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Fun With Unconventional Numbers

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After cruising through Grant's latest, I was inspired to flip through my own copy of The Bill James Handbook to see if any Mariners showed up on the leaderboards. Surely, if someone like Brett Tomko is found to have the ninth-fastest average fastball in the NL, then there must be some similar rankings for Mariners, right?

This is what I found:

Ron Villone: best AL OBP against for the first batter faced in relief (.130)
Julio Mateo: #7 in the AL in the same category (.244)
Ryan Franklin: #7 in the AL in stolen base percentage against (43.8%)
Ryan Franklin: #7 in the AL in runners caught stealing (9)
Eddie Guardado: #1 in the AL in Tough Saves (entering the game with the tying run on base)

On to some numbers that deal with the pitches, rather than the results:

Ryan Franklin: #8 in the AL in lowest percentage of fastballs thrown (48.3%)
Ryan Franklin: #10 in the AL in percentage of changeups thrown (15.6%)
Ryan Franklin: #9 in the AL in percentage of sliders thrown (16.6%)
Jamie Moyer: #2 in the AL in pitches slower than 80 mph (1448)
Jamie Moyer: #2 in the AL in slowest average fastball (81.6 mph)
Jamie Moyer: #4 in the AL in lowest percentage of fastballs thrown (45.7%)
Jamie Moyer: #1 in the AL in percentage of changeups thrown (31.0%)

In case you're curious, Rich Harden registered the fastest average fastball in baseball at 94.3 mph, and Kyle Farnsworth led all arms with 30 pitches of 100+ mph (tied for second were Jesus Colome and Billy Wagner, with 8 apiece).

There are some interesting numbers for hitters, too. Observe:

Randy Winn: #4 in the AL in steals of third base (8)
Raul Ibanez:#4 in the AL in OPS against curveballs (.966)
Adrian Beltre: #4 in the NL in OPS against fastballs (1.159)
Ichiro: #1 in the AL in BA in close & late situations (.393)
Ichiro: #5 in the AL in BA with the bases loaded (.583)

However, my favorite stat of all has to be this one:

Ichiro: #7 in the AL in BPS on OutZ (.482)

Confused? Of course you are. The explanation is actually quite simple, though. "OutZ" refers to pitches that aren't in the strike zone; "BPS" stands for "Batting average Plus Slugging." The stat is intended to show who are the best and worst hitters on balls out of the zone.

That Ichiro checked in at #7 in the AL just further displays his incredible bat control and hitting ability.

Edgar Martinez, on the other hand, shows up fourth-worst in the AL in the same statistic, at .123. While he remained a terrific hitter of strikes until the day he retired, he began losing his ability to judge many of those pitches off the outer half of the plate, and it made for some ugly swings.