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.