For those of you who are new to this blog, linear weights is a system that measures offensive performance. It is calculated by first looking at every event that happened on the field from 2002-2004, then getting the average runs that a team scored after the event. For example, a single creates .465 runs, a stolen base creates .178 runs, and a strike out costs you .287 runs. Once you have the values for all the events, you simply add up the values for all of a player's events, and you get that player's linear weights value. This value represents the runs this player contributed above an average player.
Ryan Howard lead the league in linear weights last year, producing 67.85 runs above average. Travis Hafner lead the league in runs produced per plate appearance at .102. Angel Berroa hurt his team more than any other player in 2006 by producing 36.192 runs less than the average player, and J.D. Drew lead the Dodgers with 29.77 runs produced above average. A more detailed summary of the 2006 season can be found here.
Here's the linear weights numbers for the Dodgers after the first 10 games of the season:
Luis Gonzalez's three home runs (half the teams output) makes him the Dodgers offensive leader in the very early going. Some solid offensive play lets Russell Martin take the second spot, while huge performances off the bench from Wilson Valdez and Brady Clark fill out the Dodgers early offensive leaders. Meanwhile, Juan Pierre's 46 plate appearances of .186/.200/.209 ball parks him in the basement at the start of the season. Keep in mind that linear weights is a very swingy stat, and a good week from Pierre or a bad week from Gonzalez can send them right back to average.
Finally, here's how each event affects linear weights:
Home Run 1.394
Unintentional Walk 0.315
Intentional Walk 0.176
Hit By Pitch 0.342
Sacrifice Hit -0.127
Sacrifice Fly -0.052
Double Play -0.839
All Other Outs -0.250
Stolen Base 0.178
Caught Stealing -0.441