One of the best developments this baseball season is the new daily updates at baseball-reference.com. (You used to have to wait until November to see the stats, game logs, etc.). Their site is much faster and easier to use than some larger, TV-network-affiliated sites I can think of.
Anyway, here are some interesting things from the leaderboards after one month:
- Ryan Freel is second in the league in games played – he’s appeared in all 25 of the Reds’ games. I’ve looked at this before, and Freel + extreme playing time = bad things. Usually, that means a lower AVG, no power whatsoever, increased strikeouts, and a lack of steal attempts. This year is pretty similar – Freel’s hitting .262, .340, .321 (against career numbers of .272, .366, .380). He’s struck out 15 times against 84 ABs, which is almost exactly his career norm. Freel unfortunately leads the league in getting caught stealing (4 CS vs. only 5 SB, when his career figure is 76%). Phillips has also played in every game.
- The Reds have scored and allowed 109 runs in those 25 games. 4.36 R/G ranks 9th among the 16 NL offenses, and 7th among pitching staffs. It’s too early for base defensive stats to be of any use, so I stepped over to Prospectus to see that the Reds rank 10/16 in Defensive Efficiency (“the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs by a team’s defense, or (1 – BABIP)”).
- Aaron Harang has been working in the batting cage. He already has 3 sac bunts and has 2 base hits (.154 AVG). He only had 13 sac bunts and 14 hits from 2004-06, combined. This actually matters. According to Prospectus, Harang’s hitting was so bad (2 for 74 with 0 BB in 2005) that he was costing himself up to 10-15 runs per year, compared to even a normally-bad-hitting pitcher.
- Brandon Phillips has already grounded into 5 double plays (3rd in the NL). That seemed like a fluke, until I saw the he hit into 19 DPs last year. That was just 2 behind Brad Ausmus for 5th place, and matches Sean Casey‘s second-worst year. Anyone have an idea as to why BP hits into so many DPs? I never even noticed it before. I suppose part of it is that he bats behind guys who get on base a lot (Dunn last year and Hamilton this year).
- Dunn and BP rank 2-3 in “power speed number,” a Bill James creation. ((2*HR*SB)/(HR + SB). This is a fluky list — noted double-threat Jimmy Rollins ranks first. Dunn, of course, ranks #1 in strikeouts.
- Josh Hamilton is behind only Barry Bonds in HR frequency, homering every 10.7 ABs.
- Aaron Harang’s 4 wins are one off the league lead, and his 1.000 winning percentage is obviously first. Matt Belisle has 3 wins. Harang is also 4th in IP, and only 1 strikeout behind Cole Hamels for the league lead. (Harang’s teammates, of course, were kind enough to provide Hamels with 15 of his 37 Ks.) Harang also leads the NL in wild pitches with 5.
- Kyle Lohse is first in the league in fewest walks per 9 IP (1.05). Belisle is 5th with 1.44. They hold the same spots on the K/BB leaderboard.
- Coffey and Saarloos are tied for 2nd in the league with 14 relief appearances. Volume, not quality, is the story there. Coffey’s also beaned a league-most 4 batters.
- Eric Milton is tied for the league “lead” with 4 losses.