Tag Archives: Chone Figgins

In Praise of Loney

Like I said in the mid-season review, I’ve been hating on James Loney a bit, but it’s time to give him some recognition.

James Loney leads the majors this year in line drive percentage. Hitting line drives is a great skill and can sometimes be misleading–some players, like Chone Figgins, David Wright or Todd Helton, have made great careers out of a high LD% while others like Garrett Atkins or Freddy Sanchez can have one great season because their LD% skyrocketed for one year and dropped down to career rates again.

Loney’s year so far has been decent and he’s seen only a reasonable spike in his BABIP, as opposed to Austin Jackson‘s dizzying high .422 BABIP. Big Game James’ career average for LD% is 22.5, so likely he’s benefiting from a little bit of luck, but 22.5% is still a very high, praise-worthy LD%.

LD% also explains, to an extent, why Loney has struggled with home runs at Dodger Stadium. Line drive hitters’ home run numbers are usually heavily influenced by park factors (remember the David Wright article?) and when you see Dodger Stadium’s park factor is still in the bottom of the league, it’s not a real wonder why.

Well, here’s to Loney, anyway. Cheers, James.

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Filed under Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB

All-Modern Day Deadball All-Stars pt. I

All-Modern Day Deadball All-Stars–hitting by year

The last post got me thinking, what players in the modern day would have thrived in the Deadball era.

Deadball era hitters were known for low home run totals, high batting averages, bad Isolated Discipline (on-base percentage – batting average) and low strike out rates.

I went on Baseball-Reference’s Play Index (jeez is that thing fun to play with) and set the first parameters for career: BA >= .315, OBP >=.370, HR <= 400, minimum 3,000 plate appearances.

The list is surprisingly thin and chock full of first basemen of all things. Turns out a number of them were hurt because of late-career declines, so I scrapped that and started looking under single season for the same parameters, with HR <=20, between 1961-2009 (expansion era).

And that’s when the hits just kept coming.

Here’s what came up (slash stats are batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage/no. of home runs):

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Filed under All-Deadball Team, Deadball era, MLB history