Splitsville: 2005 Batters Part One

 

By Keith Glab, January 9, 2006

 

            Gosh, there are a lot of fun splits to look at for last years batters!  We’re not going to be able to cover it in a single article.  Major themes in this one include:

 

Players from Good but not Great Teams

Pre/Post All-Star Break Splits (Pre/Post)

Lefty/Righty Splits (vsL/vsR)

Home/Away Splits (Home/Away)

Indoor/Outdoor Splits? (Ind/Out)

 

Carlos Lee

 

2005 Stat

AB

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

Career OPS

Pre

339

22

76

268

336

528

821

Post

279

10

38

262

309

437

830

Home

295

15

55

254

312

464

819

Away

323

17

59

276

335

508

832

 

            Remember how at the All-Star break we were calling 2005 the Year of the Lee due to Carlos and Derrick’s onslaught against NL pitchers?  While Derrick’s collapse has been well documented, Carlos’ bid for Alex Gonzalez of the Marlins Award has gone relatively unnoticed.  Exactly two-thirds of Carlos’ RBIs came in the first half, before his production plummeted and before he finished the season with his worst OPS since 2001.

            Part of the problem may have been Lee’s new ballpark.  Generally as good at hitter-friendly US Cellular field as anywhere else, Carlos’ power and average numbers suffered a bit in the more neutral Miller Park.

 

Bill Hall

 

2005 Stat

AB

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

Career OPS

Home

261

12

41

310

347

571

773

Away

240

5

21

271

337

413

727

vsL

125

3

13

336

407

560

745

vsR

376

14

49

277

319

473

753

 

            Take it lightly because of his career splits, but Bill Hall was absolute murder on southpaws last year.  What you can’t ignore is that the man really likes seeing Bernie Brewer sliding in the outfield, having hit 42 of his 69 career doubles at Miller Park.

 

Bobby Abreu

 

2005 Stat

AB

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

Career OPS

vsL

207

5

28

275

353

406

766

vsR

381

19

74

291

430

512

982

Home

286

15

58

304

423

535

962

Away

302

9

44

268

387

417

885

Pre

323

18

58

307

428

526

918

Post

265

6

44

260

376

411

928

 

            Everyone’s talked about how Abreu tired himself out in his long-overdue first ever All Star appearance in which he obliterated two Home Run Derby records, 24 in the first round and 41 total.  While a second half collapse is certainly atypical of Abreu, his success at home and against right handed pitching should come as no surprise.  It is worth noting, however, that Abreu has succeeded at home whether playing in Veteran Stadium or new Citizens Bank Park, so teams interested in acquiring him should not shy away because of that split.

 

Ryan Howard

 

2005 Stat

AB

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

Pre

64

3

11

250

300

453

Post

248

19

52

298

371

597

vsL

61

1

6

148

175

246

vsR

251

21

57

323

396

645

 

            Is Ryan Howard ready to put up Thomean numbers this year?  Howard’s second half OBP falls short of Thome’s career .408 mark, but his SLG actually eclipsed Thome’s average by 35 points.  Another thing that the two sluggers share is a complete inability to handle southpaws.  Philadelphia would do well to play Pat Burrell at first base against lefty pitchers, using both Michaels and Rowand in the outfield.

 

Shea Hillenbrand

 

2005 Stat

AB

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

Career OPS

Pre

328

9

42

302

364

451

803

Post

266

9

40

278

314

447

742

vsL

160

7

22

325

361

525

790

vsR

434

11

60

279

336

422

770

 

            A perennial Alex Gonzalez candidate, Hillenbrand didn’t disappoint this year, losing any plate discipline that Moneyball Maven JP Ricchardi was able to instill in him early in the season.  Even with Koskie out of the picture, I think Toronto has too many corner infielders and too much love of walks to keep Hillenbrand, although he’d be a more attractive platoon option with Lyle Overbay than Eric Hinske would be, due to Hillenbrand’s continued success against southpaws.

 

Greg Zaun

 

2005 Stat

AB

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

Career OPS

Home

213

7

32

286

359

437

706

Away

221

4

29

217

353

312

728

Pre

224

6

35

277

378

420

707

Post

210

5

26

224

331

324

727

 

            Has Greg Zaun rejuvenated his career by drinking from the Fountain of Coors in 2003?  Or has he just been enjoying the hitting background at the Skydome?  I’m leaning towards the Fountain (surprise, surprise) because Zaun’s Home/Road OPS in 2004 was .742/.781.  One thing’s for sure: aging catchers tend to tire in the second half.

 

Frank Catalanotto

 

2005 Stat

AB

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

Career OPS

Pre

224

4

21

286

355

406

819

Post

195

4

38

318

382

503

811

Ind

92

0

7

250

307

293

692

Out

327

8

52

315

384

495

846

 

            Aha!  So Catalanotto’s clutch second half performance offset the decline of Hillenbrand and Zaun.  Not a typical trait of Frank’s, though.

 

Hank Blalock

 

2005 Stat

AB

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

Career OPS

vsL

194

8

19

196

228

356

624

vsR

453

17

73

291

354

464

880

Ind

63

0

2

159

169

190

596

Out

584

25

90

274

333

457

831

 

            If you couldn’t figure out why Texas traded young, promising Adrian Gonzalez for old, whiny Phil Nevin, look at Blalock’s numbers against lefties.  He shouldn’t be allowed near a southpaw, but he nevertheless logged almost 200 at bats against them last year.  Now, the Rangers can use either Nevin or Mark Teixeria at the hot corner for those matchups.  While this may downgrade the infield defense, it helps the loss of Alfonso Soriano in the lineup.

            I’d never really looked at Indoor/Outdoor splits before, but Cat and Lock must be outdoorsmen.  Is this an aberration?  Is there something to the fact that they are both left handed, both good hitters, and both spent time on the Rangers?  I think I’m in over my head here.

 

Xavier Nady

 

2005 Stat

AB

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

Career OPS

vsL

124

3

16

323

400

452

843

vsR

202

10

27

223

270

431

677

Pre

178

11

31

264

328

511

743

Post

148

2

12

257

313

351

716

 

            I’m not yet convinced that Nady’s a second half choker, and probably won’t be until he shows it over a full season.  But he’s not likely to play a full season, because I am convinced that he has an awful approach against right handed pitchers.  The Mets better use him sparingly against them, and better hope that David Wright will stay healthy.  San Diego’s Nady-at-3B experiment last year was not only a defensive failure; Xavier also went just 0 for 9 as a third baseman.

 

 

Statistics used for this edition of Splitsville were provided by Yahoo! Sports, except for Xavier Nady’s 3B numbers, which were courtesy of ESPN.com.  Check back with BaseballEvolution.com for more of Splitsville: 2005 Hitters.