CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Under The Knife: The I... (09/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Can Of Corn: The No-Fu... (08/31)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Can Of Corn: Best of t... (09/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article You Could Look It Up: ... (09/06)

September 6, 2005

Can Of Corn

Power Outage

by Dayn Perry

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Bullet points, for the people...

  • Imagine how many bases Jose Reyes would steal if he could actually, you know, get on base. This season, he's got a piddling OBP of .304 yet is on pace for 58 thefts. If those trends hold, Reyes will post the eighth-worst OBP ever by a player to steal at 50 bags in a season. Here's the list:
    
    Player                  Year        OBP        Steals
    Bert Campaneris         1972        .278       52
    Vince Coleman           1994        .285       50
    Omar Moreno             1982        .292       60
    Miguel Dilone           1978        .294       50
    Omar Moreno             1977        .295       53
    Bert Campaneris         1967        .297       55
    Mookie Wilson           1983        .300       54
    Jose Reyes              2005        .304       58*
    
    (* - Projected total based on 2005 season to date)
    
    Reyes has loads of potential long-term, and his efficiency on the base paths is nice, but he needs to learn the strike zone. That means drawing a walk more often than once every 28 plate appearances and ranking higher than 103rd among major league qualifiers in pitches seen per plate appearance.

  • Not long ago, I had the pleasure of taking in a game with my friend Rich Lederer of BaseballAnalysts.com. Among our topics of discussion while waiting out a lengthy rain delay was our mutual affinity for pitchers who post high strikeout rates in tandem with strong groundball tendencies. It's this very notion that makes Daniel Cabrera of the Orioles (or "D-Cab for Cutie"--the nickname I've been unsuccessfully promoting) an undervalued hurler.

    Cabrera is no longer on pace to log a qualifying number of innings this season, so you won't find him on any of the various and sundry pitching leader boards. If Cabrera were a qualifier, his groundball-fly ball ratio of 1.69 would rank 14th in the majors. Among pitchers in the top 20, no one has as high a strikeout rate as Cabrera's 8.57, and the exhaustive list of pitchers with a K/9 of at least 8.0 and a GB/FB ratio of at least 1.5 comprises Cabrera, Chris Carpenter, A.J. Burnett and Carlos Zambrano. Not a bad crop of fellow travelers. If the progress Cabrera has shown this season in terms of keeping the ball down is legitimate and sustainable, the 24-year-old could be a serious breakout candidate in 2006.

    It's the very same principle that leads me to believe Zack Greinke may never be anything special. Fly-ball tendencies and low K rates are auguries of trouble. Greinke certainly isn't as bad as he's been this season (opponents are slugging .492 against him, and he could possibly cough up 50 doubles on the year), but there's nothing in his dossier that suggests he's a future star. He'd perhaps fare well in a park that cuts down on homers and backed by a capable unit of fly-catchers in the outfield. The Mets, for instance. But Greinke looks like a pitcher who'll get by only under specific atmospherics. He's not going to find those in Kansas City.

  • You've probably noticed that Scott Podsednik is getting a fair amount of attention for his notional contributions to the White Sox's success this season. What's most notable, however, is his appalling lack of power.

    Away from hitter-philic U.S. Cellular, Podsednik is slugging a mere .297 (!), and he's yet to hit a home run this season. In fact, this year's White Sox model is poised to become the first team since the 1945 Tigers (with Jimmy Outlaw) to make the post-season despite having a regular corner outfielder who didn't hit a single home run.

    Of course, that Podsednik is deliriously overrated by the mainstream media doesn't mean he's thoroughly without his uses. He runs the bases well, and he's a key part of what's a strong defensive unit. The Sox this season rank second in all of baseball in Defensive Efficiency, and the fact that Chicago pitchers rank near the top of the league in fewest doubles and triples allowed suggests that the outfield defense has been especially capable.

    In the process of writing my forthcoming book Winners: How Good Baseball Teams Become Great Ones (plug...shameless, first of many), I discovered that a notable preponderance of winning teams in the modern era employ what I call the "dual center fielder" arrangement. That is, they have their regular center fielder and, at one of the two corner outfield spots, they have a player who, in a recent or shortly approaching season, saw regular action in center. I don't doubt that White Sox pitchers have greatly benefited from having Podsednik and Aaron Rowand playing behind them. As for Podsednik's offense, however, he's been lousy no matter how much Hawk and DJ fawn over him from the booth.

  • There's no skating around the fact that Justin Morneau has been one of the true disappointments of 2005, but let's not dismiss his long-term promise. This season, Morneau has endured a bone spur in his left elbow and a serious concussion, and this past winter he battled a long list of maladies: appendicitis requiring emergency surgery, a cyst requiring minor surgery, pneumonia and chicken pox. If he struggles like this when he's healthy and coming off a full winter's worth of training and conditioning, then you can worry. Until then, cut him some slack.

That's all for this time around. I offer my gratitude to the many of you who wrote to express your concerns for my family on the Gulf Coast. They're physically fine, but facing a long and difficult time of rebuilding. I only wish the good people of New Orleans had been as fortunate.

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Under The Knife: The I... (09/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Can Of Corn: The No-Fu... (08/31)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Can Of Corn: Best of t... (09/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article You Could Look It Up: ... (09/06)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Interleague Report: Week 26
The Week in Quotes: September 16-22, 2014
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, September 2...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: DFS and the State of Fant...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: September 22, 2014
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Circling Back to The Holy...
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: The Season's Most D...

MORE FROM SEPTEMBER 6, 2005
Premium Article You Could Look It Up: Baseball Prospectus In...
Premium Article Prospectus Game of the Week: St. Louis Cardi...
Premium Article Under The Knife: The Intangibles of Maple Fl...
Prospectus Notebook: COL, NYM, NYA

MORE BY DAYN PERRY
2005-09-27 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Reasons to Believe
2005-09-20 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Counterargument
2005-09-13 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Best of the West
2005-09-06 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Power Outage
2005-08-31 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The No-Fun League
2005-08-17 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The Even Newer and More Improve...
2005-08-09 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: New and Improved Triple Crown
More...

MORE CAN OF CORN
2005-09-27 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Reasons to Believe
2005-09-20 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Counterargument
2005-09-13 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Best of the West
2005-09-06 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Power Outage
2005-08-31 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The No-Fun League
2005-08-17 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The Even Newer and More Improve...
2005-08-09 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: New and Improved Triple Crown
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2005-11-14 - 2005 HACKING MASS Results