Sunday, December 18, 2005

MLB 05' Batting Averages by Position

It's fun to watch the defensive spectrum at work. The defensive spectrum is yet another Bill James concoction. From the Bill James 1988 Abstract:

"[ - - 1B - LF - RF - 3B - CF - 2B - SS - C - - ]
with the basic premise being that positions at the right end of
the spectrum are more difficult than the positions at the left
end of the spectrum. Players can generally move from right
to left along the specturm successfully during their careers."


Let's look at averages at each position in 2005, ordering them by OPS:

POS LG AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS

1B NL 0.280 0.361 0.482 0.202 0.843
AL 0.271 0.343 0.457 0.187 0.800
MLB 0.276 0.352 0.470 0.195 0.822


RF NL 0.269 0.346 0.457 0.188 0.803
AL 0.270 0.332 0.451 0.181 0.783
MLB 0.270 0.339 0.454 0.185 0.793


LF NL 0.272 0.348 0.457 0.185 0.805
AL 0.278 0.333 0.437 0.158 0.770
MLB 0.275 0.341 0.447 0.172 0.788


3B NL 0.274 0.344 0.442 0.168 0.786
AL 0.266 0.329 0.428 0.161 0.757
MLB 0.270 0.337 0.435 0.165 0.772


CF NL 0.275 0.340 0.437 0.162 0.777
AL 0.268 0.322 0.407 0.139 0.729
MLB 0.272 0.331 0.422 0.151 0.753


2B NL 0.276 0.338 0.414 0.138 0.752
AL 0.271 0.323 0.413 0.142 0.736
MLB 0.274 0.331 0.414 0.140 0.744


SS NL 0.265 0.313 0.379 0.114 0.692
AL 0.276 0.331 0.412 0.136 0.743
MLB 0.271 0.322 0.396 0.125 0.718


C NL 0.250 0.313 0.388 0.138 0.701
AL 0.257 0.313 0.393 0.136 0.706
MLB 0.254 0.313 0.391 0.137 0.704

------------------------------------------------
DH NL 0.249 0.331 0.383 0.134 0.714
AL 0.259 0.337 0.440 0.182 0.777
MLB 0.254 0.334 0.412 0.158 0.746


I put DH at the end, since they are the oddball group. Anyway, They line up almost exactly as teh defensive spectrum would put them , assuming the more difficult a position is to play, the worse the offensive stats from that position will be. Only LF and RF are in the wrong order, which isn't suprising since the defensive difference between the two is very small.

It's pretty interesting to notice the difference between AL and NL averages for DH's. That is quite the advantage in interleague play.

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