Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Leadin’ Off… 

One of the biggest disappointments to the Phils season thus far has been the inability of Marlon Byrd to win the job of leadoff hitter and centerfield. Generally speaking, the Phils the first two slots in the Phils order haven’t produced much consistency or really set the table for Thome, Abreu and Burrell to knock them in.

I figured that I’d compare the production of the Phils leadoff guys with players on other teams:

Sean Burroughs (San Diego): .347 OBP / .250 GPA / .066 ISO
Matt Lawton (Cleveland): .397 OBP / .300 GPA / .163 ISO
Tony Womack (St. Louis): .336 OBP / .253 GPA / .114 ISO
Johnny Damon (Boston): .381 OBP / .277 GPA / .139 ISO

I chose these guys at random, and then I compared these four guys with the Phils three leadoff hitters:

Jimmy Rollins: .324 OBP / .237 GPA / .097 ISO
Marlon Byrd: .301 OBP / .214 GPA / .086 ISO
Doug Glanville: .262 OBP / .184 GPA / .052 ISO

The results, I don’t need to tell you, aren’t good, and I didn’t even factor in Polanco, who was having a mediocre season before he went on the DL. Of the three Rollins is the only one hitting with any consistency for an extended period of time (though Byrd has stepped things up of late), but none of the three has done much to distinguish themselves. Rollins, remarkably, succeeded in his mission of lowering his strikeouts, yet is still failing to draw more walks.

As the season stretches into the All-Star break it is going to start to be time for the contenders (Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs, Cardinals) to poach players from the swiftly collapsing pretenders (e.g., the Kansas City Royals). Out of everything, I’d have to say that the Phils desperately need to pick up a shortstop or a centerfielder who is an OBP machine. I like Marlon Byrd a lot and I thought that he’d be a terrific major leaguer, but he has really disappointed for the most part. Maybe he’ll have a terrific second-half in 2004 the way he did in 2003, but he isn’t consistent enough to trust with the leadoff slot. As for Rollins, I’m still disappointed with his performance, although he’s put in a stronger argument for batting leadoff than Byrd or (cue laughter) Glanville.

The bottom-line for the Phillies is that if a team wants to shop its shortstop or centerfielder, I’d say listen to them.

-Quick aside: I went to the Angels-Pirates game last night at PNC Park with my fiancee and friends of ours who got married. Pretty good game, but it went awfully quick: they were already in the 7th inning by 8:30! I had enormus fun at the 'ol ballpark, which I always do, especially when we hang out with our friends.

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