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Friday, Mar. 02/2013
With the acquisition of Denard Span to play Center Field and bat Leadoff, a new defensive home had to be found for Harper. In 2012, advanced stats didn’t just rate Harper as a good defensive Center Fielder he was rated as a great one.
The Span move makes the Nats better in two positions of weakness and it also allows Harper to move to a more offensive position and focus on that aspect of his game. Left field is the second least important defensive position according to the defensive matrix, and often times it is the home of some of the games best sluggers.
For a quick comparison the average MLB Center Fielder hit for a 3 Slash Line of.265/.330/.418 in 2012 – and the average Left Fielder .261/.327/.431. While Left Field is traditionally a more offensive position current Left Fielders only managed a .009 OPS advantage over their CF brethren in 2012.
This doesn’t nor should it change the perception of Left Field as the less important defensive position of the higher offensive position. All it means is that there aren’t a lot of good Left Fielders right now. In WAR there are built-in bonuses for playing different positions, a good offensive player at an up the middle position will be rated higher than a good offensive player at a corner position, because an up the middle player that can hit is more valuable.
Bryce Harper Highlights as a 16 Year old hitting bombs and Tropicana Field 2009:
Tuesday October 16th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: You might’ve heard about the Giants’ historical comeback. You might heard about the Cardinals historical comeback in Game 5 of the NLDS against the big, bad Nationals. But all you need to know is these two clubs don’t go away easily. Giants’ general manager likes to call his team “cockroaches” because they never go away, while the Cardinals, well, they aren’t named after a bug, but let’s call them the comeback kids for the lack of a better phrase.
There’s nothing scientific about it. They both play to the end. The end is the end, but these two teams tend to avoid the end. Down 0-2 heading back to Cincinnati, the Giants were counted out by the world, seemingly. And who in their right mind would say they weren’t done? People aren’t that stupid. Yet, they silenced Reds’ fans for three straight days, and celebrated on their home field.
Then there’s the Cardinals. Adam Wainwright unraveled, and allowed six early runs to put his team in a very deep hole. And what needs to be underscored here, is the fact that they came back against a legitimate Cy Young candidate in Gio Gonzalez. Nothing fazes them. Even Stephen Strasburg couldn’t have helped… as much as people want to use that excuse.
And now, the two miracle stories clash.
Starting Pitching Preview
The Giants obvious strength entering the playoffs was their strong starting pitching. Even with Tim Lincecum not being the Tim Lincecum he once was, the Giants boasted a very formidable staff with Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner heading the rotation. But San Francisco’s plan to stay in games through their pitching has failed miserably. In the first round, Cain gave up six runs in 10.2 innings pitched, Bumgarner allowed four runs in 4.1 innings pitched, and Barry Zito allowed two runs in 2.2 innings pitched. Ryan Vogelsong was the only one out of the four Giants’ starters to at least have something of a respectable line (5 IP, 1 ER, 3 Walks). Yet, he wasn’t even that good. Read the rest of this entry