Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.
The Legendary Careers of Puig and Ruf
Were one to have inspected a FanGraphs batting leaderboard last night of every player ever’s career stats sorted by park-adjusted offense relative to league average (i.e. wRC+), with the minimum plate appearances set to 50, one would have been passing his evening in a surprisingly similar way to the present author.
One would have also encountered figures not entirely unlike those which are contained in the following table:
|1||Babe Ruth||– – –||2503||10616||.342||.474||.690||.340||197|
|2||Ted Williams||Red Sox||2292||9791||.344||.482||.634||.328||188|
|5||Rogers Hornsby||– – –||2259||9475||.358||.434||.577||.365||172|
|6||Barry Bonds||– – –||2976||12606||.298||.444||.607||.285||172|
|9||Ty Cobb||– – –||3035||13072||.366||.433||.512||.378||165|
|10||Joe Jackson||– – –||1332||5690||.356||.423||.517||.351||165|
Seven of the players here, one finds — Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle, and Ty Cobb — recorded more than 100 wins over the course of their respective careers. An eighth, Joe Jackson, accounted for another 60 of them (i.e. wins) through his age-30 season before his expulsion from major-league baseball by the literally iron-fisted Kenesaw Mountain Landis. The other two players are Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig and Phillies also rookie Darin Ruf.
“This is merely a function of small sample sizes!” the reader announces. “Puig’s and Ruf’s performances are hardly sustainable!” To both of which comments, the author is likely to respond: “Probably, you’re right.” However, much like a rare photograph of Marlon Brando attempting to procreate with a pan of lasagna, this table cannot be unseen. Accordingly, one is compelled to make observations of some sort.
Observations such as these:
• With the exception of Barry Bonds, none of the players here was active after 1968 (Mickey Mantle‘s final season with the Yankees). Or, phrased differently: only one of the eight best hitters ever (by this measure) has played in the last 45 years. In point of fact, that parenthetical is important: it is very likely that the amount of total variance in hitting ability has decreased. As such, it’s possible that the standard deviation for park-adjusted offense has also decreased.
• While different in terms of overall baseballing ability, Puig and Ruf have both demonstrated a trait that would seem to render their career achievements to date very difficult — namely, a lack of contact. Puig has recorded a 64.9% contact rate thus far; Ruf, a 71.2% mark. League average, meanwhile, is around 79-80%. In light of this, it’s not surprising to find that both players have strikeout rates more than 20 percentage points higher than their respective walk rates.
• Ruf’s and Puig’s BABIP figures are quite high — but so are those of mostly every other player on this list. Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby both recorded career BABIPs of .365 or better. Nor does that appear to be merely a function of the era: the league-average BABIP during Hornsby’s career, for example, remained withing a range of .275-.312.
Credit to citizen of the internet Ely Sussman for originally making this particular leaderboard observation.
Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Philadelphia at St. Louis | 20:15 ET
Jonathan Pettibone (90.1 IP, 111 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR) faces Shelby Miller (104.2 IP, 89 xFIP-, 2.0 WAR). Idle question: how does the latter’s season compare to other young and talented right-hander Matt Harvey‘s? Answer in the form a of a table:
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cardinals Radio.
Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.1.
Note: the following table is entirely sortable.
|Tony Cingrani||CIN||8||2||6||6||6||SF||Eric Surkamp*||19:05|
|Gerrit Cole||PIT||9||7||6||2||5||WAS||Taylor Jordan||19:05|
|Greg Reynolds*||CIN||5||2||3||6||1||SF||Barry Zito||TBD|
|Chris Capuano||LAN||6||3||5||6||4||TOR||T. Redmond*||19:07|
|Kris Medlen||ATL||5||8||6||6||6||NYN||Carlos Torres*||19:10|
|Rob. Hernandez||TB||7||10||7||8||5||BOS||Jon Lester||19:10|
|Phil Hughes||NYA||5||3||4||3||3||TEX||Alexi Ogando||20:05|
|Jason Hammel||BAL||3||8||4||7||3||KC||Bruce Chen*||20:10|
|Rick Porcello||DET||9||7||6||1||5||CHA||H. Santiago||20:10|
|Jarrod Parker||OAK||3||6||5||3||7||HOU||Jarred Cosart*||20:10|
|Tyson Ross*||SD||4||6||4||4||4||MIL||Don. Hand*||20:10|
|Jon. Pettibone||PHI||5||1||6||4||9||STL||Shelby Miller||20:15|
|Jose Fernandez||MIA||10||1||6||8||4||COL||Jhoulys Chacin||20:40|
|Travis Wood||CHN||4||5||6||2||9||AZ||Patrick Corbin||21:40|
|Kyle Gibson||MIN||2||2||2||7||1||LAA||Tommy Hanson||22:05|
|Zach McAllister||CLE||3||7||5||6||6||SEA||Er. Ramirez*||22:10|