Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Brian Roberts: The Quiet Oriole

Year in and year out, Brian Roberts plays the game to little fanfare. Granted, he's been stuck on a terrible Orioles team for his whole career, but still. Every once in a while, his name will come up on trade talks and rumors, but he's still an Oriole and he just goes about his business of putting productive numbers on the board.

Part of his problem is that his numbers never really pop out at you. As a lead off hitter, his lifetime OBP is .354. Good, but not elite. He has stolen 255 bases in his career with a very impressive 80% success rate. But he's only led the league in that category once. He has only batted over .300 once in his career. He's never had more than 200 hits. FanGraphs only rates him as the 15th best fielding second baseman in baseball.

Despite all that, for a second baseman, the guy quietly goes out every year and puts up above league average offensive seasons on the board. Brian Roberts also does one thing really, really well besides stealing bases: He hits a huge amount of doubles. Roberts has been a full-time starter for six seasons (it seems longer). This year will be the third time in those six seasons where he has hit more than 50 doubles. This year, he has 55 and has a long-shot chance to reach 60. If he gets there, it will be the first time a MLB player has hit 60 doubles since 1936. That would be a pretty cool feat.

Roberts has scored over a hundred runs once again this year (the third year in a row) and is having a good power year with fifteen homers. He's also knocked in 74 runs, excellent for a lead off guy.

Brian Roberts isn't a guy who will wow you. But his consistent and relentless production stand up for what has been a pretty darn good career.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

Here's a guy who clearly didn't need PEDs. Baffling.