2003 New York Yankees Baseball Graphs Review

Following are graphs and commentary regarding the 2003 season of the New York Yankees. Questions or comments can be sent to me at dave@baseballgraphs.com.



AL East Standings The American League East Race

The Yankees started out the season incredibly strong and, by late April, it looked like they were totally going to run away with the title. But they slumped in May and into June, were challenged by the Red Sox (and the Blue Jays, for a while) but eventually won the division with a combination of very good hitting, outstanding pitching down the stretch, and lousy fielding.





Comments How to Read this Graph

The Yankees didn't have the best run differential team in the league, the Mariners did. But a positive four-game Pythagorean differential resulted in the best won/loss record in the league (and the Mariners' awful negative five game differential).

If you move your mouse over the graph, you'll see that the Yankees' position relative to the rest of the league didn't change between the midyear point and the end of the season. This is a little misleading, as we'll see in a minute.

The Yankees probably had the third-best offense in the league, behind the Red Sox and Blue Jays (amazing how the top three offensive teams were all in the same division). Actually, the Yankees' probably had a greater number of run elements going their way; their team OBP was second to only Boston. But the Jays out-hit them in the clutch.

Move your mouse over this graph to view the status of each team at the season's midpoint (July 1st).


Pitching and Fielding

Fielding Independent Pitching is based on the following formula: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. Defense Efficiency Ratio is (Non-catcher putouts/Batted Balls in Play), adjusted for ballpark. Circle sizes in this graph are proportional to the percent of fieldable balls successfully converted into outs by the fielders.
The Yankees' Pitching and Fielding

The Yankees had the best pitching in the league and the worst fielding in the league. Period. Luckily for them, pitching is more important then fielding. So they were fourth in the league in Runs Allowed.

Even Jeff Weaver's FIP was better than average (1.02). But the DER of balls hit off him was .663. Pitcher? Fielders? Luck? You decide.

Mussina's FIP was an excellent 0.05; Rivera's was negative (-0.81) and Clemens, Petitte and Wells were all below 1.00 (0.3, 0.5 and 0.8, respectively)

On the field, Posada had decent catching stats, Ventura and Boone were solid at third, and Soriano somehow came out fourth in fielding Win Shares at 2b. But that's about all you can say.
How to Read this Graph



Yankees Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .388 .326 .366 .347 .355 .355
SLG .516 .406 .457 .405 .456 .474
FIP -0.15 0.53 0.70 1.19 0.93 0.06
DER .692 .695 .717 .716 .692 .721
The DER stats in this table are based on limited data; the trend between months per team is more valid than the absolute number.
The Yankees Day-by-Day

The Yankees' April was the best month in the league (20-6; tied with Arizona's June for best in the majors). As mentioned, they came back down to earth in May but picked it up again in June, when they were 20-7. Both the pitching and hitting hit their best levels in April, against some decent competition.

The offense slipped badly in May, but bounced back in June and sort of found its level the rest of the summer.

The Yankees' pitching was phenomenal in September, allowing them to fend off the competition. Jose Contreras, in particular, was awesome down the stretch. Every starter except Mussina pitched well that last month. Mussina was only average. But it must be said that September was perhaps the easiest portion of New York's schedule -- they played 18 of their last 21 games against the Tigers, Devil Rays, and Orioles.



New York Yankees' Win Shares

Player          Team    Pos     Hit     Field   Pitch   Sum     WS 	
--------	-----	----	----	----	-----	-----	---	
J Posada        NYY     C       20.22   7.53    0.00    27.75   28	
J Giambi        NYY     1B      26.04   1.63    0.00    27.68   28	
A Soriano       NYY     2B      20.71   6.67    0.00    27.38   27	
H Matsui        NYY     OF      16.40   2.49    0.00    18.89   19	
M Mussina       NYY     P       0.00    0.00    18.62   18.62   19	
D Jeter         NYY     SS      16.45   1.36    0.00    17.81   18	
M Rivera        NYY     P       0.00    0.00    17.49   17.49   18	
R Clemens       NYY     P       0.00    0.00    15.47   15.47   15	
A Pettitte      NYY     P       0.00    0.00    14.62   14.62   15	
N Johnson       NYY     1B      13.31   1.18    0.00    14.49   14	
D Wells         NYY     P       0.00    0.00    14.46   14.46   14	
B Williams      NYY     OF      10.29   2.84    0.00    13.13   13	
R Ventura       NYY     3B      5.81    3.49    0.00    9.31    9	
R Mondesi       NYY     OF      5.65    1.58    0.00    7.23    7	
C Hammond       NYY     P       0.00    0.00    7.04    7.04    7	
J Contreras     NYY     P       0.00    0.00    6.78    6.78    7	
A Boone         NYY     3B      3.12    2.71    0.00    5.83    6	
K Garcia        NYY     OF      3.68    0.92    0.00    4.60    5	
J Rivera        NYY     OF      3.58    0.69    0.00    4.27    4	
A Osuna         NYY     P       0.00    0.00    3.66    3.66    4	
J Flaherty      NYY     C       1.20    1.73    0.00    2.92    3	
T Zeile         NYY     3B      1.20    1.39    0.00    2.59    3	
R Sierra        NYY     OF      2.38    0.15    0.00    2.53    3	
J Weaver        NYY     P       0.00    0.00    2.08    2.08    2	
E Wilson        NYY     SS      0.87    1.18    0.00    2.05    2	
F Heredia       NYY     P       0.00    0.00    1.60    1.60    2	
J De Paula      NYY     P       0.00    0.00    1.56    1.56    2	
J Nelson        NYY     P       0.00    0.00    1.52    1.52    2	
G White         NYY     P       0.00    0.00    1.47    1.47    1	
A Reyes         NYY     P       0.00    0.00    1.26    1.26    1	
A Benitez       NYY     P       0.00    0.00    1.20    1.20    1	
E Almonte       NYY     SS      0.86    0.30    0.00    1.16    1	
B Claussen      NYY     P       0.23    0.00    0.89    1.11    1	
S Hitchcock     NYY     P       0.00    0.00    1.01    1.01    1	
J Anderson      NYY     P       0.00    0.00    0.85    0.85    1	
C Latham        NYY     OF      0.32    0.04    0.00    0.36    0	
M Hernandez     NYY     C       0.23    0.12    0.00    0.34    0	
D Dellucci      NYY     OF      0.00    0.26    0.00    0.26    0	
D Henson        NYY     3B      0.00    0.15    0.00    0.15    0	
D Miceli        NYY     P       0.00    0.00    0.13    0.13    0	
B Trammell      NYY     DH      0.00    0.12    0.00    0.12    0	
C Gipson        NYY     OF      0.02    0.06    0.00    0.09    0	
C Pride         NYY     OF      0.00    0.04    0.00    0.04    0	
L Sojo          NYY     2B      0.00    0.03    0.00    0.03    0	
F Seguignol     NYY     1B      0.00    0.03    0.00    0.03    0	
J Acevedo       NYY     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
R Choate        NYY     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
J Orosco        NYY     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
B Prinz         NYY     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
	
The Yankees' Individual Players

The Yankees' big three of Giambi, Soriano and Posada were the heart of the team. And it must be remembered that although Jeter can be criticized for his fielding, he is still one of the best offensive shortstops around.

Of the top 18 pitchers ranked by Win Shares, five were Yankees. 'Nuff said.

Starting in June, the Yanks made a number of moves to improve the team. These included a trade for Ruben Sierra (3 Win Shares), Armando Benitez (1 Win Share on his way to Seattle, in exchange for...) Jeff Nelson (2), Karim Garcia (5) and Aaron Boone (5). Along the way, they traded away several contributors, including Raul Mondesi, Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile. It's not clear that any of this wheeling and dealing helped.

Regardless, the Yankees had another great year, punctuated by stretches of outstanding baseball.

You can view all American League Win Shares data via the following links:
All Players, Top to Bottom
Players Ranked by Position
Players Fielding WS by Position