August 29, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez (24) reacts at second base after hitting a double against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fifth inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Pedro Alvarez is red-hot at the plate right now. Over the past five games his offensive slashes are .579/.600/1.210 OPS 1.810. After Wednesday night's game against the Cardinals THE topic of conversation among Pirates' fans and commentators alike is the "streaky" nature of Pedro's 2012 season. Given the interest in the topic, I decided to quickly identify, isolate and measure what we might call Pedro's cold, hot and neutral streaks. Graphs and tables after the jump.
Pedro Alvarez's Season By RE24
The bar graph below shows Pedro's RE24 score for every game he has played. RE24 basically tells us how many runs a player contributed to his team. It is a somewhat context sensitive metric in that it takes into account how many runners are on base and how many outs are left in the inning when the hitter came to the plate. I used this metric because a hitter's job is to help his team score runs. A truly hot hitter is helping his team score runs; a cold one is not.
The games are divided by Pedro's games played. In other words, there are only 118 data points because he has only played in 118 games. I have divided his games played into six periods which I judged to be cold, hot and neutral streaks. (Click to enlarge) (All data from baseballreference.com)
Pedro's Statistics During Cold, Hot and Moderate Streaks
The table below displays Alvarez's statistics for each of the streaks identified in the table above. Everything is pretty self-explanatory. (Click on image to enlarge.)
This table displays Pedro's aggregate statistics during hot and cold streaks.
Finally, the pie chart shows the percentage plate appearances in which Pedro has been in a cold, hot or neutral streak.
- 16 of Alvarez's 26 home runs (62 percent) have come during periods in which he is hot.
- 43 of his 73 RBIs (60 percent) have come during hot streaks.
- The Pirates record is 22-22 during Alvarez's cold streaks; 23-15 when he is hot; 17-19 when he is neutral.
- During cold streaks, Pedro's K% is 36 percent. When hot, it is 23 percent.
Pedro Alvarez certainly has been a streaky hitter in 2012. Whether this is a trait that will define is career is obviously unknown at this point. Indeed, the whole concept of streaky hitters may be nothing more than a statistical anomaly. I haven't studied that question enough to know. The data provided here is just meant to quantify what we've all seen. When Pedro is "hot" he is an elite bat; when cold he disappears.