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Prospectus Hit List for September 15



by Clark Goble and Daniel Rathman

Hit List for September 14 Hit List for September 16
Hit List updates are published Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, starting April 2, 2014. Data presented here is based on games through the day prior to publication.
Teams are ordered based on Adjusted Hit List Factor, a computer generated number, and the author isn't responsible for the order of the teams.

The Phillies become the first team to officially reach the playoffs.

RkTmWLW1W2W3HLFAHLFWin Div%Win WC%Playoff%1-Day7-Day
1

90

58

94.5

88.9

88.7

.612

.631

91.8%

8.2%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Derek Jeter has at least 150 hits in each of the past 16 seasons. Only two other players have had 150 hits or more in 16 consecutive seasons: Hank Aaron and Pete Rose.
2

86

62

89.1

92.2

91.5

.606

.625

8.2%

89.4%

97.6%

-0.5%

-2.2%

There's no holds barred, and then there's No Holds Bard. The Red Sox have the latter problem at the moment, as their hard-throwing setup man has coughed up the lead in each of his past three appearances, surrendering a total of nine runs.
3

85

64

89.1

92.4

92.8

.603

.622

92.0%

0.2%

92.2%

-1.8%

2.0%

Josh Hamilton's grand slam was huge... for fans who just bought flooring or countertops from CC Carpet in Arlington. His grand slam triggered a promotion that gives customers a full refund on their flooring or countertop purchases in September.
4

95

51

93.8

92.5

91.4

.638

.620

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

With their 95th victory on Wednesday, the Phillies became the first team to officially reach the playoffs. It was unofficially decided when Cliff Lee signed.
5

87

62

80.9

84.6

83.2

.563

.583

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.7%

Is Jim Leyland the American League version of Tony La Russa? The Tigers used all available position players and five pitchers in Tuesday's victory, their 12th straight. Leyland might be a bit jealous of La Russa's ability to double switch.
6

82

66

82.6

83.2

83.7

.560

.579

0.0%

1.7%

1.7%

-0.2%

1.5%

Losing twice to the Orioles won't help the Rays' playoff chances, but they should be confident heading into their huge four-game set in Boston. Rays pitchers have held the potent Red Sox offense to a .158 batting average in Boston this season.
7

82

67

78.8

78.0

77.8

.531

.551

8.0%

0.5%

8.6%

2.5%

-1.3%

Jered Weaver failed to strike out two batters for the first time since May 7th. Fortunately, he picked a good park to need 16 flyball outs in. Most of the A's lineup couldn't hit it out of the Coliseum from second base, much less the plate.
8

87

63

81.1

84.0

83.2

.559

.539

99.3%

0.1%

99.4%

-0.4%

-0.5%

The Brewers faced Kevin Millwood for six innings and came away with one extra-base hit. That's like going to Costco and coming out with one item. Hard to do.
9

86

64

82.0

81.5

80.4

.550

.530

0.0%

96.1%

96.1%

0.6%

-1.1%

Alex Gonzalez was batting .228 three days ago. Naturally, he's 8-for-11 since then and accounted for 40 percent of the Braves' hits on Wednesday.
10

73

75

70.5

75.8

75.7

.498

.518

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-0.7%

Just in case the Tigers hadn't punched the White Sox in the gut enough in September, they rallied from a three-run ninth inning deficit to take the game to extra innings, where, of course, the Tigers won.
11

81

68

80.0

79.7

78.6

.536

.516

0.7%

3.5%

4.2%

-0.3%

2.2%

Yadier Molina is certainly having his best year at the plate (.445 slugging percentage, a career high by .053), but his Ultimate Zone Rating indicates that he's saved fewer runs in the field this year than any year in his career. Chicks dig the long ball.
12

87

63

80.6

76.4

76.4

.534

.514

99.8%

0.0%

99.8%

-0.1%

3.1%

If you simply removed Clayton Kershaw from the league, Justin Upton's career batting average would rise a couple of points. Perhaps the best 24-or-younger hitter in baseball, Upton is 0-for-18 against his pitching prodigy counterpart.
13

75

74

73.5

70.9

73.1

.491

.511

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

To everyone's surprise, Adam Loewen can really hit, and he drove home two key runs on Wednesday. Baserunning, on the other hand—that's a problem. Loewen was picked off by Franklin Morales and later made the third out of an inning at third base on a bizarre decision to round second on a groundball.
14

73

76

77.7

78.0

77.4

.514

.494

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

When your starting pitcher has to leave with an injury, it's always good to have a reliever whose name means 'the cure.' Sam LeCure didn't pitch nearly as well as Johnny Cueto, who strained his lat, but he did well enough to pilfer the win.
15

72

74

67.9

67.6

68.0

.472

.492

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-0.0%

If there's a flyball landing near the front of the out-of-town scoreboard in Arlington, you want Shelley Duncan in left field. He made three outstanding grabs on Wednesday in very nearly the exact same spot in front of the scores.
16

79

70

73.1

75.7

75.3

.508

.488

0.2%

0.3%

0.5%

0.2%

-3.7%

Tim Lincecum (2.59 ERA) hasn't been as sharp this year as in past seasons, but with a couple of strong outings to close it out, he could actually finish with a lower ERA (2.48) than he logged in his Cy Young campaign in 2008.
17

67

82

70.2

70.0

71.3

.467

.487

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

In a game pitched by Rich Harden and Jered Weaver, you'd expect a heck of a lot of strikeouts. Those two and their bullpens combined for just six K's in 18 innings. Go figure.
18

73

75

74.2

75.7

75.1

.503

.483

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

When Gerardo Parra stared-down Hong-Chih Kuo on his way around the bases on Tuesday, Clayton Kershaw shouted 'You'll find out!' from the dugout. Well, Parra's elbow found out what a 95 miles-per-hour fastball feels like, but Kershaw found out what it's like to be ejected from a one-hit shutout.
19

64

86

69.5

69.7

70.5

.456

.476

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Luke Hochevar, who has the flu, went out and shut down the Minnesota Twins, who have scored 10 runs in their last five games and won nine of their last 42 games. Sick pitcher, anemic offense... everyone at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday should wash their hands.
20

70

78

73.1

74.7

74.2

.493

.473

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Rookie infielder Jordan Pacheco is proving that he can hit, but drawing walks is a different matter entirely. The 25-year-old has worked just six three-ball counts in 27 at-bats, much less a free pass to first.
21

71

78

72.2

73.3

73.7

.487

.467

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

David Wright hasn't homered in what seems like an eternity. Meanwhile, the Mets have allowed eight runs in three games and are still on the verge of being swept by the Nats in a four-game series at home.
22

70

77

69.0

69.2

69.3

.472

.452

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Manager Davey Johnson said before the game that rookie starter Brad Peacock was 'on a short leash.' How do you put a peacock on a leash? Too bad he tossed five scoreless innings, because it might have been fun to find out.
23

67

81

66.5

73.2

72.5

.472

.452

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Always prone to gopherballs, Ricky Nolasco had gone three consecutive starts without giving up a homer for only the fifth time in his career. He nearly made it four but served up a decisive three-run bomb to Alex Gonzalez in the seventh inning.
24

62

87

62.0

65.2

66.1

.428

.448

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Backup shortstop Luis Rodriguez hit the game-winning home run to defeat the evil Yankees in front of his mother, who hadn't seen him play since 2006. The Mariners' winning pitcher, Steve Delabar, was working as a substitute teacher in April. Another rookie reliever was a bartender from 2004-2008. Is Seattle the new Disney World?
25

63

87

71.4

65.9

65.8

.443

.424

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Rookie first-baseman Anthony Rizzo now has nearly three times as many strikeouts (42) as hits (15) in the majors. He may need a strong Spring Training to hold off Kyle Blanks for the job next year.
26

60

88

59.2

57.5

58.3

.397

.416

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Matt Wieters has homered in three straight games. He hasn't quite lived up to the ridiculous top-prospect hype, but he is tied for fourth all-time for homers in a single season by a catcher age 25 or younger. Two other catchers are adding to their homer totals this year—Carlos Santana and J.P. Arencibia.
27

65

84

63.7

64.3

63.8

.431

.411

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Darwin Barney is now batting just .236/.283/.325 since the All-Star Break. 'I love you, you love me' is all well and good, but you'd think natural selection would eventually start to play a role in Mike Quade's lineup decisions.
28

67

82

65.9

60.1

59.1

.423

.404

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Pirates wore Hawaiian shirts before boarding their cross-country plane to Los Angeles. Thanks to a horrendous 16-38 stretch, they'll be able to go there soon enough.
29

59

89

56.3

49.7

50.3

.364

.382

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Sign things aren't going well for the Twins: two players broke 0-for-20 skids in Wednesday's loss—Michael Cuddyer and Trevor Plouffe.
30

51

98

57.8

58.6

58.7

.379

.361

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Astros currently have 16 rookies on their roster—10 pitchers and six position players. Carlos Lee has to feel really, really old.

Clark Goble is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Clark's other articles. You can contact Clark by clicking here
Daniel Rathman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Daniel's other articles. You can contact Daniel by clicking here


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