 2013 team is comparing to last year’s.