My new system for evaluating baseball players involves a comparison of the number of bases each player earns (or yields in the case of pitchers) for every out he makes.
A base earned is any base reached by the player without the assistance of a teammate, an error, or a fielder’s choice. An out made is any out the player makes except for outs made on the front end of a double play, on a fielder’s choice, or on a sacrifice bunt (because the player is essentially being asked by his manager to turn himself into an out).
After I calculate each player’s bases earned per out made (“BEOM”), I then translate that into the number of runs he creates per 27 outs by multiplying his BEOM by 27 and then dividing that by 4.21 (on average, it takes 4.21 bases to create a run). Of course, the number of runs created is a rough estimate (not all bases earned are equal) but its a pretty close estimate of the player’s run production per nine inning game (if he were the only batter). The National League average BEOM is 0.670.
BEOM = Bases Earned / Outs Made
Bases Earned = (TBs + BBs + HBP + SBs)
Outs Made = (PAs – Hits – BBs – HBP – SHs + CS)
Runs Created per Game = BEOM x 27 / 4.21
The NL MVP Race
The top candidates for the National League MVP are the Brewers Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, and the Dodgers CF Matt Kemp. Which of them earns the most bases for every out he makes?
After his weekend surge, the answer is Ryan Braun.
Braun grabbed the lead over the weekend. As you can see, I added the numbers produced by Robin Yount during his 1982 American League MVP season. Yount did not produce the kind of offense either Fielder or Braun is producing this season.
Of course, my numbers do not consider defense. If you look at defense, Kemp is the best of the 3. But Braun, who used to be a defensive liability, has not been this season. He has made a ton of plays in left field. According to Fangraphs.com, Braun has had 198 opportunities in his left field zone, and he has created 181 outs from those opportunities. He has also made plays on 73 balls that were “out of zone”. Kemp has turned 289 opportunities into 269 outs, a phenomenal number. Plus, he has made 71 “out of zone” plays.
Fielder is the weakest defender of the 3. He had 203 opportunities at first base, and he has turned those into 158 outs. He doesn’t have much range, either, as he has been able to make only 21 plays out of his zone.
So its down to Braun or Kemp. Its about a horse a piece. Braun has the edge on offense, and Kemp has the edge on defense. But, when you consider team success, as the voters always do, Braun becomes the overwhelming choice.
Whether he will win the award or not, I do not know. He may be the victim of vote splitting with Fielder. But, overall, he makes a compelling case for himself. His offensive output has been awesome, and his defense has been respectable.
Note: Another thing I don’t consider is position. Kemp plays a more important defensive position (and plays it better) than Braun. That’s probably why Kemp is listed as the more valuable player by both Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs. But Braun is not far behind.