2008 PrOPS-Stars, Overperformers, and Underperformers

Here are the top-three performers in terms of PrOPS by position and league (via THT).
If you are unfamiliar with PrOPS, it is a metric that estimates how players typically perform in terms of OPS based on how they hit the ball, along with a few other characteristics. You can read the primer here.

National League						American League				
C										
Year 	Last 	First 	Tm 	PrOPS 		Year 	Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 
2008	McCann	Brian M	ATL	0.900		2008	Mauer		Joe	MIN	0.841
2008	Soto	Geovany	CHN	0.868		2008	Hernandez	Ramon	BAL	0.793
2008	Martin	Russell	LAN	0.861		2008	Rodriguez	Ivan	DET	0.727


1B										
Year 	Last 	First 	Tm 	PrOPS 		Year 	Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 
2008	Pujols	Albert	STL	1.054		2008	Giambi		Jason	NYA	1.017
2008	Berkman	Lance	HOU	0.961		2008	Youkilis	Kevin	BOS	0.853
2008	Howard	Ryan J	PHI	0.940		2008	Morneau		Justin	MIN	0.838


2B										
Year 	Last 	First 	Tm 	PrOPS 		Year 	Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 
2008	Utley	Chase	PHI	1.001		2008	Kinsler		Ian M	TEX	0.834
2008	Uggla	Dan C	FLA	0.894		2008	Ellis		Mark	OAK	0.803
2008	DeRosa	Mark	CHN	0.849		2008	Roberts		Brian	BAL	0.792


3B										
Year 	Last 	First 	Tm 	PrOPS 		Year 	Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 
2008	Jones	Chipper	ATL	1.030		2008	Rodriguez	Alex	NYA	0.946
2008	Ramirez	Aramis	CHN	0.922		2008	Lowell		Mike	BOS	0.870
2008	Wright	David A	NYN	0.910		2008	Longoria	Evan	TB	0.867


SS										
Year 	Last 	First 	Tm 	PrOPS 		Year 	Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 
2008	Ramirez	Hanley	FLA	0.921		2008	Peralta		Jhonny	CLE	0.797
2008	Reyes	Jose	NYN	0.820		2008	Scutaro		Marco	TOR	0.775
2008	Rollins	Jimmy	PHI	0.808		2008	Renteria	Edgar	DET	0.751

LF										
Year 	Last 	First 	Tm 	PrOPS 		Year 	Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 
2008	Dunn	Adam	CIN	1.057		2008	Cust		Jack	OAK	0.956
2008	Burrell	Pat	PHI	1.025		2008	Quentin		Carlos 	CHA	0.926
2008	Lee	Carlos	HOU	0.912		2008	Ramirez		Manny	BOS	0.882


CF										
Year 	Last 	First 	Tm 	PrOPS 		Year 	Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 
2008	Ankiel	Rick	STL	0.898		2008	Sizemore	Grady	CLE	0.932
2008	Beltran	Carlos	NYN	0.878		2008	Hamilton	Josh 	TEX	0.926
2008	McLouth	Nate	PIT	0.877		2008	Swisher		Nick 	CHA	0.879


RF										
Year 	Last 	First 	Tm 	PrOPS 		Year 	Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 
2008	Ludwick	Ryan	STL	0.992		2008	Drew		J.D.	BOS	0.954
2008	Hawpe	Brad  	COL	0.896		2008	Dye		JermaineCHA	0.908
2008	Nady	Xavier	PIT	0.872		2008	Markakis	Nick	BAL	0.883


						DH				
						Year 	Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 
						2008	Bradley		Milton	TEX	1.045
						2008	Thome		Jim	CHA	0.941
						2008	Huff		Aubrey	BAL	0.865

Also here is a list of the top-25 overperformers, which means their OPS exceed their PrOPS. I expect these players’ performances to decline.

Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 	OPS 	OPS-PrOPS 
Berkman		Lance	HOU	0.961	1.096	0.135
Kinsler		Ian 	TEX	0.834	0.945	0.111
Lewis		Fred 	SF	0.701	0.798	0.097
Uggla		Dan 	FLA	0.894	0.978	0.084
Damon		Johnny	NYA	0.774	0.856	0.082
Youkilis	Kevin 	BOS	0.853	0.933	0.080
Holliday	Matt 	COL	0.896	0.975	0.079
Jones		Adam 	BAL	0.658	0.732	0.074
Roberts		Brian	BAL	0.792	0.864	0.072
Morneau		Justin	MIN	0.838	0.903	0.065
Granderson	Curtis	DET	0.782	0.838	0.056
Jones		Chipper	ATL	1.030	1.086	0.056
Rios		Alex 	TOR	0.691	0.737	0.046
Durham		Ray	SF	0.754	0.799	0.045
Loney		James 	LAN	0.752	0.796	0.045
Gomez		Carlos 	MIN	0.594	0.638	0.044
Hudson		Orlando	ARI	0.773	0.816	0.044
Guzman		CristianWAS	0.721	0.765	0.044
Rowand		Aaron	SF	0.764	0.804	0.041
McCann		Brian 	ATL	0.900	0.940	0.040
Young		Delmon 	MIN	0.677	0.716	0.039
Ramirez		Hanley	FLA	0.921	0.957	0.036
Reyes		Jose	NYN	0.820	0.854	0.035
Young		Michael	TEX	0.743	0.777	0.034
Hart		Corey 	MIL	0.799	0.831	0.033

And here are the top-25 underperformers. I expect these players to improve.

Last 		First 	Tm 	PrOPS 	OPS 	OPS-PrOPS 
Sanchez		Freddy	PIT	0.721	0.556	-0.165
Cust		Jack	OAK	0.956	0.815	-0.140
Dunn		Adam	CIN	1.057	0.918	-0.138
Hernandez	Ramon	BAL	0.793	0.664	-0.128
Renteria	Edgar	DET	0.751	0.627	-0.124
Swisher		Nick 	CHA	0.879	0.754	-0.124
Mora		Melvin	BAL	0.802	0.688	-0.114
Howard		Ryan 	PHI	0.940	0.832	-0.108
Greene		Khalil	SD	0.701	0.593	-0.107
Cabrera		Melky	NYA	0.751	0.648	-0.103
Giambi		Jason	NYA	1.017	0.915	-0.103
Millar		Kevin	BAL	0.828	0.730	-0.098
Garko		Ryan 	CLE	0.765	0.668	-0.098
Griffey, Jr.	Ken	CIN	0.843	0.748	-0.096
Scutaro		Marco	TOR	0.775	0.680	-0.095
Cano		RobinsonNYA	0.737	0.643	-0.094
Beltre		Adrian	SEA	0.863	0.769	-0.094
Delgado		Carlos	NYN	0.876	0.784	-0.092
Kent		Jeff	LAN	0.801	0.711	-0.090
Francoeur	Jeff 	ATL	0.746	0.659	-0.087
Ellis		Mark	OAK	0.803	0.716	-0.087
Helton		Todd	COL	0.866	0.783	-0.083
Barton		Daric 	OAK	0.718	0.639	-0.080
Pierre		Juan	LAN	0.716	0.644	-0.072

7 Responses “2008 PrOPS-Stars, Overperformers, and Underperformers”

  1. Cliff says:

    A quick look shows the underperformers to underpeform much more than the overperformers overperform. First place is higher. Last place (25) is higher. At spot 10 the overpeformance approximately equals the under performance at spot 25.

    At an earlier rendering of PrOPS I seem to remember you suggesting that “big, slow guys” might underperform at a higher clip than they should (and with above random frequency). Just wondering how the mean, mode and median sort out.

    Also I would suppose that you looked at “qualifying” batters only. If so, wondering how many that is. I would expect 180 to 200. (AL teams at 6 to 7 per team and NL teams at 5 to 6)

  2. JC says:

    A quick look shows the underperformers to underpeform much more than the overperformers overperform.

    This is the result of offense being down this year. It is based on past data, so there is some bias in this direction.

    At an earlier rendering of PrOPS I seem to remember you suggesting that “big, slow guys” might underperform at a higher clip than they should (and with above random frequency).

    This was suggested by others, but I did not find much evidence of this.

    I did look at qualified batters only, but I’m not sure how many that is off the top of my head.

  3. JC says:

    I just remembered that I received an e-mail from a reader who had looked into over/underperformance of PrOPS. He found some evidence that pull hitters underperformed, and he hypothesized that this was a result of defenders being able to shift to take away more hits on balls in play than hitters who spread the ball around the field.

    JC—Is there any data that suggests that pull hitters PrOPS outperform their regular OPS because the defense is better aligned as to where they will put the ball in play….I looked at the data on Hardball Times at the five seasons with the highest and lowest PrOPS-OPS values….. I only used players who are active this season so I could see what percent of the time they pull the ball..check this out…..The numbers show with the noticeable exception of Curtis Granderson, that they the guys whose OPS outperform PrOPS hit to both sides of field, whereas the other five guys are all noticable pull hitters

    FIVE PLAYERS WHOSE OPS OUTPERFORMED PrOPS
    Ordonez 35-33
    Granderson 50-22
    Holliday 37-31
    Ichiro 33-31
    Hanley Ramirez 38-30

    FIVE PLAYERS WHOSE OPS UNDERPERFORMED PrOPS
    Adam Dunn 50-20
    Cust 46-26
    Frank Thomas 43-25
    Giambi 50-23
    Aaron Boone 49-22

  4. Victor says:

    I was just about to comment on the shift affecting pull hitters. I think Howard is a great example of this. How many times have you see him line it hard, but straight into the 2B who’s playing a very shallow RF? And “big, slow guys” tend to correlate with pull hitters who require shifts so that makes sense too.

  5. MattS says:

    I would imagine that there is probably a good deal of persistence to which players over- and underperform their PrOPS. If you try to separate individual skills that you think would cause this (pull hitting, speed, etc.), you might not blur the results with an imperfectly measured dependent variable, resulting in attenuation bias.

    What about including a variable in the regression for the previous year’s {OPS-PrOPS}? Wouldn’t that capture most of the omitted variables bias? After all, if there is a characteristic that leads to over- or underperformance, it would probably be present in prevoius years.

  6. Frank says:

    JC–do you have league averages (DH excluded)? Among the leaders, there are several positions for which the NL props is greater than the AL props. E.g., the third place NL catcher tops the first place AL catcher. I’m wondering if there might be the beginnings of a shift back toward the NL after several years of AL domination (something like 9-10 all star games, a majority of recent WS, etc.).

    It might also be interesting to see props by position (for all players not just top 3) b/c one often hears debates over players such as “so and so is below avg overall but above average for his position.”

  7. JC says:

    I do not have the raw data anymore. What is presented is what is available through THT.