The Most Average Hitters Of 2009

The best and the worst hitters are argued about daily.  What about the typical average major leaguer?  Revealing a new stat for measuring average-ness.

There’s always some sort of debate going on about who the best hitter, or who the worst hitter is.  These have one coherent theme, best hitter arguments revolve around Pujols, Mauer, Cabrera, and the likes, and the worst hitter arguments feature Yuniesky Betancourt, Emilio Bonifacio, Edgar Renteria, and their friends in “shouldn’t-have-a-major-league-job” land.

So I decided to ask a different question; who was the most average hitter of 2009?

I used a method adapted from Bill James’ similarity scores, each hitter starting with 1000 points, and then subtracting from that one point for each point of AVG, point of OBP, point of SLG, HR, R, RBI, BB, or SO off the average.  The formula probably needs tweaking, but it’s the best one for now.

The results for the top ten most-average players of 2009:

Name

.AVG

.OBP

.SLG

HR

R

RBI

BB

SO

AS

Hunter Pence

.282

.346

.472

25

76

72

58

109

952

Casey Blake

.280

.363

.468

18

84

79

63

116

951

Nick Markakis

.293

.347

.453

18

94

101

56

98

936

Adam Jones

.277

.335

.457

19

83

70

36

93

936

Paul Konerko

.277

.353

.489

28

75

88

58

89

929

David DeJesus

.281

.347

.434

13

74

71

51

87

928

Brian Roberts

.283

.356

.451

16

110

79

74

112

927

Nate McLouth

.256

.352

.436

20

86

70

68

99

927

Carl Crawford

.305

.364

.452

15

96

68

51

99

924

Jermaine Dye

.250

.340

.453

27

78

81

64

108

921

Average

.282 

.354

.458

20

81

78

58

99

1000

And there you have it, the most average hitter of 2009, Hunter Pence, right fielder, Houston Astros.

Some observations:

-       Orioles have three players in the top ten.  Jones and Roberts are pure average players, but Markakis will rebound.

-       A lot of these players were overpaid veterans in ’09.  Blake, Dye, Konerko, all fit that description.

-       Crawford’s a suprising inclusion, it seems like most of his value is tied up in his defense and baserunning.

As you can probably guess, the least-average hitters are the best and the worst hitters, all the players mentioned at the top are in that group.

Stay tuned for the pitchers.

Cover Photo by: schipulites


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Arjuna Subramanian

Arjuna Subramanian is an aspiring baseball writer living in the Washington D.C. area.  He started his writing  with his blog Painting The Black on MLBlogs in May of 2009.  He fell in love with the sabermetric movement during the 2008-2009 offseason, and strives to provide balanced articles from both sides of the statistics/scouting divide.  

When not writing, watching/listening to baseball, over-analyzing his Chicago Cubs, staring in disbelief at the writing of Thomas Boswell, or keeping tabs on the latest Milton Bradley blowup, he can usually be found at the DC Fencers Club, where he is a competitive epee fencer.

Contact Arjuna Subramanian

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