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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jimmy Rollins should not lead off

I really don't care about what Rollins said about the fans. Pat Burrell has been booed more than any other player on this team combined (while posting career offensive numbers that demolish those of Rollins), yet he's never said one wrong word about the fans. So Jimmy Roll has proven himself very, very soft. Alas, the purpose of this post is not to address Rollins' mental capacity (or thack lereof), but rather to explore why he should not be the leadoff man.

Anybody who thinks that this year for Rollins is unusually poor has not been following his career. Let's crunch some numbers...

ROLLINS AVG/OBP/SLG:

2007: .296/.344/.531
2008: .266/.333/.431
CAREER: .276/.331/.441

A quick look at these numbers reveals that 2007 was the aberration for Rollins, and that this year is simply a typical Rollins performance. The most important part of the above stats, however, is Rollins' 2007 OBP. He won the MVP as a leadoff man (the spot in the lineup where OBP is most important), yet he only managed a .344 OBP. By comparison, Shane Victorino had a .347 OBP in 2007. So, even in Rollins' MVP year, the Hawaiian put up a better OBP.

Shane Victorino:

2006 OBP: .346
2007 OBP: .347
2008 OBP: .350

For every year Victorino had more than 73 ABs in a season, he has posted respectable OBPs. Also, he owns a career 86% SB success rate. Victorino is currently batting 6th, in a power position behind three of the best OBP players on the team: Utley, Howard, Burrell. The Phils should have a player with a low-ish OBP and a high-ish SLG batting in this spot...low enough OBP that he doesnt deserve to bat high in the order, high enough SLG to bat behing the OBP guys to drive them in. Rollins carrer OBP/SLG: .331/.441; Victorino: .340/.415...see where I'm going with this? Flip Victorino and Rollins in the order. Rollins can bat 6th and will drive in the big 3 slightly more efficiently than Victorino can (due to the SLG), and Victorino will get on base in the leadoff more efficiently than Rollins can (OBP). Jayson Werth is nice in the 2-hole with a career .353 OBP, and if he can keep those numbers up over a season with 500 ABs he can certainly become a leadoff candidate.

Here's to this lineup: Victorino (high OBP, high SB%), Werth (high OBP), Utley (high OBP, SLG), Burrell (breaks up both lefties), Howard (Howard), Rollins (low OBP, decent SLG), Feliz (Navidad), Ruiz, Hamels.

1 comment:

Scott Graham said...

Andy... Burrell (breaks up both lefties, high OBP, high SLG, high manliness, high on dip)