Friday, February 27, 2009

LBR Comes Through

Mike Fontenot hit a home run today.


In an earlier post, I discussed how Miles and Fontenot compare defensively. I made the claim that, based on conservative estimates, playing Fonty for 150 games instead of Miles would increase the Cubs' record by one win. I also argued that it would not at all be surprising for the actual effect to end up being two wins, based on the data that's out there.

With Mike having finally bashed his first HR (and, since I began composing this post, a triple?!? Yeah buddy!!!), I'd like to take the first step at getting into the offensive side of why Lou should bench Aaron Miles.

On most baseball websites, the standard statistical reference for a player's offensive production is known as his slash line. The slash line includes a line of three frequently used statistics (batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage), separated by slashes--thus, the name.

Let's compare slash lines for Aaron and Mike:

A. Miles - .289/.329/.364
M. Fontenot - .290/.369/.457

The averages look about the same, and the difference in OBP is significant. But you really can't ingore the disparity between the two hitters in that third number there. Compared to He Who Should Be Benched, Mike Fontenot looks like a smaller version of a famous former slugger who held the all-time home run record for many years.

(In case you didn't already know, now's a good time for me to point out that "LBR" is an abbreviation of Ron Santo's nickname for Mike: Little Babe Ruth.)

There's a lot to talk about with regard to a hitter's ability to hit for power. In future posts, we'll a more in-depth look at Miles' and Fontenot's power numbers, along with the stats for some other notable names that will be discussed often on this here blog (like Ryan Theriot and The Great Mark DeRosa).

For now, though, I'd like to congratulate Mike on his first home run of the spring. I am certain there are many more on the way.

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