Uneven Distribution

If you’ve taken an introductory math class, you’ve probably seen the bell curve graph that explains how the distribution of things are grouped around the average and thinner at the extremes. National League second baseman have decided to band together and disprove normal distribution in 2008, however.

As a group, they are hitting .267/.335/.415 for a .750 OPS. Normal distribution would suggest that we’d find a cluster of players with an OPS between .700 and .800, but in reality, only one of the 13 qualified second baseman falls in that range – Luis Castillo. The other twelve are split into two distinct groups – tremendous and terrible. This morning, we look at the guys excelling, and tonight, we’ll look at those who are dragging the average down.

We’ve talked about the amazing years Chase Utley and Dan Uggla are having. Both are having historically tremendous seasons for a second baseman, and they’re mortal locks to represent the NL at the all-star game. But behind those two MVP candidates are four pretty good players in their own right.

Orlando Hudson: .303/.372/.503, 0.82 WPA/LI
Brandon Phillips: .287/.336/.529, 0.55 WPA/LI
Kelly Johnson: .299/.362/.495, 0.34 WPA/LI
Mark DeRosa: .297/.384/.449, 0.66 WPA/LI

All of these guys are having seasons that would create a strong case for an all-star bid in any other year. Hudson and Phillips both add terrific defense to their offensive value, while Johnson and DeRosa continue to be the under the radar stars for their respective teams. You really can’t go wrong with any of these six guys, as all of them are having tremendously valuable seasons.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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How about showing the actual graphic while discussing it so we can visualize the spread?