Items after the jump:
- Phils batters vs. projections
- Chooch: Lo mejor de Mayo
- Hunter Pence and the 7 bandboxes
- Phillies stats vs. early 2011 and vs. Miami
- Hitting approach and Small Ball
- NL Standings and team stats
- Upcoming milestones
Phillies' Hitters vs. Projections
CHOOCH LEADS ALL MLB HITTERS IN MAY
In May, Carlos Ruiz led all MLB hitters in:
wRC+ .... 223
wOBA ... .503
OBP ..... .484
He was also 2nd in BA (.418), 6th in SLG (.696), and 5th in fWAR (1.9), and had the 3rd lowest strikeout rate (6.6%) in the majors.
HUNTER PENCE: SEASON TO DATE, AND THE 7 BANDBOXES
Pence is often lumped into the list of Phillies hitters who have underperfomed so far, along with Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins (and when people remember, John Mayberry Jr).
This is partly due to his dismal performance with runners in scoring position, and with men on third and less than two out:
with RISP: .203/.325/.344 (.668 OPS)
3B, <2 out: .214/.250/429 (.679 OPS), only 4 of 16 runners scored (see where Phillies hitters rank in the NL further down)
But his overall stats are right about where they should be:
2009-11 ... .293/.347/.478 (.825 OPS, 122 OPS+)
2012 ....... .262/.333/.480 (.813 OPS, 118 OPS+)
His lower batting average is offset by a higher ISO, caused by a much higher than usual HR/FB%:
2007-11 ... 15.7% (from FG)
2012 ....... 22.9%
K's are up vs. 2009-11: 17.1% to 19.1%
But so are his walks: 7.9% to 9.3%
While he seems to be popping up more, FG and BB-Ref agree that he's not doing so any more than his career average.
Regarding Line Drives, FG says they are a bit lower (15.9% career vs. 15.1% this year), but according to BB-Ref they are much lower (16% average vs. 12% this year). Both agree that his GB/FB rate is up..
Fewer line drives and more ground balls are likely causing his lower BABIP. Just as BABIP was way up last year (42 pts over his 2007-10 average) and it fueled his career year, it's far down this year (37 pts below 2007-10).
2007-2010: .319 BABIP, 15% LD% (bb-ref)
2011: ...... .361 BABIP, 19% LD%
2012: ...... .282 BABIP, 12% LD%
Rather than being unlucky, it seems that his BABIP is caused by his batted ball profile, and in fact if he's had any luck at all it's been of the good kind, as reflected in the higher HR/FB% rate mentioned earlier. The knee jerk reaction among some will be to attribute that to playing more games at CBP, but in fact it's been much higher on the road:
Home HR/FB: 18.8%
Away HR/FB: 26.9%
He has hit more home runs since last July's trade, but that is in spite of his performance at home rather than because of it. He has 5 HRs at CBP (193 PAs), and 17 on the road (268 PAs) since joining the Phillies.
HRs per 650 PAs
With Astros: 24 at home; 23 on road (23 overall)
With Phillies: 17 at home; 41 on road (31 overall)
This year, he has visited 7 parks where he has hit at least 1 HR per 10 PAs.
Phillies Team Stats vs. early 2011 and vs. Marlins
First 16 games: 2.7 runs per game (15th in the NL)
Last 36 games (since 4/23)
4.9 runs per game (3rd)
Last 20 games (since 5/10, the day after Manuel's team meeting)
.650 W% (1st)
.595 Pythagorean W% (1st)
5.0 runs per game (3rd)
.790 OPS (2nd)
Approach and Manufacturing runs
At roughly the 1/3 mark of the season, let's review two areas discussed ad nauseum during the off-season: plate discipline, and manufacturing runs via small ball:
Walk rate: this remains an issue despite a brief bump after Manuel's 5/9 meeting
- through 5/9: 5.7% (16th)
- 5/9-5/21: 9.3% (5th)
- 5/22-5/30: 5.8% (16th)
Working counts: this can be split into two parts:
1) Getting to good counts -- they were already very good last year, and have been almost as good this year, with the 2nd lowest first-pitch swinging, and the 8th most situations with hitters counts
2) Being patient in those counts -- the Phils were near the bottom in this last year, as they typically looked for a pitch to drive rather than work a walk, and have been even a little worse this year, with the 3rd lowest rate of pitches taken in those counts.
Stealing bases: very similar to last year, and still the highest success rate in the NL.
- sacrifices: unfortunately, this is the one thing they've succeeded in changing -- up 18% over last year, and consistently near the top in the NL
- advancing runners from 2nd to 3rd with no outs: same as last year, around the NL average
- Baseball Refernce also reports something called productive outs, and the Phillies, like last year, have been just below the league average
Scoring men on third with less than two outs: The Phillies as a team are dead last in the NL in capitalizing on these situations. And of the 79 NL hitters with 8 or more opportunities, this is where Phils hitters rank at getting the run home (including 3 of the worst 7):
8. Ruiz 70% (7 of 10)
28. Victorino 57% (8 of 14)
58. Wigginton 44% (4 of 9)
73. Pence 25% (4 of 16)
73. Rollins 25% (2 of 8)
78. Mayberry 22% (2 of 9)
NL Standings and Team Stats
The Marlins had a great May, with 21 wins and 8 losses. The second best team in the NL in May was the Reds, at 17-11.
- 3 more Total Bases (65 total) will tie him with Del Ennis (3,029) for 3rd on the Phillies' all-time list, behind only Mike Schmidt (4,404), and Ed Delahanty (3,230).
- Needs 4 more stolen bases (14 for the year) to tie dead-ball era outfielder Sherry Magee for 3rd on the Phillies' list at 387, behind Billy Hamilton (508) and Ed Delahanty (412). In fact Rollins has been the Phillies' leader for the post-1920 era ever since he passed Larry Bowa's 288 back in 2008. Surprising perhaps, but Richie Ashburn only stole 199 with the Phillies, partly because he played in an era where there was much less stealing. He led the league once, in his 1948 rookie season, with 32.
- JP needs to score 2 more runs to reach 1,000 for his career (he would become the 27th active player with 1,000+).
That will also make Pierre the 19th player in history with 2,000 hits, 1,000 runs, and 500 steals. The last 4 to join this club were Tim Raines (2002), Rickey Henderson (2003), Kenny Lofton (2007), and Barry Bonds (2007).