April 19, 2005

Two weeks notice

October is still a long way off, but the list of players off to fast starts, including Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, is surprising as the season passes two weeks of play. Here's a quick look at who's hot, based on offensive VORP.

Here’s what VORP means: Value Over Replacement Player. The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute with the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider defense.

Orioles second baseman and former platoon player Brian Roberts leads all of baseball with a 17.7 VORP, while the Phillies Pat Burrell ranks eighth in baseball with a 10.9 VORP, the highest of any NL outfielder.

Elsewhere, other surprising names of players leading their league are Shea Hillenbrand (AL 3B), Dimitri Young (AL DH) and Edgardo Alfonso (NL 3B).

The top ten is thus:

1. Brian Roberts (BAL) 17.6
2. Dmitri Young (DET) 11.8
3. Edgardo Alfonzo (SFN) 11.8
4. Jeff Kent (LAD) 11.7
5. Chipper Jones (ATL) 11.2
6. Miguel Tejada (BAL) 11.1
7. Shea Hillenbrand (TOR) 11.0
8. Pat Burrell (PHI) 10.9
9. Clint Barmes (COL) 10.5
10. Joe Randa (CIN) 10.5

In addition, a couple of understated offseason NL acquisitions have been nice surprises, including Vinny Castilla, Washington, and Jose Valentin, Los Angeles Dodgers. They’re among the NL top 5 in EqA.

One player that’s not having a good season so far is Phillies third baseman David Bell. His –2.7 VORP is third-worst among National League third basemen, ahead of the surprisingly bad Mike Lowell, Florida, and Ty Wigginton, Pittsburgh.

Jim Thome is in the bottom five among NL first basemen with a –0.1 VORP. Thome has yet to hit a home run, so one can expect that number to improve.

Among NL second basemen, Chase Utley ranks 11th with a 1.5 VORP, and Placido Polanco ranks 25th with a –0.8.

The big surprises for the Phillies are center fielders Kenny Lofton and Jason Michaels, ranked 5th and 6th best NL center fielders respectively, with VORPs of 5.4 and 4.8.

The CF platoon is definitely working, as neither one of them holds a significant defensive edge.


At 9:24 PM, Blogger That Dude said...

exactly who does jason michaels have to blo in order to win the Cf job?


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