The Determinator: Designated Hitters 2022 (Yankees, HM’s, & Leaders)
For the last two years, I have been ranking every starting player in the MLB by position in a system I’ve dubbed The Determinator. I don’t worry about projection systems, I look only at how well a player did that last year, analyze the data, and showcase who was and will be the best for the upcoming season.
Welcome back to The Determinator.
Today we continue with highlighting the Yankees, honorable mentions, and designated hitters statistic leaders!
The Determinator: My General Methodology
The Determinator is a ranking system that is built upon the analyzation of 16 carefully chosen stats through a very simplistic system of comparisons. Some of these stats are more classical (Games Played, Home Runs, etc.), others are more advanced (wRC+, WAR, etc.). From this come 7 offensive stats, 4 defensive, 2 baserunning, and 3 general stats, set to contribute towards the importance of each part of the game.
The Offensive stats are: AVG/OBP/SLG, wRC, wRC+, HR, and Off (Fangraphs)
The Defensive stats are: Fielding, DRS, UZR (or Framing for Catchers), and Def (Fangraphs)
The Baserunning stats are: Stolen Bases and BsR (Fangraphs)
The Overall stats are: Games Played, Innings at Position, and fWAR (Fangraphs)
After determining this list of statistics, I then had to input each into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet I sorted how each player did in each statistic from best-to-worst. If you were top 5 in a category, you got ranked as a ‘Green’. Top 6-10 was a ‘Yellow’. And, Top 11-15 was labelled as a ‘Red’. The number of each ranking was counted- so it was possible to come out with a score of zero- and given values of 5, 3, and 1 respectively.
Key Note: If player/s across a statistic had the same numbers across a border- for example the 5th and 6th players with the most Home Runs- then they would both be counted as the better ranking- in this case both ‘Green’ or 5 points- and replace one spot from the following ranking- in this case a ‘Yellow’ or 3 points. This could also stretch some statistics to include more ‘Red’ players who had equal stats to the 15th best.
Additionally, if no stats were recorded in a counting statistic that could fit into a ranking- as is seen with Catchers and Stolen Bases- then no ranking is given to those players. This would greatly increase the number of points given out, and lessen the value of each point. This is not true for advanced metrics that can produce negative values- as also is seen with Catchers and BsR.
The results were then tallied, sorted from greatest to least, and a ranking was created.
Finally, player age, 2022 salary, and contract status, were all not considered in this experiment. This is entirely statistic-based.
In order to quality for ranking by The Determinator, a player must’ve had at least 250 plate appearances during the 2021 season and at least 500 innings played at the position in question.
One current/former Yankees Players from 2021/2022 Qualified for a DH ranking by The Determinator
You can see their writeups here:
Giancarlo Stanton – Ranked 5th
In addition, the following player also ranked:
Number 8: Josh Donaldson, New York Yankees
Top-10: wRC, wRC+, Off, WAR
Top-15: Games, SLG, HR
Total Score: 20
Newcomer to the Yankees team, Josh Donaldson, was a member of the designated hitter leaderboard in 2021 after a season that saw him spend 34 games at the DH position…and an additional 92 as a third baseman. Yeah, it does seem unfair to have him included, but you can blame Fangraphs for that. He had the necessary 250 PA’s and spent time at DH! Regardless, he’s a good-to-great standalone hitter and will (provided good health) be ranked as a third baseman next year.Embed from Getty Images
Nelson Cruz (Washington Nationals) – Scored 25 Points; Ranked 6th
Ryan Mountcastle (Baltimore Orioles) – Scored 24 Points; Ranked 7th
Austin Meadows (Tampa Bay Rays) – Scored 17 Points; Ranked 10th
Yermind Mercedes (Chicago White Sox) – Scored 11 Points; Ranked 11th
Trey Mancini (Baltimore Orioles) – Scored 10 Points; Ranked 12th
Jorge Soler (Miami Marlins) – Scored 9 Points; Ranked 13th
Luis Torrens (Seattle Mariners) – Scored 6 Points; Ranked 15th
Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers) – Scored 3 Points; Ranked 16th
Games – Shohei Ohtani (158)
Batting Average (AVG) – J.D. Martinez (.286)
On-Base Percentage (OBP) – Shohei Ohtani (.372)
Slugging Percentage (SLG) – Shohei Ohtani (.592)
Home Runs (HR) – Shohei Ohtani (46)
Stolen Bases (SB) – Shohei Ohtani (26)
Weighted Runs Created (wRC) – Shohei Ohtani (119)
Weighted Runs Created Plus – (wRC+) – Shohei Ohtani (152)
Baserunning (BsR) – Shohei Ohtani (+2.5)
Offense (Off) – Shohei Ohtani (+42.9)
Wins Above Replacement (WAR) – Shohei Ohtani (+5.1)
The Determinator is a way I used to determine the best players at each position. Like any metric or formula, I am sure it has flaws. No statistical compilation is perfect. That being said, The Determinator, seems pretty effective at assigning player values. I’m pleased with what I have found using this method and hope this is a conversation starter for many.