Leaders in GPA

In 2003, former THT writer Aaron Gleeman, invented a statistic called Gross Productive Average. The statistic was meant to be a better version of OPS, by using:
{exp:list_maker}A simple acronym (GPA)
A scale close to batting average, which is easier for the casual fan to interpret than OPS
Weighting on-base percentage onto the same scale as slugging percentage {/exp:list_maker}
Ive always been a big fan of GPA because it’s easy to calculate by hand (OBP*1.8+SLG)/4)), and it is actually does a better job than the widely accepted OPS. There are better metrics out there for evaluating offensive performance, like wOBA, TAv and wRC+. But I think a “transitionary” older statistic like GPA still could be relevant.

Colin Wyers, another former THT writer, told me on Twitter that he still thinks there’s a place for the older statistics (like GPA), because they are easy to work with and can teach a lot when played around with. But at the same time, he wasn’t sure that they should appear on leader boards (GPA is not currently displayed on any internet leaderboard).

Colin’s probably right. If wOBA, TAv and wRC+ are better than GPA and are already on leader boards, then there’s probably not a place for it. But I decided it would be fun, and could also demonstrate some differences between OPS and actual run creation, if I created a GPA leader board, for this season.

Mike Fast did this before with kwERA, another simple and underrated statistic.

When calculating GPA I didn’t adjust for park, which the original GPA does, because I wanted to keep things as simple as possible. Also, I’m not a huge fan of park factors at the moment.

I listed the top 20 hitters and bottom-five hitters through Saturday (minimum 400 plate appearances, below:

Name GPA OPS
1. Joey Votto 0.355 1.046
2. Andrew McCutchen 0.326 0.977
3. Miguel Cabrera 0.324 0.983
4. Ryan Braun 0.322 0.978
5. Mike Trout 0.320 0.962
6. Buster Posey 0.320 0.953
7. Edwin Encarnacion 0.313 0.947
8. Prince Fielder 0.310 0.917
9. Giancarlo Stanton 0.307 0.948
10. Josh Hamilton 0.307 0.944
11. Melky Cabrera 0.305 0.906
12. David Wright 0.304 0.896
13. Robinson Cano 0.301 0.909
14. Adrian Beltre 0.300 0.913
15. David Murphy 0.299 0.884
16. Carlos Gonzalez 0.299 0.894
17. Allen Craig 0.298 0.903
18. Joe Mauer 0.298 0.861
19. Matt Holliday 0.298 0.891
20. Dexter Fowler 0.298 0.878

Bottom Five:

Name GPA OPS
Casey Kotchman 0.211 0.618
Justin Smoak 0.200 0.589
Cliff Pennington 0.199 0.580
Clint Barmes 0.196 0.576
Brendan Ryan 0.195 0.554
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