I have a confession to make. I am not a stat head. I am not one of these baseball fans that consider Bill James a baseball god, nor an I one of those baseball fans that carry their laptops with SPSS ready to create stats from last year’s raw data.
However, this little note in this morning’s Post-Gazette really makes me think that there may be something to this whole stat phenomenon.
Consider the always famous Player X:
Took 61.6 percent of the pitches he saw, eighth-highest in the league. Barry Bonds’ 67.2 was tops.
Had the league’s highest success rate in stealing bases, 95.7 percent. He stole 22 of 23, a year after stealing 10 of 11.
Scored 38 percent of the time he reached base, 11th-highest in the league. One reason: He went from first base to third on a single 3 of 7 times.
Had the league’s ninth-best on-base percentage, .360, when leading off.
Had the best on-base plus slugging percentage — the statistician’s dream offensive measurement — of any player in the majors when seeing a slider, at 1.242.
Who is this player? It is the one and only Nate McLouth. Given that the sample size isn’t too large (about 2 month’s of playing) there does need to be some grains of salt taken with this information, but it does make the spring training battle with Nyjer Morgan, who doesn’t have these type of stats.