Statistical Alphabet Soup with Rays Infield

Posted: February 14, 2011 in AL East, Defense, Infield, Rays

With the 2011 baseball pre-season just about here, it’s interesting to speculate how the Rays offense will hold up for the upcoming season.  I have started looking at last years batting results for the players who are projected to get the bulk of playing time in the Rays infield.   Now, keep in mind this is 2011 where we have evolved whereby the statistics we grew up on like Batting Average and Home Runs no longer tell you the whole story. As a result, I have brought in some new age statistical numbers such as  Times on Base, and Total Bases and the rate stats in On Base Percentage, Slugging average.

The formula for Times on Base (TOB) is

  • (H + BB + HBP)

The formula for Total Bases (TB) is

  • (Total hits – 2b -3b – HR) + (2b x 2) + (3b x 3) + (HR x 4)

The formula for Slugging (SLG) is TB/AB or

  • ((Total hits – 2b -3b – HR)+ (2b*2)+ (3b*3)+ (HR x 4) )/ AB)

The formula for On Base Percentage (OBP) is

  • ((Total hits +BB+HBP)/(AB+BB+HBP+SF)


For starters, let’s take a look at Casey Kotchman. His overall OPS is one of the worst you can find around in baseball. The hope for Rays fans is if you look at his BABIP shows one unlucky hitter.  Similarly, his contact rate is impressive. But, playing at Tropicana field which is a pitchers park, not sure how that will turn out. He does play at a premier offensive position at 1B where defense is said to be not as important.    But, with Manny in fold it might be okay having a 1B who will save the pitchers.

Name HR R RBI AVG SB TOB TB BB% OBP SLG OPS Contact% BABIP RC
Casey Kotchman 9 37 51 0.217 0 128 139 7.66% 0.280 0.336 0.616 86.23% 0.229 38.697

In Dan Johnson, we have a very small 2010 sample size.  So that BB% is inflated.  This is a guy who put his bulk of his impressive 2010 up at AAA Durham. Overall, not sure what we have here and is one of the big question marks as he is a player that the Oakland Athletics already gave up on.  But, he definitely has some upside potential.

Name HR R RBI AVG SB TOB TB BB% OBP SLG OPS Contact% BABIP RC
Dan Johnson 7 15 23 0.198 1 48 46 17.86% 0.343 0.414 0.757 75.68% 0.188 16.087

Here we may have found something in Sean Rodriguez. How can we forget the offensive fireworks he put on display in spring training last year. He got off to poor start, and his numbers are a little raw. However, 9 home runs at a middle infielder position is something that he can build upon. The BB% shows he doesn’t walk a lot and his OBP indicates this.  He could either take the next step, or be headed to a seat on the bench.

Name HR R RBI AVG SB TOB TB BB% OBP SLG OPS Contact% BABIP RC
Sean Rodriguez 9 53 40 0.251 13 115 136 5.63% 0.308 0.397 0.705 71.72% 0.324 40.900

In Reid Brignac, it’s his job as the starting shortstop and one of my personal favorite players. He earned a spot out of spring training last year, and overtook Rodriquez with the extended playing time. I remember when Brignac and Longoria played side by side in the minors at an epic power pace. Let’s see what Reid Brignac can do playing everyday. In the early DRAYS BAY days, this was a player the community was on the fence as a player the team could build around. Several years later he is penciled in as the everyday starting shortstop.

Name HR R RBI AVG SB TOB TB BB% OBP SLG OPS Contact% BABIP RC
Reid Brignac 8 39 45 0.256 3 100 116 6.13% 0.307 0.385 0.692 74.42% 0.317 34.452

Felipe Lopez bounced around last year and is sure to make the team as he can back up all over the infield. At times, he has shown he can play in the majors. But, at this point in his career he projects as a solid backup.

Name HR R RBI AVG SB TOB TB BB% OBP SLG OPS Contact% BABIP RC
Felipe Lopez (AL) 1 2 1 0.267 0 5 7 6.25% 0.312 0.467 0.779 73.33% 0.300 2.188
Felipe Lopez (NL) 7 50 36 0.231 8 131 128 10.19% 0.310 0.340 0.651 79.52% 0.272 40.447

Ben will rotate between 2B and RF. He is certainly more valuable at 2B and has shown to be able to play the position effectively. Last year was certainly a down year after 2009. Let’s hope he can pull it together as Rays rely on him even more this season. Despite the off year, his OBP is impressive, but his slugging was in the toilet. His BABIP does not show he was extremely unlucky. This year we will find out if he is more of the 2009 version with an outstanding year, or  more like the player we saw in 2010. He did have a good post season, so lets hope he continues where he left off.

Name HR R RBI AVG SB TOB TB BB% OBP SLG OPS Contact% BABIP RC
Ben Zobrist 10 77 75 0.238 24 224 191 14.20% 0.346 0.353 0.699 80.22% 0.273 70.325

What can we say more about Evan Longoria. He means more to his team than almost any player in baseball. I guess we can expect another Evan Longoria type of year. He is an all around player and one of the best in the game. His detailed statistics reflect that

Name HR R RBI AVG SB TOB TB BB% OBP SLG OPS Contact% BABIP RC
Evan Longoria 22 96 104 0.294 15 246 291 10.89% 0.372 0.507 0.879 78.40% 0.336 109.324
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