Thursday, January 10, 2019

How OPS unfairly helps the Power Hitter and unfairly punishes the Finesse Contact Hitters.

Omar Vizquel has become a victim of “Bill James induced” statistical madness and depravity. Vizquel hit .272 and possibly was one of the all time most efficient hitters with his outs. Unfortunately, OPS and WAR don’t tell the story in regards to how well a batter does with the 67% of at bats that generate outs. Don’t be fooled. Vizquel is the Modern Era leader in combo sac flies and sac hits with 350, Ozzie Smith is second with 277. Vizquel maintained an almost 1 to 1 ratio of walks to strikeouts, a feat achieved by only about 10 percent of all hitters.

Most stats that are kept seem to benefit the power hitters. When power hitters strike out a lot, they are credited with causing less GIDP’s because they strike out so much. But when a speed player only strikes out 60 times a year, Statisticians use this stat to LOWER a hitter’s overall contact batting average. This is sheer nonsense. 

There are no stats kept for double and triple sacs for the same at bat, and no sac’s are credited for moving a runner over via a ground ball to the opposite field. Errors are more often than not caused by a runners speed, yet once again, the speedy runners get no credit for causing an error. GIDP’s are not used to subtract OPS from the power hitter even though they typically hit into almost twice as many as a fast runner does. 

When all of these biases are accounted for, it can mean anywhere from a 15 to 40 Point bias in OPS in favor of the power hitters. We haven’t even discussed how a fast runner at first base may positively affect the batter via more fastball pitches. Stats have to be overhauled and reapplied for the last 75 years. Omar Vizquel was never a weak stick at the plate. Other than his meager amount of strikeouts, he was always a pain in the butt for the pitcher.

If OPS were properly calculated, Omar Vizquel would have a .720 to .725 OPS. The OPS power hitter bias is adversely affecting possibly the best modern era hitter when it came to making efficient outs, Omar Vizquel, from making the Hall of Fame.

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