12 April 2007
  Clutchiness is Dead; Long Live Clutchiness!
As you may recall, I started this Clutchiness project because "it deserves to be tracked ... It had to be tracked. I had to track it." It turns out a lot of people have taken to the stat, and win-probability stats in general, thanks in no small part to the work of Tangotiger and Dave Studeman.

And so it is with a bit of satisfaction that I am closing this iteration of Clutchiness tracking, as that task has been taken up in full force by the incredible FanGraphs. In fact, with their resources, FanGraphs is able to implement a recent development that I simply wouldn't be able to anyway: in short, rather than attempting to neutralize "leverage opportunity" using a player's season-long LI, the stat now neutralizes each individual plate appearance. Tango gives a great example of the difference this makes, and a more in-depth discussion of the change here.

I have to give all the credit and thanks possible to Tango, for the inspiration and his help, to Studes, for pointing people this way, and to David Appelman for his work making FanGraphs one of the most invaluable resources there is for baseball research.
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02 October 2006
  Get Your Regular Season Numbers
Both the clutchiness numbers and the leaderboard have been updated through the end of the regular season.

I am aware that my leaderboard and FanGraphs' leaderboard are slightly different (especially at a rather important spot). I haven't checked the exact reason, but it's such a small difference numerically that I wouldn't worry about it.
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15 September 2006
  Leaderboard Updated
The leaderboard has been updated, and once again finds the Pujols/Jenkins duo at the top.

After a brief drop below +2 clutchy wins, Pujols re-established himself as the year's clutchiest hitter. More importantly, he now sits just 0.15 points of WPA short of David Ortiz' 2005 mark of +8.48. Barring injury, Pujols will move into the third spot for seasonal WPA since 2002 (the Fangraphs era, if you will), with only Barry Bonds' 2004 (12.68) and 2002 (9.83) seasons in front of him.
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  Clutchiness Updated
The clutchiness numbers have been updated through September 14th.
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08 September 2006
  Leaderboard Updated
The leaderboard has been updated, and sees Geoff Jenkins regain the title of the season's clutchiest hitter.

Among the new faces are MVP candidate Carlos Beltran and the first Marlins representative, in Hanley Ramirez.
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  Clutchiness Updated
With apologies for the extended delay, the clutchiness numbers have been updated through September 6th.
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29 August 2006
  Update Postponed...
With Tropical Storm Ernesto coming ashore in the next few hours, I anticipate my power and internet going out soon enough. More importantly, I anticipate a few more pressing matters than updates. After the storm and its cleanup, I'm traveling once again. As such, I don't expect an update until sometime this weekend or the Monday holiday. Individual clutchiness numbers, as always, can be found at FanGraphs.

Thanks for your patience.
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25 August 2006
  Leaderboard Updated
Move over Pujols and Jenkins. There's a new duo atop the leaderboard: Melvin Mora and Derek Jeter. Check it all out here.
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  Clutchiness Updated
The clutchiness numbers have been updated through August 24th.
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18 August 2006
  Leaderboard Updated
The leaderboard has been updated through August 17th.
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  Clutchiness Updated
The clutchiness numbers have been updated through August 17th.
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11 August 2006
  FanGraphs Grows
The excellent FanGraphs, which supplies the updates for LI and WPA that make this place possible, has gotten even better. In addition to tracking WPA for this season, they have added WPA data and game graphs for 2002-2005.

As highlighted by tangotiger, check out David Ortiz' 2005, and compare to this year's leaders:

Ortiz 2005 WPA: +8.48 wins
Pujols current WPA: +6.66 wins

Ortiz 2005 clutchiness: +3.6 wins
Jenkins current clutchiness: +2.235 wins

Just going by the jumps I've noticed while doing this site, I'd venture that Pujols has a shot at besting the WPA mark, but that clutchiness number is likely out of reach for either Geoff or Albert. Tango, who has had an eye on this sort of thing far longer than I have, ventures it to be "likely... one of the greatest clutch seasons of all time."

So check out the "new" FanGraphs data for yourself. From Barry Bonds' monster 2004 to Cristian Guzman costing the Nats more than 4 games, there are all sorts of stories waiting to be retold through WPA.
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  Leaderboard Updated
Lots of action on the updated leaderboard.

Geoff Jenkins retakes the top spot from Albert Pujols. David Ortiz, perhaps responding to recent talk, shoots up to fourth in the majors, second in the AL behind Melvin Mora. The overall leaderboard, which includes all players with more than one clutchy win added, grows to 26 players.
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  Clutchiness Updated
The clutchiness numbers have been updated through August 10th.
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07 August 2006
  Leaderboard Added, David Ortiz, Clutch Stars
No longer will we be left to jot down numbers on a napkin to determine that Curtis Granderson is the seventh clutchiest player in the bigs. Just check out the leaderboard for your MLB and league leaders in clutchiness.

A few things to note:
-- The MLB leaderboard lists all players with clutchiness numbers above 1. As of this update, it totals 22 players.
-- The AL and NL leaderboards are top tens. You'll note that this means some AL players on the MLB leaderboard are not on their league's page, while the NL leaderboard includes players with clutchiness numbers less than 1.

And perhaps most ripe for discussion: David Ortiz. His clutchiness has been the subject of quite a bit of talk recently. Hit the jump for what the numbers say, and to welcome a new member of the Clutch Stars.

Bill Simmons got some amazing numbers from Elias and ordained Ortiz "the best clutch hitter of his generation." Matt Sussman suggested that maybe that distinction isn't such an open-and-closed case. Seth Mnookin said Sussman's critique was... well, let's say, misguided at best.

So what do you see on the leaderboard? Ortiz sits 14th in the majors, 8th in his own league, and 2nd on his own team. Certainly the issue of Ortiz' "clutch" ability is based in more than just this season. But if these are the performances that are many are using to cement his legacy, clutchiness says not so fast my friend.

And finally, at the All-Star break, I examined a select group of players that I deemed Clutch Stars. These were the players who were already expected to be top players (1+ LevOPS Win) yet were going above and beyond that in high leverage situations (1+ clutchiness). Only three made the cut: Ortiz, Derek Jeter, and Albert Pujols, in ascending order of value and clutchiness. As of this update, that group would welcome one new member (Jermaine Dye), while also seeing Ortiz jump past Jeter in terms of total value (WPA).
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  Clutchiness Updated
The clutchiness numbers have been updated through August 6th.
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05 August 2006
  Clutchiness Updated, Note
First of all, the clutchiness numbers have been updated through August 3rd.

I've been working with a feature of Excel that may open the door to daily updates (yet to be decided). I tried to use this update to teach myself how to work it, and it's definitely promising, but between that novice state and my limited time due to moving, I wasn't able to include pitcher's batting stats. So while their WPA numbers are updated, their rate stats are not, and thus their clutchiness numbers are incorrect. Hopefully that specific aspect is not your sole interest.

Remember: next update will be Monday.
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03 August 2006
  Update on updates
First of all, there will be a full update posted later tonight.

As for the site, I'm in the process of moving, so after tonight, the next update will be Monday, August 7th. Starting then, I will be updating the numbers every Monday and Friday. It has become harder and harder to find three hours throughout the day to work on updates, and obviously once the next day's games are played, any partial work is rendered useless. So I figure that by setting designated updates, I'll be better able to plan my schedule, and you won't be left wondering when the next update will come. Hopefully this should work out for everyone.

Update: *sigh* I'm really sorry, but there's more packing than I had anticipated, so I'm going to have to postpone the update to tomorrow evening. Though if you read the comments to this post, you'll see there may be a flicker of hope for the return of daily updates soon. As for tonight, I apologize.
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30 July 2006
  Clutchiness Updated
The clutchiness numbers have finally been updated, and are now current through July 29th.

A note on traded players: all the numbers you see for a player are his stats with that team. When a player amasses ten at-bats with a new team, his numbers will appear on that team's page, and will be taken off his old team's page. So for all the most recent trades (Carlos Lee, Bobby Abreu, etc.), as of this update, they're all on their old clubs.
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27 July 2006
  Hello World

So, if you're reading this, odds are you're coming in from The Hardball Times, where studes deemed this little old project link-worthy, or from a site that picked up on THT's mention. However you got here, let me thank you for stopping by, and offer a huge thanks to studes and anyone who posted an entry anywhere about Clutchiness.

Now that you're here, you probably have some questions. Over on the right, you'll see links to The Stat, The Site, and The Inspiration. Each of these should help you make sense of the numbers you'll see around here, but if you have additional questions, hit up the comments or the email link, also on the right.

Finally, I should note that it's actually pretty fortuitous that you're all here today. The few pre-THT visitors will note that updates have been a bit sporadic over the last week or so. I've been finishing up a big project in that whole "real world" place, but it came to a close earlier this morning. Which means we should be back to nearly-daily updates starting today.

Check back towards the end of the day, when the numbers will be updated. Yes, though the formulas are automated, the data entry is still by hand.

And once again, thanks to tangotiger, studes, and every person reading this post.
  Read More.
Clutch hitting may or may not exist. Clutchiness most certainly does. By comparing a player's value in terms of win probability to his projected value based on OBP and SLG, we see how much he has over- or under-performed expectations due to performance in higher leverage situations. If clutch exists, it might just look like this.

2006 Clutchiness
The Leaderboard
The Stat
The Site
The Inspiration
Fangraphs WPA

The Book
The Hardball Times
Baseball Musings
Baseball Prospectus
Football Outsiders

Author: Dan Smith
Email: clutchinessatmacdotcom
More Me:

June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / April 2007 /

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