For the full High Heat Stats experience:

Quantum Leaf

Hey, remember me? I own this joint :)

Now that the season’s over and I’m mostly done with our commitments to USA Today Sports, I’ve been working on a side project that I expect a lot of you will enjoy–Quantum Leaf.

It’s a game for 1 to 4 players that uses a single tessellating shape–a leaf–to tile a surface. I’ve developed prototypes and will be running a Kickstarter campaign in early 2014 to roll out the product version.

Click on the image above to check out the game. Over on the Quantum Leaf site, to can submit your email address if you want to be updated on when our Kickstarter launches.

The Rundown: Minnesota Aims for the Middle

The pitching staff for the 2013 Minnesota Twins was positively abysmal a year ago. As a collective, the Twinkies ranked dead last in strikeout rate while simultaneously allowing their opponent’s to rack up more hits than any other staff in the league.

Things were so ugly a year ago that 10 different pitchers made at least 8 starts for Minnesota and just 2 of those 10 finished the season with a sub-4.00 ERA. Twins GM Terry Ryan knows that’s not a recipe for success, which is why he spent most of last week spending upwards of $70 million to shore up his rotation, adding veteran righties Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. The real question is, does that $73 million get the Twins any closer to an AL Central title? Read the rest of this entry

Miggy at mid-career

This past season, Miguel Cabrera turned 30 and passed the 350 home run and 1200 RBI milestones, while maintaining a career OPS+ above 150. Only four other players have done the same.

Player HR RBI OPS+ WAR From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Jimmie Foxx 429 1520 169 79.7 1925 1938 17-30 1710 7293 6116 1355 2049 346 102 1104 935 .335 .437 .635 1.073
2 Albert Pujols 408 1230 172 81.0 2001 2010 21-30 1558 6782 5733 1186 1900 426 15 914 646 .331 .426 .624 1.050
3 Mel Ott 369 1386 158 80.2 1926 1939 17-30 1864 7808 6544 1332 2061 359 63 1135 566 .315 .419 .558 .977
4 Hank Aaron 366 1216 157 80.0 1954 1964 20-30 1656 7216 6510 1180 2085 351 79 603 655 .320 .376 .567 .943
5 Miguel Cabrera 365 1260 154 54.7 2003 2013 20-30 1660 7126 6218 1064 1995 412 14 799 1201 .321 .399 .568 .967
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/2/2013.

After the jump, more on Cabrera and what might lie ahead for him.

Read the rest of this entry

Quiz – Expansion Era All-Stars (solved)

All of these players are All-Stars who received MVP votes at least once in their careers. Beyond that, they may not appear to share many similarities. Yet, among players to play their entire careers since 1961, these are the only hitters with a certain career accomplishment.

What is this unusual batting feat?

Congratulations to Richard Chester! He correctly identified that, among players who have played their entire careers since 1961, these are the only hitters with a career total for intentional walks more than 50% higher than their GIDP total.

More on this unusual batting quirk after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats: 1938 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 38th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats.  This round adds to the ballot those players born in 1938.  Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

COG 1939 Results: Yaz/No Question

Voters had no problem spelling Yastrzemski, or something close enough, to easily make Carl the 37th inductee into the Circle of Greats.  More on Yaz and the voting after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

2013 Situational Hitting Stars

One of the metrics for evaluating situational hitting is RE24. For those of who aren’t familiar, that stands for Run Expectancy in the 24 base-out states.

RE24 is calculated as the difference in run expectancy before and after a PA, plus any runs that score as a result of the PA. The run expectancies in that calculation are based on empirical results for each base-out state, from nobody on, nobody out to bases loaded, two out. Run expectancy means how many future runs would expect to score in an inning starting from each base-out state, assuming a team of identical average hitters facing identical average pitchers. The run expectancies are pretty intuitive: the more runners on and the fewer the outs, the higher the run expectancy, and vice-versa.

RE24 for a PA can be positive or negative and thus can be summed over a game, a season, or a career. The results apply to both pitchers and hitters. Thus, a positive RE24 for a batter in a given PA is a negative RE24 for the pitcher, and vice-versa. One caveat is that RE24 scores are not adjusted for inning, game score, batting order position, platoon advantage, park effects, or anything else. Thus, RE24 is often most useful when comparing players on the same team.

More on 2013 situational hitting results after the jump.  Read the rest of this entry

Hall of Famers by Final Year in the Majors

208 players have been inducted into the Hall Fame based on their playing careers in the major leagues. The following is a breakdown of how many of those played their final year in the majors in each decade:

2000 through 2009: 5 players
1990 through 1999: 16 players
1980 through 1989: 19 players
1970 through 1979: 19 players
1960 through 1969: 15 players
1950 through 1959: 17 players
1940 through 1949: 23 players
1930 through 1939: 34 players
1920 through 1929: 13 players
1910 through 1919: 19 players
1900 through 1909: 15 players
1890 through 1899: 13 players

The 2008 and 2009 final year guys have not even been eligible yet (the 2008 guys are just being voted on for the first time now, results to be announced in January). But this breakdown might provide a sense of what might be expected to ultimately be the number of guys that will be inducted whose careers ended between 2000 and 2009.

In the clutch – Up with Upton, or Raking with Markakis

Derek Jeter has long had the nickname Captain Clutch, a moniker usually attributed to his post-season performance. Indeed, that post-season career reads pretty much like a a full season stat line. A very good stat line.

Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
16 Yrs (33 Series) 158 734 650 111 200 32 5 20 61 18 5 66 135 .308 .374 .465 .838 302
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/25/2013.

But, for regular season play, who are the top clutch performers in today’s game? I’ll tell you after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry

The Rundown: Clouds are Brewing in Philadelphia

With our first busy week of the offseason in the books, the 2013-14 Major League Baseball spending spree is on. We’ve seen Jhonny Peralta and Brian McCann reel in buku bucks by signing long-term deals with franchises that historically view themselves as contenders. Josh Johnson and Dan Haren have managed to nab some pretty pennies from NL West ball clubs, the Phillies made some interesting moves, and of course who could forget the monumental Prince Fielder-Ian Kinsler swap. Why don’t we take a quick swing through some of last week’s newsworthy notes:

Read the rest of this entry

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