K26dp Posted July 12, 2010 Share Posted July 12, 2010 I'm going to look at each Brave regular by position as to where they rank in the NL. I will be using OPS+ as my determining statistic, but will also include their "slash line" (Batting Average/On-Base Percentage/Slugging Percentage).For those unfamiliar with the term OPS+ is a statistic used to measure the overall offensive output of a player, weighted by position and league averages, and neutralizing ballpark factors. It's a good way to measure offensive worth between players at multiple positions. A score of 100 means that the player is at or close to ML average. First Base1. Joey Votto, CIN. OPS+ 167, .314/.422/.5892. Albert Pujols, STL. OPS+ 165, .308/.416/.5763. Adrian Gonzalez, SDP. OPS+ 165, .301/.397/.5334. Adam Dunn, WAS. OPS+ 154, .288/.372/.5885. Aubrey Huff, SFG. OPS+ 142, .295/.384/.5446. Prince Fielder, MIL. OPS+ 142, .295/.384/.5447. Ryan Howard, PHI. OPS+ 126, .294/.350/.5098. Lance Berkman, HOU. OPS+ 122, .255/.369/.4599. Gaby Sanchez, FLA. OPS+ 120, .302/.365/.46710. James Loney, LAD. OPS+ 119, .309/.361/.44211. Troy Glaus, ATL. OPS+ 116, .254/.361/.44112. Garrett Jones, PIT. OPS+ 108, .272/.337/.431Glaus's emergence in May ignited the offense. The six-week hot streak he was on has been sandwiched between two very cold spells. The first was likely due to rustiness after essentialy not playing regularly since 2008. The later is likely due to a myriad of minor injuries. Nevertheless, Glaus has proven to be a tremendous pick-up for the Braves. Here's hoping that the All-Star break will allow him to heal up and resume the production we enjoyed in May and early June.As for the rest of the NL, Joey Votto has been the most productive hitter in the entire National League, and I still can't figure out why he only got on the All-Star team with the final vote. Pujols and Gonzalez have been productive but both are having "off years" compared to previous seasons. It would not surprise me to see them be even better in the second half.Second Base1. Martin Prado, ATL. OPS+ 129, .325/.367/.4842. Chase Utley, PHI. OPS+ 125, .277/.383/.4663. Dan Uggla, FLA. OPS+ 125, .285/.369/.4834. Kelly Johnson, ARI. OPS+ 123, .276/.374/.4975. Rickie Weeks, MIL. OPS+ 122, .269/.370/.449Prado's been the most valuable hitter on the Braves this season, and was one of the only Braves hitting in the month of April. He leads the National League in hits, and is on pace for 224 hits, which would break the Atlanta Braves record. Lately he's also been demonstating a little more pop in his bat, and now has 10 home runs on the season. It's hard for a hitter to maintain the level of production he's demonstrated over the course of a full season while drawing as few walks as he does, but it's not unheard of. Chase Utley usually draws the top spot here, but has been hampered by injuries and by injuries in the supporting cast around him in the line-up. There's no reason to think he won't rebound in the second half. Former Brave Kelly Johnson comes in fourth. Johnson was a top-5 offensive 2nd baseman for the Braves until 2009, and it's not surprising to see him have success elsewhere. Shortstop1. Rafael Furcal, LAD. OPS+ 144, .333/.383/.5142. Hanley Ramirez, FLA. OPS+ 129, .301/.381/.4853. Troy Tulowitzki, COL. OPS+ 125, .306/.375/.5024. Jamey Caroll, LAD. OPS+ 101, .291/.391/.3305. Stephen Drew, ARI. OPS+ 97, .275/.348/.4166. Jose Reyes, NYM. OPS+ 96, .275/.317/.4147. Edgar Renteria, SFG. OPS+ 89, .299/.350/.3618. Starlin Castro, CHC. OPS+ 86, .270/.333/.3839. Ian Desmond, WAS. OPS+ 85, .255/.297/.39510. Jerry Hairston, SDP. OPS+ 84, .248/.294/.35311. Wilson Valdez, PHI, OPS+ 75, .250/.272/.39312. Alcides Escobar, MIL. OPS+ 72, .244/.301/.32913. Yunel Escobar, ATL. OPS+ 70, .238/.334/.28414. Bobby Crosby, PIT. OPS+ 71, .236/.311/.311Well, it probably goes without saying that Escobar is having an absolutely dreadful season offensively. After three seasons that saw Escobar OPS+ 112 combined and burning up much of the second half of 2009, many people (including me) thought that Escobar was poised at age 27 to explode into the upper echelon of shortstops in MLB. For some reason not only has that not happened, but Escobar's performance has been far worse than any stretch that he's shown in his professional career. Usually when you see a drop like this, injury has something to do with it, but other than a short stint on the DL with a hip flexor in May, there's been no indication of injury. It's perplexing to say the least. Fortunately, his glovework has been superb and despite the offensive struggles, he's been an overall plus contributer to the team. If he can find some sembelance of his prior performance in the second half, it would be of tremendous value to the Braves.Shortstop as a position has been down this season offensively. Even with taking positional scarcity into account, there's only 4 NL shortstops with OPS+ over 100, and two of those, Furcal and Tulowitzki, missing significant time due to injury. I look for a healthy Jimmy Rollins and Escobar to rebound in the second half. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.