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Mendoza Line Newsbeat

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Even when Tim Tebow is hitting .131, his Triple-A team is drawing fans in droves

We are now a month into Tim Tebow’s Triple-A career, and it’s pretty hard to overstate how horrifically the former football player is performing.

Through 26 games for the Syracuse Mets this year, Tebow is hitting .131/.198/.179 with zero home runs and a 37 percent strikeout rate. He currently has only 11 hits on the season, 12 if you count the time he accidentally kicked his first-base coach in the groin. After saying in February that an MLB call-up was his goal for the season, the 31-year-old outfielder currently ranks last in the entire Triple-A level in OPS (.376) and wRC+ (-4).

Those latter two numbers are on pace to be the worst marks the Triple-A season has seen in the last decade, per Fangraphs. And, keep in mind, Tebow plays a bat-first position at left-field and won’t be making the majors through his fielding or baserunning.

If there’s player who has earned the crown of “Worst Player in Triple-A” this year, Tebow is the runaway leader right now. That hasn’t stopped fans from coming out in droves to see the Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL first-round draft pick.

I suspect that this is telling of something, but would that I knew what it was….


Friday, May 10, 2019

Posnanski: The Mendoza Line

Mario Mendoza never hit .200 over a season. That might be a little bit surprising when you consider that his name is so deeply connected to that specific batting average of .200. But there’s a lot that is interesting about The Mendoza Line, one of the most famous and fascinating ideas in sports (and a little bit outside of sports as well).

Mario Mendoza was a slick-fielding shortstop from Mexico. One story goes that a scout watched him field one ground ball and immediately knew — from his grace, his arm, his presence — that he was the real thing.

And his bat? Well, not to overstate things but: Who cared about his bat? Mendoza played in a time when slick-fielding shortstops played no matter WHAT they hit. They were just slightly better than pitchers at the plate. In Mendoza’s first season in professional baseball, 1970, there were seven more-or-less everyday shortstops in baseball with an OPS+ of less than 60.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2019 at 08:35 AM | 22 comment(s)
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