The Yankees are the 10th grittiest team in baseball

In a feature that has both amused and confounded me, Max Weinstein of Beyond the Boxscore has determined who the grittiest players and teams are in the Majors.

I think you’ll be shocked by some of the results.

Weinstein’s summary is as follows:

1) A player steals his share of bases.(SB)

2) A player that can field his position. (Fld+Pos)

3) A player that makes a lot of contact. (Contact %)

4) A player who has a high walk to strikeout ratio. (BB-K)

5) A player who has a good amount of sacrifice hits and flies. (SH+SF)

6) A player that shows best effort by accumulating infield hits. (IFH)

7) A player that sacrifice bunts + bunts for hits. (BU+BUH)

Then Weinstein revealed his formula:

“GRIT” = (0.309)*((SB-lgAVG(SB))+(0.389)*((Fld+Pos)-lgAVG(Fld+Pos))+(0.0319)*((Contact%-lgAVG (Contact%))+(0.5123)*((BB – lgAVG(BB))-(0.2117)*((K -lgAVG(K))+(0.0466)*((SF+SH)-lgAVG(SF+SH))+(0.104)*((IFH+BUH+BU)-lgAVG(IFH+BUH+BU))+(0.283)*((BsR-lgAVG(BsR))+(0.363))

(I’m not much of a stathead so this formula actually scares the bejeezus out of me. I, unfortunately, lost any mathematical prowess I had over the last two decades that I have been out of high school and I purposely picked majors in college that didn’t require a lot of math. Look, I didn’t know baseball blogging would be a thing back in 1992, if I had, I would have signed up for more math classes.)

Now, in my head, I have a list of players that I assume would be named as the grittiest and Weinstein’s list didn’t stray from that. Players like Jose Reyes, Dustin Pedroia and Coco Crisp are in the Top 25. I also wasn’t surprised about the  Top 25 least grittiest list which features players like Alfonso Soriano, Josh Hamilton and Curtis Granderson. Though I was surprised to see Cody Ross on the “not-so-gritty” list. I figured his bat flips alone would bump him up to the gritty list.

Weinstein also listed which teams are the grittiest using his formula and, well, I was actually pretty surprised that the Yankees even made the Top 10. I don’t think of the Yankees as gritty, I think of a team full of David Ecksteins and Ben Zobrists.

The Atlanta Braves led the way with the highest GRIT score in the Majors and the surprising least gritty team honor goes to the Baltimore Orioles.

Be sure to read Weinstein’s entire piece, which is linked in the beginning of this post, to see the rest of his findings, the results and the full lists.

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.

9 thoughts on “The Yankees are the 10th grittiest team in baseball

  1. John

    I'm all for advanced metrics, but this one seems a little hokey to me.

    • Stacey Gotsulias

      I think that was the point. That’s how I took it.

      • John

        Ah gotcha. Been a long day at work. I'm taking everything too seriously today.

        • Stacey Gotsulias

          No worries.

  2. Frank S.

    Baltimore will be more "gritty" this year now that they jettisoned a few of their high wiff/low contact guys.

  3. It seems like speed is unreasonably represented here, as if being slow precludes grittiness.

  4. OldYanksFan

    I didn't see a DoU factor!!!
    (Dirt on Uniform)

    • aaron

      true, the red sox are among the least gritty teams in baseball… but when they have dirt on the helmet, the grit factor triples.

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