Tag Archives: David Wright

UPDATE: NL and AL All-Star Team Total WARs (now with B-R and Fangraphs!)

I was just having some fun with WAR numbers (Baseball-References’) and decided to add everything up. The results are pretty interesting.  You’re uh … you’re gonna wanna read to the bottom.




NATIONAL LEAGUE STARTING LINE-UP
Player            WAR
Hanley Ramirez:   2.3
Martin Prado:     2.2
Albert Pujols:    3.4
Ryan Howard:      1.3
Ryan Braun:       1.8
David Wright:     3.9
Andre Ethier:     1.2
Corey Hart:       2.5
Yadier Molina:    0.8

Ubaldo Jimenez:   4.7

AMERICAN LEAGUE STARTING LINE-UP
Player            WAR
Ichiro Suzuki:    2.2
Derek Jeter:      1.1
Miguel Cabrera:   3.7
Josh Hamilton:    2.9
Vladimir Guerrero 1.0
Evan Longoria:    3.9
Joe Mauer:        2.1
Robinson Cano:    4.6
Carl Crawford:    3.4

David Price:      3.1

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Filed under All-Star Game, MLB, Wins Above Replacement

The NL Line-Up Once More: Ideal vs. Realistic vs. What We Got

I like how this line-up went from sure-fire awesome to “eh” in about a week.

What the NL ASG starting line-up looked like from voting:

Hanley Ramirez, SS
Chase Utley, 2B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Ryan Braun, LF
Andre Ethier, RF
Jason Heyward, CF
David Wright, 3B
Yadier Molina, C

Not Charlie’s fault Utley and Heyward had to cancel because of injury, so here’s an ideal line-up with ideal replacements:

Hanley Ramirez, SS
Albert Pujols, 1B
Adrian Gonzalez, DH
Ryan Braun, LF
Colby Rasmus/Angel Pagan/Andrew McCutchen, CF
Andre Ethier, RF
David Wright, 3B
Martin Prado, 2B
Yadier Molina, C

And here’s an ideal line-up with the current replacements:

Hanley Ramirez, SS
Albert Pujols
, 1B
Adrian Gonzalez
, DH
Ryan Braun
, LF
Andre Ethier
, RF
David Wright
, 3B
Marlon Byrd/Chris Young, CF
Martin Prado, 2B
Yadier Molina, C

And now, just a reminder, here’s what we got:

Hanley Ramirez, SS
Martin Prado, 2B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Ryan Howard, DH
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Braun, LF
Andre Ethier, CF
Corey Hart, RF
Yadier Molina, C

Charlie Manuel is trolling us all.

E: I’d like to add I have no serious stake in the All-Star game, I find these decisions hilarious.  After all, it’s just an exhibition game.

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Filed under All-Star Game, MLB

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

What’s going on with David Wright

David Wright hasn’t reproduced his amazing seasons from 2005 to 2008 and his ability was called into question after last season’s 10 home run performance.  There’s a few things to blame for that, one being he suffered a pretty brutal injury on Aug. 15 when a fastball hit him right in the noggin (yeah, remember that?). He had to miss 18 games, whereas in previous years he played almost all 162. He hit eight home runs before the incident and only two after.

That would account for some, but Aug. 15 is still more than half-way through the year.  So when he averaged 30 home runs between 2005 and 2008, he would have finished with only 15 all things permitting in 2009.

One thing that was brought up was the change from Shea Stadium to Citifield.

I thought that made the most logical sense, since Citi is a pretty good pitcher’s park, but B-R park factors have them at about equal (even though a three-year sample size is necessary for judgment, we’ll just assume 98 was average for Citi).

Let’s test it out anyway.

Here’s where the outfield lines begin and end for both fields:

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Castillo as Mets lead-off hitter is, surprisingly, the best choice

I make a joke on Twitter today that, in the wake of the announcement that Reyes will be batting third while Beltran is on the DL, Luis Castillo batting lead-off creates “a level of depression in futility only Mets fans can feel.”

After posting it, a few people pointed out that Castillo had a .387 on-base percentage last year and that the guy has done a very good job of getting on base for his career with no power.  Looking over it now, holy moly, the guy is very good at it. His career on-base percentage is .369 (with a .292 batting average) while the league average for on-base has been roughly in the mid-.330s for his career.

Part of that, someone pointed out, is because Castillo rarely swings at anything.  Literally.

Fangraphs has him with a 35% swing percentage, which means he swings at 35% of the pitches thrown to him–the league average for 2007, 2008 and 2009 was 45.9%, 45.9% and 45.2%. This is very low, and especially low for a guy who has 35 home runs in 7,000+ plate appearances.  In contrast, both Albert Pujols and Mr. Three True Outcomes (Adam Dunn) both have higher career swing percentages.

(Just a side note: Castillo is very, very good at hitting balls he swings at, with a 95% contact rate inside the strike zone and 75% contact rate outside it).

As for his teammates, Jose Reyes and David Wright both have a career 44% rate and Jeff Francoeur has a ridiculous 58.6% career rate.  So yes, this is a very smart decision, even if Castillo has bad knees and almost 35 years old.  Just don’t let him run the bases too much, jeez.

Just because Francoeur’s was so high, I checked around to see who had a higher one and Vlad Guerrero career swing percentage is only .1% higher than Francoeur’s (58.7%), though Guerrero has played over many more seasons.

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