Wednesday, January 31, 2018

From the Handbook: 2017 Leaderboards

Another longtime staple of the annual Bill James Handbooks: top ten lists in virtually every statistical category. A double of easy Brian Dozier nuggets:

Dozier was third in the AL in plate appearances (705), but he was "only" eighth in at-bats (617). That's because his 78 walks were ninth most in the league, and most of the regular top-of-the- order guys didn't show on that list..

Sticking with Dozier: his 306 total bases ranked seventh in the league. But three, maybe four, American League middle infielders had more; it depends on what you consider Jose Ramirez, who split 2017 between third base and second base. The others are Francisco Lindor, Jose Altuve and Jonathan Schoop. Another shortstop, Elvis Andrus, is ninth. (Andrus? Yep. The once light-hitting shortstop not only hit .297 but spiced it with 44 doubles, four triples and 20 homers.)

Moral of that list: Teams are demanding, and getting, some serious thump in their middle infields. And since most of these guys are hitting at or near the top of the order, they're getting more opportunities than the outfielders and first basemen hitting in the middle.

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