Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The difference

Looking at ArtHTracy's useful list of outmaking leaders, one can't help but notice the name Jimmy Rollins.

Rollins has been, for his career, a slightly below average major leaguer with the bat. Considering he plays 2B, that means he's probably above-average for his position. 760 OPS isn't great no matter how you slice it, but if your team doesn't have a better option at 2B, it's certainly fine.

This year, however, has been different. Rollins has been hitting triples and homers at a rate unlike any so far in his career. A 600-slugging 2B can start for my team any day. He has been very valuable to the woeful Phillies.

Juan, on the other hand, is in the running for Worst Regular Major Leaguer. How can this be, when both are on the list of outs leaders?

The answer, of course, is power. Juan's extra-base production so far is this: 3 doubles, one triple. Jimmy's is 5 doubles -- meh -- but 5 triples and 9 homers. Juan can reach Jimmy's level -- almost -- if he hits triples and/or homers in every single at-bat over the next two games.

In short -- even if a player makes lots of outs, he can still be very useful, even an All-Star, but he has to hit for power. Jimmy Rollins has been great. Juan Pierre makes lots of outs and doesn't hit for power and has been a millstone around the neck of the Dodger offense.

Of course, it's dishonest to suggest that Juan could ever perform at an All-Star level or that he would hit for power. He's never done either. The question is: how many singles short of useful is he? That is a question for another day.

No comments: