Friday, April 22, 2011


In honor of the Yankees being rained out for the 47th time this year, I leave you with this.

I'll talk about baseball tomorrow.

The 5 Most Interesting Stats Of The Early Season

No work for me today, so I actually have some time to peruse the web and check out things I've been missing.  Part of that perusal included thumbing through the FanGraphs pages of Yankee players.  Based on the early season limited sample size, we can't put full weight on these numbers, but that doesn't change the fact that some of the stats are damn interesting.  Here are 5 of the best ones I noticed:

Jorge Posada's .300 ISO & 26.3 HR/FB%

It's no secret that Jorge hasn't done much other than hit home runs this year, but the rate at which he's doing it, as shown by these stats, is way beyond anything he's ever done.  The .300 ISO is a full 60 points higher than his previous career high, which he set all the way back in 2000.  And the HR/FB rate is his highest since 2003 and almost twice his career average coming into the season.  He isn't hitting very much, but at least when he is he's got some oomph on the swing.  A product of not getting beaten up behind the plate?  Perhaps.

Alex Rodriguez's 1.271 OPS/ .510 wOBA

I know he looked really good in ST, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find anybody, myself included, who thought The Horse would be THIS good so far.  He's going to be 36 this year, he hasn't been able to stay healthy recently, and the general consensus was that he was beginning the natural decline of a player his age.  And right now he has an OPS that's 200+ points higher than his previous career high and a wOBA that's 60+ points higher.  Interestingly, both of his previous career highs in these categories came in his monster '07 season with the Yankees.  It's clear by these numbers that when he's healthy, The Horse is still one of the top 5-10 best hitters in the game.

Phil Hughes' -4.2 wCT

With all the talk about his lack of arm strength and velocity on his fastball, it's a surprise to find that the cutter is the pitch most down statistically this season for Phil.  Sure, the fastball value is way down from last year, but it's still only slightly below average this year.  The cutter is way down and way down below zero.  Now that could be a byproduct of the struggles with the fastball.  Maybe people just aren't seeing them differently.  But this value shows that Hughes is definitely being hurt by his second-best pitch being wildly ineffective too.

Bartolo Colon's 2.72 xFIP

As if we needed more proof that Bartolo Colon has exceeded expectations so far, just take a look at his xFIP.  It's almost a full run below his ERA, showing that he's been better than the basic numbers and results actually show.  His stuff has been electric, his control has been impeccable, and even though his caloric intake is still probably too high, Bartolo Colon has been one of the best Yankee pitchers anyway you look at it.

P.S.- CC's xFIP is 3.40, just for the sake of comparison.

Derek Jeter's 72.9 GB%

This one should probably fall under the "Disturbing" category instead of "Interesting."  Despite working with Kevin Long in the offseason to tweak his swing mechanics, despite him and Long and Girardi continuing to say he's doing the right things and will get there, and despite every announcer on TV saying Jeter "looks" like he's about to break out, Jeter's 2011 has started off worse than his 2010 went.  His swing still looks slow, he's got little to no power to show, and the high groundball rate he had last year has increased.  Again, small early sample size but the results are not encouraging.  Jeter needs to start getting the ball into the air and with a little authority.  Maybe some hitting lessons with A-Rod?