Stats & Info: Derrek Lee

Asdrubal Cabrera
Cabrera

The Cleveland Indians' Asdrubal Cabrera entered this season with 18 home runs in 387 career games.

Following his two-HR game on Monday against the Boston Red Sox, Cabrera now has 19 this season.

His second home run came in the eighth inning off Daniel Bard, who had not allowed a run in his last 25 appearances (26.1 innings). The last time Bard gave up a run was May 23 -- an RBI double by Cabrera that gave Cleveland a 3-2 lead and eventual win.

That second home run traveled a distance of just 320 feet, making it the shortest homer hit in 2011. The previous shortest home run was 323 by Sam Fuld of the Tampa Bay Rays back on April 11.

Cabrera also became the first Indians shortstop in 60 years to hit two home runs in one game at Fenway Park. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that had last been done in July 1951 by Ray Boone, whose grandson, Aaron, was part of ESPN’s broadcasting crew for Monday night’s game.

And while Indians' Josh Tomlin didn't pitch great (10 hits, five earned runs), he did go six innings. Tomlin now has pitched at least five innings in each of his first 34 starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only pitchers who debuted in 1900 or later with longer such streaks than Tomlin are Oscar Jones (51 straight starts from 1903-04) and George Winter (37, 1901-02).

AROUND THE REST OF MLB

Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against CC Sabathia, and now is hitting .039 this season against left-handed pitchers. Dunn has 18 games with at least three strikeouts this season twice as many more as Austin Jackson and Ryan Raburn of the Detroit Tigers have for second most.

Joey Votto’s double in the third inning on Monday night gave him an extra-base hit in each of his last 11 games at Minute Maid Park. The Elias Sports Bureau tells that in modern major-league history (that is, since 1900), only two other visiting players produced an extra-base hit in at least 11 consecutive games at a particular park: Jimmie Foxx in 12 straight games at Sportsman’s Park, over 1939 and 1940, and Jeff Bagwell at Candlestick (3Com) Park, from 1993 to 1995.

Derrek Lee hit two home runs in his Pirates debut on Monday night, but that was the extent of Pittsburgh’s scoring in a 5-3 loss to the Cubs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lee is only the second player in Pirates' history to belt two home runs in his first game with the team. The other was Shawon Dunston in September 1997, after he was traded, coincidentally, by the Cubs.
Derrek Lee
Lee

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired first baseman Derrek Lee from the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. In exchange, the Orioles received minor-league infielder Aaron Baker.

Lee will be making his debut with a fourth different team in less than a year following stints with the Cubs and Braves last season and the Orioles this season. He brings a .281 career average and 324 home runs to the Steel City.

Since going 5-for-5 on June 17th, Lee is hitting .286 with eight home runs and an OPS of .846.

That's a good sign for the Pirates whose first basemen have struggled offensively this season. Entering Sunday, the combined batting average of Pittsburgh's first basemen is .228, which ranks 27th in the league. They have just eight home runs and an OPS of .645 good for 26th and 27th respectively.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants acquired infielder Orlando Cabrera from the Cleveland Indians. Cabrera follows Carlos Beltran whom the Giants acquired Wednesday in a trade with the Mets.

Cabrera who has 2,027 career hits is one of 19 active players with 2,000 hits. He has made the postseason in each of the last four seasons with four different teams (Angels, White Sox, Twins, Reds).
With the All-Star break upon us, we take a look at some of the game’s best players who are having anything but their best years. We present to you, Major League Baseball’s “All-Struggling Team – Hitter’s Edition.”

Kurt Suzuki
Suzuki
C: Kurt Suzuki, Oakland Athletics (.225 BA, .284 OBP, 7 HR, 22 RBI)

A .264 career hitter who averages 10 HR and 60 RBI per season.

1B: Derrek Lee, Baltimore Orioles (.235 BA, .294 OBP, 9 HR, 28 RBI)

Still stellar in the field, but Lee is far off his career pace of .282, 22 HR, 73 RBI.

2B: Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves (.185 BA, .257 OBP, 15 HR, 34 RBI)

After career highs in average (.287), HR (33) and RBI (105) in 2010, Uggla has fallen hard.

SS: Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins (.242 BA, 8 HR, 37 RBI)

Ramirez has hit .310 with 4 HR and 20 RBI in 25 games since coming off the DL, so he might approach career averages of 21 HR, 65 RBI, .313.

3B: Chone Figgins, Seattle Mariners (.183 BA, .231 OBP, 6 CS)

His numbers continue to plummet in the two years since coming to Seattle. He had been a .291 career hitter (.363 OBP) who averages 35 steals a season.

OF: Alex Rios, Chicago White Sox (.213 BA, .262 OBP, 6 HR, 21 RBI)

He appears poised to have his lowest RBI total and batting average of his career this season.

OF: Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland Indians (.244 BA, 5 HR, 28 RBI)

According to Fangraphs.com, Choo was worth 11 wins over a replacement-level player in 2009 and 2010. Battling injuries in 2011, Choo has a 1.5 WAR rating.

Jayson Werth
Werth
OF: Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals (.215 BA, 10 HR, 31 RBI)

What does seven years and $126 million buy you? Not as much as you’d expect.

DH: Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox (.160 BA, 9 HR, 34 RBI, 104 K)

Dunn has been injured and ineffective. In fact, in the first year of a four-year, $56 million contract, he’s on pace to have the worst offensive season in the history of baseball.
Albert Pujols
Pujols
Albert Pujols will miss four-to-six weeks with a small fracture in his forearm, an injury that comes just as he was heating up at the plate. Since snapping a career-long 105 homerless at-bat streak on May 23, Pujols had really improved his power.

His slugging percentage was up more than 270 points since May 23 and he had more home runs in the 25 games since than he did in the 48 games through May 22.

Most of his improvement in the power department since May 23 has come against righties. He is slugging just .333 with no home runs against left-handed pitchers since May 23, after slugging .452 with three home runs against lefties through May 22.

His slugging percentage against righties has increased from .396 to .763, and all 10 of his long balls since May 23 have come against right-handed pitchers.

Despite his recent improvements, Pujols is still off to one of the worst starts of his career. With Pujols out, the Cardinals could move Lance Berkman to first baseman and put Jon Jay in right field.

Although he’s having a down year by his standards, Pujols has still been a major part of the Cardinals' offense, leading the team in runs scored and tying for the team lead with Lance Berkman in homeruns. He’s second on the team in both RBI and OPS.

Cliff Floyd and Derrek Lee have been mentioned as parallels to Albert Pujols since they both suffered similar wrist injuries. Pujols may not have it as bad as it's being widely assumed.

Lee injured his wrist in 2006 and his power has been drained every since. Floyd first injured his wrist in 1995 when he was 22 years old and then he had surgery after the 2000 season. His power numbers actually increased after his operation.

Defensive impact:
• Pujols has struggled this year on defense with -4 Defensive Runs Saved at first base (i.e. he cost his team 4 runs with his defense). Pujols has never finished a season with negative Defensive Runs Saved.

• Berkman has struggled in his limited time at first this season. He has -2 Defensive Runs Saved in 40 innings there, but over the previous three seasons combined (2008-10) and 3,248 innings, he had a combined 16 Defensive Runs Saved.

• Berkman has been worse as a rightfielder this season, with -5 Defensive Runs Saved (worst among MLB RF).

• Jon Jay has been strong in 178 ⅔ innings in rightfield, with three Defensive Runs Saved this season.

Pujols has had 10 straight seasons of 30 HR, 100 RBI and a .300 BA, the longest streak in MLB history. He’s also one of four players to play in at least 140 games in each of the past 10 seasons. The others are Ichiro Suzuki, Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu.

The Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals have split the first two games of a three-game series. On Sunday they’ll settle the score as Edinson Volquez takes the hill for the Reds against Jake Westbrook of the Cardinals.

Volquez has allowed two earned runs in two road starts this season, so if the Cardinals are going to get to him, they better do it early. Volquez has allowed 13 first-inning runs in his first four starts, the most in the majors. He has allowed just four earned runs in his other 18⅔ innings pitched. Opponents are 13-for-23 (.565) the first time facing Volquez in a game compared to 7-for-55 (.127) in all other plate appearances.

If the Cardinals don’t get to him early in the count, they’ll face a lethal pitcher with two strikes. Opponents are 4-for-40 (.100) with two strikes versus Volquez this season; his opponent batting average of .100 is fifth-lowest among NL pitchers (minimum 35 batters faced).

Keeping the ball in the yard could be an issue for Volquez. He is allowing the same percentage of fly balls (not including line drives) this season (27.6 percent) compared to last season (27.1). But this season, 37.5 percent (6-of-16) of his fly balls have been home runs. Last season, 13 percent (6-of-46) of his fly balls were home runs. The league average is 10 percent.

In case you were wondering, Albert Pujols is 3-for-7 with two home runs and four walks career versus Volquez; he is 3-for-5 (two HR) in his last seven plate appearances versus Volquez.

Here are a few more things we’re looking for on Sunday night.

Westbrook is 7-18 career in March and April. His .280 win percentage is the WORST among current major leaguers with at least 20 March/April decisions. Westbrook made his MLB debut in 2000. He’s never had a winning record in ANY season at the end of April.

Sunday will mark Albert Pujols’ 162nd career game against the Reds -- the equivalent of a full MLB season. His career numbers against them: .355 BA, 44 HR, 136 RBIs.

According to Elias, only three players who debuted in the last 80 years have gone
.350/40/130 against a team -- Ted Williams (versus Washington Senators, Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles), Joe DiMaggio (versus Browns), and Pujols (versus Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates).

Other Pujols highlights:
• Four multi-HR games, including a three-HR game on April 16, 2006, a game he won with a walk-off HR
• Two walk-off HR
• He’s never hit below .300 in any season against them

No active player has more home runs against the Reds than Lance Berkman’s 49. Pujols is second with 44. Derrek Lee’s 33 are a distant third. But Berkman’s 49 don’t even crack the top 10 for most HR against the Reds all time. Hank Aaron leads with 97.

Matchup to watch -- Gomes versus Westbrook
Jonny Gomes
is 1-for-his-last-9 against Westbrook, but the one was a home run in his last at-bat against him (May 21, 2010).

Also of note on Westbrook matchups:
• The leadoff man has reached against Westbrook 11 times in 20 innings this season.
• The third inning has been Westbrook’s issue this season. Opponents are 10-for-21 with eight runs scored in the third inning against him (4-for-26, three runs scored in first two innings).

-- Mark Simon and Katie Sharp contributed to this post

Lee brings skills, age to new home

December, 31, 2010
12/31/10
6:38
PM ET
Derrek Lee is 35 and coming off the worst statistical season of his career. But considering how badly the Baltimore Orioles needed a first baseman, he could be their ideal fit after agreeing to terms with them Friday.

Lee, who joins J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds in a completely revamped Orioles infield, brings a number of skills to his new team, though it’s a question of how much his performance is in decline.

Lee has a history, within a small sampling, of being a good hitter with runners in scoring position. He hit .300 or better with runners in scoring position in every season from 2005 to 2009 (note: he only played 50 games in 2006).

His .950 OPS with runners in scoring position in that span ranked 17th among 324 major leaguers with at least 350 plate appearances (he ranked in the top six percent of MLB hitters). But he hit .257 with runners in scoring position last season, his decline mirroring that of an Orioles team that hit .246 in such situations in 2010, a 38-point drop from 2009.

Lee’s drop was in line with that in other statistical categories in what was his least productive season in a long time.

Lee finished 2010 with a .260 batting average and .428 slugging percentage, his lowest in both categories since 1999. His Wins Above Replacement Rating of 2.0 on Fangraphs.com was his worst since 2000.

Since returning from a broken wrist suffered in 2006, Lee’s ability to make contact with fastballs has declined (despite super numbers in 2009). In 2007, he missed on 13.7 percent of his swings against fastballs, according to Inside Edge Video Scouting. By 2010, that jumped to 17.2 percent. That might not seem like a large increase, but it translates to 25 more missed swings over a full season, swings that could have had a significant impact.

Lee struggled through a forgettable 2010 season during which he saw his home run total nearly cut in half from the previous year, while his slugging percentage dropped over 150 points and his isolated power slipped from .273 to .168. However, there may be some evidence that this power outage was a mere blip for Lee and that he actually was hitting the ball harder last season compared to 2009.

The Inside Edge video scouts tell us that the percentage of Lee’s at-bats ending in a ball that was “well-hit” increased from 28.4 percent in 2009 to 29.1 percent in 2010, while Fangraphs.com has his line drive rate also increasing from 19.2 percent to 22.5 percent over the last two seasons.

Something else that may help is that Lee is going to a league in which he can rest his body by occasionally being a designated hitter, and he’s going to Camden Yards, a ballpark that is right-handed power hitter friendly.

According to the Bill James Baseball Handbook, over the last three seasons, Camden Yards has a home run Park Factor of 121 for right-handed batters.

That means the park yielded 21 percent more home runs to right-handed hitters than the average park, which ranked tied for fourth-highest in the major leagues.

Lee’s former primary park (Wrigley Field, save for a brief stint with the Braves last season) had a Park Factor of 105 for right-handed hitters, which ranked tied for 11th.

That was a comfortable home for him for nearly seven seasons, in which he posted a .311 batting average and .956 OPS. The Orioles hope Camden Yards can be such a friendly confines.
Today’s Trivia: Among active managers, who has managed the most games without making the postseason?

Quick Hits: As the playoff races heat up, several players have some added incentive to extend the season. Here’s a look at notable players with an eye on October, who have never played in the postseason.
WINN
Randy Winn just can’t find himself a playoff team. He’s played 1,698 career games without appearing in the postseason. That’s the most for any active player, and 37th most all-time according to Baseball-Reference.com. Winn joined the Seattle Mariners just after their early-decade dominance. Then he found himself with the San Francisco Giants as they transitioned away from Barry Bonds. After 12 seasons in the bigs, Winn still hadn’t tasted the postseason. Signing with the New York Yankees in the offseason would change that, right? New York released him in May after he hit just .213. Again, Winn had his chance to sign with a contender. On June 5, he signed with the first-place St. Louis Cardinals – a team that is now six games out.

Michael Young may finally see his long wait come to an end. Making his debut the season after the Texas Rangers' last playoff appearance, Young has the second-most career games among active players who haven’t made the postseason.

• The Giants’ Aubrey Huff, who is third behind Winn and Young, could also find himself playing late into October for the first time. Prior to this season, Huff’s teams were 546-776 in games in which he appeared.

• Among all active pitchers, Francisco Cordero has appeared in the most games without appearing in the postseason. Like Young, he made his Rangers debut the year after their last postseason appearance.
HALLADAY
Roy Halladay has a Cy Young Award and perfect game, but Boof Bonser, Jorge Sosa and Brian Duensing all have something he does not: A playoff start. No active pitcher has made more starts without appearing in the postseason.

Today’s Leaderboard: Adam Dunn, who will be a free agent at the end the season, actually has the fourth-most career homers for a player with no playoff experience. With another typical season for him, he’ll be second behind the all-time leader. Ernie Banks has both the most career games and home runs without making the postseason.

Key Matchups: With a pivotal series about to begin in San Diego, the Giants need their bats to come alive. San Francisco has posted a 2-9 record against the San Diego Padres this season, largely courtesy of a .219 batting average in those games. Thursday’s starter, Matt Cain, has certainly suffered. The Giants offense has managed a total of five runs in his three starts against San Diego. So who might step up Thursday? Jose Guillen, who has four hits in his last eight at-bats, might be the man to give San Francisco a spark. He is 9-for-19 in his career against Jon Garland, though it’s been two years since they met.

• After snapping their three-game losing streak on Wednesday, the Atlanta Braves host the Cardinals in a matchup of faltering contenders. Adam Wainwright has had a great deal of success against the team that drafted him 10 years ago. He is a perfect 5-0 in five starts against Atlanta, having never allowed more than three earned runs. Derrek Lee, hitting .400 in his last five games, has only four hits in his last 26 at-bats against Wainwright.

Trivia Answer: Ned Yost, who took over as Kansas City Royals manager in May, has managed 1,063 games in the majors, but never brought his team to the postseason. Of course, part of the reason for that was his 2008 season in Milwaukee. Yost was fired with 12 games to go and his team tied for the Wild Card lead. Dale Sveum took over and the Milwaukee Brewers went just 7-5 but made the postseason.

1st Pitch: Coming back for more

July, 21, 2010
7/21/10
3:30
PM ET
Today’s Trivia: Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the season. Piniella made his managerial debut on April 8, 1986 when his Yankees hosted Kansas City. Who was the opposing starting pitcher?

Quick Hits: A quick look at some newsworthy hits from around baseball:

There were four games on Tuesday in which a team won after trailing by at least four runs. It’s the first time four teams came from behind to win in that fashion on the same day since April 19, 2006:

TUESDAY’S MLB COMEBACKS

Red Sox at Athletics: Oakland trailed Boston 4-0 after two innings, but shut down the Red Sox the rest of the way. The A’s won the game with 2 outs in the 10th inning for their fifth walk-off win of the season.

Giants at Dodgers: Down the coast in LA, the Dodgers jumped all over Tim Lincecum and led 5-1 after five innings before the Giants came back, capped by a bizarre 3-run 9th inning for a 7-5 win.

Rays at Orioles: In Baltimore, the Orioles trailed 8-4 AND overcame ninth-inning and extra-inning deficits in their 11-10 win over the Rays. Baltimore’s the only team that’s won a game this season when trailing in both the ninth inning and in extra innings.

Astros at Cubs: At Wrigley, it looked as if it was going to be another long night for the Cubs. Houston led 6-0 and 7-1 before Aramis Ramirez exploded for three home runs in the Cubs' 14-7 win.

There were seven ejections (player/manager/coach) on Tuesday, the most in a single day this season: NYY Joe Girardi, PIT John Russell, LAD Bob Schaefer, LAD Clayton Kershaw, LAD Joe Torre, OAK Coco Crisp, BOS John Farrell

Aramis Ramirez hit three home runs and drove in seven in the Cubs' 14-7 win over Houston. It was the fourth three-HR game of his career, the most by a third baseman in the live ball era (1920). He's the first Cub to hit three HR in a game since Alfonso Soriano on Sept. 6, 2008, and the first Cub with three HR and at least RBI in a game since Sammy Sosa (3 HR, 9 RBI) on Aug. 10, 2002. Aramis Ramirez, who had six HR and 23 RBI through the month of June (53 games), has nine HR and 24 RBI in 15 games this month.

From the Baltimore Sun: In Tuesday's second inning against Tampa Bay's Matt Garza, the Orioles hit three consecutive homers for the first time since doing it against the California Angels on Sept. 5, 1995 — the same day Cal Ripken Jr. tied Lou Gehrig's record of consecutive games played at 2,130. In that game, it was Jeff Manto, Mark Smith and Brady Anderson who went deep consecutively. On Tuesday, it was Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton and Adam Jones who homered to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

FROM ELIAS: Chris Carpenter got the win and Andrew Carpenter the loss in the Cardinals’ 7-1 win over the Phillies. The last game in which the winning and losing pitchers each had the same surname was when Jeff Weaver bested his brother Jered on June 20 of last season.

From Chicago Tribune: White Sox reliever J.J. Putz, returning to his first major league city, set a franchise record by making his 25th consecutive scoreless outing.

From the Miami Herald: A victory by Ricky Nolasco on Wednesday would give him 50 as a Marlin and move him into second on the team's all-time list behind Dontrelle Willis, who recorded 68. But Nolasco has done his best pitching on the road, not at home. Nolasco has gone 30-18 with a 4.23 ERA on the road but only 19-19 with a 4.78 ERA at Sun Life Stadium, and all four of his career complete games have been on the road.

From the Philadelphia Daily News: The Phillies have scored 3 or fewer runs in 45 of their 93 games this season, 48.4 percent.

Today’s Leaderboard: The Baltimore Orioles (four) and Tampa Bay Rays (three) combined to hit seven solo HR in the O’s 11-10 extra-inning win Tuesday night. Tampa Bay and Baltimore are now fifth and tied for sixth, respectively, in the AL in team solo HR. With his 2 solo HR, Baltimore’s Luke Scott moved into a tie for 4th in the AL in most solo HR this season.

Key Matchup: The Cubs’ Derrek Lee is hitting .469 (15-for-32, 3 HR) in his career against Houston’s Brett Myers. His average against Myers is the second-highest of his career against any of the 33 pitchers he’s had at least 30 plate appearances against. Only his .486 average (17-for-35) against Jason Marquis is better. Lee is 0-for-3 against Myers this season.

Trivia Answer: Current San Diego manager Bud Black. Black, who spent 15 years in the majors with five teams, went seven innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs as he took the loss. As a side note, Black’s former pitching coach in San Francisco, Dave Righetti, earned the save in New York’s 4-2 win.

1st Pitch: Quick hits as 2nd half picks up in full

July, 16, 2010
7/16/10
2:04
PM ET
Today’s Trivia: A rare earthquake struck near Washington, DC Friday morning. In minor league baseball, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (California League) have been in operation since 1993. What current major leaguer was a member of that first team?

Quick Hits: A quick look at some newsworthy hits from around baseball:

" From the LA Daily News: San Francisco rookie Buster Posey has had 141 at-bats this year and has three 3-hit games and two 4-hit games.

" From the Dallas Morning News: Since June 1, Josh Hamilton is hitting .438 in 38 games. He now has 29 extra-base hits in those games and has 38 RBIs. He has been kept off base only twice in that span.

" From the Chicago Tribune: Despite their poor first half, the Cubs have won at least 39 games at the break four seasons in a row for the first time since 1967-75.

" From the New York Daily News: The New York Mets' batting average with runners in scoring position over the last seven games is .132 (7-for-53).

" From the Arizona Republic: The Arizona Diamondbacks are being outscored 255-144 from the sixth inning on and have a league-leading 14 blown saves.

" From Elias: The New York Yankees have won the first game that they played after the All-Star break in each of the last eight seasons (2002-2009). Tonight they can tie the major-league record for consecutive games won by a team in its first game played after an All-Star game. The Yankees had a nine-game streak from 1940 through 1949 (there was no All-Star game in 1945) and the Montreal Expos had a nine-game streak from 1984 through 1992.

Key Matchup: Derek Jeter ended the first half of the season in a slump, hitting only .186 (8-for-43) over his final 12 games to drop his average to .274 (his lowest career pre-All-Star Break average). What better way to break out of that slump than facing Tampa Bay’s James Shields, whom Jeter is hitting .378 (14-for-37) against in his career. Jeter is 2-for-7 (.286) against Shields this season. For his career, “The Captain” is hitting .312 overall against Tampa Bay.

Trivia Answer: The Cubs’ Derrek Lee – the 14th pick in the 1993 amateur draft by the San Diego Padres – played 20 games for the Quakes as a 17-year-old.

Are sons of players more sound on D?

June, 10, 2010
6/10/10
10:00
AM ET
With a one-run lead in the tenth inning of Sunday’s game, San Diego center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. threw out Placido Polanco attempting to advance from first to third on a Chase Utley single to center.

The play was a picture-perfect example for Little Leaguers: Gwynn lined his body up before reaching the ball, fielded the ball cleanly in front of his left leg, and in one motion transfered the ball and made a perfect throw to Chase Headley at third.

Gwynn Jr., of course, is probably most famous for being the son of the Hall of Fame Padres outfielder with the same name. That play was so fundamentally sound that it made us wonder:

Does good fielding run in baseball families? Do the sons of former major leaguers make more good plays than expected? Let’s take a closer look.

The play in Philadelphia wasn’t an isolated incident. Gwynn Jr. has 11 “Good Fielding Plays” without a single “Defensive Misplay” or error in 2010. What does that mean?

Good Fielding Plays and Defensive Misplays, a system originally developed by Bill James in The Fielding Bible and The Fielding Bible – Volume II, are recorded by the video scouts at Baseball Info Solutions. A Defensive Misplay (DM) is generally any non-error on which the fielder surrenders a base advance or the opportunity to make an out when a better play or different play might have gotten the out or prevented the advancement.

Examples include taking a bad route to a fly ball, the classic I’ve-got-it-You-take-it pop fly that drops between two fielders, misplaying a ball off the wall, or juggling a relay throw. We often group Defensive Misplays with Errors (and call them DMEs) to get a more complete picture of defensive mistakes.

On the other hand, a Good Fielding Play (GFP) is when a fielder records an out or prevents an advancement when we wouldn’t ordinarily expect it. For example, scooping a poor throw, reaching into the stands for a pop out, and robbed home runs are all GFPs.

I looked at 50 second-generation major leaguers who have played since 2004 (including Derrek Lee, whose father played in Japan) and compared their Good Fielding Play/Defensive Misplay totals to that which would have been expected from the average major leaguer.

Lee leads all second-generation players with 27 more good plays and 38 fewer misplays than the average first baseman would have had in that span.

Gwynn Jr. is off to a good start. He has 13 more good plays and eight fewer misplays than expected in his career. He rates third, just behind wall-climber Gary Matthews Jr., whose best defensive days seem to be behind him. He was let go by the Mets last week.

We’ve only been tracking since 2004, else Ken Griffey Jr. surely would have ranked higher than fourth-best among major league sons.

But to answer the question: Overall, second-generation players made four percent more good fielding plays than an average player. But keep in mind, they also made five percent more misplays. Apparently, inherited good habits come with the bad ones.

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