First of all, bravo Chris Carpenter. 13 k’s, a career best and he did it in only 7 innings. That was EXACTLY the sort of dominating pitching performance the Cardinals needed tonight. Now if we could get those other 4 guys rolling.
And while I’m handing out kudos, bravo Scott Rolen, who went 4 for 4 with a couple of doubles and his batting average is leading the NL in batting average w/.351. If you would’ve told me in March that Rolen would be hitting .351/.427/.574 and has stayed healthy and had nearly 200 at bats by mid June, I would’ve told you to keep dreaming.
During the game I was taking a look at the Cardinal’s PrOPS over at The Hardball Times and found some pretty interesting stuff. Take a look.
Stats through 06/12/06
In case you’re not familiar with PrOPS, The Hardball Times defines it as-
"PrOPS stands for "Predicted OPS." It was developed by J.C. Bradbury and introduced in this article. PrOPS isn’t really a new stat; it’s a formula for predicting what a player’s OPS is likely to be in the future based on his batted balls (ie grounders, fly balls, and line drives), strikeouts, home runs and walks." Here’s what strikes me here-
- First of all look at Yadier Molina. There’s an -.87 point difference between his projecteced average and his actual average and a -162 point different between his PrOPS and his OPS. So Yadi hasn’t been totally bad, his luck is has been. While a .735 OPS isn’t much to write home about, we’d all be feeling a lot better if that was his real OPS, and that ain’t bad for an NL catcher. His luck looks lately like it may be turning around.
- Look at John Rodriguez and his .266 projected average (44 points lower of actual BA) and .669 PrOPs. Earlier this season I noted that Rodriguez’s high average was coming from having a BABIP (batting average of balls in play of .500) He’s starting to come back to earth, as his BABIP has dropped to around .400. He still hasn’t shown any sign of power he showed in Memphis and in July in St. Louis last season. Since 8/1/05, the Rod has had 209 at bats, homering twice and his slugging percentage is 2 points lower then his on-base percentage (.373 SLG, .375 OBP) Dan at GUB is right, Rodriguez is Quilvio Veras.
- Jim Edmonds ain’t what he used to be, but maybe he’s not been quite as bad as we thought.
- Juan Encarnacion really has been the "as advertised" Juan Encarnacion.
- Is if Albert was amazing enough already, according to PrOPS his OPS should be higher. Also Albert’s average has been down from his previous seaonon. Albert’s BABIP is only .229. His previous seasons have been .318, .304, .350…Some of this is coming from swinging for the fences, as his fly ball ratio has gone up considerably. (God, I miss Albert).
- Okay, so Scott Rolen has been very lucky. Still, it’s a nice comeback and you gotta be at least a little lucky to hit .351.
Have you seen the Hit Tracker, yet? It tells us a lot about home-runs, like the distance off the bat, the speed it went out and even the angle it went out. It also has graphing of the path the ball went. It even shows how things like altitude, wind, and temperature have effects on the ball. Plus there’s links to the videos from MLB.com. Be sure to check it out.
A little sampling: Albert Pujols has hit 18 home-runs. The average distance of his home-runs have been 399 feet and the average speed off the bat is 106 miles per hour. His deepest homer so far this year? The *true distance was 455 feet off of David Weathers on 4/16. Yep, that was the walk-off on Easter Sunday, his 3rd that day. It went out at 111 MPH.
Check out the path it went. Right down the left-field line.
Here’s the definition for true distance according to the site’s author *True distance: If the home run flew uninterrupted all the way back to field level, the actual distance the ball traveled from home plate, in feet. If the ball’s flight was interrupted before returning all the way down to field level (as is usually the case), the estimated distance the ball would have traveled if its flight had continued uninterrupted all the way down to field level.
The author also has Standard Distance, which is defined:The estimated distance in feet the home run would have traveled if it flew uninterrupted all the way down to field level, and if the home run had been hit with no wind, in 70 degree air at sea level. Standard distance factors out the influence of wind, temperature and altitude, and is thus the best way of comparing home runs hit under a variety of different conditions.
Albert’s longest in Standard Distance this season? 430 feet, opening day off of Aaron Fultz.
That was some shot, a foreshadowing of his season thus far.
Put this site in your bookmarks, it’ll be fun to track some of the bombs and get the low-down on where they went, how fast they went, and how far would they would have gone with no help/hurt from the different effects. I love new toys.
EDIT: I showed some graphs on Pujols’ homeruns, now enjoy a video of Albert "freakin’" Pujols on youtube.com.
Did you know that 50% of the balls John Rodriguez has put in play have fallen for hits? The norm for most players is 30%. No wonder he’s hitting .417. Last season, 40% of the balls he put in play last year fell for hits, mostly due to a very high line drive percentage (30%). His line drives are down a bit this year at 23%, which seems to be more around normal. Obviously, he’s been very lucky and won’t keep up that astonishing hit rate. But he still could be productive, and encouragingly he’s picked up his walks to strikeout ratio from a poor .42 to a robust .83, showing he’s being much more selective this year then last. If he can maintain that line, and hit for the sort of power we know he’s capable of, then we’ve really got something. Here’s hoping he gets more AB’s.
There’s been a lot of kudos heading in Hector Luna’s direction, and understandably so. But I want to send some kudos to Aaron Miles. I had previously dubbed him "AAA"ron Miles, due to the poor plate discipline and lack of punch he demonstrated in a Rockies uniform. But "Coors Light" has stepped it up in the batter’s eye department, as in he’s walked 12 times to for 4 strikeouts. It’s taken him 1/12ths of the plate appearances he had in Colorado to reach 1/3 of the amount of walks he drew there. I probably like Luna as the starter at 2nd better, but Miles has held his own out there, and has seemingly gone unnoticed.
So what’s up with Hector, you might ask? He’s a puzzle. We still don’t even have a full season’s worth of plate appearances on him, and his minor league numbers ranged from "huh" to "eww". He’s striking out less this season, so that’s a plus. The last two seasons a high number of the balls he puts in play are falling for hits. (.342 in 05, in 06 so far .381) That’s probably more luck then skill. He’s demonstrating some nifty pop right now for a middle infielder. I love his range at second, and his speed, though I’d like him to be a tad more selective on the basepaths then he has this season. If he got a full seasons worth of AB’s, my guess is he’d fall upwards of around .270-.280ish/.330/.410 (AVG/OBP/SLG) and possibly steal 30 bases and hit 10 HR. But who really knows until he’s given the chance? With the way he’s been playing, he will certainly be getting more oppurtunity, so I guess we will find out.