Around this time last year 90min answered the question that no one asked:
Can baseball stats be used to determine the effectiveness of the Premier League’s top 10 goalscorers?
And now we’re back, and we’re ready to do it all over again.
Using the following methodology:
BA/SA (batting average/shooting average) = shots to goals.
SLG (slugging percentage) = (number of assists + 3 x number of goals)/shots on goal.
We at 90min have crunched some baseball inspired numbers, and analysed just how good the Premier League’s very best forwards have been this season.
10. Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Comparable to: Joc Pederson (LA Dodgers)
We kick start with a Joc Pederson level ‘home run or bust’ type player. DLC’s shooting average is fairly decent, largely because of his run of five goals in seven games prior to football, you know, stopping.
His SLG on the other hand is fairly poor, and that’s largely because Calvert-Lewin doesn’t do assists.
9. Tammy Abraham
Comparable to: Rougend Odor (Texas Rangers)
Tammy Abraham’s .216 shooting average should be pretty grim reading for Chelsea fans.
Because it means that about 80% of his shots on goal result in…well, nothing.
8. Raul Jimenez
Comparable to: Hunter Renfroe (San Diego Padres)
13 goals is pretty decent, right?
Six assists is pretty decent, right?
.173 shooting average is pretty decent, right? WRONG. IT’S NOT DECENT. IT’S ABSOLUTELY AWFUL.
And it’s ABSOLUTELY AWFUL because 62 of the 75 times Raul Jimenez took a shot at goal…he really shouldn’t have bothered his head.
7. Marcus Rashford
Comparable to: Miguel Sano (Minnesota Twins)
Marcus Rashford isn’t exactly a ‘natural finisher’ – his fairly average SA is proof of that.
But when you consider that the Man Utd youngster scored his 14 goals in just 22 games (his injury in mid-January saw him miss the bulk of the second half of the season), his stats are still pretty damn impressive.
6. Sadio Mane
Comparable to: Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis Cardinals)
When this article was written last year, Sadio Mane had scored 17 goals, his shooting average was a pretty unbelievable .293, and he was on course to win the Premier League Golden Boot.
This year, he’s scored three fewer goals and his shooting average is markedly down, but bah gawd has he made up for it with assists and a huge rise in his SLG (from 1.207 to 1.296 – it’s huge, swear).
5. Danny Ings
Comparable to: J.D. Martinez (Boston Red Sox)
Comparing one of the best hitters of the last decade – J.D. Martinez – to Danny Ings seems a bit weird because, well, Danny Ings is not one of the best strikers of the last decade.
During the 2019/20 season however, Ings has converted chances at an alarmingly impressive rate.
His 15 goals off of just 49 shots on goal (.306 BA/SA) make him one of the most clinical strikers in the Premier League.
Ings is swinging for the fences – and it’s working.
4. Sergio Aguero
Comparable to: Cody Bellinger (LA Dodgers)
Did we think it was possible for Sergio Aguero to become more clinical in front of goal?
Did we think it was possible for Cody Bellinger to nearly double his output at the plate in a single season?
Yes. Yes they have.
Sergio Aguero has upped his SA/BA from .247 (which isn’t great) to a whopping .307, and Cody Bellinger went from hitting 25 home runs in 2018 to 47 in 2019.
Nice one lads.
3. Mohamed Salah
Comparable to: Manny Machado (San Diego Padres)
16 goals and six assists – that sounds like one damn good season.
But it doesn’t really feel like Mohamed Salah is having a ‘damn good season’, does it? And that’s largely because the forward’s shooting average and SLG is much, much, MUCH lower than anyone else in the top five.
He’s taken 69 shots on goal this season – only bettered by Jimenez on this list – and has converted less than a quarter of these.
That’s not ‘damn good’.
2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Comparable to: Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers)
Last season Raheem Sterling broke the scale. This season *spoiler alert* two players have broken the scale – and one of these players is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
His .361 BA/SA is up by nearly .060 from last year.
It’s also ridiculous.
It simply doesn’t happen in baseball – as exemplified by the fact that the highest batting average in baseball last season was .335 (achieved by Tim Anderson of the White Sox).
Auba is ridiculous.
1. Jamie Vardy
Comparable to: Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals)
No one scored the ball better than Anthony Rendon in MLB last season (126 RBI’s – the most in baseball) and no one scored more goals during the 2019/20 season than Jamie Vardy.
Along with Aubameyang, Vardy has BROKEN THE SCALE by being just remarkably clinical in front of goal.
19 of his 53 shots have resulted in goals, and his decent return of four assists makes his SLG the highest on this list by quite a distance.
Pretty, pretty good.