Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Few Surprising Facts From This Season

You have to love baseball because, as much as we now have sophisticated predictions and projections, things happen that continually surprise us. Each day features fifteen games where anything can happen. Each play promises the chance that you'll see something you've never seen before. Heck, Jayson Stark over at has made a career of such goings on. That's why we love the game. It never becomes tiring. Perusing the stats this fine Saturday morning, this writer thought he would share just a few surprises this season has brought us. Some may not have lasting significance or importance. They are just fun to see.

  • Matt Capps of the Twins has a HR/BB rate of 2.5. In 28 innings, he's given up five homers, but only two walks.
  • Speaking of relievers, Sergio Romo of the Giants has a 10.47 strikeout to walk ratio. Good golly, that's impressive.
  • An astounding 25 relievers have pitched more than 20 innings without giving up a home run. Of course, Mariano Rivera is the oldest of that group.
  • Cliff Lee leads all major league starters in strikeouts per nine innings with a rate of 10.34. 
  • You have to go all the way to the ninth position in the rankings to find an American League starting pitcher in the top strikeouts per nine inning category. That's Felix Hernandez. His teammate, Michael Pineda is tenth putting those two as tops in the American League.
  • Starters, Charlie Morton and Madison Bumgarner have only yielded two homers this season and lead the majors in homers per nine innings at 0.23 (starters).
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, Colby Lewis has already coughed up 17 gopher balls in 12 starts. Ouch.
  • Jeff Francis of the Royals leads the majors in hits allowed with 104. Mark Buehrle is second with 99. Tied for third are Chris Carpenter and Carl Pavano with 98. Only Carpenter is a surprise.
  • Kyle Drabek leads the majors with 48 walks allowed.
  • It's no surprise then that Drabek leads the majors in wild pitches. Well, he's tied with A. J. Burnett. But that's no surprise.
  • Omar Infante has only made one error all season.
  • Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Ludwick lead the majors with eight outfield assists. Ryan Ludwick?
  • Only two qualifying players have a walk percentage less than three percent. They are Vlad Guerrero and Orlando Cabrera.
  • The Cubs have the least patient middle infield in baseball. Stalin Castro has walked only 3.3 percent of the time and Darwin Barney, 3.2 percent.
  • A. J. Pierzynski is the hardest guy to strike out in baseball. He's only done so 6.7 percent of the time. Who would have guessed that?
  • The Royals have the wimpiest middle infield in baseball. Alcides Escobar has the lowest ISO of all qualifying players at a miniscule .035 (he is slugging .252) while Chris Getz is fourth with an ISO of .052.
  • Chone Figgins has the lowest wOBA in baseball at .216. He is followed by Alcides Escobar and Dan Uggla. The latter is a huge surprise. Uggla also has the lowest on base percentage of all qualifying players.
  • Only ten qualifying batters have an on base percentage over .400. The Dodgers have two of them in Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Jose Bautista continues to lead the category. But Joey Votto is gaining on him.
  • Brad Hawpe leads the National League in strikeout percentage at 33.5 percent. 
  • Justin Smoak has the lowest speed rating in the majors for qualifying players with a speed rating of 0.3.
  • Joey Votto has a BABIP of .394. In other words, of every ten balls he puts in play, almost four of them will find a safe haven.
  • Michael Bourn is the fastest guy in baseball with a speed rating of 8.7.
  • Albert Pujols and Torii Hunter lead the majors with 17 GIDPs. That's a lot of outs.
  • Juan Pierre already has ten sacrifice bunts. Well, at least he's good for something.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury leads the majors with 21 doubles.

1 comment:

Jonathan C. Mitchell said...

Love these types of posts! Didn't realize how impatient the Cubs middle infield is. Wow!