Elijah Dukes?

Baseball Prospectus’ latest article for ESPN lists their top breakout hitting candidates for 2009. There are three Nationals listed, one of whom is Elijah Dukes. Here is what they had to say about him: Elijah Dukes, Nationals, OF (.278/.386/.486, 4.0 WARP, 54 percent breakout rate) Dukes was dumped by the Rays due to some scary off-field problems, but the Nationals took a chance by buying low, and their reward was the team’s most productive hitter last season, at least when he was available. Unfortunately, Dukes made three separate trips to the disabled list and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, but he Continue reading Elijah Dukes?

Flipping Damon and Jeter

The comments to the previous post (h/t Steve) brought up an issue that I felt deserved its own time in the sun. For much of the last two seasons, Derek Jeter’s penchant for hitting into double plays has prompted me to contend that he should be moved out of the 2 hole to the lead-off spot, with Johnny Damon sliding down a notch. Looking at the numbers this morning, I think the statistical evidence supports the idea. I am making a few assumptions about lineups to make this point. You want your better OBP player to bat first, with a Continue reading Flipping Damon and Jeter

Johnny Damon: Stealth Power?

I saw an interesting mention of Johnny Damon in a Fangraphs article yesterday, and was hoping to get some opinions on what the data may mean: Two other interesting players are Johnny Damon and Garret Anderson. They have identical .161 ISOs over the last three years, but Anderson has seen the fewest fastballs of any hitter in the sample (48.9%) while Damon is up near the top (67.5%). Do pitchers perceived Damon as a slap hitter, due to his frame? Or perhaps Anderson just really struggles against breaking balls, and pitchers are exploiting this? Maybe both? Damon always seemed like Continue reading Johnny Damon: Stealth Power?

Sunday Reads: CC, Swish, A.J., Kelleher

Here are a few interesting reads to kick off the day: 1. Steve Serby of the NY Post has a nice Q & A out with the big lefty, CC Sabathia. Apparently, CC really likes President Obama, Jay-Z, Jackie Robinson and Michael Jordan. That’s certainly a nice group. 2. Wallace Mathews (Newsday) brings us a good read on the versatile Nick Swisher. Swisher’s personality could be characterized as “highly vibrant.” He’s enjoying his time with the team and has brought a bit of craziness that was thought to be gone with Jason Giambi’s departure. Hopefully the Yankees keep him around. Continue reading Sunday Reads: CC, Swish, A.J., Kelleher

Swisher’s role

From Tyler Kepner (NY Times): With Damon entrenched in the leadoff spot, Girardi is left with Swisher or Nady for right field. Girardi could opt for a rotation of sorts, using Swisher’s versatility as a switch-hitter who can also play first base, but he said he would rather not do that. “I’m not anticipating that,” Girardi said. “I would really like to have the same lineup as many days as possible as we can. We had a hard time doing that last year.” Girardi’s admission — that he will attempt to put the same product out on the field for Continue reading Swisher’s role