2013 Regular Season Review: THE FUN STUFF (The Hitters)

On Monday, the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Texas Wranglers last night for the exciting opportunity to go to Cleveland, Ohio for a night of competitive baseball. What a treat. Last night, the Pittsburgh Pirates WON A PLAYOFF GAME against the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Wild Card game and will move on to face the St. Louis Best Organization In Baseball. Honestly, I’m still mourning the death of the ridiculous 2013 regular season and I probably will be for a while. In an effort to remember the year that was and because I spend so much time on FanGraphs anyway, I’m gonna just gonna go through a multitude of interesting statistical finishes throughout baseball and maybe possibly probably not say a few things about them. We will probably do some sort of CFB Awards post after or later in the postseason, but this is what I’ve got for now. And again, thank you based FanGraphs for being too good to be true.

Important:

  • Qualified hitters = minimum 500 PA’s
  • Qualified starters = minimum 162 innings pitched
  • Qualified relievers = minimum 49 innings pitched
  • Qualified defenders = minimum 900 innings at a position

I’m gonna do this in four parts: hitters, starting pitchers, relievers and crazy stupid defensive numbers.

We start with the guys that hit the balls with the bats.

HITTERS:

Let’s Talk About WAR:

  • Mike Trout completed his second consecutive 10 win season, finishing with 10.4 WAR. A healthy lead over second place Andrew McCutchen who finished at 8.2 WAR. A brief list of guys who Mike Trout has already surpassed in CAREER WAR: Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Nick Markakis, Justin Upton, Buster Posey, Ryan Howard (lolololololol), Marco Scutaro, Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau. Put it this way: there are only 55 players that have produced more WAR since beginning of the 2006 season than Mike Trout has since he came up. Mike Trout the best.

  • Among hitters with at least 100 plate appearances, 119 of them finished with a negative WAR. Examples: Mark Kotsay, Tyler Moore and Nolan Reimold.
  • Among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances, 72 of them finished with a negative WAR. Examples: Jeff Francoeur, Travis Snider and Roger Bernadina.
  • Among hitters with at least 300 plate appearances, 40 of them finished with a negative WAR. Examples: Michael Morse, Melky Cabrera and Delmon Young.
  • Among hitters with at least 400 plate appearances, 15 of them finished with a negative WAR. Examples: B.J. Upton, J.P. Arencibia and Jeff Keppinger.
  • Only six qualified hitters finished in the vaunted negative WAR territory: Adeiny Hechavarria, Paul Konerko, Michael Young, Adam Dunn, Nick Markakis and Starlin Castro. Hechavarria finished at -1.9, Konerko finished at -1.8 and the next worst were Young and Dunn at -0.2.
  • HOWEVER, in only 399 plate appearances, Maicer Izturis managed to produce -2.1 WAR for the Blue Jays. The worst in baseball.

The Basics (all among qualified hitters):

  • Joey Votto finished with the most plate appearances this year at 726.
  • Marco Scutaro and Eric Young tied for fewest home runs, each with two.
  • Matt Carpenter scored 126 runs, 17 more than second place Mike Trout who scored 109 runs. Carpenter scored 26 runs in September. Adeiny Hechavarria scored 30 runs all year.
  • 15 hitters finished without a stolen base, including Alberto Callaspo, Zack Cozart and Daniel Nava.
  • 29 hitters did not triple once this season. Justin Smoak has still yet to hit his first career triple through 1,942 plate appearances.
  • A.J. Pierzynski had far and away the worst walk rate at 2.1%. He walked 11 times this season. He walked three times from the end of June to the end of the season. Joey Votto walked 28 times in September alone.
  • David Ortiz led the majors with 27 intentional walks. There were only 12 hitters that were not intentionally walked once all season, including Manny Machado and Torii Hunter.
  • Chris Carter struck out 212 times. That’s pretty bad. That’s like, 36.2% of the time bad. Carter struck out 44 times in April. Marco Scutaro struck out 34 times all season.
  • There were only seven hitters that were not hit by a pitch this year: Joe Mauer, James Loney, J.J. Hardy, Coco Crisp, Matt Wieters, Mark Trumbo and Adeiny Hechavarria. Shin-Soo Choo was hit 26 times this year.
  • YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHO LEAD THE LEAGUE IN SACRIFICE HITS. Spoiler alert: Elvis Andrus.
  • Matt Holliday grounded into the most double plays this year at 31. Two players tied for the fewest GIDP’s this year: Michael Bourn and ADAM DUNN (not making this up). They each only grounded into TWO double plays all year.¬†On June 16th, David Freese grounded into three double plays against the Cubs in four plate appearances. What is baseball?
  • Oh, and Dan Uggla hit .179.

 BATTED BALLZ:

  • Chris Johnson had a ridiculous BABIP of .460 at the end of April that the entire world and Chris Johnson’s mother assumed would regress. And then it didn’t (at least not to the extent that most thought). He finished the year with a major league leading .394 BABIP. Darwin Barney had the worst BABIP of anyone at a disappointing .222. Edwin Encarnacion had another stellar year (36 home runs, 4.1 WAR) but finished with the fourth worst BABIP in baseball at .247.
  • Of course James Loney lead the majors in line drive rate at 29.8%. AND OF COURSE GREGOR BLANCO WAS SECOND AT 27.7% tied with Joe Mauer. Actually, let’s lower that minimum PA’s number to 200…OH HEY NICK PUNTO. BEST LINE DRIVE RATE IN BASEBALL AT 29.9%. PUNTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
  • Two Brewers top the list of players with the highest ground ball rate: Norichika Aoki at a ridiculous 60.4% and Jean Segura at 58.7%. Brandon Moss is comfortably at the bottom of this list at 30.1% ground balls, mostly because…
  • Brandon Moss had the highest fly ball rate in baseball at 51.8%.
  • CHRIST DAVIS quite obviously lead the league in HR/FB rate, as 29.6% of his fly balls left the yard. The top nine in HR/FB rate are unsurprisingly a bunch of sluggers…and then there’s number 10: Will Venable at 19.8%.
  • There are obviously a bunch of tiny non-power hitters that had absurdly low HR/FB rates. What’s more interesting is the guys with plus power whose fly balls just didn’t quite leave the yard. Of note: Ben Zobrist at 6.1%, Mike Moustakas at 6.9% and Pablo Sandoval at 8.9%.

WHO SAW WHAT PITCHES?

  • Who saw the highest percentage of fastballs this year? Marco Scutaro did. He saw, get this, 69% fastballs….HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
  • Who saw the lowest percentage of fastballs this year? If you picked Josh Hamilton, you have a brain! Our Lord and Savior only saw 44.8% fastballs this season. Simply shocking.
  • 22.6% of the pitches Chris Carter saw this year were sliders, the highest percentage in baseball. It’s almost like he struggles with off-speed stuff.
  • I have no idea if this is interesting or weird but before Ryan Braun was suspended, he saw 10.9% cutters, easily the highest in baseball.
  • Juan Francisco only had 385 PA’s this year but he saw a league-leading 17.7% curveballs. Leader among qualified hitters was obviously Josh Hamilton at 14.5%.
  • Kendrys Morales saw a league-leading 17.3% change-ups this year.
  • Here’s a ridiculous one because R.A. Dickey and Steven Wright are in the same division: James Loney saw the highest percentage of knuckleballs this year at 3.1%. The entire top ten in this category consists of AL East players…except for Justin Smoak because reasons. I don’t understand anything anymore.

***

Thanks for reading.

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