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Splitsville: Interesting observations regarding player splits
September 27, 2005
Keith Glab, BaseballEvolution.com

Hoyt Wilhelm – September

The teams that Hoyt Wilhelm played for had mixed success, to put it mildly. But it was never due to a lack of effort on Wilhelm’s part during pennant runs. Here are Hoyt’s career numbers in September (after 1960):

W L ERA IP H SV
23 8 1.83 221 145 34


Eddie Murray – Bases Loaded

Most players perform better with the bases loaded, but Eddie Murray takes it to another level:

AB HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
191 17 255 0.424 0.412 0.806


Interesting to note a higher BA than OBP due to 19 BB and 33 SF. Not uncommon in Bases Loaded splits.

Dick Allen – Versus Lefties

A solid member of the 3-4-5 club hitting during the 1960’s? Well, sort of.

AVG OBP SLG
0.318 0.413 0.611


Eddie Mathews – Lineup Slot

Without doing extensive research, we’ll never know just how much the D-Mat gun benefited from hitting in front of Hank Aaron. However, by analyzing his splits between hitting 3rd and 4th in the order (post 1960), we can draw some rudimentary conclusions.

Lineup Slot AB AVG OBP SLG
3rd 1507 0.283 0.394 0.52
4th 902 0.257 0.38 0.458


I had always contended that Mathews’ best seasons came before Hank was even in the league. While I maintain that that is true, it does seem that in latter part of his career he hit much better with Hank’s protection than when protecting Hank.

Frank Thomas – vs. Lefties and Positional Splits

You’ll often hear about how much better the Big Hurt hits when he’s playing the field. It’s very true; in fact, players like Edgar Martinez, Harold Baines, and Paul Molitor deserve some credit for being able to excel as a DH when so few can. What you don’t hear about Thomas, is how well he hits southpaws . . . in fact, his numbers against lefties are even better than his numbers as a first baseman.

Split AVG OBP SLG
As 1B 0.337 0.453 0.625
As DH 0.280 0.404 0.510
Vs. L 0.332 0.464 0.639


Tony Perez – Clutch Hitter?

Tony Perez got elected into the Hall of Fame mostly on the strength of his huge career RBI total, which allegedly signifies his ability to hit in the clutch. Detractors claim that his RBI total is more a product of his being a part of one of the best offenses ever than a product of his clutch performance. Here’s what the numbers say:

Situation AVG OBP SLG
None on 0.265 0.322 0.442
Runners on 0.294 0.360 0.489
Vs. L 0.332 0.464 0.639


While I still believe that the ability to hit with men on is an overrated one, it is pretty clear that Tony did possess such an ability. And when you also consider how many forgotten games that he played at third base early in his career, it’s possible that Perez deserves his induction into the Hall.

Statistics used in this piece were taken from Retrosheet.org. Look for more Baseball Evolution Splitsville articles in the future.

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