This past offseason, Pitcher List introduced Pitch Level Value, or PLV, a new metric that assesses player performance by grading outcomes relative to the quality of the pitch. If you’re new to it, you can read Nick Pollack’s primer on PLV here.
You’ll find the definitions below. Grades are on a 20-80 scale.
Swing Aggression: How much more often a hitter swings at pitches, given the swing likelihoods of the pitches they face.
Strikezone Judgement: The “correctness” of a hitter’s swings and takes, using the likelihood of a pitch being a called strike (for swings) or a ball/HBP (for takes).
Decision Value (DV): Modeled value (runs per 100 pitches) of a hitter’s decision to swing or take, minus the modeled value of the alternative.
Contact Ability: A hitter’s ability to make contact (foul strike or BIP), above the contact expectation for each pitch.
Power: Modeled number of extra bases (xISO on contact) above a pitch’s expectation, for each BBE.
Hitter Performance (HP): Runs added per 100 pitches seen by the hitter (including swing/take decisions), after accounting for pitch quality.
Pitch Level Value (PLV): Estimated value of all pitches, based on the predicted outcome of those pitches (0-10, 5 is league average, PLV is not adjusted for pitch type).
Pitch Level Average (PLA): Value of all pitches (ERA Scale), using IP and the total predicted run value of pitches thrown.
Pitch type PLA: Value of a given pitch type (ERA scale), using total predicted run values and an IP proxy for that pitch type (pitch usage % x Total IP).
(Note: All stats are current through Thursday, 9/28).
It’s the final week. We made it. Last week we reviewed rookie hitters, so this week will start with a glance at what PLV saw from this year’s notable rookie SPs.
Eury Pérez has been a little bit of a roller coaster and his latest two outings illustrate that: he earned just a 4.91 PLV in his latest start against the Mets during which he lasted three innings. In his previous start against the Brewers (9/14) the results weren’t great (4.2 IP, 3 ERs) but he earned a radiant 5.62 PLV. His fastball was brilliant this year (2.71 PLA) and gives him a ceiling that very few pitchers possess but does it happen in year two? Given that he debuted at 20, I don’t think you can rule anything out but on the other hand, there’s a buyer-beware scenario lurking as he’ll certainly have a ton of hype this offseason.
Conversely, there wasn’t much hype over J.P. France given that he’s 28 and didn’t post the eye-catching strikeout totals like other rookies in his class; however, his 5.15 PLV is right near the top of the list and tied with the much more ballyhooed Bobby Miller. To be clear, Miller (the Dodgers’ rookie) is hands down the more exciting talent but the fact that they were tied in PLV was surprising.
Gavin Williams and Andrew Abbott demonstrated strikeout upside but neither graded out well in terms of overall PLV. Williams has the edge in velocity but his fastball’s 4.07 PLA doesn’t stand out from the crowd too much. I think if I’m taking a chance on one of them it would be Abbott in the hopes that his slider’s 2.44 PLA might provide a silver lining behind his recent struggles. And, yes, struggles might be an understatement since he has a 6.00 ERA and 1.79 WHIP over his last eight starts. Ouch.