Tampa Bay Rays Hitting and Pitching Performance Through the All Star Break | The Process Report

Tampa Bay Rays Hitting and Pitching Performance Through the All Star Break

In my most recent piece I showed off what the database has to say about the league through the All Star Break. If the Tampa Bay Rays are of as much interest to you as I then you probably turned next to see where they ranked in both hitting and pitching. You probably came away saying, “Yeah, that’s about right, I can see them as an upper third pitching team and lower third hitting team.” You may have also wondered how exactly the team arrived at that point over the course of a winding season that has seen some turnover on the big league roster. It is no secret that the Rays are trying to get as good of an evaluative look at their mass of youngsters so how has it gone? Let’s start by taking a look at the teams pitching and hitting over the course of the season on a 250-plate appearance basis:

It will behoove the reader to open this, and other images where ten gallons of information gets poured into a five gallon hat, in another tab. Additionally, while I like overlaying the offense and defense to get a feel for when the team was going well (more offense than defense) and less well (vice-versa) it does get a bit cluttered. With that in mind here is what just the offense looks like:

You can see performance occasionally coming in at a better than average rate, and rarely much better than that average. Most of the season has been down in the nether regions and while observed results seem to track fairly well with the expected performance you can see periods where the team played better than expected including the most recent stretch. This came on the tails of one of the worst stretches of the year for the club with actuals looking even worse than the ugly expectations. The roller coaster ride is likely to continue so hopefully we have already seen the worst during this rather recent stretch. For those that are more interested in the summary figures for each player you can enlarge the table below. Highlighted players will be explored in more detail later in this piece.

Followers of the team will easily tell you that the pitching has been the stronger component this year, and the data agrees. After a very rough start to the season at least partially due to the team’s pitching plan being compromised by injury before the season could even get under way the team scrapped and scraped and found a way to turn this unit into a strength. The last half of this sample looks exceedingly strong with only a couple of brief forays into worse than average land. Throughout the term you’ll notice that actual results outstrip expectations. This is something we would expect to equalize over a long enough term, but that assumes average defense behind the pitcher. An area the Rays have committed to even at the cost of some offense. Couple this with a vigorous approach to helping pitchers hide weaknesses while cycling though the half dozen options that are available each day and you can see why it makes sense to expect the team to continue to suppress offense¬†more than¬†an average team. Again, below you can find the hard figures for each player.

Moving on to the individual players, who are ordered by xwRAA provided regardless of whether they pitch or hit, I’m not going to have a ton of comments here for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a massive amount of analysis that can often get a bit repetitive. Secondly, I’ve tried to make this stuff as intuitive as possible so that you, the reader, can have a lot of confidence in yourself to interpret this stuff correctly. The data tells the main tale, and I don’t think you need me to hold your hand through this adventure. If you do have any questions or want me to run any of this stuff whether you’re a fan of the Rays or not just shoot me a message on Twitter @sandykazmir. You can search or scroll through this. I think there are some wonderful stories here, but share with me what you like and we can talk about it there.

Wilson Ramos

Blake Snell

C.J. Cron

Sergio Romo

Jose Alvarado

Jake Bauers

Daniel Robertson

Ryne Stanek

Chaz Roe

Wilmer Font

Austin Pruitt

Matt Duffy

Matt Andriese

Andrew Kittredge

Nathan Eovaldi

Yonny Chirinos

Chris Archer

Adeiny Hechavarria

Jesus Sucre

Ryan Yarbrough

Joey Wendle

Carlos Gomez

Willy Adames

Jake Faria

Kevin Kiermaier

Johnny Field

Mallex Smith

Thanks to those of you that have stuck around so far. Now that the template has been created it is relatively easy to take this sort of look at other teams so even if you’re not a Rays fan let me know what you’d like to see and I can likely piece that together rather quickly. Here’s to a tremendous second half that sees the team turn into a soft schedule while getting some of the key pieces back. Don’t let whatever happens at the trade deadline change your opinion. This club is headed in the right direction with a heck of a lot more talent on the come.