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I was reading about Rickey Henderson's 130 steal season the other day, and started thinking about the fact that OBP and SLG don't do a good job of explaining the impact of speed on the game. So, I am going to invent three new statistics, OBP-CS, SLG+S, and OPSS (Onbase plus slugging & speed).
OBP: On base Percentage = (Hits + BB + HPB)/(AB + BB + HBP + SacFly).
I'll modify OBP by subtracting Caught Stealing from the numerator (the top one). If you think about it, if I get a single, and then get caught stealing, its just like getting thrown out by the catcher at first.
OBP-CS: On base Percentage adjusted for steals = (Hits + BB + HPB - CS)/(AB + BB + HBP + SacFly).
SLG: Slugging % = (Total Bases) / (At bats).
I'll adjust SLG by adding stolen bases to total bases, because if a batter gets a single and then steals second, its essentially the same as a double. This should show up in our adjusted slugging.
SLG+S: Slugging & Speed % = (TB + SB) / (AB).
OPSS: On-base plus Slugging & Speed = (OBP-CS)+(SLG+S) is just like its cousin, Onbase plus slugging, but adds my two new stats.
These new statistics should do a better job of factoring in the role of speed in a player's game. Furthermore, if a player is an excellent base stealer, they will be rewarded statistically for not racking up the Caught Stealings. On the flip side, a poor baserunner will cannibalize their OBP-CS each time they are caught stealing.
Stats in action:
As you can see, factoring speed into the "holy grail statistics" for Sabermeticians (OBP, SLG, OPS) allows speedsters to be evaluated on an even playing field with the big boppers. Guys like Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman who have stolen significant numbers of bases, with a high success ratio are deeply undervalued by the OPS measuring stick. Henderson and Coleman both have 100+ points added to their OPSS scores if you take into account their speed. This is essentially the difference between Mark McGwire (.982 OPS) and Bernie Williams (.882 OPS) or the difference between Barry Bonds (1.035 OPS) and Albert Belle (.933 OPS).
If there is already a similar statistic out there that factors in speed, I'd love to know about it, and I will continue to work on calculating some more OPSS when I have a bit more time.
UPDATE: MUCH LATER
There is a second post dealing with this subject here
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