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.