Nationals Baseball: Who's going to get on base?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Who's going to get on base?

Not that this wasn't a problem last year but I was perusing the latest Ladson column at and in it he has his projected lineup (a good bet for Opening Day at least) and their respective stats from last year. Without naming names, here's the OBPs :

.319, .306, .388, .388, .320, .294(Thanks Pudge!), .307, .277

That's a 3/4 of the lineup having a .320 OBP or less. If we look at all players last year that would put the 3rd best guy in the Nats lineup at getting on base... about 110th overall. That's not good and it's worse than last year. Last season the Nats had three guys on their team that could work a walk. They got rid of two, Dunn and Willingham, of them and brought in one, Werth. So right there is a step back.

Of course looking at last season alone isn't exactly fair. Adam Laroche can do a little better. I guess you can also expect (hope?) Morgan and Danny Espinosa can bring up their averages which will pump their numbers up, but I don't see this being a lineup that puts men on. There's not much help coming from the bench either. Mike Morse can take a base on balls, but Wilson Ramos, JHJ, and Rick Ankiel aren't those type of hitters.

Simply put, you score by getting on base and getting big hits. Nats fans better hope that guys like Desmond and Espinosa develop their power and get more big hits, because the team doesn't look to be getting on base any better than last year.


David Huzzard said...

Last years numbers are nothing more than last year's numbers. Career averages and projections would be much better to look at for what to expect next season. So here is what the OBP might look like.

Bill James: .347/.328/.368/.375/.333/.301/.341/.312

Marcel: .333/.320/.363/.362/.328/.289/.317/.322

Harper said...

Of course - thanks for posting the projections. I WAS looking at the career stats when writing the post, and thinking about age, time played, etc.. I didn't see anything that was "point-changing" though. This team just doesn't get on base. These projections basically agree. Absolute best case - you're still looking at that 3rd best guy being something like 50th in the NL among guys with decent playing time.

Wally said...

Would you take Michael Young if it was mostly a salary dump - no significant prospect cost? Play him at 2b and let Espy and Desi fight it out for SS?

Anonymous said...

i'm new to your blog but on what basis do you say Dunn couldn't work a walk. He has 990 walks, an average of 111 per 162 games. he had 193 walks in 317 Nationals games.

Harper said...

Wally - if somehow the Lerner's went mad and said "let's spend 250 millionity dollars!" then sure, he's going to be better than Desmond or Espinosa at least next year (though maybe not much further - he will be 34 this year). But at 16 million per year you gotta think that will matter in the payroll, so no. Not for his skill set, at his age, at that cost.

Anon - I said that Dunn COULD work a walk. That he was one of the three last year that could. He's one of the more prolific walkers in the majors.

Wally said...

Harper - yeah, I think that is right. Pretty good hitter though, and I don't see him declining all that much over the next two years anyway (plus moving to NL, which should be a boost). Just not sure about the D. How does he project compared to Uggla, for instance? I can't get a quick read on Fangraphs, b/c it has been so long since he played 2B. NoMO, Desi, Young, Zim, Werth, Laroche, Morse/bernie, C and P - that isn't too bad. I don't think that I am flipping the channel too often.

Aw, feck it, I think that I just talked myself back into liking it. Say if Texas ate $15m or so, and it went something like Marquis (since I heard that they wanted Cook from Rox) and maybe Marrero for Young? I think that I do it.

Probably my sayonara spasm to the hot stove. Time to start reading the 'best shape of my life' stories.

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