Power-Speed Number — Player Analysis
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Stat of the Week
by Peter Liubicich
Power-Speed Number — Player Analysis
This post was written by Peter Liubicich on August 9, 2012
Posted Under: Stat of the Week

On Monday we began to look at a stat created by Bill James, the Power-Speed Number (PSN) which looks to evaluate both a hitter’s speed and power.

The formula for PSN, again, is: (2 x HR x SB)/(HR + SB)

And to recap some shortfalls with the statistic, if a player either hits no home runs or steals no bases in a season, their PSN will be zero and that Home Runs and Stolen Bases are weighted equally.

Alex Rodriguez put up the best PSN in a single season in MLB history in 1998 at the age of 22!  He had 42 Home Runs and 46 Stolen Bases that season, which when we you put it into the PSN calculation comes out to 43.9.  A-Rod would only come close to his PSN record once, in 2007, when he was AL MVP and hit 54 Home Runs and stole 24 bases for a PSN of 33.2.  A reason why his PSN never reached the 40’s again was because 1998 was the only season where A-Rod stole over 40 bases.

One player who appears to have the ability to one day break the PSN record for a single season is Mike Trout.  The 20-year old has 20 Home Runs and 36 Stolen Bases with 50 games left to play.  His PSN right now is 25.7, but his amazing aptitude to steal bases might help him break the single season PSN record along with his strong power, which should only increase with age.  The Angels future is very bright with a lineup that consists of Trout, Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols, along with Jered Weaver and Dan Haren heading the pitching rotation.

Barry Bonds holds the record for career PSN at 613.9, hitting 762 Home Runs and stealing 514 bases.  From 1990 to 1998, Bonds represented one of the best combinations of power and speed in the game.  During this nine-year period, Bonds averaged a PSN of an amazing 35.2.  He averaged just above 36 Home Runs and 36 Stolen Bases during this span, displaying how Bonds was a once-in-a generation player even before he turned into a predominantly Home Run hitter towards the end of his career.

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