Posted by Steve
I know I continue to harp on the Brewers’ excellent patience so far this year, but that’s only because it was so bad last season. I said before the season that I felt the loss of CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets would be offset more by the offense than the pitching. We’re only about five weeks in, but so far that’s definitely been the case. The improved discipline has made a huge difference so far, and is seen in just about every player.
Current OBP: .343
OBP at this time last year: .320
2008 OBP: .342
Pretty much everyone seems to prefer 2009′s Rickie Weeks to the Weeks of years past. I’m not sure I do, although I’ll save my reasons for a different post.
Current OBP: .345
OBP at this time last year: .358
2008 OBP: .300
What’s encouraging about Hart is that he isn’t even really hitting well. His average is only .262, but because he’s walking at a career-best rate, his OBP is still alright. If he gets his average up, the OBP will only improve (assuming he continues to be patient).
Current OBP: .463
OBP at this time last year: .311
2008 OBP: .335
Braun has been an absolute beast this season. Like Hart, Braun is another player who struggled with plate discipline last year. He’s been vastly improved so far in 2009 in that area. My brother pointed out the other day that his numbers this season are basically what Albert Pujols has put up the last few years. Again, I realize it’s only been a little over one month, but if he keeps within shouting distance of this pace he’ll be a top three MVP candidate (and actually deserve it this time).
Current OBP: .410
OBP at this time last year: .348
2008 OBP: .372
Prince has already taken 27 walks and is on pace to destroy the team record. His batting average is only .255! Just wait until he gets that up to the regular .270-.280 range.
Current OBP: .395
OBP at this time last year: .269 (had only played in 11 games at this point)
2008 OBP: .331
Up until a couple days ago, the Brewers had three starters with OBPs above .400, which is impressive even if it’s only May. It’s unreasonable to expect this to continue with Cameron, whose career OBP is .341, but a .341 OBP combined with his slugging and defense adds up to an extremely valuable player. Right now that valuable player is playing out of his mind.
Current OBP: .289
OBP at this time last year: .338
2008 OBP: .343
Well, they couldn’t all be hitting at the same time, could they? Hardy is definitely off to a rough start. He’s had slow starts before though, so I’m not very worried. The good news is he’s really the only one who has been disappointing to this point.
Current OBP: .364
OBP at this time last year: .276
2008 OBP: .293
By this time last season, Hall was already careening towards a terrible offensive year. He still isn’t hitting righties (.678 OPS) but he is absolutely mashing lefties (1.269 OPS). Hall has been very good defensively this year as well (save for the occasional holding onto the ball too long to show off his arm). If he plays at this rate all year he’ll justify or possibly outperform his contract, which is something he certainly did not do last season.
Current OBP: .315
OBP at this time last year: .369
2008 OBP: .327
Kendall can’t hit, but it’s not a disappointment because we weren’t expecting him to. I continue to not understand why the team refuses to pinch hit for him late in the game in big spots. I hoped this would change with Macha replacing Yost, but we’ve yet to see it. I went on a pretty good rant on Sunday when he let Kendall hit with two outs and the bases loaded against Carlos Marmol with Craig Counsell and Brad Nelson both available.
Current OBP: .429
OBP at this time last year: .308
2008 OBP: .355
He’s not a starter, but I included Craiggers in here because he’s been hitting out of his mind. He’s always been a good on-base guy, but recently he’s done it despite a low batting average (hit just .226 last season). What gives me a little hope is his new, non-ridiculous batting stance he’s using this season. Not that I expect him to hit .333 all season like he is right now, but .275 or even .285 might be within reason.