Here Comes the Hotstepper - weekly wRC+ and SB leaders

Here Comes the Hotstepper - weekly wRC+ and SB leaders

Left: Wander Franco (5’10”). Right: Shohei (6’4”)

I committed to doing this, and activates Heath ledger Joker voice I’m a man of my word, ahahahahahah. So here we are, once again, taking a look back at the last week of baseball through the lens of wRC+. For a bonus, at the very bottom I’m also going to start keeping tabs on who is swiping bags.

wRC+ 6/21 - 6/27, Top 30 | table data via Fangraphs

* indicates player was also on last week’s list

Weekly wRC+ leaders (June 21 - June 27)
Name Team G PA HR R RBI SB wRC+
Jake Cronenworth SDP 6 27 4 7 9 0 288
Fernando Tatis Jr.* SDP 6 26 3 6 5 3 269
Shohei Ohtani* LAA 5 20 2 4 5 1 262
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 6 27 3 8 7 0 247
Adam Frazier PIT 6 28 2 9 3 0 246
Jason Heyward CHC 5 19 0 3 0 0 236
Nate Lowe TEX 6 25 1 4 4 0 230
Joey Gallo TEX 7 29 4 6 8 0 225
Yordan Alvarez HOU 7 28 4 6 11 0 225
Yasmani Grandal CHW 5 18 2 4 7 0 224
Steven Duggar* SFG 5 16 0 3 5 2 221
DJ LeMahieu NYY 6 29 2 4 6 0 214
Kolten Wong MIL 5 23 2 4 2 1 213
Adolis Garcia TEX 7 29 2 7 7 0 210
Kyle Schwarber* WSN 6 28 4 7 8 0 210
Bryce Harper PHI 5 20 3 4 3 2 208
Xander Bogaerts BOS 6 25 0 7 4 1 206
Myles Straw HOU 6 28 1 6 2 2 202
Trent Grisham SDP 6 23 0 2 3 0 200
Aaron Judge NYY 6 28 2 4 4 0 197
Manny Machado SDP 6 21 2 4 5 1 189
Carlos Correa* HOU 6 25 1 4 9 0 188
Yuli Gurriel HOU 7 28 0 5 4 0 188
Rafael Devers BOS 6 25 1 4 7 0 186
Bryan Reynolds* PIT 6 26 1 3 8 1 186
Brandon Lowe TBR 6 24 2 3 5 0 184
Reese McGuire TOR 6 21 0 3 0 0 184
Hunter Renfroe BOS 6 25 1 3 6 0 180
Ke'Bryan Hayes PIT 6 25 0 5 4 1 170


S.T.U.F.F (Stories Told Using Fangraphs Findings)

Only 6 players return from the top 30 wRC+ leaders from the prior week:

  • Shohei Ohtani
  • Steven Duggar
  • Kyle Schwarber
  • Carlos Correa
  • Bryan Reynolds

The top 5 wRC+ leaders from the prior week have been completely replaced by new names. I suspect this will be a trend as hot bats come and go, and the true whims of wRC+ are not quite clear to me, which, once again, is the point of this exercise.

Hey(ward) brother, can you spare some wRC+?

So I noticed that Jason Heyward was in 6th place last week, but his counting stats only included 3 Rs. This led me, a mere manchild in the land of baseball stats, to wonder how can someone who knocked in three runs be ranked two spots higher (6th place) than the likes of Joey Gallo (8th place) whose stats on the surface looked much more productive for the week (4 HR, 6 R, 8 RBI). It turns out my imperfect understanding of wRC+ was about to have its moment.

After digging into Heyward’s at bats for the week on Fangraphs I noticed that while Heyward didn’t have many counting stats, he did have a week of productive at bats. He’s getting walks and not striking out much. His three runs were at LAD which I think adds a strong park factor component to the equation for the wRC+ stat. This is where the Can of Corn’s very own Jeremy Murn tied it all together for me:

It’s less about actual runs created and more about the impact of their at bats.

And there we have it. I was too focused on the accumulation of stats (more must be better right?!?!) rather than the offensive value the stats describe, hence ignoring the real function of wRC+. Voila!

Ohtani

Yesterday I had a bad day. Last night, following my bad day, I watched Ohtani hit a 1st inning dinger, down in the count 3-2, and as he was walking through the dugout giving high fives he looked so full of joy. The guy radiates humble, positive vibes. I would put that in a crack pipe and smoke it if I could. I’ve always been vehemently against unoriginal, macho energy so I see Ohtani as the universe’s anti-response to pretty much everything I hate in the world right now.

Schwarber

Schwarber is looking like this season’s most fun and profitable lottery ticket so far. If you had that guy on your team you are having quite the ride and I’m very jealous.

Fun feet

For the hell of it I’m going to also start posting SB leaders from the last week. Stolen bases are capital F Fun and this article is all about Fun.

Weekly SB leaders (6/21 - 6/27)
Name Team G SB
Jake Cronenworth SDP 6 3
Fernando Tatis Jr. SDP 6 3
Adam Frazier PIT 6 2
Joey Gallo TEX 7 2
Myles Straw HOU 6 2
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 6 2
DJ LeMahieu NYY 6 2
Adolis Garcia TEX 7 2
Yordan Alvarez HOU 7 2
Shohei Ohtani LAA 5 2
Kyle Schwarber WSN 6 2
Xander Bogaerts BOS 6 2
Nate Lowe TEX 6 2
Kolten Wong MIL 5 2
Jason Heyward CHC 5 1
Aaron Judge NYY 6 1
Trent Grisham SDP 6 1
Carlos Correa HOU 6 1
Rafael Devers BOS 6 1
Bryan Reynolds PIT 6 1


(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)