Comments on: The Giants’ #8 Hitters http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18676 Thu, 13 May 2010 17:38:37 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18676 Ahh...well, your knowledge is being remembered, even if your name is not.

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By: Kahuna Tuna http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18672 Thu, 13 May 2010 16:37:42 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18672 Here, JT.

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18628 Thu, 13 May 2010 04:54:28 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18628 Actually singles seem to be down throughout MLB. Don't remember where I saw that....maybe a Raphy comment somewhere on this site?

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By: Kahuna Tuna http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18614 Thu, 13 May 2010 01:33:29 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18614 It might be time to do an entry on how bad leadoff hitters have been this season. Compare the 2009 MLB OPS figure for leadoff hitters, .775, with the OPS achieved by AL leadoff hitters so far in 2010: .701. (NL leadoff hitters have put up an OPS of .715 — not much better.) In fact, although MLB leadoff hitters had a 59-point OPS advantage over #8 hitters in 2009, in 2010 the eighth-place hitters have a four-point advantage over the leadoff hitters, .712 to .708! One reason is that AL leadoff hitters almost never hit home runs — only 21 so far, less than all other batting positions except the NL #9 spot. Also, NL leadoff hitters are not hitting singles: despite 63 more PA than #2 hitters, they have five fewer singles than the #2 hitters. Contrast that with the AL, where leadoff hitters have 84 more singles than the #2 hitters.

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18607 Thu, 13 May 2010 00:33:53 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18607 It's certainly always been my instinct that the #8 hitter in the AL is usually the worst hitter in the lineup. No idea if my instinct is correct.

Here are the 2009 splits by batting order number:

Split PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SF IBB tOPS+
Batting 1st 10683 9468 1502 2693 474 80 215 986 437 137 1003 1587 .284 .355 .420 .775 3972 146 70 61 35 104
Batting 2nd 10442 9377 1410 2595 487 70 271 1208 259 73 811 1557 .277 .337 .430 .767 4035 227 84 85 21 101
Batting 3rd 10186 9031 1302 2479 533 28 354 1384 113 28 970 1689 .274 .348 .457 .805 4130 247 93 85 64 110
Batting 4th 9963 8743 1315 2319 477 25 400 1445 115 38 1040 1887 .265 .347 .463 .810 4046 213 100 75 93 112
Batting 5th 9746 8671 1250 2367 468 22 368 1319 99 39 901 1745 .273 .344 .459 .803 3983 201 81 82 56 110
Batting 6th 9531 8522 1168 2261 487 35 339 1175 107 46 859 1748 .265 .335 .450 .785 3835 217 71 63 63 105
Batting 7th 9271 8333 1033 2138 445 43 260 1108 114 52 750 1691 .257 .322 .414 .736 3449 197 82 66 41 93
Batting 8th 9004 8057 1012 2030 403 39 234 1026 116 48 735 1744 .252 .318 .399 .716 3213 207 71 69 30 88
Batting 9th 8703 7763 946 1901 357 46 119 786 181 81 625 1661 .245 .305 .349 .654 2707 162 73 62 6 72
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/12/2010.

Looks like I'm wrong, although those #9 hitting stats do include pitchers in interleague games. However I doubt that alone accounts for the 60-some point gap in OPS. Note in particular the huge disparity in intentional walks--although that is probably due mostly to the benefits of facing #8 or #9 in favor of #1.

The stolen bases tell a large part of my story. I feel like most AL teams put a young speedster in the #9 slot. This is usually a guy like Roberto Kelly in his early days, who wasn't all that good at getting on base yet but stole a lot of bases. Eventually when his OBP went up some and older players declined, he moved from #9 to #1.

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By: DoubleDiamond http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18604 Wed, 12 May 2010 23:46:34 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18604 The #8 hitter for an AL team would likely be a better hitter (relatively speaking) than the #8 hitter for an NL team. On the other hand, some AL teams put a fairly decent hitter at #9 and puts the worst hitter at #9 for the same reason that LaRussa puts the pitcher in the #8 slot - to give the top of the order a better chance to drive someone in, even before the pinch hitters and double switched guys take over #9 later in the game.

It might be interesting to compare #8's with #9's in the American League.

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By: Raphy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18585 Wed, 12 May 2010 21:14:04 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18585 Andy - Sheer coincidence. I heard the Mets' announcers talking about the Giants #8 stats, that's what sparked my curiosity.

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By: Vidor http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18582 Wed, 12 May 2010 21:02:31 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18582 Will be interesting to see where the Cardinals finish there now that TLR's hitting the pitcher 8th again.

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18581 Wed, 12 May 2010 20:59:56 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18581 Funny you should post this given that RBI by #8 hitters was a question in this week's stat challenge.

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By: Kahuna Tuna http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/5994/comment-page-1#comment-18580 Wed, 12 May 2010 20:58:41 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=5994#comment-18580 The 1925 Pirates' #8 hitters were their catchers, Earl Smith and Johnny Gooch. Over the team's first 31 games, Smith hit .388/.437/.575 (1.012), with 3 HR and 18 RBI; Gooch hit a much weaker .316/.366/.395 (.761), with no HR and 4 RBI. Throw in one hitless at-bat from Carson Bigbee, and Pirates' #8 hitters had a combined .923 OPS in those 31 games.

Smith finished the 1925 season with an .845 OPS (109 OPS+), Gooch with a .730 OPS (82 OPS+), and the Pirates won the World Series.

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