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Mendoza’s “Statistical Anomaly”, debunked.

June 2, 2014

Mendoza called today en route to picking up his spawn from Daycare. He wants to know how his statistical anomaly can exist: how he can lead the league in R, HR, XBH, and RBI, but somehow be 11th in H. 

This is a question of correlations. We’ll get into the numbers in a second, but you can kind of “feel” that this is an interesting question, and guess at a logical answer. The team that hits a comparative lot of HR should also be among the leaders in RBI, and especially XBH, because HR are one of the two big components of XBH (doubles being the other). And HR should lead to R too… hey, your guy is plating himself, not leaving it up to the guys behind him in the order. But a HR is also a hit (as are all XBH) so Mendoza should also be doing well in the H category… shouldn’t he?

Here’s the answer of course: his team is devoid of slap-hitters. If his guys make contact, it’s generally going a long way, period. But let’s try and figure out if, down the line, his hits situation should get better. We’ve already got him up to more QS than W (OK, barely, 40-39). Let’s see just how “off” his hit-total is.

We’re going to start by comparing all these counting categories to league medians. Since we have an even number of teams, I’m going to take the median as the average of the 7th and 8th place totals.

Category, Mendoza total, Median, Mendoza’s total as percentage of median 

R: 398, 344, 115%

HR: 128, 78, 164%

RBI: 409, 324, 126%

XBH: 281, 235.5, 120%

the troublesome one H: 666, 684, 97%

Alright, so there it is. His hits total is the Mark of the Beast. An exorcism will fix it. Trade E5 to Dutch Boy for Conor Gillaspie and Adeiny Hechavarria (101 H and 0 HR between them, both starting tonight), and we’re done here.

What we’ve actually got in Mendoza’s squad is an offence bouncing at about 120-125% of the league average with a high outlier (HR) and a low outlier (H). Dutch Boy and I sat with Mendoza as he drafted, and he was obsessed with only two things:

1) The monstrous number of HR he had last year.

2) The quest to draft even more this year.

So Mendoza drafted Mark Trumbo, Domonic Brown, Brandon Moss, Mike Moustakas, Osvaldo Arcia, and Dan Uggla. If their OBP worked out, great. If not, he didn’t care. Moss is at .366 for the year, and the source I trust most projected him at .324. As to the rest, Trumbo and Brown are each at .264, Moustakas .218, Arcia .286, and Uggla .252.

Mendoza has shed half those guys (this writer currently rosters Trumbo and Moustakas; Uggla is available to all), So his hit total should continue to normalize. We think it sits at league average or slightly better come All-Star Break. Hell, at 97%, it’s effectively there now. But given that he started with all six, he accepted the dregs of the catcher position by not drafting one to make a seventh bad-OBP/H guy likely, and we only run a maximum of 13 bats a night, is it any surprise his hits lag his power stats? (He’s also 7th in OBP.) Not to me.

Given the types of players he drafted, I don’t think any of this is shocking at all.   


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