Whether we like our players to stroke dongs or jack taters, we all know our fantasy-based desire for the stat borders on the lecherous. The problem with the home run is that it’s such an I/O situation: it’s either a home run or it’s not. And using stats like isolated slugging percentage to try and suss out changes in a player’s power profile can be confounded by the fact that any ball that lands in the park is then subject to the interaction between the fielder’s grace and the batter’s speed. Doubles don’t always turn into home runs. Sometimes doubles are actually stretched-out-singles or boffed grounders in the outfield.
Are there peripheral stats for batters that can help us predict power surges? Or at least some numbers that can help predict which power surges will stick?
Ken Rosenthal is the best baseball reporter working today. He is diligent and respected and gets it right more often than not. He does a thankless job well when he takes his turn as the sideline reporter for Fox and seems affable and self-aware on twitter.
He is also very good at spending other people’s money it seems. Within the last 48 hours, Kenny Rosenthal has committed a quarter billion dollars to Felix Hernandez and Buster Posey in the hypothetical world.
If the Baltimore Orioles end up being the most memorable story from the 2012 season, their foil is likely deserving of some recognition as well. Throughout the regular season, the St. Louis Cardinals acted as the yin to the yang of Baltimore. Where the Orioles outperformed their peripherals to put up a winning record, the Cardinals’ run differential suggested that they were a far better team than their win/loss record suggested.
It’s a compliment to the depth and smarts of the organization that after losing the best player in baseball to free agency in the off season and watching their notorious manager retire after a World Series victory, St. Louis was able to construct a roster capable of bringing the franchise to its current three games to one lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series, and a single win away from a berth in the World Series.
While the rebuilt Cardinals line up certainly deserves a healthy dose of credit for the team’s success, the biggest reason that the team finds itself on the brink of a return to the World Series is its containment of the Giants line up, and most notably that line up’s best hitter.
Wow, what a season. And with such a big comeback at the end.
I am referring, of course, to our final look at the Getting Blanked Catcher Defense Ratings for 2012. Was there something else that happened?
When we last examined the rankings, a new leader had emerged. Will his work over the last month of the season hold the tide against the waves of challengers trying to unseat him and claim the title of Getting Blanked’s best defensive catcher? An answer to this, some other random comments, and, crude ratings of the defensive value of every catcher who saw time behind the plate in 2012, all after the jump …
Wherein the Getting Blanked crew talk about Buster Posey’s recent run of awesomeness, Stephen Strasburg’s reported innings cap, the impending fall of the Pirates, and Manny Machado’s hot start. Punishment is handed down for our most recent instalment of Proposition Hate, and we play Switch Hitter with three great pitching matchups in this week’s Washington/San Franciso series.
In the early part of the 2011 season, Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays was dominant. While he couldn’t sustain this level of play as Barry Bonds did consistently throughout the early part of the 21st Century, Bautista’s .532 OBP, .780 SLG, 1.312 OPS, .415 ISO, .549 wOB and 255 wRC+ was as remarkable of a performance through 30 days as anyone had seen since.
More than merely in the numbers, there seemed to exist a palpable fear among opposing pitchers that hearkened back to Bonds and manifested itself in visible caution when dealing with Bautista. I’ve seen similar approaches a couple of times since, recently with Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, while pitchers seemed hesitant to challenge McCutchen, it wasn’t at the same nervous fear-driven level that it seemed to be for Bautista.