I was doing some work in Excel on my data and formulas for player props, and came across some interesting stats that I found interesting. So look:
- B.J. Upton is having an absolutely terrible year, and a big reason is pop-ups. Upton has a major league worst 30.2% in-field fly ball rate with 13 pop-ups in 192 plate appearances, a big reason why his BABIP is so low at just .208. Upton is also striking out 33.9% of the time, which means 64.1% of his plate appearances end with him having zero chance of getting on base. So if every Upton ground ball and fly ball managed to find a hole and he hit 1.000 on those, he'd still only be hitting .360. That's preposterous. Also from a Twins' perspective Josh Willingham's pop-up rate of 22.4% and K rate of 26.4% are a pretty bad combo too. He needs to get it together so they can trade him this summer for something halfway decent.
- There are 8 players who have yet to pop out this year, and they range from slap hitters (Ruben Tejada, Jose Altuve, Howie Kendrick), awesome hitters (Joey Votto, Mike Trout), really shocking guys who you'd think popped out every five minutes (Ryan Howard), guys I've never heard of (Jason Castro), and asians (Shin-Soo Choo).
- The following players have more walks than strikeouts so far this year: Dustin Pedroia, Coco Crisp, Marco Scutaro, and Norichika Aoki. That is an epically annoying group of players.
- Ervin Santana (13/13), Dan Haren (12/9), and Kevin Correia (13/12) are all contenders for the Bronson Arroyo Memorial Club of pitchers who give up more homers than walks in a season, but if anyone is a lock to join the group it's got to be Bartolo Colon with 7 homers and 4 walks allowed so far. It seems he's decided to absolutely not walk anybody this year, and if history holds and he makes around 30 starts he should give up around 20 homers. At his current walk rate he'll come in under that, but who knows if it will hold? He's never walked this few batters in his career, but it seems to be working for him so far (3.33 ERA, 3.34 FIP). Maybe even crazier? He's only had a single 3-0 count this entire season.
- Fastest average fastball velocity for any starter is Stephen Strasburg at 95.4 mph with the slowest 81.1 mph by R.A. Dicky (slowest non-gimmick pitcher FB is Barry Zito at 83.4). Fastest average fastball period goes to Detroit's Bruce Rondon at 99.3 mph (Aroldis Chapman is fourth at 97.1). Glen Perkins throws the fastest heater of any Twin at 94.5 mph, with the team's hardest throwing starter, Mike Pelfrey, averages 91.8 mph and every single thing I wrote in that last sentence is totally gross.
- More Twins stuff:
Best Fastball (by results/value): Perkins
Worst Fastball: Pelfrey
Best Curve: Ryan Pressly
Worst Curve: Scott Diamond
Best Slider: Pressly
Worst Slider: Perkins
Best Change-Up: Jared Burton
Worst Change: Pedro Hernandez
Casey Fien and Josh Roenicke also have very good cutters, while Vance Worley has one that is completely god awful
Best Fastball Hitter: Joe Mauer (and it's not even close - he crushes fastballs - runnerup: Eduardo Escobar)
Best Curveball Hitter: Mauer (Trevor Plouffe)
Best Slider Hitter: Josh Willingham (Plouffe)
Best Change-Up Hitter: Mauer (Oswaldo Arcia)
Most Aggressive Hitter: Wilkin Ramirez (runner up: Arcia)
Best Eye: Brian Dozier (Jamey Carroll)
Best Baserunner: Pedro Florimon (Aaron Hicks)
Worst Baserunner: Plouffe (Chris Parmelee)
Best Fielder: Justin Morneau (Florimon)
Worst Fielder: Plouffe (Hicks - advanced stats have his range as terrible, advanced fielding stats still suck)
- Back to Majors in general, Pablo Sandoval, Adam Jones, and Alfonso Soriano are known hackers so it shouldn't be a surprise they're the most aggressive in the majors this year, while Marco Scutaro, Nate McLouth, and Coco Crisp win the most patient award (Hicks is fourth among those who qualify for the batting title).
- Shin-Soo Choo completely crushes fastballs, Carlos Gomez (Snacks -> hi) kills the curve, while Chris Davis smokes sliders (Willingham is second here) and Evan Longoria owns the change-up (followed by Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki which is notable because all three are on $nake and I's fantasy team). On the flip side, fastballs confuse Ruben Tejada, John Buck is owned by the curve, Nelson Cruz can't hit a slider, and Matt Wieters is always fooled by a change.
- Lastly, the best heater in the bigs goes to Cliff Lee (Clayton Kershaw runner-up), best curve to Adam Wainwright (A.J. Burnett) - neither a big surprise, best slider belongs to Yu Darvish (Justin Masterson), best change to Marco Estrada (Cole Hamels), best cutter to Travis Wood (Clay Buchholz), and best splitter (people still throw this?) to Hisashi Iwakuma (Ryan Dempster) and no, not many people throw it.