GPH is a baseball term like no other. The game of baseball isn’t what our parents and grandparents were used to. Back in the day when you turned over a baseball card your eyes immediately went to see how many home runs that player smashed, you looked for their batting average and how many they drove in. Those combined stats were a fan’s gauge on how great a respective player was.
Those stats still mean something today absolutely, but no longer are they the end all be all when determining how effective a player is. With the rise of Sabermetrics over the last decade-plus, new stats have come to light. Now metrics like WAR and OPS help us to identify who has the most significant impact. Beyond that, you have weighted stats like wRC+ that take into account different environments.
Never before have stats been so extensive to help measure player impact. Front offices around the league now employ data analysts that help break down data to find ways to use it to give their club an advantage on the field. Even those not employed by teams have found ways to interpret data and create new metrics.
What Is GPH?
For this one, we must pay our respects to the creator of what is Good Piece of Hitting (GPH). World-renowned YouTuber Foolish Bailey invented GPHtoo to measure a hitter’s effectiveness and keep the definition simple enough for the average baseball fan to understand. The full explanation is here.
GPH is simple. It measures the percentage of plate appearances for a batter that results in a walk or contacts greater than or equal to 95 mph. Simple enough, right? No weights applied, no fancy formulas, no college-level math courses needed to understand.
No stat is perfect, no matter how bright its creator is. GPH is no different. Yes, GPH aims to identify the game’s most potent hitters, but there are some holes. One of them is that a player can succeed with a less than stellar GPH %. Not every hit has to be a rocket, and not every effective hitter has to draw lots of walks. Reference Bailey’s video for more context of the strengths and weaknesses. Essentially, any time we get an opportunity to evaluate the best of, the best we should take it.
2021 Red Sox GPH
Amongst the leaderboard is some usual suspects. Rafael Devers has showcased the highest GPH% amongst the squad. To add more context Devers is 31st overall in GPH% amongst all MLB players with at least 250 plate appearances.
The Boston Red Sox offense also boasts seven players in the top 75th percentile in terms of GPH%. Of those seven players, none of these should be a surprise. Devers, Martinez, and Bogaerts are among the game’s best on offense yearly. Players like Kyle Schwarber, Enrique Hernandez, and Hunter Renfroe are putting up some of the best numbers of their careers.
2021 Red Sox GPH Rankings (Min 250 PA)
|Player||PA||Hard Hits||Hard Hit %||BB||BB%||GPH||GPH%||GPH% MLB Percentile Rank|
So there we have it, the 2021 Red Sox and their leaders in terms of GPH%. Again, is this stat full-proof? No, take someone like the newest Red Sox member Jose Iglesias. He boasts a reasonably low GPH, but he has done nothing but hit since coming to the team (.382/.447/.588). No one who’s paid any attention to the Sox would argue Christian Vazquez is a more reliable hitter right now than Jose Iglesias. Another thing to consider is this: Bobby Dalbec, who has been ripping the cover off the ball since the All-Star break. While his slash line is .292/.374/.643 is still paying for the sins of his putrid first half, a dismal slash of .219/.264/.409.
Nevertheless, the top of the list is about right. There are many ways to evaluate good hitters, and GPH gives us another tool in the arsenal. But wait, there’s more! There are two sides to the ball. Not only can good pieces of hitting be measured, but there is also a way to evaluate pitchers. Next, we explore GPP.
2014 USC Grad (Fight On!) - I was born to love baseball. I was born in Cooperstown so my love for the game was natural. As a Reds fan growing up in southern Ohio some of my fondest memories were watching Ken Griffey Jr. hit bombs out of Riverfront Stadium. My love for the Red Sox grew in 2001 when Manny Ramirez came to town.
Over the last 10 years I've been able to write for several sites, covering the NFL and NBA. My ultimate dream is to be a baseball writer for MLB or even my own site.
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