Martinez was the Majors eleventh luckiest hitter in 2012 according to FanGraphs. Really. Photo: AP
Fangraphs posted an interesting article today combined with a pretty neat sortable spreadsheet regarding “luck”. The article, entitled “De-Lucker X: The Final 2012 Numbers“, took a look at how the Majors fared when comparing fielding independent wOBA and xBABIP (click on the links for some nice explanations). When comparing the two, the resulting number attempts to measure luck, positively or negatively. How did the Phillies fare?
Most Phillies Were Slightly Luckier Their Stats Indicate – But So Was the Entire MLB
Not adjusting for plate appearances, Michael Martinez, yes that Michael Martinez of .174/.208/.252 line, was the 11th luckiest hitter in the Majors in 2012. Ryan Howard was the 32nd luckiest hitter in baseball, which translated into a line of .219/.295/.423. Placido Polanco was 54th, John Mayberry was 63rd, Domonic Brown 105st, and Juan Pierre 121st. It is worth noting that over 73% of Major League hitters were “luckier” than their wOBA indicated, so it should not be a surprise that 80% of the Phillies who spent the entire year with the team were luckier than their stats indicated.
J-Rol Played Almost Exactly to What Was Expected, Chooch Was Unlucky
Jimmy Rollins was the only Phillie who was eligible for the batting title in 2012 and his stats played about as true as you can get if you are a fan of the De-Lucker. The differential of his wOBA and xBABIP was .009, putting him generally in the middle of the pack for those who qualified for the batting title and 288 of 460 Major Leaguers. Carlos Ruiz placed 445 out of 460 with a -.026 differential and teammate Laynce Nix finished 454th with a -.036 differential.
Frandsen Was Unlucky? Really?
A lot of folks were wondering what to expect out of Kevin Frandsen in 2013. The De-Lucker X tool has Frandsen as the 430th luckiest Major Leaguer last year at a -.020 differential, making him, effectively, one of the least lucky players in the Majors, albeit in a small sample. What is important to remember about this tool is the disclaimer they offered in the beginning of the piece: it is a reflective, not a predictive, tool. It only reports what happened and has no predictive ability.
How the Rest of the Phillies Fared:
Chase Utley (136)
Freddy Galvis (163)
Mike Fontenot (171)
Ty Wigginton (181)
Erik Kratz (324)