The Mockingbird

Solo Power

with 9 comments

After we hit 3 solo shots in the 8th last game to maximize our fireworks while keeping our actually-in-the-game index as low as possible, some dozer on the mlb board quipped that if you’ve followed Vernon Wells through his career, he only ever hits solo shots. Which lead to an interesting revelation through the help of baseball-reference.com, namely that Vernon Wells NEVER hits solo shots. Seriously, 70/146 (48%) is bizarre. Here are some other home run hitters:

  • David “Clutch” Ortiz has 152/240 (63%) solo shots over his career;
  • Torii Hunter: 99/174 (57%)
  • Shawn Green: 190/323 (59%)
  • Aubrey Huff: 90/145 (62%)
  • J.D. Drew: 93/164 (57%)
  • Trot Nixon: 86/135 (64%)
  • Gary Sheffield: 242/463 (52%)
  • Carlos Delgado: 224/410 (54%)
  • Jason Giambi: 178/356 (50%) !

And the list goes on…I can’t find a single player in recorded history who has a % under 50, let alone under Vernon (any ideas?). There has been a lot of sabremetric-rattling lately about how protection doesn’t exist, (or maybe Bill James was just kidding around?), but what about reverse protection? It seems that Vernon hits for more power when pitchers can’t pitch around him because there’s already someone on base. Last year Wells got off to his first amazing April ever when Reed Johnson was leading the league in OBP, and then came back to earth when he did. Coincedence?

Written by halejon

May 22, 2007 at 6:41 pm

Posted in Baseball, Blue Jays, Seriousness

Tagged with , ,

9 Responses

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  1. Wow, that’s incredible, I hope you did a little rubbing-in on the MLB board. I think your argument goes well with one that has become traditionally assumed with Alex Rios – who over the past few seasons has been decried as someone who hits poorly with men on base. However, he seems to hit slightly BETTER with men on, though its only a quick review of stats:

    Avg/OBP/SLG
    Career: .283 .332 .442
    Men ON: .293 .348 .442
    RISP: .288 .341 .424

    The only dips of note, would be with the bases loaded where he slugs a mere .362 ( .612 OPS – with no grand salami in 52 PAs, 9Ks and 0BBs). And with runners at 1 and 2, where he pulls a .257 .325 .404 line.

    But with your little analysis above, it begs the question – why do we have a career .332 OPS guy in the leadoff spot when he’s currently leading the team in jacks, doesn’t get on enough, and hits better with men on?

    Perhaps my boy Reed still has a spot in LF when he gets back, it appears that Lind isn’t quite ready, and though Stairs is on a mad tear, he’s always going to be bench fodder when you can replace him with Gold Glove defence and a HBP-induced .390 OBP.

    Hell, the more ABs we he can take from our SSs the better.

    All Rios stats here:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=riosal01

    Dan

    May 23, 2007 at 3:07 pm

  2. Well, despite J.P’s predilictions, we don’t really have an OBP guy for the top of the lineup. Rios is an awkward choice except for the steals, and he gets caught too much to have much value there.

    You gotta think it’s Hill eventually- but that didn’t work out (and now he’s a power hitter?!). It would be really nice if we could sign a SS this offseason to fill the void. I know he bats 5th now, but what about Guillen? As long as we don’t have to have Overbay clumping around up there any more…would seriously rather have Zaun leadoff.

    Not too worried, but Lind has looked kind of lost for long periods of time…I guess Boy Wonder has to take his knocks like everyone else.

    halejon

    May 23, 2007 at 5:45 pm

  3. Hmm… I’m definitely surprised about Vernon’s home run numbers. Nice bit of sleuthing.

    With Rios, I’m not too sure who else you’d put in the leadoff spot. The only person I could see is Aaron Hill. Where art thou, Reed Johnson?

    On a side note: I don’t know how to do this because family records don’t appear in baseball stat websites… but I’d be curious to see how many of our Jays on the “All-DL” squad are first-born sons. There’s something to this Jays-enacting-plague-of-Egypt theory.

    hroman

    May 24, 2007 at 1:40 am

  4. How many SS in MLB are true leadoff hitters? And unfortunatly, that any money spent in the off-season would be do better solidifying the back end of the rotation.

    Dan

    May 24, 2007 at 2:04 pm

  5. Well, that’s probably true for every season but I can’t see us resigning Clayton and Adams doesn’t look like he’s turned it around.

    Jon

    May 24, 2007 at 3:37 pm

  6. SERGIO SANTOS BABY!

    Dan

    May 25, 2007 at 2:05 pm

  7. I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that. Now go wash your mouth out with soap.

    halejon

    May 25, 2007 at 2:39 pm

  8. Hi, please forgive this cut-and-paste comment.

    I’ve started a petition to tell Major League Baseball that a significant number of fans dislike interleague play and want it abolished.

    Please visit Petition to End Interleague Play and read it. If you agree, please sign it and consider posting it on this blog.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/mlb2007/petition.html

    I’m hoping to spread the word among serious baseball fans. I realize it may do very little, but I thought it was time we stop complaining to each other and tell management how we feel. Thanks!

    L-girl

    May 26, 2007 at 3:20 pm

  9. Well, lets first deal with the unbalanced schedule – and then we can talk about interleague play.

    But one question:

    How’d the heck did MLB decide that the Phillies were our chief NL rival after the Expos ceased to exist. I blame John Kruk and poor Mitch Williams.

    Dan

    May 26, 2007 at 10:32 pm


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