Originally Posted by Kc61
Here's where I disagree. Let's take OPS for simplicity.
The Reds have a number of fair to high OPS players with low OBPs and high SLGs. Chris Heisey is an example. .400 SLG (approx) and .315 OBP.
Frankly, I don't care what the composite shows for Chris. I'm not that interested in his wOBA and his OPS. Because the Reds as a team need more OBP and more BA. Not so much more SLG, particularly from the right side. The stats tell us this. I personally don't think Chris fills the need.
The Reds need tablesetters. So this off-season, if I'm Walt, I'm looking for the OBP and BA part of the equation. That's where my team is deficient.
I believe in offensive balance. Sometimes that requires more power. Sometimes, more BA or OBP. Sometimes more lefty hitting. Sometimes more righty.
I'm unwilling to simply say, decent OPS, I'll take him. To me, the need is to be more granular and look at more specific stats sometimes, particularly when fillng specific needs on a good ballclub.
If you are looking for a table-setter, why does it matter if his OBP is BA-driven or BB-driven? If the bases are empty (a table-setting situation) then a walk or a HBP is exactly the same as a single. In a table-setting situation batting average is even less important than OBP.
We agree that the Reds need to drastically improve their OBP. So we are working together on that one.
One thing that people who like contact hitters might not realize is that those hitters are more likely to hit into double plays (a terrible outcome) and they are more likely to cause a lead runner to be retired (another terrible outcome). These outcomes are not fully reflected on the hitter's rate stats (BA/OBP/SLG) because they are simply recorded as an out. Hitting into a double play affects your rate stats exactly the same as a strikeout, yet the double play is much more harmful to your team's run expectancy for the inning. Hitting a comebacker to the pitcher with a man on 3rd base that causes that lead runner to be retired is much more harmful than hitting an infield fly rule popup, yet both are recorded on your slash stats the same way. Getting a base hit to left field with a runner on 2nd base that causes the runner to get thrown out at home plate is much more harmful to a team's run expectancy than making a routine out would have been -- the player got a hit and created a bad outcome. These are all ways where a game is affected by hitting the ball that are not accurately reflected by the hitter's batting average. However these effects are built into the correlations with run scoring for the individual rate stats. This effect skews the value even more strongly in favor of OBP over Batting Average.
Neither old-school nor new-school stats are singing Chris Heisey's praises.
I agree that you need to consider lefty-righty splits when using statistics.