For your weekend enjoyment: updated xwOBA numbers for the Reds. Remember that xwOBA measures (methodology) the actual quality of contact that batters have made this year, getting credit for walks and dings for strikeouts. It’s based on data collected by StatCast on every play in every game. In a nutshell, these are expected (x) outcomes based on the way balls were actually hit, weighted (w) by typical run contribution. 

How reliable of an indicator is xwOBA? The top seven batters in MLB by xwOBA are Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, JD Martinez, Freddie Freeman, Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper and some Canadian. 

If you set the bar at 150 plate appearances, 213 major league players qualify. That’s about seven players per team, including nine Reds. The median batter (#107) is Ryan Braun, with xwOBA of .349. 

A few other names of note, not all of whom have 150 PA:

  • Edwin Encarnacion .379
  • Yonder Alonso .379
  • Yasmani Grandal .377
  • Shin-Soo Choo .379
  • Todd Frazier .369
  • Jay Bruce .344
  • Devin Mesoraco 343
  • Didi Gregorious .322
  • Zack Cozart .311
  • Christian Yelich .388
  • Brandon Nimmo .404

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 19 Comments

  1. Lost in this losing is the greatness of Votto and the emergence of Suarez as a truly elite player in the NL. Suarez wasn’t great 2 years ago.

    Who’s the Reds offensive MVP so far?
    Votto or Suarez or Gennett ? Maybe a 3 way tie. That’s a good thing.

    I’m watching Garret and Iglesias in the bullpen and seeing Lorenzen healthy and throwing 4 innings is really good news.

    Dick Williams needs to have the courage to give Stephenson and Mahle and Winker and Blandino more reps.

    • Easily Suarez. Wasn’t coincidence the Reds stunk while he was hurt. This xwOBA thingie probably overweights walks to the positive and underweights strikeouts toward the negative. Otherwise how does one explain Votto’s high ranking (BB’s favoritism) and the same for Duvall and Schebler (not enough downgrading for K’s).

      I can easily pick two dozen hitters bringing more value to their team this 2018 season than Votto, starting with Suarez. And Didi, despite his atrocious May.

      Meanwhile Duvall and Schebler are no better than 4th outfielders on any decent MLB team. Good people, just not good enough players.

      • xwOBA cares about how hard you hit the ball and on which trajectory you hit the ball.

        It’s scaled to wOBA, so it still uses the linear weight for walks to arrive at a final number, but walks are worth less than a single. Which is accurate and the way it should be.

        Maybe you missed the part about where Steve showed the top 7 guys… pretty much the consensus of the best hitters this year. That’s really all the proof you need the xwOBA is legit.

        • Caught the other 6 guys and they are legit. Be real – has Joey meant more to the Reds offensive success than Haniger (sp?) of Seattle? Castellanos of Detroit? Cubs’ Bryant or Baez?

          I like Joey. But I’m not much into hero worshipping. I’m not going to overvalue his greatness. He will be in the hall of fame. Just looking at 2018. He hasn’t produced efficiently this year. Struck out looking with the bases loaded a couple times on three or four pitches without swinging once. Those aren’t isolated incidences.

          To maximize Votto’s value Reds should bump him up to second, enhance the usefulness of his OBP, to clog the bases for Suarez and Scooter, maybe Barnhardt too, so he can score….because he isn’t bringing the runs home.

  2. Winker getting shafted

    • Yes and no. If you mean he deserves to be playing, then yes only in comparison to Billy Hamilton. Duvall and Schebler have hit as well as Winker and play better defense. BUT if you mean Winker should be playing because he needs the experience and the Reds are rebuilding, then yes, absolutely.

  3. It would be wonderful if the Reds had such a complete team that they could afford to keep Raisel Iglesias. But they need upgrades SS, a CF and a SP. Iglesias, in the role he plays, is a luxury item that can be exchanged for more value. To your point, it sure seems like the Reds have enough solid arms they could cover for losing Iglesias. I felt perfectly fine bringing in Hughes when Iglesias was on the DL.

    Yes, more reps to the young players.

    • If Iglesias could return Carter kieboom or victor Robles or Jo Adell or a #1 organizational prospect and Top 40 overall…. Agreed.
      I haven’t seen this franchise capable of making that monster deal.

  4. Only two hitters worse than Billy? I just do not believe his defense makes up for his hitting. It would be great to see the Reds prove me wrong by benching him for awhile and letting the other three man the outfield.

    • It’s really pretty incredible that 2 people in MLB are worse than him. I pity those fans that have to watch that.

  5. Steve,

    Great job, as usual, in parsing out easily the context of a statistic.

    Whenever I read that ranking of Reds players, I think…it would be a top ranking offense…in the 80s. Or, even the 90s.

    In 2018, an at-bat is very much 3 outcome (K, BB, HR).

    Reds are 28th in isolated power, 25th in HRs, 23rd in wRC+, middle of the road in BABIP….and tied for lead in MLB in sacrifice hits (sadly).

    Oh, to have an Adam Dunn in the middle of this lineup.

  6. How do bunts factor in, if at all?

  7. What does this all mean? If our pitching was better are we an above average team? Why can’t Billy be the fourth outfielder and pinch run and be a defensive replacement every game? Treat him like everyday is the playoffs and make him lay down 100 bunts a day.

  8. One of these days we won’t be talking about how terrible Billy and Peraza are at the plate.Still not sure how or why Peraza doesn’t hit more balls harder then he does.It is just puzzling because he has some pop but he either believes he is just a dinker or a dunker or somebody told him he is.In this day of the strikeouts don’t matter he has the same approach on every pitch as if he is just trying to put it in play.He is very aggressive but yet he takes a defensive swing.Some guys are all or nothing hitters but he is just nothing and nothing.Hard to figure.

  9. At least Hamilton is not DFL anymore. Who are the two that are worse than him. I think I would say the Reds need 2 new OFers, not just a CF.
    No to Iglesias to Washington. Robles is hurt and already out for the year. Elbow injury, but I don’t know if it is going to be TJS for him.

  10. I wonder what Blandino’s is? Might be a nice upgrade compared to Peraza’s numbers.

    • He really isn’t a MLB SS defensively. Peraza’s defense is improving. I just don’t know if Blandino’s offense will be enough of an upgrade to overcome his defensive shortcomings.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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2018 Reds