In a feature largely ignored this season, we’re trotting the Super Stats Pack out for a series of five year-end roundups.
A year ago, Omar Narváez was Chicago’s most valuable player, at least per the rankings of 18 key player statistics. While the offense on the South Side didn’t exactly take a healthy leap forward, two players finished with a higher tally than Narváez in 2018, and overall the White Sox boasted, let’s say, five solid players this season.
So, using a generous qualifier (one plate appearance per game as a minimum requirement for non-cumulative stats), just like last year, there are 13 players on the White Sox with at least 161 PAs. There are some scary names on here, but comfort yourselves in knowing that five of the final six PA leaders — none having any business getting 1 PA per game — have been jettisoned from the team:
After tallying how each player ranked in the 18 player categories, we crown a new Most Valuable Player for the 2019 White Sox:
This year’s top tier is stronger than last (Narváez, Abreu, Daniel Palka), no doubt. Engel ranked as well as García, interesting given Leury’s perceived greater value. Yolmer essentially had equal value to Castillo — DFA, baby. And look where the Machado Boys ended up!
Anyway, congratulations to Yoán Moncada for a convincing MVP win.
Now let’s take a look at all 18 categories, with some news and notes tacked on. (Last year’s season leader is included at the bottom of each category, in italics, for some perspective.)
Batting average While much has been made of Anderson’s 95-point jump, don’t sleep on Moncada’s 80-point leap in batting average. Abreu raised his BA 19 points from 2018, while Yolmer upped his 10 (!) and Engel seven (!!).
BABIP TA and Yoán made Leury’s .355 in 2018 look like child’s play. Moncada raised his BABIP 62 points, but Anderson leaped up 110! In the strange but true category, Palka had a .308 BABIP in 2018, and fell to .071 in 2019.
OBP In what is becoming a familiar story here, Moncada raised his on-base 52 points, Anderson 76. Moncada’s top finish was essentially equal to Narváez’s of a year ago. Sánchez finished sixth on the team in both 2018 and 2019, raising his OBP 12 points in 2019. Engel jumped his OBP 25 points from 2018.
wOBA Yoán’s went up 68 points, TA 69. Abreu raised his 15 points in 2019.
SLG Ready? Moncada’s slugging went up 148 points, Anderson’s 102. Abreu had a nice bump of 30 points, Engel 47. Yolmer’s power disappeared, dropping his slugging 51 points. Palka? He dropped 305 points.
OPS Again, sorry for all the tediousness, but Moncada’s OPS jumped 201 points, TA’s 178. Abreu jumped 36 points, Engel 73. Yolmer’s fell 40 points.
ISO Moncada saw his ISO leap 69 points, Abreu 11, Anderson seven. Palka’s dropped by 174.
HR Abreu raised his homers by 50%, to 33, to win the team clubbing crown. Castillo and Leury both doubled their 2018 homers this season. Rondón took 55 games, Collins 27, to finish tied for 11 in team home runs. Ick.
wRC+ Moncada (97) and Anderson (85) were both below league average in weighted runs created in 2018.
Batting runs above average Yoán made an incredible jump, from -2.5 in 2018 to 29.1. Anderson went from -10.7 to 19.7. Engel jumped from -17.5 (!) to -5.
Fielding runs above average Proving it wasn’t just offense, Moncada’s move from second to third pushed him from -3.7 fielding runs to 4.3, while TA fell from .5 to -9.1. Engel improved from -.6 to 2.4.
WPA Abreu went from .8 in 2018 to a team-best 2.94. Yoán increased from .26 to 2.75, TA from -2.22 to 2.3. Even Engel had a jump, from -2.64 to -.14.
WPA/LI In situational wins, Moncada took over the team lead, after recording a -.57 in 2018. Abreu jumped from .97 to 2.84, TA -1.2 in 2018 to 1.88.