Monday, May 2, 2011
Stroll through the stats: Young 1B hitting
By David Schoenfield
April is in the books. May is here ... and so is our weekly stroll through the stats.
- Ike Davis had a solid rookie season, but I wasn't completely sold on his star potential. But the Mets first baseman is hitting .317/.398/.564 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage), including .318 with three of his five home runs at home.
- Justin Smoak did not have a solid rookie season despite his prospect pedigree, but he's living up to the hype in 2011, hitting .273/.387/.506. As Seattle's lone power threat, he's going to start seeing a lot of pitchers out of the strike zone that he'll need to show the discipline to lay off.
- Nice to see Brett Wallace hitting .382 for the Astros. Wallace was the 13th pick of the 2008 draft by the Cardinals, traded to the A's in the Matt Holliday deal, flipped to Toronto for Michael Taylor, then shipped to Houston for Anthony Gose. His 2010 debut with Houston was beyond bad, as he hit .222 with 50 strikeouts and eight walks in 159 PAs. Astros fans don't have much to cheer about these days, but Wallace is looking more like the hitter he was projected to be coming out of Arizona State. The home run power isn't there (one so far), but he's hit nine doubles.
- Since moving into the No. 2 spot in the Reds' lineup, ahead of Joey Votto, Jay Bruce has three home runs in six games.
- Brooks Conrad's flare to right field in the bottom of the ninth gave the Braves a 6-5 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday -- the fifth walk-off loss for St. Louis and its seventh loss after leading in the seventh inning or later. No other team has more than four such defeats.
- The Twins are hitting .230/.292/.324 and rank last in the AL in runs, batting average and slugging percentage. Nick Nelson breaks down some of the Twins' struggles. My favorite Twins line comes from catcher Drew Butera, who's hitting .106 in 50 PAs. Since 1980, the lowest average for a non-pitcher with at least 50 PAs is actually another Twins catcher: Tom Nieto hit .067 (4-for-60) for the 1988 Twins.
- The Vlad Watch: 108 PAs, no walks.
- Joaquin Benoit had a 1.34 ERA for the Rays in 2010, prompting the Tigers to sign him to a three-year, $16.5 million contract -- one of the biggest ever for a middle reliever, one with a 4.47 career ERA. After giving up three runs on Sunday, Benoit has allowed 11 runs already -- one more than all of 2010. Moral of the story: Never read too much into 60 fluke-ish innings.
- Jered Weaver looks to go 7-0 for the second time in his career in Monday's start against the Red Sox. According to Elias, only two other pitchers have won their first seven starts of a season -- Sadie McMahon, who did it in 1891 and 1895 for the Orioles, and Hall of Famer Mickey Welch, for the New York Giants in 1884 and '85. So, yes, it's been a while.
- Pitchers with at least five starts who have had a quality start each time: Weaver, Dan Haren, Justin Verlander and Josh Johnson (six each); and Michael Pineda, Jason Marquis and Josh Tomlin (five each).