Double plays of course…

To be honest, I came across a projection for Alex Rios. And when I think about Alex I think about double plays. How does the current Toronto Blue Jays offensive roster stack up in terms of DP?

**Stat Itself**

The folks over at Baseball Prospectus have a great free statistical section, which includes amongst others, a double play percentage stat.

Here’s how it works. They take a player’s total number of opportunities in double play situations and create a percentage. i.e. if a player hits into 20 DP in 100 opportunities, he’ll have a 20% DP rate.

They also have a great stat, NET DP. Here is their explanation:

The number of additional double plays generated versus an average player with the same number of opportunities. Negative NET DP indicates that fewer double plays than average were produced.

For example, Derek Jeter hit into 24 DP for a rate of 18.3%. Using these stats we can figure out that Jeter had 131 PA in DP situations. The AL average DP rate in 2010 was 11.81%. The average player would hit into 15.48 DP in 131 PA. Derek’s NETDP is 8.52 higher than the average player. (24 – 15.48). That’s how we reach NETDP.

While a few different theories exist on how to calculate the exact negative run value of a DP, a common rate is 4 times greater than a strikeout.

**Blue Jays**

The following lists include seasonal statistics from Toronto Blue Jays during the 2008 – 2010 seasons.

Also included are DP stats for newly acquired Rajai Davis. The statistic sample includes also includes Yunel Escobar’s 2008, 2009 (full) and 2010 (partial) Atlanta Braves seasons, along with his short stint in Toronto.

**Top 12 NETDP Scores**

Yunel Escobar is a double play machine! His 2008 score was the 5th highest in the majors & his 2009 score was 8th. His combined 2010 score of 6.44 places him 18th.

Vernon Wells makes three appearances on the list, although to be fair his NETDP score is higher due to opportunities more so than an extremely high DP%. But now that I think about it, his 2010 rate of 15.8% isn’t anything to write home about.

Rajai Davis is only other member of the upcoming 2011 squad on the list. His 2009 NETDP score is likely an outlier, as his 2010 score was -0.22 (an even 11%) and he posted an awesome -3.14 tally in 2008.

**Bottom 12**

Aaron Hill appears three times. I’m surprised that his lackluster 2010 didn’t include a higher NETDP score. Part of his low rate could be attributed to strikeouts, although I’d rather have a K than a DP every time.

Adam Lind may be in the same boat. His horrid 2010 score a low NETDP but he enjoyed the K.

Travis Snider sneaks into the bottom 12 for his 2010 season. Travis also posted a negative score in 2009.

**Is it the K crowd? **

After taking this data in, I went back and looked at the NETDP leaders. Some solid players appear on the list during 2010. Mauer has a 4.51 score, Pujols at 6.79 and Tulo at 6.39. On the flip side high contact hitters such as Chase Utley (-7.08) and Kevin Youkilis (-4.98) post negative scores.

I’m sure K does play a factor in the NETDP rate. Still, I’d rather see a K than a DP.

**Upcoming 2011 Jays Season**

I won’t like it but I can live with Vernon’s higher NETDP scores if he produces at 2010 levels.

Hopefully Hill, Lind, Snider & Bautista can repeat negative scores in 2011.

However, I am worried about a full season of Yunel in the two hole. But if a silver lining exists, it would be Rajai’s steal tendency. Taking Yunel’s historical performance into account, I’d send Rajai all day if he’s on first and Yunel’s at the plate.

Durty headline. Yet also an insightful post. I am surprised to see Rod Barajas in the bottom 12, perhaps he hits way more flyballs than grounders? Also, this might be why Snider appears in the bottom 12: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN20lDaBZYg

It would be a great strategy to employ the hit and run with Davis (or Mastroianni?) on base in front of him. I wonder if Farrell will adopt it.

Surprisingly Barajas had a small neg NETDP in 2008 and only around a 7.5% DP rate in 2010 with the Mets.

I originally thought the H+R would be $$$ for Yunel but then I checked the MLB.com hit chart data. He hit the majority of his Toronto groundouts to the SS side. With the 2nd baseman covering the bag due to Yunel being a RHB the SB hole won’t be much of a factor. I’d also imagine, with such a high DP % year after year, that the front end break-up may not be the issue with Yunel.

You’re probably right, Snider’s hustle must save a few DP against per season.

Aaron Hill set the record for beating out the back end of DP`s last year.

New record for FC`s.

I can’t find a total link to Fielders Choice numbers (do you have a source?).

However, I went inside some pitch F/X data and I did find, what appeared to be, a high number of FC.

FC’s suck but I’d rather see’em vs a DP.

I’d wager that Hill’s DP rate is so fine because he’s a flyball machine.

Thanks for the comment.

You’re probably right, GB rate should be a factor.

I made a mistake in my image. Although AHill has posted three negative NetDP seasons in a row, he ranked 14th (lowest scores) and my graphic only went to 12. (I listed him as showing up three times)

In 2009 AHill had a 39.5% GB rate and a -1.78 NetDP. VDub had a 42.5% GB rate and a +2.78.

Looking at this, GB rate does factor in to AHill’s low DP ratios, although I do think he does make up for it with some hustle.