The Definitive, Useless Brandon Guyer Leaderboard

With regard to the ZiPS projections for Cleveland that appeared at this site earlier in the day, a few commenters have observed the statistical curiosities for which outfielder Brandon Guyer is responsible. One reader notes, for example, that Guyer is forecast for a .358 on-base percentage despite just a .272 batting average and 5.6% walk rate. The difference, of course, is a product of the copious hit-by-pitches for which he’s projected. Another reader correctly notes that, in 2016, Guyer was more often hit (20 times) by left-handed pitchers than struck out (17) by them.

Because all of us are beautiful and unique like a snowflake, it’s not surprising to learn that Brandon Guyer is also beautiful and unique like a snowflake. The purpose of this post is to celebrate Guyer’s particular set of skills, while also allowing the author to experiment with the splits leaderboard introduced earlier this week by unassuming hit man Sean Dolinar.

What I’ve done to fashion the definitive Brandon Guyer Leaderboard is to identify both hit-by-pitch and strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers for every batter season (minimum 60 plate appearances) since 2000. The full results of that search can be found here.

The top-10 batters by this obscure measure appear in table form below.

The Brandon Guyer Leaderboard, 2000-16
# Name Year PA HBP K HBP% K% Diff
1 David Eckstein 2002 201 9 5 4.5% 2.5% +2.0%
Brandon Guyer 2016 152 20 17 13.2% 11.2% +2.0%
2 Jeff Keppinger 2007 79 2 1 2.5% 1.3% +1.2%
3 Juan Pierre 2009 120 8 7 6.7% 5.8% +0.8%
4 Edgardo Alfonzo 2004 182 1 1 0.5% 0.5% 0.0%
Mike Redmond 2006 75 1 1 1.3% 1.3% 0.0%
Gregg Zaun 2006 63 2 2 3.2% 3.2% 0.0%
Kevin Frandsen 2013 88 6 6 6.8% 6.8% 0.0%
9 Fernando Vina 2002 169 8 9 4.7% 5.3% -0.6%
10 Juan Pierre 2004 207 8 10 3.9% 4.8% -0.9%
Top differential between HBP% and K% vs. left-handed pitchers.
Minimum 60 PA.

An inveterate nuisance as a ballplayer, David Eckstein continues to exhibit that behavior here, actually appearing beside Guyer on the latter’s own definitive leaderboard. Juan Pierre, for his part, appears twice — which is to say, once more than anyone else.

With the exception of Guyer, though, what one mostly finds here is a collection of players who avoided the strikeout almost entirely while collecting HBPs at merely an above-average rate. What Guyer does, meanwhile, is to avoid the strikeout at an above-average rate while collecting HBPs at an historical one.

This has been a post of little consequence at FanGraphs.com.

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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This post is also an unintentional homage to Edgardo Alfonzo’s 2004 season and LHP’s inability to strike him out that year. 1 K in 182 PA? I’d like to see the Strat-O-Matic card on that…