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The Sports Daily > Burning River Baseball
2016 Player of the Game Results

The Player of the Game stat is one of my own personal creation that I created back in 2007 (long before BurningRiverBaseball) and have tweaked every year since to make it as accurate as possible. The goal was similar to that of wRC+, to find the most important player in each game, but unlike that stat, which measures the change in probability of winning any particular game provided by each player, mine values hits/scoreless innings/steals the same no matter the situation.

The reasoning behind this is because if a player has a two run single in the first inning, he very well could have a higher wRC+ than a player who hits two home runs later in the game after the score had been run up, but to me, the two home run player obviously provided more value. Because of that, I’ll continue recording the Player of the Game stats for every single Indians game until I find a truly representative alternative.

The following table shows how many Player of the Game awards each player won throughout the season, then their full season totals of value from offense, base running, defense and pitching followed by their total score and average per game for the whole year.

Player POG GP Offense BR Defense Pitching Total AVG/G
Mike Napoli 14 150 173.4 76.4 -5.1 0.0 244.7 1.63
Carlos Santana 17 158 169.5 72.1 -7.2 0.0 234.5 1.48
Francisco Lindor 11 158 144.3 87.4 -2.1 0.0 229.5 1.45
Jason Kipnis 9 156 154.7 79.6 -4.9 0.0 229.4 1.47
Jose Ramirez 3 152 147.1 79.6 -1.1 0.0 225.5 1.48
Rajai Davis 7 134 84.9 71.6 -0.3 0.0 156.2 1.17
Lonnie Chisenhall 10 124 99.1 37.5 -2.4 0.0 134.3 1.08
Tyler Naquin 7 116 87.0 42.8 -0.2 0.0 129.6 1.12
Corey Kluber 16 32 0.4 0.9 -1.3 119.8 119.8 3.74
Yan Gomes 5 74 46.9 18.8 -2.9 0.0 62.8 0.85
Dan Otero 1 62 0.0 0.0 -0.5 61.3 60.9 0.98
Cody Allen 0 67 0.0 0.0 -1.2 62.1 60.7 0.91
Danny Salazar 8 25 -0.5 0.8 -1.6 62.1 60.7 2.43
Abraham Almonte 2 66 37.0 22.8 0.0 0.0 59.8 0.91
Carlos Carrasco 6 25 0.0 0.0 -6.2 62.3 56.1 2.24
Juan Uribe 0 73 40.7 15.2 -4.0 0.0 52.0 0.71
Trevor Bauer 10 35 -0.5 0.0 -3.4 55.0 51.1 1.46
Marlon Byrd 0 34 32.3 8.5 0.4 0.0 41.2 1.21
Bryan Shaw 0 75 0.0 0.0 -1.4 40.4 39.0 0.52
Roberto Perez 2 60 26.2 11.7 -0.5 0.0 37.5 0.63
Andrew Miller 2 26 0.0 0.0 0.0 36.7 36.7 1.41
Brandon Guyer 2 38 25.6 10.8 0.2 0.0 36.6 0.96
Chris Gimenez 2 66 17.6 12.0 -2.9 -4.7 22.7 0.34
Coco Crisp 1 20 13.4 8.3 -0.2 0.0 21.5 1.07
Jeff Manship 1 55 0.0 0.0 -0.3 21.0 20.7 0.38
Zach McAllister 0 51 0.0 0.0 0.1 18.5 18.6 0.36
Michael Martinez 1 56 5.8 12.5 -1.5 0.0 16.7 0.3
Josh Tomlin 8 31 0.7 0.8 -11.0 26.1 16.6 0.55
Michael Brantley 1 11 9.4 4.6 0.3 0.0 14.2 1.29
Ryan Merritt 1 4 0.0 0.0 0.0 9.4 9.4 2.35
Joba Chamberlain 1 20 0.0 0.0 -0.5 9.8 9.3 0.46
Kyle Crockett 0 29 0.0 0.0 -0.1 7.0 7.0 0.24
Shawn Armstrong 1 10 0.0 0.0 -0.2 7.0 6.9 0.69
Mike Clevinger 5 17 -0.2 0.0 -0.1 7.0 6.7 0.39
Tommy Hunter 1 21 0.0 0.0 -0.9 5.7 4.7 0.23
Perci Garner 1 8 0.0 0.0 -0.6 2.8 2.2 0.27
Erik Gonzalez 0 19 0.5 1.5 0.2 0.0 2.1 0.11
Ross Detwiler 2 7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.02
Collin Cowgill 0 9 -0.8 0.2 0.0 0.0 -0.6 -0.07
Jesus Aguilar 0 8 -0.7 0.0 0.1 0.0 -0.6 -0.07
Adam Moore 0 8 -0.6 0.0 -0.1 0.0 -0.7 -0.09
T.J. House 0 4 0.0 0.0 -1.7 -0.4 -2.0 -0.51
Joseph Colon 0 11 0.0 0.0 -0.6 -3.0 -3.6 -0.33
Tom Gorzelanny 0 7 0.0 0.0 0.0 -3.8 -3.8 -0.55
Adam Plutko 0 2 0.0 0.0 -0.6 -3.3 -3.9 -1.96
Shawn Morimando 0 2 0.0 0.0 0.0 -5.8 -5.8 -2.92
Austin Adams 0 19 0.0 0.0 -2.1 -12.2 -14.5 -0.76
Cody Anderson 1 19 0.0 0.0 -0.2 -15.3 -15.5 -0.82

That’s a long sheet and it might not mean a whole lot, so I’ll point out a few interesting facets.

  • First off, I’m aware that defense is extremely discounted compared to it’s actual value to the team. The scoring system accurately accounts for negative plays, but not positive ones and that is why even the best defenders in baseball will have a negative score.
  • Also not necessarily indicative of performance are the total Player of the Game wins for any player. In particular, Ramirez had the fifth highest total score, yet only won three in the entire season.
    • There were two reasons for this. First, he was a great all around player all year and wasn’t an all or nothing player like Napoli or Santana. His per game average is most accurate because of this.
    • Secondly, when he did have great games, the often coincided with someone who was slightly better. When he had 5 RBI on May 6th, Salazar pitched seven shut out innings. When he had a solid 5.48 score on June 21st, Kluber pitched a complete game, three hit shut out and on August 12th, he had one of the best games of the season with three steals, four runs scored, a double and a home run Guyer beat him by knocking in five and reaching base three times.
  • Because the numbers have been set to compare pitchers and hitters fairly over a single game, pitchers numbers are going to be less for the full season simply because they don’t pitch every day. They are fair to compare to each other, however.
    • First, this is the first season in recording all stats for an entire season where all five starting pitchers ended the year for a positive total. Kluber really stood out above the rest, both in game-by-game performance and in the fact that he only missed one start due to injury.
    • For relievers, the per game average is the most important indicator and this includes inherited runner stats as well as the importance of the situation. Looking at all this, Miller was as incredible looking at these numbers as he was with any others with a 1.41 ERA, way above the Indians other elite relievers.
  • This was a great season for the Tribe in terms of base running in aggressiveness and accuracy. The chart above includes a lot in the base running section, so to break it down further, the chart below shows each players extra bases taken (plus steals) and times tagged out on the bases along with the difference between the two.
Player XB+SB CS+TO +/-
Ramirez 95 13 82
Davis 85 9 76
Lindor 81 12 69
Kipnis 70 7 63
Santana 55 8 47
Napoli 47 12 35
Chisenhall 37 5 32
Naquin 28 4 24
Almonte 24 2 22
Gomes 15 2 13
Guyer 14 4 10
Uribe 9 1 8
Martinez 10 3 7
Crisp 8 1 7
Perez 8 2 6
Gimenez 8 4 4
Brantley 4 0 4
Byrd 3 2 1
Cowgill 1 0 1
Gonzalez 1 1 0

While Davis was the biggest base stealer, it was actually Ramirez who was the busiest when running the bases. This isn’t surprising as he got on base significantly more often and when you consider how many times his helmet fell off. The most important part is the proficiency at taking these bases as the majority of Indians were safe at extreme rates. A few to note of who maybe should have stayed still a little more often were Napoli, Guyer, Martinez, Gimenez and Byrd. Some who may have been surprising successes were Santana, Uribe, Gomes and Chisenhall. This continues to show that taking extra bases is not about speed, but intelligence and picking the perfect spot to move ahead 90 feet.