A Baseball Weblog

Monday, November 2, 2009

2009 Runs Saved Leaders

One of my new favorite baseball metrics is batting runs, which attempts to value the contribution of each play by calculating the average runs scored in an inning before and after that play occurred. It can also be applied to a particular count, which is what I’m going to look at here. (I have some links at the end of the article that provide a better explanation and discussion about this metric.) In the middle of last season, Fangraphs added a “pitch value” statistic that measures the value of each pitch thrown in terms of batting runs (or linear weights, which name you prefer). It’s an extremely useful tool, as it can tell what the most effective fastball, curveball, changeup, slider, splitter, or knuckleball was in terms of run expectancy. I figured that if you summed up the values for all the pitches, it would give you a pretty good idea of who was the most effective pitcher in the season. So here, thanks to Fangraphs, I have compiled the list of 2009 leaders and trailers in terms of Runs Saved and Runs Saved per 100 pitches (2000 pitch minimum for starters, 650 for relievers):

Tim Lincecum55.1
Chris Carpenter49.6
Zack Greinke45.8
Javier Vazquez43.6
Dan Haren38.2
CC Sabathia37.2
Clayton Kershaw36.7
Josh Johnson36.4
Felix Hernandez36.1
Ubaldo Jimenez34.9

Jeff Suppan-27.6
Manny Parra-27.6
Jason Berken-26.7
Fausto Carmona-25.6
Braden Looper-25.4
Jeremy Guthrie-18.5
Scott Richmond-17.9
Luke Hochevar-17.5
Gil Meche-17.4
Trevor Cahill-16.3

Chris Carpenter1.86
Tim Lincecum1.60
Zack Greinke1.32
Javier Vazquez1.32
Clayton Kershaw1.23
Josh Johnson1.11
Dan Haren1.10
CC Sabathia1.04
Felix Hernandez0.99
Ubaldo Jimenez0.98

Jason Berken-1.31
Fausto Carmona-1.13
Manny Parra-1.08
Jeff Suppan-1.01
Scott Richmond-0.79
Braden Looper-0.78
Gil Meche-0.76
Luke Hochevar-0.74
Armando Galarraga-0.68
David Huff-0.66

How about the relief pitchers in 2009:
Andrew Bailey26.3
Jonathan Broxton23.5
Phil Hughes19.9
Trevor Hoffman19
Nick Masset19
Joe Nathan18.9
Jeremy Affeldt18.9
Heath Bell18.7
Michael Wuertz18.4
David Aardsma17.9

Brad Lidge-16.7
Chris Ray-13.5
Brian Bass-12.9
Jeff Bennett-11.9
Scott Linebrink-11.1
Ron Mahay-11
Matt Capps-8.9
R.A. Dickey-8.7
Santiago Casilla-8.4
Ron Villone-8.1

Trevor Hoffman2.55
Phil Hughes2.38
Andrew Bailey2.09
Jeremy Affeldt1.96
Jonathan Broxton1.92
Huston Street1.87
Darren O'Day1.85
Nick Masset1.78
Mariano Rivera1.74
Claudio Vargas1.72

Chris Ray-1.72
Brad Lidge-1.46
Jeff Bennett-1.39
Ron Mahay-1.21
Scott Linebrink-1.05
Santiago Casilla-0.99
Matt Capps-0.95
Rafael Perez-0.90
Brian Bass-0.87
Ron Villone-0.87

As you can see, these jive pretty well with who would often be considered the “best pitchers” of the year.

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