Baseball Toaster Cub Town
And Jerry Makes Two
2006-01-30 18:08
by Derek Smart

The Cubs are slowly picking off their arbitration cases, and today's signee is Jerry Hairston, who came to an agreement with the club on a one year, $2.3M contract.

I recently bought the Hardball Times Annual (the contributions of some of my most favorite bloggers being no small incentive - but I digress), and one of the fun stats they have in the book is one that quantifies baserunners' contributions based on how they advance on the basepaths in three specific scenarios, all with the base ahead of the runner vacant: a) runner on first, batter singles b) runner on second, batter singles c) runner on first, batter doubles.

Hairston was 13th in the Majors in terms of the total run value above expectations of his baserunning contributions as described, and was 3rd in terms of the rate at which he converted these type of baserunning opportunities into extra bases, and therefore, runs. And that was without his wheels at 100%.

If you're looking for a cause beyond the defensive reasons we've all been given that Hairston appears to have o'erleapt Todd Walker in the eyes of the organization, his work advancing on his teammate's base hits might be the kicker.

2006-01-31 08:58:22
1.   Lefty
Do you really think the Cubs' "braintrust" has any clue to these stats?
2006-01-31 11:56:23
2.   Derek Smart
To the particular stat I was using? Probably not, but I'd be surprised if they didn't have some sort of data on first to third situations and their ilk, as well as detailed scouting reports about their charges' baserunning abilities.

So, while I doubt they would use what I used, I'm sure they use something. In fact, specific information about baserunning - or very specific information of any kind - strikes me as something they'd be much more interested in and would find far greater utility for than something like VORP or WARP that are more esoteric and require a buy-in to a particular way of thinking about the game. Big math, total value contributed stats that can look to the casual observer like made up BS are the things I'd think would make their eyes roll and glaze over, not specific data on very specific skillsets.

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