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The Determinator: Second 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 second 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.

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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.

 

Yankees Players:

Number 14 (Tied): DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees

Top-5: OBP

Top-10: Games, wRC, Fld, UZR, Def

Top-15: AVG, wRC+, WAR

Total Score: 23

It would’ve been impossible for the Yankees to move on from DJ LeMahieu after his 2019 and 2020 seasons. He was top 4 in the AL MVP in both years while hitting comfortably above .300 (something the Yankees desperately needed on their team). And then they signed him to a pretty reasonable deal at 6/$90M.

However, DJ LeMahieu’s stock crashed a ton in 2021…and it wasn’t out of the picture. DJ LeMahieu was never going to keep up the near-MVP level performance. Especially as he entered his post-prime years. Especially given his career 92 OPS+ before joining the Yankees.

Now, LeMahieu is good with his glove, he will and does hit well, and 2021 looks like a fluke compared to his career .300 BA and his .268 last year. However, the days of DJ LeMahieu as a top-tier second baseman seem to be over and falling faster than most people thought.

 

Number 24 (Tied): Rougned Odor, New York Yankees

Top-5: None

Top-10: HR

Top-15: BsR

Total Score: 4

And because the Yankees spent good money on DJ LeMahieu, they then started to scrape the bargain bin for additional players. Enter Rougned Odor. A player released from the Texas Rangers who could be had for league minimum salary.

And, enter a bottom-5 second baseman by The Determinator. Hey, you get what you paid for.

Now, I liked Rougned Odor as a Yankee. (Tell me that 5 years ago and I would’ve laughed you out of the building.) He was fun, he had energy, he had a few clutch hits (and one non-home run). He’s now a member of the Baltimore Orioles, but I’ll remember him as another fun journeyman (with the likes of Aaron Small, Miguel Cairo, Luis Sojo, etc).

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Honorable Mentions:

Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals) – Scored 33 Points; Ranked 11th

Tony Kemp (Oakland Athletics) – Scored 27 Points; Ranked 12th

David Fletcher (Los Angeles Angels) – Scored 22 Points; Ranked 16th

Donovan Solano (San Francisco Giants) – Scored 11 Points; Ranked 21st

Pat Valaika (Baltimore Orioles) – Scored 5 Points; Ranked 22nd

Jeff McNeil (New York Mets) – Scored 3 Points; Ranked 26th

Nick Solak (Texas Rangers) – Scored 2 Points; Ranked 27th (Tie with Willi Castro)

 

Statistic Leaders:

Games – Marcus Semien & Whit Merrifield (162)

Batting Average (AVG) – Adam Frazier (.305)

On-Base Percentage (OBP) – Tony Kemp (.382)

Slugging Percentage (SLG) – Marcus Semien (.538)

Home Runs (HR) – Marcus Semien (45)

Stolen Bases (SB) – Whit Merrifield (40)

Weighted Runs Created (wRC) – Marcus Semien (120)

Weighted Runs Created Plus – (wRC+) – Brandon Lowe (137)

Baserunning (BsR) – Ozzie Albies (+8.3)

Offense (Off) – Brandon Lowe (+32.8)

Wins Above Replacement (WAR) – Marcus Semien (+6.6)

Fielding (Fld) – Marcus Semien (+7.3)

Innings (Inn) – Ozzie Albies (1358.2)

Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) – Whit Merrifield (+14)

Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) – Marcus Semien (+6.3)

Defense (Def) – Marcus Semien (+8.5)

 

Reminder:

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.

#TheDeterminator

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