John Dewan’s Stat of the Week™

It’s one of the more frustrating things to watch as a fan. There’s a runner on third with one out. There’s a million ways to score him. And the batter strikes out. Or pops out. All he needed was a little single. Or a medium flyball. Or even a squib grounder. Geez Louise!

How often do major league hitters get that runner in? Thinking about it, the major league batting average is about .260, so it has to be at least that high. Then there’s the sacrifice fly, the ground ball, the occasional squeeze bunt, even the bases-loaded walk or hit batsman. Can that push it up over 50%?It turns out that the major league batting average with runners on third with less than two outs is .332 this year. It was .336 last year in that situation. That’s pretty amazing. When you add in all the other factors, it does jump over 50% to 55.5%.

Here are the totals this year – Runner on third, less than two outs — MLB, 2008:

Opportunities 9,296
Driven in by Batter 5,156
Percentage 55.5%

Here are the best:

White Sox 177 – 284 62.3%
Twins 243 – 394 61.7%
Red Sox 206 – 345 59.7%
Yankees 177 – 302 58.6%
Rangers 184 – 317 58.0%

and worst teams:

Giants 171 – 324 52.8%
Mariners 163 – 310 52.6%
Dodgers 161 – 310 51.9%
Brewers 141 – 274 51.5%
Rockies 162 – 327 49.5%

Here are the top 10 and bottom 5 hitters in this situation this year (15 or more opportunities):

Brian Buscher, Twins 20 – 24 83.3%
J.D. Drew, Red Sox 14 – 17 82.4%
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs 13 – 16 81.3%
Casey Blake, Indians 13 – 16 81.3%
Ryan Doumit, Pirates 15 – 19 78.9%
Albert Pujols, Cardinals 26 – 33 78.8%
Reed Johnson, Cubs 18 – 23 78.3%
Denard Span, Twins 17 – 22 77.3%
Mark Teixeira, Angels 13 – 17 76.5%
Brandon Inge, Tigers 13 – 17 76.5%

and the bottom 5 for this year:

Rick Ankiel, Cardinals 9 – 28 32.1%
Kelly Shoppach, Indians 5 – 16 31.3%
Jose Castillo, Giants 8 – 26 30.8%
Jason Varitek, Red Sox 8 – 27 29.6%
Willy Aybar, Rays 5 – 22 22.7%

(Source Baseball Info Solutions, 2008 regular season through the games of Wednesday, September 24, 2008)

Used with permission from John Dewan’s Stat of the Week™, http://www.statoftheweek.com/.

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    September 25, 2008   Posted in: John Dewan, stats

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