Many MLB teams have played approximately 21 games heading into Wednesday night. 21 games sounds like a decent enough sample and as a result, players who have gotten off to a strong start may be capturing the hearts and minds of fans. However, be careful of putting too much stock in the leaderboards just yet as individual player statistics are still very “noisy”. One amazing April day can skew a player’s statistics and move their overall numbers from looking extremely solid to superstar territory. Here are a few examples.
Didi Gregorius is #1 in RBI with 27 and #2 in home runs with 8.
On April 3 against the Rays, Gregorius went 4 for 4, 3 Runs, 2 Home Runs, 8 RBI.
Remove his best day, and Gregorius would drop down to being tied for 7th in RBI with 19 and tied for 18th in home runs with 6.
Mitch Haniger is #2 in RBI with 24. #2 in Home runs with 8.
On April 13, Haniger went 2 for 4 with 1 home run, 4 R.B.I. and 1 Run.
Remove his best day and Haniger would then drop to #7 in RBI with 20 and would be tied for #8 in home runs with 7.
Jed Lowrie #2 in RBI with 24.
On April 11, Lowrie went 3 for 6 with a home run and 4 RBI.
Remove his best day and Lowrie would drop to #7 in RBI with 20.
While some players may be well on their way to career years, it is clear that April statistics have the potential to be misleading. Avert your eyes from the leaderboards for at least another few weeks. By June 1st, the noise in most of the data should settle down and the leaderboard will be much more stable.
* Interestingly, Mike Trout is currently #1 in Home Runs with 10 and #2 in walks with 17. If you took away Trout’s best day, he would lose 1 Home Run, 2 walks, and 1 RBI. His production is not based on one extreme performance but rather a consistent start to the season. You’ve gotta love Mike Trout!
Follow me on Twitter @doctordaver