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Entries in Derek Jeter (16)

Saturday
Sep012012

Bill Chuck's Nine to Know: August

August was pretty ugly for Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Red Sox Nation but overall it was a pretty cool month considering how hot it was.

Here are nine questions that demand your attention.

  1. Will the Orioles be demanding that today be declared August 32?
  2. Was August an indicator for the Pirates?
  3. Have the 2013 turn-arounds for Kansas City and San Diego already begun?
  4. I know Yovani Gallardo was 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in August, but wouldn't you agree that Felix Hernandez, with a 4-0 record and a 1.08 ERA and a 0.58 WHIP was the pitcher of the month? In 41.2 innings, he allowed 19 hits and just five earned runs; the Red Sox allowed 19 hits and 20 runs in eight innings to the A's last night.
  5. What does Derek Jeter have in common with catchers Kelly Shoppach, Brayan Pena, and Jose Molina? Jeter had 43 hits in August, the same number of hits that each of the catchers have had this entire season.
  6. Is Terry Francona headed for the Indians dugout as their next manager?
  7. The Rays pitchers allowed 2.46 runs per game in August, how can they not be the most feared team if they make the postseason?
  8. How thrilled is Atlanta's Brian McCann to turn the page to September? His .181 average was good compared to his zero homers and two RBI in 72 AB.
  9. July 23 was the last day the Tgers were in first place by themselves in the AL Central, when are we going to start raving about the work about Kenny Williams and Robin Ventura this season?

AL August

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA
TEX 19 10 .655 -- 168 128
BAL 18 9 .667 -- 118 106
OAK 18 10 .643 0.5 146 102
TBR 17 11 .607 1.5 121 69
KCR 17 11 .607 1.5 115 105
DET 16 11 .593 2.0 133 108
CHW 16 12 .571 2.5 128 118
SEA 15 12 .556 3.0 95 106
NYY 15 13 .536 3.5 133 119
LAA 13 15 .464 5.5 156 172
MIN 9 19 .321 9.5 117 138
TOR 9 19 .321 9.5 89 132
BOS 9 20 .310 10.0 139 172
CLE 5 24 .172 14.0 96 179

  NL August

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA
WSN 19 10 .655 -- 137 98
SDP 18 10 .643 0.5 119 109
CIN 19 11 .633 0.5 142 122
SFG 18 11 .621 1.0 157 126
PHI 17 12 .586 2.0 112 108
MIL 16 12 .571 2.5 148 122
COL 16 13 .552 3.0 142 143
STL 16 13 .552 3.0 124 127
ATL 15 14 .517 4.0 119 91
LAD 14 14 .500 4.5 125 111
ARI 13 16 .448 6.0 109 123
NYM 12 16 .429 6.5 83 104
MIA 12 17 .414 7.0 120 123
PIT 11 17 .393 7.5 121 135
CHC 8 21 .276 11.0 111 153
HOU 5 22 .185 13.0 75 149
 
Monday
Jul022012

My All Star Starters: AL SS

Voting has concluded and the starters are in, but I will continue to put forth my opinion on who should have been chosen for this year's Summer Classic. Up next is American League Shortstop. Voting from the last published tally can be found here.

Excellent shortstops are the best defenders in the infield, combining speed, quick hands, and a strong arm to patrol the depths of the left side of the field. the candidates being voted on were good, but not many American League Shortstops are having monster seasons. Lets take a look at how everything panned out.

 

#1. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 4,407,982

Who says you can't get better with age. Jeter started this season off on a tear, and though he slowed down a bit, it was enough to propel him to another starting spot on an All Star squad. Let's go back to guess that player.

Player A: 36 G, 153 AB, 56 H, 9 2b, 5 HR, 13 BB, 19 K, 15 RBI, 2 SB, .366 AVG, .413 OBP, .523 SLG

Player B: 40 G, 175 AB, 42 H, 4 2b, 2 HR, 11 BB, 25 K, 10 RBI, 4 SB, .240 AVG, .293 OBP, .297 SLG

Player A is the Captain from before a mid-May off day on the 16th. At the time, Jeter led all of Major League Baseball in hits and was fourth in batting average. After that, the power numbers slipped dramatically, and he quite frankly stopped hitting. Much of this could be attributed to his batting average on balls in play. Below shows his BABIP from the first segment and then the second segment, respectively.

Player APlayer BIn the second quarter of the season, Jeter wasn't catching some of the breaks he was early on, which resulted in a significant drop in average. The Captain is still an integral part of a high powered New York Yankees offense, and his past pedigree may be what won him the starting nod over other qualified candidates. here are his numbers to this point. 

76 G, 328 AB, 41 R, 98 H, 13 2b, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 6 SB, 24 BB, 44 SO, .299 AVG, .349 OBP, .402 SLG

Overall, these numbers are good, but I believe the simple fact that his is a major household name helped him gather the vote numbers he did.

 

#2 Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers 2,764,888

Elvis Andrus has made the American League All Star team as a reserve, but I think that with a more rounded stat sheet than Jeter, he should have won the starting nod. While he is a baseball generation younger than Jeter at only 23 years old, he has shown poise and maturity as he has improved his offensive game, posting a .307 average to this point in the season to couple with his mastery of glovework at the position. Andrus has the potential to be a cornerstone in a potent Texas Rangers lineup for a long time. Andrus' success this season thus far has been capitalizing on mistake pitches, really hitting the ball well on fastballs up in the zone. his average against those particular pitches is .398, which is unreal.

He has only managed a .237 clip on balls down in the zone, which could be due to his high ground ball rate on balls low in the zone. Almost 56% of balls he connects with down there are being pounded into the ground and less than half of those have snuck through as seeing eye grounders.

Elvis has shown off his speed as well, connecting on five triples and swiping sixteen bases. Let's look at his overall numbers.

77 G, 306 AB, 51 R, 94 H, 19 2b, 5 3b, 1 HR, 32 RBI, 16 SB, 36 BB, 40 SO, .307 AVG, .383 OBP, .412 SLG

What stands out to me here is that Andrus leads Jeter in some pretty major categories, most importantly, strikeout to walk ratio. The fact that Andrus has received almost as many free passes as K's has allowed him more opportunities to steal and really shows how he has matured at the plate. While he may not he hitting HRs, the extra base hits are there and he leads Jeter in slugging as well. If we went purely by numbers (not including fan vote numbers), Andrus should be the guy starting the All Star game with Jeter coming off the bench. 

 

#3. J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles 1,331,927

I wish I knew how this guy garnered over a million votes this year. Per usual, the power numbers are there for Hardy, but the average is a putrid .232. In order to be considered an All Star, you need to be good in every facet of the game, not just one. Hardy has displayed some high caliber defense at times this season, which is a very welcome addition to his other talents. Lets look at what Hardy has done successfully.

Hardy is a pure pull hitter now, absolutely annihilating hard stuff on the inside of the plate that he manages to get his hands through the zone quickly on. 

That big red heat zone has resulted in a .400 AVG, .855 SLG, 1.255 OPS against the hard stuff. If you are a pitcher who thinks you can sneak one past Hardy on the inside, I would behoove you to reconsider. If you want to get him out, go with the soft stuff low and away, which seems to be Hardy's dead zone.

Offspeed pitches out here have resulted in a .140 AVG, .160 SLG, .333 OPS. Here are Hardy's stats to this point.

76 G, 326 AB, 39 R, 77 H, 15 2b, 2 3b, 12 HR, 32 RBI, 15 BB, 49 SO, .236 AVG, .270 OBP, .405 SLG

When you have an OBP under .300 for the first half, I don't think your name should even be in the conversation for an All Star appearance, but an admirable power output from Hardy, nonetheless. 

 

#4. Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians 1,063,137

Cabrera has been quietly building on a breakout 2011 campaign, and is well deserving of the All Star reserve spot he was given. He has been an offensive force for Cleveland and his fantasy baseball owners, ranking second among American League fantasy options at the year's thinnest position. 

Our switch hitter on this list, Asdrubal has had some pretty even splits. While he has hit for a slightly better average versus lefties, he has managed to hit for slightly more power versus righties, resulting in almost equivalent OPS's from either side of the plate (.874 from the right and .873 from the left). His most success has come in no strike counts, where he has hit .354. Once the count gets to two strikes, he drops down to .268. The images below show the heat maps, respectively.

No StrikesTwo Strikes

Cabrera's stats speak for themselves.

69 G, 277 AB, 41 R, 83 H, 19 2b, 1 3b, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 2 SB, 32 BB, 39 SO, .300 AVG, .379 OBP, .495 SLG

This is the highest slugging percentage of the group by far. Cabrera could have even been considered for the starting job, but I think he is just fine where he is right now. 

 

Wild Card: Mike Aviles, Boston Red Sox

I'm surprised Aviles wasn't even in the conversation for an All Star bid, considering he leads all AL shortstops in RBI while pounding out more extra base hits than Jeter and Andrus. The average isn't quite there, and neither is the plate discipline, but he should have at least been mentioned. I did a piece on the Sox shortstop before the season started; click here to read.

 

Results:

1. Elvis Andrus

2. Asdrubal Cabrera

3. Derek Jeter

4. Mike Aviles

In the end, I believe the right three were chosen to represent the AL SS's in the All Star game, but the starter could easily have been different as the three seasons each had their own strengths.

Wednesday
May162012

Top Hitters with Two Strikes

Most Hits with Two Strikes in 2012
RankPLAYERpaH2B3BHR
T1Adam Jones8324303
T1Derek Jeter7724600
3Josh Reddick8423400
T4David Ortiz7322304
T4Martin Prado8122410
T6Joe Mauer8521414
T6Rafael Furcal7621301
T8Mark Ellis7920201
T8Emilio Bonifacio10020510
T10Daniel Murphy7219310
T10Ryan Braun8219011
T10Bryan LaHair7419400
T10Prince Fielder7619704
T10Elvis Andrus8119503
T10A. J. Ellis7219404
T10Dustin Pedroia8319522
T17Edwin Encarnacion8917702
T17Joey Votto7817403
T17Jayson Werth6917202
T17Brett Lawrie7617301
T17Michael Bourn9217501
T17Michael Cuddyer8117100
T17Curtis Granderson9217003
T17Ian Kinsler8717111
T17Nelson Cruz8017200

Adam Jones has been on fire for the Baltimore Orioles. He's batting .302 with a .591 slugging percentage. And his .397 wOBA is 67 points higher than his 2008-2011 average. Jones is apparently doing much better with two strikes as well, as he's tied with Derek Jeter for the league lead in hits when one pitch away from a strikeout.

In 2011, Jones had 51 hits in two strike counts, and with not even a quarter of the current season finished he's almost half way there. His wOBA with two strikes between 2008 and 2011 was .245. In 2012: .388.

One possible reason for his success this year is that Jones has become more selective when down in the count. Between 2008 and 2011, Jones chased 54.0% of pitches out of the zone with two strikes. This season that number is down to 49.4%. Jones is also making more contact in two strike counts as his miss rate is down to 19.1% from 22.8% between the 2008 and 2011 seasons.

Of course, there's always a little bit of luck involved with balls in play, and Jones is no exception. His BABIP with two strikes is a rather high .408, compared to .312 between 2008 and 2011, and a .298 League Average BABIP with two strikes in 2012.