clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Who Has Been Clutch?

The are seemingly infinite ways to measure "clutchness" -- performance w/RISP, late and close situations, September, RISP and 2 outs, etc. Beyond the Boxscore suggested one other method, which I will use to look at the Mets' performance in the clutch. The method entails comparing Batting Runs (BR, the offense component of Fangraphs WAR) to WPA. By subtracting BR from WPA*10, we can see how clutch each Met has been. "Clutch" here is a measurement of how much better or worse a player has fared when factoring leverage, compared to overall context-neutral performance. Here are the top 5 and bottom 5 Mets this season, minimum 50 plate appearances, through Sunday's games. Remember that 10 runs = 1 win and click here for the full list of Met hitters (pitchers not included):

Rank Player BR WPA*10 Clutch
1 David Wright 24 31.3 7.3
2 Brian Schneider -9.5 -4.3 5.2
3 Cory Sullivan 0.8 4.3 3.5
4 Jeremy Reed -7.2 -4.7 2.5
5 Alex Cora -10.6 -8.5 2.1

Rank Player BR WPA*10 Clutch
14 Jose Reyes 1.7 -1.4 -3.1
15 Luis Castillo 10.6 7.1 -3.5
16 Angel Pagan 4.9 -3 -7.9
17 Jeff Francoeur 1.8 -7.1 -8.9
18 Fernando Tatis -3.7 -18.1 -14.4

This isn't a predictor of future performance, as we know that the "clutch hitter" is almost certainly a myth. Just look at last year's results, which pegged Tatis as one of the best clutch hitters (also note the name at the top of the list). Keep in mind that luck often plays a role in WPA, so, for example, Francoeur's unfortunate line drive turned triple play on Sunday really hurts him here. This technique for assessing past performance is not infallible, but is nonetheless worth looking at.