Who's Hot and Who's Not

May 26, 2011

Want to know how "hot" or "cold" your favorite players or team are, and to what degree? Well, Bill James came up with a way to translate recent performance into a temperature. It's a cool (or, should we say, hot) system that provides added insight into to the notion of hot and cold streaks.

In his own words, James' temperature system "gives you a quick read on how hot or cold a hitter is at the moment. Every hitter starts the season at 'room temperature' (72 degrees) and then tracks upward or downward with each at-bat, depending on what he does."

Here are the five hottest hitters in baseball:

Hottest Hitters- May 27
Player, Team Temperature
Carl Crawford, Bos 109°
Brendan Ryan, Sea 103°
Nolan Reimold, Bal 102°
David Ortiz, Bos 99°
Matt Joyce, TB 99°

After starting the season in a serious slump, Carl Crawford has bounced back and is now the hottest player in baseball. Crawford is 8-9 with a slugging percentage of 1.555 in his last 2 games. The second-hottest hitter is Brendan Ryan, who has 7 hits in his last 11 at bats. Ryan has come a long way since May 4th, when he had a temperature of 46°. It has been one great month for the Mariners' infielder. Rounding out the hottest hitters list is Matt Joyce, who is leading the league in batting average (.367).

How about the hot teams?

Hottest Teams- May 27
Team Temperature
Milwaukee Brewers 109°
Boston Red Sox 107°
Arizona Diamondbacks 104°
St. Louis Cardinals 94°
Florida Marlins 93°

The Milwaukee Brewers are currently on a 6-game winning streak and have won 13 of their last 16 games. The Brewers' hot streak began shortly after the return of ace starter Zack Greinke. The Boston Red Sox, after starting the season 2-10, drastically heated up and are 11-2 in their last 13 games. The Arizona Diamondbacks are the third hottest team and are also 9-1 in their last 10.

The coldest teams and hitters aren't yet below the freezing point, but they are getting close.

Coldest Teams- May 27
Team Temperature
Kansas City Royals 38°
Washington Nationals 40°
Colorado Rockies 42°
Minnesota Twins 44°
Los Angeles Dodgers 49°

The Kansas City Royals and the Washington Nationals are both in the middle of 5-game losing streaks. The Royals have lost 10 of their last 12 games, and the Nationals have lost 9 of their last 12. Injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg make it more difficult for the Nationals to heat back up.

And the coldest hitters?

Coldest Hitters- May 27
Player, Team Temperature
Rob Johnson, SD 38°
Tony Gwynn, LAD 41°
Jonny Gomes, Cin 41°
Dan Uggla, Atl 42°
Peter Bourjos, LAA 44°

Measuring in at 38°, Rob Johnson is the coldest hitter. Johnson has only 3 hits in his last 40 at-bats, dropping his batting average to .176. Dan Uggla is the fourth-coldest hitter at 42°, and is the only player in the five coldest players who has more than 200 plate appearances.

For a daily weather report on baseball, check out Bill James Online.



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