Clutch — Player Analysis
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Stat of the Week
by Peter Liubicich
Clutch — Player Analysis
This post was written by Peter Liubicich on January 31, 2013
Posted Under: Stat of the Week

This week we are looking at the statistic Clutch.  To refresh your memory about the purpose of the statistic,

“Clutch aims to tell us how a player performs in highly leveraged situations compared to context neutral situations and how much better or worse they hit in those “Clutch” moments.  What clutch does is compare a player to himself, as a player who hits .300 in “Clutch” situations and hits .300 over the course of a season is not as “Clutch” as a player who hits .300 in “Clutch” situations and hits .260 over the course of a season.”

Below we have the most clutch players from last season and 2011 and the least clutch from 2012 according to FanGraphs

2012 Most Clutch

2012 Least Clutch

2011 Most Clutch

FanGraphs tells us Clutch is not a good indicator of performance from year to year and this holds true comparing the past two season.  For example, Josh Hamilton was the second most Clutch player in MLB in 2011, but in 2012 he was the 17th least Clutch player.  Another example is Miguel Cabrera who in 2011 was the 8th most Clutch player, but in 2012 he was the 12th least Clutch player.  While Clutch does not tell us definitively if a player will come through the next season in high pressure situations, it does help explain how a player performed in the previous season and paint a clearer picture of their contribution to their team.

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