Introducing wFLAMBOYANCE+


A young Goliath prances beneath a flamboyant tree. But is he himself flamboyant? via

As long as men and women have gathered to watch athletes go toe to toe, one virtue has been praised above all others: grit. As the poet Virgil once said:

Durate et vosmet rebus servate secundis

Roughly translated, this means "I'll take a guy with guts, determination, and the will to win over some fancy pants bat flipper any day of the week."

However, as time has gone on, more and more have come to recognize the beauty inherent in baseball flamboyancy. The overly dramatic one handed follow through, the unnecessary shoestring basket catch, and the merits of the flat billed cap have all come to be appreciated by a large portion of the baseball community.

As flamboyance becomes more and more desirable in a baseball player, it would behoove the saber community to create a metric that can be used to evaluate player flamboyance. Thus is born wFLAMBOYANCE+

Much like wRC+, wFLAMBOYANCE+ can be used to evaluate baseball players based around the idea that a value of 100 denotes an average flamboyance score, while higher values denote more flamboyant players. To calculate wFLAMBOYANCE+, I have broken baseball flamboyance into 3 main parts: FlamBATyance, FIELDboyance, and Natural Flamboyance.


FlamBATyance measures the offensive component of wFLAMBOYANCE+. BAT for short, this area of flamboyance is comprised of 4 sections, each worth 25% of the overall BAT score.

  1. Swing Flamboyance: If you are a flamboyant player, you didn't come to the major leagues to let the pitcher determine the outcome of your plate appearance. Therefore, your swinging percentage will be higher as you attempt to use the gifts God gave you to blast that ball over the wall no matter how far outside, above your head, or in the dirt the pitch might be. This component is determined by finding the z-score of each player's swinging percentage.
  2. Pace Flamboyance: Naturally, if you are a flamboyant player, you wear plenty of equipment to protect your beautiful, moisturized skin during an at bat. Batting gloves, wristbands, shin guards, elbow armor, and others must all be slightly adjusted between every pitch. Therefore, your "pace" or the amount of time between pitches during your at bat, will likely be greater than the average player. This component is determined by finding the z-score of each player's pace.
  3. Extra Base Flamboyance: If you are a gritty, play the game the right way kind of guy, you would never dream of taking third base when you've hit a double. You wouldn't want to show up the pitcher like that, it really goes against the spirit of the game. Flamboyant players, however, have no qualms about zipping around second to slide headfirst into third on a liner into the right field corner. Therefore, this component is determined by the number of two baggers stretched into three baggers, the z-score of each player's 3B/2B.
  4. Homer Flamboyance: Flamboyant players agree: fly outs are for the Scooter Gennetts of the world. You are interested in one thing only: hitting the ball a friggin long way. Therefore, this component is determined by finding the z-score of each player's HR/FB ratio.


FIELDboyance (FIELD for short) is the component of wFLAMBOYANCE+ that is derived from the defensive aspects of a flamboyant player. FIELD is comprised of two sections, worth 90% and 10% of the FIELD score respectively.

  1. General Fielding Flamboyance: As a flamboyant player, you recognize that no one pays good hard money to watch routine plays. Therefore, you often perform them halfheartedly, sometimes forgoing them altogether in favor of watching birds or the pretty clouds float by. However, tough plays are right in your wheel house. You love nothing more than to lunge horizontally across the diamond to snag a tough grounder or to leap like an Olympian frog to cradle a would-be home run in the web of your glove. This component is determined by inverting the difference between 60-100 percentile plays made and 1-40 percentile plays made, then finding the z-score.
  2. Outfield Assist Flamboyance: Let's get real: there is no sexier play in baseball than an outfield assist. Gunning someone out at the plate from the warning track is as flamboyant as it gets. This component of FIELD score is determined by finding the z-score of each player's number of outfield assists. Sorry infielders. Maybe you shouldn't have played such a gritty position.

Natural Flamboyance

The final aspect of wFLAMBOYANCE+ is determined by those qualities that are naturally inherent in a flamboyant person. They are weighted at 70% and 30% respectively.

  1. Flamboyance Due to Age: Unfortunately, as one gets older in baseball, one must unfailingly become grittier. Even if you spent your career pirouetting around the infield with neck tats and bright red glove, you will be considered a gritty veteran once you hit 30. This component of Natural Flamboyance is determined by the inverse z-score of each player's age.
  2. Flamboyance Due to Vowels: The more vowels you have in your name, the more difficult it is for baseball commentators to pronounce your name, the more exotic you seem, and thus the more flamboyant you inherently are. This component of Natural Flamboyance is determined by the z-score of the number of vowels each player has in their name.


To finalize wFLAMBOYANCE+, the three components mentioned above were combined in equal parts and scaled so that 100 would be the mean. Let's begin by looking at the least flamboyant players so far in this 2014 season:



J.J. Hardy is the winner, if by winner you mean loser. He is a product of another baseball era, and would probably be more suited to the time period after the Sultan of Swat flamboyantly called his shots by pointing to the outfield bleachers but before baseball players started doing fun things, like bat flipping or cocaine. Also of note are Jimmy Rollins, Jason Werth, Ian Kinsler, and YEAH JEETS, all of whom have had long, gritty, determined, boring, boring careers.

Without further ado, let's see who our most flamboyant players in 2014 have been:

Okay, let's have a little bit further ado. Note that I did not include pitchers as capable of flamboyance on the baseball field. This is because they are not flamboyant. They are basically machines, streamlined to maintain a certain rate of performance. When broken, they will be thrown by the wayside like so many Irish orphans during the potato famines. No flamboyance there.

Now, our most flamboyant players of 2014:



Your winner by a healthy margin is Astro George Springer, whose young, exciting brand of swinging at basically everything has propelled him to the top. Also of note are Billy Hamilton, who can turn a game into a flamboyant base running circus just by getting on base, Jason Heyward, whose flamboyancy drove Brian McCann out of Atlanta, Yasiel Puig, whose theatrics are loved by some and reviled by others, and Yadier Molina, whose fielding prowess has allowed him to hang on to the number five spot despite his age pulling down is Natural Flamboyance.

Thank you for reading, this has been AN INTRODUCTION TO wFLAMBOYANCE+


George Springer flamboyantly discovers the New World via