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Monday, February 18, 2013

Newsday: Mets’ best leadoff hitter?  David Wright

This dude is earnshawing his salary!

Forget Michael Bourn. Statistically speaking, the Mets have their leadoff man: David Wright.

Yes, the man who common baseball wisdom dictates is a middle-of-the-order bat, would have been one of the best leadoff men in baseball in 2012…

There were only eight players in 2012 who were MLB average or above in on-base percentage, pitches per plate appearance, pitches fouled off, strikeout rate and putting the ball in play: Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker (Pirates), Ian Kinsler (Rangers), Alejandro De Aza (White Sox), David DeJesus (Cubs), Matt Holliday (Cardinals), Matt Wieters (Orioles) and . . . David Wright .

The numbers prove putting the best on-base threat at the top of the order is key to constructing the best lineup. Bill James, the godfather of modern baseball analysis, wrote in 1981 that getting the first batter on is the most important element needed to score in an inning. The crew at Baseball Prospectus went a step further, using countless computer simulations to show the lineup that scores the most runs is ordered by OBP (greatest to least).

The first batter of the game for the Mets in 2012 got on base at a .290 clip. Not a recipe for success, compared to the MLB average of .317. The Mets ranked 23rd in getting their first hitter on base.

Further, Mets batters hitting in the No. 1 spot in the lineup got 748 plate appearances in 2012. The No. 3 hitter only received 710, most of which went to Wright, who batted third in 144 of his 155 starts. That means 38 plate appearances that could have gone to the Mets’ best hitter didn’t.

The District Attorney Posted: February 18, 2013 at 12:10 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: david wright, mets, strategy

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   1. TomH Posted: February 18, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4371510)
I do not recall the BP study he mentions, and if in fact they DID publish that "lineup that scores the most runs is ordered by OBP (greatest to least)", this would have been at odds with most other studies published and received a whole lotta discussion. So I assume the author is mistaken.

I DO believe that most studies have also shown that SLG is LESS impt in #1 hitters than the 2 thru at least 6 (if not 8 or 9) spots, so I doubt you want Wright there unless you have power at every position.
   2. bigglou115 Posted: February 18, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4371517)
In Baseball Between the Numbers BPro did state exactly that. There was no real methodology and their end premise was similar to The Book were they concluded it really didn't matter. I think the method espoused in the later publication would put Wright in the number 2 spot, as 1, 2, and 4 were the most critical and the best overall hitter should bat 2nd. But it's still not worth a win in all likelihood.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: February 18, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4371519)
I think the Mets ideal lineup (against RHP, based on ZiPS) would be:

LF Duda
3B Wright
2B Murphy
1B Davis
C d'Arnaud
RF Baxter
SS Tejada
CF Niewenhuis

Duda's .330 OBP is the 2nd best on projection on the team. I guess Turner would lead off against lefties.


   4. Danny Posted: February 18, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4371521)
This is the quote from BP's BBTN:
Third, and most obvious, OBP is the most important variable - more important than SLG or AVG. Given any group of nine hitters, the batting order that scores the most runs is the one ranked in order of descending OBP. Give the hitters who make the fewest outs the most chances to bat, and you'll score the most runs.
   5. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 18, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4371540)
Something tells me Wright is also the Mets' best cleanup hitter, best #8 hitter and best pinch hitter.
   6. bunyon Posted: February 18, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4371543)
He may also be their best pitcher. However, I believe the team would most benefit by moving him into the owner's chair.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: February 18, 2013 at 07:07 PM (#4371546)
Without looking anything up, I'll say: Baxter, Tejada, Murphy, Wright, Ike, Duda, Buck, Niewenhuis

Lord, this outfield is even worse than I thought. Are there really not even any righties to platoon with our three thoroughly mediocre lefty hitters?
   8. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 18, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4371562)
Bill James, the godfather of modern baseball analysis, wrote in 1981 that getting the first batter on is the most important element needed to score in an inning.

Revolutionary thought there, good thing he attributed it to Bill James or would never have believed it.

"Write this down: If you want to score runs, don't let the first guy make an out. That doesn't help. You see, runs and outs...eh...not so much"
   9. Conor Posted: February 18, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4371564)
Lord, this outfield is even worse than I thought. Are there really not even any righties to platoon with our three thoroughly mediocre lefty hitters?


I think it's gonna be Cowgill and Brown.
   10. JJ1986 Posted: February 18, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4371572)
Adam Rubin is reporting that the Mets will try to move Turner. If the bench is Recker, Cowgill, Brown, Hicks and Quintanilla, it will be made up of guys who spent about 75% of the time in the minors last year.
   11. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 18, 2013 at 08:51 PM (#4371583)
It's going to be a long ####### year.
   12. Dan Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4371593)
Adam Rubin is reporting that the Mets will try to move Turner. If the bench is Recker, Cowgill, Brown, Hicks and Quintanilla, it will be made up of guys who spent about 75% of the time in the minors last year.


Doesn't Valdespin seem like a likely bench candidate? He can play all over the field and showed a bit of pop at the plate last season. Seems like a better use of a roster spot than guys like Brown or Hicks.

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