- Line Drive % is the percentage of balls in play that result in a line drive. And apparently, according to The Hardball Times, a line drive ends up a hit roughly 75% of the time. Anyway, at the top of the leaderboard in this particular category is…brace yourself…Matt Kemp (32.3%). I bet that the Dodgers are glad that they did not include Kemp in any potential trade for a superstar (Santana, Cabrera). Right now at least, as the trade cannot be properly evaluated for a few years, or more. The next four in LD%, in order, are as follows: Aaron Rowand, Victor Martinez, Ryan Church, and Miguel Tejada. As for Rowand there were many detractors when the Giants inked him this offseason, and it is understandable why that is. Nothing against Rowand, I am sure almost every fan loves the way he plays. And I am pretty sure that every expert/analyst likes it too, whether they want to admit it or not. It was just the near fact that the Giants were going to need a few years, or more, before they would have a legitimate shot of competing. So it didn’t make much sense to sign Rowand to a deal that would have him declining while the team was rebuilding. Not to mention, he was moving from a hitters park to a pitchers park, and he was coming off a year that was kind of uncharacteristic in relation to the rest of his career. It made more sense for a contending team in need of a CF to try and lure the ruthless Rowand toward them. But the Giants didn’t listen, they signed him, and he is paying dividends so far. They also may wanted to have signed someone who could quickly become a fan favorite, and who was also a a likable guy, you know, to wipe the Bonds saga away, if just a little more.
- After Rowand comes Victor Martinez. I have so much respect, in baseball terms, for this guy. He is a great hitter, simply put. And he might very well be the most dangerous hitter the Indians have with the game on the line (as a manager said last year, in some form anyway). With Hafner seemingly a glimpse of what he used to be, and Sizemore, as great as he is, an easier strikeout victim than Martinez. Victor does all of this from the catcher position too, which makes him even more impressive, and even more valuable.
- Then comes Ryan Church. How’s that Milledge trade working out for the Mets now? Good, but its very, very early to evaluate. So far Church has been playing out of his mind, and he will probably come down to earth a little bit. He has never hit for this high an average at any time in his major league career. But it may turn out better than the critics thought that it may.
- And lastly, 42 year old Miguel Tejada. He is hitting well so far. I don’t know how long he will be THIS good, but he has a nice track record, so who knows. I have always been impressed with Tejada so it isn’t of much surprise when he hits well.
- The newest Win Shares have arrived via The Hardball Times. It was a pleasant surprise, that I came across while reading, what else, but the Hardball Times.
- Kevin Youkilis leads the AL in Win Shares. I guess that is what a player gets when he continually turns on every fastball left up and in and hits it out of the park. And the pitchers have been continually coming back with exactly what he has been killing. That I don’t understand.
- In the NL the leaders are Nate Mclouth, who of course is surprising everyone. And none other than Chase Utley. Nothing Utley does is bad. He plays good D at an up-the-middle position, and he is as much of an offensive force as most hitters in baseball are. Utley had a very good shot at winning the MVP before the season started, and that has only increased with his dominating performance early in the year.
(Note: Does anyone read my blog anmore?)