Phillies Hitters vs. Projections
There is no denying Michael Young has done far better so far than anyone had any right to expect. He hasn't been stellar in the field but hasn't embarrassed himself either, and he's been very good at the plate. His wOBA is even higher than in his last good season in 2011 (.375 vs. .369), and since he is now doing it in a neutral park, his park-adjusted wRC+ is much higher than two years ago (142 vs. 126), and is in fact the highest of his career. How is he doing it?
- First, the sole negative so far is that his Isolated Power is the lowest he's ever had, .080 vs. a career average of .142
- But his walk rate is a career high of 10.2%, much more than his average of 6.7% lifetime average
- He is hitting .352, and, combined with his walk rate, has an OBP of .418
- That's helped by a BABIP of .423, despite batted ball stats that show he's hitting...
...line drives below his career rate (20.8% vs. 24.1%)
...fly balls far below his career rate (15.3% vs. 29.3%)
...ground balls far above his career rate (63.9% vs. 46.6%), and he has an insane .413 BABIP on grounders (league average is around .230)
So it appears he's due for some regression, although the walk rate is encouraging. He's seeing fewer strikes, but he's also swinging less often at both balls and strikes.
(small sample caveats on all of the above)
Phillies Team Stats vs. 2012
The Phillies are doing their part to discredit batting average as a measure of a team's offense.
As recently as last season, the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer included as a staple of baseball coverage a listing of most qualifying players in each league, ranking hitters by batting average and pitchers by ERA. It also included team rankings, sorted by ERA for pitching, and by batting average, of all things, for hitting, even though runs scored were also shown, almost as an afterthought. The format hadn't changed since I was a kid decades ago when those tables were the main source of MLB stats during the season, and poring over them was a Sunday morning ritual. It appears they've stopped printing those tables this year, which makes sense in the information age, but, flawed and quaint as they were, I have to admit I miss them a bit.
Also, Phillies pitching has the NL's 3rd lowest BABIP against, so their ERA could probably be even higher than it already is, given the same fielding, sequencing, etc.
NL Standings and Team Stats
The Phillies' and Nationals' high-level stats (runs scored and runs allowed) are very similar.
Miami's offensive rankings:
- R/G: last (2.73) -- next lowest is 3.28
- BA: last (.226) -- next lowest is .232
- OBP: next to last (.287) -- last is .284
- SLG: last (.312) -- next lowest is .356
- OPS: last (.598) -- next lowest is .668
Also, how bad does a pitching staff need to be to play half its games in Petco Park and still rank near the bottom in everything?
A more comprehensive post on Phils' milestones is coming soon, but in the meantime these are the milestones that could be reached in the next few games:
- Utley's next home run (5th) will tie him with Richie/Dick Allen for 8th in Phillies' history at 204.
- His next HBP (1st this year) will break a tie with Chet Lemon and move him into sole possession of 21st place in MLB history, with 152. A 2nd HBP will tie him with Fred Clarke for 20th.
- Also, his RBI double at Citi Field on Saturday tied him with Pat Burrell for 10th on the Phils' all-time list in extra base hits, at 518.
- Howard only has three walks so far so this may not happen very soon, but four more will tie him with Greg Luzinski for 11th in Phils' history at 572.
- This is a week and a half away, but the Phillies' 36th game will tie Manuel with Gene Mauch for most games managing the Phillies, with 1,332.