04-25-2014, 09:47 AM #21
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Don't hold your breath
04-25-2014, 09:58 AM #22
Kubel, Pinto and Colabello were not around last year at this time. Plouffe was battling wrist injuries. I think this team is a better hitting team than last year, and it hasn't received anything from Arcia or Willingham yet. Count me as encouraged."If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."
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04-25-2014, 10:05 AM #23
I don't think they can maintain top offense in the AL, but if they can keep it in the top 5 and the pitching can be league average they will have a shot."You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald
04-25-2014, 10:07 AM #24
This team has shiwn a great approach at the plate thus far. They aren't just getting lucky out there. By my eye test, the luck has been even for the Twins and their opponents.
04-25-2014, 10:20 AM #25
For some context, the Twins batters current 12.9 BB% would be an expansion era (1961+) MLB record, by far. Next highest is the 2000 Seattle Mariners at 12.1%. Most of the high teams are from the sillyball era (1993-2000) or 1969-1971 following the lowering of the mound, when the league BB% was 1+ percent higher than today; otherwise, the absolute max team high is closer to 11%:
Out of our 10 "regulars" (the current 9 plus Willingham), 4 of them have basically doubled their established walk rates, AND 5 more are posting career highs to boot. The only one who isn't posting a career-best walk rate, and he's actually dropped interestingly enough, is Colabello.
Also, as a team we are +.017 in BABIP over 2014 league BABIP and our yearly team BABIPs since moving to Target Field. 4 of the above 10 regulars are about 100 points better than their established BABIP levels so far in 2014, and Suzuki is about 60 points better too. We've also got a few BABIP underperformers, but they've been dwarfed by the overperformers so far.
Looking in the Plate Discipline section at Fangraphs, we're now 2nd best in out-of-zone swing percentage... but we were already a very respectable 6th last year, behind only 4 AL playoff teams (and, inexplicably, the Cubs). In 2014, we have the lowest in-zone swing percentage, notably lower than last year's (which was already second-lowest in baseball). I guess that means we're being more selective even in the zone, which is good, but given our crazy walk rates, it also suggests that maybe we've been the beneficiaries of a poorly called strike zone thus far? Like we're getting away with not swinging at strikes?
I'll take it, but this just screams fluke. I'd like to see some improvement in ISO (we currently rank 21st, with a slightly lower figure than last year). So far, we have made modest gains in AVG (up 8 points from last year, even as the league is down 5 -- we're basically league average at the moment).
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04-25-2014, 10:32 AM #26
Not that it won't be nice to have more options, but I highly doubt the offense improves (or even maintains this crazy pace) even with Arcia and Willingham back.
Also, from my post above, Pinto and Plouffe are in the group that has doubled their established walk rates thus far; Kubel (and Willingham) "only" has a career high in that rate. Kubel, Colabello, and Plouffe are also 3 of the group who have added 100 points to their established BABIP levels.
04-25-2014, 10:35 AM #27
04-25-2014, 11:26 AM #28
The approach can be maintained and that's the encouraging part, but there is simply no way you can look at the peripherals of this offense and suggest the Twins have been anything other than extremely lucky.
04-25-2014, 11:29 AM #29
04-25-2014, 11:45 AM #30
Last year the Twins were almost precisely average in scoring unearned runs.
Last edited by spycake; 04-25-2014 at 12:04 PM.
04-25-2014, 12:50 PM #31"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."
04-25-2014, 12:50 PM #32
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04-25-2014, 04:00 PM #33
Fangraphs projects that if all things stayed the same they'd go from scoring 5.5 runs a game to 4.01 runs per game. It's a very sizable bit of luck they are having.