Using Advanced Metrics on The Machine Part 1

In less than a week, Joe Posnanski’s much awaited new entry into the book world officially arrives. The Machine — which as the insanely long subtitle will inform you – is all about the 1975 Reds is probably the most anticipated baseball literature release of the year. I’m guessing most of the readers of this site are also fans of Posnanski, so to rev the hype engine a little harder, how about some graphical looks at how that team stacked up to the other teams in the league?

First up, team wOBA:


That red dot, that’s the Reds. Creative I know. The Reds were the best offensive team in baseball during this season and it wasn’t all that close. Only Boston surpassed the .340 team threshold. The Reds lead the majors in BB% and were near the tops in ISO (and Speed rating, for whatever it’s worth) which you would expect from any top offense.

How did their player stack up against each other? Glad you asked.


This consists of every player with at least 100 plate appearances. In case you didn’t know – and holy smokes you better have known – Joe Morgan was a heck of a ballplayer. Morgan’s 21 BB% is jaw-dropping and his .327/.466/.508 line is just incredible. Hopefully Morgan’s buffoonery in announcing hasn’t caused some statistically orientated fans to discount his playing career because that would be an absolute crime.

How often is the second baseman the best offensive player on the team while the catcher is the second best? Johnny Bench’s .283/.359/.519 line is almost equal to George Foster’s .300/.356/.518 and Foster played the corner outfield. That guy Pete Rose was pretty good too, as was Ken Griffey and Tony Perez.

Later on a look at their pitching staff.

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Matt S.
13 years ago

That’s pretty cool stuff. Morgan and Bench are just incredible, but the level of consistency among their everyday players is really something to see.