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DRC+ is the Deserved Runs Created for a batter, scaled to a 100-based index. It tells us how valuable a player's offensive contribution is by assigning appropriate credit to plate appearance outcomes and applying contextual factors like park effects and opponent quality.
Learn more about DRC+ at our DRC+ Showcase page.
Traditional metrics compromise accuracy in two ways: (1) they summarize play outcomes in which players were involved, not player contributions to those outcomes; and (2) they treat all outcomes as equally likely to be driven by the player, even though no one believes that is true.
DRC+ addresses the first problem by rejecting the assumption that play outcomes equal player contributions, and forces players to demonstrate a consistent ability to generate those outcomes over time to get full credit for them. DRC+ addresses the second problem by recognizing that certain outcomes (walks, strikeouts) are more attributable to player skill than others (singles, triples). DRC+ gives more weight to extreme performances in the former (because they are probably meaningful) and less weight to extreme performances in the latter (because they are less likely to be meaningful). By addressing these two deficiencies in existing metrics, DRC+ ends up being substantially more reliable and predictive than any other baseball hitting metric. (The PA-level opponent and park adjustments don’t hurt either). The Top 15 undervalued players are not “undervalued” in the sense that they are hidden Hall of Famers; they get undervalued by OPS / wOBA / SLG / wRC+ / whatever because those metrics do not weight each event by the likelihood it was driven by the player himself, as opposed to random variance.
A player like Alberto Callaspo has somewhat extreme numbers in metrics DRC+ considers uniquely likely to be driven by the player: healthy walk rates and exceptionally low strikeout rates. Callaspo saved runs every year, on average, by striking out very infrequently. He was above average in walks for a while, although not every season. One consequence of not striking out so much is that he was hitting more singles, and consistently gets credit for hitting more singles than average. The point isn’t that Callaspo is some great player: it is that DRC+ better understands how “real” his contributions were than other metrics, because the latter make no effort to distinguish the various aspects of his game. It brings the same, more sophisticated perspective to other players also.
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