What to make of Bryce Harper’s second season in the majors. Most people will say that he had an OK year. He had good points and bad points and got hurt. Looking at his stat totals will paint that picture. 3.8 WAR (3rd on the team, worse than last year) He hit .274 (pretty good, but not great) 20 home runs and 58 RBI (fine, not a lot of RBI for a guy who hit 4th) less than 500 ABs (didn’t even quality). Most average or casual baseball fans will stop there. I know this because listening to sports radio in DC I heard the Harper season summary end there on the National’s flagship station (OK, it was the Junkies).
One of the problems you have when analyzing Harper’s season is that he missed an entire month, zero at bats in June. I am a big fan of wOBA and wRC+ to analyze player hitting. I like this stat because it, like batting average is not impacted by a player like Harper missing a month of the season. wOBA is the stat general managers use to calculate players total offensive contribution and wRC+ is a park adjusted stat that give a % rank of how good a player is compared to the average MLB player. Here is how Harper stacks up: Harper had a .371 wOBA and 137 wRC+.
Putting that into perspective
Harper was the 7th best hitting outfielder in baseball behind Trout, Werth, McCutchen, Choo, Holiday and Cuddyer. That’s it. That is the list.
The more interesting list is the players who Harper out hit this year. Stanton, Bautista, Pence, Beltran, Upton, Bruce and Adam Jones
If you want to take that out to all positions, he also out hit: Beltre, Molina, Longoria, Posey, Zimmerman, Fielder and Hosmer,
Continue reading “The list of players Bryce Harper out hit this year will surprise you”
Here is a strategy to turn this season around.
Step 1: Get Harper healthy
Step 2: Get people in scoring position in front of him. This might mean moving him to 4 or 2nd in the order. 3rd seems to get him up to bat with no one on base a lot.
Seems obvious right? Here are the players who have more at bats with runners in scoring position than Harper:
Suzuki, Espinosa, Werth, Tyler Moore, Lombo, LaRoche, Span, Desmond, Zimmerman
That is everyone , in case you couldn’t tell.
Here are Harper’s stats this year with runners in scoring position.
It is impossible in our modern world to talk about Ty Cobb without the specter of racism being present. It is similar to bringing up the topic of Berry Bonds without mentioning steroids. The difference is, nobody doubts Cobb’s authentic achievements on the diamond, but Bonds accomplishments leave more to the interpretation.
Cobb’s achievements are truly remarkable. At his retirement he owned 70 or so records and received the highest percentages of votes in the inaugural Hall of Fame class. He was recognized in his time as being the greatest living baseball player. The Ty Cobb Museum is located in Royston, Georgia, the closest town to the small farm area where Ty Cobb was born. At one time, I am sure this was really the middle of nowhere, Ga. Now, it is a little less than an hour from the suburban sprawl that is Atlanta. The museum tells the story of Cobb from the perspective of his family and neighbors and friends.
The museum exists in a paradox of independent sports museums. You don’t make a museum for someone Continue reading “Review: Ty Cobb Museum”
Attending a baseball game in Dodger Stadium was a surprising experience. It was all about expectation and location. I expected a normal stadium (it isn’t) and I expected a urban local (not even). Living in LA means sitting in your car a lot. Hopefully, moving in your car, but most likely just sitting. I lived in the high desert of San Bernardino County, so it was a good hour drive from my home to Chavez Ravine. After so much start and stop, I exit the 5 onto Stadium Way which then winds through Elysian Park past the Chavez Ravine Arboretum. While driving through a park I saw families eating picnic lunches. I began to question if I was in the right place. At that point the trees opened to provide a view of one of the most unusual stadiums in baseball. From the parking lot the Think Blue sign is large and sets a very Hollywood sign tone for the experience.
Dodger Stadium is a unique stadium for so many reasons. It is one of the few MLB stadiums along with Kaufman Stadium that seems to exist in a Continue reading “Review: Dodger Stadium”
In 2009 the Atlanta Braves, which unlike most MLB Franchises happens to own their own AAA franchise moved the Richmond Braves to a new stadium built in Gwenette a suburb of Atlanta, now know as Coolray Field. The move was curious at the time because, while the Richmond Diamond was not the most modern of facilities, the team always was an average AAA draw and the affiliation with the city was long standing. In fact the Richmond Braves used to be the Atlanta Crackers before the the franchise from Milwaukee relocated to Atlanta. The best comparison to DC would be moving the team to Leesburg, Manassas or Germantown. This move was less financial decision, more a deliberate strategic retrenchment plan the Braves organization developed . That is for another post.
The stadium is a generic minor league Populous design. It was built in the middle of an empty field with ample parking, It has none of the charm or sense of place that most of the successful minor leagues stadiums have. The Continue reading “Review: Coolray Field”