Archive for November, 2009

who cares about the MVP? Who’s the most Average player?

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

MVP voting results have been announced this week, but it’s too easy to figure out the best players of a given season. The more interesting question is who were the most AVERAGE players.

For one, Mark Ellis of the A’s. Ellis compiled a batting average of .262599 in 2009, which is just .000159 away from the Major League batting average of .262440. That’s pretty average. Randy Winn came the next closest to being perfectly average on a league-wide level, batting .262081.

Splitting by American League vs National League, we can see that Jeremy Hermida had the most average batting average in the NL, with a .258741 compared to the NL average of .258789. That’s almost ridiculously average – off by just .000048. In the American League, rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus batted .266666 to nearly match the AL average of .266555. Kosuke Fukudome was the 2nd most average batter in the NL with a .258517, and Jason Bay was 2nd most average in the AL at .267419.

But, some might argue that if we’re going to give out a most average player award, it should be to the player who is most average within their own team – much like the MVP should be the most valuable player on his own team. By those standards you’d have to go for Nelson Cruz, who batted .259740 for the Rangers, while the Rangers batted .259862 as a team. In the National League, Chipper Jones took his role as the franchise player a step too far by exemplifying the teams batting average to nearly 3 decimal places. He batted .264344 compared to the Braves overall average of .263404. Surely the mark of a true team player, playing exactly at the level of the team.

Also, I know that many people aren’t big fans of batting averages anymore and somehow think something like OPS is a better indicator of overall offense, or something, so just in case you need to know who the most average players by OPS are, I can do that. The Major League average OPS was .750683, and the closest player to matching that exactly was Mark DeRosa with .751824. The NL average OPS was .739322, and Jeremy Hermida once again came closest to that one with .739876. Michael Bourn was third closest to matching the NL average OPS with a .738138. In the AL, Franklin Gutierrez had an OPS of 0.739876, coming the closest to the average AL OPS of .763497. Juan Pierre was the best in the majors at matching his team’s OPS, with a .757489 compared to the Dodgers’ .757465. He was off by just .000024! Among AL teams, Maicer Izturis was the best at matching his team’s OPS, with a .793555 compared to the team’s .791526.

More importantly than any of those things, Ryan Howard was the most average, league wide, at getting hit by pitches. He took a plunk once every 117.17 plate appearance, while the league average was one plunk every 117.66 PAs. Kelly Johnson got hit the most avergely in the NL with a plunk every 115.33 PAs compared to the NL average of 115.077, while Aubrey Huff took 5 plunks in the AL at a rate of one every 119.4 PAs, compared to the American League plunk rate of one per 120.742 plate appearances. Andruw Jones got really close to the Rangers plunk rate, getting hit once every 165.5 plate appearances, which is right on pace with the one per 165.595
plunk rate of the rest of the team, but his teammate Hank Blalock also got hit once per 165 plate appearances and played in 41 more games than Jones. In the NL, Joe Thurston got hit once every 102.667 plate appearances, which is very close to the Cardinals average rate of one hbp per 101.115 plate appearances.

Winter league update – plunks in warm weather

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Arizona Fall League:

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
Daryl Jones (STL) Surprise Rafters 4 80 0.05
Grant Desme (OAK) Phoenix Desert Dogs 2 94 0.021
Jose Tabata (PIT) Scottsdale Scorpions 2 95 0.021
Nevin Ashley (TB) Phoenix Desert Dogs 2 48 0.042
Chris Heisey (CIN) Peoria Saguaros 2 76 0.026
Ruben Tejada (NYM) Surprise Rafters 2 53 0.038
Frederick Freeman (ATL) Peoria Saguaros 2 51 0.039

Dominican League:

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
Eugenio Velez (SF)
Estrellas de Oriente 2 24 0.083
Elian Herrera Aguilas Cibaenas 2 28 0.071
Matt Carson (OAK)
Aguilas Cibaenas 2 38 0.053
Kevin Barker Aguilas Cibaenas 2 39 0.051
Pablo Ozuna Estrellas de Oriente 2 47 0.043

Mexican League:

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
Heber Gomez Venados de Mazatlan 5 91 0.055
Abel Martinez Mayos de Navojoa 4 106 0.038
Francisco Arias Mayos de Navojoa 4 115 0.035
Ramon Orantes Caneros de los Mochis 4 92 0.043
Ruben Rivera Venados de Mazatlan 4 110 0.036
Brian Bixler (PIT)
Venados de Mazatlan 3 120 0.025
Javier Robles Mayos de Navojoa 3 100 0.03
Carlos Sievers Aguilas de Mexicali 3 83 0.036
Sergio Gastelum Tomateros de Culiacan 3 75 0.04
Coby Smith (LAA) Caneros de los Mochis 3 102 0.029
Said Gutierrez Yaquis de Obregon 3 88 0.034
Daniel Fornes Yaquis de Obregon 3 96 0.031
Flavio Romero Yaquis de Obregon 3 120 0.025

Venezualan League:

Name Team HBP Plate Appearances HBP per PA
Jon Jay (STL) Leones del Caracas 6 119 0.05
Brendan Katin (MIL) Aguilas de Zulia 5 73 0.068
Adam Heether (MIL) Leones del Caracas 5 90 0.056
Max Ramirez (TEX)
Tiburones de La Guaira 5 106 0.047
Daniel Dorn (CIN) Caribes de Anzoategui 5 65 0.077
Cesar Suarez n Tiburones de La Guaira 4 119 0.034
Ezequiel Carrera (SEA) Navegantes del Magallanes 4 99 0.04
Dennys Abreu n Bravos de Margarita 4 56 0.071
Jesus Merchan (CLE) Navegantes del Magallanes 3 100 0.03
Carlos Leon n Bravos de Margarita 3 40 0.075
Edwar Gonzalez (NYY) Cardenales de Lara 3 59 0.051
Luis Bolivar (CIN) Aguilas de Zulia 3 64 0.047
David Paisano (TEX) Tiburones de La Guaira 3 50 0.06
Manuel Pina (KC) Tiburones de La Guaira 3 15 0.2
Richard Hidalgo n
Navegantes del Magallanes 3 109 0.028
Luis Gonzalez Caribes de Anzoategui 3 113 0.027

World Series wrapup

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Pedro Martinez hit one more batter in last night’s final game of the World Series, bringing his career total to 8 postseason hit batters. That ranks behind only Greg Maddux and Tim Wakefield, who each hit 9 in the postseason. Mark Teixeira got hit for the third time in the World Series, tying him with Alex Rodriguez for the most plunks in this years Series. Prior to this season, Max Carey had sole possession of the record for most HBPs in a single World Series, with 3 in the 1925 series, but now he has to share that record with both Rodriguez and Teixeira.

2009’s World Series also ties the record for the most lopsided plunk totals with the Yankees being hit 6 times to Phildelphia’s one HBP. The 2001 World Series saw the Diamondbacks plunked 6 times and the Yankees plunked once. Not surprisingly, in each case the team with the most plunks won.

Postseason HBPs by Catcher

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Here’s a look at which catchers have been behind the plate, expecting to catch the most postseason HBPs:

Jorge Posada – 39
Jason Varitek – 30
Brad Ausmus – 17
Sandy Alomar – 17
Ivan Rodriguez – 17
Yogi Berra – 14
Yadier Molina – 14
Mike Matheny – 13
Mike Piazza – 12
Bengie Molina – 12
Carlos Ruiz – 11
Steve Yeager – 10
Javy Lopez – 10
Tony Pena – 10
Ramon Hernandez – 9
A.J. Pierzynski – 9
Boss Schmidt – 9
Russell Martin – 9
Yorvit Torrealba – 8
Dioner Navarro – 8
Dan Wilson – 8

Since 2002, 14.9% of postseason plunks have occurred with a Molina behind the plate, but this year that number is up to 27.6%.

In the World Series itself, Yogi Berra holds the record with 14 HBPs, followed by Jorge Posada with 10, and Boss Schmidt with 9. Johnny Kling, Roy Campanella, Ray Schalk, Gabby Hartnett and incoherent TV babbler Tim McCarver have all called the pitches that became 7 World Series HBPs.

One Pitch, Three Records Broken (and no fingers)

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

There was just one pitch that hit a batter in last night’s World Series Game 5, but on that one pitch, three different records were broken. Shane Victorino became the most plunked batter in Phillies postseason history, with his 3rd. AJ Burnett became the Yankees franchise leader in postseason hit batters with 5. And, Burnett became the first pitcher ever to hit 5 batters in a single postseason.

Shane Victorino has now been hit 3 times this postseason, which doesn’t sound like very many times, but no other Philly has ever been hit 3 times in their postseason careers with the team, much less in the same season. Prior to this year, Greg Luzkinski and Garry Maddox were the only players to get hit twice in the postseason for the Phillies. Luzinski got hit in the 1977 NLCS and the 1980 World Series, while Maddox got hit in the NLCS in 1977 and 1980. This postseason, Jimmy Rollins has been hit twice for Philadelphia, but Victorino has three HBPs. Ten other players have been hit once for the Phillies in the postseason – Fred Luderus (1915 WS), Milt Stock (1915 WS), Del Ennis (1950 WS), Steve Carlton (1977 NLCS), Pete Rose (1980 WS), Darren Daulton (1993 WS), Ryan Howard (2007 NLDS), Eric Bruntlett (2008 WS), Chase Utley (2008 WS), and Carlos Ruiz (2009 NLCS).

Meanwhile, Burnett has now hit 5 batters this postseason. Only two other players have hit more than 4 batters in the same postseason – Roy Oswalt hit 4 for the 2005 Astros, and Pedro Martinez hit 4 for the 2004 Red Sox. In Yankees History, four other pitchers had hit 4 batters in their postseason careeers – Roger Clemens, Orlando Hernandez, David Wells and Jeff Nelson. But, Burnett is the first to hit 5.

Rodriguez breaks postseason HBP record

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Alex Rodriguez got hit by a Joe Blanton pitch last night, bringing hit postseason total to 8. That’s a new postseason record, passing David Eckstein’s 7 career postseason hbps. Rodriguez is also just the 2nd player ever hit 3 times in a single World Series, joining Hall of Famer Max Carey who was hit 3 times for the Pirates in the 1925 World Series. (In terms of style points though, you’d have to give Max Carey the edge, just because he got hit twice by Walter Johnson).

Alex Rodriguez breaks Yankees record, ties MLB record

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Alex Rodriguez got hit by two pitches last night, one by Cole Hamels, and one by Chad Durbin, bringing his career postseason HBP total to 7. That moves him ahead of Tino Martinez for the Yankees postseason record, and into a tie with David Eckstein for the MLB all time postseason plunk record.