The PrOPS-Star Team

I’m writing my All-Star break reflection piece a little later than most thanks to the timing of my summer travels, but that’s not really important. My purpose for looking back at the first-half of 2005 is to check on PrOPS (see Introducing PrOPS). I designed PrOPS back in May on a whim—I think there was some beer involved. My goal was to design a metric to estimate how well a hitter should be hitting based on the way he has hit the ball during the season. The outcome stats we commonly use to judge hitters (i.e., AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS) are polluted by luck, as some hard-hit balls become outs and some dinkers become hits.

The PrOPS formula rewards batters for hitting the ball hard, and punishes them for weakly hit balls. I wanted a performance stat as opposed to an outcome stat, and I thought that the hit-type data (groundball/flyball ratio, line-drive percent, etc.) provided on The Hardball Times Stats Page might provide the information needed to generate such a metric; that’s how PrOPS was born.

PrOPS is in no way perfect–it does not remove all luck from batting outcomes. PrOPS (derived from Predicted OPS) is to OPS what component ERA is to ERA. After many suggestions, I refined the metric a bit to control for speed and divided PrOPS into components (PrAVG, PrOBP, and PrSLG). Below I present some general information about PrOPS, and generate a list of the best and worst PrOPS performers for the first-half of 2005, along with my first half PrOPS All-Stars.

General Trends

Here are the general trends in PrOPS for players with more than 150 plate appearances by league.

League  PrOPS   OPS     PrOPS%  PrOPS+  PrAVG   PrOBP   PrSLG
AL      0.787   0.771   -2.56%  -0.017  0.283   0.344   0.443
NL      0.798   0.784   -2.50%  -0.014  0.282   0.351   0.447

Because The Hardball Times’ hit-type data is new, I only had the 2004 data available to generate my projections. Therefore, the PrOPS metrics simply indicate what players with similar batting performance in 2004 did in 2004. For 2005, PrOPS consistently overshoots actual OPS, which isn’t too surprising, as offense is down some this year. Nonetheless, the difference in predictions is small enough to make me happy.

On average, players seem to be doing a little worse in 2005 than they did in 2004, with the average player producing 2.5% less OPS than they did in 2004, based on hit-types. A player with a PrOPS+ (OPS – PrOPS) that is -0.015 OPS-points this year is performing about the same on batting outcomes as the rest of the league in terms of hit-types.

The Best and Worst PrOPS

There are no real surprises among the best and worst performances based on PrOPS (minimum 150 PAs).

Top-25 AL PrOPS

Rank    First               Last                Team    PrAVG   PrOBP   PrSLG   PrOPS   OPS
1       Manny               Ramirez             BOS     0.317   0.397   0.611   1.008   0.910
2       Brian               Roberts             BAL     0.334   0.402   0.567   0.969   1.007
3       Alex                Rodriguez           NYA     0.288   0.391   0.560   0.951   0.998
4       Mark                Teixeira            TEX     0.297   0.365   0.581   0.946   0.930
5       Miguel              Tejada              BAL     0.327   0.369   0.562   0.931   0.977
6       Vladimir            Guerrero            LAA     0.319   0.372   0.558   0.929   0.971
7       Tino                Martinez            NYA     0.284   0.373   0.550   0.923   0.780
8       Rafael              Palmeiro            BAL     0.312   0.379   0.534   0.913   0.800
9       Jason               Giambi              NYA     0.275   0.419   0.489   0.908   0.890
10      Jason               Varitek             BOS     0.307   0.370   0.535   0.906   0.892
11      Gary                Sheffield           NYA     0.284   0.390   0.513   0.903   0.920
12      Jermaine            Dye                 CHA     0.291   0.348   0.552   0.899   0.860
13      Paul                Konerko             CHA     0.278   0.372   0.527   0.898   0.828
14      Alfonso             Soriano             TEX     0.293   0.323   0.564   0.888   0.840
15      Kevin               Mench               TEX     0.285   0.348   0.524   0.873   0.906
16      Trot                Nixon               BOS     0.302   0.384   0.489   0.873   0.861
17      Derek               Jeter               NYA     0.317   0.403   0.466   0.869   0.844
18      Michael             Young               TEX     0.315   0.355   0.510   0.865   0.906
19      Dmitri              Young               DET     0.295   0.350   0.511   0.861   0.781
20      Melvin              Mora                BAL     0.291   0.345   0.509   0.854   0.861
21      Eric                Byrnes              OAK     0.298   0.363   0.490   0.853   0.810
22      Richie              Sexson              SEA     0.253   0.355   0.489   0.844   0.865
23      Hank                Blalock             TEX     0.284   0.342   0.491   0.833   0.825
24      Bobby               Crosby              OAK     0.307   0.362   0.471   0.833   0.925
25      Jhonny              Peralta             CLE     0.283   0.336   0.497   0.833   0.874

Top-25 NL PrOPS

Rank    First               Last                Team    PrAVG   PrOBP   PrSLG   PrOPS   OPS
1       Derrek              Lee                 CHN     0.315   0.399   0.653   1.052   1.186
2       Andruw              Jones               ATL     0.298   0.376   0.610   0.986   0.930
3       Albert              Pujols              STL     0.317   0.402   0.583   0.985   1.017
4       Adam                Dunn                CIN     0.260   0.400   0.570   0.970   0.935
5       Bobby               Abreu               PHI     0.305   0.427   0.541   0.968   0.955
6       Tony                Clark               ARI     0.311   0.339   0.607   0.947   0.983
7       Morgan              Ensberg             HOU     0.265   0.367   0.567   0.934   0.983
8       Cliff               Floyd               NYN     0.276   0.349   0.564   0.913   0.903
9       Hee Seop            Choi                LAN     0.297   0.371   0.539   0.910   0.777
10      Aramis              Ramirez             CHN     0.302   0.354   0.551   0.905   0.905
11      Reggie              Sanders             STL     0.275   0.337   0.568   0.905   0.897
12      Xavier              Nady                SD      0.291   0.350   0.550   0.901   0.839
13      Moises              Alou                SF      0.298   0.391   0.509   0.900   0.909
14      Preston             Wilson              COL     0.299   0.357   0.540   0.897   0.813
15      J.D.                Drew                LAN     0.270   0.400   0.497   0.897   0.931
16      Carlos              Lee                 MIL     0.280   0.347   0.546   0.893   0.864
17      Brian               Giles               SD      0.296   0.428   0.463   0.891   0.942
18      Milton              Bradley             LAN     0.310   0.355   0.535   0.891   0.857
19      Carlos              Delgado             FLA     0.279   0.376   0.512   0.888   0.922
20      Jose                Cruz                ARI     0.259   0.376   0.512   0.888   0.796
21      Clint               Barmes              COL     0.326   0.361   0.525   0.886   0.886
22      Jim                 Edmonds             STL     0.248   0.370   0.511   0.881   0.942
23      Ryan                Klesko              SD      0.280   0.381   0.498   0.879   0.846
24      Wily Mo             Pena                CIN     0.279   0.317   0.561   0.878   0.891
25      Julio               Franco              ATL     0.305   0.366   0.511   0.877   0.824

Bottom-25 AL PrOPS

Rank    First               Last                Team    PrAVE   PrOBP   PrSLG   PrOPS   OPS
1       Tony                Womack              NYA     0.266   0.302   0.329   0.631   0.542
2       Juan                Castro              MIN     0.267   0.290   0.373   0.663   0.620
3       Jeremy              Reed                SEA     0.267   0.333   0.343   0.676   0.681
4       Travis              Lee                 TB      0.255   0.331   0.345   0.676   0.656
5       John                Buck                KC      0.246   0.290   0.386   0.676   0.629
6       Omar                Infante             DET     0.250   0.298   0.392   0.690   0.667
7       Nook                Logan               DET     0.283   0.327   0.365   0.692   0.665
8       Ruben               Gotay               KC      0.250   0.315   0.378   0.693   0.681
9       Mark                Teahen              KC      0.281   0.329   0.364   0.694   0.658
10      Scott               Podsednik           CHA     0.282   0.360   0.338   0.697   0.713
11      Julio               Lugo                TB      0.275   0.336   0.361   0.698   0.711
12      Mark                Ellis               OAK     0.283   0.339   0.362   0.701   0.694
13      Terrence            Long                KC      0.284   0.323   0.379   0.702   0.670
14      Michael             Cuddyer             MIN     0.258   0.336   0.370   0.706   0.719
15      Juan                Uribe               CHA     0.268   0.304   0.404   0.708   0.655
16      Toby                Hall                TB      0.274   0.313   0.397   0.710   0.680
17      Orlando             Cabrera             LAA     0.280   0.329   0.388   0.716   0.648
18      Alexis              Rios                TOR     0.271   0.314   0.402   0.716   0.739
19      Eric                Hinske              TOR     0.243   0.324   0.398   0.721   0.712
20      Angel               Berroa              KC      0.285   0.320   0.401   0.721   0.669
21      Darin               Erstad              LAA     0.281   0.342   0.378   0.721   0.749
22      Nick                Punto               MIN     0.271   0.336   0.386   0.723   0.749
23      Alex S              Gonzalez            TB      0.269   0.328   0.399   0.727   0.704
24      Tadahito            Iguchi              CHA     0.277   0.338   0.391   0.728   0.747
25      Aubrey              Huff                TB      0.261   0.325   0.403   0.728   0.702

Bottom-25 NL PrOPS

Rank    Last                Team                Team    PrAVE   PrOBP   PrSLG   PrOPS   OPS
1       Chris               Burke               HOU     0.229   0.288   0.309   0.597   0.585
2       Royce               Clayton             ARI     0.255   0.307   0.333   0.639   0.615
3       Alex                Gonzalez            FLA     0.246   0.299   0.349   0.648   0.708
4       Cristian            Guzman              WAS     0.261   0.299   0.355   0.653   0.530
5       Jose                Reyes               NYN     0.261   0.288   0.365   0.653   0.650
6       J.J.                Hardy               MIL     0.248   0.342   0.318   0.660   0.560
7       Vinny               Castilla            WAS     0.236   0.315   0.354   0.669   0.727
8       Brian               Jordan              ATL     0.259   0.310   0.362   0.672   0.627
9       Jamey               Carroll             WAS     0.281   0.334   0.338   0.673   0.585
10      Mike                Lamb                HOU     0.263   0.308   0.371   0.679   0.618
11      Mike                Lowell              FLA     0.262   0.316   0.367   0.683   0.632
12      Willy               Taveras             HOU     0.274   0.313   0.370   0.683   0.705
13      Chris               Snyder              ARI     0.256   0.334   0.355   0.689   0.633
14      Junior              Spivey              MIL     0.234   0.306   0.386   0.692   0.682
15      Kazuo               Matsui              NYN     0.267   0.318   0.379   0.696   0.604
16      Brad                Ausmus              HOU     0.276   0.356   0.341   0.697   0.621
17      Raul                Mondesi             ATL     0.247   0.307   0.391   0.698   0.630
18      Brad                Wilkerson           WAS     0.234   0.341   0.359   0.701   0.809
19      David               Bell                PHI     0.273   0.322   0.379   0.702   0.662
20      Cesar               Izturis             LAN     0.298   0.343   0.362   0.705   0.660
21      Quinton             McCracken           ARI     0.274   0.342   0.366   0.708   0.545
22      Jack                Wilson              PIT     0.281   0.315   0.396   0.711   0.614
23      Carlos              Beltran             NYN     0.248   0.307   0.405   0.712   0.754
24      Sean                Casey               CIN     0.291   0.344   0.368   0.712   0.761
25      Damian              Miller              MIL     0.267   0.336   0.379   0.715   0.728
The Over/Under-Performers

This is where PrOPS becomes fun. These are the guys who may be performing better or worse than their outcome stats indicate. In terms of PrOPS+ (absolute difference) and PrOPS% (percent difference) under-performance is good, and over-performance is bad. If PrOPS is right and these players continue to hit the ball as they did in the first half, the under-performers should improve and the over-performers should decline.

Top-25 AL Under-Performers

Rank    First               Last                Team    PrOPS   OPS     PrOPS+  PrOPS%
1       Aaron               Boone               CLE     0.781   0.628   -0.153  -24%
2       Tino                Martinez            NYA     0.923   0.780   -0.143  -18%
3       Rafael              Palmeiro            BAL     0.913   0.800   -0.113  -14%
4       A.J.                Pierzynski          CHA     0.833   0.722   -0.111  -15%
5       Richard             Hidalgo             TEX     0.801   0.691   -0.110  -16%
6       Victor              Martinez            CLE     0.802   0.692   -0.110  -16%
7       Manny               Ramirez             BOS     1.008   0.910   -0.098  -11%
8       Tony                Womack              NYA     0.631   0.542   -0.088  -16%
9       Casey               Blake               CLE     0.782   0.697   -0.086  -12%
10      Steve               Finley              LAA     0.778   0.695   -0.083  -12%
11      Edgar               Renteria            BOS     0.793   0.714   -0.079  -11%
12      Dmitri              Young               DET     0.861   0.781   -0.079  -10%
13      Sammy               Sosa                BAL     0.766   0.689   -0.077  -11%
14      Mark                Bellhorn            BOS     0.767   0.693   -0.075  -11%
15      Mark                Kotsay              OAK     0.822   0.748   -0.074  -10%
16      Paul                Konerko             CHA     0.898   0.828   -0.070  -8%
17      Orlando             Cabrera             LAA     0.716   0.648   -0.068  -11%
18      Joe                 Crede               CHA     0.792   0.727   -0.066  -9%
19      Laynce              Nix                 TEX     0.735   0.670   -0.065  -10%
20      Russ                Adams               TOR     0.793   0.734   -0.059  -8%
21      Orlando             Hudson              TOR     0.778   0.722   -0.056  -8%
22      Jason               Kendall             OAK     0.745   0.690   -0.055  -8%
23      Juan                Uribe               CHA     0.708   0.655   -0.053  -8%
24      Angel               Berroa              KC      0.721   0.669   -0.052  -8%
25      Kevin               Millar              BOS     0.763   0.711   -0.052  -7%

Top-25 NL Under-Performers

Rank    First               Last                Team    PrOPS   OPS     PrOPS+  PrOPS%
1       Quinton             McCracken           ARI     0.708   0.545   -0.163  -30%
2       Juan                Pierre              FLA     0.803   0.666   -0.137  -21%
3       Hee Seop            Choi                LAN     0.910   0.777   -0.133  -17%
4       Cristian            Guzman              WAS     0.653   0.530   -0.123  -23%
5       J.D.                Closser             COL     0.766   0.643   -0.122  -19%
6       Mike                Lieberthal          PHI     0.787   0.683   -0.104  -15%
7       J.J.                Hardy               MIL     0.660   0.560   -0.100  -18%
8       Damion              Easley              FLA     0.864   0.764   -0.100  -13%
9       Sean                Burroughs           SD      0.734   0.635   -0.099  -16%
10      Jack                Wilson              PIT     0.711   0.614   -0.097  -16%
11      Austin              Kearns              CIN     0.795   0.700   -0.095  -14%
12      Yadier              Molina              STL     0.750   0.656   -0.094  -14%
13      Ryan                Langerhans          ATL     0.833   0.739   -0.094  -13%
14      Rafael              Furcal              ATL     0.797   0.703   -0.093  -13%
15      Kazuo               Matsui              NYN     0.696   0.604   -0.092  -15%
16      Jose                Cruz                ARI     0.888   0.796   -0.092  -12%
17      Jamey               Carroll             WAS     0.673   0.585   -0.088  -15%
18      Preston             Wilson              COL     0.897   0.813   -0.084  -10%
19      Neifi               Perez               CHN     0.741   0.659   -0.083  -13%
20      Jason               Phillips            LAN     0.752   0.673   -0.079  -12%
21      Brad                Ausmus              HOU     0.697   0.621   -0.076  -12%
22      Aaron               Miles               COL     0.752   0.676   -0.075  -11%
23      Desi                Relaford            COL     0.715   0.642   -0.073  -11%
24      Jim                 Thome               PHI     0.784   0.712   -0.072  -10%
25      Corey               Patterson           CHN     0.721   0.649   -0.072  -11%

Top-25 AL Over-Performers

Rank    First               Last                Team    PrOPS   OPS     PrOPS+  PrOPS%
1       Carlos              Guillen             DET     0.752   0.863   0.111   13%
2       Mike                Sweeney             KC      0.798   0.902   0.103   11%
3       Hideki              Matsui              NYA     0.823   0.915   0.092   10%
4       Bobby               Crosby              OAK     0.833   0.925   0.091   10%
5       Adam                Kennedy             LAA     0.730   0.803   0.073   9%
6       Johnny              Damon               BOS     0.799   0.858   0.060   7%
7       Brandon             Inge                DET     0.755   0.803   0.048   6%
8       Alex                Rodriguez           NYA     0.951   0.998   0.047   5%
9       Miguel              Tejada              BAL     0.931   0.977   0.046   5%
10      Garret              Anderson            LAA     0.752   0.795   0.043   5%
11      Vladimir            Guerrero            LAA     0.929   0.971   0.042   4%
12      Michael             Young               TEX     0.865   0.906   0.041   5%
13      Jhonny              Peralta             CLE     0.833   0.874   0.041   5%
14      Brian               Roberts             BAL     0.969   1.007   0.038   4%
15      Emil                Brown               KC      0.765   0.800   0.035   4%
16      Kevin               Mench               TEX     0.873   0.906   0.034   4%
17      Darin               Erstad              LAA     0.721   0.749   0.028   4%
18      Frank               Catalanotto         TOR     0.735   0.761   0.026   3%
19      Nick                Punto               MIN     0.723   0.749   0.026   3%
20      Alexis              Rios                TOR     0.716   0.739   0.023   3%
21      Richie              Sexson              SEA     0.844   0.865   0.022   3%
22      Bobby               Kielty              OAK     0.778   0.799   0.021   3%
23      Tadahito            Iguchi              CHA     0.728   0.747   0.019   3%
24      Gary                Sheffield           NYA     0.903   0.920   0.018   2%
25      Torii               Hunter              MIN     0.806   0.823   0.017   2%

Top-25 NL Over-Performers

Rank    First               Last                Team    PrOPS   OPS     PrOPS+  PrOPS%
1       Derrek              Lee                 CHN     1.052   1.186   0.134   11%
2       Nick                Johnson             WAS     0.819   0.952   0.133   14%
3       Ryan                Church              WAS     0.811   0.924   0.114   12%
4       Brad                Wilkerson           WAS     0.701   0.809   0.108   13%
5       Miguel              Cabrera             FLA     0.854   0.958   0.104   11%
6       Mike                Cameron             NYN     0.781   0.879   0.099   11%
7       Marcus              Giles               ATL     0.772   0.853   0.081   10%
8       Todd                Walker              CHN     0.746   0.827   0.080   10%
9       Jason               Bay                 PIT     0.866   0.930   0.063   7%
10      Jeff                Cirillo             MIL     0.746   0.809   0.063   8%
11      Wilson              Betemit             ATL     0.807   0.870   0.063   7%
12      Jim                 Edmonds             STL     0.881   0.942   0.061   6%
13      Alex                Gonzalez            FLA     0.648   0.708   0.061   9%
14      Vinny               Castilla            WAS     0.669   0.727   0.058   8%
15      Kenny               Lofton              PHI     0.773   0.830   0.057   7%
16      Brian               Giles               SD      0.891   0.942   0.051   5%
17      Sean                Casey               CIN     0.712   0.761   0.050   7%
18      Morgan              Ensberg             HOU     0.934   0.983   0.049   5%
19      Chipper             Jones               ATL     0.876   0.923   0.048   5%
20      Jose                Guillen             WAS     0.853   0.899   0.046   5%
21      Antonio             Perez               LAN     0.768   0.813   0.044   5%
22      Carlos              Beltran             NYN     0.712   0.754   0.042   6%
23      Olmedo              Saenz               LAN     0.810   0.850   0.040   5%
24      Larry               Walker              STL     0.824   0.862   0.038   4%
25      Tony                Clark               ARI     0.947   0.983   0.037   4%
The PrOPS-Star Teams

Finally, I generated All-Star teams for both leagues based solely on PrOPS. I’ll call them the PrOPS-Star Teams for fun. Note that these are based solely on offense for the first-half of 2005. I picked the top-three PrOPS players by position regardless of injury status. A player was eligible for the team if he had more that 150 plate appearances and logged more than 200 innings at that position. Outfielders were picked at each position not as a whole.

2005 PrOPS-Star Teams

        AL                                      NL
Pos.    Player              Team    PrOPS       Player              Team    PrOPS
C       Jason Varitek       BOS     0.906       Michael Barrett     CHN     0.831
C       A.J. Pierzynski     CHA     0.833       Mike Matheny        SF      0.803
C       Ben Molina          LAA     0.819       Jason LaRue         CIN     0.789

1B      Mark Teixeira       TEX     0.946       Derrek Lee          CHN     1.052
1B      Tino Martinez       NYA     0.923       Albert Pujols       STL     0.985
1B      Rafael Palmeiro     BAL     0.913       Tony Clark          ARI     0.947

2B      Brian Roberts       BAL     0.969       Jeff Kent           LAN     0.875
2B      Alfonso Soriano     TEX     0.888       Damion Easley       FLA     0.864
2B      Jorge Cantu         TB      0.824       Chase Utley         PHI     0.858

3B      Alex Rodriguez      NYA     0.951       Morgan Ensberg      HOU     0.934
3B      Melvin Mora         BAL     0.854       Aramis Ramirez      CHN     0.905
3B      Hank Blalock        TEX     0.833       Chipper Jones       ATL     0.876

SS      Miguel Tejada       BAL     0.931       Clint Barmes        COL     0.886
SS      Derek Jeter         NYA     0.869       Felipe Lopez        CIN     0.873
SS      Michael Young       TEX     0.865       Bill Hall           MIL     0.824

LF      Manny Ramirez       BOS     1.008       Adam Dunn           CIN     0.970
LF      Kevin Mench         TEX     0.873       Cliff Floyd         NYN     0.913
LF      Eric Byrnes         OAK     0.853       Reggie Sanders      STL     0.905

CF      Hideki Matsui       NYA     0.823       Andruw Jones        ATL     0.986
CF      Mark Kotsay         OAK     0.822       Xavier Nady         SD      0.901
CF      Vernon Wells        TOR     0.813       Preston Wilson      COL     0.897

RF      Vlad Guerrero       LAA     0.929       Bobby Abreu         PHI     0.968
RF      Gary Sheffield      NYA     0.903       Moises Alou         SF      0.900
RF      Jermaine Dye        CHA     0.899       J.D. Drew           LAN     0.897

There are a few surprises here, but nothing mind-blowing. While this was all fun for me, I’m still not certain how good the information PrOPS provides is. Hopefully, at the conclusion of the season I’ll have a better grasp on it. As always, I welcome suggestions for improving the metric.

References & Resources
Introducing PrOPS

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