Sep 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span (2) connects for a base hit during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals: OPS

Today is day three of looking at the Washington Nationals season from a different perspective. I have been looking at it through sabermetrics to see if there are any correlations at all. Well, today isn’t any different. I wouldn’t call OPS (On Base Plus Slugging) a major sabermetric statistic, but it still gives good value to a player. The one flaw it does have is OBP and SLG% are equal in value. It has been proven that OBP is twice as important than SLG% in scoring runs.

Either way it is a good stat to see who has patience, speed and the ability to hit for power. Jayson Werth has led the way the last two offensive categories, does he do it again with OPS? Player has to have at least 180 plate appearances to be qualified.

Jayson Werth – .931

Bryce Harper – .854

Ryan Zimmerman .809

Ian Desmond – .784

Wilson Ramos – .777

Adam LaRoche – .735

Anthony Rendon – .725

Denard Span – .707

Steve Lombardozzi – .616

Kurt Suzuki – .593

Well looky there, Werth is at the top of the list once again. Again I will ask all Nats fans, has Jayson Werth earned some respect in terms of his contract yet? In three consecutive days, in three different offensive statistics Jayson Werth has led the way. That in my mind should earn him a bonus. If a guy can be that dominate within his own team, why not give him the praise?

Werth didn’t have the most at-bats or plate appearances but he was the only National in 2013 to hit over .300 and he added a .398 OBP. A pretty solid season if you ask me. He also compiled a .532 slugging percentage which was the only Nat to get over .500 in that category as well. Werth dominated the offensive game last season for the Nationals. That doesn’t mean it will happen again, but the trend is looking very good for Jayson Werth, who can end up hitting in the two hole this season.

Comparing Werth to the rest of the league, he finished tied for 8th in OPS. It isn’t just the Nationals that he is dominating, he is showing the entire league he deserved that contract.

If you take a look a little further down the list you will see Denard Span. He finished last among the everyday starters of the Nats. For a stat that puts as much stock into OBP as SLG% it shouldn’t affect a speed guy that much. Well, Span wasn’t very good at either. He didn’t get on base at a very good rate, and he isn’t a gap hitting kind of player. So, you should expect Span to fall below the league average in this statistic. Is he the right player to put into the leadoff spot? In my opinion, no, but I don’t make the lineups, so there’s that.

Adam LaRoche had a really bad season, but he still ended up finishing in the middle of pack of Nats. This could be because of a lot of walks. He walked over 12% of the time.

Harper had a good season at the plate, but it could be a whole lot better if he could learn how to hit lefties a little bit more consistently.

I used this statistic today, to be the pregame of the statistic tomorrow. OPS is a good stat to use, but if you have the choice, use wOBA (Weighted On Base Average). That will be the topic for tomorrow. It will take into effect that OBP means more than SLG% and it will be adjusted because of it. You can’t go wrong with either one when trying to evaluate a player’s performance, but if you have the choice, I recommend using wOBA. I will explain it more in depth tomorrow, but for now, let your brain stew on this one for the night.




Tags: Sabermetrics Washington Nationals

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