At least not as the term is used in baseball. Hitting metrics can adjust for nothing (box score stats, AVG, OBP, etc), league and park (OPS+, wRC+, etc), or more detailed conditions (opposing pitcher and defense, umpire, color of the uniforms, proximity of Snoop Dogg, whatever). They don’t adjust for the position played. Hitting is hitting, regardless of who does it. Unless it’s not. While fooling around with the data for DRC+ really isn’t any good at predicting next year’s wOBA for team switchers and The DRC+ team-switcher claim is utter statistical malpractice some more, it looked for all the world like DRC+ had to be cheating, and it is.

To prove that, I looked at seasons with exactly 1 PA and 1 unintentional walk for the entire season, and the DRC+ for those seasons.

## NAME |
## YEAR |
## TEAM |
## DRC+ |
## DRC+ SD |

## Audry Perez |
## 2014 |
## Cardinals |
## 104 |
## 20 |

## Spencer Kieboom |
## 2016 |
## Nationals |
## 96 |
## 29 |

## John Hester |
## 2013 |
## Angels |
## 93 |
## 16 |

## Joey Gathright |
## 2011 |
## Red Sox |
## 89 |
## 24 |

## J.c. Boscan |
## 2010 |
## Braves |
## 78 |
## 25 |

## Mark Melancon |
## 2011 |
## Astros |
## 15 |
## 14 |

## George Sherrill |
## 2010 |
## Dodgers |
## 4 |
## 23 |

## Antonio Bastardo |
## 2014 |
## Phillies |
## 3 |
## 22 |

## Dan Runzler |
## 2011 |
## Giants |
## 2 |
## 19 |

## Jose Veras |
## 2011 |
## Pirates |
## 1 |
## 15 |

## Matt Reynolds |
## 2010 |
## Rockies |
## 1 |
## 12 |

## Tony Cingrani |
## 2016 |
## Reds |
## 0 |
## 25 |

## Antonio Bastardo |
## 2017 |
## Pirates |
## -1 |
## 17 |

## Javy Guerra |
## 2011 |
## Dodgers |
## -2 |
## 31 |

## Josh Stinson |
## 2011 |
## Mets |
## -10 |
## 11 |

## Aaron Thompson |
## 2011 |
## Pirates |
## -12 |
## 14 |

## Brandon League |
## 2013 |
## Dodgers |
## -13 |
## 17 |

## J.j. Hoover |
## 2014 |
## Reds |
## -14 |
## 32 |

## Santiago Casilla |
## 2011 |
## Giants |
## -15 |
## 12 |

## Jason Garcia |
## 2015 |
## Orioles |
## -16 |
## 12 |

## Chris Capuano |
## 2016 |
## Brewers |
## -17 |
## 17 |

## Edubray Ramos |
## 2016 |
## Phillies |
## -19 |
## 15 |

## Matt Guerrier |
## 2011 |
## Dodgers |
## -22 |
## 9 |

## Liam Hendriks |
## 2015 |
## Blue Jays |
## -24 |
## 15 |

## Phillippe Aumont |
## 2015 |
## Phillies |
## -28 |
## 20 |

## Randy Choate |
## 2015 |
## Cardinals |
## -28 |
## 52 |

## Joe Blanton |
## 2017 |
## Nationals |
## -30 |
## 12 |

## Jacob Barnes |
## 2017 |
## Brewers |
## -31 |
## 26 |

## Sean Burnett |
## 2012 |
## Nationals |
## -33 |
## 20 |

## Robert Carson |
## 2013 |
## Mets |
## -43 |
## 7 |

That’s a pretty good spread. The top 5 are position players, the rest are pitchers. DRC+ is blatantly cheating by assigning pitchers very low DRC+ values even when their offensive performance is good and not doing the same for 1-PA position players. wOBA and wRC+ don’t do this, as evidenced by Kieboom (#5) right there with 3 pitchers with the same seasonal stat line. It’s also not using data from prior seasons because that was Kieboom’s only career PA to date, and when Livan Hernandez debuted in 1996 for one game with 1 PA and 1 single, he got a DRC+ of -14 for his efforts. It’s just cheating, period. And it doesn’t learn either. Even when Bumgarner was hitting in 2014-2017, his DRC+s were -15, 4, -17, and -19.

I also included the DRC+ SDs here just to show that they’re complete nonsense. Pitcher Mark Melancon (15 +/- 14) has one career PA. Pitcher Robert Carson (-43 +/- 7) also has one career PA. Pitcher Randy Choate (-28 +/- 52) had one PA that year and 5 a decade earlier. What in the actual fuck?

The entire DRC+ project is a complete farce at this point. The outputs are a joke*** The SD values are nonsense (table above). The pillars it stands on are complete bullshit. It’s more descriptive of the current season than park adjusted stats because it’s not anywhere near a park-adjusted stat, even though it claims to be. It’s more predictive than park-adjusted stats for next year’s team because it’s somewhat regressed, meaning it basically can’t lose, and it’s also cheating the same way descriptiveness does by keeping a bunch of park factor. Its claimed “substantial improvement over predicting wOBA for team switchers” is statistical malpractice to begin with, and now we see that the one area where it did predict significantly better than regressed wOBA, very-low-PA players, is driven by (almost) ignoring actual results for pitchers and saying they sucked at the plate no matter how well they really hit (and treating low-PA position players with the exact same stat lines as average-ish).

***Check out DRA- land where Billy Wagner is 26 percent more valuable on a per-inning basis than Mariano Rivera and almost as valuable for his career. I love Billy Wagner, but still, come on.

RIP 12/29/2018. Comment F to pay respects.

Another great analysis. Have you looked to see if other positions are used to regress performance, beyone the pitcher vs. non-pitcher distinction? It’s interesting that the two highest DRC+ non-pitchers both appeared as PH in their seasons, while the lowest (Boscan) was a catcher. If position is being used, you would expect catchers to be regressed toward a lower mean.

I took a look at non-pitchers who went 0-for-1 (divided between those with 1 K and those with 0 K), which expands the sample a bit. For many of these 1 PA guys it’s hard to know what position DRC+ might assign them (for example, a lot enter a game as PR or PH and then play a couple innings in the field). But in general, it appears that unambiguous catchers are assigned a DRC+ of 70-80, while the outfielders and 1B often are awarded a DRC+ of 80-100 (but not always). I suspect that even among non-pitchers, the low-PA players are regressed based on their fielding position.

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I hadn’t looked, but your finding doesn’t surprise me given how DRC+ treats pitchers.

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