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Archive for May 23rd, 2007

quailcb.gifJon over at Pyle of List has hit up another News Team Member for an interview. I imagine it goes without saying that One More Dying Quail is one of my absolute favorite bloggers and a must-read for anyone who wants to read well-thought-out prose. And now I get to find out what makes him tick! Good work, Jon.

Here’s the interview

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smellslikepujols.jpg

Smells Like Pujols is a regular feature for baseball season, in which I compare current rookie position players to the awesome ROY season turned in by Albert Pujols in 2001. I am blatantly abusing the Similarity Scores measurement by turning it into an absolute measure of comparison in which Albert is a fixed point that all others aspire to. In my method, a rook on a hot streak can actually exceed Albert’s fixed score of 1000, but it’s usually temporary. If you want to know how the spankin’ new pitchers are doing, please read Mr. Thursday’s companion piece GoodEnough for Me, in which Doc Gooden’s rookie year sets the standard.

This week, I’ve decided that an at-bats cutoff is needed. I feel silly listing a guy first in the standings when he’s a full 100 ABs behind someone like Delmon Young. Fortunately, some of the hot hitters who were called up late are almost at that plateau, so by next week, we should see them in the mix anyway.

Is this partially because I’m lazy? Well, sure. Entering numbers in a spreadsheet is boring. I blog to escape my day-to-day work grind, not to emulate it. But it’s also just not accurate. A guy like Hunter Pence is exhibiting a much smaller sample of work than a Troy Tulowitzki, who’s been in damn near every game. Part-time players like my buddy Tony Gwynn, Jr. aren’t really being put to the Pujols test, either. The Cardinals were forced to rely on Pujols full-time in 2001, and the Rook came through in amazing fashion. That is the true measure of Pujols-ness.

So the leaderboard and chart will have to be without the injured Akinori Iwamura, demoted Felix Pie and Billy Butler, and short timers like Jarrod Saltalmacchia and Hunter Pence (at least temporarily).

Now, on to the chart:

Rookie Cutoff=130 AB

Name Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG SLG Score
Albert Pujols STL 161 590 112 194 47 4 37 130 69 93 1 .329 .610 1000
Josh Hamilton CIN 37 119 20 31 5 1 8 18 13 25 3 .261 .521 819
C.B. Young AZ 38 142 20 38 10 0 6 18 7 21 6 .268 .465 798
E. Dukes TB 35 130 22 30 3 2 8 13 21 34 2 .231 .469 763
T. Tulowitzki COL 42 159 23 41 7 2 2 20 19 39 1 .258 .365 738
D. Pedroia BOS 35 100 15 26 7 0 1 7 14 7 0 .260 .360 732
Delmon Young TB 44 171 22 40 6 0 6 22 10 37 2 .234 .374 719
T. Pena, Jr. KC 45 158 15 39 4 5 0 12 6 32 3 .247 .335 709

A couple of names stand out here for me. Obviously, Delmon Young, Elijah Dukes, and Josh Hamilton are getting it done with raw power. But C.B. Young is intriguing because he has great power numbers along with 6 steals. Troy Tulowitzki is making Baseball Tonight based on his defensive prowess, but the shortstop’s bat is doing some damage for the Rockies as well.

The most surprising name is that of Tony Pena, Jr. He’s not really spectacular at anything, but he’s stretched out some extra-base hits and displayed enough consistency to stay in the running. Poor Chris Snelling would have been in here too, except that he’s been traded twice already and hasn’t amassed enough at bats. Kudos to him for playing through all of that in respectable fashion.

Alex Gordon may not have made the immediate impact some fans would have wished for, but he’s improving weekly. His early stats put him in the 300-400 scoring range, but he climbs roughly 25 points every week, and is currently knocking on the door with 620. Pence will be back in the show next week, as he already has 85 at bats and is currently exactly on Pujols’ pace for average and slugging.

Tomorrow I’ll do another profile of one of our future stars, check back then!

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