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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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Friday, May 27, 2005

Phillies Phans v. Pat Burrell 

As most Phillies fans know, the last three seasons have been a real roller-coaster ride for the Phillies phenom. After compensating for the loss of Scott Rolen in ’02, Burrell was poised to inherit Rolen’s role as the team’s franchise player in ’03 but had an awful year. Burrell rebounded in ’04 with an inconsistent year, showing flashes of his old self here and there. The fear, entering the 2005 season, was that Burrell was never going to live up to the promise he showed in 2002, that he’d be a busted pick for the team and a real drain.

In the case of the Phillies Phans v. Pat Burrell, the defense has made a pretty convincing case for acquittal this season. Pat the Bat is back and with a vengeance. Here are his stats (as of Wednesday):

OBP: .409
SLG: .536
HR: 9
2B: 7
RBI: 37
GPA: .318
ISO: .220

Compare that with his 2004 stats:

OBP: .365
SLG: .455
HR: 24
2B: 17
RBI: 84
GPA: .278
ISO: .198

Definite improvement from 2004, which itself was an improvement over 2003. If Burrell’s stats hold and he continues at this pace, he’ll roughly get back to where he was in 2002:

Extrapolated stats: (based on current stats extrapolated out to the same number of plate appearances as 2002)

HR: 34
RBI: 140
2B: 26
K: 143
BB: 94
Runs: 57
GPA: .318
ISO: .220

Here’s what he did in 2002:

HR: 37
RBI: 116
2B: 39
K: 153
BB: 89
Runs: 96
GPA: .305
ISO: .262

He might be lagging in some power numbers still (a projected 60 extra-base hits as compared with 76 in 2002), but in many respects he’s an improved player from 2002: Burrell is a better run-producer circa 2005 as compared to 2002:

Runs Created per 27 Outs*:
2000: 6.07
2001: 5.65
2002: 7.10
2003: 3.69
2004: 5.69
2005: 7.77

* I use ESPN.com’s numbers here. Don’t ask me to replicate their formula. Basically, it approximates what a hypothetical team of nine Pat Burrells would score in nine innings.

So basically, Burrell has replicated his ’02 stats by trading a little power for the ability to get on base. (.138 BB/PA this year, .130 in ’02) This team is experiencing a power drain at the plate, but Burrell is still a threat and he’s one of the big reasons why the team is one of the best in the NL right now in OBP.

Bottom-line, Burrell is having a great year for the team. If the guys hitting behind him (e.g. David Bell, Mike Lieberthal, et al) were hitting better Burrell would be having a better season. This team might be struggling, but Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu aren’t the reasons why.

The defense rests. Case dismissed.

Comments:
Thank you for sharing this information on Burrell. You made my morning.
 
Nice analysis, Mike. Too bad Burrell's now day-to-day with a nicked wrist (again).

Good to have you back posting regularly.
 
You and I were thinking the same thing this morning.
 
Burrell's been a pleasant surprise this year. I say surprise because I promised myself not to expect too much from him, despite the fact I've always been a big fan.

His numbers look very good, but I've hoped he would be a bit more consistent. I suppose he's a power guy and inconsistency is what you get, but he seems to hit .400 one week and .100 the next.
 
Jessica: always nice to see your face around here (thank for the link on your blog too).

I hope Pat's wrist is going to hold up, but I suspect it will.

Jason: thanks for the shout-out on Beerleaguer (I'll update my links soon). Amazing how we were thinking the same thing at the same time. Odd how great minds think alike, isn't it?
 
Burrell is totally back... Hope his wrist holds up.
 
It would be interesting to look at the week by week statistics. From memory, he has had 4 excellent weeks (winning NL Player of the week 2 times), and 4 bad weeks. No in between. His lack of consistency and a lunging swing where his back knee drops to the ground will unfortunately keep him from ever becoming the player we expected he would be after 2002.

Bill
 
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