Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Team Batting Stats Reveal Seals' Weakness

The Golden Baseball League currently doesn't publish team stats, but a little Excel magic today turned the individual batting stats into team stats. The results were, in a word, enlightening.

Here are the fruits of my labour (numbers include games of June 9th):
Calgary 611145204503181296322124928120.5140.334
St George 654162211504241379920981143200.5210.323
Chico 6261101883571296731715352480.4360.300
Long Beach 481921443541484461382316120.4760.299
Tucson 3797311129546332780613110.4270.293
Edmonton 63410717634713967561031031180.4150.278
Yuma 53471146234106142789410190.3880.273
Victoria 578831563227681019114513150.3690.270
Orange County 4004410326083734899011100.3830.258

I wasn't surprised to see Victoria ranked eighth out of the nine teams in batting average with a .270 mark. What did surprise me is how far behind they are -- five of the nine teams are hitting .293 or better and Calgary is hitting at an unbelievable .334 clip.

Analyzing the league stats also gives an indication of just how little power the Seals have shown so far this year. The team is eighth in home runs with a measly seven in their first 17 games. By comparison, one player on the St George Roadrunners (AJ Valentine) has seven on his own. As a team, the first place Roadrunners have smacked a whopping 24 homers.

A look at the slugging percentages confirms the fact that the Seals are no better at hitting doubles and triples. They rank dead last in the league with an anemic .369 slugging percentage. In contrast, the powerful St George squad slugs to the tune of .521.

At first glance, it's surprising that the Seals rank sixth in runs scored. The reason? It's not team speed, which they sorely lack, but instead it's walks. Victoria leads the league with a total of 101 bases on balls. Chris VanRossum has 17 walks, while Sergio Pedroza has 16 and Jamar Hill has earned a free pass 14 times.

The obvious conclusion from the team batting stats is that Victoria has been relying on a string of singles and walks to score runs. This is not a recipe for success given their sub-standard team speed and high strikeout rate (their 114 strikeouts rank third in the league). They are great at getting on base, but as recent games have shown, they leave a lot of men stranded. The team desperately needs some additional power in the heart of their lineup. Unless they can bring in a big bopper from the outside of the organization, they might have to hope that one of their current starters (Carlos Duncan is a likely candidate) can can get hot and put up some power numbers. Otherwise, there will be a lengthy and frustrating string of stranded Seals on the basepaths this summer.