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Nationals’ Jayson Werth is April’s most clutch batter


(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Jayson Werth is more than just some ballplayer with an amazing beard. He is April’s most clutch batter.

The Washington National’s outfielder has the highest win probability added (1.756) of any batter with 100 more plate appearances so far this season. That means he was more valuable to his team’s win total than Mike Trout (1.513), Giancarlo Stanton (1.443) and Troy Tulowitzki (1.270).

Part of the reason Werth’s WPA is so high is that he has been absolutely crushing the ball in high-leverage situations, a measure created by Tom Tango to illustrate how important a particular situation is in a game depending on the inning, score, outs and number of players on base.

For example, Werth is batting 0.476 with a 0.607 on-base percentage and 0.810 slugging percentage in high-leverage situations, including this double down the left field line in the ninth that tied the game.

And this grand slam in early April against Marlins’ pitcher Carlos Marmol in the bottom of the eight inning.

“Overall, I’m happy with the start, the way we are playing,” Werth told MLB.com. “We have a lot of come-from-behind wins, which is good. As the season goes on, you can build on those things. Those are tangible assets. I don’t know what people were expecting. I’m really focused on myself, talking care of my area, and just playing baseball. So far, I think we have succeeded.”

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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