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« Colorado Rockies' Lucky CarGo | Main | Figuring Figgins »

Arizona's Clutch Hitter

Rob Neyer recently wrote about whether the Arizona Diamondbacks could see a turnaround in the near future. One of the more interesting aspects of Arizona's 2010 season was that they were seventh in the league in OBP and fourth in SLG, yet finished eighth in scoring. As he notes, poor clutch hitting usually accounts for this disparity, but the Diamondbacks apparently did well in this area.

Among all players in the league with a minimum 50 plate appearances with runners in scoring position last year, Arizona had one batter in the Top 50 in wOBA (Mark Reynolds) and five in the Top 100 (LaRoche, Drew, Upton, Montero). Reynolds is an interesting case; while he had a fairly big drop off across the board from his 2009 numbers overall, he excelled in big spots.
Mark Reynolds - 2010
w/ RISP.276.414.619.441

w/ RISP27.6%11.0%8.2%.325

Reynolds is a true outcome player. In 2010, he had the worst K-Rate of any qualifying major leaguer, while finishing in the top 6% in BB% and the top 4% in HR%. All those strikeouts really hurt his overall line, and dropped his OBP into the bottom 34% in the league. He may have gotten a bit lucky in clutch situations last season, as his BABIP saw a pretty big jump. However, it’s worth pointing out that in his last 551 plate appearances with RISP, Reynolds has hit .256/.365/.527 with 30 HRs for a .391 wOBA.
Mark Reynolds w/ RISP 2008-2010

Without Mark Reynolds' elevated numbers with RISP last season, the D-Backs would have likely finished a lot worse than 8th in scoring. Somehow, I don't think Melvin Mora will be able to replace that offense.

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