Lots of GIDdyuP, no GIDPs (lots of giddy-up, zero grounded into double plays)

Since records have been kept (from 1939) just 7 players have qualified for the batting title but never grounded into a double play:

1 Craig Biggio 1997 0 31 HOU 162 744 619 37 8 22 81 84 107 .309 .415 .501 .916 *4/D
2 Rickey Henderson 1994 0 35 OAK 87 376 296 13 0 6 20 72 45 .260 .411 .365 .776 *7D8
3 Ray Lankford 1994 0 27 STL 109 482 416 25 5 19 57 58 113 .267 .359 .488 .847 *8
4 Otis Nixon 1994 0 35 BOS 103 461 398 15 1 0 25 55 65 .274 .360 .317 .677 *8
5 Rob Deer 1990 0 29 MIL 134 511 440 15 1 27 69 64 147 .209 .313 .432 .745 *93/D
6 Dick McAuliffe 1968 0 28 DET 151 658 570 24 10 16 56 82 99 .249 .344 .411 .755 *4/6
7 Pete Reiser 1942 0 23 BRO 125 537 480 33 5 10 64 48 45 .310 .375 .463 .838 *8
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/31/2012.

It’s less impressive for the 3 guys who did it in 1994 since that was a shorter season.

Weird to see slowpoke Rob Deer on here, but that’s because he so often struck out or hit a fly ball.


Lots of GIDdyuP, no GIDPs (lots of giddy-up, zero grounded into double plays) — 30 Comments

  1. It occurred before 1939 but it has been mentioned on certain sites that in 1935 Augie Galan did not have any GDPs and this is confirmed on his B-R home page (748 PA).

  2. When I first read the title, I thought this was going to be an April Fools joke about a new stat!

    Last season, Brandon Morrow went about 170 innings into the season before having a GIDP behind him (5th inning of the second last game of the season).

  3. Biggio’s season was beautiful.

    Led the league in PA with those zero DP.

    2nd most runs scored since Ted Williams (trailing only his teammate Bagwell, and tied with Rickey and Slammy).

    3-4-5 slash line: .309 .415 .501

    Career high in HBP with 34

    346 stolen base opportunities, 47 steals @ 82%

  4. 1997 wasn’t even Biggio’s best Rdp season, so he must have had a very low number of GIDP opportunities especially considering he led the league in PAs. He only saved 2 runs above average on avoiding DPs in 1997, the single season record is 6 done about 10 times.

    Biggio’s 22 runs above average on DPs in his career are nothing too special. The career leaders (which probably only goes back to 1950 based on play by play data?) are

    48 Johnny Damon
    47 Ichiro
    44 Larry Bowa
    41 Maury Wills
    38 Brett Butler
    36 Vada Pinson
    35 Steve Finley
    33 Mickey Rivers
    31 Joe Morgan
    31 Christian Guzman
    31 Carl Crawford

    • I wonder what does into the Rdp calculation. The year before Biggio grounded into 10 DPs, but had the same 2 runs saved as he did in ’97 with the 0 DPs. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

      • In 1996 Biggio had 141 DP chances but only grounded into 10, avoiding 131 DPs! In 1997 he only had 78 chances and grounded into 0, so it actually seems like 1996 should have given him even more Rdp

      • A little more digging, in 1997 the NL average was GIDP’ing 10% of the time, and the average player had a GIDp chance every 5.35 PA. Using Biggio’s 744 PA he should have had 139 chances and grounded into 14 DPs.

        Biggio only had 78 DP chances and should have grounded into 8, implying each DP he avoided was only worth .25 runs. This seems pretty small. Pokey Reese led the NL with 3 Rdp in 1997, grounding into only 1 in 54 chances. He would have been expected to ground into 5 or 6 so Biggio avoided more yet saved fewer runs.

        The park factor must come in there somehow also? This source shows about -.72 runs/GIDP. That would imply Biggio’s 8 DPs below average in 1997 should have been worth about 6 Rdp.

        • After scouring the internet, I find zero useful information on how Rdp is calculated. Annoying. If the creaters of the WAR formulas want their work to be widely accepted, then they really to share this sort of information. They’ve had several years to do so and yet from what I can tell, show no interest in doing so.

          • I share your frustration. I have in the past found some WAR calculators, and even pieced together a forumla based on the linear weights information available in certain places – I think you can find things like that on Tom Tango’s site. I’ve checked it against bWAR for some players, but because bWAR’s baserunning components are unknowns, it’s usually off.

            Adding to that, the linear weights change season-to-season. I think that those could be independently calculated, if you had a spreadsheet of sufficient size and some programming chops to run the required scripts to calculate it all. Definitely not back-of-the-envelope stuff. Even if the formula was made public, the linear weights of each event are necessary to put it to use.

          • Glad I’m not the only one! And just to be clear…I’m not expecting them to release the formulas or anything like that. I just want them to give a cogent explanation of the process for each of the different components.

  5. GIDP opportunites

    78 Craig Biggio 1997
    31 R Henderson 1994
    67 Ray Lankford 1994
    61 Otis Nixon 1994
    87 Rob Deer 1990
    78 D McAuliffe 1968
    NA Pete Reiser 1942

    These are all relatively small, it seems like there is a lot of luck in this stat

  6. Deer had an extremely-low GIDP rate for his entire career: 38 GIDP’s in 4513 plate appearances or 1 GIDP per 118.76 plate appearances. For his career Biggio was 1 for every 83.36. Henderson was 1 for every 77.59. Otis Nixon was 1 per 80.56. Austin Jackson, who is fast, leads off AND strikes out a lot, is 1 for every 83.94.

    Darren Daulton, a catcher who had multiple knee surgeries was 1 for every 124 plate appearances.

    This all leads me to conclude that hitting fly balls had more to do with avoiding double plays than speed does.

    • For Deer it was about striking out A LOT. He struck out in 31% of his PAs. He drew walks in another 13%. Hard to ground into DPs when you don’t put the ball into play.

      • Not only that, but Deer hit a lot of homers, too. If we alter the formula to be only balls in play (PA-HR-BB-HBP-SO, and then divide by GDP), it looks different. Here are the frequencies:

        Deer – 59.7
        Biggio – 60.1
        Henderson – 52.7

        They’re certainly a lot closer now, with Biggio grounding into DP the least (although this doesn’t take into account opportunities, obviously). My guess is that, of the three, Deer hit the most flyballs, while Henderson hit the most grounders. Here are the top three players from birtelcom’s list below (@14):

        Buford – 116.6
        Butler – 119.6
        Suzuki – 117.0

  7. Since 1939, 1,206 players have at least 3,000 career PAs in the majors. Of those guys, the highest career plate appearance per GIDP ratios since 1939 are:
    1. Don Buford 157 PAs per GIDP
    2. Brett Butler 154 PAs per GIDP
    3. Ichiro Suzuki 141 PAs per GIDP
    4. Don Blasingame 138 PAs per GIDP
    5. Mickey Rivers 137 PAs per GIDP
    6. Len Dykstra 135 PAs per GIDP
    7. Dave Roberts 134.4 PAs per GIDP
    8. Stan Hack 134.0 PAs per GIDP
    9. Vince Coleman 133 PAs per GIDP
    10. Stephen Drew 129 PAs per GIDP

    Keep in mind that a leadoff batter has an advantage in this category because he is guaranteed at least one PA every game in which, no matter what he does, he will not hit into a double play. And even in PAs after the first inning, at least in non-DH leagues, leadoff batters are less likely to come up in situations in which a GIDP is a possiblity (man on first, less than two outs) than other hitters. To some extent the numbers above are less revealing of actual talent at avoiding double playes than if we compared GIDP to actual GIDP opportunities rather than just raw PAs.

    • I have already mentioned on other posts that lead-off batters can have as much as 40% of their PA leading off an inning.

    • From birtelcom’s list, 7 of the 10 guys batted leadoff at least 70% of the time in their career. Buford is at 65%, Mickey Rivers 62%, but the real outlier is Stephen Drew, who has been in the 1 hole only 29% of his career PA and has literally batted in every position in the batting order. Does Drew possess some anti-GIDP trait yet undefined? Hard to tell. Probably not, seeing as how Drew is only 28 and his GIDP should go up as he loses speed over time.

      The only two guys to see significant time past the age of 35 are Ichiro and Brett Butler(D Roberts played til age 36, Hack til age 37).

    • birtelcom: When I look at Stan Hack’s stats I see 8508 PA and 78 GDP which gives a rate of 109.1. Am I missing something?

      Anyhow two of the guys on the list, Buford and Coleman, are switch-hitters and the remainder are LH batters.

      • I only looked at the stats beginning 1939 (half-way into Stan’s career), following Andy’s suggestion in his post that GIDP numbers only go back that far. It looks like in fact b-ref’s GIDP numbers may go back to 1933. That’s still not quite all of Hack’s career, but you are right that if I had gone back to 1933, he would have dropped down some on the list.

      • Richard – I believe birtelcom’s list is strictly from 1939 on, which is when the AL began officially tallying DPs. The NL started counting them in 1933.

        • It is true that I probably should not have included Hack in the study, because it is misleading to list half a guy’s career in that sort of report. I probably should have done the study with a limit (easy enough to do with b-ref’s Play Index) to guys whose first season was 1939 or after, which would have eliminated the partial-career guys.

  8. In the same period since 1939, there are 20 more qualifying seasons of just 1 GIDP, and 151 seasons in total of GIDP < 0.5% of PAs. Those appearing multiple times among the 151 seasons are: 5 – Brett Butler, Ichiro Suzuki 4 – Don Buford, Joe Morgan, Richie Ashburn, Stan Hack 3 – Brady Anderson, Dick McAuliffe, Don Blasingame, Mickey Mantle, Lou Brock 2 – 14 players

      • Not really surprising. Lefthanders have such a huge advantage when it comes to these things. Of the 30 seasons in MLB history, for example, in which a player had the most singles, NONE belong to righthanders. The first is Curt Flood, with 178 in 1964, at number 31. That extra step or two out of the batter’s box that lefthanders get is pretty critical, for both GDP and 1B.

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