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Prospectus Hit List for September 29



by Clark Goble and Daniel Rathman

Hit List for September 28 Hit List for April 6
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.

Both September collapses become official in the most exciting final day of the regular season in recent memory

RkTmWLW1 W2W3HLFAHLFWin Div%Win WC%Playoff%1-Day7-Day
1

96

66

98.7

103.8

104.1

.621

.640

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Armed with three talented left-handed pitchers and a deadly lineup, the Rangers are ready to compete for another pennant. Matt Harrison turned in six innings of one-run ball in his final tuneup, and Texas went 13-3 in his last 16 starts of the regular season.
2

102

60

102.2

100.5

99.5

.624

.605

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Phillies lived up to the preseason hype, winning a franchise-record 102 games. In the final game of their season, they eliminated their division rival, the Braves. No matter how October goes, the Phillies had quite a 2011 season.
3

90

72

94.3

99.1

98.7

.590

.609

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

A collapse, calamity, catastrophe, call it what you will. As Theo Epstein said, "There's no way to sugarcoat this." The big question in Boston this offseason is whether anyone in the organization will be forced to take the fall for the team's September plunge.
4

97

65

101.9

93.7

93.7

.596

.615

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Wednesday's game didn't much matter to the Yankees, but they piled on seven runs in the first five innings anyway. Their ability to start up the offense seemingly on-demand will come in handy in October.
5

91

71

91.4

93.7

94.8

.572

.592

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Dan Johnson, pinch-hitting with the Rays' hopes fading fast, settled into a two-strike count and looked certain to fail. Then, for the first time since April 27th, he reached first base on a hit, and for the first time since April 8th, he touched 'em all, setting off a magical finish in Tampa Bay that propelled the Rays back into the postseason.
6

95

67

88.8

93.4

91.7

.569

.589

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

They looked solid in the spring and early summer, but the Tigers really turned it on in August and September. Detroit finished on a 30-9 stretch and gets a chance to revisit the first stop on their 2006 trip to the World Series: New York.
7

96

66

90.1

93.4

92.4

.574

.554

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Brewers won each of Zack Greinke's last four starts, six of his last seven, and 11 of his last 13. If they can build a few more games onto those streaks, a pennant might be in the offing.
8

90

72

88.3

89.5

88.2

.549

.530

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

On Aug. 25, the Cardinals trailed the Braves in the NL Wild Card race by 10 1/2 games. St. Louis finished 23-9; Atlanta finished 11-20. The Cardinals somehow made the playoffs, and they capped it in un-LaRussa-like fashion with a shutout by a single pitcher. Wow.
9

82

79

84.2

85.5

84.8

.523

.503

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

It's hard to fathom how a team with arguably the National League's MVP—Matt Kemp—and Cy Young—Clayton Kershaw—could be so bankrupt at other positions.
10

89

73

85.2

84.8

83.8

.529

.509

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Braves' bullpen buoyed the club all season long, but Craig Kimbrel couldn't get three outs in the ninth to secure a one-game playoff with the Cardinals. The Braves went 9-18 in September and lost their final five games. There are probably a lot of holes in walls in Atlanta.
11

86

76

84.8

83.6

83.3

.521

.541

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

As Mike Scioscia and the Halos sat in their dugout and pondered what might have been, Mike Napoli drilled his 29th and 30th home runs against his former team. Has there been a more predictably one-sided trade in recent memory?
12

94

68

88.4

83.4

83.5

.539

.519

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The D'Backs made their worst-to-first surge official and, with two fine ninth inning rallies—one successful, one a bit short—they have some momentum rolling into the postseason.
13

86

76

80.0

83.2

82.5

.512

.492

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Injuries and a lack of lineup depth did the Giants in this season. With Aubrey Huff triple-slashing just .246/.306/.370, they had no chance to overcome the losses of Freddy Sanchez and Buster Posey early on.
14

79

83

82.6

82.8

81.8

.503

.483

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Drew Stubbs officially ended Mark Reynolds's three-year reign as the Whiffing King: the major league strikeout leader. Stubbs finishes with 205 strikeouts for the season.
15

79

83

75.3

80.6

79.7

.486

.506

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The White Sox were in the heart of the AL Central race in mid-August but slumped down the stretch and finished 15 games back of the Tigers. Life without Ozzie will certainly be quieter. The question, though, is if the White Sox are ready to rebound in 2012.
16

72

90

72.4

80.2

79.5

.469

.450

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Marlins bid adieu to Sun Life Stadium with a loss against Stephen Strasburg, but they also say goodbye to the rain storms that come every season in South Florida; their new stadium has a retractable roof.
17

73

89

77.0

80.1

79.9

.478

.459

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Rockies were supposed to compete for a playoff spot, but a dreadful May—during which they went 8-21—set the tone for the summer. But it wasn't all bad; centerfielder Dexter Fowler's breakout second half, which includes a .288/.381/.498 line at the plate, bodes well for Colorado's 2012 hopes.
18

77

85

78.5

78.2

78.7

.482

.462

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Jose Reyes got a hit in his first at-bat, and like he promised, he was done for the night. Ryan Braun went 0-for-4, so Reyes seized the batting title despite getting booed for his strategy. Reyes' friends in the Dominican Republic intend to throw him a parade for the title. Is the batting title really that cool?
19

80

81

78.3

78.2

78.6

.489

.469

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Stephen Strasburg gave up one hit in six scoreless innings and struck out 10. After returning from elbow surgery, Strasburg struck out 24 batters in 24 innings and posted a 1.50 ERA. The Nationals have to be excited to get their ace back for 2012.
20

71

91

77.7

77.6

78.4

.470

.490

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Kansas City might've finished an unremarkable 71-91, but their roster is loaded with young talent and players coming off career seasons. With an average age of 25.6, the Royals were more than a year-and-a-half younger than any other team in baseball.
21

81

81

79.2

77.0

79.4

.488

.508

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Though the Blue Jays finished fourth in the AL East, they still have plenty of positives to reflect on. Jose Bautista certainly isn't a one-year fluke, Ricky Romero turned a corner, and J.P. Arencibia showed a lot of pop. If only they weren't in the AL East...
22

74

88

77.2

76.0

77.3

.470

.490

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

After struggling through August and September, Gio Gonzalez bounced back with a stellar 2.20 ERA in September, tying a career high with 11 strikeouts on Wednesday. He'll be counted on to play a significant role in Oakland's 2012 rotation with Brett Anderson likely to miss the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
23

80

82

75.2

73.7

74.3

.468

.488

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Indians were one of the feel-good stories in the first few months, but a 21-32 stretch in June and July put a serious damper on Cleveland's chances to snag the AL Central title. In typical Cleveland style, the Indians lost their final four games to finish under .500.
24

71

91

78.8

73.3

73.0

.457

.437

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Even with two homers on Wednesday, the Padres finish with just 91 on the season, the lowest in the majors. Will Venable, Nick Hundley, and Cameron Maybin tied for the team-lead with nine home runs each. Nine.
25

71

91

70.1

70.5

69.6

.434

.414

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

With 207 hits, Starlin Castro became the youngest player to lead the NL in that category. He did it in rather consistent fashion, too: .307 BA before the All-Star Break, .307 BA after. The Cubs might have their shortstop for the next 12 years.
26

67

95

67.1

68.5

69.7

.420

.440

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

It's hard to think of a more fitting end to the Mariners' season than getting shut out. Seattle ranked dead-last in the majors in both runs scored and OPS for the second consecutive year.
27

69

93

66.1

63.5

64.8

.406

.426

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

"To make Boston go home sad, crying, I'll take it any day," said Robert Andino after delivering his walkoff single. Robert bleeping Andino, that is.
28

72

90

69.6

63.3

62.2

.412

.393

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Things looked oh-so-promising for the Pirates when they maintained a better-than-.500 record into the summer. But the team's pitching simply wasn't sustainable, starting with Kevin Correia, who logged a 4.01 ERA and 11 wins in the first half before crashing to a 7.23 mark after the All-Star Break and hurting his elbow.
29

56

106

61.9

61.2

61.5

.371

.353

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Astros finish 56-106, becoming the ninth team since 1996 to lose at least that many games. They played very little role in the wild-card magic that happened on Wednesday night, other than getting stomped by the Cardinals.
30

63

99

61.6

56.2

56.5

.366

.385

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

When you're gutting it out to avoid 100 losses, you know the wheels have fallen off somewhere along the road. The Twins faced more than their fair share of injuries and never really were involved in the AL Central race. A 22-51 second-half made things look even worse. To add insult to injury, the Minnesota winter looms.

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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