Pirate Hitters in Order of Offensive Production

Andrew McCutchen was obviously – and by far – the most productive Pirate hitter in 2013. But how did the rest of the team line up after McCutchen? Where did Neil Walker stack up against Jordy Mercer? Was Russell Martin more or less productive than Garrett Jones?

In a recent article entitled, “How Much Power do Pirates Need in RF,” I wrote that Jose Tabata was a more productive hitter in 2013 than Pedro Alvarez. I based that largely on a statistic called weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+), which measures total offensive production against league average and adjusts for park and league. (an excellent comment on wRC+ from Fangrapsh is posted below).

The Alvarez – Tabata comparison made me curious, so, I took a look at all of the Pirates hitters to see how they compared to each other. Below I have listed the wRC+ of each Pirate hitter who had more than 200 PA as a Pirate, their major league wRC+ ranking among players with 200+ PA, and players from other teams who had the same wRC+.

(A wRC+ of 100 is league average. Miguel Cabrera had the highest wRC+ in major league baseball last year at 192.)

1. Andrew McCutchen:  155  (9);  David Wright

2. Starling Marte:  121 (69);  John Jaso, Jed Lowrie

3. Jose Tabata:  118  (77);  James Loney, Adam Jones

4. Gaby Sanchez:  117  (81);  Raul Ibanez, Jay Bruce

5. Neil Walker:  114  (98);  Jose Reyes, Eric Chavez

6. Jordy Mercer:  113  (104);  Chase Headley, Jacoby Ellsbury

7. Pedro Alvarez:  111  (114);  Albert Pujols. Ryan Howard

8. Russell Martin:  101  (167);  Manny Machado, Nate Frieman

9. Garrett Jones:  97  (188);  Alejandro De Aza, Robbie Grossman

10. Travis Snider:  70  (307);  Starling Castro, D.J. LeMahieu

11. Clint Barmes:  52  (341);  Chris Getz

These are the wRC+ of players who had less than 200 PA with the Pirates:

Marlon Byrd, 137; Justin Morneau 98; Josh Harrison 95; Michael McKenry 70; Brandon Inge 19.

****   Fangraphs’ comment on wRC+:

“Weighted Runs Created (wRC) is an improved version of Bill James’ Runs Created (RC) statistic, which attempted to quantify a player’s total offensive value and measure it by runs.  In Runs Created, instead of looking at a player’s line and listing out all the details (e.g. 23 2B, 15 HR, 55 BB, 110 K, 19 SB, 5 CS), the information is synthesized into one metric in order to say, “Player X was worth 24 runs to his team last year.”  While the idea was sound, James’ formula has since been superseded by Tom Tango’s wRC , which is based off of wOBA.

“Similar to OPS+, Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) measures how a player’s wRC compares with league average.  League average is 100, and every point above 100 is a percentage point above league average. For example, a 125 wRC+ means a player created 25% more runs than league average. Similarly, every point below 100 is a percentage point below league average, so a 80 wRC+ means a player created 20% fewer runs than league average.

“wRC+ is also park and league-adjusted, allowing one to to compare players who played in different years, parks, and leagues.  Want to know how Ted Williams compares with Albert Pujols in terms of offensive abilities?  This is your statistic.”


431 thoughts on “Pirate Hitters in Order of Offensive Production

    • The overall league average is always 100, but the averages by position change from year-to-year. For instance, the average for DH last year was 110, but the average for SS was 85. So, the average SS was 15% below league average. And the average DH was 10% above league average.

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