By the Numbers: Desperate-Lee needing offense
Carlos Lee hasn't been quite himself in Houston while Kevin Kouzmanoff is starting to pick it up for the hapless Padres. Our Al Melchior examines their skill stats and others in his latest By the Numbers.
Over the last three weeks, Carlos Lee has hit a feeble .164 (12-for-73) and watched his average dip from .294 to .254. He is still starting in 97 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, but how much longer should owners wait for El Caballo to hit his stride? He has managed to maintain his home run (three) and RBI (17) pace through this slump, but because he is rarely getting on base, Lee has scored only six runs since May 16. Three weeks ago, Lee's H/BIP was 29 percent, right on target with his career norms, but now it has decreased all the way to 25 percent. So despite the fact that Lee has continued to hit for power when he does hit, his H/BIP rate since May 16 is a mere 14 percent, less than half the rates he has posted in four of the last five seasons. He is a lock to resume hitting at his usual .300 rate anytime now.
Right around the time that Lee was starting to sink into his funk, Kevin Kouzmanoff was experiencing a surge in his offensive production and Fantasy popularity. Between May 20 and 25, he had four multi-hit games, four home runs and an OPS increase from .661 to .736. Fantasy owners responded, as he was added to 11 percent of the leagues on CBSSports.com that week. Kouzmanoff hasn't done much to help his Fantasy owners in the week and a half since his hot streak, and it may be time to consider cutting ties to make room for another third baseman. He has a lower Isolated Power average than Blake DeWitt , Melvin Mora or Casey Blake , and all of these players are available in at least 63 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. Power is the core of Kouzmanoff’s game, and it has been absent for most of this year. Even if he boosts his own skill numbers, he doesn't have much of a lineup around him to help his Fantasy stats.
If the Padres are going to turn it around this year, they will have to rely heavily on their pitching. The newest member of their rotation, Josh Banks , has become one of my favorite players. Like Damian Rolls and Josh Fields before him, he has a name that doubles as a complete sentence. And his 2-0 record and 0.39 ERA in 23 innings are nice, too. Banks' minor league numbers offer some hope that he can continue to be successful in the majors, though common sense and his 1.82 ERC tell us that his ERA will get some adjusting. The Pads' rookie has put up excellent strikeout and walk ratios in his minor league career, but he has been consistently generous with home runs. Fortunately for Banks and his Fantasy owners, he pitches in Petco Park, the stingiest home run stadium for the last three years. He is worth having on your active roster in mixed leagues, as long as he is pitching in his home ballpark.
Another member of the Complete Sentence Name Club, J.D. Drew , has been on a tear as well. He can certainly maintain his current home run pace, despite the fact that he hasn't hit more than 20 in a season since 2004. His current Isolated Power and whiff rate are in line with his recent track record. However, if you are counting on Drew to hit .300, you will be disappointed. J.D. whiffs more and hits with less power than his brother, Stephen, yet the younger Drew is batting a mere .267. J.D.'s average probably won't fall that low (and Stephen's should really be higher), but once his 38 percent H/BIP makes its inevitable descent, expect his batting average to settle around .280.
All statistics below are for season-to-date performances through Saturday, June 7.
|'Lucky' Hitters||H/BIP||RC/27||'Lucky' Pitchers||H/BIP||ERC|
|Jesus Flores , C, Washington||44%||8.2||Justin Masterson , SP, Boston||17%||3.20|
|Matt Kemp , OF, L.A. Dodgers||41%||5.8||Armando Galarraga , SP, Detroit||19%||2.70|
|Ramon Vazquez , 3B, Texas||39%||7.1||Gavin Floyd , SP, Chicago White Sox||20%||2.77|
|Brandon Boggs , OF, Texas||39%||5.2||Renyel Pinto , RP, Florida||22%||2.74|
|Milton Bradley , OF, Texas||39%||11.4||Scott Olsen , SP, Florida||22%||3.43|
|Aaron Rowand , OF, San Francisco||39%||7.3||John Lackey , SP, L.A. Angels||24%||2.62|
|Howie Kendrick , 2B, L.A. Angels||39%||5.1||Ryan Franklin , RP, St. Louis||26%||3.45|
|Jerry Hairston , OF, Cincinnati||39%||7.0||Juan Cruz , RP, Arizona||26%||3.44|
|J.D. Drew , OF, Boston||38%||7.7||Aaron Laffey , SP, Cleveland||27%||3.07|
|Alexi Casilla , 2B, Minnesota||38%||8.1||Oliver Perez , SP, N.Y. Mets||27%||5.86|
|Unlucky' Hitters||H/BIP||RC/27||'Unlucky' Pitchers||H/BIP||ERC|
|Cody Ross , OF, Florida||18%||5.7||Jesus Colome , RP, Washington||38%||4.64|
|Mike Napoli , C, L.A. Angels||21%||5.1||Andrew Miller , SP, Florida||38%||5.61|
|Travis Buck , OF, Oakland||21%||2.4||Guillermo Mota , RP, Milwaukee||36%||4.06|
|Kenji Johjima , C, Seattle||23%||2.6||Jarrod Washburn , SP, Seattle||35%||6.14|
|Ramon Hernandez , C, Baltimore||23%||2.9||CC Sabathia , SP, Cleveland||35%||4.69|
|Adrian Beltre , 3B, Seattle||23%||4.8||Dustin McGowan , SP, Toronto||35%||4.20|
|Rickie Weeks , 2B, Milwaukee||24%||4.2||Ubaldo Jimenez , SP, Colorado||34%||5.23|
|Carlos Lee , OF, Houston||25%||4.8||Jonathan Broxton , RP, L.A. Dodgers||34%||3.48|
|Edwin Encarnacion , 3B, Cincinnati||25%||4.7||Andy Sonnanstine , SP, Tampa Bay||34%||4.52|
|Ryan Howard , 1B, Philadelphia||25%||4.6||A.J. Burnett , SP, Toronto||34%||4.21|
|Good stats, good skills - hitters||H/BIP||RC/27||Good stats, good skills - pitchers||H/BIP||ERC|
|Brian McCann , C, Atlanta||30%||8.0||Josh Banks , SP, San Diego||29%||1.82|
|Carlos Quentin , OF, Chicago White Sox||28%||7.6||Jon Rauch , RP, Washington||29%||2.25|
|Joe Crede , 3B, Chicago White Sox||28%||7.4||Cliff Lee , SP, Cleveland||30%||2.32|
|Adrian Gonzalez , 1B, San Diego||32%||6.7||Brian Fuentes , RP, Colorado||29%||2.38|
|Orlando Hudson , SS, Arizona||32%||6.5||Darrell Rasner , SP, N.Y. Yankees||28%||2.76|
|Poor stats, poor skills - hitters||H/BIP||RC/27||Poor stats, poor skills - pitchers||H/BIP||ERC|
|Felipe Lopez , SS, Washington||29%||3.0||Tom Gorzelanny , SP, Pittsburgh||29%||6.25|
|Kurt Suzuki , C, Oakland||29%||3.2||Mike Timlin , RP, Boston||31%||5.65|
|Brad Wilkerson , OF, Toronto||31%||3.4||Joaquin Benoit , RP, Texas||29%||5.28|
|Brendan Harris , SS, Minnesota||32%||3.4||Brian Burres , SP, Baltimore||31%||5.27|
|Kevin Kouzmanoff , 3B, San Diego||31%||4.2||Ricky Nolasco , SP, Florida||29%||5.27|
Runs Created per 27 Outs (RC/27) -- An estimate of how many
runs a lineup would produce per 27 outs if a particular player
occupied each spot in the order; ex. the RC/27 for Miguel Cabrera
would predict the productivity of a lineup where Cabrera (or his
statistical equal) batted in all nine spots; created by Bill James
Component ERA (ERC) -- An estimate of a what a pitcher's ERA would be if it were based solely on actual pitching performance; created by Bill James
Base Hits per Balls in Play (H/BIP) -- The percentage of balls in play (at bats minus strikeouts and home runs) that are base hits; research by Voros McCracken and others has established that this rate is largely random and has a norm of approximately 30%
Isolated Power -- The difference between slugging percentage and batting average; created by Branch Rickey and Allan Roth
Walk Rate -- Walks / (at bats + walks)
Whiff Rate -- Strikeouts / at bats
Al Melchior was recently a Fantasy columnist and data analyst for Baseball HQ and will be providing advice columns for CBSSports.com. Click here to send him a question. Please put "Melchior" in the subject field.
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