Thursday, April 24, 2014

Durham Bulls Hitters at 20

The Durham Bulls have actually played 21 games, but the player with the most game appearances, Jerry Sands, has just 20, so we are close. All sorts of caveats apply to these numbers because it really is very, very early in the season. Last year’s healthy batters had between 400 and 500 plate appearances. As you can see, that implies that for these players they are at less than 15% of what we can expect to see over the season. Oddly enough, the Bulls are 14½% through the season. Or maybe not so oddly.

The players marked with an asterisk (*) are on the Rays 40-man roster. That means that they can be called up to the Rays without too much roster turmoil. Only two of the Bulls position players are on the 40-man and one (Vince Belnome) is off to a slow start. Hak-Ju Lee is also on the 40-man, but he hasn’t had enough plate appearances to make the chart.
Geek Stuff

This table is sorted by wOBA, my favorite batting stat.
Weighted On-Base Average combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
Also included is another interesting stat, wRAA
Weighted Runs Above Average (wRAA) measures the number of offensive runs a player contributes to their team compared to the average player.
Again, this is very early in the year, but you have to love what all the guys in the positive wRAA range are doing for the team and also note the defensive contributions of almost all in the negative range. A glance at last year’s stats simply emphasizes our concerns for Vince Belnome.

Nevertheless, the sample size is way too small to do anything other than say, “Well, that’s interesting.” ... and it is.

Jerry Sands262083.3571.117.49310.5
Cole Figueroa271674.3511.023.4657.8
Justin Christian341886.3241.006.4528.2
Mikie Mahtook241985.351.892.4095.4
Kevin Kiermaier*241773.303.847.3813.0
Mike Fontenot341767.281.817.3742.4
Wilson Betemit321880.239.726.3370.7
Ray Olmedo331670.254.579.278-2.5
Ali Solis261249.239.554.253-2.7
Vince Belnome*261778.123.454.237-5.2
Eddy Rodriguez28934.097.402.180-3.7

Data source: FanGraphs

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