Monday, April 14, 2008

A Look Around The Leagues

We're around 12 games into the baseball season, so I decided to go around the majors to look at some of the leaders/players of note in various statistical categories.

On the team level, the White Sox lead the AL in runs scored with 70. That's over twice as many as Detroit (33). The Tigers are also last in runs allowed (78) with the surprising Royals at the other end of the spectrum (32). Over in the NL, Arizona is pacing major league baseball with 77 RS. The Giants are last as expected (41) but the Padres are right there with them. Who would have thought that the Giants would be outscoring the Tigers, even this early?

On to the players:

-Billy Butler, KC's young slugger, is third in the AL in hitting with a .386 average. He hasn't hit a homer yet, but has a .449 OBP. He's a large part of the reason that the offense is scoring runs.

-Angels' second basemen Howie Kendrick has a pretty good chance of winning a batting title in his career. It may not be this year, but Kendrick is off to a great start, hitting an even .500 in 10 games. He's even showing some pop, with 5 doubles and a triple.

-The ERA leaders in the AL. It's not Cy Young contenders (yet) or All-Stars. #1 is another Royal, Zach Greinke, at 0.60. In the second half last year, he had a 2.42 ERA so he may finally be harnessing his impressive skills. #2 is Cleveland lefty Cliff Lee. Lee has horrible last year (6.29 ERA in 97 IP), but seems to have gotten his career back on track with 12 K's to 1 walk, to go along with his 0.61 ERA. After that is former top prospect Edwin Jackson (Rays), A's starter Dana Eveland, and KC's #3 starter and sabermetrician Brian Bannister. Banny, actually, hasn't given up an extra-base hit all year.

-Boston "speedster" Kevin Youklis is tied for the league lead in triples with two. The A's Mark Ellis also has 2, and Oakland leads the league in three-baggers with 5.

-Carl Crawford is second in the league in runs with 11, despite a .236 OBP.

-Seattle's Raul Ibanez is starting out very well this year. He's leading the league in slugging, total bases, extra-base hits, and runs created. He is second with 5 HR already (he had 21 in 2007) and has an 8:3 walk to K ratio on the strength of 5 intentional walks.

-Yankees back-up catcher Jose Molina, playing because of a shoulder injury to Jorge Posada, leads the league in doubles with 7.

Several O's are up there.

-Nick Markakis is third in the league in OBP, largely because of his 11 walks (second).

-Luke Scott is second with 6 doubles (and he doesn't even get to start every day).

-Both Hernandez's (Ramon and Luis) are tied for first in sac flies, with 2.

-George Sherrill leads the league with 5 saves, even though he's only pitched 4 2/3 innings.

-Daniel Cabrera is tied for first, having given up 4 home runs. Jeremy Guthrie and Adam Loewen (and Erik Bedard) have each given up 3. Cabrera is third in walks with 12 - 5 less than Fausto Carmona.

Going over to the NL:

-Jason Kendall appears to like batting ninth, behind the pitcher. He has a batting average of .400 so far.

-Part of the Cardinals' good start can be contributed to Ryan Ludwick and his .800 slugging percentage. 8 of his 12 hits have gone for extra bases (3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR).

-The under-appreciated (at least by casual Philly fans) Pat Burrell is leading the league with a 1.269 OPS.

-A couple of Diamondbacks are tied for the league lead. Mark Reynolds and Justin Upton both have 5, as do the Brewers' Bill Hall and Florida's Mike Jacobs. Reynolds also is in first with 15 RBI.

-Tim Lincecum is striking out 12.4 per nine innings. Johnny Cueto is second at 11.2. Even more impressive? They've walked 7 total between them.

-Astros' ace Roy Oswalt has a 9.00 ERA and has given up 30 hits in just 16 IP. That may be why he leads the league in losses with 3. He's actually ties with another (former) ace, Barry Zito.

Also, there are 3 players in the AL (Phil Hughes, Billy Butler, and Felix Hernandez) and 4 players in the NL (Justin Upton, Johnny Cueto, Jair Jurrjens, and Franklin Morales) who are younger than me. It's kind of depressing, but at least it's still in single digits. I don't know what I'll do when I'd advise the O's to steer clear of players younger than me because they're in their decline phases.

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