Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pick the Seals Cleanup Hitter

Which player do you think would make the best cleanup hitter, based on year-to-date stats?
  • Player A - .319 batting average (BA), .398 on-base percentage (OBP), .495 slugging percentage (SLG)
  • Player B - .267 BA, .382 OBP, .433 SLG
  • Player C - .279 BA, .347 BA, .529 SLG

I'd be tempted to answer Player C or Player A. Player C has the highest slugging percentage of the three and the second-highest batting average. His OBP is the lowest of the three, but you don't need a high OBP from the cleanup hitter -- he needs to drive in the runs. It's close, but I'd take Player C out of this group.

If you are Darrell Evans, the answer seems to be Player B. Yes, player B is Jamar Hill. A better choice for cleanup hitter, however, would be Player C - Carlos Duncan. I'd also settle for Player A - Josh Arhart.

For some strange reason, Duncan has been batting 8th for the Seals. After racking my brain, the only possible reason for Evans to waste Duncan in the eight-hole is that Bret LeVier has had such a rough time of it at the plate batting ninth that Evans thinks that Duncan better clear the bases or else any remaining baserunners will be stranded. It's as if Evans has placed Duncan into the "second cleanup" role, if that role even exists in baseball (it sounds like a Victoria slo-pitch concept).

In my humble opinion, putting a player with the fifth highest slugging percentage on the team into the cleanup position is questionable. Slotting a player with the highest slugging percentage on the team into the eight-hole is even more so, especially if your defensive-specialist catcher (Matt Kavanaugh) is batting seventh with a .192 batting average.