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What is the Little League Home Run?

Posted by Jonah Gardner on August 13, 2015

What is your favorite kind of baseball play? I imagine a lot of people would go with a classic like the dinger. Or perhaps you prefer the swinging strikeout? I imagine Red Sox fans who were in Fenway for Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS may be partial to the stolen base. No matter what it is, I'm very jealous of you, because your favorite play has an easily understood definition and mine does not:

Comments Off on What is the Little League Home Run? | Posted in Advanced Stats, Baseball-Reference.com, Polls, Statgeekery

Sports Reference Welcomes Jonah Gardner to Our Staff

Posted by sean on August 7, 2015

Jonah Gardner joined the Sports Reference crew (working out of Philly) a few weeks ago as our Social Media Coordinator bringing SR's head count to seven full-time staff. Jonah brings experience working in social media for The Human Solution in Austin and also for several musical acts and record labels. He's an Atlanta Braves fan, backs Everton FC (the Braves of the EPL), and is a big NBA fan (see his Kevin Garnett Trade Voltron). Jonah will be leading our change on social media for Sports Reference and you'll see us on much more active on twitter and joining additional platforms in the near future.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, Hockey-Reference.com, Olympics at S-R, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Uncategorized

2015 MLB Trade Deadline Results

Posted by Hans Van Slooten on August 3, 2015

The 2015 MLB Trade Deadline was July 31st, 4pm ET.

Here we've collected all of the team trades in the run-up to the non-waiver trade deadline.

You can also find trades between any two teams in our Franchise-to-Franchise Trade Histories.

July 31:

Tigers trade Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets for Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.

Orioles trade Tommy Hunter to the Cubs for Junior Lake.

Mariners trade J.A. Happ to the Pirates for Adrian Sampson.

Marlins trade Dan Haren and cash to the Cubs for Ivan Pineyro and Elliot Soto.

Phillies trade Ben Revere and cash to the Blue Jays for Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado.

Rays trade Kevin Jepsen to the Twins for Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia.

Mariners trade Mark Lowe to the Blue Jays for Jake Brentz, Nick Wells and Rob Rasmussen.

Brewers trade Gerardo Parra to the Orioles for Zach Davies.

Brewers trade Jonathan Broxton and cash to the Cardinals for Malik Collymore.

July 30:

Pirates trade Justin Sellers to the White Sox for player to be named later or cash.

Mariners trade Dustin Ackley to the Yankees for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez.

Astros trade Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana to the Brewers for Mike Fiers, Carlos Gomez and cash.

As part of 3-team trade Braves send Jose Peraza, Bronson Arroyo, Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson and Alex Wood to the Dodgers. Dodgers send Paco Rodriguez, Zachary Bird and Hector Olivera to the Braves. Dodgers send Victor Araujo and Jeff Brigham and Kevin Guzman to the Marlins. Marlins send Mat Latos, Mike Morse to the Dodgers. Marlins send 2016 competitive balance round A pick to the Braves.

Tigers trade David Price to the Blue Jays for Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt.

Tigers trade Joakim Soria to the Pirates for JaCoby Jones.

Indians trade Brandon Moss to the Cardinals for Rob Kaminsky.

Reds trade Mike Leake to the Giants for Keury Mella and Adam Duvall .

July 29:

Phillies trade Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman and cash to the Rangers for Matt Harrison, Jorge Alfaro, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Jake Thompson and Nick Williams.

Royals trade Joe Blanton to the Pirates for cash.

Pirates trade Jayson Aquino to the Indians for cash.

July 28:

Phillies trade Jonathan Papelbon and cash to the Nationals for Nick Pivetta.

A's trade Ben Zobrist and cash to the Royals for Aaron Brooks and Sean Manaea.

Rays trade David DeJesus and to the Angels for Eduar Lopez.

Indians trade David Murphy to the Angels for Eric Stamets.

Rockies trade Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins to the Blue Jays for Jose Reyes, Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman, and Jesus Tinoco.

July 27:

Red Sox trade Shane Victorino and cash to the Angels for Josh Rutledge.

A's trade Tyler Clippard and $1MM to the Mets for Casey Meisner.

July 26:

Reds trade Johnny Cueto to the Royals for John Lamb, and Cody Reed.

July 24:

Braves trade Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the Mets for John Gant and Rob Whalen.

July 23:

Brewers trade Aramis Ramirez to the Pirates for Yhonathan Barrios.

A's trade Scott Kazmir to the Astros for Daniel Mengden and Jacob Nottingham.

Comments Off on 2015 MLB Trade Deadline Results | Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, General

The Hall of Fame Hunger Games

Posted by Jonah Gardner on July 24, 2015

Over the course of their Major League careers, Craig Biggio, Randy JohnsonPedro Martinez, and John Smoltz were involved in over 55,000 plate appearances spread over most of three decades. Today, to join in this weekend's festivities, we're going to look at 228 of those -- the rare moments in baseball history where two members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2015 saw their careers intersect.

Craig Biggio vs John Smoltz

Year PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1989 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
1990 10 10 6 1 0 0 1 0 1 .600 .600 .700 1.300 0 0 0 0 1
1991 14 12 2 0 0 1 1 2 2 .167 .286 .417 .702 0 0 0 0 0
1992 19 16 3 0 0 0 0 2 5 .188 .316 .188 .503 0 0 0 1 0
1993 11 9 1 0 0 1 2 1 1 .111 .182 .444 .626 0 1 0 0 0
1994 3 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .667 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
1995 12 11 1 0 0 0 1 1 6 .091 .167 .091 .258 0 0 0 0 0
1996 14 14 4 1 0 0 2 0 1 .286 .286 .357 .643 0 0 0 0 0
1997 11 11 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .273 .273 .273 .545 0 0 0 0 0
1998 10 7 2 0 0 0 0 3 3 .286 .500 .286 .786 0 0 0 0 0
1999 4 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
2002 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 0 0 0 0 0
2003 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
2004 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
2005 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Post 1997 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Post 1999 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Post 2004 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Post 2005 4 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .250 .250 .250 .500 0 0 0 0 0
RegSeason 115 104 27 3 0 2 7 9 26 .260 .322 .346 .668 0 1 0 1 1
with Post 128 117 28 3 0 2 7 9 29 .239 .297 .316 .613 0 1 0 1 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2015.

 

When John Smoltz and Craig Biggio made their Major League debuts in 1988, the Braves and Astros were still in the same division and both were on the precipice of long runs of relevance. As a result, these two squared off a lot. John Smoltz was Craig Biggio's 2nd most-faced pitcher, behind Greg Maddux, but he was the hitter that Smoltz saw the most of. Unlike Maddux, against whom Biggio battled as evenly as one could reasonably expect to battle Greg Maddux, Smoltz got the slight upper hand. Biggio's OBP was 40 points lower and his batting average was 20 points lower than his career averages, looking at just their regular season matchups. But where Smoltz truly dominated him was in the postseason. In four postseason games and 13 plate appearances, Biggio managed only one hit and no walks. And despite striking out 14% of the time over his career, Biggio was fanned on over 21% of his postseason plate appearances against Smoltz and 22.6% of all plate appearances vs Smoltz in both the regular season and postseason.

It's probably random, but the Braves also happened to win all 4 postseason games where Smoltz pitched against Biggio, including two series clinching victories in 1997 and 1999 (as a Braves fan, I'd rather not get into what ultimately happened in the 2004 or 2005 series). But, because Biggio is still an all-time great, he still managed to inflict some damage on Smoltz.

Craig Biggio vs. Randy Johnson

Year PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
2000 7 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 .000 .286 .000 .286 0 0 0 0 0
2001 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
2002 6 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
RegSeason 16 14 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 .000 .125 .000 .125 0 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2015.

 

Here we have a more modest, but more clearly one-sided battle. Though Johnson also debuted in the NL in 1988, the Big Unit never pitched to Biggio before being shipped off to Seattle. Johnson retured to the National League in 1998 as Biggio's teammate in Houston, and ultimately wouldn't pitch to him until 2000, Johnson's second year on the Diamondbacks. By that point, Biggio had begun his decline, posting a 1.4 WAR season and hitting a light .268 (he would bounceback in 2001 with a 3.2 WAR season, his only 3+ WAR season in the 21st Century), but 2000 was the only year he managed to have any success at all against Johnson. Johnson, of course, was in the midst of his early 2000s run of complete dominance. Over the 3 years that these 16 plate appearances occured, Randy Johnson was worth 29.1 WAR, pitched 758 1/3 innings, and struck out 1053 batters (including Biggio in 5 of the 16 times he pitched to him). The strikeout totals and WAR are the highest by any pitcher in their age 36-38 seasons in MLB history.

It's a shame that a prime Craig Biggio never got the chance to hit against Randy Johnson, but keep in mind, not only did that they debuted the same year, but Biggio was two years younger. If nothing else, the total one-sidedness of this contest shows just how impressive and rare Randy Johnson's performance in his late-30s was.

Craig Biggio vs. Pedro Martinez

Year PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1993 5 3 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 .333 .600 .333 .933 0 0 0 0 0
1995 12 10 5 4 0 0 0 2 1 .500 .583 .900 1.483 0 0 0 0 0
1996 9 7 3 1 1 0 2 2 2 .429 .556 .857 1.413 0 0 0 0 0
1997 14 13 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 .231 .286 .308 .593 0 0 0 1 0
2005 7 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
2007 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
RegSeason 50 43 13 6 1 0 2 6 7 .302 .400 .488 .888 0 0 0 1 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2015.

 

Of course, you don't need me to tell you what was going on in Boston while Randy Johnson was finding the Fountain of Youth in Phoenix. Pedro Martinez never faced Craig Biggio during his electrifying stint in Fenway, but he did pitch to Biggio in three of the four uniforms he wore as a National Leaguer, in what turned out to be a back-and-forth battle. Their first showdowns came when Biggio was entering his prime, while Martinez was just getting started. However, Pedro was still a 3 win pitcher in 1993, and a 4 win pitcher in 95 and 96. It's just that Biggio was out of his mind. Things took a course correction in 1997, Pedro's last year as an Expo and the true start of his era of domination. In 1997, Pedro would post his 2nd best career ERA, his 3rd best career ERA+, and his 2nd highest strikeout total. However, 1997 was also Biggio's best year by WAR (9.4) and OBP (.415). While 1997 is a clear loss for Biggio, it is worth noting that he managed to post just a single strikeout in 14 plate appearances against one of the most dominant strikeout pitchers of all time. In total, Biggio's strikeout rate against Martinez, 14%, was more than 13 points lower than Pedro's career rate of 27.7%.

Biggio's matchups show that even an all time great hitter can be victimized by great pitching and a small sample size. But what about people who are somewhat less talented as hitters? Since all three pitching inductees spent time in the NL, we wanted to see how they fared against each other. Unfortunately, Randy Johnson actually never faced Martinez or Smoltz. But, before moving on, I wanted to show one pitcher we found that he actually kind of owned.

Randy Johnson vs. Adam Eaton

Year PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
2008 4 3 1 1 0 0 3 1 1 .333 .500 .667 1.167 0 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2015.

 

Yes, for two games in 2008, Randy Johnson posed a question that Adam Eaton simply couldn't answer. In their first matchup, Eaton walked Unit in the bottom of the 4th with the bases loaded. In their second game, Johnson slugged a double deep into LF, scoring two more.

John Smoltz vs. Pedro Martinez

Year PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1993 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
1994 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .500 .000 .500 0 0 0 0 0
2005 9 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 .111 .111 .111 .222 0 0 0 0 0
2006 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 1 0 0 0 0
RegSeason 15 13 2 0 0 0 0 1 7 .154 .214 .154 .368 1 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2015.

 

Now this is what we came here to see: two NL East rivals who went head to head a combined 30 times. Smoltz never even put a ball in play against Pedro when the latter was an Expo, striking out 3 times and walking once. Pedro changed leagues for a while and, upon his return, joined the Mets. In 2005, as Smoltz and Pedro were both making late career All-Star runs (Smoltz at age 38!), the two squared off in 19 plate appearances (counting Pedro's in the chart below) over four games. 2005 was probably the last year Pedro was still dominant, posting games like a 9 strikeout, 1 run complete game masterpiece in Atlanta. Two of the strikeouts came against Smoltz, one of which is actually online in its entirety, albeit in somewhat low quality video. We apologize for that, and for the crimes against batting that you're about to witness.

To be fair to Smoltz, he actually does a decent job of battling back after going down 0-2, but this is what happens when a career .159 hitter faces a pitcher who would finish his career with over 3100 Ks. Speaking of Smoltz's hitting, he finished his career a .159/.226/.207 hitter in over 1100 PAs, meaning his totals against Pedro are actually not as far below his career averages as you might think. Those numbers are helped, though, by the game they played in 2006, when Smoltz scored a sacrifice bunt and a single off of a clearly declining Martinez. Pedro would make an All-Star team again in 2006 and post a 2.57 ERA in 2007, but after 2005, he never posted a WAR above 1.0.

But if Smoltz did about as expected, Pedro did...well, take a look

Pedro Martinez vs. John Smoltz

Year PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1994 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 1 0 0 0 0
2005 10 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000 1 0 0 0 0
2006 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
RegSeason 15 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 .000 .000 .000 .000 2 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2015.

 

That's right, in 15 plate appearances vs Smoltz, Pedro never reached base. That includes their one matchup in 2006, Smoltz's payback game for 2005, where he struck out 10 batters over 7 innings, including Martinez 3 times. In total, Smoltz is the pitcher that Martinez faced the most as a batter. Of course, the bulk of their matchups came after Martinez's stint in the AL, so is it possible whatever hitting skills he did have simply decayed? Well, in LA and Montreal, he hit .102/.145/.130 in 299 PA and on his return, he was a .107/.127/.124 hitter in 198 PA (as a member of the Red Sox, Pedro actually reached base twice, once on a walk in a 2002 interleague game and again on a walk in the 2004 World Series).

So what did we learn from this, besides the fact that weird things can happen in small sample size and pitchers are bad at hitting? Despite joining the Hall of Fame at the same time, these players very rarely crossed paths at their true peaks. Despite 33 All-Star game appearances between them, only 4 of the matchups (Biggio vs Smoltz in 92, Biggio vs Martinez in 96 and 97, and Smoltz vs Martinez in 05) happened in years when both players all All-Stars. Even for the most talented athletes among us, it seems, true greatness is fleeting.

How We Found This

You can find any batter or pitcher's entire matchup history in the Play Index. Just type their name in the box and select "Batter vs. Pitcher" or "Pitcher vs. Batter". From there, you'll get the history of every matchup for that player.

Comments Off on The Hall of Fame Hunger Games | Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, Hall of Fame, History

2015 MLB Draft Results Posted

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 18, 2015

Just wanted to quickly mention that the results of the 2015 June Draft are now posted to Baseball Reference. You can adjust the various filters at the top of the page to slice and dice draft data. Like all picks by a particular team or all players picked at a specific position.

Comments Off on 2015 MLB Draft Results Posted | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Draft

2015 MLB Draft Tools

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 4, 2015

The 2015 MLB Draft begins Monday, June 8, so here are some tools to get you ready:

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Draft, Features, History

Daily Fantasy Points added to Game Finder, player pages

Posted by Hans Van Slooten on May 14, 2015

We've extended the Daily Fantasy Points to the Play Index Game Finders as well as adding a chart to the player pages showing their DFS points over the current season. These statistics are located towards the far right of the table. DFS (DK) stands for DraftKings points, while DFS (FD) stands for FanDuel points.

Screenshot 2015-05-14 08.32.50

We'd also like to take this opportunity to remind our users that a $15 deposit on a new DraftKings account through this link will come with a free year of Play Index access (normally $36/yr). More details on this offer can be found here.

We hope daily fantasy players enjoy this new feature and would love to hear about any other features you would like to see.

6 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Play Index

Daily Fantasy Points Added to Player Game Logs

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 24, 2015

As some of you may have already noticed, we recently added Daily Fantasy Points to player game logs for the 2013 to 2015 seasons. These statistics are located towards the far right of the table. DFS (DK) stands for DraftKings points, while DFS (FD) stands for FanDuel points.

Additionally, the DFS points have the same summing functionality as the other statistics in the table, so you can calculate a player's performance over a span by clicking on any two rows in the table.

We'd also like to take this opportunity to remind our users that a $15 deposit on a new DraftKings account through this link will come with a free year of Play Index access (normally $36/yr). More details on this offer can be found here.

We hope daily fantasy players enjoy this new feature and would love to hear about any other features you would like to see.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features

Hans van Slooten now Primary Developer for Baseball-Reference.com

Posted by sean on April 10, 2015

I am pleased to announce that Hans van Slooten has taken over day-to-day development of Baseball-Reference.com. Hans has been with Sports Reference for 15 months now and moved over from hockey to baseball last month. Hans is a long-time SABR member and a very talented developer. You are likely to see a bunch of improvements this summer with Hans on the site full-time rather than me on the site half-time. He's also a dedicated Twins fan, so he will not face the unneeded distraction of a deep postseason run by his favorite team. Hans is on twitter at @cantpitch.

I'm not going anywhere. I'm still President of Sports Reference and will certainly be involved in Baseball-Reference.com, just not with day-to-day responsibilities. With six full-time employees, I have a bit more a management role now, and we are also launching a new site this summer and expecting to roll out some changes to all of the sites this summer.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Statgeekery

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