julien's baseball blog

Some moves are slightly good. Some moves are slightly bad. I tell you about them.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
 
first things
first, we have sean casey. that's right: the sabermetricians' favorite whipping boy turned out to be the most valuable first baseman in the majors.

first base is the position where people see a high-strikeout, high-power hitter and say "see! he's better than (tino martinez, say)! he could play in the majors!" because you can't use defense as an excuse.

but the thing is defense at first *does* matter. it just matters less than the other positions. but the more important thing is those arguments are based on a misunderstanding of hitting.

hitting was the one thing we thought we had figured out (sabermetricians. i used to be one). but it turns out we didn't know shit. we didn't know that contact and defense are way more important in low-run situations than patience and power. so we made fools of ourselves trying to make fools of others. that's ironic.

"who is more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him?"

thank you obi-wan kenobi. without further ado, here are the major league first basemen of 2004:


Player aab w k hr 23 wal con pow avg
lee,derrek 610 76 128 32 40 .111 .790 .149 .278


one of the cadre of cubbies to club 30 this year. so what. dlee is not good enough at anything to be considered a strong contributor. he's borderline. the problem is the strikeouts. patience, power, and defense are all above average, but not enough above average to make enough of a difference. and he can't hit good pitching.


green,shawn 592 79 114 28 29 .118 .807 .119 .266


aren't those trade talks exciting? shawn may play in the infield or the outfield, but it doesn't matter. the corners are all the same. la took him just under crucial thresholds of effectiveness in contact and power. arizona should be good to him, raising him back over said thresholds. one of the most overpaid players in the game (along with yankees).


overbay,lyle 585 83 128 16 54 .124 .781 .153 .301


well, he hit a lot of doubles. it was luck. 2004 was lyle's career year. his contact is bad. he will fade into obscurity.


casey,sean 577 56 36 24 46 .088 .938 .129 .324


these are the numbers that boggle the mind. .938 contact with 24 home runs and 46 doubles? you gotta be kidding me. he passed 1000 hits this year at the age of 30. he won't get 3,000 but he'll get 2,500.


bagwell,jeff 575 104 131 27 31 .153 .772 .131 .266


he can still walk, but jeff bagwell no longer has the power to be a strong contributor. and he's never had the contact. he's just a guy.


konerko,paul 568 74 107 41 22 .115 .812 .137 .277


i ain't tryna dis on jeff bagwell. he is a hall of famer.

but paul konerko is not. he's a guy. i know where are the difference makers. we're getting there.

do i have to say something about konerko? the home runs were luck. he doesn't have enough to maintain, and he's just a guy. 2004 was his career year.


palmeiro,rafael 559 91 61 23 29 .140 .891 .104 .258


amazing walk/contact combo. enough to make him a strong contributor. looks like power decline is gonna be his end. 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, gold gloves. . . gotta be the hall, right?


hatteberg,scott 558 77 48 15 30 .121 .914 .088 .284


scott hatteberg is our number 2 difference maker. he gets on base, makes great contact, plays great defense, in a pitcher's park. he gets on base. against good pitchers. he gets on base.


helton,todd 553 130 72 32 51 .190 .870 .173 .347


and here is number 3. it's really difficult to place a colorado player's numbers in the scheme of things, but this seems about right. none of his numbers would be as high, but they'd all be above average, were he in another park.


nevin,phil 552 71 121 26 32 .114 .781 .135 .289


yes, he hits the ball hard, and, poor guy, he played for the padres, but he's a guy.


teixeira,mark 547 78 117 38 36 .125 .786 .172 .281


this kid been crushin. that's power. difference maker number 4.


millar,kevin 514 73 91 18 36 .124 .823 .128 .297


nice numbers. at first base, that's a guy.


thome,jim 512 106 144 42 29 .172 .719 .193 .274


once again, jim thome walked a ton, hit a ton of home runs, struck out a ton. difference maker number 5. johnny 5? jimmy 5. number five is alive!


erstad,darin 499 41 74 7 30 .076 .852 .087 .295


no. umm, no. waste of money. whatever.


pena,carlos 486 73 146 27 26 .131 .700 .156 .241


too many strikeouts. not gonna make it. neither is hee seop choi, by the way. especially in dodger stadium.


delgado,carlos 469 81 115 32 26 .147 .755 .164 .269


that's enough patience and power to be a strong contributor. the strikeouts aren't terrible yet.


martinez,tino 463 75 72 23 21 .139 .844 .113 .262


the new $3 million yankee. $3 million, that's like, clubhouse attendant, right? haha, hoohoo, he's just a guy. those are guy numbers.


harvey,ken 458 36 89 13 21 .073 .806 .092 .287


ken had a hot start, but he cooled off. he's 26, but he doesn't have enough to improve into strong contributor, so he's just a guy. those numbers are really kind of bad for kansas city.


olerud,john 430 69 61 9 21 .138 .858 .081 .259


strong on-base skills in low-run situations. great defense. useful in the playoffs. still has the skills to be a guy. let's look at his career. .399 obp. nice.


broussard,ben 420 64 95 17 33 .132 .774 .154 .275


blah. career year. may get a few more like this. that's it.


sweeney,mike 413 39 44 22 23 .086 .893 .122 .287


mike sweeney has had fantastic walk, contact, and power numbers for years. last year, his power slipped. this year, his patience slipped. he's been fighting injuries. he's 31. it doesn't look good.


mientkiewicz,do 393 51 56 6 25 .115 .858 .092 .238


terrible luck with hits. still makes great contact, has great patience, plays great defense. like john olerud. but younger. so not as good as olerud was at that age.


spiezio,scott 373 40 60 10 15 .097 .839 .080 .215


sucks.


phillips,jason 367 43 42 7 18 .105 .886 .077 .218


good patience, good contact, bad luck with hits.


snow,j.t. 350 65 61 12 33 .157 .826 .156 .327


where the hell did that come from? i don't know but he's a strong contributor. can he do it again?


choi,hee_seop 347 67 96 15 22 .162 .723 .147 .251


guy. as i said above, wrong kind of guy for dodger stadium, but they got him; they might as well use him.


laroche,adam 326 28 78 13 28 .079 .761 .165 .278


up-and-comer.


franco,julio 323 37 68 6 21 .103 .789 .106 .309


keeps chuggin along. you gotta love a guy who can hit .300 at the age of 46. i don't know. he's had some great years.


gonzalez,luis_a 323 19 67 12 19 .056 .793 .121 .292


actually a second baseman. if he can't hit in colorado, he can't hit anywhere. a .793 con is terrible there.


lamb,mike 281 31 63 14 17 .099 .776 .142 .288
giambi,jason 267 55 62 12 9 .171 .768 .102 .208


ha ha. the slide's been comin, actually. the stikeouts have been mounting. he's gonna make a lot of money doin nothin.


clark,tony 255 28 92 16 12 .099 .639 .172 .221
johnson,nick 252 43 58 7 16 .146 .770 .119 .251


still an up-and-comer, but this is the last time.


mabry,john 243 27 63 13 11 .100 .741 .133 .296
simon,randall 193 21 19 3 6 .098 .902 .052 .188
offerman,jose 172 29 31 2 16 .144 .820 .128 .256
jacobsen,bucky 161 15 47 9 9 .085 .708 .158 .275
quinlan,robb 161 16 26 5 14 .090 .839 .141 .344
perry,herbert 136 17 19 5 3 .111 .860 .068 .224
kotchman,casey 117 11 11 0 6 .086 .906 .057 .224


up-and-comer.


saenz,olmedo 114 14 33 8 1 .109 .711 .111 .279
hansen,dave 107 21 21 2 5 .164 .804 .081 .245
karros,eric 104 7 16 2 6 .063 .846 .091 .194


hey!

alright let's rank them:

1. casey
2. hatteberg
3. helton
4. teixera
5. thome
6. snow
7. palmeiro
8. delgado

kind of a transition period. look out for the next generation. the other up-and-comer is prince fielder.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
 
one more thing
before i get to first basemen. . . .

klapisch on the a's on espn.com.

so the payroll stays at $58 million. how's the team in general? chavez will be better crosby will be better second base will be better hatteberg will be the same. catcher will be better no more jermaine dye full year of nick swisher charles thomas kielty byrnes kotsay they're lookin good. durazo. the offense will be way better.

relief pitching has improved.

starting pitching is down but the team as a whole could be better in 2005 than 2004. and they look *really* good in 2006.

jack cust

keith ginter

justin lehr

nelson cruz

i guess nelson was injured in 2003. who are the brewers gonna use at second base? oh yeah spivey. then weeks in 2005.
 
a's
skip bayless on billy beane.

found the link on athletics nation, which i followed from the hardball times.

but the thing i thought was interesting was beane's assertion that daric barton's numbers were "pujols-like". cause it's funny, i thought the same thing. when i looked at the numbers. yes, i'm as smart as beane.

no, i really did. let's see if there's a good reason for it.

barton:


year age aab w k hr 23 level
2003 18 175 39 48 4 10 rookie
2004 19 316 77 44 13 23 a


barton was born aug 16, 1985.

now that other guy:


year age ab bb k hr 23 level
2000 20 395 38 37 17 38 a
2000 20 81 1 8 2 9 a+
2000 20 14 1 2 0 1 aaa


pujols was born jan 16, 1980.

so do the numbers compare? you bet they do. both of these guys---the year to compare is the year in a-ball---hit for contact and power, with patience. pujols had a lot more power, and more contact, but barton had a lot more patience, and he's seven months younger. people have said you couldn't see pujols coming. that's because they didn't know where to look.

hey, look! word is out.


One Midwest League pitcher told me this summer that Barton was basically impossible to pitch to; he could hit anything you threw at him, and never reached for a pitch outside the strike zone.


apparently he may move to first base. sickels says his bat is so special it may be a waste to use him anywhere but dh. that's a stretch of logic, but kinda fun.

he also had this to say about dan meyer. that link is empty. if anyone can find the link to sickels' column about dan meyer, that'd be great if you could send it to me.

another thing to be found on athletics nation is a comment that scott hatteberg should be shipped to toronto. even the a's fans don't know what they have.

luckily they're not in charge. yes there's talk of dan johnson. johnson struck out 93 times last year in 536 at-bats. at the age of 25. he will have trouble adjusting to the majors, and he will never be more than a guy. hatteberg, on the other hand, is a special player. he makes great contact in one of the toughest places to hit in the majors, has great patience for his contact, and plays great defense. his power is average. so what. we can't all be albert pujols.

it's clear that it's time for a review of first basemen.
Friday, December 24, 2004
 
stop short
ok, nomar ain't on the list, but he didn't play a full season. for some reason he's listed as a dh. we'll talk about him then. when we talk about dh's. i know it's a terrible solution but i don't want to deal with excel right now.


Player aab w k hr 23 wal con pow avg
izturis,cesar 673 43 70 4 41 .060 .896 .075 .288


cesar became useful offensively. with his great defense, that makes him valuable in low-run situations, like the playoffs. he's a strong contributor.


tejada,miguel 667 58 73 34 42 .080 .891 .128 .311


what can you say when you see that kind of contact with that kind of power but difference maker.


rollins,jimmy 659 60 73 14 55 .083 .889 .118 .289


ditto. i should say something new. look at those doubles (plus triples)! jimmy's hittin his prime.


wilson,jack 657 30 71 11 53 .044 .892 .109 .308


another breakout year. the shortstop landscape is changing. just needs a little patience. strong contributor.

you could characterize izturis, rollins, and wilson as breakouts this year.


jeter,derek 645 60 99 23 45 .085 .847 .125 .292


those are good numbers. and i'm starting to think his defense isn't as bad as sabermetricians think. many of them think he's one of the worst of all time. i don't know. i can't say anything definitive here. i mean, it's true that he consistently gets terrible ratings while other yankee infielders, like third basemen, look good, but he does seem to make good decisions. he seems to be in the right place at the right time. he senses things, somehow. yes the famous play against the a's in the playoffs jeremy giambi didn't score. how did he know to do that?

that's what the tv says any time you see playoff highlights but there's something to the tv's argument. i don't know how much. but he's easily a strong contributor.


cabrera,orlando 628 42 54 10 41 .063 .914 .089 .264


strong defense, great contact. power dropped off a little. another strong contributor.


renteria,edgar 596 40 78 10 37 .063 .869 .091 .287


i don't know. looks like the sox moved down. how's edgar's defense? they say it's great. is he a strong contributor? i guess so, but what about the next guy?


lugo,julio 589 59 106 7 45 .091 .820 .108 .275


borderline. we gotta draw the line somewhere. but those are balanced skills. he is a good baseball player.

yeah, i know. obviously.


guzman,cristian 580 31 64 8 35 .051 .890 .083 .274


great defense. needs a little more. power, patience.


clayton,royce 576 52 125 8 40 .083 .783 .106 .279


in coors that's the best he could do? why do people still employ this guy?


vizquel,omar 573 58 62 7 31 .092 .892 .074 .291


omar had some nice years, although he was overrated his entire career. now he's just a guy.


cintron,alex 568 33 59 4 38 .055 .896 .083 .262


cintron fell back from his rookie season. he struck out more and had less power. he just turned 26, so you gotta think he'll get it back.

gotta gotta gotta. i keep saying that word. writing it.


eckstein,david 568 55 49 2 25 .088 .914 .052 .276


yeah. whatever. useful in certain low-run situations. typical middle infielder. guy.


furcal,rafael 568 59 71 14 29 .094 .875 .087 .279


quality quality. power developing. strong contributor, with his defense. and don't forget baserunning.


gonzalez,alex 565 30 126 23 33 .050 .777 .128 .232


yikes, the strikeouts! serious on-base issues.


crosby,bobby 551 67 141 22 35 .108 .744 .139 .239


up-and-comer. along with cintron. should've said that.


guillen,carlos 526 54 87 20 47 .093 .835 .153 .318


yeah, i didn't see that coming. i mean nobody did. i'm feeling kind of uninspired here. like i'm putting boring comments. like i keep repeating things. like i keep repeating things.


berroa,angel 514 34 87 8 33 .062 .831 .096 .262


another guy who declined. he was nothing special anyway though. another guy.


uribe,juan 507 35 96 23 37 .065 .811 .146 .283


breakout season? uribe's 25, so it's safe to label him an up-and-comer. but he's a second baseman. right? what are the white sox doing at short this year?


greene,khalil 492 61 94 15 35 .110 .809 .126 .273


up-and-comer. high quality stuff at petco.


counsell,craig 475 64 87 2 24 .119 .817 .067 .242


counsell doesn't still play short, does he? whatever. he's a guy.


matsui,kazuo 462 41 97 7 34 .082 .790 .112 .272


turns out he's not worth all those millions after all. just some of them.


valentin,jose 452 46 139 30 23 .092 .692 .169 .216


that's a lot of strikeouts. what are the dodgers gonna do with him?


cruz,deivi 403 20 32 7 32 .047 .921 .105 .292


interesting contact/power combo. but no patience.


aurilia,rich 402 41 71 6 23 .093 .823 .088 .246


once a power-hitting shortstop. now a guy.


hall,bill 392 21 119 9 23 .051 .696 .117 .238


second baseman. too many strikeouts.


everett,adam 387 25 56 8 17 .061 .855 .076 .273


it's all guys from here except for some up-and-comers near the bottom. here's a link to everett.


vizcaino,jose 360 20 39 3 24 .053 .892 .084 .274
larkin,barry 349 35 39 8 18 .091 .888 .084 .289
gonzalez,alex_s 285 15 64 7 19 .050 .775 .118 .225
graffanino,tony 280 30 38 3 11 .097 .864 .058 .263
lopez,felipe 265 28 81 7 20 .096 .694 .147 .242
mclemore,mark 251 42 33 2 14 .143 .869 .073 .248
reese,pokey 245 17 60 3 9 .065 .755 .065 .221


mentioned in red sox article.


reyes,jose 220 5 31 2 18 .022 .859 .106 .255


up-and-comer. must learn patience.


woodward,chris 215 15 46 1 17 .065 .786 .107 .235
lopez,jose 208 9 31 5 13 .041 .851 .102 .232


up-and-comer.


luna,hector 176 15 37 3 9 .079 .790 .086 .249
cantu,jorge 174 11 44 2 21 .059 .747 .177 .301


up-and-comer. contact will develop.


upton,b.j. 160 16 46 4 10 .091 .713 .123 .258


the other up-and-comer devil ray shortstop. even younger.


vazquez,ramon 117 11 24 1 5 .086 .795 .065 .235
izturis,maicer 107 12 20 1 7 .101 .813 .092 .206


what will maicer do in the majors? i have no idea. are there any other up-and-comers? probably. good night.

oh yeah ranking.

1. tejada
2. rollins
3. guillen
4. tie among all strong contributors.

lots of strong contributors and up-and-comers. as i said, the landscape is changing. landscape. i can't believe i said that. there's gotta be a better way. to communicate. that idea. than to use tired cliches. i'm just kinda rambling here. my girlfriend is mad at me for staying up all night writing about baseball. she's mad about other stuff too. this is about to turn way too personal. i've been warned about stuff like that. she's going home. i'm sleeping alone tonight. see what you made me do? see what you've done? yeah i know i know i know. i have no one to blame but myself. sorry baby. i do the best i can.
 
jd drew
news:
astros offer to beltran
alou a giant
rj update
drew a dodger

are the astros gonna get beltran? $96 million for 6 years sounds about right. but the yankees need a center fielder. i'm surprised they didn't go for beltre. they could have outbid the mariners. anyway you gotta figure the yanks'll go over $100 million.

alou a giant. overpaid veteran. becoming the norm at san fransisco. except for the left fielder. he is worth more than he's paid. he has provided value above his contract for years. i said the same thing again but i like the second way better.

rj. whatev.

drew. he's good. and the dodgers can afford him. why not. borderline strong contributor/diffference maker. we'll see when we get to the outfield rankings.

can the astros do it again? why not. no one else is really stepping it up in the national league. cubs depends on prior/wood.

what's up with this mulder trade?

a's trade mulder

to the cardinals for dan haren kiko calero daric barton.

ok guys i'm gonna tell you right now daric barton is good. he's 19 years old and he's hitting in the midwest league with patience, contact, and power. next year he'll start high a and finish aa. 2006 aaa/majors. barton makes the trade. is beane gonna trade zito? i guess you could call this a rebuilding phase but the a's are still gonna win a lot of games. is beane gonna spend the money he's saving on hudson and mulder? i guess he re-signed a bunch of folks.
 
the contact/power game
varitek, eckstein

first of all, eckstein for $10.5 million? $3.5/yr?

but we're talking about varitek. 4 years 40 million. is he worth it?

well the other day we ranked him twelfth. defense maybe shoulda moved him ahead of piazza, but anyway he's a strong contributor. is a strong contributor worth $10 million? hell yeah. figure a strong contributor to be worth eight games over replacement. if you want to win 100 games, you need 58 games above replacement. seven times eight is fifty-six. so you can get seven strong contributors and win 98 games for $70 million dollars. the rest of your budget is for the other two games. and the rest of the players. 25 man roster. should be able to fill for half a million each. anybody can find guys for half a million. if you do it right. say $13 million. so if 100 wins are worth $83 million dollars, do it.

are 100 wins worth $83 million dollars to the red sox? you bet. so great. but, is there a cost saving solution that can allow for more purchases at other positions?

who do the sox got behind him? doug mirabelli. what can he do?


Player aab w k hr 23 wal con pow avg
mirabelli,doug 160 22 46 9 12 .121 .713 .184 .281


that's stupid power. how reliable is it? his previous three years in boston were 17, 14, and 19 extra-base hits, in 141, 151, and 163 at-bats. so a pow of .150 is reasonable expect it. he walks a ton, he strikes out a ton, he hits a ton, so put him in there against soft tossers and he'll knock em out. sit him against strikeout artists and pick up someone like toby hall. toby does not strike out:


hall,toby 411 29 41 8 21 .066 .900 .078 .255


so he's useful against power pitchers, who tend to produce low-run environments. i bet the combination would be worth $5 million, and 5 games. so the difference is $5 million and 3 games. it's a savings on a per-game basis, but you still gotta find a way to get those games.

so anyway, the red sox are fine, but it's fun to find a viable contact/power platoon.

incidentally, the red sox could also do it at second base, with mark bellhorn, who is a nut:


bellhorn,mark 526 93 177 17 40 .150 .663 .163 .264


that could make up 2 or 3 of the games. pokey reese is not a good platoon mate for him cause pokey can't hit anybody.

conclusion: contact/power platoons are fun and occasionally moderately useful. don't want to say anything too extreme. don't want to overstate the case. that's what i should have said the first time. instead of that "too extreme" remark. god that was stupid. eckstein the cardinals lose put they do have pujols and the red sox gain a couple of games at shortstop and so do the angels. shortstop is up next, after an article on jd drew and the dodgers.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
 
catcher if you can
now we got catchers. we continue to order by at-bats.


Player aab w k hr 23 wal con pow avg
lopez,javy 585 53 97 23 36 .083 .834 .121 .316


javy. he busted out in 2003, mostly due to a little thing called hittin the ball real hard. he maintained in 2004, with the deep flies going to the wall instead of over it. also set career highs in at-bats, doubles, hits, and walks, and tied career highs in games and innings caught. games caught and innings caught. sorry about the indefinite modifier. in a year in which he wanted to reduce his workload. maybe next year, javy. baby. javy baby. gotta be a difference maker.


kendall,jason 578 78 41 3 32 .119 .929 .065 .319


also a difference maker, obviously. look at those on-base skills. and he's a catcher. the high con means he can score in low-run situations, ie against good pitchers.


loduca,paul 541 45 49 13 31 .077 .909 .089 .286


skills approaching kendall's, but not quite there. still a strong contributor.


rodriguez,ivan 531 44 91 19 34 .077 .829 .120 .334


i was expecting better breakdowns. that contact has gotta be a career low. outside of the month of .500, things don't look good. still, he's pudge. that's good power for detroit, and the defense needs no introduction. put the decline of the marlins and the rise of the tigers next to eachother, and you gotta conclude he's a difference maker.

lots of difference makers at catcher this year.


martinez,victor 526 65 69 23 39 .110 .869 .136 .283


number 1 catcher of the year. good patience, great contact/power combo. he turns 26 thursday, so expect a top 10 career.


lieberthal,mike 480 48 69 17 32 .091 .856 .119 .271


quality performer for a long time. still a strong contributor.


pierzynski,a.j. 474 34 27 11 30 .067 .943 .092 .272


best contact of all, and strong power in a pitcher's park. easily a strong contributor.


estrada,johnny 466 50 66 9 36 .097 .858 .113 .314


great patience and power for that contact. gotta be a difference maker. we'll do a ranking at the end.


barrett,michael 464 38 64 16 38 .076 .862 .135 .287


michael always had the skills, but didn't have the luck. this year he did. strong contributor.


varitek,jason 464 72 126 18 31 .134 .728 .145 .296


great patience, great power. but lots of strikeouts. strong contributor, but barely.

so far no guys.


piazza,mike 458 70 78 20 21 .133 .830 .108 .266


again, patience and power, with decent contact. strong contributor. it'll be interesting to see if he becomes a difference maker again.


posada,jorge 450 96 92 21 31 .176 .796 .145 .272


yeah. i don't know how he walks that much. difference maker. sorry to kill the suspense.


schneider,brian 438 45 63 12 23 .093 .856 .093 .257


solid all-around skills. and i hear he plays defense. still, he must improve patience or power to be a strong contributor.


inge,brandon 414 36 72 13 22 .080 .826 .102 .287


not a catcher anymore, but still a guy. actually his offense improved a lot this year.


hall,toby 411 29 41 8 21 .066 .900 .078 .255


you gotta figure one of these years toby'll get some power and start hurtin people. we'll see. till then he's a guy.


ausmus,brad 406 35 56 5 15 .079 .862 .057 .248


guy, barely.


miller,damian 399 41 87 9 25 .093 .782 .109 .272


ditto.


larue,jason 393 49 108 14 26 .111 .725 .140 .251


yeah.


hernandez,ramon 388 40 45 18 23 .093 .884 .120 .276


now this kid can hit. compare with johnny estrada. lower average, but better contact, and way more home runs, in a pitcher's park. the big one. death to fly ball stadium. strong contributor. good candidate for difference maker next year.


matheny,mike 388 26 83 5 23 .063 .786 .092 .247


his defense must be something if they still let him hit.

mike and the rest are guys.


barajas,rod 365 16 63 15 27 .042 .827 .139 .249
molina,bengie 341 20 35 10 13 .055 .897 .075 .276
zaun,gregg 339 53 61 6 24 .135 .820 .108 .269
wilson,dan 324 26 57 2 13 .074 .824 .056 .251
blanco,henry 318 23 56 10 20 .067 .824 .115 .206
moeller,chad 318 25 74 5 14 .073 .767 .078 .208
johnson,charles 306 54 91 13 20 .150 .703 .153 .236
olivo,miguel 302 23 84 13 19 .071 .722 .147 .233
redmond,mike 248 21 28 2 15 .078 .887 .077 .256
buck,john 239 15 79 12 9 .059 .669 .131 .235
bennett,gary 222 24 32 3 14 .098 .856 .089 .224
melhuse,adam 214 16 47 11 11 .070 .780 .132 .257
valentin,javier 204 18 36 6 11 .081 .824 .101 .233
molina,jose 203 10 52 3 12 .047 .744 .099 .261
greene,todd 196 13 38 10 14 .062 .806 .152 .282
hammock,robby 196 13 39 4 18 .062 .801 .140 .241
davis,ben 194 13 49 6 9 .063 .747 .103 .207
mayne,brent 193 27 41 0 7 .123 .788 .046 .221
cash,kevin 183 14 59 4 9 .071 .678 .105 .193
santiago,benito 176 10 32 6 10 .054 .818 .111 .274
brito,juan 173 10 41 3 7 .055 .763 .076 .205
torrealba,yorvi 173 19 31 6 10 .099 .821 .113 .227
perez,eddie 171 15 29 3 12 .081 .830 .106 .229
ross,dave 170 20 62 5 4 .105 .635 .083 .170
chavez,raul 162 10 38 0 8 .058 .765 .065 .210
mirabelli,doug 160 22 46 9 12 .121 .713 .184 .281
wilson,vance 160 15 24 4 11 .086 .850 .110 .274
ojeda,miguel 158 16 34 8 3 .092 .785 .089 .256
fordyce,brook 151 11 34 2 6 .068 .775 .068 .205
laird,gerald 150 14 35 1 6 .085 .767 .061 .224
alomar,sandy 148 13 13 2 4 .081 .912 .044 .240
diaz,einar 142 15 10 1 7 .096 .930 .061 .223
bako,paul 139 17 29 1 8 .109 .791 .082 .203
molina,yadier 136 13 20 2 6 .087 .853 .069 .267
pratt,todd 129 19 38 3 5 .128 .705 .088 .258
flaherty,john 127 6 25 6 9 .045 .803 .147 .252
burke,jamie 121 11 13 0 9 .083 .893 .083 .333
pellow,kit 121 12 43 2 6 .090 .645 .103 .240
laker,tim 118 8 28 3 2 .063 .763 .056 .214
closser,j.d. 113 8 22 1 6 .066 .805 .077 .319
mauer,joe 110 12 14 6 9 .098 .873 .156 .308


mauer's gotta be an up-and-comer, if his knees hold up. other up-and-comers include chris snyder of the diamondbacks, guillermo quiroz of the blue jays, and dioner navarro, who the yankees lucked into not trading to the dodgers. don't worry, they'll send him somewhere.

ranking:
1. martinez
2. posada
3. kendall
4. rodriguez
5. lopez
6. estrada
7. hernandez
8. loduca
9. pierzynski
10. barrett
11. piazza
12. varitek
13. lieberthal

i had 5 and 6 switched, as well as 8 and 9. but playing time makes the difference.
 
second second base post
as an addendum to the second base article, todd walker's numbers are really good, and i think i was a little hard on jeff kent. he does have a lot of power.
 
second base who's the best?
ok what do we got here we got transactions happening but let's continue with our player analysis and we can talk about teams once things settle.

i know it's not a popular method we wanna talk about everything *as* it happens we want to know everything immediately we want to have a smart opinion about everything. i didn't reed that i thought of it.

second base:


Player aab w k hr 23 wal con pow avg
young,michael 694 47 89 22 42 .063 .872 .106 .313


shortstop now these positions are a year old. but yeah very nice con pow combo and the playing time is a bonus. not a difference maker but a strong contributor. he plays in an easy park and he doesn't walk that much.


roberts,brian 647 72 95 4 52 .100 .853 .101 .273


don't put too much stock in that pow he only had four home runs which indicates the doubles are luck. but he's young: good bet to get stronger. i'm feeling generous; we'll call him a strong contributor.

second base probably has the highest con of any position. some sort of hand-eye coordination thing or something.


loretta,mark 636 67 45 16 49 .095 .929 .110 .334


by far the number one difference maker among second basemen. super con and high pow in the toughest park to hit (tied with la, seattle, san fransisco, oakland). shea is pretty tough too. actually petco is probably slightly tougher than all of them. anyway a .095 with a .929 con is unheard of. when you see a con that high and a pow that high you'll see an avg that high (cf beltre, pujols, etal.)

i think he's the only difference maker.


soriano,alfonso 615 43 121 28 36 .065 .803 .130 .280


went to an easier park and declined. those numbers are not good. turned out to be older than we thought he was. his 15 minutes are over. he's just a guy.


belliard,ronnie 601 62 98 12 49 .094 .837 .121 .282


that's quality production. we keep waiting for him to age off the map, but he keeps maintaining his skills. borderline strong contributor.


boone,bret 597 59 135 24 30 .090 .774 .117 .251


yes he plays in a tough park, but he's losing his power, and striking out more and more. just a guy.


castillo,luis 568 76 68 2 19 .118 .880 .042 .291


like juan pierre, he can get on base against anybody. strong contributor.


jimenez,d'angel 565 84 99 12 31 .129 .825 .092 .270


the white sox could've had a usable second baseman, but they don't like to be smart. he's a guy, but the reds win here because he's cheap.


womack,tony 559 39 60 5 25 .065 .893 .060 .307


popular target of sabermetricians because they don't understand the value of contact. they think he's a black hole, but he's a guy.


kent,jeff 551 55 96 27 42 .091 .826 .152 .289


used to be a difference maker, then he was a strong contributor, now he's a guy.


miles,aaron 528 31 53 6 18 .055 .900 .051 .293


barely usable.


bellhorn,mark 526 93 177 17 40 .150 .663 .163 .264


a guy, but the most interesting guy around. as the only second basemen who walks and has power, mark bellhorn has a definite niche. nice to see his playoff heroics after the way he's been jerked around the past few years.


polanco,placido 509 39 39 17 21 .071 .923 .081 .298


great contact. legitimate skills. guy.


infante,omar 508 41 112 16 36 .075 .780 .131 .264


yeah he's an outfielder now? or still a second baseman. omar infante is a little guy but he started swingin a big stick this year. up-and-comer.


hudson,orlando 493 55 98 12 39 .100 .801 .129 .270


guy with slight up-and-comer qualities.


durham,ray 475 63 60 17 36 .117 .874 .128 .282


ok ray durham is the other difference maker. if he can stay healthy.


kennedy,adam 470 54 92 10 25 .103 .804 .093 .278


guy.


scutaro,marco 455 17 57 7 33 .036 .875 .101 .273


guy. but cheap. lucky for the a's, they have a smart general manager. when mark ellis went down, marco scutaro stepped in.


vidro,jose 414 49 43 14 24 .106 .896 .102 .294


yeah, vidro is good. strong contributor. needs to stay healthy.


cora,alex 407 64 41 10 13 .136 .899 .063 .264


that's an impressive combination of wal and con. especially in dodger stadium. with his defense, i think we gotta say strong contributor.


ginter,keith 390 43 100 19 25 .099 .744 .152 .262


too many strikeouts.


giles,marcus 386 45 70 8 24 .104 .819 .101 .311


strong contributor, but a good chance to be the number one difference maker next year.


castillo,jose 385 24 92 8 17 .059 .761 .085 .256


he's young, but he's no good.


perez,neifi 385 24 41 4 18 .059 .894 .064 .255


i guess he's a shortstop. neifi perez, like womack, is disparaged by the ignorant, but he has definite skills. super defense, super contact.

the rest are guys.


relaford,desi 384 42 56 6 14 .099 .854 .061 .221
newhan,david 376 31 72 8 22 .076 .809 .099 .311
walker,todd 376 47 52 15 23 .111 .862 .117 .274
cabrera,jolbert 364 24 70 6 21 .062 .808 .092 .270
cairo,miguel 364 32 49 6 22 .081 .865 .089 .292
young,eric 347 49 28 1 27 .124 .919 .088 .288


nice late-career peak.


gomez,chris 344 30 41 3 12 .080 .881 .050 .282
blum,geoff 341 24 58 8 21 .066 .830 .102 .215
hairston,scott 340 22 88 13 21 .061 .741 .135 .248
rivas,luis 338 14 53 10 24 .040 .843 .119 .256


possible up-and-comer. yeah we been sayin that for years but he showed flashes of power this year. course he has never shown an inclination to wait on a pitch, so he'll probably never put it together.


sanchez,rey 288 14 28 2 17 .046 .903 .073 .246


it was fun to watch him play defense in 2001.


menechino,frank 269 41 52 9 17 .132 .807 .120 .275
utley,chase 269 17 40 13 13 .059 .851 .114 .266


up-and-comer.


green,nick 266 16 63 3 18 .057 .763 .103 .273
martinez,ramon 264 27 40 3 16 .093 .848 .085 .246
anderson,marlon 258 13 38 8 12 .048 .853 .091 .237
grudzielanek,ma 258 16 32 6 13 .058 .876 .084 .307
wilson,enrique 245 15 20 6 9 .058 .918 .067 .213
hill,bobby 234 32 39 2 9 .120 .833 .056 .266
spivey,junior 230 32 48 7 13 .122 .791 .110 .272
nunez,abraham_o 183 10 36 2 9 .052 .803 .075 .236
alomar,roberto 172 15 31 4 8 .080 .820 .085 .263
kata,matt 163 13 29 2 11 .074 .822 .097 .247
berg,dave 156 6 27 3 4 .037 .827 .054 .253
smith,jason 155 9 37 5 11 .055 .761 .136 .239
gotay,ruben 154 11 36 1 10 .067 .766 .093 .270


ruben gotay has potential, but he has a lot of work to do. he's young, though.


garcia,danny 139 31 34 3 8 .182 .755 .105 .232
mcewing,joe 139 9 32 1 4 .061 .770 .047 .254
delgado,wilson 130 15 29 2 5 .103 .777 .069 .292
keppinger,jeff 117 6 7 3 2 .049 .940 .045 .284
vina,fernando 116 14 9 0 5 .108 .922 .047 .226
garcia,jesse 115 2 16 1 5 .017 .861 .061 .252
gutierrez,ricky 103 9 14 0 3 .080 .864 .034 .214


well, there you have it. two difference makers, 5 1/2 strong contributors. michael cuddyer i think is listed among third basemen. i'm tryin to think who might be in the minors that's worth mentioning. that astros kid. chris burke. and rickie weeks of the brewers. and the dodgers just gave 3.5 million to jose valentin, which seems like a waste.

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