Friday, June 25, 2010

Astros' offensive rankings

And boy, are they offensive (yuk. yuk.). Let's take a look at how the Astros fare by position, vs the rest of Major League Baseball.

1B: Lance Berkman. OPS: .739.
This ranks 20th out of 25 qualifying 1Bs in the Majors. While his .244 batting average is also 20th, it's certainly not as bad as Carlos Pena's .201. His .347 OBP is tied for 19th with Mark Teixeira, and only puts him three points away from 15th, with James Loney, Adam LaRoche, and Ryan Howard between. Ah, but that slugging percentage of .392 is 22nd in the Majors among 1Bs, ahead of only Lyle Overbay, Derrek Lee, and Todd Helton. Only Todd Helton and Justin Smoak have fewer extra base hits than Berkman.

2B: Jeff Keppinger - OPS: 711
13th out of 20 qualifying second basemen in the Majors. While Keppinger's .285 average is 6th among 2Bs, his .336 OBP is 11th, and his .375 SLG is 13th. Still, two qualifying 2Bs - Chone Figgins and Gordon Beckham - are both slugging below .300. However, Keppinger is just one of three 2Bs with a 1:1 or an upside-down K:BB ratio. Keppinger has struck out 19 times, and walked 20. Dustin Pedroia has 35K:35BB and David Eckstein has 11K:14BB this season.

3B: Pedro Feliz - OPS: .531
Now this is ugly, and also why Chris Johnson was promoted. Because even a blind manatee could get a .531 OPS. Feliz' OPS is easily last among 24 qualifying 3Bs, 58 points behind Seattle's Jose Lopez. If it wasn't for Mark Reynolds' .215 average, his batting average (.216), OBP (.241), and SLG (.290) would be dead last. There are six 3Bs who have as many homers as Feliz has extra-base hits, and Feliz is the only qualifying 3B who has drawn fewer than ten walks.

LF: Carlos Lee - OPS: .650
Lee's .650 OPS ranks 19th among 20 qualifying left fielders, and thankfully Juan Pierre is there to cushion El Caballo's fall, although Pierre's average is 20 points higher than Lee's last-place .228. Lee's .268 OBP is also last in the Majors among LFs - the only LF to get on base in less than 30% of his ABs. Only Delmon Young has fewer walks than Lee's 15. Luckily for Lee, his SLG is 16th out of 20, because of his 10 homers and 21 extra-base hits.

CF: Michael Bourn - OPS: .670.
Similarly, Michael Bourn's .670 OPS is 21st out of 22 qualifying CFs. Only Nyjer Morgan and his .628 are worse. For comparison, Vernon Wells' .573 SLG is within 100 points of Bourn's OPS. His .259 average is 18th out of 22 (Victorino, Morgan, Stubbs, and Upton are worse), while his .338 OBP is good enough for 11th. It's that darn slugging. His .332 average is only higher than Morgan's .320 (Bourn and Morgan are the only CFs to not have a homer yet). Bourn's stolen bases are third in the Majors among CFs, and best in the NL, though.

RF: Hunter Pence - OPS: .756
Pence's OPS ranks 20th out of 24 qualifying RFs, with Carlos Quentin, Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Sweeney, and Jeff Francoeur behind him. Pence's .268 average is 18th in the Majors, while his .314 OBP ties him with Jeff Francoeur for lowest (though Pence nudges him in the 4th decimal place) in the Majors among RFs. Pence's 18 walks are only ahead of Francoeur's 17. Good news for Pence is that his .442 SLG is 15th out of 24. While it would be interesting to see how this re-calculates from June 1-present, it's still important to see the drawbacks of a miserable start.

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