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Astros: Total Bat Impact- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

I have searched for a way to communicate the total bat impact of each Astros hitter to the team. I have wanted a system that separates the difference makers - both good and bad from the rest. I have created a metric- Total Bat Impact.


Total Bat Impact = (wRC+ - 100) * PA


In this formula the wRC+ is an all-in measurement for batting value. Average performance is 100. Therefore, the first term is a measure of how far above or below average a player is.


If one multiplies that factor by the number of plate appearances, we have a very simple way to compare the total impact of each player. A great player with just a handful of plate appearances is not as valuable as an above average player who ends up with 600 plate appearances.


So, what does it look like for the season to date for the Astros?

I bet the Astros players you are most frustrated with are the worst on this graph. The players highest on the chart are the players you have the most confidence in.

What is also fun about the Total Bat Impact is that we can plot waterfall charts that show the monthly bat impacts. Let's look at the Total Bat Impact of every Astros player listed above by month- the good, the bad, and the ugly. The rank shown is out of 390 MLB players with more than 100 PA.


Having a monthly value of near zero can mean one of two things.

  1. player had very few PA

  2. player was very average



The Good (MVP, Great, Good)

Tucker leads the team in total bat impacts. July has been incredible for Tucker.

Alvarez has missed a lot of time and is still great in TBI. He is that good.

July has been excellent for McCormick. He also got more playing time.

Bregman heated up in June and continues to rake.

Altuve should be fun to watch as he ramps back up. He did a lot with limited playing time in July.

Diaz got hot in June. I should note a catcher with a 100 wRC+ is miles ahead of where Astros catchers have been. At the end of July, Diaz is at 115.


The Average

Meyers is the most average player on the Astros.


The Bad

Julks has had a somewhat roller coaster like season and July is down.

Pena has really tailed off and needs a reset.

Dubon was 94-99 wRC+ for the first three months and tanked in July.

Abreu was HORRIBLE early, had a good June, and near average in July.


The Ugly

Maldonado has had three terrible months and one good month (May 105).


The Astros have six good to great players. The Astros also have five players that have been bad. Then the Astros have Maldonado whose performance has been ugly.

I plan to update these monthly. Let me know what you think. Additional charts below.


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Here is the Total Bat Index data by team.




A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens tells the story of the 2023 Astros the best.

  • It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

  • it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

  • it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

  • it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,

  • it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

  • we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

  • we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way

Compare the Astros with the other teams in the division. These are the players with >200PA. You will see there are a lot of bad players with >300PA.


The other three division contenders have ZERO bad players with >200PA and only one ugly player COMBINED. The Astros have four bad players and one ugly player. Yet, the great players are so great, they make up for the bad.


Texas

Los Angeles

Seattle

Just so you can appreciate the total population of players >200PA.






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