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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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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