I was looking through my archives of metrics I no longer run, and came across an old friend. I couldn’t quite remember why I stopped running it, so I did a bit of research and it seems it’s a metric that has gained popularity in the last several years.
I went ahead and figured this out for my son’s season from last year. He is 13 and played 13U AA ball last year. Here are his overall stats for the year:
Games Pitched - 12 Games Started - 9 Complete Games - 5 Innings - 51.66 Run Average - 5.14 (this is total runs based on a 7 inning game- earned and unearned. His ERA would be a good bit less.) Hits - 66 (this includes errors/fielder’s choice/etc.) Strikeouts - 31 (not a big number - he wants to put the ball in play) Walks – 26
His best score was a 60 in a complete game win against the best team in our league while his worst was a 10 in a tournament against a team that was #1 in the nation in USSSA AA at the time. And while the 10 makes it look like a really bad game, I actually think it was one of his best as there were numerous (and I mean numerous) fielding errors which accounted for a bunch of runs and which are included as “hits” for the purposes of this calculation.
Here’s how his 9 starts broke out:
50+: 2 (both wins) 41-50: 2 (one loss and one no decision) 31-40: 2 (one loss and one win) 21-30: 2 (both losses) Below 20: 1 (do you have to even ask?)
It’s an interesting calculation which is made more difficult for me as I have no way of knowing which of the runs against him were earned or even how many actual hits he gave up as our team’s scorekeeper didn’t keep up with that. So, I just counted all of his runs as earned (even though I would guess that close to half were not) and all his “hits” as hits. Sure, it docks him some points, but it should give us at least a baseline to look at toward next year.
[quote=“shoshonte”]For the fun of it, I ran the metrics for the 2010 year for my 10U son (Majors & Tournament Ball). Interestingly, in 20 starts he only pitched beyond the 4th inning once.
Shows there is room for improvement. It’ll be fun to look at next year and see what it is. [/quote]
There’s always room for improvement for anyone. Where do you think he is in relation to all the other kids at his level?
BINGO! Its only a measuring stick, not a whipping stick.
One thing ya have to be careful of for the lower levels especially, is earned runs. Believe me, I’ve been doing this a loooooong time, and ERs are not easy to figure out, especially at that level where there’s a lot of errors and passed balls. The same with hits.
I think if I was gonna do it for my kid at that age I’d likely do it exactly as the formula requires. But, if I was doing it for a team, unless I was positive the SK knew what s/he was doing, I think I’d include ROEs with hits, and I don’t think I’d differentiate between ER and UER. As long as the computation was done the same way for everyone, it would be fine, plus it would take all those questionable scoring decisions out of the equation.
[quote=“KCDawg”]I went ahead and figured this out for my son’s season from last year. He is 13 and played 13U AA ball last year. Here are his overall stats for the year:
His best score was a 60 in a complete game win against the best team in our league while his worst was a 10 in a tournament against a team that was #1 in the nation in USSSA AA at the time. And while the 10 makes it look like a really bad game, I actually think it was one of his best as there were numerous (and I mean numerous) fielding errors which accounted for a bunch of runs and which are included as “hits” for the purposes of this calculation. [/quote]
That’s funny. I responded to shoshonte before I read your post, and you’ve pretty much shown that it could be done without breaking down the runs. More funny to me, is the way you did hits. What you did was something I do as well in a couple of metrics I do, where its more of a “Reached Base Safely” than base hits. Like I said, it removes a lot of the poor scorekeeping and the bias. Nice job!
As far as what his numbers show, I wouldn’t worry squat all about his K’s. He’ll get his fair share one way or the other. To me its much more important to be concerned about walks and HBPs. Those things are completely on the pitcher and no one else, plus they can be control to a great degree. The numbers I see are less than 1 walk every 2 innings, and that really isn’t something you want to see. But other than that his numbers look fine to me.
Now you know one reason why I started keeping score! LOL!
But it really doesn’t matter, as long as you keep the way you compute the number the same.
Obviously you don’t want any walks, but what is an acceptable number? Based on what I see in USSSA AA and AAA (we played 8 games against the higher AAA competition), most of the pitchers are throwing more than 1 walk every two innings (and he only hit two opposing batters last year which I had already included in the total walks). I’m not arguing the point, as he hates issuing a free pass to anyone, but what represents average, poor and good for his age group? What about in high schol? What is the average walk ratio per inning there?
As for strikeouts, neither he nor I worry about them. He wants to put the ball in play because he likes to pitch late into the game, and walks and on occassion strikeouts, really up his pitch count. He averaged slightly less than 14 pitches per inning this past year (his best inning was 4 pitches and his worst was 25) so I think he’s pretty efficient.
One of the biggest problems for a lot of pitchers in tournament ball is the mounds. Some are big, some are small. Some are hard as a rock while others are as springy as a trampoline. Some you can take a full stride while others are like stepping off a cliff. In the inning where he threw 25 pitches, he couldn’t get comfortable on the mound as the pitcher from the other team dug a hole right where his foot landed. The drop off forced him to completely change his release point in order to get a strike. After the first inning, he spent half his warm up time re-filling the hole.
Next year will be the first year I’ve not coached in a long time, so I may just have to become a scorekeeper. Do you use one of the electronic devices or are you “old school” paper and pencil. If I’m busy writing the scores down it’ll give me less time to yell at umps.
I can’t say. Things like that are normally up to the coach who decides who to put into games, and there’s as many ways to pick pitchers as there are stars in the sky. Not all coaches put the same value on all the different things either. But I look at things a bit differently than most because I look at different numbers than most.
If you go to pages 72 thru 74 of http://www.infosports.com/scorekeeper/images/cpitching.pdf you’ll see something that really has an impact on my thinking. When I see over 32% of all runs scored in the last 4 years have originally reached base via BB or HBP, I see someplace I can have one heck of an impact on the games.
You can see that while our team did very well when compared to the other teams we played, if we just cut out another 10 percent of the walks we gave up, it works out to keeping 1 runner a game off the bases. In our case that would mean more than a half run a game. It doesn’t sound like much, but I can tell you that there’s a lot of games our guys would have loved to have had another half run.
If he was less than 14 PI, I guarantee you he was better than 99% of all other pitchers at any level, or at least those that pitched with any regularity. That’s really abnormally good and I hope he keeps it up. What I find sad, is that I think ore pitchers could do better than they do, but they’re encouraged to get those Ks.
That’s one reason I used to like seeing portable mounds at tournaments. When my boy was on the JV team in HS, 4 other dads and I became a pitching ground crew at home. After the 3rd and the 2nd and the 5th, as soon as the last out was called, we’d make a beeline to the mound. We had 2 landscape rakes, a tamp and 2 2 gal sprinkler cans. In 45 seconds to a minute, we could really make the mound look pretty good, and no one ever complained.
I’m an old style kinda guy. But most of the problems in keeping score don’t have anything to do with that. Check your PM’s.
I took a look at your pdf and wow, that’s a lot of information there. What period of time does it cover? I ask because the 771 innings on the front page represents more than 100 games (assuming high school 7 innings per game), which is a lot for a high school team.
The fact that so many runners score that get on base via a free ride (BB or HBP) is not surprising. I always used to tell people that 80% of walks score under 12 years of age in an open base league. There’s just no way to stop them once they get on. Certainly the number drops as the players get older, but it certainly stays higher than you would like. I would love to see what percentage of runners score who get on base via an error with 2 outs recorded. It has to be astronomical :x .
As for walks overall, on page 1 of your pdf you show that the team gave up 293 walks and hit 120 batters through a total of 772 innings. That represents just over one walk (.53) every other inning. So, I would say that my son is right on the mean for your team. Obviously he needs to continue to work on this, but not too bad for his age/competitive level.
As for his pitches per inning, he averages 13.88 versus your team average of 15.6. It seems that many of the kids who had lower numbers in this category threw less innings than some others. I would guess this is indicative of your thought that the coaching staff pushes for strikeouts and views contact pitchers as less than desirable. This is something that we see regularly and will no doubt have to fight as he gets older.
That particular pdf is for a HS team here in Ca. and covers only regular season play from 2007 thru 2010, and only covers pitching. http://www.infosports.com/scorekeeper/ is the page I use to throw such things on the web. If you go there rather than to the specific pdf, you’ll see hitting, pitching, and defensive data. On the left side of the page I post the current season after each game, then once a week I post cumulative data as well. Normally I only update the records once a week as well.
I would surely love to find someone who scores for 12U who would track that, but so far I’ve been unable to do that. There’s really no trick to it and nothing special has to be done, but as I said, I’ve been unable to get anyone to do it.
I’d love to be able to get that 2 out number for you, but I’m sorry to say my data isn’t quite that detailed.
I often warn people that they should be careful using our team’s number for a comparison to their own players or team. The reason is, our team has been extremely successful, and probably doesn’t reflect ALL teams at that level.
The best thing to do would be to use the data on pages 4&5, report PITALL1A. The reason is, it reflects not just our numbers, but all of our opponents as well, and that gives a much wider range. I just noticed that there was a numeric overflow on that report so that some numbers didn’t display. I took care of it, and the next time I post one, all the numbers will be able to be seen.
If you want to see things like that per inning, batter, etc, go to the next report, PITALL2A. I compute it for you, plus you’ll get to see something much closer to the “average” rather than a good or bad team.
Here’s a good time to show folks some reality. I know people think HS ball is really a high level, and compared to the levels below it, it is. But, I assure you, the “average” HS player isn’t very likely to be drafted or given a scholarship. I’m trying to be diplomatic here because I really respect any kid who makes his HS team and sticks it out, whether he’s a great player or a poor one. Trust me, it takes a lot of time and effort, but not all HS players are “studs”!
Having said that, I think its fair that a good player at your boy’s level would compare numerically to the average player at the HS level for a lot of things, and that ain’t all bad.
13.9 PPI is pretty darn good at any level, but you have to be careful to understand that as the quality of the hitters gets better, they tend not to swing at as many bad or even marginal pitches. I don’t know that its so much that the coaches push for K’s, which some definitely do, but more that the hitters are just getting better.
Heck. I thank you for looking! I think you can tell how much I enjoy this part of the game.