Baseball BeatJuly 26, 2003
The BEAT Marches On...
By Rich Lederer

I am going to feature Frank Thomas this weekend with an analysis similar to the one written last weekend on Ken Griffey Jr. I think many readers will find his place in history surprising.

In the meantime, I recommend you check out Eisenberg Sports and Dave's preliminary findings of a new stat he is developing called Bases Advanced Percentage (BAP).

Dave's definition of BAP = # of bases advanced / # of plate appearances (where bases advanced equals total bases + walks + extra bases gained - base runners lost).

The value of BAP is its ability to include bases not captured in either OBP or SLG (and, therefore, OPS). I am intrigued by it because I have always thought that not all OBP and SLG were created equally. Re OBP, it seems inherently obvious to me that an Ichiro Suzuki walk is worth more than an Edgar Martinez walk because the former can subsequently do more with that base than the latter by stealing a base, taking an extra base on a hit, or simply preventing force outs and double plays. Similarly, an Ichiro infield single is not worth as much as a Martinez single because the former is less likely to advance a runner more than one base whereas the latter's singles are more apt to advance runners from first to third or from second to home.

In other words, BAP may allow us to judge players and teams on a much more comprehensive basis than OBP or SLG alone or even together (i.e., OPS). The beauty of BAP is that it includes all the stats that comprise OBP and SLG as well as those bases unaccounted for in OBP and SLG.

Off the top of my head, it would seem to me that the 2002 version of the Anaheim Angels could be a good example of the merits of BAP. I suspect that the Angels had more than their share of these so-called extra bases advanced than their opponents, which may explain the team's success more than anything else. A study of the Angels season and post-season may prove enlightening.

Please feel free to email Dave or me if you have any questions, comments, or further suggestions re BAP. And be sure to check back later this weekend for a full story on The Big Hurt and his place in baseball history (using OBP, SLG, OPS, and more--all of which are still incredibly useful--rather than BAP).