Phillies Stat Notes: the year of Rhys

One year after making his debut, Rhys Hoskins is in good company

Summary

Despite losing two of three in the Arizona series, the Phillies still have the second best record in the NL, two games behind the Cubs, and percentage points ahead of Milwaukee.

That series was one of the worst of the year offensively, and the split between their run scoring and run prevention is more pronounced than it has been all season.

After bouncing around league average for most of the year offensively, they’ve now fallen to 11th in both overall hitting (wRC+), and average runs scored.

Their team ERA is now 3rd best in the NL, and the fielding-independent metrics rank the Phillies’ pitching 2nd (FIP) and 3rd (xFIP). In fact the Phils staff leads the NL in pitching WAR (per Fangraphs). That very good pitching is hampered by poor defense, which, despite signs of improvement, still ranks 14th at Fangraphs.


BsR = Fangraphs’ Baserunning Runs metric

Standings

The Phillies are back to one full game ahead of the Braves, and 5 12 ahead of the Nationals. Both the Braves and Nationals have a better run differential and pythagorean projection than the Phillies.

The Padres, meanwhile, have the worst record in the NL.


Runs vs. Average

The graph below shows Runs above average for each team in the NL, by each aspect of the game, as measured at Fangraphs.

For the Phillies:

Offense: -7 runs (i.e. worse than average)
– Below average hitting: -14 runs
– Above average baserunning: +7 runs

Run prevention: +45 runs
– Well above average starting pitching: +55 runs
– Above average bullpen: +13 runs
– Awful fielding (-23)

The net total is that as a team they’ve been 38 runs better than average.

And as with run differential, the Phillies lag behind both Atlanta (+42). and Washington (+47):


Batting

Compared to last year, and to the Padres

The Phils, again, have fallen to 11th in both scoring (4.37 runs per game), and overall overall hitting (91 wRC+). Their batting average has now dipped to next-to-last, but is supplemented by the league’s second best walk rate (9.9%).

The Padres have had one of the worst offenses in the league so far across the board:


*ISO, short for Isolated power, is the difference between batting average and slugging percentage, and essentially measures the average extra bases per at bat (1 for a double, 2 for a triple, 3 for a HR).

The Phillies are second in the NL in pitches per PA (4.03), just behind the Dodgers, and they have also dipped behind LA in walk rate (9.94% to 9.92%).

They are about average in taking the first pitch, but get to deep hitters’ counts more than any other team in the NL. They’re also the 2nd most likely team to take a pitch in those counts.

They are dead last in both making contact (74.2% of their swings), and in the quality of contact when they do connect: they are dead last in both Hard-hit rate (29.9%), and Line drive rate (19.9%).


Progress over time

The graphs below show how some key stats have progressed. On the left is the weekly performance (with a dotted line showing the NL average for each one), and on the right is the cumulative season-to-date number. Batting Average and BB% together drive a team’s On Base Percentage, and Batting Average and ISO combine to form Slugging Percentage.


Batting — Individual

Below are the Phillies hitters ranked by OPS, along with how they compare to the MLB average OPS at their position. To the right are their OPS over the last 30, 14, and 7 days.

The dearth of green highlighting in those far right columns indicates very few bright spots in the lineup at the moment.


Below is how each hitter’s OPS and wOBA have progressed over time.


These graphs are very busy — start with the names to see how they currently rank, and then follow each line to the left to see how they got there.

The Runs Created stat, which has gone through various iterations, starting with Bill James in the 1980s, takes all of a hitter’s stats and estimates how many runs they should translate to. Fangraphs calculates a version of that called weighted Runs Created (wRC) which is a counting stat version of wOBA.

The table below shows wRC for each Phillie, by week (the first is more like a week and a half). It quantifies the ups and downs we’ve seen: the hot starts by Hoskins, Hernandez, and Herrera, and more recently, the upsurge from Franco, and cooling off by Santana.

Again, nothing much good so far this week:


Pitching

Phillies pitching leads the NL in WAR, and is tied for 3rd in MLB (behind only the Astros and Yankees).

They also lead the NL in WAR for starting pitchers, not surprisingly, and are 3rd in MLB (behind the Astros and Indians).

Phillies starters are up to 4th in ERA, though that’s still likely lower than it should be because errors (and unearned runs) don’t adequately capture the impact of bad fielding. Based on FIP*, Phillies starters rank 2nd in the NL.

And of course, the various stats all agree that the Phillies’ fielding has been really bad for the season to date:


Pitching – Individual

Below is a high-level break down of each starter’s games:

QS is the typical definition (6+ IP, 3 or less ER)
“bad” is any start with more ER than innings pitched, and
“other” is all the rest.

Phillies starters lead the NL in Quality Starts with 59, three more than Washington.

The bullpen had a 2.55 ERA in July, lowest in MLB. In fact, even including the start of August, the pen’s 2.76 ERA is still lowest in all MLB.


And below are each pitcher’s games, with the Game Score for each one on the right (highlighted green if in the 60-79 range, dark green if 80+).



Miscellaneous

The Year of Rhys

Rhys Hoskins made his major league debut one year ago today. His stats over that time:

155 games, 669 PA
35 doubles
40 HR (tied for 11th in MLB)
120 RBI (4th in MLB)
101 runs scored
103 walks (6th in MLB)

Since his debut, here are all the players with 40 home runs, 100 RBI, and 100 walks:

1) Rhys Hoskins

His wRC+ has been 142, making him the 12th best hitter in MLB overall (just ahead of Giancarlo Stanton, Freddie Freeman, and Nolan Arenado).

Team HR Streaks

The Phillies have the season’s longest streak of consecutive games with a HR, at 16. The latest challenger is Toronto, with 13 straight coming into the weekend.


The Phillies’ streak is also tied for second longest in franchise history, behind an 18-game streak by the 2008 team:


Extra Base Hit Streak

The Phils have now hit at least one extra base hit in 110 straight games, the longest streak in MLB this season. It’s also now the second longest such streak in franchise history, behind only a 129-game streak by the 1929-30 team:


Obviously it doesn’t take an offensive juggernaut to hit one extra base hit in a game, so this is not to imply that it is anything more than a statistical oddity. Note, for example, the lower slash line for this year’s streak.

References

Phillies hitters (fangraphs)
Phillies pitchers (fangraphs)
Team hitting stats (fangraphs)
Team pitching stats (fangraphs)
Team stats (baseball-reference)

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