I’ve written a couple of posts with generalities about Braves options for the outfield next season and thought I’d look at some folks specifically being talked about by fans to fill the holes in the lineup. In order to have a little fun and find out what fans think, I thought a blind comparison would be an interesting way to start. Numbers without names erase a lot of prejudices and allow an clear statistical evaluation. Now I’m the first to say that numbers aren’t everything and many – like UZR – have little predictive value. I know that everyone can’t be nor do they want to be wrapped up in statistics. . . most folks have a life to lead. . . I had one once I recall. Anyway you will hear more of these numbers used (correctly and incorrectly I might add) in stories and on TV so a little knowledge can be helpful. It’s also a great way to get to know your team better and understand why some things that seem obvious to you aren’t so obvious when you get past anecdotal information. With that in mind I try to use the most meaningful numbers relative to what I’m trying to learn when looking at a player. You may want to use others and I’m always open to discussion of those I omit. Lets start in what might be called The Bourn Vacancy; center field.
Option A or B or. . .
With word on the street that Bourn’s asking for a $100M contract Braves fans are pondering a replacement in center field. While it would be nice if the CF were also a leadoff man it doesn’t have to be the case. I’ve put together a list of players mentioned or potentially available that I’ve heard rumors about, read articles on or generally might be an option because their team may need what we have to trade.The list is in no specific order, not alphabetical or sorted in any special way so there are no clues in that. You could I suppose dig thorough the databases and figure out who each is but that would defeat the purpose of a blind résumé now wouldn’t it.
I purposely haven’t included home runs or stolen bases. Instead I will say that all of these gentlemen have stolen bases successfully at some point and are not beyond stealing more. In order to address power I included the isolated power stat (ISO) as CFs are not typically home run monsters anyway and it gives a relatively complete gauge of power. The ground ball – fly ball ratio and hit type percentages will give you a clue about the kind of hitters these gentlemen are so that too may help in that area. I’ve included Bourn’s numbers last year as a basis for comparison. So, have a look and vote.
The leaders in certain categories are marked in green , second place in orange and third in blue. All percentages are rounded off due to space limits.
That should be sufficient data to make a guess. Here are a couple of definitions in case you aren’t familiar with some of the stats used.
I was asked to provide multiple years of data and I’m happy to do that. Below is the last three years -2010 thru 2012 – for the payers listed. Player H played less than 3 full years so I extrapolated his raw data (marked with an * ) in order to give a realistic picture of three full years. The percentage data is real data however as the percentages would theoretically be the same for the missing portion of the three years. In any event the data is a realistic look t the player projection.
Isolated Power (ISO) is a measure of a hitter’s raw power. Or, to look at it another way, it measures how good a player is at hitting for extra bases.
Batting Average on Balls In Play BAbip tells us how many hits a player is getting when the ball is put in play. Oddly enough home runs are not in play but that’s another discussion.
Contact % is simply that, how often does a hitter make contact.
Line Drive (LD), Ground ball (GB), Fly Ball (FB) and Infield Fly Ball (IFFB) percentages tell you the trajectory of balls in play.
That’s A Wrap
The poll will close at noon EST Monday and I’ll post the names that go with the numbers and some thought on them. Please vote and tell your friends to vote. There is no right or wrong of course, just opinion and ideas. I’m always looking for subjects for my posts that answer readers needs so drop us a note or contact me @Fredeowens on Twitter with those ideas or any questions you may have.