Superliga is almost a year old in dog years, so there’s that. The top three remain unchanged for the second week in a row and these guys are really starting to separate themselves from the rest of Tier 1 and the rest of the Liga. Bye Week left the basement for the first time in at least four weeks being replaced by Hangin’ N Bangin’. Quite a bit of shuffling going on here and now is probably the time to take into account what’s been done, where you’re strong/weak, and figure out a way to plug those holes. If you feel like you’re on the outside looking in then it probably won’t just come down to regression to get you back in this thing.
Also, if you’re a dirtbag asshole that’s too good to even check your team then please don’t consider coming back next year. Thanks for wasting everyone’s time with your selfishness.
When the Rays signed James Loney during the earliest parts of the offseason to a one year, $2M deal it was hard to find a lot to dislike. Sure, you’d like to have seen a track record of more power at a position known for slugging meatheads, but Loney has shown a very good glove and ability to make contact at a high rate throughout his career. Coming off his most disappointing season to date and it was pretty easy to see that The Lion was going to be an ideal target for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, expected him to get off to the start that he has. It wasn’t a stretch to expect a slight uptick on his overall basically league average bat due to the Rays platoon knowhow. Loney has hit righties pretty well throughout his career with an accumulated 113 wRC+ while being abysmal against lefties (81 wRC+). Still, this is a team that has given Matt Joyce regular playing time despite having some of the widest splits in the league. If you expected Loney to put up a .320 wOBA overall then you’d expect him to have a wOBA of .329 against righties and .292 against lefties using the platoon split regressor. That’s a bat that plays well enough two-thirds of the time especially with his glove.
Well if you have a pulse you know that Loney is rocking right now putting up a .428 wOBA and helping the team win with great at bats and tons of solid contact leading to hard liners. He shouldn’t be expected to hit this well all year, but let’s dig into the Pitch F/x data (courtesy of Brooks Baseball) to get an understanding of how he’s been able to do all of this so far. Let’s start with his total accrued Run Value by handedness and pitch type:
You may not be aware of the newest really cool addition at the incredibly great Baseball-Reference. Sean Forman and his team have made it so that you can see select splits for minor league players. Using this we can look at how Tim Beckham has fared against righties as compared to lefties or how Todd Glaesmann has performed at home versus on the road. Of course, any time you reduce your sample size you’re inviting more noise at the expense of signal, but these are still really cool things to look at and better conversation starters than, “Are you a speeding ticket, because you’ve got fine written all over you.” #misogyny
You may also not be aware of the platoon splits for a certain right-handed masher by the name of Wil Myers. Oh yeah, that guy, almost forgot about him. Here’s a look at what he’s done versus righties and lefties and overall going back to 2009 and en masse:
We’re basically a quarter of the way through the regular season. If you’re like me that thought makes you want to throw up all over yourself. Tip of the cap to Josh Sale’s Pill Stash for giving me a hell of a week, but seriously, fuck you, Greg. Our biggest droppers were Lueke’e BackDoor Slider and Whosecock Hiscock while the biggest risers were Overnite Sensation and Team Copeland. We have a new overall leader with Where Da Gold At? dropping two as The Hit show flip-flopped from third to first. Good luck, everybody.
As many of you who have followed me on twitter or conversed with me on various Rays web sites know, my love for 2010 second round pick Derek Dietrich was clearly out in the open. In a surprising move this past week my dream of him getting to the show was realized, although somewhat sadly in that he’s wearing the uniform of our in state rivals, Miami Marlins.
My attention tfor Dietrich stemmed from the fact he was was not only from the Greater Cleveland area as I am but more specifically Parma, which was in my backyard and where my wife was raised. Derek was also a prep star at the renowned St. Ignatius High school well known for academic and sports excellence.
When I would comment on his achievements in the local Rays site DRaysBay I was constantly told his numbers were good because of his age and league he played in. By the way Dietrich is 23 years old as we speak, old cuss. The real hitting prospect was the great Mikie Mahtook. I mean for God’s sake Mahtook is 3 months younger and playing in the same league.
Now let’s fast forward to May 2013, Mikie Mahtook is playing for the Montgomery Biscuits of the AA Southern League and is batting .237. Last night after his debut on Thursday in which he lined a single to right on the first MLB pitch he saw, Dietrich smashed a three run bomb for the Marlins. By the way this is not intended to make comparisons of the two players, just to lash out at those who question 20-22 year olds as being “too old”.
Congrats Derek. Make this former Clevelander proud and continue to mash.
As always Go Rays
We’re starting to see a little bit of things settling down. Indiana Northern Ninjas were the only team to move up or down double digits by dropping 10 spots, though Over-Nite sensation gave them a run for their money dropping eight. Team Drake was our biggest vertical climber gaining six spots to move into seventh overall.
Warde and Sveet continue to show that they might just be the class of the Superliga, but it’s far too early to just hand them the crown. On to the next one…