Roundshaw Hop: End-of-season statistics update – firings from my grey matter

rh-(128x128)For those of you who like your stats and keep an eye on the National Baseball League, there is some news that will hopefully be of interest. (It’s a good job I’m not writing this on Twitter, or I’d have no characters left to tell you what it is.) The news, which I’ve now built up too much (unless you like your numbers as much as I do), is that the end-of-season domestic stats update is complete, which includes updated career stats, player awards, and the like. Please feel free to stop by and have a browse, but if you are short of time then maybe you’d prefer to read some firings from my grey matter, which I jotted down when I was knee deep in HTML.

MV no-brainers

The Most Valuable Batter and Most Valuable Pitcher awards could hardly have been simpler to select. Ryan Bird was hoping to become the first player to claim three straight Most Valuable Batter awards, but Daniel Williams of the Mets set new modern single-season records for batting average (.579) and on-base average (.647) and was thus an easy choice as Most Valuable Batter. Similarly, Jason Roberts’ new all-time mark of 15 wins made him an almost automatic pick as Most Valuable Pitcher.

Complete games

Jason Roberts also set a new modern single-season mark of 15 complete games, but he was not the only pitcher to be setting a record in this category. Two players moved past Alan Smith’s modern career record of 24 complete games – Henry Collins of Bracknell ended the season on 26, but Matt Gilbert finished two better with 28 to become the new leader. Gilbert’s total is almost certainly lower than it should be, as stats from his spell in the top tier with the Cambridge Monarchs in the late 1990s were – unfortunately – not preserved. While it is important to note that the shift to 7-inning contests in recent years has made it easier for pitchers to rack up complete games, there is no doubt about Roberts’ in-game durability. For instance, in the first of his two nine-game opportunities this season he threw 200 pitches and navigated a 30-minute break for rain to go the distance.

Ryan Trask

On the subject of durability, Trask proved his value to Bracknell behind the plate on their penultimate weekend of the season. He’s made a name for himself in the tools of ignorance with his aggressive arm this year, but it was his knees that impressed most against Croydon. He caught seventeen straight innings, with the second 7-inning contest requiring three extra frames for its resolution (it was Trask who drove in the deciding run with a cool, intelligent opposite field lob). If this is a record – and if it isn’t I’d love to hear details – then it is only a joint one, as he was matched on the day by Croydon’s Matt Schwartz. If it went to a tie-breaker, the latter would edge it, as his effort involved 296 pitches, to Trask’s “mere” 256.

Trask completed his 11th straight season in the National Baseball League, and in that time he has chalked up some milestones. This season saw him tally his 200th run, and he was just short of the 100 stolen base mark. He finished on 99, and so we’ll have to wait to 2011 for that one, but this was good enough to dislodge Alan Bloomfield’s modern (i.e. post-1994) record of 97 from the leaderboard.

Maikel Azcuy

Finally, Pirates go-to slugger Maikel Azcuy finished his fifth straight season with the first team after a couple of years before that with the now-defunct Croydon Pilots (Pirates II). In this time he has accumulated the 225 top-tier plate appearances minimum to qualify for modern career records, and his stats are good for two of them. His career slugging average of .787 is enough to uproot Roddi Liebenberg’s previous best, while his on-base plus slugging average (OPS) of 1.285 is a new wooden-bat (i.e. post-2000) record. His figures were aided by six homers in 2010, which gave him the home-run title. Felicitaciones!

9 Responses to Roundshaw Hop: End-of-season statistics update – firings from my grey matter

  1. Matt Smith August 26, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Great stuff, Joe. I don’t think anyone can argue with Williams and Roberts getting the MVP awards. Will be interesting to see how the Mets use Roberts at the NBC.

  2. Liam August 26, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    Great stuff, Joe. Thanks for all of the work!

  3. Jason Greenberg August 27, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    Thanks, Joe. Nice to see GB’ers Collins and Trask (and alum Gilbert) carving out space in the record books.

  4. Joe Gray August 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    Thanks guys for the kind words.

    Matt, you raise an interesting point about how the Mets use Roberts. If the league had stuck with last year’s format of a 7-inning qualifying games to get you through to a one-game 9-inning final, then it would be an obvious choice for a team with the pitching depth they have to save him for a complete-game effort. But I think the final is being chopped down to 7 innings this year, so the question for me is whether they would be wasting his arm by saving him for the final – if they make it – and thus only getting a maximum of seven innings from him. Maybe they will use him in shorter stints in two games, although the fatigue is a pretty serious issue in this case.

    I think that the Mets, the Blazers, and the Flames (if they beat the Pirates tomorrow) could all show up with substantially more pitching depth than any team at last year’s finals – and this can only be a good thing. Dan McAneney of the Flames is the potential wild card in the mix. He pitched 13 innings over five appearances without giving up an earned run. I haven’t seen enough of him to make a firm judgement on just how good he is, but I’m not the only one lacking information… Crucially, Bracknell haven’t seen him throw this year and the Mets have only seen 1 inning of his stuff.

    Finally, Southampton-Mildenhall will hopefully be a fascinating play-off game tomorrow.

  5. Cleetis August 30, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    There is a guy by the name of Jose Perez of the Mildenhall Bulldogs who hit 7 home runs this year, not sure why that was not updated correctly. Good luck to all the playoff teams!

  6. Joe Gray August 30, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Hi Cleetis,

    Unfortunately, the stats can only be considered official if they are submitted to the League Statistician. If they are in a scorebook at the bottom of someone’s kit bag, it’s hard to know who did what in the game! :)

    And – believe me – it wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of the League Statistician that Mildenhall only submitted stats for a minority of their home games. There’s only so many emails, face-to-face conversations, and phone calls one can send/have/make in the name of chasing.

    Also, out of curiosity, were any of his home runs at the London Tournament or in the Herts Spring League? Only NBL home runs are in the tallies.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Joe

  7. Cleetis August 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Joe,

    I completely understand and its not your fault. You have done an excellent job. I just wanted other folks to realize what a wonderful year this kid had. The 7 home runs we know of were not during the Herts spring league or the London Tourney.

  8. Joe Gray August 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Cool – it’s a real shame how it’s turned out, but as you say it’s well worth publicizing the season he’s had. He’s clearly one very talented ballplayer. Thanks – Joe

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