Hidden gems in two-strike OPS?

Updated: March 19, 2010, 1:58 PM ET
By Jason Grey
Sitting next to a fellow scout at a spring training game earlier this week, the topic of conversation gradually turned to Gordon Beckham. I mentioned a stat from the feature I wrote about him in late February, that he was in the top 25 in the major leagues in OPS with two strikes (.690) in 2009, which I thought was a very good sign for a rookie. It showed he was adjusting to major league pitching.

The other scout agreed and mentioned that he thought the stat was interesting and meaningful, as it somewhat reflects a hitter's ability to control an at-bat, not worry about digging himself a hole, and be patient and willing enough to wait for the right pitch to drive, even if it requires going to two strikes. He wondered aloud who some of the other names might be on the list, and if you might find a "hidden gem" or two in there.

Two-strike OPS leaders (2009)
1. Albert Pujols .831
2. Troy Tulowitzki .784
3. Seth Smith .760
4. Todd Helton .745
5. Adam Lind .744
6. Jason Bartlett .743
7. Joey Votto .735
8. Robinson Cano .735
9. Matt Holliday .731
10. Scott Rolen .730
11. Justin Morneau .728
12. Adrian Gonzalez .725
13. Billy Butler .724
14. Marco Scutaro .720
15. Hideki Matsui .708
16. Kevin Youkilis .704
17. Juan Rivera .700
18. Jonny Gomes .699
19. Kendry Morales .698
20. Lyle Overbay .697
21. Pablo Sandoval .696
22. Bobby Abreu .695
23. Ian Kinsler .694
24. Gordon Beckham .690
25. Carlos Ruiz .689