I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it at least a thousand times more: I love Baseball-Reference.com.
I was doing some research for a question in a comment thread over on Federal Baseball. It was a two-part question.
Can I see some stats on Jayson Werth I guarantee he leads the league in:
1. Failing to get a runner from second to third when their are no outs, just hit the ball to the right side please.
2. Failing to get a runner home when the runner is at 3rd with less than two outs, get the ball out of the infield please.
Well, BR can't tell us exactly if Werth leads the league in these things as these particular stats aren't aggregated anywhere, so B-R isn't perfect. But what we can find out quite easily is Werth's success rates in these particular scenarios.
1) Werth has had 23 plate appearances this season with a runner on second and no outs. He advanced the runner eight times, for a success rate of 35%. His lifetime average is 47% in those situations. MLB average is 56%. So we can't tell if Werth "leads" the league in this situation, but we can tell he is significantly below league average moving runners over from second with no outs.
2) In plate appearances with a runner on third and less than two outs, Werth has been successful in 15-of-37 opportunities, a 41% success rate. His lifetime average is 48% and league average is 51%. Again, this season he's significantly below Major League average in this particular scenario.
Interesting that his LIFETIME averages in these situations are below Major League average as well. Now in the first instance, I don't think Werth's managers merely want Werth moving that runner over. He's up there trying to produce that run, so you'll live with Werth not hitting the ball to the right side to advance the runner, I think.
But the second scenario is a situation where you really want a batter to drive that run in. Once again, we find that Werth hasn't been particularly effective at this skill across the entirety of his career, not just this year.
***But I also think it's instructive that Major League average of plating a runner from third with less than two outs is "only" 51 percent. I found that somewhat surprising, and I think most casual baseball fans (and some newspaper columnists) would think that percentage should be around 80 percent or something silly like that.
If we look at any situation where Werth has runners on base, and those runners scored by the result of his plate appearance, Werth has been successful roughly 10 percent (32-of-305) of the time this season. Lifetime he's been successful at 14 percent and Major League average, including pitchers, middle infielders, everybody, is 15 percent. For example, Albert Pujols is successful driving in base runners 19 percent of his plate appearances.
Again, I'm not making a value judgment here, just presenting the numbers for you, our loyal readers.
By the way, it took me three minutes to look these numbers up. Did I mention I love Baseball-Reference.com?