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Sunday, August 07, 2005

ROE and Willie Wilson

In the first inning of Sunday Night Baseball tonight John Miller referenced the work of Bill James regarding reaching on error. His point, prompted by Carlos Beltran reaching on a throwing error by Aramis Ramirez, was that James had once shown (in a Baseball Abstract I think he said) that Willie Wilson reached base on an error 31 times one year while Steve Balboni had done so only three times and so Wilson should get credit in the official statistics.

Joe Morgan affirmed that teammates and coaches already factored that into the equation when evaluating players.

I question that Wilson actually reached base on an error over 30 times in a season and can't find where James might have discussed this despite doing a quick search through Rich Lederer's wonderful summaries of the abstracts.

I question it since it a quick look through retrosheet for 2000-2004 revealed that the top 10 for each season in reaching base on errors were....

2004 Tejada Miguel 16
2004 Suzuki Ichiro 15
2004 Pujols Albert 14
2004 Jeter Derek 12
2004 Rodriguez Alex 12
2004 Berroa Angel 11
2004 Castillo Luis 11
2004 Crawford Carl 11
2004 Jones Chipper 11
2004 Loretta Mark 11

2003 Boone Aaron 14
2003 Wigginton Ty 14
2003 Biggio Craig 13
2003 Tejada Miguel 12
2003 Grissom Marquis 11
2003 Harvey Ken 11
2003 Roberts Dave 11
2003 Castilla Vinny 10
2003 Randa Joe 10
2003 Suzuki Ichiro 10

2002 Hillenbrand Shea 13
2002 Kent Jeff 13
2002 Sosa Sammy 13
2002 White Rondell 13
2002 Castilla Vinny 12
2002 Spivey Junior 12
2002 Biggio Craig 11
2002 Jones Jacque 11
2002 Santiago Benito 11
2002 Winn Randy 11

2001 Jeter Derek 14
2001 Easley Damion 13
2001 Polanco Placido 13
2001 Eckstein David 12
2001 Anderson Marlon 11
2001 Bagwell Jeff 11
2001 Cedeno Roger 11
2001 Kendall Jason 11
2001 Piazza Mike 11
2001 Young Dmitri 11

2000 Grissom Marquis 17
2000 Burks Ellis 14
2000 Jones Andruw 14
2000 Damon Johnny 13
2000 Meares Pat 13
2000 Cordero Wil 12
2000 Lopez Javy 12
2000 Randa Joe 12
2000 Renteria Edgar 12
2000 Sexson Richie 12

If Wilson had really doubled the leader in all these years I would be very surprised.


hedgehog said...

That seems to be a weak argument. It's like saying you can't believe Rickey Henderson stole 130 bases when no one has stolen over 70 the last five years. The leaders' list does seem to include two extreme types of players, players with a lot of power and players who steals a lot of bases. So Wilson would fit the latter group. However, I believe retrosheet clearly showed that he had 16 ROE in 1980 which led the league. But that's it.

Dan Agonistes said...

Well, in the case of Henderson and stolen bases the big difference is that a player has absolute control over when he attempts a steal and when he doesn't. Reaching on error is much more dependant on the fielders and pitchers and simply how the batter hits the ball. Therefore seeing a high value that doubled the high for five (now six) known years would seem to be more than a bit of an outlier.

Anonymous said...

You also would have to factor in a players gb/fb tendency-I am sure that Balboni gave up trying to hit the ball on the ground at age 6 while it made willie wilson lots of $$ to do the same