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# Rays 2019 stats quiz, Statcast edition

All right, you aced the first one, let’s see how you do here!

A few weeks ago we grilled you folks on some 2019 Rays back-of-the-baseball-card stats… and you did quite well. You collectively got only one question wrong and said you were up for more of a challenge.

All right, let’s do that then. In the form of a Statcast version of a 2019 Rays statistical quiz. Now, given the analytical tilt of this website, maybe readers will ace this exam as well, but it should (hopefully) be a bit more challenging. If not, I’ll come back with an absolute flamethrower of a quiz to put you all back in your place…… as the best fans in baseball, sorry, got worked up there.

On to the quiz.

[Note: Mobile users will not see the polls that are acting as the quiz, so you may want to switch methods of reading this...]

### Poll

#### Question #1 Which Rays pitcher had the biggest gap (absolute value) between his wOBA and xwOBA in 2019?

This poll is closed

###### Blake Snell

[Spoiler]

Blake Snell.

This is a tricky one because three of the pitchers (all but Glasnow) here were all within .008 of each other.

(I put Glasnow in here simply to gloat about the fact that his dominance was totally deserved, per Statcast, and that makes me very happy for 2020.)

For those unaware of what wOBA-xwOBA is, first of all, I’m not really sure what you’re doing taking a Statcast stats quiz, but briefly, it’s basically using Statcast metrics (launch angle, exit velocity) to calculate what a batter “deserved.” There can be small inadequacies on the edges (such as a batter’s speed not being accounted for), but it is a strong metric for determining who got “lucky” and “unlucky” when looked at on the extremes.

As such, Snell and Castillo both have decent shouts for positive regression in 2020, with wOBA-xwOBAs of .040 and .032, respectively. On the other side of the ledger is Chirinos, whose -.038 gap suggests he may have gotten a bit “lucky” although many smart baseball fans would yell at the use of lucky and unlucky as tied to these metrics. Let’s just say it wouldn’t be shocking for Snell and Castillo to see better results in 2020, while Chirinos might feel more pressed.

### Poll

#### Question #2: Among pitchers with at least 500 pitches, where did Jose Alvardo rank among pitchers in perceived velocity?

This poll is closed

###### First

[Spoiler]

He ranked first!

Yup, out of the 475 pitchers to reach the outlined minimum, not a single one had a higher average perceived velocity. With that in mind, I really hope the Rays give my main squeeze Alvarado a nice long leash to work with in 2020. Last year was a tough one for him, one in which he struggled on the field and had lots going on off it. Let’s hope he is able to use the offseason as a full reset, and that the Rays come back with him as a top option for this year.

### Poll

#### Question #3: Mike Zunino (no surprise), Mike Brosseau (arguably even less of a surprise), and Daniel Robertson (sad face) were the bottom three Rays by xwOBA in 2019. Who had the fourth-worst xwOBA?

This poll is closed

###### Kevin Kiermaier

[Spoiler]

Joey Wendle.

The 2020 season may well be a make or break season for the 2018 breakout Ray. Wendle came back to earth and came back to earth pretty hard in 2020, with a 70 OPS+ that he deserved every bit of. His .285 xwOBA suggests not that much positive regression, and while his 2018 was quite legitimate by the advanced metrics, there was more than just bad luck to his 2019 fall off.

Wendle represents a common theme across this roster, it seems like. Though the team itself seems to have a relatively low variance thanks to their extreme depth, it seems like many players on the team itself could be actually quite high variance in 2020. In fact, put a pin in that. It deserves a full article to itself…

(Lowe, similar to Glasnow in the previous question, was included not because he was actually close to the rest — KK at .292 and Duffman at .308 were much closer — but because his .327 xwOBA shows the type of strong start he had to his Rays debut, one that may be tricky to build on in 2020 given the depth the Rays have at 1B/DH. It will be interesting to see how the Rays play this situation, and whether Lowe could end up being a trade piece at the deadline, or whether he’s able to squeeze out one of the presumed players ahead of him on the depth chart right now.)

### Poll

#### Question #4: Tommy Pham had a 90.8 average exit velocity in 2019. What was Hunter Renfroe’s average exit velocity in 2019?

This poll is closed

###### 93.6

[Spoiler]

89.9.

Ok, yes, I’m drawing a somewhat false direct comp between these two, and thanks in part to the recent move for JMart and Arozarena, Renfroe is not going to have to be a one-for-one replacement for Tommy Two Times. And honestly, I think all things considered, the Rays get about a B/B- this offseason. But man, I still really don’t like shipping out your best player, even if he was showing signs of decline. But there’s a reason I’m typing this for y’all to read and not to hand to the Rays FO…

### Poll

#### Question #5: How many pitchers with at least 200 results allowed a lower average exit velocity than Ryan Yarbrough in 2019?

This poll is closed