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Average Hitters And The Texas Rangers Lineup

A few days ago, Joey Matschulat of Baseball Time in Arlington put together an excellent post on what a bad, average, good and elite look like at every position.

He also included his estimate of what each position looked like for the Rangers this year by his gut feeling, and I wanted to take that a step further.

Here's Joey's chart:

Matcheschart_medium

He uses weighted On Base Average, which is a measure of total offense adjusted to look about like On Base Percentage in scale (average usually being around .330, a bit lower in 2010). Think of it the same way you think of OPS, just without underrating OBP and doubles.

In case you didn't read his piece (which you should), the highlighted numbers are the total he thinks the Rangers hitters will be closest to based on his best guess. I decided to look at someone else's best guess -- Dan Szymborski's ZiPS projection system -- to see where it will think the Rangers fit. I used this wOBA calculator, adapted to include base running, and even adjusted for park effects.

And here's what I got:

BAD

AVERAGE

GOOD

ELITE

 

 

Josh Hamilton

(.384)

 

 

 

Nelson Cruz

(.376)

 

 

 

Ian Kinsler

(.368)

 

 

Adrian Beltre

(.347)

 

 

Mitch Moreland

(.332)

 

 

 

Julio Borbon

(.313)

 

 

 

Yorvit Torrealba

(.309)

 

 

 

Elvis Andrus

(.306)

 

 

 

 

Okay, so, a little less positive than Joey's guesses, but he admits to being a tad optimistic on catcher, shortstop and first base. However, no one on this hits the level of elite. That's just barely, though, all three of the players Joey considered elite are firmly in the good setting, and good doesn't fall that far from elite. This should still look like a good line up, and most of these players take their value up a level with their defense.

Also, my suspicion is that Joey wasn't adjusting for ballpark, as the wOBA you'll find on FanGraphs doesn't. As I said, I did here. If I hadn't, this is what the wOBAs would look like:

Hamilton .390
Cruz .387
Kinsler .378
Beltre .361
Moreland .337
Torrealba .319
Andrus .315
Borbon .315

That bumps Cruz and Kinsler up to elite, Beltre up to good, and Torrealba and Andrus up to average. That would put Beltre a level higher than Joey's guess, and only Hamilton and Moreland a little lower (but a very small amount). So in terms of actual offense, without considering the home park, Joey doesn't look too optimistic at all by ZiPS, and the offense looks very awesome indeed.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.