Originally written on Burning River Baseball  |  Last updated 11/10/14

One of the things that separates Burning River Baseball from any of those other Cleveland Indians blogs is my Player of the Game stat. It's an all inclusive equation that can be used to compare different players using offense, defense and pitching. The original purpose of the equation was to figure out which player should be called the Player of the Game in any individual game, but it is also useful when comparing seasons and careers. An in depth description is available here.

This year there wasn't a whole lot to get excited about, but here are the numbers from 2012:

Player POG Offense Defense Pitching Total Score PPG Jason Kipnis 15 210.4 -4.1 0.0 206.3 1.4 Shin-Soo Choo 8 207.9 -2.6 0.0 205.3 1.3 Carlos Santana 18 190.3 -19.4 0.0 170.9 1.2 Michael Brantley 6 168.2 0.4 0.0 168.6 1.1 Asdrubal Cabrera 10 181.7 -28.7 0.0 152.6 1.1 Casey Kotchman 6 121.6 -6.3 0.0 115.5 0.8 Travis Hafner 5 76.6 0.0 0.0 76.8 1.2 Shelley Duncan 9 72.7 -0.2 0.0 72.5 0.9 Jack Hannahan 3 67.5 -10.8 0.0 56.7 0.6 Vinnie Pestano 0 0.0 0.5 55.5 56.0 0.8 Jose Lopez 6 58.2 -6.9 0.0 51.3 0.8 Johnny Damon 2 52.2 -1.3 0.0 50.9 0.8 Joe Smith 3 0.0 -0.7 47.9 47.5 0.7 Chris Perez 1 0.0 0.4 45.4 46.4 0.8 Lou Marson 2 45.1 -2.8 0.0 42.4 0.6 Ezequiel Carrera 3 40.5 0.5 0.0 40.9 0.9 Lonnie Chisenhall 3 42.7 -11.0 0.0 31.6 0.7 Esmil Rogers 2 0.3 0.7 30.5 31.5 0.7 Justin Masterson 15 -0.2 3.4 24.8 28.0 0.8 Jason Donald 1 30.5 -4.7 0.0 25.6 0.6 Russ Canzler 3 26.3 -4.0 0.0 22.3 0.9 Zach McAllister 4 0.0 -1.4 22.8 21.4 1.0 Brent Lillibridge 0 27.3 -9.4 0.0 17.9 0.4 Aaron Cunningham 0 14.0 0.4 0.0 14.4 0.2 Frank Herrmann 1 0.0 0.0 13.2 13.2 0.9 Tony Sipp 3 0.0 0.2 12.8 13.2 0.2 Cody Allen 3 0.0 0.9 9.9 10.8 0.4 Matt LaPorta 2 9.3 -0.2 0.0 9.1 0.4 David Huff 0 0.0 0.3 8.5 8.8 1.5 Cord Phelps 1 8.5 0.2 0.0 8.7 0.6 Chris Seddon 2 0.0 -0.6 7.5 6.9 0.4 Vinny Rottino 0 6.0 0.3 0.0 6.3 0.4 Jeremy Accardo 3 0.0 0.8 3.4 4.8 0.2 Thomas Neal 0 4.4 -0.1 0.0 4.3 0.5 Rafael Perez 1 0.0 0.1 3.0 3.1 0.4 Scott Barnes 0 0.0 0.3 2.8 3.1 0.2 Luke Carlin 1 4.0 -1.9 0.0 2.1 0.5 Juan Diaz 0 2.8 -4.7 0.0 1.0 0.2 Nick Hagadone 0 0.0 0.1 0.5 0.6 0.0 Jairo Asencio 3 0.0 0.8 -1.5 -0.7 0.0 Corey Kluber 2 0.0 -0.2 -1.8 -2.0 -0.2 Roberto Hernandez 0 0.0 -0.1 -10.5 -3.6 -10.7 Ubaldo Jimenez 5 1.1 -1.5 -6.8 -7.2 -0.2 Jeanmar Gomez 3 0.0 1.9 -11.2 -9.2 -0.5 Scott Maine 0 0.0 0.1 -10.1 -10.1 -1.1 Derek Lowe 4 1.1 3.5 -15.8 -11.2 -0.5 Dan Wheeler 0 0.0 0.0 -11.6 -11.6 0.9 Josh Tomlin 4 0.3 2.6 -28.7 -25.8 -1.2

A couple things to note:

  • The reason players have such large negative numbers in their defensive column (particularly Cabrera) is because in this system unearned runs go to the fielder who made the error, rather than the pitcher. Great defensive plays (as judged by the writer of the post game each night), outfield assists and other defensive stats are included, but constitute a rather small part of the equation.
  • This shows what every Indians fan already knows, that there are five very good players on this team and a lot of other replaceable parts. Kipnis, Choo, Brantley, Santana and Cabrera are miles ahead of everyone else on the roster and the main players the Indians need to build on for the future.
  • The rankings for a strong team would show the first couple places taken by offensive players who play everyday, followed by the starting pitching staff with relief pitchers and utility players making up the bottom of the list. This year's rankings show extreme deficiencies on the Indians roster because you can see the top four pitchers are relievers and five of the worst eight players on the team were in the regular starting rotation. Utility players can be found all throughout the list with the back-up catcher ranking in at 15. This is mostly because he played more than most other players. 
  • With just 8 awards this season, Choo captured the top spot in the all-time Player of the Game leader board with 58 in his career, just edging out Grady Sizemore's 57 since 2007 when I started keeping track. Hafner is dropped to third all time with 55, while Jhonny Peralta sits in 4th with 51.

Don't be surprised if this list looks a lot like year end player rankings which should be coming out in the next few days. Next season, the monthly player power rankings will be exclusively based off the Player of the Game equation. This is how things went last season. Needless to say, things were a little better then.

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