Analyzing the SEAGER Metric and Its Impact on MLB Teams in 2024

Image credit: © Rick Osentoski-USA Today Sports

Translated by Fernando Battaglini

If you somehow missed Robert Orr’s introduction to his SEAGER metric in recent months, it’s worth catching up. You can do it here and here for individual players and here with a team-level pickaxe. I can tell you two things about it. One is that his acronym is cooler than others like KITT from Knight Rider (Knight Industries Two Thousandfor its acronym in English) and not as confusing as others like MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, for its acronym in English). The other is that it provides a clear view of how good hitters are at choosing the best pitches to hit, based on its correlation with isolated slugging being stronger than other more readily available public statistics.

From a team point of view, it also provides a possible pinnacle of a club’s philosophy. If they aren’t actively developing players to attack the zone in a particular way that has manifested, they are at least drafting players who have been good enough to make it to the majors with these approaches. And if a given team has a particular philosophy and the calendar has just turned to January, what better way to spend the time than wondering what might be different than what we expect 10 months from now?

The Phillies, Diamondbacks and Reds generated positive notes and were relevant last year, whether until the end of the regular season or the postseason. They also have something else in common: they are in the bottom third of the league in SEAGER. So who put them there and how could similar performances shape the playoff picture in 2024?

Cincinnati Reds (20th ranked by SEAGER)

Cincinnati was one of the most interesting teams in the league last year. I’ve written about them in terms of whether they’re really ready to be different and whether Christian Encarnacion-Strand made a quick adjustment. Notably, Encarnación-Strand was the team’s best hitter according to SEAGER, with a mark that places him in the 73rd percentile among players who had at least 200 plate appearances. The biggest offenders, however, are guys the organization probably hopes can play even more prominent roles. Matt McLain produced wonderful results⁠ (with a line of .290 / .357 / .507⁠) with his ability to drive the ball and his blazing speed putting pressure on opposing defenses. He was also lucky that something like BABIP (.385) doesn’t catch on its own, ranking in the 16th percentile according to SEAGER. Elly De La Cruz, whose skills are better than McLain, is better but not good, ranking in the 35th percentile.

The team had too many position players heading into the season and signed another standout (Jeimer Candelario). Jonathan India, whose approach is one of the strongest on the team but whose health hasn’t allowed him to show it enough, has been on the trade block for months. At this point it feels necessary to move him, or someone, to clarify his defensive alignment. While he could provide a clearer picture of who will play where on a regular basis, high-profile parts of their core will have to continue to develop if they want to be in a position to fight for a playoff spot down the stretch.

Philadelphia Phillies (28th by SEAGER)

The good news is that the biggest names in the Phillies lineup are the best. Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner are comfortably above average knowing which pitches they can hit hard. (Harper ranks second in the league, behind only the metric’s namesake.) For all their oddities and/or flaws, Nick Castellanos and JT Realmuto are also solid at identifying those pitches. The problem is almost everyone else.

Bryson Stottt is third worst out of 364 SEAGER qualifiers. This isn’t exactly a plea for you to change who you are. Stott has become one of the best hitters to be deliberate, but it’s hard to feel like it’s not time for him to adjust the way he tunes into the game. leaf. His ability to be an absolute pest at creating long at-bats doesn’t have to come at the expense of creating damage, and a little more aggression and a little more pop would add a new layer to the lineup. While his results aren’t quite as extreme, Brandon Marsh resides in SEAGER’s Elly De La Cruz neighborhood, without any of the league-busting abilities that come with it. His inability to get to the right pitches flattens the team, and being a lefty with decent outfield defense on this particular team will only get him so far.

Beyond them are Edmundo Sosa and Jake Cave. Sosa was the league’s worst hitter in determining which pitches he can hurt against, while Cave ranked in the 10th percentile. At press time, each is slated to be part of the team’s bench. If they remain static, in October they will continue to be as vulnerable as they are dangerous.

Arizona Diamondbacks (27th ranked by SEAGER)

Two of the least effective hitters Arizona had are players they already cut from their roster: Josh Rojas and Nick Ahmed. Alek Thomas is in Bryson Stott territory but plays elite center field and has shown the type of pop that teams are always willing to put in the lineup, which could help him continue to develop and hit massive home runs like he did against the Phillies in October. Geraldo Perdomo (21st percentile) is there for his glove and is more likely to save the spot for Jordan Lawlar or Tommy Troy. Any time a lineup can be in the middle of that transition and also come out of the World Series is enviable.

However, they still have strange spots. Gabriel Moreno (22nd percentile) grew last year in terms of finding the right pitches to hit, but he was working from such a deficit that he still isn’t impressive at the plate when it comes to generating offense. His 98 DRC+ ranks him as an average bat and that’s a positive at a weak position, but it puts him 17th among players who have recorded at least 200 plate appearances and toward the bottom of the list of guys who really you would like to bat, at a critical moment. His ability to connect the barrel to anything above the plate prevents him from squaring up more often.

For what it’s worth, Corbin Carroll (16th percentile) didn’t show much eye for the best pitches either, which is absolutely crazy. He had a season where he easily got MVP votes on the ballot and still seems to have another level to him that is both scary and fun. They already added Eduardo Rodriguez to create depth on the pitching staff. Current players filling any offensive holes could make them an NL West wild card akin to the Phillies in the NL East (and, yes, adding Eugenio Suarez could help with that, too).

What SEAGER helps you get at is variation and how much space you give a team based on the way your roster is built. Hitting the most hittable pitches pays such dividends that being able to do it throughout the lineup means a team is always dangerous, protecting them from the agony of a long season and short playoffs.

Thank you for reading

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2024-01-04 13:23:17
#mood #check #based #SEAGER


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