10 Stats at the 10% Mark

Thames

Teams are at or approaching the 16-game mark, or about 10 percent of the season. You can read plenty online about early takeaways and such — 16 games is early but NOT meaningless — but I’m just listing stats I find interesting at the 10% pole.

Three stats you will NOT see on this or any other post on Baseball Delights: pitcher wins, batting average, RBIs. All three have been replaced by much better stats. They’re not completely meaningless, but, folks, we’ve moved on. More on this in a future post!

  1. It is quite likely that we will see a record number of home runs this year. Teams are averaging 1.10 homers per game. The record is 1.17 (2000), followed by 1.16 (2016). It’s only April, see, and homers go up when the weather gets warmer.
  2. It is also quite likely that we will see a record number of strikeouts this year. Remember the days when averaging a strikeout per inning was amazing? Now it’s just average. Teams are averaging 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
  3. Jose Bautista, owner of a career .490 slugging percentage, is slugging .157 through 62 PAs.
  4. Your small-sample-size leader in OPS is, of course, Brewers 1B Eric Thames, at 1.441 with 7 homers. No surprise, since he hit 124 homers in his previous 388 games. In Korea.
  5. No surprise that the Dodgers and Yankees have the best bullpens so far, measured by opponent on-base percentage. Third, however, is the White Sox pen at .247!
  6. Freddie Freeman leads the league in wRC+ (weighted runs created-plus), my current favorite stat to measure offensive production. He’s at 282 (100 is average).
  7. Byron Buxton, on the other hand, lags the league with a minus-32 wRC+. That means he’s, like, less than 0% of league average, or something. Something bad.
  8. The A’s are somehow 7-8 despite having a .253 OBP from the 7th inning on. And despite injuries. And despite their starting lineup.
  9. Of the 16 hardest-hit balls this season (judged by exit velocity), Yankees OF Aaron Judge has six of them. Have you seen this Judge homer yet? Oh my Guersch.
  10. Three posts so far on Baseball Delights. But hey, it’s early.
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Baseball Delights No. 1

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The goal is to post “Baseball Delights” that reflect the joy in the game. Here’s the first. It may be hard to top. Eight fantastic words: “Me and Daddy are going to Wrigley Field.”

(Of course, I won’t be cynical and point out that Cubs tickets are spectacularly high — season tickets went up 19.5% — and the average face value price is $58. The secondary market drives them even higher. I get it, people are willing to pay. So I won’t be cynical before you watch the video.)

Here’s the video

What, Another Baseball Blog?

Why another baseball blog? Mostly selfish reasons, I guess: I need to share some of the joy I find in the game and hope that you, new reader, will delight in it too. I’m stuck to the game like a baseball on Yadier Molina’s chest protector. I love everything about baseball: the history, the statistics, the strategic nuances, the mundane events, and the unexpected surprises it constantly provides. I love scorecards and sweeping curveballs and watching a sharply-hit ball land JUST fair as it careens into the far corners of the outfield and rattles around like a pinball as the batter cruises in for a stand-up double. Among a million other things.

Most of all, I love learning about baseball, a sport that eludes complete knowledge but constantly urges its fans to pursue such understanding — through analysis, historical comparison, and observation. This blog will share statistical insights but not heavy math because, well, I don’t do heavy math. I like learning statistical concepts and what we can learn about which baseball numbers truly matter (and which ones don’t). I’ll also share opinions, observations, links to stories or other interesting facts, and maybe even a fictional story or two.

I hope you find the blog enjoyable and worth sharing with others who find the game endlessly fascinating.  So please join me for Baseball Delights. That’s enough warm-up; time for the first few pitches.