It’s a phrase nearly as old as baseball and seems to be reiterated every postseason. Sure, good pitching can tear through most offenses like a phonebook but I wildy wonder: who are the hitters that are consistently tough against good pitchers?!Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a stat that really illustrates this skill. I knew something like OPS+ would mostly correlate to such a stat, but it wasn’t sufficient. I decided to invent the stat, keeping the following questions in mind; (1) Would the players who hit the best against good pitching just end up being the superstars? (2) If not, would that make the stat complete BS or would it mean it pointed out an undervalued commodity?
The formula I came up with is as follows:
Hitter’s OPS+ (for the last 2 years) against pitchers with an OPS+ against below 85 (for the last 2 years) = OPS+85
In theory, players with a high OPS+85 would be very good at hitting above average pitching. These “pure hitters” could potentially equalize a quality pitching staff. On the other hand, players with a low OPS+85 would be a mix of scrubs, pitchers and Ryan Howard.
Unfortunately my Baseball Prospectus membership doesn’t provide with the necessary stats to compile a list of OPS+85 leaders. Can anyone provide me with these stats? Also, what do you think of the stat? Do you think it would be meaningful? Do you think it would fluctuate too heavily from season to season to be a dependable commodity? Would the usual suspects who lead OBP and SLG also lead OPS+85?