Earl Weaver is a modern baseball genius. Scratch that: Earl Weaver is a genius. Earl Weaver has forgotten more about baseball than many of us will ever know and, as an added bonus, is a salty old dog with a sharp tongue.
One of the Internet’s greatest contributions to society is the below video, in which Earl Weaver lays out (in extremely NSFW fashion) his ideal style of baseball. Home runs, walks, then they all go home for steak. The modern game is lousy with guys who walk, hit home runs and do little else.
Which players pile up walks and home runs at the expense of everything else? Is this, on its own, a bad thing? To my modified TTO leaderboard!
|Name||Home Runs + Plus Walks – Non-home run hits|
Breaking news: large power hitters don’t do much aside from hitting home runs. Unless they’re Jose Bautista, who simply walks so much as to overwhelm everything else he does at the plate. Curtis Granderson makes less sense to me, as he is fleet enough to leg out a double here and there. He is hitting home runs and walking a career highs so it does add up.
Seeing Teixeira and Granderson high on the list (and Nick Swisher falling just off) makes me think Yankee Stadium affects the overall line for these hitters. Defensive positioning also strips singles from pull-crazy Teixeira, as this amazing New York Times article details.
The opposite end of the spectrum? Adrian Gonzalez leads hitters with at least 15 home runs, notching 80 fewer home runs and walks than singles, doubles and triples. All his doubles off the Green Monster and his relative lack of walks (barely above average) are the main culprit. Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury use their speed and alley power to rack up the doubles and singles relative to their still-high home run totals.
Does the lack of “hustle hits” make the guys on this list worse hitters? Hardly. They are good at what they do and, like Carlos Pena and Mark Reynolds, don’t comprimise their approach to get it. One thing common among all these guys: strikeouts.
Fewer balls in play means less BABIP fluctuation and fewer seeing-eye singles. I’m interested to get your take on one-dimensional players like this: would you want more than one on your favorite team? Are guys like this too frustrating and prone to wilder swings than hitters who can create offense in more varied ways? Hit the comments with your thoughts.