John Dewan’s Stat of the Week™

Soriano bats leadoff—once and for all

I hope it’s finally put to bed.

Bill James Handbook 2009This past weekend Lou Piniella experimented with his lineup and put Alfonso Soriano in the number–three slot in the batting order. He did it Friday and Saturday. The Cubs lost both games while Soriano went 1–for–8 with three whiffs. He was back at leadoff on Sunday and immediately celebrated by starting off the game with a home run for the 52nd time in his career (third–most in major league history).

Alfonso Soriano is not your prototypical leadoff man. His on–base percentage is lacking and his home–run power is something you’d like to see in the middle of the lineup. But the bottom line is that he loves batting leadoff and all the numbers back him up. He’s a career .294 hitter batting leadoff and has only hit .263 batting elsewhere. He has one home run every 16 at–bats batting first and one every 22 batting elsewhere.

Here’s how he and the Cubs have done since he joined them at the start of the 2007 season.

Cubs Record Overall

191–150

.560 winning percentage

Cubs without Soriano

41–42 

.494

Cubs with Soriano leadoff

146–99

.596

Cubs with Soriano elsewhere

4–9 

.308

The Cubs are a .500 team when Soriano doesn’t play. They’ve played .600 ball when he bats leadoff and have a .300 winning percentage when he’s elsewhere in the lineup. Batting leadoff for the Cubs, Soriano is hitting exactly .300 with a home run every 15 at–bats. Batting elsewhere he’s 6–for–53 (.113) with no home runs.

Chicago Cubs fans: Let’s not have this discussion anymore. Alfonso bats leadoff. QED. Once and for all. Done. Finished. End of discussion.

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

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    April 28, 2009  Tags: ,   Posted in: John Dewan, Stat of the Week, stats

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