MLB Metrics 101: The Least Clutch Players of Baseball – Bleacher Report
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The Yankees are mainly worried about snapping Aaron Judge out of his second-half slump. But even if he can do that, he’ll still have to find his way out of clutch purgatory.
The rookie’s leverage splits break down like so:
- Low Leverage: 1.045 OPS
- Medium Leverage: .963 OPS
- High Leverage: .924 OPS
Like Goldschmidt, part of the reason Judge’s clutch is in the red is that he sets such a high bar to clear with his hitting in lower-pressure situations. His OPS in low leverage, for instance, ranks third in the league.
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But also like Goldschmidt, Judge’s relatively strong performance in high leverage doesn’t tell the whole story.
He gets a reality check under FanGraphs‘ higher standards for high leverage, as he goes from a .924 OPS and seven homers to a .912 OPS and four homers. And even for Baseball Reference, he’s hurt the Yankees’ win probability in 65 of 107 high-leverage plate appearances.
Thus, he only ranks fifth on the Yankees in WPA despite ranking first in WAR. Whereas Goldschmidt’s clutch struggles are a mere inconvenience for the Diamondbacks, Judge’s are a burden for the Yankees.