The Determinator: First Base 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 first base 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.
Number 20 (Tied): Anthony Rizzo, New York Yankees
Top-15: BsR, Fld
Total Score: 10
While Luke Voit did not qualify for The Determinator for this past season (he was 9 PA’s and 155.2 innings short), the Yankees did have one player qualify as a first baseman in Anthony Rizzo…who promptly ranked tied for 20th out of 32 first baseman in the MLB.
There is a big reason as to why I’m not confident in Rizzo’s ability going forward if the Yankees decide to sign him going forward. Two years ago (pre-2020), Rizzo ranked 2nd by The Determinator. Last year he ranked 1st. This year he was 20th. That’s incredibly telling about his fall from grace.
Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia Phillies) – Scored 28 Points; Ranked 11th
Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox) – Scored 24 Points; Ranked 12th
Ryan Mountcastle (Baltimore Orioles) – Scored 17 Points; Ranked 18th
Eric Hosmer (San Diego Padres) – Scored 8 Points; Ranked 22nd (Tied with Jonathan Schoop)
Josh Bell (Washington Nationals) – Scored 7 Points; Ranked 24th
Trey Mancini (Baltimore Orioles) – Scored 6 Points; Ranked 25th
Bobby Dalbec (Boston Red Sox) – Scored 5 Points; Ranked 26th (Tied with Ji-Man Choi and Miguel Sano)
Albert Pujols (Los Angeles Angels/Dodgers) – Scored 4 Points; Ranked 29th
Games – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (161)
Batting Average (AVG) – Yuli Gurriel (.319)
On-Base Percentage (OBP) – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.401)
Slugging Percentage (SLG) – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.601)
Home Runs (HR) – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (48)
Stolen Bases (SB) – Paul Goldschmidt (12)
Weighted Runs Created (wRC) – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (145)
Weighted Runs Created Plus – (wRC+) – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (166)
Baserunning (BsR) – Freddie Freeman (+3.3)
Offense (Off) – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+54.1)
Wins Above Replacement (WAR) – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+6.7)
Fielding (Fld) – Max Muncy (+4.3)
Innings (Inn) – Freddie Freeman (1358.0)
Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) – Paul Goldschmidt (+10)
Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) – Paul Goldschmidt (+3.5)
Defense (Def) – Bobby Bradley (-3.3)
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.