• Melky & Brand Name Pitchers

    Posted by on April 25th, 2008 · Comments (9)

    Nick-YF from YFSF sent me an e-mail today that contained the following:

    Recently, Bill James talked about how Craig Biggio always did poorly against good to great pitchers, and he felt that was a reflection of his innate ability (he lacked the true talent to be great, but overachieved against mediocre pitchers). To my eyes and memory, it seems that Melky Cabrera is doing the opposite. But I could be wrong. Does Melky hit better against the better pitchers in the league?

    It’s an interesting question, so, I looked into the numbers.

    Here are Melky’s batting stats against pitchers, to date, where he’s faced a pitcher at least 5 times.

    		PA	BA	OBP	SLG	OPS  
    Jon. Papelbon	5	.667	.800	2.000	2.800
    Gavin Floyd	5	.500	.600	1.250	1.850
    Paul Byrd		7	.600	.571	1.200	1.771
    Josh Towers	8	.625	.625	1.125	1.750
    Jorge de la Rosa	5	.600	.600	1.000	1.600
    Boof Bonser	5	.800	.800	.800	1.600
    Javier Vazquez	8	.429	.500	.857	1.357
    Tim Wakefield	5	.500	.600	.750	1.350
    David Riske	6	.600	.500	.800	1.300
    Jeremy Guthrie	7	.429	.429	.857	1.286
    Kevin Millwood	9	.444	.444	.778	1.222
    Mike Timlin	5	.600	.600	.600	1.200
    Boone Logan	5	.600	.600	.600	1.200
    Jesse Litsch	5	.400	.400	.800	1.200
    John Bale		6	.333	.333	.833	1.166
    John Parrish	6	.400	.500	.600	1.100
    Ervin Santana	5	.500	.600	.500	1.100
    Fausto Carmona	7	.500	.571	.500	1.071
    Rodrigo Lopez	13	.364	.417	.636	1.053
    Scott Downs	8	.500	.500	.500	1.000
    Scott Kazmir	7	.429	.429	.571	1.000
    Jeremy Accardo	7	.429	.429	.571	1.000
    Julian Tavarez	7	.400	.571	.400	.971  
    Cliff Lee		9	.250	.333	.625	.958  
    Ron Mahay		5	.333	.600	.333	.933  
    Chad Gaudin	5	.333	.600	.333	.933  
    James Shields	15	.333	.429	.500	.929  
    Jer. Bonderman	13	.385	.385	.538	.923  
    Danny Haren	10	.400	.400	.500	.900  
    Brandon League	6	.400	.500	.400	.900  
    Gil Meche		11	.300	.273	.600	.873  
    Brian Burres	14	.364	.500	.364	.864  
    John Danks	6	.333	.333	.500	.833  
    Carlos Silva	5	.400	.400	.400	.800  
    Scott Dohmann	5	.400	.400	.400	.800  
    Shaun Marcum	13	.385	.385	.385	.770  
    Curt Schilling	22	.250	.318	.450	.768  
    John Lackey	17	.353	.353	.412	.765  
    Jamie Walker	7	.333	.429	.333	.762  
    Roy Halladay	18	.278	.278	.444	.722  
    Daniel Cabrera	17	.200	.294	.400	.694  
    Josh Beckett	29	.308	.345	.346	.691  
    Adam Loewen	13	.273	.308	.364	.672  
    Edwin Jackson	10	.333	.333	.333	.666  
    David Wells	7	.333	.333	.333	.666  
    Chad Durbin	6	.333	.333	.333	.666  
    Scot Shields	5	.250	.400	.250	.650  
    Jason Johnson	5	.250	.400	.250	.650  
    Jon Garland	11	.182	.182	.455	.637  
    Justin Verlander	7	.200	.429	.200	.629  
    Brian Stokes	7	.200	.429	.200	.629  
    Odalis Perez	7	.167	.286	.333	.619  
    Ted Lilly		5	.200	.200	.400	.600  
    Joe Kennedy	6	.250	.333	.250	.583  
    Bobby Jenks	6	.250	.333	.250	.583  
    Jason Hammel	11	.200	.273	.300	.573  
    J.P. Howell	9	.222	.222	.333	.555  
    Kelvim Escobar	8	.167	.375	.167	.542  
    Kyle Snyder	8	.143	.250	.286	.536  
    Nate Robertson	8	.250	.250	.250	.500  
    Casey Fossum	10	.143	.333	.143	.476  
    Jake Westbrook	11	.091	.091	.364	.455  
    Zack Greinke	7	.167	.286	.167	.453  
    Dustin McGowan	12	.111	.333	.111	.444  
    Steve Trachsel	9	.222	.222	.222	.444  
    Freddy Garcia	7	.143	.143	.286	.429  
    An. Sonnanstine	5	.200	.200	.200	.400  
    Hideki Okajima	5	.000	.400	.000	.400  
    Orl. Hernandez	5	.200	.200	.200	.400  
    Felix Hernandez	5	.200	.200	.200	.400  
    Mark Buehrle	5	.200	.200	.200	.400  
    Jose Contreras	14	.167	.231	.167	.398  
    Gary Glover	8	.143	.250	.143	.393  
    Erik Bedard	12	.100	.250	.100	.350  
    Horacio Ramirez	6	.167	.167	.167	.334  
    Jae Weong Seo	10	.111	.200	.111	.311  
    Fran. Rodriguez	7	.167	.143	.167	.310  
    A.J. Burnett	13	.154	.154	.154	.308  
    Chris Ray		7	.000	.286	.000	.286  
    Joel Pineiro	7	.000	.286	.000	.286  
    Brian Tallet	12	.100	.182	.100	.282  
    Barry Zito	5	.000	.250	.000	.250  
    Todd Williams	5	.000	.200	.000	.200  
    Robinson Tejeda	5	.000	.200	.000	.200  
    Clay Buchholz	6	.000	.167	.000	.167  
    D. Matsuzaka	9	.000	.125	.000	.125  
    Jarrod Washburn	12	.000	.000	.000	.000  
    Oliver Perez	7	.000	.000	.000	.000  
    Ramon Ortiz	7	.000	.000	.000	.000  
    Scott Elarton	6	.000	.000	.000	.000  
    Jeremy Sowers	5	.000	.000	.000	.000  
    Tom Glavine	5	.000	.000	.000	.000  
    

    The are some “brand name” pitchers on this list that Melky has handled well. But, of course, you have the issue of “sample size” with many of the names here. So, what if you used 10+ PA as a cut-off? Here’s that list:

    		PA	BA	OBP	SLG	OPS
    Rodrigo Lopez	13	.364	.417	.636     1.053
    James Shields	15	.333	.429	.500	.929
    Jer. Bonderman	13	.385	.385	.538	.923
    Danny Haren	10	.400	.400	.500	.900
    Gil Meche		11	.300	.273	.600	.873
    Brian Burres	14	.364	.500	.364	.864
    Shaun Marcum	13	.385	.385	.385	.770
    Curt Schilling	22	.250	.318	.450	.768
    John Lackey	17	.353	.353	.412	.765
    Roy Halladay	18	.278	.278	.444	.722
    Daniel Cabrera	17	.200	.294	.400	.694
    Josh Beckett	29	.308	.345	.346	.691
    Adam Loewen	13	.273	.308	.364	.672
    Edwin Jackson	10	.333	.333	.333	.666
    Jon Garland	11	.182	.182	.455	.637
    Jason Hammel	11	.200	.273	.300	.573
    Casey Fossum	10	.143	.333	.143	.476
    Jake Westbrook	11	.091	.091	.364	.455
    Dustin McGowan	12	.111	.333	.111	.444
    Jose Contreras	14	.167	.231	.167	.398
    Erik Bedard	12	.100	.250	.100	.350
    Jae Weong Seo	10	.111	.200	.111	.311
    A.J. Burnett	13	.154	.154	.154	.308
    Brian Tallet	12	.100	.182	.100	.282
    Jarrod Washburn	12	.000	.000	.000	.000
    

    Here, we see Melky Cabrera not doing so well with guys like Jon Garland, Jake Westbrook, Dustin McGowan, Jose Contreras, Erik Bedard and A.J. Burnett. But, on the other hand, Melky does fine against guys like Jamie Shields, Jeremy Bonderman, Danny Haren, Gil Meche, Shaun Marcum, Curt Schilling, John Lackey, Roy Halladay, Josh Beckett and Adam Loewen.

    Pretty much a mixed bag, if you ask me. But, at the least, this shows that Melky can handle himself against some of the best pitchers in the league – and it’s not like he’s feasting on only the weaker pitchers.

    Comments on Melky & Brand Name Pitchers

    1. antone
      April 25th, 2008 | 12:14 pm

      Yeah it looks pretty mixed to me.

      Melky has started off the season really well and is even hitting for power with 4 HRs. Right now he has a line of .309avg/.380obp/.515slg, not bad for someone who we have seen people leave comments about as a “4th Outfielder”.

      The guy is young and it is early in the season but I hope he continues to improve and proves all the doubters wrong.

    2. Nick-YF
      April 25th, 2008 | 12:27 pm

      Steve, thanks for giving it a go. Yeah, it does look like a mixed bag, doesn’t it?

      In any case, count me as a Melky skeptic who has been pleasantly surprised by his continuing progress. We may very well have an above-average outfielder here!

    3. Raf
      April 25th, 2008 | 12:44 pm

      Right now he has a line of .309avg/.380obp/.515slg, not bad for someone who we have seen people leave comments about as a “4th Outfielder”.
      ==============
      We’ll see after the season.

      If he keeps it up, great; it can only help the team.

    4. antone
      April 25th, 2008 | 1:08 pm

      We’ll see after the season.

      If he keeps it up, great; it can only help the team.
      =============================================

      Even I doubt that he will keep THAT line up for the whole season…but something slightly below that is certainly possible and would be an improvement.

      Right now his OPS+ is 140, so to expect him to keep that up would be too high an expectation to me, but it would be nice if he could settle in 120 range.

    5. Raf
      April 25th, 2008 | 2:28 pm

      …it would be nice if he could settle in 120 range.
      ——-
      I’d be surprised to see that. I’m thinking 100, no higher than 110

    6. antone
      April 25th, 2008 | 3:07 pm

      I’d be surprised to see that. I’m thinking 100, no higher than 110
      ============================================

      That’s why I said it would be nice if he could settle in the 120 range, as the absolute ceiling.

      Do you think he’s not capable of that? and if so why?

    7. Raf
      April 25th, 2008 | 3:45 pm

      Do you think he’s not capable of that? and if so why?
      ————-
      His numbers in the minors & so far in the majors.

    8. Rich
      April 25th, 2008 | 3:48 pm

      Melky’s problem last season was that he hit poorly in April and September:

      April: .200 .237 .213 .451

      Sept: .180 .236 .220 .456

      but he hit very well from May 1st through August 31st:

      .314 .369 .473 .842

      If he is his poor months this season he can put up at least a .700 OPS, he will be fine, especially if, as he is doing now, he puts up a .900 OPS in his best months.

    9. antone
      April 25th, 2008 | 4:25 pm

      His numbers in the minors & so far in the majors.
      ================================================
      He’s only 23 though Raf and he was probably one of the youngest players at each level he played at in the minors and he never struggled.

      I could see him hitting 15-18 HRs, 30 or so doubles, driving in 75-80, walking about 65 times and hitting .295-.300. I don’t think that is a stretch to say that. That would probably put him in the 115-120 OPS+ range.

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