MLB Nuggets – 2/20

Spring Training is underway in Florida and Arizona so it’s time to start serving up some stats nuggets! Today’s batch is “appetizer” size because, well, you don’t want to fill up too fast.

So here we go:


* – Despite going from 10 to 26 HR and 31 to 63 extra-base hits from 2015 to 2016, the increases were a product of increased plate appearances for Jackie Bradley. Bradley’s slugging percentage actually dropped from .498 in 2015 to .486 last season. However, that .486 slugging percentage last year still ranked 4th among players who played at least 80% of the time in CF (min 400 PA):

.552 – Charlie Blackmon, COL
.550 – Mike Trout, LAA
.495 – Joc Pederson, LAD
.486 – Jackie Bradley, BOS
.480 – Randall Grichuk, STL

* – Bradley hit 26 HR and had 87 RBI last year, the 10th fewest RBI ever by a Red Sox player who hit at least 26 HR in the same season. Since Jose Canseco in 1996, 37 Red Sox have hit 26+ HR in a season but none have had fewer than 87 RBI.

* – Bradley’s batting average has improved every year he’s been in the majors: .189, .198, .249, .267.

* – In 2015, Matt Barnes got knocked around by righties to the tune of 383/576/959 (107 PA), but made a big improvement there in 2016, especially in slugging percentage allowed: 337/353/690 (177 PA). His BB% to RHB actually got worse though, allowing a BB every 10.4 PA by RHB in 2016, compared to one every 15.3 PA in 2015.

* – The .959 OPS allowed by Barnes to RHB in 2015 was the 9th worst by a Red Sox RHP since 1970 (min. 100 RHB faced). They are listed here because, well, this is an awesome list of names:

 

 

1.152 – Ray Culp, 1973
1.065 – Dana Kiecker, 1991
1.048 – Doug Bird, 1983
1.019 – Greg Harris, 1994
.994 – Bill Campbell, 1978
.991 – Brian Rose, 1999
.984 – Tomo Ohka, 2001
.979 – Heathcliff Slocumb, 1997
.959 – Matt Barnes, 2015
.947 – Curt Schilling, 2005

* – RBI stats can be terribly misleading because they reflect opportunity to a great extent. Below are the top-10 producers of RBI per 100 runners on base when they batted:

Nolan Arenado led the majors in RBI with 133, but it’s pretty safe to say that he forged that 6 RBI margin over David Ortiz thanks to the 27 additional baserunners he had a chance to knock in… Note that Mookie Betts (7th) and Papi each came to bat with 408 runners on base last season.

How about the hitters who did the least with their RBI opportunities (min 250 baserunners)?

Two Braves (Jace Peterson and Ender Inciarte) appear at the bottom of the list as they combined to knock in only 58 of the 531 runners on base when they batted… We all know Jason Heyward was terrible last season so seeing him on this list is no surprise, but Brett Gardner (12.7 RBI per 100 baserunners, ranked 184th) does surprise me. I was especially surprised to see that he came up with 323 runners on base last season.

And look at the Yankees’ names if we look at the worst RBI producers in ROAD GAMES last year:

Gardner, who plated only 20 of 169 baserunners on the road, was the worst road RBI producer in the majors. And third-worst was fellow Yankee Chase Headley at 12.4 RBI/100 baserunners.

Thanks for reading! There will be lots more coming over the next six weeks and especially into the regular season so keep checking back. Want to talk about it? Tweet me @nuggetpalooza anytime.

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com, BaseballSavant.com, and Seamheads.com for being fantastic research resources for doing this stuff!

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